Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Once a Marine

always a Marine

Hi There

Jim is doing well but will need much more of my help then usual until he can regain his strength. So this will be a love you and leave you post.

I was asked by my neighbor to make a 90Th birthday card for her brother who is a Marine.     

She wanted something different so I made an easel card.  I’ve printed the sentiments and USMC emblem (found on the net) then cut and embossed with Labels Seven. I drew then hand cut the dog tags.  They don’t photograph well but are perfect little replicas even with the little tooth notch.

Please, Please, May I Please make a girly card! I can’t take all these masculine cards much longer.  My poor Mojo keeps hiding under the bed and it is taking longer and longer to persuade it to come out. Can't blame it I'm about ready to join it in that cool dark place.

I hope to do some commenting this evening. See Ya soon.



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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Home At Last

At the moment Jim is laying in his very own bed with his beloved dog sleeping beside him. I don’t think there are two happier creatures anywhere.

After an agonizing wait for the IV tech to remove Jim’s PIC line so we could leave I went to the nurses station and asked when it would be done.  "Sorry there is no order written for that." I was not pleased in the least. As it turns out the order had been written but the IV tech was busy. You know the squeaky wheel really does get the grease because she arrived shortly there after and we were happily on our way home.

More good news from my sister Donna. Her situation has been improved. It is a major step but there are still many layers of her onion which will probably take quite some time to peel thur.

It’s like Christmas, the house is filled with Peace and Joy.

Unless something comes up this will be my last post about Jim. Once again thank you to everyone who has stood by in prayer and with words of comfort and encouragement. You will never know how very much it has meant to us.

Sure wish I could send some of our over abundance of sunshine (104 F - 40 C again today) to my friends across the pond and you could send us a bit of your rain. Wouldn’t that be a lovely exchange.

I may take a day or so to adjust to whatever our new normal is. I’ll return soon.



Day 12

Hi There!

Sorry for not posting yesterday. Thankfully the predicted storms did not materialize, all we got and still have are winds. The truth is I put on the evening news and the next thing I knew it was 12:30 AM. I let the dog out turned off the lights and went back to sleep. It was as though my body said enough is enough, you are sleeping, no ifs ands or buts.  Running around town in the heat (103) getting everything I needed for Jim’s homecoming drained me. Needless to say I did not make a card last night.

At the moment I am waiting for Jim’s call saying he is being discharged. I must say I’ve still not heard anyone say he is coming home except for Jim. He let slip last night he had ordered his dinner for today. Hummm if he is coming home why order dinner? We shall see if he actually comes home but when he does I have everything ready for him. Hopefully my next post will say he is home.

This is the card I made by the light of my battery operated lantern. Confession time: When the storm began I got out my lantern and flash light. When the power did go out I took my lantern in the craft closet and made Jim’s card. After I was done I went to get a drink. You know how you walk into a room and flip the switch even though you know the power is out. Well the lights came on. I learned the power hadn’t gone out at all. Apparently it had only flickered for a second but when it did it flipped the circuit breaker to the part of the house I was in. Oh well I don’t think the card suffered do you.  Our Internet and cable TV was out for several hours though.  The congratulations was on getting his tubes removed and taking that major step toward recovery. 

Okay best get myself cleaned up and ready to go. Hope to be back later tonight saying he is home.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another Fabulous Day

Hi There

Sorry for the late hour but our power has been out.

After weeks of praying for Jim I have been saying a lot of prayers of thanks in the last few days. He is doing so very well. They removed that tube this afternoon. He feels so much better, it had been bothering him a great deal in the last few days.

He was allowed to have cream of chicken soup and chocolate pudding with whipped cream, two favorites but he was especially happy to have his cold glass of milk again. He tolerated it all very well.

Seems he wont need to escape after all. Dr. says going home on Tuesday is very possible but maybe not till Wed. I am preparing for his homecoming. He is so weak I am afraid he might fall. I want to be sure all his needs are addressed. I maybe over doing it a bit but I don’t want to have to leave him alone while I run out to get something he needs in the first few days at least.

He has an appointment with the dietitian tomorrow afternoon per his request. He wants to know what he can and can’t have which tells me he is going to be very cautious, for a while at least.

Whilst the power was out I made Jim’s card for tomorrow by the light of a battery operated lantern. You’ll have to wait to see it but here is his card for today.

We had a scary storm this evening. With thunder boomers you can feel deep in your chest, lightening, strong winds and finally heavy rains.  I am always exhilarated by storms like this but the potential for fires is frightening. We had the longest spring in my memory, seems summer has been trying to make up for lost time now. It’s been HOT!!! 104 today! The temperature dropped from 95 to 75 in less the half an hour once the rains came.

The long cool damp spring has brought us lots of vegetation, unfortunately it is all dried out now and the rains didn't lasted long enough to be of help, we are still under red flag warnings.  It wont take much to to touch off a brush or forest fire.  We are told to expect more storms like this minus the rains over the next three days. 

I am so grateful we have the VERY BEST firefighters on the planet in our area. They have kept fires from getting out of control under extreme conditions year after year. It is a comfort to know they stand at the ready. Our military put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, these men and women put their lives on the line to protect our lives and homes. They are our unsung heroes in my eyes. I feel they should be given just as much respect and honor as our military heroes.

I am hopeful once I get Jim home and settled I will finally be able to comment on your lovely blogs again. I don’t think I’ve done that for well over a month. See Ya tomorrow, weather permitting.



Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Fabulous Day

Hi There

Jim is doing absolutely fabulously! Our prayers have been answered. Everything is working as it should and he has no pain. He was allowed to have a little broth, some apple juice and what he called the most awful tasting gritty green Jell-O ever. Poor guy just couldn‘t get past the taste. The good news is he kept everything down. If he continues to do well they will remove that tube from his nose tomorrow. He is really looking forward to that as his throat is raw from it.  He looks so much better and his spirits are high.

Jim says he is coming home on Tuesday. I think he is planning a great escape as no one else has said that. It will be nice to have him home, the sooner the better but yours truly will not be a party to any grand escape plans.

Jim’s card for the day:


I cheated.  My Mojo truly abandoned me but I couldn't visit Jim without a card again so I pulled one out of my stash.  He didn't mind.  I made it and that was all that mattered.  My Mojo came back, weak and with it's tail between it's legs but I was able to make a card for him while I waited for the good news.

Thank you all for hanging in there with us thru this journey. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m pretty sure it’s not a train. Thanks again for your prayers, they truly have been appreciated and now we know they have been answered.



Friday, July 6, 2012


It wasn’t pretty and didn’t smell like a bed of roses but lets face it folks after a loooooong week Poop IS a beautiful thing!

Yes the obstruction is resolving it’s self and things are truly moving in the right direction this morning. We haven’t talked to the doctors yet so I can’t tell you any more at the moment.

I think even Jim’s dog knows something good is happening, she seems back to her old self this morning.

I have asked the hospital to block in coming calls to Jim's room so he can get some sleep.  I will life the block in a day or two but until then I hope you will all understand. 

I felt pretty low when Jim asked for his card this morning but I was absolutely blank last night and had nothing to give him. He was disappointed but admitted he was surprised I’d made as many as I had. The day isn’t over yet.

I will update when I know more.

Love & Blessings


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 7


It's been a long week but finally a day when everything went right. Although the CAT scan didn’t show any change his numbers are good. All medications have been administered at the proper time and proper dosage and all equipment is functioning properly.   Poor guy is hooked up to so many tubes and electrodes, this morning they added compression leggings to the mix.  If there is an Olympic event where by one needs to get pass an obstacle course of tubes, electrodes, monitors and the like just to get a kiss from the guy you love, I'm sure I'd take home the Gold.    

Jim’s pain level remains low, his spirits are good and he seems to be comfortable except for the periodic bouts of the dry heaves.

The poor guy is completely exhausted though. Every time he falls asleep one monitor or another will sound off, the phone rings or a nurse will come in to disturb his sleep. We can’t do anything about the monitors or the nurses but I am going to ask if they can block his calls for a few days, maybe he'll get some rest. 

Everyone keeps asking when he is coming home.  At this point we don't know, I suspect it'll be another week if everything goes as planned.  Surgery remains our greatest fear.

I felt exhausted myself so I unplugged our home phones and took a lovely long nap this afternoon. I feel all the better for it. 

This week Joann’s had a Military Personnel Appreciation Discount. 20% off entire purchase for past and present service members. Bless his heart, Jim insisted I take advantage of it. Since they are located between the hospital and our home I did. Besides some ribbons, card stock, stamps and stocking up on trimmer blades and ATG adhesive I got two Fiskars star punches I’ve been wanting for ages. Believe it or not everything was already on sale, 40% off. Sweet!



I used my new punches and a tiny shinny confetti star to make Jim’s card for the day.

This card was for our daughter Donna who had minor surgery this morning. She did well and is now home. She spent the day recovering at the opposite end of the same floor Jim is on. Daddy needed periodic reports on how she was doing. Maybe that’s why I needed a nap today, I did walk back and forth between their rooms several times. She visited with him before she left for home.  Nothing like seeing for himself to set his mind at ease.

Sorry I didn't realize the photos were so dark until after they'd been delivered.   

Thank you all for your continued support, well wishes and especially for your prayers.  Please don’t worry about me, I am taking care of myself as best I can under the circumstances. 

I'm off to make Jim's card for tomorrow.  I think my Mojo is hiding with the dust bunnies under the bed though so wish me luck. 

Love & Blessings

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 6

Hi There

I do hope you have all had a safe and fun fourth. Not much celebrating here but Jim was in good spirits and says he pain level had dropped quite a bit.

All of his medications have been restored and everything seems to be working as it should.

Doctor says his white count went up a bit but that is to be expected and he has gained much more ground then he has lost and we are not to worry about it. So we remain guardedly optimistic.

Jim had a CAT scan late yesterday, unfortunately we wont get the results until tomorrow because today is a holiday.  :(

He had a dreadful night. The tube in his stomach was not draining and that stuff had to come out. It did, often and a lot, on everyone and everything. He said it was payback for all the torment they’ve put him thru but I know felt badly about it. Everyone was sure the equipment was malfunctioning and worked feverishly to repair it. Eventually an X-ray revealed the tube had moved out of his stomach. Once it was replaced it began draining properly and relief was immediate.

Except for a few minuets here and there I haven’t seem Jim sleep since long before he was admitted. He slept for several hours today. It really was wonderful to watch him sleeping so peacefully at last.



Today’s card was inspired by an ad for Sears Fourth Of July Sale. The sentiment was computer generated. I smeared the ink a bit when I distressed it with Tea Dye DI but time is not on my side so it had to do.  Not a very good photo either the scoring doesn't show well. 

They say once a Marine always a Marine so you must never say was a Marine. Jim is a Marine and thus loved the card. 

Thank you for your services my love.  And Thank You to all who have and are serving.

I'll be back tomorrow with the CAT scan results, praying it'll be good news.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 5

I’m a bit earlier today and happy to say Jim is in much better spirits. Thank heaven, yesterday wasn’t very pleasant for anyone around him. He is quite cheerful and looks a bit more rested today.

Also happy to report all of his tests continue to show improvement, ever so slight but improvement nonetheless. He still has a very long ways to go but we are thankful he is headed in the right direction.

If it’s not one thing it’s another. Apparently at the same time his other medications were discontinued Jim’s medication for water retention had been discontinued again without discussion and for reasons that defy reason. His feet are swollen like balloons. We really don’t need for him to go into kidney failure or congestive heart failure now do we. He says he wasn’t very nice to the doctor but doctor has agreed it should be restored immediately.

I must say for the most part the people in charge of Jim’s care have been wonderful but as in every part of life there are always a few who can really make a mess of things.

I keep getting the asked ‘Why can’t they just do this, that or the next thing to get him better faster?” They have been doing this for many years. They’ve probably tried this, that and the next thing and found it didn’t work. We have to trust his treatment plan is the best way to treat him and how ever long it takes it will be successful.

Jim was admitted to the hospital on Friday. I’ve made a card for him every day beginning on Sat. I’ve been posting them one day late so I am playing catch up today with two cards to share.

This is he card for Monday:

When I first bought my SB Floral Flourishes I cut the entire set just to see what they looked like, these are bits from that test run.

Making masculine cards is more then a little difficult for me. Last night I was a total blank. My Mojo had gone into hiding. I finally admitted defeat and went to bed afraid I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal of making him a card every day he is in the hospital. This morning I turned on the news and saw a dragster and the idea for this card was born. I Goggled drag racers clipart and found this image. Print, cut and emboss with SB Labels Seven. The sentiment was computer generated and cut by hand.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my daily update.



Oscar the Grouch

Good Evening

Sorry for being so late, Blogger woudn't let me post ealier and I fell sound asleep after dinner. I’m not surprised, this has been an exhausting experience.    

Jim was definitely feeling better today. I know because he complained about everything. He had been to sick to complain before, now we’ll just call him Oscar the Grouch. I’m sure it’s no fun being in his shoes. He is most upset that he isn’t allowed to have a sip of water and they limit the amount of ice chips he can have. He remains unconvinced it is harmful to him.

His lung specialist was consulted and all his medications have been restored. He had a much more comfortable night. Most notably his hick ups and diaphragm spasms have diminished. Those are so painful for him  (not to mention difficult to watch) and his oxygen saturation monitor would go off with each spasm. Neither he nor his poor roommate got any sleep as a result. I am sure Luis was not sorry to see him go when they moved Jim to another room late yesterday.

He is still in pain at the area of the infection/obstruction and still suffering miserably from stomach acid. I’m afraid until the infection is cleared neither will improve. His tests are improving ever so slightly but he has a very long way to go and surgery is still our greatest fear. 

 This is Jim’s card for the day. I found a negative scrap, trimmed it to size and printed the rest.

When I came home Friday evening after getting Jim settled at the hospital his dog ran around the house inside and out looking for him. When she couldn’t find him she climbed on his bed and cried. It was the most mournful cry I’ve ever heard. The poor thing is so sad and blames me for taking her Daddy way. I tired to take a photo of her to use on a card but she wont look at me. Turns her head from me every time I get close.

Dosen't she look sad.  Jim absolutely loves having the photos of his little girl and has been showing it to everyone who will stand still long enough to look.

Someone said they hoped Jim’s disposition would be better tomorrow. I don’t like being the victim of it but if it means he is getting well I’ll take him just the way he is. I’ll be back tomorrow hopefully a little earlier.



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Good News Bad News

Hi There Dear Friends and Family

Thank you all for your kind words of support and encouragement and for all your prayers. I’m sorry I don’t have the luxury of time nor the energy to respond to each of you individually but I do appreciate each of you more then you can know. Rather then try to answer all your lovely e mails I will try to update my blog daily so you can all come here and be kept informed.

The Good News is Jim is improving. His doctors are encouraged and we are now all optimistic that he wont need surgery but he still has a long way to go before they can say that for sure. He was more comfortable yesterday and not using the morphine much but very uncomfortable and using the morphine again today. None the less he does look better,  I can’t say good but at least better. 
We've learned we had been misinformed, he only has one problem, the obstruction is being caused by the infection and not two separate issues.

The Bad News is it is the weekend. Jim is at the mercy of doctors he doesn‘t know and they don’t know him or his history. I can’t help but wonder if they even give a damn. Yesterday, without discussing it with Jim and for reasons that defy all reason, someone decided to discontinue his emphysema medications. He had an absolutely miserable night. Thankfully they did not take away his rescue inhaler or his nebulizer treatments but today he is still suffering the effects of not having the other medications. I am grateful Jim is alert and able to be proactive in his care. The nurse told me he really gave the doctor an earful and his medications will be restored. I have requested his pulmonologist (lung specialist) be consulted just to be on the safe side.

At this point the very last thing Jim needs is to eat or drink but the hospital dietician called him last night and asked him what he would like for breakfast. Apparently someone had ordered meals for him. God save us.

I have decided to try to make Jim a card every day. This is the card I made for him on Sat. Quite simple, a Campbell’s soup can. I couldn’t resist the inside.

I’ll try to update you all tomorrow.

Love, Hugs & Blessings