Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Muttering, Mumbling, and Probably Meandering

Here is week 247:

  1. Inaugural :: Ball

  2. Pledge :: Vow

  3. String :: Can I stitch with it?

  4. Trot :: Gallop

  5. Fitness :: Out of ...

  6. Cinder :: Block like the one which fell on my toe -- how can something nearly hollow be that heavy?

  7. Edge :: U2

  8. 31 :: a prime number, 32

  9. Blue :: smurfs

  10. Leather :: Tori Amos

In other news ... I brought DH home from the hospital a week ago yesterday, and he returned to work the following Tuesday. He was actually an in-patient for a full week! That never happens anymore, what with insurance companies kicking people out ten minutes after open heart surgery, so you know this was -- and unfortunately still is -- a serious situation. We still have no real answers regarding why the original clot formed in his leg (except it's not due to lymphoma), and we're just lucky that when it broke into multiple clots and went to his lungs, they didn't kill him.

Right now, I'm most concerned that his anticoagulation numbers aren't where the doctors want them to be. I don't know what all of this means exactly, but here's what our doctor has told us: DH is at 1.2 (and has been consistently at 1.2 for at least a week now), but they want him above 2 and well below 7. At 7 or higher, he would have to return to in-patient status immediately, as he could bleed to death internally. However, until he's above 2, the blood clots are still a risk -- which makes me ask what I think is the rather obvious: Why did they release him in the first place? He was released with a prescription for Lovenox -- which I have to administer to him by injection (technically, he could administer this, but it STINGS for 15 minutes after it's injected, requires two injections in order to get his full dose, and the stinging starts within about 30 seconds after injection ... so it works better if I do it, primarily because he's still very afraid of needles). He's on a huge dose of this medication twice per day -- and has been for nearly two full weeks now, and yet, his numbers just aren't moving. At the same time, he's also been taking Coumadin by mouth -- since day one in the hospital and in increasing doses ... I'm pretty sure the reason things aren't happening any faster is because DH is 6'6" and just under 300 pounds, but at the same time, they don't want to make any drastic or sudden changes in his medication regimen because they don't want to get anywhere near that dangerous number 7.

But it certainly is FRUSTRATING for both of us. Those Lovenox shots hurt so bad he's in tears just thinking about getting the shot, and I'm only able to hold back because I need to see straight in order to stick him. It breaks my heart that to help him -- allegedly, at least at this point, because I'm certainly not convinced -- I have to cause him so much obvious physical pain. And oh my God, the bruises! Pretty much his entire front waistline for about four inches in width is this horrible purply blue bruise -- the color a bruise is when it's freshest, at its most painful, and from the most serious type of injury (like a car accident). This bruising is from his belt (no, I'm not kidding), so tomorrow he's picking up some suspenders. On the other hand, the bruising does indicate that his blood is getting thinner than normal -- and that is what we want.

As far as the diabetes, he was sent home with no insulin in any form to manage it. WTF??? I'm not sure how much my DH isn't telling me, or isn't telling me accurately. It certainly sounds crazy to release a diabetic without prescribing him any insulin after a week-long stay in the hospital during which he was on a diabetic diet and ON INSULIN ... but, as I've mentioned several times before, the medical community in this area of the country appears to be made up primarily of those who barely didn't flunk out of medical school (scroll past this post, please; it will come up first in the list).

I couldn't be at the hospital all the time, and unfortunately, I mostly managed to miss all the doctors myself, so right now I'm stuck relying on DH's word for things. I will feel more comfortable after going with him to an appointment or two with several of the doctors who were involved in his care ... but the fact is he absolutely WAS released from the hospital without insulin or a prescription for insulin.

So anyway, according to DH, our primary care doctor still thinks the diabetes is just stress related. The problem with that method of defense is that it would be extremely difficult to describe the entirety of the time I've known DH as anything other than not just stressful, but stress-FILLED. Treating him under the assumption he will stop being diabetic once he stops being stressed out is, thus, most likely an exercise in futility. Additionally, the endocrinologist did a special test able to somehow look back three months in time ~~~woohoo time travel ~~~ and Todd's numbers indicated he was diabetic then, too. There's no question he was also stressed then ... which is basically my point.

DH's initial plan upon returning home was to eat as few carbohydrates as possible -- none if he could manage to avoid them altogether. I just don't think this approach is very healthy ... and to be very blunt, DH was much more tolerable a person to be around when he was on insulin in the hospital.

He was given a small supply of insulin (after we insisted on it), but no prescription for it, by our doctor during his first appointment after returning home, and although it appears he doesn't need very much of it, he does benefit from small but regular doses. His ability to control his anger (or have none at all to begin with!) increases dramatically with the addition of insulin to his diet.

Meanwhile, I managed to make myself briefly sick, too. Wanting to show encouragement to DH by taking a few shots of my own, I decided it was time for the pneumonia vaccine as well as this year's flu vaccine. Because of my fibromyalgia-compromised immune system, I was very nervous about the pneumonia vaccine, which is allegedly good for life, but it went fine, and I have not experienced any symptoms from it. On the other hand, I started experiencing flu symptoms right on schedule for me -- late the next day, or so -- but didn't recognize them for what they were until all heck broke loose (oh ... sorry ... TMI) three mornings later. I'm feeling better now, although my stomach is still a little iffy. This is the first flu vaccine in about five years which I recommend you be sure to get -- ASAP in fact, as I hear it is already making the rounds -- because you DEFINITELY don't want the full blown version of THIS!

Other than that, I'm just hoping we manage to make it financially through the next two weeks. I had everything planned fairly well to fit our extremely tight budget before DH had to go into the hospital ... The biggest wrench is the Lovenox -- which is expensive.

That combined with the fact that a friend of mine -- well, ex-friend, I guess, since she can't be bothered to return calls, emails, IMs, snail mails, or anything else -- hasn't repaid a loan that would just about cover the Lovenox. It's my fault, though.

I knew her to be unreliable about returning things -- she had something of mine for well over six years because she kept misplacing it and then every time she found it, she was too stingy and/or disorganized to bother putting it in the mail to me. (This always really hurt my feelings because she was mailing packages of all kinds of things off to other people all the time -- so it's not like she didn't have the time, the funds, the packing materials, the know-how, etc. to mail me MY package of stuff. Rather, she just didn't have the inclination. She used to say it was to make sure I would visit her again, but I visited several times during the six years she had my stuff ... and those were the times when my stuff always *POOF* disappeared ... nowhere to be found.)

Obviously then, I should have known better when visited her for what I now know was the last time that agreeing to buy things for her (under the agreement she would pay me back at the beginning of the following month by PayPal) was a mistake.

I was very specific about the PayPal portion of the repayment agreement. I don't take checks; PayPal is more useful, more trustworthy, much faster, etc. (Also, she'd griped to me many times about the bad checks she'd written -- with her complaint being that the bank honored them, then expected her to pay for both the checks and the overdraft fees, and what was she -- a woman on a fixed disability income where there's so little spending flexibility -- supposed to do now? I listened to her so many times, always trying not to roll my eyes, sometimes suggesting she turn off her overdraft protection with her bank, and thinking to myself that she should stop writing bad checks -- or stop spending the money she'd already written the check for on other stuff. Don't get me wrong: I DO understand that sometimes things happen; for instance, occasionally, a person writes a check with every intention of it being a good check, but then a medical emergency comes up. The gods know, this kind of thing has happened to me/us once or twice -- and I've always made good on the checks [if I couldn't hold them up from being cashed in the first place, which I always tried to do first, and which was successful about 50% of the time -- saving me the cost of the overdraft fees, and actually earning me respect in the eyes of the check recipient] -- with a money order, not another check [another check would have been an insult to someone to whom I'd already, even unintentionally, written a bad check]. Problems just came up way too often with her checks, in my opinion. Also in my opinion, she didn't do the right thing about remedying the problems. I've since actually come to the conclusion he's probably suffering from early onset Alzheimers -- which my maternal grandmother suffered from, and so I saw firsthand the challenges this can cause and the damage it can do -- and it's my greatest personal fear as far as my own future. Anyway, in the case of this ex-friend, Alzheimers would explain away not only so much of her "irrational" financial behavior and other difficulties caring for herself, but it would also explain so much of what I can only describe as an increasingly cruel pattern of behavior toward me which eventually devastated our friendship.) Anyway, I had good reason to require a PayPal payment, especially from her. (It would be unfair not to note that she did send me a check -- or I assume it was a check; I didn't open it before returning it to her with a note on the outside reminding her I don't accept checks and to use PayPal.) When I didn't hear anything from her, I sent her a PayPal invoice, which of course, makes things as easy as pie on her. I've since sent her two PayPal reminders also. It's ridiculous! Basically, she's just a thief at this point, and I'm just a schmuck whom she managed to rip off one final time.

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