Sunday, September 13, 2015

Our Un-normal Normal

 A friend told me about a sermon that was titled, "The New Norm". The family had an Autistic child and their life was changed. The idea got me to thinking about our life and how it had changed in the last few months.
Our old normal life was like this:  Get up at six A.M., Read our devotions and pray. We would get ready for golf and have breakfast then hit the golf course at eight or eight-thirty. We would come home for lunch or stop in the club house to socialize with friends. The next step was to get in the pool to swim for twenty to thirty minutes and lay on the raft and float for an hour. Then we would take a leisurely nap before dinner.
Now our new un-normal life goes like this: Get up at five-thirty, get dressed for the day, read our devotions and pray, eat breakfast, and leave for the "Wound Care" at seven, get there at seven-thirty and Keith dives at eight. Before he dives he has to change to scrubs, get blood pressure taken, temperature taken, blood sugar taken and the doctor checks ears and heart. He stays in the Hyperbaric Oxygen tank for almost two hours. When he comes out the same routine is repeated with the exception of the doctor. Once a week he sees the doctor for a cast removable and a new one.
So far he has dived seventeen times and has three more to go. This breathing of one hundred per cent oxygen is to help the diabetic ulcer on his foot heal.
We go home or stop and do chores afterward. We have lunch and then we are so exhausted from getting up so early that we nap in the recliner. I am blessed because Keith is insisting that I play golf two days while he goes to the Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy. He can drive since the ulcer is on the left foot. I am going with him three days each week.
Another thing to help healing is the Angioplasty Surgery of the leg, which he had yesterday. We went to Orlando for the surgery. Keith had previously had catherization of his leg and one stent in abdomen. This surgery was to open several clogged arteries to get blood flow to the foot to help with healing. The surgery went well as the doctor used stents, balloons, and catheter to open vessels. It was a three hour surgery.
After surgery Keith's blood pressure started to elevate. No amount of medication seemed to bring it down. Although he was out of surgery at four, I couldn't be with him until five due to the rise in blood pressure. Our doctors went home thinking, he was going to be fine as his pressure fell some. At seven P. M. The nurse in charge called the doctor as the pressure rose again.  One of the doctors, Brandon, returned and worked and sat with us until the blood pressure was acceptable at eleven P.M. He asked us to stay overnight in a motel close to the hospital and see the surgeon the next morning, to which we agreed.
When we got to the motel and checked in, Keith said, "I feel a little dizzy". We were going up in the elevator and he said, "I feel sick and am about to pass out". I quickly pushed the elevator button to the first floor, because Keith was passed out leaning against the wall over his knee walker. As the elevator door opened, I yelled, "Help, Rick." (The name of the night clerk). He came running as I held the elevator door and told him what happened. He said, "I'm calling 911".  I said, "I'm calling the doctor." Amongst all this Keith revived enough to say he would be okay if he could only get to a bed and lie down. I took him to our room and got him in bed as I spoke with the doctor on the phone .  The doctor said, "I'll be right there. What is the room number?" There was a knock at the door and three EMS workers were there with medical tools. The doctor asked to talk to one of them as they took blood pressure, did EKG, and so on. The EMS guys assured the doctor he was in no  immediate distress. What a blessing they were.
In a few minutes Dr. Brandon arrived along with the surgeon. They checked Keith over and made sure everything was fine, as they said goodnight about midnight, we were ready for some rest. 
Keith said, "I think this was a bad omen ." "What?" I asked. "To bring the doctor brownies". Keith had told the doctor about my baking brownies and he was probably going to gain weight and the doctor said he liked brownies and Keith could share, therefore I took them lots of brownies.
In the morning we saw the doctor and Keith got the okay to come home, so here we are safe and sound. Praise the Lord for all the prayers going up yesterday, as it was touch and go for awhile.
We hope to get our normal life back when Keith heals, whereas the other family will continue in their new normal. We wish them God's blessings.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

An Unperfected Day


Keith is continuing with his Hyberbaric Oxygen treatments and we were so in hopes that his ulcer was going to be much improved when his cast was removed on Wednesday.
We patiently waited while the nurse removed the cast, which she had a difficult time doing and Keith was in some pain.
Keith wanted a photo of the ulcer as he couldn't see it on the bottom of his foot. I snapped the photo which I am sorry I did because it was bigger and worse than the week before. I had to show it to him and he was discouraged immediately.
The doctor ordered new medication for the wound and a different antibiotic. He also took a culture of the wound to see if it contained infection. After digging the dead skin out he rebandaged the wound and put on a new cast. He asked Keith to stay off of his foot as much as possible. All of this took from 7:30 A.M. until noon.

When we arrived home a half hour later, we saw that our mailbox had been torn off the post which it occupied with our neighbor. I went out to the street to investigate and asked Keith not to come as he was to stay off his foot. He couldn't contain himself so he used his walker and strode out to the mailbox. The entire board that held the box was stripped off and the box mashed and crooked in spots. There was no note of whom had done the damage. After several minutes of looking the box over and deliberating about what to do we started back to the house. Keith said, "I'll just let you push me in the walker back to the house as I am tired." I started pushing and hit a groove in the road and down he went, walker and all with me on the concrete, also. I looked and he was bleeding from the elbow, also both my knees were skinned and bleeding. I asked if he was hurt badly, but nothing
appeared broken or hurt too badly, so I tried pulling him up. It was difficult with his cast on for him to get a grip on the concrete and get himself up, not to mention the hot concrete where his hands were pushing. Finally we got him up and into the house to clean his wound on his elbow. His back was bruised but no blood. I cleaned my knees after I bandaged his elbow.
 I called our neighbor who told me the person had stopped and said he would take care of the damage to the mailboxes. He had met a golf cart and thought it was cutting into him, therefore he cut to the right and the mirror of his SUV took our mailbox out.

We know the gentleman very well who had the accident.. He came to our door and we weren't home. I got a text from his daughter saying he would pay for the damages. I felt bad for him because I know he didn't mean to do it. It was an accident.
Since it wasWednesday, it was church night and I am the teacher so I had to go, although we were having a gigantic rain storm. Keith decided he was worn out after all the days excitement so I went to church without him and let him rest.

After church I had a "handy-man" from church come to look at putting the mail box back on its post. He said he would do it the next day. I went to Home Depot the next day and got the mail box. He came in the afternoon and put it on its post. The man who had the ;accident stopped the next day and asked for the bill. I told him what it cost and he paid.

Some days are better than others. Praise God no one was injured. All is right with the world right now.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

When I began writing a blog, I planned to reminence about things that had affected me previously, but this year has been a challenge. Therefore, I would like to tell you about somethings which have affected us.
In February Keith was stricken with sciatic nerve problems. There were doctor visits with pain medication which did not help. Friends suggested many over the counter drugs or apparatuses to ease the pain. He continued to play golf and suffer the consequence of pain. 
Eventually he went to Therapy for relief. He went three times a week for a month. At times the pain was better, but mostly he continued to suffer. At one point he had no pain for a couple weeks. After therapy the pain began again.
In May he had a "crack"on his foot and we treated it but it did not get well. We went to Wound Care on the advice of a friend. For four weeks he was treated for the injury and it healed on the outside. We thought we were out of the woods then.
We went for lunch with our church friends on Sunday a week before Memorial Day. Keith came down with diarrhea and feeling sick. I took him to the Emergency room and they treated him for dehydration and sent him home. The next morning, at 4 a.m. I called 911 as Keith was passing out and still severe diarrhea. They took him to the hospital.  He was diagnosed with Salmonella Poisoning. He spent four days in the hospital. Fortunately the Sciatic didn't bother him too much while he was in the hospital, but enough for pain meds sometimes.
Keith was released on Sunday at noon before Memorial Day. We left for KY and Ohio at 3 p.m. That afternoon. Keith drove to Ocalla and I drove into Georgia where we spent the night. He wanted to make it to Ohio and his Union meeting by Tuesday, which he did and our family reunion on Sunday.
We had a great two weeks seeing family and friends. We got home and returned to normal activities of golf and church.
The Wound Center had asked me to put cream on Keith's feet each night, which I did. I noticed a tiny sore spot near where the other ulcer had been. I put Neosporian on it several nights. It did not get better. Keith went for a check up at the family doctor and he sent him back to the Wound Center. As soon as the dr. Saw him he said, "I'm sending you to the hospital." The foot was infected, but it had not reached the bone. Keith spent six days in the hospital taking antibiotics interveniously.  He Had surgery on the foot.  He was blessed with seven doctors.
When he was released from the hospital he was sent back to the Wound Center who planned to put his foot in a cast in order to keep his weight off his foot. The cast had to wait as Keith was going to his cardiologist, who did an angiogram on his leg and put one stent in his abdomen. Scheduling the next surgery on that leg for September 10, which will be a three hour surgery. The poor circulation is what causes the foot to not heal properly.
The foot was put in a cast and Hyperbaric Oxygen ordered. As I sit here writing, Keith is in the chamber, where he breathes 100% oxygen for one hundred ten minutes. It is supposed to make the healing faster. This is his sixth treatment in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. He is scheduled for twenty. He can gist eighteen in before his next surgery.  The only adverse affect has been his ears. He had loss of hearing previously, but now his hearing is practically gone. They tell us it will return after treatment. 
I am not complaining, but informing how life can change in a flash.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fear Of The Unknown

It all started on April 27th when I received a letter from a collection agency, Global Credit Collection, saying I had opened a credit card with J C Penney in 2012 and that I had not paid the bill. They were insisting that I pay $174.62. I knew I had not charged that amount. I responded with a phone call and asked for a review of where, when, and what the amount was charged. I was told by Calvin that I would receive my answer in a week. A month later I received a packet with the original $27.58 charge and the remainder of the $174.62 was interest. Calvin also said I had moved in 2012 and therefore maybe I didn't get the bill from J C Penney. I informed him that first class mail was forwarded for a year and I never received a bill.
In the meantime, I checked my records and found that I had paid the original amount with a check the same month I opened the charge. I wrote a letter to the collector on May 6th stating that he charge had been paid. I sent the check number with which I paid.
I received another notice from Global. I decided to visit the J C Penney store and speak with a manager. I was able to tell my story to a supervisor. I took a copy of the letter I had written to Global. Proof of forwarded mail where we had moved and she made notes on all of those, plus copies. She said she would speak with her manager and get back to me or I could call her in a few days. I called her after several days and she had not gotten with her manager. She would call when she got with her manager. I made several attempts to reach her and left messages. The last message I left was to let her know I would not call again as I was contacting the FL Attorney General regarding this issue.
I asked my cell phone for the number for the FL Attorney General. I got a number and called. That's when more trouble started. The phone was answered by a foreign speaking female who said she would put me through to her senior officer. This senior officer, James Jordan, a foreign speaking man,said he was in Washington, D C and I was being investigated on three charges: 
1. Suspicion of violation of U S immigration in 1989.
2. My taxes were not properly filed in 2012 and 2013 and I owed the government money.
3. I had taken a loan out and had not repaid it.
He said I was going to be arrested in 17 hours and all of my bank accounts and credit cards would be lost to me, unless I paid the amount owed for taxes,$1,286.85. I told him I never heard from the IRS about being in arrears. He assured me they had sent mail and I ignored it.
Being caught up in the moment, thinking this is a legitimate call, I offered to pay taxes with a credit card. He said that would not work because it had to be paid in cash today to avoid the arrest. Then my brain kicked in and I realized I was with a scammer. He said I should go to WallMart and get a government form. I asked for the form number and he said I should call him when I get in the parking lot with the cash.
I informed him the Federal Government did not work like that. He hung up, as I told him my daughter was on the phone.  I was trying to call her on the cell.
Paulita got the real number for the FL Attorney General. I told my story to them regarding the scam plus the Global Collection. I spent two hours filling out forms for all of this trouble.
What a mess I got myself into. I'm glad we have agencies to help us. Global is not licensed to collect in FL or in MI where they were billing me. I had just planned to relax in the pool all day. Life has surprises. Today I'm going to Verizon to find out why I got the scam number instead of the real one.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fantastic Week-End

What a delight to have all three of our children together! On Saturday we gathered at Kevin's for a cook out and games with the children and two in-laws. We were blessed to have three of our grandchildren join us plus our granddaughter -in-law (our grandson was deployed, Navy) and our great granddaughter.

On Sunday we gathered in Miamisburg for the family reunion. It was such a pleasure to see my two sisters and two brothers. Although the health of one brother and one sister is not the best, they were ready for visiting with all the in-laws, nieces and nephews plus the great nieces and nephews that attended. There were over fifty in attendance for the carry-in dinner and getting reacquainted with each other since last year or maybe the Christmas get-to-gather. 

We are from a large family and we continue to meet regularly since the early 1950's. Our dad saw the need for our family to stay in close connection and communication with each other. He went to Heaven in 1963 and we still carry on the tradition he started. We hope our children and grandchildren will continue the tradition long afterwards.

It is impossible to express in words the enjoyment of this great week-end. Keith had just gotten released from a hospital stay due to food poisoning and was feeling well enough to make the trip to Ohio. We had such fun visiting and catching up on all the latest with each other. We keep in touch with text and phone but there is nothing like real life visits, hugs, and kisses.

On Monday we said "good-bye" to Craig as we left him at the Cincinnati airport and headed to Columbus, where we would go to the airport with Paulita to meet Grace, getting home from Europe after five weeks. Grace was ecstatic to be home. We enjoyed seeing her and learning all about her travels.

On our return trip we visited Nana in the Nursing Home in KY. We were happy that we could see Maxine and Dolly also. One of our happiest moments with them was being able to bring each of them a chocolate milk shake. Such a small gesture on our behalf meant so much to them. It was a pleasure to see their eyes light up and their mouths turn into smiles. What a blessed safe trip!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Spring Cleaning Interupted

I had a marvelous plan for doing my spring cleaning. I started upstairs in the bedrooms, wiping every wall from top to bottom, cleaning the ceiling fans, dusting the furniture, cleaning the mirrors and vacuuming the floors. I began my plan on Tuesday evening when Keith was golfing in the Men's Golf League. I did get all the bedrooms cleaned and the bathrooms swept.  I dusted and washed all the decorative rugs.
I was making such good progress and decided to start downstairs Wednesday morning when Keith golfed with the Pro-Am group, but Keith came home from League play very sick. I attended him the rest of the evening.
Wednesday morning Keith said he was too sick to golf and I should call and take him off the play list. When he got up at eight thirty, he was so sick, I told him we needed to go to E R. I tried calling the doctor but only got the answering service. Off to the E R we went.
He was treated for dehydration and diarrhea for four hours and then sent home. I spent the rest of the day taking care of him and getting his antibiotics. Also running necessary errands.
This morning, due to passing out, temperature, and diarrhea I called 911 to take him to the hospital. When the EMS arrived I opened the door. Suddenly the siren began to go off and I thought, "Why are they starting the siren." Then it dawned on me, I had forgotten to turn the alarm off. It was my siren screaming, awakening the neighborhood. Our next door neighbor ran to see what was going on. The EMS workers went about their business by going upstairs after Keith, while I shut the alarm off. They put him in their vehicle and took him to the hospital.
I followed after I collected my senses and got myself together. Oh, did I mention it was 4 A M? Keith was admitted to the hospital, where he will get well in a couple of days. I will concentrate on him and his health until he is back to normal.
In the meantime my bucket of cleaning tools sits in the Game Room waiting to get the spring cleaning going. I realize our plans get interrupted sometimes. My most important goal is to get Keith well and then the spring cleaning will get done. What does it matter if it is summer when spring cleaning gets done.
Our plans are not always God's plans. They will work out for our good.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sleep In Peace

Did you ever go to bed angry? Maybe you went to bed with an argument unsettled and sleep did not come. The Bible tells us together rid of our anger before the sun goes down. I also think we should settle all disagreements before retiring for the night.
Why do we have arguments or disagreements? Is it because we each want our way? Is it because we think our opinion is the best? Is it because we fail to openly look at the other point of view? There are so many factors to think about. Why is my opinion or idea better? Have I considered the way the other person feels? Why is the other persons idea better?  Is it a personal, that I just want to win?
Try to consider all available options, before disagreeing point blank. Let your mind think about the other ideas. Maybe there is some validity in their idea. Come to a conclusion that you can both agree with and go to bed without anger or disagreement . By having your disagreement settled you can sleep peacefully.