Thursday, October 30, 2014

Something we have been waiting for

So, the last week since his 2nd surgery has been slow going, and not much has been reported to us from any doctors as they do not come by for much these days.  We knew that after the 2nd surgery, some time would need to pass before we heard anything back, so we have been just waiting, and waiting.

Yesterday Jake and I got a chance to go see Dean for the evening.  We had a really nice visit, and the best part.  I FINALLY HAVE SOMETHING WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.  Some GOOD NEWS!

His ID doctor (internal disease) Dr. Z came in while we were there.  He asked how Dean was doing, and it's the same, staff changing out every shift, food is horrible, nurses making mistakes.  This time a nurse went to hook up his antibiotics IV, but connected an EMPTY bag that he had earlier instead of the NEW bag, and claiming she had a "Blond moment" duh!  Then, leaving the empty IV bag on the table where Jake picked it up "What's this mommy?" and getting antibiotics all over him, and when I took it from him, it got all over me.  And, I'm sure she didn't put her HUGE mistake in her notes!


Anyway, the good news.  Dr Z told us his "numbers" (the ones that show how his infection is doing) have GONE DOWN really well, and he's back on track for getting better!  This is a small step but one we have not made since the big step back September!  We also heard a little bit about what his surgery spot is doing, and it looks like its healing okay.  We are waiting to see Dr. M (wound care) to know exactly how well it is healing.

Other Weekend happenings
I took Jake to Zuma Fun Center in South Houston, it's only 15 minutes from the hospital, but 45 minutes from home.  We enjoyed Putt-Putt golf, video games and winning 81 tickets, and Jake's first ride on a go cart!  He liked it, but he thought they were too loud and covered his ears, and made me go slower "TOO FAST MOMMY!".  Other than the teenage girl who kept running into us, but she apparently was running into everybody, it was fun!

Watch out Tiger Woods!


He did really well, but he ended up kicking or picking up the ball and putting it in the hole, but he got the concept pretty fast and liked that we had several holes to play.  He even understood he had to go look to see where the hole was before "teeing off" 

Okay, here's a look at the menu Dean had to choose from this weekend...

just so you know, it's pretty much all yuck!

Also, we decided that while Dean is in the Hospital we are going to repaint our bedroom
We are going with a light gray and a medium gray accent wall that will be a collage of pictures of the family and other pictures I've taken.  we are also going to get a new furniture and a new Sleep Number bed.  

Jake is helping!  See his excellent job taping the door?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Long wait again

Hurry Up and Wait
Even though the wait wasn't nearly as long as last time, Dean's schedule surgery at 3 pm wasn't until 6 pm. The surgeon had a scheduled 4 hour procedure prior to Dean's so why they schedule things like this is just crazy.

Anyway Dr D. got to pre-op around 6 and Dean went back about 6:30 pm.  Waiting is nerve wracking.  He said it may be less than an hour then recovery then admitted to Memorial Hermann again.  Not sure if this one will be longer than a few days. We shall see. Let's hope and pray it will take less than 8 weeks for him to get better and come home finally.

We are really hoping for 4 weeks still in the hospital.  This should be when his blood levels go normal and healing will be well on the way. It may take a little more time after that,but we will be happy to have him home!

Surgery went well
Well, surgery went ok. The surgeon is hopeful things will heal up better this time. But, I've been waiting for an hour and a half not in a waiting room but in chairs by an elevator bank in the Children's hospital where there is no desk or reception area or even a way to contact the recovery area. This process is absurd! The day surgery waiting area should remain open until all day surgeries are over so family members can have a little peace of mind and have a way to know what the heck is going on.  In the day surgery waiting area, they have monitors telling you the status of the surgery, and have a reception desk for any questions.  I've been in there twice now and neither time I was able to have the status update screens.  

It's really horrible.  Very frustrating.

I was finally told around 9 pm that Dean was being admitted and the room number.  When I get there I actually get to his room before he does. He is only a few minutes behind. The transfer person told me to stand in the corner and I quote "you will have plenty of time to see him" I wanted to shout that is sooooo not the point. Then she walked out and asked the desk for help with transfer and waked off.  Like I'm going to not come out there to say Hi to my husband after surgery where I haven't seen him in 3 hours. Then when I do say hi to him, the transport person and a tech try to get me away from him. I was crying at this point and said "I just  want to say HI to my husband!" They finally back off holding their hands up.  I must have looked like I was about to pounce, they actually looked scared. They should be ashamed of themselves, telling me to move and get out of the way.  Who the HECK do they think they are?  It's really frustrating dealing with nursing staff who are so programmed and used to family members not knowing how to care for the patient.  After about a few times Dean telling they what to do, and about 10 times of me showing them how to do things, they finally get it that we know what we are doing.

Dean was also able to get his "easy touch" call light and tv channel changer, but when they change it out, you can't control the volume, so I unplug it, plug in the regular call/tv remote, turn the volume down and try to plug the easy touch back in, but I bent a post and it wouldn't go in.  They called the maintenance guy, but by the time he got there I managed to straighten out the post and it was fine. :)

I did stay the night with Dean, which is always interesting.  He needs attention every 2 hours, so neither of us got much sleep.  

We woke up early, about 5ish, to get things started.  I did manage to find the coffee machine and had 2 cups before I left at 7:30.  Thank goodness the food is about a million times better!  I was able to help him with breakfast and headed home.


I would like to thank Andy and Melissa Audirsch for taking care of Jake through all this.  Thanks for picking up Jake, taking him out to dinner for Uncle David's Birthday, having him stay at your lovely home, and taking him to daycare this morning.  We really appreciate your help!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Two weeks of Limbo

So, there is not much to report.  This has been a long and hard limbo between surgery and follow up surgery.  Lots of things happened and not much of which I can really talk about.  Just know that we do need prayers for guidance on some decisions, not with Dean and his health, other issues that have come up.  I hate to be so vague, but we just need support and prayer to help us through some things.  Dean is doing well, he looks great and is eager to get the follow-up surgery and get to healing.  So, we also need prayers for this second round of healing to go quick.  He will most likely be in the hell on earth Kindred for his birthday (11/14) but we are hoping and praying he makes it home the week before Thanksgiving.

His follow up is scheduled for tomorrow.  It's been two weeks since his last surgery, and it would have been only 1 week if the surgeon wasn't in a conference in Florida.  We also hope that his surgery goes at the time it's planned, which we don't know but last time his 4:30 scheduled surgery didn't happen until 9:30 pm.  He will be admitted for a few days at MH (bring on the good food!!) so the same crud we went through with Kindred will happen again.

The Kindred crud is this....
Apparently Kindred has a policy that if you are not back in your room for 24 hours for ANY reason, you are discharged.  The problem with this is we were told the surgery was a day surgery, in, surgery, and out.  We didn't know he would be admitted until we got to pre-op.  And of course nobody told this to Kindred.  Also, we didn't know Kindred discharged him until he tried to go back Friday afternoon (at 5pm of course when things are closed and people are gone). They actually told Dean he couldn't have his old room because it was occupied.  Turns out it was, BY HIM!  AND when Dean got back Friday, all his stuff was there, and his IV machine was still beeping from being disconnected when Dean left the Tuesday before!  Hell on Earth.

So, we do need prayers, pleas pray that this surgery is successful.  Pray that Kindred works with Dean BETTER and MH gets him back there to be admitted again by Thursday.  Please pray for fast healing, and again for guidance for the unspoken issues we will eventually tell everybody about but we cannot at this time.

In other news, what a horrible fall from GRACE!  Aggies??  What is UP?  Did you even KNOW you were playing a football game in Alabama this weekend?  HELLO???  UG!!!  From being ranked as high as 6 to not being ranked at all, this is horrible.  :(  Oh well, watch out Next Year SEC!  The Aggies are coming!  WHOOP!!!

Also, Jake and I got to have some fun this weekend.  We had a nice breakfast with Nonnie and Papa on Saturday morning at IHOP.  It's always fun to go have breakfast out every once in a while!

Then, on Sunday, Jake had been asking about going to the Zoo, which he does from time to time because we drive by it each time we go visit his Daddy.  And, the Weekends in October are the ZOO BOO, so he got to dress up in his costume and get candy and do some cool Halloween things!

On our way, we are READY!

Lolly pops are AWESOME

Monster Mural and Painting a mini pumpkin

Taking a break from all the fun
And, doing the Thriller ZOMBIE DANCE

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Drama never ends

Important stuff first.  
Dean is fine, his surgery went well, and he's recovering nicely.  He's currently in Memorial Hermann and will most likely be there until Monday due to insurance issues (yeah like we need that!) where he will go back to Kindred until his follow up surgery which is scheduled in 2 weeks (10/21).  More detailed information below.

Drama! Drama! Drama!
I won't use doctor's names, So I'll say Dr. D is his surgeon and Dr. W is the plastic surgeon, and Dr A. is Dean's regular doctor, and Dr. M is his wound care doctor.

So, Dean met with Dr. D and Dr. M both saw Dean on different dates and came to the conclusion that he would need surgery.  This was about a week and a half ago.  Apparently Dr. D likes to use Dr W as his plastic surgeon consultant, meaning sometimes Dr. D needs plastic surgeons to patch up or close a surgical wound.  We assumed when they scheduled the surgery, D and W had already agreed to it.  So, the days before, Dean had to get several things done, blood work EKG, chest x-rays, etc to prepare for his surgery.  This was all done and we were getting ready for the next day.

The whole day before (10/6) the information about the surgery kept coming in differently.  It would be in the morning so you will leave at 11, it will be at 4 so you will leave at 2.  You will need to be admitted to Memorial Hermann for 9 days, you will come back the same day after surgery, etc, etc etc.  I was on the phone most of the day trying to iron out all the details, which just means to me that these hospitals and doctors do not communicate very well.

At approximately 4:15 pm I get a call from Dr. D's nurse saying the surgery has been canceled and that Dr. W refused to see Dean because he wasn't an established patient of his.  We needed to get an appointment with Dr. W so he could take a look and then re-schedule the surgery at Dr. W's convenience. 4:15, this time is IMPORTANT.  As I'm talking to Dr. D.s nurse, she states she cannot do anything about the schedule and that she is going to try to expedite the initial appointment, but she would have to call in the morning and will call us back as soon as she has it scheduled.  I'm already crying (at work!) and ask for Dr. Ws phone number so i can call and talk to him.  I didn't know why we had to wait until the morning.

I call Dean and he was told in the Kindred non-important way by a nurse just coming in "BTW your surgery was canceled". Nice!!!  No explanation, no reason, nothing.  Luckily I was trying to call him and I was able to tell him what Dr Ds nurse said and he told me to call Dr. W to see if I can talk him into doing the surgery anyway or to ask him why he canceled the surgery and why they didn't try to establish him as a patient a week and a half ago.  So, I call about 4:30 and guess what, his OFFICE CLOSES AT 4PM!!!  I did leave a nasty message stating something of the sort that they should call us back first thing the next day and schedule an appointment as soon as humanly possible since he's been in the hospital for so long and this is just going to prolong his stay by a month.

So, basically they canceled the surgery and left for the day and called us after hours.  I was so mad I was literally shaking and crying my eyes out.  I finally get a hold of the after hours nurse (at 4:40) and demand to talk to Dr. W.  She tells me he's left for the day.  I tell her we really need to do this surgery tomorrow as we've been in the hospital since July 23rd and it has not been good and we are NOT going to wait for his schedule to open up because Dean wants to go home. She finally agreed to call Dr. W. and all he said was again, since he was not an established patient he refused to do the consultation the next day. This was the last straw.  I did says something like how can he call himself a doctor when he won't take care of my husband, a human he is supposed to be taking care of.  Then she tried to say something and I did say "I don't give a f..." (yes, I said the f-bomb so you know I was really mad) and hung up.

All this time I'm driving to Subway to get some dinner for me and Dean so I can see him Monday night and get ready for the next day.  Dean calls me back after I get the food and says he talked to Dr. D and his nurse would be calling me back soon.  I answer the call and she said that Dr. D would do the surgery if we agreed it was ok to not have the plastic surgeon's consultation.  We said yes, so the surgery was re-scheduled.

It was now 5:00 PM.  So, a very frantic 45 minutes and a lot of crying and f-bombing and trying to figure out what to do, but we got it done. So, there!

Surgery Day, still more DRAMA!
So, now it's the day of surgery (Tuesday 10/7), and we head over to Memorial Hermann via an ambulance around 11 am, and he is checked in.  They told us if Dr. D was available early and a room was available they would get us in earlier, but we are scheduled for 4:30.  Well, 4:30 comes and goes and then all of a sudden a nice nurse comes in and announces that they are closing up the day surgery area and he was going to take him to the holding room until the surgery.  5, 6, 7 pm goes by.  We ask the nurse to see if she can find out when it might be.  We then find out Dr. D was called into an emergency surgery (in Cy Fair - WHAT???) and it would be a another couple of hours.  um, WHAT???  Okay, well an emergency, we have to let that go.  8pm still nothing.  At 8:30 pm we finally see the attendants that will be in the room and they say he's on his way and he is scheduled for 9pm.

About 9:05 Dr. D comes in.  First thing he says is that he got a call from Dr W that I was rude and owe an apology to his nurse.  Just so you know that will NEVER HAPPEN!!!  THEY owe US the apology for trying to stall this surgery!!!  I was completely distraught so I will not apologize.  About 15 minutes later he is finally taken into surgery.

Now the hard part, waiting.  Dr. D. mentioned Dean will be admitted to Memorial Hermann but we do not know how long. The other complication is I'm in Memorial Hermann and my car is parked at Kindred, and it's late.  It will be a mad dash to get to the garage at Kindred very late at night.

The Nice ambulance drivers that took Dean to Memorial Hermann

Memorial Hermann where the Ambulance drop off is

The Wait, and yes, more Drama
So I'm waiting and waiting and waiting.  The escalators in the main lobby of Hermann apparently turn off at 11pm, with a LOUD Buzzing Alarm!  That was shocking.  Around midnight, I was starting to get concerned, and decided at 12:30 I would wait until 1 am to try to find someone to talk to about what's going on.  Just then someone came to tell me he was admitted and was in room 663 in Jones Pavilion.  I said, ok, so how did it go?  She was shocked (I wasn't) that Dr. D didn't come out and talk to me, but she said the notes didn't implicate any complications and he's doing well.  Okay, it's late, so I'm going to see Dean.

I get to his room close to 1 am and Dean is awake and looking quite good!  He said he hadn't heard from the doctor either.  So, we would wait until morning.  I decided since it was so late to stay overnight.

Is it still Tuesday, or is it Wednesday yet?
We both got about 3 hours of sleep, and not all at the same time of course. at 6am we "woke up" and had to get things rolling.  The nursing staff at Memorial Hermann was actually really doing a nice job, which is a nice and unexpected surprise.

We had still not heard from the doctors so we decided around Noon (and after a nap and lunch) that I would go to Kindred to get some personal things since he may be there for up to 9 days, we had no idea, and get my Jeep and park in the MH parking lot. Of course when I get back I find out the doctor came while I was out.  Dean has been scheduled in 2 weeks for a followup surgery (remove the beads, sew him up) and plastic surgery would NOT be needed (WOO HOO take THAT Dr. W!) and he would be going back to Kindred for the 2 weeks, but they didn't know if his transfer back would be Wednesday or Thursday.  We automatically assumed Thursday.

After getting everything settled better, I went home and took a shower and a nap, then was able to keep my hair appointment we made a week ago.  It turned out really nice!  Mother, Jake and I had a nice dinner at Casa Ole and went home.

Dean's Lunch on Wednesday - UM LOOK AT THIS!  It was fresh, warm and delicious!  That pico de gallo was OMG wonderful!

This was the GARNISH!
A cherry tomato with fresh sprig of Rosemary!  Classy!

Fun at Casa Ole!  :)

To top ALL this off, Jack and Buddy have fleas!!!  ARGH!  
Isn't that fat cat cute in the scale though?  16lbs.  Thanks again Mother for taking him!
Bug guy coming out Monday evening to spray for fleas.  no flags.

Thursday already??
Today (Thursday) we find out he will be moved later today, and he got to talk to Dr. D (at midnight, this guy is nuts!) and he actually agreed with me and Dean (and now probably all of you!) that Dr. W is (and I quote) "a prick"!  Apparently the guy does consultations once a month.  So, if we would have reschedule it would have been mid NOVEMBER before we got him in. Dr. D is now going to be looking for a new plastic surgeon to work with, apparently this is not the first time Dr. W. has "gotten weird" on him (his words not ours).

(Insert today's Drama) AND, we hear now due to Medicare denying his transfer, even though we have told the hospital 100s of times that UHC is our primary insurance, that he will not be moved back to Kindred for 24 to 72 hours, so he will most likely be moving on Monday.  Which is actually fine with him because the food is better, the nurses are listening well to him, AND the call button has a TV controller that he can use to change the channel too! :) YEY!!!

Tomorrow Jake, my mother and I will be heading out to Wimberley, Texas to go to my niece's wedding.  Let's hope Dean's weekend is Drama free!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Finally Fall

Here is the latest on Dean...
Okay, so the move was probably the best thing that's happened since he's been in the hospital.  Since he has moved to the 3rd floor away from the awful 4th floor clique, things have improved so much that he's now comfortable and ready to get this surgery and get to healing and come home!  Things were looking pretty bad as we just assumed the whole hospital was like this.  It's amazing that such absolute disregard for humans is going on in that place when the rest of the hospital is running quite well. Dean said he calculated he had approximately 75+ different people either his nurse or CNA while on the 4th floor.  He would go weeks at a time with at least 1 new person every shift.  That means at the beginning of every 12 hours shift he had to tell them what was going on, how to help him, and what to do and what not to do, which of course most of them would not listen, and didn't have time for him anyway.

Dean's next surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 7th.  He is going to have it at Memorial Herman with the same surgeon who did it at Methodist. The location change is because of surgery room availability and scheduling, as everybody wanted to get it in as soon as possible.  His follow up surgery is scheduled for Oct 14th, again at Memorial Hermann.  We have been told that he will come back to Kindred for the time between the surgeries and after the follow up surgery, but then we have also been told he might stay at Mem. Herm. for the week and a few days after the followup (about 9 days).  We are assuming the last thing we heard (which was to stay in Kindred) is what will happen.  I'll be sure to keep everybody updated.

On Saturday, after the first half of the Aggie game (see below, ug!), Jake and I went to Old McDonald's Farm in Humble.  It was a really nice day and Jake had a lot of fun.  He did have a little fall though.  He was swinging in the big boy swings (not the baby ones where he can't fall out) and was going quite well!  Then he discovered he can drag his feet in the sand.  He hit the sand too hard and well, fell FLAT on his FACE and busted his lip.  While he was crying he told me "I didn't want to go that fast!"  It was sad, but we cleaned up and found the sand so all was well.  He loves playing in the sand and dirt, and climbed up the big dirt hill and proclaimed "I'M THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD!!".  Yep, I was a proud mommy!

After we fed the animals, played in the Hay, rode iPony (yeah, we joined the city kids and rode a pony around a circle even though he can do that on a big giant horse named Pee Wee for as long as he wants), and took a train ride, we did get to go pick out a pumpkin!  Kids get one free for coming, and they have all sizes of small little itty bitty ones to nice kid size ones (about the size of a soccer ball).  He first picked an itty bitty one, and I said, Jake, get a bigger one!  So, naturally he went for the GIANT ones they had for the picture spots.  I did eventually had to pick one of the soccer ball sized ones, and he was quite happy with it.

Going up and MADE IT!

Yes, sand is fun!

Before Falling. :)  He actually loved it, but the fall took all the fun out of it.

Yep!  Hay to play in! :)  best kind, that's my boy!

Train Ride!

Who lives in a Pineapple under the sea?
Sponge Jake Square Pants!
(when I said that, Jake yelled at me "That's NOT how it goes!")

We got to spend a nice Sunday with Dean while watching the Texans game, and Nonnie and Papa came up to watch with us.  Then the strangest thing happened!  We had not planned on being there thru dinner, but ended up there, and we all actually ate the Hospital food!  On a rare occasion, both lunch and dinner were pretty good.  Was a nice change! :)

Of course the bad news from this weekend was the unfortunate losses we suffered.  Of course I'm talking about Football!!!  The Aggies were beaten, in our opinion not only by Mississippi State, but also the officials as well. There were several bad spots and calls that should not have happened.  I mean, we did loose (missed passes, turnovers), and we did try to do another miraculous comeback, but fell short.  I'm happy with our ranking of 14, seems fair to me.  HOWEVER since #2, #3, and #6 from last weeks ranking all lost it's so totally ANYBODY's GAME!!  We can STILL do this!  Not with dropped passes, but still, we can do this!  And, I just have to say, I LIKED the #IcedDown uniforms they wore.  They were cooooool as ICE!!

And, the Texans lost a heart breaker, and in overtime!  Seriously!  OT loss?  Not fun.