Thursday, October 23, 2014

she was just fine a week ago...

The last time I visited my mom, she was fine.  Her kind of fine, which includes shortness of breath, bent over...basically a little curmudgeon.

I couldn't see her on Monday because there were a bunch of things on my schedule,...she knew that and didn't call me to let me know that she had blood in her stool.  She didn't call me on Tuesday either...she wanted to see if she could take care of it herself by eating things such as bananas.  She waited until Wednesday morning (10/15) to call me at work to tell me what was going on with her.

Just my luck, we drove in to work with our new German student, Tilo...so now it was a little tricky since I didn't have a car, but I was able to leave work early and get her to her doctor.  Of course we knew that he would make her go to the hospital.  And he did.  He did a rectal exam on her and determined it was higher up.

Took her to the hospital where they had a room for her in observation.  She was not allowed to have food; only clear liquids.  She had been hungry when we arrived.

They made her do the prep work that night and the next day she had a colonoscopy.  After her colonoscopy, we found out that she had a polyp that had aggravated, large (size of a golf ball) and actively bleeding.  This needed to be removed.  Mom has COPD and is weak and frail and doesn't like the idea of old people being cut into because they have a tendency to get infections.

Took a couple of days before we were all convinced by the doctors that this is something that she SHOULD have done.  If she waits, she'll have all the risks she faces now, plus a bunch more because it would then become an emergency.

My oldest sister arrived on Saturday afternoon and is still here ~ spending all day at the hospital with my mom.  Here is her blog post from yesterday.

Sunday morning mom had the surgery.  She did very well and didn't need a ventilator after the procedure.  But, she is in a LOT of pain.  So, they give her plenty of pain meds such as codine and morphine...which were making her completely loopy.  She was counting ceiling tiles and telling us that she was up there cleaning them.  She did not believe that she had had the surgery and was still anxious about having it done.

Tuesday afternoon, I brought my sister with me to look at after care facilities.  We looked at three and two looked very nice,...and one looked sort of horrible.  Reminded me of everything you don't want your parents to live in.  However, on-line reviews of these places and from what I hear from our Sister-in-law who works at the hospital, the one that looks bad is one of the better ones.  Decisions...

Yesterday (Wednesday ~ a week after arriving), she was having trouble breathing, not getting enough air, they think she has a UTI and is becoming septic.  They moved her into ICU.  They put a huge, high-powered oxygen mask on her to force air into her lungs; kind of a less invasive ventilator.  Now, no food whatsoever and no IV.  She hasn't eaten real food since last Wednesday.

When you visit her, she wants to talk but you can't hear her because of this mask...it's very frustrating.  We downloaded an app that she could use to write out what she wanted...she only did it once, and what was the thing she wanted to tell us?  "Get me a cookie" !!! Glad she has a craving for "real" food!

We asked the nurse if we could bring her dog in.  She told us that they only allow that if the dog is a worker dog or if the patient is in hospice....and your mom is no where near that!  Very glad to hear that!

Today looks a little better.  She is off the high-powered oxygen mask and can have some semi-solid foods such as applesauce and cream of wheat.  Her vitals are pretty good, the blood ox is good and the respiratory are good...her heart rate is a little high.

My other sister will arrive on Saturday, along with her son Nick.  That will free up my other sister to finally go back home and get some rest.

Once she's all better, I'm going to get her the best tasting chocolate chip cookie I can find!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

health update...

Visited my cousin doctor (the GI) today for a follow up.  He told me that after looking at the results of my colonoscopy, I look very good and I won't need to have another CT Scan until sometime in the next 6 months to a year.

I've lost 10 lbs. since my last visit with him, which was July 1.  So, I guess that's not too bad - 10 lbs. in three months.  So, if I can keep this up, by Christmas, I'll be down 20 lbs.  That would be nice.

Also had the HealthCheck360 at Jerome's work and I've improved in a lot of areas from the previous two years.  I guess the biggest improvement would be that my overall cholesterol level is 153.  Two years ago I was just above 200.  I don't remember a time when my cholesterol level was so low...really.

So, I can now go on with my life knowing that I am doing pretty well.  The chronic kidney disease, hemangioma and fatty liver all contributed to me finally deciding to eat / drink better.  Still, I'm not eating the absolute best I could, but I'm taking steps in that direction.

In March, when I stopped eating fast food, stopped drinking diet pop (or any pop) and started drinking water, I didn't notice anything in my everyday life that improved.  In July, when I stopped eating so much sugary things such as cereal, cookies, ice cream, stopped drinking coffee and started eating things that were good for my liver such as lemon, avocado, walnuts, leafy greens, green tea, etc. I did notice a few things.  Very few headaches.  No more feeling pukey.  Heart flutters (AFIB) stopped.  A bit more energy.  Less aches and pains.

That is also when I started seriously following the MyFitnessPal app.  I'm trying to stay within a 1200 calorie a day diet.  It's not easy AT.ALL!  But, I'm living.

Still need to go for walks more often.  There's always room for improvement.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

a landlord's work is never done ~ don't be one if you know you can't handle it...

We are still working on the little condo we bought in May.  I did a little excel spreadsheet to figure out how much time we have spent working on that place.

The first month we spent the most time working.  88.5 hours.
August was the least amount of time spent working.  11 hours.

If you average all the months since we've owned it, we're averaging 49 hours a month.  That's just a little more than 6 business days a month. So, that would explain a little as to why it's taking us so long.  BUT...we are getting there.


We finished tiling the shower surround and bathroom backsplash along with installing the vanity and light fixture.

There's still a lot more on our list of things to complete before we can put it up on Craigslist, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that by the end of this month, we'll be done.

~ ~ ~

Now, on to the latest fiasco with Riverside.

On September 3rd, we were informed by our tenant that the fridge was leaking and water was filling up one of the shelves.  We tried to walk him through how to fix it, but it was still leaking, so Jerome went to check it out...he did what he could and was going to do some research to see how to fix it.

After going back another time to try to fix it, he decided that we would replace it.  He had me check Craigslist but everything seemed pretty beat up so we checked at local appliance stores.  It was either going to be ABC Warehouse or Sears Outlet.

Jerome stopped by ABC Warehouse and was told by the salesperson that we shouldn't go through Sears Outlet because they are either floor models or returns.  After trying and failing to up-sell, he showed Jerome a fridge that would work for the space and we decided to get it.

The GE fridge was delivered on September 13th.  Right away I noticed that there were scuff marks on the side of the door.  Because of the way our kitchen is set up, the handles needed to be moved from their default location on the left to the right.  We were supposed to tell the salesman that we needed that to be done and he would have charged us an additional amount of money.  Jerome did it himself.  Once it was done we noticed a little dent where the handle used to be.  Very tiny but when you buy something brand new, you expect it to be pristine.

We were to hold onto the box for a week, just in case the fridge needed to be returned.  I looked inside the box and noticed a paper.  I grabbed it and looked.  It was a pick-up/delivery form that said the fridge was a return because it was too tall.  Hummm!  The salesman discouraged us from going to his competitor because the competitor's fridge would be a return...so Jerome stopped by to see the salesman and show him the paper.  It was agreed that a new door would be delivered.

A week later, fridge #2 came and they replaced the doors.  They give you a timeframe for when they will arrive.  It seems to always be between 8-12.  They are supposed to call you an hour before they arrive.  I had a dentist appointment that day that was just down the street from Riverside, so it would work out perfectly.  Once I was done with the dentist, I went down the street to the house and sat in the car in the driveway and ate lunch.  Several minutes went by and Jerome texted me asking if I was there when they delivered the fridge.  WHAT?! WAS I THERE?  Did they deliver already?  I went in and our tenant was there.  He was angry because the fridge door would not remain closed.  He had to use tape in order to keep the door closed.  They also didn't apply any of the hole covers and screw covers.  So, Jerome called ABC and talked to the sales guy and they said that they would send another fridge (#3) out the next day.

This is all fine and good, only we have a life too...we were supposed to be at my cousin's house for brunch at 11am.  Plus we needed to deliver some things to Habitat for Humanity that morning...AND also be at the house for delivery.  We had our niece with us this time, so the time went by pretty fast.  But again, once the door handle was moved from the left to the right, it revealed a much larger dent than the first fridge had.  Salesman was called again.  He offered us $50 to keep it.  We said no.  Now we had to wait until Tuesday...if you're counting, this will be fridge #4...and this one again wouldn't close once the handles and hinges were moved from left to right.

The delivery guy said that he would ask the salesman if we could exchange types of fridges; from GE to Frigidaire.  He had never had issues with changing the handles with that model of Frigidaire...the salesman agreed to do it (they were actually the same price, so a wash for them) and it would be delivered on Friday.

It came, they moved the handles, everything looked good, no scuffs, no dings.  We signed on the dotted line. 

That day, Jerome called the salesman to see if he could do a little something for us since we were so put-out in this process.  On Friday, the salesman called the house and said that he could only credit us $30.  I was the one that took the call because Jerome was out and I said, so you can't credit us the $50 my husband was trying to get?  Salesman said his boss wouldn't let him.  So, I told him that I would have my husband call him later this evening so that he could tell him.  A few minutes later, he called back saying that they will be able to credit us $50.  I'm pretty sure he just didn't want to feel the wrath of Jerome again.

Now, on Monday, I needed to go back there because DTE was picking up the original fridge that had been moved into the garage since the beginning of the month.  Again they give you a pick up time of between 8-12.  I got there at 8 and my tenant was home.  I asked him if he was going to be home for the morning and could he be there for DTE, otherwise I would need to sit in my car waiting for them for up to 4 hours.  He said that he could.  I asked him how the new one is working and he said that the freezer frosted up a few times before it finally cooled completely.  Phew! Good thing because I am not planning on doing this little dance any longer.


Moral of the story...not sure.  The first fridge was the best one, even though it had scuffs and a small dent.  Should we have been content with that one?  Should we have taken the $50 and kept the 3rd one?  Should we have not moved the handles from the left to the right?  It was a lot of wasted time but I think we now have the better fridge.