Monday, March 31, 2014

March was a month of madness . . .

We're cheering the last day of March, 2014 -- glad it is finally over and done with (we hope).  It was not a good health month for us in this household.

March 3 Hubby entered Research Hospital with what we thought was the 24 hour bug -- and instead was a seriously inflamed and infected gall bladder.

Eight days later -- March 10, to be exact -- we managed to get out of Research Hospital, with a still intact gall bladder but a large drain connected to it.  We lived with that nasty drain for seven days -- until March 18th.  Meanwhile Hubby tried to recover from the horrors that had afflicted him during his eight day hospital stay -- both mentally and physically.  It wasn't until March 14th that Hubby finally began to feel more like himself and that recovery might even be possible. 

On the 18th of March Hubby re-entered Research to have his gall bladder finally removed.  The drain had allowed most of the infection to seep out and he was able to undergo laproscopy surgery instead of the more arduous and painful cutting into his chest.  We spent that night at Research but came home at noon on the 19th, Hubby weak but feeling encouraged.  

On the night of the 20th, Hubby could not breath.  By 4 a.m. he was in full panic mode, gasping for air.  Back to Research, me in terrified that he was having a recurrence of congestive heart failure.  Instead, he had thrown blood clots into his lungs.  Nearly three weeks off his blood thinner was causing dangerous results. 

The next three days were touch-and-go.  Sometimes he felt fine; then the clots would move and he would be thrown back into panic mode.  Lots more IV's and Lovenox shots to the belly to make the blood thin, which, of course, it refused to do. 

However, because we had used Lovenox before, Hubby knew how to give himself the shots so on Sunday, the 23rd, Hubby was sent home with more scripts and more meds -- and INR blood tests daily. 

We spent last week going to nearly daily doctor appointments.  The surgeon, a really wonderful doctor that we came to respect greatly, released Hubby from care -- two more weeks, though, before water aerobics can begin. The blood thinners worked slowly until Friday night when Hubby had a most frightening bleed -- the nighttime needle site would not close.  We had to check every thirty minutes all night long -- and replace bandage after bandage. 

Hubby is exhausted and depleted from all the hospitalizations.  He was so low on blood that even for the laproscopy surgery two doses were ordered for stand-by, just in case.  Luckily they weren't needed but better safe in an emergency situation.  Currently he is bruised from top to bottom, worse now because of the blood thinners.  He has clots in his arms that ache but the clots in his lungs have not caused a problem since last week (fingers and toes crossed). 

During March, every time Hubby went to the hospital the pink Lincoln went belly up -- with me in it.  The dogs were left alone in the house for sometimes more than 24 hours at a time so we're deodorizing the living room carpet but it will undoubtedly need replacing.  The doctor bills are beginning to flow to the house -- we've added kidney and neurology doctors to the mix, besides all the pulmonary, surgical, and heart specialists.  We have only one doctor's appointment for this week -- but Hubby must have blood drawn daily and the shots continue. 

At least Hubby is home and we are not spending every day AND night in the hospital.  The pink car IS running, for the moment.  The dogs are enjoying the sunshine in the park. I am beginning to relax while I watch Hubby try to recover.  Eating is problematic, though -- Hubby was NPO (nothing by mouth during the first eight day hospital stay) and he hasn't really recovered his appetite since.  I've tried making homemade chicken soup but am now feeding it to the dogs.  Swallowing is tough so things must be soft; even toast causes a problem.  Right now I'm at a loss as to what to feed him -- and he doesn't really know what he wants, except things that are sweet (ice cream, cake, fruit).   

Yesterday a dear friend brought Hubby a homemade chocolate cake -- a little late for his birthday on the 13th -- but this cake was worth waiting for -- moist cake with two layers of chocolate whipped cream topped by fudgy chocolate icing.  Finally, a sweet end to a lousy month.  Hubby is in love with that cake. 


Margaret said...

That cake looks decadent! Does Hubby like eggs--scrambles, omelets, quiche? They are soft. Patt drank lots of protein/fruit rich smoothies--made with ensure or yogurt or sometimes both and lots of frozen fruit. Hope that these health issues improve and then go away; you both need respite from them. xoxo

Donna said...

Yeah, Cliff went through the whole gall bladder thing, came home with two tubes, etc. etc. It took a long time for him to get his appetite back. When I mentioned it to the doctor, he said, "Of course he isn't hungry. He could be DEAD right now."
It was a terrible time for us.