Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An Update on Rob's Condition from the Little RV

Things have been entirely too crazy for me to post but I wanted to catch you all up on what is happening with Rob. 

In my last post I told you he had been admitted to the hospital with chest pain. You can read that post here.

As of today Rob has been in the hospital for 12 days with the last 4 being in the ICU. These are updates I have been sending to friends and family .

And this is today's update.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rob's Hospital Visit, The Whole Story

Nearly one week later and we're finally to a point where I can tell the story of Rob's most recent hospital stay. 
On Friday morning he was having chest pain that was more severe than his normal chest pain. He decided it was time to go to the ER, so we went to the small ER here in Benson. 
They evaluated him and decided with his extensive history they should transfer him to a larger hospital in Tucson about 50 miles away. They actually didn't have a cardiologist on staff. 
Rob was taken by ambulance to Tucson Medical Center. His doctors did many, many tests. He had CT scans, and echocardiogram, EKGs, and hundreds of lab tests but the one test that would probably give the best information is exceedingly dangerous for Rob. He is in stage four kidney failure. That is the stage before dialysis. Rob needed to have an angiogram so the doctors could view his heart function but that test is done with dye and dye is very hard on your kidneys. 

The doctors decided to give Rob IV fluids in an attempt to get his kidney function to improve so they could use the dye to do his angiogram. The IVs ran for four days while they watched his kidneys. He also had a nitroglycerin drip for the chest pain.

This is how it feels to be in Rob's hospital room. Wires, tubes and machines everywhere.

Each morning a heard of 7 or 8 doctors, some medial students, would come into his room and go over his case and examine him. Just like an episode of Grey's Anatomy. 

On Tuesday morning all of the fluid they had been pumping into Rob for days and days finally pushed him over the edge into congestive heart failure. When that happens he feels like he's drowning. They say it is a terrifying feeling. He had a chest x-ray and did have fluid in his lungs. The doctors were reluctant to do anything to get the fluid out of his system because they didn't want to ruin the progress they had made with his kidneys but they eventually had to stop the IVs and give him something to help move the fluid out of his system. Tuesday was a long and rough day. 
By Wednesday morning he was better and they were able to take him to the cath lab and do his angiogram. The results were basically the same as the last one he had a few years ago. There was nothing for them to fix and his heart function is only slightly reduced from the last angiogram. That is good news. It means his chest pain is most likely being caused by the part of his heart that is already damaged and is not causing further damage.
The plan now is to watch his kidneys to make sure they continue to function adequately while they process the IV dye out of his system.
Hopefully his heart and kidneys can play nicely together and he can come home soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

We Interrupt Sight Seeing for a Hospital Stay

I thought I'd let you know what's happening and why we're not posting any photos.  Yesterday, Rob had an early morning Emergency Room visit here in Benson, Arizona. 
After they established it was safe for him to be moved they had him transported by ambulance to Tucson Medical Center about 50 miles away from where the Little RV is currently parked. 

Rob has a long, long history of heart disease and has lived with chest pain daily for 15 + years. He has many other conditions as well and it is sometimes difficult to figure out which one(s) are causing his symptoms.

The doctors have been great and they are running every test known to man to determine whether his chest pain is more of the same or something new that needs to be fixed if possible.  

I'll keep you posted.  Prayers are appreciated. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Another State Bites the Dust!

On Wednesday we got the last of the packages we had been waiting for since we had arrived in Deming. Thursday we left New Mexico for Benson, Arizona. 

We added Arizona to our map today. The map is getting so filled in and it's hard to believe we started only 2 1/2 years ago. 

We made some great new friends while we were in New Mexico. The park owners were so nice and helpful to us. Here they are making a couple of repairs on our roof. 
    Vicki and James, two of the kindest people on earth.

Meanwhile, Vicki took this picture, from the roof of the Little RV, of us hanging with their dog Rocky while they did all the work. 

We haven't seen any of the sights here in Arizona yet. Rob is having a rough time and needs to lay low for a while. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to get out for a bit. 

There are quite a few places we'd like to go while we are in the area. Tombstone is just 30 miles from our campground.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Little RV Visits Rockhound State Park

We're still near Deming, New Mexico and just enjoying some quiet time.  Every other day or so we drive a short distance to see something new. We stopped for an opportunity to lay low for a bit, get our mail, order some medications and other things we were getting low on. When in all finally arrives we'll be on our way. 

We are staying at an RV park a short distance from Deming but in a great location to see the area sites. Seems like each time we go out we head in a different direction. 

The park owners are wonderful people. I asked if there was a local RV repair person who might come out and take a look at a broken vent cover and they offered to go up on the roof and take a photo of the vent in need of repair which would allow us to order parts. I knew we have a broken vent cap but I didn't know we had a broken antenna pole and not one but two broken vent caps. 

We have ordered all of the parts to make the repairs and are looking forward to having them replaced so we can at least put those problems out of our minds. 

The other day we drove to Silver City a cute, artsy little town about 35 miles north of our campground. From there we drove into the Gila National Forest. It is indeed a forest. We have a picnic lunch and headed back home. 

The altitude in Silver City is about 1000 feet higher there at 5700 feet and Rob's is having to use his oxygen full time at 4700 feet. It sure makes breathing tough for him so our outings are short without much walking. 

Yesterday we drove to Rockhound State Park. We were really surprised to find nothing but a campground and hiking trails. The campground was great with grand views and we would have loved to stay there but I think we'd have had a tough time fitting the Little RV into one of their sites. 

We did enjoy their botanical garden. We've also noticed since it rained the other day the wildflowers are in bloom.  It sure adds a punch to the endless brown landscape. 

After a recent conversation with Rob's doctor he "strongly urged" us to be home within the next month. Some new things have cropped up and they want to take a peek at him. So I guess we'll have to get in gear and head home at a faster pace. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Little RV Visits City of Rocks State Park, NM

We are in the desert.  It's vast, barren and quite frankly it's tough to find beauty here most of the time with the exception of sunrise and sunset. 

Strangely within just 10 miles of our campground there is a State park where the landscape is completely different.  It seems as though God reached into his pocket, pulled out a handful of giant boulders and tossed them to the ground. 

There is a small RV campground in the park with electricity but there are also many campsites nestled into the rocks. Those sites do not have any hook-ups but they are very well done with fire pits and picnic tables. This is one of my favorites because you get privacy, shade and a wind block.

How about this site. Could you sleep under that rock at the top?
Pumpkin Spice Muffin anyone?
The vegetation in the park was really interesting. There was a small botanical garden that looked like it was fairly new. Here are some photos from the gardens.
We have also been doing some little improvements to the Little RV like installing a magnetic knife holder...
...and slowly replacing those awful pleated shades with room darkening roller blinds.

Oh! Most exciting of all we added New Mexico to our visited state map.