Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Mundane

Just a quick posting to let you all know I am doing well.  I am probably going to have this massive DVT in my left leg to one degree or another for the rest of my life.  We have the filter in place as a precaution and I am on blood thinners.  Removal is very dangerous so that would be a last resort.  My ankle and leg will probably swell throughout the day the more I am on it or even sitting.  Lying down with it elevated for now has shown the only decrease in swelling.  Long rides will need to be broken up and the sardine seats in an airplane are no longer on my radar.  Premium or Comfort seats will be needed.  

The girls have been magnificent as well as all our neighbors, family and friends.  Gifts, flowers, balloons, food galore and cards a plenty have arrived to cheer me on.  It is working!  I am determined to return to my full calendar with a constant eye on my leg, breathing and hydration.  In retrospect I can see small signs that indicated something was going awry.  But none was readily apparent to me as anything of great concern.

We have one more hurdle to get over tomorrow with a transvaginal ultrasound to take a look at something that appeared on my abdominal CT in the hospital.  I am 17 years post menopausal with absolutely not even a whisper of anything wrong and I have yearly Pap smears which all have been normal.  But we will do this just to check it out.  

I hope all my readers are having a great summer.  Hug your loved ones, make that call to someone you need to touch base with, talk to God each and every day.  You don't want him saying "who?" when people pray for you.  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Little Drama

Monday it rained and we had no place to go so we just kicked back and enjoyed a free day at home.

Tuesday started out well.  I went to the Forum office to take my two hour computer training for assigning jobs, notifying registrations and applying hours.  I thought I had slept funny and asked Ted to put some Flexall on my shoulder blade and thought nothing more of it.

When I returned at noon, Ted and Terry were sitting out on the deck cleaning guns.  I fixed a sandwich, ate and headed back out to run some errands.  My first stop was a quick in and out but I was short of breath.  I sat in the AC for several minutes before heading to the next place.  Another quick in and out but I had to go back to the car to sit before going next door.  After that quick in and out I decided to go home.  Something was wrong.

I told Ted I just couldn't catch my breath. My toes, feet and lower legs started cramping terribly. It hurt like crazy.  I tried several things to no avail so I lumbered in to our bedroom to change into PJs with plans to lay down to see if I would feel better.  But I couldn't get undressed so stumbled into the hall and told Ted to call 911, I couldn't breathe.  He helped me dress into loose clothing and I laid on the couch waiting for the ambulance.  We live just 2.5 miles from the hospital so we were there in no time. I was whisked into triage and within 6 hours had several test results indicating a pulmonary embolism in my left lung and a Deep Vein Thrombosis in my left leg.

So that's where I have been.  I was on Heparin immediately and when my numbers hit the right one, I started on Eliquis.  There seems to be no obvious reason for me having a DVT and clots so the detective work continues.  

Kara arrived and when she wasn't liking their answers, demanded a vascular specialist be called in.  He checked out my DVT and said we needed an interventionist cardiologist.  The next guy looked at my file, sent his NP to talk to us and had me in the cath lab at 3:00 to place a filter in my artery to catch any clot that might break away from the DVT.  

It took until Saturday to spring me from "the joint."  I may have a procedure to get rid of the DVT.  It is too big to ever think a blood thinner will get rid of it.  The cardiologist wants to check my heart because my enzymes went up indicating a possible mild heart attack or trauma from the clot passing through the heart, the hematologist wants to help discover the WHY of the clot, they want me to see my GYN because of a thickened uterine lining not seen in "older" women.  Looking "under the hood" is not good for old folks.  They always find more than you came for. It was late afternoon on Saturday when we got home.  Kara got me settled in and sorted my medicine out.  

Sunday was a little busy.  Ted went to church at 11:00 while Kara stayed with me.  Irene and John stopped by after church and brought me a pot of daisies.  They visited for a few hours.  Then Terry, Carol, Sharon and Don brought dinner over.  As they were leaving Mike and Judy came with begonias and a quiche.  They visited for awhile and when they left we ate our dinner.  It was delicious and had remained at a perfect temperature.

I am not doing much beyond walking to the bathroom and back to the couch.  The left leg is painful with the DVT and my stamina is still low.  Tuesday morning, in addition to the doctor appointments, we will be very busy cancelling our first three campgrounds in our summer trip and moving our departure date from 6/19 to 7/6.  That may change too but we are trying to get back to normal in segments.

It was a strange Memorial Day.  Only recovering from Kelly's 5/25 birth in 1966 has found me so in need of healing.  Connie stopped by for a two hour visit.  Other than that we watched a lot of war footage in remembrance of the day.  I am having soreness in my calf still but walking better.  I have better balance and stability but not much energy.  Apparently this is to be expected.

Kara was able to get into my records from the hospital and we are shocked at my numbers.  The heart enzyme was so high is why they are checking further for a heart attack.  My DVT number which indicated a 0-.5 range came in at 20!!  You could look down the list and see all the out of whack numbers during "the event" and then mostly returning to normal.  The vein and heart are the focus today as Kara sets up my appointments.

I have dodged a massive bullet.  The pulmonologist said "your life changed forever on Tuesday."  I don't want to believe I can't return to an energy level within my restrictions to keep on going.  Long rides are certainly out and our overseas travel may be at an end too.  The RV can be stopped at every rest area if necessary and as many days as needed can be used to get somewhere.  Our Hawaii trip will more than likely be cancelled.  The long Toronto to Vancouver flight is stumbling block #1 and five days at sea out of the reach of emergency medical care is #2.  

I cannot tell the folks around me who are aware of all this how much their responses have meant to me and our family.  Kara has been impressed with our support system.  We are all in this together.  Prayer Warriors Unite!

Monday, May 15, 2017

A New Week

I blew it!

My calendar was getting so messy I decided to start over.  My recurring things get written at the top of the proper square.  This Saturday we should have played Shanghai.  Unfortunately I used the square for the previous Saturday to write the names of attendees to the Foxy Ladies Luncheon.  They ran right down to the word Shanghai.  While transferring my info, I X'd out the names (including the word Shanghai accidentally) because the luncheon was over.  So we went to church, went to Outback to dinner and then to Lowe's.  We came home to 4 messages flashing on our land line where no one ever leaves messages!  My heart was in my throat.  Something serious had to have happened!

When I heard the messages asking where we were, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  I felt really bad but also was greatly relieved nothing worse had occurred.  They had started without us, were understanding and expressed their relief that we were okay.  Maybe I AM doing too much!!

Sunday we had a leisurely day.  I opened my presents, talked to the girls and eventually went to Krogers and HEB.  One had prime steaks on sale and the other ribs.  We came home and Ted fixed dinner for me.  We avoided the crowded restaurants and the big family groups.

Wine A Bit You'll Feel Better.  The kids know I hate to cook, though I continue to do so after 52 years but Ted does a lot of it now.  They thought this apron appropriate.

I had the bunco bag so went to Marleah's a little early Monday to put the items out for her on the tables.  Linda was able to come and we arranged for only one winner to move from each table so she didn't have to attempt to walk.  What a spread Marleah had!  I won $15 so that made me happy.  

In the meantime John was picking up Ted for his annual endoscopy.  I couldn't pick him up and get to the center by 12:30 but I arrived at 12:45 and John left.  We were home by 2:30 with great news.  They took a biopsy of some irritated stomach tissue but expect it to be no more that that - an irritation.  He said to come back in one year and continue his medicine.  It's always a relief when that is over.  It has been 9 years since his diagnosis of Barrrett's Esophagus with high grade dysplasia, Stage 0 cancer.  After treatment at Methodist Hospital in Houston in 2008 he has had a yearly check up and praise God, so far so good.

Tuesday was my turn to get tests - mammogram and bone density.  Except for running into my friend Judy in the waiting lounge nothing out of the ordinary happened.  I laughed when she said they would use my forearm since I have no hips!  Not natural ones anymore.  Results should be here in a week or two.  I knew Ted was leaving for his sporting clay banquet so I stopped at Culver's for a combination lunch and dinner.

I thought Wednesday would be an easy day because the window washers were coming in the morning, Isabelle to clean in the afternoon.  I was up early because morning is not an exact time.  All of a sudden I had lots of computer work to do regarding training for Forum.  I worked on it through the window cleaning and the house cleaning.  Ted had left for a haircut and just went into his hobby room when he returned.  When everyone had left Ted suggested we go to Honey Bee for a sandwich because he found a coupon.  All right by me!

Back to the Thrift Store I went on Thursday for a morning shift.  I was hoping to run into a lot of kids clothes but maybe mothers aren't cleaning closets yet.  I have some things to take to the family reunion but not much.  Here is a photo of Lily and the twins at Easter, all in dresses from me found while working.  Two of them still had tags when I bought them.  I will work again next week and probably a few days in early June, so here's hoping the pickings are better.

I came home with a headache that didn't go away until about 8 pm.  I am seldom bothered with them anymore so I am not sure where this one came from.  Ted fixed dinner AND cleaned up.  Bless him!

Friday I got my hair cut for the first time since we left Mission.  To say I needed it is an understatement to say the least.  It was good to see Cindy after so long.

It was time to see West Side Story so we met Barry and Gerre at Applebee's for dinner.  They treated us for taking care of Tucker for them.  It was a nice production of WSS and the stars had amazing voices.  We were home much earlier than after the last production!

Our impatiens are starting to flower and add color to our newly planted area.  I hope the magnolias are done dropping their leaves soon!

Saturday was a quiet day.  Ted worked a charity event at the gun club and I did laundry.  We went to church and then to dinner with Terry and Carol.  

Sunday Ted went shooting and I finished the laundry.  At 3:30 we left for Irene's to meet up with the Panama Canal cruise people for dinner and cards.  Irene is the "hostess with the mostest."  Here are her decorations for Memorial Day.  

She was all set for dinner for 12.  We had brisket, turkey, beans, cucumbers, cole slaw and rolls.  Dessert was tres leches cake, apple pie with ice cream and sugar cookies.  The bad part is they are coming to my house next week and my set up won't even come close!  But no one will care.  I like friends like that.  

And I won!  With four jokers I went down and out quickly in game 5, catching 3 or 4 with full hands.  It catapulted me to first place. And I needed the dimes!  Ted was second at his table.  Tomorrow starts another week and we have quite a bit to do.  More later.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


We live in a zero lot line patio home.  That means we have no side yard on one side and a little one on the other.  However, they are built so there is no way to see into your neighbor's house nor they into yours.  Thus, the closeness doesn't bother us.

We like not having much yard to take care of but this winter was a major shock when we got home.  Despite sprinklers, pre-paid lawn care and pre-paid fertilizing, our yard was a mess, thick with oak leaves covering dead grass and plants brown from a freeze.  

The fertilizing people came out and fertilized again once I raked all the leaves but the lawn maintenance people just never showed up again after I called and complained they could not have been coming on the regular schedule I paid for.  So we hired a new company.

This fellow had a vision far beyond anything I could have imagined.  He trimmed everything, even the trees hanging over from the easement.  Despite having the oak trees trimmed awhile back he thinned them more to get sunlight in.  

He laid lots and lots of sod and cut the crepe myrtles that hadn't been done in two years despite our requests.  Two very long segments of metal edging were replaced, 9 new plants and many flats of impatiens were planted.  Topsoil was added where necessary, he fertilized, mulch was put down and everything was cleaned up.  The crowning piece was the wall.  It was just rocks sitting on rocks creating a planting oval.  The oak roots lifted it up in many places and it was all askew.  I wasn't expecting how he chose to fix it.

He broadened the oval to cover some roots but he cut out huge ones that were heading to the sidewalk.  Then one fellow used a chisel, shaping each rock and built a new wall with no mortar or anything.  I didn't take any before photos but here are a few after ones.

The back where we had a tree cut down in that far corner because it had grown through the fence.  The corner segment was replaced and a rot board put on the bottom.  Then they cleaned it.

The wall

The front

The side.  We had the paver brick walk, deck, and bull rock with French drain put in a long time ago.  The grading is such that you will end up with moss or mud in the middle otherwise so we opted for this arrangement.

And now we have to water twice a day for three weeks.  Someone at the water company will have a fit when we go from winter watering to this new schedule.  Thank goodness there aren't big areas to hit.

Friday I had to work as a dresser for The Forum Vintage Fashion Show.  They were the entertainment for the Women of Distinction luncheon held at the Marriott.   Our president was being honored.  At the finale the models all walked the runway and we were told to follow them because we had been behind the scenes.  That's the first time I received a standing ovation for helping someone get dressed.

Audrey Hepburn

Mi Lady and her maid

Poodle skirt, saddles, neck scarf outfit

My friend Donna.  She looked gorgeous.

A Flapper

Two military uniforms

Ready for the prom!

Now here is a stylish lady ready for Ascot opening day.

And another!

Recognize Lucy and Ethel?

She could be in a 1940s train station waiting to board.

This had to be a 30 minute show so we were rushed with second changes.  Due to the time constraint our whole collection was not shown.  

In the evening we went to a birthday party for a dear friend.  His wife does such a lovely job of entertaining.  We met new neighbors of theirs and enjoyed talking to them.  It was delightful weather and we sat outside some of the time.  I have no idea what time we came home.  Maybe a whole bottle of Riesling is too much!?!?!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Looks Busy

Thursday was the Installation Luncheon for Junior Forum.  This is always the most fun event of the year.  I was honored for being a Volunteer of the Month in November and was recognized as the Co-Chair of the programs at Regent Care Nursing Care this year.  The skit performed to induct the Executive Board and President was entertaining as always.  Here I am front and center in mostly white.

Friday I tackled the pantry and twin bedroom closet.  When we returned from Michigan I had shoved our suitcases and our Christmas items in that closet because we were leaving for 3 months.  When we returned from the valley, the bags and bags of groceries were also shoved into the pantry helter shelter.  

It was time to pay the piper.  The pantry didn't take too long but the closet did!  Now the closets in the house are in pretty good shape.  Up next - kitchen cabinets.  I am throwing out and donating while cleaning.  I have been an executor twice and believe me when I say, unless it is stock, bonds, cash or precious gems, no one wants it!  Do everyone a favor and throw away, donate or give away now.  You can enjoy someone enjoying an item of yours.

We met John and Sherida at a steakhouse for dinner.  We had a good visit and came home about 8:30.  All my activity was catching up with me and I was ready for my couch.

Saturday Ted took all his Monopoly pieces to Randall's to claim his free items.  He has had hundreds of tickets.  Now our clean pantry and refrigerator have all kinds of goodies I seldom buy!  Oreos, Pepperidge Farms cookies, Ritz crackers, popcorn, donuts, bananas, pot roast, soft drinks, tissues, etc.  He is running out of hope to win the $1 million.  

I did three loads of laundry, had my nails done and we went to church.  We stayed a little afterwards to watch our friends and neighbors renew their wedding vows after 50 years.  We came home to leftover brisket and baked potatoes in the oven on low.  Easy meal, easier cleanup.  Then TV.  My childhood punishment of being made to stay in is now my adult reward!

Sunday I skipped the kitchen cabinets and hit the top file drawer in our office cabinet.  It took awhile to go through it all and I continued working on the shredding.  Ted went shooting for a bit but we did little else.  I finally finished the shredding on Tuesday, garbage day.

Monday was bloodwork day so we had a two person appointment with our GP.  Everything seems to be okay but the bloodwork will tell us if our numbers are still good.  We took more Monopoly coupons to Randall's and shopped.  We spent about $70 but when she took off the many coupons we saved $33!  Ted won't know what to do with himself when this game is over.  We have a dozen Fandango coupons to send to the kids to see movies for $5.  Of course I remember double features, newsreel and cartoon for 25 cents!!!

In the afternoon I played Canasta at Michele's.  Irene and I had two bad hands but we still won!  I came home to find Ted still working on more Monopoly pieces.  There are two funerals at church so I am signed up to bring a cake, a pasta salad and pick up tablecloths to launder.  

Alison, our IT person, came over Tuesday to fix a malware problem that was messing with our computer.  Ted left for the men's lunch, taking 85 year old Harry with him.  I finished my sister-in-law's 2015 Amended Tax Return.  I was expecting this letter to her since the same person who did her 2014 wrong, did the 2015 wrong too.  I did her 2016 return correctly so I think we now have the situation under control.

We were off to the pain doctor early Wednesday morning.  He doesn't want to use more steroids than I have already received in the facets shots and the epidural.  He asked if I could wait it out with perhaps some pain pills for a few months to space shots out.  I haven't been taking any meds and been doing my back exercises and have been able to function.  Besides, we are leaving in 5-6 weeks and have no time for spaced out shots.  I have some meds to take with me as well as pain patches so I will just hang in there.  We dropped off the script at Walmart and Ted picked it up when he was out.  

Ted took my pasta salad to church when we got home from the doctor.  Then he put the rest of his tickets in the computer for the Second Chance lottery.  He had a $25 grocery gift card!  I also typed an email to my photographer son in law to give him winning codes for Shutterfly for a free photo book, free prints and a reusable shipping bag with photo.  Spreading the wealth!  

I drove to church to pick up the tablecloths but there was a note saying there was nothing to wash.  So I wrote I had been there but saw the note so I would bring my cake over in the morning.

The landscapers showed up and went right to work.  Limbs were cut off, vines pulled down, the wall rocks removed, crepe myrtles cut back.  They were going to town!  They also were scraping areas to lay new sod and they marked off the new margins of the wall.  It should take two days I am told.  This is getting long so I will wrap this up!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sleep, What a Wonderful Thing

Thursday afternoon after my friends left, Ted came home and suggested we go to Mama Juanita's for dinner.  He never gets an argument from me when he suggests eating out!  We chose to sit out on the patio because the weather and sunset were just glorious!

We had just ordered when two couples from our neighborhood came in and we decided to all sit together.  The ladies have lunch and the men have lunch but we don't all get together as couples quite as often.  There has been a problem down the street with a Class B RV parked in a driveway.  That is a no-no!  The lady claimed she needed it to transport her mother.  It came to light she is actually in a nursing home!  She was told by the HOA that her vehicle dimensions exceed what is allowable.  Part of the problem is she has a small trailer in the garage, she and her daughter each have a car and then this Class B on a small cul-de-sac.  It not only does not follow the covenants, it presents a dangerous situation if an emergency vehicle needs access to any of those homes.  Our RV is way bigger than a Class B but I have to pay to store it.  That is part of the expense of living In a deed restricted community.

We came home to watch Amazing Race and I went to bed before the news was over.  And I slept until 8:30!  I need to eat Mexican every night!  I felt so much better in the morning.  

I am still working on closets so we took our huge laundry bag filled with things that needed to go back to the trailer out to storage.  Ted was hungry so we stopped at Popeye's and I had the one chicken tender kid meal.  He called my brother Dan during lunch to discuss our October trip to New Braunfels for the Sporting Clay competitions in San Antonio.  The subject now is golf carts.  I am working on the sleeping arrangement for 5 couples, what we will do as couples, or just the ladies, and food!  Every one has their priorities. We are really looking forward to that week but so much water has to go under the bridge before then.

I have all our summer RV reservations made except the coming and going from home.  We know that route and all the parks so do that as we go.  We'll be home a month then switch gears and do the Cleveland (wedding)-Detroit (wedding)-Vancouver (cruise)-Hawaii-Home thing.  We will have 3-4 days to turn around and head to New Braunfels.  Busy summer and fall.

Ted worked a gun event at the gun club on Saturday and I stayed home waiting for Tucker.  Once I had him settled I went to the grocery.  We decided to wait to go to church at 11:00 on Sunday and leave for the airport to pick up Pat and Kelly afterwards.  No sense getting all fixed up to go to church and just come home, then do it again on Sunday.

We went to 11:00 Mass along with lots of families who, for whatever reason, choose to not avail themselves of the nursery or cry room.  The two young boys in front of us read Jedi books through the service.   At least they were quiet and were not climbing all over.  Que sera, sera!  

We stopped at La Casa Del Pan (House of Bread) bakery.  We wanted just a cup of coffee and roll before heading to the airport.  Ted said it reminded him of Renee's in Progreso and El Estacion in Mission.

The ride to the Hobby Marriott was smooth but the traffic traveling north was bumper to bumper.  After we picked up Pat and Kelly we took the circle freeway home.  It's a longer trip but at least traffic was light and there were no traffic jams.

Pat and Kelly were celebrating their 29th wedding anniversary so we took them to Pappasito's Cantina.   The restaurant was so noisy we asked to be re-seated outside on the patio.  It was very pleasant and quiet enough you could talk.  The outside plants and decor are really nice.  It is a new restaurant and I think some baffling in that carvernous area inside would go a long way.  There is nothing to absorb sound and made conversation difficult.

We came home and relaxed the rest of the evening.  Before too long we all started heading to bed except Ted.  He needed to put his brisket in the smoker at midnight.  Terry and Carol were coming to dinner Monday evening.  

The kids slept in and we spent a quiet day at home.  Ted took care of the brisket and made sangria.  I made twice baked potatoes, Parmesan asparagus, crunchy fruited cole slaw and rolls.  Carol brought an apple pie and ice cream.  We had a nice dinner and sat for quite awhile around the dinner table.

Tuesday we took a ride to the 7 story Sam Houston statue, the Prison Museum and McKenzie's for lunch.  

By the time we returned Ted had to leave for his Sporting Clay league.  Pat and Kelly took my car to visit the shopping areas, get a bite and then attend a movie.  I had a pot roast in the crockpot so made myself an open faced roast beef sandwich for dinner.  When Ted came home he did the same.

Ted took the kids to the airport Wednesday morning.  I started washing all the linens to remake the beds before Isabelle arrived.  It was a nice visit.