Monday August 14, 2017, A Day full of Varied Emotions.
My Wife had her yearly Mammogram. All was clear, come back in one year, yeah! This was also the Day my Father-in-law, Lee Van Hayes passed away in 2013. Four years ago this day I was rushed into Emergency Open Heart Surgery. The news of my Jill’s Dad passing, I was clueless to reality due trouble coming off the Ventilator. I felt awful being heavily sedated, while my Jill had to deal with his passing without me. I was on the ventilator for 6 weeks. I still felt sad; I was not there for her, when she was there for me, while still having to take Chemo and Radiation. My wife holds no grudge and never would, and I have forgiven myself.
This is the essence of the Marriage Vows; In Sickness and in Health, to never abandon one another regardless of the challenges. We reach down tighten our boot straps and move onward one step at a time, with God lighting our Pathway. – Barry Baynes, writer –
Most of you are aware that my mother lives with us.We both love her to pieces, but she can be a handful. I will not deny when she makes biscuits, we both indulge. Mom has been wonderful helping around the house. There are certain things I love her assistance with and others I prefer to do myself. I want to be able to keep moving. When I slow down, I may not be able to speed up. I can barely keep up with Barry now.
Mom and I just hang back and watch Barry go and go and go……He has turned into the Energizer Bald Bunny with reading glasses. He is so cute.
We made a trip to Emory for a follow-up mammogram. Scheduled my thyroid scan for the first week in August. I will be radioactive for a bit, but hopefully they will get this taken care of and I can get a little rest. Barry and I both deserve it. Two other appointments on Monday.
To top our week off, I have pneumonia again. I have got to work on immune system. I can’t seem to shake feeling weak.
Jill was with me when I saw my Cardiologist “Dr. B” a couple of weeks ago, and he said the echo looked good and in his words “you are cured”, I praise God for that comment. As God is the only reason I am alive today. He also said that doctors get what they call a “save” maybe once every seven to ten years, he considers me as one of those statistics. Well I was so tickled that all the surgical repairs have held up, “Dr.B” also mentioned that there was a time that the Doctors did not know what to do.
I have difficulty with “the ease” cardiologist have when diagnosing heart conditions. The echocardiogram is done two different ways in today’s medical facilities.
Of course, they know what they are looking for and how to find it. The actual sonogram of the heart is quite simple. As a woman, I am terrified of the sonogram. The device has made a strange turn for women; you can compare the new procedure to the latest form of echocardiogram. As a patient, the versatility of the device amazes me. I am tickled pink there is a non-invasive procedure available to heart and other patients in need.
Barry had his second echo this am. He feels really good about the test. Now the wait is on for a call from the good Dr. C. He will be the man calling to pass the good news on to my Bear. We will not accept anything but good news. I feel good about the test as well. I have prayed daily that the good Lord is watching over us and that things will work. We both have faith. Thank you!
Barry and I have come upon a challenge. We are having a communication issue. After everything Barry endured since August, his response time on everything is a slower.
We butheads when trying to have a conversation and when he is driving. He has never liked being told what to do, but now…..WOW! He snaps a any suggestions and he doesn’t let me finish sentences. I speak slowly at times and other times, my brain doesn’t let the right words out. Leading us to an occasional argument.
We have worked a system out to keep our cool with each other. It all involves redisvovering the quality we both possess “patience”. If he us not letting get words out, I let him know or gently remind him to be patient when I am having difficulties.
Unless I feel like I need to say something to him about his response, I don’t and will bring the topic up later when it can be discussed calmly. As his body heals and all the medications are out of his system, his responses will get closer to normal.
Everyone responds to anesthesia differently and he has been under general anesthesia 3 times since August 2013 with his chest opened up four times. My radiation treatments ended the day he was admitted for the last surgery. We both have a bit of healing to do!
Photo taken Friday, December 27, 2013 at my sister’s house! Aren’t we lovely?
1/17- Jill’s genetic disorder confirmed
1/18- Jill referred to high risk breast center at Emory; 4th follow-up mammogram cleared from 2012
2/18-Pop in hospital after defibrillator went off at shop
2/20- lump discovered
2/21- mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy completed.MRI Scheduled.
2/28-core biopsy done, Pop home from Hospital
3/3- Barry retired to be home with me and due to stroke
3/4- DCIS diagnosis (breast cancer) received and surgery scheduled.
3/8-Pop back to hospital
3/15- surgery scheduled
3/30-surgery, lump removed and margins cleaned
4/3- 9th wedding anniversary
4/15-2nd surgery, margins needed to be cleared
4/19- Pop back to hospital
4/20- spoke with hospice concerning Pop
4/30-3rd surgery, margins still not clear; Pop home from hospital
5/6-appointment with Medical Oncologist to discuss options. Lab work to determine type of chemotherapy/radiation needed.
6/6- Port inserted for chemo, another surgery
6/7- Chemo started
7/10- Barry stroke doctor
7/24-meeting with Hospice, Pop admitted to Hospice.
8/7-Barry passed out at home, to Eastside Mefical by Ambulance; admitted
8/8- overnight transferred to ICU and then transferred to Saint Joseph’s Hospital
8/9- last chemo
8/14- received phone call, 3 hours before Barry’s surgery, that my Father had passed away from Congestive Heart Failure. Valve replacement surgery and abscess clean-up
9/9-admitted to Saint Joseph’s Hospital
10/10-started radiation (M-F for 33 treatments)
10/14-admitted to Saint Joseph’s Hospital
10/25-radiation, discharged home
11/13-radiation, Barry admitted to Gwinnett Medical Center; after 3 days discharged. Got sick on the way home, taken to Northside Hospital ER. Transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital for admission (Jill’s birthday)
11/22-radition, discharged from hospital. Sent home for holiday to prepare for surgery before Christmas
12/5-last radiation treatment completed prior to Barry’s admission. Admitted to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in preparation for surgery on 12/9.
12/17-discharged home from the hospital after surgery.
12/19-Home Health following IV infusions to treat endocarditis
This admission was one pain in the rear after another! I’m not going to waste my time discussing the service and miscommunications that went on. The only thing that matters is we are home, nice and comfy getting into a routine of follow-ups. But I am starting to believe there will be no peace after this operation.
The home health agency is starting up now. But they are not going to stress me out either. I have had it with medical staff. So I am going to take care of Barry, better than he took care of me. He deserves the best!
Thank the dear Lord above, Barry is alive and healthy. The fluid was a bit slow to start coming off, but he has started dropping fluid like a leaky bucket at a watering hole. You know how kids grow so fast you can’t keep them in clothes, well….my Barry is doing the opposite. He is shrinking. I thought a large sweatpant would work, they look like ssomeone moved out of the rear of his sweats.
He at least has some color and is feeling better. The hospital issues are behind us. That is where they need to stay. Barry, Mom, Maggie and I are comfy and safe at home
This is turning into the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My sweet hubby is the strongest person I know on this earth and watching him grow weaker and weaker is killing me. My heart breaks a little more everyday.
I go through the scenarios about this illness and they do not help. Yes he can improve. I am well awarebof that! I just do not enjoy watching him feel so bad.
He is so weak, he can’t walk to the bathroom without getting short of breath. His legs and abdomen are so swollen you can hardly recognize him. He says he doesn’t hurt, but is just uncomfortable.
I have no doubt he is saved and going to heaven. That is not what my tears are for. My tears come from watching what this disease is doing to his body. I know the Good Lord has a plan and is watching over my sweeatheart. He is by my side as I take care of Barry.
If this procedure is what Bear needs to make him better, I pray that his kidney levels have improved and they can schefule it as soon as possible. If not, please give Bear the strength to accept the fact that they have to go into his chest s third time. He is scared and I cannot bkame him. The doctors have repeatedly told him all about the risk. It scares him to hear about it. It scares me too.
I feel like Barry is taking me through a trip down memory lane. We spent the weekend in his hometown. We took a million pictures of special places where he spent his childhood. Is he trying to tell me something?