Monday, December 28, 2015

Grumpy Old Men

It's update time again! My brother-in-law has been released from Gotham Hospital and sent to Fartland Nursing Home for rehab on his broken arm. A lot closer to home. Now it's a 30 minute drive instead of over 2 hours. 

I called the nursing home "Fartland" because it's mostly full of old my brother-in-law fits in pretty well. To say he's the Grinch channeling Scrooge is an understatement. He savors schadenfreude like Paula Deen loves butter. His day isn't complete until he ruins someone else's. I've known him for 40 years and he's always been like that. It took a while, but eventually I learned to just ignore the mean spirit and accept him for what he is...a grumpy, technophobic, cantankerous, bigoted, reclusive, diehard fan of wrestling who happens to be the brother of my wife who loves him dearly.

He's mending well and able to get around fairly well but it's sounding like it will be around the end of January before they let him go home. Once there he'll be eligible to have a visiting nurse and someone to help him with housework two or three times a week through some of the social service agencies in the area. Since he lives in a mobile home behind our house, my wife will probably be checking in on him daily as well.

In regards to my own health, I'm scheduled for another CT scan in a couple of days to evaluate the effectiveness of my new medication. I'm a bit nervous about that. My hair has been gradually turning from white back to gray but my beard remains white. I let it grow out into a full "Santa Claus" beard over the last few months but trimmed it back to my usual 3/8" length today. My voice has also become a bit hoarse, a common side effect of the medication. Other than that, no major changes. I had a routine checkup with my primary care physician this afternoon, my A1C is doing well along with all the other vitals. I also got a shot of Prevnar 13 as a 65th birthday present. All in all a good visit.

Saturday, December 05, 2015


Hey, I'm back! It's been a couple of months since an update. The main reason is that not a whole lot has changed on the health front for me. One visit to Dr. Whoosh a few weeks ago and another coming up on Monday, but no scans have been done so they don't really know if anything is happening with the new medicine or not. I'm expecting them to do another scan around the end of December. The visit Monday will most likely be a carbon copy of the last visit, five or ten minutes talking to the nurse practitioner and 45 seconds with Dr. Whoosh.

In other news, my 70 year-old brother-in-law fell and broke his arm last week. We called 911 and had him taken to the local hospital ER by ambulance. After a couple of hours and an X-ray of the arm, they first said they were going to send him home in a sling. A few minutes later the ER doctor came in and said she'd changed her mind. He was probably going to need surgery and the best thing would be to take him to a hospital in Columbus.

I'd never been to that particular hospital so I asked the for directions. They gave me a sheet of directions from Google Maps, no actual map though. I read it over carefully, thought I could find the hospital, and headed North.

Two and a half hours later I almost found the hospital...almost being the key word. I got within one turn of getting there. It was rush hour and starting to get dark, I couldn't see the street signs very well and missed a turn. After going about a mile or so, I realized I'd missed it and turned around. I missed it again on the way back and ended up on the Interstate going in the wrong direction. I finally found an exit to turn around again but it was completely dark by that time and there wasn't an on-ramp to get back on the Interstate going back to my destination. I pulled into a fast-food joint with free wi-fi and looked up the street map on my smart phone. After studying the map for a while, I headed out the wrong direction again. After about 10 miles of driving I came to a dead end and turned around and went back to the burger joint. This time I got my directions straight and got back on the Interstate and eventually found the hospital.

This particular hospital is apparently considered the place to go for trauma cases. They are located in the middle of town and get all of the really bad injuries including gunshot wounds, etc. with some rough looking people wandering around the halls at times. After waiting a while he was given a bed and I followed the gurney up to his room. A couple of doors down was an old drunk berating a young nurse who was only trying to take his vitals. He was calling her some pretty nasty names but she was professional about it and kept a smile on her face the whole time. Another lady was talking on a cell phone in the hall, explaining to someone what the word "incarcerated" means.

After more X-rays the doctor decided that my brother-in-law didn't need surgery, all he needed was a sling. That was seven days ago. He's still in the hospital. His blood work and urine test indicated he had some kidney problems. We already knew that, he's been seeing a kidney doctor locally for about a year...but they don't want to release him until they get some better numbers.

I was in to see him today and noticed a few minutes after arriving that someone in the next room was making some loud noises. At first I thought that it might be someone was being moved and was experiencing some pain...but soon realized that the exclamations didn't really fit that scenario. It was more like the script from an old Batman TV show with strange hoots every thirty seconds or so. After a few minutes of this, I started writing down all of the exclamations. Here's a list: Bang! Pow! Hoot! Yeehaw! Woo! Whoop! Woot! Ahhhh! Lalalala! Yay! Boom! Fight-fight-fight! Whoooo! Yahhhh! Noooo! Hey-ho! Awwww! Ohrah! Yes! Oooo! Yahoo!

Heading back tomorrow, hoping they'll release him but not too optimistic about the chances.