Cramming Love

It’s been a short decade since New Year’s Day became my dedicated day for sorting miscellaneous paperwork and receipts and preparing to file taxes.

It’s an unfortunate luxury; having time to dedicate.

There wasn’t that kind of time in my life with Jeff. We were too busy cramming love and fun in between hospital visits and medical appointments.

Fun was anything and everything.

Eating dinner. Folding laundry. Grocery runs. Anything hot sauce or store related. Puppy playtime. Kitty cuddle time. Diner breakfasts. Church. Anything NASCAR. Talking about our day. Watching TV. Just being in the same room together. Anything we did, together.

Fun was everything, every day.

Except for the scary moments, hours, sometimes days of broadening health failures. Those were downs. The downs started coming more quickly in 2006.

Medication adjustments didn’t always solve the problem. Jeff was unhealthy enough to be excluded from certain paths. Being told Jeff didn’t qualify for next level treatments, wrecked me. Many times, it seemed I’d be more upset than he was.

“Let’s just leave it,” he’d sigh. “Docs know what they’re doin’. They went to school for that.”

He’d say, “Don’t be upset. It wasn’t meant to be.”

Or, he’d say, “It’s ok. Something better will come up.”

It wasn’t ok with me. I searched out medical articles, suggested seeing different doctors, trying non-medical over-the-counter remedies. I checked on available studies and made him apply.

He did get into one. Before the wrist band fitness tracker craze, Jeff was given a combination glucometer/pedometer that had the ability to down-load data and a variety of noise choices.

They day he got it, I was in the kitchen emptying my lunch bag after work, when Jeff strolled in.

Hey, check this out!” he laughed. “The faster you go, the faster the music….”

He then proceeded to take circular baby-steps while wildly swinging the pedometer. The music sped up to a maniacal pace.

“That isn’t really getting you anywhere,” I scowled. “Yeah, I know,” he shrugged. “But, I’d never be able to make it go that fast walkin’ and it sure is fun!”

I was disappointed when he did not get into a test-trial for a new drug formulation. “Well,” he commented after reading the rejection letter. “It was just another pill, anyway, and my tackle box is full-up.”

Quote for the Week: 2019 01 08 the view depends on the focus jakorte

A Dinner or A Doctor

Jeff’s health took many turns, endured many twists. One after another, incidents began piling up.

Jeff had been fighting Intertrigo with a topical medication, but failed to mention it was getting worse instead of better. Right before leaving for a dinner at one of his cousins’ home, he announced he thought he should go to the emergency room. “Can’t you wait until after dinner?” I asked. “We’ll be closer to the hospital and we can go right after.”

“No,” he replied. “I need to go now.” Knowing Jeff would normally never miss an opportunity for dinner and a social visit, I panicked a little, and asked for specifics. I was annoyed, because I really wanted to go to this dinner. I was angry because, if it wasn’t working after a week of treatment, he should have done something about it. “Like what?” he wanted to know. “Like call the doctor!” I threw up my hands.

“Well, this is what the doctor gave me. Doctors know what they’re doing! They go to school for it…” he argued. What followed, as we gathered our belongings to head out, was an argument like many more to come.

My stance is that the patient needs to be responsible for telling the doctor if something isn’t working. Doctors and diagnoses aren’t always correct, and the right doctor won’t be annoyed with you for asking. Jeff was lucky to have a doctor like that. Actually, I was the one who was lucky he had a doctor like that, since I was the one informing her of subsequent non-successes and eventually, other treatments I’d like to see taken.

So, we made the call: explaining our regrets, explaining we were on the way to the emergency room. I felt even worse when I learned that dinner had already been made and a special cake had already been baked. Before we’d even pulled out of the driveway, Jeff’s phone rang. He shook his head, as he told his brother it was true; we were headed to the ER. The Korte Grapevine is the fastest form of communication I’ve ever come across. So many times, I’ve been so very thankful for that.

Along with Intertrigo, a rampant yeast infection had developed. With a blood sugar of almost 700 – the attending doctor checked Jeff’s incoming chart and incredulously demanded, “How are you even still talking to me?” That range is commonly coma and or death inducing. By this time, though, Jeff’s normals were regularly 350-400. That’d be like a controlled or non-diabetic hitting a 400. Not good. 

A spinal tap and a few other tests, lead to an admission. Through it all, Jeff never stopped talking… or joking.

Quote for the week:

2018 02 20 The relativity of medical treatment jakorte

(For example; my norm is 97.3, so when my temperature reaches 99, I have a fever. It’s like a 98.6 hitting 100. If I don’t let the caregiver know my 97 norm, my 99 is considered ‘normal’ – no fever.)