Sunday, April 15, 2012

What's Been Happenin' in Phoenix

Carla works on her computer while enjoying some warm Phoenix sun!
 It has been a busy time down here in Phoenix!  We came here on March 10 to help out Annie, my college roommate, while she had knee replacement surgery and during her recuperation.  We had not been at her house 15 minutes when I took Bob to Urgent Care and ultimately to the emergency room at Paradise Valley Hospital.  They diagnosed a bowel blockage and kept him in the hospital 2 nights.  We were surprised they didn't give us much information on how what they did was going to help the situation.  This was the 4th time he had severe stomach cramps since the first of the year, but they insisted "these things usually resolve themselves".

2 days later we took Annie to another hospital (John C. Lincoln for those of you who are familiar with Phoenix).  She came through the surgery with flying colors and had no complications.  She was lucky enough to get a room on the 3rd floor which had recently been renovated and was quite wonderful with all the high tech equipment and big screen TV!  4 days later she was released and the long recuperation began.  We had quite a big schedule, as she had to be on the CPM machine 2 hours three times a day with 1/2 hour icing after each session!  We had to get started at 6 AM to get everything worked in!  She also had about 30 minutes of exercises she had to do, along with some walking.  A physical therapist also came in 3 days a week for 2 weeks. Annie had to use the machine for three weeks and I had to be there to put it in and out of the bed and to be with her when she walked and exercised for safety's sake.  I also had to do all the cooking and cleaning during that time so I was pretty busy.  But I did get some reading in and we watched several movies, too.  Annie, who is a big sports fan, also got to watch a lot of baseball while using the CPM machine.
Annie's porch is lighted with "red hot chili peppers."  Carla had to replace the bunch and this is how they turned out.
On March 29 Bob started having sharp stomach pains again.  The hospital had not given us much help on finding a follow up Dr. so we decided to call Bob's Dr. in Denver. He was out of the office but the nurse paged him and he prescribed some pills for intestinal cramping.  By the time they had called in the prescription and we got the pills, he was feeling much better. Bob was supposed to call his Dr. on Monday to update him, but the pills were not to be taken unless there was pain, which he didn't have any more.  Meanwhile, Carla decided she needed to come to Phoenix to see what the situation was.  She arrived that Monday just in time to help us get Annie to the outpatient Physical Therapy.

On Wednesday morning the stomach pains returned with a vengeance.  We were still on the 6 hour CPM schedule with all the exercising, so by afternoon when the pills seemed to be doing no good, Carla took Bob to the emergency room at Mayo Clinic which is about a 10 minute drive from Annie's house. They immediately took x-rays and after seeing them, pumped his stomach and put him in their hospital for an unspecified amount of time until the whole situation could be resolved.  He was assigned a team of Drs. which included surgeons to decide how to proceed.

Thursday night about midnight, Paul and Ash arrived from California.  On Friday Bob had lots of visitors but still nothing could be decided until they did some more x-rays on his stomach.  That  evening JJ and Ozzie arrived on motorcycles heading back to Nevada from San Antonio where they had spent Spring Break with Micah's family.  They continued their trip the next day after being assured that Bob was doing much better.  On Easter Sunday Bob was released from the hospital without surgery but armed with a low fiber diet (just the opposite of what the other hospital had suggested) which we hope will help the situation.

Another shot of the pepper bunch for Carla to see since she went home before dark that day.
  Carla stayed here with us and helped with running errands and getting to Physical Therapy.  She also got in some shopping and visiting with Paul and Ash before they left.  Carla engineered Annie's first outing which was to Fort McDowell Casino for some gambling.  Carla was the only one who came home with some winnings but it was a fun time.  We all went out to eat at The Keg for Annie's second field trip and celebrated an early birthday for Bob.  The next day Carla headed back home to Casper since Bob seems to be doing real well on his new diet.

I'm getting excited to see my "cabin" after being gone since the New Year!
We are planning to stay here for 2 more weeks and then we are headed home to the cabin  for a short stay before we start the graduation rounds.  We have been enjoying the nice warm sunny days.  I am not looking forward to getting used to the North Park cold and wind, but it will be nice to get back to my own bed and our beloved cabin!