Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Sunday, July 10, 2022


 When we first left our noble crew we were out to embark on a road trip to Birmingham, Alabama, for Kitty's thirty-day follow-up to her aortic valve transplant.  Ah, he best-laid plans...

Our finely-honed method of getting her into the car (wheelchair to car, get her vertical to her walker, idle the lovely bride and walker to open car door, get her seated, and voila!) went astray when her leg gave out and the lovely bride sank down to the driveway. wedged between the car and its open front door in a position where we could get he extricated.  A call to the local fire department brought three of their best to the house where they able to get her up and seated in the car.  A decision the  had to be made:  drive the five and a half hours of the UAB hospital, or make a trip to the local ER to see why her legs gave out.  The ER won.

It didn't take long for the ER to admit her to the hospital here.  So we spent the next five days there.  Luckily they had a reclining chair for me to sleep in and a comfy (?) bed for her.  There was a major fluid build-up in her legs so the plan was to bring that down with a drug that would make her pee like a racehorse.  Not to denigrate my bride, but as racehorses go, she's a champion.  Anyway, her heart, lungs, and blood work passed all tests so the concentration was on her fluid build-up.  Because she had lost the strength in her legs, it was decided to transfer her to a rehab facility for physical therapy.  So off we went.

It's a nifty rehab.  They have free coffee.

They also have a decent gym/rehab area, a great staff, a movie theater (this week's show was Legally Blonde), once a week they go around with free ice cream sundaes, they also (I've heard) have Bingo parties.  The rooms are all singles, spacious, with a nifty shower each.  What they do not have are reclining chairs or spare cots for a weary husband to rest his weary head.  **sigh**  So the first night I slept on the wooden floor.  The sight of a 75-year-old with a bad back and creaky joints sleeping on a floor aroused the staff's pity and the managed to find a mattress for me.  So for the past week or so my bad back and creaky joints now have a four-inch foam mattress between them and the hard floor.  I am glad, however, that no one has recorded me trying to stand up for America' Most Pathetic Home Videos or other such show.  Between ten p.m. and six a.m. each day, Kitty needs me about every hour and half to adjust her bed, call the nurse on duty, find the television remote she has dropped, try to local her glasses, et cetera, et cetera, et yadda-yadda-yadda-cetera.

Her PT is going slowly.  She's lost a lot of strength and mobility, but they are working her with both physical therapy and occupational therapy daily.  It's emotionally draining, especially considering that most of this came on suddenly, about a week and a half after her valve replacement.  Her doctor here is beginning to suspect she might have some sort of kidney problem; they will be checking on that possibility over the next few days.  There may be a problem with the interactions of all the meds thay have had to give her -- something else to be checked out.

So here we sit (or lay).   Depending on what the doctors may find, there's a chance she will be re-admitted to the hospital.  Or not.  Who knows?

It's more than frustrating, but I can't help but be optimistic.  She has had a lot of medical problems pop up lately but slowly, one by one, they are being overcome.  The human body is a complicated gizmo and the interrelationship of all its parts makes it tricky to find the needed a balance, but find it we will.  In the meantime, blogging will be very light because I have much more important things to do, but I will be keeping in touch as much as possible.

Christina dropped of my computer yesterday and it took a while to find someone who actually knew the rehab's wi-fi password but I am back online -- no matter how sporadically.   

Love you all.


  1. That you manage to convey this information with a sense of humor is astounding. I am so sorry this has been the ordeal that it has. Hopefully Kitty will get past this soon and you can continue on to Alabama. So glad you are near your family.

    1. Actually, Patti, we will not need to go to Alabama for another year when her 12-month check-up is due. We were able to get all the information and tests that the doctors there needed done here on the Panhandle and forwarded to them in Birmingham. All those tests (and I won't tell you how long she crammed for them) indicated that he heart is now functioning quite well -- which, combined with other positive news about some of her other problems [COPD. anemia, etc.] gives us hope that the current kerfluffle can also be overcome.

  2. Thinking of you both and one hopes this is just one of those random bumps in the recovery road.

  3. Glad some of the books I sent you are keeping you occupied during Kitty's follow-up. Hoping for the best for you guys!

  4. Goodness...glad indeed that most of the news is good, and that some discomfort at least was in trade for other discomfort (a five-hour one-way drive for someone who needs a several step process to enter or exit a car is a less than fun prospect, I know second-hand). Hope the potential kidney problem is fixed soon and easily, and that a rollaway bed can be drummed up for any future stays...