Saturday, December 26, 2015

Binge Watching TV

I may have mentioned before that one of my dogs loves to watch TV. Toni Louise is a mixed breed we rescued from the pound. She was presented as a Dachshund/Chihuahua mix. I doubt either breed is in her. She looks more like a Shepherd mix on a miniature level. She has a beautiful coat, very similar to my Collie; but it is mostly black, with shades of brown. She has light gray around her eyes, like reverse eyeliner. She is partial to He Who loves her most, but still is very affectionate with me.

Most of her TV viewing is done in our bed. She is a big fan of late night talk shows and she misses Jon Stewart almost as much as I do. But, her most favorite shows are vet shows. She likes Dr. Chris, Pet Vet and Lucky Dog. Today I discovered a new one for her! Dr. Dee, the Alaskan Vet. This just might be my new favorite, too. We have been binge watching all day.

We now know how to obtain a sperm specimen from a bull, how to remove antler warts from reindeer and watched an eye removal from a dog. TL was not a fan of that segment. She kept looking over to Oscar with his cloudy cataract eyes. I am sure she was worried that he may be next.

Or .... maybe she is just looking ahead to a future where she is the alpha dog here. Oscar still reigns as the dominant, but Toni Louise is eager to take over. Wall-E shows no signs of leadership. He is the peace maker in the pack. He just wants every body to be happy. He becomes quite distressed at any change in routine. He can sense melancholy and will sit quietly next to the sad person in a show of support. He is just not a leader.

While my Cujo has come a long way, he is still dependent on me for his self esteem. He might have some leadership skills, But Toni Louise is still more aggressive.

I have been laying low here, not doing much. Still not feeling too well, but I have clean hair and my own bathroom. And my dogs to keep me company. Life is good.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Hair Washing Without Running Water

Since coming home from my camping stay at the hospital, the thing I am most thankful for is the ability to shower and wash my hair.

You will recall the hair I failed to wash before going to the clinic. I knew I would have an EKG and I tried to concentrate on removing the hair from my legs. I got one leg done before I felt dizzy, so I went with one leg hairy and the hair on my head unwashed.

My hair was really bothering me and one kind nurse brought out this shower cap looking thing that was heated in the microwave. You then pile your hair atop your head and put the cap on. I thought it would be like a dry shampoo. It is not and it is hard for one person to do. You are supposed to "massage" the concoction in your hair until the contents are completely cool.

The nurse had to do most of the work, since my hands were busy trying to keep the liquid running down my face out of my eyes. It was pretty gross. I did not have a brush or comb with me .... or toiletries of any kind, since my stay was not planned. We located one of those cheap black combs and Lynn, the nurse, carefully combed out my hair.

I can't wait to see my itemized bill to see how much the comb and the "shampoo" cost. My hair was wet for awhile, like I had showered. When it dried, the ickyness factor doubled. It was just gross. I would not recommend this option to anyone ever.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hospital Camping

Ok, so I told you the hospital was full and under construction. The over flow patients were housed where ever they could make room. Like tent camping, sort of. In a hospital.

The unit I was in offered no shower or bathing opportunity. You will recall that I did not shampoo my hair before going to the doctor's office. The one thing about getting older I was looking forward to was less oil in my hair. But, that did not happen and my hair needs daily washing to keep it from looking like I just dipped it in the deep fryer.

Besides looking bad, it just feels icky. The first day, I was in enough distress that I didn't care about the fact that I could not shower. I was miserable enough without giving any thought to my unclean state. I had all the stick-on things for various tests and monitors. The monitor required one set and, of course all the EKG's used different ones. Some of them were removed after each test and some just stayed. I didn't care, especially after the morphine.

I arrived in my make shift unit at 2 AM. The place was anything but quiet. I moved onto my new bed, longing for sleep. That did not happen. I was poked and prodded, more sticky leads applied to my chest and legs. I was hungry and thirsty, but no remedies were allowed for that. I was still awake at 4 AM. Dozed off finally, only to be awakened by that nearby bathroom door. Perhaps close proximity wasn't that great after all.

 Fourteen cubicles with 14 TV's in various states of volume, no sleep, no food, and little in the way of creature comforts, and a patient dealing without her meds does not make for a pleasant time. Besides all that, none of the many tests revealed an answer to my status. I tried to not be a bother to the staff, but every time I needed to head next door to the bathroom, I had to have assistance with the IV in my hand. The room was so crowded there was no way to maneuver the IV pole around the bed, so my IV had to be temporarily disconnected. I could have done it on my own, except for the location. I could not unscrew it without the use of both hands.

Boredom had me people watching ..... and people rarely disappoint. One woman in particular caught my attention. She was not a patient, but was there with her husband. She was there very early in the morning until very late at night. She was always smiling as she strolled around the hallway and she would stop to talk to anyone who would listen. I was very careful NOT to make eye contact. I am not pleasant company when I feel bad. I prefer to be left alone.

The happy woman had chosen the bathroom closest to me as her relief station and visited it frequently, meaning that she walked by my cubicle every time. The nursing staff did not close my curtain, leaving me on display. Remember that I was attached to the IV pole that would not move.

I tired to sleep, but could only doze on and off. I was just in such a state as I noticed the smiling woman head towards the bathroom. She was sort of giggling as she made her way. She emerged, still giggling and sauntered over to the nurses station and announced, to no one in particular, that she was no longer constipated.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Could It Be The Caffienne?

No, it is not the caffeine!!

It was only last Friday, seems a lot longer. I was going about the business of painting. The bedroom, this time, when I started to feel so nauseous. I tried to ignore it, then realized that it was almost 1 o'clock and that I might need to eat.

I ate, then headed back to my paint. I managed to finish the wood work before I started to feel awful again. Really awful. Hard to breathe, my left shoulder and jaw ached, light headed and dizzy.
Decided to call the doctor's office and see if they could work me in. Took two aspirin and called He Who in from whatever he was doing to see if he might want to drive me to the clinic.

I had time, so I decided to take a shower. I am not a sloppy painter, but I do tend to use my fingers to clean any little splatter, so I usually have paint on my hands and arms. I had washed my hair the night before, so I just took a quick shower. That turned out to be a big regret!!

The nurse practitioner decided an EKG was in order and I soon found myself in an ambulance on the way to the ER. I had not planned for this, anymore than I planned on a three day hospital stay. I have given birth and gone home in less time!

No, it was not my heart. My heart stood up to every test known and I am good for another 50,000 miles!! I have had numerous EKG's, a chest X-ray, a CAT scan of my heart and lungs, a chemical stress test, an echocardiogram and an ultra sound study of my carotid arteries; all with good results.

I was admitted, but no hospital rooms were available in a hospital under construction. I was placed in the holding rooms meant to recover patients after an out-patient endoscopy/colonoscopy procedure. The "rooms" are tiny cubicles with three walls and a curtain. The bathroom was in the hall.

I came home yesterday and slept in my own bed with my furry babies and my husband last night. I figured out what the problem was and the cardiologist agreed ........ I no longer need to be taking blood pressure meds. My blood pressure was hitting bottom and making me feel crappy.

I am so happy to be home with real coffee and no noise in the night! I slept almost all night long. He Who was taking care of me forgot to put Martha, the boy cat, out last and that cat woke me at 3 o'clock to go out and hunt. Went right back to sleep until the dogs began to fight over my hands and whose ears should be rubbed.

I will enthrall you with the details of my hospital stay as the week goes on.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Chair and Cross Stitch

Christmas came early for me this year. Yes, it is quite comfy and I have already had a few naps while cradled in my new chair. My canine contingent is quite upset that this chair allows only one lap dog at a time and Cujo seems to be monopolizing the chair time.

Seems like not a day has gone by that has not found me with a paint brush in my hand. New chair deserved a proper wall to sit near, right? You know what happens when you paint one wall ...... the other walls get jealous. Then the trim looks bad and then the ceiling seems to cry out for a good painting. Then the room that adjoins the painted room looks neglected ........

Well, you get the picture. So, I have painted everything except the ceiling. That will be next. I am happy with the results, even if my shoulders are protesting. I have also cleaned out every drawer and cabinet. Sneezed a thousand times, and tossed lots of  useless items that He Who saves pocket lint has collected in his end table.

While cleaning all this I rediscovered cross stitch! Makes my arthritic thumb ache, but I love having something to do with my hands while watching TV.

Santa placemats are keeping me busy. And keeping me off the computer. I needed some time to gather my thoughts and grieve for my dad. Not that I will ever stop completely. I found a Christmas card from a few years back with his handwriting on it and was able to smile instead of dissolving in tears. Progress.

The kampground problems have been handled by He Who digs lately. Frost free hydrants allow us to provide water to sites during the winter months. We always ask the campers to be sure to turn the water off at the hydrant if a freeze is predicted and most do. This year we have had a record number of hydrant problems. And those things are not cheap. The digging is not easy, either.

But, I didn't have to dig, just paint and sit in my new chair and push a needle. No complaints here.