Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the little things no one tells you......

After spinal fusion surgery, you cannot lift, bend, or twist. No big deal. Unless you weigh 250 pounds and cannot reach over your belly to wipe your butt when you have a bowel movement.

A tiny little thing that EVERYONE forgot to mention! So I went online, researched, found a category titled "toilet aids" and have ordered him something that should arrive tomorrow. In the meantime......yes, I am literally wipting his butt. And nearly vomiting every single time I do it. Literally. It's a gag reflex I have had ever since my babies were born, no, if you have it, you just don't get over it. Sort of funny in so many ways, but horrible in so many other ways. Thank you occupational therapy for doing such a fabulous job of failing us in yet one more area. DUH!!!

Amazingly we got in to see his physician at 11 am yesterday. Used the walker to get down the front steps and he nearly fell into me once again. Got over to the clinic and realized that there was no way he was going to stay prone with that walker, so got him a wheelchair. You know...wait inline to check in, go to the 4th floor, wait in line to check in at the nurse's station, then the long (and I do mean long) walk to get to a room.....yep,we used a wheelchair. Neither one of us have ever used a wheelchair before so there were a few bangs getting in and out of the elevator....in and out of the room.....

yes, thank you once again to occupational therapy for not realizing that he could not walk the distance and would probably need a wheelchair!!!

His doc is an older gentleman who I like/hate. He is a generalist who doesn't belive in over-medicating....but he's just not so good at spotting what's going on. He thought hubby was anemic. Said to eat a steak tonight. I said....he's on a diabetic renal diet. Doc says, well, today we need to get him going, so feed him. OK....I will do that. I asked about a wheelchair rental and Doc said that this HMO does not cover that. He wants labs drawn which we do and then we go home.

Stopped and got him a double hamburger sandwich. Red meat! And realize that by now, he is literally so weak there is no way I am going to get him up the front steps. Called a friend who sent her hubby over to the house and we propped ourselves under each arm and got him into the front door.

I'm thinking to myself that there is no way I am going to survive this. My back is already killing me and I simply cannot support his 250 pounds!!!

Get him into bed and all settledand I called our HMO to verify the wheelchair policy. They said all I need is an order from a doc. So I called the doc back and left a message with this information and in about 30 minutes, the DME company called and said one was being delivered in 2 hours. But.....they do not provide wheelchair ramps. Called the company they recommended.....nope, this company does not rent wheelchair ramps.

Have another girlfriend who was in a car wreck and had rented ramps, so I called her to see where she got them from. She said she ended up buying them and is going to bring them down later today to let us use them!!!

During all this, hubby had taken a pain pill and gone into a deep sleep. He woke up at 5:30 and his glucose was down to 74, so he took glucose tabs and I fixed him dinner. I thought he ate quite a bit and complimented him. He asked for another pain pill and went back to sleep. At 9:00 I decided that I just couldn't stay awake any longer and crashed on the sofa.

9:30, my cell phone rings and I groggily answer it. It's the clinic - the labs just came in. He was down to 54 glucose on a blood draw at the clinic. Geez.....and the doc thought it was anemia??? You nearly have to laugh. And of course, because the doc said anemic....I didn't even think "glucose".

The nurse said the doc on call at the adjoining hospital wanted us to cut his insulin in half on the next dose. I'm thinking "NO WAY!!!" But I decided not to say a word. Then she said, "his creatinine is starting to go back up." From 2.4 to 2.6. I nearly laughed out lout. I said, "Well, just a few days ago it was 8.8, so 2.6 isn't all that bad." But she said, "no, but it is going in the wrong direction and we need to stop that."

I agree.


They had him off 4 of his meds for 3 weeks and we just started them back in. All 4 meds pull on the kidneys. Allopurinol, atenolol, terazosin, and fenofibrate.

He absolutely cannot do wthout those meds. Gout, Blood Pressure, Urin control, and cholesterol.

So what do you do? Suspend them again and risk yet another gout attack where he is in such pain that he is miserable....risk heart problem....have him peeing in his bed???

I really do not know the answer. If he has good kidney function, yet has a heart attack or stroke due to high blood pressure.....

If he is so miserably in pain that even the narcotics do not suppress the gout pain.....

If he, as an adult man, has no control over his bodily functions......

I really do not have the answer for this one.

He was so completely worn out after going to the clinic yesterday that I already know he cannot do this on a daily basis just to get labs done. Guess I will research and see if home health can come here and draw labs. He works for a major corporation which seems to have purchased some "add-on" benefits over the normal HMO packages since we did get the wheelchair covered yesterday. It sure makes it easier when I don't have to go research who provides what care.

But man! What a good lesson learning all of this now so that I know it all for my own aging process.

Of course, I emailed my sis and told her that I may well need her to come back in later this week.

I did wake him up after the call from the nurse. His glucose was 144. He still sat up and ate some pears. We both went right back to sleep.

It's now 4 am and I'm up writing my notes as the puppies woke me up. I am back to sleeping whenever I can. As long as I can. But when the thoughts keep me awake, then I have to write them down in order to let them go.

I pray that anyone who has diabetes will read this journal and keep up with what we are going through.....and realize on a daily basis that my husband is a guy who always, always said, "that will never happen to me."


Lynn Barry said...

I do and will keep reading. My hubby was deemed 100% disabled by the VA two weeks ago...it was like yeah and oh crap...getting the help he needs and I can now go to the VA for my medical needs but shit...that means he is in a bad way. So you bet I am reading and learning as i cheer you on for being ONE BRAVE WOMAN and resilient too. YOU ARE THE BEST!

Lilly said...

May the "toilet aid" you ordered be an answer to your prayers. GEEZ, who could have predicted that without advance warning from someone in the know? I would have a really hard time with this, too! Since his sugar was at 140, I'm thinking if you had cut his insulin in half, that would NOT have been a good thing! My husband often gets panicked phone calls from health personnel re: blood sugars that were taken many hours before. Of course, by the time they figure it out, his sugar reading is always way different! It is so, so frustrating dealing with so many health professionals, most of whom only see one small piece of the total picture. I have so often wished I could get all my husband's doctors (who are now too many to count) in the same room and get them to really, truly communicate with each other. Maybe then they would figure out what is going on with him on so many different levels. Sounds like your journey is going to be mostly uphill; so sorry. A home health aide for blood draws is an excellent idea. Really hope that is something that can be put into place. Also wondering if you couldn't get home health aide assistance for such things as bathing, etc.?