Tuesday, May 29, 2007

tuesday afternoon

Stanley continues to do very well. If not for the issue of the blood clot in his calf, he could go home today. The are still trying to decide if they need to operate or not. Stanley’s foot is still numb, so he really wants whatever needs to be done to fix it done. The clot in the kidney seems to be breaking up nicely, if it’s not gone entirely. He walked twice today

So, he might be able to come home tomorrow if they don’t operate on his leg, or maybe Thursday if they do and everything goes well. He got a PICC line “installed” today because the doc wants him on IV antibiotics for six weeks. They are taking no chances this time. Which means we’ll have a visiting nurse again, though not as often as we did two years ago. I’ve got to make sure the coumadin is going to be checked as often as he needs it checked ...

Tomorrow and Thursday I take the kitties to the vet to be checked for Bartonella and, if they have it, they can be treated for it. Treatment takes three weeks—so if they have it, they will be clear of it before Stanley is off the antibiotics. It’s not going to be cheap, but worth it for peace of mind. The culture is still negative for the cats being the cause of the broccoli on the valve. It looks more and more like it was something introduced during the first operation that just lay dormant until recently.

This is Day Eight. I’m so looking forward to having Stanley home and nothing we HAVE to do so I can get a good solid sleep without waking up thinking there’s something I should be doing. Jeff mowed our lawn yesterday, and Maureen and Ben cleaned up the kitchen and vacuumed the dust monsters—I’m still so surprised at how much better that made me feel.

Tonight I will try to get home earlier than midnight so I can spend more time with Ginger and maybe get a little more rest. I am just so tired. I keep thinking about Keith and my clan back home in Michigan since today was the funeral. That leads to more thoughts that could wind up in existential ruminations—and I don’t have the time or the energy for that right now.

I just have to keep reminding myself how lucky I am that Stanley got a clot in his kidney instead of a clot in his brain.

Mike and Florence came by this afternoon to visit and it was very good to see them—they cheered Stanley up quite a bit. And they left him a Tom Tomorrow book he is looking forward to reading just as soon as he can keep his eyes open—so much stuff happened today that it knocked him out. And I saw his latest pile of cheergrams—thank you!

I think I’ll try to doze off for a bit—if I can find a comfortable position is these godawful chairs they provide for visitors. They say they encourage visitors, but do nothing to make them comfortable ... I’m getting crabby, so I’ll stop now.

posted by lee on 05/29/07 at 12:04 PM
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

day nine

There are two plumbers in Stanley’s room right now, snaking the sink drain. I told Stanley that’s the same thing they’re going to do with his calf artery. The noise ... well, it’s better than the old woman screaming down the hall.

Stanley said yesterday that his idea of hell is waiting down in radiology amidst all the geriatric patients who were all alone, demented in many cases, and screaming in pain while at the same time he’s desperately trying to get someone’s attention so he could take an urgent—due to Senekot—dump before he had a horrible accident. A kind transport orderly rescued him. I told Stanley: “If I lose my mind, just let me go.”

We’re waiting for Dr. Manoni to stop by for a consultation on the clot blocking the artery in Stanley’s left calf. He’s supposed to give a definitive answer on whether he’s going to operate on it to remove the clot while Stanley is here, or if it’s not necessary now and Stanley can go home and maybe come back later, or maybe we can get it done someplace else. At any rate, his docs stopped the coumadin in case Manoni wants to do the surgery tomorrow or Friday. Other than waiting for that answer, Stanley could be home recuperating (or recoverating, as I said today—spoke too fast but it made Stanley laugh. Of course he caught it) instead of wasting a hospital bed. I think he’ll heal much faster if he’s home. Damn I wish that doctor would get here and let us know what’s going on—I’m so frustrated.

Took Slink in for his Bartonella test this morning, and will take Twitch in tomorrow morning (unless something happens). It takes three to five business days to get the answer. Today’s infectious disease doc, whom I just missed, said it definitely NOT the cats and more likely something left over from the first operation. They still don’t have a definitive answer, and it won’t grow.

Stanley had physical therapy twice today and is dozing at the moment. Yesterday really wiped him out, but in a good way (lots of exercise and hub-bub). They infused his antibiotics and whatever through his PICC line, so that’s working okay. He’s looking better and better every day.

When I go to sleep, I set the alarm clock so I can call Stanley shortly after the switchboard opens in the morning. I wake up about 20 times during the night to check the clocks to make sure I don’t oversleep, which means I’m not getting enough sleep. But last night it paid off—the power had gone off so I had to reset the clock and alarms. Tonight I’ll set my wind-up as well as my radio alarm—maybe that will be enough to let me sleep a solid night’s sleep. I woke up once last night with Ginger stretched out next to me—it felt good to cuddle with her even though she’s very doggy smelling (she needed a bath about two weeks ago!)

I brought some irises and peonies and some roses in for Stanley’s room. The peonies, which Stanley planted a few years ago, are gorgeous and smell wonderful—definitely superseding the usual hospital smells.

I will have to remember to get photos of Stanley’s zipper—it’s pretty dramatic—and as he’s pointed out, crooked. I think the crooked annoys him more than the staples. I’ll count them when we get home.

I just told Stanley that Monday, when I got home, the cats were agitated and the dog was as far from the television as she could possibly get and still be downstairs. Turns out Ben left the tv set on MTV2 and there was headbangers’ music blaring at them—usually I leave it on Animal Planet when we’re going to be gone more than a couple of hours. It was pretty funny to see the creatures’ reaction to that genre. Fortunately, no earbleeds. Speaking of music ... Mike, Ben’s grandpop, said Ben is a pretty good guitar player so I’m hoping he’ll play for us next time we’re in Boston.

Ok, to work ... I’m working on two store interfaces right now. Interesting, but now overdue.

posted by lee on 05/30/07 at 10:33 AM
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he came, he saw, he left

Finally, an answer—no surgery this week. No vascular surgery. Looks like the clot is dissolving and Dr. Moroni wants to see Stanley next week in his office. If they do have to go in after all, they can do it at Norwalk Hospital, which is much, much easier for us. Don’t know yet if they can arrange things so he can go home today or if he has to wait until tomorrow. I’m wild to get him home. We’re just waiting for the nurse to come in so we can see what’s going on—should be pretty soon. I know there’s a lot to arrange, like the visiting nurse and the coumadin schedule and ... would so love to take Stanley home tonight.

posted by lee on 05/30/07 at 12:14 PM
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i can bring him home thursday

Tomorrow, Day Ten—he gets to come home. Some time in the morning, we were told. So I will put Twitch’s blood test off until later in the afternoon and just head to the hospital. Oh how I hope nothing goes awry like the coumadin level or anything else. Still looks like the cause of this was all left over from the mess after the first valve replacement. If for no other reason, I’m glad Stanley is coming home so his damn cat stops yowling at me.

I am happy, but not too happy yet. I won’t believe he’s home until he’s home.

posted by lee on 05/30/07 at 05:45 PM
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keith dunn gulyas

I’ve mentioned that my cousin Keith was a medical researcher. I never knew what he was working on—he just said “I work with DNA.” My sister Kelly, who is a nurse and understands more about what Keith studied, told me I should Google his name, that I’d be surprised. So I Googled “Keith Gulyas” and now it hits home even harder what a loss it is that he died. About all I understand about proteomics is that it’s the study of proteins produced by an organism during its lifetime. But that’s all I understand.

I’m having a hard time fully grasping that he’s gone. I held him when he was a baby. I babysat him and helped him with his homework. We watched “Stromboli” together—that’s all that was ever on late at night and I think we watched it several times when I was sitting and he just couldn’t sleep. Neither of us understood it.

posted by lee on 05/30/07 at 07:53 PM
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