Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Toenail Gone Bye-Bye & Skin Cancer

No, the toenail didn't get yanked because of the skin cancer - wouldn't that be known as "toe cancer"?

Housemate Jim had his ingrown toenail removed yesterday. I can still see the podiatrist removing the nail, ugh. I told Jim I would explain to him how he did it in a year, as he couldn't/wouldn't see it. So now, not only is he getting his toes taken care of and healing from the cellulitis/MRSA infection, the big toes nail area is being treated daily too. I thought about taking a picture, but will spare you the reader.

I am the one with the skin cancer. A spot on my upper back showed up while I was on my last trip, although I didn't really see it until the end of the last trip. Sure enough the biopsy I had several weeks ago showed it to be basil cell carcinoma. A fairly common form of skin cancer and it will be removed later this month. I just hope the scar isn't too rough as it is where my bra strap and the back strap come together. Oh yea, this gives me an excuse to go braless for awhile! Ahhhhhhhh.

My "snow garden" is melting pretty fast in this nice weather we are having. The back yard is just one big muddy mess. It's a muckie mess and when I go out to the trailer to work on my crafts, I should wear hip boots. There is a sump pump in the cellar and that thing is working overtime. We are just a block from the City lake, which is quite full and so the combination of lake water that has seeped our way and the melting snow, I think the water table has risen to the surface and my sump pump is trying to send it all into the sewer system! Well, according to Mr Weatherman, we are suppose to have a couple more days of nice, then a couple of days of rain. Oh, just what we need.

The siding is starting to pay off. Got the first heating bill in since it was installed and we used less gas therms than Dec '08. It would have been lower, but because of Jim's infections we were using a lot more hot water from the gas water heater. And, this December we had 20 out of 31 days where the daily high didn't get over 30 degrees and in Dec '08, we only had 6 out of 31 days the daily high didn't get over 30 degrees. So we are lookin good.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cellulitis and MRSA

Not pleasant subjects, in fact it can be a deadly subject as I and my housemate Jim have learned.

The first week has been certainly a different one for us. New Years night I took him to the ER at the WaKeeney KS hospital because his left toes looked absolutely gross. I mean gross, seeping, swollen, crusty, touch the skin and it was falling off. (I won't print any pictures) The ER doctor admitted him to the hospital, in fact as I write this he is still in the hospital.

Jim has had chronic fungus foot problems off and on since we came back from our trip to Texas back in the fall of '08. He has also had problems with the ingrown toenail on his left foot off and on for most of his life. It's not given him very much trouble until this year. And, the fungus and bacteria ganged up together and gave him cellulitis/CA-MRSA : Community-Assisted Methicillan Resistant Staph Aureus. Okay, I cringed at the word Staph too, as well as one should - it's nothing to mess around with and can kill you. And, that's what he was facing if we had waited even a few hours longer to go to ER.

He never had a fever or any pain, just a gross looking foot. The part that scared me, besides the gross looking foot, was how the redness from his big toe was creeping up towards his ankle at a pretty noticeable rate. I knew that wasn't good so told, I mean TOLD him we were going to ER.

He has been responding to the bacteria meds good, the fungus meds he's having trouble with as we learned prior to his entering the hospital, that he is allergic to them. Think they found something and will learn this afternoon when I visit, if the med is working. He can't come home until he is totally off the meds in his IV's and can finish out the medicine treatment taking pills. He also has been getting whirlpool treatments to soften the dead skin up so it can be peeled off.

Meanwhile at home have been cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. It smells like bleach in the house! There is definitely some habits that will have to be changed and new ones learned as the possibility of carrying this the rest of his life is there. Every cut and scratch will need to be scrutinized and cleaned and sanitized until he tests clear of the fungus and bacteria boogers.

His hip surgery, I am sure, will be put off for awhile until he tests clear as I am sure the surgeon is not going to want the staph germ around anywhere. We have an appointment later this month with him to see what he wants to do. And, Jim's bladder infection that he had early in December is gone (that's what delayed the surgery the first time). He's had just so much happen in the last month, but has had pretty good spirits all through this.

Last nite the front outside thermometer read -1 degrees and the backyard outside thermometer read -3 at 4:30 this morning. It has been colder this winter than we've had in past 20 years. Seems like it's doing this to a lot of folks all around the country, even down south of here. Did Al Gore say "global warming" one too many times?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Starting Out The New Year

with my first posting of the year. This year is going to be good, not only for me and those close to me but for everyone else. '09 has been a rough year for many, a good year for many, and just an average year for others. What ever it was for you, I hope that next year at this time you can look back and say "It was a good year". That is my New Year's wish for all.

My New Year's goals are to get my housemate through his hip replacement surgery successfully and with ease (it has been postponed until late January/early February due to an infection that the surgeon didn't want to deal with); at least one long trip and 2 or 3 short trips with my little trailer; learn to live better within my budget; get the truck paid off; spend more time with friends; get the bathroom overhauled, go to my 50th high school class reunion in Calif (that might be my long trip) . That's enough.

We had a good family reunion for Christmas this year. Son came up for the week, which he hasn't done for many, many years. Was great to experience having both son and daughter with us, at this special time of the year.

Getting the house re-sided when I did was good timing for all this cold and snowy weather we've been having. Traveling, with my little trailer August to mid-October, seeing an old friend and making new ones was a reward last year. Retiring in June was great timing to be able to help my housemate out with his health circumstances. Maybe getting the kidney stone in May wasn't a good thing; but, it could have been worse and at least I now know the excruciating pain that one experiences and can understand another's discomfort. And, oh to learn that my heart's ejection fraction rate went from a little under 25% several years ago to 65% this year was super thrilling to learn. Thank you Dr Janif. Thanks to the Internet, I have been able to stay in touch with my grade-school friend Annie, those that I have met through the years but don't get to see very often; to my two very good Dodge City friends - Sarah and Sherry - for letting me visit them often and taking me to see the wonderful productions of the Dodge City Repertory Company. And again for having wonderful life experiences with my two favorite kids - Jim and Juno. Okay ex, you too. We're still living under the same roof as housemates!

So I am looking forward to this new year. Happy New Year to all.