Happy Birthday, Jack

Today is the 82nd birthday of my husband Jack. It’s quite a milestone for him and for us. We met many years ago and were friends for a long time. We saw each other through many difficult times in life, and eventually, when we figured it all out, we got married and started our life together. That was over thirty years ago. How the time has flown.

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Today we celebrate Jack’s birth and here is hoping for not only a happy day but a healthy and wonderful year ahead!

God Bless Our Veteran’s

I am grateful to all the men and women who have served our country, and continue to serve. Also, I am grateful that my Veteran Husband, Jack came home alive from Vietnam.

Aviator

A very young Jack.

Hubby served in the early 1960s in the Army. He was a fixed-wing pilot on the Otter and the Caribou Aircraft.

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Here is Jack with his Army Aviator friend, Jim. They’ve been friends all these years.

This group of men had flown Otters and Caribou aircraft during their time in service to our country. This museum had a beautiful Caribou aircraft for all to see.

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Now, in Jack’s later years,  it is Jack and I going through his Agent Orange Health problems. We’ll get through it. I am just so grateful that Jack made it back. If he hadn’t I never would have known him or had him in my life.

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The last thirty-two years have been good ones for us. And on this Veteran’s Day, I am so grateful to have my Veteran sitting next to me at home.

God Bless the Men & Women of the Military. I thank them all for their service.

Healthcare

We learned yesterday that Jack won’t have his Mohs surgery until October! He will be seeing a new doctor. The Mohs Surgeon who operated on me is no longer practicing in our area.

This leads me to a big concern that I have. Why are the premier doctors that have practiced at DHMC either gone or leaving?

I wondered if I am getting old (this is entirely possible, as many of them were older than me) and have retired, or if they are leaving because politically, they do not like what is happening at the hospital?

The gifted Retinal Surgeon I had a 15-year relationship with, left last year. He had not been happy at DHMC for some time. We spoke about it one day, and when I called and learned he was gone, I was not surprised. Saddened, yes, but not surprised.

I feel, much as I did when I moved back from Florida twenty years ago, that I am in the process of developing new medical contacts for all my needs. It’s a bit unsettling.

At least, I have been relatively healthy, and Jack’s doctors at the VA have been good at caring for him.

Happy 80th Birthday Jack!

Today is the eightieth birthday of my husband Jack. It’s quite a milestone for him and for us. We met many years ago and were friends for a long time. We saw each other through many difficult times in life, and eventually, when we figured it all out, we got married and started our life together. That was thirty years ago. How the time has flown.

May 28 024

Today we celebrate Jack’s birth and here is hoping for not only a happy day but a healthy and wonderful year ahead!

God Bless Our Veterans

I am grateful to all the men and women who have served our country. Also grateful that my Veteran Husband, Jack came home alive from Vietnam.

Aviator

A very young Jack.

Hubby served in the early 1960s in the Army. He was a fixed-wing pilot on the Otter and the Caribou Aircraft.

Oct 07 057

Here is Jack with his Army Aviator friend, Jim. They’ve been friends all these years.

This group of men had flown Otters and Caribou aircraft during their time in service to our country. This museum had a beautiful Caribou aircraft for all to see.

PA010003

Now, in Jack’s later years,  it is Jack and I going through his Agent Orange Health problems. We’ll get through it. I am just so grateful that Jack made it back. If he hadn’t I never would have known him or had him in my life.

Oct 07 069

The last thirty years have been good ones for us. And on this Veteran’s Day, I am so grateful to have my Veteran sitting next to me at home.

God Bless the Men & Women of the Military. I thank them all for their service.

Family Recovery

It’s nice to have Jack home, where I can care for him, feed him and watch over him. Add to that, the fact that I no longer am driving two and a half hours a day, and we just about have a perfect situation.

Jack is sleeping quite a bit. I think this is a good thing, as his body needs a chance to fight the infection that he still has, as well as get over the surgery he had.

I would think that the body reacts badly when it loses part of itself. Even though Jack feels nothing in his feet, no pain, due to his Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, I imagine that the body itself knows that something was done.

I am Jack’s chief nurse. Once a day I clean the toe-less area and bandage it up. The first time I saw it, I was shocked. It looked odd to see his foot with no big toe. But now I am used to it, and I think once it is healed, well, it will be rather beautiful! After all, it looks far better than the infected toe that they removed.

I’m insistent that he eat three meals a day. Even if they are small ones. This means, I also eat three meals a day, which is good for me. Both of us have little to no appetite, and have lost weight.

I have been joking with Jack, telling him we should take that Princess Cruise to Hawaii in the Autumn. It’s 15 days. From Los Angeles, four days to Hawaii. Then four days cruising around the Islands, then four days to Mexico, and one day back to LA. Jack says that 8 Sea Days would be terrible! What would we do?

Hmmm! Well, we would sleep late. We would lie in the sun and swim in the pool. We would eat lovely meals. We would drink champagne. We would see a different act in the theater every night. And for those 15 days, we would be alone! Quiet, loving and alone.

He is not convinced! But I am still working on him.

Arnie is intrigued with the tennis balls on Jack’s walker. Arnie loves to chew and destroy tennis balls and we actually had to spray on bitter apple to keep Arnie from eating them. Now Arnie lies under the walker, guarding it!

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Have a wonderful Sunday!

Jack Comes Home

After Breakfast:

Jack is still in the hospital awaiting more surgery. Whether he has more of his toe/foot removed, or they just simply close the wound, we don’t know. It seems the two services here at the hospital can’t decide.

We are frustrated. Jack wants to get out and come home and I am looking forward to not having to drive two and a half hours each day! But, there is no place I would rather be than at my husband’s side.

After Lunch:

Well, Jack is being discharged! They decided to leave the drain in for a week before doing a final closing when we return.

I will be trained to dress the foot and be his at home nurse. Actually I am not worried too much about doing this, as I took care of his toe before he lost it.

I’m slightly nervous about them sending him home because I am not completely comfortable with them leaving the infected bone in his foot! I voiced my concern about this to them, but they tell me that the dual antibiotics will keep the infection from spreading. I felt that no one was really listening to me. I pray this will all turn out well.

After Supper:

Jack is home, sitting in his recliner, with his laptop on his lap and he is sound asleep. Finally, he is relaxed and resting!

The 4th of July

I continue to drive back and forth across the State of New Hampshire to be with my Jack. It’s just over an hour each way, and the first few days I did this, I didn’t feel too bad. But today, oh wow, was I tired!

Of course there is no place else I would be right now than at Jack’s side. He is going through something that no one should ever have to go through.

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On Tuesday he got to see what was left of his toe. Quite frankly, there is nothing left of his toe. They didn’t necessarily lie to him, but there is no half toe. It is completely gone.

There was a sadness in his voice as he told me about seeing it. And later I shared his sadness when we were told that he will need at least one more surgery on the toe.

We were also told that he may need a PICC Line, and at home IV antibiotics. Does that sound familiar? And here is the even stranger part, they are talking about using the same two antibiotics that I was given.

We both feel a bit shell shocked, and we hope that this will be over soon. However, I am starting to feel that Jack’s recovery from his infection will take as long as, if not longer, than mine.

My friends asked me to dinner tonight and it was the first normal, wonderful and delicious meal that I have eaten, since Jack got sick. I am so grateful.

I hope you all had a Happy 4th of July!

Jackie Nine & A Half

On Monday morning, around seven o’clock, I got a call from Jack telling me that surgery was scheduled for noontime. The Vascular Surgeons had been in and determined that the best way to contain the infection, which is Osteomyelitis, was to amputate part to most of his right big toe.

I raced to shower, dress, and call my friend about walking the dogs, and I was out the door by 8:15!

It took me just about an hour to get there, and get to Jack’s room. Where his Nurse was preparing him for the surgery. His Nurse, stopped to talk to me as well, and all I can say is…what a nice man!

Jack and I talked until they came for him at eleven o’clock, almost an hour earlier than scheduled for his surgery. I walked down to the pro-operative area, and waited with him while Anesthesia came to speak to him. Jack does not do well with general anesthesia, and I wanted to stress this to them. Well the Anesthesiologist couldn’t have been nicer and she switched his drug mixture, which in the end, was perfect for him.

Surgery lasted well over an hour and I texted with my step son the entire time. I was so grateful to him, because he really helped me to stay calm and to relax. Love you Jon!

Finally they came to get me and bring me to recovery, and there Jack was sitting up, wide awake and with slightly less than half his right big toe. His foot was wrapped up in thick bandages and a compression bandage on top.

But best of all, Jack was smiling. He was happy that it was just half the toe and not the entire toe, or the toe and foot! Since he has almost no feeling in his foot, the pain was minimal.

Jack’s only complaint was that he was hungry! But when we arrived back in his room, not only did he have lunch waiting, but he had two roommates!

I got him settled, made sure he was eating his lunch before I headed home. As I got ready to leave, I gave him a big hug and kiss, and whispered in his ear, “Just remember, I love you, Jackie nine and a half toes!”

I’d had only 3 hours of sleep on Sunday night, (a slight panic attack) and I needed rest. I played with the dogs, got them fed, and at 9:30 last night I climbed into bed with the dogs and I slept until six o’clock this morning.

Today I am off to see him again. They mentioned that they may release him by the end of the week, so once I find out when, I need to do a big grocery shopping.

So that was my day yesterday, and now it’s time to drink my coffee, and then get ready to hit the road. Thank you for all your prayers!