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New doctors, new pain, tests, ER visit



Since August of my last blog Larry developed pain in his back. His shoulder pain went away but now the back pain came. At one point, he became so weak, he could not walk. My son had to duck walked him from the kitchen to the family room. He never had trouble walking like this since the last time he was admitted to the hospital. I was afraid he was having a UTI. I called the doctor and got the nurse on the exchange. After I told him Larry's condition, he said it was best to get him to the ER for evaluation. I had to call the ambulance since my son and I could not get him to the car. They took him out in a soft sling since I told them to come to the back door. My son drove us to the hospital, Larry was admitted to the "inner ER area" in the hallway. We waited one and half hours in the hall as the ER had admissions galore that night. We got in a room and waited 5 hours altogether before a doctor came. After he called Larry's doctor, she and said to admit him for observation. He had the blood work already started and had an MRI the next day. The kidneys/blood work, etc. were normal and MRI showed some arthritis which caused the pain. He stayed 2 nights and had home therapy again with our same good PT. The MRI also showed some issues with his spine but not too serious yet. The wait was a nightmare but they were extremely busy with more serious issues so we were told. At least Larry's son, daughter, and my son were there for support and company. He is fine now as the PT helped with his mobility once again. Back pain gone.


The doctor came in the next day. I was told to wait for her during lunch. I waited an hour and she blew in and said "I only have 7 minutes". She gave me the diagnosis in rapid fire, said Larry was admitted "under observation". She explained he could go to a SNF but we had to pay out of pocket. Or, he could go home and have home therapy. Since I wanted him home, I said "we will go home with home therapy". I wanted to stay away from SNF as long as Larry could walk. He had therapy the next day and was walking so that was good.


Larry then saw a new ear doctor to have the wax build up cleared. Then to the audiologist for the hearing test which was the same. I have to remember to tell him to wear the hearing aids! I'm not dragging around so he can just sit there and have me repeat everything!


Next is the sleep specialist Tuesday. The doctor insisted he go again. He had the testing and CPap 3 years ago and then refused to wear the mask. We will see how this goes.


I am thinking of changing doctors as my doctor is in the same group. My doctor actually came to see Larry as she was on call the Saturday after he was admitted. At least we had no "hospitalist" who did not know his history as the admission we experienced last year.


So round and round we go. Larry is doing well now again. As a caregiver, you just have to take care of things as they come. Hopefully, the rest of the year will be uneventful for Larry and I.




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Funny how this is all so normal to us.  Ray had pneumonia end of May, I said no SNF I'll take him home and get him out in the fresh air, he'll be fine.  He was discharged immediately of course.  Then September, all over again, but this time I let them admit him for rehab.  Who knows?  It's all a roll of the dice as far as I can make out.  Now he's stuck there, on a feeding tube with could be temporary or permanent, I don't even know if he'll be out for the coming holidays.  But I do think he is getting what he needs right now, not to mention a little break for me too  ;-)

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If I read back in my blogs I see Ray and I going from one medical situation to another,a crisis, then hospitalization, diagnosis, treatment, physio...a period of stability and back on the merry-go-round. Julie all we can do is deal with each situation as it comes along and as you say in your case hope it is stability for the rest of the year.  I hope so too. And you have to stay well yourself so you can deal with it all.  (((hugs)))

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Julie - some of these issues, our spouses would have just taken care of; as normal, relatively healthy adults do. For us caregivers - we are not experiencing it, we only see a change in condition. And we just have to go with it.


Larry always seems to do best at home, but he also has an incredible therapy team that you are so lucky to be able to get whenever needed. But it is that attention to detail, that keeps Larry doing well.


Hang in there, Julie. Larry is blessed to have you! Debbie

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Thanks to the members who posted above.  As a caregiver to a stroke survivor, it puts a lot of decisions and care all on our shoulders.  We just have to do the best we can and follow the "experts advice".  But it pays to ask questions and get as much care as we can for our loved ones, even if it means getting second opinions.


I forgot to mention that I finally got Larry's mattress changed out to a firmer one.  I went through our provider for the hospital bed and finally asked for the right person.  Larry has been sleeping much better on this one.  The mattress that came with the bed (provided by Medicare) was terrible.



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I got a back ache after being shot up ,in Vietnam, and operated on in the field before being transported back to a base hospital to remove all the bullets from my back and lapoma area they didn't see in the first operation.... I also lost discs in my back from that same shooting as we were ambushed near one of our bridges they had blown up the night before....


Tell Larry I say hello and take care we both will be alright later on in our lives.... God Bless!!!

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