09 March 2013

Bring on spring!

The start to this year has been one of the rainiest and most drab ones I can ever remember. I hate to complain about the rain because I know we will be praying for rain later on, but goodness!  With all of the rain, we discovered a leak in the roof, and finding someone to work on it is proving to be quite difficult. When we bought this house in 1993, we thought the shingles were slate, but sometime around 2000 or so, we had to have the outside repainted. The guy who was doing that told us we needed to replace some of the fascia board. He gave us the name of someone so we called him. He told us that he found some cracks in some shingles that needed repairing. We were then told that the shingles contain asbestos. In order to replace them, we would have had to have a hazardous waste permit, and we would have to pay a disposal fee...by the pound. These shingles ain't light. So replacing them was out of the question. We found a man from Decatur (I think) who worked on this kind of roof, so we had him come do the work.  And now we have this leak, but we cannot find anyone who works on anything other than "regular" shingles. Actually, that's not true. John found a company who is going to come look at it, but they've never gotten in touch with us, and John has stayed so busy he hasn't had time to call them back. Joys of owning an older home!

Today has been a really nice day.  It has been warm enough to sit outside (where I am now), and the sun has popped in an out. Even when it's been in it's been sunnier than it has been in a while.  I am so ready for warmer weather and sunny days!  The only drawback is the pollen.  When I went to get my shot Thursday, the pollen count for some of the trees was 10.2, and that's not good for allergy sufferers.

Speaking of allergies...mine have given me FITS all winter.  I cannot tell you the last day I didn't have sniffles or congestion or watery eyes or sneezing. I would give almost anything for one week of absolutely no allergy issues.

John has done beautifully since his stroke. He has no lingering problems at at, and for that, I am so very thankful!  God is so good!!!!  We're working on getting his blood sugar stabilized.  He's been back on his pump, so his numbers have been much better. He was due for an upgrade, and it came in yesterday. And that's a good thing because his old one messed up. Again.  We're also working on getting his blood pressure lower. It isn't extremely high, but because he is a diabetic, they want to see it a little lower. We've started trying to eat healthier foods, and we haven't gone out to eat nearly as much. (That's good for the wallet!  Hahaha). I've actually found a couple of "real" recipes that I've made...and they've been GOOD!  Anyone who knows me knows I don't LOVE cooking. 😜 But you do those things you don't LOVE for those who you LOVE. 😊

School is winding down. Two weeks until spring break, and then only eight more after that.  And the. I can retire (fingers crossed!) in four more years!!!!  Woo hoo!

I guess that's about it for now. Have a GREAT day!

16 February 2013

The biggest scare of my life

This past Wednesday, I got a message from the office that I needed to call John. I pulled my phone from my pocket and saw I had a missed call from him. I keep my phone on vibrate during the day, but I usually either hear it or feel it vibrate. This time I didn't. I didn't think much about it because I knew he was supposed to be calling our insurance agent, and he was going to Birmingham for a root canal. I figured he had a question about one of those things.

When I called him back, the first thing he said was "I'm sick."  I still thought maybe he woke up with a virus and wanted to know if we had anything for it. So I asked what was wrong. He said his left arm was numb and his head was killing him. I went numb. I told him I would be home as soon as I could be. I immediately called down to our secretary and told her what was going on. Within minutes, she had one of our subs at my door. I drove faster than I have ever driven in my life on the way home. I glanced down once, and the speedometer was literally at 100 mph. Once I hit Hwy 280, I don't think I went slower than 80.

When I came in, he was in his recliner and the pups were on his lap. I grabbed Bama and put him in the floor and turned to get Ali. Bama jumped back up into the chair, and when I started to pick him up again, he hunkered down.  I think I must have yelled or spoken sharply to him and scared him. Plus, I flew in and I'm sure they could pick up on my fear. I got John in my vehicle and headed to East Alabama Medical Center.   From the time he called me, and I had him at the ER, no more than an hour had passed.

Even though we have a small hospital in Dadeville and Russell Medical Center is closer than EAMC, I chose EAMC because my first thought was that he was having a heart attack, and they have an excellent reputation in that respect. His dad had several, so he has that family history. Then I began

thinking about his headache, so I started worrying about stroke. Again, he has a family history. Both his mom's parents had debilitating strokes that eventually led to their deaths, and a stroke is what actually led to Carl's death.

In the ER, he told the triage nurse that he had a similar episode 3-4 months earlier and had gone to the ER at the hospital where he works. The ER doc there told him that it was probably due to his blood sugar falling so quickly. No CT or MRI scans were ordered. No blood work was done. NOTHING. John never told me about this since it was "nothing" and he didn't want to worry me over "nothing". The ER doc at EAMC ordered a CT, an EKG, and blood work and decided to admit him because hey, a severe, sudden onset headache and numbness of a body part are classic symptoms of a stroke, right?  Even I know that, and I am no where close to being a medical doctor. And I don't think staying at a Holiday Inn Express qualifies me as one.

After he was admitted, he was put on a heart monitor. He also had an echocardiogram, a bubble study, a carotid ultrasound, and an MRI. The MRI showed that he did, in fact, have a stroke. Not a mini stroke or TIA, but a stroke caused by an embolism. Since the previous heart studies came back normal, a transesophageal echocardiogram (TE) was ordered to see if there was an evidence of clots in his heart. The TE also came back normal.

Considering his dad's heart issues, I am really glad those studies showed nothing to be concerned about, but we still do not know where the emboli originated. (He has two spots, so there was more than one embolism.) He has an appointment with a cardiologist and will wear a monitor for 30 days. They will be looking to see if he possibly has atrial fibrillation. According to the Mayo Clinic website, some people with a fib never realize their heart is in a fib, and episodes can be chronic or they can come and go. Since the monitor he wore in the hospital didn't pick up on any abnormal activity, he either does not have a fib, or his is the come and go variety. If he does have a fib, age and diabetes are factors that can lead to stroke. John is 57 (still young, but older), and he is a diabetic. And his diabetes has not been under control for a while. (He's also seeing a new endocrinologist week after next.)

He is feeling well now, but I am still constantly asking him how he feels.  Anytime he is out of my sight, I am anxious to get back. When he goes back to work Monday, it will be all I can do to not call him eleventy billion times throughout the day. I know I can't control anything, and I have to trust him to pay attention to his body.

This was an experience I hope we never have to have again.

I love my Crimson Tide!

I really, REALLY mean this...

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