Karen's Keepers

Karen's Keepers

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Karen and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month

Wow – what a difference a few days can make. Several days after my last post my mom called me down to her room early in the morning (Tuesday). She told me that she hadn’t slept much and could hardly put any weight on her legs. They progressively got worse throughout the day and by that afternoon we met my brother Derek at the doctor’s office. They ran a lot of tests and put her on an antibiotic for a slight bladder infection. The next few days she didn’t regain any strength in her legs and couldn’t get around by herself. By Friday the doctor told us that he couldn’t reach any conclusions for her leg weakness from what he had done, and that we should take her to the emergency room where they could do more tests. So, we took her to the hospital and after awhile, they decided to admit her. They ended up doing an MRI on her brain and one on her lower spine. The results of those were that she had had a small stroke, but LONG ago. She also had a lot of bone growth on the inside of her spine (so it is not really noticeable just to look at her), and that could be pressing against the nerves that go down into her legs. They suggested that she talk to a neurologist about surgery, but at her age she is not interested in that. So, on Monday she was moved to a rehabilitation center where physical therapists are working with her to regain strength in her arms and legs so that she can be mobile again, if possible. I have been stopping by there every day with Connie. She seems to be making slow and steady progress, but she HATES being there.

Randy went to Florida on a business trip at the same time my mom was having all this trouble. Originally I was going to go along and we were going to go to Disney World, but luckily we had decided against it a few months ago. Randy also saw the ear specialist at the beginning of January. He gave him a 6-day dose of medication to take when he feels an episode coming on. Randy had to take it within a week, but it was hard to tell if it really did anything. The doctor gave him another prescription for it and is having him go in for more testing in 2 weeks. They are going to administer the same kind of tests that he had almost 30 years ago when they diagnosed the Menieres disease. The other new medication that he was given tends to make him very sleepy. As far as the surgery goes - sometimes just drilling a hole in the skull behind the ear relieves the pressure, and sometimes they actually have to puncture the sac where the fluid build-up is. Cool.

On the 25th, Randy needed to drive some supplies down to southern Utah and do an inspection on a job down there. He was a little worried about driving that far alone (in case he started getting sick) so he took Dylan along. He wanted to leave by 8:30am, but getting the supplies took several hours, so it was 10:30am by the time they took off. This was the same morning that I had come out of the temple to slick snow (it was not doing anything when I went in) and almost hit a couple of cars when I slid down a hill in my Blazer. I slid to the left and to the right and my brakes kept locking up. I was able to maneuver into the far right lane and into the cross road, where luckily there was no traffic. For Randy and Dylan there was only snow for the first hour or so. Randy was also going to see about a dog (a Labrador retriever that was being trained for police work, but was too timid) that his friend had left at a non-euthanizing shelter down near Kanab. To make a long story short, after finally finding the shelter, Randy found out that the dog was already taken; the job he was going to inspect was not at all where he thought it was and he didn’t need to drive nearly as far as he did; he finally found the foreman at his hotel so that he could give him the supplies but it was too late to do an inspection; there were lots of deer along the road that made him really nervous because he hoped they wouldn’t jump out into the road; and he got a speeding ticket for going too fast as he was leaving a small town. They didn’t get home until 11pm. At least Randy and Dylan enjoyed their time together and Randy’s ear didn’t give him any trouble.

For Christmas I got a kennel and food dishes for a dog – I just didn’t have a dog yet. I’d been looking at KSL classifieds online and at online shelters for a Yorkshire terrier. I wanted a dog that is small this time and would be a house-dog. Randy answered an ad for a 5 month old schnauzer-poodle mix (schnoodle) and liked it enough to bring him home. We have named him Brisco. He is not house-trained yet, so we are working on that.

Randy and I went to an art showing of Carl Bloch paintings at BYU. The exhibit was free, but we were really glad that we rented the ipads because they gave you so much more information about the pieces of art and had some interviews included. We grabbed lunch (steak sandwiches) at an Italian Place in Orem. We really like the food, but it also reminds us of when we were dating and we used to get those sandwiches with coupons in the BYU paper for 2 for 1. While we were there Frank and Stormy Draney came in. They were in town (from Evanston, WY) to celebrate Franks birthday. They also stopped for lunch at the Italian Place because of nostalgia from college. We talked to them for awhile and caught up on things.

We had Stake Conference last weekend – it was great, as usual. Randy had to sit out in the foyer Saturday night (because of his ear – the noise drives him up the wall) and he could only stay for the first hour on Sunday morning because there wasn’t a place to sit in the foyers that didn’t have crying babies. I HOPE the surgery fixes things.

Ingrid came to visit for a few days. Her husband Jeff has family visiting for an annual ski trip and she didn’t want to sit in the lodge all day (she can’t ski because she is pregnant.) Heidi gave her a baby shower where she invited family members and a few old friends. It was nice.

Ingrid brought her two dogs (Vizslas) and the first night Brisco was kind of intimated and real protective of his territory. He has relaxed, though, and gets along with them great now. He will really miss them when Ingrid leaves.


  1. Wow. I sure hope they figure out how to help Randy. Amazing that you ran into Frank and Stormy like that. So random. It seems like I never have anything like that happen. Cute dog.

  2. Your dog wouldn't happened to be named after a certain cowboy played by Bruce Campbell, would it?