Throat Blog — A Weak Week


Weak pretty much sums up my main complaint for my first week out of the hospital. I am still slightly anemic, and do have a bit of orthostatic hypotension (faintness if I stand up too quickly). But never actually passed out, and for the most part able to “gut it out” to get things done.

And, I got a few things done. Off of my to-do list are:

  • Hiring contractor for kitchen/bath updates. Still need to pick fixtures, but know the general cost and who will do the work. Contractor can’t start for a couple of months, so will have time to ease into my part of the prep work (emptying all the cabinets).
  • Starting arrangements for some landscaping work. Over 35 years in this house my sloped front yard has gradually slumped. And my grass is dirt. So, going to have the front yard regraded, have a few sprinkler heads put in (watering on schedule is the main reason for the major dead spots), have sod planted, have a dead tree removed, and have some limbs trimmed back from my power pole lead.
  • Decided on and put the down payment on a new car. Ford Flex. I imagine I’ll post about that later…but it is coming up from Katy, TX so won’t do the switch until later in the week.
  • Took a License to Carry class. Still need to get fingerprinted and wait for the background check. Again, I’ll likely expand on that in a later post.
  • Took many (probably too many) naps, both intended and unintended.

One unexpected task was having my g-tube replaced. On Thursday evening one of my pills (magnesium citrate) decided to harden and totally block the g-tube. I tried pushing the syringe plunger pretty hard. Also tried pulling the syringe plunger pretty hard…that just collapsed the tube above the clog. Tried warm water, but not convinced any of the warm water made it to the clog. Then, I went McGuyver on it. I have some unopened guitar strings. The “A” string looked to be about the perfect size to “roto-root” the g-tube. Tried it, and it actually worked!

But, the A string is made up of a tiny inner wire wrapped by another coiled wire. From the factory, the inner wire sticks out an inch or so. I should have cut off that part of the wire, because in addition to clearing the clog, I also must have punctured the balloon that inflates to hold the tube in my stomach. Tiny hole, so slow leak. I was able to push dinner with no issue. But, when I got up Friday morning the entire tube was about halfway pulled out. I pushed it back and taped it down, but when I tried to draw fluid out of my stomach (to ensure that the other end was in my stomach) all I got was air (meaning that it was just in my abdominal cavity). So, couldn’t do morning meds, get water, or get any nutrition.

I had scheduled and paid for my license to carry class on Friday, so didn’t make it to the Medical City Arlington ER (didn’t see the point in driving to UTSW for such a minor issue) until about 4pm. Actual time in the ER was only 2 hours. They said that this is not an unusual thing to have happen (well, in general…they hadn’t ever heard of it happening due to a guitar string). Only snag was that they did not have the same size tube as was previously installed (an 18). First, tried a 20, but despite the doctor pushing hard enough to really hurt (and to make the hole bleed a little), it wouldn’t go in. So, he switched to a 16, which went in easy peasy, but is a smaller size, so feeding is a little slower.

I am trying to not look too closely at myself in the mirror after my shower. I am really thin. No upper arm muscles. Glutes, thighs, calves are mostly gone. Pecs don’t peck (actually left pec will never come back as it is now in my neck). I made it about 5 minutes on the exercise bike before having to stop. But, I can walk pretty much indefinitely (well, after the sun goes down…not acclimatized to the heat at all). So, slowly working on extending my capacity. This will be a long process. But, hey, it gives me something other than “napping” to do when I run out of other to-dos to do.

Well, if I am going to get up early enough to work a (mostly) full day, tomorrow, I’d better get to bed. So, catch you later in the week.

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