Sunday, May 26, 2013

Grape hyacinth and cream colored roses. My wedding bouquet was cream colored roses and grape hyacinth.
 Things have gone inexplicably wrong at the hospital. He had one great day, and it looked like stroke recovery would go well. 
This Memorial Day weekend my husband is on a respirator and feeding tube in ICU.
 It turns out the nutsy stuff I used to shake my head over was probably due to dementia. I'd recently insisted he go to a doctor. He went but would not allow me in the room. I suspect he was not completely honest with the doctor. 

I told him we needed to get through whatever changes were happening to him in the best way we could and he needed to get medical help. He knew something was wrong. He had tremor in his hands and was scared for me to go anywhere. He said "What if something happens to me?" I made him an appointment with a psychologist to discuss his reluctance to seek medical help. I thought to myself that if  he was going to have Alzheimer's or Parkinson's we could manage our way through it with medical help.

He was not able to make the appointment because of the stroke. In the space of a week the nurses could not believe he was the same patient. On Tuesday walking (with assistance), holding food, getting a drink with straw to his mouth, talking (nonsense, but for the most part with a great vocabulary); each day he lost something. Each day. The next Tuesday he had lost the ability to do any of those things and more. This is day 17. On day 15 he had trouble breathing, so they took him back to ICU.

Rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease. 

He is finally resting peacefully with the assistance of heavy sedation. I don't know what will happen. I only know what the doctor's tell me, and I cannot get my mind around it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Windsor again

I have a few more photos from my Windsor, ON day that I want to share. These are from my walk along the waterfront.
When you get past the flower filled park there is a tour boat. As I was snapping these photos, the "captain" invited me aboard to view the entire photo gallery and history of the vessel. I declined. Woman traveling alone and not getting into confined space with stanger.
I love industrial stuff. Seriously, on a boat tour of the Savannah River, I just loved seeing how/where behind-the-scenes stuff gets done. I was breathing in the scent of industry, and, despite concern for my  lungs, absolutely loved it.
 I'm not at all sure what they are or were, but aren't  they magnificent? If I'd payed more attention in physics class I would have thought lever and counter weight. Maybe?
 Every trip has its fun bit; this was one of mine. Yippee:
 I am glad I was warned; sheesh, are they not adorable?
 The Richard Gere looking one in the polo shirt "chatted me up." His friends probably won't let him forget it either. Well, I have to thank him. I hadn't had that much pleasant conversation with a handsome (younger) man, who was not a son, in forever. It really made my day. 

Speaking of men, my husband had a stroke a week ago. It has been an exhausting and confusing week for me. Yesterday he took a turn for the better. He was able to string together a few words for the first time. They were "Oh Karmen goddammit!" The nurse says "Oh you are the one he hollars for all night." That'd be me.

Yep, he'll be back to his old charming self before long. First he will be transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. I don't think he will be there long.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Rochester and Windsor

When I left the Ricky Tims show, I drove to the shopping district in Rochester, MI.
The sidewalk had many delightful decorative concrete inserts. These are two I found especially attractive.
Dad has made some pretty cool concrete items like an awesome mill stone set into the backyard. Perhaps he can create something like these, or even better, show me how.

From Michigan I drove to Windor, Ontario. I went through the Windsor Tunnel and showed my shiny new passport to the border officer. He asked a lot of questions and was NO NONSENSE. It was a bit scary.

That was not, however, the scariest moment. I discovered my GPS didn't know what Canada was. I figured I could make my  way to the Hilton, since on Mapquest I could clearly see the Caesar's hotel and casino would be on my left and the Hilton on the right. Not a problem, except I was ejected from the border area right into the city. I did not expect to be in the dark in a district of bars and hoochee-coochee dance establishments.

So I had to think and not panic. The hotel was on the river,  so how darn hard could  it be to find? Plus it is a fairly tall building. I found it right in front of the bus station. Woo-hoo! Once I found the parking garage, I had to walk in a very lonely, smelly tunnel to the hotel, but once in the room I was greeted by a fabulous 180 degree view of the Detroit skyline.
And the next morning I witnessed a fabulous sunrise. The three tall building (lit up above) are the GM buildings. 
I went for an early morning walk in the park along the river.
 Pink and red tulips.
 Pools of color were everywhere.

Orange tulips and sunny yellow daffodils (jonquils?).
 I tried to get a panoramic view of the river of red tulips.
The park was wonderfully laid out with all manner of evergreen shrubs and trees and artfully placed granite boulders. (exuse the coffee cup, I am too tired to edit)
After my walk I had to go back to my room to say good bye to the view. One of the GM towers is on the right.
I feel pretty guilty right now. I came home from the hospital around 3 yesterday to take care of my dogs. They had been locked up in the bathroom since 6 in the morning. The drive to hospital is about an hour, depending on traffic. Atlanta traffic can be brutal. I called the hospital to check on him before I went to bed (I tried to go to sleep at 6 p.m.), since they planned to move him to a regular room from the ICU, but they were having a shift change, so they asked me to call back. Later, when I got the nurse on the phone, she sounded like she'd been dealing with a challenge. They had indeed moved him into a regular room, and she said he was jumping out of bed, pulling out his lines, and kicking them, so they had to tie his legs to the bed too. She said he yelled for me over and over.

I felt like there was nothing I would be able to do to make it better if I drove all the way back. He was delerious and begging to go home all day yesterday while I was there. The nurses had pulled him up out of bed to demonstrate to him that he cannot stand up and walk yet.

The brain bleed is over, but the medicines they had to give him to get cooperation for the MRI  (it took three tries to get it) have really dealt him a set back. I don't know what I will deal with when I go down there today. I know I have to go back to the hospital. I have been reading about hospital psychosis on the internet. Having family around seems to help patients re-connect with reality.

He is at Emory University Hospital. Guess what? Today is graduation on the Emory campus and they already have a massive traffic jam in the area. I will wait a little longer to leave home. If the graduation attendees get situated, I can go to the valet parking and let them find my car a spot. Still, I am apprehensive about getting stuck in the mess (on top of everything else).