Archive for November, 2015

Apprehended in the ICU Waiting Room

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 9, 2015 by drycreekherbs

I invite drama into my life without even knowing it. Our friend, Mike S. came to check on us yesterday….Len was still getting, ‘prettied up’ after the surgery and out like a light. After Mike left, I was left in the waiting area and it was like I was at an elementary school playground. Now, now matter how I put this, it may sound like profiling or sterotyping. I am just saying this—different cultures think differently about waiting rooms. It’s ok, it is just different. The main area was filled to the max by one family unit of 20 plus Latinos. There were infants, teens, adults, and the aged. Some were in wheel chairs. It reminded me of the San Miguel de Allende Panteon during Dia de la Muertros. There was an abundance of activity, energy, and noise. I mean a lot. So, I figured it would be best for me to relocate. Mike and I had spoken quietly….so not to disturb anyone but who would have heard? I saw an adjacent annex with a wall of empty chairs. So I went in and sat down, only to discover there was a very large group of people sitting at the other end of the room…maybe 30 people. There were only adults, teens, toddlers, and infants. Many were playing basketball. There was a very big table laden with large aluminum pans and large, empty soda bottles. It was very loud too. Very, very loud. I gave up on quiet and just started texting family and friends about Len’s status. I was very focused on my texting. I sensed a presence near me…and saw to my surprise a policeman. This is how the subsequent conversation went. “Mam, will you step this way?” I thought, “No something awful has happened to Len.” I said, ‘You are scaring me.” Officer said, “Please man please follow me.” So we went around the corner. He asked, “Mam, it has been reported that you are taking pictures of family members.” “No, I am texting my family and friends.” “Are you with the media?” No, I am a retired educator and I volunteer in the cancer infusion center.” I thought this would show I was of good character. Officer: “Mam, why are you in the waiting area?” My husband just had a triple bypass.” Officer: “What is your husband’s name? What room is he in?” I said, “Would you like to see my phone photos?” “No Mam, that won’t be necessary. We need you not to take photos.” I practiced my Scott and White mission statement and included privacy knowledge. It didn’t seem to change his opinion. I said, and I thought kindly, “Please don’t feel defensive.” This in light of current trends made him respond more defensively. It is a wonder that he did not say, “Mam, just step away from your phone. Hands in the air.”I am glad I wasn’t tasered, taken down, cuffed, or read my rights. I like, admire, and respect the police. I was just texting our loved ones…texting requires the phone to be held upright. Drama.

Much later: The police chief from Marlin had been shot. They thought I was the media. I am sorry for the confusion.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 9, 2015 by drycreekherbs

Len had to wait over the weekend for the bypass. He used the time very smartly to get organized and I think to get used to the idea. He bought dog food for Diego’s stay at the doggie ranch and cat preferred tidbits….There is nothing more mobilizing than a list of chores to get you focused. We even went to Hewitt to take Foy for lunch. I had collected and enormous bag of illegal treats to stash in his room at the nursing home. I called two times to make sure he remembered that we were coming. When I went in to fetch him, he was asleep in his little bed. This happens frequently. The place is pretty much a dull place and he cannot even go outside the building without being signed out…so sleeping makes sense. I soon discovered that he was completely HOARSE…he assured me he was fine but it didn’t sound good. So we drove to Timbuktu to what I believed was his favorite restaurant….it was a fast and poorly timed lunch. Foy couldn’t talk, Len was nervous about catching something from Foy, and I couldn’t hear anything over the din of the other diners The food was only ok. Foy did gesture enthusiastically that he did NOT like my choice of nail polish. We took him back to his facility with his bag of goodies….he was happy, anyway.

So, Here is a BIG Story

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 9, 2015 by drycreekherbs

I am sitting up here in Scott and White’s Cardiac ICU. Here’s how the story goes: While we were in Massachusetts, Len felt more exhausted than he’s been recently—and chest pain and the numbness in his arms and legs was worse. So he called his family physician for an appointment to get an EKG. The EKG came back good and inconclusive so Dr. L. prescribed an active stress test the following day; Len ‘failed’ it….so a cardiac catheterization was ordered for the following morning. Yeowww. Three arteries were blocked; two blocked at 90% and one 95%. And then the triple bypass yesterday morning. Talk about fast and furious. Len did very well. He no longer has a breathing tube, but his throat is sore, of course, and his chest is cut from stem to stern. This was scary and no one would have anticipated this for Len who appears to be very fit. This also explains why he hasn’t been able to ride his bike the usual distances. My advice was bad. Even though I know at least 7 nurses, I had falsely diagnosed the problem and recommended breathing in a paper bag when he felt light headed and tingly….clearly, it was more than hyperventilation. He has one more day here in ICU if all goes well–then he will spend 4 days in the cardiac unit. After that, rehab. Len has been a very good patient. He likes the cardiac surgeon and most of the nurses. When the real pain starts in we may have a different story. Infirmity is indiscriminate and not for the impatient.