Category: Comments

Summer Update 2010

By , August 29, 2010 1:23 am

August 29, 2010

Life is like a box of chocolates and this summer Grandpa Mohawk and I came up
with the nasty bits no one ever seems to want.

Some of you may have noticed we went MIA for a bit. GM had been having some knee
pain off-and-on since winter. We assumed that at 78 it was just a sign of age
and osteoarthritis. Take a few tylenol, take a nap and he’d be back in action.
But as soon as we finished the 900+ mile journey back from Florida in May he
never could quite shake that pain.

When we went off to see New Jersey and had a perfectly lovely (yet different)
vacation at Marriott’s Fairway Villas, his pain became acute. Time at the beach
condo gave way to a round of doctors’ visits and various hit-or-miss (mostly
miss) treatments. One doctor thought it was sciatica, another thought it was hip
pain. Whatever caused the pain, he was down to getting around full time with his
scooter, me as his driver and stumbling about with a cane then walker. He was in
absolute misery by the time we finally figured out what was wrong.

Seems that break in his hip back in 2008 was not as healed as we thought.
Osteonecrosis set in and the bone literally died. He ended up with a titanium
screw digging into his hip socket. Surgery was scheduled for Friday, August 13.
But before he could get there his bloodwork showed he was dehydrated. Pain
caused a complete breakdown in his appetite and diet. So they admitted him to
the hospital near home for a night. Sent him home and told him to drink plenty
of fluids. Came back a few days later and bloodwork showed he was overhydrated.
This time they decided to keep him and get him ready for surgery.

He came through surgery with flying colors, even though his heart gave us a few
scares. This time I vowed there’d be a full team ready to back him up. His
cardiologist, family doc and orthopedist surgeon all worked within a block of
the hospital and were on the case. My brothers and sister were kept well
informed. Since the kids were still on summer vacation we did a rotation of
nieces and nephews to come and help out at the house. Cleaned more junk, did
more errands and got the place ready for grandpa’s recovery.

GM did have a few more issues of A-Fib and anemia to set us back in the
hospital. (Shades of Florida ’08) I spent far too many 10 hour days in the
hospital advocating for him, which basically consists of getting to know each
nurse, hunting down his doctors and lab reports, and making sure everyone has
all the facts so we can best help him. I also had a friend on phone standby when
I needed to vent about this or that.

We thought GM would head to a rehab center after that. Auditioned a few, even
had a bed waiting for him at one near the hospital, but GM did not want to go to
one. He was motivated, you could say. And on the day of release, almost a week
after surgery, he had progressed so well with his in-patient rehab that everyone
was willing to leave the choice up to him. So he opted to come home to me.

The kids are back in school now. GM is said to have about 10 more weeks of rehab
in store. His strength is coming back steadily. His doctors are impressed but
cautious. Everything looks great save one thing. Our usual September/October
trip to Disney was scheduled for 6 weeks post-surgery, smackdab in the middle of
his rehab time. So with heavy hearts we opted to cancel our Fall trip this year.

I’ve managed to bank most of the points for next year. The rest we’re gifting to
our Florida friend for an anniversary trip next month. We extended our New
Year’s Eve trip to a full week. My cuz and my sister’s family will be joining us
then. And we have a season of Ravens football to look forward to.

I’ll miss celebrating Food & Wine in Disney and going to the MNNSHP for my
birthday this year. And mostly I’ll miss all our Disney friends. But we’ll be
back. And now we have enough points for next year we can take our entire family
for Grand Gathering #2. This time the first weekend in October to celebrate 3
nephews and my birthday. It’s gonna be great.

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