Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

When we were kids, at around 12 years old, instead of going trick or treating we made a deal with Mom; we would be in charge of handing out the candy, any that was left was ours. We went all out and decorated the house and walkway and my sister Sue would dress up as a witch. Our decorations included light colored cloths in the trees on either side of the stairs and nylon threads strung at shin height between the bushes lining the sidewalk up to where Sue sat with the candy; scared kids would say that something was grabbing at their legs. We also had a curious large black cat who would come wandering through to check out what was happening. This is what the house looked like during the day. Just imagine what it looked like at night with spooky lighting and carbon dioxide mist! Some kids would actually cross to the other side of the street in order to get past our house.
Pomelo tree on left, tangerine tree on right, July 1969 (photo by Mom)

We went to Curt & Lori's for Halloween dinner & trick or treating; Mom kept thinking it was Thanksgiving. Lots of good food and friends. We brought salmon, fluffy dinner rolls, and pumpkin spice ice cream. While looking for a box to carry the pan of baked salmon in I came across the box below, a pretty scary thing to find. At least one of the cans had a bulging end and all of them were very rusted. I think they must have been bought when Mom & Dad were still going to the Big Island to fish; they used mackerel as chum and would buy a bunch when it was on sale.

I forgot that today was a weekday; we usually only go to Curt & Lori's on the weekend. It usually takes us about 30 minutes to go the 19 miles to their house; tonight it took 75 minutes, there were 3 accidents along the way. It was bad in both directions.

The "kids" at the party went trick or treating after dinner. Here they are after going around the neighborhood. They actually only had Shaun go up for candy, since it was easy to tell that the others really weren't kids.
L to R: Brent, Gavin, Jen, & Shaun

Happy Birthday to Dean, Sandra, Judy, Geoffrey, & Sho!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Visit With Doreen

We went to visit Doreen today. Getting out of the house was a little rough. Mom kept trying to do too much this morning; I kept telling her to stop and just focus on getting ready to go, but she wouldn't. Result: she started having trouble breathing as she was just about ready. She insisted on lying down even though I told her she needed to sit up in order to be able to breathe better. (This is something we discovered 10 days ago during ER visit #9 for the difficulties caused by her tricuspid valve insufficiency. She was lying down and wasn't able to breathe so I took her in to the ER, on the ride there she got better and when she was there, sitting in the bed, she had no problems breathing. For best breathing results she has to be sitting up at 100 to 120 degrees.) So after she continued to complain she couldn't breathe while she was lying down, I propped her up. I told her I was going to cancel the trip to visit Doreen, she said no, she wanted to go even if it killed her. Dad said not to take her, I said I at least needed to get her in the car to get her to the ER. Mom recovered enough and walked to the car. Within 10 minutes she was breathing okay again and had totally forgotten about not being able to breathe. By the time we reached Aunty Judy's house she was excited to go to see Doreen.

Doreen was glad to see us, especially Aunty Judy, whom she had not seen in a while. Janeth (the caregiver) had a new client, Grandma Norma, who is 95 years old and was driving and living alone up until a few years ago. Since our last visit they have also gotten a rabbit and birds for the clients to interact with. Janeth & Doug have been enlarging their house and will soon be including a large lanai so the clients have a shaded outdoor area where they can enjoy themselves.

What I like about how Janeth runs things at her assisted living home is that she treats her clients like they are family. Several times that we have visited she has served us lunch. This time was no different. I don't know what the names are of the dishes, I just know the one on the left is made with noodles and the one on the right is a soup made with lechon (whole pig roasted on a spit). Lunch was delicious!

On the way back we visited with Uncle Roy. I misunderstood my conversation with Baron yesterday. I thought we would be rescheduling for next month but he meant to come over after we left Doreen's. Which is what we ended up doing. I have not seen Uncle Roy for a whole long time; he looked great! He celebrated his 94th birthday in April. When we left Baron gifted us with cookies, fried rice, and hash.
Clockwise from top left: Blueberry scones, peanut butter cookies, fried rice, hash patties, 3 bags of arare mix (for a snack on the plane), oatmeal raisin cookies, and pumpkin cheescake

Curtis & Lori are hosting a Halloween potluck tomorrow night. I am making Fluffy Dinner Rolls and salmon and bringing pumpkin spice ice cream from 8 1/2 Desserts. Up until now I have been mixing the rolls by hand; a task that requires a lot of muscle. A few weeks ago Mom bought a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for me. Tonight was the test run and it works great! The dough was much easier to work with than when mixed by hand and the rolls came out great. I think I am really going to like having a Kitchen Aid!

Happy Birthday to Kai-chin!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Transfusion #9

Today Mom got a transfusion of platelets which help with clotting. Here's how every transfusion starts: insertion of the needle.

I also asked Nurse Rowena about Mom's thumb. She said the open area is to allow the wound to drain, when the doctor checks it on Monday we will find out more on what will be done to start closing up the open portions. Here's what it looks like today. The raw-looking area on the left side is what I am concerned about, it is the source of the gooey stuff on the bandage.

There was mainly football on the TV, so Mom ended up watching a kids channel. We started with a show about animals (primates) and ended with a show on painting. The artist, Patrick Ching, teaches kids as well as adults how to paint using acrylics. He is from the Big Island and helped the Connections Charter School paint the 'Alala Mural on the old Kress Store building in Hilo.
Photo of Patrick Ching painting on show on TV, bird on left is 'i'iwi, right 'alala

We were supposed to see Uncle Roy this afternoon, but he had difficulty sleeping last night. Baron called to reschedule to tomorrow, but we are visiting with Mom's cousin Doreen tomorrow. We will have to reschedule the visit with Uncle Roy to after we return from Las Vegas.

Happy Birthday to Rep. McCoy & cousin Aimee!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Which Grandson's Birthday Is It?

Kai's birthday is in a couple of weeks so I sent him a birthday present package today. (Darn I should have taken a picture of it!) I included a birthday card from Mom & Dad. About 3 weeks ago I took Mom to Longs Drugs to pick up a birthday card for Lori. While there she decided to plan ahead and get cards for all 5 grandkids as well as Dad. She also decided that she should give them to me to remember when they needed to be sent out! Some days when she remembers that she has trouble remembering she does very well at putting things in to place to help her. The only catch is that when she doesn't remember that she asked me to do that she can get upset because she thinks I am treating her like she can't do anything. Here she is going through the cards trying to remember which grandson she intended to send which card to. (Fortunately for Sarah she is the only granddaughter so the card she gets is the one that was specifically bought for her.)
None of these that you can see were sent to Kai (it's underneath the pile of cards)

Recently Mom has been doing much less, mainly because I haven't been allowing her to do much due to the stitches in the crease of her thumb. (I also keep telling her she needs to let it heal so she can go to Las Vegas and push those buttons!) I looked at it more closely today and I think the ER folks did not suture it up correctly. It looks like the skin has not been completely sutured, it looks like I can see exposed muscle tissue in about half of its length. Tomorrow we go to Kaiser Moanalua for Mom to get a transfusion of platelets. While there I will ask Nurse Rowena to take a look at it and give me a professional opinion. On Monday Mom is supposed to get the stitches removed but I don't know about this.

After dinner I made brownies to share with cousin Baron when we go to visit him, Uncle Roy, Chad, and Mona tomorrow afternoon. These are not from scratch, these are from Pillsbury Family Size Chocolate Fudge Brownie mix. Dad also likes Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate Brownie mix. We also found out that the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie mix is actually like real brownies.

Happy Birthday to Cheryl!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What's That in the Tree?

When I pulled in to the parking lot at the humane society today I noticed movement in the tree in front of my parking space. It turned out it was some feral roosters; I had seen some of them and a hen walking around the grounds on previous visits. FYI - Momo is still missing; there was a cat that looked similar but did not have the Rosemary's Baby eyes.
How many chickens can you find in the tree?

Mom was a little better today about not trying to do as much; however her thumb is still leaking. I think Nurse Rowena's little talk with Mom helped; reminding her that she had that talk with Nurse Rowena also helps. Hopefully the transfusion of platelets on Saturday will help her clot better and stop the leaks.

During the renovation, the sewing room was used as a storage area for the furniture from several rooms. Most of the furniture was moved in to their respective rooms earlier this month. It will now be used as storage for some of the things that will go in to the new sewing room that is scheduled to be enlarged by spring 2018. My plan is for a wall of books, which are currently piled along the north living room wall.
Day #0
Day #5
Day #6

Happy Birthday to Timothy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Transfusion #8

We went to the Moanalua Kaiser center for Mom's transfusion this morning. Here's the view of what has been identified as some of the worst traffic in the Nation that greeted us as we got ready to get on to the freeway. Yup, we are getting on to the side with more traffic.
Interstate H-1 from the 6th Avenue overpass

Mom got 2 units packed red blood cells. Nurse Rowena was great! After finding out about Mom's fall last Thursday & Mom's upcoming trip to Las Vegas, she asked a bunch more questions and took a look at Mom's thumb. She then called Dr. Chan's office and asked about giving Mom platelets. She is now scheduled for that on Saturday morning. And she won't have to get another cross match, the yellow wrist band she has on will work for the Saturday platelet transfusion. Nurse Rowena will be there on Saturday also, which will make Mom happy.

As promised, Curt brought lunch for us, Barbecue Chicken Salad. He got it from the shrimp truck on the Air Force part of Joint Base Hickam/Pearl Harbor. They were huge! Mom and I shared one but still had enough leftovers for dinner. Curt will take his back to work for lunch tomorrow.

While Mom is getting her transfusion she usually "watches" TV just like she does at home in the afternoon and evening, with her eyes closed. At one point I looked up from my laptop and found her watching "Prinsesa Nglbon", a Filipino language show where Lola (grandmother) is telling her grandchildren fairy tales via Skype. Here is a photo from the end of the show. It would have been better if I got the actual fairy tale which was quite creative and in keeping with Halloween. FYI - Mom does not speak or understand any Filipino dialect.

Meanwhile back in Kohala, the kitchen was used as a staging area for repair supplies earlier this month. It will also be worked on in November after the storage shelving unit is unpacked from the back bedroom. A few things got moved in to place in the kitchen earlier this month. I don't intend to unpack much since I want Chris to renovate the cabinets before I load them up. That will be part of the next phase of repairs.
Day #0
Day #3
Day #6

Happy Birthday to Chris & Chris Prime!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Xander Has Been a Bad Boy

For a few days now I have been smelling something that told me that someone was creating a new litter box of their own, but I was unable to find anything in the usual area. (When Momo & Shiro first arrived, Momo bullied Xander so he began pooping near my bedroom door at the end of the hallway. I'm not sure if it was Xander's comment on the new living arrangements or what. After much work I got him to stop doing that.) Since Momo has been gone there is no bullying to cause this; perhaps Xander is stressing because his (now) buddy Momo is gone! Whatever. I found a pile in a corner near the front door and cleaned it up with Nature's Miracle Pet Mess Scrubbing Wipes, then sprayed the area with Nature's Miracle No More Marking Stain & Odor Remover with Natural Repellent. (The repellent is actually for dogs, but I figure the oils used - cinnamon and lemongrass - would at least make the area smell nice if it did not work as a repellent for cats.) I also put down a couple of Ilio Puppy Pads over the area so if he does it again it is contained and easier to clean up. (The front door is blocked so it is not used as access. Hence the difficulty in finding the new area.) FYI - I know it's Xander because I caught him in the act! (I suppose the good news is that he is no longer constipated!)
I line the products up to serve as a visual line, I also use a spray bottle of water as a training tool so I am hopeful the sight of a spray bottle will cause him to think twice about what he is planning on doing!

Dr. Chan's office called this morning, they want Mom to get a transfusion tomorrow. She is low on red blood cells as well as platelets. She probably lost a bunch of RBCs with all the bleeding from the thumb; which is still leaking a little, probably due to the low platelet level. We will probably be there at least 5 hours. Curtis bought a new car on Saturday so if he has no meetings, he will probably bring us lunch from one of the lunch trucks on base. I will try to remember to get a photo before we start eating!

Mom was so tired yesterday, I used a wheelchair to get her back to the car after her regular blood draw. Today I made her wait in the car while I went to get a wheelchair so I could take her to the lab for the cross match. She did not argue or try to do it on her own, so I know she is feeling the effects of the low RBC and hemoglobin levels. Lori found a nice compact wheelchair for her mom, I will ask her if she can order one for Mom; I will keep it in the back of the RAV4 so it is available when we are out and about.

Not much was done to the back bedroom during the visit earlier this month. In fact, some boxes were added to the back bedroom. It will be one of the areas I focus on for the trip in November.
Day #0
Day #3

Happy Birthday to Diane!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Slow Start This Morning

Mom got off to a very slow start this morning. I was up at 7, getting her alendronate ready for her - it needs to be taken 30 minutes before any other medications or food. She was not awake, usually she's been puttering around for at least half an hour by this time. She finally got up around 8:30. Then it took forever for her to get ready for breakfast; but once she was at the table she ate heartily. Monday morning is her weekly blood test to see how her red blood cells and platelets are doing; it took a lot to keep her focused and motivated, I think the dementia was affecting her more this morning than usual. Most of the time we leave the house by 10 to go to the lab; today it was closer to 11:30 since she was also having problems with diarrhea. After the blood draw she was moving very slowly and I actually used a wheelchair to get her back to the car because she was so tired. But Dr. Chan's office did not call to set up a transfusion, so either her levels have not reached the threshold for a transfusion or since we got there so late they did not have enough time to run the tests, get the results to Dr. Chan, have him review it, and notify us before the day was done. I guess we'll learn more tomorrow.

I am still having trouble getting her to stop trying to do things. Once again there was a lot of new blood on the bandage when I changed it this morning and also again in the evening. The new non-stick gauze pads are working so that has made it a lot less painful for her when I change the dressing. But perhaps I should go back to using the other gauze pads so there is a feedback loop - use the hand, cut bleeds, dries and sticks to pad, removing pad causes pain, memory of pain reduces use of hand. Nah, the dementia makes that an unrealistic expectation. She still can't remember how she cut her thumb in the first place!

I found a couple other views of Leahi. The first is from Date Street, looking through trees along the edge of the Ala Wai Golf Course. The second was on the way back from the humane society yesterday from under the freeway at Kapahulu and Harding.
Leahi #20 Through the Ironwoods
Leahi #21 Under the Freeway at Kapahulu & Harding

Here's more on my activities in Kohala earlier this month. The middle bedroom was mostly empty when I arrived. It must have been the last room to have the new flooring installed.
Day #0
Day #3
Day #5
Day #6

Happy Birthday to Vicki!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Challenging Times

It has been a challenge to get Mom to realize that she is not "fine". Because her thumb is not throbbing with pain she thinks there is no problem. She can't understand that when she tries to do things with it she breaks what little clotting that has occurred and it bleeds again. During the day today she bled so much that when I went to change the bandage this evening there was so much clotted blood the bandage was firmly stuck to her thumb. She had to soak it in warm water for about 5 minutes before I could remove the remnants of the bandage. I am trying a different sterile pad that is supposed to be "non-stick"; we shall see if it performs as advertised.

Cousins Baron and Mona dropped by for a short visit this evening. Baron spent all day making nishime so he brought some over for Mom and Dad. He makes his with shoyu pork; it was ono! I will have to get his recipe.

Here are photos of the work on the front bedroom. No work could be done on this room until Day #3, after the living room had been reorganized to create some space to move things out of this room.
Day #0
Day #3
Day #4
Day #5
Day #6

Happy Birthday to Falken, Julie, & Jillian!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thumb Getting Better

This morning there was less blood on the bandage on Mom's thumb. Her hand also seemed to be a little less swollen. And she no longer had a fever. Yay! Here is the thumb, almost looks like it was severed then reattached, but its not that bad ... It's just a flesh wound!

Although she had no fever, Mom spent a lot of the day sleeping. Which was exactly what I wanted her to do; I think it was the pain that was tiring her out. This gave me a chance to vacuum up and also run the steam mop in the family room, her bathroom, and the kitchen. The steam mop was still picking up a lot of stuff in the 2 rooms that I had done before but the really dirty water from last time appears to have been from the 3 rugs that I also washed. Guess they weren't washed very often! (I have to watch the infomercial again, though, so I can make sure I am using the right attachments when I do the floors. The users guide that came with it is not too helpful on that.)

I know I have posted the photos below before, but I thought it was easier to see what I had accomplished on my recent trip to Kohala by posting them in quick succession. Here are the photos of the living room as it progressed; Day #0 is the night I arrived. In future posts I will feature the other rooms.
Day #0
Day #2
Day #3
Day #4
Day #5
Day #6

Happy Birthday to Mikie and Roblin!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Minor Complications

This morning when I went to change the dressing on Mom's thumb I saw that sometime during the night it started bleeding again and had soaked through. When I took off the soiled dressing it started bleeding once again. I folded a paper towel to make a pressure bandage and had her hold it on her thumb to stop the bleeding. In the meanwhile I had noticed that her right hand (the one with the injured thumb) was much warmer than her left hand, in fact it was hot; it was also swollen and a little red. I took her temperature and she had a low-grade fever of 100.2 F so I called the Kaiser help line. I left a message for Dr. Pham, Mom's primary care physician (PCP).

When the nurse called back about an hour or so later she asked a bunch of questions and I took another temperature - now at 101.3 F and both hands were equally hot. She made an appointment for Mom to see the PCP at 2 pm. I completed the new dressing. (I had left it off in case they wanted me to describe what it looked like.) I bagged up the blood-soaked paper towel so Mom's PCP could see how much leakage was going on.

In between all of this Aunty Judy called. Friday is a free day for her so she was calling to say she would be bringing lunch over for us; which was great since I was so busy taking care of Mom's injury. Aunty Judy brought ribs from Tony Roma, corn niblets from KFC, and 3 kinds of sushi. She was able to stay and visit with us for about 1 1/2 hours before Mom had to get ready to go to the doctor. (I cut a ziploc snack bag in half and taped it over Mom's thumb to create an extra large finger cot to keep the barbecue sauce from soaking in to the bandage. If not, it would have made it difficult to tell where the barbecue sauce ended and the blood leakage began!)
Mom's fingers in lower right, unfortunately you can't see my improvised finger cot!

Dr. Pham checked Mom out and also called the oncology office to confer since Mom had a compromised immune system due to the leukemia; she talked with Dr. Beal since Mom's oncologist Dr. Chan was out of the office. There were 2 options: 1) check Mom in to the hospital to start an intravenous antibiotic drip to knock out any infection, or 2) do some blood work to see if she had a bacterial infection causing the swelling and fever while giving her an intramuscular antibiotic shot now to be followed by oral antibiotics for 10 days, with the knowledge that if that did not knock out the infection she would have to get checked in to the hospital to do the IV drip. Mom chose option 2 because she wanted to go home. Leo, Dr. Pham's nurse, was great! He arranged for the lab tech to come upstairs to do the blood draw and also had the nurse from the shot clinic come over to Mom to give her the shot. He also did a nasal swab to check if she had the flu since it is going around and could be responsible for the fever. He also got a wheel chair for us to use to get Mom around with as little effort on her part as possible. (He could tell she was already losing steam for the day.)

I have changed the dressing for the evening. It had leaked again but was not as saturated as it was earlier in the day. Dr. Pham said I also needed to make sure the red line on Mom's arm did not go any higher (it was at her elbow) and the swelling of her hand also needed to stay the same, so I took out the mini-Sharpie that I carry with me and marked both while in her office. Dr. Pham chuckled, she said that's what they did in med school to keep track of both those things! The antibiotics seem to be working because the red line has now disappeared. The swelling is still there, however. Mom slept most of the afternoon since we got back. She skipped dinner and opted to sleep instead. She usually eats very well so I can tell that the fever is affecting her.

Things I need to be on the lookout for:  high fever, red line going past the line I drew on Mom's arm, swelling of her hand extending beyond the line I drew on her hand, excessive bleeding from the cut especially if I can't get it to stop. If any of these happen I am to take her to the ER immediately. Or if the lab calls and tells me I need to take her to the ER immediately. But for now we watch and wait.

I have been trying to figure out how Mom cut her thumb open so thoroughly. This is what I think happened. When Mom looses her balance and starts to fall she throws out her arms to try and catch something to keep herself from falling over. In the house it is frequently the hallway walls which accounts for the large bruises all over her arms. In the garage it is the cars as she walks between them. In this case I think she hit the edge of the green waste bin as she was flailing. If you look back at yesterday's photo you will see there is an edge at the top of the bin; this could also account for the blood spatter on the bin. I checked to see if I could find blood along the edge but it has been raining on and off today so I did not see anything; even the spatter on the side of the bin is washing away.

Happy Birthday to Sandy and Michael!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

ER Visit #9

About 6:30 this morning I heard the doorbell ring and thought Mom locked herself out when she went to get the newspaper. As I headed for the door I noticed that the inside door was propped wide open, when I got there I found the outside door was also wide open - must be the same scenario that occurred when Momo got out! As I looked through the garage, I saw Mr. & Mrs. Loi out in the driveway with Mom and realized something was wrong.

It turns out Mom decided she needed to move the green waste bin out to the curb. Having had the transfusion on Tuesday she felt like she could do everything, in spite of our directions on not lifting things, moving things, etc. Of course, she fell. Fortunately, Mrs. Loi was looking out their window and saw her fall because Mom is unable to get up on her own when she falls. She ended up cutting the skin on the upper side of her right thumb joint. Because she has a low platelet count due to the leukemia, she was bleeding profusely. Here's what she left on the side of the bin; I'm no blood spatter expert but it looks like the bin fell over with her and she dripped on it when it was down and also once it was upright again. There is now a trail of blood drops up the driveway and in to the house. There used to be a trail from the back door in to the bathroom but I cleaned up the parts on the linoleum floor.

I cleaned up Mom's thumb as best as I could with the non-stop bleeding and wrapped it so it would stop bleeding and start clotting. It was looking good so I went back to sleep (still a little under the weather). When I woke up a couple hours later I hear Mom telling Dad to help her sit up because she can't breathe! Apparently she went to take a nap next to him and had difficulty breathing. I could hear her wheezing and her breaths were shallow. I told her we were going to the emergency room; she said she was fine (which is also what she told the triage nurse). So I challenged her and said if she could sit up by herself and stand up and walk to the family room and not have any breathing difficulties then she did not have to go to the emergency room. Of course, she couldn't. So we went.

They were busier than they have been on any of our other visits. After the intake by the triage nurse, we had to wait. There was a really amazing 9-panel artwork piece; I think it would be a nonaptych, though Wikipedia only gives names for up to 8 panels. The name of the piece is Ka Wai 'Ola ma lalo na 'Ohe Ikaika by Arthur Johnsen. It means "Water of life under the strong bamboo." It looked like it was painted on textured canvas but it is actually giclee on canvas.

It turns out it was a good thing I took her in for the breathing issues. The ER doctor said anytime an elder falls and hits their head they should go to the ER to be checked for a concussion. (Mom had a bruise on her left temple that was not visible at 6:30 but was now obvious. Turns out Mom also had bruises on the heel of her left hand, left hip, and left buttock.) The CT scan showed no internal brain bleeding problems. With all the moving around, Mom opened up the wound on her thumb so it started bleeding all over; there was such a big spot on her gown the nurse said it looked like someone had shot her in the stomach! After they cleaned up her thumb it was also obvious it was much worse than it looked this morning. She ended up having 7 stitches and will have to follow up with her primary care physician on it. As for the breathing, the EKG showed no issues with her heart but the x-ray showed some fluid in her pleural cavity; I need to give her the furosemide to help drain the excess liquid off and continue to monitor her.

FYI - I was unable to take my usual photo of the monitor in the ER. My phone started acting up after I took the photo of the artwork and would not take any more photos. So you are also missing my wonderful lunch of peanuts, beef jerky, and cranberry juice from the vending machine. Mom had no lunch since they were not sure what exactly was going on and whether they would have to sedate her for anything.

Happy Birthday to Tsi-Cy-Altsa!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Transfusion #7

Yesterday Dr. Chan's office called a little after 5 to say Mom needed a transfusion. Since I would not be able to get the cross-match done (the lab closes at 5:30) I asked for a Wednesday appointment. They said her hemoglobin level was so low they wanted her to get the transfusion as soon as possible; so they scheduled to do the cross-match at the ATC first thing in the morning before the transfusion. So that's what we did.

Mom was breathing so hard walking from the car to the elevator, I got a wheelchair for her once we got to the lobby level. She got 2 units of packed red blood cells (PRBC), which always includes intravenous fluids to keep things flowing properly. I have not gotten back in to the routine of weighing Mom every morning before breakfast and taking her blood pressure. Usually I know exactly where her blood pressure and weight are at so I can tell how the transfusion has affected her. They did give her furosemide to help get rid of the extra fluids. I will be tracking her weight and checking for swelling in her feet to keep an eye on it. If needed, she has furosemide that is taken on an as needed basis.

Had lunch from the hospital cafeteria; forgot to take photos again. It was sesame honey glazed pork with steamed vegetables and white rice. The white rice is for Mom, she always has to have white rice when she eats out. On a previous visit Curt brought lunch from a Jamaican lunch truck on base; he says there are a lot of good lunch trucks on base. But his car died a couple days ago so he is carpooling and unable to do that this time.

On the way out, Mom was able to walk on her own with only a little problem breathing. All total, we were at the facility for about 8 1/2 hours. We arrived at 7:30 am and left at 4 pm. I'm getting to know the place pretty well!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Back to Normal

... Not!

Mom was complaining about being tired and was out of breath a lot. When I took her in for her blood test this morning she was totally winded walking from the parking garage to the waiting area for the lab tests. We kind of guessed Dr. Chan's office would be calling for a transfusion this week. She was so low they scheduled her for tomorrow even though I said I would be unable to get her in today for the cross match. (There was only 25 minutes to get her to the lab before it closed for the day.) They said to come in at 7:30 for the cross match; they did not want to put off the transfusion till Wednesday. I forgot to ask how many units she was getting so I don't know how long we will be there, but the last time we did a cross match at the ATC we had to wait for an additional 3 hours.

When we were running errands after the blood draw this morning, Mom was so tired I had to push her while she sat on her walker. We definitely need to get a small wheelchair for her for the last few days before she gets her transfusion.

I don't think I get to count it as an ER visit that I made, but I was "with" Kai via IM during his ER visit this morning. His final diagnosis was inflammatory colitis, cause unknown. They have given him an anti-inflammatory. I will be checking in with him over the next few days to see how he is doing.

When I went to check for Momo, I saw a bunch of tents set up in the new parking lot at the humane society. I asked about them, turns out these were the 300+ dogs that were confiscated last week from a place in Waianae. It was run as a no-kill shelter, but apparently the operator was unable to care for the animals properly.

On the way back I saw another view of Leahi. This is taken from Date Street, looking over the Ala Wai Public Golf Course.
Leahi #19