Sneakin’ and geekin’…

Two steps forward, one step backward today in the cardiac ICU with Mom. Pneumonia threat has backed off – whew! That’s the scary one… And the intestinal problems have been managed more effectively, making her more comfortable. But the newest issue is a slight heart arrhythmia – common a few days after heart surgery.

An annoyance today regarding her IV’s. She had plugs and tubes coming from her neck, arms, and hands – and they began to get dicked up*.  Morning Nurse recommended a pericutaneous intravenous catheter to manage ports better – and it would also make Mom more comfortable.

In the meantime, the damn IV pumps would become “obstructed”, and alarms would sound.  Around lunchtime, Mom had been up all morning and was exhausted.  The IV pump alarms had kept her awake the night before, too.  She was trying to sleep, but the damn alarms kept waking her up.  The nurse would come in, play with the lines, then hit the “reset” button on the pump.  Alarm off for five minutes.  Alarm on again, waking her up.  Repeat for about 30 minutes…

Finally, since the nurse had explained that it was just the saline line becoming “dicked up”, i started hitting the reset button myself.  At least until Nurse Ratchet** caught me – and recommended that i stop playing with the equipment.  i apologized, of course, promising not to do it again – but continued to sneak over and hit the reset until Mom’s nurse returned from lunch and just shut the damn thing off…

It’s during the family medical situations that i regret not going into the medical field.  Unfortunately, i’m insanely squeamish about the gooey-sciences, and have a tendency to pass out at the sight of puncture wounds. 

But give me electronics and gadgets?  Hoo-AHH! 


* It’s a medical term. When i hang around hospitals long enough, i pick up the lingo… i’m a veritable sponge for occupational lingo.

** Not Mom’s nurse for the morning, so she wasn’t used to me and probably thought i was trying to “put her down” to collect the inheritance to pay off gambling debts or something…

Teddy Bears and Marxism at the Hospital

Mom’s doing ok – about 2 days post-operative and she’s been up walking, is gaining strength, but still very tired.  Issues with trailer park behavior are minimal – although i’m considering bringing a baseball bat tomorrow just in case.

Scores and Highlights:

     – Recovering from invasive surgery, such as bypass, includes a regimen of coughing.  It helps keep pneumonia at bay, brings up excess lung-butter and exercises the pulmonary system.  The challenge is the suture line – too much pressure and internal organs make unwelcome cameo appearances.  Hospitals routinely use a device known as “Sir Koff-a-lot” to aid patients.  It’s beautiful to see all of the patients in cardiac intensive care – mostly elderly – clinging tightly to their bears.  Mom is quite fond of her bear, and wants him tucked in with her before sleeping – “in case i need to cough”.  If she didn’t look like hell, i’d take a picture.  When she’s feeling better, we’ll need to name him.  My suggestion?  “Loogie”…

Continue reading

A tale of willpower. A tale of stupidity.


My mother is one tough nugget.    


After 65 years of sucking tar, she quit smoking.  Completely.  She smoked her last cigarette about a month ago.  i am in awe of this – having assumed it wasn’t possible to ditch a 3-pack a day habit that fast.  But she did it.  She took Chantix, prescribed by her surgeon, but stayed at the low dose – probably not enough to have made much difference.


This was sheer willpower. 


Where did it come from?  Yesterday she told us that a light bulb went off when Robo-Doc said – “You’re here to talk about bypass surgery.  I assume that means you want to live.  You need to quit smoking – for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery”.  She realized she really does want to live…


Continue reading