March 19, 2018
Well, I am going to start writing about my life as a caregiver.
My husband and I both are retired military both retired Navy.
I have lots of medical issues, so I always figured it would be him taking care of me.
My husband retired in 6/2011 when the base closed in Athens, GA. He proceeded to smoke and drink heavily every night until 2016 around August when he noticed that his right leg was swollen. We went to the ER and it was discovered he had a blood cot. He immediately was put on Xarelto and directed to see his regular doctor. His doctor put him back on high blood pressure medication, diabetes medication, and high triglycerides medication. I had to take over making sure he took his medication, so he would not miss a dose. Starting in October of that same year it was discovered that his PSA was over 500 and he was scheduled for a prostate biopsy. It was rescheduled three times because of high blood pressure. He was sent to a cardiologist because of a abnormal heart EKG and his high blood pressure medication was changed. In April of last year he finally was able to get the prostate biopsy and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. This by itself was an unexpected diagnosis. Then towards the end of the month, I had to take him to the emergency room, he had a protrusion in his lower abdomen. Come to find out his prostate was enlarged and he had not passed urine in 4-days, but it was leaking out, “I thought he was peeing in the bed”. It was backed up so bad it was affecting his kidneys, they said he was almost in kidney failure. Fast forward to 3-days later and they finally got that under control, but he had lost about 30-40 pounds and had no strength. While he was in the hospital, they decided to do a bone scan, finally, and the prostate cancer had spread to his bones. We can go home with home health aide, (nurse, occupational therapy, and physical therapy) and a walker. Home health nurse coming weekly to check and changing his catheter every month. First month, cannot get catheter in, they sent catheter supplies, back to ER, wrong catheter, needed a CUDA. Next month, ER gave us a CUDA, but finally got them to order correct supplies, so catheter in but blood coming out, Urinary tract infection. May starting getting “firmagon” shots monthly from urologist for cancer. ER doctor recommended visit to hematology/oncology for prostate cancer. Added this doctor, Dr. K., in June, he suggest additional treatment, “zytiga and prednisone”. June back to ER for pain, another urinary tract infection. Urologist tried to remove the catheter, he is walking better with the help of physical therapy. Diagnosed with vascular dementia, this is causing the walking/picking up feet problem and bowel control problem. Finally in July get the catheter removed. In July, back to ER after getting an ultra-sound on left leg, 3-blood clots, CT Scan, one pulmonary embolism in left lung. Fast forward to February 2018, prostate PSA is undetectable, but still taking “zytiga and prednisone” and “firmagon” shots monthly. After visit to Dr. K. in November, where the dementia was noted, the doctor suggested my husband not drive anymore, so now I am the driver.
New issue with spots in lungs. Will find out more in 3-months, visiting pulmonologist, Dr. G.