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Health & Diet

   Balogreene  Hey Bird, how goes it? Is Hagar okay?
June 26 at 18:55 EST .

   BirdsNest  Hagar is now in Norfolk General Hospital in their extended recovery unit. The pressure sores are responding well to the wound VAC treatment. They are still very painful and he must have pain med before they take him for xrays or scans or if they have to turn him. Then he is out like a light for 4 hrs. I got to see him Thursday, we got there around 10:30. He was talkative and very much like himself for that time. Then they came to take him for a scan, dilaudid given, and they whisked him away. When we got back after having lunch at the cafeteria he was snoring, deeply asleep. Every now and then he would wake, say a few things like "We're going to have ripe tomatoes for the 4th of July" and go directly back to sleep. I did not want to leave so we stayed til almost 5. Said our goodbyes and left him sleeping. He has been eating more, the doctor has lifted the dietary restrictions. He has lost over 40 pounds. He just needs to eat some food every day. I have yet to speak with the attending doctor, he has only been at this hospital for 3 days. I will call the surgeons office Monday and see what his nurse can tell me about the scan and the reason for today's 2 units of blood. I am worried about his care, I know he is not their only patient but he is the only one I care about. His nurse on Thursday was a doll, very much on the side of the patient. She would not let xray move him from his bed to a gurney, they had to take HIS bed. It causes too much pain to constantly move him that way.

That's pretty much the update. No one has told me but I expect he will be there as long as they can keep him there. He has not been out of bed for 33 days.

I don't know what to expect. The nurses can't say much and the doctors are scarce as hens teeth. I will do my best to get some answers on Monday. Til then I will keep my head down and plug along.
June 27 at 19:10 EST .

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   BirdsNest  Today is day 25.

Hagar had another surgery on the pressure sores. That was on Tuesday. I got to see him Wednesday, he looked quite good considering what he had been through the previous day. We got kicked out of his room soon after we arrived, the wound care nurse came in with 2 student nurses to change the dressing on the sores and evaluate. She said she might recommend some other type of treatment. I asked if it was the V.A.C. system and she looked at me. You know about that? I said that I had been doing some asking around and someone had explained much of it to me(Thank you MeiDei )
. We were out of the room for 45 min A friend stopped by on his was back to the Shore and stopped in to see Hagar,he was having his Respiratory treatment and couldn't talk but the friend said a few words and off he went. We stayed awhile longer. Hagar had his pain meds so he was off to sleep. Yesterday in the garden, the phone rang. It was Hagar, "I have had a good day", he said. I sat down on a cinderblock and listened to him tell me about his good day. A nurse brought him a cooked to order cheeseburger. He ate every bite and declared it the best thing he has ever eaten. It had flavor and he could taste it. He chatted on for 30 minutes. When I go on Sunday I will take him a slice of pizza from the cafeteria and anything else he should want. He is on a diabetic diet, so everything is beyond bland. He was not diabetic going into the hospital, it is due to the meds.
The plan is to get him out of the hospital into a rehab center. But they will not be putting him here, he needs more skilled care than what he can get here. Our friend's husband is in one of them here, he has fallen 4 times there. It is a dismal atmosphere, I went in it once late winter to visit a friend who had been transferred from the hospital across the street. He died that morning. I could not believe the look of the place, it was awful. No way Hagar is going into that one!
June 19 at 06:30 EST .

   2 people like this.

   Balogreene  You fight Bird! On 9/11 my grandmother was put in a Nursing Home, as the hospital made room for all the people from the Pentagon who would need a room! Her doctor told us it was not a good home, we did not like it, but, because of the attack, there was no room, anywhere (we tried ).

You and Hagar fight for his rights. When mom was in rehab we had to fight every day for her rights. Can we set up a rotating schedule, where all friends within a few hundred miles come down one day a week and fights for Hagar (food, exercise, sleep, care, etc. )?

Whatever you need, let us know, the least we can do is pray.
June 19 at 19:41 EST .

   MeiDei  Here's to more "cooked to order cheeseburgers" & the start of an invigorated appetite ... what good news.
June 20 at 07:36 EST .

   NotaBene  So wonderful you received a phone call from Hagar. That was very good news, and that he is tasting his food, it means he is getting better.

Blessings to you both.
June 20 at 13:01 EST .

   BirdsNest  Day 18 Yesterday they did surgery on the pressure sore on his butt. It was a deep cavity, infected but the surgeon is confident they will be able to keep the area clean and it will start to heal. I sure hope so. I would have been at the hospital but no one informed me of the procedure. If they had been able to get Hagar to sign the consent form I feel sure I would not have known anything until I saw him again. He seems to have found a bit of an appetite, which is good. A friend stopped by today and brought him a container of ice cream. I am sure she is now on his list of favorite people. She called to tell me, and she offered to take me on Wed to see him. That was nice.
June 13 at 21:15 EST .

   2 people like this.

   MeiDei  Thank you for keeping us informed. My son feels so badly for Hagar, he knows what it's like & they take a while to heal if immobile, faster if he can get up and move around. Guessing that the surgical procedure was a 'debridement' & he's either on a Dakins wet to dry protocol or a V.A.C. system now. Both work well & are interchangeable; our combined thoughts & prayers for Hagar (& you too ). Don't get discouraged, your angels are moving to the infield to meet you at home plate.
June 14 at 09:13 EST .

  2 people like this.

   MeiDei  BTW - "faster" doesn't mean chasing the pretty nurses down the hallways : ) An hour a day up is usually what is allowed with additional time added gradually. Hopefully more nice people will escort you to the hospital.
June 14 at 09:20 EST .

  3 people like this.

   NotaBene  BirdsNest, this has been a long journey for you and Hagar. So nice of your friend to drive you to see him. I pray to God that he keeps getting better, that he will recover and you will be together again. It takes time but hopefully things will improve. Love MeiDei's comment of chasing the pretty nurses down the hallway... So nice you keep us informed. All the best!!
June 15 at 01:46 EST .

   BirdsNest  Mei and NotaBene, I would be thrilled if the nurses informed me he was chasing them. So far he has not been out of bed since he was admitted...May 26. I wanted to talk to him last night, but the phone was busy. Our friend M called him, M did all the talking and when I tried to call-busy. Tried calling the nurses station 3x, no answer. I finally called at 5:30 this morning. His nurse said he slept through most of her shift, he tolerated dressing change well and there wasn't much else to report. I asked about the progress on the sore and she said she heard the doctor mention wanting to debride it some more. That doesn't sound like progress to me. The nurses don't give out much information at all. Surely one of them knew he was due for surgery on Friday, he would have had to have been taken off of Cumadin several days before yet no one told me. So Friday when pre op called for permission to do surgery(Hagar was confused )I lit into the nurse. Of course I would have been there if I had known.

I am getting more concerned about his mental health, he needs people that he knows around and I just cannot get there every day. They want to re hab him in Norfolk not here. I am calling the lady in charge of that to find out more details.

This is an acute care hospital. The nurses for the most part are efficient and pleasant. What I can't understand is why the doctors cannot keep me updated without me having to call or have nurses make the request to call me.

Thanks to everyone that is praying for Hagar.
June 15 at 06:29 EST .

   MeiDei  Bird I just had a rather long post denied for some reason. It was meant to alleviate your fears - wish I had copied it before hitting comment. We're on wounds #5 & 6 (not exactly old hat ) I can identify with any current fear, doubt or discontent. You can email me at & I'd be happy to recreate what I was trying to say to add peace to your hectic days. Today's opening prayers for you both have been offered.
June 15 at 08:37 EST .

   BirdsNest  Mei, I sent you an email.
June 16 at 20:16 EST .

   Bettijo  Bird, my prayers are with you and Hagar. After my hip replacement March a Year ago, I went into a nursing home for rehab and PT because I live alone and was afraid to go solo just yet. The social worker had trouble finding a nursing home who had room for me. She finally found one at LifeCare (I think that is a national chain ). It turned to be very nice, as nursing homes go. I hope you can find a suitable place for Hagar.
June 27 at 21:18 EST .

   BirdsNest  Day 13 in hospital. He is not eating much says the food is awful. I did bring him Jello from home when I came Thursday, but it will be Tuesday or Wednesday this week before I can go again. They will transfer him to rehab, I have asked for a location here, I cannot keep making day trips to Va. Beach. His wound, where they opened him up, is really a big one but it has never been red or even pink. It is perfectly clean and healing beautifully. The pressure sore on his backside is an angry mess, but they are tending to that 2x a day. I am hoping the confusion he is showing is due to so many room changes and the dilaudid.
June 7 at 07:12 EST .

   2 people like this.

   MeiDei  Bring him Ensure or some kind of a protein drink, wounds respond best with high protein intake - going through that now with son; I mix powdered whey protein w/water or milk 3 x a day. I really feel for Hagar, those sores can be very painful & it's hard for the patient to be cheery. Will pray that a close rehab place is available for him soon.
June 7 at 10:06 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks Mei. They have Ensure juice drinks available for him but I don't think he bothers with them. I should be there more often, it is just not possible with the garden still needing to be planted. The nurse today informed me the sore is actually an ulcer that may require surgery. That sounds really bad. He asked for Dilaudid at Midnite but not since so they have him on an ask basis for that and schedule Tylenol regularly.
June 7 at 14:35 EST .

  2 people like this.

   NotaBene  Players for your husband to get better and that he can be moved to a near rehab center so you can see him more often and do not have to drive so much.
June 7 at 20:47 EST .

  2 people like this.

   NotaBene  Wanted to write "prayers". Did not give time to correct.
June 7 at 20:48 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks NotaBene, I knew what you meant.

A nice long visit yesterday. He was foggy early but as he got used to me being there his head cleared up and he talked and joked with nurses and made comments about various things.He was disappointed that the friend who brought me over did not stay long, she had an appt in town plus needed to do some shopping. Her husband had 2 falls at home and has fallen twice at the rehab center where we live, so she needed to have a change of scenery. Later in the afternoon a friend and her husband stopped by to give me a ride home. So I got to spend a lot of time with Hagar. Medically they are doing all they can right now, he has a pressure sore that is painful and in need of surgery. Long term care is what they are alluding to now and as soon as I can today I will call the lady in charge of that. Not looking good for coming here, at least not right now.So he will have to endure more time away from friends and me.
June 11 at 06:37 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Gerty  Miss Birdie, I am a whole lot of late to learn about your situation. I am so sorry to hear about Hagar's illness and the hardship it presents for you both. Please be sure that I am praying for you.
June 11 at 07:47 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Hagar was much better today, talking and joking for our visit. Other friends stopped by, he was really glad to see them. They are moving him out of ICU to step down.
May 31 at 19:59 EST .

   3 people like this.

   MeiDei  Good news indeed! I'm sure that made you feel better too.
June 1 at 07:19 EST .

  5 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks Mei. Today he is agitated and confused. Wonder why?? They have played musical rooms with him since last Tuesday. I cannot go see him today so I am in the garden, well not right this minute, there are 2 friends that said they would stop by after their appts. in Hampton. He seems genuinely pleased when someone stops by.
June 1 at 12:04 EST .

  4 people like this.

   MeiDei  I think he's experiencing the highs and lows of medication & room changing can be maddening - not to mention confusing. Restore yourself today for any challenges ahead.
Prayerfully, Mei.
June 1 at 12:48 EST .

  4 people like this.

   BirdsNest  You are right, he has been on a merry go round of room changes. No familiar faces. All you can press-the-button drugs. They clamped off the ng tube-if he doesn't get nauseous or vomit then it can come out. I am glad not to be there for that removal. I have been in the garden or outside all day. 84F and it is bloody hot. Had to move plants into the shade and water them again. Looks possible we could get a T-storm, I will have to gather up the little ducks from their outdoor playground to the inside playground. And make sure the baby chicks with mommas are in secure enough shelter for wind and rain.

Thanks, Mei for being a beacon of light, you have your own challenges.
June 1 at 15:42 EST .

  3 people like this.

   MeiDei  I know you have the nurturing skills down pat, so that's a given for when Hagar comes home. Your challenge will be disposition - I know you enjoy a good laugh so find humor wherever you can & keep it close - a caregiver necessity. I'm laughing here just remembering all the times it broke the tension at our house. Faith & a sense of humor will conquer most things - believe it - live it. We're here for you both. Your journey at excelling beyond the garden & your animals is just beginning - you will succeed. Find peace for yourself Bird - being a caregiver isn't for sissies : )
June 2 at 10:39 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Hagar's surgery date is May 26. We have to be at the hospital at 5:30am, we live about 90 minutes from the hospital, guess I will stay up all night.
May 16 at 16:24 EST .

   9 people like this.

   BirdsNest  I have had oodles of folks volunteering to drive across the Bay with me to visit Hagar in the hospital, but once they all found out we have to be there at 5:30 am no one has spoken up. I did not figure anyone would want to do it, not a problem, Hagar can drive us over and I can drive back by myself. I am a big girl. That's really early to start the day out, we will leave here around 3:30am just to be on the safe side. They sometimes have delays in the tunnels during the night-that's when they do major maintenance work. That way we won't be late. They have some blood work to do that morning. Fingers crossed everything goes well and he gets back on the road to a healthier person. Right now he is tired, worried,& has no appetite. And I am a crazy woman.
May 18 at 21:53 EST .

  3 people like this.

   MeiDei  My prayers go with you.
May 19 at 00:16 EST .

  3 people like this.

   NotaBene  Prayers for Hagar and for you BirdsNest. You both have been through a lot. Hope the surgery is successful. Please let us know. God bless.
May 25 at 11:36 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  He survived surgery, but the tumor had advanced more than they had anticipated. Breached the wall of the colon to the liver and even small intestines. 4 hr surgery plus a 4+ hr recovery, I finally got to see him sometime after 5pm. cannot go today, have so much garden work to do and I am emotionally wiped out. The garden work will help me to wash out the stress from my body. He will have to have chemo, but somewhere in the chat with the surgeon I heard the word "terminal" and I just stopped listening.
May 27 at 10:00 EST .

  2 people like this.

   MeiDei  You did the smart thing Bird, you're a strong woman and we're here for you to keep hope alive; our prayers for Hagar & you continue.
May 27 at 19:24 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Today he is in ICU with a blood clot in his lungs. I spent a couple of hours watching him sleep and speaking to him when he woke up briefly. He recognized me. That was nice.
May 30 at 22:13 EST .

  2 people like this.

   MeiDei  I'm glad they caught the clot before he was sent home, that's a blessing.
May 31 at 10:16 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Bettijo  For the last five or six years I have been having pain and a loss of motion in my left shoulder/arm and three orthopedic doctors have said I needed a shoulder replacement. I said "no, no, and no." It has gotten worse and I have tried everything; cortisone shots (help temporarily ), OrthoVisc shots (painful and no help at all ), acupuncture, PT, and now pain meds which I hate to take. Has anyone had shoulder replacement or know anything about it? My rheumatologist said it is very much like hip replacement which I had last March. One joint replacement a year is more than enough for me! What do you think? PS. I will be 81 next month.
May 9 at 07:42 EST .

   6 people like this.

   Balogreene  Betti, if you can stand the surgery, do it. My mom has always said the moment she woke up from her hip replacement, was the moment the pain ended. The only pain was that from the surgery.

Mom has huge problems with surgery (it first surfaced on that hip replacement ). When she is anesthetized, her bowel stops functioning for days on end (Ogilvie's syndrome ). She needs her other hip replaced and is rightfully frightened of the side effects. But, she still insists, the first hip replacement, and subsequent knee replacement solved the pain problem.

Do it!
May 14 at 18:34 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Bettijo  Choosing a Healthy Frozen Meal
Did you know that the average American eats 6 frozen meals a month? The market is estimated at $9 billion in annual sales.

The first TV dinner appeared in 1953 under the Swanson brand. It was presented as a solution for busy moms who had begun joining the workforce and could no longer spend hours in the kitchen. The dinner included turkey, corn bread and gravy, buttered peas and sweet potatoes. It cost $0.98.

This was the beginning of a revolution. Combining an entree and two sides in a three part aluminum container that could be heated, eaten from, and then discarded proved to be a great convenience for consumers.

To this day, convenience is top reason reason people buy frozen dinners. The industry has updated its products based on additional considerations, including nutrition. These days, "healthy" formulations as well as ethnic variations are the biggest category drivers

The "healthy" frozen food trend began in the mid-80's when the CEO of Con-Agra suffered a heart attack. Upon returning to work, he could not find a frozen entree that his doctors would approve. Thus was born the Healthy Choices brand. The FDA regulates the use of "Healthy" in food marketing, so these meals are required to contain less than 480mg of sodium.

While we like to encourage people to prepare their own dinners, Frozen dinners are not going away any time soon. So if you want the convenience of a TV dinner, please invest just a moment to choose the one that is the least detrimental to your health:

1. Start by checking the serving size and the calorie count. Some meals boast a low calorie count, but then your ealize that the meal is toddler-sized

2. Next, check the sodium level. Anything higher than 1000mg is totally crazy (almost half the daily allowance of 2300mg ) . Look for sodium lower than 600mg, and ideally less than 480mg. For example, Hungry Man Classic Fried Chicken has 1600mg of sodium(! ), while Lean Cuisine Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta boasts only 590mg.

3. Look at the fats and saturated fats. The Hungry Man dinner has 59g of fat (90% of your daily value ), 13 of which are saturated. Needless to say, if the trans-fats are anything besides zero, don't add the product to your shopping cart.

4. Most frozen dinners include a fair amount of preservatives such as BHT (possible carcinogen ), polysorbate 8, artificial colors, and propylene glycol (used in your car's antifreeze ). For example, a Kid's favorite - Kid Cuisine Frozen Dinner, Bug Safari, Chicken Breast Nuggets - contains no less than BHT, Sodium Phosphate, Yellow No. 5 , Yellow No. 6, Red No. 40, Blue No. 1, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, and Disodium Phosphate. Try to avoid these preservatives if possible.

5. Sugar is a very popular ingredient in frozen meals, often as a replacement for fat in low-fat dinners. Sugar will appear under many names and forms, but an easy Sugar will appear under many names and forms, but an easy
May 8 at 17:18 EST .

   4 people like this.

   Bettijo  but an easy way to get the total is to look at the nutrition label and see how many grams are reported per serving. Every 4 grams of sugar are equivalent to 1 teaspoon! As an example, the aforementioned Kid Cuisine Frozen Dinner contains 18 grams of sugar, or 4.5 teaspoons worth
May 8 at 17:19 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Growing up frozen dinners were outlawed in our house. My dad hated them. Mother would buy them and sneak them when Dad was working late at the restaurant. I just now realized.....we ate dinner as a family every night, after dinner Dad would go back to the restaurant and stay til Midnight. I never really gave it much thought. I guess we weren't so dysfunctional after all.
May 8 at 20:47 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Balogreene  We ate dinner together every night as a family. Daddy was always home by six, and we had dinner. On rare occasions he was out of town, or had to work late, but 90% of the time, it was a family dinner. If daddy was out of town, we went out for Mexican (in the '60's ). But, altho I remember tv dinners, I don't remember having them.
May 8 at 22:09 EST .

  3 people like this.

   MeiDei  The fastest meal I make is Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp. Into boiling water goes the pasta & the shrimp - same cooking time.
Then I peel the shrimp return to pasta & add a sauce; either sweet & sour or General Tsao's or whatever is opened and needs finishing off - toss & into a big bowl.
May 9 at 00:31 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Bettijo  Five Superfoods that Jesus Ate Regularly
Food was not easy to come by before the agricultural, industrial, and technological revolutions of the last few centuries. But, before that time, civilizations were able to grow and prosper for thousands of years. In Nazareth and Jerusalem circa 2000 years ago, life was still mostly agrarian. During the time of Jesus, malnutrition was an annual threat. A dry winter meant less food for an entire year. Several years of drought would lead to mass migrations.
Plants, animals, and people adapted to the region, and as we all know managed to write some of the most exciting chapters in the annals of humanity. So what did Jesus and countrymen live off in the ancient land of Israel?
1. Olive oil – Olive trees are very resilient and can survive years of poor water supply while reliably providing a harvest every fall. Some trees live to be hundreds of years old. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (the good fats ). It is also anti-inflammatory and tastes great on a salad. It goes without saying that back in the day all olive oil was extra virgin and cold pressed.
2. Wine – Grapes grew in abundance in the foothills of Jerusalem and while they had a very short season, wine lasts for years. Besides its religious function and great side effects, red wine contains antioxidants called resveratrols. These may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol and protecting against damage to blood vessels.
3. Fish – Jesus may have walked on the water, but underneath him the Sea of Galilee (actually, it’s a lake ) was teeming with freshwater fish. Fishermen could rely on a relatively stable supply of fish, which are a great source of lean protein, and beneficial omega-3 fats.
4. Pomegranate – Pomegranate trees grow well in Mediterranean climates and produce what is arguably one of the sweetest fresh superfoods of the ancient world. (They did not have blueberries or strawberries ).
5. Figs – Fig trees tend to grow near water sources, and are hardy enough to withstand blazing summer heat and cold winter nights. The fruit can be eaten fresh or preserved by drying. Dried figs were traveler’s food. In either configuration, figs are rich in virtually every nutrient in the book, including fiber, calcium, vitamin A, and B vitamins. They are also good for constipation.
Merry Christmas everyone! Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday for all.

   May 8 at 07:43 EST .

   8 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Figs......a memory.
May 8 at 20:48 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  I have a mountain of paperwork to take to Hagar's appt tomorrow. Medical records from all of the doctors. I have read through some of it. Even a colour picture of the tumor, nasty bugger it is. Saw PCP yesterday, just a follow up and to tell him to expect to hear from the surgeon. Surgeon wants to chat with him and the prostate cancer doc and probably the gastro doc too. Tomorrow will be another busy day with an appt w/ neuro doc here and then a trip across the bay to the surgeon. Not looking forward to that. Today I am bone tired, from rushing around all day.
April 28 at 08:30 EST .

   14 people like this.

   MeiDei  Hope all went well & ended on a more positive note.
April 29 at 20:39 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Still waiting for a date for surgery. Hagar says he is fading....
May 8 at 20:49 EST .

  4 people like this.

   Bettijo  I have Hagar on my prayer list. God bless!
May 9 at 07:46 EST .

  3 people like this.

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