St Thomas

Hello everyone,

Well, Monday was the day that I saw the doctor again, hoping to be disconnected from the pump, put on oral antibiotics and sent on our way. It didn’t happen. He wanted to continue the iv for two more weeks. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

But, we said that we would still head south and started to make plans. On Tuesday, we would pick up another weeks worth of iv bags, have the tubing changed at VON and drive to my Mom’s for a visit. Then we would have until Friday before needing another visit from the nurse. So, we called Community Care Access to arrange for all the info to be transferred to St Thomas and to have the VON there take over.

Not quite so easy. They would not allow me to leave North Bay with their pump. Even if we guaranteed overnight delivery back to them. No way would they bend the rules. The pump must be delivered before we leave. And there is only 7 hours between doses. The CCAC tried to suggest that it wouldn’t matter if I missed a dose. But, we didn’t think that was a viable option.

So, Tuesday we drove down to Gravenhurst to visit with my mom and sister, Karyn. They were so supportive during my hospital stay and I really wanted to see them again before we headed off.

Wednesday morning, as soon as my 6:00 dose started ( the pump wakes me ), we jumped up, showered, ate and headed out. The pump was left at the VON ( the drugstore didn’t open till 9 ).

The traffic was fairly light, except around TO, and we made good time. The nurse met us at Steve’s and hooked me up again.

Visiting with friends has top priority for the next few weeks. Once all this medical stuff is behind us, we will head back to the boat but no definite date as yet. A new wind generator has been ordered and will meet us in Florida. We had purchased a used one in ’97 and repair parts were no longer available. The list of boat jobs is not too long this year. Just as well, with the delay.

Steve’s wireless is allowing us to use this address again and we check it frequently. Stay in touch.

Hugs Heather & Murray

I Have Been Sprung!!

Hello all,

Firstly, I must apologize for the lack of news during the last little while. As you all know, I had knee surgery on Sept 8th and had expected a speedy recovery and to return to work in approx one weeks time.

That didn’t happen. I ran a fever daily from the day of surgery and visited several doctors/emergency clinics in the Orillia/Gravenhurst area where I was staying with my mom for the week post-op. Finally, I called North Bay Hospital and arranged to see the surgeon on Monday, the 18th.

I don’t need to give you all of the gory details but the up-shot was that they admitted me. Even though there were no beds to be had. I ended up on Paeds/Gyn Surgery at the McLaren site of the North Bay Hospital. The nurses there took wonderful care of me for the 15 days that I was their patient. Yes, I did say 15 days!! That is unheard of in this day and age of overnight stays for giving birth and short stays for other surgeries.

I was receiving IV antibiotics three times per day. My veins didn’t co-operate and most sites pooped out after 24 hours. Then, it would take 4-5 tries to get another vein. Man, am I covered with bruises. Eventually, it was decided to insert a PICC line. This is a fine catheter that enters a vein between your elbow and shoulder and terminates at the superior vena cava. Even that wasn’t easy as the first three tries didn’t work. But, eventually it was inserted.

Due to a suggestion by my sister, Karyn, (thanks, hon) I got out on passes for a few days just needing to be at the hospital at 2 pm, 10 pm and 6 am for my IV meds. So, Mur would pick me up in the morning, return me for an hour at 1:30 and then bring me back for overnight at about 9:30. I discovered just how much strength I had lost as we walked around grocery stores etc.

Murray’s cousin, Ivan, and his partner Midge have graciously taken us in for the duration of this “ordeal”. They have a condo in Callender, just outside of North Bay. If you wish to phone, we can be reached at 705-752-5204.

Then, on Tuesday, finally all of the paperwork was in place. Home Care was set up and I was discharged at about 5 pm.

We visited the VON office in North Bay last night and they hooked me up to a Prism pump which automatically delivers my doses at the required time. The pump is worn like a purse and is fed through your clothes, jackets etc. This will continue for another two weeks.

At the end of that time, if my blood results have improved substantially and all else looks good, I may be able to switch to oral antibiotics and be disconnected from the pump. If not, we will still leave this area and transfer down to St Thomas to stay at Steve’s house, near the 17th of Oct. Hopefully, we can do some visiting during our stay there and will try to connect with each of you. Long term plans? The return to the boat may be delayed somewhat but is still going to happen.

Meantime, I continue to stretch and bend my new knee and build up my strength. Mur pushes me to bend further each day. He keeps me going and is trying to tempt me to eat more. But, my appetite is way down and I have been losing too much weight (as if I would complain about that!).

So, that is what is happening here. Hope all is well with you.

Hugs, Heather & Murray