The Hospital Visit

I had to call 911 last night and have them take dad to the hospital.

When getting ready to put his night clothes on and was sitting on the edge of the bed, he couldn’t get back up due to severe back pain. When he laid back down trying to stretch it out, then he -really- couldn’t get back up. Not only that but he was having severe spasms. I could tell they were very painful because of the way he would tense up and scrunch his face and he eventually started tearing up.

He wanted to wait about 45 min or so before decided whether I should call the ambulance, but he eventually gave in. I made sure I had his wallet with insurance info, his cellphone, and his glasses in case he needed to sign anything. I also moved all the furniture out of the way for the paramedics in case they needed to get a stretcher in the house. One of the neighbors stopped over when they saw the ambulance to check and make sure everything was okay. I teared up a little talking to her and explaining things, but she was very nice.

Hospital visit was pretty quick and uneventful, though I’m surprised the paramedics made him walk to the ambulance and down the stairs with how much pain he was in. Dad’s sister and brother-in-law came up to the hospital despite me telling them it wasn’t that big a deal and they needn’t to. The doctor said that he would treat a herniated disc or a pulled back muscle the same way. Some muscle relaxers, pain meds, and anti-inflammatory, then he would send him home to relax, and call his GP in the morning. The paperwork I have looks like they are calling this a “back sprain”.

Anyway so that’s what I will be doing this morning. I’ve let work know so I can try to work from home as much as possible with their permission.

Neither one of us got very much sleep last night, but we eventually fell asleep around 1am, with periodic waking up throughout the night. Dad slept in his recliner chair and I slept on the sofa next to him (or rather fought the dog for the sofa throughout the night) in case he needed anything. I have to keep a jug next to him in case he has to use the bathroom since he can’t walk, and I cooked him breakfast and made green tea this morning and have Westerns on the tv for him.

Not much else I can do at this point but play nursemaid and take care of things around the house and with the animals. I plan to call the doctor as soon as they open, and my Aunt is dropping off his prescriptions for me at the pharmacy that opens at 9am. Actually I’m not even sure I remember how to get to that pharmacy, but I know the general area. And I wasn’t sure I’d remember where the hospital was but I found it fine. Just never drive up that way much.

Dad’s Leg is Healed and Random Updates

Those on my Twitter, Myspace, or Facebook already heard this, but for those not on either, as of January 26th my dad’s leg is completely healed of ulcers after 18 months of failed treatments. We are continuing the Venacura medication that we started about 2 and a half months ago (the reason behind this miraculous healing) to see if it improves dad’s bloodflow enough to actually turn his leg a normal color (it’s been purple for years). Needless to say we are very happy about this, and expect that it will save us a lot of money just on gas from Dad running to the Wound Care Center all the time.

As for -my- knee, it’s almost back to 100%. I can straighten it and walk fine now, but I can’t press it backwards and sometimes I get sore if I sit too long. I expect it’ll just take more time to get to 100% again but I am very happy not to deal with the tendinitis anymore.

I went to get my taxes done last night by my cousin since we wanted to do them together for practice. Retirement accounts still mix us both up, and I really need to sit down and practice more. Finding the time is another story, however. They will hopefully be finished tomorrow, but it’s looking at about $1500 back, which is all going to the interest debt. I suspect it will be paid off in full in March, but I will still need to keep an eye on my dad’s use of it. Looking at November and December, he spends between $900-$1000 a month on it, which is about what I put on it every month, so that’s why it’s been stalling the last month or two. In theory I’d like to get his spending on it down to $200 or so, but the way he’s been having vehicle trouble lately I dunno.

I’ve been pondering opening up a checking account for him instead of letting him use my credit card. That way I can put a set amount into it and he’ll know what he has left to spend. I’m willing to experiment with it at least, till I can come up with a solution that works for us both.

Either way I am going to start paying off the last person that donated our down payment in March, and all freelance money I bring in will also go to that so I suspect it’ll be paid off sometime in the summer and then I am throwing all my extra cash towards the mortgage and into savings/retirement. I look forward to the day where I my extra money is going towards savings and not towards a debt. I’m slowly but surely getting there.

Some folks also have been asking me some financial questions that I’ll probably start organizing into actual blog posts and relate to my personal experiences at the very least.

I am very glad the holidays are over. We had my paternal family over last weekend for a holiday get-together, and I’m just glad to have all the Christmas Clutter down. Clutter drives me batty in general, having to deal with it for 2 months messes with my head.

I’ve been starting to think about what I want to accomplish this spring as part of my Imbolc and Equinox celebrations. Here’s a small list anyway:
– Complete my Nature Awareness essays for the CTP
– Make significant progress on the Grove Membership Manual
– Continue bringing in more money for our year-long fundraiser at the Grove
– Start putting money into my home improvement account again for bringing someone in this spring to see why the basement is leaking during heavy rains as well as a new hot water heater (my 2010 projects)
– Maybe start putting together things for a yard sale this spring when tourist season opens up
– Explore a little more of Gettysburg
– Tons of other small remedial tasks that are on my todo list

Here’s to a progressive and healthy 2010 đŸ™‚ I love it so far, despite some setbacks (new brakes anyone? :)). But I’ve become an eternal optimist in my years it seems.

Update on Dad’s Leg

We suspect another month or two and my father’s leg will be fully healed of ulcer wounds. We are likely going to continue the new drug to see if it helps more with the lack of oxygen that gets to his leg and maybe it will actually start to heal and not be purple all the time. (Putting the rest behind a cut in case people get grossed out)

Venacura and Leg Ulcers

So I tweeted yesterday that Dad and I have been experimenting with a medication to help heal his leg ulcers. I had done some research a bit ago about healing venous leg ulcers and came across a french pine extract that is used for healing them. We took the information to his doctor because we don’t want to interfere with whatever the Wound Care is trying (and failing), and the doctor said it wouldn’t help his type of ulcer.

But he did say to try this drug called Venacura, which is for “spider veins” but works in a way to help strengthen veins and increase blood-flow. Apparently he didn’t actually expect us to try it, but dad has been taking it for the last month and a half and it’s starting to work (usually takes 2 months). I’m hoping it can heal his current ulcer completely that he’s had for the last year.

Prior to his current ulcer, he had been ulcer free for about a year or two due to hyperbaric chamber treatments. Prior to -that- he had the same leg ulcers for YEARS. Imagine having non-healing, seeping wounds on your leg for years? Disgusting. I am going to link to a picture of -that- ulcer, but it’s not a very nice image so I wouldn’t look if you have a weak stomach (Link to nasty picture).

I haven’t been able to find any listed side effects of this Venacura medication, and the company doesn’t list any either. Of course that is disconcerting, but right now it is working and dad gets regular check-ups and blood-work and this medication is helping so..

Have you ever wandered what they did with leftover circumcision parts?

Well I recently found out.

Dad had outpatient surgery on Tuesday where they just put a skin graph on the ulcer on his leg to see if it’ll help heal it. Before they’ve used pig skin for this, but apparently they also save the skin from circumsized babies to use as skin graphs. So now my dad has baby penis skin on his leg. That takes not being “wasteful” to a whole new level folks.

I can see the jokes now…… “….waking up with a stiff leg.”

He has to rest and not bump it for a week or two, so I’ve had to take over some of his chores as well. Fortunately I have a three day weekend coming up where I can get a lot of things done around here.

I updated my pictures from yesterday with updated deck pictures from last night, as well.