Saturday, August 30, 2008

Round and round we go, what he's got nobody knows

Yesterday we spent 4 hours at yet another gastroenterology clinic getting an EUS (endoscopic ultrasound). Nothing showed up in the ultrasound, I think we were looking for clogged bile ducts, but the doctor at this clinic doesn't talk to the patient's mother so I don't really know. He did send a nurse out to the waiting room to explain that we need to see our referring doctor to rule out panniculitis. When I asked the nurse what that was, he really didn't know. After looking it up on the internet when I got home, I decided that I don't want to know either. The interesting thing about this is, the gastrodoc was looking at the CT scans we had taken in the ER on August 4 and was questioning the hazing effect in the pics of the abdomen. Here we are 4 weeks and 5 docs later and someone is finally reviewing the CT scan that was the first thing we had done. I'm now trying to get his next gastrodoc appointment moved up sooner than Sept. 11, but all docs are off until Tuesday. I hope nobody needs a doctor in the next 3 days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An assignment for Sunday...

As I was sitting quietly on the back row in church on Sunday, I was caught unaware and before I knew it, I had agreed to teach a lesson next Sunday in a combined Relief Society/Priesthood meeting. My topic will be the new Family Search program. I guess since I am the ward family history teacher, I should not be surprised at being asked to teach such a lesson. Where to start, where to start? This morning I have been to the new website and read (again) all the things for family history consultants. I have also completed previously, the e-learning courses, for which I received a certificate of completion suitable for framing. I have watched the "roll out" power point presentation again and still need to view the DVD. I have printed out some "key" points and will probably go with those as a handout and an outline for my lesson. I am excited about the new program and I think it will be a wonderful tool for those who want to enter their family history information in preparation for temple ordinances.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Oh what a PAIN this is...

Well, I hardly know where to start this rant. Perhaps I am expecting too much from the medical profession, but wouldn't you think if the doctor's office called and moved up your appointment, that they would have reviewed your file and be prepared to give a diagnosis? Evidently I was expecting too much. As the nurse showed us to the examination room she asked about Nathan's bloodwork. I told her it was done on the 11th, she said she would call and get the results (in my mind I thought, this is not a good sign). In the examination room I mentioned the abdominal ultrasound he'd had on the 18th. She'd have to call and get that, too. (Alarm bells are ringing in my head now). Doctor comes in, quickly scans the reports, asks if the pain is still there (it is), says that the part he wanted to see is not on the ultrasound report. He finds out after our appointment is over that the abdominal ultrasound with doppler that he ordered does not include a scan of the liver, which was the whole point of the test for Nathan. His parting words were that he doesn't think there is anything seriously wrong, he ordered more blood work, and an endoscopic ultrasound for next Friday, follow-up appointment on Sept. 11. He did give Nathan some Nexium samples for the heartburn he doesn't have.
The best part of the whole visit came next. We went to the lab next door to the doctor's office for the blood work just as the Mountain Man candy lady arrived. We purchased her last bag of chocolate-covered pretzels and that's what we're having for lunch.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Mess of Beans...

We harvested our first stringbeans from the "square foot" garden today. I fixed them like my grandmother used to and she always called this recipe "A Mess of Beans". In a large pot add several cups of stringbeans, a few new potatoes, some carrots, a chopped onion, and some bacon (I use pre-cooked or microwave type--not as greasy), put enough chicken stock or beef stock to cover, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour. Serve with slices of french bread or hard rolls to dip in the soupy part.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We're getting closer to a diagnosis...

The gastroenterologist's office called today and Dr. Sugar wants to see Nathan on Friday morning. We thought we were going to have to wait until next Tuesday. Maybe something's up?

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Book Review

This weekend I read a book called Elder Rage or Take My Father Please by Jaqueline Marcell. It is an excellent book for those who are caregivers of elderly relatives. If you read this blog in April and May, I posted almost every day on my adventures with Larry's parents and the problems we were having. I have since deleted those posts. The problems have eased a little, but it is only a matter of time until we are back in the trenches with them again. Ms. Marcell has written a humorous, yet poignant book about dealing with her Jekyll and Hyde father and her sweet co-dependent mother. There were many parallels to what has been happening to my in-laws, to the trials and tribulations she had with her parents. It is comforting to know that we are not alone in dealing with stubborn, angry, and non-cooperative parents. I couldn't put this book down once I started it. It puts difficult issues in a humorous perspective, which I found quite enjoyable. There are many suggestions on how to deal with elderly parents and numerous references to resources that can help in the final pages of this book.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I hear the rolling thunder...

Shortly after 3 a.m. this morning, I awoke from a sound sleep to the roar of thunder, lightning flashes, pounding rain on the roof. Some of the thunder shook the house and I'm sure the lightning was in the backyard by the bedroom window. The power was knocked out briefly after one tremendous bolt hit close by. The only one who slept through it was Nathan, who usually awakes at the slightest sound. I am always reminded of the hymn, How Great Thou Art, whenever I hear thunder. Thy power throughout the universe displayed..

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anniversary of sorts

Today marks the 22 anniversary of the accident that shattered the life of our beloved Nathan and changed our lives forever. It was a beautiful day, just like it is today. Warm, but not too hot. Nathan was riding his bike over to get a haircut at about 1 in the afternoon. At the same time, a drunk driver was on the same road, drinking and driving in his car. He struck the bicyle from behind throwing Nathan into a deep ditch on the opposite side of the road. The driver also ended up in the ditch. Lucky for Nathan, the accident happened almost in front of the local fire station. Paramedics were able to get to the scene within a few minutes after a motorist notified them. They originally thought he had died in the accident, but they administered aid and sent him by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital. Good Sam stabilized him as best they could and transported him to St. Joseph Hospital for emergency brain surgery. The neuro-surgeon told us the chances for his survival were not good and that he would never awake from the coma even if he did survive. Well, he did wake from the coma and he did survive. Now 22 years later he is enjoying life to the best of his ability and is a very pleasant and cheerful person. We are very glad that we still have him with us. With God all things are possible...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Update on Nathan

Today we went to see Dr. Sugar, the gastroenterologist. It was his first day on the job, he is a brand new doctor and we really liked him. He asked all kinds of good questions and referred Nathan for blood work, an endoscopy, and an ultra sound. We had the blood work done today, the endoscopy is scheduled for tomorrow and the ultra sound next Monday. We learned from him that one of the blood tests from the ER visit was abnormal. This is the first we had been told of that. So the blood work done today will give us more detail about what might be going on. We are praying that it will be nothing serious.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Monday we'll see the specialist...

Nathan has an appointment on Monday afternoon to see a gastroenterologist named Dr. Sugar. Nathan is still in pain and is now on a starchy diet, no dairy and no fat. I'll be glad when this is all over and I'm sure Nathan will be too.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A visit to the doctor...

Today we did a follow-up visit with Nathan's doctor. She said he probably had sludge in his carburator or something like that. The pain in his side may be clogged bile ducts, even though he has had his gall bladder removed, there may be some residual material in the ducts. Next will be a trip to a gastroenterologist for some tests.

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's Monday, let's go to the ER..

For the past few days Nathan has complained of severe pain in his abdomen. It seemed to be worse every day, so this morning we went to the ER and spent the entire day. When the doctor examined him, the pain was localized to the area of the appendix and it was VERY painful. They ran blood tests, urinalysis, ct scan, everything was negative, so they shot him up with morphine and sent him home. I could say alot more about this visit, but I am way too tired and nothing has been resolved. He is still in pain.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Farmers Market...

We got up early this morning and went to see the farmers market. It is the first time we have gone this summer. We bought some peaches, blueberries, cucumbers, string beans, corn on the cob, and some giant chocolate cookies. It was fun looking at all the stalls filled with produce, arts and crafts, plants, and goodies to eat. The downtown area is looking very nice, the new city hall, new condo/apartments, little cafes dot the main streets. It doesn't look like the town I knew as a child, it looks much better. I would love to have one of the condos downtown and be able to walk everywhere. Both of the new buildings are also very close to the library. A perfect retirement spot.