Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Today found us at the Spine Clinic in Rockford. Joe was taken in a bit early and the Dr. was very patient...answering all of his questions. Then the nurse came out to take me in to meet the Dr. My first impression was that he was very serious about the job ahead. A no nonsense man. He answered my questions completely...showing me Joe's x rays and pointing to the problem areas. He had a model of a spine and used that in his explanation. There was no hurrying...he had left plenty of time for us. The surgery will take a couple of hours. He can expect to stay in the hospital for 3 -4 days. I suppose that I will be told how to help Joe get out of bed and a chair and other things before he leaves the hospital. As the Dr. was going to the door, he turned and said that he would say a prayer in the OR before surgery starts. It seems that Joe's Dr. will ask the Great Physician for guidance. So everything is set for the 6th of July. It can't come soon enough for us. It's been a long wait for someone who hurts.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 21st.....The Blood Work is Done

Joe had an appointment at OSF for blood work and he thought to meet the anesthesiologist. We arrived about 15 min. early and he was taken in and he was asked a million questions. They did the blood work and gave him a brochure with instructions on care before and after surgery. He has some breathing exercises to do and that's about it until the appt. next week with the surgeon. They suggested that he quit smoking before surgery. He's following Drs. suggestions and this is his 3rd day without a cigarette. This is really tough. I've never smoked, but just about all my family members used to. The hardest habit to get rid of. He's doing just great.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting the House Ready.

We have been getting ready for Joe's surgery. He's started planning what he will need to help him recover more comfortably. We got rid of the throw rugs, we got rid of the recliner and bought a straight back wing chair with ottoman, he already had a raised toilet seat, we took off the glass shower doors, meals are being prepared and stored in the freezer, he's ordered a couple of books, a new cooler blanket for our bed, and now the latest....(we have a TV in the bedroom already) on Friday a big TV, to hang on the wall, is being delivered. Anything to keep him comfortable and happy. We decided that we won't be going anywhere this summer, so why not get a nice TV for our bedroom. We will be able to watch DVD's...movies our favorite. So, the last couple of days have been cleaning days. The bedroom is ready and we are anxious.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Surgery Date is Set

Things are finally moving faster toward the day he will have surgery. July 6th is the date. Before that he will meet with the anesthesiologist and have blood work on the 22nd of June. An appointment with the surgeon will be after that...then at 11 AM, on July 6th he will have surgery. The time has gone so slowly...especially for him, as he is in so much pain. TV is a Godsend in situations like this. It kind of takes your mind off things and the one in our bedroom is probably going to be replaced by a new one...maybe on the wall. I've been cooking his old favorites and we spend a lot of time together, watching TV in the bedroom. Books to read, a photo album to work on for the Grotto, and other things will be here for him, when it's all over and he feels like doing something. I hope and pray that this surgery will go well, and that he will be back to his old self before too long.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Beginning...June 9, 2010

Joe just found out that he has to have back surgery. First the Dr. wanted him to have a test for heart blockage. We went this morning and found out that it would take between 3 - 5 hours. We registered and went to the imaging dept. We waited a few minutes until they came out and asked some questions and then they took him in for the first part of the test. Then he came out and sat with me in the waiting room for 45 min. Then they took him back and he came out for another 45 min. He was really in a lot of pain and walking gingerly around the room with his cane. He asked if he could lie down and wait for the next phase. The next time I saw him...he was ready to go home. This test is called Cardiac Nuclear Imaging. It's a way of checking blood flow through the muscles of the heart. They put a tracer (small amt. of radioactive matter into the bloodstream. Then a camera follows the flow through the heart muscle. I was so glad that the test was was Joe. We joked about him glowing in the dark tonight.
On the way home, we stopped and bought a new chair. The salesman met us with a wheelchair and took him around the store to make a selection. What a nice caring and concerned.This chair was bought so fast...he sat in 3 chairs and chose the first one. A wing back chair and ottoman. He sits straight up in that chair and it will be perfect after surgery. No recliners are allowed. We are home now and he is resting in bed. It was a tough day. We left here at 8:15 AM and were home at 3PM. We were talking about how this kind of pre op treatment is so hard on people who are hurting. You used to go to the hospital and have all the tests after you were admitted. You were in your room and they came to get you with a wheel chair and brought you back after the tests. Now they send you here and there...not really thinking about the wear and tear on the patient. There's something to be said about the "good old days"