Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

. . . . .
. . . . .  

» Sunday, July 30, 2023
In Between Life Events
In opening news, the leg is looking better. There are still two small raw spots, one about a quarter of an inch around, another smaller. Still treating with MediHoney as it seems to work the best. You can tell the leg was swollen from the fall because of the skin now peeling off.

The weather has been terribly hot; despite this, we've had to venture out into the sun. It actually makes your skin sizzle, or at least it feels to me as if my skin is sizzling. This week we checked out the Lidl on Whitlock Road and noticed a restaurant next door called the Hoboken Cafè that I remember has been written up in Cobb Life magazine. We had lunch there on Friday with Alice and Ken, who have been juggling their own problems: Ken was at Urgent Care yesterday for high blood pressure. I had a great meatball sandwich! Afterward we tooled our way to Walmart for needed items.

James wanted a new keyboard on Saturday, so we went to MicroCenter, and got Zaxby's on the way home because they had two-for-one wings. Except I never got the discount, and I was rather pissed.

And today we made the monthly pilgrimage to Books-a-Million. Not happy with the way they've remodeled; like Barnes & Noble they have ditched a lot of books in favor of toys; you should see all the Funko Pop figures! I still bought a bunch of books, two remainders and three rom-coms and a Nathaniel Philbrick book about George Washington. Next it was lunch at Uncle Maddio's, and finally we went to BJs.

Tomorrow the chair lift(s) get installed. So here we go...

Labels: , , , ,


» Tuesday, July 25, 2023
What We Discovered...
That line was supposed to be the end of the blog entry "Our Ten Days at Urgent Care." So it has been placed there. Go back, read it, and return. (I feel like Wil Wheaton on The Ready Room.)

So, anyway, on the evening of July 7, James had this terrible-looking scarlet scrape in the middle of his lower right leg, like the skin was flensed right off a big triangle, after his fall on the stairs. It looked even worse than the horrible blister he had on his foot and blisters on his leg after they couldn't put the compression sock on his left leg due to the foot infection in December 2020. I treated it with ointment/Medihoney for two days, and then sent off a message to Greta Agnew at the wound clinic. How should I treat this? I asked. Medihoney? Antibiotic ointment? Xeroform sheets? Should we come in?

God bless Greta. She responded the next day; told me to swath it in Xeroform (it's embedded with Vaseline; she told me to add Vaseline if I had to and make sure the wound was kept moist) and she had Byram Healthcare send us more Xeroform and also huge nonstick bandages 10x10 embedded with some other kind of medication, and said if it got worse shoot her a note and she'd get us an appointment. He's been on this since about maybe the 12th, and around the 20th I was seriously considering sending her another message—I also, without instruction, put Medihoney on it at least three days to draw out the excess fluid and Mupirocin ointment on it about three times because I was worried about infection—and I finally realized last night that, by God, it did actually look like it was really healing.

I'm crossing fingers that it actually completely heals.



» Sunday, July 23, 2023
All Around the Neighborhood—and the Dialysis Pitch
So Monday morning I find Pam next door outside raising hell.

They have been painting different color warnings all over our end of the street for over a week because Spectrum was supposed to come through to bury a cable. Now I know you can't do a damn thing about utilities digging near the curb, the "the first three feet (or whatever) belongs to the city" thing. But we've had cables buried before; they basically dig a slit into your lawn and slip the cable between it; the lawn grows and you never notice again. They buried our fiber line when we had it installed; I can't tell where anymore.

But apparently, according to Pam, they were going to dig up the actual lawn, and here basically is where my charity stopped. She kept running out there to make sure they didn't topple over her mailbox, and I spent the afternoon in the foyer writing on my laptop with the front door open and the fan on me to make sure no one invaded our lawn. They did dig up the lawn of the guy next door to Pam (the House With the Red Door) and Tony's lawn beyond that (although I have to admit they did a fairly good job of putting the sod back down, it was still a mess out there).

On Tuesday James and I finally installed a couple of hand railings I got off Amazon Vine for free on the lower staircase. They're supposed to be shower handles, but they're nice looking, chrome with black handles, and after going crazy finding the studs (we have two stud finders, both giving us different results) and avoiding the metal supports at the corners of the walls and breaking one drill bit (me), it took about three hours, but we got 'em secured. Of twelve screws, we got eleven in the studs and only one in a wall anchor, and we used deck screws instead of the ones that came with the railings. I find myself using them, so it's worked out well.

We also have a date for the stairlift installation: July 31. I told James we'll have to name it "Harry." (July 31 is Harry Potter's birthday.)

This was the first year we haven't gone to the Hallmark Ornament premiere on opening day (James was too busy getting Libertycon memberships), so we went on Wednesday. All I got was the St. Joseph ornament, and James got this year's airplane and also the little Fisher-Price mini airplane for the tree. I found a sweet gift for Juanita's birthday there, too.

And, by God, The Avenue at West Cobb Barnes & Noble did have the new "Yankee."

Thursday James had another iron shot scheduled, so we went for that, then went down to the pharmacy to pick up his prescriptions. The nurse came to shag us down because we had to go back upstairs and listen to the Kidney Counselors for an hour. Not to be rude, guys, but we've done this already. They are sure prepping us for dialysis. They also told us that to keep Dr. Kongara, we would have to drive to Kaiser's Cascade facility three days a week. If we went to DaVita (we have one five minutes down the street) or one of their other clinics, we'd have to be at the mercy of their nephrologist. Oh. Joy.

Interestingly, they also told us that now you can do hemodialysis at home; you just have to have room for the equipment and I'd have to be willing to learn how to "plug him in" and do the sterile techniques. What fun.

Friday we had Hair Day—always good to talk with friends—and then James had a video appointment with Dr. Kongara. More dialysis talk; his numbers must be terrible. But he's peeing fine. The doctor was asking if he was losing his appetite, or experiencing nausea or vomiting. Um, no. In fact, the lidocaine seems to have worn off and he's walking better (with a cane rather than the walker) despite the chronic pain when he does.

Saturday was a double treat: Juanita's birthday party at the Longhorn in Kennesaw—and it's a good thing I looked at the invitation because James led me to believe it was the Longhorn on the East-West Connector—and then we came home to watch the long-publicized Strange New Worlds/Lower Decks crossover, which was a gas and a half. I loved the end when they "cartoonized" the Strange New Worlds cast—Spock's arm! 😂😂😂

And today Tucker had a bath. It was on my to-do list for this week, but became required when I didn't pay attention to the fact the poison ivy had grown back at the front of the complex, where, of course, I walked him this morning. Yes, I'm tired. So I threw his bedding in the washer and watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent. So there.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


» Sunday, July 16, 2023
Mostly Around the House
Well, we have seen the vascular surgeon. It's actually the same vascular surgeon we saw five years ago; it's why we waited to see him and not another one. The vascular surgery is scheduled for August. And because James can't be hauling himself up the stairs via the handrail when the fistula is fresh, he has called a company and we have arranged to get a chair lift for the stairs. It will be expensive, but it has to be done since James can't have the knee replacement surgery with his bad kidneys.

We also got Apria to take away "the fishtank," as we called the oxygen concentrator he's had since October. We didn't take it with us—it weighs forty pounds—for Atomicon or for Libertycon, and he wasn't using it half the time, but when we got a note from Kaiser that they weren't paying for it any longer, we realized it meant they didn't think he needed it any longer.

Prime Day was this week. I wasn't inspired; all I bought were a couple of smart plugs. I put one in the library because the overhead light has been inoperative for years due to debris in the socket.

And we are going to LibertyCon next year; James was on the computer the moment memberships opened. They sold out in 24 minutes. [Got reservations at Staybridge a few days later, so we are in completely.]

Mostly this week we have been doing stuff at home. James has had to use a walker all week because he's still unsteady, but it seemed to be easing off by the weekend.

Labels: , ,


» Friday, July 07, 2023
Our Ten Days at Urgent Care

If you were at Libertycon 35 and at David Weber's panel on Saturday, James apologizes. He's "that guy" whose phone rang and he answered it, just in case it was Kaiser (because yeah, they actually do call you when there's something wrong, even if it's late night or weekends).

It was Kaiser. James figured he'd tell them he couldn't talk and would get back to them later. Instead the lady on the phone insisted he had to get to Urgent Care right now and have an IV infusion.

He finally had to leave the room because she simply did not understand that he not only wasn't at home, he wasn't even in the state.

Tuesday morning, promptly, though, he called Kaiser and they got him in that afternoon with someone in adult medicine. She told him he did have to go for IV antibiotics for the UTI, which was still hanging in there. But no, we didn't have an appointment at the infusion clinic. We had to go Urgent Care.

Every day.

For ten days.

And, of course, since this was Urgent Care, we had to wait--justifiably!--for the urgent cases to go first before he got his infusion. What a fripping nightmare. A half hour up there, a half hour back, and many hours in between.

The first day it wasn't bad. We only were there three hours, and that included the infusion.

The second day was a nightmare. We had breakfast, went to ACC, and were there for seven and a half hours. Three of those hours were trying to find a vein for the IV. They finally had to put it in his right hand, and they decided it could stay in for the next two sessions. It had to come out on Saturday.

The third day we were only three hours.

The fourth day was a nightmare for its own reasons. Although no rain was forecast, the skies literally opened as we approached Kaiser Town Park. I got drenched just taking the power chair down off the lift and then it got stuck. I sent him inside on foot, which was a bad idea due to his bad knee and may have contributed to his later problems. He got drenched simply limping from the truck to the overhang, a distance of not even a couple of yards. The nurses got us warm blankets, and by the time we got home just before bed, I was still wet, down to the elastic on my underpants.

Day five we got a respite. The on-call doctor at Urgent Care had called Internal Medicine and they said James could have a shot instead of an infusion! So they took out the IV, and gave him the ertapenum in combination with some lidocaine for any pain.

Yes, we had to go even on Independence Day, and there were quite a few people there, so they must have not been feeling well, because who wants to go to Urgent Care on the Fourth of July? We did manage to have our nice T-bone steaks, corn on the cob, and watermelon, watch 1776, and the Boston Pops concert on Bloomberg. It was a great show this year.

Wednesday James decided not to go to Physical Therapy because his legs were feeling so weak. We wondered if it might be the lidocaine, because he had no problems until he started the shots.

On the ninth day we had to fit the shot in between James' shoe appointment and his Procrit shot appointment, but we managed it, as well as a short visit for him to Hobbytown. He was complaining more about his legs for the last couple of days, which we attributed to his getting caught in the rainstorm and also having to walk in on his own; that he possibly twisted his bad knee. On the way up the stairs on the way home, he actually slipped on the top step and got rug burn on his right knee.

But we were so happy when we went to bed; next day would be the last.

During the night James called me. When I got up, I found him in the bathroom doorway. He was trying to get back from the toilet and all of a sudden he couldn't get his left leg to move. I got him a chair and after he sat down for a while he could hobble to bed. He hobbled up in the morning, and seemed to be better, until he started down the stairs without me to head to Urgent Care for the final shot. He seemed okay, so I ran into the kitchen to put food in Tucker's bowl, since we wouldn't be home in time for supper. Just as I was pouring food in the bowl I heard a crash downstairs.

James had somehow put a foot wrong and landed on his back in the downstairs hall. I still don't know how he managed to get the bench in the foyer down on him. He'd smacked his head on the leg of the stool outside the laundry room, raising a bump, but he was conscious and embarrassed. I had to call 911 and the paramedics came to check him out (one was 30 weeks pregnant) and the firefighters had to come to get him off the floor. One of them was the probie and they even had an apprentice (son of a firefighter).

The paramedics said that he seemed fine but since we were heading to Urgent Care anyway, he should get checked out. Yeah, don't worry about that.

He got the last shot, got a CT scan to make sure something didn't happen when he smacked his head (it was clear), the doctor checked his wounds, and then we could go home. It was hell getting back up the stairs again, but he made it.

He was still wobbly all weekend, so we stayed in since we have to go see the vascular surgeon on Monday.

However, there was one more surprise in store: when James removed his right sock that night, he had a big, ugly bright red scrape five to six inches long on the front of his leg. It didn't pain him, and didn't stain, but big patches of skin had been sliced right off. I cleaned it with saline solution, rubbed ointment into it, covered it with what I had left of foam bandage, and wrapped it in stretch gauze. Now thinking maybe we should make an appointment with the wound clinic. 

Labels: , ,