Thursday, November 22, 2012


Dr. Lykens was able to make a diagnosis today.  They were trying to decide between more lung problems and atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure.


That sounds bad at first.  At least until the diagnosis is made and the treatment is centered upon one illness to treat.  Actually both are linked and the old saying "which comes first, the chicken or the egg?"

This time the extreme fatigue from moving into our new motorhome is the culprit.  In simple terms, he just, plain overdid it.  

The fatigue, catching a cold, the Atrial Fib, his COPD and his unwillingness to just totally cease all activity and rest taxed his body beyond what is reasonable.  

He began to retain water, he was always tired and felt weak, the end of last week, he was unable to sleep because he could not get his breath. He would wake at five or five thirty in the morning.  I would rouse in the dark to see him sitting on the side of the bed.  His head would be hanging. Keep in mind, this man loves to sleep and would gladly sleep till nine any morning.  

We would come to the dining area and he would be so tired that he would put his elbows on the table, hold his head in his hands and nod off.  This would last for two or three hours.  

I am telling you in order that someone will read this and keep it in their memory bank.  It might happen to  you or a loved one sometime in the future.  Congestive Heart Failure is a sneaky menace.  


John is making progress much faster than in the Spring.  He is working hard to follow all instructions to the tee.  Learning to breathe in deeply through the nose and out through his lips is difficult to remember.  If he does this, he is able to keep his oxygen levels in the nineties.

Using the tried and true breathing exercise was hard at first.  Now, he makes that ball do the happy dance!  Aren't those yellow socks cute?

Finding plant based food and eating on a diabetic plan has been a stretch of the imagination.  He combs the menu for hours deciding what will work for both eating programs.  It is much easier here at home.  

He has made both plans work together.  He is my hero!  

I never hear a complaint from him.  He amazes me and the entire medical staff with his quiet humor.  

Indiana University Hospital is a teaching hospital.  The physicians that are produced by this program are among the nation's finest.  And eighty percent of Indiana's top Doctors work at the medical complex of Indiana University.

The two on the right are Residents.  On the left you see a pharmacist.  These pharmacists travel on rounds to help with the dosages, spot drug interactions, make recommendations.  Every Pharmacist has a "Pharm D"... a doctorate in pharmacy.  

This afternoon, Dr. Lykens, came to check John's progress, give us tons of information and to allow us to ask questions.  He was in no hurry to leave and answered every question and asked us if we needed more information.  Then he pronounced John improved enough to leave the Progressive Care Unit and go into a "regular," (my works, not his) room. 
The best news was and is that Johns congestive heart failure is not permanent.  

 Do you think John is eager to move?  His bags are packed and he is "ready to rumble!"  Where is that nurse with that wheel chair????

Ahhh here she is, going through her check list.  This young woman  is an excellent nurse!  I am so thankful that she was the one to care for John today. 

Some nurses just seem to go through the motions.  This lovely lady was so efficient and caring.  When she told us that she was her first nursing position and started just one month ago, we were astounded with her presence and skills.

When the director of nursing checked with us to see if we were happy with the care John received, we were sure to heap praises on this angel of God. 

Dr. Lykens was so encouraging.  CHF - Congestive Heart Failure does not have to be a permanent diagnosis.  For John, this is temporary.  We WILL need to be  cognisant of any signs or symptoms.

If all goes well, John should be out of the hospital by the first of next week.  We should be able to travel in about two weeks after a follow up visit with Dr. Lykens.  

There are a few new rules.  John can drive a maximum of two hours, if his feet do not swell.  If swelling occurs or the two hours are up, I take over the driving and John gets to sit in the co-pilot's chair, a recliner, and tell me how to drive.  Oh happy day.

I do not know how much rock climbing and rock hounding we will be doing.  I want this to be a winter of recovery and strengthening.  We have the rest of our lives to do the more active interests.

Thanks for visiting. Thanks again for your support.  You all are a wonderful group of people.  We are blessed.  

For you new visitors, on the regulars too.  Feel free to leave comments, ask questions etc.

God Bless and have a great Thanksgiving.  "Count your blessing, one by one....count your blessings, see what God has done..."


  1. Thanks so much for the update. That is a great picture of John waiting to be moved. So glad he can blend both of his diets into one healthy one.

    Today we will be thankful that John is in such a caring and loving environment. I know you two will have the best Thanksgiving possible. Blessings and love to you both!

  2. So glad things are improving. That John just needs to slow down a bit. :)

  3. Sounds like you both have a lot to be Thankful for on this day of giving Thanks. Now if only John can learn to be patient. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. God bless you guys. Between the two of us we've had more than our share of hospitals this year - especially you guys. But so glad to hear that John is improving rapidly and will be out of there before too long. You are just going to have to become bossier. And I know how hard it is. But these guys just cannot do what they used to do a few years ago. We always stop every hour an a half to two hours when we are traveling to get out and walk around and give everybody a break. The girls really like it to. You'll just need to take it easy. A winter of recuperation is a good thing.

  5. Oh my goodness I just don't know what to say! Sooo glad you are in capeable hands and hopefully the docs can give him a time schedule of how much to do and then STOP and rest.... turtle pace... slow and steady wins the race!

    Many prayers and blessings and good thoughts coming your way!

    Karen and Steve
    (Old Blog Name) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard
    (New Blog Name) RVing: This Country Is Our Big Backyard

  6. wishing John a speedy recovery and peaceful,quiet recuperation.

  7. Congestive heart failure is very serious, but as you learned, it can be managed and doesn't have to be a permanent condition. John is lucky to have such a supportive wife, and you are lucky to have John with you on this day of Thanksgiving. Your positive attitudes will take you far. All is in God's gracious hands.

  8. Even when the diagnosis is "bad" it is a relief to know what your dealing with and that it is manageable. I remembered several times with my husband that we spent a lot of time worrying, then exhaled big time when we knew what to do.

    Good luck to you both. Together it is do-able. :)

  9. I agree, a diagnosis at least gives you something to fight and things you can do. Glad he's doing better.

    Driving 2 hours a day sounds about right to me.

    I can give you plenty of suggestions for plant based eating. We've found lots of good (and easy) things to eat. You asked on my blog where I found my products and the answer is mostly at the regular grocery stores. I have been surprised how much vegan food is there...if you just know where to look and what to look for. I rarely shop at Whole Foods, but have found a great place in Tampa called Nutrition Smart.

    Feel free to email me if there is anything I can do to help.


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