Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mr. Sprocket Home From the Hospital - On the Road to Recovery

Information Desk at Olive View Emergency Room

UPDATE 6/20 4:31 PM 
Mr. Sprocket got his prescription! We are grateful we didn't have to wait too long.

June 20, 2014 - 3:45 PM A Minor Hiccup
Last night, Mr. Sprocket was unable to fall asleep.  The 1/2 a Benadryl didn't work, and taking the other half didn't help.  I found out when I woke up at 4am. Part of the problem is, he needs to learn how to breathe from his abdomen instead of from his chest. He's probably been breathing wrong for a long time, not really getting  full exhalation in. Consequently, he is sort of hyperventilating.  When night time comes, he gets anxious that he's not going to be able to fall asleep.

As soon as offices opened around, Mr. Sprocket was working the phone, trying to see if he could get to talk to a doctor today. He was hoping he could get a prescription for the sleeping pill, Restoril that he was prescribed while he was in Telemetry. I didn't think he would be able to get someone to prescribe this without seeing him.

Amazingly, Mr. Sprocket was able to speak to the assistant to his new cardiologist, that he is scheduled to see next Wednesday.  They told him to go to Olive View ER, explain the situation and he would then get to be seen by a doctor. He would be able to get his sleeping pills.

After Mr. Sprocket checked in at the ER front desk, he was transferred to the 'Urgent Care' Clinic.  That's where we're waiting now. There's a large screen TV in the waiting room. The World Cup is on, but the announcer is in Spanish. 

Side Note: Mr. Sprocket is starting to remember when he was in the emergency room at Providence St. Joseph's. He remembers that he had to go to the bathroom real bad. He remembers they brought into the room a chair potty, and he was allowed to get down off the table and go to the toilet.

He also has a memory of being taken to the Cath Lab when he had congestive heart failure during his first visit to Telemetry. He thought he was dying. He remembers them marking a time. He thought they were marking the time of his death.  No one conveyed to him, that they were trying to save him. He doesn't remember anyone speaking to him about what was going on. He didn't understand that.

There are over a dozen people in the Urgent Care waiting room, but hopefully, we won't be here long. I had my morning walk but Mr. Sprocket was too tired and frazzled to walk today. It was enough that he made breakfast and lunch today.

Mr. Sprocket at the Sepulveda Basin Recreational Area

June 19, 2014 5:40 PM - Wildlife Nature Walk
For Mr. Sprocket's walk today, he wanted to stroll the paths at the wildlife sanctuary area near our home. The ponds and marshes are a stopping point for migrating birds. We used to walk there when we were both in better shape.  However, by the time we got out of the house it was in the height of the valley heat and I'm not crazy about walking in the midday sun.

We had a little difficulty finding a parking spot where Mr. Sprocket didn't have to walk to far to get to the paths.  The walk was much longer than what he's 'supposed to' take at this point, but he was very careful to walk very slow.  Once we got to the big pond, we took a long rest on the benches there before heading back to the car.

Then we did some much needed vegetable shopping at our best grocery store. Not only does Mr. Sprocket cook, he's also much better than me in picking vegetables and fruits.  He did not use his walker, but hung onto the grocery cart for a little extra support.

He was a bit tired after that, so when we went to Costco for our meats, he used one of the motorized carts again.

I am trying to keep him focused on short leisurely walks until he sees the new cardiologist on June 25.  Every day he says he feels better and better, which means he's still tying to push the envelope of how long or far he walks.

Mr. Sprocket still has some anxiety about getting to sleep but the 1/2 a tablet of Benadryl and lots of Magnesium Oil on his body before he goes to bed is doing the trick.

Magnesium is a great sleep aid.  We've used it at night for a long time now. Taking magnesium through the skin means it bypasses the digestive process and you don't have to worry about over dosing.  Just spray on your body. It may tingle or feel like it's stinging. That's the indicator that you are low on magnesium.  When that stops, you know you're levels have been replenished, and you can back off for a week or so before applying again.

In other news, several of his clients are putting off repairs until he gets well again.

I got in my 2 mile walk this morning. Mr. Sprocket got my pedometer to work, so I'm wearing it constantly. With all the grocery shopping and Mr. Sprocket's walk, I've already reached my goal of 10,000 steps today.  I hope to keep that up by eventually increasing my walk to 3 miles. In another day or two, I'll be sewing another order to meet a deadline.
Mr. Sprocket, out on his first, real outside walk 
since the heart attack.

UPDATE 6/18 5:45 PM
I got out of the house a little bit today. My wonderful Canadian friend is on vacation here in LA. When she came to pick up her bag order, she took me to lunch at the Chateau Marmont. We then got to hang out a bit and go shopping. It was a wonderful break and I am so indebted to her for giving me a nice day away from the house and Mr. Sprocket care.

Granted, Mr. Sprocket did have to call a few times, just to make sure I was having a good time. He did get all the breakfast dishes soaking in the sink, ready for me to put in the dishwasher. He saved them for me because he says he doesn't know how to load it as well as I do. (head shake here)

Now that I'm home, Mr. Sprocket said he'd like to go for another walk after dinner. He's taking it slow and easy.

P.S. Well, we didn't take that walk right away. Mr. Sprocket had to have a nap first. We did stop and visit our neighbors on our walk. This was a shorter walk than this morning. I had to remind Mr. Sprocket that just because he 'thinks' he can push himself harder, he's not supposed to at this point. Slow and steady wins the race.

June 18, 2014 10:20 AM
We just got back from a 15 minute walk down the street.  Although Mr. Sprocket says he can walk without the walker just fine, it helps him walk a little faster by taking the stress off his legs. He's not forced to balance as much. We did walk at a very slow pace. We had one stop break near the end of the walk for about two minutes. Overall, I think he's doing much better than probably the doctor's anticipated.  I just asked him. He does say his leg muscles feel the weakest. He feels like he got a good workout with the walk.

Mr. Sprocket also made breakfast this morning, using my shake and bake method. It came out better than when I made it.

We finally got his first post event follow up appointment with Olive View: June 25th. He will see his primary care doctor and his cardiologist, all on the same day. I'm hoping we are able to get him into a cardiac rehab program asap.  He thinks he needs to get a "heart rate watch" but I think the rehab program will have a way for him to monitor his heart rate during exercise.

Mr. Sprocket still has a bit of a residual cough that the doctors believe is just the stress damage from being intubated for so long.

Thank you everyone for your positive thoughts and prayers. Please also keep my friend's son "Rio," in your prayers. I believe he is still in the ICU in Oregon.

Mr. Sprocket, taking a nap with Scout kitty.

June 17, 2014 12:30 PM
What a long, stressful day that was yesterday. Mr. Sprocket was so happy to get a shower last night after 18 days in the hospital.  It took a while. I put a towel in the bottom of the tub and then the plastic lawn chair with arms on top. That worked perfect.

Mr. Sprocket did have a bit of trouble getting to sleep last night. He was not given a scrip for the 'fantastic' sleep medication he received in the hospital. (We found out today, that is only for short term, not long term.) He was able to get some sleep by taking a single Benadryl tablet.  We knew this was okay, because while he was in the hospital, he was allowed to have that, and did try it for sleep a few times.

Mr. Sprocket's balance is real good. He tells me he has not felt dizzy or light headed at all. He feels very confident in the house wearing the hospital non-slip booties, (you can see them on his feet in the photo) and not needing a support.

This morning, he helped with breakfast. He fixed baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and stir-fried kale. He also cooked two eggs for himself. I had some of the meatloaf he made over three weeks ago, that sustained me all the time he was in the hospital. If he felt tired, he sat down on a chair in the kitchen.  After breakfast, he felt he needed to lie down for about 30 minutes, then he was able to help with the kitchen clean up by washing the pots and pans.

Most of the morning today, he was on the phone with the office of his attending, Dr. P, and Olive View, trying to arrange a walker.  The walker would be helpful so he can take a walk outside, have more support to lean on when getting up from the toilet and as an extra support in the shower.  Currently, he is able to walk around the house without the walker, and only occasionally uses my wooden cane I had when I broke my ankle in '93.

Because he has not been seen by his primary physician assigned by Olive View yet, they could not get a walker sent to the house.  Dr. P's office said, they could only write a scrip for a walker to a medical supply company. The medical supply company said they don't bill insurance companies.

So, I went and bought a walker like what he used in physical therapy for $70.00.

He was sent home with five heart medications and Bayer aspirin. The doctor told him he might be able to cut back on the Plavix later on, but he would be on aspirin for life. There was a bit of drama this morning on getting the medications straight, which ones with food, which ones without and which ones twice a day, but I think we have a documenting system figured out now.

He was put on a low dose of a thyroid medication. The doctor said, they were not sure if he needed it, but since his thyroid was a bit low, they threw it in just to be safe.  Hopefully, he won't have to be on that for long.

Other than that, I think we are good today. Now I'm going to try to concentrate on my bag order that's due tomorrow.

P.S. In the photo by Mr. Sprocket's feet, you can see a red and white a prayer shawl that one of my kind Facebook friends sent Mr. Sprocket. We are touched and overwhelmed by this thoughtful gift.


ritanita said...

Tell Mr. Sprocket a hearty welcome home! I'm praying for a smooth recovery as he regains his strength.

Anonymous said...

I think I see a kitty snuggled up with Mr. Sprocket. That is good medicine! It's great to see Mr. Sprocket back home.

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 2:51 PM
Yes. This is Mr. Sprocket's buddy, Scout. Scout is the kitty that showed up on our back patio in 2006 and adopted us.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your news on Mr. Sprocket"s medical ordeal.
I'm so happy for the both of you that Mr. Sprocket is over the crisis, out of ICU and is finally back home. :)
I had been rooting for both of you for a positive outcome... Yeah!
Best of luck for good health and healings.
Peace be with you.
From a concerned reader. :)

Anonymous said...

nothing better for recuperation than a purring bundle of fur curled up next to you.

Samantha Pfaff said...

I'm so happy to hear that Mr. Sprocket is home and recovering. I've been following your posts on this, and can't imagine how difficult it must be for you both. I hope his recovery conintues!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Mr. Sprocket is back home. We hope he continues to improve.

David In TN