Posts Tagged ‘Medical’

Remodeling… Redecorating.. Medicating?

Monday, April 13th, 2015

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic.  We’ve started some big projects in the house that have, in turn, verified a few suspicions.

Our kitchen was pretty closed off from the rest of the world.  Even though there’s an addition on the house, nothing was really done to help with the flow (and lighting) for the original house.  So, after determining that the wall that was bugging me the most was load bearing, we took the steps to turn a section of it into a window by removing the drywall, adding a header to transfer the load, and then framing things out.  There’s some painting to do, but the window was finally trimmed out this past week by our friend Colin whom came down for Easter.  We used a wide windowsill for the bottom to give a bar top kind of a look and feel to it, and now even though there’s no flow in terms of walking, it helps to increase a little counter space in the kitchen and offers the ability for more light to come through.  There’s an unfortunate lack of overhead lighting in the living room, so the extra bump of light from the large window in the kitchen makes the difference.  With doing this construction, however, we had to move a few things around in the living room and this is where we found that our problems were a little bigger than the lack of lighting…

As I’ve previously said, Bella’s been having a difficult time for the past few months.  Her eyes have been gunky, she’s been drinking a lot of extra water, and her anxiety is pretty much through the roof.  After finally getting her to the vets office and having some tests run on her, the preliminary results brought back a diagnosis of Stage 1 Diabetes, and her vision loss is in the 75% range.  The vision was something that seems to have been brewing for a little while recently, but moving the furniture in the living room to do the construction on the wall proved that she was a lot further along on the blindness scale than originally anticipated.  The diabetes came as a complete shock to me, her glucose numbers were well into the high 700’s when they’re only supposed to be in the low to mid 100’s.  This unfortunately means 2 insulin injections daily. I would love to say that’s only until her numbers come down and then we can adjust things, but I think it may wind up being for the rest of her life and I can’t even begin to describe the anxiety she’s experiencing because of it.  The back of her neck is so sore from the injections and she’s lashing out like all holy hell if you get anywhere near her.  It’s a work in progress, but we’re trying our hardest to make her as comfortable as possible.

The gunk build up on her eye wasn’t completely due to an infection as we originally thought.  She does have a minor infection in the eye that houses the cataract, unfortunately this eye is the one where she’s lost complete vision.  She’s receiving antibiotic eyedrops twice daily for this. But the gunk build up, overall, is due to chronic dry eye. She’s receiving two more drops daily to keep her eyes lubricated.  The issue though.. I believe they cause either a slight dialysis or just blurred vision because her vision seems to have been getting worse since we implemented the drops into the daily routine.  She’s walking into walls more often than usual and I’ve noticed she has no interest in being outside while the sun is up because she can’t seem to get comfortable when there’s a brighter light shining into her eyes.  I’ve also noticed that they clearly sting a little because as soon as either of the drops go into her eyes she’s wanting to rub them out as quickly as possible.  I’ve made it a point to kind of rub around her eye to make sure the medication gets to the back of her eye were it’s needed in hopes that she doesn’t wind up completely rubbing it into the carpet as soon as she has the chance to rub her face after we’re done.

Everything combined, however, is a major stress factor for her life.  She’s getting the injections every 12 hours, and also the eye drops every 12 hours.  The injections is more of a stress factor than the drops, the drops just seem to be happening more often because she needs multiple drops within an hour of each other so ensure that one doesn’t cancel out the other. I’m also still using the saline eye wash to help keep the gunk from around her eye from getting hard so her eyes are as clear as they can possibly be.  She’s fine with the eye wash, but I’m sure that’s due to the fact that she’s not getting anything IN her eye, I’m only wiping the crust from around it.  As clear as her eyes appear, I know the vision just isn’t there anymore and unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about that.

Her drinking has subsided, but her bladder control is pretty much out the window. I’m doing everything I can to ensure she’s going out as regularly as possible to relieve herself, but there’s still been accidents in the house and even with everything else going on with her – that’s where MY anxiety levels have skyrocketed. I’ve been shampooing carpets regularly but she was clearly going in the house more often than I originally noticed so there’s heavily perfumed areas of urine in my carpet that I can’t get out with a regular home-based cleaner, to the point that I may need to have Stanley Steemer come in for the deep clean in hopes the steam and cleaning solutions penetrate down to the padding where the smells are being held.  On warmer/humid days the smell is overwhelming and as someone who takes pride in keeping a clean house, having pet odors to this degree is embarrassing as all hell for me.  Having a house guest for a week and needing to have candles going at all times just to mask the smells that I couldn’t get up with the cleaner wasn’t a pleasant experience. I know that he didn’t care, and he only said “ooh, I smell pee” once in the 7 days he was here but the fact that it was even the topic of conversation wasn’t something I was thrilled about.

I knew when we purchased this home that I’d eventually be removing all of the current ‘flooring’.  The floor in the living room/dining room is a weird tan tone that’s been on the floor for probably 30 years.  The carpeting in the hallway and three bedrooms is also 30 years old and a very traditional rose color for the late 70’s that is just ugly regardless of stains.  The den and my closet have a newer berber carpet, but even low piles hold smells and there were stains that I couldn’t removed with the cleaner last year that have only gotten worse over time. So, by default, I’ve been looking into wood flooring.  While it’s more expensive than just replacing carpet, it also gives me a solid floor to easily wipe up instead of having to worry about something soaking into padding.  I also feel it would help to increase the value of the house since it’s more ascetically pleasing in it’s own right. At this point I’d be content with having solid vinyl floors throughout the whole house just so there’s a barrier there for no liquid to penetration.  So, the best of both worlds, I’m looking into laminate hard woods through Lumber Liquidators. I’ve found a few that have the tone I want, and would look amazing with the color I plan on painting all the walls with (Sherwin Williams – Canvas Tan).  The issue is really just buying it and putting it down, cost for everything was about $1200. This covers the cost of wood the entire first floor (minus kitchen and bathrooms), the padding and tools.  Considering having a company come in to do this job would run me over $8000… it’s a pretty good deal.

This isn’t something that will happen in the near future though, finances don’t allow for that kind of modification being as we still have a roof in need of repair, a kitchen that requires the completion of a remodel and a basement to reconfigure to accommodate the possibility of having a few people move in within the next year or so.  That mixed with the fact that I now desperately need to completely fence in the back yard because of Bella’s lack of desire to take a proper walk at night… money’s tight.   We’re absolutely fine on paying bills, there’s no lack of food, we’re not going ‘without’ for anything. We’re comfortable month to month and putting money aside for what we need, but there’s no overflow where we can just pull out money and get things done at once. This house will continue to be a ‘work in progress’ for the next 30 years, but we do have our priorities.

It would be amazing if like $75,000 fell into my hands somehow.  I know our Mortgage still has over 200k on it, and we could easily pay down the principle with 75,000 to help in the long term, but when you factor in everything that needs to be done in and around the house – that bit of money could go a really long way. It would cover all debts (minus mortgage), the roof, a fence, tree removal, landscaping, new flooring, kitchen remodel, and the basement.  It could also cover getting a shed into the yard so I can gain use of my garage for more than a dumping ground and actually have the ability to park in there. It could go so, so far it just needs to appear. Will it? Probably not, but that’s because I don’t live in a dream world where it grows on trees and gets handed to you.

In any event, it’s time for someone’s eyes to get some drops and there’s plenty of work to get done around the house while my inbox is still empty.  Those dishes won’t do themselves… and trust me – I’ve been hoping for that too.

Catching up…

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

It’s getting harder and harder for me to focus lately, and I have no idea why.  I’ve been semi-OK about keeping things on the up and up around the house, I’m meeting the deadlines that are set for work, but for some reason actually getting the drive to start/finish necessary projects is just not an option.  I feel like the closer I get to 30, the more I lose my drive. And at this point that’s happening within the next 30 days so I feel like it’s all down hill from here.  For the past two months I’ve been looking at the supplies to get the hall bath remodeled but haven’t touched them even though I remind myself about it daily.

I don’t necessarily think it’s a mental thing, to a degree I feel it’s physical. Every time I actually do have the urge to do something, I’m being held back by something else.  The biggest thing lately is my teeth. I still haven’t gotten that tooth removed and it flares up at the most random times, and even today I’m dealing with a little tinge of pain on a completely different tooth.  Things have just been so tight with money this month thanks to the $800 we threw into the car to keep it on the road that our priorities are just screwed up.

I really think, above all else, I’m just overwhelmed in general.  I know I continue to harp on it, but I really feel like we got screwed on this house. We’ve sunken so much into just the general maintenance that was long over due that we don’t have the strength or finances to get to the “Make this house Our Home” part of homeownership. We’re making due, but it’s just frustrating to be rebuilding doors that were rotted out and hidden by paint, or pulling up carpeting that was moldy because of the furnace leaking but the previous owners “covered” it with bleach and didn’t properly treat anything.  It seems that whenever we’re making a decent stride towards something, we have to go three steps back.

To make matters worse, my hairs falling out.  And it’s not the over-dramatic “I’m ripping it out of my head” bullshit. It’s legitimately falling out of my head. The chlorine levels in the public water are so high that it’s turning the basement toilet red, and my scalp no longer can hold the hair follicle.  However, I’ve also been doing some research into things lately and need to not only see a dentist, but a doctor.  When looking into the symptoms I’ve been experiencing lately, I’m a fairly good fit for Hypothyroidism. Obviously I would need to be tested to determine if I was Hypo or Hyper, but comparing side by side, I’m more on the Hypo side of the spectrum. Hair loss, chronic fatigue, irregular period, hair loss, anxiety, .. it all fits.

I’m not a hypochondriac, I’m not someone who gets heartburn and thinks I’m having a heart attack. I know my usual aches and pains, the bulk of which come from just not taking care of myself.  In the last year, however, things have just changed for me and not necessarily for the better.

The biggest issue: I live in Delaware. This is quite possibly the worst state to live in when you need medical attention.  I’d have to travel into Maryland to speak to someone who actually has a brain. Am I discrediting ALL doctors in DE? No, of course not. BUT for the ones I need to see, having been in their offices in the past with someone else, I’d rather jump off a bridge than have them treat me. Their investigative process is laughable, and the diagnosis based on investigation is asinine.  When you’re sitting in an office with a doctor that says “It’s just a headache, it’ll go away” and then winding up in the surgical ward because a retina was detaching… you learn to just not trust anymore. Or when you’re experiencing heart palpitations and they want to put you on different meds when in reality there’s a small tumor behind your heart that is Stage 3 lung cancer.  The misdiagnosis and absence of a damn brain are the top 2 reasons to avoid the medical staff here.

On the Thyroid front – I’m wanting to do more research into things myself, this way I know exactly what I’m getting myself into and what can be done to treat it without having to be hopped up on drugs, that’s the one major downside to an actual diagnosis.  I don’t even like taking aspirin, why would I want to take some random drug that was created in a lab that probably has numerous lawsuits pending against it.

I don’t know.  I just don’t know.


Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The word HECTIC doesn’t even begin to describe the last couple of days. Not only am I still dealing with my back issues but I’m so overloaded with numerous different accounts that I can’t get ahead to save my life. I finished three tasks today but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what’s left to be done – and based on conversations there’s a lot more coming.

Sean and I were out all afternoon yesterday, and later on into the evening so we wound up being at least 7 hours behind on everything. We had a lunch meeting and then had some things to take care of at Microcenter that didn’t pan out too well, we wound up heading over to Best Buy to have the same result. The issue is, a lot more graphics heavy work is coming in and I’m going to be spending more time in Photoshop than I’d personally prefer – based on this I wanted to see if I can get financing for a Macbook Pro being as I’m pretty much stuck in bed and I really need the Mac power behind me to keep things moving. The only other option would be to figure out how to mount my iMac on the wall underneath the TV that’s already mounted (and too big for the room), being as that isn’t an option I went for the Macbook.

The reason for the rush, however, is due to the fact that Mac announced they are no longer making the MacBook Pro 17″ laptops. Knowing that there are only a few left on the shelves I figured it was time to get my hands on one before they’re gone. Upon applying for financing I was really upset with the amount that I was approved for as it didn’t even cover 50%. I made a few phone calls, and looked into things and was basically told that my credit has taken too many hits over the past few months and I absolutely will not be approved for anything until everything is paid down by at least 30%. This isn’t really possible considering the two heavy hits are 5-year auto loans – there’s no way to pay off 30% of those anytime soon.

The way around it would be to cut my credit cards down by 50%, which is actually 100% possible if people would pay Sean and I the money that we’re owed from past accounts. When going through all of our unpaid invoices and factoring in other things, we’re owed upwards of $10,000 right now. A single client is in the $3,500 range and he’s been dodging us for a year claiming he’s bankrupt. Yea well that still doesn’t stop you from using your fucking website every day – doesn’t it buddy?

The only upside to yesterday was the fact that we stopped at Staples on the way home and I picked up a new desk chair in hopes to have something comfortable to work in, instead of the other chair that really doesn’t offer any kind of support whatsoever. I originally thought that the guy gave us the wrong chair, after Sean put it together, but after looking into it and trying to remember all of the 100000 chairs I sat in before I found this one – I think it was actually the right one and it’s now sitting at my desk. I’m not.

I’m exhausted, in pain, and just fricken annoyed. The days keep moving, the work keeps piling up, and now I’m actually laying in bed with the laptop hooked up with the HDMI port to my TV just so I can lay flat to try to take some of the pressure off my back. It’s worked pretty well today but the issue now is the fact that my eyes are totally fucked because the text doesn’t generate quite the same way on the big screen as it does on my laptop. I’ve found that my eyes have crossed more times because of the TV than they ever have on the laptop/iMac before. I’ll fight through it though – I usually do.

It’s about 2:30am now, I know there’s at least another 4 hours to knock out before I can get some sleep. I was doing so well with getting back on track and waking up before 5:30 in the afternoon but now it’s just not happening. Gotta keep moving.

The saving grace for today was when Sean looked at me and told me that they only temporarily discontinued the 17″ Macbook because of the fact that they can’t do the retina display on that size monitor yet. They’re so anal about uniformity that they pulled it from the shelves until they could figure it out. I just don’t understand why they can still offer the 15″ without the retina display but pulled the 17″, you don’t always need to have two options for every size – the size alone is an option itself damn it! Hopefully within the next 2 years they’ll actually get the 17″ back on the shelves. For now, however, I’ll be completely wiping my laptop and installing Mac OSX on it to remove myself from Windows completely. I’m sick of booting this thing up every day and having another fucking security update to figure out. Maybe if Windows wasn’t such a piece of shit there wouldn’t be so many security flaws – duh?

Woah there!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

It’s been a pretty eventful couple of weeks, some good events, some bad events.

We finally got back to NY very early on Wednesday (26th), we were so busy with everything in DE that we just didn’t have the chance to come home until then. We left at like Midnight on Tuesday, and got home about 5am.  We stopped along the way because 4 1/2 hours in a car is just annoying without some kind of a release, which is probably why I’m not thrilled about the idea of going across country in an RV.

We came home and found that there was little to no work and began to worry considering we need to come up with anywhere from $35k to $50k in order to even truly consider moving forward with purchasing a home in DE.  There’s too much debt to pay off before we throw a mortgage and utilities on top of it. So we figure, just continue to work our asses off and go from there. We were at a complete and total stand still for about 4 days and now things are slowly beginning to trickle in. Today, I was finally able to write things down and I have 8 projects to work on over the course of the next 7 days, which means its great that I was finally able to get up and running 100%. Hopefully this will help us to get closer to our goal. At this point, whether the house is still there or not, is irrelevant. Of course to me this would be a sign that it was meant to be, but if not – I’m OK with that because I know that when it does come to the right time, we’ll be 100% financially stable to do it.

After a few days of being home my neighbor, Jake, finally poked his head out. I was told that the reason I hadn’t seen him was due to the fact that he was in the hospital for 9 days and only came home on Monday night (before we got home) so he was resting until he could gain enough strength to come out for a bit to say hello. From that day forward I made it a point to check on him on a daily basis. I spoke to him on Sunday evening to make sure he was doing OK and if the house was warm enough for him (the thermostat for all of the apartments is in our apartment because its baseboard heat that just does the whole top floor. I don’t know why it was setup that way but things happen).  He noted he was fine, just a little sleepy and said he was going back to lay down, did his usual smile and told me that he’d be outside tomorrow since it was supposed to be nice out and he wanted to tell me everything that was going on. At this point I still did not know why he was in the hospital, but figured I’d leave him alone until he was ready to tell me.

So Monday comes around and there’s no sign of him.  His apartment was closed up and I personally didn’t sleep the night before because my stomach was telling me that something is terribly wrong.  About 7am or so I did hear some noise in his apartment, figuring he’d dropped the remote or something I didn’t think anything by it. I went about my day as normal, wondering when he was actually going to come out of the apartment to relax for a bit but that opportunity came and went.  At about 8pm I went outside for a cigarette and saw that his light was not on and instantly started to panic, I had this overwhelming feeling in my stomach telling me that I needed to get into that apartment to check on him. I rang the bell and knocked on the windows – no response. I waited a minute in the chance he was sleeping and tried again. With no answer I ran back into my apartment to get the keys (we have the master set as we’re acting landlords when the store is closed downstairs) and then proceeded to his door with the assistance of my father cause I’m never comfortable with going into someone elses apartment alone.  So we banged on the windows a few more times, rang the bell again and all I heard was a faint groan coming out of the apartment.  We opened the door to find Jake on the floor.  He was breathing, but he was blue.

So we called the police, the ambulance showed up and brought him out of the apartment to the hospital. I noticed while he was on the stretcher that his arm was sitting in a weird direction and instantly knew that he’d had either a stroke or a heart attack.  I went digging around his apartment in search of his phone only to find it in the garbage can with two numbers recently dialed – both of which were to his son.  I don’t know if he’d tried to call for help, or they were just the last numbers he spoke on, but either way I knew that I needed to call his son right away.

The ambulance was here for a while, they were working on him in the back. The second they put the tube down his throat I saw that it just became more severe than originally thought and scrambled to get in touch with his son. I called the house twice, the cellphone like four times. I didn’t get a response until a half hour later.  I went to the hospital to try to get in to see him but they wouldn’t allow me in since they were working on him. His son showed up an hour or so later and we all just sat there feeling helpless until the doctors could come out to see us.  They said that there’s a lot of fluid on his lungs, and around his heart. I learned from his son that the reason he was previously hospitalized was due to congestive heart failure, my stomach knotted up knowing full well that based on all of this I’d probably never see him again.

Over the course of the past week we’ve learned that he was borderline pneumonia when he was released from the previous hospital, and all they did was provide him with a water pill and antibiotic. I then learned about all of the excess fluids that they’re draining from him as his lung was almost collapsed.  After numerous catscans and blood workups they noted that he suffered a major stroke to his left side, they’re unsure if when he comes to if he’ll be paralyzed on that side of his body or not.  We noted to the son, and the doctors, that before the EMT’s showed up he was in and out of consciousness and he was trying to pick himself up off of the floor, so the only reasoning behind him being paralyzed is the reaction to him being a medically induced coma for as long as he has.

As it stands, right now, his condition is stable. They still have him under being as he needs the breathing tube, they’ve also put him on a feeding tube on top of all of the other tubes to keep him somewhat healthy.  Either way I don’t personally think I’m ever going to see him again. I’m not permitted in the ICU to look in on him, and being as I’m not the official form of “Family”, they won’t permit me anywhere near his room.

My father, being a hospital employee and knowing quite a few people, did take one of the nurses aside and just asked if they could give him any information.  The only response is that he’s in really bad shape and will be in the hospital for a very long time.  I haven’t heard from his son in a while either, but I’m taking it as no news is good news for this moment in time.

It’s breaking my heart, honestly. Not only is he a dear friend of mine, I’ve considered him family for quite some time as well.  He’s always included in holidays, I always make sure that he has a plate whenever I cook something big (which, as an Italian, is frequently).  He’s always outside for BBQ’s with us, I’ve always gotten him something for his birthday or Christmas because to me that’s what you do with Family.  It’s upsetting that I can’t get into the hospital just to see him, and equally upsetting to know that I could have checked in on him sooner and maybe the result wouldn’t be so bad.

The hospital ran some tests on him and informed his son that he wasn’t on the ground for very long when he suffered the stroke. If we didn’t check on him until the next morning he unfortunately wouldn’t be with us anymore, but we’re to find some peace with the fact that he wasn’t by himself for very long.  This makes me feel a little better only because I can’t help but think to myself that I could have found him sooner.

We’ve had quite a few people in the apartments up here over the years. I can honestly say that only two have really touched my life. This one is hitting me the hardest though, it’s not like he’s moving out just because he found some place better.  He’s leaving because of medical reasons.  It’s just hard to look at his truck every day and his ashtray on the table next to his seat and not want to break down and cry.  When it comes down to it though, as I haven’t heard from his son I’m treating it as no news is good news (for the time being).  I’m going to continue pushing until I can get some kind of answers.  It’s heart breaking, and very, very hard to deal with but hopefully over the course of time things will work themselves out. I hate the thought of him laying in the bed in a coma, but I guess that’s just what happens to numerous people.  He’s only 66-67 years old, he’s got a lot of time left. I just hope he gets to see it.

Minus all of that, there’s really not a lot going on other than having to keep up with work.  I’ve taken a bit of a break just to clear my head as I haven’t yet been able to type everything out. I’m just hoping to get some kind of news soon. This whole situation is distracting me from productivity and the only way I know how to clear my head is to go full force into things – but I literally do not have the heart to do it right now.

What a week…

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I’m still working on getting everything moved over to the new data center.  Thankfully I was able to find one that knows exactly what they’re doing so I couldn’t be happier with my choice to finally make this move.  I have a lot of other things going on, mainly work related but it’s nothing too big right now to really make a huge deal out of.

Sean and I have extended our mini-vacation.  We’re not on Delaware (if you haven’t guessed).  We loaded up the car for a big family trip and now we’re staying a bit longer than we originally planned.  We left about 2AM on Wednesday morning, we didn’t get here until about 7AM so that’s quite a trip to take.  Traffic and my little break down certainly didn’t help us, and by the time we were crossing over the bridge we were basically driving directly into the sunrise, and of course neither one of us had any sun-glasses with us so that proved to be a bit difficult.  We got here just as my father was heading out to work and thankfully he didn’t notice the huge box in the back seat of the car.  He got that the following day (his birthday).  I made dinner, had my aunt and uncle over and then on Sunday we fired up the new BBQ (Dad’s gift) and enjoyed burgers and dogs for my sister’s birthday.  All in all that went over well.

I saw my mother, she was diagnosed with Bells Palsey a few weeks ago but after surgery on Tuesday the test results showed that she has Sarcoidosis.  It’s an auto-immune disease that will never go away but it can be controlled with the proper medication.  Unfortunately she has it pretty bad and that’s where the paralysis in her face has come from.  It was a little strange seeing her like that but there’s nothing you can really do to stop it.

My dad’s cancer has been cleared thanks to his radiation treatments.  He’s lagging a bit though.  Even though the radiation is no longer in his body he’s a little worse for the wear so he’s having some trouble getting around.

My aunt (mother’s sister) went in for surgery on Monday.  She had a lump on her skull and underneath her cheek muscle that doctors need to run a biopsy on.  She wound up checking herself out of the hospital on Tuesday against doctors orders and now it’s a waiting period for the test results.   One ass hole doctor basically said “You’re riddled with cancer” but he made this remark before the tests were even looked at, let alone processed.  So it’s safe to say that bedside manor is non existent – even in the ICU!

So it’s safe to say that almost every member of my family is falling apart to some degree.  My aunt has always had medical problems, but now my mother has them pretty bad, my grandfather will more than likely need two knee replacements and my grandmother, who’s 60 pounds lighter thanks to Weight Watchers, just had surgery on her eyes and is still feeling the effects of the botched surgery she had a few years ago on her ankles – they’re no better than they were before the surgery and thanks to sliced nerves they’re much worse than they should be.  The doctor was able to get the lawsuit dismissed, apparently “I do not recall” seems to be a good enough excuse for a judge to void a lawsuit.  :ugh:

Something tells me I’ll be moving back to NY in the near future.  It’s not the fact that Sean and I have been talking about it for a while, it’s the fact that I expect to have an upcoming year where everyone drops like flies and being 5 hours away really wouldn’t be a great idea.

In any event, time to return some emails and continue with domain transfers. Oh joy!