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April 2014


Musical Beds!

When Tony was first admitted he was put in a private room – nice!  We thought it was because he had c-diff once, but sadly, it was because he was having bowel problems, and once those cleared up, so did the private room.  He texted me the night before last with his new room number.  His roommate?  An 83 year old diabetic who had signs of a stroke.  I guess Tony fell asleep without his c-Pap machine and started to snore and the guy complained.  Tony woke up, put his mask on and then his roommate proceeded to snore the whole night!

When I got to his new room yesterday morning, he was sound asleep.  I got there at 7 and he didn’t wake up until 7:30 when the nursing shift changed and they woke him up.  He was bummed that I didn’t wake him up when I got there, but for all I knew, he could have just fallen asleep an hour before.  Before I knew it, it was time to go to work. Sad smile

Breakfast was simple – one of my copy cat Nature Valley granola bars and a Chobani.  Yummers.

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Work has been crazy busy.  We hired a new secretary but she doesn’t start until next week, so I am filling in and doing a lot of month end stuff that I am not familiar with and well, let’s just say numbers aren’t my thing.  I can edit and proofread a 20 page report, but working with numbers doesn’t go so well for me.  Luckily my boss knows this and cuts me some slack, but it’s a lot of attention to detail on lots of lots of charts that seem to be saying the same thing but have to be prepared twenty different ways to Sunday.  I ended up working through lunch again so I could leave at 4:00.

I had every intention of posting the recipe for this soup that I am loving – Jennie-O Hot Turkey Italian Sausage Gnocchi soup, but I stayed at the hospital until 9:00 last night, came home and I didn’t feel like figuring out the calories, etc.  Still very good – and I have to say, I don’t mind how the gnocchi tastes – I was worried that after a couple days it would be all gummy, but it still tastes delicious.  It’s on my list of recipes to post because it is that delicious.

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Tony had his endoscopy yesterday afternoon, so when I got to the hospital at 4:30 I had to wait about 10 minutes before he got back to his room.  He was super tired and all I know is that they found some varices in his esophagus and capped them so they would stop bleeding.  That’s all I got out of him before he immediately fell asleep for an hour.  See, I am the sleep whisperer! Open-mouthed smile

Once he woke up I went down to get some dinner.  Here’s a clue that you have been to a hospital cafeteria too many times – mainly just breakfast and dinner for the last three days, but still – the woman tonight recognized me and gave me an employee discount!  Last night I had a small salad – I put it in a soup cup so I could toss it with the lid on, and some chili.  I got a 16 ounce chili – they said an 8 ounce container was 127 calories, so even with the added cheese from the salad bar, it wasn’t too bad.  Only problem? They didn’t have hot sauce – what?!

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Tony cat napped on and off.  At one point I was able to lay beside him and laid my head on his chest while he slept.  He held onto me so tight but he was so comfortable and sleeping, I didn’t even mind that he had left the t.v. on a Minnesota Twins baseball game.  A new nurse came on staff and Tony woke up and he said “oh, I thought you left already!”   I ended up leaving at 9:00 and when I pulled into the driveway, Tony texted me to tell me that yet again, his room assignment had changed – so crazy!  I don’t know why they don’t keep people in the same spot.

And his 83 year old roommate?  While he was waiting to get discharged, they had a call into the doctor because the doctor had prescribed insulin pens, but he still used a syringe for his insulin, which is way old school.

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We started talking back and forth.  He’s been diabetic for 10 years.  I asked him how many times he tested his blood sugar and he said “once a week if I am lucky!”  He then went on to say that he just took his fast acting insulin three times a day, but that it varied based on when he got up.  Huh.  The whole point of fast acting insulin is to have the insulin meet the food you are about to eat so you don’t have a spike in blood sugar.  I told him that he had to take his insulin when he ate and he just had a quizzical look on his face.

So when the discharge nurse said “take your fast acting insulin right before you eat” he said “I didn’t know that until that lady told me!” and pointed to me.  He is a veteran and gets his medication at a VA hospital – not sure why no one told him of this before, or maybe they did, and he just didn’t listen.  In fact, when I told him I tested my blood sugar 5 times a day he said “you really take this diabetes thing seriously!” 

I said goodnight to Tony and headed out to my car.  Um, pretty sure the car next to mine in the parking lot had my license plate!!

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And surprisingly with no formal workout, I didn’t do too bad on my steps.

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So the plan today is for Tony to get a biopsy of his liver.  That will pinpoint some autoimmune deficiencies he’s been having and tell his why his liver numbers are off.  While a part of me wants to google the shit out of what that could mean, I am not jumping to any conclusions at this point.  Just taking it a day at a time. 

I SO APPRECIATE all the emails, Instagram messages and comments you guys are sending our way – I will eventually have time to respond to all of you personally, but in the meantime, know that it means so much to me.

I leave you with a song.  It’s funny, because when Tony is home the t.v. is on 24/7.  Since he’s been in the hospital, I haven’t turned it on once!  Me?  I love music.  So I’ll go to youtube and just see where the music takes me.  Yes, I am one of those people who like America’s Got Talent, mostly for the singing though.  When I saw Bianca Ryan hit it out of the park back in 2006 (can’t believe it was that long ago!) I remember thinking “that girl is going to be famous one day!”

Well, now she’s 19 and has an AMAZING voice!  Check out her cover of John Legend’s All of Me.  I puffy heart that song.

Make it a great day!


Sleep Whisperer

I went to visit Tony before work yesterday.  I normally leave my house around 8:10 in the morning and my 16 mile commute takes me about 30-35 minutes.  There usually isn’t too much of a back up because I take the back roads to work where the two lanes are 55 mph.  Nice.  Yesterday?  It took me 35 minutes to drive 5.5 miles to the hospital.  I left my house at 6:55 and didn’t get there until 7:30.  But I have commuter trains that time of day that back traffic up and it was a gloomy, rainy day.  (I was at a complete stop for the record) Open-mouthed smile

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Tony said he slept pretty well, but he still looked really tired.  I ended up staying for about 45 minutes before I had to head into work.  I ended up grabbing my breakfast at the hospital cafeteria – I had strawberries in my bag, but I picked up an English muffin, scrambled eggs and bacon to make a breakfast sammie when I got to work.  $2 – nice!

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I wanted to leave work at 4, so I worked through lunch.  The doctors normally start their rounds from 5:00 on, and I didn’t want to miss that.  I will post this recipe later because it was awesome.  Kind of like the lasagna soup you know I am crazeballs for, but this time I used potato gnocchi (my store sells a 1 pound package for ,99 cents) and Jennie-O turkey hot Italian sausage.  Wowza, is that stuff flavorful spicy!  I didn’t even have time to take a picture at work it was so busy, but I took a picture over the weekend when I made it.  Only 1/4 cup of heavy cream to make this soup seem so rich.  This was super filling too.

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I rushed to get all my work done and was out the door at 4:01.  When I got to the room, Tony had just gotten back from the x-ray of his esophagus, and while there didn’t seem to be any apparent blockage, his GI doctor said he was going to look at the video sometime today to see how the esophagus is working.  Later today he’ll get the scope that goes down his throat to see if there are any varices, and are running tests on his liver function.

Tony and I have been down this road so many times – I don’t think there has been a year he hasn’t been in the hospital for one reason or another since 2007.  I had forgotten that I am the sleep whisperer!  Typically he will fall asleep within minutes of me getting there.  I think he just feel safe with me being there and can just finally relax and let go.  Um, can you tell I had a bit of fun with picmonkey?!

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Around 5:45 he woke up and sent me downstairs to get dinner before the cafeteria closed.  All the cooked food looked like ass, and I didn’t feel like a greasy burger or grilled cheese and tater tots.  Yep, that was the special last night – for $4 you got a grilled cheese on choice of bread with tater tots – add bacon – just a dollar more!  I got a salad:  mixed greens, black beans, kidney beans, chick peas, carrots, banana peppers, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds – oh, and maybe just maybe a chicken tender was added to it at the last minute!  They had no low fat or fat free dressing, so I mixed in 1 part ranch to 2 parts balsamic vinegar – this was delicious actually!

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Tony ended up kicking me out last night at 8:00.  I could tell he was tired but felt like he had to stay awake for me.   As I left the hospital, it finally stopped raining – the clouds looked pretty cool though!

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So over the weekend I posted my picture of my homemade pitas.  I had a dozen people asking when I was going to post the recipe, and since I got home earlier than usual from the hospital last night, I decided to post it today.  My store normally sells pitas for $3.99 for 6.  But they are really thick and have between 35 and a whopping 50 grams of carbs each!   I used this recipe for inspiration, although I disagree with the second rising of the dough, and I cook mine on a non-stick skillet instead of baking them.  I also made mine thinner, so I got 16 pitas for this recipe – each one comes in at 105 calories, 2 fat, 18.9 carbs, .8 fiber and 2.6 protein.


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No need to cover the dough either while these cooked – the dough didn’t dry out at all.

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Once the dough hits the hot pan, bubbles form on the top.  So when you flip the pita, the bubbles are the first thing to touch the heat on the flip side, so you get these gorgeous brown marks on the pita.

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I had a breakfast pita on Monday morning that I never posted because of Tony going to the hospital – and I had chicken gyros on my menu later this week that will have to be put on another day.  I ended up freezing these on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, then putting them in a freezer bag.  They actually come right back to life just putting them in a toaster.

Alright, I am off to the hospital again before work.  Can you guys keep a secret?  Don’t tell Tony I left the basement light on all day yesterday, mkay?!

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Tony’s Back in the Hospital

It was kind of an ironic day yesterday.  I had to go to the hospital to get my blood work done.  Didn’t take too long, but I do have to get an I.D. bracelet just as if I was a patient.  They always double check your name, date of birth, etc.   Since I couldn’t eat or drink anything before the blood draw, I went into the main hospital’s cafeteria and rewarded myself with a huge ass Starbucks!

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I have to apologize to blog reader and Instagram friend Meg for giving her a scare.  I was actually stuck at a freight train for about 10 minutes when I took this picture while I was waiting.  Not to worry, I don’t text and drive!  Sorry to scare you Meg! Open-mouthed smile

So I have intimated that Tony hasn’t been feeling well.  I guess it started on Friday.   He hasn’t been sleeping well, so he’s super tired and lethargic.  He has no appetite.  He feels like gagging if he eats any type of food.   That’s why I was shocked that he made me food on Saturday night when I got home from work!  Talk about love.   Sunday we both thought “something isn’t right” and he got in to see our GP yesterday afternoon.  Around 3:00, Tony calls to tell me that his electrolyte numbers are off, and that they want to send him to the hospital for tests.  Not going to lie, I kind of knew this might happen.  I even contemplated not grocery shopping for the week! 

I asked him if he wanted me to leave work right away, and he said no – he would drive home, the GP would call ahead and get a room ready for him.  We know the drill that everything in the hospital takes 4x as long as you think it will.  So I talk to my bosses and I tell them I need to leave at 4:30 – no problem.  So I text Tony when I am leaving the office, and this was his reply – not the Texting with Tony episode I would normally want to get!

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What??!!  “I’m sinking fast!”  I call the house.  No answer.  I leave a message telling him to call 911 if he thinks he can’t wait for me and I can just meet him at the hospital.  I wait a few minutes, and call his cell phone.  Um, he was just in the bathroom – by “sinking fast” he meant he was falling asleep!  Whew!  If he hadn’t answered his cell phone I would have called 911 myself!

I have to say this was the easiest admit I’ve ever witnessed.  We literally walked into the ER, gave the front desk his name, she scanned his license and insurance card, asked a few questions, and within a few minutes his wheelchair chariot awaited him to take him to his room.  From walking in the door to getting into his room – a maximum of 10 minutes – nice!

But here’s the deal.  Tony is on blood thinners for his aortic heart valve replacement – yes ladies, he is more than bionic – artificial heart valve AND two knee replacements!  They can’t really do any scope or anything of that nature until they get his INR number down just below 2 – so his blood is thick enough so he won’t bleed if he gets nicked, and it’s not too thin that he’ll bleed out.  So there was nothing to do last night other than to hook him up to an I.V. since he was dehydrated (which is weird because he drinks more water than anyone I know!) and they will start running tests tomorrow. 

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So my dinner wasn’t oven baked barbecue chicken like I had planned.  It was Subway, because by the time I looked up and saw I should get something to eat, it was past 7 and the cafeteria was already closed.

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I made it down to the ER valet right as it was closing at 10.  This kid was so cute – he pointed to some cupcakes behind his stand and told me I could help myself to one while he went to get my car.  I like how the cupcakes are between lotion and hand sanitizing wipes!

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I’ll be headed to the hospital before work this morning.  Who knew yesterday morning when I breezed through with a blood test I’d be spending five hours there the same night?!

Thanks to everyone who sent hugs and prayers our way on Instagram last night – every time I saw a comment or like I felt your hugs!  I’ll keep you posted!