Archive | July, 2013

Shoe Frustration

30 Jul

Well, we went today to get the new shoes and inserts.  Got there, got right in, they took the shoes out and had them on Charlie before I got in.  Good thing I came in.  The shoes did not MATCH.  One was rounded and the other was more narrow at the top.  Same color, same material but different shape.  The tech tried really hard to convince me they were the same.  I was going to offer him my glasses so he could see the very OBVIOUS difference when he admitted they were not the same.  I had to actually place Charlie’s old shoe next to it to prove it to him.  Then he was going to put the new insert into Charlie’s old shoes.  He was sure they would be fine.  After he did it I looked and there was about a 1/4 inch space between the shoe and the insert at the heel.  Last thing we need is something like that to create another ulcer on the heal.  I hate when people won’t admit there is a mistake.  He kept saying over and over that they were going to have to order new shoes.  Then he had the office manager look at them to verify they were defective.  She saw it immediately.  I just don’t get it.

So, now we wait again for new shoes and then we have to see if the inserts will fit the new ones.  Maybe the end of August?????? Who knows.

Please be in prayer for Charlie as he goes in for his electrophysiology study tomorrow.  They said the actual study of the heart lasts about an hour.  They will then be approximately another hour for insertion of the pacemaker or loop recorder.  After that he has to lay still for up to 6 hours.  Not sure exactly what the up to 6 hours is but that’s what they said.  Today his blood pressure was really high at dialysis.  They wound up increasing one of his medications until they finish with tomorrow, at that point they will decide whether to continue with it at the new strength or to lessen it or discontinue it completely.

So many changes….we are going through some difficult financial things right now too.  Praying that September 19th gets here quickly and that we will finally have some relief.

Well, that’s pretty much it for now.  Please pray for the following:  1. Charlie’s procedure tomorrow.  2. The shoe situation to be resolved.  3. Finances.  4. A kidney.  5. Fundraising.

Thanks to all who have been praying, and for the encouragement.

Blessings to all,

Charlie & Sherrie

Slow Saturday….

27 Jul

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Well, we had a good Friday, 3 of the 8 grandchildren were with us for the day.  We went to the movie theater at the office and watched the movie OZ.  It was great.  The kids really love going up to the theater.  They get to choose the movie and then we even get movie theater popcorn too.  No charge (perfect price huh?).  Samantha and Kailey had to go home but  Dalton (our 5yr old grandson) got to stay the night with us last night.  We watched John Wayne movies,  played a thousand games of Memory and War and then he played the Wizard of Oz (we had watched the new OZ movie during the day and Dalton played the scene where they tried to get the wand from the wicked witch.).  Charlie was the monkey, I was the china doll and Dalton was OZ.  Charlie made some really awesome Cow noises (who knew he had that talent, I have only heard him do a duck and a cat) while Dalton successfully grabbed the wand.  It was really cute.  He also became a great waiter and was taking and bringing our orders very quickly.  He told me he was brilliant.  🙂  it was rather entertaining.

Today of course, was dialysis day.  Dalton and I washed sheets, emptied the dishwasher and then watched Wizard of Oz while Charlie was at dialysis.  We had fun.  When Charlie’s van pulled into the apartment complex Dalton ran out to meet him.  It was cute.  Dalton stood at the edge of the sidewalk and saw the van drive by (they have to go down and turn around so that the door is on the sidewalk side when Charlie gets out).  Dalton stood with a look of surprise on his face and was yelling “Hey, come back here!”  He then turned to me and said “The bus missed Papa’s stop!  What do we do now?”  The van pulled up and Dalton ran to get Charlie and his bag to bring him in.

Our grandchildren are such a joy.  We are looking forward to the day when Charlie gets his kidney and we don’t have to worry about the whole dialysis thing.  He will have more energy and can keep up with all the kids….This afternoon he is napping and Dalton and I are here writing to all of you.  Right now Charlie seems to be doing well, he’s a little nervous about the whole EP study thing.  He knows that in the long run it will be worth it, but he is dealing with the whole pacemaker issue.  Like I said before if it’s not a pacemaker then it will be a loop recorder that they will be inserting into his chest.  As with any procedure or surgery there is always a chance of complications, that is the concern that he has.  Hopefully once this is done the issue will be corrected and we can move on from there.

Tomorrow will be Church day.  We are blessed because Dalton has asked to go with us and his mom and dad said yes!  He is excited.  Other than that it should be a pretty quiet day.

Not much more to really write about right now so I will be signing off.  We do hope each of you is having a great weekend and again thanks for the prayers and words of encouragement.

Blessings to all,

Charlie & Sherrie

Bifascicular Block

25 Jul

Hi All.  Well we went and saw the electrophysiologist (the doctor that deals with the electrical part of the heart) today.  Charlie has a Bifascicular block.  There are 3 electrical bundles in the heart and two of the three in Charlie’s heart are not working properly.  They have decided to do an EP Study, next Wednesday (July 31st). They will go in through a vein in Charlie’s groin and go up into the heart to make sure it is not failing.  The doctor told us that they will speed up the heart a bit and see how the electrical system is working.  If the third bundle is failing they will put in a pacemaker.  If it is doing okay they will put in a loop recorder.  Both are placed under the skin.  The pacemaker will keep the heart beating regularly, the recorder will record Charlie’s heart’s activity on a continual basis.  They can down load the information from the recorder wirelessly either in the office or from home.  They can then see exactly what the heart is doing and figure out why.  Either way he will be coming home on Wednesday with a device under the skin.  It will be good to finally get to the bottom of all this.  We thank God for a good visit with a wonderful doctor who took the time to really explain what is going on and what he feels the problem is.  He doesn’t want to just put in the pacemaker, he wants to be sure that it will solve the problem!  He was great.  He answered all of our questions and scheduled the procedure right away.  It’s an outpatient procedure so we should go in and come home same day!

You know, when I looked at the calendar and saw that the 31st of July fell on a Wednesday I told Charlie I knew where we would be for our anniversary.  I didn’t think it would really happen.  Oh well, that’s okay.  Getting his situation fixed and knowing what is going on will be a wonderful anniversary gift.  Most people go to dinner….lol…we go to the hospital!

We also heard about the shoes today.  Praise God!!!  the shoes are in and the inserts will be done next week.  Charlie will have his new shoes next week!!!  Then he will be talking to the doctor about starting physical therapy.  He is excited about that.  He really wants to walk again.  He’s tired of sitting in the wheelchair!

So, the prayer requests for today are:  1. Charlie’s procedure next Wednesday.   2. A kidney (of course). 3. Our finances.  4. Fundraising.

Thanks again for the prayers and for the words of encouragement.

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

Where to Begin (Part 2)

23 Jul

Well, we did wait for word from the doctors so that we would know what the next step would be.  We finally heard from the Cardiologist on Tuesday.  I explained (again) what happened.  He listened and then said there were two ways to handle it:  1. we could go to the hospital and do a direct admission OR 2. we could come to the office and see him.  Bet you can’t guess which one Charlie chose!  Yep, we went to the doctor’s office on Wednesday afternoon.  We arrived at 12:30 and we were finally seen about 4.  The doctor came in, we discussed what did and did not happen at the hospital (everyone was under the impression that the electric doctor saw Charlie at the hospital.  He did see him, but he didn’t evaluate or examine him).  They then called a new electrophysiologist who was up the street from the Cardiologist and one of the nurses from the clinic drove us up there.  The doctor there asked that he be put on a 24 hour monitor to see if they could detect any changes.  We got the monitor, then left and went to church.  

The next day was another dialysis day so Charlie wore the monitor as requested for 24 hours.  We took it back at 4pm that afternoon, I also scheduled a doctor’s appointment for him so that we could discuss the results and everything else with this doctor.  Charlie will see him this Thursday.  Hopefully he will have some answers for us.

Hopefully we will be able to resolve all of this and we will hear about Charlie’s shoes before the end of this month.  All I can say is I am glad that Charlie and I both have strong faith, without it I just don’t have any idea how we would be able to make it through all of this junk.  

I know I have said often how much we appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement.  Right now we need both more than ever.  Thank you for sticking around even when the posts have been so sporadic.  I will be trying to get online every other day until we can get internet back at the house.  I come to the apartment business office and do research and hopefully can keep y’all up to date with any new happenings.  

Until next time we pray blessings for each of you and thank you again for your prayers and words of encouragement.

Blessings,

Charlie & Sherrie

 

Where to Begin….(Part One)

23 Jul

Good Afternoon Everyone.  So much has happened I don’t know where to begin.

Let’s start with the shoes.  As I stated in the last post, Charlie was being fitted for his shoes and inserts.  We did go to that appointment and he did get fitted for his shoes and the new molds were done for the inserts.  We should be hearing from them by the end of the month.

After that we called to make the appointment to have the steri-strips removed.  Set that for Wednesday after wound care.  All was well.

Wednesday came and we went to wound care.  After being seen we were waiting for our ride.  After an hours wait Charlie started feeling bad.  He said he had a fullness in his chest and didn’t feel right.  I carry a blood pressure meter and glucometer with me so I put it on him.  It gave a blood pressure reading of 95/67.  The pulse was only 34.  I felt his pulse manually and then his graft and it was extremely slow.  I took him right back in to wound care and asked the nurse if they could check it for me.  She took the pulse via his graft and got 40, then she put the pulse ox meter on him and got 37.  Needless to say I immediately took him to the ER.  They put him on monitors and hooked him up to the defibrillator.  That’s the first time they had ever done that.  The doctors came in and they said that his EKG was abnormal.  They contacted his cardiologist and then they admitted him.  The Cardiologist came in and talked with him and said they were going to do a heart catheterization  on Thursday morning at 8, if it was clear they were going to have him see another doctor about the heart’s electrical system.  He then remembered that Charlie had something similar to this (except it was just low bp and heart was skipping beats) after his open heart surgery in 2011.  He stated that there may be a need for a pacemaker. Shortly after that Charlie’s nephrologist came in and talked with him. He felt that the problem was probably his heart meds, but also said that there was a possibility that he may need a pacemaker.  As we were taken up to Charlie’s room the electrophysiologist followed us.  Once in the room he stood at the end of Charlie’s bed and asked him what happened.  Charlie described everything and the Doctor said it’s your medication,  you don’t need a pacemaker. No tests, didn’t even listen to the heart or anything and he already had the diagnosis made.  Amazing huh?  That was the last we saw or heard from him.  So we stayed the night watching the BP and heart rate.  Charlie got a bad case of shakes that night which blankets didn’t help.  I asked if they could check his dilantin levels and the nurse put in the order.  They gave him his night meds (which included Dilantin) and he slept well.

Thursday morning they did the heart catheterization and all was clear.  So the next step was supposed to be the electrophysiologist, but he never came.   Charlie went and did dialysis and then we anticipated we would go home.  Well, the house doctor came in and said that his dilantin levels were back down to 3.2 which was what they were at 4 weeks ago when he had the seizures.  They put him on IV meds to bring it up and kept him one more night.  No explanation as to why the levels dropped, except dialysis.

Friday afternoon they finally discharged Charlie.  As we waited outside for the ride home he told me his chest was feeling funny again.  I immediately took him into the ER so they could check and make sure we weren’t having a repeat of Wednesday.  They did EKGs (two of them because the original had a slight variation from the one Thursday) and bloodwork.  They couldn’t explain what happened so they let us go home.  At that point we were going home to a reduced amount of blood pressure meds that were called in to our pharmacy.  We would get them on Saturday.

When we arrived home on Friday we found the phone/internet/tv were off.  At this point we just went to bed and would deal with everything on Saturday. On Saturday I called the pharmacy to get the blood pressure meds delivered and was told that the person who called it in had not given a doctors name so they were unable to fill it.  I told them I would contact the cardiologist in the morning and if they wanted him to go back on it I would ask them to call it in. (I guess it was a good thing we didn’t spend the money on it in the first place.)

Saturday was a dialysis day. Charlie did well, he was a little dizzy but it wasn’t anything unusual.   He came home, napped, and we did Bible Study and watched a couple of movies.

Sunday morning we woke up.  Got ready for church and Charlie said he was feeling a little funny but then it passed.  As we went to go out the door he went to the floor, didn’t pass out.  He waited a minute and then said he was fine.  He got up, we went to the car and off to church.  When we got there he got in his wheel chair and all of a sudden felt like he was going to pass out again.  His pressure was a little low so we got him some coffee (so he could have the caffine to help raise it.)  He felt a bit better so we went to Sunday School.  We made it through class and then I took him to the front doors so he could greet people.  Someone else took him in to the sanctuary as I was working in the food pantry.  Next thing I know they are yelling to me that Charlie passed out.  Sure enough, he did, right in the center aisle.  He was out cold for about 5 minutes. They called the ambulance and we were off again to the ER.  Wish they would give frequent flyer miles for hospital visits!

This time they did EKGs again, then more bloodwork.  Nothing again.  The doctor never consulted the cardiologist about anything.   He consulted with an associate of Charlie’s nephrologist who said it was probably circulatory.  They gave him compression stockings and sent him home.

Monday morning I was very frustrated.  I began calling all of the doctors for follow-up appointments.  I started with the cardiologist because I also wanted him to know what had transpired over the weekend.  He was on vacation.  I explained what was going on to the nurse and she said someone would be calling back.  I then called the neurologist/PCP.  They took my number and would page him.  He called back and I explained to him what we had been through.  He then said it sounded like Charlie needs a pacemaker.  He said he would contact the Cardiologist’s office and consult with them. After this I contacted the Electrophysiologist’s office, they had no record of Charlie because the doctor never SAW him.  Later that day I got a call from the cardiologists office and was told that they had contacted the elecrophysiologist’s office and they would be calling me.  The Nephrologist also called and said he had consulted with the on call Cardiologist and he would be calling me.  So now we waited………………

(To Be Continued)

Some Pain But Doing Well…

6 Jul

Hi All.  Well, we removed the dressing on Charlie’s incision yesterday.  Looks pretty good, no drainage. He was in a bit of pain last night but took some pain medication and slept well.  Today was dialysis day, he did well at dialysis but was really wiped out when he got home.  He ate lunch and then went in for a nap.  We will call on Monday to make the appointment for him to go and have the steri strips removed.  (The doctor wants to remove them himself).   Next week we will be going to the shoe people to get the molds made for Charlie’s new inserts and order the new shoes.  That’s going to be an exciting trip!

Hopefully this week will be a little calmer than last.  It just seemed so busy.  Nothing really outstanding for this week except for the shoe trip, oh and the grocery shopping (that’s always an adventure).

Thanks for all of the prayers, they are what are getting us through all of this.  We love each of you.

Hope y’all have a great week.

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

We are HOME

4 Jul

Good Evening Everyone,

Sorry for not posting this sooner.   Internet in the hospital was really spotty, perhaps it was because I was using my phone, not sure.

We left early in the morning on Wednesday and arrived at the hospital without a problem.  We got Charlie all checked in, went to the pre-holding room and got him ready.  Then at about 9 they took him to the holding room where we met a wonderful nurse named Donna.  She was really a lot of fun and helped reduce Charlie’s anxiety level a bit.  Our pastor came and spent time with us.  He stayed with Melissa and me until after Charlie got out of surgery, that was greatly appreciated.  Donna may come visit us at church this Sunday.  We both hope so.

Anyway, the doctor came into the holding room and I reminded him about admitting Charlie so that he could reiieve dialysis today (that was what I was told to do by the scheduling nurse on Tuesday).  The doctor then said that the hospital didn’t like to do dialysis on the day of discharge.  I was a little frustrated at that point.  He explained what they were going to do again and then left.  He really is a really nice doctor and is very good about explaining and making sure you understand exactly what is happening. Charlie said he reminds him of Dr. Red Duke.  Then the anesthesiologist (Dr. Meanie) came in and explained what he was going to do.  Then it was a shot of Versed in the IV and he was off to surgery.  Two hours later they called me from recovery and said he was doing well.  Dr. came by and we chatted.  All was well and he was going to be admitted for dialysis.  Seems the rule is different for surgery patients (thank goodness).

Melissa and I went down to the cafeteria and had lunch and then went and toured the gift shop.  It was really nice that we got to spend some time together and had an opportunity to talk. We don’t usually get to do that on our own, either Charlie or children are usually around.  I was really blessed having her with me.  Made the day a little more enjoyable!

Once we got him to the room I contacted the Wound Care clinic as a week ago we were told, by the Nurse Practitioner, that they wanted to see the wound.  We changed the way we are caring for the wound and she wanted to be sure that the wound was still closed and that it looked okay.  Took me several phone calls to the clinic as no one understood what we were asking.  Finally, Bridget, who is an excellent nurse LISTENED to what I was saying and talked to the doctor.  The doctor said that he trusted that things were okay, and if I saw a change or felt he needed to be seen to come in.  We scheduled an appointment for next Wednesday.  Hopefully that will be the end of the wound care appointments.  Next step should be physical therapy to begin learning how to walk correctly again!!

We are supposed to get a call from the shoe place tomorrow to schedule the appointment for them to come and remake the molds for Charlie’s inserts and to order the new shoes.  I am so thankful that we are finally able to do this.

So folks, it looks like we are on the way to recovery in many ways.  Hopefully by the time school gets here Charlie will be able to walk at least part of the campus!  We may still need to take the wheelchair with us at the beginning of the semester but if he keeps doing as well as he has been lately we actually may be able to shed it soon!

Once again I want to thank all of you for your prayers and words of encouragement.  Your prayers and thoughts are what are keeping us afloat.  We are praying that after the hearing in September my Social Security will be awarded and then we will be able to breathe a little easier.  Until then we are trusting that God will continue to provide as He has thus far.  We are truly blessed by the friends that God has put in our lives, each of you are a God given blessing to us.

Well folks, I think that’s it for now, I have to go put away dishes and fold towels (exciting huh!).  Please join us in continuing prayer for the following:  1. Charlie’s healing.  2. Charlie’s next step in foot recovery.  3. Finances.  4. Fundraising.  5. Movie night (next Saturday).  6. Kidney.

Charlie & Sherrie

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