Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Half a Year Is Gone

Hey, Y'all,
I know it doesn't seem possible, but half of 2009 has gone by the wayside, and we are getting ready to go through the second half.

What a six months it has been for me...I am trusting the second half will be an improvement over the first. Gramps and I have not been able to travel at all this year, but it has not been all bad, you know. I believe the second half can only improve, don't you?

I did get to spend some quality time with Carol and Teresa. And I thank God for that.

I decided this morning to drive into Jefferson City and get a haircut, and it does look better. Then I went to the grocery store to get a few things. I took in the wrong billfold, and after writing a check, I had to leave my groceries and trek out to the car for my other one so I could have an ID to show the girl at the checkout counter. I was not feeling great, and had to go slowly to get my ID. By the time I got back in they were checking someone else out and I had to wait for my buggy. I also saw that they had put most of the stuff in one bag (too heavy for me to lift), so when I got out to the car, I had to do some switching into the other bag. Whine....And it was hot....whine...
and I was weak...whine... ha ha. I finally got the stuff transferred equally and crawled into my car, rolled down the windows and drove home.

I am still not sleeping well, but I am trusting that will improve sometime in the future. YES! I have a slight cough that seems to be connected with the surgery and is just enough to be annoying.

This morning after my shower, I put away some more of my stuff that I brought back from Teresa's. Some of it, I have to figure out where to put it. Last night I folded and put away laundry that I had done.

Laurie, Olivia, and Gabe came down this morning and helped me water my flowers in the yard and on the porch. Thanks to them, the flowers have survived my absence, and I am most grateful!

Allie is coming over after while...she just called to see if I needed any thing. She is just going to visit for awhile. It is always good to see her. The letter that I sent to Gramps a week ago, came back to Teresa's yesterday. I had apparently addressed it incorrectly. All the information was correct, but in the wrong order. A matter of semantics, it seems.

Well, that is about all for today. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to all of you. Thank you all again for your prayers. Bye for now.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Good Friends Abound

Hey, Y'all,
As I sit here in my computer chair, I am feeling a little shaky still, and a lot sore. My sleeping at night is still kind of discombobulated (good word?). I wake up sometimes in pain, and have to move my sleeping area. Last evening, I decided I would go to sleep in my bed. So I slept pretty well until sometime in the wee morning hours when I awakened hurting, so after a trip to the bathroom, I went into the living room and lay down on the couch, where I slept peacefully until 8 a.m.

I arose at 8 a.m. and took one of my morning meds, wrote some checks for bills due, and took them down to the mailbox. I came back and decided to make some breakfast, which consisted of a scrambled egg and two pieces of raisin bread toast, plus a cup of hot tea. I could only eat the egg and one piece of the bread, plus about half the cup of tea.

Yesterday, I had visits from my neighbors, Laurie and Olivia, Mark and Allie and their granddaughter, Kyah, and Gene and Judy. It was lovely to see them all. Laurie and Olivia came and helped me with the laundry, and put it away for me.

I must get busy today and at least put away some things that are still in my living room, that I brought home from Teresa's. I am still quite shaky on my pins, but am hoping to begin to feel stronger soon. My appetite is still on the wane, and I am having to force myself to eat. I need to see my family doctor about something that would help that. If I can get up the energy to go, that is. ha.

I continue to talk to Gramps each evening and I know he looks forward to our chats as much as I do. He is a dear and the people up there really like him. To know him is to love him.

Well,not much shaking here right now. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. More later. Love to each of you. Bye for now.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Home At Last

Hey, Y'all,
Little did I dream when I left my little home here in New Market almost 4 weeks ago, that I would be away and so sick for so long. Were it not for the prayers and kind help of so many people, I truly believe I would not be here now, but probably six feet under in my resting place.I know now it was not yet meant to be. God is Good, isn't He? I am so blessed and so thankful!

Two weeks under the care of my daughter, Teresa, certainly had no little part in my recovery. Her sweetie pie husband, Tom, brought me the four and a half hour drive from Madison, Alabama yesterday morning, and then he turned around after chatting with my neighbors, Scott and Laurie and did his return trip to his home.

Needless to say, I was quite exhausted, but knew I had to go a few places before I could sit down to rest. I got into my little red car, and headed to the post office to rescind my request to have my mail forwarded to Teresa and Tom's and got there just at the right time to stop the process. Then I headed on up to have a bite of food (or two) and then to the grocery store to pick up some items. When I got back home, Scott carried in the groceries and put them away for me, with the promise that Laurie would be down later with Olivia to clean out the old stuff from my fridge.

I then proceeded into the bedroom where I changed into my gown and crawled into bed for a rest. I don't think I went to sleep, but I did rest. I called a few people to let them know I was back, then I got up and began the task of putting some of the things away that I brought home with me. What a chore! It is still unfinished this morning, but I will "get a round tuit". ha.

Laurie and Olivia came down around 7 p.m. and cleaned the fridge, put away clean dishes and did what was in the sink.

I called Gramps at around 8 p.m. and he told me he had skipped supper because he was afraid he would miss my call. I told him that I always call long after supper is over, and please not to skip supper anymore. I told him if I missed him, I would always call until I reached him. He said "okay."

My rest last night was not really great because I had some pain after I woke up around 2 a.m.I guess I am going to have to expect some of that as I go along. But at least I did get a few hours sleep.

I opened all my piled up mail this morning, and of course, it was mostly bills and junk mail. There were a couple of cards (one of them being a really cute card from granddaughter, Emily, with 2 badgers on it.) It was a knock-knock joke that was punny. She knows how much I enjoy puns (as does her dad, Daryl). The joke went:
KNOCK! KNOCK! Who's there? TWO BADGERS. Two badgers who? (Inside : TWO BADGERS SICK!) Cute, huh? right down my alley. Thank you, Miss EM!

Well, I am going to go into the living room in a bit and rock in my new rocking chair that I had intended to use in recuperating from my surgery in Knoxville. I may even nap awhile as I am rocking. Who knows.

My cardiologist in Knoxville called me yesterday as I was on the way home from Alabama and told me he was quite pleased with the blood work that was done at the clinic on Wednesday when I went to get my staples removed. One of these days, I am going to count the staple holes, because I would like to know how many there were.
(Inquiring minds want to know,don't you think so?) I have one of those inquiring minds. Keeps me alert, don't you know?

Well, I know Mark and Allie will be over later today after they finish with their yard sale to get all the stuff cleared out of their old home. What is left over this afternoon will go to Appalachian Outreach program,which provides goods to needy families.

That is about it for right now, I feel like I am about to go to sleep or something. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Love to you all. More tomorrow. Bye for now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Staples are Out

Hey, Y'all,
Well we traveled into Vanderbilt this morning ( great driving, Teresa) and found our way to the Clinic where we had an 11 a.m. appointment to see Dr. Wright, the surgeon who performed the corrective surgery. The cute Fiona who was one of the medical students who came around doing rounds with the doctor was the one who did the actual removal of the staples.

Everyone had been saying, "Oh, you will feel so much better with those staples out" and I had been hoping so. It does feel better, but believe me, the incision is still there and reminds me when I move. ha. I am hoping I will be sleeping better.

It was 3 p.m. when we got back to Athens, AL near where Teresa lives, so we decided that we really needed to eat a late lunch/early supper, so we stopped at Applebee's and had a veggie patch pizza, which is mostly thin crust topped with spinach, chopped tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. I had only half of mine and will be having the rest for supper before I go to bed.

We went to Walgreens and picked up the medication that I needed filled, and then we were so wiped out, we came on home and I took a rest in bed for about an hour. After I talk to Gramps I am going to be finishing my v.p.pizza and settling down to watch a movie.

The doctor told me I can drive when I wish or feel like it, so I guess he considers me just about recuperated. I will probably be going home soon, but will finish my recuperation by myself and then getting Gramps after his month's stay is up at the Assisted Living Facility. I don't quite feel up to bringing him home until that time. Hopefully no one will spill the beans to him until I am ready to care for him after the next two weeks. My energy level is not what I want it to be yet.

Well, that is about all for today from Blabbin' Grammy. More tomorrow. Much love to all of you. Bye for now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LIfe In Alabama These Days

Hey, Y'all,
LIfe goes kind of slowly here as I continue to recover. My day begins at 6 a.m. with arising and heading for a shower. My first day here, Teresa assisted me with a shower, but I discovered I could pretty well do it alone, so I do.

Breakfast is usually around 7 or so, after a walk around the perimeter of the yard, and then after breakfast, I go out onto the patio and read awhile. This morning, I took about a 30 minute rest in bed about 10 a.m. That is one nice thing about being here, if I get tired, I can just take a rest in bed.

I had a little snack around 11 a.m. and will probably have some left over chicken wings parmesan around 1.p.m. Teresa makes killer parmesan chicken wings. Yum. We had them for supper a couple of nights ago.

Tomorrow, we will be leaving here around 9 a.m. or maybe a little earlier to go to the surgeon who did hte last surgery at Vanderbilt and he hepeully will remove the last drainage tube and the staples that are presently decorating my belly. Thank God!
I don't yet have my full energy back and don't know how long that will take, but I am slowly getting there, I believe. I feel like my get up and go has got up and gone. Ha.

I just thank God (and Teresa's care. plus prayers of good people) for my continuing recovery.

I talk to Gramps each evening around 8 pm. his time, and kind of get a feel for how his day went. I thank his nieces and Mark and Allie for all they have done to help him settle in at the Assisted Living Facility, and also the staff that work there.

Well, this is Blabbin' Grammy sigting off for today. Not much else to blab about today. Hope you all have a great day and restful night. Much love to all of you. Bye for now.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Hey, Y'all,

A difficult part of this whole process is being away from my Sweetie Pie for so long. I know he is missing me as well. This is the longest we have ever been away from one another in our married life. We were away from each other when Hurricane Ivan swept through Florida in 2004. I was in the hospital for two weeks and they (Gramps, Tom and Teresa) had to take off for Georgia when Ivan hit).

Today is Father's Day, and Gramps is in assisted living and I am here in Terese's 'assisted living'. We are both being well taken care of and are old enough to know that someitmes, you just gotta go with the flow.

I worte him a letter this morning (the first I can remember writing to him, ever) and I know he will be pleased to get it. I enclosed a copy of the picture that heads up my blog posting today. Teresa took the picture yesterday to record my progress visually. It was the first time I had anything on other than a gown during the day for the past 3 weeks. It was good to get into daytime wear again.

Getting ready for church on Sunday morning has always been a big deal with Gramps on Saturday evening. He always gets his clothes laid out on Saturday evening in preparation for Sunday. I called him last evening at the usual time of his 8 p.m. and he told me he had taken a shower and that there was water in the bathroom floor. I asked him if he had paged for them to get the water up out of the floor and he said he didn't know where the pager button that he is supposed to wear around his neck was. He had apparently taken it off to shower. As you may know, he was not supposed to take a shower unassisted. I told him to be sure his socks were dry and go ahead and finish getting ready for bed and I would call the desk and get help for him to get the floor dried.

I called the desk and finally got through and they said, "Oh, dear" but said they would take care of it. I hope they emphasized to him that he was not to take the "button" from around his neck. Just one of those things about adjusting to life in assisted living. I will talk to him this evening and see how that all went down.

I hope he enjoyed the services this morning. He loves to dress up and look sharp.

Well, life is progressing slowly here, but not much in the way of news. Teresa goes back to work at her office tomorrow, and I will be here kind of skating through the day by myself. It has been wonderful to have time to spend with her each day. I look forward to really feeling like it over the next 3 weeks.

That's about it for today. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you. Bye for now.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Hey, Y'all,

It seems that I am finally feeling like I am on the mend. I know it has only been a week and 3 days since the last surgery, and although recovery seems slow, it is taking place. Sleeping at night presents the most difficulty, but I know after the staples are removed, I should be able to be more comfortable at night. It seems like I have twice as much belly as I did before the first gall bladder surgery on june 2nd.

Each morning I arise at 6 a.m, take a shower, and get dressed for the day (fresh gown) and then put on my summery housecoat. Then I go out to the back patio and sit enjoying the fresh morning air, and the sound of the birds. I take a tour of the yard by walking its perimeter. By 7 a.m. I am ready for my breakfast and come in to eat.

After breakfast, I am ready to check my e-mails and maybe play a little on the computer. Not long after, I go back out to the patio and rock and enjoy the rest of the morning. Sometimes, I sit out there and read. I also take another walk around the yerd. Mid-morning, I have a little snack of banana and peanut butter (for protein and potassium).

Sometime during the late morning, I go online and do my blogging. (It is that time now). Later, I have lunch and then rest a while and maybe watch a movie. So goes the day. After supper, I give Gramps a call to see how he is doing and how his day has gone.

I am posting a picture of myself on Teresa's patio, and also of her gazebo, where I take a rest when I am midway through my walk around her yard. The pic of the gazebo will give you some idea of the size of the yard perhaps. To see the gazebo up close, click on the pic and it should enlarge for you. Tom and Teresa built the gazebo last summer and Tom built the observatory to the right of it last summer.
Well, it is time for me to close out for today. My staples are becoming uncomfortable sitting here, so I am heading for my rocker on the back patio. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you. Bye for now. More tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Hey, Y'all,

Just a bit of flotsam and jetsam this morning. I know some of you may be wondering about Gramps and how he is getting along. On Tuesday of this week, Mark and Allie took him up to the Assisted Living Facility in Morristown where he will be staying for the next four weeks until I can return to New Market. I had been preparing him for the change of his living status for several days before Tuesday.

He got up early (4 a.m.), went into Mark and Allie's bedroom, flipped on their light and said, "Well, I;m ready to get this show on the road!". Mark told him that they would be getting up later and that he should just go back to bed, so he did. Then he slept until about 10 a,m. Bless his heart.

I have talked to him every day as much as I could, since I left him with Mark and Allie on June 2. He hss weathered the changes pretty well. He seems to be adjusting to the stay at Terrace Estates. I call him every day to talk to him and his nieces check on him every day. Right now I am trying to get him a telephone installed in his room so that I can talk to him easier and others can call him as well.


I had a really great surgical team at Vanderbilt, and have posted a picture of those who did rounds each day while I was there. I apologize for the quality of the photo, but it was taken with my camera phone. I don't have a picture downloaded yet of the surgeon who did the operation, but will get that a little later and post it.

The home heslth care evaluator came by yesterday, and checked me out. He seemed to think that I am doing well without any home health care and told me that for the first time ever, he was recommending a patient did not need home health care. He thought I was doing very well for someone who had had surgery like I have. So that was good news for me. It seems they are sending a nurse out today anyway to check it out.

Teresa is taking good care of me here, and could be a slave driver...pushes me to walk around, rest, do my breathing using the spirometer, etc. (just joking, Tee) I could not ask for a more excellent care giver. She is working from home in her computer room and lets me in once in awhile as long as I keep quiet like the mouse. I am most blessed to be here. Thank you, Baby!

I am getting in some reading and rocking in a rocking chair on the back patio. I get up each morning around 6 a.m. and take my shower and get ready for the day ahead. My appetite is not up to par yet, but I am eating as much as I comfortably can. I thank the Lord that He has brought me through the surgery and continues to help me heal. He is the Great Physician, after all.
Well, that is about all for today. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Thank you again for all your prayers on our behalf. See you later. Bye for now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

As Matters Stand Now

Hey, Y'all,
Mornings come slowly when one is ill, don't they? It seems the nights go on forever, because of where the staples are placed across my upper section of belly and the soreness in my body. It is difficult to really get comfortable at night (whine, whine), but I am still trying. Teresa has a large television on the dresser in my room, where I can watch videos. Getting in and out of bed proves a little difficult, but quite managable and I do have to get up a few times at night.

I was up a little before 6 a.m. this morning and took my shower, got dressed and went out onto the back patio. The patio is a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the day. Birds are singing, breeze is blowing, and it is a great place to reflect on God's wonderful grace and loving tenderness toward us. I feel so loved to be here and to be taken such good care of by Teresa and Tom. I also feel so blessed that I have come through the major surgeries so well. I have a long way to go yet, but God willing, I will get there.

I still have some major edema in my ankles, but I am getting some advice on that. I should be getting some help from my cardiologist soon and from my family doctor back home. I still have a call or two to make on that.

I can't sit for too long at a time, and will soon have pictures to post of my surgical team at Vanderbilt, as soon as Teresa can help me do that.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to all of you. Bye for now. More tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Saga Continues......

Hey, Y'all,
Well, we were settled pretty good here at Teresa's on Saturday, and then I spiked a fever of about 100 degrees and so, Teresa called the tenth floor at Vanderbilt Hospital where I had been and they told her at the desk that if my fever was 100.1 or more to go to the local hospital's ER and have them check it out. So on Sunday morning, here we went and spent quite a long time being checked out (x-rays, blood drawn, EKG, etc.) and were finally told that they could not treat me since I had just been released from VHospital. So, off we went via medical transport for an hour and a half ride. They had told me at the local hospital that it looked from the x-rays that I could possibly have a section of dead bowel. (Not a very encouraging thing to hear, you understand).

Needless to say, they were surprised at Vanderbilt to see me again. They told me that there was no problem, they checked the x-rays, and suggested that I send the information provided from the local hospital about my heart on to my cardiologist, and ask him if he wanted me to change any of my medications based on the information provided. It seems they are concerned with a bloxkage in my left brachial branch of my heart. It could be that this condition is not new and is preexisting for several years.

We are back home and happy to be here. I have a lot of work to do on my recovery and I intend to do my best to get back into good shape in the next month. A home health care nurse comes tomorrow to check on me and see what therapy I need.

We saw a lot of interesting characters at the local hospital yesterday morning, whom I may describe later on. In the meantime, I won't be doing a lot of blogging until I am feeling a little better.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf. They are much valued. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Love to you all. Bye for now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Safely Here in Alabama

Hey, Y'all,
We were dismissed from Vanderbilt University Hospital this morning and left about 11:00 a.m. Even though my experiences there were very good, no one likes to overstay their time in the hospital. I had some crackerjack doctors and nurses there, and I dare not mention names in case I leave someone out. They were all simply wonderful!

I am here for my time of recovery at daughter, Teresa's, home and Tom's of course. They fed me some lunch, well not literally, I fed myself- and then took off to do some shopping for my needs while I am here. I had thought I could write more than this, but my body is quite tired, and craving rest. So I will stop for now. I am blessed to have such wonderful daughters to care for me. Carol should be back soon in Texas, if not already, in the bosom of her family.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you. Bye for now

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sweet Home, Alabama!

Hey, Ya'll!
Well, tomorrow I head south to my Sweet Home, Alabama with my daughter, Teresa, who has graciously taken on the task of caring for her little 'ole sweet mother over the next month. What a task. I do not envy her the job! I appreciate Tom putting up with me for a whole month non-stop.

This morning, I received the news that I can leave the hospital tomorrow. Since it had been two weeks since my hair had been washed, my very capable CP (CareProvider), Harland, said he would wash my hair for me. What a wonderful experience it was! Apparently he has done this procedure several times before, and we wound up having a lot of fun and spreading a lot of water around. (See the picture above)

I actually had 2 meals today. I didn't eat a lot of either one, but it was good to know that I was no longer on clear liquids.

I got to go back outside today, but I didn't use the wheel chair today. I used my walker, and went into the hall, got onto the elevator, went down to 2nd floor, and outside into the courtyard. I walked around to the tables outside McDonalds...yes, they do have a McDonald's here...and we sat in the sunshine for about 15 minutes. The 85 degrees got a mite warm, and it wasn't long before we moved over into the shade. No, I did not yeild to the temptation of anything from McDonald's. We sat there for a while, watching the people pass by. People watching is a very interesting thing to do. You never know what you're going to see, and sometimes you say, "Would you look at that!" or, "Did you see that?"

A word about some nice visitors. I had two visitors this week. The first was my good friend Eric. He's in Nashville attending a convention. I was sitting in a chair, drowsing off, when all at once I looked up and there stood Eric smiling at me. Carol was off getting some lunch. I greeted him and invited him to sit down, and it wasn't long before I realized I had been nodding off again. Poor Eric! I know he must have felt unappreciated after coming out of his way to visit with me! He never complained. Instead he very sweetly said, "Well, I need to get going, and I'm glad you're getting better, and now I'm going to let you rest a while!"

My second visitor was my good friend Bruce. Bruce has a brother who was burned badly a few months ago, and was here in the burn unit, but is now in another Vanderbilt facility, at Madison, which is very close to here. The brother was lighting a candle with a butane lighter and there was a puff of fireball of flame, and it caught his hair on fire. He has much plastic surgery ahead of him, and it would be good to remember him in your prayers.

In the morning, I look forward to traveling to Teresa's, and I know Carol is looking forward to traveling home and seeing her family again (DUH!) and I know they miss her terribly. I'll miss having her with me, too.

I look forward to the time I will spend with Teresa, and although I know she'll be busy, I know we will have enjoyable happenings. Gramps will be on his way to The Terrace apartments where he will be living for the next month. My treatment here at the Vanderbilt hospital has been superb, and I couldn't ask for better care.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. The next time I post will be in Alabama. God bless each of you, and I covet your prayers over the next few weeks both over me and my family. I know it's a difficult time for them with me ill, and with Gramps away from me. A special thanks to Mark and Allie for their tender care of Gramps, and also to his neices for arranging for his stay at the apartments in Morristown. I appreciate Imazo and Mae for keeping the home fires burning, and my next door neighbors, the Benjamins, and Gene and Judy for all of their help and support during this time. (I hope I haven't left anybody out) and for the prayers of my churchmembers. God Bless you all. I'll be talking to you later. Bye for now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hey, Ya'all!
The surgery was Tuesday, and was very successful, according to the doctor. I was out for it, so I'll let Carol tell some of the Tales from the Waiting Room....

' Tom, Teresa, (SO glad they came up to hang out with me...it made the wait much better!) and I were sent to the first floor waiting room, since the comfy second floor was being cleaned. We checked in with the desk lady, and were given a beeper so that we could go outside and around the grounds while we waited. The beeper was like one that you get at a nice restaurant. Cool, we thought.

So we proceeded to go get lunch at the on-premesis McDonalds, and then went to the second floor waiting room, where there were comfy chairs and lower light and fewer people. Knowing that we held the beeper, we were comfortable not being downstairs. Besides, the 2nd floor was open, and was just a balcony over the first floor. We could hear them call our name, we thought. Oh well, or we'd see the beeper go off...which we held in one of our hot little hands constantly.

We were wrong. We finally went down to the first floor and checked with the lady and seems she had called our name when the doctor asked to see us. Since we didn't show up, we didn't get the nice conversation in a private room with the surgeon. Confused, we asked the lady why our beeper didn't go off. (the beeper that assures us that we will be paged, so go ahead and roam around and stretch our legs.) The lady replied, "Well, they don't always work, so we don't bother to set them off." AUGH!!!!!

At that point, we asked her to page the doctor, and I sat right in front of her until we got word back...I let her know I wasn't leaving the area so we didn't miss the page. This cracked up Tom and Teresa, and they sent me all sorts of funny text messages.

The good news was, the surgery went well, and Teresa did get to talk to the doctor by phone. He was defensive of the lady right away, saying he heard the page, but I don't think the lady told him she didn't set off the pager, and we didn't want to make a very good surgeon mad, so we dropped it.

We were then invited back to recovery, since Mom didn't have a room yet, and they knew we wanted to see her. Teresa and I went to recovery, while Tom graciously watched our luggage. We stood on either side of the bed, and were eventually laughing...too loud. THEN they threw us out of Recovery...and we understood and left without a whimper.

Tom and Teresa took me out to supper, (thanks, guys!) and I took my spot in a chair in front of the beeper lady. We had a nice conversation, and I felt better about my bad heart attitude earlier. Even though she was very wrong, it didn't justify the things I felt in my own heart. :-)

Word finally came that Mom was in a room, and the funny thing is the lady said she had paged me three times and wondered why I hadn't answered my page. HA!!!! (truth was, I fell asleep and didn't hear her.)'

This is Grammy now. I'll try to remember what I can to tell you of the experience from my side of the bed. The word is "Pain." I was impressed by the care given to me by all those caregivers around me. the surgeon has a team of doctors that travel with him to visit his patients. But to digress....I need to tell you about the test they performed the morning of the surgery. After a couple of hours of rest, I was taken to the radiology department, where they did an injection of some kind of isotope. They wanted to try to see what was going on in the post gall bladder area. Very soon, following the test, they did the surgery. I was sent back to the recovery room, where my daughters became a little raucus, and were politely asked to leave.

About 9 pm, they told me that there was a room available on the 10th floorand I was moved to my room. there,were the first of the nurses and CP's and people who would care for me. I was hooked up once more to the morphine that I could press whenever I thought I needed it. they came in every couple of hours, checking vitals, and I met a lot of interesting people during that time period. A young woman came by that I had met the first night I was here, and had told her about my blog. We discussed the blog, and she told me how much she appreciated my expression of faith.

On each shift, there are 3 caregivers. I don't believe I've had the same ones yet, so they must rotate. Okay, maybe one group has already rotated. I'm continuing to improve each day, and although I am still on liquids, I have no doubt I'll soon be eating more solid foods. It's just a matter of time. I took myself off of the morphine, and I am now only occasionally using a pain pill as needed.

Today we went outside and I walked around with a walker in the pleasant air. It was beautiful. The sky was blue, the courtyard floor is red brick, and there are trees and flowers and gorgeous. Please note picure of me and my walker.

One of the interesting things is that we can see helicopters fly in with patients and fly out to pick up new patients. We can't actually see the helicopter land, except we can see the reflection of the building, because it lands on the roof above us. The building next to us is glass, and we can see the reflection of the helicopter across from us.

Well, that pretty much catches us up on events so far, and tomorrow I'll blog about what's going on for the next month in the lives of Grammy and Gramps.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Exciting Ride Near Midnight

Hey, ya'll.
Monday night at 9 pm Eastern Time, I was put on a gurney owned by Rural Metro Ambulance Delivery service, and met Dylan and Keith. Dylan was the driver, with whom Carol rode shotgun, and Keith was the attendant. Keith and I had a really good opportunity to get acquainted. Both he and Dylan are charming, delightful young men. I was especially impressed by Dylan's tatts. He was really proud of his medical insignia tattoo, which meant a lot to him. Carol sat up in the front seat with Dylan, and Keith rode with me in the back. There is a narrow bench on the right side of the van, so since I rode backward on the gurney, Keith was on my left.

When they lifted me into the van, the gurney was locked into place by doohickeys on the floor, so I was very stationary. It was thrilling to sit on the gurney. My back was propped up and I was able to watch the moon out the back windows of the van. It was full and almost as orange as I.

Keith told me that he was from Union county, and I said, "Hey! That's where my sister-in-law Mae came from. She grew up in Union County ." I told him her maiden name, and he said he knew some people by that name, and when I named her brothers and sisters, he didn't seem to know of any of them. When I told him that her father had been a constable, he didn't know the name. (guess he wasn't around any more when Keith was born!)

We stopped about 40 minutes out of Nashville for a potty break and you should have seen me getting out of the metro van. The grids on the fender were rough, and I only had on no-slip socks. As soon as they realized it, two number 15 shoes immediately were put on the fender, and I was told to "Just step on our feet." How very gallant! Carol said I looked like a princess holding court.

In another 40 minutes we were pulling into the emergency bay of Vanderbilt Medical Center. the back door opened, and I was quickly lifted down by two strong young men. They had been given information that I was supposed to be on the 8th floor, but when we got to that room, there was a sign on the door that indicated that somebody else was in there. Dylan said, "uh-oh...don't think we're supposed to be in there" so Keith went to check on where I was supposed to be. I was amazed, and still am, at the size of this Goliath of a hospital. I was finally taken to SICU on 3rd floor, and...

(Carol is writing this part....)Carol was whisked out and left as an orphan child. I was told that I couldn't see Mom the rest of the night (they did finally let me come in for a little while but only because they wanted answers I could give) and that I couldn't put my suitcases OR Mom's into the ICU room Mom was in. I was going to have to keep up with our things (several bags) all by myself, and sleep in the second floor waiting room, which was okay, but that yes, someone could steal my things, and not to leave anything valuable accessible. At this point, tears are leaking out my eyes. I'm exhausted, I had no place to go at 1 am, didn't know a safe neighborhood to find a hotel, couldn't get a car...it just tipped it for me. I think the nurse got the picture, because she came back in 15 minutes and informed me that they were going to let me park our things in Mom's room. Whew!!! Oh, and there were no chairs in SICU, because the rules said we coudn't sit anyway. (fortunately, things got much nicer after we got into her room on Tuesday night...)

Okay, Mom is back...
Gee, Carol, I'm so sorry that you had such a hard time. I knew how you were feeling because the nurse came back in and said, "Mrs. Young's daughter is really stressed out, because she's back there crying. Don't you think it would be okay, this one time. to leave her mothers things and her suitcase back here? The nurse who was taking my information down (Misty) said, "I don't see why we couldn't!" Fortunately, kindness prevailed, and Carol was rescued by kindness.

We visited for a short while, Carol got what she needed for the night from the suitcases, and the plastic bags (we had packed what stuff was in the hospital room in Knoxville into plastic bags), and like the girl in Glass Menagerie, who said, "We must depend on the kindness of others," Carol found that she really could depend on the kindness of others, (at least in this situation) at about 1 am, and I was left in the ICU.

There, lying on that bed, I had an experience like none other I have ever had. Upon my being deposited upon that bed, they immediately set about trying to find a new site for an IV stick into me to place an IV connection. (I have really tiny veins, really hard to find. Veteran nurses have left my side in frustration at their inability to stick an IV into me.) Literally trying from my head to my toes, there was hardly an inch of available blood vessel real estate that wasn't tried. Several were tried and dismissed.

They decided to put one in the jugular on each side of my neck. But, they knew if they used it for the test of the nuclear testing the next morning that it would cause major harm, so finally about 4 am, they decided to put in a Central Line into the subclavian portion to the right of my neck. Believe me, they tried very, very hard to find a suitable site up until the time they settled on the subclavian. At this point, you need to know that Vanderbilt is a teaching hospital, and a top notch medical center. Although House is a fictionalized show, Vanderbilt is the real thing. Groups of white or blue clad coats wander from room to room, gathering data, forming opinions, lapping up the input from the senior, experienced docs.

(Before this decision was made, and when I first checked into the Vanderbilt, I was immediately set upon by 6 different people, asking for my medical history. One would ask a question and I would no sooner answer it than another person threw another question at me. This was all during the blood estate search. My mind drew lots of blanks. I prayed as I laid there, asking God for His strength and soon a calmness settled over me. I was able to answer more questions, many of which I had already answered. Fortunately, I had not forgotten the answers in the interim.)

There was no sleep to be had that night. Although I tried! The procedure for inserting a central line is one that is unbelievable. Apparently there is a vein that runs through the subclavian area which has to be felt in order to "hit the spot". The patient is prepared by lowering the head slightly, below the height of the feet on teh other end of the bed. Kind of like you'd tilt a board to cut it on the circle cut saw. Sorry folks, I'm no carpenter. They covered my face with a blue paper, kind of stiff, so it will stay in place. (Like they don't know you can feel what is going on!) Since I can't use numbing agents, they gave me a portion of morphine just as they were ready to begin. It filled my face and head with a slight heaviness because it was injected directly into the jugular vein. Then they proceeded to cut the skin on the right side of my neck so that they could feel the vein which runs deep in the clavian area. Remember I said this is a teaching hospital, and the doctor who was instructing the intern type doctor was having him feel so he could know where to put the tube to prepare for injections. AFter 2 or 3 tries, the young man wasn't quite finding the spot, so then I spoke and said, "you're teaching him how to insert that?" and he said, "yes," so I said, "how about going ahead and doing it and getting it over with?" So he got over there and took the other fellas place and finished doing the setup. One of them proceeded to stitch the tube in place. The central line has 3 places where injections can be placed, or where IVlines can be connected, or withdrawals can be made (come to the bank, folks!) It was in, and I thanked the Lord it was connected. I needed rest!

They checked my vital signs, and I had the inflatable stockings put on my legs. It was very quiet for the rest of the night. Somewhere in there, Carol was allowed to come in for a few minutes and get her stuff.

Each day here is a challenge. I pray that each day I am able to meet that challenge.
This is Blabbin' Grammy, signing off for the night. See you tomorrow and will share more with you. Love to all of you.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Goin' to Music City, but it ain't no pleasure trip

Hey, Ya'all. I awoke early this morning to hopes of making it home by tomorrow. But alas, it's not to be. They did the endoscope test, to see if they could discover the problem with the bile duct. After a short procedure, it was determined that I needed bile duct reconstruction, which means another major surgery. That wasn't exactly music to these old ears, but it does give me hope that these old ears may be hearin' for a while longer. And I thought, "What a marvelous gift, if I'm given more time to let others know how Good our God is." All praises to Him. I know that He's been with me throughout this whole procedure, because when one solid wall is hit, He provides another way.

I met some really interesting people this morning down in the GI lab. Now, for those of you who may not know, GI here does not mean Government Issue, but Gastro-Intestinal. I also discovered by talking to the delivery man, who delivered me from my room to the GI lab, that he will soon be taking his EMT test and become an emergency medical technician. He told me he'd learned a whole lot about taking care of people in all kinds of situations here. I believe that he'll be a really good EMT because of the compassion he shows for others.

I met one of the RN's down there, who told me her name was "Susan By the Way", and I said, "Well, I'm glad to know you Mrs. By the Way." (ala the Clampetts).

Dr Miller, who did the procedure this morning, was a very personable and skilled physician, (it was a pleasure to meet Dr. Miller). He and Dr. Garber discussed my condition, and determined it would be to my advantage to go to Vanderbilt Medical Center to have this reconstruction done. Right now, I'm just waiting to hear when we'll be going. They're trying to arrange transport and a room for today, and hopefully do the surgery tomorrow.

Another of the RN's down there was telling me about her son, who is in an upcoming production of "Kiss Me kate". He's a senior in High School, and is concerned about having to wear boxers in one of the scenes. I told her to tell him to just think of himself as a pugilist. Most of the other actors are college age and above. He also is interested in mission work, and has a heart for helping others.

Another of the RN's I talked to just got back from having a bunch of kidney stones removed. She said it was no picnic, either! She was a lot of fun to talk to, too.

I'll be going by ambulance from Knoxville to Nashville, and Carol will be riding shotgun with me. I'll tell her to be careful who she shoots at.

So that's about it from today. We'll keep you updated, and hope to really be singing down here among the saints and the sinners this time next week.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off. Thank you for the prayers 'cause i think they're working. Keep them coming because I think God likes to keep hearing from us. Bye for now. Much love to all of you.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where's Waldo?

Hey, ya'll. This is Grammy speakin' from her hospital room where I just realized that in the last post I failed to answer the question, "Where is Gramps? Well, the fact is, he has been living in the Big House in the Lap of Luxury with Mark and Allie. They have been giving him the best of care, treating him like the King he is! He has his own little sunroom to watch TV in, he has a path from his bedroom to his bathroom to his TV screening room, to the kitchen, and to the screened-in back porch where he can watch the animals frolic in the woods (if they should choose to come out). (I think he said a racoon came out and tipped his hat to him the other day, and told him to watch out for the bears.) I talked to him yesterday, and he told me they were treating him really good, but when was I getting better and coming home?

Mark and Allie's daughter, Rachel, sometimes comes and spends part of the day with him, and she tells me they have a really good time. I really appreciate Mark and Allie taking such good of Gramps. They do it from a sense of love, not duty....how blessed we both are!

It has been wonderful to have Carol here with me, looking out for me, and spending time with me. I continue to thank you all for your love and your prayers on our behalf. It was good to talk to my grandson, Daniel ( Whitney was around, too) today, and had the pleasure of hearing my Illinois great grandchildren talking.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for the second time today. I'll talk to you after the procedure tomorrow. Bye for now!

Squash, Anyone?

Hey, ya'll! I feel like I look, like a butternut squash. At least, that's what people tell me. I tried to claim it was just the coppery skin of my Cherokee ancestors, but no go. I've seen 2 doctors this morning. Neither one with what I would call great news, but I believe they really are trying to cure me and not kill me. Operative word, not trying. Everyone here is really, really nice, and could not be kinder. I am drinking so many liquids I'm positively bilious (of, or pertaining to, bile).

I had a fairly restful night. Carol, the "Buzzsaw", went home with Imazo, and we both got a pretty good night's sleep, but I am not sure about Imazo. (Ha, ha!) I discovered that if I left my TV on, and left the sound off, then I didn't have all these weird images in my mind while I was trying to sleep. When I'd hear the words, then it would wake me up because it had something to do with the whole sound thing. It's difficult to explain....like I was hallucinating. I arose from my bed several times during the night, unplugged my totem pole, and was getting rid of the water I had drunk during the evening, and also what is in the IV bag.

I have a procedure to go through tomorrow, and could possibly get to go home before the evening, depending on how it turns out. And, may possibly come back in 4-5 weeks for another procedure to remove a stent that they may put in tomorrow. I know that all sounds iffy, but I won't know until tomorrow.

I enjoyed my visit outside yesterday. It was good to have a little "Fun in the sun" and the fresh air felt good. I think I'll go back out again today.

Carol took this picture this morning that's posted at the top of the blog. You can copy it and use it to decorate your place this Halloween, with the orange pumpkin-color of my skin. You can see I'm getting up to speed, because I have my book in my hand! Carol brought me a beautiful begonia (something she isn't allergic to) and put it in my window beside the roses Imazo brought. It's nice to have flowers to brighten up a hospital room.

Much love to all of you. Keep the prayers going, and I hope to see you comin' thisa way.

Well, that's about it from Blabbin' Grammy today. Take care going over the speed bumps.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Greetings From Eeyore

Hey, Y'all,
This is Grammy Eeyore coming atcha from my hospital room following major surgery and wishing it hadn't had to be done. It was supposed to be just a typical gall bladder removal, but that just didn't happen. I suppose i am feeling better and looking better. At least that is what they tell me. Ohhhhhhhhh Well.

In case you can't tell, I am a little down, but not quite out yet. I sup-pose it will get better. They had me on morphine for awhile, and things were kind of woozy and pleasant with no worries. I asked them not to use it anymore, because I want to be awake for everything that is going on, and get some feeling back in the places where it needs to be.

Speaking of sleeping, I haven't been sleeping much either. OH, well. Carol got here yesterday and it is really wonderful to have her here with me, She also brought her computer with her and I am using it to do my blog today. I am hoping to get the foley tube out today and have been using a machine to help increase my lung power so I can holler at people when I get out of here. ha.

I have started walking around in the hospital a little bit. Carol is going to take me outside for awhile today in a wheel chair. Hope it won't be too hot. Oh, well.

I have been having clear liquids for all three meals. It seems like citrussy lemon is the only flavor they know, along with a putrid thing known as chicken bouillon. Gag!

It seems that they are keeping me here over the weekend so they can run another test. If they could just give me a pencil and paper, I could take just about any test they gave me and do fairly well on il. But no soap, wroong kind of test. I am hoping to go home on Tuesday, Maybe,maybe not. Oh well. See you later, I hope.

Monday, June 1, 2009

G Day Tomorrow

Hey, Y'all,
Well, tomorrow is G-Day (Gall bladder coming out day) and today was a busy day. I was up at 6 a.m. and peeled some apples and made an apple pie for supper tonight. I left the house at a little before 9 a.m., carried the trash off to the New Market Dumpsters, and headed on into Knoxville to do my preregistering for my surgery tomorrow.

After that was finished, I headed back home and stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items for supper and for the days ahead. My daughter, Carol, had planned on coming to spend some time helping me out, but she is not recovered yet from her illness, and her husband, Daryl, caught her infection and needed her at home, so she will not be here. I told her please not to come, because she is needed more there than here. My sister-in-law, Imazo, has offered to come and help me for a few days, so I am going to take her up on it. I really appreciate her offer. Ladies at the church will be supplying our supper for several days, and we appreciate that as well.

My friend, Mark, will be taking me to the hospital and bringing me home afterwards, and our neighbors will be checking on us as well. We are so very blessed to have so many good friends! We love them all so very much.

I made some baked chicken strips for a salad topping tonight and we had large salads of hearts of romaine lettuce, with cucumber slices, radishes, dried cranberries and raisins, carrots, green peppers, mushrooms, feta cheese along with the chicken strips. For dessert we had the apple pie topped with sugar free ice cream. Gramps just finished up the last piece of apple pie.

After supper we played some card games, which was a lot of fun. Now it is close to 9 p.m. and it probably won't be long before bedtime. I have to be up at 5 a.m. so I can be ready to leave at 6 a.m. and be at the hospital at 7 a.m. The surgery is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. The nurse told me that they may keep me until Wednesday since I am a heart patient.We shall see. Thank you all for keeping me in your prayers. I really appreciate it.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for the night.Love to each of you. Bye for now.