Monday, May 4, 2009

What I've been up too

As most of you know, mom has had a really hard time since the valve replacement surgery in January. She came home very imbalanced with severe left side weakness. On a walker and not looking all that great. They had sent her for a week of rehab after the surgery but it wasn't enough to help her take care of herself. I spent every night up so I could help her get up to go to the rest room. She couldn't get out of bed by herself and when she walked, even with the walker she would start falling towards the left side.

First the two sides of her heart managed to become out of rhythm (arrhythmia) and had to go back in the hospital about a week after she came home. She was there for a week or so before they got it corrected. Meds didn't work they ended up having to shock her to get it back in rhythm. They put her on some new meds and sent her home. This was in February just a few days after the surgery.
Not to go on about everything, we had to take her back to the ER for the 4th time on Easter Sunday. She was so weak that morning when she got up, after having been doing much better, that I had to go help her get dressed and walk to the kitchen. She was shaking so badly I had to poor her coffee and fix her breakfast for her. Then when trying to help her walk into the living room so she could get into her chair, she fell. I just couldn't get around the walker to get in front of her in time and I couldn't hold her up with the hold I had on her from the wrong side. She fell, hit the couch , all tangled up in her walker and my crutch. I don't know what happened but when we went to help her up she couldn't move her legs or help us get her up at all. I called the kids (niece and her b/f) and they ran over and helped us get her up. She couldn't walk at all at that point or sit up without falling over. I had to sit right behind her and hold her up. She couldn't stop shaking and was freezing to death. She had been shaking and getting more unbalanced for the last week or so but nothing like this.

When they first got her into an exam room they immediately told us she had some kind of infection and the first thought was kidney. She had them before and had kidney stones removed. But even with the worst kidney infection she had never been this weak and sick and never this fast.
After 4 days umpteen test and dozens and dozens of blood test they found she had a staph infection in her blood. The major concern was that the bacteria would grow on her new heart valve and it would have to be replaced. Bless her heart she was so so sick and getting weaker all the time. They finally put in a PIC line (which is a catheter that goes from just above the elbow to just over the heart) to deliver antibiotic straight into the blood line. She has to have hour long antibiotic treatments everyday and have blood work done several times a day to monitor bacteria levels. She has to be weighed several times a day to make sure she's not gaining any fluid. Since she needed all this for the next 6 weeks she was moved to a speciality long term hospital here in Mesquite where they could care for her and monitor her progress.

She's been there for almost 3 weeks now and she's doing wonderfully. While I know you can't kill a staph infection, her blood is now bacterial free. She still has 3 weeks to go, but she's getting so much stronger. She is still on the walker but she gets an hour a day of physical therapy and an hour a day of occupational therapy.

She's just bored and being a hospital instead of a rehab center we can't check her out on Sunday to take her to church or to dinner. Everyone came to see her the first few times she was in the hospital so now no one going to see her and Cindy and I can't go everyday (most but not all). They won't let her get up and walk down the halls so she has to sit in her chair most of the day and she's bored out of her mind.

I've been trying to cook cheap and easy so not doing so well on low carb at ALL. But I'm getting back with it. No more pasta and rice (both cheap meal stretchers) but I'm keeping the beans. I just believe they have to much nutrition and fiber to stop eating and they are cheap! So the beans stay and I have a box of brown rice to use very sparingly in small amounts. Not sure I'll replace it when it's gone, but for now I'll use 1/4 -1/3 cup in a few things to help stretch them a bit farther.

Another thing I've learned over the last month is that things like rice and pasta fill me up while I'm eating much much faster than protein. I know the reason, they break down and digest much much faster than do the proteins. But in an hours I'm starving if I eat the carbs and I'm full if I eat protein. I'm hoping adding beans will help make me full faster and keep me that way. Not that I would ever want to eat beans every single day, but I have stocked up on 4-5 bags of dried beans.

Well that's what's going on with me. I'm trying to get new recipes together so I can start posting them on my other blog and get back to blogging about my day to day here.

Have a wonderful day, take care and thank you for reading!


Oct said...

Vikki I'm sending good thoughts and prayers for your mom, you, and your family. I don't know if you've read about my dad's situation but he is in hospital with a blood infection too. His became so bad that mom and I were nearly certain we were going to lose him. I think he is on the mend now, but we still aren't sure if the delirium he suffered is gone. The nurse yesterday seemed to think it might be. The nurse this morning says he is still not answering questions appropriately.

I got off topic. :) That's so easy to do when a loved one is on your mind.

I admire how strong you are Vikki. Your mom is lucky to have such a caring daughter to help watch over her. Best wishes for her quick recovery.


Vikki said...

Hey Girl,
I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad. Bless his heart! I will add you all to my prayers. Having a sick parent can be such a scary thing. I don't care how old you are you're never ready to loose parent.

Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers and kind words. We can never have too much of any of them.

I'm trying to get caught up on reading my favorite blogs, yours being among the top, but there never seems to be enough time in the day to keep up, but I'm working on it.

Take care, God bless and great big hugs,

Patty said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers every day, Vikki. I just collapsed on the couch long enough to check email and take a quick look at your blog. We're in the new house, but not all the way out of the old house. Gotta go in the morning for one last load and to clean...then we'll be finished there. But such a mess here!! Oh well, just know that I am thinking about you and your Mom and Cindy and saying prayers for your strength.

Great big hugs.

Vikki said...

Congrats girl! I so happy your in your new house, how cool is that. It will take you some time to find a new home for everything that you can live with but just think how much fun most of it will be... So many possibilities! I bet you have a great new kitchen too. I have to admit I'm just the slightest bit jealous...giggle but mostly I'm just happy for you.
Got you both in my thoughts and prayers. And thank you for being such a great friend. Hugs,