Friday, October 24, 2014

The Death Book

The topic on elder story yesterday was pre-planning for the inevitable end.  I am always surprised by just how many people are uncomfortable about the subject let alone actually doing anything to prepare for it.  I on the other hand started thinking about this when I was 26 years old.

Because I was a single mother I wanted to make sure I had things in order in case anything happened to me.   My children were too young to make such decisions so I knew I had to put information somewhere so it would be available to whoever had to take care of things.  That's when I made my "Death" book.   I put everything in this binder including appointing a guardian for my children.  I had talked to an attorney about how I wanted my children to go to my parents because their father wasn't in their life and I didn't want him to just show up and take the kids.  I found out I couldn't prevent that from happening but I could appoint a guardian over the girl's money....anything they received from my estate.  Well, I knew that if the money didn't come with the girls their dad would probably not want them and he'd leave them with my parents.  It was a gamble but I felt better about it.  

So that was my motivation to get my end of life affairs in order.  I have kept that book up-to-date ever since.  It was a relief when the girls turned 18 because I knew then they would be of age to make decisions for themselves.  I would go over the book with them every few years so they understood what all the documents were and what they would need to do in case something happened to me.  I know they thought I was morbid when they were younger but this year they each asked me to put together a book for each of them that they can complete for themselves.  This is what they want for Christmas.   

I guess I don't look so crazy to them anymore.

Well, my need to be prepared for all situations is a little over the top I guess.  I even have a "death" book for work.  I made a book explaining everything I do so that if I suddenly died anyone would be able to follow the instructions in the book and do my job.  I just don't want to leave anything undone.   OK....maybe I am a little extreme!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dry Eyes and Dry Kitdneys I'm blowing away..........

Well, had my appointment with the diabetic doctor yesterday.  I spent the month checking my blood sugar every day fasting and before bed.  I thought my numbers looked pretty good but my A1C had gone up slightly.  It was 6.3 in January and now it is 6.6. The goal is under 6.5 or better.   I also learned I'm anemic, have low oxygen in my blood and have dry kidneys.  Hmmmmmmmmm

I've got to go get an iron supplement and I'm drinking 3 leters of water every day.  He also wants me to have a sleep study done to see if I have sleep apnea.  I don't think I do but hey who knows.  I asked Ron if I snore and he reports no.

Anyway, I'm good to go for another 3 months.

I can't believe it is already almost the end of October.  Where does the time go?  The days just seem to fly past me.  I'm trying to get my Christmas list put together and I think I could get it done if I just put a little time into it.  I remember when I made most of my gifts but I don't seem to have the time or the inclination to do that anymore.  Maybe I just ran out of ideas.

Mike called us last Saturday and said he was going to wear a tie to church, a red tie.  Ron and I thought awhile and wondered if he was going to wear it with his yellow shirt.  We decided to wait and be surprised.  Well Sunday morning Mike came walking out wearing a yellow shirt, red tie (tied in a sailor's knot) and sporting a lavender sport coat that belonged to our dad.  The coat was at least 4 sizes too big!
Ron helped get Mike's tie tied right but we didn't say a word about the "brightness" of his attire.  Sooooo now I'm going shopping for a sport coat for my brother and I think a white dress shirt. (just to be safe)

I've purchased so many clothes for Mike over the past 5 years but somehow they come up missing.  Sometimes he just gives his clothes away to Goodwill. 

Friday, October 17, 2014


I have been on the go this whole week.  I had early morning meetings, late meetings, doctor appointments and had to get lab work done this morning.  I'm pooped!

Our weather has been unusually warm for mid October...85 yesterday and not really seeing any signs of fall yet.  Trees still have their leaves and they haven't even changed colors.  It will probably happen overnight one of these days soon.  The weather man predicted a very wet and cold winter for us.  It's hard to imagine when it is still so warm outside.

I have no plans for the weekend other than doing a little fall cleaning.  Ron and I are going to a presentation sponsored by AARP on Medicare next week.  We are trying to learn as much as we can about supplemental insurance and what we need before we retire.  It's all so confusing.  A former co-worker was here yesterday and she was saying it takes her entire state retirement just to pay for her health insurance.  That doesn't sound very encouraging.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Infection Control

Well, my anxiety has heightened slightly since yesterday and since the 2nd healthcare worker has contracted the Ebola virus.  I believe it stems from my lack of confidence in the healthcare system in general.  Maybe that's because I work in a hospital and hear too much.  

My first thought about the healthcare workers that contracted this deadly virus is I question what the hospital's overall protocol was for infectious diseases.  This virus is transmitted by contact with bodily fluids.  They are saying there was no protocol in place for dealing with it and I don't understand that.  There should have been standard protocols in place to deal with ANY infectious disease.

When my mother was in the hospital every room on her floor had an isolation cart parked outside the door.  That was troubling since it meant that there was a lot of cross contamination going on in that hospital.  My mother contracted MRSA and C-diff (Clostridium difficile colitis) while in the hospital.  Evidently it was rampant on her floor and throughout the hospital.  What we observed was that we (Ron & I) were the only people gowning up and wearing gloves when we went in her room.  The staff would just come and go (basically ignoring) the cart parked outside her door.  One day a nurse told us that we didn't need to bother gowning up since we were probably already carriers of MRSA by now.

So, my confidence in hospitals and their infection control rates and ability to not cross contaminate is very low.  That's why I sure hope the CDC can now get the situation in Dallas under control. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I'm taking a poll and asking the question how concerned are you about the recent cases of Ebola in the US?  

Here in Oklahoma there is probably greater concern since we are only a short drive from Dallas where the two confirmed cases have been hospitalized.  We recently had a patient quarantined in Okla. City which turned out to not be Ebola.

I think we are going to have to prepare for the fact that we will be having more confirmed cases here in the US.  Unfortunately the situation was not contained in West Africa at the onset and as people travel to the US we have to prepared to deal with the possibility of another exposure.

A lot of people here have asked why travel is still being allowed out of the countries where so many people have Ebola.  What I've read is that would actually make the situation worse and harder to contain.  Some even said the US should close their borders.  That really made me laugh since we can't even control the border between us and Mexico.

Hopefully we are feverishly working on a vaccine but even if we get one (which I think we eventually will) there will be another virus down the pike that we will have to contend with.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Blessing of the Animals

Yesterday we attended The Blessing of the Animals at our church.  Ron has wanted to take Bella to be blessed for the past 3 years but this year we finally did it.  Ron even had Bella groomed for the occasion.

Bella waiting for her blessing!
The animals loved the clarinet and the service.

Bella being blessed by Reverend Normile
 I wish I had taken more pictures of the other animals.  There were guinea pigs, dogs, a turtle, and a very fat cat named Cat Stevens.

Not a single dog barked or cat hissed.  It was very interesting how calm and cool the animals were.  When Dr. Thurston started playing the clarinet they all sat transfixed on the music. 

Ron was a very proud dog owner.  Bella was definitely the smallest dog there but she was so calm and well behaved.  She made her Grandpa very proud.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cancer Update

Hooray.....Ron is still cancer free...15 months and counting.  His doctor told him he's a walking miracle.  We didn't have time to celebrate because we were helping twin #2 but maybe we will get to do something this weekend.

My daughter is doing well but has a lot of rehab ahead of her.  Fortunately the pain seems to be well controlled and she's just loopy but not hurting.  Her sister is helping her today so I'm back at work.