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elvan Blog

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elvan

Tomorrow is a work day

Posted by elvan Jan 11, 2019

That means a very early night for me...I am signing off, will plan to check in before work but not sure what kind of shape I will be in afterwards.

 

If you don't hear from me...I am probably sleeping.

 

Be kind to yourselves and your quits...protect them with every tool you have.

XOXO,

Ellen

May this year bring all of your wishes true...may it be filled with love and happiness and may you feel that the new beginning is an opportunity to share your love and wisdom with others.

 

I love each and every one of you.  I MEAN that.

Ellen

elvan

I DID it!

Posted by elvan Dec 29, 2018

I made it through an incredibly challenging day at work...business was crazy and nonstop and everything in the cafe has been moved around and made into a MUCH smaller space.  Can't say I am happy about that and I am too short to comfortably reach the register so they had to get me a butcher block to stand on...of course, I fell off once but then I made it impossible to do that again.  This is MUCH more physical than the larger place.  The kitchen is farther from the register and I have to hand deliver every order directly to the kitchen...seating is crazy mixed up compared to how spaced out it WAS.  I will get used to it, we have not started full table service yet, thank God.  I will be seriously challenged when I have to walk back and forth and back and forth over and over again.  

 

In any event, I got through today.  I am exhausted, that's putting it mildly.  I am going to get under the covers and if I happen to fall asleep...so be it.  I am hoping I can trick the kitten into thinking she is full through the night.  I might give her a "bedtime" snack.

 

Love to all...may or may not be around much tomorrow...have doctor's appointment on Monday.  Story of my life.

Ellen

It has been one thing after another since the beginning of December and I am really trying to get back to EX.  I have been so sick and so frustrated because the docs don't know what to do...I am using the nebulizer regularly, I am on high doses of prednisone, my arms are covered with skin tears and bruises from the prednisone, and whenever I fall asleep, I have yet another coughing fit.  The coughing is so violent and relentless that it is causing all kinds of associated pain.  My throat is purple...likely from the coughing.  I am taking antibiotics, using inhalers as instructed, drinking literally gallons of juices and TRYING to get some energy back.  I think the Holidays just about took me out this year.  My computer started acting up first and then our modem needed to be replaced and set up and activated and then all of the upper respiratory symptoms started hitting...or else maybe they started first.  I really don't even KNOW any more, it's kind of a which came first, the chicken or the egg thing.  I have been doing as much as I can to let people here know that I am alive...my family looks so depressed when they ask how I am...I think it's pretty obvious.  I did choose to spend Christmas Day at home, in my pajamas. That might have been one of my smarter decisions.   Today is my oldest daughter's birthday...she is in NY, our youngest is here visiting so we are having a birthday party for her sister...homemade lasagna and garlic bread and cream puffs for dessert.  She wanted to learn to make cream puffs last night so we did them and she is taking some back with her when she leaves on Saturday.

 

Unless I completely fall apart, I am planning to work Saturday.  I have an echocardiogram tomorrow and then an appointment with my rheumatologist on Monday and my pulmonologist the FOLLOWING Monday.  You KNOW you are getting old when your calendar is filled with reminders for medical appointments.  I am going to take a shower and then we will eat dinner.  I am hoping the shower helps my coughing.  My oxygen saturations are in the mid to high 90's and I have listened to my chest, it is clear, just tight feeling when I cough.

 

I love you all and I thank you so much for all of the prayers and the messages, I will get back here as soon as I possibly can.  I will feel a thousand times better just doing THAT.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

 

Love,

Ellen

elvan

For @youngatheart

Posted by elvan Nov 29, 2018
elvan

Four years ago today...

Posted by elvan Nov 19, 2018

I was celebrating my ten month anniversary and wrote a blog saying so just before I left for work.  I was really feeling amazing.  At 3:30 that afternoon, my cell phone was ringing like crazy.  I did not want to answer it because I was at work and I was busy.  When I finally did answer, it was my husband, calling to tell me that our house was on fire.  It did not register in my brain and I told him I am at work, I can't do anything.  My boss overheard me and asked what was going on, I told her and she told me to go home.  I didn't have the car, my husband had dropped me off and while the house was fairly close to work, it was not within walking distance for someone with COPD AND it was on a hill.  She said she would take me home.  I went outside to the parking lot with her and I could hear multiple sirens, I could see smoke, I could see flames.  My knees buckled and I had to go back and get my cell phone because I dropped it in my haste to get out.  She drove me as close as the emergency workers would allow...I nearly bit one person's head off because they wanted her to park at the bottom of the hill.  I knew I could not walk up that hill.  The smoke was so thick and I was sobbing so hard...my beloved cats were in that house, Mina was 19, Poe (who is in my avatar) was 9, and Zep was 6.  I wanted them out, I wanted them safe.  It was not meant to be...we lost everything we owned...all of our possessions, our photographs of our kids growing up, gifts that had been given to us by our families, but the hardest thing was when they told us they had found two bodies and then a short time later, they found the third.  The fire destroyed everything, I went to work that morning and there was no home to return to.  As I watch in horror what is happening in California and the loss of life, both people and animals, my heart breaks into tiny pieces.  That SMELL stays with you forever...the fear, the sorrow, the upheaval are beyond anything I can possibly describe.  

 

Thank GOD, I had EX, I was able to contact a member Jaxson1_quit_01-16-2014 who quit three days before I did and I asked her to let people know.  This site and these amazing people held me up.  It was the Wednesday the week before Thanksgiving.  We actually got snow the following week and I remember because I went to feed the feral cat that lived on our deck and in a little shelter we had made him...there was no more deck or shelter but there were outbuildings and he wasn't leaving.  I fell going down the yard and I didn't want to injure my shoulder so I just fell on my chest and broke a rib up on the left side...very close to my heart.  The pain was horrible, I had broken many ribs in the past and still do but less often.  I ended up having to go to the emergency room two days later because I was not sure that I wasn't having a heart attack.  Nope...just the rib...splintered. 

 

I was working at a university and they immediately began collecting donations of clothing and furniture for us...I still have much of it.  People came forward and made monetary contributions and the cards and letters and messages were so amazing.  I did not think I would EVER stop crying.  I am crying now thinking about that day.  Those beloved cats are buried in our backyard, we have a modular home built on the same lot as our old house which was built in the 1850's. I miss the photographs, the baby books, the little things my mother gave me, but most of all, I miss Mina and Poe and Zep.  They all died of smoke inhalation and they looked like they were sleeping.  Zep had asthma and he had both of his paws covering his face, an image I will never forget.  

 

Many people said they could not believe that I did not smoke over that.  I asked each one, what GOOD would that have done?  It would not have made anything better...not one thing.  Today is the anniversary of the day the earth stopped turning for me.  I knew I would never be the same person, I knew that I would never take anything or anyone for granted.  I knew that what matters in this life is LIFE and I will do everything in my power to protect mine and to help others.

 

For those of you who went through this with me...thank you, thank you, thank you.  You will never know how much your loving support meant to me and still means to me.  The following year...I had both upper lobes of my lungs surgically removed and you were there for me then too.  I owe you all an enormous debt of gratitude.  To all of you newbies...once you accept that smoking really does nothing FOR you, it becomes MUCH easier.

 

Love to each of you,

Ellen

I had to rub my eyes because I saw a couple of deer in the neighbor's yard...that's not unusual but one of them was brown and white and looked like a COW.  I kept staring and it was NOT a cow, I have never seen one of these deer and I was fascinated.  Seems they are called piebald deer and since it comes from a recessive gene, both parents have to be carriers.  It did kind of flip me out.  I could not get a picture so I got this one on line and it looks EXACTLY like the one in the yard.  It was a young deer and was accompanied by several adults and another deer about the same size.

 

I was supposed to take my husband to the doctor this afternoon but, just as we were leaving...literally outside the door, the phone rang and it was the doctor's office.  They cancelled the appointment because icing caused them to lose power.  Not smoking over it but certainly am aggravated.  I have not slept well in two days worrying about this stupid appointment. She is going to call back later and let me know when she can reschedule him...YAY.

 

Have a delightful smokefree day.

Love,

Ellen

elvan

Update on @youngatheart

Posted by elvan Oct 24, 2018

Nancy is home...she had a nerve block so she said that her arm is a "noodle."  She is doing great, they have her arm in a foam splint and she feels comfortable.  She is not going to need the elevated walker...she will use her present crutch and just take very small and decisive steps...in other words, she will pay very close attention to what she is doing.  She would have been able to come home much earlier this afternoon but her oxygen saturations were not as high as they wanted them and they attributed that to the nerve block.  She was told that she will be able to care for herself in about three days and Andrew is going to stay there and make sure she is cared for in the meantime.  

 

I told her that I would update everyone and that she could just take it easy.  

 

Keep those thoughts and prayers for her recovery coming.  She has a post op visit on the 5th and might be able to get a much more flexible two piece cast if I understood her.  They commented on how toned her arms are...she's been carrying herself around on crutches FOREVER.  That will help immensely with her recovery.  She said the nursing staff was wonderful and attentive and caring and she is very appreciative of that...oh, and the warm blankets.  Those blanket warmers are the BEST!

 

Just wanted to let everyone know that she is doing beautifully.

 

Ellen

I worked Saturday but had to leave early because my oxygen sats kept dropping into the 70's and while I could get them up with controlled breathing...I couldn't KEEP them up.  I went home and used the nebulizer (I had used it before I went to work)...and I put my night time oxygen on early.  

 

I called my pulmonologist this morning because my sats still keep dropping and I feel as though I am really struggling.  They gave me an appointment for the 11th...that's TEN DAYS from now.  SERIOUSLY???  Her nurse called me later and said that she really could not get me into the office BUT...the doc said if I could not get in with my PCP, I should go to the ER at her hospital and she would be my doctor since she is on call today.  I went to my PCP last Tuesday after I had been to my rheumatologist in the morning.  I did not know what was going on but I felt seriously like I had been hit by a truck.  My doctor was on vacation all week so I saw the Nurse Practitioner who was convinced that I had the flu and did a test which was negative.  She said she was going to put me on an antibiotic just in case I had an infection brewing. I had dark colored sinus drainage (sorry, gross, I know).  I took it easy until I had to get Mike to the doctor on Thursday, the drive was horrible but, once again, we survived.  He is down to two drops now...instead of five and only one ointment as needed for pain.  He was on drops every two hours now it it three times a day for one and twice a day for the other.  

 

When I got up Saturday morning to get ready for work, I went to use the bathroom and the toilet seat came off causing me to smash my back on the toilet tank...NO WAY!  I made coffee, fed cats, gave Mike his morning drops and left him a note for the ONE drop he had to give himself and asked him to see if he could fix my toilet seat...turns out I had to get a new one and it is NOT RIGHT.  I know it will break soon.  He called me in the middle of the day to ask what drop he was supposed to give himself, I told him the PINK top, like the note says.  He lost the note.  It was taped to the fridge.

 

We were incredibly busy all day at work, it was Parent's Weekend at the college and the weather was beautiful.  I made it until 4:00, should have been there until 4:30 and I was not able to do the sweeping or clean the bathrooms.  I CAN'T bend over, it literally takes my breath away.  I am not sure if it is from my ribs pressing on that lung tissue.  I rested all day on Sunday and most of today.  I will call my PCP tomorrow and see if she can get some x-rays or a scan because I can't not be able to bend down.

 

I thank all of you for the well wishes and the prayers.  I am going to get through this...I will be back.  Again, many thanks for your love, I love you right back.

Ellen

elvan

Long day...ready for bed

Posted by elvan Sep 23, 2018

If I am not around much tomorrow or the next day...I may be resting, I HOPE I am resting.  I am exhausted and my say was difficult to say the least...my breathing kept getting more and more labored and I had to bend over more than once.  Bending over is really hard since it crushes the lung tissue I have left.  I have to share this photo I took this morning after I got to work...my daughter in law looked down and burst out laughing and said..."Ellen, are you wearing two different shoes?"  Well, DAMN...here I was SO PROUD of myself for getting to work early and remembering my phone and my teeth.  Some days are just not easy....

 

Hey, they were both black and of approximately the same shape...one had an insert and the other did not which made me limp terribly.  No one else asked about my mismatched shoes...I suspect they did not want to upset the crazy old lady who breathes like Darth Vader.

 

Love to all...

Ellen

I am working tomorrow and need to get some sleep tonight...had to increase my prednisone to a very high level in order to breathe and it kept me from sleeping well last night.  I need some rest so I can get through working tomorrow.  I am always seriously exhausted after work and on Monday...I don't expect things to be different after tomorrow.  We are expecting heavy rains so that may impact business negatively.  I am not a fan of working when it is really slow, it just makes the day seem so long.

 

Hope everyone gets a good rest tonight, I will check in before work.

 

XOXO,

Ellen

elvan

Update on Pops

Posted by elvan Sep 15, 2018

I heard from Ken yesterday and he said I am free to pass along to the community how he is doing...

 

 "I am getting stronger every day. 1 day at a time. Tough sledding here...but I am growing each day.  14 days sobriety today. That is because of my willingness to participate in my own recovery and a strong spirituality based sponsor with 39 years, and the grace of a loving God, that I am desperately trying get to know better.  This sobriety is of paramount importance and I will certainly be back after I have a stronger base to stand on. Thanks again, and feel free to pass that message along to others."

 

I do believe that he will be back and that, for now, his priority has to be his sobriety, he is deserving of our support and understanding and is not in need of anything more of less than that.

 

I hope I did this justice Pops

 

Ellen

No bad news...the ophthalmologist who saw him on Aug 31st said that the gas bubble in his eye was 85% intact and he went on and on and on about how imperative it is that he looks down, watches TV with a mirror set, lays on his stomach...he basically said that if he DIDN'T, the gas bubble would fail, the retina would detach and likely tear and the only treatment would be to put in a silicone bubble which would need to be removed at a later date.  I have yelled and screamed at him and been left completely exhausted.  Well...the resident who saw him today could not see ANY gas bubble in his eye.  Swell.  He called in an attending we had not met who had the characteristic sunshine (insert sarcasm font) personality of an older, well established physician and surgeon who also teaches.  Get the picture?  I did not like him AT ALL.  He said that the gas bubble is 90% intact, he said Mike still has to sleep face down and maintain a position of head down for a MINIMUM of 45 minutes out of every hour.  I asked what would happen if he didn't and said that he is always falling onto his back to sleep.  He said..."then he will get a cataract."  I asked how long he thought it would be before he has any vision because right now, he has basically none...he avoided that question so I moved on to how long will he need to be on the eye drops and ointments...he acted rather annoyed and asked WHY?  I told him that putting eye drops in every two hours from 8AM until 11:00AM is VERY difficult, I did not tell him what I REALLY was thinking which was...DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH THIS STUFF COSTS????  He didn't look like he would be very receptive or anything other than judgmental.  Hey, I am tired, I am in pain, the stress of driving up there and then waiting four hours to be seen is horrible.  He said Mike should go back to the closer doctor next week and then go to the original surgeon's office the week after.  He was not concerned.  He said there is no sign of infection.  The weather changes are getting to me...as well as the stress of driving and dealing with people who have superiority complexes...maybe MY inferiority complex is coming out.  I am just exhausted and I need to rest.  I am so worried about this hurricane and the number of people who may be impacted and HOW SEVERELY...I can think of nothing else.  I am going to take a nap before I just start sobbing...Mike thinks he's fine.  Clearly the bubble is still there and I am a control freak.  He dismissed everything else that the doctors said.  I'll put in his damn drops but aside from tying a cinder block to his head, I don't know how to make him keep looking down.  I have no idea how to get him to watch TV with the mirror apparatus...oh this doc said the same thing as the other guy on the 31st...there is an entire "cottage industry" of places to get chairs and large mirrors for TV and things to shove your face in at night.  Nevermind that none of those are covered by insurance and just RENTING them would cost as much as a small car.  They have no clue about the reality of people who are living on minimal fixed incomes and, quite frankly, I am tired of feeling humiliated all the time. 

 

Yeah, I need a nap, maybe I will wake up feeling like a new person.  Let's HOPE so.

 

Love you all and thanks for prayers and concern.

Ellen 

I may not be able to get on here tomorrow...I am taking Mike to the eye clinic tomorrow because he is having pain and I am really afraid that this surgery did not work...he needs to be checked to figure out if there has been ANY progress in his healing.  We have to leave early and that's going to be a real trial since he does not awaken easily.  In any event...if I am not here, it is because I am traveling to or from the clinic or I passed out when I got home.

 

Love to all,

Ellen

Mike is in a great deal of pain, he has to have eye drops and/or ointment every two hours and administering them is absolutely horrible.  His eyelids are so swollen and discolored and the eye itself is simply bloody...some drops are particularly painful and it is really hard to give them.  He does not stay face down like he is supposed to, I have yelled and begged and cried and threatened and I cannot get through to him.  He either really does not understand or else he is just being defiant.  I have told him that if this does not work, there is a good chance that he will never have vision in that eye.  He SAYS he wants to do whatever he is supposed to do but he keeps turning onto the wrong side, laying on his back which is a HUGE no, no.  Whatever they have advised, he has not done.  The only thing being done as ordered is the medication administration and that's all on me.  I have to work Sunday and if he cannot put the drops in himself by then, I have no idea what will happen...he will have three doses due while I am at work.  Our son is completely grossed out by how the eye looks and he doesn't dare to go near him, not that I would really want him to.  He has a cold so I don't want him here at all.

 

In any event, thank you all for your love and your prayers...I am getting there, I have done workouts at the pool two days in a row...will probably not be able to tomorrow because of the appointment and Saturday they are having a dove hunt which makes me want to puke so I am not going NEAR that place.  Maybe, I will try to rest Saturday, if I can...my alarm goes off every two hours and, of course, knowing that, seems to stop me from sleeping.

 

I took this photo in the waiting room at the hospital outpatient surgery center...it is for Youngatheart.7.4.12...she is a great admirer of this animal, hahaha.  I was in that waiting room for over 5 hours and did not notice this until about ten minutes before they took me to the recovery room to see my husband.  I love you all, I appreciate every thought, every prayer, every message more than you could possibly know.

 

 

Special thanks to jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 for supporting me and for passing along information.  

Love,

Ellen