Friday, July 30, 2010


Lordy, I had to go back to see what I posted last to even DO an update!

On Tuesday the 27th it was discovered that one of the leads on my sister’s AICD had become dislodged. She went back to surgery that afternoon to have it re-attached.

The next morning, the 28th, they discovered the OTHER lead (there are only two!) had also dislodged. The odds of this happening was .01%. Back to surgery, re-attached, all double reinforced.

All went well and by evening we were able to watch “Top Chef” together.

The surgeon has finally agreed to do the thyroidectomy. He is an ENT surgeon who specializes in cancers of the Head and Neck. he has been deemed by the Endocronology team to be the most qualified to do the procedure. Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday the 3rd. There are a number of things they need to do to prepare her for the surgery and he wants to give her body a little more time to heal.

So there we are. Baring unforeseen complications we hope to be on the road to recovery next Tuesday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Off My Chest

Let’s take a break from the hospital shall we? I am currently at the office trying to "work" while waiting to hear what Dr. Tsue has to say about performing surgery on my sister. So the "working" is not going terrible well.

Soooo, let me re-cap some weekend highlights:

Precious Youngest is house sitting for friends who are away at the beach on vacation. In her first seventy two hours the following occurred:

Day 1 Whilst keeping the very large dogs from knocking her over and simultaneously punching in the alarm code she inadvertently hit the silent alarm button. While she was in the back yard throwing balls for the very large dogs, three policemen entered the yard form various points, one with gun drawn. After producing her driver's licence and answering a few questions she was not arrested.

Day 2: Whist attending a concert, and subsequently arriving back at the house quite late, to find some recent high school graduates (friends of one of the sons who is on vacation) had availed themselves of the hot tub and were enjoying a few adult beverages. They were summarily dismissed.

Day 3: We got a call from Precious Youngest that the house seemed to be getting warmer and warmer. A quick look around, a few breakers flipped on and off and it became apparent a professional would need to be called in. The home owners will be returning to a new air conditioner.

She is handling things well, but we believe she may be due some hardship pay!

NOW, about the trespassing, minors in possession, drinking illegally. I did not find out about it until the next morning. Because while the children were trespassing and having a cold one I was at the emergency room with my niece. She had been scratched on the face by an eight year old girl she was babysitting a few days earlier. The scratch had developed a large, red and swollen welt and was beginning to itch. Waiting to have it looked at did not seem a good option and the Minute Clinic was closed. The ER doctor who treated her agreed with our assessment. Augmentin and a topical antibiotic cream seem to be doing the trick.

NOW, about the boys who were trespassing, minors in possession, drinking illegally. Phone calls were placed to all the parents and they were informed that I did not appreciate the position this placed my daughter in and if it happened again the police would be called. I am in no frame of mind to be fucked with these days.

Last night after dinner we did a run by my sister’s house. I needed to do some cleaning and the Saint needed to pick up her mail (he’s handling the finances at present). We discovered that the tub was (and has been) completely stopped up. We await a plumber to come and deal with that situation today.

I believe the folks who produce movies for “Lifetime” will be calling any day to see if they can use this shit in their next movie of the week. I’m just sayin’.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

My forty-six year old sister has a pacemaker. She came through the minor surgery no problem. From a cardiac perspective? They are ready to discharge her from the hospital.

Endocrinology on the other hand? Not so much. We were told two things on Wednesday night in a pow-wow with the cardiologist, endocrinologist and electrophysiologist:

1. Surgical removal of the thyroid gland is the only treatment option left for her

2. No surgeon will touch her thyroid in her/its current condition

So, yeah. BUT, last night they found a surgeon who has agreed to at least review her chart. He is a surgeon who specializes in cancers of the head and neck. Who knew?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Questions; No Answers

I am seriously bleary eyed from stress and sleep deprivation and I’m not the one in the hospital. After 21 grueling days in the CICU and then the cardiac unit it looks like my sister is facing some tough decisions.

Number One:

Sib 2 had a heart MRI and a heart cath on July 16th. There was evidence of scarring on the front wall of the heart which indicates a heart attack (different than sudden cardiac death, which we know occurred on July 8th) at some point. No one can tell us when or whether it is related to the thyroid or something else entirely. .

Yesterday they did 2 heart CTs to get a definitive answer as to location and extent of the scarring. It is the opinion of the cardiac team to put in an ICD (pacemaker). My sister is 46. Holy shit.

Number Two:

Her Endocrinologist has not been in favor of removing her thyroid surgically. It will take 8 to 12 weeks to determine if her course of radioactive iodine (June 4th) has had an effect. The surgery is risky because her sever hypothyroidism has made her thyroid gland very vascular. In the surgery the manipulation of the glad to remove it could flood her system with thyroid hormones and send her into cardiac arrest. Nevertheless, they now feel they may not have another option. Holy shit.

My overriding concern remains that the trauma she has been though emotionally and physically make her a poor surgical candidate. Which surgery do they do first? Does one affect the other? Questions; no answers.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Quick update. My sister is still in the CICU. She is extubated and so is awake and talking for which we are very grateful.

Unfortunately she is still experiencing periods of AFib and her thyroid levels are not trending down as quickly as they would like.

Her health is still fragile and we are taking things one day at a time.

Thank you all for you kind words of encouragement.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Outside Cardiac ICU room number five

To the endocrinologist and cardiologist

Fannie: "There is something you need to know about my sister's medical history that isn't in her charts because there isn't a space for it. My sister's ex-husband is an abusive, alcoholic, living in a Salvation Army shelter, piece of shit. That woman in room five has three children and she is all they have. Her son is twelve years old and he doesn't want Aunt Fannie and Uncle Saint; he wants his mother. You? Need to"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010


My sister had a heart attack last night. I'm sitting with her in the cardiac ICU. She is sedated, on a ventilator and undergoing a process called Therapeutic Hypothermia Protocol. Her current body temperature is down to 91 degrees while they try to assess any heart or neuro damage from the cardiac arrest while giving her body a chance to heal.

If you want the back story it starts here, and then goes here, and then here.

She had a radioactive/iodine ablation for her thyroid three weeks ago, but her T3 is still raging. The concern now is that this generally results in A-Fib, not full on cardiac arrest.

I've called every priest I know and I may pull in a rabbi or mullah if I can find one. Please pray.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fourth of July Re-Cap

Rain was in the forecast:

So we squished as much as we could under a canopy.

We took a chance and set the bar up on the deck.

But I DID make sure there was plenty of seating in doors !

We had a preponderance of young ladies ready to blow stuff up early in the evening.

They had a special project:

After watching many barbies being blown up by brothers/boys over the years,

they decided to try Army Men.

Laid out on a roll of 250 firecrackers.

The Army Men did NOT stand a chance!

Fortunately it did not start raining until just after dusk.

The rain did NOT deter the young people heading off to watch the city fireworks display in make-shift ponchos.

Hope you had a great 4th!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quickie - Updates to Follow

Well, the 4th of July holiday was a bit of a washout, cloudy with intermittent showers. I have some show-and-tell I'm working on. In the meantime - Precious Youngest took pictures of our resident hawk yesterday afternoon!

This was the closest we've ever seen him, perched on top of the telephone pole in the far corner of our yard.

He is magnificent!

And my gardens REMAIN unmolested by furry varmints!