Dept of Catch Up

Sunday, 29 April 2018 03:20 pm
kaffyr: Young Melody Pond regenerates (I can fix that)
So Where Are We Now?

We're home. We're getting better. We're grateful for all the good wishes, and the care he got while in hospital, that's where we are. 

It's been a few days; I simply haven't had the energy to post. Hell, I haven't even had the energy to answer the phone - and I apologize to folks who've called, who I've ignored. It's not you, it's me, and that's not a joke. 

But I need to let folks know that Bob's home. They let him loose on Wednesday afternoon, which was good, because, with well over 70 hours without sleep, he was already starting to become a little untethered to the world. He was given a nebulizer, and a list of physical therapists, and sent home. I was told that he needed to have someone with him, if not at all times, then pretty damned close to it, so I took some vacation time; I'm off all this week, and I'll be sticking very close to him, you damn betcha. 

He slept much of the next day and a half, which was all to the good. It was nice having him back on our planet, and the sleep also helped his healing process. He's still weak; today was the first day he wanted to go outside. We drove over to Jarvis Beach, one of the lovely little pocket beaches on Chicago's north side, but we were only there for about 5 minutes; that tired him out, so we got him home, and he's now having a nebulizer treatment, since his oxygen count was down to about 90 percent, That's not horrible, but it's not good, either. 

Despite his weariness, he got out, and the sun is shining, and we're listening to some lovely mambo music, and I'll be making a quiche for Sunday supper, and so the day is, on the whole, very good. 

And thank you, everyone, for all the good wishes you sent Bob's way. They were much appreciated and needed. 
kaffyr: (Single Payer Spocbama)
Human Metapneumovirus

This is what we're told Bob's got. There's apparently no magic bullet cure, just as there isn't for a lot of viruses, so the thing to do with HMPV  is apparently just ... get through it. And of course, while it's normally not serious, for kids, older folks and folks with various levels of immunodeficiency it can be really serious. And guess who fits into both slots? Bob. (I fit in, too, but I've lived with him for weeks and I'm 99 percent confident I'm not getting any serious version of it.) Once all the nurses, aides, etc. started gowning- masking- and gloving-up to come in, we figured it was nothing to sneeze at. As it were. 

Because Bob's extremely weak (like, they're not letting him sit in a chair unless there's a staff person on hand, and as for making it to the bathroom? Ha!) he's going to be in here another night. His physical therapist would like him to be sent to a rehab place for a couple of days because he needs to relearn how to breathe properly, and regain his strength in general. His hospitalist doctor (real term for a doctor whose focus is solely on hospitalized patients) told him earlier today that she'd like to get him out of the hospital, but we don't know what the upshot will be after the doc and the therapist manage to talk. 

My boss threw me for a loop, in a very positive way, when I sent him my morning email. I told him I'd try to get a story in to him before 2 p.m., and updated him on Bob's situation, which at that point didn't have a name, and was somewhat worse than it was at the time of my previous report. I said I'd take time off after I sent the story over. He told me just to take the whole day off, that we didn't need that story. I'm beginning to understand the guy a bit better, but still ... he kind of whipsaws me. 

I spent 5 hours at the hospital with Bob, which did wonders for me, and he seemed to be happy that I was there. Now I'm home; I'm going to brush my teeth, give Bob a call at the hospital, and go to bed. 


kaffyr: (NaruOMG)
Still In Hospital

Still not breathing easily, in the least. (Which is doubly weird, and not a little unnerving, since his blood is very nicely oxygenated, thanks to his nasal cannula.) He has an infection, they've decided to try to deal with it with steroids. He's extremely unhappy, and I'm worried about his inability to sleep in hospital. As some of you may remember, BB+hospital+extended lack of sleep=potential hospital psychosis. 

I managed to get two stories written today, which meant my boss wasn't breathing down my neck. And to be fair, he sent his wishes along for Bob. 

I'm going to crash now. 
kaffyr: (Stewart facepalm)
Post Weekend Fun Roundup

As Elvis Costello said, welcome to the working week - know it don't thrill you, hope it won't kill you. 

As weekends go, this past one was less than optimal. That was due to the preceding week also being less than optimal. Still, there were glints and glimmers of better things hiding in both. 

First, the most unimpressive part of the weekend. Bob's back in hospital. He started developing what we both fervently hoped was a chest cold back last Wednesday. Fervent hopes, as they often are, weren't worth the aether upon which they were wished. After increasing chest congestion, and a Saturday night during which, Bob admitted in the morning, he managed to scare himself by being almost unable to catch his breath after walking to the bathroom and back, we headed for the emergency room. The good news: it isn't pneumonia, according to the x-ray. Also good, he got admitted and into a room in only 4.5 hours, rather than the slightly more than 4.5 hours last time. Sigh. I'm hoping that he'll be sprung today, but I really want the infection (yes, they've decided that's what he has. Viral? Bacterial?  \_(' ')_/ So, more antibiotics that he might not actually need. Argh.)

This all took place against a background of, well ... my back. It's in what I think of as "moderate pre-spasm" mode. I know, as sure as the sun rises in the east but doesn't warm Chicago up, that it's stress. Last week was a better week with The Boss from Heck, and we even had a weekly meeting that was almost pleasant, but the underlying low-level tension and irritation finally presented as back fun. I'm attempting to keep it at bay, because I'm going to try to work today. 

Jerry Minkkinen's memorial was Saturday; one of my newsroom and Guild friends, Mike, came with me all the way to Farthest Schaumburg for the memorial. It was almost like old home week. A lot of hugs from Guild folks I hadn't seen in years. We agreed it sucked that we had to see each other for this reason, but it was good to see each other, nonetheless. And we got a chance to tell Jerry's son and brother how much Jerry meant to us. In fact, the president of the national News Guild flew in from D.C. just for the memorial, and he spoke, telling the family that Jerry had sacrificed much of his family life to the union. "I want to tell you that I'm sorry for that," the president said, before going on to say that their sacrifice had helped untold numbers of people, but that the apology was needed. I thought that was spot on, and not something a lot of uinion folks would have said. 

Alright, it's back to work/hospital. We here at Casa Kaffyr sure do know how to have fun. 

Dept. of Illness

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 04:27 pm
kaffyr: Animated rain falls on the bathhouse from Spirited Away (Bath house in the rain)
Keeping It Brief

Bob's in hospital with pneumonia, and possibly influenza as well.

I took him in to the emergency room at midnight Tuesday-Wednesday; he'd developed what we both hoped wasn't flu last Friday; fever, aches, etc. He went to ground and stayed in bed all Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. He was incredibly congested, with a cough that brought up ugly stuff, and had difficulty breathing - not good for someone with emphysema - but Tuesday night, he got up and thought he was doing better. Until I noticed his breathing was even more shallow, he was unsteady on his feet, and he wasn't making any sense anymore. Not enough oxygen. 

They admitted him quickly, which meant that they were still waiting for the bureaucratic crap to be completed at 3 a.m. Bob sent me home while I could still drive, and he finally got a room at 4 a.m. I got into bed at 4:30 a.m., slept like shit until 10 a.m. and have largely been at the hospital since noon. I'm back now. Took today off, but probably can't do that tomorrow. Andy and Em will keep me a little company tonight, and I'll fall into bed at 9 or so. 

Wish him luck, please. He hates hospitals - they haven't treated him well, even though they've saved his life a couple of times. Hospital psychosis is not a good thing. He doesn't sleep at hospitals, which is a sure route to hospital psychosis. 

I'm exhausted. I'm calling it a day. Guess I got wordy after all. 
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.

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