Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Cause of Larry's Death

The official cause of death is
  1. Septic shock likely from pneumonia
  2. Respiratory failure from 1
  3. Cardiovascular collapse from 1
  4. Immunosupression from renal transplant
The course of events as best I can tell, are as follows.

On Tuesday April, 7 at around 6AM he arrived at Virginia Mason complaining of chest pains. He must have called 911 because his wheel chair was still at his apartment and no one seems to have known he went to the hospital. After an hour or two in the ER he began to have problems breathing. He was put on a ventilator after some initial hesitation. He would have been sedated at that time.

6 PM they called me and said he had pneumonia, was sedated, and in the critical care unit. At 1:30 AM Wednesday morning they called and said he had been having a hard time breathing and expelling the c02 from his lungs. His heart had also stopped and because he was in a prone position to facilitate breathing, it took a minute to put the rotating bed in a position where they could apply CPR. After 4 or 5 minutes they were able to get his heart to work on its own. The doctor was doubtful that further interventions would help.

At 9:30 AM Wednesday, I arrived at the hospital and they told me he had passed away at 9 AM. His blood pressure over the evening had gotten lower and lower and even though they had put him on four different medications to stabilize the pressure, it continued to get worse. The doctor also noted that after they had revived him his eyes were not reactive. It is possible that after they restarted his heart he had suffered significant brain damage.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thanks for the Interest - Memorial Plans

I want to say thanks for the interest and nice comments on this blog and at the Stranger. I know he would have appreciated them all.

There were some questions, so I will answer them as best as I remember them.

First, though, the memorial is for Saturday April, 18 at the 6 Arms in Seattle. We will be holding it upstairs. Anyone from the blog community who wants to come is welcome. We will have an album of photos so you can see him in better times.

Other answers
  1. I will give a full answer of what happened after the memorial. I think it best to wait until then. He was very open abouthis health, but it is best to wait a little longer.
  2. Arrangements have been made for his body, but thanks for the offer to take up a collection.
  3. Donations to the NW Kidney Centers is perfectly acceptable.
  4. My last conversation with him was about going to the Slog happy hour, which he was looking forward to attending.
Jason Cheung, if you can't come by the memorial, I come see you when I can.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Rest In Peace Larry

It is with deep regret that I have to notify you that Larry passed away on Wednesday, 4/8/2009.

He appreciated all who read his blog since it gave him a sense of purpose during some otherwise trying times.


Monday, April 6, 2009

My day so far

It's been a rough day and as of this moment in writing it is only 1:30 p.m.

(WARNING: It gets graphic!)

I greeted the day at 8:30 a.m. with a case of explosive diarrhea after I got dressed. I cleaned up the mess as best I could, but it was humiliating. A few hours later it happened again, messing the clothes I had changed into. Now I have no towels, washcloths, sweatpants or sweatshirts and, though I can't smell it, I am sure the place smells like shit. I can only get one of my windows open. I am down to my last pair of pants (shorts actually) and a whole lot of laundry that needs to be done pronto! Theresa, a nurse from the home is going to come by tomorrow and do imy laundry. Both the nurse and an Occupational therapist are coming by around 2:00 pm., so hopefully we can address the fact that I need some FUCKING HELP!!!

This has been a hard weekend with just a few bright spots.

What is going wrong (so far):

  • Explosive diarrhea.
  • Not having a useable toilet or toilet-type device.
  • My bed being massively uncomfortable and hard to get in and out of without a transfer device.
  • All the chewed up doorways and scratched doors and walls from my wheelchair
  • My chair is semi-broken. The joystick fell off and is now being held on with a rubber band.
  • My inability to clean the apartment, including the kitchen and the floor.
  • My retirement check won't show up until the end of the week, at the earliest, and I am already broke.

Bright spots?

  • Running into my friend Marianne while going to the U-District Farmer's Market.
  • The Farmer's market itself (I want me some organic beef and pork, some salmon, and some shellfish).
  • The donut place on 45th & Roosevelt is pretty good and open 24 Hours (if I need them I know they are there).
  • The sun is out for a third (or fourth) consecutive day.
  • Tazo's Iced Black Tea bags at Starbucks are great. I have gone through a bag a day (each bag makes a half-gallon).
  • I was able to make all the phone calls I needed to make since getting out of the home, and I don't owe them anymore money (the check cleared).
  • I am getting eight hours sleep.
  • No screaming. The building is very quiet. My alarm clock in the living room has gone off twice at midnight and it will ring for an hour or until it gets shut off. I wasn't getting out of bed in the dark, so I let it ring. No one came to complain. (On the other hand, I think if I had to scream for help, no one would hear me).
  • The only bad smells are coming from me.

More after 2:00 p.m

So now it is almost 5:30 p.m. and both the nurse and occupational therapist have come and gone. They pretty much just told me what I already knew.

A) My nursing home, which I will now identify as Park Ridge, were fucked in the head for not preparing me better to leave, even on a week's notice. They sent me out with nothing. I should have had everything ordered by them and set up in my apartment before I left. Now, it's not their responsibility. So now I have to call DSHS tomorrow to find out if I have a case worker and how to start getting benefits (ie. help).

I have to order a sliding board. I can get a plain wood board for free, or get what I am used to, a "BZ Board" which is $300-500 dollars.

The bed I am using, that I got for free, would cost me $2,000 (and it is a piece of shit). All I can do is try adding padding to make it more comfortable.

The diarrhea is probably caused by my stopped taking Oxycondin and Dilaudid. Pot might kill pain, but it does not make for firm stools. I'll go back on the hard drugs and take some Imodium for the time being.

I wound up buying a flashlight and a new bed pan and grabber was just delivered (I owe my therapist $30).

The next Slog Happy, where readers of the Stranger's Blog meet at a different bar once a month, is being held at The Blue Moon Tavern, which is at the end of the alley behind my building. I am going to do my best to show up.

I got some food at Wingzone and since I am done with people for the day, I am going to just hang out and listen to tunes until I fall asleep. Laundry first thing in the morning!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A quick one

I got to dash this off before the sun goes down. Until I get a lamp by my bed or a very long stick to flick off the wall switch, I have to get to bed while I can still see.

The day started off cool. I went to Wallingford and had a waffle at The Rusty Pelican. The place was packed. Since it's the only place for breakfast now in that area the place is jumping. (The waffle is always good and they use heavy cream with their coffee).

I got home around two and had to get into bed so I could B.M. (which was explosive, but I managed). However I then noticed I had inadvertently pulled out the plug to the bed, so I couldn't raise the bed again to get in my chair, which was about four inches higher than me when I am sitting on a sagging and very uncomfortable mattress. I lay there and pondered what to do for a couple hours. I was starting to regret leaving the home and now understand where all the money I was giving them was going. It was paying the salaries of the people who picked me up and cleaned the shit off me.

It took a couple hours of stacking blankets and clothes and rolling on top of them then it took all the strength to pull myself into the chair, so I could pack up my shit and then get something to eat and write this before turning in again. (I cranked the manual raiser with hopes eight cranks would raise the bed high enough...I wound up leaving my front door unlocked tonight in case I can't get out of bed to let the nurse in...hopefully, if necessary, she can talk her way into the building).

Things should improve this week. I should be seeing a nurse almost every day and I should be seeing a social worker, an occupational therapist and a physical therapist, and will probably have to pay someone to come check on me every day and do my laundry and clean and stuff. It's embarrassing what I can't do. I also hope to get a reacher (a stick with a claw on it), a commode chair (self explanatory) and a table I can use in bed and use the computer). Right now it is usually tethered to my hard drive, where all my music is. (Luckily the Mac Pro came with a remote control that can control iTunes and Front Row).

I hope I get my retirement soon (tomorrow please). Before I buy the TV and stereo and something for other people to sit on, I am buying a comfortable bed. I spend 50% of my day in it, I shouldn't be in pain.

It's almost too dark to see and I got to pee. Tomorrow.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Out and About

Today was very sunny and mild. It was a nice change after a couple days of driving icy rain, and some snow. I spent a lot of time outside today. I wound up getting out of bed at 8:30 a.m. because I didn't know what time it was. The nurse was to come by at 11:00 and I need to be out of bed to let her in. So I wound up exploring the Ave. I checked out the Farmer's Market and ran into my friend, Marianne, who I worked with at the UW Chemistry Department. I don't know how much the people I worked with meant to me. They showed me great support and kindness when I got six. They donated almost six months worth of sick leave for me to keep me on insurance.

I took my camera with me because I wanted to take pictures of what the curbs and roads look like near my apartment building I took pictures of 20 different curbs, but the photos below are representative. If only the Mayor spent 10% on neighborhood road repaving as much as he spent on developing North Gate, my travels wouldn't be so difficult.

So I wind up driving in the street often:

And this is what it looks like on the sidewalk:

I didn't take pictures at the Farmer's Market or buy anything, but when I have my cooking stuff and the kitchen working I want to go back and get some steak and shrimp and clams and cheese (maybe some vegetables).

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Productive Day

My View to the North

My View To The West

It's been a long but productive day. Most of my time was waiting for the cable company to install my internet and hdtv (I still don't have a set) and for someone, a nurse, from "Home Health Care" who came to assess me and change my dressing. I felt very comfortable with her and she will be buy every day to change my bandages. She was very encouraging about my benefits are, still with state cuts, I should be OK.

Up until today, to log on my options were to go to the library (and I got SOAKED on the way back) or somewhere on the Ave that has free wi-fi. Now it's not an issue since I am internet enabled.

I spent last night at the library downloading a lot of music off sites that were blocked by the nursing home's security (even with their security I downloaded about 200 albums, mostly concerts or b-sides of bands I like. So last night I used the mac as a jukebox (I could watch a DVD, but I am not interested in anything until Monday's episode of Heroes, which I will have to download from I-Tunes).

So last night I got nice and made myself a Fried Egg & Bacon Hoagie with Miracle Whip.

This is actually "Sandwich No. 2" since I ate No. 1 almost immediately after making it, forgetting to take a picture. Sandwich No.1 was better, the second try the egg was a little runny.

I stared out the window some while listening to The Pale Saints around 5, and now it is 9:p.m and my butt is bugging me.I decided to call it a day. Without a TV sitting in my chair all day is a pain in the ass. But until I get the sliding board I asked for it's always a little scary transferring from my bed to the chair. The bed I was given is crap compared to what I had at the nursing home, which was a better grade of crap. I think I already said the bed doesn't go up and down. At least I have sheets and blankets, but a second pillow is in order.

I will be glad when it gets warmer, but at least it didn't rain today and I managed to get out twice today, the second time I bought a Pesto Pasta Salad to go (Thanks Jason).

So I am going to call it an evening. I've scraped the doors enough. The nurse made my bed so now I have cool black sheets (they were out of purple). She'll be back in the a.m. and I have to be in my chair to let her in the building and unlock my door. Luckily I have some energy, not much, but when it gets warmer and sunny my mood and outlook get a lot better. I am giving the Mac the night off an i-podding it. Will listen to Paul F. Thompkins album, a couple Pale Saints live concerts I downloaded while maling with my own artwork:

I have debated about posting web addresses of the blogs I read where I download stuff (mostly concerts and out of print records), but I will post these album covers and you can usually find these by searchin in Google Blogs or Totally Fuzzy.

More soon.