Thursday, August 11, 2016

Four is enough

Ron and I argue about the Pepsi.  We can't buy it at the warehouse, so we have to make a special trip to buy it at Walmart, and it's so big we have to make a special trip just to buy Pepsi. 

I hate Pepsi.  I don't think it has a good taste at all.  Give me a Diet Dr Pepper anyday.  I will occasionally be found drinking a diet caffeine free Coke if I am watching my caffeine intake.  I had a couple today, for instance, but as a general rule: I hate Pepsi. 

I certainly don't see the point in making a special trip just to buy Pepsi.  Ron disagreed, so yesterday he scheduled a special trip to Walmart to buy work eight, six packs of Pepsi. 

We quickly determined that eight was way too many.  Four was enough.  I ended up taking out half the drinks before moving our box (we had brought a box for transport).  That way, I could move it safely without hurting myself. 

One thing Ron's whole back drama has taught me: once your back is gone, it's gone, and you are left with bad options.  I don't need that. 

So, we went to work.  We got to work later so we had to stay later, and we didn't get home until the afternoon.  I took a short nap and woke up around 3. 

I did my God Time and then we went out to dinner.  We had a pretty good time.  We had the same driver going there and coming back, and he was a nice guy. 

We didn't get home until almost 9, and then I had to get up at 5 this morning.  But first I had to throw Ron in the bath and scrub him, because he had a doctor's visit today. 

We got through late.  Everything was pretty civil until I told him I was very cold.  Could he turn the thermostat, or should I put on another blanket?  I added it seemed like a bad idea to use a blanket in the middle of the summer. 

Ron'd had some vodka by this point and he blew up at me, shouting and calling me names.  Funny, all the other times he'd told me to let him know, he didn't want to waste electricity, etc. 

I finally got to sleep, but late.  I got up late, with a headache, and didn't do my God Time.  I did take a shower, really happy I had already shaved my legs yesterday.  If head hair grew as fast as leg hair there would be a lot of very happy people. 

I got dressed and helped Ron dress.  This is why I get so annoyed at the paratransit renewal stuff - Ron can barely feed himself, yet they think he can get to and from the bus stop independently.  Thank God he can wipe his own butt. 

Anyway, I got him going, double and triple checked our papers, and got him outside for our ride.  The driver had transported Ron, by himself, years ago and had never met me.  He didn't know what to make of me at first but we were chatting away by the time he dropped us off. 

We got to the doctor's office, almost an hour early, and waited a while.  After about a half hour they took Ron's vital signs and put him in an exam room.  We waited some more. 

I read an article about caregiving for someone with diabetes.  Not really useful.  I looked at the photo book they have - diagrams of various body systems, so the doc can point out what is wrong with someone's system.  I reviewed the forms; in my portion, I had made Ron look like the appropriate train wreck. 

Paratransit, when they force you to renew your service, require you to go to your doctor and have him fill out 2 pages of paperwork, then write a prescription.  I imagine the doctors hate it almost as much as we do. 

So doc came in and we filled out the paperwork: endurance: poor, balance: poor, no vision at all, etc.  Why can't he ride the bus?  Because he is blind and in a wheelchair and has hearing loss on top of that.  You don't get much worse than Ron and still able to go to the bathroom on your own. 

Anyway, sorry to complain but it's frustrating. 

Ron had a whole list of questions for Doc today.  That was question one; question two was a series of questions about his back. 

Doc said it was probably OK to wait, but if he fell (and we know he falls during his blackouts) he could do permanent damage.  Doc also said "Everything going on in your legs right now is your back".  Ron had been complaining about leg pain right before he drank himself into his last blackout.  I thought that was significant.  They talked a little longer and Ron concluded he would wait on surgery because he is OK with his current level of functioning. 

That's Ron's call.  I'm not going to push him into surgery (and I probably could), only to have something go wrong and get blamed.  I have a friend, her husband blamed her for his "complication" and it ended very badly.  I don't want that in my own life. 

Doc very helpfully told me how social services would be sure to come out to my home, home health aides running around my house, etc.  I was horrified.  The last thing I need is someone taking pictures and writing reports. 

Third, Ron wanted a new wheelchair.  He had some questions about getting a new wheelchair and Doc answered them.  Then Doc went off and wrote up the prescription for paratransit, and one for a wheelchair.  Good. 

I had his "gal" copy the paratransit forms in case they "lose" them downtown.  She was happy to do it. 

It was funny with her, actually.  She came in.  She is pregnant.  She mentioned it to Ron.  Ron asked if, when she went into labor, she would have Doc deliver her baby.  She yelled "No!" 

Apparently Doc overheard the conversation and also said no.  I thought that was pretty funny. 

Can you imagine having to deliver one of your employees?  Seeing what you really didn't want to see? 

He did say he had delivered plenty of children.  But he's a family practice doctor. 

I prefer a doctor who works on a spectrum of problems.  I've seen him, myself, for a bladder infection (twice), and a sinus infection. 

Anyway, all done, we left. 

Ron had arranged for our driver to pick us up.  So he did that, and we went downtown.  Unfortunately, they are doing road work to get ready for the superbowl next year.  I hope our visitors appreciate all the effort Houston has gone to improve our roads. 

After some drama, we found our way there, he let me out, and I ran in to turn in the application/renewal form in person.  I didn't trust the mail and that is a sad statement. 

I went in, it was the same gal we had last week.  I made sure to thank her and compliment her hair.  She took out the form and examined it.  Looked good.  Then she stapled the prescription to it and set it in a filing system. 

I had been drinking Diet Caffeine Free Coke all morning, so I used the horrible ! public bathroom.  It wasn't too bad today.  Mainly it is a lot of homeless men wrecking the men's room. 

I went back out and called our guy to "make the block" and come get us.  He did that. 

We went out to lunch (after all the traffic drama I felt entitled).  The server was pretty bad, ignoring us, got my order wrong, etc.  I had asked for double sausage, instead of sausage and bacon. 

For whatever reason, the lithium allows me to eat certain foods.  I can eat patty sausage, and breakfast links, but not big links.  I can't eat bacon when I take my meds or I get really queasy.  So I had asked for double (breakfast link) sausage.  It came with sausage and bacon. 

I gave the bacon to our driver (he didn't complain, he loves bacon) and then politely asked the (other server who delivered my food) to fix my order.  They did.  It was on the ticket, double sausage, no bacon. 

After I told Ron, quietly, she wasn't getting a good tip, she did come by a few times at the very end of the meal.  Ron wanted to leave a 12% tip, but I talked him up to 15%.  It was very busy but that is still no reason to ignore your customers.  I think she was busy in the back doing "side work" - additional chores they assign the staff since they have them on the premises. 

But your customers should at least see your face, even if you are busy serving your other tables.  I don't think she will last long. 

Normally Ron is a very generous tipper. 

We left and came home.  Ron was in the wheelchair all day. 

He was able to get in and out of the truck OK by himself, but I "had" to put the wheelchair in and out of the truck bed.  Not a problem.  It wasn't even a problem when the wheelchair slid around some. 

I was fine grabbing a corner and hauling it to the back of the truck bed.  The wheelchair only weighs...let me see.  40 pounds.  So, not bad.  Here's a link to the wheelchair if you're interested, but Ron took off the leg rests.  Harbor Freight Wheelchair

We got home, I took out the wheelchair, and got Ron aboard.  We opened the garage door and I rolled him inside.  We closed the garage door and opened the door to the house (this keeps the cats inside).  Ron found his walker and began using it (we leave it directly next to the door). 

Sometimes, when we come home, Biscuit is on the walker.  He is pretty cute.  Ron has to chase him off but Biscuit doesn't mind. 

Then I took a nap.  We have to get up very early tomorrow so I want to get as much sleep as possible, while I can.  I took my medication first, and made sure to sleep on my left side so I wouldn't have any heartburn.  Not that it is a regular issue for me. 

When I got up, I still had the headache.  This month is just a bad one for hormonal headaches.  I start my period, probably, in about a week.  In the meantime I just have to endure ghastly headaches. 

Ron asked me if I wanted to get some medication to prevent them.  No, I told him. 

Birth control might help but it raises my risk of stroke, especially since I am fat, have a family history, and am over 40. 

Beta blockers might help, but one side effect is headaches!  That is just crazy! 

I might take some herbal stuff, I have to remember I am under a lot more stress lately.  Ron's back is a ticking time bomb, basically. 

I got him taking some Milk Thistle (good for your liver, according to certain studies), and Turmeric (lots of good stuff on it eliminating inflammation - Ron has arthritis in his back and his hand).  He has been a very good sport about taking them both.  Turmeric is also said to be good for the liver.  I have to assume Ron's liver needs all the help it can get. 

I found it interesting when Doc said a Neurosurgeon would want Ron to have surgery immediately, due to the leg pain. 

But right now Ron can get to the toilet on his own, wipe his own butt, and work a little.  He doesn't want to lose any of that. 

I can relate. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rough times with the back, but I will say don't worry if you know a person who had back surgery and got worse. It is tempting to have that worry you. Just remember, they do thousands and thousands and thousands of these and the majority end up great. Is there a risk? Of course! Most are fine though.

It is still stressful.

Ron is lucky he has you.

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