Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tummy Troubles

This past week has been dealing with stomach/intestinal issues. On Monday I went to rehab but came home not feeling well. I had Chinese food for dinner and by eleven p.m. thought I had a stomach virus. I spent hours that night in the bathroom with the food fleeing in all directions.
On Tuesday I woke up feeling queasy still and had a light meal of toast and tea. For dinner I had jello and I was okay that night. Wednesday I woke up again feeling queasy and in fact had to cancel rehab. They ask you not to come if you are sick as you shouldn't be pushing yourself and for the safety of their other clients (patients.) Another day of light fare and by eleven p.m. I was once again on the bathroom floor becoming violently ill. I rested Thursday but had to be home for an oxygen delivery so couldn't go to the doctor that day. On Friday I finally made it there where they prescribed zofran. I didn't know it came in pills. They put me on it for 48 hours to see if it's just the residual stomach virus and now gastroenteritis due to the irritation. I hope that's all it is. The zofran makes you (or at least me) lightheaded if I move around and sleepy.
I was okay Friday and Saturday nights with the med. With any luck, it's now over but I have never been so violently ill before. If I get sick again they will have to run tests to make sure it's not something serious. I have a kidney doctor who is managing my fluid and meds and found that I have a kidney with many large cysts in it. I am so hoping this has nothing to do with that.
Other than that.....things have been good. We went out to dinner with my family on Thursday night. (I managed to pick and eat a spoon of this and bite of pasta.) The stone is in and just lovely. We had the dog groomed and he looks so handsome. He actually enjoys it! He has seen the same groomer for years who has always realized he is a shy animal and she is so gentle. They pulled out the remains of his winter coat, the under coat. Being in air conditioning all summer he didn't lose most of it and we had to keep brushing him.
Rob is doing some jobs around the house today. Small things but things that just had to be done. We got a surprise of several inches of snow yesterday! It's starting to melt now. Snow before Halloween sure feels strange. I am expecting about 100 or more treaters and I have the goods ready for them. I love Halloween but since my decorations have been up three weeks I will be glad to pack them away on Tuesday. I still need to switch out my summer/winter clothes. Maybe I'll start that today. Oh poor Rob.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Yesterday I saw my lung doctor. I took her a beautiful flower arrangement that the florist let me pick the flowers for. Flowers always cheer me and she loved them. It just happened to be her anniversary too. She said my lungs sounded clear yesterday and was happy with my chest x ray. Baby steps. I have to have a new mask for the Cpap as the weight loss has effected everything. I will also have another sleep apnea test to see if that was altered as well.

Today was my third day at rehab. I am so tired when I come home but they work me. I didn't check the treadmill and it was on a 6 incline and I did my five minutes on it. At some point they told me to slow it down as I was working too hard. Since I was only going 1.4 miles an hour this was puzzling until the nurse figured out the incline thing.

The weather has been bad with all the rain. Wednesday there were high winds and after coming home from rehab I sat down to rest. I heard a loud noise and went to see what had happened. The umbrella was out of the patio table and the glass from the table top was shattered and everywhere. I had to wait for Rob to get home to clean it up (of course he worked overtime that evening.) The next day my mother came with a shop vac and we vacumned up the little pieces you just couldn't get with the broom.

My Dad's stone is in but at the place. The cemetery hasn't poured the foundation yet. Thursday will be his birthday and we are having a family gathering and going out to dinner. I think my mother is doing a little better. Today she went to lunch with one friend and then later went to someone else's house to see her dining room and take home the pumpkin bread Helen made her. We all need friends. Speaking of which, some of my friends (and former coworkers) want to come and see me. I have really missed a few of them. Something to look forward to.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cardiac Rehab

I had my first cardiac rehab session yesterday. It left me exhausted. While it may sound easy to those in shape, trust me, I am anything but. For over two years I was so filled with fluid and breathless I couldn't even go shopping. My muscles went on vacation. Yesterday they had me on a treadmill (flat and slow) for five minutes and I was starting to breathe heavily when it was time to stop. I then went on another machine called a Nustep for five minutes then a hand bicycle type of thing for five minutes. I also did warm up and cool down excercises. They had a cardiologist come check me out although I was monitored constantly by a portable monitor and a nurse was with me. The doctor said that I had to take it really slow as my surgery was only two months ago and it was a huge surgery. My heart is beating fast and they aren't sure if that's because it is so deconditioned. If so, this will help that. If not, I will probably need a medication. I came home absolutely exhausted and I am going to be doing this three times a week for several months. Hope I can make it.
They warned me to expect fatigue for 4 to 6 weeks. Glad that should be ending before Thanksgiving. Then hopefully, I will begin to feel stronger.

I have read several blogs today but was not able to comment. (Terre and Missie) When I signed in with my google account, it refused to recognize it saying I was not authorized to access the page. Then I tried my other google account just to be sure and it did the same thing, same message. Not sure why.

Friday, October 14, 2011

At last....Autumn :)

Oh how I love the fall and always have. I am in my element and the peak of my being in the fall. I anticipate the cool mornings when one needs a sweater and the crispness of the new crop of apples which have been locally grown. I become giddy selecting the Halloween candy that I know will delight all the neighborhood goblins (I usually have over a hundred) and I never give the cheap stuff noone wants. I remember the joys of growing up in a subdivision where we had hundreds of houses to trick or treat at. What fun. I miss being able to take my child out or to get a costume. Most of his costumes were made by a previous neighbor for her children and they were wonderful. They got passed on to my niece, Julie. I get so excited as the night approaches although I do get worn out keeping a barking dog under control while dispensing treats. The dog has a little cape he wears that says "King of the HoundDogs" and is bejeweled. He doesn't mind.

When Halloween is over and the decorations are put away I bring out the Thanksgiving decorations. This includes the salt and pepper turkey shakers that were my grandmothers but she gave to me about forty years ago. There are also some turkey candle holders and carved wooden pumpkins. I cook most Thanksgivings. I love Thanksgiving. It's a day to reflect on so many things and I do. We use the good china and silver and glassware that day. The pies will all be homemade and sometime in the afternoon we will all take a nap. The last few years my sister and I prepared dinner at my mother's because Dad couldn't be moved. This year they can come here again. Dad's birthday is Oct. 27th and he has a beautiful fall wreath on his grave that has a ribbon that says "Dad". We expect his stone to be delivered in the next ten days. Dad will be missed but I am grateful that his suffering is over.

The day after Thanksgiving people begin shopping for Christmas. I shop all year but the day after Thanksgiving is when my Christmas cards get addressed and mailed. They are already purchased. I love Christmas. It's not the gifts (although I do love a good surprise now and again.) It's that people are all in good cheer and showing and giving love. I love the spirit of giving. This year funds will be low and gifts will be more modest (except for my Mom who needs extra TLC right now) but the smallest gifts can be giving with great love. I guess Christmas is winter but fall is the season where we are preparing for it. I love the hustle and bustle of the season. It's also the time I bake lots of cookies. I often have Christmas dinner here too. It's the only time I wish I had a bigger house. When we downsized we have an eat in kitchen but no dining room. The rest of the year we have plenty of room though.

As you drive along and see the leaves think of this as the season of gratitude.

Today, October 14th, marks two years that my grandmother left us. Of all the many wonderful people in my life, my grandmother is at the top of the list. I strive to be like her (although I often fall short.) She lived in a very modest home but anyone who came to her door would receive a wonderful meal which she threw together in minutes. She was a marvelous cook and baker. She could soothe any problem you had by listening intently and trying to find something positive in it. Everyone in her life felt they had a special relationship with her. They did. She gave each person what they needed. When she learned she had breast cancer she didn't tell her family. She refused treatment because of her age and the doctor told her it was not going to advance quickly. The doctor was wrong and by the time she realized how bad it was, there was nothing that could be done to stop it. That was so typical of her not telling us so we wouldn't worry and she was living alone at that time and going through this by herself until she had to tell us. She was SELFLESS.

There was nothing bad that could have been said about her. That's what impressed me so. At her funeral there were only words of how much she had done, helped and loved others. How wonderful was that?

Clara Virginia Wolfe Cosgrave I am so very grateful to have had the priviledge of being your grandchild and your memory will love on in my heart until the day I leave this world and hope to meet you again in another.

I thank God for you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting Set for Rehab

I got my reports from the stress test and echo. To be honest, somethings were great to hear and one was not but I'm not prepared to think about it let alone talk about it now. I have four more months for my heart to heal and I am going to stay positive in my expectations. The tests showed I am strong enough to start cardiac rehab. I had to go one week for the interview (which I did on Monday) and next Monday I have some orientation scheduled where they will have me putting on my electrical wires and actually doing a few minutes of exercise. They watch the monitors the entire time you are exerting yourself to make sure it's not too much. Needless to say, I will be one of the youngest people there. The sessions will be 18 to 36 depending on what the doctor feels is necessary. I wasn't feeling well the day of the interview and came home worrying about it. The nurse who listened to my heart told me she heard a wheeze in my left lung (I had heard it the night before) and I nearly cried. The pneumonias have always started this way. When I got home I was dizzy and just sat when I noticed I was developing a sore throat and suddenly needed to use the bathroom. It must have been a bug. I moved my flu shot which had been scheduled for Tuesday to Friday afternoon instead. My pain situation is better. During the day if I do nothing I am fine. Of course, I need to be moving and doing small things but the pain is tolerable. At night the pain is a bigger problem. Sleeping on my stomach hurts and sleeping on my side hurts. I have no pain if I lay flat on my back but unfortunately it is nearly impossible for me to sleep in this position. My CPAP mask needs replacing but I see the lung doctor in ten days and want to wait for her to see if she can find me a better fitting mask. It now seems too big.

I am starting to look through bins in my garage to see what things I had picked up over the year for Christmas. Each year I pick up things I know someone will like when I find them instead of waiting for the last hectic minute and buying things that they really don't want. My one brother and his wife are not exchanging this year so that's two less gifts to buy. I feel awkward about it but money is tight for me. I have bought some clothing items for my husband and son but need some things that will make their eyes light up.

Each morning I wake up and tear up with gratitude that I am still here. It's been really rough at times but Rob is always here cheering me on. One of my friends I hadn't seen in a long time calls nearly everyday now to check on me or offer to help in anyway she can. I rarely take her up on it but the thoughtfulness of her gesture means so very much. My family has been much more supportive with this surgery too. I have so much to be grateful for. What are you grateful for?