Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday Stress

1. Wednesday am it started snowing. We were supposed to leave Thursday for a 15 hour drive to spend Christmas with his parents. By Thursday noon, we had 29" of snow and were busy blowing the stuff out of our driveway and most of our neighbors.

2. Friday morning, we decided to leave to beat the next front that was coming through. Hubby brought his bags downstairs and said, "I feel light headed and I can't get my breath." So I ordered him to just sit in the chair for a bit. About an hour later, he said he was fine and we took off. I argued that we didn't have to leave right then. We could wait til he felt better. We could wait at least a day until the snow had melted off the roads a bit more. Nope...there was another front coming through and we had to leave right then!

3. About 3 hours down the road, he asked me if I could drive. I said sure. Little did I know that he was terribly sick and I would end up driving almost the entire 12 additional hours. We drove til 8 pm and pulled over and got a hotel. We had been stopping almost every hour for him to go to the restroom. Severe diahrrea again. By the time we got to the hotel, he was running a fever, probably 102 - 103. Skin on fire. Not eating or drinking. Up all night long.

4. Next morning, same conditions for him. I have my laptop and start researching online and think it's a reaction to the colchicine and/or allopurinol they started him on about 2 1/2 weeks ago. In the back of my mind I seemed to remember reading about possible severe diahrrea, stomach cramps, burning sensations.....

5. I end up driving the entire 5 more hours to our destination while he sleeps almost the entire way, still stopping about once an hour for the restrooms.

6. We get to his parents house and he nearly collapses. I run to the store for some Peptol Bismol and a few things that he wants. Come back, he is no better. Find his mom's thermometer and his temp is at 102. Start him on tylenol. He has now not eaten in about 2 days and I'm certain we are heading for a major sugar crash, so I start talking to him about that. What can he eat? How is he going to prevent a sugar crash if he takes his insulin and doesn't eat? He assures me he will take care of it! I run back to the store for fruit and juice bars....the only thing he wants.

7. 10 pm...major sugar crash. good thing I had picked up a hershey's bar while at the store. Good news, his fever broke, and is back down to normal. Not nearly as many trips to the bathroom during the night.

8. His feet are looking worse than ever. He says it's because the swelling has started to go down, so all the nodules are more pronounced. I think it's because his kidneys are failing even more and the uric acid is going more and more into his body. He could barely walk at times during the potty breaks on the trip down. He couldn't even go to the grocery store to get what he needed. Seriously...TWO trips out on the night before the night before Chrismas? WHO in their right mind wants to fight all those shoppers? :o)

9. Wondering if some of the lumps and bumps on his feet are from gout...and some are from cholesterol deposits? How can you tell the difference? There are huge mounds that are yellow, and then small boils with yellow tips. totally red and inflamed looking around both. And then the sheer-skinned boils on his toe and now one on the side of his other foot. Just not good, no matter how you look at it.

So, my question. What is it in this man (or any person for that matter) that makes them feel an obligation to be with their mom and dad on Christmas Day when they are so ill themselves that they can barely function? He certainly will not enjoy the holiday and has only increased their stress as they know how sick he is. And it's not as though he is a child and about to receive a zillion presents...the man buys anything that he wants anyway! It's not for the holiday spirit as we are just going to have sandwiches for lunch for Christmas day. They are in their late 70s. His grandmother is in her 90s and lives with them. No one wants or needs a huge holiday meal. We could literally have waited a month and come down and perhaps had a better time and enjoyed each other's company even more. When (if ever) will he come to understand that his health is more critical and more important than the celebration of a holiday on a specific day? That you can celebrate life any day of the long as you are alive?

And maybe my biggest question. He has severe diahrrea, a temp of 102, hasn't eaten in a couple of days....and STILL will not call his doctors.

From what I have read (and jump in here and help me out anytime!) his kidney function is so low that his kidneys can no longer process waste, so he is basically peeing inside himself...thus the build up of uric acid crystals? I think it's time for me to go research ESRD. How do you know if/when you are there?

I feel like I am slowly watching death take over this man. And I feel helpless as I cannot even get him to call the doctor when he is so obviously ill.

And what if they amputate his toe? If his toe can't can the stitches heal? And now the sore on the other foot...will they be carving out that part of that foot as well? The very thought of it really does make me feel nauseated. I read somewhere that he would have to wear a boot for 6 months and not be able to drive?

Well, yes, I guess I'm feeling a bit frustrated this morning, so I'm here blogging to get it out of my system!

I truly hope that your holiday is going better than mine! From my heart to yours, may you be blessed with a wonderful spirit-filled day!