How I Feel for the Week ending 04/18/14……

18 Apr

For the week ending 04.18.14, while I am starting it a little later than normal I will have plenty of time and few interruptions because I am a bachelor for the next 2 weeks and I am in complete control of my schedule.  So any delays are purely my fault and I take complete and total credit for them. The jukebox is fired up and today will be featuring a lot of loud shaking the windows music focusing on whatever catches my fancy and is driving.  Sidebar; So be warned a lot of Nickelback will be played today, with a good mix of SRV, Hendrix, Seether, Theory of a Deadman and Puddle of Mudd to name a few. I don’t believe I will be playing any ballads today. Also I won’t be complaining about Pollen this week, it will be hanging around for a at least a couple more weeks so no sense continuing to beat that horse, but I will say I do notice the difference between moderate levels and high levels of pollen.  So if you discount the impact of the pollen, I have had a good week. Yes SOB is still a very real and pressing issue and one that pretty much rules the roost.  But I feel better this week than I did last week.  I am going to break my trend of going in .25 increments and say that this week I feel 2.9 all things consider and evaluated fairly.  I have not changed my scale it has just been a good week. 

The week I have had 2 doctor appointments; one with Doc Infectious, and the other my monthly IVIG treatment.  The appointment with Doc Infectious was very positive.  He has created a standing (protocol) order that if I come into the office at any time complaining of the symptoms associated with having a COPD exacerbation, that a predefined series of blood tests would be taken.  In addition, I would immediately be proscribed X drugs to be delivered to home.  My Mediport would be accessed before I left the office so I could administer the necessary IV drugs.  This avoids the emergency room and allows me to stay home for treatment.  I find this to be a BIG plus.

Let get the vitals out of the way for the week ending 04.18.14

  • INR = 2.1 taken 04/08/14 – next INR reading scheduled for 05.12.14

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 93 taken on 04.18.14 — avg daily is 92 for week

  • Peak Flow = 230 taken 04.18.14 – avg for week 220.

  • BP = 116/64 04.14.14 and 132/76 taken 04.17.14 – I will be damn if I know why there is such a big swing

  • Heart rate = 106 taken 04.17.14

  • Temp = 98.7 taken 04.16.14

  • Weight = 271.2 taken 04.14.14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 4.18.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week I have chosen Hospice. The definition used in today’s post comes to us via

hos·pice , noun – 1. House of shelter or rest for pilgrims, strangers, etc., especially one kept by a religious order. 2. Medicine/Medical a. health – care facility for the terminally ill that emphasizes pain control and emotional support for the patient and family, typically refraining from taking extraordinary measures to prolong life. b. a similar program of care and support for the terminally ill at home.

Origin:  1810–20;  < French  < Latin hospitium hospitium

Saying Hospice to a group of folks that could be, who are, or know someone who is terminally ill is kinda like dropping the “F” bomb in a completely inappropriate place.  But there I said it. I have had very little personal experience with Hospice or Hospice care.  If you had asked me a few years ago about it, what little I knew wasn’t positive, and could fit inside thimble.  My father passed away as they were moving him to a hospice bed, my Mom passed away after spending no more than a week under hospice care, and my friend Mike passed away after 5 days at the hospice house.  Of the folks I have known, Mike was under hospice care for the longest period of time, it may have been as much as his last 5 weeks.  Mom, Dad and Mike were all deathly ill at the time of their involvement with Hospice.  And because of this I have always felt that Hospice is only short-term, weeks not months, and surely not years of care.  Being honest that was my extent of knowledge of hospice. 

But Hospice care is much more involved that my naïve thoughts.  They provide a wealth of services not only to the patient but to the family as well.  And it needs to be understood from the very 1st their job isn’t to expedite your passing, but to make your passing as comfortable as possible for you and your loved ones and friends.  I have done a tiny bit of research and have found that Hospice has cared for folks as long as 3 years prior to their passing.  Hospice provides 24/7/365 medical coverage for the patient.   You are not denied life-sustaining medications, you are visited weekly by an RN or LPN, and your medical equipment needs are met.  Hospice has trained professional social workers, trained volunteers, Chaplains, and a host of other services tuned directly to the need to the patient.  In addition there is an extensive support network set up to aid your spouse, children or family, as well as, friends.  

Other important information to have regarding Hospice is that you can opt out any anytime, and opt back it, if the need occurs. Also you are evaluated on a regular basis (every 3 months by an RN, and every 6 months by a doctor) to see if you still meet the criteria for Hospice care.  In other words Hospice will OPT you out of the program if your health warrants; you’re not declining but maintaining an even level, or if your health improves.  Look at it this way, if you going to be kicked out of something, being under Hospice Care would be high on my list. 

Some of us may cringe when we hear the term hospice used about us.  My point is that in reality at the time we may need them the most, is when they will be there for your or me.  That we should do our own research, and become familiar with the program and how it will aid us (and our families) in our transition.  

As always thank you for indulging me as I have rambled on.  I hope you have a great weekend.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask, if you want to comment those are appreciated as well.  Take care, Bill


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29 responses to “How I Feel for the Week ending 04/18/14……

  1. Brenda

    April 18, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I hope you have a great weekend, too! I’m glad you had a great week despite the pollen. Enjoy temporary bachelorhood!!

    • FlaHam

      April 18, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Brenda, thank you, I will enjoy all I can this weekend. Take care, be safe. Bill

  2. kanzensakura

    April 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Glad to hear about the pollen. We had rain this week and it washed a lot down. more blooming stuff though…

    My aunt was one of the lead trainers for Hospice and getting the program going in TN. she was sent to England to be trained and work in it. At the time in the US, it was a new concept. Now it is commonplace and unfortunately. too many people wait to late to start the dialogue about hospice care. Years ago, when I first started working for the state, my first assignment was assessing for and approving Hospice care for Medicaid recipients, especially for HIV+ patients and for children. it was hard but I felt I was doing something that helped the patient and the family. ALike you noted, there is proper medical care and no denial of treatment and comfort. There are several different levels of care from which to choose. When used correctly, it is an excellent resource.

    That being said, I am glad you didn’t use the word Hospice as a lead in to something else. My heart stopped and I forced myself to read further. So at this point, I am thankful. That’s my word for today: Thankful. Mama says you guys were getting rain and thunderstorms that way down south. Hope it settles more pollen for you. I’ve had my nebulizer bubbling away this week!

    Keep enjoying your kick ass music. I am thankful for your well being and wish you a great week and a blessed Easter.

    • FlaHam

      April 19, 2014 at 11:53 am

      Kanzen, Damn pollen LOL LOL, I keep looking out the window praying to see a big thunderhead move in off the Bay or something blow in from the East Coast and so far, in my little part of Florida we got squat. Yet the forecasters keep saying it’s on the way. I do hope got it right this time. I am so proud of your Mom, how cool is it that she was involved at the earliest of stages of the Hospice program in the States. And then to be honored by being sent to England to study and further her abilities that is just so cool. And then look at you, you kinda have followed in her steps, that is very neat and I am sure your Mom is proud of you because of your involvement. As I learn more on the subject I will share it with my readers. It is important to me that those of us who are ill have as many resources as possible available to us. Hospice as my post stated has gotten a bad rap. Many fear hearing it uttered about them, but I am of the opinion that it should be embraced when the time comes. And I will do my part sharing what I know, in hopes of lessening the burdens of others as they travel towards the end of retirement. Kanzen, it really puts a big ass smile on my face with someone encourages me and my music choices. Thank you, you did it today. I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend. Please take care, Bill

      • kanzensakura

        April 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm

        I always do! I know you will do the same. Hot rainy humid season is coming your way!

        • FlaHam

          April 22, 2014 at 7:15 am

          Kanzen, Smiling, there is something to be said for the wonderful thunderstorms that come with that hot and humid weather. I have been known to just sit in the garage and watch the show. Please take care. Bill

  3. Chatter Master

    April 18, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Bill!!!! A 2.9 is magnificent! I’m happy to see a good week and increase in your well being.

    I have worked with hospice often over the years and am amazed at the people who work there and the services they provide.

    I hope for you to have a blessed Easter weekend my friend.

    • FlaHam

      April 19, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Colleen, Smiling I did that special for you. I will be writing more about Hospice as I learn, and I will share it. I thought the piece on the 18th created a foundation. I want others in similar situations as mine to be more comfortable with the aspect of Hospice, and not as fearful as they may have been. I will be spending Easter with my Daughter’s family, and I will be wrapped around the fingers of both my daughter and granddaughter. Please take care, and have a joyful Easter with those important to you. Bill

      • Chatter Master

        April 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm

        Have a blessed Easter Bill. Let those beautiful girls spoil you. 🙂

  4. huntmode

    April 19, 2014 at 12:53 am

    As always, Bill, you lead the discovery party into new territory. I had the same thimble full of knowledge of hospice as you did and now you’ve helped me to understand more, as well as the valuable comments above. Have a restful and blessed Easter, Bill – and good on you for a 2.9 rating even if the blankedy-blankedy pollen is acting up!

    • FlaHam

      April 19, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Hunt, Soft smile, as I become more familiar with Hospice I will share with you. But clearly it is a lot more than I ever imagined, and their services go beyond anything I would have considered. Easter will be a good day all around. I am having brunch with the kids after Church. Once I get home from that I will rest. Please take care, have yourself a wonderful and peaceful Easter. Bill

  5. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    April 19, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Enjoy your bachelor time. Pollen counts, being at record highs, made national news. About hospice, in a loving inverted way it’s an absolute life saver, and life is about quality every living breathing beautiful day. Prayers and thoughts you have many of those. Happy Easter weekend my special friend. Love, Paulette ❤

    • FlaHam

      April 19, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Paulette, I am indeed doing the best I can during my bachelor days, they are numbered. LOL LOL. I hope I only get taken advantage of several times LOL. But I am sure the pollen counts being what they are will win that battle. Hospice as I am learning as much about life as it is about death. That alone will give me comfort when the time comes. I hope you also have a wonderful Easter Weekend. One little lady will take advantage of her grandpa tomorrow at dinner. Take care, Love Bill

  6. jmgoyder

    April 19, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I am not keeping up with blogs lately but am trying my best – yours and others’ blogs. Happy Easter, Bill!

    • FlaHam

      April 19, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Julie, You have so much on your plate, you don’t need to worry about staying caught up with me or my blog. It will be here when you are ready, that’s one of the great things about the internet once you put it out there, it is almost impossible to pull back. Take care, enjoy your Easter Weekend. Bill

  7. Wanda

    April 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I’m guessing you weren’t using headphones during this week’s music marathon, right?–perhaps an unexpected benefit of your temporary bachelor state…

    Hospice…mixed feelings here. I especially appreciate the benefit they provide to family members because my siblings and I experienced their very helpful advice and support in our father’s last days. I just hate to think about it in regard to you…love you.

    • FlaHam

      April 22, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Wanda, Smiling, no not all the time, I still need to hear when the phone rings or someone is banging on the door trying to get my attention. Being uninformed about Hospice until recently, and based on my prior experiences with Hospice, I didn’t have a clue. But recently I have begun to be better acquainted with Hospice care, I realize how my wife, daughter, and friends can be saved a tiny bit of pain. That alone would make it worthwhile. Soft smile, the prospect of me in the program shows the clock ticking at a much faster rate than I would like. But I haven’t given up, let the damn clock tick LOL LOL. Take care, Love Bill

  8. Helen Devries

    April 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    This brings to mind what is called the Liverpool Care Pathway in the U.K. where the elderly are deprived of both food and water, until death.
    My mother and her friends – all aged – are petrified of being taken to the local hospital where this is practised.

    I am in contact with my mother’s doctor to prevent this ‘treatment’…but she still worries that she might be taken to hospital following an accident and would be placed on the ‘Pathway’ before her doctor could be notified.

    • FlaHam

      April 22, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Helen, The Liverpool Care Pathway is a place I would avoid too. Dying is difficult in and of itself, to have your final days treated like you were a POW is beyond anything right. I complete understand your Mom’s concern, and yours as well. I truly hope the end doesn’t come that way. Please take care, Bill

  9. Laurel

    April 21, 2014 at 8:13 am

    enjoy your 2 weeks of being on your own. btw I do NOT share your affinity for Nickelback-at all:)

    • FlaHam

      April 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Laurel, LOL You just have to not listen to that part of my posts. I will a good boy while am on my own because there are folks keeping an eye on me! Take care, Bill

  10. Clowie

    April 22, 2014 at 4:52 am

    I’m glad you’re feeling a little better.
    Enjoy your choice of music as loud as you like!
    My bipeds have some music they both like and they both have music they play when the other isn’t around. The male biped likes to crank up the volume on the heavy rock music when the female is away!

    • FlaHam

      April 22, 2014 at 6:49 am

      Clowie, Laughing as loud as I can!!!! I really fire up the heavy rock music when either I have my headphones on or like your biped when my wife is well away from the house. Though in the spring when the windows are open I have had neighbors ask me to tone it down LOL LOL. I do hope have a great day, and I hope that you and your bipeds had a very nice Easter. Take care, biped Bill

  11. benzeknees

    April 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Hospice care used to be much less visible than it is now. For many years, people died at home or in the hospital. With the aging population growing, people live longer now & less regularly just drop dead like they did even just 40 years ago.
    I have always had positive thinking about hospice care because I have always known I would not want to be kept alive on machines (even before I knew I had COPD). I knew I would like to leave this earth with some of my dignity still intact, with a support team easing my pain & supporting my family. To me Hospice is not a dirty word – it is a fact of life for the way I want to end my retirement.

    • FlaHam

      April 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Benze, No, Hospice is not a dirty word, and it has been a blessing to many a family member over the years. And I could not agree more, when my time comes I won’t argue, and I won’t go on a machine. But just so you know I am not ready yet. LOL LOL. So you will have me about for sometime to come. And I will be talking more and more about Hospice as I learn more. Smiling, I see you picked up the “end of retirement” phrase, that cool. Take care, Bill

  12. Marlyn

    April 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I have a great idea….don’t retire until I fire you! Just sayin’:) After all, I only have one North Star & this is all about me ….right? LMSAO

    • FlaHam

      April 23, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Marlyn, Any port in the storm as long as I stay afloat!! lol lol, Trust me you will have to FIRE me cause I AIN’T GONNA QUIT! ! ! Marlyn, I know you have your fair share of issues, but I will be here to help in any way shape or form I can. Please take care, and Hang in there. Bill

  13. gpcox

    April 24, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I’ll keep hoping for rain! Take care.

    • FlaHam

      April 25, 2014 at 7:38 am

      GP, The rains come and go, and for brief periods between there is peace in the air. I am finding those moments to be so delightful. But heavy Pollen season will soon be over, but not gone away in total, something new is always starting to bloom. Take care, Bill


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