Sunday, February 8, 2015

Home, Hospice, More Updates and Revisionist History

There are these little tidbits I’d like to share, or at least pass along. Warning: May be long for some readers.

My apologies for not answering comments or reading the blogs of others, but dope and high fevers will do that to you, if you get my drift. It didn’t seem that my comments were required at the time. As time goes on and my life (hopefully) begins to stabilize I can find a remedy for that omission.

Just as the Flu was making like Sherman in its relentless march through my body to the sea, two new things popped up (no pun intended); glands in my neck and throat began to swell to the size of large duck eggs. Suddenly I couldn’t move my mouth and the jaws wouldn’t cooperate. The mouth felt as if I were chewing on razor blades, all tiny cuts therein, so sipping anything other than water was a no-no. Another IV antibiotic was called in for that one - took 5 days before jaws would move so I could eat solid foods again.

I lived on water, Ensure, Magic Cup, and ice cream. Even cooked fruit caused the glands to react and stung my mouth like hell.

As the neck glandular swelling receded a new pain and swelling in my groin appeared. Ultrasounds, and x-rays later discovered that I have a hernia - again swells to the size of an egg. Have to wear a special belt whenever I am sitting or standing.  The egg disappears into the intestines when lying down and there is no pain. Tempting, but I can’t allow myself to buy into that scenario. I need to regain my strength. 

The Site Meter visit counter died suddenly last December and the replacement is one of those free things that counts every hit, not only  the extended visits.  So, just know that I am not so popular as it may appear.  But you knew that already.

I have to work on the info for the Funeral Home (payment in advance, no kidding) for the what will be done with my remains and the info for the death certificate as well as any obituary I may want to have published.  Yes, all paid for in advance. I guess to prove in some bizarre way that I am not play-acting and this is the real thing.

And speaking of Obituaries - or as in this funny but sad case a pre-obituary - there is THIS revision of history I stumbled upon this morning and haven’t decided just how sick, sad, poorly thought out and written, and over the top it really is. I’ve never read a pseudo-obituary. That said, especially where the writer gives themselves more ink than the supposed subject of the piece. This from a person who lives in the past, loves to play the put-upon misunderstood martyr in all situations. 

In any event, he becomes the larger-than-life martyr with each retelling of this tale (it’s been reincarnated a few times on his blog) because well, it’s all about him, after all. I guess I ought to be angry, but at this stage what’s the point. That would take more energy than being sad for the man, which is more than he deserves. 

At this time when my health is fragile I prefer people in my life who love, respect, and care about me. Unfortunately, this person isn’t one of them. 

Anyone involved in the retelling of this sordid, long-forgotten anecdote (supposedly about the subject of the obit although any connection is a vague stretch, indeed) is either long gone or have long ago forgotten the original childish situation.

Anyway, it could be your laugh of the day.  Your choice.

My walking stick has arrived just in time for my release from hospital. The one I really had my eye on was made in Ireland out of traditional Black Thorn, was a bit expensive and would take 4 to 6 weeks before being dispatched. Of course, I couldn't wait that long, so this one will do me well. In three sections it is quite sturdy and a full 55’ tall when screwed together. It comes with a canvas bag and collapses to 18” sections.  I love the thing. As I said in an earlier post, I didn’t want a traditional cane, but rather a hiking/walking stick for more stability and security. And here it is.

Meals on Wheels will be set up tomorrow or next day helping to provide 1 to 3 meals daily, and the weather is supposed to warm up by week’s end. After being in a germ-infested, temperature-controlled environment for so long it’s taking me a while to get used to real fresh air and the cold temperatures. Truth be told, it’s in the 40s but very cold to my tired emaciated old body.

Every hour I push myself a little harder, a little farther from my comfortable cocoon to do more for myself once again. That under the care of Hospice I get to self medicate is a luxury beyond measure. No more having to wait an additional 3 hours before the hospital computer tells me I can have pain med is a boon to me and all mankind. I don't abuse the privilege, but it's nice to know it's there. 

I just read that Hospice will provide Oxygen if needed, as well as one of those emergency medical alert systems (like that annoying “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” thing) so I’ll find out more in the coming week as I get settled in to this new living situation.

Just as I wrote that last bit a phone call came in from Hospice - it was a daily check-in to find out if all was well or if anything was needed. 

The fact that I need someone to shave my head (after 2 months it’s very scary) was not included in their offer of aid.  The last time I shaved was before the shoulder dislocation, when I was able to lift my arm above my head…not any more. I’ll have to figure out something else, is all.

Hell, I’m amazed I’m still here and back at my own place, for however long I’ve got.

If all goes well and my strength improves I will be having a lunch of Fish and Chips with a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale with Linda and Jeffrey tomorrow. To say I’m looking forward to the outing would be an understatement. 

“Do what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you find you’re doing the impossible.” Anonymous

Still Amazed.


Back To Where I Don’t Belong!

Like it or not, I have returned to the scene of the crimes (all of them) although (again) the powers that were insisted it would never happen. Plans to go directly into Rehab following the heart fungal infection treatment (6 weeks!) were shot down the very day of my last heart treatment. 

Seems the Rehab Center had to be shutdown due to an outbreak of an intestinal infection that hit the residents hard. Now, can you imagine my reaction if I had arrived in time to be forced into shutdown mode and had to deal with yet another attack on my immune system? No, me neither.

The hospital was stunned, but even more-so when a test swab revealed that I had Type A Influenza.  I wrote about this in a brief update recently, so I won’t go into the gory details. The episode knocked me out for another week, the hospital went into full isolation mode again and I became Neutropenic - again.  There went my fresh fruits and vegetables..It was nice while it lasted.

When it was time to reschedule a room in Rehab, there were none available except in the one that NO ONE wants to be admitted to and to which I also declined. 

Suddenly my apartment looked pretty good to them and it was clear they wanted me out of there as I wanted out of there before I was hit with another infection out of the blue.

So, me and my 23 days of necessities for rehab were stuffed into an ambulance and shipped to my old apartment.

The only difference, and it’s a big one, is that I have been registered with and admitted to Delaware Hospice, which ought to make my life less stressful and rest a little easier.  I get to stay home and people come to me for basic care and nursing needs.

The final home admissions interview was conducted yesterday morning - about 2.5 hours - and I felt much better following the meeting.  There is still much I don’t know about or understand and I am stressed enough to imagine that it could all be taken away in an instant (it does involved Medicare/Medicaid after all.) but for now it feels pretty good.

Had an uncomfortable, sleepless, strange night with little rest and woke up to this for my card of the day:
“The middle of the night - you are startled out of sleep, nightmare, undigested thoughts: get up and work out what you can do about it!  It’s dark, and many lights appear; mental flashes.  Nine Swords: a whole gamut of new knowledge and insights - exhausting - get used to them carefully.”

I'm still organizing my thoughts and experiences so...More later.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

This Flu is the Real Deal

This ain't no weekend stomach  virus that everyone refers to as "the flu"  not by a long shot. Lymph glands infected, and other unheardof glands in the throat make eating, chewing, even drinking excruciatingly painful.

Running two IV antibiotics and almost continuous doses of painkillers.  Just another nightmare in paradise.

More about me later, if I've any strength left. Looks like rehab will begin next week, if it happens at all.

Just keep truckin'.

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