Donna has scheduled a load of water today because my future is murky at this point. It is hard to manage the transfer of over 1000 gallons of water with just one of us and the truck driver. And our water supplier has a new truck and driver; who we get is the luck of the draw. Or the whim of the owner! Lol. If it is the new guy, we will have some [minimal] training time.


We have no idea what my new doctor will do or how I will feel after he does it! So she has a “better safe than sorry” attitude. In any case, tomorrow will be a pivotal day in my life as we meet him in Salida. It has “only” taken a month for this appointment to come to fruition!


Anyway that is the big deal of the day around here. I feel as if I am on hold which I guess I am. Sucks.

Status: Donna

Note: we have so much going on, I decided to post individual updates on each family member.

Donna is doing good without a gall bladder. She is increasing the amount of fats into her diet and is approaching normal food with no ill effects! Although she did eat some cookie dough (a favorite treat of hers) yesterday and got nauseous from it! But it was short lived.

And her A1c test the other day was lower! And she lost a little weight. But mainly she feels better. And can have tacos again!

Donna’s Belly

This is what her belly looked like the day before the doctor took her stitches out. I winced when I see the hematoma around her navel. She said it is not tender.

She is doing very good after all her ordeal. She just has to not eat fat for two weeks and not lift anything over 20#. Soon her sexy belly will be back to normal.

Donna Returns

We had been told she would be discharged about 10 AM so planned the day for that. I HAD to drive the Escape since there is no way she could get in the Montero, it being so high. She has trouble when she is feeling good! I had put the Escape on “deadline” due to the right front wheel bearing going out. I declared it an emergency and hoped for the best.

And I wanted to take Lily but she isn’t allowed to ride in the Escape. So I put the back seat down and spread an old bedspread out. And off we went up the river around 9. Traffic was light and the construction was shorter so there weren’t long delays. Lily wasn’t as comfortable as in the Montero but she managed.

I parked her so the sun didn’t shine in the rear and went in to see if Donna was ready.

She wasn’t ready but she definitely looked better! And was upright! Turns out they had told her they wanted to keep her until late afternoon but she got indignant with them since the doctor had told her earlier and I was on the way. So he approved her leaving when I got there. They forget the word “Regional” in their hospital name! Lol.

They had just begun to process her out so Lily and I went to run some errands. First stop was to get her a leash since I didn’t put hers with my stuff and left without it. It was a nice, long purple one. The girl checking us out suggested it was Spartan purple, one of the Salida school colors. I didn’t tell her it was Pirate purple, one of the Cotopaxi colors! I never did learn the other Salida color but one graphic was in purple and black; Cotopaxi’s, which adjoins Salida district to the east, is purple and white. Our site doesn’t state the colors but pictures of the football team have them.

Anyway, she didn’t need to potty after all that. But she seemed in distress, licking her lips and drooling. Her problem was obvious when we got to Burger King! She was gobbling the burger I got for her as I tore it apart, burning my fingers!

I ran another errand to my medical supply store for both the oxygen Donna needed and a new CPAP mask harness for me. Then Donna called saying they changed their minds about the oxygen and I went back to tell them to forget both! I joked with Mandy that if she quit breathing, I should smack her; Mandy looked a bit shocked. I remember when she came there, all subdued and uncommunicative. Now I wonder if I hit a nerve.

I went back to the hospital for Donna but when I went in to get her, she was eating “lunch”: hot tea and broth. She wasn’t excited. This is a picture of one of the two patient halls. It is a small hospital, 22 beds.

I went out to wait with Lily. She was nervous about this huge machine tearing up the sidewalk outside the Cafe.

There is lots of remodeling going on at this hospital.

Finally she called that she was on the way. I drove over to the entrance to wait. When Lily saw Donna being rolled out, she went wild and ended up in the front seat. The nurse was very patient and took Lily’s leash and then put her back in the back, lifting her rear end to do so. Donna slowly got in while Lily licked her!

As we drove home, her pain medication wore off and the bumps on our street and driveway elicited a series of “Uh”s. But she managed to walk in the house herself. And went right to bed!

I am proud of her for getting this over with. I know how much she hates doctors and hospitals. And the wheel bearing got worse, enough Donna even noticed!

Donna’s Surgery

This is a day which changed Donna. She no longer has a pesky gall bladder! This adventure began when we left the house at high noon. The time it takes to get to the hospital is about one hour and 15 minutes. She had to be there at 1:30. But as she pointed out, they aren’t gonna start without her! Lol.

We were doing good until we got near Wellsville, 7 miles from Salida. Highway construction! Flagman, etc. And a line of waiting vehicles.

We each took a picture, me of the line; she of the place! This vehicle in front of us went roaring by a mile or so earlier. 😉 I figured he was working up to a heart attack since he was in such a hurry! We sat here about 20 minutes.

There are many worse places to sit and wait! The sounds of the river soothed us and the mountains were nice to watch. On the left is part of the mine there; the mill has big piles of white stuff. Dunno what it is.

Finally our escort dumptruck arrived to lead us to the promised land. At 30 MPH! The construction turned out to be over a mile of highway resurfacing. Then we went on to the hospital where things got more efficient. Except they had lost her lab results so they had to be redone!

This is my lovely wife in pre-op. Lots of questions and pokes here! One that doesn’t show is on her upper left arm where they did an allergy test for the antibiotic they will use. She passed!

She had TWO anesthesiologists.

This is Scott, the doctor anesthesiologist. His hair got like this when he had chemotherapy. I didn’t get a picture of his shoes and so regret it! The laces and other parts were all different colors! Made me think of clown shoes!

This was Scott’s assistant, a trainee. He was very professional and made Donna feel comfortable which was the main thing! I figured between the two of them, she was in good hands!

He injected the anesthesia into her IV tube and away they went. I went to lunch! This being Salida, I was not surprised when I had to stop for a deer on my way to Wallbangers where I had a great mushroom and swiss cheese burger!

I got back to the hospital and took a place in the now almost empty waiting area about 3:30. In case she came out early. All that did was give me 30 more minutes to text and read! Lol. I finally had to go to the restroom at 4:30 and naturally, that was when her surgeon, Doctor Menart came out! (I took a picture of him in scrubs with my phone camera but forgot to save it! These things should save by default.)

He told me the operation “went well”; I was hoping this was exuberance for him and it was something beyond just successful. Anyway he gave me an outline of when she would be discharged (tomorrow) and when he was gonna remove the drain (before she leaves if it is not needed). I asked for details on how he removed the organ (I was envisioning chopping it up and vacuuming it out!) and he explained it was small and flexible so it comes out intact.

I went on up to her room to wait; he said she would only be in recovery for 30 minutes. She got to her room at 5:30! Her room number is 2516. As I went to the elevator (I am old with achy joints, OK? Lol.), I asked at the desk if that was on the 25th floor (It is a two story building.) One of the receptionists laughed but the other was less amused and told me it was but the floors are numbered downward! I replied that I was impressed with their basement. It turns out the “2” was the floor and the “5” is kinda the hall number. They also number the rooms different: up one side and down the other. Creative numbering.

Again I got to do some reading but the view out her window was great.

The little lake is a drainage pond from the property with ducks and reeds like a permanent pond but with less landscaping! From her bed, this is what she could see.

Still nice with the Sawatch Mountains in the background, the helipad windsock, and the historic Smeltertown mill stack.

She eventually came in, about 30 minutes later than projected. She didn’t recover as fast as normal. And was still very groggy.

She looked awful, frankly. Poor baby! And was barely cognizant. The staff had not removed the room’s bed so the nurse’s moving her from recovery had to move it. This way she did not have to be transferred between beds.

The nurse on the left is a recovery nurse while the other one is a ward nurse. It turns out she sits just outside her room monitoring her and another patient. I have not seen this setup since my Dad was in ICU! She is pale and barely responsive from the anesthetic. All she would say is “Thirsty”. But didn’t want ice. When my flash went off, she thought it was lightening and jumped!

This is Kate who, as she said, was her nurse for 8 more minutes! She deliberately turned her back. I had harassed her earlier when I came up face to face with her in the hall while she was standing there. I said she looked lost. When she said she had forgotten what she was doing, I said she was too young for that!

When she asked Donna if she could get her something, she got the “water” answer. Then I, naturally, butted in. When Kate suggested ice, I told her she had already refused that. So she ended up giving her some tap water.

I stayed until 6:30 then drove home. It was dark and Lily was feeling insecure. What an adventure.