Hospital and The Man

Today- Wednesday –  I spent most of my day in Hospital – blood tests / sugar tests and finally the Cardioversion. The cardioversion is to hit the heart with an electrical pulse with  paddles similar to those used in the event of a heart stoppage. However, the idea with these is that I get put sleep for ten minutes whilst they  hit me with the electrical shock and, hopefully, shock the heart back into a normal rhythm;  am pleased to say that whilst  I don’t remember a thing, the duty Sister did tell me that the  cardioversion worked and the heart is  back to normal. I guess this is my cue to behave for a while.

I have to say though, I think the idea of being asleep for ten minutes was not quite true. At the start of the procedure there was the Cardiologist, a Doctor, an  Anesthetist, an assortment of nurses and three students and I was flat on the bed.  There was a “Crash Cart” and other equipment and I had the paddles attached to me and an oxygen mask. When I woke up, everyone was gone, no indication that they had ever been there,  the “crash cart” was gone, the paddles had been removed, the oxygen mask had been removed and I was propped up – all done  in ten minutes!! – must be magic at work here  :o)   Just before 5:45 my son arrived and I was allowed to get dressed and go home.  I spent most of the evening propped up in bed reading. I think I removed the big pillow and put the light out around 11pm – early for me!!

Thursday: Still a bit tired but I am told that it may take a day or so for the drugs to be clear out of my system and I will start to feel the benefit of the procedure.  I wont be

I will miss that little face
I will miss that little face

taking Chienne out walking for a couple of days. My chest still hurts from where the electric Paddles were attached, but that will dissipate in a day or so.

The Man has not been so good and although I still sit down a feed him twice a day and give him his medication, he is not a happy dog.  I wish I could just take him in my arms and cuddle and comfort him, but I can’t. Not that I do not want to but he wont let us. Due to blindness and dementia he has no idea what is happening. He  feels that he is being restricted in some sort of corner so he screams until he is put down  and released.

Sunday and a quiet few days. I am slowly withdrawing from things that I believe take up unnecessary time. Taking up the bulk of my time is Presbytery and the General Assembly and there is nothing I can do about that. West Terrace Trust is only three times a year so that’s ok, but the organization that takes up much of the remainder of my time is the RFDS and I am thinking that I need to do something there. Also a number of organisations that I follow on line are time consuming so I think a some of them will have to go.

Monday: The Man passed away quietly this afternoon. I think he just lay down on his bed and went to sleep. I wrapped him in a blanked and took him to the vet who confirmed that he had gone quietly and without trauma. I brought him back home and he was wrapped in what used to be his favourite  blanket before the illness took him away from us. I laid him to rest at the side of the garden that I spend most of my time pottering around. It’s been less than a day and I miss him already and I think I will have to keep a close eye on Chienne since she was a bit upset. I telephoned the boys and both were quite upset – John more so. It was a great sadness to all of us that the illness took the Man away from us to the point that he  knew nothing and no one.  I hand fed him and that’s about as close as I got to holding him. I just hope he somehow knew how loved he was and how he will be missed.

Advertisements

Traveling and Hospitals

The Lochiel Hotel
The Lochiel Hotel

On Wednesday morning I pick up son John and head off to Adelaide.  After my meeting on Wednesday, we’ll head over to the Fringe Festival, then back to the hotel for rest. For twenty-four hours before the tests at St. Andrew’s I am not allowed anything containing caffeine – which is a bit of a low blow in my view. However, at least we can have coffee on Friday morning before we set off back home. John will be with me at St. Andrew’s although I have warned him to bring books and his iPad. He is needed there as a next of kin in case of any problems that might arise – although this is fairly rare.

On the way down to Adelaide I took a number of photographs of the  the Lochiel Hotel – or rather, what’s left of it after the fire. Lochiel is a small township in the mid north of the State. It has been the watering hole for generations of people from the  bullock drivers carting wool to the  southern ports to generations of travelers from horse drawn coaches to the modern coaches. However, the development of Port Wakefield some 33 klms away really was the end of the pub expect for the locals and the occasional traveler. The old Hotel was 150 years old and it had only recently celebrated its 150th birthday.

The first round of tests at the hospital lasted from 9:15 – 11:45 which included drugs to introduce heart stress and monitor the results – antidote – rest then a scan that was supposed to take 10 minutes (that’s what they told me) and took a great deal longer – and lying on my back with my arms above my head was not fun after a while but I couldn’t move so I just had to put up with the discomfort. After that I was set free until 2:45 and then undergo another injection and a further scan and finally at 4:15 I was finished. Results – I have no idea, and wont know until the reports are sent to my Cardiologist.

At the moment John and I are back in the hotel and in a little while we will be heading into town. A few things from the supermarket then off to the Fringe Festival – we have

Fringe Entry
Fringe Entry

been doing a lot of walking, leaving the car at the hotel and walking everywhere. – Good exercise. The Fringe was good but I was a bit taken aback with the prices. I mean a glass of wine and a bottle of Beer for John cost $16;50 – which is about $18US We did go for a ride on the Ferris Wheel, which reasonable at $8. We had a Turkish meal at the Fringe and it was about 10pm when we got back to the Hotel.  John suggested we have something to eat that we don’t generally get at home, so we settled on Turkish a kind of

The entry into the Bazaar Area
The entry into the Bazaar Area

flat bread and filling cooked  on a sort of barbecue plate. It was quite nice, which is more than I can say for the drinks at another bar – which I have already mentioned. Al in all it was a good night and I’m glad we took the time to go.

The drive home on Friday was quiet and uneventful and after I dropped John off at his house I came home and took herself shopping.  Things are quiet and will remain so until the 25th when I go for the Cardioversion where they charge me with a couple of     jolts of electricity, which they hope will force the heart back into a normal pattern. The final test wont be until April after there’s been some time for things to settle down.

At the end May  I head off to Naracoourt – some 795 klms from here – about 1000 miles round trip.  John has indicated that if he can get the time off he would like to come with me – which is very good. Neither of us have been over in that part of the State. I realise it’s some months away yet but it is a small area and I have already booked accommodation and if John does come with me – easy enough to adjust.

Another part of the Fringe
Another part of the Fringe

The Man is still with us. My condition ???

Out in the bush
Out in the bush

It’s been about ten days since the Man had that serious episode and two vet visits, a slight increase in medication and he is still with us – I am most thankful to say. Yet I have to confess that at times it is like being of a merry-go-round ( Carousel) with alternative highs and lows. I have been told that it is only a matter of time and not too much of that. He seems to want to stay where he is for the moment, hence his continual fighting back to where he wants to be. He is blind – but you know this – he is very unsteady, he spends most of the day sleeping. I hand feed him in the morning and I hand feed him again at night. He likes the safety of his playpen.  The continual Highs and Lows can be exhausting and quite tiring He will leave us when he is ready to go and not before – soon, but not today.

I go and see the Cardiologist next week and get the results of all this battery of tests that I have been put through. However, I also have to say that I have been twice to Adelaide

This is Izzy on the driveway
This is Izzy on the driveway

and will go back down again four days after the Cardiologist visit but at least that will be the last visit until the end of May and after that the next visit is not until mid August. I have cut down my traveling quite dramatically. Assuming an “all clear” from the Cardiologist, I have started work in the garden. I cleaned up the driveway and the carport and I really do think it needs to be redone. The concrete is still very good but the  driveway painting job is starting to show its age. Oh yes, it’s a special paint that will last for decades and I have tried to clean it with a high pressure  hose but it’s too old and too faded now, so I think it needs to be redone – different pattern and different colour. In the photograph with Izzy the pattern looks ok but it gets dirty very quickly so I really would like to have it changed. However, it’s not high on the agenda for the time being.

I go see the Cardiologist this afternoon. I feel  in excellent health so I do not foresee any problems – all merely a precaution.  We took the Man to the Vet again and a slight increase in his medication – half tablet in the morning half at night. He still gets trapped in corners and he still bumps into things. Actually we were thinking it would be great if we could get a miniature crash helmet for his head  :o)   He’s still with us and he still sleeps  a lot but he seems to be fine although  we had to  create a new service – MRS to replace DRS when  DRS is not available.   DRS = Daddy Rescue Service / MRS should be self-explanatory – although this service does have limitations.

I am looking forward to going down to Adelaide and staying overnight. I have a meeting in the afternoon and could be home very late at night, but I have never been to the Fringe Festival and the Garden of Unearthly Delights so I am going to take the opportunity of going there before it closes for another year.

You know, things is serious when you come to the frightening conclusion that your sick, demented, blind, arthritic dog is in better condition than you are!  The reports from the cardiologist was not all that crash hot – in fact it was pretty awful. My heart is only operating at 52% – which is not good. We managed to get at appointment at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Hospital, Heart Clinic in Adelaide for next Thursday,  so,  after the meeting, the Fringe on Wednesday ( I am determined to go there) and rest at the hotel, I spend all day Thursday at St. Andrew’s. Back to the hotel and then come home on Friday. In April, or perhaps earlier, the hospital will move me into HDU ( ICU) and perform Cardioinversion- which means banging my heart with electricity to shock it back into a correct Rhythm. That may solve the immediate problem but not, as far as I am aware, the long term problem – but what would I know??