Happy New Year, y’all. It’s now January 4, so the holidays are firmly behind us, and good riddance, if I may say so.
I’m almost afraid to feel some cautious hope, because the last couple of weeks have been so dreadful, but I am hoping that the worst is behind us. There is still a lot of BS happening with John’s family (his sisters, mostly) regarding their mother’s estate, and a lot of petty, nasty things have gone down. And there is still a memorial of some sorts yet to come, which we’re dreading. But sooner or later, this all has to resolve somehow. And then we can get on with the business of restoring John’s health.
New Year’s Eve ended up like the rest of the end of 2014: lousy. I bought lots of lovely treats for dinner and went to John’s house, only to find him there, so horribly sick, he could barely sit up. Dinner was out: I ate mine, but he managed maybe three bites of food before he gave up. The rest of the evening, he half sat, half lay on the couch, wheezing, moaning, laboring for breath, shaking. I thought I was going to have to take him to the ER. He insisted he just needed to rest, so I made sure he was warm, had drunk some water and was well bundled up, and we ended the evening before midnight, letting the champagne stay in the refrigerator.
The next morning, the worst of it seemed to be over. He was very pale and weak, but seemed to be a little more himself. He still couldn’t touch any of the food I brought, so I went out to buy him some light soup and Pepto-Bismol. By the time I got back, he was able to sit up in bed, and he gobbled down the bowl of soup I brought him. So, after making sure he’d taken Pepto and Tylenol, washing up the dishes, setting up his cell phone and water and tissues and everything else he needed on his nightstand, I went home that afternoon, since there wasn’t anything else I could do for him, and I had work to do. He slept all day, and that night when I called to check on him, he was having a snack.
So, I went back on Friday night. We spent the weekend coughing and hacking and sniffling at each other, but we were both in decent spirits. He was able to go out for meals, for errands, etc., and he even wanted to go out for a nice dinner last night, after which we had our champagne toast at last.
This month, he is finally getting the oral device he needs for his sleep apnea from his HMO. That will probably take some adjustments and so forth, but his dentist is an expert on this, so he will help out with that. And we are planning on scheduling his surgery for March. We have a party to attend in Vegas at the end of February, and figure that will be our last blowout for a while. He will be in the hospital for a week, and then home for seven more weeks. But the good news is, after months of fighting with his HMO, he finally made it to the top of the cardiac surgery department, and he’s going to get the exact surgery that he wanted. Finally. Repair of the valve, rather than replacement. Less invasive surgery, with a smaller incision. Still major, still open-heart surgery, but more progressive than the 1950s old-school surgery they wanted to do on him. Because that’s cheaper, easier, more familiar. Screw that, and screw them.
We didn’t watch the Tournament of Roses Parade, even though John lives just east of Pasadena, where it’s held. But we got to see his town’s float, up close and personal! They placed it in the town square for the weekend, so everyone could see it. So amazing to be so close to one of those floats, see the thousands of flowers and all the intricate work. This year’s float had the theme, “The Little Engine That Could,” after the old children’s book. There was a little train, with wheels that actually spun, and it had cars with a giant teddy bear, two giraffes and two monkeys as passengers.
My cell phone doesn’t take good photos, but I think you can get some idea anyway from these shots. Here’s an overall shot (that’s John standing off to the left):
Here’s the bear:
And the giraffes:
Here’s a closeup of a patch so you can see the details of the flowers:
The train’s cheerful “face”:
And finally, the positive and hopeful message:
To better days. Hope everyone had a nice weekend.