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WINTER: An Adventure Every Day

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...aka Ermahgerd wernder!






The roads were insane today.  The city plow hadn't returned by time I left for my appointment. Though in the truck and using 4-wheel drive, I fishtailed down the alley, into the turn, down the main street, and up the road to the state highway.  There the road was plowed, but only one lane.  It was clear enough to do about 50mph in a sedan.  The problem was all the motorists doing 20mph.  This forced the rest of us to drive in the deep slush in order to pass them.  The result was a spin-out for most, or smacking the barrier between both sides of the highway.
Total car and truck graveyard. Way too many pissed off, stranded motorists.
Seriously, if you are not comfortable driving during inclement weather, do us all a favor and stay the hell home. Going slow is safe but not when your speed is so slow that it impairs all traffic behind you, including semis trying to get enough momentum to make it up hills.
I had very little difficultly.  Yes, I fishtailed. Yes…

WINTER: Baby, it's cold outside

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I am exhausted, so much so that my brain fog seems to have permanently warped into a vortex of confusion.  I find myself searching for the correct words when speaking or writing. Who needs those, right?  We're all good provided the message gets across.
I have not kept this blog updated for that reason. My normal routine is suspended while Mum is in the hospital, and I've stepped down from much of my day-to-day things - including command of my CAP unit. That was bitter-sweet.
Mum finally got it into her head that her recovery speed is entirely dependent upon her mindset. She stopped fussing over every ache and pain. She stopped fighting the therapists with regard to what her limitations are (comfort vs compliance).  And she seemed to take it very well when her surgeon told her that she could not smoke or drink again.  (In fact, he told me to get rid of all the ashtrays and pour out the alcohol - Mum didn't bat an eye.  Better Half and I poured out her bottle of scotch last…

CHRISTMAS: Now Fortified With More WTFs

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Well...it was a day.

Yesterday was better. We visited Mum.

She was still very weak, and she didn't like the fact that they were pushing her to work harder than she wanted.  I explained to her that she was going to be pushed. She has to do the exercises in order to grow stronger and avoid complications.

"I know my limitations," my mother sighed. "They are pushing too hard."

 "You need to do them, Ma."  I don't cave when she fusses.  "If you don't do them, you're going to stay weak. You need to cough when they say, even if it hurts. Hug the pillow..."

She nods off.

I sigh.  We leave, and then head over to our favorite Christmas Eve Chinese restaurant.  It's a BH and GC tradition.  This time, we were able to bring Dad.

He doesn't get much opportunity to eat at restaurants these days. I think it was a welcomed reprieve from the daily drudgery.  He even refused to use his wheelchair, preferring to walk in under his own power.

WELL, AIN'T THAT SOMMAT: It's almost Christmas

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Life has a habit of slipping by more quickly than anticipated. I found my eyes widening as one of my annual customs cropped up in my reminder queue: Queen Elizabeth II wishing her kingdom a very merry Christmas. It won't air until the 25th; have a link to People.

Christmas is Almost Now. We haven't put up the tree nor decorated. We've been too busy dealing with life, with Mum's surgery and recovery, and with other things.

If necessary, I suppose I could slap a tree up tomorrow. I have one ready to go: thin pre-lit tree, lots of cheap plastic ornaments. It's tacky as fuck and in no way does it really jive with our standard stuff. I bought it last month when we realized the downstairs couldn't support the size of our customary junk.  Dad's hospital bed and equipment, and his mobility, take priority.

I had already come to the conclusion that we wouldn't have more than a simple dinner on the 25th. Look at it in a practical sense, I could write a book on n…

MATRIS REVISITED: Update

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I haven't been able to update. No apologies from me. I've been swamped.

Mum's slowly but surely recovering.  I visited her briefly after her surgery. She wasn't cognitive, of course, though she did flinch at sounds.  They kept her intubated and on a pacemaker for the rest of the evening.  Those things weren't needed after midnight. We visited again yesterday.

She's very confused due to her pain medications.  This is normal. To be without them would be subjecting a human to horrific "discomfort".  Given the discomfort Mum was in before the surgery (the catheter, the IV site, the swelling in her leg), it's no small wonder that that she's been given a stronger (for her) means numb everything.  Yes, she will continue to be in discomfort. The pain will be associated with the surgical site, and that will remain. However, it's been dulled, and the minor pains are now tolerable (or not registering on the mind at all).

The lack of cognitive reasoni…

MUM'S SURGERY

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Today is Mum's surgery. It is, hopefully, the first day of her renewed life.

They scheduled her valve replacement and CABG for 8:30, though they recommended I arrive sooner. Mom woke me up at 3:15 to inform me that they wouldn't let her poop. The nurse called at 5 to tell me Mum was going early... can I be here at 5:30?

This early in the morning, nothing moves. Though the roads are wet from rain, the stretch of highway itself can accommodate speeds excess of the 55mph limit. I followed a highway patrol. He was doing 80. Obviously something was up somewhere.  I cruised at 70 and made it to the hospital in 15 minutes. Plenty of time to visit with Mum and give her a kiss from each of us.


Here I sit in the waiting room, in Better Half's sweats and a very wrinkled tee.

Michael the Chaplain found me a few minutes ago. I paused blogging/fam updating and we offered up a prayer.  He remembered Dad.

I suppose I'll eat my Danish and then take a nap. It will be 5-8 hours before M…

MUM'S FIRST CARDIAC CATH

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I'm at Trinity West today. It's a familiar place, considering the entire family are patients of Dr. Miracle.  Also, it's where I come for monthly port maintenance.

*evil laugh*  I shall become a cyborg and terrorize the World!  All shall fear...wait, never mind. Trump's already doing that.

Back to breakfast, then.  I didn't choose the bacon portion. Holy shit, they load trays up with omnipig strips!

Mum has already gone to lab for her cath. This foray into cardiac medicine comes courtesy of her PCP, Dr. P. Goodocktor. A detected murmur lead to lab tests, and that landed Mum squarely in Dr. Miracle's territory.  It's a tight valve. The cath should determine if it's repairable.

Dr. Miracle works fast. It usually takes longer to prep that it does to perform the procedure. I'll have enough time to wolf down my melon and egg before I'm called back to the heart center for his report.

Mum's already set against further heart surgery. "I've…