Thursday, October 04, 2007


Judging from what our son and daughter in law are telling us we have twins on the way!

They're a bit crowded in this pic but hey, there's definitely two little folks there!

Yup, two in the hangar... launch date sometime in March, 2008.

Twins certainly aren't unusual in our families. Jackie and I both have twin brothers and there's twins running around everywhere in our family trees.

Regardless though, this is going to be so cool!!! Hah! They're going to have their big sister to show them the ropes and she's definitely getting smarter, stronger and wiser by the day...

...not to mention cuter.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share the latest news with everyone.

Monday, October 01, 2007

He's back in the hospital...

Well, this has been a pretty busy couple of months here in our house. Actually, it's been two or three very busy months... personally and professionally... and the only let up in sight is on the professional side. We're starting to get our fall rains so the fire season is drawing closer to a close.

On the personal side... still hectic.

We took Dad to the emergency room this past Saturday morning (September 29). His face was very swollen, his eyes almost swollen shut, his skin extremely taut and hot to the touch, he had a head to toe rash that wasn't getting any better and, in short he was just plain miserable but he still didn't want to go to the hospital.

He didn't really have a choice though. He went.

After sitting in the emergency room with him for a couple of hours I noticed he was losing some of the "puffiness" in his face and neck. When the emergency room doctor came in to see him he did his usual doctor/patient interview and picked up on a previous prescription of the drug "predesone" to my Dad right away.

The story kind of goes like this... When Dad got nipped by a spider a month or so ago (that incident prompted my previous post) his doctor prescribed "Predesone" to him along with some super powerful antibiotics. I guess steroids and antibiotics are common tools in the doctor's arsenal when treating spider bites.

I know when I got bit by a Hobo a couple of years back my doctor prescribed some powerful antibiotics and a topical (and powerful) steroid laden salve that I was to apply directly onto the opened sore. After a couple of weeks the salve and antibiotic treatment had reversed the effects of the spider's venom and things were well on their way to healing with me.

But with Dad things didn't fall into place that fast. After the spider bite his hands, arms, legs and ankles puffed up tremendously. The treatment didn't seem to be working and a couple of weeks later he had that stroke!

While he was in the hospital for the stroke they took him off of all of those medications and treated him with meds via an IV. Everything started falling back into place for him. His swollen arms, hands, feet, legs were looking better, he was more alert, he was getting his strength back, his breathing was less labored... things just seemed to be getting better.

He got released from the hospital with a couple of prescriptions. We noticed a cough that he's had for over a year was still lingering and appeared to be happening a bit more frequently. It's one of those persistent, deep lung type of coughs that never sounds good and never seemed to go away. It's had us all concerned for quite some time. Even the doctors couldn't figure it out.

Finally, one doctor in particular took it on. After a lot of research, poking, prodding, bloodwork, etc. he determined the cough to be directly related to Dad's reaction to a blood pressure medication (Lesinopril) that was prescribed to him and that he quit taking over a year ago.

So, with the hopes of countering the reaction he prescribed some new meds... Predesone being one of them. The prescription was a short term type prescription that would run out after a couple of weeks of use. The doctor was hoping to get a handle on the cough and the still lingering effects of the spider bite. He also threw in some super heavy duty antibiotics... again, short term stuff.

At first, everything seemed to be going well for Dad then one day I stopped by and he was going nuts rubbing, scratching his arms, head and chest. He'd evidently acquired one helluva rash over the past couple of days. The rash was so bad that I thought it was a huge outbreak of shingles. After another visit to the emergency room and a diagnosis of the rash as "Echo Virus" he was precribed another "short term dose" of Predesone and some antibiotics.

As it ended up, the rash wasn't Echo Virus afterall (we had to Google "Echo Virus"). It was a bad reaction to the prescribed medications he'd already been taking...

That coupled with a new prescription of Predesone sent his body over the edge. The latest reaction included the facial swelling and distortion.

So, he's sitting in the hospital as I write this. We're hoping he gets released today but if they want to keep him longer to fix things then "so-be-it"... just get it right this time!

I visited with him yesterday and noticed a remarked improvement. His face was getting back to normal, the "hives" seemed to be going away, he was still "itchy" but he seemed to be in much better spirits. He was tired and far less miserable then he was when I took him there.

In all, he's making progress... again.

I'm heading out to see him here shortly. We'll see what the doctor says but we're not pushing for any "early release".

Update: October 02, 2007.

I went over yesterday morning and "sprung" Dad from the hospital. It's amazing what will happen when a doctor who knows what he's doing gets involved in Dad's health care! His "hives" are almost gone, the doc's cut back on Dad's medicine and his "edema" (yes, water retention around his face, neck and head) is much less now.

So, I went over yesterday and brought him home. He stopped by last night for dinner and looked even better than he did a couple of hours prior.

Amazing! I think this particular doctor figured out what's been causing Dad's ailments over the past year and a half. It only took the doctor a day and some tests to get it right. Once he got it right everything started falling into place on Dad. The hives started disappearing, the edema started receding, Dad's cough has all but gone away.


Thanks Doctor Smith.