Monday, March 30, 2009

I Moved Again and Not Home Yet

Note: Ernie's daughter is posting this update so Ernie's friends will know where he is now and how he's doing.

Ernie was transferred out of the Skilled Nursing Unit at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, CO at noon today and brought to a nursing home in Canon City. His address now is:
Ernest Margheim
Canon Lodge Care Center
Room 105
905 Harding
Canon City, CO 81212

He's sharing the room with another gentleman, so will have company and someone to visit with. That can be good or bad. He's lived alone for 12 years and during all of his hospitalizations, he's had a private room. Lucky Ernie! He's hoping to only be a resident at Canon Lodge for 2 or 3 weeks. So please keep him in your prayers. Prayers are so powerful and have brought him through these last very difficult 6 weeks! He survived a risky surgery and beat the odds, the arterial bypass was successful (against all odds), his broken leg has healed and is out of the cast it was in for 7 months and his diabetic ulcers are healing--another miracle. He was told this morning that the huge wound (tennis ball size) on the inside of his right ankle is healing clear to the bone. We were so relieved to hear that.

But Dad is very weak, very tired and is weary tonight. Today was a hard day. This facility he's in now is quite a change from the Skilled Nursing Unit he's been in for a month. His meals were brought to his room, whereas now he's wheeled down to a dining room. He had a hospital bed, now has a small twin bed. He had privacy and now has a roommate. He has no TV and no phone. He asked me not to bring him a TV from his house (he will be able, however, to watch his roommate's TV), nor did he want his cell phone. He may change his mind in the next few days. We'll see how he feels when he gets into a routine and gets better acquainted with the staff. He has a lot of adjustments to make and that won't be easy.

He's so proud of his blog, tho. He has "business" cards available on his night stand and had already given one to his nurse this evening so she can read his blog. She asked how to set up a blog, so I briefly told her. She was thrilled and said she's going to do her own. Before we know it, he'll have the staff as his Facebook friends too.

If Dad gets strong enough and has the desire, I'll take my laptop to him so he can start writing again. So far, he just hasn't had the energy to concentrate that much. He's watched very little TV. The therapy wears him out so that he wants to rest whenever possible.

He loves hearing from his friends. I print out all comments here on his blog and on his Facebook page so he can know how much he's thought of by his friends and family. Thank you all for your love, prayers and good wishes.

Becky Jamison

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is it PAIN or a SENSATION?

My daughter Becky Jamison is posting this update for me since I'm still not able to get to a computer, nor do I have the strength or stamina to write a story for you.

I'm starting my 5th week of residency in the Skilled Nursing facility at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, CO. When I checked into Parkview on Feb 16th I thought I'd be returning to my home 2 weeks later. While I've been disappointed that I wasn't able to do that, I'm happy with the wonderful care I'm receiving here as I recover from the 3 arterial bypasses that were done on my right leg. Because of diabetes, I developed a very large sore area on my right ankle and I've been getting daily care and treatment on that since my bypass operation Feb. 20th. The doctor installed a "Wound Vac" on that wound to enable faster healing. I'm thinking the word "faster" is not the right word. If I can just experience ANY HEALING, I'll be happy. There's nothing "fast" about any of my recovery this time around. But if the doctor sees any progress at all, I'm satisfied. This wound vac has had its share of problems, like most mechanical devices! Either it doesn't pump, or it gets clogged. The nursing staff cleans the wound daily---a very painful ordeal for me. But they're generous with the pain pills.

Pain pills---friend or enemy? While I'm happy to have help in dealing with pain, I sure don't like the side effects. I can't imagine people taking them to feel "better (?)". I want to stay in touch with REALITY! After I had anesthesia for that bypass surgery I had what I call an "out of body experience". It was horrible!! And these pain pills make me feel woozy, drowsy, and askew. I dream crazy things that seems entirely REAL! That's not for me!

But I'm happy that I'm able to think clearly, I can read the daily newspaper, watch just a bit of TV, and visit with the nurses, CNAs and therapists that take care of me daily. And I'm hoping that in a few days I can go back to Canon City and get into a nursing home for a few more weeks of therapy and good nursing care on the diabetic ulcer on my ankle. It's a huge wound--about the size of a tennis ball and exhibits LOTS of varying colors!

This weekend I've experienced excruciating pain on that right foot as I've walked with the Physical Therapists. I call it PAIN. They call it "SENSATION"! The nurse explained that the "SENSATION" may be a good sign, indicating growth of nerve endings in tissue that previously had no feeling. Growth of the new nerve endings which increases FEELING is good, no feeling is bad! But I sure wish the nerve endings sent the "sensation" of pleasure to my brain instead of the "sensation" of pain!

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Camera's on Ernie

Ernie was reading all your Blog and Facebook comments and your emails to him tonight while I visited him. He's feeling better and is very hopeful that he'll be moving back HOME sometime next week. Thank you for all your prayers, cards and good wishes. He's very grateful!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hanging on to the old German phrases

Note: While Ernie is in the hospital, this post was added by Ernie's daughter Becky from a recent email she got from Ernie after he had corresponded with a distant Margheim cousin in Florida who hosts the Margheim Blog.
I had to chuckle when my cousin Martin mentioned "Box Ach Umm". When I was a kid, I remember what my folk scalled me when they wanted to CALL ME DOWN. There were about three terms as I remember, "Kalya", "Boop", and "Beepya". Then there was an expression, “So Dahr Schlock and schtayscht you nahgich”. Translated, that would say “One wallup and you stand naked”. Another expression was “Gaybe Acht” translated as “Look Out”. My parents talked German among themselves most of the time. Mom talked to her cronies on the telephone in German until she died in 1986. I remember the expressio ”Ach Yach”, with a guteral “ch” as a response to what the other lady said to Mom. Sort of like “Oh Yes” . We had sort of an inside joke, when Mom died we said “What will Mrs. Muth do now that Grandma can not gab with her in German for three hours each day. It was an assumption, when we called Grandma Margheim, the line would be busy. She and Mrs. Muth, or Mollie Popp were on the telephone talking German.
During my Army days, I was in Germany 15 months (1944/1945). A lot of my German language came back as they called upon me to serve as an interpretor quite often. We had a kid that came to the USA from Germany as a teenager, and knew the PROPER German fluently that our company used most, but there were reservations among some of our outfit that did not trust him and he was disliked by quite a few enlisted men. (Not the officers however). He was a volunteer USA enlisted man. Loyal American I would say. In fact after May 1945 enroute back to the POE (Port Of Embarkation--France) from our Czech border, to return to the States, at his invitation (pre-arranged via telephone with his family), our convoy stayed over night in a school house in the Germany town where HIS FAMILY lived and his Dad was the Buergermeister, (Mayor). The whole community WELCOMED US IN STYLE. I think we even had the opportunity to watch a movie that evening. It was a very small town, and had no combat damage at all. Off the beaten path I presume. His last name was “Wenz”.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Physical Therapy Is Over-rated

Ernie has decided "physical therapy is over-rated". Ernie's daughter Becky Jamison is writing this post to update Ernie's readers and friends on his progress while in the hospital following (3) arterial bypasses on his leg. Ernie was taking pain pills last week following that surgery and he experienced a really uncomfortable week that included frightening dreams and hallucinations. He thought he was either losing his mind or was having a stroke. On Friday his orthopedic surgeon "installed" a 'wound vac' in his right leg to help accelerate healing of a serious diabetic ulcer. He experienced no side effects from that surgery and since he's been prescribed Tylenol instead of pain pills, he's making good progress and feeling much better. Tonight he looked better than he's looked in 3 weeks. He looked happy, healthy, stronger and relaxed. Well, almost.
At one point today Dad needed to get someone to his room to move the tray closer to his chair so he could reach his water, chewing gum, tissues etc. The call button "thing" had fallen under his bed, the CNA had walked out of his room with his empty food tray and Ernie had no way of getting anyone's attention. He said he thought if he had his cell phone with him, he'd call 911 and get the police to call Parkview Medical Center and tell them that there was a patient on 4 Tower in Room 10 that needed a CNA in his room. He made me laugh!

My twin brother is visiting this week from Texas and has had good visits with Dad. And within the week Ernie expects to be transferred from the medical center into a "Skilled Nursing" facility across the street, where he'll continue to get that dreaded "physical therapy". Ernie said it's "over-rated". Again that made me laugh, then he laughed. But there are times when he just wants to be "left alone" and not bothered. He doesn't like the therapy to interrupt his meal time or his resting time (and it doesn't). I reminded him that the absence of physical therapy will send him right onto a "gurney" with residence in a nursing home. That's not what he has planned for the rest of his life! So up he gets when the therapists come into his room. He walks with the wound vac pump mounted onto the front of his walker as the therapist pulls the oxygen tank and somehow hangs onto the padded, wheeled recliner behind them for the 'rest stops' Ernie needs along the way. It's quite a sight. I took my camera tonight when I visited my Dad, but the batteries were dead. Wouldn't you know it.

Physical therapy might be over-rated, but it's still essential and it's going to be part of Ernie's life for the rest of his days!