Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pancakes & Waffles

That's the name of the place, not what we had for breakfast this morning. Curtis had the Scottish Bangers with Eggs and I had the Vinha D'ahlos Omelette. I took a lot of the omelette home for leftovers. I would go to Pancakes & Waffles BLD again.


Scottish Bangers & Eggs. (Photo by Curtis)
Vinha D'ahlos Omelet.

Curtis' kitchen remodel started yesterday when they gutted the kitchen. They also took out the sliding glass door to open up that area to the new addition. Today the dust barrier was up while they begin the next phase of rebuilding everything.
Gutted kitchen, stove wall. (Photo by Curtis)
Gutted kitchen, sink wall.
Empty sliding glass door wall. (Photo by Curtis)
Dust wall at sliding glass door wall.

Yesterday when Dr. Gries came by I asked him about Dad's lack of appetite, he prescribed Remeron (mirtazapine) to stimulate his appetite; it will take a couple of days to start working. And I hope it does work; they weighed Dad today and he is now 120 pounds, he lost 4 pounds since he arrived a week ago. According to Dr. Gries, Remeron is an anti-depressant, but at lower levels it stimulates the appetite. Today Dad refused breakfast, ate half of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich & a little Magic Cup for lunch, and a couple bites of pork guisantes, a bite of apple crunch, a quarter cup of Magic Cup, and a Nutter Butter for dinner. Not a full dinner but a little more than he has been eating.
Lunch.
Dinner. (Photo by Curtis)

Dad was looking a little scruffy yesterday so CNA Venus gave him a shave. He looked a lot better after that.


One of the visiting pets was here today. Toby was dressed up for Boys Day, which is May 5th.


The weather during my walk today was perfect for field work, about 70 degrees F, overcast, with a light breeze; we would always hope for days like these. It also works well for walking, especially since I forgot my hat and sunglasses! On the way to the park I found a sad sight, 2 very young birds were apparently blown out of their nest earlier today when it was really windy; they didn't make it. (I didn't see them yesterday when I passed by the same area.)



I found out yesterday that cousin Gladys passed away on Monday after being in declining health for a few weeks. Gladys was one of Hilo Aunty & Hilo Uncle's kids that Mom took care of when she moved to Hilo when she was 14; they were pretty close. Gladys is the one who brought all the party hats & other decorations to Las Vegas for Mom's 90th birthday party. I hope to be able to make it to Hilo later in the year when they go to scatter her ashes.
Mom & Gladys, 11/05/2016.

Happy Birthday to Chuck, Jack, Amy, & Mason! Happy Belated Birthday to Rita, Ryan, & Maya!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy 17th Birthday, Shiro! (And Momo)

Today we celebrate not only Earth Day, but we also celebrate Shiro & Momo's birthday! Since we don't really know when any of the cats were actually born we assigned them dates around the time of their birth that were significant. So Shiro & Momo got Earth Day, Xander got May Day (05/01), and Chibi got the Ides of March (03/15).


Dad didn't want to eat breakfast, he only had about 1/2 a Breeze, but he did want to get out in the wheelchair. We went to find Popokilani, she was snoozing in the sun on the other side of the railing and didn't want to be bothered with food so we just sat in the sun & enjoyed the view. But it was short-lived, Dad said it was too hot! So I pushed him up the hill to the covered area which also has a great view of Leahi and the surrounding neighborhoods. There should be a great view of the Friday night fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village from there, too; Dad was interested in coming out to see those so I will try to make that happen.


Dad liked being in the viewing area, the shade was great and there was only a little breeze when we got there. It was also quiet, so he did what he does best, he took a nap! About a half hour later a stiff breeze came up and it became too cold for him so we went inside.


The movie in the Castle Living Room was "A World in Balance", it was part of their Earth Day celebration. Dad watched for about half an hour, then needed to get back to his room to get the pressure off of his okole. With the Royal Purple seat cushion he was able to last about 70 minutes in the wheelchair at a much lower level of pain by the time he was removed from the chair.
Jedi Dad watching TV.

I walked down to the park and back while Dad was napping after lunch. It takes me about 15 minutes and covers about 2/3 of a mile at about 2.5 mph. I come back breathing heavy but not so heavy that I am panting through my mouth. This is the 2nd time I have walked down to the park, both times I have had the same reaction; it makes me feel great and suppresses my appetite at the same time! A pack of trek mix was all I needed for lunch. (Hopefully its because my body is burning excess fat as fuel!)

Happy Birthday also to Bill, Norton Younglove, & Aaliyah!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Fran Comes to Visit

Yesterday, cousin Fran called to say she was coming to visit Dad. A short while later she called; she was at a similarly named nursing home on the flats. So we rescheduled for today; it was worth the wait! We had a great visit.
Dad & cousin Fran.

After breakfast Dad agreed to get in the wheelchair; I also took him for a spin around the facility. I took him out to the patio to look for Popokilani; she must have had a lot of snacks earlier because she wouldn't take any of ours. So we just enjoyed the view; until it started drizzling.
Dad looks southerly at the view of the Kahala area.

Between the time I took Dad out for the walk and when Fran arrived I had a difficult time staying awake. Last night I picked Curtis up from the airport around 10:30 p.m. and took him back to his house to pick up things for his trip to Maui. It didn't make any sense to go back to the house, then run out to the airport again, so I slept over. We were up at 4 a.m. and out the door by 4:30 a.m. I got back to the house by 5 and went straight to sleep; but I still didn't get enough sleep.  

We left after Dad finished as much of his dinner as he was going to. On our way out Fran got to meet Popokilani. And this time she was very interested in the Feline Greenies treats.


Maunalani shows movies all the time for the residents. Sometimes the movies play in a loop, sometimes they are just played once. We missed the showing of Godzilla and also The Life of Pi. I'll have to keep an eye on their movie showings to see if there is something that I want to see that is coming up.


Happy Birthday to Grant!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dad Gets Wheels!

Today CNA Venus and I convinced Dad to take a spin in the wheelchair after lunch. I took him for a leisurely roll throughout floors 2 and 3; we also went out to the porches that were accessible to check out the views. Then I took him to find Popokilani; he fed her a bunch of cat treats. Then it was time for him to take a break.
Dad & CNA Venus.
Dad feeds Popokilani some Feline Greenies Dental Treats.

After his nap, Dad got back in to the wheelchair so that he could go to the Veterans Club meeting. Their guest speaker was unable to attend due to an unforeseen incident; he will be rescheduled. The veterans went around the table introducing themselves, what conflict they were in, and what unit they were in. While they were doing that, I got a message that Dr. Gries from the Veterans Administration (VA) had arrived and wanted to see Dad. Since Dad's stay at Maunalani is now being covered by the VA, Dad's attending physician will be Dr. Gries instead of Dr. Kop from Kaiser.
L to R: Mr. Ikeda, Dad, Susie, Uncle Larry, Czarina, & Mr. Omiya.

Dad ate quite a bit of breakfast this morning. At least it was quite a bit for him. Curtis, on the other hand, had his usual size breakfast from Binion's in Las Vegas.
Dad and his usual breakfast.
Curtis' breakfast at Binion's in Las Vegas. (Photo by Curtis)

I spent part of the morning meeting with Remy to talk about Dad's 48-hour care plan; this is the initial care plan that is put in to place immediately after a resident arrives. Later a care plan will be adjusted based on observations during the previous period. We did our meeting on the bench beneath the trompe l'oiel window
This window & view are actually totally flat.

I will be picking Curtis up from his return flight from Las Vegas later tonight. We will stay over at his house tonight since I need to get him to the airport tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. He's meeting Lori on Maui for her high school reunion.

Happy Birthday to Carole & Heather!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Trying to Figure Things Out

Today was Dad's first full day at Maunalani at the intermediate care level. He spent most of it sleeping. He got up a couple times to eat some of his lunch; since I had not had a chance to talk with the kitchen manager Dad ended up with teriyaki meatballs, rice, & vegetables. And Dad surprised me! He ate 3 of the 4 meatballs that were on the plate! He also ate a couple bites of rice and a couple of steamed vegetables. He didn't eat any dinner but he did drink a total of 2 boxes of Boost Breeze throughout the day. The Magic Cup did not show up; I will have to check on that.


After lunch the weather cleared up so I decided to walk to the park again. But this time I made sure to turn on the GPS on my phone to track the walk. A round trip from the 1st floor steps at Maunalani is 0.66 miles and took 15 minutes; it felt good to do something physical. Now I have to figure out how to do this type of tracking on the Fitbit; I may have to read the users manual.

After I got back from my walk, Dad was wanting to see Xander. Since there was enough time before dinner; I ran home and picked him up. I used the harness, leash, & soft-sided carrier that the cats traveled in the plane to get here; he seemed to be pretty calm about it.
Xander in the soft-sided carrier in the car.

I drew all the curtains around Dad's bed so that Xander couldn't see what was going on in the hallways or the next bed. His ears kept swiveling around trying to figure out what was happening, but he did settle down enough for a quick nap. And when it was time to leave he almost remembered the "kennel up" command; he would only put the front half of his body in the carrier, I had to push the rest of him in. Maybe next time he'll do better.
Xander and Dad taking a snooze.

Here are the 4 papayas I picked the other night. I gave one of them to the Lois when I went over to tell them that Dad was at Maunalani. The rest of them will go to Curtis on Saturday.


I started out the morning with Lani & Chris from Sears fixing the refrigerator. Lani also checked on all the warranties, and found that Jacob had neglected to verify that all the model numbers were consistent. It turns out the old refrigerator is so old they will no longer cover it; they'll send me a refund on that. And the number for the range is for the one Mom had in 2005, not the new 2015 one. As I was talking to Abraham about removing the old range from the warranty list and adding the new range, he asked, "Is your Mom there so I can speak to her?" This was right after Lani & I told him that I was not Helen because Helen passed away last year! Turns out since Mom died, there is a bunch of paperwork I need to send to them before they can change the name on the account to me. It's been over a year since she died; I thought I had completed all the paperwork! I told him I should change it to Curtis since he's getting the house; Abraham said its easier to change with a live person.
The aftermath of defrosting the freezer.
Back in action.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dad is Back at Maunalani Again

I arrived at Kaiser a bit late today, it took me  quite a while to get there due to the traffic. Dad had eaten his banana and drank about 1/2 of a Boost Breeze. He had lunch before he left Kaiser, eating half of his peanut butter & jelly sandwich and finishing off the rest of the Boost Breeze. Aunty Judy came to visit again during the hour before Dad was transferred to Maunalani Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Mmmm, peanut butter & jelly!

The new room that Dad is in appears to be as big as his previous room, but the area partitioned off for him is larger. There are only 2 people in this room; there were 3 in the other. Dad's new room is on the 2nd floor, he was on the 3rd earlier. He is also across the hall from the 2nd floor dining room which opens on to a covered deck; when Dad is feeling better it would be nice to have him eat in the dining room or out on the deck. Tonight he ate in his room, he finished off about 1/2 of the Magic Cup, about 1/2 of the Boost Plus, and all of the chocolate chip cookie.
Shaka from the new room!
Second floor dining room.
Second floor covered deck.
View to the southwest from the second floor deck.

On the way up to Maunalani, I ran in to the road work that has been ongoing on since we first brought Dad to Maunalani. It looked like the portion to the upper lot was blocked so I decided to avoid it by parking in the lower lot, besides Dad is on the 2nd floor now and there is a sign-in area on this side, too. Turned out not to be a good plan; the 1st floor door that I entered through is closed at 4:30 and the elevator access to that floor is shut off. I went out the 3rd floor door that I previously used when Dad was on the 3rd floor, then I walked down to the lower parking lot. It was a nice evening to do that. Going out the 3rd floor I also found the information about the detour route.


I did a lot of walking outside today, the weather was very nice for it; not too hot, not too cool, it was just right! Kai wanted to talk, so I walked out to the park and circled the lawn while talking to him. I need to take photos the next time I am at the park. On the way back I found out the 1st floor exterior door was locked; I had to take the exterior stairs up to the 2nd floor and get buzzed in. This might not be a good plan, unless I just decide to walk all the way up to the 3rd floor entrance.

Curtis hit his largest slot win on the Megabucks machine this afternoon! $960!
(Photo by Curtis)

Happy Birthday to Beth, Rachel, & Vicente!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dad Gets Out Tomorrow

Good News! I talked with Patient Care Coordinator Riza this morning. She said there was a problem with getting Dad back in to Maunalani Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (MNRC). Because he has had to leave twice for the emergency room in the 3 weeks he was at Maunlani, they're not willing to take him back at the skilled nursing facility (SNF) level. The only way they will take him is at the intermediate care facility (ICF) level. Dad was also not a good candidate for the SNF because he was not making enough progress with the occupational & physical therapy and he would not eat regularly. In addition, he can't go back to the emergency room if anything comes up. At the ICF level he will still be able to get blood tests and medications; but we pay out of pocket until the Veterans Administration coverage is approved.

We had talked with Dr. Collis, Dr. Kim, & Dr. Perera last week and determined that the best course of action would be for Dad to return to an SNF or ICF if he stayed fever free while at Kaiser. If the fever returned, then he would go to the Kaiser emergency room and they would draw the blood cultures before any antibiotics are administered. During the 3-day incubation period, Dad would receive antibiotics. If nothing can be cultured, the antibiotics would be removed, Dad would be placed in hospice care, and we would let the infection run its course. If something can be cultured, then it will be treated. The thing that changes is that Dad will not leave Maunalani for the Kaiser ER if he has another fever; MNRC is able to do the blood cultures and administer the antibiotics.
Dr. Collis with Dad this morning.

On my way out of Kaiser this evening I saw 4 of the cats near the sidewalk to the elevators. I pulled the cat treat bag out and threw a couple of them towards the nearest cat. All of a sudden there were 3 cats there; only the one with the gray bonnet would not come near.
More treats please!
The Momo doppelganger was the boldest one, he came within 3 feet of me.

Last night on the news I found out that there were a bunch of bison that were washed out of their pasture by the flooding on Kaua'i. Apparently there is bison ranch with about 200 head on the Hanalei River. The local high school paniolo group rounded up about 20 of them so far. This evening, while Dad & I watched the news, they also showed a lot of damage in the town of Koloa, where Dad grew up. Thankfully, he didn't remember any of that.
(Screen shot from KGMB)

I didn't come close to making my 14/14 hours today; I missed the 9 o'clock hour because I was talking to one of the Kaiser social workers about Dad's transfer tomorrow. Then I missed the 6 o'clock one because I got sidetracked by the cats. So my streak is 4 days. It might be a little tougher at Maunalani because there is no nice interior space to walk around in easily. I may have to walk outside or maybe even down to the park.

Happy Birthday to Linda!