Friday, March 15, 2013

Medical Update: Thursday/Friday

  Its 12:13 am

     Chilly night here in SE Michigan...just when we dare to think about spring,winter reaches out and says "Not so fast my friend" and then throws another round of snow at us. Tomorrow night we are expecting to get 1-2 inches of sloppy snow,just enough to annoy folks but not enough to get excited about.

  Today was a long one....had to get up early to give Lori her vankomyacin at 5 am. The team has doubled her dose and switched her over to a liquid version of this drug as she threw it in its capsule form. Vanko tastes pretty wicked but one of the RNs at the hospital came up with a novel way to get it chase it with Coke. So I pour 5 ml of vanko,add coke and then Lori drinks it. She then takes a gulp of Coke to help clear her mouth. Its been working wonders so far.

 Later we had lunch,Lori drank an entire bottle of Boost down and then I microwaved a couple of cans of chicken noodle soup and drained the broth into a cup which she then drank. Small steps forward to say the least but still overjoyed at seeing this.
  Still having a hard time getting her to drink any water,her urine levels are pretty crappy to say the least.
While I was trying to figure out this bump,the visiting nurse called to say she was coming over...15 minutes later we met Amy,she works as a visiting nurse for the U of Michigan health system. She was a nice but very firm nurse who you sensed really loves her job.
  While she talked to Lori,she had me set up the medical supplies on the table,the antibiotic had to stay cold so we keep it in the fridge and take it out 60 minutes before the injection to allow it to warm to room temp.
She watched as we assembled the four syringes that the treatment comes in...this means we put a fresh needle on each part,charge the tube to take out any air bubbles,check the dates on the medicines and open a box of alcohol wipes.

Once assembled,we then get our clock ready....and lay out the syringes. Amy said to remember the order,think of the term "S.A.S.H",which stands for saline,antibiotic,saline,heprin. We then use our wipes to clean the pic line Lori has connected to her chemo port. You wipe the line after every injection,every single time. Then we injection the first saline and put the needle in a large sharps/biohazard bottle. We wipe the line and then slowly in a 3-5 minute segment,push the antibiotic,repeat,then saline and finally the heprin which reduces the chance of a blood clot.

We have to do this on a daily basis for 14 days. Plus all the other meds we have to keep track of and the times we are supposed to take them.

Its now Friday
 7:31 pm

Rough day,Lori has been pretty quiet. She started to clear our her jewelry boxes and wanted me to take them to a local resale place. I sort of did laundry while making sure she took all of her meds. We carefully walked downstairs where I set the tray for the S.A.S.H. My legs are sore as I have to keep climbing up the stairs over and over. I got her on the couch and relaxed while we waited for Amy.

   I told what happened at my job the day before yesterday. We were in our breakroom and talking about seeing the Tigers play,a couple of folks are going to Opening Day against the Yankees. One woman asked if we were going to go and I commented that "No,we are going to wait until June when its warmer. My wife can't handle the cold weather now". The woman commented "Cold weather? You need to get a new wife!" A couple of my co-workers held their breaths,I just walked out to compose myself. After a couple a moments I went in and privately told her what was going on...she started crying that she didn't know. Well of course not,how could she,right? But I know and it hurts very much hearing something like that being said. I don't want a new wife,why can't I have the one I have now for another 40 years??
  I think I did pretty well in holding it together and not letting my emotions get away from me...

Amy came by and we quickly did the treatment,she said we were like a well oiled machine,funny how after 19 months of fighting this monster,you either are a well oiled and smooth machine or you're probably divorced.
  After Amy left,I went and did some errands at Sam's Club,bought 3 cases of soup,a couple of cartons of half and half,a flat of water and a huge 45 rolls of toilet paper. Got to the checkout door only to find the cashier had forgotten to charge me for my water. Sheesh....
  Then I bounced over to the Dollar Tree for some trash bags,this will be a duo downsizing,I'll need to cull a lot of my stuff as no more books for me! *L*.
Came back to find the psychical therapist with Lori,seems like her BP was too high for him to work with her so he called Dr. J and told her. Then in turn had me take Lori to a local Urgent Care to get a set of vitals. Her heart is a little fast so I'm thinking I'll be taking her in for another set of vitals in the morning,if its still high,I'll take her back to Ann Arbor.

   She is really touched at the cards she has been getting,Renee and,those were some beautiful cards and words and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Theresa,the wonderful lady who hired me at Farmer Jack those many years ago..just beyond sweet,so very grateful for showing up such compassion...

Speaking of compassion,I need to run another videoblog from activist and actress Elaine Hendrix.
And you know we have to run one more since I have fallen behind a bit....
I know,I know.....she loves dogs more then cats but hey,no one is perfect other then my Lori.

Sunday will see her Deb come over to visit while I have to work. I think being home and having company will be a real boost to spirits!

Thanks for reading!

You can find me on Twitter at @Jinzo_2400

Feel free to share this blog with anyone who you think it will help....


  1. You guys are fighting the fight and I think you writing about this experience may in some way help someone else out there. No doubt you'd rather not have to write about it at all but now that you've done it, someone out there can feel like they're not alone. You're a heck of a caretaker, but that's what you do when you love someone. I'd like to think there's a miracle out there but I know it's a longshot. I can't imagine how you guys are handling this facing the inevitable conclusion. I hope that you guys can enjoy some wonderful moments together while you're still together. I'll keep you guys in my thoughts. Jess

  2. Thank you Jess! I start this blog as a private therapy for a way to write out my fears about where this illness would do to us. But as you can see as of late,I am now wanting to share this with others....because I rarely have seen anyone write from a catetaker's POV of what they have to go through...if it helps just one person,then I would be happy with that...