Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Healthcare Coverage For The Elderly In Arizona May Be At Risk

Having been the caregiver for my late mother, this alarms me.  Sure, she no longer needs it, but there are many elderly people I know who do.

This started with viewing the video from The Young Turks, reading the article they cite from The Hill, but then doing a little digging for what this means to Arizona citizens. 

The article from The Hill:

Be sure to read all of this article from The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson.  This is where the coverage for the elderly gets brought up.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Preparing And Packing For Surgery

Almost always, anytime there is going to be a surgery, something will go wrong.

There are ways to mitigate issues with a little preparation.  

Where You Stay After Surgery Can Make A Difference

On May 17th, I underwent laparoscopic surgery to drain an ovarian cyst.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that my right ovary had to be removed in 2010 due to a cyst that had grown inside the ovary, which warranted emergency surgery.

Given this, I did have a little bit of understanding of what I was going to need for this.

The big issue:  the location of where the surgery was going to be done was 45-60 minutes away from my home, and this surgery was going to be outpatient, meaning I would be leaving the same day of the surgery for recuperation.  And that amount of time didn’t account for rush hour traffic.

Because of this, I went ahead and found a hotel that was not only within 10 minutes from where the surgical center was, but was across a canal from the local main hospital, in case there were complications.  I was actually closer to help there than in my own home.

The doctor’s office insisted that I had to go home, but it was a good thing I went ahead with the hotel stay.

This was because I’ve had a perpetual sinus infection for months now, but not a whole lot that could be done about it, given that I’ve already had 3 recent oral surgeries done.  Because of the sinus drainage, my stomach was not a happy camper when I awoke from the anesthesia.  Warning:  grossness ahead. I started getting sick, and it wasn’t stopping.  They gave me a zolfram at the surgical center, and while it stopped for a little bit, by the time I was in the car going to back to the hotel, I was using the barf bag again.  We got to the hotel and I was continuing to use the barf bag again.

What To Bring For The Hotel Stay

There were a few things that I did right with this hotel stay.  One was asking for a room designed for someone who is disabled.  I had hoped upon one that would have bars in the bathroom, but, alas, the person at check in gave me a room for someone who is hearing impaired.  So while I didn’t get the bars I had wanted, I did get the emergency buttons in the room in case things went south.  Thankfully, I didn’t need the buttons.

The other thing that saved me, however, was the fact that I was already pretty nauseous from my hormones going into the surgery, so I had brought a six pack of 16 oz bottled 7up and two long packages of Ritz Crackers.  The 7 up did the trick better than the zolfram.  My friend called the doctor’s office, because he was on the phone with his office calling for a prescription of Zolfram to be called in for me.  

If Possible, Scout Out The Area In Advance

Noting, in particular not only where the hospital is, but also where the local pharmacy is.  I use Walgreens, and I saw where the local Walgreens was prior to all of this, and I also drove around on a Sunday (least amount of traffic) and found where the hotel and the outpatient surgery was going to take place, so that at least I would have some idea of where things were located at.

Because of this I was able to give the crossroads to the doctor’s office of where to call in the prescription.  My friend looked it up on her phone and confirmed the address so the presecription could be called in.

Wear Comfortable Clothing With No Elastic Around The Waste

It was much easier for the nurses to help me get dressed (they even gave me kudos for what I was wearing there and back).  This will help everyone in the long run.  I wore what I’ve worn for previous procedures that have been done:

It’s called the Colette by Miss Elaine.

It’s not only comfortable, it zips completely up the front and has two hidden pockets sewn into the side seams.  It was a little pricey when I bought it, but it has been so worth the money.

I didn’t bother bringing any kind of shoes, as I figured I would just wear the socks they put on your feet back to the hotel.  My tennis shoes that I wore there were just packed in a bag.

Pack It In Wheeled Luggage - No Carrying!

This was all placed in a medium sized Eagle Creek Pack it system cube, along with deodorant.  I have a smaller matching one for a toiletries bag that I keep packed for trips.

I also had packed a book, my iPad Pro and a bag of extra food (soup, pudding, yogurt and a smoothie) along with cutlery to eat the food with.

Most of this fit in a rolling backpack that I used to use for working at the school.

This was because I knew I would not be able to lift much after the surgery.  Sure enough, I have been placed on a 10 pound limit until the doctor sees me for the post op appointment.

I also brought a few additional bags, that way things that didn’t fit in the back pack could be parted out into smaller groups to be carried out to the car on the day after surgery.

Yes, I did check myself out of the hotel and drove myself home the following day, with only ibuprofen in my system.  Once I was home, then I took the prescription pain medicine prescribed by the doctor.

And slept.  A lot.

So, there you have it, some of the preparations for this surgery that kept some the bad things from making the whole ordeal much worse than it already was.  Had we tried to go it for the one hour drive home after the surgery, I probably would have ended up in the hospital.  Besides, because it is summer in Arizona, I got a nice hotel room for a much cheaper price.

That Other Windsor Wedding

Most of the commentators, when talking about this past weekend’s wedding of Prince Harry to Megan Markle, often comment that the church service for Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker-Bowles was held at this chapel, many of these commentators forget there was another royal wedding that took place at this chapel not too long ago.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex

Royal Weddings

This was an interesting comparison from the New Yorker.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The FlyLady Herself!

No, I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Marla Cilley (aka The FlyLady), but I would like to one day.  She is updating her YouTube channel with the basics from her new book.  So far she’s done the first 15 days of 31, so stay tuned for the remainder this month.

Her website:

Friday, May 18, 2018

Surgery Time

I’m at the Sheratin Four Points hotel in Gilbert about 1 hour and. 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be at the outpatient surgery center.  At this point, I’m hungry, thirsty, but I’m also calm.  I’m feeling the peace promised in the Priesthood Blessing given last night by the Ministering Brother assigned to me and another very special brother from the Ward.  They were my rescuers when I found Mom, and took me home from the hospital that night.

I’m staying at this hotel because the surgical center is 45 minutes to an hour away from my home and I am not doing that with a belly full of carbon dioxide gas from the Laparoscopic surgery.  We’ll see what happens, but I know that God will get me through.

I went over and fed the cats this morning and got a few things done around the house before I left and came back over here.  I spent last night here, just so I could have a good night’s rest, and I knew there might be issues with checking in before noon today.  That would have put it in the start of the surgery

I slept really well last night.  I tried watching tv, but it was not interesting enough for me.  

A good friend and former roommate from my pre-Decker days is going to pick me up and drive me over and back.  She’ll be with me for at least the first few hours after the surgery.  We’ll see how I do after that.

I’ll post more later.

Update:  5/18/17

I’m home now, cats are fed and happy.

The doctor drained 300cc of fluid from the cyst, even the anesthesiologist was shaking his head and telling me it was big.  They removed the cyst but kept the ovary.

The nausea hit a peak so I was repeatedly getting sick in the recovery area and at the hotel.  The doctor called his office to have nausea meds called in.

Thankfully, because I drove around the area last week so I would know where things were at, I was able to give them the crossroads for the nearest Walgreens.

I was also smart in bringing a six pack of 7up and two packages of crackers which kept me going through the night while keeping up on the meds.

Hotel was nice, I was on the sixth floor and had a nice view.  Given all of the craziness that I went through after the surgery, it turned out that the local hotel room was the best option for me overall.

My friend was fantastic in keeping an eye on me and picking up the additional prescriptions for me.  At some point I am going to be treating her to a nice dinner.  It was great catching up with her.

Right now I am limited to lifting up to 10 pounds.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Cleaning Continues

Saturday:  I spent part of the day providing what service I could at a funeral, another chunk of the day sleeping.  I did get a load of laundry and a load of dishes done.

Sunday:  After Church, I took a load of recycling out, I ran several loads of laundry and 2 loads of dishes.  I also dusted the walls in the master bathroom, cleaned the toilet and wiped down the counter.

Monday:  After work I went to Costco, gassed up the car and stocked up on a few essentials.  Afterwards, I came home and took out another load of recycling before picking up some groceries at Walmart.  I was too tired to get up and do a load of laundry, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.  Unfortunately, this means I will not be able to attend the Emergency Preparedness meeting tomorrow night as I need to get more laundry done and get a bag packed.  We will see what other joy holds for tomorrow.  :-D