Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 527

If you need anything...

I hear that a lot these days. I certainly appreciate the offer, but how do you ask for help when you're accustomed to doing everything yourself? How do take help from other people you've never offered help to yourself?

How do I ask for stupid stuff? Things like needing someone to:
  • carry off the broken exercise bike sitting out at the trash can.
  • spray the weeds in the rose garden and the vegetable garden and the shade garden and in front of the house and behind the back fence.
  • dig potatoes and pick tomatoes - and keep plenty of them for yourself.
  • prune the roses - and take as many bouquets as you want. I'll even give you some vases for them.
  • go through my mail. I get home and stack it in a pile(s). Sometimes I sort it, sometimes I don't. Either way I'm tired of catalogs, magazines, and credit card offers cluttering my space.
  • take my car to get serviced. A terrible rattle appears to be coming from under the car and the maintenance required light that came on this week and won't go off is pressing me to take action. That is, whenever I can get there during business hours.
  • wash and chop vegetables for me. I'm trying hard to keep juicing, but the washing and chopping cuts into either hospital time or getting-to-work time.
  • clean out the irrigation pump filter. It's in a case in the ground, too low and screwed on too tight for me to clean it out. Sprinkler pressure is down and things aren't getting watered properly.
  • dig up my daisies. They spread too much, they take too much deadheading, and they get too tall. They've taken over practically all my wildflower-turned-perennnial garden and I'm getting tired of having to stare at the ugly mess every time I pull into the driveway.
  • pump my gas. In addition to driving back and forth to work I'm driving almost 80 miles roundtrip to the hospital several times a week and am using up gas like crazy.

How do I ask for help with those things? I don't. I say thanks for the offer and leave it at that. For a person who never asks for help maybe it's just easier to live with a messy house, messy gardens, barely-working sprinklers, a broken exercise bike, and intermittent juicing.

It was almost easier to live without a picture today, too. Of all the days I've taken pictures, all 526, today I believe was the hardest. Today was the day I couldn't find anything. In desperation I snapped a picture of a plant the high school staff gave my husband when he first wound up in the hospital. Both of us may not be flourishing right now but the plant is, some three weeks later.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 526

When one is beyond tired because of upheaval in her normal routine, what does one do? Go to work.

What does that person do when she gets home from work? Take a much needed nap.

What should that person do when she gets up from her nap?

Use her garden cucumbers to make dill pickles, of course.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 525

The wall made an appearance today and I hit it.

After three weeks of hospital back and forths, I hit the wall today. I woke up stiff, in pain, found it difficult to move, and had absolutely no energy. It was like a flashback to my bad arthritis days. I had been feeling pretty good for a while now, but that wall hit me hard today. And it wasn't a good day for it to happen.

Today was hubby's birthday. We made sure the nurses knew ahead of time so they could make him feel special until we arrived. They did. Even embarrassed him a bit by singing Happy Birthday to him in the dining room during lunch time. Daughter and I stayed home for a little while to finish his special cake. Because he is on a renal failure diet (low salt, low potassium, low protein) we had to make a cake without eggs. So I altered a recipe and made a chocolate zucchini cake with no eggs and no oil.

Cake + sign for his room + laptop + DVD was going to equal a fun night for him.

But things changed a bit. When we arrived at the hospital he wasn't feeling well and had even skipped his physical therapy. An extremely low blood pressure but an extremely high pulse rate was alarming to nurses and doctors. Our celebration was delayed by an EKG. Thank goodness no abnormalities appeared (other than a fast heart rate).


All the medications to get the excess fluid out his system worked a little too well. The birthday celebration was delayed even more as four (or was it five?) different nurses tried to start an IV on a man who was too dehydrated for one to take. An even longer delay as they tried different things - they even wrapped his arm in warm blankets for a while to try and plump up the veins. The things I never knew!

Since the hospital provided a pudding sundae with his dinner we sang Happy Birthday and let him blow out the candle.
Later, once the IV was going strong, we ate just a bit of the zucchini cake (sent the rest to my mom) and watched some of the movie. Too long of a day for all of us.
 At least daughter still had some energy to take some sunset pictures on the way home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 524

Today won't be an easy day for you, but it will definitely be a productive one! 

With a day's horoscope reading like that, I knew I was in for it.

Today was my first day back at work. A day I had to start addressing things I had put off. And a new discovery - unauthorized charges on my school credit card when hubby first got in the hospital. We have great folks at the district office helping resolve the issue.

Today was the day daughter came home to help out. She spent most of her time at her dad's school prepping his classroom for the school year. The school year he won't be starting, but will hopefully be finishing.

Today was the day we met with the kidney specialist. Kidneys are responding to treatment but with muscles not receiving protein for some time, a long road to recovery is ahead.

And a hot day. Getting in my car after the nephrologist visit confirmed just how hot it was. Once I got moving down the road, it did cool down to 107.

But an even more interesting picture was sent to me by someone I work with. She has some of the same health issues as I do but does a much better job of getting up and moving around than I do. She captured such a nice clear picture down by her pond.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 523

I learned a lesson today about what is big stuff and what is small stuff that you shouldn't sweat. It happened because someone else got a parking ticket.

A gal from work who lives down the road from the hospital picked me up and we went to lunch together. I'm not one who goes into downtown Boise especially during lunchtime, so I was thankful when she agreed to drive. This gal, an amazing parallel parker, found us a great spot right in front of the lunch place. Unfortunately when we finished our lunch and returned to the car, she had a parking ticket on her window. While entering the restaurant neither of us noticed there was a parking meter sitting at the rear of the vehicle.

If I had gotten a parking ticket today I probably would have been in tears. (Partially because I'm barely holding everything together as it is.) But she was very relaxed. It wasn't a biggie to her. It was little stuff.

After she dropped me off I walked back into the hospital and started thinking. What is big stuff?

Big stuff is a husband who:
has kidney failure.
hasn't slept in his own bed since the month of June.
had so much edema that he's lost 35 pounds in the past three weeks.
has little muscle mass left.
needs assistance to get up, sit up, stand up, or move.
spends most of his time in a wheelchair or hospital bed.
has gone from extremely high blood pressure to extremely low blood pressure.
will celebrate his birthday this week. In the hospital.
won't return to work for 3-6 months.

Big stuff?
A husband who today, for the first time in almost a month, was able to get tennis shoes to fit on his feet.
A husband who today, during therapy and with the help of the walker and additional person, went up one step and came down that one step. Without taking a break.

Little steps, but big stuff. Thanks to you-who-shall-remain-nameless for the lesson on big stuff versus little stuff. I needed it.

And I sure needed that lunch. Unbelievably delicious pepperoni and chive pizza.