Archive for February, 2010

A Long Week

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Well,¬† it’s actually been longer than a week.¬† This run began a week ago, Thursday, on Feb. 18.¬† I received a phone call from my daughter who had come home from school and answered the phone.¬† My mom explained that she had taken my dad to the ER.¬† I knew it was coming.¬† Just a few days before I had ordered her to get Dad to ER or at least his doctor’s office.¬† Apparently, six days before that he had been confined to his bed, unable to walk because one of his knees¬† and legs was badly swollen, and both legs and feet were in bad pain that he could not stand on them.¬† He wasnt even able to get up to use the restroom.¬† My father has diabetes, among other things, and so I insisted that my mom get him to go or take him to ER.

You have to understand my parents.¬† They’re both in their 70s and very old fashioned, and very independent and proud.¬† To say that they needed help would be very hard for them to ask.¬† So,¬† I have to order them.¬† Anyway,¬† my mom began to worry about my dad, and cut her dialysis short Thursday morning to go home and tell him that she was calling the doctor.¬† The doctor told her to get him to the hospital, so she called the ambulance.¬† And there I was getting this message from my daughter who did not know something was wrong with her Paw Paw because she had been busy either at school or work the past few days.

He was still in ER when I got home from school that day.¬† They had run blood tests and taken Xrays and really was not sure, but suggested Gout or something else.¬† Finally, they wanted to admit him but they couldn’t.¬† There were no vacant rooms at their hospital.¬† So he chose a hospital in a nearby city, a bigger city, and that hospital had no rooms either.¬† Flu season and pneumonia.¬† So¬† he chose another hospital in another city,¬† and this one had room, so my parents hospital sent Dad to the new hospital.¬† And he had to go alone because my mom had to get some rest so she could do her dialysis in the morning.

My sister that lives in the same town as my parents is a single parent with a child still in high school.¬† She manages a shoe store that only has 3 other employees than herself.¬† She was currently suffering from a bad sinus infection and had missed a district store meeting to go to the doctor.¬†¬† Her assistant manager had a family emergency out of state.¬† She had stayed long enough for my sister to go to the doctor, and then she took leave to go out of state, and there was my sister who was supposed to be at home under doctor care filling in for her assistant worker, and unable to help my mom and dad out.¬† I live 2 hours away and they wouldn’t even bother me while I was at school.¬† My daughter had to call me.¬†¬† My other sister lives 5 hours away and her work does not provide much time or leave for emergencies without being a pain in the a**, so my husband and I both took off from work on Friday and drove over to my parents’.

It was a long night, and long drive over there for only 2 hours.¬† But I worry.¬† I know my parents.¬† They are always too proud to ask for help and I know they waited a long time to tell us that Dad was having problems.¬† In the meanwhile, my godfather/uncle and his children called me and offer their assistance,¬† fussing at me to fuss at my mother to tell her to be sure to ask them for help when she needs it.¬† That is what they’re there for.¬† So, of course, I berate my mother about that offer when I see her.

After she rested from her dialysis, we drove my mom to the hospital to go see how my dad is doing.¬† My mom didn’t even know what room he had been placed into.¬† My dad had been alone in the hospital since the ambulance transfered him there.¬†

My dad is lying in the bed, in alot of pain.  He had taken more blood work and XRays that morning since he had gotten there.  He had seen one doctor, but again no idea what was wrong.  He was on antibiotics.  We stayed with my dad for 2 days, until the doctors figured out that he had Gout definitely.  By then the antibiotics were helping his knee and leg swelling to go down. 

I wasn’t too happy about the hospital.¬† They never refilled his pitchers of water.¬† They would fuss at him that he needed to sit up, rather than lie down, but when the nurses would bring him back for tests, they would transfer him into a lying position onto his bed, and didn’t even help him to lie correctly, let alone sit up the bed.¬† The back of the bed did sit up, after all!

But we stayed until we were certain they had identified what the problem was, and start treatment.

So on Sunday we returned home, knowing that my dad probably would not receive any visit from my mom, who was completely worn out from dialysis and all this stress, and my sister who was still covering for her assistant manager at the store.

I actually returned to work on Tuesday after having missed school Friday for my dad and missed school Monday for a workshop.  I found out that while I was out, my 2 substitutes did not give the assignments I had left.  My students just sat there.  They did not even check roll for me.  In addition, QST was coming next week, so I had to get my department teachers in shape for that evaluation.  It was a busy week at school, nonetheless.

My sister was able to visit my dad Monday morning at the hospital.  Then while she was updating me through chat that night, she was called by dad.  He was being released.  The medicine was helping.  He was able to walk around with a walker.  Still some pain, but it was decreasing.

So my sister had to turn around and go get my dad.

On Tuesday I checked in with my parents to learn from my mom that my cousins who had promised their undying aid, had refused to help my dad.¬† When one visited him Sunday morning, my dad was ready to start walking to the restroom rather than using a bed pan, and my cousin refused to help him out of the bed and walk to the bathroom that was in my dad’s hospital room.¬† That same cousin refused to come to my sister’s aid Monday night, to help my dad get out of the car.¬† Instead, she had to drive to go get her son, and between my sister, her son, and my mom (a dialysis/heart patient), they were able to get him in the house and in bed.

My dad is getting better with the medication and is walking around with his walker.

My sister never quite got over her sinus infection.  On Wednesday night, my nephew calls me to tell me he had to call the ambulance on her.  She had almost passed out in the shower.  The hospital doctor told her she was dehydrated (from vomiting) and that it was probably food poisoning. 

My nephew was my lifeline to the hospital.  He drove to the hospital to check up on his mom and wait with her.  I got in touch with my mom, and she got a ride to the hospital and waited with my nephew.

My sister got out of the hospital after midnight, and had to open her store the next morning.¬† She could not get in touch with her assistant manager.¬† One of the other workers would be in at 1:00, but came in earlier when Jeanne got in touch with her.¬† That worker cannot open or close the store because she’s new and not made a key carrier yet.¬† And the fourth¬† employee is a student, so would not be an opener.

My sister had called her district manager and left several messages about what was up, but he finally returned the call and told her to get herself to work or elseРeven though she had been in the hospital and was supposed to be at home recuperating. 

Payless ShoeSource has a bad employee plan.

The district manager should have told her:¬† give me the assistant manager’s number, I’ll call.¬† Or at the very least:¬† would you open, and I¬† am coming right over to relieve you.¬† Instead, he tells her to violate doctors order or she might lose her job.¬† So there’s my sister pale and weak as can be sitting in the store, barely able to move– worried about her job, and her welfare, and her son’s

I was ticked.

I spent Thursday making that district manager ticked, too.¬† I called PayLess’s customer service and placed a complaint against him directly.¬† Then I got my other sister to do the same.¬† And my husband.¬† In fact, my husband received a call back from Human Resources saying they had received other complaints — including a customer who called in worried that the worker in the Jenning store might pass out because she was so pale, and alone in the store.

They must have jumped on the District Manager, because he called the store later (after my sister had gone home when relieved by the worker) and made the girl a key carrier so that she could close and my sister would not have to return that night.¬† He then demanded the Asst. Manager’s number.¬†

You only get this kind of response when their job is on the line.  I wonder how he feels to be on that end?

We spent this past weekend back at my parents, checking up on all of them.¬† My dad is slowly getting better.¬† He’s walking around the house with and without the aid of a walker, and feeling less pain.¬† My mom is getting over her exhaustion, but she still has dialysis 3 times a week.¬† She has been driving herself to dialysis for about a year now.¬† See how stubborn she is!¬† My sister still looked a little pale.¬† She managed to keep her Saturday off.¬† (I don’t know how. :lol: )¬† And my nephew is slowly turning into a man.

Throughout all of this, I have been dealing with my own health¬† issues and pain.¬† In fact, when I took off Friday to go help my dad, I had to reschedule my doctor appointment that was planned that day.¬† I saw the doctor on Tuesday, who ordered blood work and XRays.¬† He believes I have arthritis.¬† The blood work showed ok.¬† I definitely don’t have Gout or diabetes.¬† My Xrays were good, except for my lower back.¬† There’s a problem with a disk.¬† It could be arthritis or something else.¬† I’m being referred to a rheumatologist.

So that should catch you all up to what has been distracting me from my forum and my hobbies.

Someone once told me that she didn’t believe I was in so much pain because I continued to teach.¬† Believe me, that member is no longer a member of this forum.¬† I teach¬† because I must.¬† It’s something I love to do.¬† And what am I supposed to do?¬† Stay home, give in to the pain, and whine all day — like that former member does?

I must admit, there are days that the pain is so much, I want to just close the curtains and never see daylight.¬† But…¬† I have been teaching for 21 years.¬† It’s in my blood.¬† And it’s what will pay the bills.¬† Besides,¬† even though I love my husband’s cooking,¬† I like my cajun cooking better.

Please understand that even though you may not see me post, I do check the forum daily for  problems.  Thank you, Shane and Ebs, for moderating in my absence.  I knew you two were perfect for the jobs.  Thanks to other members who PM me when they notice a problem, like spammers.  And thanks to all of you who are participating and holding up the fort.

No Room at the Inn

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

How can a hospital run out of rooms?¬† That hospital isn’t the largest, but neither is the community.¬† And then a second hospital with no vacancies?¬† What’s the odds?

Finally my mom had some sense and called the ambulance.¬† My father had not been able to get out of bed for about 6 days. His leg was swollen, and in a lot of pain.¬† He couldn’t walk on them, and his foot was hurting.¬† He barely ate–mostly because of the pain, but also because he couldn’t move around to get food when my mom wasn’t home.

My mom couldn’t finish her dialysis.¬† My dad was worrying her, so she went home early, and called an ambulance.¬† He was taken to the ER at the hospital, where they ran preliminary blood work and Xrays, but he had to wait in ER.¬† There were no vacancies in the hospital.¬†

What if he was in a more dire state?  What if he needed some emergency surgery, and then where would they put him afterwards?  In the hall?  I just cannot fathom how there could be that many people taking up hospital beds at one time. 

So he tried for a hospital in a nearby, larger town.  And it was full up too.

So, he tried another hospital in another nearby, larger city, and they had an opening.  And thus began a journey.

My dad would be traveling to a hospital 40 miles away–alone.¬† My mom couldn’t go.¬† She had to do her dialysis in the morning.¬† And I was in the other direction.¬† I could only imagine how scared and lonely he would be, going to a strange place, in pain, and having to worry by himself.

We were going in the morning, but that wouldn’t be soon enough.¬† I would worry all night, too.¬† After all, he was my dad.¬† Big, tall, strong.¬† If he would fall, then what would happen to me?

Mardi Gras Tags

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

NO LONGER available for download

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Mardi Gras Tubes

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Here are some tubes to use for Mardi Gras.

TOU:¬† These tubes were created by me, Dragon’s Breath.¬† You have free use of the tube, just do not claim it as your own.¬† If your group requires a copyright notice (I do not), please write:¬† copyright:¬† Dragon’s Breath.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

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It’s Valentine’s Day, and who do you love?

Well, I love my family, of course.¬† I love my wonderful husband.¬† He is the greatest man, friend, and lover there can be.¬† He’s so cute right now, snoring in his recliner.¬† lol¬† I love my two children.¬† I may not always like them, but I will forever love them.¬† I love my parents, no matter if they happen to be old and crotchety at times.¬† I love my sisters — even the loud one that screams in my ear on the phone every week.¬† I love my nephew, and I love my neice.

So who do you love?

For Valentine’s Day, my hubby got me a bouquet of flowers.¬† He actually, got them for me a week ago.¬† He’s always surprising me with flowers.

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Aren’t they beautiful?

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, and to share it with your loved ones.¬† Let them know you care.¬† Hug them.¬† Kiss them.¬† Tell them “I love you.”

Valentine’s Day Tubes

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I created some tubes for Valentine’s Day and love.¬†

My TOU:¬† These tubes were created by me, Dragon’s Breath.¬† You have free use of the tube, just do not claim it as your own.¬† If your group requires a copyright notice (I do not), please write:¬† copyright:¬† Dragon’s Breath.

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Sneaux Day 2010

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Well, hell must really be freezing over.  This is the second snow day this year in Baton Rouge!  Of course the first snow day, we did not see any snow near our house, just a little rain.  Then on the canceled school day, there was nothing.  Now some parts of Baton Rouge and nearby had seen snow, but not us.

Today was different!  I woke up early and looked out.  Nothing.  I thought it was going to be another wasted day, but then by 7 am, it began snowing!  Within 30 minutes, my backyard was looking like this:

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It was cold, but it was beautiful.  The snowflakes were huge!  Some of them were close to 2 inches wide.  They steadily drifted to the ground.  I stuck my hand out from under the porch to catch some.  It has been years since I had seen real snow up close.  I stood on the back porch and was immediately overcome with a feeling of calm relaxation.  I just love the snow!

I had wanted to build a little snowman, no matter how small.  But the snow did not get thicker than that, and by 10:15, it had stopped.  We live on the very souther tip of the parish, so we were lucky to even see snow.  It was a nice day to enjoy.  Naturally, we celebrated by making a huge pot of chicken gumbo.  After all, it was gumbo weather!

The snow melted as quickly as it had come, but I will forever cherish the snow.

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When They Come Marching IN!

Sunday, February 7th, 2010
This is not my picture!

This is not my picture!

¬†They did it!¬† The New Orleans Saints won their first superbowl!¬† 31- 17¬† And I watched it.¬† My husband is the Saints fan.¬† I’m not really into football, but I watch it.¬† I watched it with my dad, and now I watch it with my husband.¬† My husband stands by the Saints, whether they win or not.¬† He always “watches” them.¬†¬† That is, when he’s not so nervously smoking a cigarette on the porch.

It’s weird to say they won.¬† I enjoyed the game.¬† It was a close one, and a clean one.¬† And I think the photo above captures why the Saints have stolen alot of hearts this year.¬† And isn’t Baby Brees (Brayden)¬† cute?

It was history in the making, and it was strange to be a part of it.¬† My sister was hysterical when she called me to celebrate.¬† She’s a diehard fan, too.¬†

Great job, Saints!