Sunday, August 30, 2009

This is how Mother felt yesterday -- ready to cause some major damage just like J-man!! And actually, I felt the same way!
Sunday morning - August 30, 2009 - Both Mother and I had BAD, very BAD days yesterday. Must have been some sort of long-distance coincidental bad vibe thing. hmmmm

As usual in the morning, Granny got ready for her physical therapy, bright-eye and bushy tailed BUT no one showed up to take her down there. Same thing went for the occupational therapy. Say what? Finally, after a while, she found out that she "had the day off."

That would be fine and good, except for the fact that NO ONE TOLD HER in advance.

Kind of reminds me of when someone would get all spiffed up and ready for a date and then the jerk wouldn't show up. Kind of like that. Of course, it never happened to me. It was always a friend or a friend of a friend....

Back to Granny's story: They also did NOT put the CPM (continuous passive motion) device on her knee to keep it moving so it doesn't get all locked up in one position. And furthermore, that's when they put the ice pack on it to REDUCE THE SWELLING in her leg.

By the time I talked to Gran, she had calmed down considerably because Grandpa told her to chill out. And she always has to listen to him because he's older and wiser. haha

Of course, my own dilemma took her mind off those problems for a few minutes. Let me give you the condensed version: Saturday, Luis (my helper dude) was working in the yard, my eye was very blurry, called eye doctor because they're only open until noon (and then I'd be screwed until Monday), they begrudgingly gave me an appointment, I went in to their office and waited, finally got in, my pressure was FORTY. Yeah and no one seemed to be the least bit concerned about it except for me.

After I came home, I took the diamox which made me feel like I was drunk (not that I know what that's like but I've read about it, and I've heard about it from friends who imbibe) and also I felt like I was run over by a truck and about to have a heart attack because my pulse was racing so fast. It was quite a trip.

I went out in the yard and helped Luis with the yard work in spite of the fact that I thought I was going to die imminently but I didn't. What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, right? bye for now, djb

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Here's a close-up of Mother's incision. There was a lot of bruising because they had to manipulate her leg to get it straight. ouch!
Saturday, August 29, 2009 - Yesterday, I called Mother earlier in the afternoon while she had her leg in the continuous passive motion device. They put ice on her knee at that time so it can help with the swelling. Also talked to Grandpa while she was re-arranging the ice pack.

She's now been at the rehab center for a week as of today. Her goal is to get out of there on or about Labor Day weekend. Hopefully, she reaches that milestone. However, if she doesn't quite make it by then, it'll be okay because she's in a wonderful place.

Everyone who works there is very nice. I think that's a prerequisite for working with cranky old people. NO, not Mother. Some of the other ones who are there. The stories are hilarious. Don't think I could handle that.

Must go get ready to work in the yard. Luis is coming by at 7:30. later, djb

Friday, August 28, 2009

Here's one of the first pictures of the incision resulting from Mother's knee replacement surgery - WOW!
Friday, August 28, 2009 - Diane just sent me pictures of the incision on Mother's knee. That is really something! I'm actually speechless.

Last night, I realized that I didn't call her early enough because I was still goofy from that silly pill I took on Tuesday. By the time I did call, I wasn't able to get through to her and instead heard the message on her cell phone that Diane recorded. hmmm what's up there?

So, I called Grandpa, and he said that she had called her friend, Lydia, earlier in the afternoon -- so the phone was working then. hmmmm what's going on anyway? He also mentioned that Alan had called him because he couldn't get through to Mother either! hmmm interesting situation.

Grandpa and I chatted for a while and he filled me in on the goings on around the neighborhood and his various travels to the Y for water aerobics, etc. I told him that I'd call Diane because I knew she'd be with Granny and if anything was untoward, I'd call him back.

When I called Diane's phone, SHE didn't answer. Now what? Pretty soon my phone rang and it was Diane. Like me, she sometimes has difficulty "finding" her phone. When she checked Granny's phone, it was out of juice. So, she plugged it in to re-charge. Case closed.

Then I talked to Mother and she was doing fine. Same routine as previous days. Plus, some folks from the Y came by to visit. She got a letter from one of her high school friends which I find quite amazing. I don't think Mary Church knew that Mother had surgery or was in rehab. She also got my card (I'm such a good daughter....hahaa!!). No, Diane's way better than I am.

Hey, we're all in this together. If you're reading this and you haven't sent a card to Mother, you have the whole weekend to do it, so do it now.

Better go. I'm still reeling from seeing that photo. whoa! ouch! Mercy! bye, djb

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mother as a youngster - The Scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009 - On Tuesday (Aug 25), Granny and I played phone tag for a few hours but finally were able to chat. My own problem started early in the day when my right eye was acting foggy and weird so I took the diamox (which makes me feel goofy), then I went in to see the doc. When I came back, Elliot and I worked on moving some mulch. (That's the back story.)

Anywho, when Granny and I finally talked, she told me that her rehab was progressing along quite nicely. She spent an hour in physical therapy (which she calls PT) and an hour in occupational therapy (which is OT). She spent two hours with her knee in the CPM (continuous passive motion) device slowly moving her knee, continuously and passively.

One of the times I called her was right when they were just bringing in her dinner. She said, "I'll call you back because this looks pretty good. I think I can eat this." haha So, they finally found something that Mother likes. That's pretty sweet.

In the afternoon, a couple from St. Augustine's (can't remember their names) came in to visit. Also, their neighbors and fellow water aerobics participants, Ray and Pat, stopped by. Plus, one of the other neighbors had called and left a message. There were also cards that people had dropped by or sent that Grandpa was going to bring in later. Very busy day.

Yesterday (Wed, August 26), Mother pretty much kept to the same schedule. But she actually walked down the hall using the walker. They haven't let her have possession of one in her room yet. That will come at a later time -- something to work for.

Right now, they're very pleased with her progress. It's a one day at a time situation to getting stronger and closer to the ability to maneuver on her own. Then, she'll bust out of the joint.

At first, she didn't really want to go to the Rehab Center. Now, I think, she's glad to be there. They know what they're doing and they're very nice.

Plus, Grandpa can take the back roads to get over there (a time-honored Berg tradition). If I'm failing to mention that both Grandpa and Diane are over there a lot, it's just an oversight. Oftentimes, they pass each other in the parking lot as one is going in and one is going out. haha

That's it for now. I'll let you know what's going on unless I have a complete collapse myself. later, djb

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Here's Mother when she was just a wee one holding her dollie. I love those shoes. Wait a minute, I think she has the same stumpy legs I do. Also, love the wild hairdo.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - It's only 4 months until Christmas. Just a warning to all.

After the weekend, I sort of got out of the habit of writing in here every day. Yesterday afternoon, I chatted with Mother and she sounded great. Right now, she's in the rehab mode.

Quote from Mother: "It's an experience."

They wake her up every couple of hours in the night. When she got up yesterday for real at 7 a.m., she was finally was able to take a shower sitting on a chair. That felt good! Plus, she got her hair washed.

Once again, there was a debacle with her breakfast. Mother's request: No scrambled eggs and no cooked cereal. So, what did they bring her, an egg on a muffin and oatmeal. They were probably trying to disguise the egg by hiding it but it didn't work! She eventually got a plain muffin and Cheerios. Plus, coffee, juice and milk.

After she ate, she went down to the Physical Therapy room and did an hour of physical therapy (that's why it's called that!). There are a lot of people recuperating from other types of surgical procedures and other malfunctions of the human body trying to get back in shape. Quite a busy place. There seem to be a lot of 90 year olds there.

Then, Granny had Occupational Therapy. They gave her a grabber that grabs things, plus it has a magnet on it to pick up paper clips and other metal stuff -- maybe she can go to the beach and pick up loose change! Anyway, it's very cool. She was also introduced to a device that helps to pull on her socks. She also liked that.

The final object was called a leg lifter. It's a long device with a circular circle on the end which the patient puts under their arch in order to move their own leg when no one is around. At this point, her muscles haven't gotten their strength back yet so its use is temporary.

They also give her a shot in the stomach with a coumadin-like drug to prevent clots. Diane had that when she was in the hospital with her problems a few years ago. Why the stomach, we don't know. I'm sure you do. haha

That's all for now. Have to get my skedaddling shoes on. see ya, djb

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mother as a little baby with her sister doll that looks like Sister. Pretty cute.
Sunday, August 23, 2009 - Just talked to Mother about a half hour ago. She had been to the physical therapy room which I think they call the gym. The therapist evaluated her for an hour to see what she could do with her leg. As we were talking, they had the CPM device moving her knee. She has to lay on her back for that to be effective.

Once the noon meal is delivered, they will take it off so she can sit up and eat. Grandpa was there with her and was planning to eat the turkey and whatever else they were serving with it -- most likely, mashed potatoes and gravy.

While we were talking, their food was delivered. She said that she was on the "baby schedule" -- they wake her every 3 hours during the night so she can take care of her personal business.

That's all for now. Must mow the grass. It's quite tall. later, djb
Update from Saturday night - August 22, 2009 - Mother's transition to the Rehab Center wasn't exactly smooth as silk. She was upset and wanted to go home! Plus, she was in pain. It's Sunday morning (10 am Florida time) and I haven't heard how her night was.

ATTENTION: This would be the day to get ahold of a "thinking of you" or "get well" or any type of card and SEND IT TO HER - you can send it to the Bergs' home address.

She has the new cell phone there. You can call it, and if she's busy, leave a message. that's it for now, djb

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Here's a picture from the website of the Tuskawilla Nursing & Rehab Center

Saturday, August 22, 2009 - The latest info from Diane this morning:

Doing much better today! At 9:20 doing her physical therapy. They should move her today to rehab later this afternoon.

Here is where she will be:

Tuskawilla Nursing and Rehab Center

1024 Willa Springs Dr
Winter Springs, FL 32708-5214
(407) 699-5506

I'll keep ya posted! Diane, sister on the scene!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Here's Zoe with Grandma when the Bergs came up to Illinois for Uncle Everett's funeral back in October 2006. And Grandpa's in the picture, too.
Update #10 - August 21, 2009 - Great news!! Before Diane went up to the hospital early this afternoon, she stopped at McDonald's and got a chicken sandwich for Mother. At first, she didn't want to eat it, but then she tossed the bun and ate the chicken and decided that it was pretty tasty. This was the breakthrough we've been waiting for. Kudos to Diane!

Diane mentioned that Mother has been walking with the walker and the assistance of an aide or therapist up and down the hall. She's progressed from just walking in the room. Good news!

After Mother ate, they came in and gave her a pain pill, so she had a good nap. At some point later, they decided to move her to a different room - now she's by the window. That's nice. She can look outside and see the afternoon rain shower.

Granny's nurse also told her that she was going to remove the BIG BULKY bandage before she leaves for the day (I'm assuming at 7) and put on a new light bandage. That's a big relief because that original bandage is very hard to deal with especially when she was trying to sleep at night.

After a little while, they brought in her meal and she ate some meatloaf, had a roll, some peaches and actually drank milk. She mentioned to Diane that she always drinks milk in the hospital. That's funny because I do remember her saying that over the years. It was usually regarding her hospitals stays after having one of us kids.

When Diane decided to leave, she told Mother that no one would be there with her until Daddy showed up and she assured Diane that she'd be fine. Well, lo and behold, as Diane was walking out, Grandpa was coming in. That's pretty cute. Perfect timing.

That's all for now. The best thing is that she's doing very well. And we are extremely thankful for that. later, djb

Here's Mother holding baby Howard standing next to Grandma and Grandpa O'Malley in Harvard at their house on Sixth Street.
Update #9 - Friday, August 21, 2009 - Imagine my surprise when I called Mother's hospital room a few minutes ago, and she answered the phone herself!! She sounded normal and chipper today. The physical therapist had been in a couple of times and had her walk in the room with the second time being a longer distance.

The knee doesn't really feel as painful as she thought it would. Sure, there's some discomfort but it hurt a lot BEFORE the operation, so now at least it's eventually going to feel much better. She has an amazing upbeat attitude.

Yesterday was a horrible day for her as we knew it would be. She still isn't hungry and is eating just enough to keep a small ferret alive. I could hear Grandpa in the background saying that she "needs to eat more." Okay, boss!

Everyone concerned with her hospital stay and her move to the rehab place have been absolutely wonderful. When she started going down the list of who had been there, it sounded like they have everything under control.

When they eventually move her to Tuskawilla, she'll take the trip in an ambulance. Apparently, they've discovered over the years that is the best way to move the patients. Makes sense.

Better go out and take care of business. More later. bye, djb

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Here's Granny and Grandpa cutting a rug at Liz and Ron's wedding back in September 1988. This picture cracks me up because it's obvious that they were having such a good time. As we all were!
Update #8 - August 20, 2009 - While Bob and I were waiting to order our food tonight down at Blackberry Inn, I heard my phone ringing (it plays "When the Saints Go Marching In"), so I answered it and it was Diane calling with great news!

She told me that Mother looked 100% better. Even the nurses commented on how much she had improved. In fact, she even asked to have the TV turned on.

Truthfully, I think if you said a prayer for my mother today, it worked. And I am thrilled!! We know she has the strength and fortitude of her Irish ancestors to prevail in the face of adversity. I'm just so grateful that she made it through Day Two. whew!

This is it for tonight. I'll keep you posted. bye for now, djb

Here's Granny holding me in a very OLD photo many, many years ago when I was wearing a diaper. haha And I still have those stumpy legs.
Update #7 - August 20, 2009 - Diane was at the hospital with Mother while Daddy and Alan went home to get a bite to eat. Just when Diane called, a nurse came in to replace an IV in Granny's elbow, so she said she'd call back.

When she called back, I got to chat with the Patient for a couple of minutes. Mother commented that she wasn't very being sociable. I told her that she didn't have to be. It was nice to hear her voice but she just sounds pretty tired.

I hadn't called her earlier on purpose because I know how it feels when you're in the hospital for this sort of thing -- you just want to feel better and rest -- you're not really up for chit chat. But, oh no! The nurses and doctors and everyone else is always coming in to do some procedure or check on your vitals. Of course, it's necessary but annoying sometimes.

They did give her some more real food to eat for dinner. I think she said turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy but it tasted weird. That's exactly how my food tasted when I was taking the diamox for the high pressure in my eye. My beer tasted especially weird. Mercy!!

Better go. Diane also commented that Mother looks a lot better than she did this morning. Hopefully, this trend will continue!!! take care. later, djb

Here's the view out the window at the hospital. I see palm trees. oh boy!
Update #6 - August 20, 2009 - Alan just called me a few minutes ago to tell me that Mother is doing much better than she was this morning. Thank God!

Everyone who has ever had surgery knows the truth about the dreaded second day after. ouch! I'm just very glad to hear the good news.

They did bring her some real food but she said that it tasted funny. It just reminds me of all the times she told us, "Just take a little bite. You have to eat something!"

That's it for now. later, djb

South Seminole Hospital, Orlando Health in Longwood, Florida is where Granny is hanging out these days. ~photo taken by Diane Berg
Update #5 - August 20, 2009 - Diane called to tell me that she had been up to the hospital to visit Mother. They had brought her in some liquid type food for lunch but it seems as though she needs some real food. There are certain things that she can't eat or other things she doesn't like so there must be something they could give her to just get some solid food in her stomach. Time will tell. Maybe a burger from Steak and Shake. She loves those!!

One of Diane's co-workers told her to make sure they don't try to give Granny the bum's rush so to speak -- better to stay in the hospital a few extra days on this end than leave too early and have to return. And to tell you the truth, one of Diane's friends told me 14 years ago NOT to give up my spleen. hmmm Good advice.

Here's the device that Granny HATES. I think it's called a CPM device from what I could find when I did a search. ~photo courtesy of Diane Berg
CONTINUOUS PASSIVE MOTION DEVICE (CPM): After surgery, it is advisable to begin moving the knee as soon as possible. This is done with a device known as a CPM unit which is applied to your leg after surgery. This device moves very slowly. By starting early motion, it is possible to shorten the rehabilitation time. Surprisingly, studies have shown that early motion allows for more rapid healing and lessens the pain after surgery. The CPM device should be used as often as possible.
When Mother mentioned that she was in pain, Grandpa said, "Of course, you are, you had surgery yesterday!" It's just going to take time to heal. The thing is, it's hard to know that she's in pain and there's nothing we can do about it. But once she gets out of the hospital, we're going to send some flowers. I guess a card would be in order, also. Right now, she just wants to feel better. And I'm sure she's saying, "WHY did I do this again?"

All righty, that's all for now. later, djb

Here's Diane, Mother and Me posing (in red) for a picture at Christmas but I can't remember exactly what year this was -- might have been 2004?
Update #4 - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - After not hearing any updates all morning, I called Alan, and he was at the house getting ready to go back to the hospital. As I suspected, Day Two is going along a little bit rockier for Mother than yesterday.

Once the anesthesia wears off, the pain really sets in (I remember that from my splenectomy). The physical therapist was there this morning and got her out of bed to try to "walk" a little bit. That was quite difficult considering the fact that she wasn't able to sleep very well last night.

She's pretty weak and still kind of woozy. Of course, I remember her admonitions over the years that you have to EAT to keep up your strength. But there's the conundrum of not being hungry because you don't feel good and also some of those medications make you feel queasy.

The lady from Tuskawilla came in this morning also. They're making plans for her to go over there on Saturday. The doctor decides when she leaves the hospital so that really isn't up to the patient, which is good. If she has to stay in the hospital another day, that's their call.

When I didn't hear anything this morning, I knew that it was going to be a rough day. So, do me a favor and say a few healing prayers for Mother so that she may heal and gain strength. God bless her and heal her and ease her pain. Amen to that.

Hopefully, next time I write, things will be going better for Granny. It would be nice if a person could just skip over Day Two, post surgery. More later, djb

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Here's Diane and Granny in Florida posing for me when I was there in May of this year.
Update #3 - August 19, 2009 - Diane just called me. She put a short update on her Facebook page. The hospital sent Daddy and Alan home. They needed to take a break and Diane replaced them as the designated visitor.

They had Mother sit up on the side of the bed. Then, they eventually had her sit in a recliner mainly to get out of the bed and start the process of moving around. Tomorrow, she will be walking on her NEW knee with a walker and assistance from one of the nurses.

She had a little bit of food -- some crackers, some broth and a little bit of juice. They mainly want her to drink liquids today. I hope in the morning, she'll get some of her appetite back.

It's a double room but Mother's the only patient in there. That's so nice. It's so much better than having a big crowd visiting and yakking when you're trying to rest and recuperate.

The hospital doctor used to be their primary care doctor. When he came in the room to check on Granny, he said, "I know you." Then, later on, Daddy saw someone from the swimming class. It's a small world in Seminole County. (That's because they're so close to Disney World.)

Right now, they're pretty sure that Mother will be going to the Tuskawilla Nursing and Rehab Center which is really nice because it's on Red Bug Road and close to home so Grandpa won't have to drive all over the place to go and visit Mother while she recuperates.

Mother just wasn't feeling very comfortable so Diane cranked up the hospital bed and that seemed to make her feel better. Then, I remembered that Mother cannot lay on her back for very long. I'm so glad Diane took care of business.

Then, just before Diane left the room, the nurse (who is VERY nice) came in and gave Granny some pain medication in her IV and she promptly conked out.

That's the long update. I've never been at a loss for words. I'll put more updates on as I get them. In between Severe Weather Warnings. bye, djb

Here's Grandpa and Granny posing for me after they got home from church when I was there visiting at the end of April 2009.
Update #2 - August 19, 2009 - Alan called me just before noon (Florida time). They had been in to see Mother. She woke up for a short time and mumbled something. Even though she's pretty much non-verbal, the nurses were adjusting her medication so that her leg won't become too painful. As long as they keep administering the pain medication (but it's not morphine) before it gets too bad, she should be less uncomfortable. Maybe she made a face like OW, that hurts!

He said that she looked pretty good considering everything, plus her vitals were strong, and she's doing as well as possible considering that fact that she just went through surgery! Ouch!!

Grandpa and Alan were eating lunch when he called. He's been putting in Grandpa's eye drops. Plus, Grandpa has to take pills about a half hour before he eats and while he eats and I think after he eats. But don't quote me on that.

More news as I get it. later, djb

Here's Granny with me when I was in Florida just before Mother's Day this past April. The weather was perfect and we had a great time.
Update #1 - Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - Diane just called me and said that Mother got out of surgery about 15 minutes ago (a little before 9:30 Florida time). Everything went well. They had to take out a little more bone because of the arthritis. They straightened out her leg which is one of the questions she did ask the doctor. "Will my leg be straight." And now it is.

We're hoping that she'll be sent to the rehab facility on Red Bug Road called Tuskawilla Nursing and Rehab Center (something like that). She should be in the hospital (South Seminole Hospital in Longwood) until Saturday.

Whew.........thank God. Now, we just have to get through the rehab and she can start walking again.

I just got a call from Fred who is the caretaker at the cemetery. They're going to move Andrew and Jarrett's evergreens today. They've gotten too big. It was either that or cut them down. After they get them situated, they're going to put small plaques next to each tree in memory of each boy. So, that's where I'm headed now. talk to you later. bye, djb

Here's Mother with baby Hobbes many years ago. He jumped up on the bed during the night and scared Granny (Grandpa continued to sleep), so she told him to get down and he did - not Grandpa, Hobbes.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - We've been waiting for this day for quite a while. Mother is finally going to have knee replacement surgery in less than an hour. But you know how it is in hospitals -- the best laid plans often go wildly astray.

I'm going to try to stay in touch with either Diane or Alan and get updates on how things are going and I'll put them on here. Of course, this evening, we're supposed to have severe weather (yellow helmet alert) but I'll do what I can. Plus, I do have a phone!

Just wanted to get this up and going. Talk to you later. djb

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Here's Chad and Julie eating calzones from Paisano's. Doesn't that sound Italian? And don't they look good? yummy
Sunday, August 16, 2009 - Since I haven't put anything on here in a while, I figured a picture of Julie and Chad pretending to eat while posing for a photo would be fun to see.

It has stopped raining, so I'm going to go outside and see what's up. see ya later, djb

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Here's Judy and Joan last night at Rosita's in DeKalb where we got together for some food, fun and fiesta, together with Avis and Bergy. Unfortunately, Ron & Liz couldn't be there and neither could Bob Berg!
Saturday, August 8, 2009 - This morning, I was standing outside near the deck checking to see if it was still raining when I remembered a comment that either Andrew or Jarrett made many years ago regarding Judy. I'm pretty sure it was Jarrett.

After the boys had spent some time over at Judy's house with Joseph, Anthony and Philip (their cousins), while I was down the street at my doctor's office in the chemo room getting infused with intravenous gamma globulin, Jarrett made this bold statement,

"Judy's the best mom in the world."

Well, I did have to agree with him -- especially after the one incredible time when her boys had already gone back to school and Judy took Andrew and Jarrett to Spring Hill Mall to play video games at the arcade while I was getting another round of IVGG. What a mom!!!

It was so great to see her (and Joan) last night and Bergy and Avis. Judy's leaving today to go back to California so we don't know when we'll see her again. Sure, the weather's nice out there but it's far away from her people. haha We both used that phrase independently of each other last night. I thought that was cosmically serendipitous.

Better go. Just wanted to put something in on the boys blogger blog and this is perfect. djb