Glenn’s last dinner in Lethbridge

Justin: We all went out for Glenn’s last dinner in Lethbridge.  Mom suggested Smitty’s, but I suggested we should try something we haven’t had in a while – Taco Time.  There was a little confusion about where it was, but we found it.  The meal was good.  However, Mom was really weak at the end of it.  She walked slowly out of the restaurant and climbed into the car.  Not very often I see her that weak.  But this has been pretty common the past more than a week since she came home from her surgery.  I think she caught a flu bug while in hospital.  This has made her very weak.

surgery pretty good, flu

Justin: Mom went to her doctor’s appointment.  The powder treatment for around her lung has gone almost all the way around the lung cavity.  I’m not sure, but it is apparently supposed to travel around the entire lung to be effective.  I’m supposing that the fluids around the lung will carry this substance to where it needs to be.  The doc said this was not great but pretty good.

Mom’s appetite pills … well, firstly, it is not Dr. Oviat who prescribes this, but rather Dr. Kisuk.  Mom doesn’t see her for another couple or few weeks.  Secondly, Dr. Oviat strongly suggested this prescription was not a good idea since there are so many side effects from any time of appetite-altering drug.  So it has been decided that Mom will not pursue this.

It seems likely that Mom caught some sort of flu while in hospital causing her fever and some of her weakness.  She seems to be recovering from that but is still weak and must lie down a couple of times per day.

Monday evening she did not wait up for me to arrive home from work (close to 10PM).  She left word with Floyd and Glenn that she apologizes for this.  Of course, there was no apology necessary, but she felt it nonetheless.  This evening she did wait up.  Glenn made dinner twice in the past week, and Floyd also.  She would ask if it was okay for her to go to sleep early (around 9 or 9:30PM).  She simply cannot stay awake and visit.  She feels it is her duty to do such things but now understands that she often times cannot.

fever 38.3°

Justin: Yesterday I called Alberta Health Link, a health advice hotline, to discuss Mom’s fever.  The night before last it was 37.7°C – nothing serious but warranting watch.  In the morning she was up to 38.3°C, so I called for advice.  After an hour or so on the phone with AHL and, after, a nursing home care administrator and dozens of questions and answers, they finally decided to try to dispatch a nurse.  Being the weekend, not many nurses were on call, but the fever a few days after surgery concerned them.

Later, while Glenn and I were out, a nurse came by to see Mom.  Floyd was here.  She thought there was no infection from surgery.  She was also not concerned about the fever.  Floyd and I think it was caused by a flu she picked up in the hospital.  The nurse did, however, say that Mom must eat more.  She has two or three bites of something (breakfast, lunch, dinner, anything) and says she’s full.  I’ve repeatedly asked her to be on the medication that allows her her appetite.  She’d agreed in the past many times, but Floyd and Glenn have also voiced up.  Everybody needs food to live.  If you’re not getting it, of course you’ll be weak all the time.  She’s starving herself, slowly, over many weeks and months.  She has absolutely no appetite and says, “I just can’t,” when meal time comes.  She isn’t even drinking her Boost now.

Her appointment with Dr. Oviat is tomorrow morning.  I’ve stressed to Floyd as well that he must say something to the doctor or she will simply fade away to nothing.  She’s now 86 pounds.  She cannot walk by herself to another room.  She must lay down several times a day now.  The pain in her leg comes and goes.  It seems to me that that pain is a diabetes pain.

More news when it happens.

lung powder surgery

Justin: Mom has been weak the past few days.  She cannot walk by herself this morning.  She had surgery to put a type of powder in the cavity around her right lung to prevent fluid build-up.  She was in hospital here in Lethbridge for two nights.

Glenn is here during this time.  We visited Mom for a couple of hours and brought her flowers.  “Something told me you liked roses,” I said.  I got a funny look, like duh.  “You know, one rose will do the same as a dozen.”  She’s said this before.

Her bed moved up and down with air pressure.  I guess it’s a way of preventing bed sores and / or getting better blood circulation.  She didn’t really like this sensation at all.  She asked a nurse if she could have a regular bed, and they said all their beds do that now.

Mom was very weak then, too, and felt ill.  She said she wasn’t really eating much at all.  Her idea was that she should be fed nutrients intravenously.  I asked the nurse if this could be set up.  She said it was up to Dr. Oviat and that he would arrive soon.  I asked her for some Boost, a supplemental drink, but this only made Mom more nauseous.  She was on morphine (5mg) every 6 hours, Tylenol (325mg), and Gravol for her stomach.

As her dinner came while Glenn and I were there, she felt sleepy and didn’t eat much.  And, as recovery needs more sleep, Glenn and I left.

Mom didn’t really want to have surgery that day because she felt so ill.  Later on, however, when the Gravol took effect, I guess she changed her mind.  Dr. Oviat showed up and performed the surgery.  It was extremely simple.  I don’t know much about the procedure or even what it is called.  A powder, like talcum, is injected via a tube into the lung sack.  It irritates the lung cavity lining and prevents fluids from forming.  This should decrease coughing.

Floyd visited a few times, too, of course.  He didn’t really say much – just that she was resting.

pics, videos:

Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_162502.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_162524.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_162617.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_163512.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_163521.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_163525.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_163531.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_164447.mp4
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_170849.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_172024.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_172025.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_172502.jpg
Annette in hospital after lung powder surgery 20140909_173006.jpg

This morning she has a slight fever (37.7°C) and cannot get out of bed.  She curled up on the end of the bed until Floyd and I helped her back to bed.  If her fever continues today, we’ll call a homecare nurse.  I’ll go get her wheelchair now, just in case we have to leave for the hospital.