Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

On & Off

About six weeks ago, overnight, I began suffering from body aches, nausea, dizziness, and even managed to puke a few times. Since I was under the care of the kind folks at Hospice, they felt a urine sample might shed some light on exactly what was going on.

Sure enough, lab results showed I had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Standard antibiotics were administered, and relief from my symptoms arrived quickly.

Unfortunately, a few days after finishing my antibiotics, the same symptoms returned. A second, stronger, longer course of antibiotics was administered, and order was quickly restored.

Over last weekend, you guessed it, the symptoms returned.

All the medical folks quickly decided my UTI had gone from being problematic to abnormal. Another urine sample was taken to confirm what we already knew, and we made an appointment to see a Urologist on Wednesday. 

I didn't make to Wednesday. 

On Tuesday, the more common symptoms of a UTI simply began to annoy me more and more. I got fed up with having a constant urge to go, and not really producing anything. I was thoroughly tired of the aching pressure in my bladder. Anger and discomfort suddenly gave way to a sweeping feeling of dejection, I snapped at Amanda that I needed relief, and we called out our Hospice nurse, Sue.

A simple plan was devised: Sue would put a catheter in me, and I would go to the local hospital if that didn't work.

Sue's attempt wasn't successful. To speed up our plan, we decided to call for an ambulance - I'd get straight in for treatment in the Emergency Room, rather than sitting in the waiting room.

The staff at our local, small hospital were very pleasant, but their three attempts to insert a catheter were all unsuccessful. With no on-call Urologist, the staff quickly arranged to transfer me to a larger hospital and alerted the on-call Urologist there of my problems.

Two more attempts were made - including one final attempt by the Urologist - before the Urologist decided that I'd need to have a procedure under general anesthetic to discover what was going on.

This is the first time in the ordeal that ALS became an issue. Since ALS has reduced my lung capacity to below 50%, Anesthesiologists immediately get concerned about any procedure I'm involved in...as you might imagine.

Thankfully, two things were in my favor; first, it was a relatively non-invasive procedure, and second, it wouldn't take long.

With the Anesthesiologist happy, I went into the OR at 12:20 on Wednesday morning. I was out in about 30 minutes. 

For anyone keeping count, that was the seventh attempt that successfully inserted a catheter, and it felt like it. The Urologist told us that there was a narrowing in my urethra that he had fixed, and that the narrowing would have made it very difficult for me to completely empty my bladder...which led to UTIs.

With such a late finish, I ended up staying overnight, and was brought home by medical transport at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Later

I'll entertain you with my bladder story later this week, but suffice to say I'm glad the past day is over.

Many thanks to the members of CQN who have been posting some great jokes in the comments section.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Clutch

I am fortunate to have a powered wheelchair. They are very expensive. Thankfully, my chair is on loan from the MDA.

Like most chairs, it has plates that fold down for you to rest your feet on. The foot plates are much sought-after real estate between Cora and Louise. They both enjoy zooming around; one at a time, of course.

It has become part of our routine any time we leave the house. The girls get ready (read, "Amanda gets the girls ready"), the rallying cry, "Roll Out," is issued, and the girls race to me to see who gets to go for a ride.

On one recent occasion, Louise was riding with me on the short journey from the house to the van.

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As we paused at the top of the ramp, I became genuinely concerned that Louise, who was facing me, could fall backwards off the chair and crack her head on the ramp.

I said, "Louise, grab hold," and gathered my focus on smoothly navigating the ramp.

Louise grabbed the pocket on my sweatpants with her right hand, and I began driving down the ramp.

Halfway down the ramp, my hand  on the controls twitched and the wheelchair lurched a little.

I responded by redoubling my effort to focus on driving safely and smoothly.

Louise got startled, and responded by deciding that she would quickly grab on with her left hand, and double her hold on me.

Unfortunately for me, Louise, in her haste, clutched on to one of my testicles.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Scream

I'm not sure about the video, but the song has me swaying my feet.