Patient Advocate

This week has been a steady stream of doctor visits and tests. I’m afraid it will be that way until we can get answers for the leg pain that makes my husband’s life unbearable. We are making small steps forward. Xrays are on the way to the Mayo Clinic. I am afraid that it is unlikely that we will hear there is a physical problem with the implanted knee replacement. If we find that is the problem it will be related to an allergic reaction and that will take longer to prove.

If it is not that we will continue on the search for answers to make his life bearable.

This is so needed in medicine today!

When I left my job as a Parish Nurse I thought about becoming a “patient advocate” as a free service for those who need help. Now I am using those skills for my own husband. We will prevail!

Blame it on the pandemic

Why is it that sometimes it seems as if the universe is against you? Nothing earth shaking but little things that require multiple details and it all goes crazy.

This is how I feel

I have been trying to get my husband in to an orthopedist to find out why his knee is hurting. He had surgery at the Mayo Clinic over a year ago and we don’t know why there is pain now. I’ve called the orthos that we see here for other issues and they can’t see him without the records from Mayo. He had two procedures there and Mayo sent the records from his last visit instead of the surgery notes. Now we have to start over. The whole process had to be done again so that I can get him seen.

Why does something so simple have to go awry? Is it karma? This is just one of the things that has been so frustrating recently. I am keeping my sense of humor but it is getting harder. Hopefully some things will start to work out and life will at least be a little easier. I can blame it all on the pandemic!

A new world

In our area the Episcopal Diocese has said that we will not go back to church until there has been two weeks with no new cases. I am hoping that they will rethink that as I don’t think we will see a week without at least one case until there is a vaccine.

At some point we will have to resume some regular activities even if for those of us “at risk” must remain more isolated and more careful than the rest of the population. The mental health aspect is going to require us to do some things or we risk some serious complications.

I know that I am reaching my limit of just being at home and that I will have to go out into the world carefully but I will have to go out. The state has opened many things and there are people out there resuming their normal schedules. Most of them are not wearing masks but they seem to be social distancing. I can see us doing that for quite some time.

It’s a new world and one we will learn to navigate one day at a time.

New procedure

Tomorrow will be very busy. My husband will have a “Watchman” implant (a brand new device) to prevent blood clots. A short while after he will be able to come off of blood thinners for the first time in years. That will be great as he bruises easily and is always needing major band aids for small everyday scrapes and cuts.

They will allow me to be with him and can see him following the procedure. He will spend the night and be home on Friday. Medicine just keeps advancing. Hopefully this will be a plus for him.

This getting old is aggravating but it’s better than not being here. I am thankful that we have managed this long and hope we keep moving for a while yet. We plan to.

Hang on!

life-is-always-up-and-down-so-why-are-you-8796618 (1)

Life has been pretty much up and down. My husband’s health fluctuates from day to day. Not critical but learning management is the plan. Yesterday was particularly tough but we got through it. I am still not sure about the underlying problem because the virus has made logical medical care impossible. We will root it out eventually. At least the hospital stay ruled out major problems. I am sure there are others suffering from the same issues.

Something else to make life uncertain. We will all be lucky not to need a short time for what was called in the 50’s a hospital stay for out nerves. Too bad that’s not possible any more. A couple of days rest and relaxation with someone waiting on us would be wonderful. Anyone what to join me? A long time ago a friend suggested (when life was stressful) a Cruise to Nowhere. It showed up in the New York paper and sounded like a wonderful idea. Not so great now with the status of cruising.

Hamster hangs on a rope isolated on a white background
You can do it!

I do find myself without lots of energy to tackle any big projects. Some things I will have to do and will get done. Others will just have to wait. I think looking toward the future is a big question. We know that life will go on but will have to cope with the shape of things. We can do it! We can’t give up or the virus will have won. This is not acceptable.

Most of us are still here and still functioning. Keep going things will change.

 

Prayers please

Today was not a good day. I had to admit my husband to the hospital. Not with Covid 19. I pray they can get him well and out before he gets exposed to it.

At the moment they don’t know the diagnosis but he has an altered mental status. He’s just not the same. It all happened over a few days and was not getting better with meds. They will keep him and God willing he will be home soon.

If you pray please keep him in your prayers.

Thank you, Suzanne

The day to forget

I was not able to write last night. I was mentally and physically exhausted. It was a day to delete from memory.

yard work funnyIt started out fine. I actually worked in the yard for a few hours. Took a shower, fixed lunch. It was then that I realized my husband was not all there. His conversation was totally disoriented. Having seen this once before I had an idea what was wrong. He is 82 and as we age if we get a urinary tract infection it can make us out of it. Sooo…I tried to get him to go with me to the local drop-in Dr. We have been there before with great success.

 

JekyllHyde1931Unfortunately my sweet man had switched into Dr. Hyde. He had 4 insulin pens on his desk and was telling me they were wrong. He yelled at me when I tried to get him to go to the Dr. My son was at work and he can usually get him to listen but it didn’t work. I finally ended up calling EMS.

The two young men who came were really nice. They checked him over and agreed with me that UTI was the most likely culprit. They also felt that the drop-in doc would be great as we should stay away from the hospital with all the virus around. They also could not convince him to go. Then I had a AHA moment. He always listens to his primary physician and will do anything he says. His office was closed but I had him paged and he called back immediately. He told my husband to go with me….of course he listened to him and the paramedics went with me to get him in the car and off we went.

The Doc checked him out and he did have a UTI and now has the medicine and is even some better this morning.

a-bad-day-knowsyouhad-smiles-to-cheer-you-up-funny-53205706

Don’t want to relive yesterday but today is already better! YEA!

Isolation means lack of human touch

Another day of feeling isolated. No matter how many times we talk with people electronically it doesn’t take the place of face to face. This is one of the things that has worried me about the electronic communication generation. I worried about them not knowing how to communicate in any other way. Now look at us. We have all have had to do the same thing.

Image result for electronic communication

I hope when this is over that we will understand how crucial person to person contact is. Humans are meant to be communal. We don’t do well without others. We need human touch. Children who don’t have it from birth have serious problems including attachment disorder.

Image result for isolation

I hope that we will learn from this isolation and appreciate the contacts we will have later. Take the time to enjoy the extra time we have and know that “this too shall pass.” And God bless those whose lives are put on the line for us each day. They are busier and at risk.

We each bear our own burdens

Ahhhhh! Today I worked in the garden. Just being in the fresh air and doing something ordinary gave me a new lease on life. Good physical work with my mind concentrated on the job. It really felt good.

I read the post today from https://fracturedfaithblog.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-northern-ireland-3/ and learned that they are restricted  in their outdoor time. I am so thankful that we can spend as much time outdoors as we want. Of course we are in a neighborhood with lots of room to move about without coming within yards of anyone else. I would really be stressed if I had to stay indoors. I feels such compassion for those in New York City who are also trapped….usually in very small apartments.

burdens
The answer is both!

There are always people who are worse off than we are. Each of us has restrictions with this virus but each place is different. The only burdens we bear are the ones around us. I have talked before about not wanting other’s problems. This is a perfect example. As an older couple we are staying in except for food and medicine. Many do not have to restrict themselves so much. I don’t feel put upon because of this. It is our own cross to bear and we are grateful to have lived this long and pray for many more days.

I am sure that we all hope that these restrictions don’t last for a really long time. Most of us can live with a few weeks or more but months would be horrible.

Image result for wash your hands

Please take care, stay healthy, and from the nurse. WASH, WASH, WASH YOUR HANDS!

Hunkering down

Like most of us these days I am concerned about Corona Virus. You would have to have your head stuck in the sad to not be aware of the danger around us. Since my husband and I are in the vulnerable group we do have to be careful.

I think this is the first time in my life where I have felt anxious about being at risk. When we are young we think nothing can hurt us. As we grow older we can see the pit falls that could harm us but to some degree feel they happen to other people.

Image result for hunkering down

The thought of being quarantined in the house for weeks is daunting. I am an extrovert and enjoy people. I will miss my interactions with others but I will manage. When I think about it I can feel my anxiety pulling at me and I am holding fast to my ways to avoid any problems. If one of us get the virus then I will be panicked so we will hold the fort at  home as much as possible.

I have written about this happening before so I am not surprised that it is happening. After the two other viruses (Mers and Sars) it was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thank God, although serious enough, it is not more serious than it is. I pray we don’t have another anytime soon.