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Finally, an update
2005-08-11, 3:16 p.m.

Day 354 Guess that was a(nother) hiatus

Wow, guess that was a wee bit of a break. Lots been happening, some bad, some good, others great.

Lets check the projects. Window installs - done. Paint the house Ė done. Well, except for touching up the outside faces of the inside window frames and hanging 3 sets of shutters. Trivial compared to whatís been done.

Been very bad about getting to the gym. Pretty much declared a break in the weight loss plans. Itís been ok though. I last weighed in something like July 10th. Actually got to the gym yesterday (Aug. 11) and weighed the same as 7/10. So, even if Iím not actively losing, Iím at least not gaining it back. So far.

My break from the gym was semi intentional while the bulk of the house painting was under way. A full weekend of climbing up & down ladders (the eaves ar17ft up, peaks are 4 Ė 5 ft higher), scraping, sanding, painting and roasting in the sun kinda sucks the energy out of you. Did some evenings after work too. But that started July 15 or so. Really had better than half the painting done by July 28.

Thatís when C called me at work. Seems that stiffness she was feeling in her left leg for the past few days had gotten worse, to the point she could no longer walk on it. She needed me to take her to see the orthopedic Dr. sheíd been seeing about her knee.

The readers digest version goes something like this:

Orthopedic Dr.: Your problem is not the strained MCL. You need to go to the Genesee Vascular clinic. Go now, weíll call ahead and get you in. Might want to think about getting crutches too.

Us: drive, drive, drive (no more than 10 minutes, really)

Nice vascular receptionist: Have a seat, weíll be with you in a moment.

Us: Know where we might pick up a pair of crutches, fast?

Nice vascular receptionist: Southside Apothecary Ė is located at . . . .

Me: Drive, drive, drive, buy crutches, go back. Took 15 minutes, really.

Nice vascular receptionist: Your wife is in getting her ultrasound now. Did you find . . . (make small talk for few minutes . . and yes, I got the crutches)

Nice ultrasound tech: (after doing the ultrasound) Mr. R? would you come with me?

Me: follows nice ultrasound tech

Nice ultrasound tech: You need to sit right here while I call Mrs. Rís doctor (actually the orthopedic Dr, but weíre in a forgiving mood right about then)

Us: Worry, fret, worry, sweat, worry more . . .

Nice ultrasound tech: (into the phone) Yes, Dr. D? We found a couple of clots, one below, one at the left knee . . . (C already knew, but it was news to me at the time)

Nice ultrasound tech: Dr. D wants you to go home and wait for a call from your GP (Dr. B)
Us: Drive, drive, drive

Us: Get home (Took 10 minutes, really. Traffic here is sweet at 2pm on a Thursday)

Answering machine: You have 1 message.

Message: Go to RGH right now. I will call ahead for you.

Us: Drive, drive, drive (Takes 25 minutes. Had to go to a hospital on the other side of town, not the one 10 minutes away)

RGH people: Welcome. Have a nice stay. Itíll be a few days, maybe a week. Really.


Bottom line: C had 2 (or more) clots in her left leg, one below the knee, one at or above the knee, apparently more smaller ones in the vicinity. Spent several hours in the ER hooked up to a heparin IV, then got put in the ďtransitional unitĒ where you get to hang out till a room opens up for you. But at least youíre out of the ER. Spent maybe another 12 hours there, then got sent to a regular, semi-private room. With the heparin IV still going.

While in the ER (or transitional unit, I forget) C was sent for a CAT scan. There, the docs found that a piece of one of the clots had broken off and lodged in her lungs. Clots in the lungs can be fatal. Caught a major break in that it seemed to have settled in a pretty benign area, with no coughing associated with it even.

C was a guest of the hospital until the docs got the heparin and or coumadin levels where they wanted them. Missed her family reunion the last week of July. I got to bring her home that Saturday night, but she was on strict orders of bed rest. Only excuse to get off the couch was for bathroom privileges. There was the added bonus of having to self inject Lovenox at 12 hour intervals, and a trip to the lab for blood tests every morning. After 10 days of the Lovenox, C is finally down to only taking coumadin 2x daily. She went back to work this past Tuesday (8/9) after taking almost 2 weeks sick time for this.

Should also add that we canít say enough nice things about every single solitary person we met or dealt with at the hospital. Service wasnít lightning quick, but the attention was constant. We were always told what was coming next, and how long it would be. The timing was usually pretty good too. Plus, everyone was just so nice.

Things at home are starting to get back to normal. C still has the clots. The coumadin will keep her blood thin enough that it wonít push the clots around. Eventually, they will completely dissolve on their own. In the meantime, the docs want to run some more tests to try and determine what started this whole mess. We also need to find out if this is a hereditary kind of thing so our kids can be adequately warned.

Iím finally getting back to the gym. Like I mentioned earlier, at least my weight hasnít gone up. Iím hanging in there at a dainty 220 Ė have been for a month. Once we get the kiddies back to school Iíll get back to the business of losing weight again. New goal will be 190 by my birthday (18 December) Seems very realistic. Only 1.6 lbs a week. Piece of cake. Thatíll make a total of 75 pounds lost for the year. Not a bad year.

Best news to come out of this whole experience Ė C hasnít smoked since the Thursday she went into the hospital. Thatís 2 weeks straight now. I gave her a little subtle encouragement last week, but havenít mentioned it since. Sheís also had only 1 bottle of beer the past 2 weeks. This has me ecstatic. I have yet to mention anything about it though.

Couple of things I learned at her family reunion (she made me go, really) Ė her aunt will no longer answer the phone if she sees our number on her caller ID after 7pm. Seems sheís realized that C was pretty much unintelligible after 7. Also, a friend of her family sheís called on a few times during her mothers illnesses has hung up on her more than once, again because of Cís inebriation level.

Havenít brought this up with C yet. Sheís probably not aware of the aunt not answering, just putting it off to auntie having a life and all. The friend hanging up though Ė if itís only been once Ė maybe you can pass it off as a crap connection. More than once? I donít know. Think itís only happened once though.

I have mentioned to C her nasty habit of drunk dialing folks. She does it only because all the real live human beings within earshot are tired of hearing her slur her way through the same old crap every time she gets loaded. None of us will listen to her. The kids have the option of going out to a friends house. I have the option of letting it in one ear and out the other. Or I just get up and leave the room. I donít think she realizes how bad she gets. Sad really.

But no booze for her for 2 weeks now. Need to find a way to nurture this along. Iíve done a teeny bit of digging and found 3 separate references that say alcohol should be avoided during coumadin therapy. Think I need to share this news. Have one too many beers and risk another clot. Or worse. Hmmmm. I love a little leverage.

Coming up Ė moving my mom this weekend (Aug 11 & 12). Moving son #1 to school Aug 15. Moving son #2 to school Aug 20. Someplace in the there, weíre sneaking in birthday #21 for son #1 as well. Headed off to the Dinosaur Barbecue. Too bad theyíre only in Rochester, Syracuse & now Harlem I think. You folks are really missing out. Donít worry, Iíll have some for you. THEN I go back on my diet.

Kind of a scattered update, but it matches the state of my brain lately.

354 days down. 11 days to my 1 year anniversary. Maybe Iíll go gold and post a picture or two. Hmmmmm.



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