Bill's operation

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Bill's operation

Post by jayphailey » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:46 pm

Okay. yesterday was a long day.

I got up and had to go to the hospital, visit Bill. Then I worked for 8 hours graveyard shift. Then I went to Visit Bill.

Then I had to stay up and help Laura in and out of the car for a Dr's appointment.

Then I met my niece and her Mom for lunch. It was good and I think we restored the relationship.

Then we went to meet Bill. He was pre-op. Then he went into the operation. I left to go get Bill some of his preferred juice.

two hours later he was wheeled out, minus his left leg below the knee.

They wheeled him in. I was there. i was doing "with"

Then i went home and slept for ten hours.

Today I got up and then I went to go meet Nina and Nancy. We saw Bill. He did his first physical therapy. He needs work on his shoulders and legs. He need to practice straightening his left leg so a prosthesis can work. Met a physical therapist named Dave. Gentle, but implacable. He is on a prosthetic left leg. he really set a high bar for Bill to aim at. But he also showed that an almost complete recovery is possible for Bill.

Bill is still woozy and out of it. His brain is slow and distant.

Then we did lunch. Talked some more

Then I came home to do dishes. soon I will run out the door to go meet Kat and Tom for dinner.

Tomorrow I will be pulled a 10 hour day, from 12noon to 10pm at work. Sunday is a normal day/

If I can't put up moves tonight I will copy them for doing at work tomorrow.

I hope all is well for you.

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Re: Bill's operation

Post by Innkeeper » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:27 pm

I was in Kentucky for the whole weekend.

Sue wanted a weekend at Breyerfest. Like Wonderfest, but it is entirely plastic ponies... Ahem, model Horses. Held at the Kentucky Horse Park outside Lexington, Ky.

The Park is a beautiful place. Horse Heaven. If you like horses worth a trip. I personally load up on the nasal steroids and decongestants. I managed to get out with a slight headache. My Scooter horse head got closely inspected by a real horse.

Sue managed to hit every point in the trip she wanted. Meeting old friends, some she has never met. She got the "horse body" she wanted for a customizing thing. AKA Horse kit bashing.

We managed to survive two trips through Ohio in three days.

Of note in Ohio is Wapakoneta Oh. The home town of Neil Armstrong. The guy wanted out of there so bad he went to the Moon. I told that one to a waitress at the local Bob Evan's and she laughed her head off. When driving south we eat at that Bob Evan's.

We stopped at the small museum they have there. It is a nice, if small place, you can do the whole thing in an hour. They have the Gemini 8 capsule on display and a good summery of the space program. I got the Neil Armstrong mission patches, Gemini 8 and Apollo 11. They have all of them, including the Shuttle patches. There is only so much money I have. They will go up beside the Gus Grissom patches. Mercury-Redstone 4 and Gemini 3.
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Re: Bill's operation

Post by jayphailey » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:41 pm

Bill Update 7-20-2019

Bill is in a place called St Josephs. It's a care facility. A nursing home.

It's a nice one. They're always clean, well-staffed and they have good equipment.

I was able to recommend the place when my Niece, Nina was setting up Bills discharge and subsequent care.

My previous experience as a Medical transporter paid off.

Bill, naturally, hates the place with the fury of a thousand white-hot suns.

If you find yourself in such a place and you have any of your brain functioning, you will hate it, too. They are not happy places and the residents frequently lack any mechanism for self-actualization.

I pointed out to Bill that he was lucky (and he is) that he has a path, that, if followed properly and well, will lead to his exit. Too many people in these places are there to stay.

Bill does not want to even hear that shit. He wants to go home NOW and begin a self-directed program of physical therapy his way on his terms.

This is not a good idea, but Bill will have none of that.

Bill has been a strong guy. An Athlete. He's been that guy for 60 years. But now he's weak. His muscles are wasted, his balance is shot. He has a lot of work ahead of him to regain enough to be functional.

He does not seem to be absorbing this. They are taking him for an hour of physical therapy per day. He describes these as "tests" which he "passes easily". Hence his rather optimistic appraisal of when he's going to get discharged and get to go home.

I have told Bill he nearly starved to death and his muscles are wasted. He described this as me trying to make him into a "victim"

Bill is also having a problem with his urinary tract. He's not peeing right or easily. They're putting catheters into him.

When I asked his nurse WHY this is going on, the very question seemed to befuddle her. She described the process of putting a catheter in, gently but well.

They use an ultrasound machine to read his bladder and measure how much urine is stacking up.

But WHY this is an issue is something that has not been explained to me. I am concerned about it. Bill destroyed his mattress, leaking on it. It was a terrible mess.

So something is not right there, and I don't know where that's going. Bill wrote it off as "Getting old" so this issue has been building up for a while.

Currently, he is a fall risk. He fell yesterday. It wasn't a bad one. He sort of failed to make the transition to his bed and slumped down next to the bed. But the facility went into a fall protocol and monitored him closely for the next several hours.

Bill fell down several times before I made contact with him at the start of this mess. He was covered in bruises and scrapes. As the infection took hold and sapped his energy, he began falling down like a really old person.

So this is an ongoing concern for the facility. Bill needs to regain his strength and his balance. If he can grok that this is a large project and needs large athlete energy to accomplish, he can do that. But he is not seeing himself and his current situation clearly.

I talked about him getting into his wheelchair and wheeling around the place. I would. Staring at the walls would drive me batshit.

Bill doesn't want to. To peoplely. Bill said this to me with a straight face. "I have nothing in common with them. They're all OLD PEOPLE!"

Bill is 73. But he doesn't see himself that way. There's good and bad to that. The bad is until he realizes how far behind the curve he is, he won't start putting in the effort to recover.

I think, if the urinary tract situation is addressed and has a good outcome, and if Bill works on recovering strength and balance, he can return to his life on his own terms.

But Bill is griping and snarling about behind held to "Other people's standards"

Talking with Nancy, his ex, a pattern emerged.

Bill has always been anti-social. He doesn't like most people. He detests being told what to do.

Bill's life has been one long struggle to build a niche for himself where he could do remunerative work on his own, without being told what to do, and without having to cope with too many other people in the process.

He doesn't have social anxiety, he has social hostility.

But some things mitigate against Bill succeeding as an independent small businessman. So his life for the last 40 years has been a long fight, with some wins and many losses, trying to build that niche for himself.

In 2006 Bill and I drove school busses for Laidlaw. After that failed to work for each of us, Bill took his Class B CDL and drove inter-city coaches. The greyhound style busses.

Then he got on at Mead School district. He does trip driving for them. He doesn't drive a route picking up kids for school or delivering them home. He drives the kids on field trips or the school team to matches at other schools.

He faces away from the kids, coaches, and chaperones, looking out the front window. He drives them to their match. They get off the bus and go do their thing and he waits on the bus. Then he drives them home.

He gets called and informed of trips, but he goes in, clocks in and checks out a bus by himself.

between this and is SSI, and subsidized housing, he's been stable for the last 12 years or so.

So for Bill, losing his mobility and his independence is a disaster. Being stuck at the mercy of medical people whose opinions don't coincide with his, among a lot of old people is just an ordeal.

I fear that he's going to trap himself with denial and unrealistic ideas of how things are. He has a lot of challenges but the toughest one, and the most dangerous is in his own mind. If he fucks around and treats himself like he isn't where he really is, physically, he'll never get to the point of capacity where he can resume his life. He won't make the DOT physical to retain his Class B CDL.

Right now I can see it going both ways. And all I can do is try to support Bill and let him know he's not alone.

I am bringing him protein-enriched blueberry juice each day.

I always ask him if I can bring him something to occupy his mind. I'd be going nuts from boredom.

mind you. If they'd let me go to work and play on a computer, I could live there. :D :D Well, no. I have cats. Gotta take care of the cats.

BUT, Bill is just staring at the walls and thinking he's going to get out any minute.

At home, he'd do a similar thing. I watched him when I lived with him in 1990 and 1991. I've seen him do it at his current place.

Bill has no TV and no computer. He has a radio playing NPR.

He has a chair. He makes a nest there.

He stares out these huge picture windows and thinks Bill thoughts.

I identify, I often do similar things. But I need to be facing a computer typing away, now.

Bill does this all internally. He sits and his lips move with his internal dialog. He stares out the window, thinking Bill thoughts. Sometimes he reads books from the library next door.

In the morning he'll go to Starbucks and eat a banana muffin and drink a coffee and then he'll go to the park and exercise.

But by the afternoon, if he's not working, he back in his chair, staring out the window thinking Bill thoughts.

I am not clear I understand it all. But he likes it. He's set it up several times.

I offer to bring him books. I offer to bring him his radio.

Nope. I am not sure if he thinks that bringing in something to occupy time is tacitly admitting he's going to be there for more than 20 minutes. Or if he's just fine being quiet and thinking Bill Thoughts.

I dunno. All I can do is offer, and then give him what he requests.

Which, so far has been organic, protein-enriched juice. Once per day.

He is eating better. WHich is helping.

I am concerned about how this will all go. Will describe as we go.

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Re: Bill's operation

Post by Innkeeper » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:01 pm

Not much to add here except to hope for the best. I get the "I'm not old". That particular bar has been sliding for me as well. I'm over 60, but I don't feel old. Sure, I have disabilities, but that is a long time coming thing I deal with. Old? Not there yet.
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Re: Bill's operation

Post by jayphailey » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:13 pm

Innkeeper wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:01 pm
Not much to add here except to hope for the best. I get the "I'm not old". That particular bar has been sliding for me as well. I'm over 60, but I don't feel old. Sure, I have disabilities, but that is a long time coming thing I deal with. Old? Not there yet.
We all feel that way

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Re: Bill's operation

Post by Innkeeper » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:31 pm

rouschkateer wrote:
He knows he's right and he knows that everyone else is wrong.
I believe the technical term is "As stubborn as a Missouri mule." You can't deal with that.
You can present countervaling facts, but they don't stick. A few minutes or a few days later, the believer has returned to his previous belief system.
Reality is going to hit him hard and he will not like it. I would say it has, but he is trying to skirt the issue. that missing leg is not going to get ignored.
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Re: Bill's operation

Post by jayphailey » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:54 pm

Today I visited Bill and He taught me about "Good Days and Bad Days"

I have been spoiled by my roommate. She is fundamentally sweet and good-natured. So if she's having a "Bad brain day" you have to pay attention to catch it. She'll just agree with whatever you have to say even if she had no clue what it was.

Today Bill read as "tired". He was forgetting words in sentences.

He lost track of what I was saying halfway through, but unlike Laura, he snapped at me. he barked.

We were discussing what the facility wants to see from him before they'll clear him for release. They want to make sure he's not a falling risk.

In the middle of the above statement, Bill lost track and snarled at me "Who's THEY!?"

So his Good Days and Bad Days are much spicier. Bitey.

Now the question is, where is Bill going to wind up?

When Laura starts having Bad Days, it's because something is out of balance. Something in her meds and her diabetes is off-kilter and needs to be rebalanced. Normally her good days and bad days are much more mild, less debilitating.

But I don't know what caused Bills "Bad Brain Day" today. Was he really tired? Did the rampaging infection injure his brain? Is there something else going on?

And where is the equilibrium?

I should point out that I have good days and bad days. I get to the point where I am really tired and my vocabulary starts dropping out. I have days where I hate everything and want to hide in a cave.

So I am not judging here. mental health issues frequently manifest this way, and certain disease processes manifest this way.

You have good days and you have bad days.

So. How often are Bill's bad days going to be? How bad are they going to be?

Fun </sarcasm>. We shall explore this together.

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