of Illness - 2007
2007 started out really lousy. On New Years Eve, Dennis was not
able to go to bed because of his difficulty breathing. I was just
coming off a week of being really sick and this was the first day I was
out and about. I had not noticed Dennis' decline in awareness and
his difficulty breathing. When I woke up on January 1st, he was
struggling for breath and I turned his concentrator up to help
him. I immediately called Dr. Millard. When he returned my
call a few minutes later I was so glad that he was on call during the
holidays and would be available for Dennis. We discussed calling
911 but where we live, Dennis would be transported to a hospital even
further from Baylor before he could be transferred. I didn't want
to put his life in the hands of a doctor that was not a
pulmonologist. I called my son-in-law to see if he could get an
ambulance from Dallas but that was not possible because county
regulations required all transports be taken to the county hospital in
our county before being transferred. I placed an urgent call to
our oxygen supplier and requested they bring out additional E-cylinders
so I could take Dennis to Baylor myself. Dr. Millard also called
in antibiotics and prednisone to a local pharmacy that I rushed to pick
up. When I got back with the prescriptions, my son-in-law (a
paramedic instructor for a fire department in Dallas area) said I
needed to get him to emergency NOW! He helped me get Dennis in the
car and I hooked up two E-cylinders on free flow at 5L. I talked
to him all the way to Baylor trying to keep him conscious (made it slightly quicker than normal - no
traffic on New Years Day). When I got
to emergency, I turned him over to the emergency room interns and Dr.
Millard, who was waiting on his arrival.
found out later from Dr. Millard that Dennis was in really bad shape and
that bringing him straight to Baylor had been the right thing to do.
spent the next week trying to get the infection down as well as the
elevated CO2 level. He was incoherent for several days.
The following week was to make sure he was clear of the infection before
sending him back home.
was released on the 16th of January but was scheduled for a follow-up
with Dr. Millard on the 13th of February. Chest x-rays and a blood gases
test indicated improvement but another appointment was scheduled for
11th March. The same tests were performed and everything was okay.
Millard knew that Dennis had not been to see his primary care physician
(Dr. Muncy) for a long time and requested we make an appointment which
we did on April 9th.
May 8th Dennis went to see Dr. Millard for another round of x-rays and
listed our home with a realtor during April and during the next 3 months
were inundated with prospective buyers.
next doctor appointment was the middle of July for a pacemaker
house sold a couple of weeks later and we were faced with moving after
living in one place for 20 years. The accumulation of "stuff"
is unbelievable and we had dogs, cats, and horses to move too.
Dennis helped as much as possible with the packing in the house and
actually did almost all of the kitchen (major clutter) by himself.
moved to our temporary housing at the end of August. This has been
difficult on Dennis because of his anxiety and fears about having enough
oxygen. Another appointment with Dr. Millard on 11th of September and a
visit to the cardiologist, Dr. Parmar on the 24th of September.
rest of 2007 was relatively quiet. Dennis and I watched his status
closely and were able to stop a couple of infections before they got