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11/30/2005

HOLED UP IN 416

Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 12:10 pm

Dane and I are hanging out together in 416, in the head trauma unit in the Tower building. We’ve been in four different rooms in this unit alone during the past year and we know about everyone who works here. I can say that Dane drew the best bed and I have a “roll-away” device that isn’t half bad. I’ve slept on much worse. There is a good shower and usually I can find a towel and wash cloth if I scavenge early enough in the day before they run out. I have some hiding places for them!

Dane is a little better today. He ate scoop of scrambled eggs, a couple bites of hash browns and a half slice of bacon. And juice and a little coffee. Lots of iced tea. That’s more than he has had in several weeks. He still feels “like crap”, he says and his pain level hovers around an 8 all the time even with the pain meds.

They took him down for another CAT scan of his this morning. They draw blood at 5 am (I know!), and do the other vital things and some meds at 6 am. So, any sleep we get is between 10 and 5, which should be enough if the traffic in and out our room wasn’t so heavy. I sit there in my raggedy green flannel jammies on the edge of my cot and chat with the young handsome/beautiful interns and doctors who comprise the intelligence of our surroundings. We’re very fortunate to continue to have the best.

The external shunt didn’t drain for 12 hours as they had it above his head and water doesn’t run uphill, so they were reminded a dozen times. It was a misunderstanding, everyone is trying after working with the devise all morning. Now they are getting output want.

Mackenzie has posted the correct schedule as we know it. He has a head and body full of staph. They need to have the drainage from his head to be free of that for testing, then they run tests every day for a week before they dare operate. They have to remove the shunt because it is contaminated and a new one will be inserted. They need to test the bone flap for infection and it is possible they may have to remove it as well. It is a challenging situation. That will cause disfigurement, but can be corrected later with a plastic flap. It is so much for him to endure. They may or may not have to remove the pseudo-cyst in his abdomen.

There is a constant flood of doctors and specialists and interns in his room all the time. He is getting very good attention, but they just don’t have time to do all the things for him that need doing. He needs me or someone here with him. Everyone needs an advocate. Questions need answering, things need to be explained so that we are clear about what needs to be done. And I’m an expert at making tea, scavenging food for him, finding things that help make him comfortable. And, I try to see that he gets what he wants when he needs it.

It’s time for his lunch and I need to be there to help him. He can’t sit up enough to feed himself, so that is something else that needs attention. I have trouble opening some of the “packets” of stuff and there is no way that he can with one hand.

Anyway, he doesn’t have much to say but he is smiling on occasion today. And he told me to tell Pete and Betty hi. They came by to give me the key to their house so I can come and go as I need to. I will need to do some laundry….I packed in such a hurry I brought about 20 undies and 2 pairs of socks…and one pair got thrown out with the hospital laundry. Alas!

Excuse all the mistakes. I’m on the hospital computer and it has built-in errors that come with Graymatter. Mackenzie or I will keep you posted. All is well.

SURGERY & MORE

Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 1:24 am


Today dad had surgery. Basically, yesterday they came to the conclusion that the shunt was not working. So, they re-tested it today and agreed that it was not working. They did a test where they could watch fluid flow all the way through the tubing and see where the blockage was. Turns out it was at the very end of the tubing in his abdomen, where it drains. There is a “pseudo-cyst” there where apparently the fluid has been collecting and somehow created a little pocket of icky.

So they went into his stomach and pulled the tube out so it would be external, and is now draining. Additionally they found out the fluid around his brain has staph infection, so that is the latest concern. They have him on the vanco drip and will start checking the brain fluid every day to see if the staph is still present. Once it is gone, they will schedule another surgery to take the current shunt out and put a new one in, and they will see if the bone flap from his very first surgery has infection in it. If so, they’ll have to remove that which will cause cosmetic issues, but otherwise will be fine.

Anyway, I am totally drained but wanted to let you all now what’s going on.

My finals start next week and I’ll graduate on Dec. 10, but right now the important thing is to make sure dad gets to feeling better and in better overall health. However, you can imagine how hard it is to concentrate on finals when your heart is really in a hospital in Kansas. Let’s hope my professors have some understanding.

-Mackenzie

11/29/2005

DAD & GRANDMA BACK IN WICHITA

Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 5:59 am

Well, dad and grandma made their way back to Wichita yesterday morning. Dad’s eye was pretty much totally swollen shut, and from what gradma said - basically his whole face was swollen, red, and painful. So grandma followed the ambulance back to Wesley for another run at what might be causing all this.

Yesterday was hell for dad, after he arrived at Wesley he was taken for about a million tests… from like 2:30-7:00 I think… a really long time. In this time he had to drink that crazy fluid for seeing organs better and all that jazz, and his tummy was really upset afterwards, so it was not a pretty site.

Grandma decided to stay with him through the night and the nurses brought in a cot for her to sleep in. I can’t imagine what this will do to her back but she promises it will be ok. We have friends in Wichita who have volunteered their place for when she’s more confident about dad’s situation.

None of the tests have come back yet and I haven’t heard from grandma yet (of course I’m up at 6AM doing homework) but we’ll definately hear later today, hopefully the news won’t be too bad.

Otherwise everything is ok. Dad just feels like junk but is responsive and all that important stuff. We have no idea how long they’ll be in Wichita.

-Mackenzie

11/27/2005

WINTER STORM AND ROAD CLOSINGS

Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 10:23 pm


Dane had some company today besides me…his dad, Drew, Tom Zouzas, Diana and Steve. He didn’t feel well, but enjoyed their short visits. They were very considerate.

I-70 is closed at Hays. Five inches of snow is forecast at Hays and northwest. Ooops…it’s a nasty, nasty night out there. Six to 12 ” of snow north of I-70 is expected. That’s okay. I’m hanging close to home or at the hospital which is only a stone’s through from here. Shelters are open from Hays west. I’ve been in those before and they are most welcome. I remember being stranded in Burlington CO…no matter how many clothes you have on if you are stranded in a car, you get colder and colder as time passes.

Dane’s doctor said there was more fluid on Dane’s brain, as I knew, and that Dr. Gorecki, his surgeon in Wichita, would look at it tomorrow morning. The area of the swelling is red and forward of where it usually is. It’s different from other swellings. That’s why I ask them to record everything about him that I notice. I do see things that others don’t, but that’s because I’m his mother and have been with him almost daily for a year.

They also started the vanco drip again.

I put his C-PAP on tonight, attached the oxygen, loosened the head straps so it doesn’t hurt his head where it is swollen. Aides generally don’t understand C-PAP machines like I do…I have one too.

I gave him a drink of tea. Got his feet arranged so they weren’t smashed against the foot of the bed and got him as comfortable as I could,got his head more upright asked the nurse to get him a dry pillow and pillow case for his head,etc. He has perspired through everything even though his window has been open all day. It was very cold in his room.

And he smiled. He’s okay,he knows I’ll be there tomorrow and available if he wants me during the night. I wish he were sleeping more.

I told him the weather was supposed to be bad tonight and tomorrow so not to worry. I might sleep in tomorrow morning and that was okay with him. It’s going to be a miserable night outside.. blizzard conditions, maybe a foot of snow northwest of here. Snow, blowing and drifting…yucky weather to be outside.

It will be a good night to pull the covers up over your head!

They lit the Olympic torch today in Greece. Yay!

11/26/2005

WE LIVE IN KANSAS

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 6:30 pm

It will be 51 degrees when we get up in the morning, according to the weatherman. In the afternoon, it will be 35, possibly with snow. This is Kansas! You can never get bored in Kansas, if you get out of bed in the morning. I mowed Kansas, I know. There is always something to un-bore you. Life in Kansas is always a challenge and keeps you alive.

Brit, Stix and Tall Boy have all the outside and inside Christmas “thingies” in place. The lights are working, now that an electrician spent most of the morning replacing breakers and other electrical things that Brit manages to destroy in the process of Christmas. The refrigerator and freezer are doing what they are supposed to do again. Good thing.

The tree is up and decorated, the stockings are in place. My “Christmas chair” that Lori Park assembled …with the bird house… is lit, up and working. It’s my contribution to the family Christmas spirit. Family members are fighting for the right to inherit it!

Christmas, no matter what house we are in, is a cataclysmic event; the planets just get out of alignment. The stories of selecting and erecting our tree, with the accompanying near misses to the divorce court, are family legends.

I guess we are as ready as we’ll get. Other families don’t go through these things as they don’t have me to contend with. So, now that we are ready, every thing will be wonderful! I’m ready and excited. ..as long as I don’t have to set foot in a store and shop for presents. I draw the line there. The rest will be eventful and with my wonderful family, as beautiful as it gets. We are very fortunate, lucky people. Life is good.

JON CARROLL AND THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:51 pm

Another lighthearted jab at Kansas.

THIS WILL CRACK YOU UP!

THE NATIONAL DROVERS HALL OF FAME BOARD OF DIRECTORS DID WHAT NO ONE BEFORE THEM COULD DO…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Ellsworth Sites — Peg Britton @ 5:33 pm

The National Register of Historic Places…this is a very special designation and Ellsworth’s Insurance Building was recently recognized as exemplary of that standard.

Ellsworth’s signature building on main street has been recommended by a review group of the Kansas State Historical Society to be given a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building is owned by the non-profit Drovers Board; Mark Roehrman serves as the board president. Other dedicated supporters serve on the Board. The designation will make the restoration project eligible for grants that otherwise would not be possible. This is an enormous break through for their efforts.

This has been an effort encompassing many months and hard work by the board to reach this outstanding designation. The National Register is reserved for the most distinctive historical properties.

The Drover Board is working toward restoring the building, with its historical second floor oriel, as a home for the Hall of Fame. The first step in this process is to fully restore the building.

The Insurance building was constructed in 1887-1888 and remodeled in the early 1900s. It is the building that most visitors driving down main street identify with Ellsworth. As you approach downtown from the south, it is the building that stands out from all the others and says….”we have history here that is unique to this area.” Ellsworth is where the beef industry as we know it today first began. It needs preserving; it needs our support.

The Drovers Board is planning a three-day longhorn cattle drive in September to commemorate Ellsworth’s cow town history and to raise money for the restoration of the building. This is an event you will NOT want to miss.

A donation of $100 will designate you as a founder. For more information, stop in the Ellsworth Antique Mall and talk with Mark or call 785.472.4659. Your support will help restore this significant part of Ellsworth’s history.

YAY KU

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:12 pm

We’re going bowling! KU beat Iowa State in overtime 24 to 21.

This is the only football game on TV I’ve seen all season. I picked a good one to watch.

11/25/2005

PAUL ENGLISH.COM BLOG

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:57 pm

If you are like I am and get easily exasperated with recorded phone messages that seem to take forever to find a human voice, you’ll love this. There are Tips to Trick Companies’ Computerized Care Systems right at your fingertips.

Paul English has now developed the IVR Cheat Sheet - tips to bypass phone systems to quickly find a human. You can find the cheat sheet at the top of his blog. He lists all the secret numbers and tips to bypass IVR phone menus to get to a human. Do you know a new cheat? Tell Paul. There are 108 companies listed as of today.

To view the ABC NEWS video of his findings, Click Here!

NOT A GOOD DAY

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 5:13 pm

We can’t figure out why Dane feels so miserable and hurts so much, when everything on paper says he should feel better. His tail bone, he says, feels like someone put it in a vice and started screwing it off. He’s on a lot of pain killers so I know he’s hurting. I can tell by looking at him how he feels.

He hasn’t been hungry, but Karen’s leftovers from last night sounded good to him at noon. He ate what I fixed for him, but it wasn’t very much. I was glad to see him eat that. He’s drinking a lot of tea. They are having enchilladas tonight at the hospital so that might appeal to him.

I thought I might be home for the evening but he wants me to stay with him this evening so I will. Maybe I can get Tall Boy to run a turkey and dressing sandwich up there for me!

Stix and Tall Boy started to put up our Christmas tree and outside decorations but barely got going when they had to leave. They also said they’d put up the bank decorations so they left to do that. It’s that time of year.

Oread Daily: THE MYTH OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:53 pm

Entertaining reading!

MARCI KNOWS KANSAS

Filed under: prairie musings, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 4:38 pm

Cheryl Unruh says it best here

The Kansas Guide Book for Explorers sells for $24.95, and copies can be ordered online at www.kansasguidebook.com.

Marci will be in Ellsworth Monday night for our downtown Christmas opening so you can buy a book and she’ll autograph it for you. The books are simply outstanding, the best guide to Kansas I’ve ever seen. They will make excellent Christmas gifts so keep that in mind as you shop. This is something every family would enjoy.

POPULAR SCIENCE MAGAZINE’S LIST

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:32 am

The actions of the radical right fundamentalists on the KSBOE continue to make Kansas look terrible. Popular Science has compiled their list of the 10 worst jobs in science. According to them, only two jobs are worse than being a biology teacher in Kansas…a manure inspector and a human lab rat.

10. Orangutan-Pee Collector
9. NASA Ballerina; Her dance partner is a supersensitive Robot
8. Do-Gooder; Bugs, bears, and a melting earth-you call this a vacation?
7. Semen Washer; It’s a job that separates the boys from the men
6. Volcanologist; When the earth heats up, they head in
5.Nuclear-Weapons Scientist; They’ve mastered fusion. Next up: Filing
4. Extremophile Excavator; Never has success smelled less sweet
3. Kansas Biology Teacher; On the front lines of science’s devolution
2. Manure Inspector;The smell is just the start of the nastiness
1. Human Lab Rat; Warning: Pesticides are bad for you

For details on the 10 worst jobs in science.

I think people are finally beginning to realize that 20% of the Republican party (the right wing evangelical fundamentalists) are running the state. The moderate Republicans and Democrats are going to have to join forces and get the state back on an even keel. There are good indications that will happen at the next election.

From my long-time friend:
“I noticed in the Journal that Salina has hit the “big time”…. i.e. a guy names Leister, who owned a couple of troublesome bars, sold them to a girl friend for one dollar each….. and is now going to open an escort service in a loft he owns……. pretty blatant, I’d say…. All we had in “the old days” was Patsy Primm…”

I’d forgotten all about Patsy Primm until John mentioned her. And, even now there is not much to remember. The boys always knew more about here than the rest of us!

The Tour of Homes is Sunday from 2:00 until 8:00; a soup supper at the VFW Hall is from 4:00 until 7:30 p.m.

Be downtown Monday evening at 7:00 to see the Parade of Lights and all the “opening” splendor of the Christmas season.

Our “kids” are getting Brit a new, more comfortable chair for his birthday. A trip to Millers of Claflin was in order today and a more comfortable chair was located. The Miller “boys” have been good friends of ours for many years as were their parents before them. Now Bill and Brad have 9 children between them and some are going into the business with their dads. They have kept Claflin alive with their business and now they are expanding to Hays, at 27th and Vine, one of the busiest intersections in western Kansas; their new home will be in the old ALCO store. And, if you believe you’ll save money by driving all the way to KC to the Furniture Mart, you might want to shop at Millers first. They are very competitive and have many like items for less money than the FM.

11/24/2005

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 1:00 pm

Diverticulitis is the culprit. That’s what is causing Dane’s fever and discomfort. He’s on a liquid diet and the meds should take care of it in a few days.

A word from my friend: “I guess it would be too much to ask that Tex A and M (or somebody else) would come up with a humane method for deer control. Down here in Texas, we just shoot at each other, then come up with the occasional 12 pointer. I think it would be far better to just neuter the bucks. Or do something else, whatever. Not near as much for the Elmer Fudds out there, but far more sensible. Hell, we farm salmon and oysters. Why not deer. What’s the damn point of blazing away at something that is wild and was here first. If the wild thing becomes a nuisance and causes car wrecks, it should be removed from the wild.”

From Mackenzie’s blog: “Our turkey is in the oven and the rest will be fixed sooner or later, yummy. On the menu is turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry jell (the only kind of cranberry I like), pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. And we already bought bread and cheese to have leftover turkey sandwiches.

Speaking of such, last night when I was wishing my grandpa happy birthday he re-told his famous “First Thanksgiving” with my grandma story. They were newly married and he was on the road a lot but was always home for weekends. So on Thanksgiving she made all the “traditionals”, probably a menu much like I’m having today. He enjoyed it and praised her for her good work. The next weekend when he got home for a break, she presented him with some kind of tukey casserole. Well, okay, he thought… this is alright. The next weekend, it was turkey soup. Finally he came clean and confessed that he doesn’t really like turkey, and could she please let the poor bird rest. He said seeing the turkey bone in the soup was a sign that things were finally coming to a close. He’s never really been able to enjoy turkey ever since and no doubt today he’ll be indulging in the ham more than turkey. Anyway, it’s always a funny story :) It’s also fun to think of my grandparents as being young and newly married, very much in love - so much that he would endure all that turkey just to make my grandma happy. With years comes a little more honesty and things aren’t said quite so carefully, so I have a fun time thinking of him dancing around telling her that he didn’t like turkey.

Also on his list of no-no’s are jello and peanut butter.”

Mackenzie got the story right, except that the left-overs lasted for a whole lot of weekends! My dad loved everything, particularly left-overs, and I assumed all men to be like my dad when it came to food. I know I bought a huge turkey for our first Thanksgiving together and I wonder now who I thought was going to eat it. Live and learn.

It’s time to pull the ham out of the oven, grab the mustard sauce and head to Karen’s. I’m getting hungry and I know everything she serves will be wonderful. She’s a good cook. I’m just sorry Dane can’t be with us…or can’t even have a tray of home cooking as we’d planned it that way. I made a milk shake for him this morning as that was all that sounded good to him.

It’s a good day…a gorgeous Kansas day and wonderful to be surrounded by family.

11/23/2005

ASSORTED EVENTS

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:54 pm

Something I didn’t know: Effexor is a commonly prescribed antidepressant. Be forewarned that in a drug test, it may create a false positive showing of PCP.

I keep hearing from various sources that Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has tagged and released cougars to help contain the deer population in Kansas. I have no way of determining if it is true or not, but I keep hearing about it from various sources. The more I think about it, the more I disbelieve it. There has to be some kind of law against agencies releasing predatory animals without giving fair warning to the general public. Releasing wolves in Yellowstone…now that’s another thing. And yet, responsible farmer friends of mine know cougars when they see them.

Tom Bell was right in his Journal editorial. There is something amiss about Mike Hayden, et al, luring hunters to Kansas as a tourist attraction to shoot deer when the over population of deer is creating more costs to Kansans than hunters bring in return. And Hayden has financial interests in Kansas sporting supplier companies. All you have to do is read any issue of the Ellsworth INDY to see that people around here incur thousands of dollars of damage to cars every week due to encounters with deer.

I cleaned Dane’s C-PAP machine today and Ally put it back together. It’s not often I have the opportunity to give the hoses and mask and good cleaning with hot soapy water with a bit of Clorox to kill the bad germs. After a good soaking and rinse, I give it another good rinse with vinegar water. New filters and a new backing have put him back in business again. Maybe he will sleep well tonight.

Tall Boy took his Grandpa’s car to Salina tonight to hear one of their bands play at Martini’s. He loves driving his Grandpa’s truck. He’ll wake me up when he gets home, put the keys on the dresser and tiptoe out the front door. He’s very thoughtful and knows full well to behave. He’s never been a problem, but we still watch!!

I’m off to bed. My back is still a wreck and I can’t do anything about it. I just need some rest. Tomorrow I’ll slowly bake a whole Black Forest ham to take to Karen’s. She’s fixing turkey and the trimmings. Ally is going to fix veggies and she made cranberry jell here today. I’ll take some homemade mustard sauce. It will be a good day to be together. We all wish Dane could be there, but when we think back almost a year ago, we’re more than very fortunate to have him alive and healing. He’s making progress and we’re all hanging in there together. We’re a very lucky family.

We wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends…cherish them.

PAT ROBERTSON IS AS LOONEY AS EVER

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:11 pm

PAT ROBERTSON IS AS LOONEY AS EVER

From one of my dear friends:

“I know why Pat Robertson exists: To irritate the living shit out of you. Poor bugger is such a great detraction. Anyway, I’m following along on the blog. If your webmaster tells you that there have been 814 hits in two days, that’s probably me.”

She just cracks me up!!! I needed that today.

From another dear friend:

“I hope Dane is doing better this evening. Jeesh. Overall, he’s getting better, but…it’s a long, jig-jaggedy way back to health.

Lawrence had better watch out–teaching creationism/mythology and all. Like Dover, PA, if something happens to Lawrence, I hope they know they can’t go crying to God. That Pat Robertson is a hoot. He sure keeps us entertained. It’s hard to believe that man is serious.”

GOOD NEWS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:07 pm

GOOD NEWS!

The tests and reports are back and we are all pleased with the positive results. Dane feels like crap and is on a soft diet now, but, overall, he is doing okay.

The CAT scan of his head was better than the last time. The accumulation of spinal fluid was less than before, the plate is in place, the infarction shows (as it should) but the damage is less than before. Those were all good signs.

His belly scan showed possible signs of diverticulitis and the shunt tubing, or whatever they call it. Nothing there to create any alarm. They put him on a soft diet just to get him through any flare-ups that might be going on. And they are treating it with antibiotics.

He has a bladder infection and always will as long as he has the Foley. They have him on an iv vanco drip along with another antibiotic to take care of that.

His chest X-Ray was fine. Nothing is going on with his lungs. Losing weight and no smoking has to be a big plus for him. He used to cough all the time and now he rarely does. He’s down to 222# and that also is a plus for him.

Overall, it appears he had the flu and bladder infection. They will get it under control and he’ll be going back to the home. His levels of Dilantin were lowered because of the fever, infection, vomiting etc. which caused the seizures. Those are under control.

This is all very good news. He won’t get the piece of pecan pie he wanted tomorrow, but maybe he will soon.

Todd, Tall Boy and Drew came by for one of Ally’s famous dinners tonight that she prepared for Brit’s 80th birthday. She cooked to perfection a whole tenderloin outside on the grill. The trimmings were excellent. It was such a treat for all of us. The boys and Todd were very happy and scattered after they did the dishes and we retired to the basement. It has been a good day and knowing that Dane is going to be okay is the best news of all.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN, CREATIONISM AND OTHER RELIGIOUS MYTHOLOGIES

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:52 pm

INTELLIGENT DESIGN, CREATIONISM AND OTHER RELIGIOUS MYTHOLOGIES

Enough is enough! The University of Kansas faculty has had enough of the religious right faction ramming their beliefs down our throats. A new course is being offered next semester by the religion department, titled “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies.” Limited to 120 students, the course will explore intelligent design as a modern American mythology. Several university professors have volunteered to be guest lecturers.

Paul Mirecki, chairman of the Religious Studies Department, said “Creationism is mythology. Intelligent design is mythology. It’s not science. They try to make it sound like science, but it clearly is not.”

The right-wingers that sit on the KSBOE continue to try to feed us the propaganda intelligent design has nothing at all to do with religion. Pat Robertson, one of the major proponents and spokespersons of intelligent design, contends it doesn’t have any connection with religion. That group of radical conservatives assure us that intelligent design is not revamped creationism.

But consider Robertson’s reaction to the vote in Dover PA when all the Republican members of the board of education were ousted from office over this issue and replaced by nine Democrats who viewed intelligent design as a subversive effort to force right-wing fundamentalist religion into the classrooms. Robertson screamed to all the good people of Dover that they had just voted God out of their community! He told them that if a disaster should come their way, they could forget about getting any help from the Almighty!! That about says it all.

NO REPORT BACK FROM ALL THE TESTS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:29 pm

NO REPORT BACK FROM ALL THE TESTS

They did more XRays and CAT scans this morning, more blood tests. Dane’s still feeling terrible, but he did drink a DQ shake and had a few bites of lunch, so that’s good. Ally is here helping out. I should know more later this afternoon. They were going to give Dane a bed bath and change his linens so I came home to clean his C-PAP hoses and write a brief update.

Oh. He weighed in yesterday at 222#. I don’t think he’s weighed that since he was in high school. It has been very good for him to get a lot of weight off.

11/22/2005

A VERY SICK MAN

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:07 pm

A VERY SICK MAN

Dane is very sick and back in the Ellsworth Hospital. He had another Gran Mal seizure early this afternoon after I left him at the home; they called an ambulance immediately for him as Dr. Slomka wanted him in Ellsworth for observation and tests. He is one excellent internist.

We have assumed Dane had the flu when I’m not sure it was that at all. It could be infections. Something is very amiss in his stomach/abdomen. They have been running tests, CAT scans and such since he arrived here. More tests are scheduled tomorrow and Slomka is going to put in a central line as they were unsuccessful is getting a PICC line in and had a terrible time drawing blood. Both took hours.

He’s back on an iv vanc drip and another antibiotic. Infections are something Dane battles constantly. I think we’ll end up putting in a permanent Port-a-Cath once he’s well enough. It makes sense to me.

Todd just relieved me at the hospital so I could come home. Someone needs to be with him until they get his nausea under control. By the time he got to his room about 7, the bed they ordered from Wichita this afternoon had arrived. They were on top of his needs from the minute he arrived there.

They do such good work at ECMC. I can’t say enough nice things about the people who work there and care for us when we get sick. We are so lucky to have the hospital personnel that we do and they work constantly to improve their care and the standards at the hospital.

If I try to count right now…and I’m tired so I could be wrong…I come up with maybe 15 places, some repeats, where Dane has been for medical care since last year at this time. He has been one very sick patient. I’ve lost track…in and out of hospitals for one reason or another. That’s not counting the day trips to Wichita and Salina for wound care. His care overall has been very excellent (with one glaring exception…and another that was only fair at rehab)……but St. Francis NCCU, Wesley SICC, Wesley Head Trauma Unit, Select Specialty and the two warm and fuzzy places where you couldn’t ask for better care in all of this moving around for medical care are the Ellsworth County Medical Center and the Wilson Nursing Home. If it weren’t for all of them, I’d be a very lost, desperate caregiver. The support I get right here at home is incredible.

P.S. Karen just called from the hospital. Dane had another seizure. He was doing so very well after they put the shunt in and now things are just not going well at all. We’re all very worried.

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