Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The day after my last entry I had a call from my Dr's office telling me they had found a glitch on my routine EKG. To verify that it was really an annomoly, they scheduled a stress test consisting of three stages, a resting nuclear uptake, an EKG while on a treadmill (yes I had to do this with my bumb knee), and finally a second uptake imediately following the EKG. Well the glitch was still there. A portion of my heart is evidently not getting sufficient blood flow. Now I am scheduled to see a cardiologist on the 30th. He will make arrangements for angeography. This is where they thread a catheter up the femoral vein to the heart and inject dye to see just what is going on. They may need to put in one or more shunts. If so, my knee surgery will probably be rescheduled.
Life this year has taken some real unexpected turns. However, I am thankful for how this latest issue was discovered. If not for the scheduled knee surgery I might have not been diagnosed with a heart problem until I had a major heart attack. Praise God for His timing. My life is truly ordered of the Lord and He is evidently not willing to take me yet.
Lest you are tempted to feel sorry for us, we have not been neglected. Lissa and Nate spent a few hours with us on Saturday. We watched Julie and Julia together. We had dinner with Shelley and Eric before they left for New York to spend Christmas with Carmen and Leo. Rick came down for a couple of days and we had a nice dinner with him and Dianna on Monday. Rick left yesterday and Dianna leaves today. They will both spend Christmas with Bridget and Chris in Washington.
Please continue to hold Richard and me in prayer throughout the Christmas season and as my saga unfolds. God bless and keep each of you and yours. Merry Christmas.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Merry Christmas 2009
The year 2009 has been quite eventful for the Moreno family. What started out as a routine with getting paperwork ready for taxes and lining up plant starts for the garden soon took on a whole new face. I had a CD due to mature in April so considering the falling economy, I tried to get bids on remodeling our master bath. Now you would think independent contractors would welcome work. But though I called several and had them come out to look at the job, not one actually gave me a bid. Looking back, we can see why. The funds would be needed elsewhere.
On Palm Sunday, Amy called and asked if Richard & I would like to come for Easter, she could get cheap tickets (to Germany). All we had to do was find our passports and be available. That took about five minutes. But getting us ready to take such a long trip actually is much more involved than being available. Richard’s medication and medical equipment had to be cleared with Dr’s and the airline. We even had to weigh and measure his wheelchair ahead of time. With only four days to get ready (we flew on Friday) it was quite the scramble.
We had a great 2 ½ weeks in Germany and Holland. In Germany we visited with family, did just a bit of yard work, made several day trips into Heidelberg and surrounding area, and cruised the Rhine River. In Holland we stayed in a vacation house located in the midst of flowering tulip fields and visited a 42 acre bulb demonstration garden. We had a great time, calm before the storm.
We arrived home on April 27 and on May 11 I took a nasty fall off my front steps. I broke may right leg (actually smashed it). I spent a few days in the hospital and a week in a nursing home. The following four months were miserable. The Dr. would not allow ANY weight on that leg at all. In mid-August I could finally put weight on it, but could not drive for another five weeks. The very day I got permission to apply weight, Richard had surgery for a bowel obstruction and was in hospital for nine days. They went ahead and repaired a large hernia at the same time. We are both still recovering. But round three is looming on the horizon. I am scheduled for a complete knee replacement on January 5, 2010.
The garden we had planted before our trip produced some squash and tomatoes despite the lack of care. Most other plants did not fare as well. It is our hope that the summer of 2010 will tell a much different tale.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and our Lord Jesus be with you throughout the New Year.
Richard & Nancy Moreno
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Of course this freedom will only last until January when I go in for a total knee replacement. Then the recovery process will start all over again. Hopefully it will be shorter.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Richard is home and healing. He has spent a short time on several afternoons doing some pruning in the overgrown front yard. It is nice to see him out there again.
Paul and Dianna have been working on our shop. They emptied out all the big stuff and done some repairs to the work bench and lighting. Next step will be to put everything back in an orderly fashion.
Paul is going through a series of medical exams in preparation for returning to the road. He is chomping at the bit and they need a boost in finances. Tomarrow will be the last exam. If all is weel, he is good to go.
Today our new gas fireplace was installed. It is really nice, puts out great heat, and the ambience is nice. Unfortunately the trim is being custom made and will not be available for several weeks. We didn't know that until the crew arrived. What a bummer.
Monday, August 10, 2009
That same afternoon, I was given the OK to put weight on my healing leg. According to the Dr. weight at this stage will actually help complete the healing process. How is that for the Lord's timing? Richard had been my legs for the last three months.
On Friday our son-in-law Paul was placed on a surgery schedule for cleaning plaque from his carotid artery, our son Rich injured his back when he stopped at the coast on his way down here from Washington and the clean up at the house began. The huge dumpster was delivered to the driveway and Dianna, Shelley and Eric spent a couple hours loading debris. Then our granddaughter and her husband Chris got a ticket just 20 minutes from the house.
Saturday everyone, including Eric's niece Sarah, got an early start cleaning up a section of the yard that included the shed Rick tore down two weeks ago, a couple large plywood containers and of course the junk that was in them. Lissa, another granddaughter and Nate, her husband arrived a bit later and helped as well. Paul was the official photographer and cook for the group. Even the three great-grandchildren helped out after all the glass and nails had been removed. I'm told the place looks really good. But I'm not quite ready to check it out. I'm on crutches, the terrain is rough, and no one else is here should I fall.
Lots of bad things happened this week, but they are balanced with many good things. Richard is slowly improving, Paul had his surgery and all went well, and we had a mini family reunion. We even may have met a future member of the clan. Never a dull moment at the Moreno household.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Yesterday, Rick took me in my wheelchair to the back driveway. It was no small task over the rough unpaved surface. But I needed to see what was going on as far as disposal of items being sorted from an old shed. Rick emptied two sheds and tore down one. He essentially made two piles, to keep and to toss. That up front work will make it a lot easier for the crew of family to load a big dumpster during a cleanup week end after next. The change in the yard is way over due. Rick asked me to say hi for him.
We are actually having company (family) over three week ends in a row. Rick & Preston this week, my brother John, his wife and two grandsons next week, and then three of our kids, their spouses, four grandkids, one of their spouses, and three greatgrandkids the week after. It will be good to see them all, just wish I could get around and at least cook for the. Guess I'll have to settle for what I can do.
I received a call from Dr. Ryan's office today. I made an appointment to see him on September 14. That will be his very first day in Corvallis. Dr. Ryan is the orthopedic surgeon who will be doing my knee replacement. He comes highly recommended as having performed over 700 joint replacement surgeries. He is currently completing a fellowship in San Diego. He is originally from New York. This surgery constitutes a huge change, one that I hope will allow more freedom of movement. Maybe I will be able to walk for exercise again.
Several of our kids are having health issues. I am not at liberty to go into detail, but some big changes are on their horizons as well. These will include, but are not limited to life style changes. This could be a great thing. I would like to see many more decades of good health for all our kids.
One change that we need is in the weather pattern. It has been way too hot and dry here. Not the first hot summer we have experienced, but I don't like it. We need rain. After a similar heat pattern some 25 years ago, all our neighbors spontaneously ran into the street and embraced the rain when it finally came. I am ready, bring it on.
Friday, July 10, 2009
More good news. I have found someone to do some cleaning. Kristen is a dear friend, the leader of my bible study group. She was looking for a way to earn money to help finance her son's trip to a national music contest in Orlando. She is energetic, does very good work, and has a great attitude. She came on Tuesday and cleaned my kitchen. Next week she will work on the entryway and clean the bathroom. Thanks Amy for this blessing.
Shelley has been working on my kitchen floor (solid vinyl). Yesterday she sanded it down (thank you Shelley) and over the next few nights I will put several coats of verithane on it. The only problem was that the sanding created a lot of dust that covered my clean kitchen. I managed to get most of it with a damp rag, but not all (hard to reach some areas without putting stress on my leg). But I do not want Kristen to spend all her time just on the kitchen.
Bad news. I was doing so well, getting around in the wheelchair and being able to do more in the house. Then my occupational therapist shot me down. She said I was not allowed to balance using my broken leg when standing to reach into the cupboard or refrigerator. She had me call the doctor to verify this. According to the doctor, my type of break can slip very easily and even if there is no pain or sense of pressure, it may still be enough to cause harm. So I can balance only if I am very very careful. So much for progress. Our pastor broke his leg last fall and has just recently been allowed to walk on it. Earlier this week he caught his toe on a restaurant mat and automatically used his bad leg to prevent a fall. He is in such pain that he has had to be in bed and won't know till Monday when he sees the doctor, if any real damage was done. Guess I better take heed to the caution I was given.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The other person I know who does cleaning on a private basis had a critical medical condition surface with a family member yesterday. She will be spending all her down time at the hospital for the next few weeks. So where do I turn? I will figure it out.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
My level of vitamin D is extremely low and may account for my osteoporosis. I have been taking medication for this for about 4 years, but it may not be working. So I have another Rx. Massive amounts of D designed to kick start calcium absorbtion. Other than that I am healthy.
Tuesday our cleaning lady started. She has a great attitude and does a good job. What a blessing she is. There are some things that we can do, but some are not doable right now. This arrangement is short term, but really nice.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This afternoon, a volunteer came to install grab bars in the bathroom to help us in & out of the showerr / tub and adjacent to the toilet. This is a safety factor and will make transitions a lot easier. There are sure a lot of great volunteer organizations and services in our area.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Richard is also tired and a bit uncoordinated today. He had just cooked breakfast, reached up to get the salt shaker and knocked down a new bottle of olive oil. It hit the stove, broke, and spattered oil and glass all over everything. Not only did it take a great deal of clean up, but he had to cook breakfast all over again. It is just one of those days.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
When God Created Fathers
by Erma Bombeck
When the good Lord was creating fathers He started with a tall frame.
And a female angel nearby said, "What kind of father is that? If You're going to make children so close to the ground, why have You put fathers up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping."
And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child-size, whom would children have to look up to?"
And when God made a father's hands, they were large and sinewy.
And the angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do You know what You're doing?" Large hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on ponytails or even remove splinters caused
by baseball bats."
And God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day ... yet small enough to cup a child's face in his hands."
And then God molded long slim legs and broad shoulders.
And the angel nearby had a heart attack. "Boy, this is the end of the week, all right," she clucked, " Do You realize You just made a father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?"
And God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle, or hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."
God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself no longer. "That's not fair. Do You honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?"
And God smiled and said. "They'll work. You'll see. They'll support a small child who wants to 'ride a horse to Banbury Cross,' or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."
God worked throughout the night, giving the father few words, but a firm, authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant.
Finally, almost as an afterthought, He added tears. Then He turned to the Angel and said, "Now are you satisfied that he can love as much as a mother?"
The angel shuteth up.
Monday, June 15, 2009
On Sunday Dianna & Paul, Rick & the boys all did additional work on the yard and Rick did a fair amount of housework. He cleaned the rest of the kitchen mopped the floors in the living & dining rooms, and in the hallway.
Monday the boys did some additional yard work, moving a pile of sod and watering. Rick helped with this and also assembled a new bath bench for me. He has indicated that he will be spending more weekends here this summer in order to accomplish several major chores for us. We are indeed blessed to have such thoughtful kids. Their efforts are much appreciated.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Amy has offered topay for a housekeeper a few hours a week for about a month. This will really help, but having the house in order to start with will be a real bonus. She won't need to start out in the negetive.
Richard did manage to do a bit of shopping yesterday. He went to Winco and used an electric cart to shop, then used his wheelchair to bring the groceries into the house via the ramp. This really wiped him out. It seems like even simple activities take a real toll on either of us. I can use a walker (with a seat) to get myself to the bathroom. But it is exhausting. My blood pressure seems to jump a good 10 points and takes a good half hour to drop back to normal. This has been documented by the home health aid on several occaions. Getting well is really hard work.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
In former times, it was common to have several generations living together and each generation doing what they were capable of/ taking care of one another. This is no longer the case and I don't think modern arrangements are necessarily wrong, but it sure would be easier. Yes, Dianna lives with us, but she works and is worn out when she gets home. Shelley is at home most of the time, but she has so much on her plate that we rarely see her. Do we complain, yes. Do we none the less understand, yes. Are we frustrated, yes we are. Please forgive us if we are short or complain. We will get through this trial. We are far from perfect.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Today is our 51 st anniversary and Dianna's birthday. She is spending the day with a girlfriend. She really deserves a day to enjoy herself. Happy Birthday honey.
Richard is fixing short ribs for us today. It will be the first real meat we have had in a couple weeks. Shelley gave us a basket of goodies and we also received a basket from one of Rick's friends. We are grateful for all the rememberances.
I see the Dr again this week. Hope all is progressing well. I will let you know.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
When I had to leave the house for my Dr appointment Eric and Sean guy next door) helped me get down the stairs and into the car. When I returned, Dianna and Sean helped me back inside. I am getting stronger though. I can manage to get to the bathroom and bed using Richard's walker. Karen is going to bring another walker so he can have his back. He really needs it himself. Richard has been so very tired from digging out plants to make room for the great wall that he can hardly move.
Diana has been helpful in ways that Richard would have trouble and in overlapping chores. She does the laundry and brings it upstairs for him to fold. She has been taking out the trash and takes care of the watering too. Dianna also heats up leftovers or prepares dinner for us. We are very grateful that she is here.
What does not seem to be getting done is the housework. Floors and dusting are not something Richard can realistically do, Shelley has been out of town and needs to catch up on her own work, and Dianna is just too bushed from working all day and the added chores around here. The place looks like a warehouse due to furniture having to be shuffled to accommodate the door construction. Rick will be down the first weekend after he gets back (about 2 weeks), maybe he will be willing to take that on. In the mean time it is what it is.
My days are becoming a sub-routine of sorts. Time goes so slowly by, but I am in very little pain unless I try to do something foolish. The upside is that I am getting a lot of rest, unfortunately it only adds to the work load of others. I am sooo very sorry for that. But it does make me even more grateful for all those abilities I have taken for granted in the past. It is all quite humbling.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Richard has been so very good to me. He has catered to all my needs (I do mean all) ever since I came home. This has meant a lot of lost sleep and even more fetch & carry on his part. Finally on Thursday. with the help of the physical therapist, I mastered getting myself into bed. This will Allow him to sleep through the night, he soooo needs it. The physical and an occupational therapist come once a week and an aid comes twice a week to help me shower. I can't tell you how good a shower felt after the first week.
A friend from church and his son spent a full and parts of several other days replacing a window in our entryway with a wide door. This will open onto an elaborate 4 foot wide wheelchair ramp due to be installed by Interfaith Services on Monday. Too late for my Dr's appointment last Thursday, but it will get a lot of use in the future. In addition to caring for me, Richard has been busy digging up landscape plants and a brick walk. Paul & a couple other friends helped move these. Today a volunteer came to do some prep work for the ramp and Richard is still moving stuff. The ramp will be U-shaped and about 35 or 40 foot long. I'm considering calling it the Great Wall because it will look similar from the perspective of the top. It will have hand rails on both sides and a total of 3 level platforms. One where it connects to the house and two where the ramp changes direction. All in all, the house will have a whole new look. Large rhodies will fill the area between the long legs of the U and there will be block or brick form an access patio to the ramp from the front walk.
Thank you for all the assistance and most of all for you prayers on our behalf. The Lord is providing even if my original orthopedic surgeon made things more or less an insurance nightmare. No, I will not go into that on-line. I have new Dr. She is great on so many levels. I see her again on the 11Th. Until later, Nancy
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I'm bacl, well almost. I am still fighting the last rmnants of jet lag and what appears to be a head cold.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
So much for "best laid plans". But a change of plans is not always a bad thing. Since we have not been able to go there, our daughter Amy has faithfully come to visit with us from Germany each of the past 6 years. Schedules being what they are this year, Amy is not able to come here and financially, we are not able to there. Solution, she just called and asked if we could come - they would buy the tickets.
Wow! I never expected that. But there are no more medical appointments, prescriptions are current, and our passports are up to date. Why not? It will be a bit scrambled getting everything together, but OK. We can do this. It has been way too long since we saw all our German family at the same time. We had planned on going last year, but the timing wasn't good for them Then we would have gone this spring, but our house desperately needs help and we don't have funds for both. The Lord certainly does provide. He never fails to amaze me. So we are going to travel this year after all. Praise God and thank you Amy & Juergen. See you next weekend.
Friday, April 3, 2009
As promised yesterday, here is a photo of my evergreen clemetis in bloom. It is so fragrant and long lasting, and since it is evergreen, a joy all year round.
Now updates on both Philip and John. First of all John's surgery went well. It lasted some 3 1/2 hours and they accomplished much. Praise God, John has no nerve or muscle damage to his left arm. The doctors had anticipated both. He has lost the external left ear, just plain gone. They cleaned off all the dead skin from his left arm and left side of his face and transplanted new skin. It will take about four days before they know if the grafts took. If not, they will try again. Other, less critical burn areas will be dealt with later. He is still on a resperator, but in general doing better. Praise God!!
Amy received some results from Philip's tests. The tumor is static at this point. So they are going to just watch it for a few months. If it starts to grow again they will remove it. The tests also showed that Philip is low in cortisol, a salivary stress hormone. This may be the reason for his aggressiveness. Low cortisol is treatable by using the same drug that is prescribed for HDAD. HDAD is what Amy & Juergen had originally had Philip tested for. That test came back negetive, but sometimes you have to go around in a circle to get back to the same place. OK, we can deal with that while we wait for the other more serious surgery. The Lord does have a suttle sense of humor.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Please be in prayer today for Richard's brother John and all the medical staff involved with his care. John was originaly scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, but it was postponed till today. They are going to try and mitigate the damage done to muscle and connective tissue on his left arm and hand damaged when the gas bbq blew up in John's face last Saturday. We expect there will be many additional surgeries to clean away damaged tissue on his head/face, torso, and right arm. Also be in prayer for John's wife Barbara and all those who love him. This is such a trauma to to entire family.