We have a pond – and hospital update

With all the driving around we’ve been doing lately, one of the things I’ve noticed is how much standing water there is this spring, compared to our first spring here, last year.

In fact, we even have a pond in the old hay yard again.


Growing up here, there was a pond in this location for as long as I can remember, though I’m sure there were dry years like last year, when it was empty and I just don’t remember it. It was one of the water sources for when we had cattle and calves kept in here. Even in winter, I remember one of our dogs, sitting on the ice, licking a hole to get to the water below. Or trying to. The ice was very thick, and I’m not sure he made it quite all the way through. He seemed very determined, though! 😀

I find this very encouraging. Last winter, there was very little snow melt, followed by a dry summer, resulting in several fires and the loss of homes, just in our area, as well as poor conditions for any crops and little pasture for cattle. The guy that rents the land from my mother had to provide hay and water for his cattle in the summer, which is never a good sign.

Driving to and from town, I’ve noticed that some people have even started to do controlled burns. That will help reduce any fire hazards as well. I do hope we’ll be able to do that in the outer yard this year. We shall see.

Our day today was focused on my husband, who had a very rough night last night.

But it had nothing to do with the edema.

For those reading this who live with chronic pain, you are likely quite aware of the effect pain has on blood sugars. As a diabetic nurse told my husband, years ago, “you won’t be able to control the sugars until you control the pain.”

He has certainly found that to be true.

Constant pain has an effect on everything, really. When the pain is bad, he has no appetite, because eating makes him want to throw up. Most of the time, he sugars would still be high, but if he wasn’t eating, he would reduce the dosage of insulin or skip it entirely. He used to take it morning and evening, but he kept waking up with dangerous lows, so he was switched to a slow release insulin that he takes only in the mornings. He would still end up with the odd really low reading, due to lack of food, but not as often. He kept high carb foods he could eat quickly, close by, for when he could feel a low starting to happen, even before the numbers starts to drop.

Yesterday, he had some pretty low readings throughout the day, but by the end of the day, he started getting the lowest he’s ever had. So low, they used his IV port to inject him with basically straight sugar.

Then ended up having to do that at least 2 more times, throughout the night. He is on liquid restrictions, but that went out the window as they were also giving him juice and making him eat crackers.

It was really alarming, and we didn’t know what the heck was going on.

Until he heard the nurses talking about the scheduled high dose of insulin he’d gotten that morning.

I never got the straight on why they increased the dose, though he did have some high readings, starting with the one taken while he was at the clinic, then again when he was in emergency. However, he’s not been able to eat much at all, and hadn’t taken any that morning. With the amount of food he’s managed to force down while at the hospital (some meals, he was feeling better than others, and managed to eat more – the food has actually been quite good), he would have skipped his insulin completely that morning. He certainly would not have taken a dose that high!

I had come in quite early in this morning. They had just delivered his breakfast tray, but all he was able to eat was half a banana. After the tray was taken away, the nurse came with his medications, including his insulin. He made sure she tested his sugars, first.

He didn’t get his insulin. In fact, she went and got him some juice, and having heard he’d only been able to eat half a banana, a yogurt that she insisted he eat. He did, but he had to force himself to do it.

In fact, today he was almost constantly being made to eat – meals, little snacks and juice – as they tried to get his sugars up, and were testing him constantly. He managed to reach normal ranges, but never for long.

In the end, all this meant he has not been able to get real sleep since yesterday; just small cat naps. He is exhausted.

Scary stuff.

On the plus side, we now know that, as soon as they get the word and can get him into the city for the heart tests – and EKG then, depending on the results, an angiogram – he will be able to go home. Today, he did not get the IV injection of the powerful diuretic he’s been on since he came in, though he is likely still getting at least one in pill form.

As for his pain killers that they were having problems getting for him, it turns out the reason he’s been getting a steady supply now is because they’ve been going into his own medications from home. Just for those painkillers. He ran out of the quick release version, though, so as soon as the pharmacy was open, I called in a refill. Thankfully, they had some in, and I was able to pick it up only half an hour later. Since I was going there, anyhow, we got everything else he was needing refills on, too. After picking it up, I dropped off the one at the hospital (and a nurse made sure he got a dose, after I told her it was there), then took the rest home, so I could refrigerate his insulin. He is now fully stocked for when he gets home.

When I came back after that, the girls were able to come with me, and we had a much more relaxed visit!

In other good news, he had lost another 4 pounds of fluids by morning, and even without the IV injection of a diuretic, he is still eliminating lots of fluid. We could really see the change in him, too – even his feet are looking less puffy. His upper body is looking almost normal again.

I hope they get those tests in the city set up soon. We’re all aching for him to come home!

The Re-Farmer

3 thoughts on “We have a pond – and hospital update

  1. Pingback: A light at the end of the tunnel? | The Re-Farmer

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