Sep 232011

Mom’s having some minor outpatient surgery today, so I took the day off to play chauffeur. We’ve been here since 10:30 a.m., it’s now 3:07 p.m.

I’m bored: I’ve taken all my Words with Friends turns, restocked Tiny Tower, and caught up on all the news.

I’m hungry: I’ve burned off the Dove chocolate bar I had 90 minutes ago.

I could try some writing, play some more games, or just stare into space and let the iPad charge.

Jul 152008

Aaron’s doing much better today and is on track to come home. The only complaint now is gas pain from all the CO2 they inflated him with to give them more room to work. He’s got a huge burp that refuses to come up. I’m ready to dive for cover when it does.

Jul 152008

First, thanks to everyone who inquired or sent well-wishes that I didn’t respond to individually. iPhoned my battery into an early death this afternoon by having GPS, 3G, Bluetooth and WiFi all turned on at once for hours, and couldn’t respond. Oops.

Aaron was doing pretty well, but the painkiller was making him woozy and nauseous, which we didn’t narrow down until this evening. They took him off the morphine pump and gave him a liquid pain drug, which is taking the edge off, he says. He’s gone for a couple walks in the hallway to get things flushed out of his system, but still can’t piss. They’ve had to cath him once, and will again after his midnight walk, then bedtime. As far as I know, he’s still on track to come home tomorrow, pending doctor’s approval of course.

So he wouldn’t feel alone in his misery, I made him a surgical buddy: Lap Band Bear.

May 132008

After two and a half weeks in the blue collar enclave known as Downriver (all the communities south of Detroit along the river and, incidentally, the area I grew up in), Mom graciously cut me loose this afternoon rather than tomorrow. She’s made incredible progress since her knee replacement; more than I expected and FAR more than she expected. The visiting nurse came today to remove the surgical staples so she should be in much less pain by tomorrow. She can handle pretty much everything herself now, so after a run to Kroger to restock her food, and a quick once-over housecleaning, I loaded up the Audi and made my way home.

We had a great visit and, even though I know she’ll be fine on her own, I was almost reluctant to leave. I feel pretty accomplished: I did all the cleaning, laundry, shopping, cooking, errand running, wound dressing, pill scheduling, exercise nagging, and TiVo/computer/TV tweaking. A couple trips home to see my man, and play Exalted, kept me from burnout, along with World of Warcraft on the laptop, a new five-pound book on Mac OS X, and a daily routine of pushups, planks (thanks throbbin!), chinups, and running. I’ve dropped 10 lbs between all that and the walking pneumonia of a month ago. I owe my boss big time for letting me work from her place for the last week and a half, and Mom sent him a thank you card last week.

In other news, I went and saw a sports medicine doc yesterday to get a definitive answer about my heel problems. The diagnosis: heel spurs caused by Achilles tendinitis, the very thing a previous doctor told me I did NOT have. Idiot.
The treatment: plenty of stretching, icing, and new running shoes, which may require tweaking at the heel to make sure it’s not too tight or loose. He also gave me a scrip for 4 weeks of physical therapy, and mentioned surgery as a last resort to remove the calcium buildup.

I also found out that my stepmother Barb had a heart attack at the end of March; 95% blockage in one artery, which required a stent. Apparently she was totally blindsided by it, as she has none of the markers for heart trouble: cholesterol’s fine, blood pressure low, no family history. The only thing the doc could theorize was, believe it or not, broken heart syndrome, which may have started when my father’s cancer was diagnosed and caused gradual heart damage over the last five years. Bizarre, though I’d recently read an article about that very thing; that the stress of grief and mourning can cause actual heart damage.

My boss cleared me to work from Mom’s the rest of the week, but I’m going back in on Thursday. Tomorrow I’m working from home, simply because I need a day at home, and I’ve got nothing but conference calls anyway. Afterwards we go pick up the new car and wave goodbye to my trusty PT Cruiser. I’m perfectly happy driving the Audi, cuz it’s all classy and shit, but I will miss the PT; I had fun in that car.

It’s good to be home.

May 042008

Things have been going well with the recovery. Got her settled in late Friday afternoon, then I went grocery shopping. Made some food and got her comfortable, but we were both out by 11ish.

Saturday I was in high gear for over 13 hours. After the visiting nurse and physical therapist came and went, I went shopping for cleaning supplies, then got started. Cleaned the upstairs and downstairs bathroom, vacuumed all the carpeting, Swiffered the kitchen and bathroom floors, put up a new shower curtain liner, took out all the trash, made breakfast and lunch, dealt with wound care several times, washed sheets twice, managed the pill schedule, picked up the Applebee’s To Go that Mom treated us to, and then went running. Bad idea. I really need to see a sports med doc about my heels (tendinitis/tendinosis). Luckily my trainer gave me a referal to a guy in Auburn Hills. I’ll make an appt. tomorrow for after I leave Mom’s.

Today I did more cooking, more wound care, moved the computer down to the living room, and helped Mom get up and down the stairs for the first time so that she could shower and I could show off my spotless bathroom. Since then it’s been laundry all day. The last load (my stuff) just buzzed that it’s done drying.

My boss was kind enough to let me work from here over the VPN all week, so I’ll be back up at 6:30am so I can wake up enough to log in at 7. This is why I’ve been busting my ass this weekend to get everything taken care of that I can so I’ll have less to juggle while trying to work. Luckily Mom’s doing very good with getting around and doing some things for herself, making visible progress every day.

For some reason, she developed huge blisters on her left leg, just below the knee, after surgery. Even the doc was at a loss as to why. I swear, the main one looked exactly like someone had stuck an entire human liver to the outside of her leg. I’ll leave it at that, but suffice it to say that if not for the blisters, this would be a lot less hassle to deal with.

May 012008

Apologies for my bizarre little bout of sleep-deprived self-flagellation Monday night. I only slept for about an hour after posting that, pushing my grand total to three hours between Sunday morning and Tuesday afternoon.

Got Mom to the hospital at 5:30am and she was in surgery by 7:30. She finished up at 9:15 with no complications and was in her room by about 10:30. I stayed with her until about 2, when she shooed me out the door to get some sleep. By then I had that thin nasty film of sweat that comes with extreme exhaustion, so when I got home I took a quick shower and fell into bed for a 3 hour nap. Got up, had some food, called and checked on her, and was back in bed at 10:30. Felt MUCH better yesterday morning.

Worked from home for a couple hours, then went back to the hospital for visiting and her group physical therapy class. She did ok, but because the epidural had come out during the night, AND the IV’s morphine drip wasn’t working, she had no pain relief the entire night. The night nurses didn’t bother to really investigate, but when the anesthesiologist checked her in the morning, he started cracking the whip, and soon after PT class she’d had four doctors check her, at least four doses of morphine, two doses of Percocet, and was feeling no pain. There’s been more swelling than normal, but it’s gone down after keeping it elevated and iced all day. She’s surprisingly mobile already, despite the pain, and made noticeable progress in just one day. Aaron stopped by at lunch with a gift basket of chocolate, cookies, chocolate, crackers, and chocolate, further cementing his #2 position on the favorite son list.

If all goes well, she’ll go home tomorrow, and I’ll be at her place for the entire week. Luckily she’ll have home care coming in for three weeks, so that will help me, and my boss has cleared me to work from her place, so I don’t have to take family leave and go unpaid, or burn what little vacation I have left.

There’s no gym I can go to anywhere near her, so I’ll be a cardio whore for the next week. I lost over 5 lbs when I was sick, and I’ve worked to keep it off since then, dropping below 200 lbs and 34 waist size for the first time in years, and cargo shorts I’ve avoided wearing for a year now slide right on with no gut-sucking required. If I keep this up, I should be beach-worthy for the trip to Maui in July.

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