kaffyr: Rory Williams Pond cries (Rory cries)
It Would Be Boring If It Wasn't Worse Than That

I'd sort of fallen off the map, journal-wise, and finally congratulated myself today about getting back into action by wishing folks happy birthdays, belated and otherwise. Then I'd planned to talk about all sorts of things; my continuing crazed work experience, thoughts of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, maybe one or two other fannish things, and updates on my brother, who came home Saturday. He still sounded weak, but he was on the mend. And I wanted to talk about things that were going well, or at least things I could grind my teeth about, but in a lively and maybe humorous way. I was going to upload the picture of my first 2014 Spring Robin. It was really plump, its breast was red, and it was sturdy and cheeky, and the picture made me smile, and I thought it might make you smile, too.

Mac called me today; he'd collapsed while talking on the phone and woke up to find paramedics and police in the house. I'm really glad that he was on the phone when it happened, although he says he doesn't even remember making the phone call. His red blood cell count is dropping, and they can't figure out why, and they're trying to reverse it, and figure out what's going on. So he's back in hospital.

I can't ... my mother went in to hospital. She went through a successful operation and came home. And she went back in, and she never came out. And I know this is a vastly different situation, but it all started happening with Mum just about this same time last year.

I have stories to write tomorrow, and things I have to deal with for the condo association, and some union stuff, I think. In the meantime, I've finally watched the latest Agent of SHIELD, and taken enough pseudo-kinda-trankey stuff to get me to sleep fast tonight.

Dept. of Thankful

Monday, 31 March 2014 11:17 pm
kaffyr: Mid-afternoon view from the spirit world train. (Train view)
 Mac came through the operation

I haven't spoken to him yet, and will probably wait until late Tuesday to do so; nor will I expect him to want to talk a lot. But his cardiac care nurse, with whom I spoke, said he was doing well after coming out of four or five hours of operating room time. 

Thank you for all your good wishes and prayers. I am a very grateful big sister. 

Dept. of Updates

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 03:40 pm
kaffyr: River's in light (River in light)
 The Word Is Bypass

Mac won't know until tomorrow at least what type of bypass (i.e. single, double, triple) or when they're going to do it, but the test they did today confirmed that the biggest occlusion was far bigger than they originally thought. 

Since Halifax is being hit by a monster winter storm right now, I was worried about his cat and dog, but friends are taking care of them. I also managed to get the name of a couple of his doctors out of him, and his girlfriend's phone number. (He asked me "why do you want those?" and I resisted saying a number of very sarcastic things and just said "For the same reason you wanted numbers when Mum was in hospital." A moment of silence followed, and I got the information.)

Dept. of Updates

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 12:12 am
kaffyr: (Level 7)
 You Gotta Have Heart

Quickly, before I fall exhausted into bed - many thanks to all of you out there who offered prayers, wishes and good vibes to my brother and me in the aftermath of his heart attack. I called him this morning and found out that he a) now has a stent in his heart and b) that that's because the doctors found four blockages. 

On Wednesday, they plan to recheck the blockages to find out what percentage of his heart is actually affected. That's when the decisions about bypass or no need thereof will come into play. 

Mac sounded stronger over the phone. I hope and pray that the next time I speak to him, he'll be irritable and bored. That's going to tell me he's truly on the mend. 

Again, my thanks; you guys are all fairly wonderful, you know that?

kaffyr: Animated rain falls on the bathhouse from Spirited Away (Bath house in the rain)
 Please Send Him Good Vibes, Y'all

My brother just phoned me; he had a heart attack last night, and is in hospital in Halifax. They will be keeping him in for at least three days. He did not sound good, but insists things are fine now. There is, apparently, no need for me to come up to N.S. He asked me to tell our stepdad, Rob, which I have done, keeping the message as positive as possible. He's 87 and just lost Mum. He doesn't need to worry more than necessary. 

Very selfishly, I do not — do not — want to be the last man standing in my family. He is my little brother, damn it. 

He's a very good man; a fine, strong, funny, kind, tough man and I'm very proud of him for shouldering so much for the last few years. If you believe in God, please send a prayer Their way for a quick recovery, If you don't, just keep him in your thoughts, if only for a moment. 

kaffyr: Princess Jellyfish goes to work (Reporting for duty)
Tomorrow Mom Comes Home for a Day; Today I Cornered a Doctor

So this morning, I attempted to do a small amount of laundry, figure out what the various frost covered lumps in her long-ignored freezer were, dust the area around her bed, figure out what I needed to get at the (completely inadequate) grocery store; it was eye-opening.  For the four months Mums been in hospital, her cleaning lady-cum-friend has been doing yeoman's duty in trying to keep Step-dad Rob fed and such. But it's four months of just one 87-year-old man living on his own and ... not being extremely good at it.

I finally extracted myself from the house by reminding myself that I am not here to clean the house, which she probably won't be in again permanently anyhow, but to be with her. I was there to help explain (again) the legal papers transferring power of attorney to Mac. And we just spent a lot of time hugging each other.

Doctors and Mortality )
kaffyr: A still from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (Kiki dreams)
Hello in Haste

I'm just stopping at the little cafe (whose owners I most sincerely hope have solved their labor problems) to type up a quick post to thank folks for all their kind comments about my gorgeous mother, Mary-Glen Keirstead Routliffe Stirling.

I've visited her once this morning, taking my stepdad Rob up. One of her closest friends came in and visited as well (she is a marvelous woman, who is also very dear to me.) I drove him back home, and we stopped into his family's farm to get some apples and fresh pressed apple cider. He'll be cooking applesauce tonight, yum! And he also showed me the walnut tree his aunt planted for him when he was a little boy. Walnuts are unusual this far north, but he picked three green walnuts for me. They have a very spicy, piney scent. Amazing.

I'm now headed back to the hospital where I think my brother will have made it up to the valley from Halifax. More time with family. I intend to take more pictures, and maybe even some video. That'll please officer friendly, I'm sure. Heh.

I love you all.

Dept. of Family

Saturday, 17 August 2013 02:48 pm
kaffyr: Mid-afternoon view from the spirit world train. (Train view)
This is My Mum, My Mom, My Mother
 
Bandwidth, saved! )More bandwidth saved )

And I am so very glad I have a chance to show you what she looks like right now.

We had a very good visit this morning; the joy in her face when I walked in to the hospital was wonderful. We spent a lot of time with our arms around each other, which is very important for both of us. And I am looking forward to visits every day. (I probably will visit her again tonight with my stepdad. My brother made certain I have access to a car, which allows me to help him get to the hospital, rather than him having to take one of the infrequent buses.)

There's so much I could say but what I'll say right now is that today was good. We talked about life, about forgetting, about dying, and these are all things we needed to talk about.

And when I wandered into the center of town after my visit, I stopped at the lone bookstore to check on a book of poetry I wanted - and lo and behold, there was a childhood friend who now lives about 60 miles away, who I'd visited back in April, but who I'd had no idea I'd have a chance to visit. So we had a lovely cup of coffee, and here I am, typing up a post to all of you before I go back to my mom's place (AKA "there are no connections manor".)

So, yes, a good day, as these kinds of days go. I hope your various Saturdays also went well.

kaffyr: A typical day in the BSG!verse (Frakkin' Watchtower)
 Update on a Down Day

My mum went back into hospital on Saturday, one day after they released her to go home.

Gah. Just gah. )Just keep swimming, just keep swimming ....
kaffyr: Rory and Amy having a rabbit hole day (Rabbit hole day)
Tough Isn't Impossible

And that's what I'm thinking today, after a day of traveling, a day of surprises - and a day without that which helps me keep my sanity; y'all her on Teh Intarwebz.

First, my mother.

Rather long and more than a little sad )
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Ein 2)
The Return of Non-Slurried Food
Yes, it's imminent, because the endoscopy Bob had today appears to have stretched the duodenal opening enough to allow for a so-called "soft" diet. Huzzah! That allows tender meats, most vegetables, and potatoes — even french fries, which addition my beloved noted with an almost salacious gleam in his eye.

Of course, nothing ever gets done completely the first time. The gastroenterologist said Bob must come back in three weeks for one more procedure (more stretching) in three weeks, and he took a biopsy of an area in the stomach about which he had questions. More biopsies. Yay. Not gonna think about that right now, tiddley-pom, fiddle-de-dee.

Still, as long as there's no evidence of bleeding in the next day or so, we can consider today a success. Rejoice with us, friends, as we bid farewell to cream of wheat in all its iterations!

kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Ein 2)
The Return of Non-Slurried Food
Yes, it's imminent, because the endoscopy Bob had today appears to have stretched the duodenal opening enough to allow for a so-called "soft" diet. Huzzah! That allows tender meats, most vegetables, and potatoes — even french fries, which addition my beloved noted with an almost salacious gleam in his eye.

Of course, nothing ever gets done completely the first time. The gastroenterologist said Bob must come back in three weeks for one more procedure (more stretching) in three weeks, and he took a biopsy of an area in the stomach about which he had questions. More biopsies. Yay. Not gonna think about that right now, tiddley-pom, fiddle-de-dee.

Still, as long as there's no evidence of bleeding in the next day or so, we can consider today a success. Rejoice with us, friends, as we bid farewell to cream of wheat in all its iterations!

Medical Update

Thursday, 11 November 2010 11:28 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Vizard)
Tomorrow is Barreling Toward Us


So, tomorrow, Bob's scheduled to have the final procedure done on his stomach, the one which should allow him to go back to eating real food. And I'm worried. I'm worried, because I'm not sure whether it should be an outpatient procedure, but everyone's proceeding (see what I did there?) as if it will be.

Part of me thinks I couldn't stand it if he had to stay in hospital even one night. Another part of me fears that, even with a month of healing, this procedure is going to start the bleeding again, and why the hell aren't they doing this as an inpatient thing, and I'm hitting myself over the head for determinedly ignoring all this until the last minute. So, spare him some good thoughts, folks, if you will.

After this, if everything goes well, we deal with finding out what the doctors want to do with the benign spots on his right lung. Bob's looked at the tests and they seem to indicate some sort of fungus. The problem is, he hasn't been able to get hold of the pulmonologist  who ordered the tests, so he hasn't been able to get a better explanation of causes, and options. It didn't help that he got a call from the office of the surgeon who took out the spots on his left lung last year, and we haven't the slightest idea who asked the surgeon to call us. Was it his regular doctor, for some unknown reason, or the pulmonary doc, for some unknown reason? They haven't bothered to tell us. And, while it might end up being some incredibly normal, understandable, explainable thing, no one's explained it.

Gah.

Suppose I ought to go bed, huh?

Yeah. Sounds good.

Medical Update

Thursday, 11 November 2010 11:28 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Vizard)
Tomorrow is Barreling Toward Us


So, tomorrow, Bob's scheduled to have the final procedure done on his stomach, the one which should allow him to go back to eating real food. And I'm worried. I'm worried, because I'm not sure whether it should be an outpatient procedure, but everyone's proceeding (see what I did there?) as if it will be.

Part of me thinks I couldn't stand it if he had to stay in hospital even one night. Another part of me fears that, even with a month of healing, this procedure is going to start the bleeding again, and why the hell aren't they doing this as an inpatient thing, and I'm hitting myself over the head for determinedly ignoring all this until the last minute. So, spare him some good thoughts, folks, if you will.

After this, if everything goes well, we deal with finding out what the doctors want to do with the benign spots on his right lung. Bob's looked at the tests and they seem to indicate some sort of fungus. The problem is, he hasn't been able to get hold of the pulmonologist  who ordered the tests, so he hasn't been able to get a better explanation of causes, and options. It didn't help that he got a call from the office of the surgeon who took out the spots on his left lung last year, and we haven't the slightest idea who asked the surgeon to call us. Was it his regular doctor, for some unknown reason, or the pulmonary doc, for some unknown reason? They haven't bothered to tell us. And, while it might end up being some incredibly normal, understandable, explainable thing, no one's explained it.

Gah.

Suppose I ought to go bed, huh?

Yeah. Sounds good.
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Orihime yay!)
He's Home!

He's home and I thank the universe and the lords of chance for my Best Beloved.



The car, however, is dead. Battery died in the parking lot of the pharmacy, when we stopped on the way home from hospital to get his prescriptions. Ah well, fiddle-de-dee, la-de-dah, can't be bothered. Tow truck and new battery tomorrow a.m. before 10 a.m. Don't care. He's home.
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Sarah's lipstick)
This Message Brought to You
     Bob's been touched by the many people who expressed their good wishes and hopes for his recovery over the past week or so, and tonight he wanted to say that to you all personally. Because my typing-fu is a little stronger than his, he asked me to take dictation, and put up his comments over on his own journal. He'd be honored if you dropped by to say hello there.
     (As for my report? Simple; today was a good day; I got a couple of important things done at home, and spent time with Bob at the hospital. He enjoyed his first full day of Opaque Liquid Goodness, and we are hoping that the doctors will give him an OK to be home within the first couple of days of this week.)


kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Sarah's lipstick)
This Message Brought to You
     Bob's been touched by the many people who expressed their good wishes and hopes for his recovery over the past week or so, and tonight he wanted to say that to you all personally. Because my typing-fu is a little stronger than his, he asked me to take dictation, and put up his comments over on his own journal. He'd be honored if you dropped by to say hello there.
     (As for my report? Simple; today was a good day; I got a couple of important things done at home, and spent time with Bob at the hospital. He enjoyed his first full day of Opaque Liquid Goodness, and we are hoping that the doctors will give him an OK to be home within the first couple of days of this week.)


Update

Sunday, 10 October 2010 12:48 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Kiki 2)
Sun is Shining, Health is Healing (Largely reposted from LINDA thread in TWoP DW boards)
     Bob spent another good day yesterday, getting more sleep and successfully eating, for scenarios wherein "eating" means the consumption of clear liquids. Today, he phoned me and told me that he's been put back on full liquids*  which includes puddings and ice cream: I've been directed to bring him up a pint of top quality French vanilla ice cream. He also thinks he wants me to bring the laptop up so he can record a personal update/greeting/thanks and upload it to You Tube. If that happens, we will Alert the Press.

     I still don't know when they're going to cut him loose, because they still want to check his vitals regularly, and ensure that the "scab" on the duodenum is set strong enough to take movement while healing goes on underneath (wow; just looked at that last phrase, and got a little green in the gills.) But I think I'll be able to go back to work tomorrow and not have my every thought of him, instead of my work. I've got a couple of meetings to cover this week, and I'm hoping I can go to them, and then duck back to the hospital to visit him. And then, maybe, maybe, we'll get him home before the week is out.



*and the crowd goes wild*

Update

Sunday, 10 October 2010 12:48 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Kiki 2)
Sun is Shining, Health is Healing (Largely reposted from LINDA thread in TWoP DW boards)
     Bob spent another good day yesterday, getting more sleep and successfully eating, for scenarios wherein "eating" means the consumption of clear liquids. Today, he phoned me and told me that he's been put back on full liquids*  which includes puddings and ice cream: I've been directed to bring him up a pint of top quality French vanilla ice cream. He also thinks he wants me to bring the laptop up so he can record a personal update/greeting/thanks and upload it to You Tube. If that happens, we will Alert the Press.

     I still don't know when they're going to cut him loose, because they still want to check his vitals regularly, and ensure that the "scab" on the duodenum is set strong enough to take movement while healing goes on underneath (wow; just looked at that last phrase, and got a little green in the gills.) But I think I'll be able to go back to work tomorrow and not have my every thought of him, instead of my work. I've got a couple of meetings to cover this week, and I'm hoping I can go to them, and then duck back to the hospital to visit him. And then, maybe, maybe, we'll get him home before the week is out.



*and the crowd goes wild*

A rollercoaster ...

Thursday, 7 October 2010 04:49 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Owen Prays)
...Would be smoother.

I was right not to hold my breath. More bleeding, but he was stable enough after the incident to undergo the intervention they shied away from earlier. We were told it would be two hours before the procedure was complete; It's been longer than that, and still no word. Bob asked me to call Andy, so he's here. I'm equipped with a pager but I admit that I'm not enthusiastic about hearing from it. I probably won't be in the headspace to answer, but good wishes and vibes are still appreciated. Christ, are they ever.

ETA: Oh, FFS, I just got a call from Bob. He's somewhere in the hospital "in a cubicle" recovering. The buzzer/pager never went off. These fucking bastards.

A rollercoaster ...

Thursday, 7 October 2010 04:49 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Owen Prays)
...Would be smoother.

I was right not to hold my breath. More bleeding, but he was stable enough after the incident to undergo the intervention they shied away from earlier. We were told it would be two hours before the procedure was complete; It's been longer than that, and still no word. Bob asked me to call Andy, so he's here. I'm equipped with a pager but I admit that I'm not enthusiastic about hearing from it. I probably won't be in the headspace to answer, but good wishes and vibes are still appreciated. Christ, are they ever.

ETA: Oh, FFS, I just got a call from Bob. He's somewhere in the hospital "in a cubicle" recovering. The buzzer/pager never went off. These fucking bastards.

Health Update

Thursday, 7 October 2010 01:41 am
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Hokusai)
Breaking Silence
Folks, I'm sorry it's taken this long for me to update about Bob's health. Monday was a horrible day; I was frightened, exhausted and full of the irrational thought that fear and exhaustion bring. I can't even begin to speak to Bob's own fear, pain and exhaustion.

But things are better. Physically, there's still a lot left to be desired, but emotionally and spiritually I think we're steadier.

Oh, hell, where to start?

I ramble, so I use a cut to save you all. )

Health Update

Thursday, 7 October 2010 01:41 am
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Hokusai)
Breaking Silence
Folks, I'm sorry it's taken this long for me to update about Bob's health. Monday was a horrible day; I was frightened, exhausted and full of the irrational thought that fear and exhaustion bring. I can't even begin to speak to Bob's own fear, pain and exhaustion.

But things are better. Physically, there's still a lot left to be desired, but emotionally and spiritually I think we're steadier.

Oh, hell, where to start?

I ramble, so I use a cut to save you all. )

Update

Monday, 4 October 2010 11:27 pm
kaffyr: Japanese building w/flowers on blue ground (Blue Nippon)
Blood Makes Noise
And we can't seem to stop it.
Bob coughed and threw up blood again, steadily, starting around 2:45 p.m. Monday; there was a lot more blood elsewhere in his body, in places it wasn't supposed to be. his stomach was cramping, his heart rate soared, he got pale as paper again, he couldn't stop sweating, and yet his blood pressure held until just past 8 p.m. Then it started to drop. They ordered more red blood cell packs. He couldn't sleep, he couldn't rest in one position, the blood kept coming out, they've stopped any food and any water by mouth. His ICU day nurse, Mary, should be sainted, and I think his night nurse, Ed, is probably pretty damned good, too, but they couldn't make him feel better, and I couldn't. All I could do was wipe his mouth and his head, and hold his hand. He can hardly talk, he's so weak. And he's scared. So am I.

He's having another procedure tonight - should be starting about now, actually - with the bland umbrella name "interventional radiology." As I understand, it's pushing the same fluid they injected into his stomach via the endoscopy two days ago, to try to get the bleeding to stop. This time, they'll inject it  through arteries in his groin, up into his stomach. I'm at home with a migraine, had to come home around 9 p.m. but I've told them to call me as soon as the procedure is over.

Blood reeks.

ETA:  I had to call the ICU just now (1:17 a.m.) to find out that they decided not to do the procedure tonight. Instead they pushed three more packs of red cells. The doctor on shift said he called earlier but didn't want to leave a message because he didn't want to risk leaving a message at the wrong number. Uh-huh. No calls while I was home; Bob called me shortly after I got off the phone with the doctor. He says the man did call me. Ten minutes after I left. All he had to do was leave a message saying "please call the ICU" He didn't have to leave state fucking secrets on the damned phone. And, while Bob sounds stronger over the phone - thank you red blood cells - they've confirmed that they aren't going to give him much of anything to help him get to sleep. Some reasonable reasons, but he's still exhausted, and how the hell can he even begin to heal without sleep?

Fuck,

Update

Monday, 4 October 2010 11:27 pm
kaffyr: Japanese building w/flowers on blue ground (Blue Nippon)
Blood Makes Noise
And we can't seem to stop it.
Bob coughed and threw up blood again, steadily, starting around 2:45 p.m. Monday; there was a lot more blood elsewhere in his body, in places it wasn't supposed to be. his stomach was cramping, his heart rate soared, he got pale as paper again, he couldn't stop sweating, and yet his blood pressure held until just past 8 p.m. Then it started to drop. They ordered more red blood cell packs. He couldn't sleep, he couldn't rest in one position, the blood kept coming out, they've stopped any food and any water by mouth. His ICU day nurse, Mary, should be sainted, and I think his night nurse, Ed, is probably pretty damned good, too, but they couldn't make him feel better, and I couldn't. All I could do was wipe his mouth and his head, and hold his hand. He can hardly talk, he's so weak. And he's scared. So am I.

He's having another procedure tonight - should be starting about now, actually - with the bland umbrella name "interventional radiology." As I understand, it's pushing the same fluid they injected into his stomach via the endoscopy two days ago, to try to get the bleeding to stop. This time, they'll inject it  through arteries in his groin, up into his stomach. I'm at home with a migraine, had to come home around 9 p.m. but I've told them to call me as soon as the procedure is over.

Blood reeks.

ETA:  I had to call the ICU just now (1:17 a.m.) to find out that they decided not to do the procedure tonight. Instead they pushed three more packs of red cells. The doctor on shift said he called earlier but didn't want to leave a message because he didn't want to risk leaving a message at the wrong number. Uh-huh. No calls while I was home; Bob called me shortly after I got off the phone with the doctor. He says the man did call me. Ten minutes after I left. All he had to do was leave a message saying "please call the ICU" He didn't have to leave state fucking secrets on the damned phone. And, while Bob sounds stronger over the phone - thank you red blood cells - they've confirmed that they aren't going to give him much of anything to help him get to sleep. Some reasonable reasons, but he's still exhausted, and how the hell can he even begin to heal without sleep?

Fuck,

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