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Friday, October 30, 2009

Boo Boo Bear Makes It Better

As usual it's always a SNAFU!  I needed knee replacement surgery and delayed it for at least two years.  The deterioration of the cartilage in the joint had accelerated and could no longer be ignored. Thankfully, the knee replacement went very smoothly.  The debacle started up just afterward.  Resting comfortable in my hospital room, two friends, who just got married the day before, popped in for a visit. (They changed to an earlier wedding date, just so I could attend!  How wonderfully sweet!) This blissful couple came by and brought a wonderfully large box of chocolates, sat and chatted.
All of the sudden, out of the blue, I turned REAL GREEN and HURLED! All of the liquid diet forced upon me had decided I didn't need the nutritional intake.  If I hadn't hit the puke bucket, I probably have hit the opposite wall over 6 feet away.  My girlfriend, Bliss ran out of the room for a nurse and the newlywed husband, poor Bruce held the bucket and tried to keep his eyes away from the gross green sludge filling the tiny bucket.  All the while he stoked my hair and cooed words of comfort.  I felt worse for his situation than I physically felt ill over mine!  Bless both their hearts!  Needless to say their visit was cut very short.

So the medical staff rushes in, put me on anti-nausea meds and continued the liquid diet.  Lo and Behold, I do the same thing the next day, this time with the nurse and her assistant in the room.  And they are scratching their heads  as to why my stomach felt better turned inside out than right side in.  All I could say, it was one heck of a way to lose the extra pounds!

Now, I get a sharp pain in the calf of the surgery leg.  They scramble to do an ultra sound, looking for a possible blood clot.  No clot, that's good.  Gee Wiz, I wanted an excuse to get out of the room for a change of scenery, anyway!  Uh, can you push me one more time around the block for a lark?
Just when you'd think, it would start to go smoothly, I get severe leg cramps.  They run a blood test that showed my potassium, magnesium and iron was desperately low, causing an irregular heart rate.  The cramps were so severe, I was SCREAMING in pain, something I do not do!  My leg felt like it was solid granite from my hip to my foot.  They gave me the potassium and magnesium in pill form and an IV for the IRON.  They also included Ativan for anxiety and they claim, to relax the muscles.  It took close to 6 hours before the pain level became bearable.  It was the worst pain I have EVER felt.  When my appendix burst, shoulder or foot broke, none ever hurt this bad! TRUE STORY!

The second I saw the IV bag for the iron, I immediately questioned whether I would have an allergic reaction.  The solution was red and I am highly allergic to iodine, beta-dine and red dye.  A short time later, of course, I broke out in hives and my IV bag of iron had to be removed.  A new IV had to be reinserted in the opposite arm with the iron supplement discontinued.
Now, I develop a fever, with no explanations.  They send me for a chest X Ray to look for pneumonia.  No Pneumonia.  They wake me up every 1/2 to 1 hour to take my temp and blood pressure. 
Because of the torn rotator cuffs in both of my shoulders, it's real difficult trying to use the walker, but, I am getting better at it. I've managed to step on each of my five cat's tails or paws.  When a larger immobile object meets a much smaller quicker object, what do you think would happen?


M E O R W!!!!  S C H R E I C H!!!!!!!!!!

Last night was a horror with the aches and nausea.  They added in a new medication into the new IV, which blew the new IV.  Quess what, run another newer new, new IV.  They gave me the newest meds in the newest new, new one.  And what do you think they did? (Maybe we can set this to the tune, "The Bear Came Over The Mountain..") They blew the newest, new, new IV.  The Nurse, "Gerald" had to rerun the IV again, because of the swelling and reaction around the site.  He, too blew a vein he was working on and tried for 45 mins to find a clean new vein.  Frustrated, he called in the hospital top gun, a Nurse from Recovery.

She was so sweet and worked for 1 1/2 hours looking for a vein, yet, even she
blew one vein, until she was finally able to find a usable vein at the side of my wrist.  The only reason I needed to keep an IV, was because they kept me on the
heart monitor.  All of the meds they had me on up to that then could have been given orally. 
The funniest part of all of this?  I was honest with the surgeon on how much I like to drink at happy hour.  But, I told him, I don't always do it every night.  A week before surgery I always stop so it doesn't interfere with the meds.  The Surgeon insisted I bring a bottle of scotch with me and prescribed a shot each night.  The first night, I drank 1/2 of a drink and threw the rest out.   The bottle was stored under lock and key at the nurses station.  Two nights later, I had the second drink and the bottle again went immediately back to the nurses station.  Believe it or not, it has it's own prescription label with my name on it.  So why don't they just open a cocktail lounge at the hospital?  Be more fun than sucking one down alone in your room!  Maybe a piano bar?  Karaoke?
They discharged me on Friday and Jani lugged all of my stuff down to the car.  I
got in and we headed home.  Going about 2 miles,  I remember the bottle of scotch.  I make Jani turn back and retrieve it.  Hey, it's alcohol abuse to throw it out!  Well, I know I only had 2 ounces, but looking at the bottle, someone else enjoyed quite a few slugs!!  TOO FUNNY!!!  Hey, I would have welcomed a drinking buddy!

Well, I'm home safe and sound.  Jani is still trying to get everything fixed so
I can move round easily. First thing I'll be doing, is catching up on
 sleep..... Without someone taking blood, reading my temp or shoving who knows what who knows where!!!!!!!!!!!

Edie sent me the most beautiful flowers, Bliss and Bruce the most delicious chocolate and BJ's Boo Boo Bear kept me company!  Marci babysat me, so Jani could run to the store and Barbara gave me a wheelchair, for when I need to get out of the house for an extended period of time. I can't thank everyone enough for the warm wishes and prayers. 
I am truly blessed! 
PS - The physical therapist that comes to the house is a GRECIAN GOD!  Ah, Jani, I think I hear a pack of cigerettes calling your name at the store down the road....... 

 MY Jani!  I Think I'll Keep Him, Anyway!
Barbara King wrote: 
> Nothing attached. Was that the little buddy we sent over to help you 
> heal?
> Mom said as usual, your post op was worse than your op?
> What happened? Jani called while we were in NYC seeing a specialist 
> for Paul. Heleft his cell number, but didn't say anything about how 
> you were doing?
> Haven't had a chance to call him back yet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where Is The Sanity?

As the recent Health Care Rasmussen Polls show the approval ratings for the Democrats Health Care legislation drops to the 40s and indicate they will drop even further, where is the logic?  What part of “We don’t like your legislation, Congress?” that they don’t understand?

As I watch the projected numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, and other reliable sources, to the individual and household cost rise, I wonder.   Just where do the air heads in Congress expect the average American to find these funds in their already stretched budgets?  Do the dreamers in Congress actually believe that an average household of legal American, earning the average wage can afford an additional, say conservative amount of $7500 per year? That’s the CBO low ball cost.   That amounts to at least $542 dollars per month.  It amounts to more than the rent that many average people pay in America, unless you are in a major urban area with a higher cost of living.  Gee, someone forgot the rest of America and focused on the “urban population” in their cost estimates.

Do you wonder on the dissatisfaction?  In 2010, several governor races will set the tone for 2012.  I think, in honesty Congress and Obama will be unhappily surprised.  We can only hope!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A True Love Story

For those who expected a political rant, you will be disappointed.  Today, I am writing of a true life love story.  Not a story of strangers, by a stranger, but one about me and my Dad. To those who seek dirt and decadence, look elsewhere.  You will be let down. What has prompted me to write about my Dad, is that today, hundreds of miles away, he underwent cancer surgery, and I couldn’t be there. Guilty conscious?  Maybe, but he knows and understands what has kept me away.  I spoke to him and Mom several times today and have passed the updates to my younger brother and sister all through the day.  Never once did my family doubt my love and devotion to them, nor did I ever once try to hide my love for each of them.  That is true family!
It started more than 50 years ago, in a rural hospital on Long Island, New York, when I was born. Although, I was the second child of my parents, John and Rita, I was the first girl born in my father’s family in seven generations of boys only.  When the doctor came into the “Fathers Waiting Room” (back then Dad’s didn’t go into the birthing room or anywhere near it!) and told my Dad, you have a healthy baby girl, my Father cried.  He cried out, before asking about Mom, “She’s going to get married and leave me!”  The Doctor tried to comfort him, “Uh, Mr. K**** your wife is Okay, too”, or did he ever hear the rest of the doctor’s words?
I have known Dad to cry only twice in my life.  On the day I was born and the day we laid his father to rest.  He didn’t cry when his mother died, because my grandfather was already suffering from dementia and he feared causing him more confusion and pain. On that final day, he grieved  for both of his parents
Dad, got a little better as the years went on.  Mom added another brother and sister to make a four pack.  Two boys and two girls.  Yet, somehow, I remained Daddy’s little girl, despite his attempt to be impartial with each of us.

Let me introduce you to Dad.  He grew up one of two boys through the Depression.  His parents took in other kids and helped raise them. His father was a World War I veteran from the battlefields of Germany.  Ironically, his father, my grandfather was brought over here by my great-grandfather from Germany, who dropped into an orphanage, where, with his brother was left to grow up, alone.  Years later, my great-grandfather reappeared and Grandpa K*** took care of him, until his fathers’ death.  My grandfather, during The War To End All Wars, knowing the temperament against anyone with a German last name, change it to it’s Anglican translation.  Back then, daushounds were being burnt in the streets and german-americans were also targets of sometimes fatal attacks.
I could write volumes about both sets of my grandparents, but I only needed to give you some of my Dads’ family background.
As a child, Dad saw one of his friends killed, when the boy got off of the school bus and ran in front of it.  From that day forward, Dad suffered from a stuttering problem, which, when excited it becomes pronounced. Growing up, I too, had the stuttering problem and have worked hard to overcome it.
When WWII broke out, Dad was still in school.  His mother refused to let him enlist.  However, upon the day he turned 18, Grandma had no longer a voice or choice.  Dad enlisted.  One minor problem.  On the day Dad was born, the doctor was in a hurry and never got the new born baby’s name properly entered on the birth certificate.  Standing in formation, just off the bus and ready for induction, the Drill Instructor called out Dad’s birth certificate name…  Baby Boy K***, OOPS!
Never was a legal name change done so fast, all the while going through boot camp!  Dad also, served in Germany.  Uncle Sam has a funny sense of humor!
Dad had an ability to work with electronics, which earned him an ARMY teaching position, when technology was just expanding. As a civilian, Dad was a maverick and had his own TV and Radio repair business during the late 50’s and early 60’s.  It wasn’t until the 80’s when Mom and Dad had to buy their first Television.  We always watched broadcasts on cast-offs or repaired sets.  With a growing family, Dad was forced to seek job stability and was hired by a major HiFi producer and marketing company.  But to get ahead, he needed a college degree. Now, Dad worked during the day and went college at night.  Mom worked at night at the local hospital and took of care of us during the day.
It was, what I call the revolving door days or today they would call us “latch key kids”.  As a kid, we did everything that they tell kids not to do today.  Running through woods, playing ball in the street, disappearing for hours without telling anyone.  But, we completed our homework and household chores first, raised hell later.  During those early years, I was just starting elementary school.  Dad would come home with math problems.  He wrote a few and watched as I solved them. I didn’t know it then, but I was already doing algebra before I even mastered the school mandated multiplication table.  Words fascinated me and listening to Mom and Dad’s friends at the house parties and dinner table conversation, gave me a strong verbal basis.
We, each of the four kids, were encouraged to read a book and the newspaper each day and be ready to talk about it, until my older brother proved to be hard wired as a liberal and dinner conversations soon became fights. Soon, when each of us were old enough to go our own way, family holiday gatherings became the only time we all were together.  Growing up, each of us took up a musical instrument. I chose the violin, my two brothers took brass instruments, my sister a woodwind.  When speaking about music, its’ composition, sounds and performances, my father and I were soul mates.  Math and music, yes they are joined and matched.

Dad was also an inventor, but the company he worked for claimed all of his hard work, and credit.  Most of the stereo equipment of the 70’s and 80’s had his hand upon it. I sat many a day in our living room as he tested tone-arms, speakers, recording equipment and other fidelity components and he would asked me to tell him which sounded best.  To this day, I can’t tolerate discord or loud high pitch noises. It’s like asking a wine connoisseur to drink vinegar.
Ah, but Dad was more. He taught us how to repair the TV and radio, when tube TVs and radios were the rage.  He taught us how to build a skate board and soap box car as well as a snow fort.  He took us fishing and taught us to swim.  He built us a sand box, a swing set and found the money for a backyard pool.  All the while, he worked hard and still went to night school.  Yet, I cannot forget the  love and care  he gave his own parents and his in-laws.  But that is a book, in its-self.
On the day I was set for my Dad giving me my first driving lesson, I bopped out of the house all ready to slide behind the steering wheel.  Dad had another idea in mind.  The hood stood open and a tool box lay out near the front tire.  Smile on his face, Dad said, “You are going to file and re-gap the spark plus, rotate the tires, tune the engine, change the oil and adjust the headlights before you even think about getting behind the wheel.”  A face full of oil and a day later, I put the car in reverse and proceeded to take out a wall of the garage.  Driving lesson was over that day.  After repairing the wall, we pulled out just fine, but every time he said left, I turned right, and every time he said right, I turned left.  What do you expect?  Mom and Big Brother are left handed, Dad and I are right.  Well, in truth, I am ambidextrous, so it is confusing.  Dad had me park the car, he stormed into the house and came out with a red magic marker,  To this day, I can still fell the marking as he wrote a big L on my left hand and an R on my right hand.  Only then, did the driving lesson continue. (By the way, I passed on the first test.  Took my little sister three times to pass the driving test.  Funny, she was top ten in the Bar Exam on first try.  Must be a spatial thing?)
My older brother got the Pell Grants to attend college.  By the time I entered college, our family was not eligible.  My Dad was the first person in his family to graduate college and he struggled to pay for it and support a growing family.  I was the first grandchild to get a college degree.  Despite any lack of funding, I worked, at times, three jobs and paid my way, without loans or grants, just like my Dad. 
One day, my girlfriend and I wanted to go out dancing. I borrowed five dollars from my father.  One week later, I hadn’t repaid it.  He stood before me with his hand out and asked me for his five dollars.  Powerful lesson!  Never borrow what you can’t or wont pay back.  More important, never let your loved ones down.
I can go on about our family, but it would be a book.  I could talk about Dad’s sorrow as his mother slowly deteriorated and his father as he slowly succumbed to dementia, or their slow painful passing. I could also speak of my Grandfather ( Mom’s Dad) needing constant blood transfusions, he suffered from cancer, and my parents driving hours each way to donate blood, all the while they took care of Dad’s parents, their pressing needs, Dad had time for his own wife and us.
For hours, I could tell you of how he taught me in the 60’s, when girls were discouraged to do so, to throw a baseball, football, ride a skate board, snow sled and make a mean snowball.  He built me a doll house and taught me to dance.  Even when busy with work and school, he showed up at my school plays, recitals and found music scores and recordings to educate and please me.  I knew how to swing a hammer, saw, rewiring, plumb the basics, work a garden, paint, sand and much more.  He made sure I was self sufficient.  When I wrecked the family car, he was more concerned about my health than the car, well until the insurance estimate came in.

Dad was my confidant when I failed in my first marriage and he was a pillar of strength and accepted that I divorced.  When my second husband asked him for my hand in marriage, he listened and looked at me, saw my love and gave his approval.  For fifty plus years, I have been his little girl, and he is still my Daddy.
Today, well by the time this is written, Dad has already gone through prostrate cancer surgery.  It was very scary with his severe heart complications.  He’s is now doing well.  He’s a fighter.  Thank the LORD, he is doing fine.  He’ll be 83 this year and everyday I cherish his being and his love.  I cannot imagine a day in my life without both my mother or my father.  Dear GOD, please keep them healthy for a very long time, I love them too much to lose them!