Tuesday, March 31, 2015

HOSPITALS, WEEZIE, WASHING MACHINES, AND STEROIDS

Beginning January 24th
The germs crawl in.
The germs crawl out.
The germs play pinochle 
on your snout.

I know that's supposed to be worms when you're telling horror stories about zombies, but it was the germs that came to live with us for awhile.  Didn't see any worms.  For many years Wayne would ask, "Do you have worms?"  if one of the kids, or I, got particularly antsy, or wiggly, or impatient.  He asked it a lot.  

I remember once asking my friend Gleam if she had worms.  We were driving back from a writers' conference in South Carolina, and she was wiggling around in the passenger seat.  She said indignantly, "I do not!"  I miss her.  She was funny.

I've been 'antsy' to write on my blog again, or maybe I do have worms.  We've had some strange months this winter, but everybody is well and back to normal, whatever that is. Wayne was in the hospital twice with pneumonia.  Don't know what we would have done without Wes and Amy to be at the hospital for some long hours. They took such good care of him.  I came down with an awful cold almost the same day, so I only went to the hospital once.  I preferred to stay home and sneeze and just talk to him on the phone.  

When he came home the first time, he was still really sick, dragging oxygen.  I take that back.  I was dragging the oxygen with a long tube.  (I was almost over the cold.) We thought we could handle things and the young Antenens went home.  

Breathing was easier when Wayne sat in his recliner, but when he wanted to go to bed, he was too weak to get out of the chair.  Once, just once, I was able to help him, but that was the last of my strength.  The next time I tried to help him to bed, he just sort of sank to the floor instead.  No, I did not drop him, but we had to call 911 to get some help.  Those EMTs were so nice that they provided a pleasant ending to what began as a catastrophic evening.

Wes came to the rescue the next day by locating a lift chair by phone.  He called Care Medical first and they told him they had one, so I persuaded Gay to take me there to buy it. They didn't have one.  I don't think we'll believe them again.  

Wes then located one at Adcock Furniture. After being out of the house for the first time with Gay, I decided I could probably drive it myself.  Adcock's said they only had one, and the one on the floor was a horrible color, sort of golden, orange, yellow, bleh!  Not picky at this point I bought it.  When I asked how soon we could have it, the sales person called the warehouse and the truck driver said.  "Ask her how soon she can get home?"  

I beat him home, but not by
much, and the one he brought was a nice brownish color, so I guess they had more than one after all.  Maybe that was the one Care Medical thought they had!  That chair made a big difference for Wayne and it's also comfortable.  We now have the old recliner sitting on the porch.  He wouldn't get sick just so he could have a new chair, would he?

Back to the Hospital
The home health nurse, Laura, didn't think he was doing so well after a few days, so the ambulance took him back to the hospital for another six days. When he got home the last time, he was much better and didn't need the oxygen.  For this recovery, we got smarter and hired help from 10 to 6 for several days.  We could get used to that. 

Letitia was a lifesaver.  An RN in her own country of Romania, she is working towards getting credentials here because she wants to work in a hospital.  I think she'll make it as soon as she can get past the language and credential requirements. She was studying every spare minute, and her knowledge was so helpful to us.  If you're in need, it was Visiting Angels in Watkinsville who provided the help -- very professional group.  

News Flash
In evaluating what is happening today in the area of hospital care, there are surprises.  Always before, when a hospital stay was indicated, there was a familiar procedure.  I don't care if you were having a baby, or ill with pneumonia, or needed back surgery, the procedure was the same.  Your own doctor arranged for your hospital stay with those elusive pieces of paper called 'orders.'  You went to the hospital at the appointed time, you were admitted, and later that evening, your doctor showed up doing 'rounds.'   

Families worked their schedules around when he or she might arrive, so they would get the latest news on your condition. I wonder if doctors knew about that hide and seek game families played.  The doctor did rounds the next morning, too, took care of your needs every day, and was the one who made all the decisions, including the one to allow you to go home.  Now these doctors don't even have access to the hospital for your care.  I'm sure that's true for both hospitals, which have their own physicians in each area - called hospitalists.  

Why didn't somebody tell us about this?  We kept trying to get our 'primary care physician' also familiarly known as an internist and our PCP, to tell us what to do.  I think I even raised my voice once when he didn't call back.

Weezie
In my part-time job taking care of Wayne's dog Weezie while he was sick, I discovered lots of hair in the basement.  I've been overlooking it for months, but I can't any more.  She's such a nice dog.  See Shuffle and Balance  for an example of her good-dog behavior.  Wayne just now brushed her and showed me the pile of hair. There's enough in that bag to knit an afghan.  

Weezie is about twelve years old and stays outside in the run for most of the day, sitting on the 'deck'  Wayne built for her, or in the igloo shaped house on the deck, or she might go to the small deck he built in the best spot for lying in the sun.   Because she's outside so much, she has a beautiful thick coat and lots of that soft, downy under-hair.  That's what keeps flying around, because she seems to shed year-round.

took on the task of eliminating the problem inside first by getting some of those doggie rugs, and they really seem to be working.  Also, I bought a furminator.  Wayne usually brushes her once a day, and she loves it, so we'll have her groomed professionally, and then try to keep up by brushing her daily with the furminator.  I think if she doesn't object, I could hook that up to the vacuum cleaner!   

New Posts
I've been working on a post about my dad for a while.  I also added some of his family history, and part of the post about my dad's upholstery shop to the 'About Me' part of this blog which I named Child of the Thirties.  It's amazing how the details about the shop and the hours I spent with my dad came back to me as I wrote.  For eighteen years I lived in the same house with my dad's shop just a hop, skip, and a jump from the back door.  I was a very lucky child.

I know this is more like a journal entry, but I wanted to ease into coming back to the blog.  It's been about five months since I've written any posts.  We've been busy getting through the holidays, being sick, and other things.  The rest of the story about my dad's family is in Child of the Thirties if you're interested.  

Appliance Hell
Friday our washing machine filled and filled and filled.  I caught it just as it was ready to go over the top - 17 good years!  Saturday I bought a washer and it was delivered Tuesday.  Amy and Wes came for a visit Saturday afternoon, so Amy helped me get the water out of the old one.  I had already taken the clothes out.  Of course the clothes had not been through the rinse cycle, so I had to do that the old fashioned way.  Lucky us, we have a new washing machine now that we're approaching mid-80's.  Not as much fun to get something new as it was when we were young.     

X-rays
On my way home from buying the washer, I stopped at Urgent  Care, which is connected to the Athens Orthopedic Clinic, and got an x-ray of my arm. It's been hurting since I tripped in the hall and fell down a few days before Christmas.  Osteo arthritis had settled in two places, bicep and rotator cuff, muscle tears? (BTW I don't understand that.) The doctor gave me a steroid injection somewhere in my shoulder in the vicinity of the rotator cuff.  

He also gave me a prescription for Prednisone. Now I have to consciously stay away from eBay and Amazon because I have a tendency to buy stuff when I'm on steroids. I have already bought a pair of capris and a striped shirt -- gonna look like Shirley Temple in a sailor outfit this summer.  Anyone know how to fix my hair in ringlets?