Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sickbed Companion


Sickbed Companion
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper
Imagine lying in your bed all day, feeling too nauseated to eat, foot too painful to endure, but pain meds making you feel so sick... this is not fun.
There's nothing like suffering to make you appreciate basic body functions, such as walking and pooping.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Michigan Landscape in July


Michigan Landscape in July
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper
Today I was in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. I wended my way through heavy traffic, dozens of stoplights, and road construction to visit my sister in the hospital.
On the way home, I again took the back roads just to breathe. I came to the top of a high hill and pulling over, I got out of the car. I looked all around at the most idyllic, tranquil, beautiful landscape - I didn't know that I could feel so grateful for just plain, old country.

Chickory by the Road - Orten


Chickory by the Road - Orten
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper
My sister is in the hospital after emergency open-heart surgery due to blood clots. She is doing fine so far. I go to sit with her everyday, so I can make sure she's taken care of.
On the way to the hospital, I take the backroads, weaving my way across country, looking for landscapes, whatever. I know that as of Tuesday the seventeenth, I'll be incapacitated, and have to spend my days lying on the couch watching TV. Sigh.

Monday, July 09, 2007

My Sister's Garden


Hey, Bud
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper
Well, after Jan’s Meningioma operation seemingly going okay, we had a major setback yesterday.
Jan had been having some fainting spells and finally decided to go to emergency on Sunday evening. The doctors determined that she had a large number of blood clots in her lungs and one in her heart. At 4:00 A.M. Jan had emergency open-heart surgery to remove the clots from her lungs and heart. Turns out she had about a dozen in her heart. And one of them was about six inches long and as thick as my little finger. She came out of surgery doing as well as could be expected. They ventilated her and kept her asleep. Jim, Tim and I went home for some sleep ourselves. Anita stayed at the hospital.
About 3:00 I got a call from Anita saying that Jan’s blood pressure had dropped way down and they needed to do an emergency procedure, but couldn’t get a hold of Jim for consent, so they were asking her to give consent. Anita said that the doctor told her Jan could die without this procedure, but in her unstable condition, it was risky to move her to the angio room. I drove to Saline and woke Jim up (he had been awake the entire previous night) and took him to the hospital. On the way there, Anita kept calling from outside the hospital, asking when we were going to get there. At one point she called and said, “Julie, they said she is unresponsive!” and that really frightened me. A minute later she called back and said, “They didn’t say Mom was unresponsive, they were talking about me. The nurse said I wasn’t responding to my phone.” Whew!
We got to the hospital and the nurse explained that they needed to put a “green screen” in Jan’s vena cava, to artery going through the trunk of the body, leading from the legs to the heart and lungs. The screen would filter any large clots and keep them form reaching a place where they would do damage. They proceeded with the angio, in which they inserted a catheter in Jan’s leg artery and sent the screen to unfold in her artery.
Back n the hospital room, Jan was doing okay. They needed to keep her asleep, but the anesthetic was keeping her so asleep, her blood pressure would have been almost non-existent, so they also had to give her medicine to keep her pressure up. Now they are slowly backing off of the blood pressure medicine, and she is doing okay. So she is not “stable”, being dependant on the meds to stay alive, but going in the right direction.

Jan


Bathtime!
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Diligent Farmer on His Tractor


Diligent Farmer on His Tractor
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper
Farmers feel this need to keep their fallow fields mowed. I prefer to leave them natural in their resting state. Think of all the finches feasting on those thistle seeds; all the monarchs larvae feeding on the milkweed,;all the spiders going about their business, lacing the flowers with circular webs that catch the dew; buzzing bees milking every blossom to make honey. Why must they mow? I understand that if they never mow, trees will grow and they must preserve the field for crops, but they could wait a long time between mowings and still do that.