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» Sunday, August 23, 2020Drips in Multiple Locations
This wasn't one of our more sterling weeks.
I mean, it had its good points. I got the Region Free DVD player set up on Monday. On Tuesday I popped into Publix after going to Lidl and actually found isopropyl alcohol (limit was two bottles, I got two—I haven't seen a bottle of alcohol in a supermarket since March) and one last container of disinfecting wipes. On Friday I actually found more disinfecting wipes at Kroger, plus more disinfecting hand wipes.
Alas, apparently this run of luck ran us out of luck completely. Over the last couple of weeks I've been treating a deteriorating skin condition on the cellulitis (venous stasis cellulitis) James has on his left leg. It started getting really irritated-looking after I made the mistake of using a Band-Aid on the tiny blister he had. We called up Monday to see if he could get into the wound clinic, but the closest appointment they had was the next Wednesday. I made the appointment for Friday, but was pretty sure unless a miracle occurred, we were heading for Urgent Care sometime this week.
That happened Thursday; the leg was starting to swell and he had a red swollen area near his big toe. We did the shopping first, then ate dinner, then packed some snacks, then went to Urgent Care, because we knew this was going to be a long-haul thing as always. The big COVID-19-only quarantine tent was gone, and Urgent Care was smack full. All the 20 rooms were occupied and they barely got James in the waiting room. They wouldn't let me in, the sun was out and it was almost 90, the nurse said it would take hours. I went home (he finally got taken back to triage and then a room as I was driving home). At this point I wondered if they would send him to the hospital, but no, they kept him overnight; even fed him a dinky frozen dinner for supper and the same for breakfast. We texted a lot and did video chat on the Alexa app on our phones. They gave him IV antibiotics and took x-rays, a sonogram, and blood tests; he did have an infection, but nothing showed up on the x-rays and sonogram, but as far as I'm concerned Urgent Care knew less about leg wounds than I do (and I was right; they didn't actually treat the leg at all). Everyone was really nice, including the squirrelly attendant who met me at the door with hand signals around 9 p.m. when I showed up with James' C-PAP machine and more snacks for him (we always pack snacks for Urgent Care because the vending machines are too damn expensive and they have junk like chips; our snack packs have applesauce, a mandarin orange, a snack slice of cheese, a Kind nut bar, a 70-calorie brownie, and mixed low-salt nuts).
There was a sweet bit of business with Snowy the first time I came home alone. Usually when we get home from shopping or whatever, Snowy will start chirping loudly. I don't know how to describe it, but it's like a single call. Maybe it's a budgie version of hello, or alert!, or a "there you are!" greeting. And it's loud. "CHIRP!" So he kept it up while I climbed upstairs today, and I told him very seriously, "I had to leave Daddy at the vet for a while, Snowy." Snowy kept calling until I went back and repeated gently, "Snowy, Daddy isn't here right now. He's at the vet and has to stay there until they say he can come home." I have no idea if he understood a word, but only then did he quit calling and settle down.
They sprang James Friday afternoon around lunch time with two prescription antibiotics and no instructions at all for care of the leg except to wash it with water and put Vaseline on it if it looked dry and cover it. Are you kidding? He said it was dry there, but by the time bedtime came he had raw spots again and I had to apply ointment, non-stick pads, and more Coban tape. As I said, they know nothing about leg wounds. This is why I wanted to be there, to flag them down about this stuff. Oh, and the inflamed big toe turned out to be (they said) a fungal infection. So all that was just athlete's foot? When he's never ever had it before?
(We celebrated by having Dragon 168 for lunch. Chinese food and James home! Yay!)
James is still going to the wound clinic on Friday (the 28th) and Dr. Agnew will have a much better idea of how to treat it. They will probably bind it up again and have us not get it wet for a week, and then he'll have to go back next week and get it unwrapped to see if the wrap medicine has worked. They also made a followup appointment for him the day before with his regular doctor—actually not his regular doctor because ours (we both have the same doctor) is on long-term leave (we are hoping he did not get COVID-19!)—which we had to cancel and reschedule because the appointment was at the same time his new power chair was being delivered.
And if all this wasn't enough, this morning he logged on to work and I went to clean the master bathroom and found a puddle on the floor next to the toilet and a screw from the toilet tank on the floor. Now, I've found puddles a couple of times in the last few months next to the toilet. I thought it was coming from James having to unclog the toilet. Nope. The bolt was rusted right out. I mopped up the water and duct taped the bolt back in in the forlorn hope that it would block the leak and we could put off calling a plumber on Sunday. No luck. An hour later there was another puddle, so I threw an old towel down and got on the phone. I first called Superior Plumbing, who fixed the garbage disposal, but they didn't keep emergency hours. I would have to call another plumber whose phone number they gave me. Anyway, Cobb County sends out this book twice a year with companies that provide services, and I checked that out. Superior and Estes had the two highest satisfaction ratings, so I called Estes. An hour later we had our plumber and an hour later he was gone and everything was fixed (::sigh:: except the stain that's now on the ceiling of the room downstairs).
The plumber had to replace the innards of the toilet tank—both bolts that fastened it to the bowl had rusted through (the first one had already fallen out, the one I saw; he touched the second one and it fell out), and the float arm was nearly rusted through, as well. He said it was the first time he'd seen a toilet tank with both bolts rusted out at the same time.
Anyway, when he got finished with the tank, I think he noticed the toilet wobbled a little, so he tightened the bolts at the bottom. I was in there while he was working [yes, we both had masks on], sorting James' meds for the week, and I asked curiously, "If a toilet shifts sideways sometimes, does that mean one of those bolts is loose?" He said it could be (unless something was broken). So I had him look at the toilet in the hall bath, which does pivot sideways sometimes. He popped the cap off one side, stared, and said, "There's no bolt on this side," popped down to the truck and got one, and fastened it down. So that toilet's been sitting there for 14 years, missing one bolt. 🤨 Thank you, Red Oak Construction crew. Not.
And after all that, even though he gave it to me when I called, I don't remember his name. Anyway, thanks Estes plumber on Sunday emergency duty today.