Slow Gypsy Life of Lynda and Bob travel blog

Hi from Lynda in Oklahoma City

Betty is still trying to get fluid off her lungs after her surgery May 20 so we're still here. They say that is the norm after open-heart surgery and some people take longer than others. She is feeling much better today, has walked about four times and her appetite is coming back. She has a bear called Mr. Kauf-a-lot to hug when needed! She complained the incision wasn't very straight, put make-up on and went without oxygen until three o'clock today; Finally she asked for the room to be warmer as it has been on 68 degrees. The nurses loved it cool too but Betty's husband Bill and I have had jackets on!

I haven't been around hospitals much since my mom died in 2002 and it's amazing how much has changed – or maybe Oklahoma Heart Hospital, part of Mercy Hospital, is different. Patients can order meals from a menu whenever they want it. Most items are heart healthy - (this IS Oklahoma ya know!) not so sure about the Clam Chowder or Fettuccine Alfredo, but I have enjoyed a complimentary meal of salmon, asparagus and sweet potatoes. The cafe downstairs serves biscuits and gravy for breakfast! They were serving more healthy fare but these Okies were complaining – they wanted their biscuits and gravy. The newspaper just had a story about healthy states and Oklahoma was at the bottom of the list at number 50.

There is a foam hand sanitizer at the patient's door where all who enter and leave squirt their hands. It certainly isn't the drying kind we buy at the store. There is a water and ice machine on the floor but they bring a plastic bag of ice water to fill her pitcher rather than taking it out of the room to be filled so as not to contaminate the ice/water machine.

It's amazing how often the nurses staff rotate! I've walked down to her other two rooms and find no familiar faces. After surgery you don't go to ICU – it's called CCU – Coronary Care Unit, then you are transferred to PCCU – Progressive Coronary Care Unit where we are now. Before surgery her night nurse was very helpful in explaining the routine to the family and Betty. She even let us listen to Betty's heart and compare it to how our own heart was beating. I haven't seen her since. Nurses are on 12-hour shifts for three days, then off four days so it all depends on what day you see them first and how long you are in the hospital I guess.

If you are wondering about the tornado that passed through OK on Wednesday, everyone here at the hospital was moved to the hallways and the doors to the rooms were shut. They came around with a snack cart so we were all safe and sound and returned to our rooms in about 30 minutes. I'm sure they were thinking about St. Johns Hospital in Joplin, MO! Many people who lived near came to seek shelter in the basement of the hospital as well. Did you see the 18-wheeler hit by the tornado on Interstate 40 near McLoud exit? I'm sure it is on U-Tube! He saw the funnel in a distance and got out to take a photo. Then the tornado changed paths and came right at him. He jumped back in the driver's seat but before he could fasten his seat belt the tornado grabbed hold of the truck and trailer. It shook the truck like a salt shaker, turned the rig on its side and threw him out of the passenger side window onto the ground. Then, as if the storm had gotten what it wanted, it set what was left of the truck back on it's wheels and moved on. The truck weighed 45,000 pounds and it was blown to pieces. He walked away with cuts, bruises, a twisted ankle, a fractured shoulder and probably needed clean underwear! He thinks the truck is fixable. I bet he was/will be on the morning talk shows! He is only 29 and I'm sure will have lots of stories to tell his grandchildren.. “Well, I remember the time a tornado blew me away”.

I have been here at the hospital all day since her surgery but haven't spent the night as she is constantly being bothered all night with tests. Bill is keeping busy getting their pool open, a nice thing to occupy his time as he gets pretty antsy sitting around the hospital. Her sons from San Francisco came before the surgery and left Sunday evening and another son and his family who live here stop by to visit.

Bottom line – if you have had rheumatic fever, keep a check on your heart!

On another surgery front – Debbie, my daughter-in-law had foot surgery today. She is at home now for two weeks and in a boot for six weeks. Is this the beginning of no more cute shoes? She had bone spurs removed and a bone that was leaning to the right was moved to the left and pins inserted. Rick will be home with her until Tuesday.

Bob just called and has arrived at Jojoba. He doesn't know how to post photos on the blog so that will have to wait until I get there. It certainly will be a learning experience for him to set up all alone. I'll let him tell about getting set up.

Not sure how long I will be in Oklahoma City but it will be as long as Betty and Bill need me.

My AT&T phone finally died so I bought a $9 Go phone at Best Buy. I can't get a new AT&T phone until June 27 so I saved the phone numbers to the AT&T sim card, put it in the Go phone and it works!. Bob has the Verizon phone with him.

At least I have WiFi here at the hospital but will have to use Betty's computer at her house.

All is best as can be!

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