News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

the last 36 hours

As I usually do on Tuesdays, I went downtown for a couple things, and one was coffee with a friend who also happens to work with Phil. He told me Phil was feeling rocky, and I knew that was probably true. Because of the built-up scar tissue, the doctors really had to bare down to get the catheter in his body on Monday. As a result, his chest, neck and arm are swollen.

I had a joyous moment on the way home from Downtown when I pulled up a GPS app on my Iphone. The bus driver was quiet when calling stops, and I wanted to see if I could track our progress. Wow! I could, and in combination w/ the driver speaking up a little more, I could assess that the app was very accurate. I was so happy and can’t wait to try this in cabs and Metro Mobility. It read the addresses we passed, and I knew when we crossed the street, because the numbers went up. I also marked home as a favorite spot. Zane is pretty good spotting the gate, but it was amazing how accurate the app was finding our address!

The rest of the night was pretty relaxing, until Phil and Garron arrived. Phil staggered in the house sobbing and incoherent. I got the dogs out, and Phil was so upset that Zane was too frightened to come in for a while. His is probably anthropomorphizing to the extreme, but Garron was by me as if to say, “I got him home, but I don’t know what to do about this.” Phil quickly fell asleep on the couch, and his breathing was ragged. I was plenty scared and really wondered whether I should be calling the paramedics or at least some friends to look at him. Eventually I got little pieces of the story. I knew from other bouts of this stuff that sleep was really the only thing that helped. His breathing was so ragged that it really frightened me! But we had to get his evening medications in him and get the cases for the next day sorted. Once I got Zane settled, I let Phil sleep for a while, woke him in an hour and a half, and got more of the story about how bad the swelling had become. The pain medication patch and a rough Metro Mobility ride made him extremely motion sick. Although the patch wasn’t ready for his hand problems, he tried it to manage pain from insertion of the catheter. Needless to say, that’s one more narcotic he won’t use — at least in that form. He tried to put his medications in cases but quickly realized he had to lie down. I let him sleep for another hour or so before deciding we both really needed to go to bed. I woke him up and got bottle by bottle instructions regarding in which cases his medications were to be dispensed. Between instructions, he’d fall asleep for a couple minutes.

I woke up this morning to him frantically asking me to get the dogs out and telling me he’d been sick during his bath. Everything feels terrible when he doesn’t feel good, and he discovered that in the hurry to get to the toilet, he didn’t get the soap off his back. Twisting was hard because of the swelling, so I gently — and then not so gently at his request — got the soap off with a wash cloth. Phil sat on the couch to try to recover and fell asleep. This morning the breathing wasn’t ragged, and he asked me to wake him at six thirty. He couldn’t survive the last things he tried to do before getting ready for work, so after leaving messages for his co-workers, he came back to bed and basically slept until four this afternoon. He still felt rocky, but the more he was up the better he felt.

When Phil turned on the oven to make dinner, the most horrid smell came out of it! Phil opened the windows, but smoke detectors all over the house went off. We got the call to make sure we were ok, and the monitoring company said they would disable the alarms for an hour while Phil finished cooking supper. But the alarms kept going and going! We called the company back, and suddenly they couldn’t pull up our file with our password. So While Garron was in the back yard and Zane quickly went out front, Phil and I each tried to get the security company on our phones. The monitoring people transferred him to the wrong company, so it took a while to track down the problem and get the alarms to shut up.

Needless to say, we did not use the oven for supper. By this time, Phil had a terrible headache and was feeling rockier. He talked me through what he wanted on his salad, and we had salads and Chex mix. Then Phil worked with our new reader Sarah Grace, while I was on trick or treating duty. This was the first time Phil and Garron met Sarah Grace, so it was good for them to work together. We had only about half the trick-or-treaters we normally do, but since we give 50 cents per kid for their bags, left-overs are no problem. We suspect the low turn-out is because of increased audible gun shots in our area. We used to hear them once a year or maybe six months. Now it’s more like once a month or two. One of the last things Sarah Grace did was check our oven to see if there was anything she could find to justify such a horrid smell. She found it!

I have to backtrack to a Sunday morning a few weeks ago. Phil often pops cinnamon rolls in the oven on Sunday mornings, and he remarked that we were missing a roll. He thought perhaps he’d accidentally made two in one, and we thought little more about it. When Phil was gone, I almost used the oven but decided I could be satisfied with microwaving what I needed. I am so glad I wimped out, because despite the chaos of two of us and the dogs, something like this really would have scared me with Phil gone. There was also a little relief in learning that I’m not the one who dumped the roll in there. I remember taking something out of the oven for Phil recently and strongly suspected it was me who caused all these problems.

Needless to say, I’d be perfectly comfortable not to have such eventful days for a while. The pain of the catheter is now an ache, and although the swelling is slowly going down, Phil’s a little worried about it. He is concerned that his doctors would over react and plunk him back in the hospital which is why he’s trying to deal with it himself. Since I don’t hear the ragged breathing anymore, I’m not bugging him about it for now, but if it doesn’t get better soon, we’ll revisit it. He’ll need more time to fully recover from the motion sensitivity, but hopefully by tomorrow morning, he’ll be recovered enough to go to work.

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Comments on: "the last 36 hours" (1)

  1. Jeanie Vejil said:

    Bless Phil’s heart Rebecca, and yours too. He sure has to put up with a lot from these catheter insertions. I sure hope that the upcoming graft will do the trick for him.

    Those smoke alarms would have given me a headache too, and they make one’s hearing go very wierd, so you two aren’t alone on that score.

    Jeanie and Trudy

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