March Hospitalization

My positive 2018, is becoming more and more challenging.

I was hospitalized the end of March for five days with sepsis, pneumonia, the flu and a very low blood pressure.   It began with a pretty exciting trip to the ER.  I drove myself to the ER and walked and checked myself in to their care.  They brought me back and took my vitals and sent me down for chest x-rays.  I was in a wheelchair for this trip.  I arrived back at the ER check in and they told me they were going to do blood work.  I looked up and said:” I do not feel so good. I think I need some oxygen.”  I put my head down in my lap and promptly passed out in front of everyone.  Next thing I knew I was on a gurney with nurses cutting my clothes off of me and putting all kinds of wires on me to check my heart and vitals.  My BP had gone down into the top number being in the 45s and 50s.  One nurse told me I was the second most exciting thing that had happened that morning.  I have no idea what was the first.

I was put in a room in the ER area and given antibiotics and fluid to bring my BP up.  They kept a good eye on me and I saw many doctors.  They decided to admit me and because the hospital was full I had to wait in the ER until 4:40am.  The first meal they brought me was in the ER room and had squash in it, since I hate all kinds of cooked squash, it gave me a good laugh.

They took me to the ICU to keep an eye on me due to the heavy duty BP meds they were giving me.  I was coughing and snorting and blowing my nose and was generally feeling pretty awful.  They settled me into my room, checked me out all over and let me try to get some sleep.  However in the ICU every time I would close my eyes and start to drift off someone would cruise in to do something.  They gave me Theraflu and figured out I am allergic to Vancomycin.

Three days later they moved me to the fifth floor, a step down unit where I was able to sleep for a few hours at a time.  I was able to finally get up and sit in a chair and use the bathroom with help.  I was very weak and had to use a walker while in this room. My brain could not think to type texts much less blogs or notices to anyone.  They had PT come visit the last day I was in and evaluate me.  The last day they weaned me off oxygen and got me ready to go home.

Thank God for my younger sister, Anita.  She showed up regularly to visit me. She took care of stuff that needed to be done for me. She brought me escape clothes for going home.  She and my older sister came and picked up the car and brought it home.  She brought me my power cords for my phone and Kindle.  She kept my spirits up.  I banned everyone else from the hospital due to me having the flu, even my husband.  My younger daughter nagged him to go see urgent care for the coughing symptoms he had.  Yss, we were all a mess.

They sent me home with three new prescriptions to take once a day, and one to take twice a day.  I came home using my walker for the first day and a half and felt better and tucked it away.

I had a follow up appointment and the doctor told me he was surprised I was as strong as I was.  I also had the Visiting nurses out to determine if I needed PT and they said I did not need PT at this time.  They did a complete evaluation anyway.

Meanwhile,our house is undergoing renovation….More about this in another blog.

I am alive and recovering a little more each day.

Different Modes of Dialysis

Are you aware there are six different modes of dialysis?  Be an informed patient and look over your options. Discuss each with your doctors.  Make the best decision for you.

Hemodialysis definition: In hemodialysis, a dialysis machine and a special filter called an artificial kidney, or a dialyzer, are used to clean your blood.

There are three access types for hemodialysis: arteriovenous (AV) fistula, AV graft and central venous catheter. Discuss these choices with your doctors.

The Modes of Dialysis

hemodialysis in clinic-short runs- 3-4 hour runs three days a week

Extended time hemodialysis in clinic or home dialysis- 5 to 7 hours three days a week

Nocturnal dialysis- six to eight hour run, done at night- in clinic or at home.

Home hemodialysis- dialysis is done at home for shorter hours and more days

Peritoneal dialysis- done through a tube implanted in the abdominal, peritoneal area of the abdomen.

CAPD-is a ‘do it yourself’ option that does not require a machine. It involves a tube permanently inserted through the abdomen to allow a fluid called dialysate to be emptied and replaced every day. This is an at home treatment

CCPD-a machine automatically fills and drains the dialysis solution from the abdomen. A typical CCPD schedule involves three to five exchanges during the night while the person sleeps. During the day, the person using CCPD performs one exchange with a dwell time that lasts the entire day.  This is done at home.

Preparing to Stop Working or Retire on Dialysis

There are several things that need to be looked at if you are preparing to stop working or retire while on dialysis.

Find the social worker who is to work with through your medical insurance immediately.  Get them involved in some of these questions.

Look into keeping your job if you can after starting dialysis.  I had one doctor tell me I would not return to work, I fired him, and my next doctor said if you feel up to it, and gave me a back to work order. I was in the hospital November 2 and back to work January 3rd. I was a special education teacher for fifteen years while on dialysis.

Look into your retirement. Does work provide disability retirement for those younger than the retirement age?  Get the forms to fill out if so.  My retirement plan had a disability part that I was eligible to have.  Half my salary until 62 years of age.

If you are retirement age get the forms for retirement.  Be sure to check into benefits available to you after retirement.  I had full benefits from the school district for six years after I retired.

Does your company have disability insurance, and do you have it?   I signed up for it and held to the two years of not using it, then had full benefits from it. It paid the rest of my salary for two years, and then dropped me to a payment every month.

Medicare will pay dialysis bills after  most of the medical bills, you may have copays.

https://www.medicare.gov/people-like-me/esrd/getting-medicare-with-esrd.html

Apply for Medicaid.

https://www.medicaid.gov/

Apply for social security disability.

https://www.ssa.gov/disability/

Start a gofundme.com page for help with medical bills and expenses.

https://www.gofundme.com/medical-fundraising

Start the kidney transplant process with your nephrologist. You MUST request transplant information and to start the process with your doctor.  You are NOT automatically put on a transplant list just because you start dialysis.

https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidney-transplant

Ask for copies of your medical records for the past year.  Most places can put them on CD rom or thumb drive for you now.

Keep copies of all forms you fill out.

Keep note son dates forms were mailed out.

Keep track of all correspondence from all agencies involved. Use file folders for direct correspondence and computer file folders for computer responses.

Keep a running journal of everything that happens with all agencies.  I used my computer to keep track of things.

A Widget Lesson Plan

I taught for many years.  This is one of my favorite lessons to do with almost any age.

Persuasive Writing

Widget project

Day 1

    Give students a paper bag filled with widget making materials.

They are to design a widget.  A widget can be anything they want it to be.  They can use whatever materials you have given to them.

Materials

Plates, cups, paperclips, glue, tape, yarn, string, hole punch, scissors, etc.

Glue, tape, stickers, puffballs….etc

Day 2

Have students fill out the widget questionnaire. Widget Questionnaire

Answer the following questions about your widget. Use complete sentences.

  1. What is the widget? It has to be something. Give it a name.
  2. What does the widget do?  It has to do something.
  3. What age groups will use the widget?  Which age group will have the most fun with the widget? Why?
  4. Who invented the widget?
  5. Why was this widget invented?
  6. List three things the widget can do.
  7. Why would someone buy the widget?
  8. What is the cost of this widget?

Day 3/4

   Students may need two days to answer the questions.

 Video tape several commercials off TV to show them what a commercial is.  Tape some radio commercials for them to listen to. Gather written advertisements for students to look at.

After they answer the questions, they begin to write a commercial for their widget.  They use their widget questions answers to write the commercial

Pictures ads can be drawn by younger students.

    Day 5

    Final drafts are to be written from the rough draft copy students have done. Be sure to assist in correcting rough drafts so final drafts are correct.

Medical Update

Update:
Gosh darn it! I hate being caught in bureaucracy of medical people.  I was to have had the catheter removed today, but no room on their schedule for me.  I did everything I was supposed to do, made my appointments and did the ultrasound, but no room on their schedule for removing it.  I yelled at the vascular nurse I was so frustrated.  She knew I was coming for a removal and did not leave room in the schedule for me to have it done.  She says she had to see the ultrasound first before scheduling the catheter removal. Utter bullshit, she should have put me on the schedule for a getting it out today.  I am still pissed.  I was so looking forward to a shower on Sunday.  They will have time to remove it 9:15 Monday morning.  Another F***ing appointment to go to.

 

Update:

Made it to the Monday and the catheter came out.  IT was not too painful and fairly quick.  The nurses were very nice and so was the doctor.  I was a little shaky afterwards but came home and slept before going to dialysis.  All is okay and the site is healing.

Ihatedialysis.com Tenth Annual Reunion 2011

I flew into Vegas on the 3rd and flew out on the 10th. Such an easy way to get to Vegas for 88 dollars each way.  I stayed at the Worldmark condo on Spencer Street from October 3-10. I shared the condo with Aleta L. It is a small condo section hidden back behind shopping areas about a mile behind the Silver Sevens Resort down Flamingo.  It was a small two-bedroom condo; however, it had enough room for what we needed to do.

Danielle and Dave brought Violet up with them and stayed a night with us and went to the IHD.com dinner, too.  Violet loved the pots and pans in the cupboards and pulled them out all over the place.  She was also given a small bag of potato chips that were promptly tossed all over the floor and mashed into crumbs.  She had loads of fun playing with the condo stuff.  Violet decided she knew Aleta L.  We think she thought she was our friend Marilyn.  They look a lot alike.  When Aleta picked her up into her lap, Violet got the shy look on her face, that said “Oops I do not know you.” But most kids like Aleta so it was okay.

The Tenth annual reunion of ihatedialysis.com happened over the weekend of October 6-7, 2017.  Members of the IHD.com forums and Facebook met and talked and ate and partied around Las Vegas.The Meet and Greet for members was on Friday night at kitkatz’ condo.  We talked and introduced ourselves and met new people.  Dinner was organized by the Admin Kitkatz. Dinner was on Saturday night at Buca Di Beppo on Flamingo Ave.  Huge portions, good food, and great people. DarthVadar- Carolyn- had a brownie ice cream dessert that was shared around the table.  It was huge!

The Admins of Ihatedialysis.com gave the members who attended a few mementoes of the occasion: A tote bag, a necklace of a kidney in a heart for the women, a keychain with kidney in a heart for the men, a dog tag chain with Tenth Annual Reunion on it, 5 ihatedialysis.com green ribbon pencils.  Darthvadar-Carolyn-brought packets of items from Ireland to share with the members. There was a postcard, magnet, pen, keychain, suckers, buttons, and shortbread cookies. A Tennessee T-shirt was from Aleta. A small notebook was from Del.

Overall the reunion was a success.  Next year is already being planned.

Mother Said…

Mother said to come in out of the rain.

Mother said to not look at the boys.

Mother said to not touch the iron or the stove

Mother said to sit like a lady

Mother said to leave well enough alone.

Mother said that life would be hard.

Mother said a lot of stuff she did not mean.

 

I say stand in the rain and enjoy it.

Watch the puddles pile up

At your feet and splash in them.

I say that men are fine looking

And should be admired.

I say be careful of hot stuff

You may get burned.

I say sit any way you want

When you are wearing pants.

I say explore, see, do, become.

I say enjoy life as it comes

It can be challenging.

I say things that are to be said

The truth.

2018 Positive About It

So the new year s has had an interesting start to it.

The news is such a downer these days and people seem to want to ride the negativity wagon with it.  I am trying to help change the world.

I said I was going to have a positive thinking year.  I said it out loud to a friend of mine because when you make a resolution or plan you should say it out loud.  I said I was going to be more positive about things this year. Instead of people standing so close to me in the supermarket at the ATM, I am positive they bothered me.  Much laughter.

Well life is testing me. My access for dialysis went down the 5th of January.  Of course a declot was done and  I am positive that doctor had no idea he was torturing me when he failed to declot and fix it the first time.  A catheter was placed the next day and a month later I had the fistula ballooned so it works now.  I am positive that 1st doctor will not touch me again.

So here it February, almost Valentine’s Day.  I am positive from my chocolate people who sent me Christmas chocolate, I do not need Valentine’s chocolate. However I am pretty positive Walgreens will see me February 15th for their sale candy.

I spent money today like I have money to spend.  Sushi lunch at Miyagi’s, a Kay jewelers visit for customer appreciation day event,  (My Visa card was appreciated), an order to Melaleuca.com for laundry detergent, and a few Amazon.com purchases.  Visa loves me today.  I spent over what I paid them as a payment this month!  I am positive I have some gifts for the year covered. So now to watch for Amazon orders and Meleauca order to come to the door.

So these are my first months of 2018.

I am going trying to keep it positive.

Update-Dialysis January 2017

My fistula clotted on a Sunday morning early, early. Since I had to wait to Monday morning, I had quite along wait to contact vascular surgery. I was in misery the entire time the radiologist tried to declot my fistula. They could not get an IV in so the doctor was giving me meds into the fistula area and it was just carrying away. It had me up over my pain threshold. I was crying and screaming for him to stop torturing me four hours into it all. Tuesday morning I was invited back to get a chest catheter. Basically I am all right. I ache all the time in my shoulder due to the bleed the doctor caused trying to declot the fistula, plus the catheter being almost on top of it. I am also chronically cold now all the time.

Update February 1

Things are better. I am feeling better.  I have an appointment for vein study and ballooning on Feb 6th.  This time real meds will be given tome, I hope.

Update Feb 6, 2018

They managed to give me enough meds to balloon the area under my arm that was causing problems in my fistula.