How to Reach Russ

He's at home
His cell 619-778-3231

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter at Eastlake Southcoast

Yes we were all at the same place, at the same time, with a camera and a friend. Two things to take note of, Lauren is wearing 4 inch heels (Russ hasn't shrunk that much) and Steven IS dressed up (he covered his plain white tee with a sweat shirt). I was so happy to have all of us together I didn't care what anyone wore. As I mentioned in the last post we don't see Steven much anymore and we kinda miss him. I always thought I wanted to be an empty nester, but right now I'm thankful that my daughter is still home, she helps out so much with the running around of her grandma and dad and with other errands Russ would normally do.
Russ has been very busy with doctors, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and a pain management program. He's got something going everyday, which is good as it doesn't give him time to worry too much. He's really enjoying the pain program, because it is mostly relaxation techniques (he's actually fallen asleep in some of the sessions). He's catching sleep whenever he can since he's up all night going to the bathroom. No it's not prostrate problems, it seems that the urethra didn't heal as well as we hoped so now his bladder never fully empties. The poor guy spends more time in the bathroom than out. As of today's' doctors appointment he will have to have a new catheter put in to make sure his bladder empties and does not cause too much pressure on his kidneys. This is a temporary fix while they are trying to get him in to see a "World Renown Urologists" up in Irvine that does these special urethral repairs (I was told it's like sewing tissue paper together).
So today is on the downhill side of the roller coaster ride for Russ, as he was really hoping there would be a simple fix this time. However, in typical Russ fashion he took a few minutes to feel bad and then moved forward to the next appointment with a smile on his face. Our motto around here is "You gotta laugh or you'll cry".
I'll update as we learn more about his surgery, keep on praying, and come by and visit if you're in the area.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Time Flys

Well so much for posting every week, every night I think I'm going to get to that post and every night I end up in bed sleeping. So now that the time has changed and my body thinks it's 8:30 I'm finally awake to post.
This is a picture of us at our dear friend Amy's wedding, notice Russ is standing with no walker and has on dress-up clothes. Yes, he's walking on his own the therapists told him to get rid of the walker and so he has. I was nervous about him being around the dogs and small children and being off balance. So his 5'3" tiny therapist took him outside to walk on the uneven grass and started pushing him, on his side, bumped his leg, pushed his shoulder, and he stayed upright with little trouble. So of course Russ couldn't let this opportunity pass to have a little fun, he started yelling out for help, saying that she was abusing him. He says there were a few people that stopped to see if he was ok. I guess they had a good laugh.
So now he's on a Tuesday and Thursday therapy rotation, with doctors appointments in between. His caregivers are gone and he is working on his own at home on off days trying to build his strength. We're hoping that he'll be attending the Pain Program at the Re-had center and start learning different ways to deal with his pain so he can be weaned off of the pain meds. Everyday brings a new challenge Sunday it was a bladder infection and today it's either scar tissue in his urethra or an enlarged prostrate. So now my hunny who hates taking pills is consuming 14-18 a day. Wow, how quickly things can change.
We are doing a few more things now and moving around a bit lighter. Saturday the 13th we celebrated Steven's 19th birthday and enjoyed visiting with him. We're really proud of how well Steven is doing at school, but miss him a lot. He's not coming home every weekend any longer because of the cost of gas ( ya 100 bucks a week gets old real quick) he needs a job up in the Riverside area. If anyone knows of part time work in that area let us know, pleasssse.
So I could end this post with a meaningless promise of writing more often, but instead promise to look after Russ and post when possible. Love and thanks to you all for your prayers and well wishes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Last Handi Shower

This has been Russ' deluxe shower accommodations for the last 2 months. Since the catheter is out and he's showering in the real shower upstairs inside the house, we thought we'd (I of course) would have a little fun with it. YES, Russ is finally hardware free, no casts, no hoses, no wheelchair. It's like when you have a baby and they turn into toddlers and you feel like you have so much more freedom. To go somewhere we just have to load Russ (granted he loads a little slower then a toddler) the walker, and a soft cushion into the car and off we go. We are limited to short trips, but o' boy it feels good to go.

He's been working hard or should I say the therapists are working him hard. He's walking more upright and feeling stronger. He's probably been more sore recently, but that's because he's pushing harder to build endurance and flexibility. His next big move will probably be driving, that won't be for a couple of months so the roads are safe for now. I'll try to post at least once a week with whatever updates we have, thanks for caring.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Delay

Today was the day Russ' catheter was supposed to come out. We where at the doctors office Russ had worked himself into a panic, but was also so excited to get rid of his annoying little leg friend. The doctor walks into the room and says "Friday is not a good day to remove a catheter". WHAT, yes he was serious if there are any complications it's not good for them to be on the weekend. Duh Doc you couldn't of told us that prior to us being so excited and driving all the way to La Jolla. Oh and don't forget that now we get to remove it at home on Monday morning. So now we pull it out at home and then wait 4 hours to see if everything is flowing alright, if not we get in the car and drive to his office, for who knows what. Just let me tell you if we have to go to his office on Monday you my see my name in the paper for strangling a doctor with a full catheter hose. What a putz, how about a little concern for the mental health of your patients doc. Well as a very wise women told Russ before "It's not for a lifetime dad, you can do it". Will update Monday on the leg monster.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines Day Surprise

This weekend was a good one, Russ has been working super hard at therapy and somehow keeping me in the dark. Not easy because he can not keep a secret for the life of him. So as you can all see he surprised me by walking up the stairs Sunday morning (yes you're seeing it right no help it's all him). This is amazing the doctors said 12 weeks before he could put full weight on both legs and he healed so well that he's going upstairs in 12 weeks. Of course he still has a lot of pain but he's powering through and determined to get more independent. I let him lay in bed with his shoes on (I figured he earned it). For the first time in 3 months we slept in the same bed on Valentines night. Wow, it felt weird but wonderful at the same time. The dogs were so happy, when they woke up in the morning they all went over and gave dad kisses (I waited for my kiss until the dog slobber was gone). He's spending less time in his wheelchair and went to church on Saturday night using his walker everyone was so happy for him. We're having a little more freedom now, I can lift the walker into the back of the car, no way could I lift the chair. This Friday is another appointment to remove the catheter please pray, this thing really needs to go. If he comes home with a catheter he will be sooo disappointed and I may have to name it and beadazzle it to lift his mood. Gotta laugh or we would cry way too much.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Russ visits Work

Today, Russ had a doctor's appointment in La Jolla he got the ok to start bearing weight on his wrist, this means he can use a regular walker, this is really great news. Since we were already in the neighborhood we stop at Hazard so Russ could say hi, Mario got a little more then a hi (should I be jealous?). It was great to see him in his element and in a vest and hard hat again, too bad he can't play (work) in the dirt yet.
I haven't posted lately so I'll digress and update you all on what's been happening. In my last post I talked about a new medication for nerve pain that Russ started last week. The meds seem to be helping and he's moving better, which means the psychical therapist is working him harder. He's very tired when he comes back from rehab, but in good spirits. He's going up a few stairs (with help), balancing on a board with half ball under it, and doing squats. Wow, who needs a gym membership. His wrist therapist is working on strength, flexibility, and dexterity. He made the mistake one day of saying something she was having him do was easy, boy he says won't do that again.
Russ is working really hard and making good progress, his attitude is good most of the time, and we haven't killed each other. Keep praying it's working.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rough days

Sometimes it hard to post when there's not anything new or fantastic to post about. if you ask Russ how he's doing he'll always say I'm doing good or he'll reassure everyone that everything will be fine. When I ask him why he does that he says "because people don't want to know the bad stuff". That's Russ always thinking about everyones feelings, before his own. Well the past couple of days have been very tough on him and I think people should know it.

Tuesday we started the day at 4am to be ready for a 5am transport bus to Scripps La Jolla for a 8am procedure. The urologist removed the catheter he's had in since the 16th of Nov. and scoped to see if Russ's urethra had healed. This is what Russ has been waiting weeks for the removal of this pain in the *$# bag, he was coming home with no leash. Now Russ is under general anaesthesia for this so he doesn't know what's happening. So the doctor does his thing and finds that Russ has not totally healed, so a new catheter goes in and Russ wakes up to a big disappointment.

Ok, so what's a couple of more weeks we can do this, no big deal. Then in the post op check out room they give him a leg bag that holds about 8oz of liquid and straps to his thigh (thanks). So I'm on the phone calling his case manager to see if we go to the rehab center can they help us. Remember we are already 8 hours into our day and back in the transport bus headed to the clinic at rehab. Russ is still a little out of it from being under and has the worst cotton mouth ever, I have to limit his water intake though because the bag holds 8oz. He's hurting from being poked and prodded and now we have to go to another hospital to try and get the right equipment for him. In his words "this is disheartening".

When we got to the clinic the Lord took pity on us and things went smoothly, the nurse was available, she was nice and informative (gave us info we could of used weeks ago and life would have been easier). In and out in 45 mins and we're on our way home, Russ was so tired that he slept with workers using compression nail guns 10 feet away from him. Yes we are finally getting a pocket door on the powder room, Russ will be able to get his walker into the restroom and use a real toilet and close the door, yah.

Today he wakes up sore but with a good attitude (my husband is amazing). He has a 4:30 doctors appointment with his rehab doc this is the first one since he was released. The purpose is to see how the transition to home is and how he's feeling. Two hours later the doctor had a good understanding of what he's going through, but probably made a note that we need counseling. Remember how I said Russ won't complain or tell anyone how crappy he feels, he thinks this applies to doctors too. I kept telling her how much pain he was in and he kept minimizing everything ( I wanted to hurt him). I'm sure she thought I was nuts and just babying my husband (if you know me you know I don't baby anyone). So she's trying to figure out why he can't do things if he feels as good as he says he does and I'm pulling my hair out and trying to reason with him that it's not being a sissy to say things hurt after being run over by a truck. I'm saying he's hyper sensitive to touch in certain areas and he's saying no he's not it's normal. Well finally the doctor says drop your pants and touches one of those areas he screams she says it was a feather touch and he finally gets that he shouldn't be in that much pain. Can you believe they have different meds that can help nerve pain, and that's not what he's on because no one except his wife and him knew how much pain he is in because he doesn't tell doctors what they need to know to help him. New meds start tomorrow let's pray for better days, if you ask Russ how he feels and he says fine know that it's his way of making you feel better and tell him he's full of it.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Any men reading this tell your doctors how you really feel and let them figure out if it's normal or not.