Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's next?

Just when she was starting to recover from last week's surgery, my sister fell and broke her left wrist! She had gone downstairs to let the dog out and decided to step outside while waiting for him to finish his business. Her feet went out from under her and she landed on her left hand. 

There was a heavy snowfall overnight so six inches of snow had to be shoveled from the house to the garage before we were off to Emergency at the local hospital. Amazingly, the ER was empty and she was fast-tracked through a painful "reduction" before having the wrist encased in a beautifully wrapped "cast". Three hours later we were home with a supply of percocet.

Needless to say, our return to Salmon Arm will be delayed while I help with meal prep and house cleaning until she adjusts to being single-handed. What's next??

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

My sister went into the hospital for surgery yesterday. She had a large growth on her left ovary and the Surgeon wasn't sure whether he would have to perform a full hysterectomy if he discovered a malignancy. We waited for hours to hear the news. When he finally called, he reported that he had performed a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy! Whew!! That sounded scarey!! I rushed to Google, my reliable reference source.

So, Google advised me that he had removed both ovaries and fallopian tubes by laparoscopy. She had four small incisions in her belly. He was confident that there was no malignancy in the growth but it would be sent for pathology, just to make sure. He said that everything looked very good! What great news!!

After several post-surgery hours, she was able to return home. The nurse was convinced that she met all of the requirements for release (ie) party, pee and eat!! The "party" portion was accomplished when she did a "bum shuffle" from the delivery cot to another bed. After several cups of water she was happy to accommodate the "pee" requirement. Then we waited for a tepid, grey hospital meal to be delivered.
By the time that the nurse returned, enough had been removed from the tray to convince her that my sister had eaten!

No solid food for two days had left my sister ravenous for Kraft Dinner with a side dish of pizza, her version of comfort food! The pizza was waiting when we walked into the house and a package of Kraft Dinner was soon in the pot.

We celebrated briefly before she staggered off to bed with two Tylenol 3's in hand.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Support hose

Yesterday my sister and I visited Regency Medical Supplies. The purpose of the visit was to "fit" my sister with support hose. She has been delivering mail for 35 years and the stress of pounding the pavement had resulted in varicose veins.

We were surrounded with all of the equipment that helps the elderly and disabled to function: canes, walkers and incontinence supplies. A friendly woman, identified as a certified support hose technician,
led us to a tiny room at the end of the store.

Using a measuring tape, she took measurements of my sister's ankles and calves as well as the length of her legs from foot to knee. Availability was restricted to beige or black stockings, she explained. Searching through the stack of boxes, she produced two brands. One product was more sheer than the other but the opaque stocking was cotton and would be cooler. When removed from the boxes, I was surprised to see that they were "knee-highs".

"Do you normally wear pants?" she asked. My sister replied that she wears shorts for nine months of the year. "In that case you'll probably want the opaque ones" the technician said. "They will look more trendy". Immediately I had an image of my sister walking down the street in shorts with chubby knees above her beige support hose. Maybe she would start a new trend!!

Removing one pair from the box, the technician began her tutorial on "The proper method for installation and removal of support hose". A pair of rubber gloves was essential for the task! The support hose fit very tightly and the gloves, with hundreds of little nubbles on the palms, help to push and pull them into position. "When removing them" she cautioned "make sure that you don't roll them down to your ankle because the compression increases and you would be applying a torniquet to your foot!" Yikes!! "This is much more serious than pulling on panty hose" she warned.

After sweating through the application of the first pair, my sister announced that the toe seam could present a problem, rubbing against her shoes while walking. "Oh, no problem." the technician replied. "We have a toeless version!"

So, when we left the store 45 minutes later, my sister was wearing her new "trend setting" knee high, support hose and the technician was happy that her demonstration had been successful! I was happy that the outdoor temperature was under zero and this wasn't one of the days that my sister was wearing shorts!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Final arrangement of glass plates

Transition Day

Our departure from Puerto Vallarta was preceded with a touch of drama when Doug's mother slipped and fell into the pool! Of course she did what any 92 year old great-great grandmother would do under the circumstances! She did a casual float on her back toward the shallow end with the help of her son who was also in the pool. Fortunately she didn't sustain any injuries, just embarrassment!! What a woman!!
Jean on a "pre-planned swim" with her noodle!

Following a long delay at the Puerto Vallarta check-in counter, we had a smooth flight to Los Angeles.
A wheelchair was waiting to take John on the long journey to our next departure gate in another terminal. We arrived at customs to discover a lineup of 100 wheelchairs carrying Asians from a recent flight! Instead of a two hour wait for our flight to Vancouver, we only had ten minutes to spare before boarding.

In Vancouver we stepped outside to minus 5 degrees after leaving 35 degrees in Puerto Vallarta!! What a transition!! On the bright side, the sun is shining and our family is happy to see us!