Saturday, December 30, 2006

The AT&T guy fixed the HUMMMM in two hours. I had forgotten how amazing it is to hear a call clearly.

I've been thinking about all those poor souls in the ER. Most of them like me, sent there by a doctor who didn't want to deal with their complaints. So we all were taught a lesson. The only thing our hospital ER could provide was a pat on the head and an inflated bill.

Friday, December 29, 2006

While I was posting yesterday I had a spell at the base of my skull. Large vibration. Called the internist's office and was told to go to ER. Located Ellen who got me there around 11:30 am. The place was a zoo. Drama abounded.
When I finally made it to the fast track rooms and was told I was fine, four hours had elapsed. Others had been there much longer.

Ellen spent the night and worked from my home on a deadline project. I had another left arm spell at 6 pm and again when I was ready for bed.

Today we went for a nerve test in my neck and arms by the polio rehabilitation specialist. After these were done he said my polio damaged muscles were worse but whatever was causing my spells "WAS NOT A PINCHED NERVE".
So bite the bullet when you have 2 seconds of scary vibration or numbness or whatever you are calling it that we don't have a code for.

So until I can describe it in medical jargon I'm clamming up. Ellen's internist has email. I'm thinking of switching to him next year. He has a more central location and his hospital E.R. does not humiliate themselves by saying they have "fast track ER.".

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tuesday I had a trifecta of arm spells and Wednesday a left arm and leg spell while in the garage. So I'm not recording spells anymore. I did think of calling the doctor but when I picked up the phone the loud HUMMMM reminded me that even Ellen had not been able to navigate AT&T's voice mail or web site.

This time I pressed O and got a human who switched me to another human in Repairs who scheduled me for HUMMMM removal on Saturday. Once the phone works and holiday mode is over... who know what proactive things might take place?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

This year Ellen made a quiche which was wonderful. She was surprised to see a lighted jeweler's loupe as her present. I ordered it from Owning a Breathalyzer AND diamond viewer should keep her busy at parties.

I got many delicious things to eat. An aqua cordless can opener, hand soap dispenser and personal shower brush scrubber. A complicated spoon feeder that would look good to a non-disabled person but I knew instantly wouldn't work for me. I did try it. A GE analogue speaker phone.

I had a spell in their presence at 3:30 pm and after they left at 6 pm. As I was writing this it happened at noon accompanied by a full arm tremor.

The O.T. girl called to say she would begin the process to get me the mobile arm support. First a letter must go to Medicare. Since the support isn't "coded" it will be denied. Then that denial will be sent to my insurance, First Health, who have said verbally they will pay it but only if it is ordered from Health Link who won't order it until Medicare denies it.

Everyone I've talked to thinks I should buy it up front which means I could get it quicker. But insurance would not reimburse me if I do not go their convoluted path. It would put Tiny Tim in tears but not this hardened State bureaucrat.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Yesterday was pleasant and I got several calls of good wishes. I meant to make my own calls but the phone was too heavy.
The lady across the street (whom I have not visited with since I stopped mowing my own lawn) came over to catch up. Her daughter just had a baby on December 7. She is still living at home with the child. I said I thought it was great that she blew off the whole get married have babies get a divorce and get saddled with deadbeat dad b.s. This way she can get on with her education and career. Plus there's a grand baby to play with. Don't think my neighbor had looked at it this way but she was pleased.

Friend Hank has visited on Christmas Eve for many years. Last year he brought a lady friend without letting me know. And she took my picture! I was so embarrassed to be caught with my hair uncombed. I mentioned it to someone who repeated it to Hank. So this year he called first and they came later with a box of chocolates.

I baby sat with Hank's dog Daisy when Sue and he took motorcycle trips, so I was sad to hear Daisy died at age 16. Hank buried her at his place at Lake of the Ozarks and made a headstone. She was the sweetest rat terrier that ever lived.

David called to see if I had "my new phone" yet. The family in Albuquerque he is close to just had a terrible tragedy. Their 22 year old son committed suicide last week. David said "Don't worry mom. I'll never do that to you."

Spell count: Sunday 4:30 pm 6 pm. In the comfy electric chair. Weird electrical feeling then numb hand.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Friday was such a breeze I think I need a social worker to visit me every day to attend to my business.

Currently there is a hum in my phone and I tried to tell AT&T about it. When none of their phone numbers would help me I got on the net. That didn't work either because I didn't have the last 4 numbers of Dan's Social Security # or my last phone bill. So everybody who calls me says "Did you know there is a loud hum on your phone line?" I say it is because I did not save my phone bill because I pay it electronically by computer compounded by the fact I never memorized Dan's SS# after he died 17 years ago.

If I had a social worker she would paint this pathetic picture on this half blind cripple whose only communication with the living world is her phone. Probably by letter with copies to the Public Utilities Commission. HUMMMMMM.

Spell count: Saturday 6 pm. It's becoming more like I stuck my left hand in an electrical outlet. I can move the arm while it's going on.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Yesterday the social workers had breakfast here and Penny stayed to drive me to my Occupational Therapy evaluation across town. Sue had left orders I was not to dress. Just put pants on beneath my caftan. Not how I like to be seen in public but certainly easy.

Penny filled out the long questionaire and was practically in my lap during the 2 hour session. Although she has known me 36 years this is the first time she observed my defects first hand. Fortunately there was a burn victim in the area who diverted her attention.

The therapist had me try a mobile arm support that attaches to a table or wheelchair. Under $500. I ate some pudding using it. Just the ticket for my needs. Figuring out the mechanics of where to order it and who got to pay for it fell to Penny and the therapist, Amanda.

When we got home Penny got on the phone and in a short time got people moving and shaking. She is a wonder.
Spell report: Thursday 5 pm Friday 6 pm.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm wearing my Gary collar. Today is the first day I tried to put it on myself and it is hanging on precariously by a wisp o' velcro. This pathetic loose application took me 20 minutes. Glad I did not pay for my own girl sized collar.

On the plus side I was able to answer the phone with my wrist Lifeline! This means I can sit in the electric powered chair and when the phone rings press my wrist and it answers the phone. I can yell across the room and say "Stop calling here you people! 'Dirty Jobs' is on!" or talk pleasantly if it is during a commercial break.

Eventually you have to whack the transmitter reset button to get it back in rescue mode. If you don't it beeps at you annoyingly.

Spell Count. One yesterday while eating a salad before Donna put on the collar.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Today the Lifeline lady hooked her machines up to my phone and gave me a bracelet to wear which I can press for emergency help. $40 a month.

Next Sue brought 6 frozen dinners. She leaves tomorrow to spend a week in Michigan with her 99 year old dad.

Art and Donna brought lunch. She was able to cut down Gary's cervical collar for me. I have it on now. While I was eating my arm acted weird for a second.

This journaling is easy but who would waste time reading it?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Had the tiresome weirdness in my arm at six pm even though I did neck exercises and wore th cervical collar 5 hours.
I tried to put it on today but could not. Remembered yesterday Tabitha put it on me and I had a struggle getting it off. I hesitated asking her for help but figured if she worked as a unit secretary at a hospital she could handle it. She was very sweet about it.

Today I tried to cut it down to my neck size but my box cutter didn't make a dent. I'll try the electric knife tomorrow. That's what they use on "Trading Spaces" to cut thick hunks of foam. Art and Donna are bringing lunch around the same time as the Lifeline Lady is installing my "I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up" gizmo.

You can telll I'm hurrying. Not much content here but a post is a post. Time to waggle.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Head waggling worked on Saturday but on Sunday I had two "spells" in late afternoon. Today I dug out Gary's cervical collar and am wearing it now. Since it was Gary's there is plenty waggle room.

Ellen found neck exercises on the net (high tech waggles) and I'm doing them at least 3 times a day. My experience with doctors is they do tests and refer other doctors. Eventually you fall and they send you to a hospital and on to a nursing home. Not encouraging.

Ellen came over after a three week bout with croup. She still is coughing and in pain. Gary has incurred my wrath by censoring parts of her blog. The big blabbermouth gave her blog address to people he works with and now is trying to censor who she writes about. The nerve.

Becs blog has never been the same since she went vanilla on white. But I don't know the answer. Guess free speech is a losing battle until you are so ill and boring no one reads or is interested in what you say.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Doctor called at 7 pm and I mentioned the numbness that had been going on most evenings since the 29th. He wanted to know "What I wanted to do." He mentioned a myelogram and I tuned out. I ended up waggling and rotating my neck until bed at 8 pm. Second day with no numbness and much neck activity.

Q found a spine site that suggested a cervical neck brace. I have one tucked away that was Gary's so will haul that out later on and see how it fits.

For a treat i opened a can of Delmonique Lobster Bisque. 260 calories. I could drink it with a wide straw. Lobster was fifth on the list of ingredients but not observable. Something different from my usual fare and enjoyable.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I now have a Lifeline scheduled for installation on Wednesday. No, I didn't fall but I could have. It isn't mini strokes. Something is haywire in my neck/spine that has been causing a daily "spell" of numbness in my left arm and leg. If I'm standing I could drop. It's scary.

There are said to be exercises that can be done but no one will give them to me so I can commence them until the 22nd. I have a call in to the doctor to try and get them verbally. I'm encouraged to think I might be able to do neck exercises to prevent this numbness. Yesterday I waggled my head and neck all day long and for the first time all month did not have an evening "spell". Encouraging.

I started this blog to tell stories and write my take on my life. I think it is turning into a journal. The worst part about that is only negative things are happening. Nothing bugs me worse than an intermittent blog. I go for my daily visit and they are absent. I'm abandoned !

So I'll try this daily journal approach for a month. Maybe WW will join me?

Monday, December 11, 2006

I wish the Maker could stamp the date we will die, say on the bottom of our big toe. Handy information to have yet not obvious to everyone.
"Pretty good. Haven't checked my toe lately but I have no complaints."
The last year of your toe date you could pass your money on to friends and relatives instead of pharmaceutical companies.
For me it would mean not stockpiling toilet tissue and Kleenex. I will have been all excreted out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Every now and then my left hand flops down on the keyboard and deletes a post in mid blab. Today I was trying to describe a daily "spell" I've been having. I decided it meant I was not supposed to write about spells. It's just as well. My internist said she doesn't have a clue what causes them. I've found eventually things escalate to the point even a cretin can pinpoint the cause.

I once had a low grade infection in my ethnoid sinus for 5 years. Finally my pulmonary doctor cat scanned my head and discovered it. Factive antibiotic wiped it out. But my symptoms had been "I feel like I'm having an out-of-body experience." How could anyone diagnose and cure that?

So as long as my "spells" only happen when I'm sitting and only last 2 seconds I'm okay with them. I have so little control over my body nowadays. I definitely need to increase my chocolate consumption. Couldn't hurt.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Q has been sick for a week and like all of us is ready to be better. My Easterly neighbor Archie twisted his knee in the snow at church. He showed me how he could bear weight on it but it hurt to bend it. My own complaints haven't changed but I can't talk about them until everyone has recovered.

Yesterday we had our annual Christmas breakfast here with just the five of us former social workers. They gave me a red poinsettia and a Dale Chiluly calendar. Pat made marshmallows from scratch and bagged them with a hot chocolate mix. Penny gave ornaments. Sue gave Truffles and chocolate covered pecans.

They all live on the other side of town from me so I assuaged my guilt over the miles they drive by giving them Shell gas cards. Not personal or creative but the best I could do this year. One year I threaded red ribbon in brown burlap sacks to hold presents. Apparently the sack gave off a pungent smell but I didn't notice. Every now and then someone tries to re-gift me that sack. Pat tried this year.

Over the past twenty years we have taken a group picture in front of the wood Christmas tree. Only one person in this crowd has grandchildren. Carol has seven. Otherwise we are are own grandchildren. And we spoil ourselves.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Returned Sunday from another exile to the castle due to power outage.

It began Thursday with flickering lights so I went to bed. At 11:00 pm all systems were down so I unhooked my ventilator and phoned the power company. I use a "special number" they gave me and someone picked up right away. She said 100,000 people were without power and it would be off for a day.

She suggested I go someplace else, call my doctor and stay warm. So I went back to bed and stayed there until daylight. I decided to just stay put but my friend Sue got involved and blabbed to Ellen and before I knew it had dressed me, packed me up and whisked me across the river where sensible people put their wiring in the ground.

Q was working from home and Gary was fighting snow and ice accumulation in the driveway. Q was beginning a dandy cold and graciously allowed me to force saline nose drops on her and make unhelpful suggestions. She actually wore a pair of slippers at one point in an apparent acknowledgment that she was sick. Unprecedented!

The next day she went to my house and unloaded both freezers and transferred it to her empty freezers. Then she shopped for a stranded friend and baked a cake for the friends party. While she was at the party Gary cooked maple syrup sausage links and thawed Marks homegrown sweet potatoes from my freezer. We dined at 7 pm and he did all the serving and cleaning up.

Q coughed all night. By morning she was voiceless and sick. Gary packed me and all my food up and hauled me home. Their annual tea is in six days. I don't think he can pull it off alone but whatever. He has proven once again that he ranks right up there as my favorite son-in-law.