Where things are now …

Posted on May 11, 2009. Filed under: First Life, Health, Real Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ok, so today, hopefully Mom will finally get to move out of ICU into a regular room. That is a big step toward getting her rehab moving along, both just the regular post-cardiac surgery rehab and whatever extra stuff needs to be done to deal with the additional obstacles she’s needed to overcome to get to this point.

Yesterday, Sunday May 10, I was able to get downtown for a quick visit. My Aunt Rhoda & Uncle Noel were also visiting, down from Mpls Mn. As we could only have 2 visitors at a time in the room, I kept my visit extra brief to allow them to maximize their Mom. She was totally alert, expressive, speaking in a very faint (esp. over all the machines and hospital noise) rasp, making it more a case of lip reading. Thankfully Marissa’s quite good at it, as I was not quite so quick on the lip uptake.

I brought a Mother’s day card, which brought a genuine grin to her face, as did other commentary. She was able to show off her latest “tricks”, tapping her fingers one at a time to her thumb, even with her left hand. Folks she did it as fast as anyone would do it. She even has mastered giving THE finger. She can haz self expression! She said that she felt it was important. I couldn’t agree more. No one can mess with her w/out them knowing where she stands on what they’re doing.

She is able to move her arms much more accurately now, scratch her nose, handle suctioning out her own mouth when she coughs, ringing the buzzer if she needs help too. These are the skills that matter greatly in her next step of recovery.

After that short visit, I went out to spend a few minutes with Rhoda & Noel, as Mom needed a lil nap. After that, they went in for a bit, got punted when the nurses had to do some stuff, so I got in a nice lil fragmented visit with them as well, double plus good!

Afterward, I went to the hospital garage to drive home. And then the real adventure to the day began.

Zippy wouldn’t start. Key turns, lights on, solenoid clicks, but nothing. Called the garage office, as they offer free jumps. Still nothing. Called Pops and he came down w/some tools to see if it was the battery posts being corroded again, but that didn’t work either.

So then we went through the multi phone call process of finding a tow company that would come down on Mother’s Day Sunday, with a truck that was under 7 feet tall to take Zippy to a nearby garage for repair. The tow guy had to back Zippy out of the space in neutral to get him in the aisle so he could lift Zippy up on the forks. No power brakes made it a lil more difficult than usual, but not too bad. Thankfully the garage manager and I had been communicating all through this, so he let us all out w/out paying extra, that saved us prolly 50 bucks right there (my dad’s truck, the tow truck and extra fees for the extra time I was there).

The repair garage, which is open till midnight (cabs came and went while I was there, as you can imagine), was bare bones, well stocked and looked good to my eyes. To those of you that don’t know, for about 5 years we, and I do mean we, as the funds for my college and Marissa’s went into the business, owned a Milex auto shop. Spent my tweens and some of my teens in a garage on the weekends. Anyhow, it was the starter motor as I suspected, well as we all did. They drove up to a part shop on the far north side, actually I think right in my neighborhood, and once they got back had it installed in about 20 minutes. Zippy started right up.

So a simple trip downtown cost an extra $325.00, but in the big picture, Mom’s doing better, Marissa’s doing better, I know Rhoda’s feeling better having been here to see Mom w/her own eyes, and Zippy’s better and ready to roll. I prefer issues that can be resolved, vs. ones you can’t do jack stuffing about, even if it makes a 2 – 3 hour trip turn into a 9 hour adventure.

I don’t call myself the Master of Disaster w/out reason I tell ya.

**please see the previous post and comment section for background on what lead up to Mom’s current condition**

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Today

Posted on February 12, 2008. Filed under: Chicago, First Life, Health, Real Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Ok it’s been UBER cold in Chicago the past few days, but today was much better so I decided I’d try to dig poor Zippy out and see if he’d be a good boy and start for me so I could go to the pharmacy.

Zippy had about 1/2 a foot of white stuff all over, and the bottom layer of about a 1/2 inch to inch was pure, solid ice. My beloved building maint. guy, Mike, had dilligently plowed all around Zippy, so there was an axle-high bank of mostly ice and some snow all the way around the car. Now, before my surgery I knew I’d not be driving for a bit, so I parked Zippy with more than 1/2 a tank of gas, and with the drive tires facing out, which is also downhill. Yea for planning ahead.

There’s something about the way the door seals are made on Zippy that usually in cold weather he gets a wee film of ice sealing the door to the body in the most annoying way, but lucky me, Zippy opened right up. Next challenge, turned the key, and VaRooom! right to life! Yea Zippy!

Mike happened to be walking by and we discussed my plans and it looked like he’d be back to plow out my space about when I would be getting back from errands if, IF I could get Zippy out of the parking space, over the hump of ice right at his front bumper. Mike went on his way, and I turned up the heaters and got my scrapers out and went to work.

About a 1/2 hour later I had the car legally clear to drive, the trunk lid was still caked with snow, but the center rear light was visible so I figured that was good enough. Shifted into Low, and pulled right out, minimal scraping, I had more trouble on back roads in Oklahoma and Texas in 2000 than I did pulling out of my parking space.

So I slowly drove to the drug store, with the rest of the folks slowly driving sensibly in the slush and fluffy flakes falling down steadily. Picked up my stuffs and went to the grocery store. Spent about an hour in there, walking around very very slowly. It’s hard to describe my knees, left in particular, don’t really hurt, but they don’t feel right and so I have to be very careful with them. It feels like the joint could just pop out and go “wrong” at the least provocation.

Found some nicer alternatives to canned fruit, less sugar and preservatives, got some flavored yogurt, more egg beater stuffs, some milk, fake margarine, OJ, proper turkey burger patties (Pops had grabbed sausage as they were out of the regular stuff, this is much lower salt and each patty is a perfect serving 4 oz.), and cottage cheese. I also grabbed some hummus, gonna see how that goes down. Didn’t see any cheese I thought I should try yet. I can’t see how I’d get it small enough and not gum up my “works”. I can wait. I looked at the fish and other meats but nothing safely appealed to me, I’m following my tum-tum’s “call”.

It’s hard to walk past the breads and crackers and other things that I’d normally want to have with the stuff I’m currently consuming, but those are all too too crunchy for me yet. I got a little warm in the store but this trip was significantly less difficult than before. I was able to take my time and didn’t get antsy, how nice.

Oh and icing on the cake, when I got to the store, parking spot numero uno was just opening up, was well shoveled and easy to get in and out of, I was concerned about being on angled slippery stuff, that would make for some really unhappy knees. On my way out, a fellow walking with a cane was entering just as I was about to return my cart, I gave it to him, it was a good, no wiggle tires cart. He smiled nicely.

So, I drive home, slowly, again, as the snow is coming down even more by then, and just as I’m pulling into my little snow-hole of a parking space, Mike waves to me to pull out as he’s also just gotten home! Talk about great timing! He scraped all that stuff up and shoved it into the embankment, so Zippy parked on perfectly flat, nearly ice-free pavement. I grabbed my bags of goodies and made my way upstairs!

I’m very pleased, and the turkey burger was yummy!

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    • MadameMaracas is heartbroken, so terribly devastated, the surgeon, Dr. Alan Yasko, that gave me my brand new knee this winter, died of a pulmonary embolism. August 24, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas Happy Birthday MatthewAnthony ! May your day be filled with joy and the coming year only get better, day by day! August 22, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas Sorry for the neglect folks, I'm moving to a new facility today, we see what kinda connectivity I have there, if at all. August 20, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Lost connectivity, possibly for an hour or so for the seeming midnight reset. I am fine, full of dilaulid, feeling no pain. no pai August 19, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Getting ready for surgery today, slated to be carved open @ about 11.30am. Pops & Marissa are here taking great care of me. <via phone> August 16, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas you're a big ole pussy cat, need to out go out in a ball love and feeling, generating more with time. August 14, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Been standing up, turning to sit in a chair, short, shuffling steps! NO THIGH PAIN! <via phone> August 12, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Packing room up atm, waiting for transport to surgery w/ Pops & Marissa. Marissa will update here.. <via phone> August 9, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says I have been moved to a different room on the same floor. A single room. ping 4 new # <via phone> August 7, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Guess who just spent an hour out of her room NOT for tests, feeling more normal than in over a month? <via phone> August 6, 2010 MadameMaracas

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