Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flattery will get you what?

It was very crowded as Karin, the kids and I walked and enjoyed the lights at the Zoo, cold too. Isaiah and I walked together, as Karin, Isaac and Esther-Faith led the way. As we walked Isaiah told me that not only did I not look my age I didn't act it. Smiling in the dark, I felt like telling him that his Christmas present was already ordered and on its way. Then he landed a homeroom, he told me that he didn't know any Grammies (how many does he know?) that not only own an Iphone, but know how to use it as well or as much as I do.
Many he does need another gift.....
As Christmas approaches, Dwight continues the much same. His pain is more intense as he now has more joint issues but continues on the same amount of pain meds, which aren't giving him enough relief. With all the room changes he has had this year he is back in the same room as he was in last Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We know God is in control, even when we don't even come close to understanding. One day Dwight will be healed and pain free, in the mean time we praise God for His love and Salvation and strive to serve Him as He requests.
I am thankful I was able to get Dwight a Kindle and the NIV Bible loaded on it so he can continue to read God's word. He also has a favorite author and I have bought him several of her novels.
Merry, blessed CHRISTmas to all. The gift of redemption, born in a stable, is truly the reason for our celebrations.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


For the few of you who regularly check my blog--and have found nothing lately--I apologize. My brain and ambition have also been missing some what lately. I know there are 'definitions' and lots of advice on curing/handling it. I know them, I counselled them, so I don't need them repeated to me. Thanks anyhow. It just is where I am now, but I don't intend on staying there. Life and stress can do that to you sometimes. And for those of you who know well, you know I am not just sitting in my stupor, but things are still getting done. Sometimes I get more done in a day than a person who is at their norm. Pity party over. Thanks for reading and not responding to it.

Dwight continues at the Care Center (AKA Nursing home). He is moved regularly it seems to different rooms, often to the confusion of family and friends who can't keep up. He has been in three different rooms in the last month. He is currently in room 121, a private room, although we are not, nor are we going to pay for a private room. He is not there at our request but because of the remodeling to 'old' rooms now that the new wing is open. The heavy push, verbally to move Dwight to another nursing home ended when Dwight and I continually insisted on a written request to move him. (When and why in writing please.) It seems we stirred something up. He was told he can stay. BUT not in a private room. That is out of my pay scale. I would like back all the time I spent going to many different nursing homes, making phone calls, and actually starting the paperwork. Not to mention the stress on both of us and the kids.

While in the first of three rooms Dwight was carrying a fever, after much requesting they ran a culture on his urine and found two UTI's. Yes, two. One related to MRSA. Took two more days to start antibiotics. After a week of antibiotics there were to test again, but it keep being put off. Now there is another complication. More waiting. And while waiting, he is really missing seeing the grandchildren, who aren't allowed in with the contagious infection. Not seeing family on BIG holidays is hard on anyone.

There is always fun stuff happening when you are a grandparent. Esther Faith has declared that I am her friend, a high honor indeed. Aurora declared (and is upset) that I am not old enough to have white hair mixed in with my blonde. Isaiah has decided that I don't like him as much as the rest because he isn't as cute as them. (Doesn't being very handsome, kind, loving and bringing me Tim Horton's count for anything.....?) And the other two, what fun to watch them interact, they are such great friends and share their own special jokes and laughter.

And speaking of Tim Horton' love that I was 'carded' (Golden Buckeye card) to get the senior discount. Sweet, naive boy thought I was 38. :).

I had a great trip home to New York and celebrated my 60th birthday (again) with my family there. Enjoyed so seeing everyone. There just wasn't enough time to converse with everyone, I need to head up again for some more time with every one. We even has snow for me, loved it. Can't have my birthday (Oct 29) without snow.

Now we are mostly caught up. My sewing/embroidery machine and lots of projects are calling me.....

Monday, October 17, 2011


The cards came and came. All the way to Sunday, Oct 9th. Number one hundred sixteen. 116. WOW. And thanks to all, all, all the wonderful people who helped make this a great birthday for Dwight.

Dwight received cards from family, including my sister who never, NEVER, sends cards. From friends of our family. From our group at church, some have never meet Dwight because the inability to get regular rides on Sundays. But still they choose to wish him a great, blessed day. From a group in Cincinnati who regularly prays for Dwight. Friends from College. And lots of silly cards from a web group our son belongs to. Not counted in the total are wishes received by email and on facebook.


And back to the tough stuff. There have been comments made for several months about Dwight needing to leave Mill Run. But no pressure, till a couple weeks ago. Now it is time to get a new place for Dwight. I have visited four. Called more. I really liked one place, but they say they don't have an air bed for him. Really, the beds are ordered by the doctor for the resident. Rented and brought in. Really. Wish people would be honest.

Wasn't impressed by a couple others. Gave Dwight info on the fourth, but he prayed about it felt it wasn't the right one. A couple of the phone calls stated no room. Grr. Praying for guidance, want Dwight in a home where he will be well taken care of and where he can be a witness.

Several people took pictures, I am waiting for them to share with me so I can share with you.....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday Surprises

The surprises I planned for Dwight happened and then some. He has received, as of Monday, 90 cards. And his birthday is Tuesday...more to come. Some of the girls from the nursing home made him a card and got him some balloons. All of the children and grandchildren were able to come for lunch: one of Dwight's favorites--KFC, supplemented with pies, cake for the staff and more balloons.

And then Dwight turned the tables on us. He actually planned, with his two favorite aids, to get into his wheelchair and join us in the little 'cafe' for lunch and dessert. We adults were hoping he would succeed, but the grandchildren had no idea. The expressions on their faces were 'priceless'. I'm not sure who was prouder, Dwight or the aids who convinced him to go for it when he doubted himself.

Thankfully, our son-in-law (who shares his birthday), had his ever present camera and got some great shots, including:

And Dwight would like to add:

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of those who sent cards and words of encouragement to make my birthday so extra special. I was overwhelmed at that number old and 'new' friends whose cards filled to over flowing every bulletin board we could find. Thanks again so very much, love Dwight.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Because Dwight was in the hospital in July he qualified for physical therapy for a few weeks. On one of the last days before they signed off on therapy they taught the aids how to get him into his wheelchair. He has now been in his chair three times and an aid wheeled him around a little. He even moved about twenty feet by himself. He will only be put in his chair when he asks, and if there are three aids available to assist. I am hoping he asks 2 or 3 times a week. It has been 13 months since he last sat in his chair.

The aids who are aware of the card shower for Dwight's birthday come in and count his cards with a sly smile. He still hasn't asked why he is getting cards from people who wouldn't normally know it was his birthday. I hope he can get up next Sunday and join his kids and grand kids for KFC lunch in the little cafe near his room.

Today we are fighting a fever, hopefully just a reaction to the flu shot he got on Thursday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Extreme news--good and bad

Dwight's pain continues to an issue. Everytime he is in and out of the hospital the meds are adjusted and readjusted. At times he is barely comfortable. During the first visit to the new pain Dr, he seemed to be listening (sometimes mostly to himself and all he does in his free time) and said he would get the meds back to where they need to be. But the scripts weren't quite right.

Then back in the hospital with them looking at old med charts and using them and sending him back the Mill Run with those orders, except for a decrease in his baclafin, because it could damage his kidneys. (Which are already damaged?!?!???)

This week Dwight had a 2nd visit with the pain doctor, who did not inquire how things were, just started cutting one drug in half and increasing another, one that make Dwight drowsy. Dwight started to ask why, and couldn't they leave the one alone, as it was working most of the time. Doc said no, Dwight attempted to engage him in dialogue to understand his plan and the Doctor snapped his laptop shut, stood up and stated, "We are done here." and walked out of the room. Not sure what we will do next, we are examining some options.

Good news: while Dwight continues simple physicial therapy in his room, sitting on the bed edge and arm strengthing, his goal is his wheelchair.

Last week a few techs where shown how to get him in and out of his wheelchiar with the lift. Two got it, two were bored.

Today they got him in his chair and wheeled him to the therapy room where he did a few exercises and back to his room. Of course Dwight gave a happy hello to everyone he passed.

He is quite excited and hopeful.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Want to cry---or scream..

When the remnants of Ike came through three years ago our home suffered some damage, as did many others in the area. Finding repair men was quite a challenge. Dwight did find one gentleman that he was confident would take good care of our needs. (Of course Dwight would rather have been able to do it himself).

Instead of the man Dwight talked to, he sent his wanta be son in law. As it has turned out, he really didn't know as much as he needed to. Too many things have shown that, including the repeated flood in my kitchen.

Twice in as many weeks we had a strong storm come in from the north. A combination of an unsealed door frame and either full gutter or unbalanced gutter resulted with a water fall into my kitchen. Water was literally spraying out of the top of the door jam, shooting out into the room. A bucket placed under it had 7" of water in it, plus all the rest loading the towels on the floor. So glad I got home shortly before it started.

In the basement it was running down the north wall, the worst near where the door is. Plus several other spots. So very frustrating.

We have talked about a roof over the porch, which if installed correctly, may help with some of it. I will need to seal over the door tomorrow, somehow, I asked the neighbor if I could borrow a ladder.....hate to seal the moisture in, would wait till Wednesday but it is to rain again.

Dwight: another infection sent him to the ER on Tuesday, two 'bugs', ones he hasn't had before. Back to Mill Run Thursday after dialysis. He has five days of IV antibiotics to fight it. He does have a new room mate. We were able to get a live church service on the Internet this morning, which we enjoyed.

Celebrated (late) Karin's birthday this morning and Jackson's kid birthday party his afternoon. Fun.

Thanks for letting me stew.

Monday, August 1, 2011

No, you did not....

I have loved cats since before my rememberer started working. My family always has had cats. On the farm there were lots of barn cats, in the spring more kittens than you wanted to count. And by autumn there were way less. Dad would sent a spray of the freshest milk out from under a cow straight into the mouth of the smartest cats. There was always warm, foamy milk poured into the pan for the 'family'. (We called it the cat pan, but it was for food and milk--not the same definition we use today.)

My favorite is grey. I think because we had a wild momma cat that you couldn't get within 20 feet of. Every spring she produced 2 or 3 grey kittens who never made it to adulthood. Until the last year of her life, she had two dark grey kittens, all grey, just like her. I finally was able to get to them one day while she was away. One definitely was going to be wild like her. The other, a little girl, seemed to enjoy being held and loved. When they were about two months old momma went hunting and never returned, a few day later the wild one disappeared also. The little girl allowed some loving and stayed around but didn't make it through the winter. She snuggled a warm cow and forgot to move....

I have had a few more grey cats since, three were very special, loving pets. And now I have another that is doing all he can to be added to the list. He definitely does not like being left alone. The empty nest is not to his liking. He will sit in the other room and protest. Like I am going to go to him, really...trot your little self to me.

Tonight we had some loving, a snack, some in your face while you try to read, and some yowling. Then, after another round of protest from the kitchen he ran straight into the bathroom, onto the toilet seat and..............

............drank from the toilet.

Seriously--I thought that was a dog trick.

He has water in the gravity water dish, water in another dish, but evidently, only the freshest will do for him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Home Alone, I thought

With Kristen on a teen mission trip and the grandchildren staying with their cousins and aunt and uncle, I thought I'd have a quiet week alone. Sewing, embroidering, watching a movie or two, sleeping in. Thought...

Not accounting for two very spoiled, very inquisitive kittens. No, my plans did not include them--at least not their determination for things to continue as they are accustomed to.

The first day was fine, they are used to their humans being gone for several hours at a time. But in the middle of the night they discovered a new toy, by their definition a new toy. I didn't agree when I found it in the morning. I keep my embroidery threads in plastic storage containers that stack and lock (mostly) together. Having brought my machine down into the AC for the week, of course supplies followed. And so did curiosity. First the storage units were towers to sit on, but when jumping down from them they came open. Guess I shouldn't have placed them on a chair. Quite a noise, quite a mess. Thankfully only two came open, must have been enough, one of them was all small spools. They had been happily played with, the colors well mixed.

After 48 hours of only me they are very determined to receive the necessary petting they require for good health--but I only have two hands and there are others things I like to do, as much as I love kittens. They don't want it while I am watching TV, perferring when am at the machine.

Snookzie either likes his baths, or likes sleeping bathtubs. He now takes his afternoon nap in the tub, but I must make sure the curtain isn't totally shut, he makes quite a racket trying to get out. Especially at 3 in the morning.

It is nice having the company for the most part..... And they are pretty.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Busy days

Much has happened in the past couple weeks. Dwight had a very nice Father's Day, enjoying his children and grandchildren.

Dwight is still on strong antibiotics for a few more days, administered at the end of dialysis. He slowly has come back to almost normal numbers on his levels, a couple are not in acceptable range, one because one of his meds were not given to him while in the hospital. The other because of his poor appetite.

A super highlight was the promotion of our wonderful son in law to Sargent with the Ohio State Patrol. Trooper Henn is now patrolling the roadways around Marysville. See Karin's blog for an excellent sharing of the day and their lives now.

Unfortunately we now have fewer pets, including our beloved dog. Health issues and age took their toll. I continually find myself thinking I need to let the dog out, or feed her, or drop her a sample of human food. DeAnna was a wonderful dog and leaves us all sad.

God is good, and His blessings are greatly appreciated by this wife, mother, grandmother and friend of a few special ladies.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


After waiting out the thunderstorm at the Care Center (as noted by Jackson, the sign says Care Center, not nursing home, so hence forth....) I received a phone call from a JoAnn employee. She told me a good looking man had a delivery for me, where was I? At Speedway taking care of my hungry van.

Diane asked the man to deliver to my home but he refused. And she refused to tell me what it was, only that they would return in the AM.

While helping a customer this morning, a gentleman approached with an arrangement of cut, lilac colored flowers. From my husband, expressing his love for me and thanking me for loving him. Wow. Beautiful. It seems he partnered with our daughters to arrange this surprise for me . Thanks, thanks and thanks.

Visiting this evening he seems more his old self, only mellowed, more gentle, more patient, more thankful. I like all that, but am mostly thankful to still have his smile, to hold his hand, to look into his baby blues, and to kiss him good night.

He has already received several 'Happy Father's Day' greetings, including a balloon from the activities department of the Care Center. He couldn't go to the Father's Day Gala so they brought him and his room mate each a balloon.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's stopping by my blog; you are great.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Better, way better.

Dwight better. I was very surprised when he called me after dialysis. By himself. Yesterday he couldn't hold the phone, let alone use it.

He said that about an hour into dialysis he started to feel better. About 2 hours in and allot of things cleared up. He remembers some from yesterday, but not all.

He came back to Mill Run apologizing to everyone.

It was the missing dialysis, the poison in his blood. At the hospital he went four days without and then two days because the nursing home wanted to get him back on their schedule. Bad choice.

But he is mostly back to where he was. I notice little things that aren't right, and he has a fever, again, so we will be watching him closely.

But we are so thankful to the Lord.

I have more to share, but my eyes won't stay open.

Not good

Our life with Dwight continues to resemble a day at an amusement park. But we aren't amused. The roller coaster, the tilt a whirl, and a lot of other crazy rides .

Monday Dwight continued to be confused and his conversation often confused (an amused) us. They did put the ports in and he had his first dialysis in four days. We hoped to see an improvement, but did not.

Tuesday he was very tired and informed me that God was ready for him to come home. Also the Doctors decided he was ready to go back to Mill Run. He saw angels he saw in the room and wait for them to take him to heaven. He told me he wouldn't see another shift change, done at 7 AM and 7 PM. The transfer van came at 5:30, and...

At the nursing home my sweet husband was the worst mentally I have ever seen him. Something definitely happened on the ride. Dwight says he died and they gave him an IV and revived him. He was given no IV. He was just very tired and confused, very confused. He ate very little. He insisted the south won the war. He wanted almost everything taken off his bed table. He was making a flag on it. I am calling it instant dementia.

It was a challenging evening for our family and the Mill Run staff.

If possible, yesterday (Wednesday) was worse. An new drug has been added to calm him when agitated.

Thank you for your continued interest and prayers, they are certainly giving our family added strength. Please hold the grandchildren up in prayer, they so want their grandfather to get better and come home.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Up and Down and Up

Friday and Saturday we continued on a downward spiral. Saturday the Doctors and nurses were quite concerned, to the point of quizzing Dwight (and I) on his DNR. I left for lunch, a nap and off to work not knowing if I would get a phone call of bad news.

The Doctors decided Dwight was sleeping too much because of the pain meds he is on. Also the baclifin, that he has been on for years. They lowered and stopped some of them. A Doctor from his family practice noticed that he hadn't had one of the IV antibiotics since Wednesday and wrote orders for it and another one that he has had in the past.

This morning he is conversing, not quite normal, but understanding our questions and giving good answers, slowly. They are going to replace the dialysis ports tomorrow and do dialysis. Maybe, maybe.....back to Mill Run soon.

I am not going to count any of it as a 'for sure'. I would love it to happen, but I know my husbands health is still percarious and will take one day, one hour at a time. Dwight belongs to the Lord and we both are at peace with whatever the Lord chooses for us.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I know many of you are checking often for reports on my wonderful husband, and I don't want to let you down. I am writing this with tears clouding my vision. The news is not the best, although there may be good news I am just not realizing yet.

Sunday morning and afternoon were definitely our high spots. Nothing short of a miracle. Even Dwight's Doctor was surprised to find him alive. And he was very much our 'Dwight'. He visited very clearly with Doctors, nurses, two Pastors, all of our family that visited.

Monday he seemed a little down from Sunday, but he had dialysis and that always tires him. Tuesday there were more Doctor's visits than he can remember. Wednesday he had dialysis again and they removed the ports from his chest. The plan is to replace them Monday. Yes, that means four days without dialysis. They will be monitoring his blood very closely.

What is it? Still not totally sure. The infectious disease Doctor isn't convinced on the pneumonia. There is no pinpoint name, just a bad infection. With the ports out (possibly the source of the infection) they hope to 'purify' his blood. More wait and see.

Last night all our children and grandchildren wanted to visit him. He said no, he didn't want them to see him like he was. I am sorry I honored that request because I found him in a worse state today. Much more repeating himself, loss of muscle control (jerking) and dozing off. I let the families know they could come for a short visit. He had two visits from family and I must say he did perk up when the kids were there.

Several of you have expressed concern for me, I do appreciate that. I am more tired than normal, I guess that is how my body/mind copes. I am trying not to let it depress me and am trusting God to do His will. God does have a reason for this, for all of our family. I am praying for each of my children and grandchildren to discover what God is teaching us through this. For all of us to understand God loves us and Papa loves us, no matter how much we don't like this.

So happy to know I have friends who are hanging in with us in support and prayers.

I am typing this outside in the cool breeze of the evening. My flowers look beautiful and fireflies are flitting around in the yard. A few birds are singing their good night song. Our maples have grown and are casting their shadow from the street light. Thank you, Tim, for not listening to me (this time) and creating this little oasis outside my back door.

I am blessed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A name--kinda

Not all cultures are finished growing, but the dozen or so Doctors pretty much agree on what Dwight's body is playing host to this time:


a different, nameless kind. #1) it isn't affecting his lungs. No fluid on the lungs, no problems breathing. The spot they found on his lung is not related to it at all. #2) it isn't from any conventional sources of pneumonia. It is probably from the port/catheter they use for his dialysis. They are going to remove the port/catheter, and not replace it for 7 days.

All this is so odd sounding I asked Dwight to repeat it.


Same all three times.

Will any of this change? Maybe.

Will I be surprised? No, and I am sure you won't be either.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday -- some changes

Ups and downs. Such has been our life the last 14 months, and the last 60 hours.

Last evening I was not happy with the lack of muscle control I was seeing, nor with Dwight's poor conversation skills. I continued to 'nag' about his IV antibiotics. Finally the nurse checked his chart, and checked, and discovered that the orders written by our Dr at the discharge from ICU weren't in the computer, so drugs had not been delivered. So she said, but Dwight had already had some of his meds, I really think she was having difficulty reading the chart. She was scrolling up and down the chart repeatedly.

This morning, when I called to say good morning Dwight's words were, "I'm in trouble here." Then he dropped the phone. I quickly made coffee, feed the dog, and got presentable. As I was driving I called again, repeatedly, only getting a busy signal. I called the 8th floor desk and was told that Dwight was in dialysis, altho he wasn't supposed to go till 11:00. Back home to more coffee, kittens and a nap.

I have noticed that he responds better to one of the 2 antibiotics than the other.

Doctors and consults all afternoon and still no pinpointed cause or causes.
An new wrinkle, now they want to do an ultrasound of his legs, with dye. A very big NO-NO. Dye is very bad for kidneys.

Supper was very light for Dwight and now he is winding down. Ready for some boring TV and his evening nap. I remember my Dad's excuse for his after supper nap, "So I can sleep better when I go to bed."

We were really hoping that the infection would be identified by now, correct treatment started and return to Mill Run in the near future. But we are waiting.......

So thankful for much better nurses and PSA than last month.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dwight's 3 AM conversation

This is Dwight's story.

And while he doesn't remember a lot of what happened. And he doesn't remember anything from when his pressures were so low. And he doesn't quite remember the order that things happened. He does have some very pointed and vivid memories. Very vivid.

This is one of those memories.

These are his words.
At about quarter 'til three this morning, I woke up. And I knew that I was approaching a moment of decision. So, I began to pray. I told the Lord that I'm ready to go. You know, Lord, that I have served you well; I have followed your will, and I'm ready to go.

On the other hand, I would like to stay. So, I'm ready to go, and I'm ready to stay. But on the other hand. I would prefer to stay. I would love the chance to love my wife in person for a much longer time than I have. I want to kiss her for a long, long time.

And I want to love my children. Much longer and much better than I have.

And you know, I dearly love my grandchildren. And how I would love to mentor them and teach them some of the tricks of the trade I've learned over the years and give them a head start on a career or just a hobby. And I want to hug my little girls. To hear about all their most recent toys for a long, long, long time.

So Lord, I prefer to stay. If you would grant me my wish, I would be a very grateful man. And I promise to do all of those things to the best of my ability. But if you want me to come home, I'm okay with that, too. It's your choice Lord. You know my wishes, but it is your choice.
According to Dwight, that took about 15 minutes to pray. And around 3 a.m., he started to sweat profusely. And for about the next hour, the nurses and physican care assistants were in his room. By 4 a.m., the fever had broken and I was on the road to recovery.

Dwight said, "So apparently the Lord granted me my desires. And I am here. Back again. Borrowing Susie's blog to thank you for your prayers. For me and for my family."

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Interesting typing in plastic gloves, am sure I will made plenty of typos.

In the ER Dwight's BP and heart rate went quite low, he also was unresponsive. the Dr, who will remain nameless (altho I could call him a few names, including a couple Danish not nice words I know)--decided he needed a drug to stop all Dwight's pain meds from working. Before I could say, excuse me, what are you doing, it was in him.

I can not tell you the horrors we experienced as he instantly went in drug withdraw and full body intensive pain. It was so bad that all the ER personnel came gawking. In the intensive pain and screaming, Dwight managed to pull out the IV they needed to administer more pain meds.

It has been a rough time. We are in ICC. The above mentioned drug has wore off and the pain meds, plus more, are back on line. His BP and heart rate are again low, dangerously low. The same Dr suggested the drug again, it is probably a good thing he was on the other side of the bed and other people were in the room. (I had told at least three times we would NEVER do that to him again.)

We are waiting for the antibiotics to kick in. As it stands right now, it is not the best situation. We are trusting the Lord for healing. We understand that not all healing is on this side of glory. God is our Lord, we are committed to His will and are thankful for His love for us.

Thanks, again to all who care and pray.

ER Again

Rejoicing as Dwight gave me the news Thursday that he is allowed to start getting into his wheelchair a few times a week for half hour at a time. He was quite excited about that.

Then this morning I was woke from my sleep in morning by a nurse from Mill Run saying Dwight was off to ER, again. Low respristory rate, high fever, plus all the other signs of another infection.

That call woke Kristen and Aurora, who were also enjoying a sleep in morning. Then I woke Karin from her sleep in morning to tell her. Then my Mom, who always wants to know all that is going on.

So, here I sit, watching my husband sleep, with no moniters this time. And no testing, yet. At least they aren't treating him as a mental patient. They clearly listened to me. Praying the rest of the stay goes this well.

What is frustrating is that Dwight told the night nurse something was wrong (an agency nurse) and she didn't report to anyone till this morning.

Just letting my friends and family know because we have so many loving and caring family and friends.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bitter Sweet

May 26th was our 39th Anniversary.

Our second celebrated with two different address.

#38 at Grant Hospital.

#39 at Mill Run Gardens and Care Center.

Last year Dwight was very ill as a result of multiple kidney stones and all the infections attacking his health. We, his family, had unspoken questions and fears. We make it through months of successful and unsuccessful surgeries to remove the stones. The last was January 4th, 12 months after all this started. Dwight has lost at least 140 pounds and is now on dialysis three times a week. His is very weak, but has started some therapy sitting on the edge of his bed. When the bed sore is healed he can get back into his wheelchair and into the therapy room. We know it will be many months before this happens, but are excited to know it is coming. There was a point when we weren't sure....

I took the day off and got dinner from our favorite Chinese take out. Although Dwight's appetite has been poor lately he ate almost all of it. A couple days later I took our new kitten in, who loved all over him. More smiles.

I really am thankful, we could have lost my sweet husband, he was that ill. He knows God has many things for him to do yet for the Kingdom, and prays for opportunities.

Thank you to all of you who pray for him and our family. Also to those who visit, call him or send him cards. These all help lift his spirits.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back home

Although Dwight's goal is return to our Cape Cod home in west Columbus, he calls Mill Run home. He has been there, with many visits to the hospital interspersed, since last March.

After our adventure this weekend at Grant, he started the new week at Mill Run. He arrived mid afternoon Sunday and had to go through all the admittance procedures, again.

I was enjoying Isaac's 11th year celebration while Dwight was being transferred. We had all enjoyed a wonderful meal and conversation around the antique oak table that at one time celebrated birthdays at Dwight's parents house, then in our large dining room in Leetonia, and now continues on at the Hennhouse. The younger four cousins were at the kids table, lively, non stop conversation going on there to the point that none of them finished their meal. It was fun to observe, the boys had their own conversation, and the girls theirs, both unaware of the other conversation.

Just as plates were being cleared away Dwight called in a panic. The hospital had sent the old prescription list back (the same one we had to fight with them to get updated at Grant). And then, a nursing home Doctor, who has never seen Dwight, looked at it and decided that his pain meds and one other drug were too high and halved them. Why, oh why, do those in the medical profession make their decision on only what they see right in front of them and not look at the whole picture(aka history)? I am sounding like a broken record. (For those of you old enough to remember what happened with a badly scratched record, I am sure you are smiling!)

I really wanted to watch Isaac open his gifts, but I am well aware of my husbands need for me to be with him and help fight these battles. In his room were three Mill Run employees, 2 nurses and one of our favorite aids, in her last year of study to be a nurse. The one nurse was in charge (I had not meet her before), she was going to follow the drug orders, they were fine with her. I demanded to see them, I immediately recognized they were the OLD ones, with multiple hand written changes. I calmly explained her what was what, including getting the right paper work from Grant ASAP. Also that this was not Dwight's nursing home Doctor and I wanted them to follow the orders written by his nursing home Doctor, including calling her if necessary. It took about an hour, two cups of coffee, chocolate (both for me), alittle nagging and things were back to normal. I must say the aid was a great encourager to Dwight and I.

Several residents welcomed me back, saying they missed me. Not quite sure how to interpret that as a couple of them have dementia.

Things are not dull, ordinary or uneventful in the Shirey family and all branches thereof.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISAAC. MY FAVORITE: 11 year old, middle grandson and Isaac.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two days--few answers.

I can not begin to express the extreme frustrations of the last two days. When the Nursing Home call and said they needed to send Dwight to the hospital I never dreamt the fight we would have with hospital staff.

I knew immediately, from the description of Dwight's behavior, that he had another infection. My fear was, and still is, that there are more kidney stones.

But, because of his difficulty speaking in clear sentences, they treated him as if he was off his rocker. I understand that alot of what they did is standard for cases as this, but really, please listen to the spouse, or whoever that knows them best. I told them many times that this is normal for him when he has a bad infection. I really felt like getting a tape recorder and just hitting play, rewind, play, rewind, play......

After about an hour & a half (during which they did a head CAT scan, I am sure all his marbles are still there, and chest xray) they took a urine sample, one of the tests clearly showed a UTI. The other had to culture for 48 hours. They gave him two antibiotics by IV. Then they did another CAT scan, we were told it was of his abdominal region. We found out yesterday (Friday) that it was a chest CAT, with dye, looking for blood clots that could be breaking loose and causing his speech problems. When the kidney Doctor discovered the use of dye he was not happy, dye is hard on dialysis patients.

I, in turn, was again not happy that they continued to treat Dwight's symptoms as if he had a stroke or some other brain damage. Just treat the infection so the infection doesn't cause more damage. It was several months before we (the family) saw the effects of the infection from a year ago have less and less influence in Dwight's thinking. He is pretty much back to 'good ole Papa D'.

I was forced to confront a nurse who was being condescending to Dwight's situation and my requests. She would cut me off and let me know whatever I had to say was worthless and they would handle everything as they saw fit. It was not all sweetness, but she needed to know that we have a bigger picture than her little chart and her judgements. An air mattress (which Dwight must have, and has had at this hospital before--it is in the records and can be looked up) was ordered and delivered within two hours. And she became a person and treated me as one. We stilled had a couple small battles, especially when she tried to interpret a Doctors orders her way, going as far as to get a house doctor to write the orders her way (after all, what the kidney doctor wanted didn't make sense to her).. I insisted they do as prescribed. The first doctor was called---and followed.

At this point is seems Dwight as a rare bladder infection that needs an antibiotic by IV every 48 hours. Other tests, cultures are 'growing' and we didn't hear what the kidney CAT scan showed.

They did do dialysis today, and the tech/Dr did not use his fistula, said it is a very sloppy one. The people at his regular dialysis are very happy with it. His ports only worked for about 3 hours and they want to replace them, but did not do so today. I don't understand why some professionals think they are they only ones that can do a good job and criticise others in their own field.

Dwight is clear minded again and just wants to go back to Mill Run. I hope they can so Monday.

Thanks to all who have prayed for Dwight and who have inquired about him.
God is answering your prayers, and we are praying for blessings for your compassion to us.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Surprises--Good and Bad

Saturday (before Mother's Day) I took Jackson and Aurora shopping. First to Bath and Body to get a couple of things to spoil myself. Then off to the nursery.

So much to look at, so very much. Both children enjoyed all the beauty. Trying to find something for the kids to get their mother was proving interesting as both had their own ideas, until we found a yellow rose bush. We carefully checked each one for the best one. Kristen was very surprised. And happy.

Surprise #1) they decided that Kiki and Mimi needed flowers also and they carefully examined the pansy baskets and bought us each one. Pansies are one of my favorites.

Surprise #2) as we were enjoying an early lunch there was a loud knock at the front door--there stood my grinning son with two beautiful hanging baskets for me. Thought he wasn't coming, but he loves surprising me and he can't stand missing mother's day. We spent a couple hours trimming my trees, they look like a pro did them!

Surprise #3) All three of my children and all five grandchildren visited me at work.

Surprise #4) A couple of weeks ago I brought a praying mantis cocoon in the house (in a bug jar). Yesterday I discovered hundreds of tiny, mantis in the jar. We let them go on my beautiful lilac bush last evening. When we checked on them this morning they had grown and were already changing from a dull brown to a light green.

Surprise #5) Jackson, who doesn't like bugs on him, let one walk all over his hand, with pleasure. Kristen has pictures.

Surprise #6) I am composing this in an ER room at Grant. Last evening my sweetheart was very tired, this morning the Nursing home was not happy with Dwight's inability to answer simple questions, we are. Waiting for test results.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh...and number 4 and a frown.

My dear husband often has times of forgetfulness. An unfortunate result of the massive infection. I try to remember (like to think he shared some of his forgetfulness with me, he has always been like that. If any of you believe that is why I forget things you will definitely move up my list of favorite people.) Any how, I have several prompt questions I try to ask him each day so I am aware of all that is going on, including phone calls and visits.

# 4) Earlier this week he told me, "Oh, I started therapy last week." Really, last week?!?!?!

At this point, his therapy is relearning to sit on the edge of the bed. It is slow, as he gets dizzy and needs to learn to balance himself. He also is flexing his arm and shoulder muscles in the sitting posistion. He has new pain from that. The therapist is quite happy, stating he is quite motivated. We all know that.

The wound care Dr will closely watch his wound. If it appears it is slowing, or reversing the healing process the sitting time, and/or frequency will be reduced.

Frown: My dear children have been planning a nice Mother's Day celebration, including a surprise visit from Sam. But unfortunately I have to work all weekend, including 10-7 on Sunday (the end of a seven day stretch). Sam has decided not to come since he would hardly see me. Aurora is quite bummed about that, as I am sure the rest of grandkids are, they love their Uncle Sam and visits with him.

Think I will go buy myself a nice hanging basket for Dwight to give me....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good News---1, 2, 3

1)--Dwight's wound care Dr may be good, but he is definitely lacking in good bedside manners. He has a very black and white personality, with 'the glass is half full' thrown in for good message. So, altho he does a good job with Dwight's wound, he rarely gives encouragement--only commands--often unreasonable commands. Until last time, Dwight has been doing all he can to keep unnecessary pressure off the wound--and it is working. Dr Woundcare says it is shrinking, and could be healed in six months.

2)--Dwight has had two failed fistulas placed in his left arm. Finally a Dr did vein mapping and a third one was put in. Today, two weeks ahead of schedule, they started using it with success. They can only use it for one direction of the dialysis for two weeks, but it was successful for all four hours today.

3)--Saturday, Tim & Karin, Tim parents, Dot & Bruce, Kristen and her friend Derek and all five children attacked the wheelchair ramp. They totally striped the deck off and did reconstruction on the landing outside the kitchen door, enlarging it to measurements Dwight requested for easier turning around to get into the house. There is new deck plywood from top to bottom and the bottom has an improved foundation. Sunday the Henn's returned and worked on the down spouts and clean up. It is wonderful. How can I ever say enough thanks to all of them? Karin took tons of pictures has posted some of them on her blog: Check them out. (Now it needs to stop raining so the basement dries out and the wood dries enough to paint it. Anyone have an idea when that will be?)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Modern Wonders

Having celebrated my half century birthday (and then some), I have seen alot of wonderful technical inventions. At the time of my birth computers had been invented but even at the time of my high school graduation they were still so new that only a few select colleges offered courses in computer education. (And to think I turned down the opportunity to go to one....)

Now we have so many wonderful devices. I sit here with my net book on my lap, my smart phone beside me, watching my flat screen TV. I can blog, send email and comment on face book. Wonderful inventions God has blessed us with enabling us to instantly communicate with friends and to be reunited with people we have lost touch with. People who where important parts of our life, but the years removed our connections.

Today such a reunion took place. I opened my email and found a questionable email. The subject was 'praying for you'. The email address was one I had never seen before. Since I have gotten 'spam' emails responding to my blogs in the past I thought this was another--it sure had the earmarks. I debated with myself, not wanting to get a virus or an email with content I really didn't want to read. I opened it, am thankful I did. It was from a young lady Dwight and I knew in the late 70's, a dear friend of the Shirey family. She now follows our blogs and prays for us daily. What a blessing.

Sittin' and Snoozin'

Dwight is not overly happy with his new room. Everyone coming in through the main entrance into the long term care wing must walk straight towards his room to turn the corner. He feels he is observed by most. Also there are two offices just across from his room so there is alot of 9-5 traffic there. But he has a window again, and it over looks the parking lot. Of course nothing is as nice as his own room at home.

The evening news is on, with buzz about the bad weather and some wedding taking place tomorrow. Dwight and his roommate are sleeping through it all. Not sure how, both have air mattress with less than quiet pumps. And his roommate has a trac and breathing machine. Add Dwight's TV with the news and Ernie's radio playing country music and too many commercials. My body would like to join them but the noise is too much for me. Just wish I could sleep when I settle into my comfy bed at night, laying awake 2-3 hours is crazy.

Spring is so welcome-less rain and storms would be good, but the flowers, tree breaking forth with fresh leaves and pears blossoms is great. I have a wonderful crop of violets--many shades of violet, whites and white with violet freckles. The bleeding hearts are in full bloom and last falls pansies are beautiful. The lily of the valley look like they will produce a great crop of fragrant flowers. Can't wait.

Time to kiss Dwight awake and go let the dog out, eleven hours is a long bladder hold. And fuzzy kittens to hold. One still needs a home....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Backward

Not sure if I have the count right, could be two forward, three back. Or one forward, two back, or one and one. Just seems that we are not gaining any ground this week.

Dialysis went fine last week. Yesterday (Monday) he only got one good hour then everything stopped. After putting something into the dialysis port that is supposed to open up the internal blockage there was no success. One out of four hours, after two days off. Not good.

So it is off today, Wednesday, to have have the ports replaced, again. Therefore his wound care Dr visit is postponed till next Wednesday.

The fistula is growing well in Dwight's upper left arm and may be able to be used in early May. Good news.

Step back, although is Spring, normally Dwight is able to handle his pain better Spring and Summer. But his mattress has been changed and is not overly comfortable and he has had to have his pain meds increased. To rent the mattress he was using is almost $400 a month and is not covered, it would be out of pocket. We are trying to find out purchase cost, but haven't gotten a response yet. It has to be handled by the nursing home, and I don't think it is a priority to them. Hopefully we will hear soon.

Dwight is enjoying the spring flowers I have been able to take in. Also, Friday Isaac and I took in the kittens and he fell head over heels in love with one the fluffy grey one. I was told that that little sweetheart was to stay with us and visit him often. So, I now have another beautiful grey kitten. Named him Snookzie. He is a real sweetie, sleeping with me as I type.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Stitches Out

Finally, after a couple postponements, Dwight had the stitches removed from his vein surgery on his arm. It went much smoother and way less painful than the nurses had told him it would be because of the delay.

They listened to vein and are very pleased. His Dr at dialysis will keep an eye on it and he may not need to go back to the Dr. That would be one less (two really) trip by transport!!!!

Everything else seems to just running on an even keel. We pray for it to continue. The bedsore continues to heal, bringing physical therapy closer. Physical therapy will be long and hard, but Dwight is determined.

Dwight's roommate left last week, hopefully he has been reunited with his wife and is feeling better at his daughters home.

Dwight is really enjoying his Kindle, he is so happy he can read the Scriptures again. He also watches alot of DVDs on his portable DVD player. I just ordered him two more seasons of one his favorite TV programs. And of course, NCIS reruns are on all the time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

the continuing story

Last Monday morning at 5:00 AM Dwight was loaded in the transport vehicle and set off to Doctors Hospital to spend some time in surgery with Dr Brightwell. His check in was scheduled for 6 AM. He arrived at 5:40, surgery was at 8. All went well, Dr Brightwell thinks that the 'Third time is the charm' and we (Dwight) will have a good, usable vein for dialysis. It will be several weeks of healing before we know for sure. Dwight really likes Dr Brightwell and I have heard from others that he is the best. Praying so.

Dwight had been on a very, very strong antibiotic for an infection. It affected his sugar levels, causing them to go quite low. He went several days without insulin shots and extra bags of candy. He seems to be returning to normal. Also he back on blood thinners so his blood is not clodding in the dialysis machine and he is getting a full four hours of dialysis.

The new treatment they are using on his bedsore is being successful, so good to have good reports. Dwight (and the five grand kids) are quite anxious for all this to be done with and for Dwight to return to our little Cape Cod on Demorest.

I am hoping to have a work day one Saturday in April and fix the ramp and a few other things around our home. (Maybe the 30th--anyone free and willing to join me?)

Thanks to all of you who continue to inquire about and pray for my sweet husband.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good Deed Rewarded

If you recall, I talked a very pretty cat out of a tree last November. Because of her beauty and friendliness we were sure she belonged to someone. We watched for fliers on the telephone poles, missing cat ads in the paper, or sad little boys at our door--any or all wanting their sweet cat back. None of the above turned out to be the right answer. The right answer being: You are the proud owner of an unfixed female cat.

Early in January our cat Velvet, began accepting suitors. Quite a few, large Tom cats whom we had never seen appeared at our doorstep. Both door steps, and Velvet was quite happy to entertain them.

Nine weeks have passed and we have reaped the results of the seed sowing. Wednesday, when Kristen and the kids arrived home, Velvet insisted that Kristen follow her, and introduced her to two little balls of fur under the bed. (Aurora was not pleased at all,our dear cat Velvet had blood on herself, Aurora retreated to chair and stayed there till her Mother put her to bed). We were alittle disappointed, we had hoped for more than two babies. (One was grey with white markings and the other white with grey spots, very interesting spots--pictures will follow in a week or so.)

At the call the morning alarm we discovered that we now had a very pretty black kitten with white marks. Smiles all around. AND, "may I hold one, please?" ringing in our ears.

When I returned home Thursday evening I thought maybe there would be another, but no, just the three lovely babies with their tiny, squeaky meows. Of course I held each one, telling them how pretty and welcome they were. My cold and I headed off for a fitful night of sleep.

Friday morning, without my glasses, I stopped to say good morning, half groggy I thought I was seeing double, glasses on, I still was seeing double, really... light on. Yes there are two grey babies, more than 24 hours later we had an increase. Four little darlings in the cat box.

And a lot of, "may I hold a kitten?" May I check on the kittens?" May I pet a kitten?" "Why aren't their eyes open?" "Why are their nails so sharp?" Going to be a fun 6-8 weeks. Can't wait for Esther Faith, Issac and Isaiah to come over and see them too!!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Good News Update

Dwight visited the wound care Dr this past week, receiving a very good report. His bed sore that has been very bad is finally making continual healing. The Dr and staff were very happy. They have used several different treatments, something or 'somethings', are working.

Also, it seems that the latest UTI has finally responded the third antibiotic. This is double good, the UTI is gone and the low blood sugar levels are going away. Now I will have to stop giving Dwight so much candy, altho it has been a literal life saver a couple times.

Monday morning the vein Dr will preform surgery to create a permanent spot to do dialysis. Praying this work after two failed surgeries.

Also praying that this nasty cold that has knocked me for a loop doesn't hit Dwight. He has had so many shots that he should be OK.

Also, if you haven't checked my kids blogs lately I invite you to do so...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Room--New Doctor--Good News Promise

I wish I could tell all of you faithful readers that Dwight is happy in his new room but....

His room mate is a grouchy, hard of hearing, anti social 86 year old man. He seems to resent having to share a room. We try to be tolerate of his lack of manners and cold shoulder. He has cared for his wife for years, she suffers with dementia. He recently fell and his daughter and son-in-law moved her to Indianapolis with them and will be taking him also, when he is released. (One nurse told me it couldn't happen soon enough) It has to be very hard to lose your wife and soon your home. We just wish he wouldn't play the AMC movie channel and old war movies so loud that a headache is your new, daily friend. And turn the heat down, please. I did buy Dwight earplugs and he said they help. Dwight has attempted to witness to his room mate, but he doesn't want to have any type of a conversation.

Into Dwight's former, private room across the hall, they moved in a who woman has experienced some type of brain injury and often yells, yesterday for nine hours. And they can't shut her door when she is acting out. She is on an IV feeding. Don't know what all is going on but don't envy the aids and nurses caring for her. Or her.

Dwight has visited a new Doctor who is doing 'vein mapping' on both of his arms. He has found a good prospect on the left upper arm and several good ones on the right arm. The Doctor will be studying them more fully and they attempting a new fistula soon. If it is successful then the dialysis can be done through it and no more ports.

The Doctor is at Doctors Hospital. Dwight was happy to be in 'home territory' and was very happy with the 'mapping' ultrasound done in Doctor's. We are praying this works.

Our son Sam was down for the weekend and spent many hours with his Dad, much to Dwight's delight. They both did something they have done together for decades--put the NASCAR race on and took a nap(s). Good medicine.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Overheard Update..

Remember playing the game 'gossip' as a child? Where a statement was whispered ear to ear around a circle, coming out at the end much different than when it started?

That game is similar to what happened Saturday to Dwight. The part he heard and the part were told were parts of the truth. What buzzed around the nursing home on Sunday was the game part. And was it ever the game part. We heard quite abit after I got there in the morning. Most of it only half or less correct. Then the social worker came in. (She only works Mon-Fri, so....????) She informed us that Dwight needs to go back into a semi private room. The one right across the hall that had been emptied for the new construction. It is open now, for awhile. The person that is moving into his room demanded to be removed from her room because, altho it is a large private room now, it is being changed into a semi private room this week and she refuses to room with anyone. (Not sure if it is her or her children making the demands)

Dwight is to be out of his room and in the new one by Thursday. He asked that they do it while he is at dialysis since his bed needs semi disassembled and reassembled.

A plus to the new room is that he can observe the construction out the window--AND--the WiFi is quite strong in that room (nothing in the current room). He will now be able to have my netbook and watch Church services again. And he will be able to Sykpe. God is in control, and provides surprises. Don't know how long it will be before that room is up for reconstruction, but it is where God wants him now.

Thank God for Your faithfulness. And Your patience with our worry.

And thank you, God's children, who joined us in prayer.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Being a normally 'glass half empty' person, I shouldn't be surprised that our joy and praise of Dwight's healing was a followed by an attack by Satan.

When Dwight returns from dialysis he is normally alittle down both mentally and physically. This is not unusual for dialysis patients. Today he attempted to get comfy in his bed just before supper. And try to convince himself he wanted to eat. He noticed a couple walking by his room, and walking by his room and walking by his room. Very closely timed, slow passes. Then he overhears raised voices...

It seems this couple was ready to move a loved one into his room. They said they had been promised two weeks ago that they could have room 121 today. At that point the conversation was removed from his hearing. Of course no staff person even acknowledged that something was going on... but an unusual number did stop in just to talk for a few minutes. One, whispered, "you will be out of this room by Thursday." Period. Nothing more. If this is true, it explains why the social worker has been in asking Dwight where he was moving to. It doesn't explain why the social worker hasn't been 'free' to talk to Dwight and I when I am able to come.

Dwight's already lack of appetite flew out the window. All he ate was ice cream and ice tea. Didn't even take his dialysis medicine. He really didn't want me to leave, and before I had my coat zipped he told me he missed me already. He asked me to come and sit with him in the morning instead of going to Church.

All of my dear friends who pray, please pray for his spirits and for our wisdom. And if we need find another home, clear guidance on the right one for Dwight and his needs.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Good News

Never sure what the day is going bring...good news....less than good news....bad news.

Some mornings when I call my sweetheart to say Good Morning he sounds so down, sometimes slightly confused, sometimes (my favorite) his normal chipper self that makes everyone smile. Amount of sleep, pain, fever and boredom all effect him.

In the late fall we were told that Dwight had MRSA in the huge bed sore. Red warning signs appeared on his door, yellow gowns were worn by the staff in his room. Those of us visiting used extra amounts of hand sanitizer. Grandkids and children didn't visit for a couple weeks---till we were told that real danger is only to those working directly on the wound. But then Dwight was moved from the semi private room to a private room. My dear social husband. But we have handled it,all the tough parts. We made it through birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and The Super Bowl. With the Lord's help we made it. The prayers of many, many people added to our daily prayers and trust in the LORD is how we handled it.

Today he was told he is MRSA free. Red signs gone. The special cart full of special equipment gone. Not sure if (or when) he is going back into a semi private room.

The social worker has been in a couple of times asking where he is going, home or to another nursing home. We didn't know that was an option, we had asked in July that he be put on the waiting list for a long term care room. Still trying to figure that out, Dwight is far from being strong enough to come home. Our home is not set up for caring for him until he again can do alot of things for himself. And it is not our choice for him to go anywhere else, he is happy there. The social worker doesn't seem to have any appointment slots available when I can come (and when Dwight isn't on dialysis)to discuss this with her.

But the infection (in the ports used for dialysis and accompanied by a fever) Dwight has been battling (and is still on antibiotics for) is going away, and did I mention...?

The MRSA is gone!!!! Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Steeleer Fan

Things have been pretty much routine. Dialysis three times a week, wound care at least one a month, usually two times. The wound is finally healing, when it is healed, then therapy can start.

January 5th they finally took out the second stint that they were not able to get out the first week of November. Yes it took that long to reschedule.

There have been some issue with the Foley tube plugging up, so I guess he is still making kidney stones or some real close cousins. I demanded that they get orders to flush it when needed, or daily. It took 9 hours for them to get an order this last time. Six of those hours Dwight spent with stomach pain because his bladder was full and over full. The nurses couldn't do anything about it without Doctor written orders. Finally they came, orders to flush as needed, up to three times. Then what..?

Dwight is very glad that he is missing most of the weather. He is wheeled out under a canopy and unloaded under a canopy. He snuggles into his Steeler fleece and wears a grey cap with a Buckeye O on it, his toes are toasty in his red fleece slippers. He is well dressed and sporting his teams! He does get a few 'remarks' from those who do not appreciate the great team from Pittsburgh.

We are thankful that there have been no major problems of late. They need to replace the dialysis port tomorrow.

It is hard to believe that it was a year ago that I noticed something was wrong in addition to new back ache Dwight had. If only one of the Doctors we contacted (and saw) about this had taken it seriously.... compter wouldn't let me post yesterday. And we have a new problem. Dwight's port for dialysis wouldn't work yesterday. Nor would the spot in his arm, so he had no dialysis. Today, Wednesday, they are replacing the ports. No dialysis till Thursday. Dwight was alittle down, just weary of it all.

He still is a good kisser!! Love that guy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


When the children were children and we lived in Leetonia our Family had very specific traditions that we followed without fail every Christmas season. Although traditions, and following them, are not the reason for the season, they do glue it all together and add to the anticipation of the season.

But life brings changes. We managed to maintain our traditions with slight adjustments as first we started pastoring 45 minutes from home. With the Church responsibilities only a few adjustments where needed. We barely noticed. The children started graduating from high school, a few more adjustments. We moved to Warren, a few more. Nothing major, the large ceramic tree--a gift from new friends when we moved to Leetonia--still came out the day after Thanksgiving. Cookie making began full force, lots of good eating, parties and gifting from our baking fun.
St Lucia day was never missed. December 13th was a very special, busy day at the Shirey's.

But then more changes, Dwight in a wheelchair. The year that happened our traditions fell by the wayside. The next Christmas, 2003, we were back in Leetonia with a For Sale sign in our front yard. We were able to regain some of our traditions, altho alot of things were packed in boxes awaiting our move to a yet unpurchased home in Columbus.

But Christmas 2004 found us nicely settled in a cute Cape Cod home and traditions all in place. And our number of grandchildren grew from one when we moved here to 5 by our second anniversary in our new home.

We have had wonderful Christmas times with our laughing, loving family. And our traditions continued intact with slight adjustments.

Till this year. My dear husband began showing signs of something being off kilter about the same time Esther Faith entered Children's Hospital for a 21 day stay. Dwight's problem was not properly diagnosed and he hasn't been home since Easter.

Traditions almost completely fell apart. None of us celebrated St Lucia day. I didn't bake a single cookie. Because now 2 of the grandchildren live here my daughter gently encouraged me to decorate. Once I got going I regained some Christmas spirit. I even made new window valances and fleece throws to coordinate so the living room is festive.

But Christmas Eve, our traditional gift opening time was very different. Dwight is still in a nursing home. All week he had been very down, so down he wasn't sure he wanted to see anyone. But we prayed and prevailed. I took in one gift for each person to open from Papa and Mimi. We laughed, smiled,hugged and loved, pretending this was normal. Dwight read the Christmas story with his usual dramatic flair from his new Kindle. We had family prayer and opened our gifts. Excitement filled the room as all grandkids and children loved their gifts. Our son missed all the fun, work kept him late and he didn't get to Columbus until we were eating at Karin and Tim's. We did make him open his gift from Mom and Dad there---a Michigan blanket, he loved the blanket and all the ribbing he got from his OSU loving family.

Tradition--changed, family love--the same.