Spring is fickle!

This morning, we were greeted with falling snow and just enough of a wind to be annoying. 😀

The outside cats were not impressed.

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The last few days had been warm enough that there wasn’t even surface ice on the water bowls. Even this morning, the water was only half frozen. Still, that wind made it feel rather ugly.

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That smooth white area where the paths converge is a big, frozen over puddle that cats have had to avoid. There are a few places they now have to go around, due to collected snowmelt. Which I am not complaining about, after the lack of precipitation we had last spring, and the very dry summer that followed. I’ll put up with the inconvenience of having to skirt puddles, if it means we have adequate moisture for our farmers.

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All along the fence line had been clear of snow, yesterday. When doing my rounds, I’ve had to bypass one path completely, due to pooling water. I’m glad I was able to clear out the junk, and the remains of a gate, at the post pounder by the garage, because that’s where I have to squeeze through to access the south fence line at that end, now.

The past couple of days have been hectic. My husband had a very hard time getting to his doctor’s appointment, and we ended up with a nurse getting a wheelchair for him and getting him right into an examination room. He’s a big man to start with, so the wheelchair would have been snug to begin with (the wider one they had was too low for him to be able to sit in), but he was so bloated, it was like jamming in a balloon. While taking his vitals, the nurse was trying to figure out why we didn’t come back for a follow up appointment after the visit to the emergency, and we had to explain that this WAS the follow up appointment.

She got the doctor in to see him quickly, and after a brief conversation, my husband was wheeled over to the emergency room. Which we were expecting, by that point.

Long story short, as of right now, they are keeping him for the weekend and focusing on getting those fluids down to relieve pressure on his heart. They are talking “heart failure”, though there is no sign of a heart attack. Usually, this sort of swelling is a sign of heart failure, but in his case, the swelling itself is causing the heart problems. Mostly, his heart rate is really, really high because of it. For a while, they were talking about sending him to the city for further testing on his heart, but the cardiologist says that, since there are no chest pains, it can wait until next week. The more urgent thing is to reduce the fluids and stop the fluid retention, so prevent any further damage (whoever much there is – that’s what the future tests will determine) to his heart.

So there was a lot of back-and-forthing for me, yesterday. I am so glad we got that tire replaced in the morning, because I’d hate to think of all that driving on that tire! I left the hospital early to pick up our daughter, getting some big water bottles for my husband before they closed, then we dropped those off, first. Once at home, we packed up his CPAP supplies – remembering to grab a bottle of distilled water and the special cleaning wipes, in the process, along with his medications, a phone charger and a few other things. After last time, we were more prepared with what to bring, this time around.

He was so incredibly tired, and so happy to have that CPAP, so I didn’t stay long. I did have a chance to get updated by a couple of the nurses while I was there.

This morning, I was back with a few other things for him. At that point, they were saying he’d stay for maybe a couple of days, but just in case, I brought along some personal hygiene items. Which turned out to be a good thing, now that we know he’s staying longer.

He did not have the best of nights; treatment, after all, is very powerful diuretics. That does not allow for much rest. After staying with him for a while, keeping in mind that they wanted to take him into the city for more heart tests, but no idea when that would happen, I went home and brought the girls to visit with him. Poor guy was asleep, finally, so we went for lunch, then came back later.

For all the diuretics they’re pumping into him – even after doubling the IV dose, plus adding pills of a different kind – he still looks like he’s been overinflated. The bloat makes it hard for him to do the most simple things, like sitting up or rolling over. He wore sandals in, and I took those off him fairly early on, and he had deep indentations in his feet, so no shoes for a while. I’ll have to bring him his moccasins, the next time I go over. He can’t put them on without help right now, but at least he’ll have them available.

So, it’s been a rather scary time, and we can’t help but feel angry, too. It turned out they had seen “heart failure” the last time, but before we went home, we were told his heart was “fine.” It was about the only thing they did tell him; he wasn’t told he had pulmonary edema at all; we figured that out based on the prescription they gave him. Basically, there was no sign (and there still is no sign) of a heart attack; it was “just” his heart being overworked, therefore his heart was “fine.” Yesterday, as they were getting him settled into emergency (he got to be in a room overnight, this time), they had to go through the usual form filling and asking of questions, and the nurse couldn’t figure out why he was on that prescription after his last time in emergency, for such a short time. Maybe the emergency room doctor expected him to see his regular doctor before it was done, but no one told us that, and when his doctor’s office phoned to follow up, there was nothing in his file saying so, or we certainly wouldn’t have waited until yesterday to get him back in. Mind you, when we did come in for his bloodwork, he was still able to walk to the desk and the lab without too much difficulty, and that was about 10 days ago. Most of what he’s feeling now is from a sharp decline within the last week.

The questions he got in the emergency room were kind of annoying. They kept asking him if he was having chest pains (he wasn’t), but every now and then, they would ask, “are you in any pain.”

Of course he is. He’s disabled because of a back injury and is in constant, excessive pain. But that’s not part of why he was there. We eventually were able to explain that to the nurses that were working on him at the time, so when he was again asked, “are you in any pain,” and seeing my husband’s rather stunned expression, they added, “… aside from usual.” No. Nothing but the usual pain.

Once again, having his entire list of medications and doses in his phone was much appreciated. When they got to that part of the form, he just brought it up on his phone and handed it to the woman with the clipboard.

But, we got through it. For now, I’m just glad he’s in the hospital and he’s getting treated for all the fluid retention.

We are certainly living in interesting times right now. 😦

The Re-Farmer


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