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    August Check-In
    davedsel57 posted:
    Happy August, everyone.

    Life has been very busy for me but we are all doing OK. My dad fluctuates - sometimes on a daily basis. He gets frustrated and wants out of the ALF, but then tells me he loves it there. I try my best to get him out about once per week for a ride and a meal, and take him supplies and have dinner with him at the ALF once per week, usually Saturdays. His doctors and the nursing staff at the ALF are taking excellent care of him and basically he is doing well.

    We have a drought in WNY with rain fall levels well below normal. This will affect local produce such as corn and tomatoes. We haven't had to mow the lawns much but they are quite brown.

    I hope everyone is doing well.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

    Blessings, Dave
    cjh1203 responded:
    Hi, Dave. It's good to hear from you again -- I've been wondering how you and your dad are doing.

    It must be really tough for you when he says he wants to get out of the ALF, but it sounds like he's generally still happy there. It's nice that you get to spend time with him on a regular basis.

    Is he still getting agitated with the man he had a problem with before? I hope things have been pretty calm.

    We had a drought for several years that was so bad our well dried up -- it's only been in the past several months that it's eased quite a bit -- and everyone who is suffering with it now has my sympathy. It's so depressing to see everything dry up and turn brown, and you just get sick of seeing the sun all the time. I hope you'll get some real relief soon.

    I just scheduled hip replacement surgery for next month and, as you can imagine, I'm not too excited about it! I had my other hip done about three years ago, and everything went fine, but it's still not much fun. This time, because it's my right hip, I won't be able to drive for six weeks. I'm my mother's chauffeur, so I'm not sure what we're going to do.

    I hope that everyone will check in and let us know how they're doing.

    Thanks for doing these monthly threads, Dave.

    2010guardian responded:
    Hi Dave,

    The heat has been in the 3 digit numbers down here in Okie land going on the second week. No rain (much) just promises. We had a lot of lightning and a light shower last night. Grandsons finally got the grass mowed today. It was tacky looking, but not growing much.

    I'm glad that your Dad is doing okay. It's great that you can take time to spend with him.

    Ken is about the same. He told the chiropractor about his front thighs with pain in one. He is concerned about how long he's going to be able to get up and down. Today, he started therapy of electrical stimulation in his legs. He will have it 2 more times then he will be re-evaluated. He has started taking cranberry capsules. It is supposed to help the urinary tract. I don't know if it will do anything for the kidneys.

    I'm taking care of a few health issues of my own this month--laser surgery on my eye (minor) and finally got an appointment with the oncologist which I've tried to get for a few years. It's a long-overdue check-up.

    The best to you and your Dad.

    davedsel57 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Hi Carol.

    My dad is not being agitated by that man anymore. Since they assigned my dad to a different table with two women for meals he has no actual contact anymore. It is very frustrating when he tells me he "wants out", but I simply remind him how good it is there and he backs down.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

    Blessings, Dave
    davedsel57 replied to 2010guardian's response:
    Hi, Kathy.

    The best to you and Ken as well.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

    Blessings, Dave
    cjh1203 replied to 2010guardian's response:
    Hi Kathy-

    You mentioned Ken's front thigh pain -- does he happen to take a statin for high cholesterol? I used to take Lipitor and developed terrible muscle pain in the front of my thighs and shins. I went off it about four years ago and, although the pain isn't as bad, it's never really gone away. It seems to be a problem for a lot of people who take or have taken statins.

    I assume that, since you have an oncologist, you had cancer at some point. I hope that you'll get a good report.

    Good luck with your eye surgery. Even when it's something minor, I think our human nature makes us a little anxious about things like that. It's always nice to get it over with.

    Have a good weekend.

    2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
    Hi Carol,

    Yes, Ken is on fenofibrate. I've recently looked into this medicine and find that it can be a problem, however, Ken has high triglycerides and I don't know if another med. would be better or not. That's interesting that you had pain in the front of your thighs and shins. I used to take Zocor and I had such pain in my joints and was losing my hair.

    Yes, I had breast cancer in '95 and had a mastectomy and chemo. I also had melanoma at the same time. Since then I've has basel cell and squamish cell carcinoma. (2 spots on my chest). I keep running from cancer. Each year the dermatologists removes one or two pre-cancerous areas. (I've just had 2 removed) I have fair complexion and strawberry blond hair (Irish) , so I'm a target for sun cancer. I do expect good reports, but I know the key to recovery is early diagnosis. I've lost two sisters and my father from cancer and my brother from diabetes.

    I wish you the best with your hip surgery. It's amazing what doctors can do now. Remind us when you will be going.
    I understand your concern about driving your mother. I am concerned about leaving Ken home while I am having surgery. I think I'll have a grandson spend the night so he will be here in the morning if Ken doesn't remember where I am.

    I wish you the best.

    cjh1203 replied to 2010guardian's response:
    Hi Kathy.

    I guess that fenofibrate isn't a statin, but I looked it up and the article says it shouldn't be taken by someone with severe kidney disease. It also says that muscle pain can be a cause for concern.

    Medications can do such wonderful things, but they can cause so many problems, too. It's really frustrating. I can't take statins, so my doctor put me on a timed-release niacin, which can raise my blood sugar. It's hard to know what to do when you run into cases like that.

    Wow -- you've been through the wringer with cancer. You have come out on top every time, though. With your history and your family's sad history with cancer, I can understand why you try to be so diligent about keeping ahead of it.

    How sad that you've lost so many people in your family. I still have my mom and my two sisters, and can't bear to think about losing any of them. Do you have any siblings left?

    My mom is healthier than I am and there's nothing wrong with her physically or mentally, except that she started getting panic attacks several years ago, whenever she drove. (Although she, like you, is a fair-skinned redhead, and she's had to have a lot of skin cancers and pre-cancers removed over the years.) She tried everything she could, for months and months, to get over them -- hypnosis by two different people, therapy, biofeedback, medication -- but it got so bad that just seeing her car in the driveway could trigger a panic attack, so she reluctantly gave up. She came to terms with it a long time ago, but I know it's still hard for her to have lost that independence, and she's dreading the six weeks I can't drive as much as I am. We'll get through it, though, and before we know it, it will just be a dim memory.

    When is your surgery? How long will it take? Since it's your eye, I suppose you have to have someone drive you there and back, don't you?

    Best wishes to you, too.

    2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
    Hi Carol,
    Yesterday, Monday, I scheduled my eye surgery. It will be this Thursday at 11 a.m. I'll report to the hospital at 10:30 and get my eyes dialated. I'll be sitting up just like an eye exam. It will take about 5 minutes and I'll be able to drive myself home. I drove home Monday with my eyes still dialated. If I have to, I can sit at the hospital for a while.
    My oncologist appt. was supposed to be today, but since I have to drive 30 miles to another town, I postponed it until after my eye surgery.

    Ken has tried the niacin, but couldn't handle the hot flashes. He was taking them at bedtime but he stopped the pills and I didn't know it. Later the NP asked how he was doing with the niacin and he said 'okay'. So she uped the dosage. He just brought them home and refused to take them. That was before I took control of his medicine.
    I didn't know it would make his blood sugar go up.

    He also has been taking a muscle relaxer every night. I read up on it and it doesn't work after you take it for two weeks, and the NP prescribed it for every night. Starting tonight, he is off the muscle relaxer unless he needs it. I've discussed it with her in the past and she said she had people who took it 3 x's a day. We'll talk to the NP about it later. Where's the common sense about this?

    There is a new Indian Wellness Center opening tomorrow. The exercise equipment is part of it. Ken said when they open, he wants to exercise there. I'm going to take him tomorrow and check it out. I hope he will try to do some exercise.

    I have had panic attacks as far back as when I was 21. I didn't know what was happening. My daughter has had some while driving on the freeway. It really scared her.
    I can emphathize with your mother. My mother passed in '91. She had asthmetic brochitis. She had a lot of asthma attacks. The medicines, including predisone, destroyed her body. Now I have the same, but not as bad as she did. I never have asthma attacks. My daughter and her son and my son have the same.
    It seems so strange that we inherited it. We don't know anyone who had it before my mother. It is lonely being the last one in my family.

    Well, this just means that the Lord isn't through with me yet! I think I'm good for another 10 years. I want to see my grandchildren grow up.

    Thanks so much for your support.

    Judith L London, PhD responded:
    Hi Dave and Everyone,

    Thanks for getting the August check-in rolling. I just got back from a family camp and learned all kind of new fun things at classes they offered.No cel phones or wi fi for all that time!

    Hope you can get a break and do something totally different, for a change,

    2010guardian replied to cjh1203's response:
    Hi Carol,

    The NP finally got back from vacation. I had left the question about fenofibrate for her. She said she wants him to stay on it because it will help protect him from heart attack or stroke and pancreatic inflammation. She mentioned the kidney disease, but her nurse didn't give me that information. I'll ask the kidney NP next month. Thanks for the information.

    2010guardian replied to davedsel57's response:
    Hi Dave,

    I'm glad that your Dad is so well adjusted. I think it is very natural for him to want out. He certainly respects your opinion and it's great that he is listening to you.

    Blessings to you and your Dad,


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