Monday, June 26, 2017

No Doctors This Week

Monday my PT fellow came and upped my rotations even more.  Then we went for a walk.  I was winded a bit when I got back but some of it is because I talk the whole time!  Ted had gone to shoot with Pete and immediately my phone started ringing.  

First up was Marge from Connecticut saying they had arrived home safely.  We talked about the happenings over the weekend at the reunion and other things.  Then my home phone rang so I hung up to get that.  It was my friend Esther who wanted to come for a visit about 6 pm and I said that was fine.  Then our friends Karen and Dave called from Michigan on my cell phone.  I talked to them for awhile and then the home phone rang again!  It was Esther again saying she was coming over right away!  

She arrived with a vase of beautiful roses for me.  We had a nice visit before she had to leave to accompany her husband to the doctor.  I was finally able to finish my morning chores after enjoying all my phones calls and her visit.

The phone was busy all day - Daughters Kara and Kristin and sister Karen all called too.  My ear needed a rest!

Other than that, nothing much happened.  We had dinner and watched TV before heading to bed.

I didn't sleep well Monday night and was awakened early Tuesday which made for a slow moving morning.  I thought the nurse was coming at 9:00 but she came at noon.  Once I got that word, I hopped in the shower and started my day.  Ted went shooting again and I started the laundry.  Eileen called when they got on the road to Nashville and Gail from Forum called to give me a pep talk on Eliquis which she has taken for two years.  

Diana came at noon and pronounced all my vitals perfect today.  We talked about our desire to leave once given the ok and worked out dates to be released.  I had done that with PT on Monday.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that all continues to go well.

Ted stopped at the grocery for a few things for lunch which we ate when he arrived home.  I had done 3 loads of laundry.  And then we napped!  

I slept better Tuesday night so my morning moved at a faster pace.  I did my PT with Vinnie then my morning routine after he left.  After lunch I dressed and went to Mah Jongg.  It was another slow set of games but the others are learning.  Ted grilled burgers for dinner and I used leftover hash browns and made potato pancakes.  We watched TV.  I am tired of reruns already!

Thursday was a lazy day while we waited for Isabelle to come.  It was very late in the day because she messed up and came Wednesday when I wasn't home instead of Thursday like she told me.  I guess we were third for the day for her and the crew.  It was 6:00 or after when they finished.  That made for a late dinner but we had nothing planned so that was okay. 

Gerre called and invited us to dinner on Friday even though we are going Saturday to a party of about 40 people at their house for a BBQ, swimming and fireworks.  We offered to just go out but she wants to clear out the refrigerator and freezer she said. 

Terry stopped by on Friday to have Ted help him again get his gun back together after cleaning.  There was a step he was missing.  We had lunch and I left for another new nail salon (!) near Gerre's.  Ted was coming up a couple of hours later and he was there when I arrived around 6:00. We had a great dinner of flat steak, loaded baked potatoes, corn and beans.  I had to turn down apple pie because I was so full.  We never did get around to going in the pool.  It was going on 11:00 when we got home.

I have to make my red, white and blue cheesecake salad to take back there today. We left our two beach bags there so we can swim in the afternoon.

Happy 4th of July weekend to all.  Thank you to our armed forces scattered throughout the world sacrificing to protect us.  I will leave you with Fr. Sebastian's frequent quote "God is good, all of the time.  All of the time, God is good."  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Not So Boring After All

We received a gift of frozen Chicago pizzas from my sister Margaret and fixed one for dinner.  It was excellent!  Afterwards we went to Lowe's to buy some begonias to replace some impatiens that weren't doing so well.  I think they are now getting too much sun since the trees have been trimmed.  

When we pulled into Lowe's parking lot, Ted's phone rang and it was Don and Trudy from Nacadoches, TX who spend winters with us in Mission.  They were getting ready to leave for Angel Fire, NM and wanted to check up on me before they get into tough Communications mode.  We had a long visit with them on speaker phones.

We bought a dozen plants and a new hose.  At home I was placing the plants along the wall where I wanted them to be planted when I got a video chat from my niece Amy in Pigeon Forge at the family reunion.  They were all gathered in the pavilion after dinner.  There are 110 people in attendance and Amy took the phone to each group so I could say hello and they could see I am doing ok.  

It breaks my heart not to be there but I have to do what the doctors say.  It is too dangerous not to.  Our RV friends approached "a girl that looked like you" in the breakfast room Saturday morning and asked if she knew me.  It was my niece Cindy!  

Ted's recliner was getting hard to close because the foam padding on the footrest was breaking down and interfering.  This was the second Lazy Boy loveseat recliner we had bought so we decided to buy a new leather one.  This new one is a BarcoLounger.  I hope we have better luck with this one.  

We stopped for late lunch/early dinner at Cracker Barrel before going home and getting ready for church.  We saw a deacon from our church there too.

Saturday was a full day of the reunion and there were several photos posted.  This reunion is for the descendents of Joseph Homer and Pearl Hall, my maternal great grandparents.  They had three children Ted, Joe and Lucille (Ruhe).

The big "kids" waiting to take a ride.

Big Splash Time at Dollywood

The little ones making handprints.  This is Lucas who is going to be a big brother! 


Tim and Cindy's family

The Connecticut, Maine and Florida group

Karen and Ron's family

Don Ruhe Family

Dan Ruhe Family

The Homer Family

The whole fam damily!

I was delighted to see them all and appreciate their sentiment that We Should Be There.

I was texting with Gerre in late afternoon and we decided they would come to our house, once we came home from church, to play cards.  Ted and Barry won after a whole game of ups and downs in score.  We had a fun evening and so far we haven't been bored!

We were expecting delivery of our loveseat between 1-3 on Sunday when we received a recorded message at 11:10 that our delivery was in 10 minutes.  We were not dressed and had not moved the old loveseat out of the way.  We scurried and were presentable 13 minutes later when the doorbell rang.  I think we did a great job on color.  We wanted to pick up the reddish brown in the carpet.  

We didn't do anything in the afternoon but did meet Terry, Carol and Sharon for dinner at Kona Grill.  Sharon, their daughter, was in from College Station for a 12th Man doings at our Conference Center.  Her husband Don left for Washington DC to visit their son so couldn't join us.

All in all, not as boring a weekend as I thought it would be.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

On Our Own

Kara and Bill arrived home safely and immediately went to bed.  Babysitting your parents can be exhausting!

Wednesday morning the PT fellow came and he has extended the weights and time for each of my rotations.  I am still doing well.  It is also helping my back.  I cannot have any epidural shots in my back while taking Eliquis nor any aspirin based products so it is going to be PT and Tylenol to get by.  

After lunch I went out alone, only the second time, to play Mah Jong.  It is a training class and I am ahead of those learning so I have to be patient while they contemplate their moves.  I will be able to play the next four times and then another 3-4 times before the next season starts.  Hopefully we will all be playing on a similar plane at that time.  

It was dinner time when I arrived home and Ted had dinner ready.  I talked to my sister-in-law Marge who had arrived in the area of the family reunion.  Many are disappointed that we are unable to attend. We are disappointed too.

We watched PBS for some reason and waited for the rains to come from Storm Cindy.  It did rain through the night but we got just the western bands of the storm.  It went ashore near the TX/LA border.  I didn't even know there were A and B storms already!

Before I went to bed, I checked my email and my biopsy results had been posted to my portal.  It was scary to look at but I would rather know going into the doctor Friday than remain in the dark. It said it was benign endometrial tissue.   However, it also said "scant sample so may not be representative."  That is good news but still leaves room to wonder.  I guess we'll know next steps, if any, on Friday.

Ted shot skeet on Thursday and I cleaned out 3 more drawers.  My bag for Paralyzed Texas Vets is full plus I have a few computer bags and a rug.  But I just might get to those brown and black slacks I need to try on.  

Around 5:00, our next door neighbors came over to visit.  They split their time between here, their house in Israel and their son's home in California.  We help out with mail and garbage cans when we are here.  Rafi had his hip replaced this past winter and now needs the other one done.  He wanted to know how I did with my second one.  And they were interested in how I was doing after my hospital stay.  We had a nice visit for a few hours and then we had a quiet evening.

Friday we went to see Dr. LB.  He said the news was good, benign, but I questioned him on the "scant" sample remark.  He said he took random samples circling three times and felt confident it was a good representation of the lining.  He did reiterate that normally he would do a D&C but for now he feels a follow-up ultrasound in 6 months will put us in a better position to go forward with that treatment.  I will take this report to the cardiologist so she knows where we stand.

My family is gathering in Pigeon Forge and they are sending greetings and photos.  One of the two couples we were going on to Nashville with has arrived with the other one due in tomorrow.  All my family should be there by dinner time this evening.  I bet their paths cross!

We are in for a boring weekend so I will end this here for now.  Maybe I will get more photos to post next time.


Friday, June 16, 2017

More Doctors

Kara and Bill arrived Thursday evening right on time.  Friday was my biopsy in the morning.  Dr. LB said he didn't see anything that looked suspicious but we have to wait until next week to see the results.  It wasn't too bad a procedure but it certainly wasn't a picnic!  There was no bleeding issue which was our primary concern and that was a major relief.  I spent most of the day on the couch with my feet up.

Bill fixed our closet catches, cleared the bathroom drain, installed a new thermostat that I can control from an app on my phone, installed an outside remote on the garage door, checked our A/C lines to insure they are clear, cleaned out the dryer vent and installed a dimmer for Aunt Carol.  What a guy!

On Saturday Bill checked our 14 year old water heater and pronounced it ready to die!  When he and Ted removed it there was a lot of sediment in the bottom so his assessment was correct.  Because Bill is an HVAC contractor we got a really good deal on a new one and free installation.  Ted took a spill off the tailgate of the truck when unloading the new water heater but said he was okay.  I bet he is sore tomorrow.

Kara made a grape salad for Sunday and I set the dining room table.  Terry, Carol and Irene were coming over and seven people fit easier around that table.  While Kara worked on stuff for her job I did 3 loads of laundry.  Things are returning to normal.  

We went to church at 5:00 and then to the Mexican restaurant we had taken Kristin to before she left.  Everyone enjoyed their dinner and margaritas.  Ted is limping but you know he isn't going to admit his knee and hip hurt.  We will see what tomorrow brings.  

Ted and Bill decided to check out Academy Sunday morning.  While Kara sliced cucumbers and onions for a side dish, I put the beans together and upon his return, Ted readied his grill and burgers.  About 11:30 Sherida and John stopped by on their way home.  They had their two Yorkies with them who were taking great delight in being taken in and out into the yard.  After they left, Bill took a much deserved nap, Kara continued working on her job things and I put out the dishes we would need to serve snacks and dinner.

Ted told me I bought him a bucket of bullets for Father's Day while he was at Academy.  The girls had gone together and bought him a new scope he wanted.  All in all, a good present day for him.

Sighting in the new scope.

With Kara here to help, we had invited Irene, Terry and Carol back for the Memorial Day cookout that never happened!  With everyone pitching in it was not too much on anyone except maybe Kara.  She is a trooper.  Dinner turned out great and we all had a good visit.  It also gave us some leftovers for Monday's dinner.

Thr PT fellow came Monday morning and as soon as I was finished Kara and I took off for bunco.  It was my second outing that wasn't a doctor's appointment or church!  Everyone was very glad to see me and thought I looked great.  That little boost in self confidence helps a lot.  Linda moved from table to table each time and we were all delighted to see her effort.  She looked much better and only needed someone to carry her glass of water for her.  Everyone enjoyed meeting Kara.  She had a nice time too, a much needed break from work and taking care of us.  Ted and Bill had gone to the gun club and shot sporting clays so they had a nice time too.

Ted grilled chicken breasts and we used the leftovers to make a dinner meal.  Ted put the old water heater out next to the recycling can and it was gone the next morning before the recycling truck came so I suppose some "junk man" took it for scrap.  Either way, it was gone!

Kara was still working so Bill took us to Costco since we don't have a card and we allowed our Sam's card to lapse.  But the drinks I paid $16.66 for at Sam's were $24.99 there. I also tried to buy print cartridges but they didn't carry them. Since these are two things I always got at Sam's, I guess I will renew and not get a Costco card as planned.  

The visiting nurse came after lunch and checked me out.  She is very happy with the appearance of my leg.  It has returned to normal size and appearance and she did some pressing and pulse taking and pronounced it as doing very well.  It is impossible to determine the status of the DVT but the lack of swelling, heat, redness and pain are all good things.

A bit later, after Kara laundered the linens and remade the bed, we left for a late lunch/early dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, their favorite restaurant here that they don't have at home.  Then we dropped them off at the airport.  With a huge storm forming in the Gulf, it is good they are getting out this evening!

Now we wait for the biopsy results on Friday.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Another Week Inside

We certainly miss our girls.  

Today I spent time in the office going through all our cancellations.  I checked off the ones that show credit to my credit card.  I wrote across the top of those I am still waiting for the credit and made a few calls to finish off the requests.  The only reservation in place is the hotel in Cleveland for wedding #1.  I want to get this first round done before I start making any more.

I got the rest of the house in order and called it a day about 3:30.  Ted picked up the six shots I have to take instead of the Eliquis in preparation for my biopsy.  He fixed dinner and we watched reruns on TV.

Saturday I got all my daily things done, Ted washed his truck.  In the afternoon I got my shower, washed my hair and picked out clothes for church.  I still have to do things in small segments because I tire very easily.  Bottom line, this is boring!

We went to church and then to Red Lobster with Terry and Carol.  I wanted some coconut shrimp.  It turned out to be a good choice and we all enjoyed our meals.  I had a glass of wine, the only liquid I have had besides water and one glass of OJ since leaving the hospital.  The veins on the back of my hands are reappearing.  Hopefully my hydration is returning to normal.

Sunday we were invited to Terry and Carol's again for dinner and cards.  Irene came too because John is out of town.  Terry grilled chicken breasts and Carol fixed several dishes, all of which were great.  She is really a good cook.  Afterwards we played cards.  I wasn't doing real well but did get a Shanghai on the 5th game.  But that wasn't enough to put me in 1st or 2nd place.  We brought lots of leftovers home so I am still reprieved from cooking!

Monday was PT day and after that ... nothing.  To pass some time I decided to try on all my slacks and capris to weed out whatever didn't fit or I no longer wanted.  I guess I have been this same size for quite awhile because after going through all the beige, white, navy and jeans, I only had 2 pair to put in the bag.  I will get to black and  brown another time.

Diana came on Tuesday and gave me the first Lovinix shot and showed me how to do it.  I gave myself these shots in 2007 after my first hip replacement so I knew it was easy and not painful.  When she left I got dressed and WENT OUT BY MYSELF to the country club for a working lunch.  Gail got last year's nursing home leaders to meet with us to take over the reins.  We had about a 2.5 hour lunch and went over our responsibilities.  I brought 3 bins of balloons, ribbons, name tags, decorations, cups, etc. home with me.  There are more in storage at the Forum office so we will have to go see what is there that we can use.  I did okay by myself and made it home just fine.  And Gail picked up the whole lunch tab!  It was productive and enjoyable to get out.

Wednesday I took a walk with my PT guy for about a block, half of it an upgrade.  We talked the whole way and by the time we got back to the house I was getting winded.  It is the first time I felt like I was pushing myself.  A block isn't much but it is a start.

In the afternoon I went to the pulmonologist.  He checked me out and said he feels I am back 80%. We had lots of questions that he answered.  I didn't know this but they talked about removing my PE when I was in the hospital but they felt it was too risky.  We asked if I can plan on going to Ohio and Michigan the end of July and he said if we stop every two hours and I do my leg and feet bends in the car, it should be okay.  He reminded us that since they don't know how or why I developed a clot there will always be a chance of developing another.  That's what the filter is for.  My insurance policy!

The biopsy is on Friday.  I will be back then!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Catching H*ll!

I am catching h*ll from my readers about not keeping up my blog.  There isn't a lot to report but here goes.

Both Kara and Kristin came to be with us.  They were so helpful with coordinating all the appointments, directions, tests, medicine dispensing, etc. as well as keeping the home fires burning and all of us fed. Many meals were brought in so in truth, cooking was minimal.   We all were most grateful for the food and goodies brought to us.

I had an appointment with the hematologist who has ordered blood tests to determine if I have any genetic reason for these clots since there is no apparent reason in my lifestyle.  Next was the cardiologist who did another ultrasound but there was no noticeable change in the DVT.  She has ordered a stress test for July 6.  Then she will see me July 11.

We went to my PCP who is the coordinator of all the "ologists."  He ordered a full CBC, urinalysis to be sure the UTI is gone and a hemocult at home test in lieu of a colonoscopy which wouldn't be wise at the moment.  Only my kreatnine remains a bit high.  That is a kidney enzyme and we will bring it up to the cardiologist to see if I need another ologist!  

Then we went to the GYN for the ultrasound.  It showed an 18mm lining versus a "normal" one of 5mm for my age.  So now we have a biopsy scheduled for 6/16 and Kara and Bill are returning.  Prayers are appreciated on this matter.  Think benign!

PT has been coming twice a week and the visiting nurse once a week.  It is comforting to have professionals checking on my vitals and progress.  I have exercises to do twice a day when PT doesn't come.

So that is where we are medically.  The good news is that I feel fine.  I have been pacing myself but have been able to do small things around the house.  Today I did three small loads of laundry.  In between I lay on the couch and elevate my leg.  My foot, ankle and lower leg had been swollen terribly but in the last two days it is almost normal!  We are hoping the Eliquis is working on the DVT and possibly dissolving it somewhat.  My pulse ox has been 98-99 on room air which is normal so we hope the PE is dissolving too.  

We have had many visitors which has helped pass the time.  And we were invited to Gerre's for dinner after 3 appts. in one day.  I sat in the recliner and promptly fell asleep!  The girls had a great visit and we all had dinner when I woke up.  

We had the front door refinished so now the whole outside is done.  Tree gone, fence repaired and cleaned, roof cleaned, house painted, deck stained and yard totally redone.  At least we will be able to enjoy it all this summer.  Our plans are kaput!

We canceled Pigeon Forge and my family reunion, the 3 days in Nashville, the week in Cincinnati to be able to spend the 4th at Elk Lake, our trip to the factory in Indiana and a week with my brother on Grand Lake.

Instead we will leave the last week in July to make Ted's family reunion in Cincinnati the last weekend in July.  We will drive so we can stop as often as we need to.  The next week we will go to Michigan for Ally's bridal shower the next weekend.  Then come home.

Near the end of September we will take the RV to Michigan, drive the truck to Cleveland for the first family wedding, return to Michigan for our granddaughter's wedding the next weekend.  When all the festivities are over we will head to Indiana for our two appointments to get some things fixed.  From there we will head for home.

This could all change but for now it is our goal.  It allows us to do the four most important family things and get the RV all fixed up.  There is always something to get worked on.  

Your concern and prayers are greatly appreciated.  I hope to be able to continue good reports!