2016 started with the last of 2015 loose ends. David went on a one-week respite trip that ended up turning into a 3-week break from caregiver duties. I went to extremes to give him that!
The MS Society helped me with a grant to pay for part of an aide to come in twice a day while David was in Arizona. Promedica private pay home aides was my vendor of choice and their aides were great. I was especially fond of Ashlea, the aide I had every “tuck-in shift” and a couple of mornings. She was awesome and I’d love to keep her, except that having recently passed the test for her nursing license, she’s on to a bigger and better career that just taking care of lil’ old me. (And she will be awesome and I wish her the BEST!)
Now as the week neared the middle, things started to go downhill for me. I was feeling weak. I fell Wednesday morning getting out of the recliner and into the wheelchair, even with an aide there! The nice EMTs put me back in the recliner and the aide packed my swollen ankle in ice while she cleaned up in the kitchen. When she came back and moved the ice, the swelling in my ankle was gone, but I still had a sore knee. She got lunch, juice and filled my water cup before she left me, the TV remote and my iPad in the recliner.
When Ashlea came in that night she was perturbed that she wasn’t notified that I’d fallen that morning when the aide was there. We tried to get me up and transferred into the wheelchair so I could get dinner, but my right knee was in lots of pain. We agreed that it was better to stay in the recliner for the night and she chopped up some cheese and vegetables for me. Ashlea was scheduled to be my aide the next morning and she called to get a second aide in to help with the shower transferring.
Thursday morning I got into the power chair but I couldn't even get to the toilet in the bathroom with two aides. 911 was called and this time I asked them to take me to the hospital because I gotten so weak and so tired. I really figured they keep me and I was okay with that, even looking forward to it. I spent the entire day in the emergency room in unit 15… OMG 15! (make sure you read "Projects and goals 2016” to understand the terrifying irony of being in room 15 in emergency!) They did a urine test and discovered that I had a UTI, X-rayed both ankles my right knee and my chest; nothing was broken everything was working the way it was supposed to, they gave me an IV antibiotic for the UTI and I waited for a doctor from the neurology department to visit, thinking my weakness might be an MS exacerbation. The neurology doctor told me she really didn't know why she was there except that I have MS. after all of the test, The IV antibiotic, and the check up from the doctor from neurology, it was concluded but they didn't need to keep me and I'd be discharged. What?? The social worker at the hospital had to arrange for an ambulette to take me home.
Overnight I had nasty problems with bladder spasms and a dislodged catheter that have me on the phone with the 24 hour nurse line. Jessica, my regular case nurse, was here first thing in the morning to get me cleaned up and change the catheter. She was incredibly concerned with my weakness and the UTI still looked bad. By the end of the day in communication with supervisors at Promedica and my insurance company they had things set up for Ashlea to come in an hour early and help me pack a bag for an ambulette to take me to Heartland of Perrysburg where I stayed for two weeks.
During those two weeks I had antibiotics for a very bad UTI and a yeast infection. That is a nasty double whammy that no one should have simultaneously. I also got physical therapy and occupational therapy. Between that and the extra antibiotics I was pretty well exhausted every day. But it did help. I’m still weaker than I was on January 1, but stronger than I was on January 6! And the nurses and therapists I see at home have all commented about how good my legs, ankles in feet look. The swelling has gone way down and my blood pressure has been very good.
So now I'm ready to get this new year started!