Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Day #4

 Last night right after I did published that night's journal entry, Louis Dean got out of bed before I could get over and stop him and all the bells and whistles went off and he tried to walk to the bathroom and nearly tottered backward before he regained his balance - and then nearly fell forward!

By the grace of God and prayers of so many, I have held up well with so much going on - but last night I had a bit of a meltdown! Normally Louis Dean and I don't argue very often but I proceeded to tell him how the cow ate the cabbage! I told him I could handle everything but NOT if he was hell bent on doing what he wants to do when and how he wants to do it. I'm afraid I packed up my stuff, stopped to talk to the nurse and then ran out of here like my hair was on fire!

I got to the car and I was crying and shaking.
It was bound to happen sooner or later.
While I meant to go in and go right to bed, I couldn't.
Instead I climbed up in the back of the truck and searched for a couple of things and in the process I found tubs and bags of overalls and underthings of Louis Dean.
I took them all in and then searched his room and found more. I emptied all the tubs, duffle and overnight bags and started a marathon of laundry!
I ordered new pajama pants and underwear, t-shirts and socks as soon as he was admitted to the hospital and they arrived the next day so he has a TON of everything!

I have a PLAN!!
I am going to pack a clear tub with clean overalls and a few of his plaid shirts and another tub with pajama pants, underwear, socks and t-shirts.
These will go to the ranch and stay there.
No more packing and invariably forgetting some important stuff!

Next I will dump out all the basket containers in the storage unit in the bathroom and reorganize all of those. Louis Dean was in the army and he folds t-shirts in a little rolled bundle that looks like a skinny burrito. When he gets home I will have a big plastic garbage bag FULL and he can fold away!
After that he can match up all his socks AFTER I sort through and through out all the old ones.

So he has a project all lined up for him and it does not involve being outside in the heat!

It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, Because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: Great is thy faithfulness.

God is faithful and I was back to normal this morning.

I arrived about 9:00 this morning and Louis Dean was looking pretty good.
Since he has such a short term memory issue, I was wondering if he even remembers how upset I got with him. Turns out - he does and that's a good thing.

I came bearing a bag of goodies!
For one - I found his charger and for a guy who doesn't even like phones, he was real happy when I handed it to him!

He is getting better every day and today he had his color back and all his tests were good, so there was talk he might go home this afternoon.

However, as the day went on he began to lose steam and nearly fell twice when they took him for a walk. 

This is the face he made when they said he needed to stay another night.
But he knows it is for the best.

The food here is excellent but he eats only a fraction of it - and I scarf down the rest!

This afternoon he said it's been a long time since we had coffee together.

This is the Starbucks downstairs!
This hospital is so nice!
They just recently completed a total renovation that took a couple of years!

    A Café  Americano for him and a Skinny Vanilla Latte for me.

So that's it for our 4th day in the hospital and we continue to bless and be blessed by our sweet Baylor Angels.....

And now I am going to pack up my toys and head home.
I hope the next journal entry will be written from Home Sweet Home!
I appreciate every single prayer prayed for us.......

No new news on Nita other than she remains critically stable while making small improvements....
Leah said the doctors are hopeful.....
Hope! What a beautiful word.
As soon as I possibly can, I want to go over to Fort Worth and lay my eyes on Nita even for just a few minutes. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Day #3

Today was NOT a triple digit super hot day here in North Texas!
Since I stayed up late last night watering, I decided to sleep a little later this morning.
I went to bed at midnight and did not wake up even once until 6:00 AM.
I haven't slept that many hours in a row in years!

I went out and watered the back this morning and the weather was simply gorgeous! 

Look who was sitting up in a chair when I walked in at 10:00!
He's made a lot of progress today but he still has a way to go before he can go home.

I picked two more sunflowers from our garden and freshened up the mini bouquet.

I added the other two flowers to the roses Amber brought plus some green filler I snipped from one place and another from the flower beds and bushes.

I received a package in the mail yesterday!
Is this not the sweetest little sunflower you ever saw???
My friend, Arlene, MADE this!!

And it came with a sweet card!
She said the box was also filled with love and prayers and I am so grateful for that!

Louis Dean went for a walk today with the Physical Therapist.

She's the sweetest thing!

Louis Dean has been practicing his breathing today and he had a kidney ultrasound.
He is better than he has been in nearly a week!
However, he is running a fever again so I don't think we will be going home in time for his cardiologist visit on Thursday so I must call them tomorrow and reschedule.
The estimated time of discharge is now July 6th but hopefully he will improve enough to leave before that long!

But for now he is watching a little TV and I think I am going to try to get home before dark tonight.
We only live 7 minutes away!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Celebrating Our 17th Wedding Anniversary a Bit Differently This Year

We met through eHarmony in April of 2005 and married just 2 months later! 

 June 26, 2005 at 3:00 in the afternoon!
It was a beautiful day - both then and in our memories.

We thought Louis Dean was doing better on Saturday but it was early Sunday morning when he stumbled to the camper door and said he wanted to go home.
When I saw EARLY Sunday morning - it really was!
Sherry and I were about to suit up and check on the bees along about 7:30.
By the way, the bees are not thriving! 3 hives are simply surviving and we have honey harvest hopes for only one super in one hive! We will be lucky to get a full gallon of honey this year!

By 10:00 we were heading home.
Dean was teaching a Karate class at 10:30 at the ranch but, since the students were driving in from the DFW area, he arranged to teach there instead of here so he went on to Dallas while Sherry did the critter chores and I packed up and loaded the van. I didn't know I could do that!
By this time Louis Dean was getting chills and the only thing I could find for cover inside the truck was a pair of overalls. 
You might be a redneck if you wrap the legs of a pair of overalls around your neck like a blanket!
Sherry made really good time and we only stopped once for a potty break.

Summer and Jesse were at the ER waiting for us when we arrived.
Tan, a friend of Summer's, works there in Irving but lives in Rowlett.
Rayne has grown up with his children so he is a good family friend.

While there had been a line previously, by the time we arrived, we walked right in and went right back to an exam room. Summer had brought Sonic drinks and snacks so we were all set, and good thing, too!
The attending doctor came in and they started running some tests to determine how to treat Louis Dean.
I heard him say, "I know you, Doctor Sheffield! You treated me the last time I was here."
Really??? I said, "What? Did you come here without me one time?" I thought NO WAY that happened.
But it did!!
It happened on our last Sibling Trip which was in February 2018 when Louis Dean came down with the flu and Stephanie (our beloved next door neighbor) marched herself over to our house and took him up to the ER!

They checked him out and he was negative for Covid, flu and the likes.
Then they took blood and urine samples and ran more tests.

He was VERY dehydrated and was put on an IV right off the bat.
But they couldn't let him drink anything until some of the tests results were back.

This is his look of pure bliss when they finally brought him some ice chips!

Bottom line - it was heat exhaustion that took him down.....and he has pneumonia in his right lung.
The left lung is clear. So he was admitted to the hospital and by 6:00 we were in a room.

I am so fortunate to have such a great support group.
While he was being admitted, I was asked what kind of support we had.
At first I thought she meant financially so I told her we were retired.
No, not that.
We are so very blessed because we have a huge support group!
Children, siblings, friends, neighbors, family and extended family....
and beyond that - all the prayers of so many friends like you who are reading my words right now.

Summer and Jesse did not leave until Louis Dean was all settled in.
And I sat in the quiet of the room, I looked out the window and it was raining!!
Not everyone got rain but it was here in our section of Irving.
What a blessing!
I didn't have to water after I went home that night!

I stayed until 10:00 and I have to say it was so hard to leave him.
At this point he was a little confused and was calmer when I was right there beside him.

I drove home so thankful for the Baylor Angels taking care of my husband and praising God that his timing is so perfect!

As soon as I got home, I went about 'putting things to right' as I call it.
I used to say I would 'get even.' But that didn't sound right.
What I mean is that when I come in the door, I have to put things away and deal with whatever I have brought in and getting everything back in order.
I emptied my purse and carryall, started a load of laundry, made coffee for the next morning and then proceeded to put up all the things we had brought home with us from the ranch.
Sherry had unloaded the truck for us after dropping us off at the hospital AND she had put a lot of stuff away! Win! WIN!!
What we do without them???
It was about midnight when I ate a salad I'd brought form the ranch and had a glass of wine before taking a shower and washing my hair.
I went to bed and fell right to sleep.

But mornings come early!!
My alarm went off at 6:00 and I didn't get up to the hospital until 8:00.
I didn't know that the front doors aren't open until 9:00! I thought I'd have to walk around back to the ER entrance until a guy came up and waved his badge or something at it and the door slid back!
I asked, "How did you DO that?" and he said, "MAGIC!"

It was a black and white day for me!
I needed a big bag to bring a fuzzy blanket up her among other things so it worked out perfectly that my bags matched my outfit!
I am really and truly a Bag Lady!

It's been a good day.
Both of our favorite neighbors came to visit this morning and both were bearing goodie bags!
We have been working our way through them all day!
Tamara brought this mini flower bouquet and every nurse and staff that have come in since has commented on it! Flowers from her garden and the vase is a recycled scented reed holder. 
The golden leaf is so pretty!
Can you see the comb?
Who but Stephanie would think of that!!
Indeed! I combed Louis Dean's hair and he looked like he felt better just having that done!
He's taken a few bites of yogurt and nibbled on some snacks and I had a nice salad lunch and made a couple of big containers of iced tea!
 When the ladies came up, Louis Dean lit up like a Christmas tree!!
He is still a charmer no matter how sick he may be!

I've been eating a lot it seems!
Salad from Stephanie and this was after I ate most of the bacon/cheeseburger from Louis Dean's tray.
He an only eat a little at a time.
The hospital food is exceptional here and I'm already looking forward to dinner.

He did manage to get a treat this afternoon!
Who knew how happy a popsicle would make him?? 

Last night I pack a roller bag with my laptop, needlework, books, a fuzzy warm blanket....
and a Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin spray hand sanitizer along with a Crisp Linen Air Freshener.
While it may look like a hospital room, it sure doesn't smell like one! 
Plus I brought a small bottle of Happy perfume for me.

Amber came up this evening for a nice long visit.
Here she is showing Granddad the GET WELL video the kids made!!

Logan sent this clever card with a sweet message inside and Kailey sent a note sealed tight in an envelope! We couldn't wait to see what she said!
Trystan made one, too, but it didn't get here with her Mommy so she made a video of her reading it.

All in all, Louis Dean was greatly cheered by his visitors today.

He has been making some good progress.
All the tests are back and he's on antibiotics for the pneumonia.
The heat exhaustion has caused severe dehydration resulting in body chills, aches and diarrhea.
I'm writing this journal entry right before I leave the hospital for the night and he is in much better shape now than he was at 8:00 this morning.
He still needs help getting out of bed and has to hold onto something to stand up.
But he's going in the right direction.
That being said, one of the sweet nurses checked him a little earlier tonight and said, "You are doing good!" He said, "Then why do I FEEL so bad??"

At one point today, he did say he knew he had made a breakthrough and would be getting well.
For awhile there he didn't think he would ever ever feel good again.

The latest news on Nita is that she is 'trending up' and I like that term.
It's baby steps and our heart is filled with hope for Nita to recover and gratitude for all those who are praying for her.

Goodnight and God Bless You!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Friday With Sisters and Saturday With Louis Dean.....

Sherry and I arrived back in Irving Thursday night and we watered everything front and back before going to bed. She had left for work when I woke up at 8:00 Friday morning after having a terrible dream! I was trying desperately to get to the hospital to see Nita and someone had taken me to a house and I couldn't figure out how to get in touch with Sherry or how to get back home where my car was.

That doesn't sound nearly as scary as my dream really was and I hot the floor running so I could get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Nita had been taken down to imaging and had been there quite awhile but I arrived just as she was being brought back to CVICU. I was at the window watching while this amazing Nurse Kristen hooked Nita back up to the maze of tubes and wires that is supporting her life.
While not connected to her life support, naturally she lost some ground but Kristen worked all day gaining that ground back for her.
When I thank God for placing his angels around Nita, I do believe some of them are Baylor Angels.
And they have names and I am praying for them.

Deanie and Charlie were already there and it was such a blessing to get to visit with them.

We laughed, cried and talked for hours.

We walked around the hospital admiring the art.
This is the Water Gardens in Fort Worth.
I haven't been there in years but I used to take my children there often.

Amon Carter is my very favorite museum.

The Botanic Gardens are famous.
Amber and Benjamin and I used to visit there as well as the Japanese Tea Garden.

Another historic place in Fort Worth.

It was such a good day to be together.

We both loved this painting.

Deanie and I went several times to visit Nita during the day.
We stood at the window and prayed and talked to her and found comfort in being that close to her.
At one point Kristen had taken the sheet and blanket off of her as she felt warm.
We could then see her arms and hands and her toes.
Nita has always been warm natured so it was no surprise that she felt better when she was cooler.

After Deanie and Charlie left, I settled down with my Bible, prayer book and then I dozed off a time or two. On my last visit to Nita, I could hear Kristen talking to Leah on the phone.
It made me so happy to know I was right there looking at my sister while her daughter was getting an update.
Bottom line, Nita is seriously and critically ill.
I know in my heart that she is still here and I hope and pray we get to keep her.
We must be patient because there are so many issues being addressed with her all at the same time.
We are ever so grateful for the wonderful care she is receiving.

I left the hospital around 7:00 Friday evening and as I was walking out of the hospital, Mike was walking in. Perfect timing.

I talked to Louis Dean on the way home.
He had been in bed all day and still felt sick.
Dean had taken him some cream of chicken soup and checked on him so I felt better knowing that.
I went in and immediately put my clothes in the laundry and took a good shower.
That's what one does after being in a hospital all day.
Just as we were about to go out and water, Louis Dean called and asked me to come back to the ranch.
He wasn't better and thought he might need to go the ER.

Sherry is and has always been such a blessing and a support for us.
She drove us back and we arrived around midnight!

I took my 'bag of tricks' with me.....
the thermometer, oximeter, blood pressure cuff, Tylenol, some Liquid IV, and a Covid test.
Being away, I couldn't tell if Louis Dean needed to get to an ER asap or if he could wait until we got there. In the country, ambulances take a long time in arriving so he decided to wait on me instead of having Dean drive him to Waco.

I took all his vitals and he was running a low fever but the Tylenol nipped that back in just a few minutes. Everything else was looking good - BP, Sp02, pulse, a negative result on the Covid test,.....his main complaint is body aches and exhaustion.
So no middle of the night trip to the hospital after all.

It was 2:00 in the morning before I finally got in the girl bunk.
We both slept well and didn't wake up but a couple of times in the night.

This morning he was a little better but has spent yet another day in bed.
I do believe this is from heat exhaustion when he got out there and mowed and dug up things as soon as we got down here on Monday.

I love my Quiet Time and found comfort in my devotional book this morning.
It's amazing how God finds way to comfort our hearts.

It's been a quiet day here at the ranch.
Louis Dean has stayed in bed all day and I have puttered around.
This is the redeemed silk fruit and vegetable arrangement I repainted in oils.
I love how it turned out!

Look who is visiting us these days!

Tarzan! He is a brother kitty to our Samantha, Tabitha, Ginger and Klaus.
He didn't get adopted so he is the boy ranch cat now and quite a celebrity.
I am feeding him some every day.
Today he got an egg, some cheese and a couple slices of bacon!

The stand of sunflowers that blocks Louis Dean's view is starting to decline.
This was tonight's bouquet as I cut down another few stalks.

The cats seemed to disappear today and I was too busy paying attention to Louis Dean to notice.

Come to find out, they had gone down the back of the couch and was underneath it all day long.
They couldn't get out because I had put sun screens in the window behind the sofa and unknowingly blocked their escape. I finally thought to lift the sofa and there they were!

Louis Dean got up for dinner tonight and we ate outside on the deck.
After the sun goes down, it's really nice out.
I made a banana pudding for dessert and then did the whole 'check all his vitals' and he took his medicine and went back to bed.

I am about to go to bed myself in a few minutes.
Sherry and I are planning on working in the apiary tomorrow morning!
I'm looking forward to seeing the bees!

But I need to finish episode 2 of season 2 of Vera!
I'm loving this show!

It's been one week since Nita fell critically ill and was admitted to the hospital.
I haven't seen an update today so I am assuming Nita's about the same.
We know we must be patient and there will be ups and downs.
She is in God's hands.....and in our hearts and prayers.