Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

I really shouldn't take the time to do a quick post but I shall. I'm just enough of a risk taker to believe I will then get ready in record time for my periodontist visit this morning. Deep cleanings there are like well, torture with a slight numbing agent on my gums. I have had gum issues previously and I have to be vigilent about keeping germs out of there as it can cause big valve problems for me. I also have to take antibiotics to have the procedure done as a precaution. Not a big deal anymore but just another thing to remember.
The good news is............
1. I have a paid day off of work making it a four day work week and since next Monday is Labor Day that will make two consecutive four day work weeks. woohoo!
2. Today is my seventh anniversary with Rob.
Yes, seven years ago I married the unique person known as Rob. I could never describe him and do him justice. I might embarass him because he is very manly with other guys and I see a soft side that I'm sure they never will. We have been through a LOT together. We were only married two years when he had to go through the heart surgery with me. That was a rough one. They once called him at two in the morning and he nearly had a heart attack. His goatee starting getting gray hairs that day. I have given him a lot of gray hairs.
In each marriage there is always someone who gives more. In my first marriage it was me. I gave and gave and got little in return. With Rob, we try very hard to keep it even. We share housework etc. Due to my health issues, Rob has had to give a lot more than any husband should have to.
Rob and I have shared a lot of sadness as well as laughter. Right now he is giving me daily support as I am seeing my grandmother and father slip away.
This weekend my father was especially troubled. He seemed to be in pain and I could not figure out what was wrong. His communication skills are worsening. I ground up a tylenol for him and put it in milk. After a few minutes he seemed better. I cared for him Saturday and Sunday so my mother could get out a few hours each day. It is a difficult situation to care for someone who is so physically helpless and cannot communicate either. Ijust do the best I can when I am there and constantly reassure my mother that she is doing the best she can and noone can ask more of her.
Well time to get ready. Later this afternoon I go for my mammogram. I am overdue on that. With my history, shame on me but at least I am doing it now.
Fall is coming. How I love the Fall. The beauty of Fall, the fun of Halloween, and the spirit of Thanksgiving, all setting the scene for the holidays around the corner, just lighten my spirits.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another Belated Birthday Wish!

Note to self: put birthdays on calendar for next year
Happy Belated Birthday to Ronni!
Ronni has had a difficult year with her second bone marrow transplant. The past month seems to find her getting back to a somewhat normal life...finally.
Ronni I wish you a wonderful year ahead filled with all the things you most love, time with your children, time with Maddie and time with your sister and many friends. Hopefully this time next year will find you playing tennis again.
Wishing all the best today and always!!!

Off to babysit Dad today so Mom can have some time off. It is really getting to her having the caretakers showing up late, sometimes not at all. She is the primary caregiver 24/7 to someone who has a childish personality. She is 77 and finding it hard to cope. Dad, who never allowed fowl language in our home curses of the few things he can say clearly. It's driving her up the wall. In the meantime her mother is on a steady decline two hundred miles away. Tough times for her.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Belated Birthday Greetings to Susan

One of my readers, who has become a friend through Facebook as well had a birthday on Sunday. Real friends never ask your age but by the pics I could see we live in the same neighborhood.
Susan is a joyful, vibrant and compassionate person who has had her share of medical battles this past year but still knows how to get the most out of each day. I wanted to give her a "shout out" to say once more
(not using the G____mother word cause you're just too young! hehe)
Hope your day was as special as you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Restful Weekend

I am a bit in a rush this morning. I have showered but my hair still needs to be blown dry and the makeup which is taking longer and longer these days still must be applied for the mental health of those who work around me.
I really kicked back on Saturday. We did pick up new wooden blinds for the bedroom which Rob hung. Took down the curtains and those got taken to the cleaners. (Which means when I get them back I will air them out before rehanging.) Room looks good. I actually took three naps on Saturday. I was promptly woken up by the phone each time. One call was from our local newspaper which I have asked repeatedly to stop calling. I can read it online and I do not wish to have to recycle the paper anymore. It's a major inconvenience. Sorry Asbuy Park Press but you should privatize your site and charge for access. I might pay.
My fluid level has improved due to a RIGID diet on my part. It's bland and unappealing but it is working. I still have the fluid in my lung but other than wheezing when I lay down it's not a major ordeal.
My Dad looked really bad yesterday. I won't go into the details but he is on a steady decline. Sometimes it hits me really hard as it did last night. Other times it doesn't. He screams out in pain from his legs hurting. It's so stressful to see. I am not sure how much longer my mother will be able to have him home if he continues to decline. My mother always hated cursing. He curses nonstop now and that seems to upset her more than anything. It's like the ONLY words he correctly pronounces are the ones that were always forbidden in our house. While there is something that amuses me about this, it drives poor Mom insane. Another work week has arrived. Time to grab some breakfast and finish preparing for the day ahead. Hope you all have a wonderful week and remember to appreciate all the things you are able to do. My sister-in-law Leslie is better but looking at a minimum of a four month recovery at home. There are so many people who are deprived of the simple things we take for granted, such as walking. I am going to try to find time to go visit her soon. Sometimes someone giving their time to visit means more than anything else.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Reduction

Finally, yesterday, Monday, the fluid began to improve. I could get my feet into regular shoes. It took four days of lasix for this to happen. I am remaining on it for awhile. At least my calves are not throbbing any longer and my feet are not numb or feeling as though bees have stung them.

I am in a funk. I needed to call the doctor today but did not have time at work to do it. Computer issues which have persisted are adding stress to my days and at this point the last thing I need is more stress. I will have to call the doctor tomorrow to get word on other tests I have had. If I am truly honest, I am sick of illness, doctors and tests. My son came over Sunday and began to lecture me. I know he is well meaning but I just need a long vacation which is not a possibility. Not if I want to keep my job. My August day off is spoken for with several doctor visits being crammed into the one day. Having my mammogram which is nine months overdue. In September I have three doctor visits scheduled in the evening. I will be lucky if I can make it there from work in time. I am not my usual optomistic, perky self. There are lots of things I could go into but not in a public blog. I am thinking of making a private blog. Not that I really have time to blog mind you............

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Frustration thy name is fluid

Last week when the fluid issue began I was not all that concerned. When it happened before I took lasix (then potassium) and problem solved. This time it is not working. When I was in the hospital post heart surgery I had THIRTY POUNDS of fluid on me. Hadn't eaten in ten days so it might have been more. Anyhoo I had a line in my neck which they shot the lasix into intravenously. Within ten minutes and several gallons of fluid leaving I was okay. For that week I had to have the lasix daily. Eventually this resolved. With the oral medication this does not seem to be resolving. At this point the only shoes my feet will fit into are flip flops. Cannot go to work like this. I am not eating any salt and I have lowered my fluid intact. I did go to a lab 7 a.m. Friday to have some blood tests made. I will contact the doctor Tuesday for results. I am miserable. My feet alternate between hurting and going numb. Going up and down my stairs (which I did four times this morning already) is very hard on my feet. Yesterday I went and sat with my father for four hours so my mother could go out. The entire time my feet were propped up on their sofa. When my mother came home I came immediately home. I have done nothing this weekend and I have a dirty laundry hamper filled to prove it. I am beyond frustrated. I keep fixating on what is wrong and how I will be able to go to work and get this resolved. I keep thinking that I left my mother-in-law two voicemails telling her I was upset some two and a half weeks ago and she hasn't even bothered to call. Haven't spoken to her in FIVE weeks now since I was first diagnosed with pnemonia. I know that I have to let that go but right now I am not feeling well and it's harder to do. I know I could go to the ER and they would tell me to contact my doctor. Going to go lay back down in bed. I have been up three hours and Rob is up now and can take care of the animals.
Usually I am good at coping with illness but I am sleep deprived and miserable.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's Thursday.......

I know I haven't bee blogging like I did. For one thing, I feel so tired and things are hectic when I get home. To be honest, I am having some real physical issues right now. I am experiencing breathlessness. I get out of breath walking across a room these days. Since this was one of the things that led to the pneumonia I left work two hours early and went back to the doctor today. (I lucked out because if calls are slow coming in they OFFER us time off unpaid, this is the only way I am allowed to do this barring an emergency.) Got to the doctor's and she could see I was full of fluid. I don't think you can imagine how full. My feet are so swollen they were bulging out of my summer sandals. My legs are hard like bricks swollen to the max. They have been like this and painful for days. The only relief is laying on a bed with them elevated and not on a floor.
I kind of knew what she was going to say. Sometimes I wish I could be ignorant regarding these matters and be able to delude myself. I have never had that ability. I am a realist. When I had my heart surgery I went into kidney failure for over forty-eight hours. If it persisted another day I was going to need dialysis. I was lucky enough to have my kidneys start to work on their own again. By this time I had a kidney specialist on my case and he warned me that I might have problems later. Nah. Well, the fluid is either an indication of a kidney problem (will be tested to rule that out) or the very beginning of another problem. Something concerning the heart. That's all I want to say for now.
Right now with my grandmother under hospice care, my father severely disabled and my mother on the verge of losing it, I have to put the importance of this on the back burner. I will have tests done and try whatever medication will fill the bill but I can't let it overwhelm me.
On really bad days I have to remind myself that I won a battle for my life over thirty years ago. Each day since then has been a gift. I have to live it one day at a time and make the most of each day.
My biggest concerns are not for me but for those who count on me.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The weekend draws to an end.............

There were some great moments to this weekend. My niece who I did not get to see emailed me for the first time. Only a few lines but it brought joy to my heart to know she is thinking of me, as I do so often of her. Last night my sister made dinner (she is at my parents for another four day weekend) and invited us over. Her friend, a therapist, was also a dinner guest. I have known him many years and he always has some good stories to tell. Of course the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and actually the not so innocent sometimes. My father has began to curse. Not unlike someone with a well known illness. He gets frustrated and blurts out four letter words that my mother absolutely forbade in our home. She has a strong and immediate reaction which seems to spur him on to do it even more. Last night she began to yell at him and got very upset. I must tell you that this is quite funny to witness. My belief is that words are just words. In my home we never ran around cursing all the time, but I never made it such a huge thing either. My son never went wild with cursing but if a words slipped out here or there I just ignored it. We have all advised my mother to do the same but she refuses.
Tonight I began to cough again and I am wheezing horribly. Use of the inhalers does not seem to be helping. I am hoping with all my being I am not going to have a pneumonia relapse. I have read that stress can contribute to this and also once you have had pneumonia you are more vulnerable to having it again.
I will see how I am tomorrow. I have used up two of my four times I can call out for the year which doesn't end until March. I keep hoping they will revamp this policy.
Other than that I really stayed home. Was home all day today and most of yesterday. Trying to just relax as much as possible.
Our anniversary is approaching at the end of August. Trying to think of something that I can afford which will put a smile on Rob's face. He is quite appreciative I must say which makes giving him anything a pleasure. Seven years. We have known each other ten years and he is still here. I know it wasn't easy moving nearly three hundred miles away from the town he had always lived on, friends and family. He is now a proud New Jersey homeowner. Most of the time, life is good.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Hoping for a good night's sleep

I have found it difficult to sleep lately. For one thing I have a nagging pain below my left breast. I am wondering if it is a muscle that was strained or something else. I am taking ibuprofen for the pain but I am not supposed to take very much of it. When the pain prevents me from sleeping I bite the bullet and take it as I have the past few nights.
It is very hard to get my mind to turn off. I never did hear from my mother-in-law. Not a single word and it's been nearly a week since I left her the messages. Obviously, she doesn't seem concerned that she hurt my feelings. I guess that tells me everything. I did send my niece a note explaining how terribly disappointed I was not to get to see her. I wonder if she'll get that note. Rob and I have discussed this at great length. My son wants me to delete my Facebook page because he feels that it is entirely too stressful for me to have something that can cause such upset. I have reconnected with several people on it and would hate to do that. I did send a letter of explanation to my husband's aunt who posted. Just to clear some things up. It is obvious that things have been said from one person's perspective. Do people not understand that most things are skewed by each person's perspective?
I have to get up early tomorrow as I did today. Today I left my house an hour early so that I could mail a photo album I made for a friend's daughter. The friend had passed away and I duplicated all pictures I had for each of her daughter's. The other daughter was thrilled with hers. I also picked up a birthday cake for my boss and took it to work. It's been a long day and I am so tired. Just hoping and praying for a good night's sleep.
I have friends who are being supportive, a husband who loves me and my family who love me...... why do I feel so alone at times? My sister is coming this weekend. I look forward to that and a chat with her friend who is a therapist.