Saturday, February 13, 2016

Week 6: Project 365, the 2016 Edition

Had a pretty stormy weekend; the kind where you stay inside and hunker down. Which was just as well, since Ivan was still experiencing severe back pain and had to spend most of his time in bed. He found one position that was moderately comfortable and had to pretty much stay immobile. We were beginning to think it might be kidney stones. Not a fun time.

Monday, February 8

It was still a little drizzly but I walked anyway. With all the rain we got over the weekend, the river was a lot higher than normal.
The nearby bridge has meter marks, showing it was three meters high. Normally it runs at about 1/2 meter.

A dear friend went home to be with Jesus this morning. It was not unexpected, as she'd received a diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer in October and had been going downhill quickly, but it was still difficult. Our hearts go out to her husband, kids and grandkids, extended family and all those who knew and loved Donna. She will be greatly missed but it's also a blessing to know she's through with suffering and now enjoying being in the presence of the God she loved and served.

Tuesday, February 9

After the long holiday weekend, and learning that the specialist Ivan had hoped to see was on vacation until the 16th, we took the advice of our pharmacist and went to a clinic in Cordoba. DarĂ­o said they had all the equipment necessary to run any kind of test he might need. But it turns out they were running on a skeleton staff since almost all the docs were on vacation, so Ivan ended up seeing the equivalent of an ER doctor who gave him a cursory examination, declared he had pulled a muscle and sent him away. Aaarrrrgh! So frustrating!

But it was the first day Ivan didn't have that really intense sharp pain ALL the time, and it felt really good to be out of that bed so he wanted to walk a little. Right across from the clinic was the Museum of Industry and it turned out to be free, so we took a few minutes to check it out.
Didn't take long. The top left photo was taken at the door leading into the large exhibit room. There are things on either side wall that aren't shown in the photo, but not much. The top right photo is a retired air force plane (always of interest to my aviation loving husband). Lower right shows an enormous pill making machine. The sign nearby said it had been used by Arcor, one of the largest food companies in the world, and apparently also involved in the pharmaceutical industry. And finally, the lower left photo is the Popemobil (seriously, that's what the sign said... in Spanish of course). It was used by Pope John Paul II in Argentina in 1987 and again in Brazil in 1997.

The museum has quite a mixed assortment of items from different industries, but mostly automotive. We also took a quick walk around the round house outside that was designed to be able to change its orientation to the sun by rotating, but it isn't working at this time. The whole tour took less than half an hour which was just right for us on that particular day. It gave Ivan a little exercise without overdoing it.

Wednesday, February 10

Even though Ivan's been in too much pain to walk in the mornings, I've continued on my own. I know I've shown photos of this line of trees that gets pruned way back every winter so they tend to look like they're dead. But every spring that leaf out, and come summer they're a glorious burst of blooms.
Crepe Mytle 

Thursday, February 11

I haven't shared any grandkid photos lately, so it's about time, don't you think? I'm going by age, starting with the oldest.

Simon loves tot school! Tina puts together activities that keep him occupied AND learning. Win/win! He especially loves matching games and in this photo he's doing some letter matching on a Valentine's heart.

Adalyn looks very serious about her pho, doesn't she? And this was her second bowl!

Betsy's latest weekly photo. Isn't she just precious! Can't wait to hold that sweet girl and kiss her whole beautiful face!

Bonus photo! I had to share this one, because it's just so sweet. Adalyn sat patiently and let her mom give her a Jamberry mani. Matching manis -- love this photo!

Just a bit about our continuing medical saga this week...
After many, many phone calls -- seriously, does every doctor in Argentina take his vacation at the same time?!?! -- Ivan was able to find a urologist with clinic hours locally. His appointment was after 8 p.m. and he had to wait a while, so didn't get home until after 10, but at least he finally found a doctor who took the time to do a thorough examination. His conclusion: probably a bulging or herniated disk in the lumbar region. But no way to tell for sure without an MRI...

Friday, February 12

...So at 8 a.m. Ivan started making calls to the three places in Cordoba that have the equipment to do MRIs. The third one was significantly cheaper than the other two; Ivan was able to get all three tests that the doctor wanted for less than what just the MRI would have cost at either of the other two places. And they take credit cards, which was good since we didn't have that kind of cash on hand. And they were able to get him right in that morning! The other two places said it would be next week before they could fit him in.

The MRI confirmed the doctor's suspicions. Ivan has two herniated disks in the lumbar region. It was nice to finally have some answers! Ivan went back to the doctor that evening with all the test results. Until the inflammation goes down, he will continue to take Ibuprofen during the day, ice his back frequently, and go each evening for an injection (so he can sleep). Once the inflammation has died down, he'll begin seeing a physiotherapist, and thankfully we have a really good one right here in Carlos Paz.

Each day he's seeing improvement. He's still experiencing significant pain but it's not the intense sharp pain he felt ALL the time for the first week. We are grateful for each bit of progress. He's found that icing his back especially helps. Poco a poco, as they say here.

No photos of our own, but I will share a picture that made us very happy today: seeing mom the day after her surgery, looking alert and smiling!
She had a rough week, most of it spent in the hospital as they got her Coumadin levels down so she could have the surgery. An intestine had gotten kinked due to scar tissue from a previous surgery, and boy, did that kink cause problems! We're hearing that she might even get to go home Sunday.


Mari said...

The crepe myrtle is just beautiful! And so are your grandkids. I can't believe you have 3 and they sure are growing. :)
Glad Ivan got some answers and his mom is doing well!

The Bug said...

Oh I miss seeing crepe myrtle - it grows everywhere in NC, but we don't have it here in Ohio (or if we do I'm not paying attention, which is ENTIRELY possible!).

So glad Ivan found out what was going on! And that his mom is doing well (I saw that she did indeed get to go home yesterday).

And, last, but not at all least - BABIES! So cute. My favorite is the manicure - just precious!