Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The PaceMaker Does Give Me Life - and How

As I posted in the previous, having that "response" mode turned on in the pace maker and combined with my "juice" I came alive.

I have a metal shed I store stuff that can be quickly and easily reached. Last winter, the shed had been emptied because I need to put a wire mesh floor down to keep the ground squirrels out and digging tunnels over to the neighbor's yard. The kids helped me finish it up during Juno's visit at Thanksgiving. Some of the stuff got put back in in a haphazard way until this spring. Every thing out and then every thing back in an organized manner. Over here is my Christmas stuff and over there are my recycling bins and back there are my frequently used garden tools.

April was the start of Spring yard work and spring cleaning inside.
Iris garden
My iris were blooming and I spread cosmo and alyssum seeds on the north side where they get some shade from the very hot desert sun. The goldfinches were returning and the feeding frenzy started. Some of them never left and we got to enjoy baby goldfinches learning how to eat seed upside down from the feeders.

Winter Jasmine in bloom
The winter jasmine shrubs had finished blooming and it was time to trim the bushes - I have 7 of them. Inside the home, the curtains were getting taken down and washed and rehung. The walls (paneling) all throughout were getting cleaned of dust that had accumulated over the last few years, windows were getting washed inside and out. The last of the Fall leaves were being rounded up and disposed of with the leaf blower (I have a gravel yard).

Flowering pomegranate bush
The pomegranate bush was starting to bloom out (it is an ornamental bush, no fruit) and those blooms become a massive mess on the ground when they fall, so I'd go around every couple of days and pick them up.

I started baking my early summer supply of breakfast muffins and putting them in the freezer. I love muffins for breakfast and so does my midriff area.

During the month of May, Jim was placed on Palliative Care, which is pre-Hospice. He wasn't responding to the attempts to drain him of the fluids in his body and the kidneys, lungs and heart were having a rough time. His bed sores weren't improving. It was hard for him to move around and I worried about him falling. A medical bed, with an air mattress, was brought in for him to at least spend 5 or 6 hrs a day out of a chair.  His kidney doc kept upping his Lasix. It took 5 or 6 weeks of high Lasix dosage for his body to respond and we (his home health team) kidded him that he had ankles and legs finally. Eventually we have been able to cut the Lasix down to a maintenance level. He has been on a no/low sodium diet, a diet for his kidneys and then because of the high level of Lasix, his uric acid was high so a medication and diet for that. The low-sodium diet is easy but the other two have conflicts.

In June, I discovered the wooden steps and the step stringer at the back door had rotted, so that will be a fall project to work on.
Painted bench w/railing behind painted by Juno
Newly made bench pad w/matching fabric
I have two wooden benches the previous owner left and I painted one a teal blue and brown, made a bench pad and pillows for it and the other bench is a Mexican style and I painted it, in July, and made a bench pad with fabric that goes with the colors on the bench. I still have to make the pillows from left over fabric. I also covered a little table with some left over fabric using Mod Podge and sealing with water proof sealing.
Colorful bench w/new pad & matching table.

In June Juno came down to spend a few days with her dad to see for herself how he was doing. She visited with several members of his home health team and she went home with a better feeling of how her dad was doing and what is being done. I am so glad she was able to come and visit. While she was here I asked her to paint the front steps railings that match the teal blue bench. I still have the porch area and steps to paint this Fall. Railing is behind the blue bench.

"Birdio" for small birds to feed
In June, I built a "birdio" for the small birds around the feeding station from a set of those wire bookcases. I felt sorry for the small birds trying to get to the dropped seeds from the feeders and constantly being pushed out of the way by the doves. It didn't take them long to learn how to get inside and was interesting watching the frustration of the bigger birds. Every few weeks I move it around so I can clean up the seed hulls and take several bucket fulls out to the alley where the doves find the pile and sort through looking for seeds.

This year we put Reflectix in the west windows inside to cut down the heat of summer and it has made a difference. With Jim's electric hospital bed with air mattress and his oxygen machine running 24 hrs a day, then add window and portable AC's, the swamp cooler and the other appliances, I was dreading the city's electric bill. So far each month has not exceeded the previous years.

Painted shutters in teal & brown
In July, I started painting the metal shutters on the east and north side of the mobile home - 5 sets. It took me into August to get them done. The prep work, painting, and putting a UV protective coat on them as 2 sets get a lot of sun each summer. They match the teal and brown colors.
My new rain barrel and overflow barrel
I also bought  a "real" rain barrel before the monsoon season started and it has been filled 4 times along with the overflow barrel. I use the water in between storm breaks to water all the plants and shrubs. 
Brightly painted wrought iron wall decor
In early August, a wrought iron wall hanging needed painting so I spruced it up with some color. An old computer desk of Jim's was painted the brown and teal to match the colors of the home and bench.
Old computer desk painted to match
I use it to keep small garden tools, etc handy. I also had a former sofa table and painted it to match the teal and brown bench and it is beside the bench.
Old sofa table painted to match

In August, I had a stress test and echo cardiogram and was apprehensive about the results from that. It had been three years since the last one and I was hoping for at least the same results; BUT they were even better!!!! My ejection fraction rate had gone up from 40 to 65, my heart muscles were stronger and my heart was doing some of the beating on its own and not depending 100% on the pacemaker. Doc also took me off two heart medicines. I was so elated as you can imagine. Jim saw his kidney doc a few months a go and he was pleased at how much he has improved and he saw his cardiologist just recently and he also was very pleased at the tremendous improvement. Jim will remain on the palliative care because he has other problems that need monitoring and it gives me a little break here and there.

I still will keep busy - painting the front porch and steps,
Time to do some replacing
replacing the rotted back steps, trimming the winter jasmine for winter, leaf-blowing up the leaves from the mulberry tree
Those are swim noodles
 replacing the swim noodles I put on the street steps metal hand railing to keep from either freezing your hand to the pipe or burning them up in the summer (I like the color), making new tin can luminaries to hang on the cinder block fence, 
Mailbox to get some "bling"
adding some "bling" to the mailbox I painted,
and sanding and repainting a favorite slat chair.
My fav wood slat chair to be re-stained

I hope to be able to do some repair/renovation to the inside of the trailer and maybe get the patio cover posts secured into the ground before the spring winds come along. And then it will be Spring and time to start all over again.

1 comment:

  1. As you put a comment on my blog I checked to see yours and here you have put up some new posts.
    You sure have been through a lot of medical issues with family Sorry to read about your SIL damn cancer. But good to your and Jim are improving.

    You have certainly been busy around your place and it all looks so lovely and fun. I wish I had your talents and energy. Mine energy level is trash now that I have COPD and gained a whole of of weight. But I'm trying :).

    Take care and hope to see more posts