Archive for August, 2014

Caretaking

August 14, 2014

Caretaking

            We single people have to help each other, especially when one of us is sick or has surgery. A friend of mine had a gastric bypass last week. That’s an elective surgery, but she felt it was necessary and I supported her. She has diabetes, high blood pressure and bad sleep apnea. She did a sleep study earlier this year and they stopped it because she stopped breathing fifty-six times in one hour! She’s claustrophobic and couldn’t get used to the mask of the breathing machine. I checked on her every morning from February until I moved up to Munds Park in May. We usually read the paper together and have tea and coffee. If she didn’t call me, I was worried she had expired from SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.) Many people she knew had gotten rid of all three conditions by having the bypass. So she did it for health, not her looks.

Her son, among others, couldn’t figure out why she was taking such drastic means. Why couldn’t she just lose weight on her own?

She’d tried:  twenty years of seeing a fat doctor and getting weekly B12 shots, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. You name it, she, tried it. The weight always came back. She calls her weight “super glue fat” because it refuses to let go.

The month leading up to her surgery she gained fourteen pounds by simply not monitoring what she ate. She had to go on a liquid diet the week before surgery and lost five pounds.

I took her to the hospital early and the surgery went well. All of this doctor’s patients go to ICU after recovery. I thought the care would be outstanding but I was wrong. I was the one who disconnected her many attachments and accompanied her on her mandatory hourly walks. I’m sure if you’ve had a loved one seriously ill in the hospital in the last ten years, you know that a friend or family member needs to be there to make sure care is delivered.

My friend looked healthy right after her surgery, but then she has rosacea. She’s an assertive person, but refused to make a fuss. She had major water retention but they sent her home at 8:30 pm on Sunday night, of which she was delighted. She had to have oxygen. It was quite challenging for me to set up the condenser and all the paraphernalia as I am mechanically deficient. I gave her pain med and she slept all night first time in years.

She was still on a liquid diet so I stayed on one too, in solidarity, although I do admit to eating ice cream bars when I went across the way to my house.

The next morning we looked for medication instructions. The hospital ha d insisted that the doctor had given them to her in an appointment the week before. When she called the surgeon’s office, the nurse said she would email the instructions but never did.

We took our dogs for a walk and she pointed out to me that her belly looked nine months pregnant. I suggested she weigh herself. We were both shocked that she’d gained twenty pounds! I’d never heard of anyone gaining weight after bypass surgery. I know she stayed on her liquid diet since there was nothing else in the house. How could this be?

As a former nurse, she explained to me fancy terms for water retention. She took a diuretic, but only lost five pounds.  A friend, who had the surgery and lost and kept off two hundred pounds, came over. She was shocked at my friend’s water retention. We took pictures of her feet. Her poor little toes looked like sausages.

Toes

The good news is that she no longer has to take medications for high blood pressure or diabetes. As of this writing, a week after surgery, she still is seven pounds heavier than when she went in for the operation. It must be that superglue fat refusing to give up.

Blues and Brews at the Pinewood Country Club

August 3, 2014

           Why am I attracted to the Blues? The rhythm? The melodies? The hard luck stories? Certainly I have enough tragedy in my own life (don’t we all?) you’d think I’d go for that bubble gum or saccharine stuff. I looked forward to the Blues and Blues on Saturday at the Pinewood Country Club, especially because my favorite local band, the Monday Night Blues Band, was playing.

            I invited my son Nick and his family, figuring they would frolic by the pool and enjoy the whole pig barbeque while listening to the bands. It was an overcast day but nothing stops my granddaughters from going swimming. They arrived at the pool around eleven and the kids went in although it was a bit chilly. They finally cried “uncle!” when the rain started. I had joined them by this time and we went under the canapé on the restaurant patio to eat. It was noon and the barbeque didn’t start until one. We ordered off the menu but were sorry we did when they rolled out the whole roasted pig and delicious looking sides and desserts. Everyone who ate the barbeque raved about its taste. My son Nick and his wife Shelley enjoyed the brews, especially the blueberry one. I’m on antibiotics for bronchitis so unhappily I abstained.

 

IMG_1612

            The music started with Dave Duncan (guitar and vocal) and Sam Mac (harmonica and vocal) giving us some down home blues.

Dave Duncan and Sammy Mac

Dave Duncan and Sammy Mac

As the rain stopped, more people poured in. The Monday Night Blues Band did a marathon session that had people, including yours truly, up and dancing.

Monday Night Blues Band

Monday Night Blues Band

            By this time my grandkids were back in the pool. They finally decided they were freezing and I had to leave. But I heard it on good authority that Tommy Dukes was awesome.

Tommy Dukes

Tommy Dukes

            You can catch The Monday Night Blues Band at Majerle’s Bar, on Route 66 in downtown Flagstaff on Monday, August 18 7-10 p.m.        

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