Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Near the end

My brothers are at my mother's bedside, and I will be there by tomorrow afternoon. There is no hope left as her sepsis has returned and she has developed pneunomia. Her feeding tube would not stay clear and the doctors were going to replace it, but they cannot now because of the infection. Mom is just on fluids and sleeping alot, her heartbeat is irregular. It is only a matter of time now. I think she may be waiting for me to get there. I just want her to be comfortable. Tomorrow I will join my brothers in the death watch. I will try to keep in mind a passage I once read, "Let us not remember how they died, but how they lived".

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fay, Fay, GO AWAY! & my broken heart

I live in the middle of Florida, on the west side. I have been blessed because in the years I have lived here, I have never had a direct hit from a hurricane. Last Monday we all braced to have a hit from Tropical Storm Fay on Tuesday. We put up our storm shutters. The inside of the house was dark from being boarded up, and I couldn't look out the windows. (one of favorite things to do!) By the next day the storm had veered to the east and we were spared, not even a drop of rain! Fay proceeded east across the state and out into the Atlantic Ocean. I thought we were done with her. NO. Now she is slowly meandering west again across the northern part of the state! I will again avoid bad weather when it is all around me.

I got some bad news from the cardiologist about my recent stress test. I didn't completely fail it, but let's just say I got a "D minus". The doctor has put me on vasodilator medication, but is suggesting that I have another cardiac catherization soon to determine if other arteries are blocked. This is the test where they thread a wire up through your femoral artery into your heart, and it is really the only definitive test to show the condition of your coronary arteries. I have had this test before in 2001. During the test if they find too many blocked arteries, they may decide to do open heart surgery at that time. I am waiting to check my options, but I know I am just postponing the inevitable. I want to check in to the "Davinci" machine, a fairly new robotic surgery that doesn't involve splitting open my breast-bone! Anyway, it is a lot to think about, but since stress affects my condition, I am trying to remain calm about the whole thing.

On a lighter note, my son Preston loves college! The difference in his attitude is amazing! He told me yesterday that he might even work ahead, and get his assignments done before they are due! I am happy for him and it is nice to see him relaxed instead of stressed out all the time! A couple of days before school started he got his shoulder length hair cut to a regular cut and shaved off his two inch beard! I don't know why he decided to do this, maybe to look more mainstream. It is nice to see him on the road to success, but he still has not decided on a major.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Studying for my test

In about two weeks I have to take a cardiac stress test. I have taken them before, but not in about five years. The reason is stupid, I just didn't like the cardiologist. My GP kept asking me if I had taken the test, and I finally got him to recommend another heart specialist. This doctor seems great, but I am still a little nervous, not having had my heart checked in five years. This is also a different test involving injecting a drug to make your heart think you are exercising. It all sounds scary, but at least the doctor will be right there in case of any emergency. I will joke around and act like I am not nervous at all - but don't shake my hand, I might have sweaty palms! In the meantime I am walking two miles a day and biking a couple of times a week, but it is difficult in the hot Florida sun. If I am lazy and don't get out for a walk before eight in the morning, I sometimes go up to the Walmart store and walk the inside perimeter twice (I figure that is about a mile - it is such a huge store!) I have atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in my arteries) and I have been taking a statin drug to combat this. I had angioplasty in 2001 and a stent placed to clear one blockage in my heart, but they observed other arteries partially blocked at the time. We will see from the test if the drug is working or if the blockage is getting worse. At the time of my first cardiac problems, I just hoped that I could live long enough to see my son graduate from high school. Now I have amended all that - I want to live long enough to dance at his 40th birthday party!!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Already August

I can't belive how quickly time passes by. The older you get, the faster life goes. I hope anybody who regularly reads my blog hasn't given up on me - I haven't blogged for a while - I am just busy with everyday life. My Mother remains the same, in the hospital for sixty days now. I try to get up there at least once a month. It is sad to see her in this state, unable to eat, walk, talk and take care of herself. I think it must be "a living hell" for Mom to wait for someone to come in and change her in the morning. Both of my brothers are good sons and visit Mom several times a day. She tries to move and talk and I try not to lose hope but I know she will never be back to the way she was. It is the process of dying, it is difficult to watch.

On the home front, it is almost time for school to resume. Preston starts his first year in college this month and has scheduled all his classes for 11 AM or later. He is not a "morning person" so maybe this will work for him. I hope he likes college and I hope he studies and does his work. Matthew starts his senior year in high school soon. He is taking a course in automotive mechanics this year and he is very excited to get started with that.

As time goes by I feel so lucky. I see many people having tough economic times, losing their houses, unable to pay their bills. Even though I have some serious health problems, I am still able to function and walk & ride my bike. I am thankful for that. I hope all my blog buddies are doing well. I must catch up on my blog reading today (after my chores!)