Posts Tagged ‘health’

A Low Situation and High Praise

April 12, 2013

When I got home with Nevin and Mariska from our walk a little after nine this morning I went to check on Freddie. He couldn’t wake up and was unresponsive, moaning a little. Our usual routine is that I get up at six, have coffee, browse a little on the Internet, walk the dogs, wake him up,  then get to work.  Today was different.

So I checked his blood sugar – quite low – and tried to get him to drink some orange juice. Unable to rouse him I called 911. The dispatcher had me put a glucose tablet in Freddie’s mouth while she sent an ambulance. The Pearland EMTs came quickly and by then his blood sugar had dropped more, into quite dangerous territory.

They were wonderfully helpful, courteous and friendly as always, and absolutely professional in caring for him. Freddie is stable now and resting at home.  There was an appointment with his ear doctor this afternoon that I had to cancel, but otherwise this is par for the course.  Every day is a surprise, and I must be ready for anything.

I thanked the EMTs very profusely, and they thanked me for being so well prepared.  I keep a spreadsheet with a list of Freddie’s medications, his health conditions, his past surgeries, and his doctors’ information at the ready and take it with us when we go to appointments.  A copy of Freddie’s Health Care Power of Attorney is kept in that folder, too.

I’m so grateful for the service the EMTs and all our medical professionals provide, and grateful that it’s possible for me to work from home and be present for Freddie when he needs me.  We’re lucky to live where we do, and that Freddie has access to this level of care.

Now, on to try to squeeze a little work into what’s left of the day.



May 8, 2009

Freddie is tired of tests and referrals. So many times, so many doctors, so many non-answers.

In the doctor’s office Thursday, after the doctor had stepped out to arrange for Freddie’s hospital admission for the battery of tests next week, he expressed it again:

I’ve done this before. It’s always the same. They don’t know why. Don’t know what to do. Always another pill, another test, another frustration.

Venting, of course, but still…

I quietly sang a three word reply:

“Maybe this time…”

Natasha was spectacular, wasn’t she.

That’s My Job

May 7, 2009

I’ve written before about my “mental soundtrack.”  Songs get stuck in my mind, sometimes for trivial things.  Sometimes they get stuck for momentous things in my life, and the lives of those I love.

When I was going back and forth to San Antonio so often in 2007 when my mother was sick, she’d always thank me for coming and helping.  I’d hem and haw as grown children do When Mom Says Thank You From A Hospital Bed, but often, that last year of her life, I used to think about the words in a Conway Twitty song, and I’d hum it to myself:

That’s my job
That’s what I do
Everything I do is because of you
To keep you here with me
That’s my job, you see

I’ve done this for years, actually.  Not just the mental soundtrack thing, but the “job.”  I’m the one who fixes what’s broken, who takes care of the one who hurts, who lends a listening and non-judgmental ear.  That’s my job.

These last few months I’ve been doing it more intensely than ever for Freddie.  He’s weak, unsteady, can’t stand for more than a couple moments without getting dizzy.  The other night he fell.  Walking across a big parking lot is pretty much out of the question.

We went to the doctor today, resulting in a scheduled hospitalization next week for tests, leading to who knows what.  Another one under the belt, maybe to result in “answers” or treatment, maybe more referrals and tests, or maybe palliative and adaptive measures.  Who knows what.

My money’s on Thyroid, like the name of a quarter-horse, but really, who knows what.

I’ve known all of our years together that times like this do come, but I never know where or when.  There was the day Freddie fell off the ladder at the San Diego house, and the next several months confined to an upstairs room.  There was the night in Galveston his blood glucose went down to 27 and I woke up to hear him moaning.  There were the countless hundred-mile round trips to the Houston-based doctors, and to the Houston pharmacies required by bureaucratic necessity.  And then our last move, with me preparing the house to sell while he was hospitalized again.  And here we are, today, not knowing, but still, always, knowing.

That’s my job.

That’s what I do.