Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bump in the Road

Today my post is current events in the lives of Kathi and Arlon Boozer and our families.

We have been parked at the Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson, Texas since November 2014. We have postponed our travels to be with Kathi’s brother, Larry Clark who is recovering from leukemia. We thought this was the best use of our time until his recovery is complete.

A quick update on Larry. He is back in the hospital with a blood clot in his leg. Monday when we went over, we noticed his lower legs and feet were swollen. Later on he realized that his right knee was swollen. Both knees looked swollen, but the right was definitely worse. Kathi called his wife, Andrea to relay the information and Andrea called her contact on the bone marrow transplant team. They scheduled an appointment for him to come to Methodist Hospital to check for a blood clot.

Kathi and I took Larry in yesterday to do a Doppler test on the veins in his legs. We stopped at McDonald's on the way, where Kathi and I got cheese, egg and sausage biscuits and Larry got a Big Mac and a large coke. Then, onward to the 8th floor of Methodist Hospital. A Doppler test is also called an ultrasound, but I guess they like Doppler because it makes it sound more like science in action. First they took his blood for testing, then sent us for the Doppler.

Bunnies at Methodist Hospital ready for Easter.
 Larry is still using a walker to keep his balance when he moves around, but the building we had to take him to for the ultrasound was two buildings and two blocks away, so we put him in a wheelchair for the journey. Since we were carrying two bags and now carrying the walker also, we decided Kathi would stay behind with our paraphernalia and I would take Larry to the Methodist Hospital Outpatient Center for the test.

It took about an hour and a half including travel time, check-in and testing before we returned to the Methodist Hospital main building to see the transplant team. Dr. Kamble (pronounced Kam-blay) came and wheeled him to a room that had a couch where Larry could lie down, because they discovered the clot and did not want him walking on the leg.

Larry bundled up on the couch -- he is always cold.

His 6'6" frame does not fit a 5' couch.
 It took a couple of hours to get checked into a room and another hour of checking vitals and getting nurses on board with the plan.

The cardio team put a filter in the big vein of the leg using a technique similar to an angioplasty. The best explanation of the filter is a little umbrella, placed similar to how they would place a stent in a clogged artery. Kathi and I waited for him in his room so she could warm up the steak fingers and mashed potatoes she had brought with us for his lunch. When he came back to the room after getting the filter installed, he was instructed not to move his right leg for two hours and not to sit up, so he could not eat.

After he got settled, Kathi made arrangements for one of the nurses to feed him after two hours and Kathi and I went home. When we left the nurse was telling Larry they might have to give him insulin because his glucose was high in his morning blood test. Remember the Big Mac and big coke we picked up on the way? – Obviously a bad idea.

He is going to be in the hospital for a few days with blood thinners to dissolve the clot. Larry hates being in the hospital and is not a happy camper, but it is where he needs to be at the moment. Andrea is working and fighting allergies and feels more miserable than Larry. I hope he knows that.

Kathi and I are spending the day at home. Andrea is with Larry today. Kathi and I will probably take Larry something to eat tomorrow and check on his disposition. He rarely finds anything on the hospital menu that he likes. Between Andrea and Kathi they keep him well fed.   

Valet parking was really busy when we left the hospital.

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