Thursday, May 31, 2007

Small hospital incident

No, it's not anything bad. In fact, it's one of the brighter spots of Dad's hospital stay. Those of you that read this in QOR messages, please disregard the first 3 paragraphs. :-)

Dad has not slept through the night for about 2 months. Every night finds us calling the nurse for various reasons and just cat-napping. One night this past week, the dietary aide walked in with Dad's dinner tray. He sat it down, asked if we needed anything else and, as he turned to walk to the door, he turned back to us and said, "Have a blessed evening!". I said, "Thank you. You, too." At that moment, I just KNEW Dad would not have any trouble that night. Guess what? Dad turned on his favorite side, for the first time in the hospital, and slept from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. without even turning! The nurse came in at 3:30 or so and asked me if he was alright. That kinda made me chuckle because I thought, "that's YOUR job!" lol I had been waking every so often waiting for him to call my name and so I'd watch to make sure he was breathing. Kinda like when you stand over your children to watch them sleep?

I am so thankful to that nice man who told us to have a blessed evening. Why else would Dad sleep so restfully? No one had ever said that to us before. Yes, I can rationalize it with, "He had dialysis that day and it wore him out". Well, he's had dialysis before and he never slept thru the night! lol

Just wanted to share a thankful moment.

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers. We're still waiting patiently for Dad to get stronger and to walk on his own. He has about a week of antibiotics left and then will move him into a regular rehab facility, I think.

This is Dad on his 77th birthday, May 30. Those things you see coming out of his neck are the ports through which they do dialysis right now. They have implanted a more permanent graft in his left arm for later on. He slept through most of his birthday, but when someone came in, they wished him a happy one and he always smiled and said, "thank you".
These are little crocheted washcloths I worked on while in Lubbock this past week. I need to find some bright colored yarn to make more. They work up really fast, now that I know what I'm doing.

Best get myself out of here and ready for work. Our shop owner lost her brother yesterday. He had a major heart attack after having had heart problems for several years. He was only 64.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Back in Lubbock

But, in a different room! After 8 weeks, we are finally moved. Dad has been moved to the floor they call SNF (Skilled Nursing Floor). It's got a nursing home feel in that there are no monitors, they have an activities director, the doctors don't come by as often and they serve meals extremely early. The room is much bigger so we have room for a cot and two recliners. My boys came up yesterday and spent the night with me in the room with Dad. Good thing, too. Dad did not sleep much. He was coughing up mucus all night and asking to get on the bedpan all night long. I think we all finally got to sleep around 5 and I was awakened at 7 with dietary bringing in breakfast. He is not wanting to eat things he doesn't like which is most of the food they bring him. Don't know how we're going to get him to eat more protein.

These are Michele's blocks. The first one is called "Star in a Frame" and the second one is "Wyoming Valley". I only have one more set to make before I complete my obligation with this round of QOR Birthday blocks. I'm going to have to take a break from these little swaps for a while. I enjoy them so much, but since I also am in charge of the Lotto Exchange, I better concentrate on one thing at a time for now.

Judy just got here with lunch for all of us. Don't know if they'll have Dad do anything today so we sat him on the edge of the bed and I cut his hair and he did his exercises.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Birthday blocks '07

Here is the long-awaited picture, and not a very good one at that, of my 2007 birthday blocks from my QOR pals. I think I might want to sash these with more pink. Whaddya think? This layout won't be the one I use but I just wanted to post a picture of all of the blocks. I still have one more set on the way. I hope to do these with the quilt-as-you-go technique like I did with my 2006 blocks.

Another Thursday at home. I told Judy that I felt that my reality now is at the hospital and coming home is my vacation. Although, there's so much to do when I'm here I can't really relax. I try to work as much as I can at work, then I come home and have so much more to do. I end up not doing much of anything. Today we were waiting for an electrician to come check why some of the outlets in the kitchen aren't working. He had said he'd be here by 7 p.m. and then called to tell us he was running way behind and couldn't make it. Now he can't come until Saturday. Oh well. We've lived with it this long... But, my dining room is in total chaos - more so than usual! Jim had to move the china cabinet out to get to an outlet so that meant moving stuff out of it. yuck. Everything needs to be washed anyway. And, we have too much stuff on the top of the cabinet.

I've been doing laundry and going through some things in my sewing room. Trying to get my birthday block and FQ obligations taken care of.

Dad had a permanent graft put in his arm today to do the dialysis. Judy says she can see that the Foley catheter bag seems to be collecting more every day. I'm hoping that his kidneys start working soon and make the graft something that he won't have to use after all. Still working on getting him moved to the LTAC.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cloudy Sunday in May

I'm back in Lubbock at the hospital with Dad. I'm sitting here watching them getting ready to get Dad up to sit in the big chair. He didn't sleep at all last night, so I feel sorry for them. lol These girls are strong! They just moved him from the bed onto the recliner/wheelchair. Let's see how long he can stay up this time.
I am not happy with the second block I have made for Emily. The first one is called "Kansas Trouble" and, since she lives in Utah, I thought I'd make one titled, "Utah Sparkler". The design should look like a big diamond with those little "V" things in the corners. I think I should've reversed the color combo. Oh well. She'll still have a purple quilt.
How about this! When I got to the hospital yesterday, Judy presented me with the rest of my birthday gifts. LOL It sure has been nice celebrating my birthday for two months now! I can't wait to set up this XM Radio unit in my car. When I drive around with Judy, we listen to all kinds of different stations on her XM. We especially enjoy a talk show called "Broadminded". These gals are a little off-center and sometimes just downright nasty, but they are so funny. Since I've been driving back and forth to Lubbock, this will be a nice change of pace.

They say it's supposed to rain today. Guess I'd better check the radar and see if Judy will get to go home today.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Catching up at home

The next set of birthday blocks belongs to Cindy. These are called "Double T" and "Plenty of Stars". She is making a red and black quilt. I hope these fit the bill.
Here is almost half of the baby afghan I started Thursday afternoon while in Dad's room at the hospital. I haven't worked on it while at home. I'll save it to finish when I go back to Lubbock this weekend. I have too many other things that need doing, like three more sets of birthday blocks. I'd like to get them done before I leave Saturday afternoon.

I had a busy day at work. As usual, it was SO nice to see all my clients! And, my wonderful co-workers brought lunch in honor of my birthday, even though it's been a month and a half since my birthday. They've been waiting for me to be at work in order to bring their delicious potluck offerings. Dolores brought posole, Clint brought chicken spaghetti, and there was a hamburger stew, green beans, fried chicken, garlic bread and a luscious chocolate cake. Do I have great friends, or what!

Judy is with Dad until Saturday. He had dialysis today and we still don't know when they're moving him to the long term facility. He was very weak today but that's what dialysis does to him. One of the docs diagnosed him as a bit anemic, so he had a blood transfusion.

Time to eat a bite. It's confusing getting back to this time zone after being in Texas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A little bit of shopping

While Dad was in dialysis today, I decided to brave the streets of Lubbock. Not that it's hard to get around here, it's just that I'm not used to driving in traffic heavier than what we have in Clovis. But, I figured I needed to do something in the 4 hours Dad would be busy. I went to a little shop called "Rachel's" and found a Baltimore Album quilt kit with preprinted blocks, along with all the fabric needed to make the top. It was originally priced at $130 and I sure wasn't going to pay that. But, the sign said "50% off". So, I thought, "that's the only way I'll do a Baltimore Album", so, I decided to buy it. When I got to the checkout counter, I found out it was 75% off! Nice surprise. I also found this pattern book with Christmas designs. It has some really nice Nativity patterns that I can't wait to use.
After Rachel's, I was on my way to Hobby Lobby and passed by a little dress shop I enjoy shopping at. Stopped in and found a couple of comfy tops and workout leggings (I'm optimistic, if nothing else! lol)

I didn't find Hobby Lobby, but I did find a Michael's. There I found the floss I need for the Christmas ornament designs in the Star of Wonder booklet. Then I started looking through the crochet books and found a pattern for a baby afghan. Since my brother told me their new grandbaby is going to be a girl, I couldn't resist. This will keep me busy while sitting here with Dad. I'm about sick of watching movies.

Dad should be back in the room anytime now.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Well, I spent Mother's Day in Father's Room! lol He's doing better right now. He even sat on the edge of the bed for a while and got up nearly under his own power. They removed his catheter because it had been causing lots of discomfort and when he realized he would have to use a handheld urinal, he decided to have the catheter re-inserted! lol Since I'm spending the night with him, I'm glad he did. This picture really makes him look bad. He has lost a lot of weight and he does look skinny in person, but when he smiles, he looks better than the picture shows. He was in some pain from the catheter when we took this picture.

Judy left a little bit ago. I told her I can't believe I won't be taking a shower for the next three days! Maybe I'll go get a room on Tuesday when Dad goes for his dialysis. For about five hours I can leave the hospital, take my shower and change my clothes. If he's doing well enough, I might even spend the night at the hotel that night. I hate to leave him alone in the hospital, but I may need to sleep in a bed by then.

I've been watching lots of movies while I'm here. I wish I could get motivated to work on some handwork. But, by evening, we turn the lights out and it's just easier to watch a movie on my laptop.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday at the hospital

I didn't work very long at the shop today so I left early to get back to Lubbock. We took advantage of the boys being at the hospital to take pictures for Mother's Day. They brought me some flowers and cards. I caught Robert and Joe with Grampo just before they left to go back to Clovis. April and Carolyn were with them, too.

Looking at these pictures makes me think it's time to get back to the gym. I do not even want to weigh myself right now. When my face fills out like this, I know I'm in trouble. A few days of watching what I eat and drinking lots of water usually helps, but I'm in no mood to do that yet.
I had to crop this picture of Judy and myself or I would have to throw up! lol Good thing we're wearing black!

The quilt blocks are two I made while I was home for two nights. Actually, I made them in one night since they weren't too difficult. I wanted to spend more time and maybe work up more complicated ones, but there just wasn't enough time. These blocks are for Naomi of QOR birthday block exchange. One is a Friendship Star variation and the other is called "Japanese Lantern" from the Quilter's Cache.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Yes, home for a few days. I left early this morning after they had taken Dad to dialysis. Since he would be there 4 or 5 hours, I thought it would be a good time to get on the road. Judy is on her way back to Lubbock after spending a day and a half at home. She said she did a week's worth of work in that time! I believe it. When time is limited, we tend to make better use of it, I guess.

I hope to be at work tomorrow morning, Friday, and Saturday as well. I thought I'd go in for a few hours this afternoon, but after I started laundry and sorted through some mail, I went to bed and slept for three hours. Once I got up and showered, it was too late to go to the shop. Leota has it under control, though.

After I woke up today, I called the hospital to see how Dad had done with the dialysis. They told me he was back in his room and doing fine. I asked to speak with his nurse and was told she was gone. Well, five minutes later, my phone rang and it was Katherine, Dad's nurse for the morning! She said she'd been told I had called and she knew I'd want details. She said Dad got back in his room where she set him up with his meal, told him to eat what he could and she'd be back in 10 minutes to help him. She was gone for 20 minutes and when she got back, he had cleaned his plate! This is a good sign because he had not wanted to eat much of anything the last few days, only drink his milk and anything that went down easy. He had not even wanted to eat when I was spoon-feeding him. He would hold a cup and drink so we got orders for him to have Ensure, or the dialysis version of it. Then, Katherine asked if I wanted to speak with him and she transferred me to his room. He talked to me and said he was getting ready to do his physical therapy. We were afraid that the dialysis was going to wear him out too much to do anything. I am so grateful to Katherine for calling me back. Most of the people at Covenant have been just wonderful.

I came home to several packages. I received two more of my birthday blocks and will try to lay them all out this weekend to take a picture of them. I also received my batik bingo winnings. Maybe I can work on my Mary's Flower Garden for a minute.

Jim called and is on his way home. Wonder if I have to fix dinner tonight or if we'll go out to eat? I'm ready for a good home cooked meal, but I'm not sure I want to do it! LOL

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tuesday night, again

I am now back at the hotel. I left Henry at the hospital with Dad. Judy went home for a break. Henry might go home tomorrow depending on how Dad's doing. He was doing much better today, comparatively speaking. His white blood cell count is dropping but the numbers in his renal panel are not looking so hot. I don't really know how much the dialysis is helping at this point. Surely, it's doing something! We have not seen a kidney doc in 3 days now. We're told they probably see him in dialysis since there are some notes in his chart. It's like pulling teeth to get information from some of the nurses if we happen to miss the docs.

The pictures on today's blog show a little wallhanging I made for a friend who had a bout with cancer several years ago. I found the pattern in a Pink Ribbon book, the name of which escapes me now and, since I'm not home, I can't go look it up. It was very easy to do. I'm sure I used fusible bonding on the petals and leaves and hand appliqued them onto the background.

I need to get to sleep. I had (have) a monster sinus headache. I'm sure it's weather-related since it rained all day.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Another pillow

This pillow was made for a coworker to give to her parents.

Is this Saturday? It is so easy to become disconnected with the outside world when you spend day after day in a hospital room. I can only imagine how Dad must feel! He had his third dialysis treatment this morning. They are giving him three treatments in a row to begin with then will follow with one every other day, I think is what I heard. This will be until his kidneys begin to function better on their own. They tell us his condition is acute and not chronic. Of course, it all remains to be seen. But, we are still optimistic. The first day of dialysis, he lost 7 pounds of fluid. The second day, 10.5 pounds. We haven't heard how much he lost today. That makes a total of almost 40 pounds lost since we got here 5 weeks ago. He is so thin now. He probably doesn't even remember ever weighing 185 pounds! He's not very vocal right now. He responds to our voices but doesn't say anything. It's like his vocal cords are too tired to work. We also found out this morning that his white blood count is up again. The infectious disease doc just stands at the foot of his bed and shakes his head. I hope he's smart... The chest x-rays showed some improvement today, though. If it's not one thing, it's another.

We also found out this week that my husband's brother is in a hospital in Louisiana with possible heart failure and sepsis. It sounds so much like what Dad has and Bobby's not in a hospital where they have lots of specialists like where we're at. Jim's sister is beside herself worrying about him. More prayers needed..

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday, I think

We're still here at the hospital. Since Dad's little backslide, things have been progressing slowly. The infection seems to have been beaten back but now his kidneys are needing help. They tranfused him with blood last night and today they took him in for a dialysis treatment. They'll do this for a while to see if they can get things back on track. It sure seems like an uphill battle, but prayers have been the best weapon we have and they are definitely working. Thank you all who have sent your thoughts and prayers.

I was able to run home last night for the evening. I had so much to catch up with concerning QOR and I got that done. I had to draw for the winner of the April block lotto and get my bingo FQs mailed off. I played bingo last month and won the second blackout (10 beautiful batik FQs). Can't wait to get them!

The picture I have on today's blog is a pillow I made for Mom and Dad when I first started quilting. I put the pictures on with the transfer method - printing the pictures on the transfer then ironing them onto the fabric. The picture is one taken on their wedding day in 1954. I have made several of these pillows and call them "Anniversary Pillows". I actually sold quite a few back when I was first making them.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Keep on praying!

Here's a picture of Dad taken last Christmas.

Prayers are definitely helping! Dad is better this morning. He's awake after being in a coma-like state all day yesterday. He's responsive to us and is even trying to talk through the bi-pap mask. Of course, we can't understand him, but every now and then, a word gets through. The renal doc is working on his kidneys. Please pray that what he has in mind to do will get the job done. If not, Dad will have to go on temporary dialysis. Wow. Can't believe all the ins and outs of the functions of the human body. Again, I'm learning a whole lot more than I ever wanted to know.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. Even the doctors and nurses are astounded at his recovery from yesterday to this morning! They ask, "what happened in the night?" We say, "prayers!"