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Remember Me?
2008-09-30, 10:01 p.m.

Day 1500

Real quick, here’s a brief reminder why I even started this thing, 1500 days ago:

My Stats:
Your Quit Date is: 8/22/2004 7:00:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 1499 days, 14 hours, 34 minutes and 38 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 29992
Lifetime Saved: 7 months, 19 days, 2 hours
Money Saved: $6,120.00

This is from an on-line smoking cessation resource. It isn’t the be all, end all of quitting sites, but it helped me. If you’re interested, feel free to check it out.

I also have really, really good reasons for being scarce lately. First, bowling kinda sucked last Thursday. Think I started with 164 (struck out in the 10th to keep it from sucking completely), had a whopping 156 in the middle (4 straight open frames – so uncharacteristic) and barely managed to salvage the night with a 222 to finish. Don’t know where my head was those first two games, but I can say that everything I looked at had a brownish tinge to it. (Rectal octalitis – a shitty outlook on things)

Friday is when things really started to come unglued. Well, come to think of it, maybe it was Wednesday. See, Wednesday, The Bob had a little period of light headedness at the CMSS (Club Med for the Septuagenarian Set). At the time it was attributed to low blood pressure. Mostly because they measured it and found it to be low. This has happened to The Bob before, so we were not hugely alarmed. We were also somewhat comforted by the fact that CMSS has nurses on duty 24/7, so this kind of thing can be monitored pretty closely.

Friday. I got a call from Cindy a little after 10am. “They’re taking Dad to the ER at Park Ridge. Low blood pressure again, passed out, something – they are concerned enough to send him.” My response? “Meet you there”

Of course when we got to the hospital and the staff got The Bob all checked in and into a treatment room and we could see him, his blood pressure was fine. Made me a little envious even. Then the tech’s came in and cranked up the tests. Eleventy thousand tubes of blood. Bucket o’pee (which to my long ago trained eye looked too dark/amber), EKG, all sorts of things. We hang with him, the PA comes in and starts asking The Bob questions. Instinctively, we chime in when The Bob has trouble answering. The young, cute PA (really – she could be my kid!) very politely asked us to not help. Her reason was 1000% valid too. It was all art of her assessment. The fact that The Bob didn’t know his home address, or what year it is, or who is filling the post of President? Important for her to know. (Please note I didn’t say ‘who IS President’. Currently, the post is merely being occupied. It’s only BEEN occupied for the last 6 years or so.)

Anyhow. After the young, cute PA did her assessment and told us her plan of action, I talked to her off to the side, out of The Bob’s earshot. I (we – Cindy & Wayne too) filled her in on last February’s visit to this same institute (to the room across the aisle from our current locale no less). Informed her of CAT scan results, recent history (that The Bob certainly couldn’t fill in) all sorts of good stuff. It wasn’t long after that when The Bob was wheeled off for a CAT san.

We (the triumvirate advocating for The Bob) headed off for lunch. Hospital food. Yum. When we got back from lunch, we were able to get an update from the PA. No results on the CAT san, but the blood tests were telling. Electrolytes? Screwy. Hematocrit? Really low. Iron? Really low. Also – blood I the stool and occult blood in the rectum. Conclusion – dehydration and some sort of internal bleeding into the intestines. Disposition? Welcome to Unity Hospital where you will be enjoying our hospitality for another 4 days.

Plan at the time was to do an upper GI scope, colonoscopy and if necessary an endoscopy. (Doesn’t the colonoscopy go in one ‘end’?) Of course, all this scope work doesn’t happen on weekends, so The Bob’s GP got things set up for Monday & Tuesday.

Saturday, The Bob got a visit from the on call doctor for his GP’s practice. This guy, Dr. Z, was apparently focusing on where The Bob was – the Cardiac Care Unit. He focused on The Bob’s heart. Listened intently – tapped, thumped, breathe in, breathe out, how’s your getting around doing – and mentioned the words “let you go home today”. Cindy and I about shit our pants upon hearing those words. (Zach and Jill were there with us too, but we don’t do their laundry, so I can’t attest to the state of their underthings). Zach and I DID manage to surround the doctor in the hall (poor little guy. Dr. Z is a rather diminutive eastern European guy. Zach & I towered over him). I then made my case. Dr. Z, much to his credit, backpedaled like a mofo. He actually pulled up The Bob’s charts and took a peek at the tests and results. He then asked Cindy and I – so what do you want to do, take him home and come back and do the scope’s as outpatient procedures? Our response? (Trick question) The Bob was to stay put. His place (CMSS) wouldn’t take him back on a weekend and frankly, he wasn’t in any condition for us to have him. We have projects that are way behind and we don’t need to be baby sitting The Bob or fretting abut him having a blood pressure drop relapse while in our care. Sounds harsh, but the best place for him to be was the hospital.

So. Monday. Upper GI scope thingy. Goes peachy. No problems. Trouble must be further south. Hospital puts The Bob on a clear liquid diet. The Bob isn’t happy. I’m sure he was less happy after they gave him the flushing cocktail. You know, the one that empties you out for the colonoscopy. I can only imaging him shuffling to the bathroom every 15 minutes for – well, you know.

Cindy took today (Tuesday) off, originally so whe could accompany The Bob to the dermatologist for some more lesion freezing or torching or cutting. Instead, she cancelled that and figured she’d go to the hospital and keep her dad company before and after the colonoscopy. But she didn’t figure her day would start at 6:45. That’s when the hospital called and said “Your Dad is all dressed in street clothes and says he’s going home today.” At least today he recognized that he was in a hospital. Saturday he thought he was in an apartment he was supposed to be staying in. He was planning furniture arrangements and scheming on ways to get the traction bar removed from his bed.

Anyhow. Cindy trotted off to the hospital a little earlier than planned and got The Bob all talked back in into staying. I would imagine he’s done with testing by now, it’s just a matter of hearing the results. My phone hasn’t been getting all happy in my pants, so I’m assuming there’s no real news. Yet.

Personally, I’m hoping they found 2 or 3 polyps that were leaking and were able to cauterize them and get things back under control. Then we can get him back to CMSS and try to get him established in a routine again. I really don’t want to consider any of the other options right now.

In non Bob news – got the flooring ripped out of the room formerly known as the family room. Next up is taking the facing off the fireplace in preparation for totally revamping it’s looks. The pond is how it will be for the winter. Stream/falls aren’t done, but up here in the tundra days of over 65 degrees are a rare commodity from here on out. It’s more important that I get the frame for the netting built so I can pretend to keep leaves out of the dang this fall. Fall, which actually started last week. Our trees are already starting to turn.

Oh – and the little feeder fish I got to sort of seed the pond? I saw 11 of them the other day. They’re about twice the size they were when we got them. They’re getting braver and venturing out to the center of the pond too. They’re definitely bigger than the other fish can eat right now, but the size difference is still enormous. But 11 out of 24!! Not bad when I thought they were all gone 3 days after we got them.

Speaking of growth, in a major growth opportunity on my part, I acquiesced to having a contractor come in and build our back porch/deck/screen room. It kills me to have to give in, but there’s no way I’m going to get it in this year. However, a contractor really still has until November to work. I only have weekends for outdoor work, and I really need to finish inside stuff. There are parts of the kitchen still undone that are dependant on other things getting finished (like the room formerly known as the family room) and Cindy is kinda sorta planning on doing the big family Christmas at our place this year. She really wants to show off the new downstairs. Can’t say as I blame her.

So we’re having a contractor come over tomorrow to review just what we want. Things like running the electric, painting inside & out and some of the less critical finishing details we’ll leave for us to do in the spring. I think we need him to just get the structure up and enclosed. Cuz we got patio furniture with no place to go this winter. Gaaaahhh. Winter. Does it have to be coming already?

Evening now. Colonoscopy came back clean. After that procedure was done, the docs had him swallow a capsule that contained a camera. It was to take and transmit pictures of his small intestines for 8 hours. He has a little battery pack/hard drive strapped to him that he was incessantly complaining about. Cindy & the staff managed to keep it on him for 6 hours. The last 2 were up to the staff alone. From all reports, The Bob was acting like a cranky 5 year old all day. Cindy ripped into him at one point, telling him that no, he did not have a choice in what he was doing and that she was tired with putting up with his shit and the way he was treating everybody all day long.

Her parting words to the nurse? “If he gives you any trouble, knock his ass out”. Of course, she was drunk herself for those last bits. Now, after my meeting? She’s just drunker. Sweet. She’ll go upstairs and pass out, I’ll finish this and get 30 or so minutes of peace. That will have to do.

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