Hubby Now Has a Cane

Yesterday we had to go out to the VA clinic as hubby had an appointment with the prosthetic department.  They issued him a cane due to the weakness and pain he has in his right leg (old wound from Vietnam).

They showed him how to use it and watched him walk with it for a bit before letting us go on our way.

I did ask about getting a handicapped parking permit for him as it will make it easier for him to get to and from buildings, such as the VA or grocery store or even a restaurant.  Was told that the DMV has the necessary forms that he will fill out part of and then his doctor will take care of the rest.

He’s learning that he now has to do things one handed, which in some cases will require more than one trip to accomplish a task.  This will make his independence a little more challenging but I am all about him keeping as much independence as possible.

So here’s to learning new ways of moving and maintaining independence.

canes-and-crutches

 

Lots of Things Going On

I haven’t posted in awhile.  Lots of things going on in my life.

Developed a sudden intolerance to wheat products.  Have no idea where that came from.  I don’t eat a lot of wheat products to begin with.  But after eating a sandwich one day,  I developed some severe joint pain. Weird! huh!

Initially I thought that was just a one time thing.  I didn’t eat wheat again for a few weeks. Let me say I have pain in my knees routinely due to an injury that happened last year.  So I have good days and bad days.  That is the reason I felt this was just a one time thing.  Any way, I ate  wheat again and got up the next day with severe joint pain.  What The “F”????

So I decided I better try gluten/wheat free, because I really do like being pain free, at least as pain free as possible at my age.

Learning to cook with gluten/wheat free products is a whole ‘nuther story.  I do have to say that the products are way better than they used to be.  Thank goodness for that.

Another thing that happened …..I developed a rash on my back .  Sometimes it itched and sometimes it didn’t.  Of course I checked everything on the internet that it could possibly be and started eliminating anything that could be causing it.

First thing to go was my statin med.  I’ve had problems with it before.  But the rash didn’t go away.  Then I thought maybe it was caused by bed bugs.  I washed everything and cleaned the mattress and box springs, checked and sprayed for bugs, etc.  Still did not go away.  (No bugs, BTW)

Then I thought it might possibly be scabies (mites), but it didn’t act like scabies. No constant, 24/7/365 itching, no head to toe rash.  I used every cream, solvent, soap, etc. available, including homemade ones.

Got on the internet again looking for things that could cause a rash.  Read that in most cases it is caused by laundry detergent and/or dryer sheets, especially if the rash is concentrated in areas where your clothing comes in constant contact with your skin.  You know…at your waist, bra, etc.

So here we go again, washing everything (without laundry detergent or dryer sheets).  I am using two aluminum  foil balls in the dryer and they work pretty well  to keep the static down.  I will be using some Castile soap in the laundry in the future since it is very gentle.

Oh, the concoction I am using for the rash is a mixture of Neem oil, Tea Tree oil, Olive oil and Vicks Vapor Rub.  Yes you read that right, Vicks Vapor Rub.  It seems to be working.  The rash is going away….slowly.  The only drawback is that you stink for a few hours.

So I am hoping this all works to get rid of the rash.  Will let you know if I am successful.

jon 20

 

The Cost of Medicine in America

First I am only relating what is/has happened to me.

I have high cholesterol.  I have tried diet to control it, but really didn’t put a lot of effort into it.  I exercise but knee problems prevent me from becoming the world’s next champion body builder, LOL!

Anyway, my doc has had me on several Statins to control my cholesterol and I relied heavily on them.  It required very little effort on my part, other than to swallow a pill.

But each time I am on a Statin, I end up with severe muscle pain.  So this recent visit resulted in a discussion about which would be better for me.  He decided to use Livalo, not as potent as the others, but far less side effects.

So I get to the pharmacy to pick up my meds.  First , they tell me they don’t carry it, but they  do check its cost for me.

$210.00 every friggin’ month as my co-pay!!!!!!!!

That is totally ABSURD!

Of course, I tell the pharmacist I cannot afford that…who can?.  Then I call my doc’s office and tell them the same thing.  I don’t know what he will order, but I know one thing……I’m sure going to change my ways….I plan to put forth more effort into losing weight and eating right.

I just might get lucky and not have to be on a Statin to lower my cholesterol.  I sure hope so.

Livalo

Walking Thru The Pain

About 9 months ago, I had a fall while I was out walking.  I managed to screw up the tendons and ligaments in both knees.  For several months I could barely get around.  I had to use a brace for awhile on my left knee for any extended walking/standing that I had to do.

I also had exercises I had to do to maintain some mobility in both knees.

Walking was painful, standing was painful.  But I kept at it.  I persevered.  I ploughed thru all the pain.  Applied hot and cold compresses as necessary.

I would love to say that everything is back to the way it was, but that is not the case.  Yes, I can walk for longer periods of time and for longer distances.  But the pain is still there ….at least in one knee and sometimes in both.  It is not as severe.  I have found the more I walk, the less  pain I have  during the day.

Cold affects the knee joints.  Sometimes you will see me in sweatpants in the middle of the summer.  They provide warmth to my knees while the AC is cooling the house.

Rain affects the knee joints.  Both knees tend to ache continuously while there is rain in our area.

Sitting for too long at a time causes the knee joints to get stiff and requires stretching  before getting up.

I have found that I can’t totally straighten my left knee or bend it completely causing me to walk with a slight limp.

But don’t feel sorry for me.  I am 65 years old and I am NOT in a wheel chair.  I am moving under my own steam, albeit, slowly.  It takes me longer to walk around the block, but I make it all the way around the block.  It takes me longer to do more now than it used to, but I still get it done.  I find I have to rest sometimes in between, but that’s ok.

If I move too slowly for you, then go around.  I promise I won’t be offended.  I may envy your mobility and your youth, your speed and your endurance.

So if you see me out walking, as you zip past me, give me a thumbs up.  Make an old lady feel good about her efforts to keep moving regardless of the pain.

senior walking

WOW! What A Weekend…Not Good!

Wednesday was a normal day for us as a retired couple.  Ran our errands, did our grocery shopping, etc.  Thursday was a different story.

Hubby is a diabetic.  He woke up Thursday not feeling good. This is normal for him. He has good days and not so good days.  This day he was feeling sick.  Well that was ok because he had an appointment out at the VA clinic with his diabetic doctor.  As the morning progressed, he felt worse. He had nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  He said he was not going to his appointment because he felt bad.  I, being a retired nurse, told him he needed to go.  Him, being a man and stubbornness being ingrained in his DNA, refused.  He canceled his appointment.

I was angry to say the least and let him know.  Not a good idea.  That just increased his stubbornness.

By the end of the day I was telling him he needed to go to the hospital.  He flat out refused.

He wasn’t eating but was drinking water.  I offered all kinds of stomach soothing foods, but he would have none of it.

Friday arrives and there is no improvement.  I keep insisting that he needs to go to the hospital to no avail.  By Friday evening I’m desperate!  I know something is terribly wrong. But he is more and more adamant about not going.

I ended up calling my oldest who is a 911 dispatcher/supervisor at work.  He left work and came immediately to the house.  Hubby gave him no argument about getting in his car and going to the ER.

He was taken back almost immediately, thanks to paramedics my son knows.

They did lab work and started IV’s (2).  Doc came in and assessed him  Blood sugar, according to a finger stick was high, same as what we got at home.

Blood sugar per lab values was 722. Doc told him he was in diabetic ketoacidosis, a life threatening condition, that causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and confusion/personality changes.  They started an insulin drip and gave him 3 liters of IV normal saline to help flush some of that sugar  from his system.

Finally he was transferred to ICU on the insulin drip.  He remained in ICU all of Saturday and most of Sunday.  By evening, he had been transferred to a floor.

He doesn’t remember much of what happened Friday.  He knows he went to the hospital, but that’s about it.  He should be discharged today (Monday) or tomorrow.

The purpose of this post is for all of you out there dealing with a loved one who is a diabetic.  Call for help if you know something is not right, regardless of what the diabetic is telling you.  Call a family member or the police or paramedics.  Better safe than sorry.

ETA:  He came home yesterday evening. Still not 100%. Working on that.

VP 6

Slowly Getting Back to Normal…

….well, as normal as I get anyway.

As you may recall I took a tumble about a month and a half ago. I screwed up the tendons in my left knee and it still gives me problems. But it is getting better slowly.

It also put a halt to my 2-3 mile daily walk. At first, I continued to try walking anyway, but the pain kicked my butt. I finally admitted defeat and rested for several days.

When I did start walking again, I began with half a mile every other day….sometimes only every third day. When I was able, I did the half mile every day.

Today I did a full mile. My knee is hurting and I will rest it on a heating pad and maybe use some Icy Hot on it later.

We will see if I can go a full mile tomorrow. If not, maybe just half a mile.

I am hoping to be back to my norm by Spring. Wish me luck.

PT 9

Surviving a Tumble

First, a little background.  I walk my dog, Bella, every morning, early.  She is not a friendly dog so I try to get going just as the light is peaking on the horizon.  We usually walk 2-3 miles, depending on what is going on during the week that needs to be taken care of.

Last weekend, Sunday to be exact, We were working on a 4 mile walk.  I was pumped about being able to do that especially since I am not an athletic person nor am I a spring chicken.

Right at the 3 mile mark, Bella and I ran into a neighbor who also walks for her health.  We stopped and chatted for a bit.  (Bella likes her)

Anyway when we parted ways, I continued on down the road and then progressed to the sidewalk to get out of the way of traffic.  I had not gone very far when it happened.  As I said I was pumped about reaching 4 miles. So I was checking my phone to see how far I had gone (got an app for that) when I tripped on some uneven pavement.  Both hands were full. One held my phone and the other held the leash and doggy treats.

I could not react fast enough to catch myself and did a full face plant on the concrete.  I kissed the sidewalk rather aggressively.  Bella looked at me like I had lost my mind. She could not understand why I was face down on the walkway.

I got up as quickly as these old bones would allow and gingerly tested my ability to move.  I was still about a mile from my house.  My mouth was hurting, my knees were hurting, my arms and back were hurting.

I could have chickened out and called my hubby to come get me.  But I knew if I did not move I would be in more pain later than I was right then.  So I finished the walk.

Of course I set the phone camera on “selfie” mode so I could see how much I was bleeding and how badly my face was injured.  There wasn’t as much blood as I thought there would be probably due to the instant swelling of the lip.  My teeth did make a nice little gash on the inside of my mouth, though.  So I held a Kleenex to my face and continued on.

Once I got home, I started drinking ice water and applying ice to my face.  I should have just dumped ice in the bath tub and soaked for a few hours, LOL!

I’m still sore 4 days later, but it is getting better.  I’m still walking each morning, just not as fast or a far…just yet.  But I’ll get back up there soon.

Me

No, not going to show a pic of my bloody face.  You really don’t want to see that.  Have a great day.