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Alva, DH is doing remarkably well, all things considered, thank God. We just walked up to the gate in our little community, which is about a 20 minute walk altogether, back & forth. All he used was a cane, and was feeling only slightly winded afterward. He's adapted to the new heart healthy/low salt diet and I haven't seen him even reach for the salt shaker, which is a miracle. I am the one who's feeling overwhelmed with the diet.............it's A LOT! Just grocery shopping is now a 2 hour ordeal, no more in and out and back home again. Reading labels makes you realize that everything has a lot of salt AND fat in it, so whole foods is what I'm buying primarily. But even things like bread/bagels/english muffins have sodium. But if he eats very low sodium with everything else, the salt in the bread and stuff doesn't add up to more than he's allowed. I'm doing it right along with him, too, because a lot of salt isn't good for me EITHER, even though I wasn't eating a high salt diet beforehand like he was. Just looking at what his salt intake was before now is mind boggling.

He's losing weight quite rapidly.......he's down 15 lbs so far, which irks me too b/c if I was eating what he's eating, I'd be GAINING weight! He even drinks 2 Boost Plus shakes a day at 360 cals apiece! LOL. He was at 190 and now he's at 175, so his ideal weight s/b around 165ish, give or take...........so it's all good. New pants are in his future, methinks.

Anyway, thanks for checking in!
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Hope all continues smoothly. If I look at forum and you are out giving your (always positive and always valuable) advice, I feel heartened that you are doing OK. Hope the hubby continues on his heroic attitude to this journey (he's allowed a bit of whining; can still keep his medal).
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Good idea Barb. Every day I thank God for you guys & this forum for all the ongoing support I don't seem to get elsewhere.
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Lea, I'm so glad that DH is up and about and feeling a bit more chipper.

Tell the staff at the AL that beteeen DH's current issues and your upcoming tests, you are going to have to be MIA from visits and tasks for a minimim of 6 weeks.

Ask them to remind mom of that.
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Piper............DH has been home since last Wednesday afternoon..............he's recovering here at the house. Not sure what you mean by 'discharge date'? He has a follow up with the cardiologist in about 5 weeks (I think).

My new rule with my mother is this: ANYTHING she wants SHE has to call me personally & ASK for. I will no longer accept phone calls from her flying monkeys over at the ALF asking for things on her behalf. Oh, and yesterday, she was blowing up my phone asking WHY I wasn't over there at 1 pm after I (and the staff) had told her several times I wasn't going).
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Lea, I'm so glad hubby is up and about, it seems as though he is recovering very nicely. What a relief and probably why you've been able to relax a bit about your CT coming up. I think in no time you and DH will both be fine and relaxing at home in peace.

Your mom..... well, I can relate, unfortunately. She's lucky you got those emergency snacks! SMH. If I were you I would tell her you will only be partially available (if that) for MONTHS taking care of DH.

Keep us posted on your progress. Any discharge dates for DH yet? He's doing so well I bet it won't be too much longer 👍
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Lealonnie, a good report!
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Thinking of you. I am glad you are putting some limits on those who need you constantly. That's a good thing, and one of the things we learn when we fall ill, or when our plate slops all over the tables with being way too full.
Do wish I could drop you by a casserole or something. Remember the old days in the South when "that was done". Take care. You remain in the thoughts of so many of us. So glad of the hubby's hard work to take those deep breathes, and to keep walking.Tell him he's a hero. Because THIS hurts with every move.
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Oh lealonnie, I am so happy that your DH is doing so well. Great news. One step at a time, right? I had to laugh about the emergency phone call about the snacks, you are so good but I am glad you put your foot down concerning your mother. You have so much on your plate right now. One day at a time, positive thoughts, get some sunshine, take a short walk and eat healthy. Hope both of you have a wonderful and blessed day. Hugs.
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Things are going well over here on day 4.25 of DHs release from the hospital. He's walking the hallways multiple times a day, eating more each day, showering alone, breathing much better & able to use his CPAP so sleeping MUCH better also..........looking better each day, thank God. I ordered a silver walker online & it arrived, so we'll go for a walk outside today if the wind calms down.

I'm feeling ok and not overly worried about the CT scan on the 17th. What will be will be and I'm just relaxing when I can with each day.

Got an 'emergency' call from the MC yesterday that my mother is 'out of snacks' and could I please bring some over? So I went to the store, bought 2 large bags of junk food, drove them over to the MC & dropped them off with one of the CNAs who was walking thru the parking lot, and came home to get a call from my mother. "I told them not to call you, you've got too much on your hands already." Really mom, then why did I get that call? In any event, YOU have your snacks and I won't be by to visit on Sunday, I'm exhausted and have a husband to take care of. The End.

So, for those who think manipulations are 'impossible' with dementia, think again! Some elements of personality disorders remain INTACT even with dementia, unfortunately. But hey, I get the 'day off' today and don't have to deal with an irritating 30 minute window visit ALONE with her!! Score!

Thanks for checking in EB, I appreciate it!
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Just checking in on you, lealonnie. Hope everything is ok with both you and DH. Prayers and hugs sent to you.
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lealonnie,

"But now, this is what the Lord says...
He who created you...
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One...you are precious... 
Do not be afraid, for I am with you..."
- Isaiah 43:1-5

I know you know this but it warrants reminding to us believers that God never promises to spare us from "the rain" that falls on both the good and the bad (Matthew 5:45). He will be with you during the rain so that you walk in faith. I am praying for you this morning. Peace!
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Hello lealonnie,
Glad your husband is doing better. Sorry to hear about you, though. Too much stress to deal with all at once. Hope everything turns out well for you. Sending prayers to you and DH.
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Lea, so happy to know things are going better. And nobody ever died of leaving the vacuuming undone! Enjoy the time, the “stuff” will wait
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Oh, .no, Lealonnie. I can't believe now you are going to have to go into the "waiting room" for yourself, with all you are already going through. I can't believe any of your tests will come back positive, because I simply cannot believe it.
However, to have come to this point you must be having distressing symptoms.
I am relieved hubby is feeling better. Yes, the shallow breathing is tough to get by. Tell him to use his pain pills so he can take deep breathes. He cannot afford to get pneumonia from not breathing.
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Today is a new day; we both slept last night, thank God. DH is doing well today & not nearly as demanding as he was yesterday! Whoohoo!! Ate a full bkfst & is on the phone (so obviously the shallow breathing is better........) a lot and I'm walking the halls with him every few hours. Also hounding him about the spirometer and flutter valve. Kaiser nurse came and said he's doing great.............only issue he's having is it FEELS like he 'can't breathe' b/c his breaths are too shallow. She spoke with him about it and what to do. Temp is normal, scars are good too.

Alva, DD JUST started this new job literally 1-1/2 weeks ago.......so no, there's no way she can leave for a week. I think it'll be ok now that things seem to be calming down over here. Fingers crossed.

As for me, I now need to get a CT scan with contrast & a cystoscopy to rule out or diagnose kidney or bladder cancer. The CT is on 11.17 and I have to call Urology for the scope. Sigh. All I have to say is .............the blows keep comin' girls. One after the other.

Live for today, I guess the mantra should be, shouldn't it? Tomorrow is never guaranteed for ANY of us. We worry constantly about our elderly loved ones and here WE are, facing health crises that can wind up killing US before THEM.

I am going to relax today and blow off the vacuuming. Life's too short to do anything but sit with DH and play games online for today.
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I know it is likely almost impossible, it was when I needed to be there for my Mom, but is there any way your DD can get leave for even a week for family leave? Just to spell you. Private duty yesterday sounds awful, especially when you are not a nurse and are already exhausted. I hope things get a bit easier, and that your phone appt for your own issue goes well. Don't worry about crying at drop of hat. I had myself a good cry last night about it being a year since I took a plane to my bro, and now he is gone. You know, tears cleanse and wash. I am a believer in them.
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Lea; Just so you know: I went back to work the day after DH came home from the hospital. I had to--mortgage and others bills to pay!

I had gone to work and mostly stared into space in the days after his surgery and I had a LOT to catch up on. I seem to recall that after we got him home, I got him settled in, went off to work, figuring that if the docs thought he needed rehab (and yes, I asked about that) they would have recommended it).

Friends called and checked in on him via phone. The mailman checked on him every day for a week (!). But he mostly needed rest and not fussing. So I wouldn't feel a moments guilt about getting out, going for a walk for a drive and not hovering.

Watch the temp; that was our first indication of the UTI. Glad the nurse is coming tomorrow!

(((((hugs))))))
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Thanks for your update. Hoping for a restful night for you both
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Hello, lealonnie, I bet you are exhausted. Hope you both get some sleep tonight. I am glad DH had a good day. Good luck tomorrow at your appointment. Hope things go well for you. Keep us posted when you have time. Hugs.
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Barb, tomorrow I have a phone appt with my doctor for an issue I'm having; just another worry to add to the plate, right? I've had this lump in my throat for what feels like 2 months now............I can *and do* cry at the drop of a PIN! And that's not my usual character, either. Thank you........I will go for an extra walk tomorrow...........besides the dog walks I go on.
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Lea, just big hugs to you.

Tomorrow, go out for a walk. 30 minutes to yourself. And have a cry if you need that.
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DHs first day home was a bit better in a way than expected, although he's a bad patient. Only 1/2 of an oxycodone today with 4 Tylenol throughout the day so the BMs are ok with only stool softeners, fortunately. Eating more solid food and only 1 Boost Plus. Worst is he's short of breath and can't use his CPAP to sleep; makes him feel like he's suffocating. Pulse ox is fine Alva, although fluctuates from 88 - 98 but here in Colorado it's normal to have a lower pulse ox. The xray at the hosp showed flattened alveloli so this breathlessness goes with the territory I guess, although DD said keep an eye out to make sure it doesn't worsen. He IS using the flutter valve they gave him along with the incentive spirometer. Kaiser nurse is coming here tomorrow morning to check him out and I'm grateful for that & will bring up the breathing issue he is having.

Just getting those compression socks on this morning was a nuisance, although the nurse in the hosp had a good idea to use a baggie over the foot to slide them on..........which DID work. Oh, and then he said he was cold about 5:30 pm and it's very hot today so I took his temp again and it was 100. Nurse said anything over 100.5 to call the office. Scar looks fine, tube incisions look fine...........so IDK. Again, it will be nice to see the Kaiser nurse tomorrow & see what she has to say.

He is in the shower now & this is truly one of the only times I've sat down today. When I pulled back the blanket on his bed, I saw the clean sheets are now filled with about 20 spots of blood (the chest tube incision is still leaking), so that was like UGH, now I'll have to wash linens tomorrow. I'm worn out, mentally & physically and my mother is back to having a pity party saying 'everyone has forgotten all about me' for crying out loud. Just ONE MINUTE of peace for me would be nice. In fact, DD was again telling me last night that I'm 'stressing DH out' and blah blah, which I'm not, so I told her to STOP LECTURING ME or leave. Does anyone EVER THINK ABOUT the spouse, I wonder?

Thanks for checking in. I'll post tomorrow after the nurse leaves. Hopefully I won't have to get up 100x tonight to check on him. He sleeps in the bedroom directly across the hall from me due to CPAP and restless leg issues.
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Lealonnie, at some point you are going to kind of collapse a bit. It is post traumatic stress in a very real sense. Hubby needs to keep those stool softners on board because pain meds are constipating; know DD will have warned you. His all over the place is normal. Hope each day gets a tiny bit better. Pamper yourself whenever you can. This is exhausting. The worry alone is tough.
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"lealonnie1,"

Was just wondering how your first day is going after bringing your husband home yesterday afternoon?
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Great news! Fortunate your DD is 3 minutes down the road and is readily available. Hope your husband continues to do well. Thoughts and prayers sent to both of you. Thanks for updating us.
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"lealonnie1,"

It would be normal for you to feel down - it's been a long week since his surgery and you're probably just worn down from the whole experience - the adrenaline and so forth. I'm sure you're all over the map just like he is even though it's in a different way.

At least with your DD close by and her giving you a pamphlet to have as a reference those two things will at least be a comfort.

H
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Thanks ladies. Alva, DD works full time but is only a phone call away & lives 3 minutes down the road, too, fortunately. She sent me a pamphlet called What to Expect After Heart Surgery which is excellent; lists all the things that can/may/will happen and when to call 911, etc. Really, he's like a roller coaster from one hour to the next, literally, all over the map. I'm feeling very down today myself.......like teetering on the edge, you know?
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Lea, I can tell you from experience that being home is going to be scary for you both at first.

Remember that it is FINE to call the docs about ANYTHING!!
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"lealonnie1,"

Well, that's quite a change from yesterday. After that, I wasn't so sure they would release him today - good to hear!

Hopefully, once he's in his own surroundings and bed, he will do even better and of course it's great your DD is around to help out if and when needed.

You both take care of yourselves!
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