Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our Spa Weekend Getaway

Just kidding! Actually, the last five days have been spent up in Santa Monica at the UCLA affiliated hospital there. Fun times. I tried to put a positive spin on it, and decided to refer to it as our "spa weekend in Santa Monica".

It all started early (really early) on Friday morning when Michael got into bed with me. He was very distressed because he was having difficulty breathing. We had been trying all week long to get a home oxygen machine for him, but it was taking so long. That combined with his nearly non-existent appetite were taking a real toll on him, and he was having a sense of impending doom. I suggested that we go up to the ER at UCLA, but he didn't want to. I debated for a little while, and then decided that I would stay home with him and see what we could do to make him feel better.

I put a call into his oncologist as soon as possible, and he advised us to get up to the hospital in Santa Monica, and that he would have Michael admitted for the weekend to get him started on oxygen. So, we quickly packed up and headed up there. We were able to get to his radiation appointment first, however. By the way, thankfully, after just three radiation treatments, Michael's scalp lesion is no longer painful! He's off the oxycodone completely!

After his radiation appointment, we drove down Wilshire to the Santa Monica hospital and went through the ER for admittance. Dr. K had already called and told them how he wanted things handled. It took a few hours, but by three o'clock he was fully admitted to the hospital.

Treatments in the hospital included oxygen round the clock, breathing treatments via the nebulizer, and a couple bags of glucose given intravenously. I'm sure Michael was dehydrated as he had had so little to eat or drink all week. He began improving shortly thereafter, and over the weekend his cough subsided a great deal. Yesterday and today he was transported for radiation treatments via an ambulance. The continuity of care was terrific in that regard. He has made a remarkable recovery thanks to quality care and answered prayers. God is good.

I spent the weekend just a few blocks away at Michael's sister's. When I wasn't with Michael, I was comfortably ensconced there. My sister-in-law and her husband kept me well-fed and were a great source of support. Their home is a few blocks from the hospital, and I really enjoyed walking to and from the hospital each day. I also enjoyed some of the local shops and restaurants on the way, and once Michael's appetite came back, I was able to bring him real food from Whole Foods, and the nearest deli and cafe. We will miss that!

Tomorrow I'll return to work and he'll go back up for another radiation treatment. On Thursday, I'll take another day off to attend a follow-up appointment with Michael to see his oncologist. I hate to leave my students with another substitute teacher, but my place is with Michael when it comes to medical appointments. I think I've got my priorities in the right order.

We were disappointed to learn that our insurance will not pay for a home oxygen machine because Michael's pulse-ox rate wasn't quite low enough. However, the benefit from the oxygen treatment over the weekend was indisputable. So, my wonderful mother found a place to purchase one, and we're hoping it will be delivered very soon. My parents are incredibly generous! It was my mom earlier last week who kept suggesting that Michael was in need of oxygen. I took her seriously because she had cared for my grandmother during her battle with lung cancer. She's got a lot of practical experience, and I appreciate her input.

Anyway, we hope the upcoming weekend can be spent quietly at home.


Anonymous said...

Joannah, all of this is such encouraging news. And let me encourage you: When you have reached the end of your days, you will never regret spending all this time with Michael. I doubt that you'll look back with regret on not being in the classroom every schoolday. You are absolutely doing the right thing. And so glad to hear he'll have oxygen at home now. It made a big difference for my Dad to have that when he was in the hospital. It even changed his personality- not so cranky! :-)

wzgirl said...

Hugs my friend. My heart and prayers are with you and Michael. What a tough time its been for you both. Love how you have the good humor to call this past weekend a "spa getaway". Makes me feel like you felt cared for and left feeling healthier. That would be my greatest hope for you and Michael. That and, now, a nice quiet weekend at home on the horizon.

Best, WendyZ xoxo

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Prayers are with you. God bless your parents.

Kudo said...

I had my back surgery in Santa Monica and had to stay there for 2 weeks and come back for follow ups love that place it is so fun. Glad you could find a positve spin on it.

~K said...

So happy to hear the "spa weekend" was so successful. I hope this the start of all good things in Micheal's healing.

Keeping you in my thoughts...

Tamara said...

Such a positive spin on things - a Spa Weekend! You Go, Girl! Praying for you both, and sending hugs,

Michelle said...

It pisses me off to no end that your insurance won't pay for his home oxygen. I deal with insurance companies all day and it seems like their job is not to help, but to hinder.

I'm sure your students will be fine with a sub. It's good for kids to have a change once in awhile. Prepares them for the multitude of teachers they'll have when they get to Junior High and High School.

You have both been in my prayers.

Kathy and Joel said...

I can;t even imagine the headache of insurance in the States. I am SO thankful for our Canadian system. Yes, your students will be fine and your place is with Michael. Wishing you strength.

Homemaker Ang said...

i am checking in and very sorry to see how it must be a toll on you with all of this and of course a toll on your hubby in more ways than one. I will continue to pray for you both, for peace, for strength and for God's healing!

Tamara said...

Your spirit is inspiring.