Day + 26 and Counting + Meteor Showers

Yes, we really are 26 days since the re-infusion.  That means we have been here,  this last time, 29 days, and since the time before, when they kicked us out for 10 days with Zip’s first bout with infection, 8 days.  We’ve been here at JHH a total of 37 days. It’s hard for us to believe we’ve spent more time on vacation in Baltimore than we ever vacationed in Florida.  Just saying…

Meteor Showers this week.  Best time to see them, would be Friday/Saturday 1 AM.  Since it’s going to rain, I’d say Thursday night would be ideal.  I guess I’ll be missing this August’s meteor shower…bummer.

IPOP today was quiet.  Zippy with out his catheter is having a terrible time with labwork. They cannot get an IV in his arm for anything.  He’s bandaged all over his arms and has a huge lump on his left arm.  He’s a mess with bad veins now. They’ve poked, prodded, thumped, jabbed, prayed and gave up.  IPOP unit had to get an IV in his arm and take labs there. Thank goodness, Zip doesn’t have to get labwork tomorrow.

Zip walked most of the way over to IPOP and walked all the way back to our home away from home.  He ate 3 small meals today.  So here’s to Zip being upright, walking, and eating.


Day + 25 Upright and Walking!

Last night was a little touch and go, with the stomach issues.  He slept late.  This morning is so much better.  Zip actually ate 1/2 English muffin and 1/2 banana and cup of tea and kept it down.  Yeah…little joys! He walked the halls 2 times and then walked 1/2 way to IPOP.  Got into IPOP and Zip proceeded to charm everyone that would listen to him.  My old Zippy is almost back. We’re still here and have to go back for a few days, making sure the blood clots are doing what they are supposed to do…go away. We went over to Harris Teeter, he wanted to walk around regular people…go figure.  He did get a donut, but he ain’t gonna eat it.  I think it may disappear or get lost or just put away.  Did get Siggi yogurt, since my buddy Susie, told me to and NP Laura eats it all the time.  Zip’s now onboard with Siggi.  A very boring day, but, I’ll take boring over roller coasters.

Want to thank all those that have put in orders for the calendars and posters.  I think we may be able to pay for our vacation this summer in Baltimore with the proceeds.

Here’s to boring Zippy upright and really walking today and tomorrow.


Day + 24 and Still Counting

We’ve had our ups and downs and this week has had many ups and downs.  Yesterday they took Zippy for an ultrasound. They let me come with him and I wish I had not gone. Sitting by him and watching the tech doing the ultrasound was amazing and scary.  I don’t know a darn thing about the whole procedure with blood clots.  I understand the concept with pregnant women looking at babies, not my Zippy’s legs, looking for blood clots.  Whenever she saw red, she would take a closer look and take a still shot, which scared the living daylight out of me.  She did this at least 5 -6 times.  At that point, I’m thinking that he definitely had clots.  Me, knowing nothing and just assumed I could figure it out.  Scary…huh? They sent us back to inpatient, where he was given 3 million bags of antibiotics, 4 million bags of fluids, 5 million immodium capsules, 6 million cups of ice water. At least that’s the way it felt.  We were told we had to wait for the results to come back from the ultrasound.  But, I know that they already knew.  They started talking about how important it is to have 2 Lovenox injections each day, compression socks are a good idea and Zip needed to get out and walk.  Hmmm.

So this morning I get over there and they were having, I think, an echogram.  We had a visiting tech doing the same thing with his heart.  So, I’m seeing red and blue streaks and I’m thinking…oh my goodness…he’s got them around his heart.  Again, not a healthcare person, I’m thinking I know what’s going on and don’t like it.

End result, Dr Ali advised us that he did have blood clots in both his legs, but it didn’t go beyond the legs.  WHEW…so much for my knowledge of medical procedures. Infectious Disease came in and said no more antibiotics and she thinks we should be able to get out today.

We left in patient around 4:30 this afternoon and hope never to have to go back, not because they are terrible there, but because it means another bump in the road.

So, for sure, here’s to Zip being upright and walking (so far so good) and eating regular food and semi enjoying it.

Day + 23 + Inda Review

This morning, Zip is still having stomach problems.  His specimens have come back with no bad stuff in his system.  So, we aren’t going to be quarantined any longer.  We now have to get this stomach issue out of the way.

I was hesitant to send out my last post, but, since I received a very, shall we say, strong opinion, I thought I’d keep it on anyway.  Inda Woods, sent the following:

Dear Misses Zippy,

Your recent posting of a photo of Mr. Zippy D Dodah practically naked compels me to write the following two comments:
You are hereby highly commended for having the foresight to cover Mr.Zippy’s private parts area with the hospital style utility table that has the extension tray just in case Mr. Zippy started to have an… uhh… ahem… shall we say started to have a hard attack. If Mr. Zippy actually started to have a hard attack, being able to quickly and easily extend the tray was a stroke of genius. Of course, if Mr. Zippy actually started to have a hard attack while the picture was taken, one would assume he would also have exhibited an extremely pronounced, but perverted, smile.
You are hereby severely criticized for NOT posting the following before the subject photo could be viewed:
                  W A R N I N G


Mr. Inda Woods

I am very concerned about this letter to me.   I am not taking the photo off.  I thought that I could make some serious money.   What woman would not want to buy a poster of The Full Zipster.  I think they’d pay good money for one.

I rest my case.

Still Day 22 + The Full Zipster

Zippy is having some stomach issues.  So, he’s down to minimal clothing to get from bed to bathroom.  A nurse came by and saw him and thought he would make a great Calendar Boy for Johns Hopkins.  He’s going to be Mr. June and his title will be…..

“The Full Zipster”


Day + 22 + Another New Home

So, we’re now in Weinberg 5C inpatient again.  They have no clue where the infection is coming from or what it might be in his body.  E R is stumped, IPOP is stumped, Infectious Disease is stumped, doctors, nurses are stumped, no theories, just try different ways to find it.  We are told and I believe it, that some infections are never diagnosed, but if they are diligent and hit Zip with all kinds of antibiotics, they will get it.  They may never know what it is or was, but they’ll get it.

That all being said, I have to admit that this is one of the most interesting rooms we have been in, yet.  We have a view of the hospital entrance court, a close up and personal view of the helipad, and we also have a waterview room.  What a deal!  Our view…

You can see the tall brick building with the steeple to the right of the building, then to the right steeple is our waterview…wahoo.

Wait a minute, here’s a new guy, it’s the doctor and is all ours ( whoops did I go into a barbershop song) Doctor Ali just came in and has a new thought (I had it before he did) They checked on blood clots, but can’t do a contrast with all the other stuff he has going on.  It showed that there was a medium chance of a clot, but, couldn’t show for sure.  Doctor Ali is going with more than medium at this point and treating Zip as if he has a clot.  Which we already are doing that in reality.  He’s getting shots for blood clots since his platelets came up, trying to keep him walking (not doing a good job of that)  keeping his legs up, drinking plenty of fluids. We’ve been this route before and Zippy understands what he has to do now.  He must, must get up and walk every 2 hours, whether he wants to or not.

Binocular time last night was interesting.  What is the deal with people standing along the sidewalks, waving to oncoming cars?  It’s looks like they want any car to stop and give them a ride.  I’ve seen a couple, three times and am just wondering the deal.  They are not waving to  cabs, just to regular cars, not to Ubers , just regular cars.  Inquiring minds want to know. Also, went into the big kitchen this morning around 6:30 AM and looked out at the street  and some guy was staggering down the sidewalk.  I figured he was a panhandler, but no.  A young normal looking guy was walking the opposite direction and they met on the corner.  They gave each other a manly hug and separated. The staggering guy handed the other guy something and they both walked away from each other.  A drug deal at 6:30 in the morning? Amazing?  I guess not around here.

So, here’s to Zippy getting upright and walking every two hours and that if it is a blood clot, that it dissolves soon.  Oh, and Happy Birthday to my brother, Andrew and keep my sister and nieces in your prayers, my sister Martha is not doing well.


Day + 21 + It’s Never Easy with Zip!

So, it’s 10:20AM and we’re sitting in JHH E R. I knew we were in trouble yesterday when he had a temp, but they can’t find the source. Zip had chest x Ray, EKG, urine specimen, a bag of blood, and a bag of magnesium. He was given 2 antibiotics, then sent home at 5:15 yesterday. I checked temp at 8 and then at 10, no temp.  Fell asleep and woke around 4 when Zip came back from bathroom. Took temp and it was 101.7…wow and I took it with forehead thermometer and it was 103…double wow.  Which was right.? Talked to Zip and he was really confused. Thought he was sitting, though he was laying flat. Breathing erratic.  Called Doctor on duty. He decided he should go over to hospital, inpatient on Weinberg Oncology.  No rooms available.  Long story short…Called 911 and here he is in E R.

Can I tell you that wherever we are, whoever we are with, including EMT’s from Baltimore City and ER attending people…all are phenomenal! I am so impressed.

So now we wait. He’s getting antibiotics IV and waiting on a room at Weinberg Oncology inpatient.  What a rollercoaster ride. We may get home this year.

Here’s hoping to get Zippy out of hospital.


Day + 19 + Drama and A Visitor

Zip did not have a fever this morning, nor did he have a fever when we went to IPOP, or when we came home, but around 9:30 tonight, up pops 99.7.  It’s not an official temp, but it makes me worry.  He’s not eating, he’s not drinking, unless I force him to eat or drink.  Then it’s tiny bits and barely drinking.  He’s dehydrated, and since the catheter is gone, they are having trouble getting a good vein.  He got fluids and magnesium today, but Laura wasn’t there, so, our game plan has to wait until tomorrow.  NP Jackie had her hands full with the young woman next to us.  She had the wall TV blaring Property Brothers and was trying to talk her way around protochol (spelling?) and wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  Since when do we agree to a procedure and regimen that fits our health problem (cancer) and then when it doesn’t fit our personal plans, you get to tell JHH what you want and when you want it.  Never mind she had a huge “black out” from her first dose of a trial drug. They want to make sure all is safe and she wants it all to fit her personal life.  I have watched a woman (teacher) caring for her husband all summer.  She’s going back to school, since she has the only job and has 2 toddlers, but brothers, mothers and fathers are coming in to take her place, when she can’t be there.  I watched an Indian family come and stay with their son, even though I can see his father, very uncomfortable, he’s there.  I see a mother, who told me, she has never gotten along with her daughter, since she was a teenager and her daughter doesn’t want her mother’s help, but needs it.  I have seen a woman from Los Angeles come here with her daughter and missed her 91 year old mother’s surgery, knowing that her mother could possibly die. All these patients work with what they have.  They ask questions of the healthcare, but in the end, they all know they have cancer and they all know that JHH may not be perfect, but they know more than we do and how to do it.  I know I shouldn’t have listened in on that young woman’s tirade, but, I take my drama where when I can get it.  It made me mad and gave me a headache.

So, I got a text this morning from Julie Knepp.  She works for JHH and comes up here every Tuesday and every couple weeks, 2 days a week.  We met at the end of the bridge from the garage.  It was the highlight of our week. It’s so nice to talk about things other than health. Our highlight of the week is going to Harris Teeter or Target and getting mail (thanks for the cards, they make us smile or laugh)  Certainly not the couple you know.  I rarely cook.  Can you imagine? My kindle and my laptop are my friends.  The binoculars entertain me, when I can’t sleep. I am pathetic…I’m like those old biddies in novels that know whatever is going on in the neighborhood.  Speaking of which, I’m looking out the window now, car parked where it shouldn’t be and some guy is getting out…let me get the binoculars.

Here’s hoping Zip is feverless, eating and drinking in the morning. God help him.

Day + 18 + Delmarva Chorus Girls + Another Long Day

So last night I got a text from Suz and she sent me a video.  I will tell you that it made me laugh and gave my ‘tude a real lift.  Those ladies keep my sanity in place.  They are crazy ladies and I love them all, especially the head Crazy Lady, Carol.  But, I think that Susie is in a whole league of her own.  This is what I received…


Now on to the other stuff. Old Zippy, went into IPOP shaking and shivering this morning.  They keep that waiting room at about 40 degrees.  We went over to IPOP and Nurse Gail took care of us today. What a great nurse.  Laura came in and saw his numbers and thought they looked pretty good.  She thought he needed a bag of blood, but otherwise Zip’s numbers were in good shape.  We planned out the rest of the week.  He didn’t have to come in tomorrow and this afternoon, he’d have his catheter taken out. So, Gail comes around to do his routine vitals, every 1/2 hour and guess what?  He had an official fever…darn.  Threw everyone into a tizzy.  What to do?  Brought in infectious disease person, talked to doctors, NP’s put their heads together and came up with a new plan.  No blood today, definitely get that damn (my word) catheter out, because they think that’s the culprit for the fever.  We have to come in tomorrow and Zip gets blood and hopefully, the fever will be long, long gone.

Went to Interventional Radiology, which I have no idea why a unit is called that, when they put in catheters and take them out.  We were in there about 1/2 hour, and bam, we were out and on our way to our home away from home. Zip is a whole lot Zippier without the catheter.  He’s still semi upright and walking, but since they gave him another Lasix, he’s feeling more comfortable walking.   So, we got back home around 3:30, long day and guess where Zip is right now. I think you all know…he’s in his recliner asleep.  I did get his temp 97.6 and a Protein Ensure in him before he went off to dreamland.

Here’s to a happier and mobile Zippy tomorrow.

Day + 16 + 17 + Zip’s ‘tude

Day + 16 was a scary day and night.  Zip was discharged from in patient and we thought, O Boy, it’s all down hill from here…not.  He woke up yesterday around 9:30 AM, got up, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t drink, didn’t take his meds and was just bummed.  He ate a tad and drank a tad and sat in the (his) recliner and went back to sleep for another 3 or 4 hours.  Got him to drink a protein ensure and drink a little and eat a couple peanut butter crackers.  Finally took his meds and would not move.  His leg hurt him, his feet hurt him.  Actually, his feet and legs were so swollen, I don’t know how he did walk on them.  Took his temp, because his legs and head were hot.  99.7   Later took it and it was 100.1, another hour later  100.3.  We were told that if it hit 100.5, then we had to call the unit and he’d be admitted again.  You know we were worried.  Still couldn’t get him to eat or drink a lot and definitely wasn’t into walking.  We never got past 100.3, which was a relief, but boy, oh boy, his whole demeanor was not good.  He went back to bed around 8:45 PM.  Both of us did not sleep well.  The fluids were still in him and nothing we could do was going to take care of that.

Day + 17 arrived with great worry.  No fever…yeah!  Legs and feet still swollen, not even kankles, more like elephankles.  He couldn’t walk over, so he rode over in a wheel chair. Not his perky self.  Got into IPOP and NP Laura is back from vacation, so all is well with the world.  She said this was normal, he will feel like, I can’t remember how she put it delicately, but it meant, he will feel like crap.  He won’t want to eat for a long time and won’t want to get up and do anything. She gave him Lasix to get the fluids out of his system.  It seems to be working, which also makes him get up and walk.  I have to give him protein ensures 3 x day.  I have to make him walk.  I have to make him drink.  I have to make him eat something. Oh, I hear Zip now, getting up to walk.  Those elephankles should look like Olive Oil ankles by tomorrow. So, we’re slightly on the mend.  He’s supposed to have his catheter out tomorrow.  She thinks that is part of his fever problem. We are supposed to go to Discharge Class on Thursday.  We were supposed to do that last Thursday, but you all know what happened last week.  So, I’m not counting on anything.  Just going day by day seeing what happens.

Here’s hoping for a good night’s sleep, Zippy is upright and walking and at least drinking protein ensures, if not real food and drink.  I need some sun!  I need a drink and not non-alcoholic.