Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day weekend

First a quick update on the health front. Since a few days after having the thoracentesis I have been running a low grade fever and having chills. I called my lung doctor who said that this can happen after the procedure and to give it a few days to go away. It didn't and the past few days I was also short of breath. I went to see her today and she is concerned that there might be some bacteria so she sent me to the hospital where they took blood cultures. I got stuck in both arms (the right arm had just been stuck two days earlier for my INR.) She gave me a script to start antibiotics because if there is any bacteria floating around it could infect one of my heart valves. Suffice it to say that would be quite an ordeal to deal with. So hoping and praying this is bacteria somewhere else and will go away soon.

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. It always makes me think of my father and his father. His father served in World War 1 and my Dad in the Korean conflict. My Dad served over twenty years in the Navy before retiring. He enlisted as soon as he was old enough and stayed in until my mother told him she just couldn't handle four kids on her own. He was usually out to sea (he saw the world including Greenland, Japan etc.) for months at a time. He was fortunate to be able to use his diver's training and medical training to land a job as a hyperbaric chamber engineer with Union Carbide. Later Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan hired him to run their chamber and he stayed there until his last retirement. He was a hard worker and when times were tough he had two jobs before landing the Mount Sinai job. They were really good to him and he made friends there that he kept until the end.

Being proud of his military career my mother called the service when he passed away. Because of his status they sent military people there for his funeral. It was so touching and moving and he would have been so proud. When they played Taps it really broke me up. Some days it is still hard to believe he is truly gone. I go to his grave often and it comforts me. On Memorial Day I used to take something over like cupcakes that were red, white and blue and tell him thank you for serving our country. I am proud of the sacrifice he made and I remember that it was hard on us having him gone for those long months. Thank you, Dad, for being a father I could be proud of.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Moving Onward

I am so glad my procedure went well and is now behind me. They numb you but they put pressure to get the fluid out and I am bruised. My stomach looks like I was beaten because of the stomach injections I have to keep the blood thin until the coumadin gets high enough to stop them. I am still sore and achey. I have had this procedure done three times and each time is different.

I had a good Mother's Day. We went to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch and then we used some gift cards to get great deals. I had used the charity rebate at Macy's and had a gift card for $46.00. I also had a Macy's coupon to get $10 off if I spent $30. I found shorts and a nice top. With the $10 off and the $46 gift card I paid $6. We then went to Sears with a $30 gift card they had given me. We had a lot of problems getting a minor part for a new appliance and I complained. It pays to let them know of a bad experience. We used the gift card and added just $9.99 to it and have a  new weed whacker. Our old one was about ten years old and not doing well. My son came and we got him a new phone at the cell phone place. They had quoted him a  price of $130 for a NONsmartphone. I told him no way! I got the manager to give it to him for $60 with a $30.00 rebate. We picked up two small cakes and a pie and went to my mother's. We had a nice visit there before coming home. I hope everyone else had a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

My Week

This has been another busy week and it's only Wednesday. On Tuesday I found a Popeye's chicken place not so far away and took my mother for a Mother's Day treat. She loved it and browsing through a Salvation Army thirftstore afterwards.

Today I go with Rob to see his specialist at the sort of local hospital, at least it's in New Jersey. Before going there I need a quick blood test at my lung doctor's office. On Friday I am going to the local hospital to have the fluid drained from my right lung. I am a bit nervous about it. If the procedure goes well it's not that bad. They numb you with a needle that is about the length of a shish kabob holder. They are only supposed to take one litre of fluid out at a time (must wait another hour to take another.) The first time I had it done, things went well and just over one litre was removed. The second time was a different story. They removed one and a half litres and there was a lot more fluid there so they put a chest tube in. That procedure was very painful and I ended up with some broken ribs. Having the tube in while trying to sleep and move about is a lot to deal with. The fluid goes into something that looks like a plastic radiator. If they collapse your lung while removing fluid, you also get the tube to help it reinflate so the possibility of getting a chest tube exists. That is what concerns me. (That and the fact that I had to go off of my blood thinner to have the procedure done.) After the procedure I will have to take some painful belly injections to thin my blood more quickly. I get to administer those myself and they burn.

If I do need the chest tube, I won't be coming home Friday I will end up admitted to the hospital, at least for the weekend and until the tube is removed. I want to be home on Sunday, which is Mother's Day. I have already done my part and my sister will be here to take my mother out on Saturday for dinner. If I am home, they will pick up a cake and bring it here on Sunday.

In any event, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers. In my book, if you care for furbabies you qualify as a mother. I know the loving care I give my boys here. Like children, it's not considered work but a labor of love but you worry about them the same as your children.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Joy and Friendship

The past few days were an emotional roller coaster. I have a neighbor who has become a good friend over the years, Stacey. She has a really soft heart and several years ago she learned that her father had another daughter after his break up with her mother. For years she knew this girl as the daughter of her father's girlfriend but didn't know it was her half sister. When her Dad told her that Megan was her half sister she embraced her. She took time to really know her and made her part of her family. I applaud her for that. I have heard stories where people have approached biological family members and been rejected by them. A few months ago Megan became quite ill. They thought at first she had the flu but after several trips to the emergency room she was admitted and they quickly found she was in heart failure. Since she was only 24 years old and in otherwise good health it was shocking. They got her stable enough to go home after a few weeks and things seemed to be alright until a few days ago. She went downhill so quickly and had two emergency surgeries on Tuesday. During the last surgery they could not remove her from life support and said they would have to leave her on it hoping to find a heart for her. The family were besides themselves. Yesterday about four p.m. the call came. Stacey was just getting home from the hospital when she got it. She told her husband then ran across the street to tell me. We cried. We jumped up and down. We couldn't stop hugging. It was a beautiful moment. Stacey told me about the 21 year old who had died suddenly just hours earlier. We both discussed how generous and caring it was for them to share their beloved's heart and give Megan a second chance. I am so grateful and someday Stacey hopes to meet them and thank them in person. At 11 p.m. the surgery began last night. No updates yet but I have spent a restless night praying for and sending positive thoughts to Megan. I told Stacey that Megan is truly lucky. She will never know what her family went through while she remained unconscious. She will wake up in some pain, but no doubt feeling oh so much better with that new heart beating. I cannot tell you the joy I feel right now. Last night Stacey kept thanking me for being there for her. I told her that this is what friends are for. When my Dad died she hugged me as I cried the morning of his funeral. Real friends share tears of sorrow and tears of joy. We have shared both and it was just a beautiful thing to share in her joy. Maybe the most valuable thing I have learned is that no matter how old we get, we can still make new friends that we know we will always be connected with. There are good people we haven't met out there, we just have to be open to giving them a chance.