Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mentally Ready

The weekend was restful. I feel ready for tomorrow's endoscopy. Today, mom wants to hit Costco to buy a Jitterbug phone but we may have to make another stop afterwards.

On Friday, she told me that she had been up eight times to use the bathroom the night before. Eight times. A record. I think she had a UTI or bladder infection. She has a good immediate care place near her, feels comfortable going there and likes the doctors. I suggested that she have it checked out on Saturday. If she didn't, I will take her today.

I probably won't write a blog tomorrow morning as we will be heading into the city early and I really want to focus on all the things I need to bring with me, the medications I need to take, the shower with Dial Antibiotic soap on my belly, to wear the appropriate loose fitting clothing and so much more. Focus.

Wednesday, I am expecting to stay home all day so I will write all about the experience. Hopefully, the doctor will decide the next steps after the test.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Now Michael?

My goal this weekend is to rest, take a few walks, water the garden and take lots of naps in preparation for Tuesday's endoscopy. But, who I am more concerned about, is Michael. The past couple of months, I noticed that he was short of breath after exertion, ran out of air at the end of a sentence along with a light, non-productive cough. I have slipped my saturation meter on his finger and his numbers have been fine. This all leads me to the possibility that he might have some blockages in his heart.

As a typical man, he had lots of excuses, even this morning when I told him I would be making an appointment with our primary doctor to look into the symptoms. "It is not bad. It only happens sometimes. I was tired."

I am now done with the excuses. An appointment will be made.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Endo prep

As scheduled, the anesthesiologist and I connected regarding next week's endoscopy. What a well-oiled machine! It did not take very long, we reviewed my medications and over the counter drugs, I told her about my problem with general anesthesia, allergy to latex, my low blood pressure, severe lung disease, blood transfusion when William was born and my supplemental oxygen needs.

She then emailed a five page document of our discussion, which also included helpful hints like no jewelry or makeup the day of the endoscopy. Also, it listed the drugs and vitamins I needed to stop immediately and the ones I cannot take the morning of the procedure. Immediately? No vitamin E, Omega 3 fish oils, melatonin and Ostro Bi-flex. The morning of the surgery? No Miralax (for my UTIs) or spironolactone. I was also instructed to bring my inhaler.

At the end of the conversation, I asked if the assigned anesthesiologist would be prepared and experienced to deal with all the issues of my advanced lung disease. She told me that I would be meeting the anesthesiologist that morning and could ask any questions directly to him/her at that time. It was then that I told her that I was not as nervous about this procedure but more concerned about an upcoming surgery to fix the problem that would be revealed during Tuesday's test.

"My family and I are very sensitive about anesthesiology issues because 20-years ago yesterday, my dad died after elective same day surgery. The problem was with the anesthesia. My mom is very concerned and she doesn't want to lose me, too" She paused then responded, "I understand."

What I hope that meant was that I will be assigned a more seasoned anesthesiologist and maybe a notation on my file for the next, more difficult surgery. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Waiting By the Phone

After my hair appointment this morning, I will be home waiting by the phone for my interview with an anesthesiologist. This is preparation for the endoscopy next Tuesday to take at look at the valve inside my Nissen Fundoplication surgery site and possibly the hernia. The valve seems to not be working properly, which is allowing acid reflux to flow into my lungs.

I want to confirm with them that I will be given light sedation for this procedure but I want it in my file that I, like my mom, become very ill after general anesthesia. We also need to review my medications, what I can take that morning, what I need to stop taking immediately, list of previous surgeries and a couple of other questions.

There is a two-hour window for this phone call so I will be just hanging here at home. That is not a bad thing as a big storm blew through last night and it is expected to rain on and off all day. A good day to stay home.

Michael has a Boys-Night-Out tonight. They are meeting at the same restaurant where we have a reservation for Thanksgiving luncheon. I am so grateful that he has a large group of male friends, several whom had dealt with illnesses and one a death of a spouse. He can talk about living with someone dealing with a chronic fatal illness and the reality of being a caretaker. They understand. They are his support group.

When William was in kindergarten, I met a woman who was a transplant from Boston with a son in his class. JR and William became friends as did their parents. Sue continued her teaching career and just retired last June. I sent her an email last month wondering how she was doing not getting up early every morning and heading into the classroom. I received her reply this morning. She wonders how she ever found the time for work! Her son, wife and grandson are living with them as they save to buy a house so they are keeping her hopping. We are making plans to meet for coffee and a good chat. Our lives have been so busy that I hope we will now have the time for a proper friendship with lots of conversations and coffee and walks along the ocean. Old friends are the best.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Two New Gentlemen in Class

I was shocked at Jeannie's appearance when I picked her up for our rehab class yesterday. Expecting a weak, pale person, she moved the fastest I had ever seen her make her way to my car. The last two weeks of rest really helped her lungs to recover and she looked fantastic. Her color was good, she was smiling and so thrilled to be back out into the world. We had a fun time together.

While I was absent from the class last week, two new people joined the group. Gauging the staff's reaction to the younger gentleman, it was clear that my read on him was right on. He was a loud, obnoxious pain. We will see if I can settle him down. I'll work on him.

The other gentleman was an elegant looking older man. I began a conversation with him while lifting free weights and discovered we were both coastsiders. Until recently, he was a competitive tennis pro and I detected a bit of a British accent. He grew up just north of our British Don.

He wanted to talk with me about vanity. In his classes, he was appalled that a woman would not food shop as she would need oxygen and she refused to be seen in public with her cannula and tank. Another person also refused to use the oxygen as he was embarrassed. The gentleman asked what I thought.

I replied that in my personal experience, I initially was very nervous using oxygen in public until I discovered that people were actually very kind when they noticed it. Still surprises me. I really only had that one bad experience I have mentioned before, the horrible woman in the hospital elevator after working out at the other rehab. She looked me up and down and said, "You shouldn't have smoked!" I smiled back and replied, while leaving the elevator, "Funny, but I never smoked."

And, here is the time when I must mention that one of the major reasons to use supplemental oxygen is to protect your heart. When the heart does not get enough oxygen over time, a part of it hardens and will not function correctly. Sadly, this is very common in patients with longtime lung diseases.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rehab Class

Jeannie phoned to ask if I could drive her to the rehab class today. She convinced the hospice nurse that she would feel so much better getting out into the world and moving her body. The nurse finally gave her approval to try it one day this week. I was thrilled that Jeannie had so much determination and guts. My kind of girl!

About an hour after we spoke, the phone rang again. It was her sister sounding very concerned. She wanted to give me her contact information but I could hear a nervousness in her voice about Jeannie returning to rehab. I told her that the exercise physiologist and the RN will be watching her closely to insure she did not push herself too hard on her first day back in a couple of weeks. That seemed to help.

My cough is better and I am feeling better, in general. The endoscopy is schedule for a week from today. I received a secured email from the surgeon's office, which included all the information I will need, for example, medications, food, vitamins, what to wear, what not to wear, etc. The only problem was that I could not open it. So, later this morning, I will be phoning their help line for help! Frustrating.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Video

My university hospital has an interesting process when a patient is facing a new procedure. They sent me a video accessed through their patient email site. Yesterday afternoon, I watched a 20-minute video about anesthesia. All the different anesthesia options. It may have fallen into the category of too much information. In other words, it scared me to death. Death? Yes, that was mentioned a couple of times during the video!

All this was in anticipation of the endoscopy next week and it left me with more questions than answers. I will be phoning the surgeons assistant asking if I was going to be given light sedation during the procedure, asking if I can take only the most important drugs that morning, where exactly do I check-in and probably a few other things while I have her on the phone.

The video was intended to give information so the patient feels educated before a new procedure but it left me feeling anxious.

Michael took me to lunch yesterday and we split an award winning (and featured on Drive-In, Diners and Dives) pastrami sandwiches on toasted rye with sauerkraut and dressing. OMG. I have never tasted such tender, lean pastrami. We split it but I swear I am still tasting it this morning. Burped all evening! Dinner was a scrambled egg. I will be eating very lightly today.

Mom has wanted to see the sweet park in her city that has a hidden Japanese garden, with koi, and beautiful paths to follow along the large pond. Today will be the day, if it is not raining. We don't have anything special on the calendar.

Also today, I will be checking-in with Jeannie to see how she is doing and if she needs my help to food shop.

Finally, yesterday morning when I unplugged Michael's phone, I noticed a missed call from a +00 number, usually an out of the country number. I looked it up and realized it was William's number but from Argentina. I panicked. He never phones when he is out of the country. Was he okay? We messaged him. Hearts pounding. Reply? Pocket dialing. Oops. He did write that the concert went really well, he had fun wandering around the city and had eaten an amazing steak. Deep sigh of relief. They are flying home today.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Slept Through

I slept throughout the day yesterday, right up to 30-minutes before walking over to the neighbors at 4:00. They were hosting a family and friends pre-Thanksgiving dinner for thirty people. We stayed for appetizers and lots of conversations. Most of the relatives this year were from Mike's side of the family, who we had never met before. Lisa's mom was there, which is always a treat. Their daughter had just returned from a vacation in Cuba and their son was visiting from Colorado. It was great to spend time with both of them.

We walked home, ate a light dinner and I promptly fell asleep on the couch.

Last night, I woke up around 2AM and was wheezing and coughing. Not wanting to awaken Michael, I grabbed my pillow and a blanket and headed to the living room. After using my inhaler, both the wheeze and cough calmed down so I was able to drift back to sleep.

My goal today? Only one: water the pots. Michael is going to cut the grass for me so I will water this afternoon. This morning? I have a feeling there will be another nap. It was such a busy week, I really need to recover.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Birthday Recap

One more birthday done. It was a nice, quiet, easy one. Michael bought a very hip pair of black ankle boots with two, count them, two buckles wrapped around them for my birthday present. I feel empowered! I feel taller! I feel like I will wear them tonight at the Irish Fiddling gig at the brewery. Black jeans, black boots and a rockin' bass. Yup, perfect after a birthday.

We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant we used to go to years ago. Not so great anymore. Sadly. He also bought a piece of cake so I could plant a candle on it and make a wish. He covered all the birthday bases.

As a treat, our friend Randy dropped by. We met him when we moved to our coastal town, he was 16-years old and he is now 60! Long time friends. His dad owned the mortuary in town and his parents didn't like us at all as Michael was "blue collar." Old school people. He currently lives across the bay with his wife and three children, just over an hour away.

Randy was a local cop then got a job with the county sheriff's department, which was where he retired from about five years ago. As part of his retirement two days a month, he runs a driving course here on the coast for police officers and sometimes private citizens. When Michael was in Oklahoma City in September, they visited the shops from the TV show "Street Outlaws" and bought a t-shirt for Randy. He came by to say hello but to also pick up the t-shirt. A twofer.

It was such fun to get caught up, chat and to remember old times together. He stayed three hours, sang Happy Birthday over the birthday cake with us and lazed out on the new reclining love seat. A perfect ending to a nice, quiet birthday.

Mom and I will be together all day today with no plans. We can have some fun! Maybe I can get a nap in before the gig tonight. Or, maybe not.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Another One

Well, it has happened again. It's my birthday today. It's still such a surprise and a gift that I have lived another year after being told way back in 2005 that my time on this planet was going to be very limited. A couple of years. HA! Guess sometimes even doctors make mistakes.

Sometime today, William will phone. It will be good to hear his voice as he begins the journey to Argentina for a concert. He loves South America and can't wait to enjoy the food while there.

To celebrate the day, Michel and I are going shopping for some ankle boots for the rains then we are going to lunch. That's it. Well, maybe we will find a piece of cake somewhere so I can blow out some candles and make a birthday wish.

Simple day together. That is my idea of a nice birthday.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Out into the World

Yesterday, at four-thirty in the morning, the alarm rang. We were filled with coffee, then quickly dressed and out the door by 6:00AM. We were off on an adventure!

Michael and I promised mom that we would drive about two hours away to place fresh silk flowers on my dad's crypt for the holidays. We make this trek twice a year. It was a stress free trip with little traffic as the rush hours mess was in the opposite direction. We flew.

The cemetery has always been beautifully tended and was exceptionally pristine yesterday. Though it was icy cold, we still enjoyed our visit with dad and mom arranged the new flowers. She always talks to him and kisses her fingers then places them on his plaque. She still misses him so much even though November 13th is the 20th anniversary of his unexpected death. He would be so proud of her and how she continued to grow and even thrive after his death. She deeply misses him and still dreams of him every night.

After the visit, we headed into the Sierra Foothills, through tiny towns, even the very famous gold town of Sutter's Mill, on our way to an Indian casino. After an hour, we arrived and mom was in heaven. She could have gambled all day! By 3:00, we were done. She could have stayed a few more hours but we faced another three hour car ride home.

Mom was the big winner, Michael second and I was the total loser! Oh well, can't be lucky in everything! We all still enjoyed the day together.

At 7:15, Michael was dozing so I suggested we head to bed. We both were asleep in minutes and slept until 6:00 this morning. A quiet day of just grocery shopping ahead.

My cough is getting slightly worse and I have been using my inhaler more and more. We only had to move once when someone sat at a machine next to me and lit a cigarette. The air quality in the casinos has been greatly improved from the old days. I made sure to keep my hands away from my face and washed them often throughout the day. Today and tomorrow will be recovery days and hopefully, I will be ready for an Irish Fiddling gig on Friday night!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Beginning of a Wild Week

It was a restorative weekend. I needed it as it is going to be a whopper of a week ahead. Just taking it day by day. Today? Rather simple. Mom has an eye doctor appointment and we need to get a new 2018 calendar for my purse from the book store. That is it. Well, maybe a bit of food shopping but that is really it. I think. Oh, I forgot to water the pots so I will do that after I get home but that is it. And, I need to phone Jeannie.

A simple day.

Tomorrow is going to be really exhausting.

I have been making an interesting breakfast for Michael, Avocado Toast. I brush a bit of olive oil on a slice of French bread and bake it until it is crispy. Then, after a rubbing of fresh garlic, I spread half of a mashed avocado on the toast and add of bit of pepper. He loves it. Something different. He will also have a bit of yogurt on the side. It keeps his blood sugar level until lunchtime, which is always the goal.

Happy Monday. Hold your hats. Here we go.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hospice

After speaking with my rehab class car pool buddy Jeannie on Friday, I learned that so much had happened since we last spoke. She now was officially in hospice. Apparently, for the last two years, the people at the Sutter hospital where we have our rehab class had been keeping in touch with her since she was hospitalized about two years ago. When they phoned last week, Jeannie talked about how the fires and heat really hurt her lungs and all the other issues.

The hospice nurse arrived the next day. She was one wonderful woman who, through an interview and her observations, began to make big changes. Immediately, she had Jeannie take a leave from the rehab class so her body could heal. I had been so worried that she was going to do even more damage as she was really struggling through the workouts. Smart move.

At the recent pulmonologist appointment, he refused to give her anti-anxiety drugs that she so desperately needed. "Go see your primary doctor." The only problem, Doc, was that would take another long Ready Wheels trip and several weeks to get an appointment. Immediately, the hospice nurse was able to get her the drug, watched her take it then realized it was a bit too strong. She adjusted the dosage and Jeannie told me the drug had made a tremendous difference. She was able to function.

Remember when her oxygen supplier told her she used all of her oxygen tanks for the month during the fires and heat? No more for you. Sorry. Deal with it. Well, the hospice nurse fired that company and arranged for a larger shipment of oxygen tanks to be delivered immediately.

Jeannie had no experience dealing with hospice and was shocked when I knew so much and was telling her that she was not going to have to see doctors. Hospice would be the go-between and would provide all the drugs and care directly. She asked how I knew everything. I told her the story of mom's sister Rita, who I was responsible for from 1998-2007, when she died under hospice care. They had been amazing not only with Rita but with my mom and me.

The hospice nurse also arranged for her tiny studio apartment be cleaned twice a week and that woman was trained to take Jeannie for a walk, which she so desperately wanted. She has always been careful with her food choices all of her life and only ate as a way to improve her health. The food at the facility where she lives is pretty awful so she shops and cooks herself. She really wanted to continue to shop, not only to keep excellent food available for herself but for the act of getting out into the world. I have agreed to take her shopping every week. It is something I can do for her.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Comes the Rains

I think Michael woke me up to put me into bed around 6:30 last night. I was done. Yesterday was busy but fine. Mom and I met, did her shopping and dropped her off to meet her friend for lunch while I went to the rehab class. Jeannie did not car pool with me, I phoned her after the class, she asked if she could phone me back but she never did. I hope all is okay. I will try again this afternoon.

Michael and I were both up at 4:45 this morning, which was great. I need a shower before meeting mom to pick up her car. It is ready after breaking down on Tuesday. She is also having her shot in the eye to fight macular degeneration. A full day ahead as I also have an Irish Fiddling gig this evening. Two hours. I should be dragging by the time it is over.

No word from the surgeon's assistant about scheduling the endoscopy. I also have a nice cough, not yet into the bronchitis level but heading that direction. The goal this weekend is to take it easy and recover from a busy week.

And, the rains are to begin today. The first ones of the season. My gardens say thank you!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Frantic Moments

It was a fantastic day of getting caught up on emails and paperwork and even a nap. Lovely. We decided to drive up to the harbor around 3:00 to see if a restaurant was taking reservations for Thanksgiving yet. They were closed between lunch and dinner service. Back in the car, Jim phoned and we met him at his business south of town.

He and Kathy raised two sons, now both working in the business, and are very successful. They were local kids and now in their mid-60s. We sat in the kitchen and had a great chat and lots of laughs. I kept glancing at my watch. I had an Irish Fiddling rehearsal at 6:15 and we had planned to grab dinner out some place.

Time ticked away.

We were now at the opposite end of town and facing rush hour traffic on the little coastal road. No dinner and running late. Finally home, I threw together a good dinner while the messages were flowing about the rehearsal. They were now planning for all of us to meet at 6:30, hop in a car and drive to the other side of our neighborhood to deliver dinner and a song to our violin player who was recently home from cancer surgery.

I made it on time!

She looked tired but relieved. The doctor had just phoned before our arrival with the good news that all the pathology was cancer free. It had not spread anywhere. Her sister was staying with her and we all enjoyed seeing each other.

By the time we got back to Leslie's house, it wasn't worth unpacking my bass and hauling it over for about 20-minutes of playing. So, I am going into Friday's gig at the organic market without having played for a few weeks. No problem.

Today, I am not driving Jeannie to the rehab class. She needs to rest and recover. So, I am meeting mom and driving her around as her car is still in the shop. After I leave her to have lunch with her friend, I will head to the rehab class.

Another busy day.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Evening Filled with Children

What a night! We had about thirty kids swing by for their goodies, which was not as many as usual. I loved the little kids who were just so excited about the whole experience about being out at night with mom and dad and getting candy, too!

Our sweet neighbors with very young Cora and Ella were the first to arrive. Even their mom was dressed up! We had special gift bags for them, including a few little toys. Cora's best friend and 7th grader Lily (who is Leslie daughter, the head of the Irish Fiddling group) came back with another group of friends. I love that Cora was hanging with the older girls under the strict supervision of Lily. What a great neighborhood where her parents were comfortable with that! It made me smile.

My favorite family arrived right on time for dinner. Natalie, Ethan, Winnie and Oliver all were in full costume and excited about the evening ahead. Oliver loved his mini hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls while the rest of the family had my Italian Casserole and homemade applesauce. There were cookies for dessert. Winnie and Oliver also had gift bags of candy and small toys.

I have to say that I was stunned when I first spotted the kids. Having just seen them during the summer, I swear that each had grown a few inches and Oliver had matured so much since the beginning of school. It was fascinating to watch them both throughout the evening. Natalie and Ethan looked great, he is the final interview phase for a new job so our fingers are crossed for his success.

After they left around 9PM, I was not tired but energized. My soul was filled to the brim with all the conversations and just having kid interaction. I must admit that I fell into bed and slept like a rock, the first time in a few days.

Some sad news: I went to pick up Jeannie for the rehab class yesterday and she never came down to the car from her apartment. She lives in Senior Housing and there was no air conditioning during the fires and the 90+ temperatures. Her lungs crashed and she has not been able to recover. I phoned and she told me that the Hospice nurse was due to help with several issues. Hospice. It was hard for me to hear that but I saw how Hospice works when I was taking care of my aunt. It would help Jeannie so much in so many way that, in a way, I am happy that she is under their care. I will phone her today.

Other news: Mom. Her Mini Cooper would not go into gear and she was stuck in a parking lot. She had someone phone AAA, they couldn't get it going and had it towed. She tried phoning Michael with the tow truck driver's cell phone, he didn't recognize it and didn't answer. She phoned me after she got home, tired and hungry. She refuses to carry her burner cell phone as it is too heavy. We are going to have to talk about that. So, she has no car. I am going to meet her tomorrow morning, drive her to the mall to buy a birthday present for her buddy before they meet at a restaurant in the mall for lunch while I go to the rehab class. It is going to be a rough few days for her while the car is being fixed but it is a preamble to the time in the near future when she no longer can drive.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trick or Treaters

Mom and I checked off all of the stuff on my list and I have more on the list for today! Natalie and family are due around 6:15, I will be cooking dinner for everyone before they head out the door to trick or treat. Last evening, I put together little gift bags of candy and little toys for Winnie and Oliver but also made one for Lily and two for the little girls, Cora and Ella. So much fun.

Today, I am making the dinner this morning, will dust and vacuum the house, clean the front door, buy Halloween cookies in town and go to the rehab class. A busy day ahead. A fun day.

I still have not heard from the surgeon's assistant regarding my endoscopy. The not knowing when is driving me crazy so I must just give in and phone her tomorrow or Thursday. Just a reminder to schedule it. Please.

My biggest worry is that the surgery to fix the problem will happen before Christmas and maybe interfere with our plans to enjoy Palm Springs together just after Christmas. I want to be well enough to still spend time with our son on a vacation together. In a way, I want to push it to happen quickly but on the other hand, I want it to happen after all the holidays. I guess it will happen when it happens.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Prep

We worked side by side in the gardens and it felt like I had a good workout when it was finished. It also looked great! It had been a long time since I cut the plants along the driveway and the four other ones between Ron and us. Lots of work. Lots of picking up the piles of trimmings to put into the recycling bin. Into the back yard, the old lilies needed to be pulled and everything needed watering.

It felt so good to move my body. I did wrap my knee and only felt one twinge while I was tromping around. When it was finished, I was soaking wet and breathing hard. There was some coughing and I am a bit worried about it. It was not my usual short, non-productive cough but it sounded looser and it was a longer cough. Keeping my eye on it.

It all looks good for Natalie and her family arriving Halloween evening. The house will get a quick dusting and vacuuming tomorrow and I am making a simple dinner for the entire family so they have energy to trick or treat as many houses as possible in our neighborhood.

My list for today is ready. Shower and hit the road. Food shopping. Mom. Costco. Pay bills in person. Every year, I put together small bags of toys and goodies for the neighborhood kids. We have two very little ones in the corner house and I still make one for Lily, who is in 7th grade. Winnie and Oliver will also get a special bag. I am going to put those together this afternoon. Next year, we will have two additional kids on our street. The very first house on the cul-du-sac has just sold to a family with young children. Wonderful. Keeps the neighborhood young!

The weather has finally turned to Fall. It will be a jacket day and a chance to wear my new boots. I love everything about this time of year from the smells in the air to the pumpkins to the planning ahead for the holidays. But, it is also the beginning of cold and flu season. Just a reminder to wash your hands every time you arrive home and keep your hands away from your face. Keep the germs at bay.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Just Got Out

After a nap yesterday morning, Michael and took off to the best mall on the Peninsula, near mom's university hospital. We wanted to just get out of the house and have been meaning to buy a new coffee cup at Williams Sonoma. These are the best mugs, I bought one every year with my Christmas money from mom and I broke one several week ago. They are white ceramic, not too large, not heavy and are usually $24/cup. They were on sale! Twenty percent off! Done!

We walked through the mall, looking at the fantastic flowers and the windows of the all the stores. It was early but we had dinner at Max's. My favorite Russian Cabbage Soup was so satisfying and Michael had a cup of Chicken and Dumpling soup. He also had crab cakes and took home a piece of Carrot Cake.

Even though it was around 5PM by the time we were trying to go over the pass, the last weekend before Halloween brought even more tourist to the area. We sat in traffic, moved inches, sat some more. It was a long ride home.

During the World Series game, I fell asleep and slept the night through.

This morning, I want to trim some hedges in the yards and water the pots. That is the goal. Food shopping tomorrow in preparation for Winnie and Oliver and their parent's visit on Halloween. Something to look forward to.

Friday, October 27, 2017

New Baby Smell

I didn't hear from anyone yesterday. Okay, I bet that the medical procedure to take a look at the Nissan fundoplication surgery site and the hernia I got during that surgery causing acid reflux, is off. Remembering that they were going to try to arrange it before the surgeon went on vacation, I doubt there will be time to get it done before he takes off.

There was worry about having to cancel mom's appointment today with the investment company, No problem now.

Years ago, when I was having to take a lot of tests and my future looked very bleak, I would have the night terrors worrying about all the things that could happen. After driving myself nuts, I made a vow to not worry about something until I had proof that I had to worry! Waiting for this medical test and the probably future surgery, is difficult. All the "could happens" float to my brain, especially at night. I need to renew my vow to let it go and not worry about it until the tests are completed and the surgeon gives us his opinion of our options. If there is something to worry about, that will be the time to worry. Not now.

We had a fantastic night with dear friends, Dave and Lori with their son Joel, his wife Mindy and the new baby Evie. I got to hold a baby!! There is nothing like that new baby smell and she was one cutie! We had planned to stay for just a couple of hours of appetizers and conversation but after the new little family left, we continued to visit. We finally got home about six hours later! It was so very fun.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Waiting...

Still waiting to hear from Veronica, the surgeon's assistant. She said she would phone either yesterday or today to let me know when the endoscopy is scheduled. The cell phone will be on me all day today! Is the procedure tomorrow as initially planned? I am assuming not. We will see.

I did drive into the city for the blood tests and the X-rays in anticipation of the endoscopy. After the drive home, I cooked dinner early, ate lunch, digested then took a walk along the ocean. That was a mistake. It was early afternoon, really warm with a slight breeze while I headed for a long walk. Before I realized it, I may have gone too far. I was dripping wet and short of breath. The walk back to the car was a constant uphill all the way. I paused several times to gather my strength but was totally spent by the time I fell into the car.

It took time to recover and to continue with the day.

Today is going to be fun. This morning, I am going to try to have a pedicure since I am not going to rehab class. We have plans. Dave and Lori have invited us to meet their new granddaughter. We were so touched to be invited to their son's wedding several years ago and thrilled that this baby has arrived. This afternoon, I will make some appetizers to share and we will probably spend just a couple hours together. Should be fun!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Still Waiting

I have full empathy for people living in warmer climates. Yesterday, it was 94 degrees when we returned to the coast from rehab class and it stayed hot most of the night. Remember, no one here has any air conditioning and it was difficult to function inside the hot house later in the evening.

Brilliant Michael cracked open our bedroom door, put a fan in front of it and pulled the cooler outside air into the room all night. It made sleeping possible. The good news? The expected high today is 76 degrees. Still warm for we tender coastsiders but so much more livable. I can breathe again!

Endoscopy update: The surgeon's assistant phoned yesterday afternoon to give me an update. The test also needed to have a gastroenterologist present and they had not been able to nail down his schedule. He is expected in clinic today and she will nail him down. She told me she will phone me with the time and date of the endoscopy today or tomorrow. The expected date was Friday. If that is still on, I need to cancel an appointment for mom with her investment company. If it is Monday, we are in deep trouble. Cancelling that appointment will be impossible so we will have to figure something out.

To prepare for the procedure, I am driving to my university hospital this morning for a chest X-ray and a blood test. My endocrinologist also wants some blood to look at my calcium levels since having the Prolia shot three weeks ago. Killing two birds...

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Adventures with Mom

Veronica, my best friend at the moment, is the surgeon's assistant and I have been waiting to hear from her. Is the endoscopy actually going to happen on Friday or Thursday or not until the surgeon gets back from his vacation? No word yesterday so, I am going to phone her this morning for an update.

Mom and I had one wild day yesterday and I crawled home exhausted but feeling like we got a lot accomplished. After food shopping over the pass, I picked her up, we did two errands for her, drove back to my house to put the food away and toured the gardens, bought a Starbucks, bought baby presents for our meet and great a new baby on Thursday evening and got mom to her dentist appointment right on time. I felt like a baseball player sliding into home base when we flew into the dentist's parking lot. We made it! On Time! Safe!

While she was in the dentist's chair, I took off to buy some gas when the low oil light came on. Phoning Michael, I discovered he had been sitting in traffic on the pass due to an accident and was just beginning to move. He met me at the dentist's parking lot, we exchanged cars and he took mine home to put some oil into it.

Mom was confused when we went out to the parking lot after her appointment. Where was my car?

It was that kind of day.

After I got home, I watered the pots and enjoyed the weather. It was hot and windy and sleeping was pretty difficult last night.

Today, pulmonary rehab class! No Irish Fiddling rehearsal tonight! I am a free woman.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Non-Holiday Luncheon

It worked. I was worried, especially in the first few minutes, but it worked. We all met for lunch half way between us all. Russ could not join us as he was at the management desk dealing with the last of the fires. Mom and Michael were in the rest room when Lee and Jeff arrived and they came in with no smiles. Oh no. This was going to be rough. But, when mom returned to the table, they lightened up. Michael also helped. He was good at getting everyone relaxed and talking. Shelley arrived a bit late but it was marvelous to see her.

She and I were able to sit across from each other and had a good chat about her job and her recent speech in Chicago. She also talked about where they are in the process of closing on their new house. I shared my acid reflux issues, the Endoscopy maybe this Friday and the issues on the future surgery. She got it. My sister? Not so much. She said, "You're not still thinking about lung transplants, are you?"

I explained that it depended on if and when they crashed. She turned away. No other comments.

After almost three hours, we said our goodbyes, drove mom back to her house then headed home only to hit pumpkin traffic at 5PM! Nuts.

But, we are now done for the holidays. Free to start new traditions. Thanksgiving? Lunch in a restaurant with mom! Christmas? Presents here then lunch at a great restaurant with mom and William! Simple. Easy. No cooking. No drama. No all day company.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Returning to the Ocean Walk

It was beautiful here on the coast yesterday. No wind. Mild temperatures. Just lovely. I decided to challenge myself to see if I could walk along the ocean bluffs. I have not been able to walk any distance and I really miss my walks.

So, after filling my oxygen tank, several good puffs of the inhaler, sniff in my nose spray, load down my pockets with Kleenex, garage door clicker, iPhone, drivers license and some cash, I grabbed the car keys and drove up the road. I wanted to walk along a specific path.

The ocean was stunning and I had forgotten how much I really loved to stand and just watch the waves make their way into the shore. I walked right along the shore on a road that was fighting not to fall into the ocean. It is lined with large boulders. Suddenly, I saw the top of a head below me. Typical tourist problem. They don't realize that the tide ebbs and flows. It was coming in so fast that the water was hitting the large boulders. The ocean was now taking over all of the beach. There was no safe place to walk. I climbed closer to see if the person was okay or needed help. It was then that he popped up near me, having climbed up the boulders with the waves chasing him.

We smiled at each other and walked closer. "I saw you and was worried," I said. He replied that he was so surprised that the tide had come in so fast but he got the shot he wanted. Seeing his camera around his neck, I smile and told him that he is lucky to be young and agile enough to climb the rock wall.

After a quick hug between strangers, we went our separate ways.

My goal was to walk along this road then onto a gorgeous flat path through a field, above the water with vistas of the harbor, the waves and the traffic (ugh!). I love this part of the walk. It is where I go after we return from a long road trip. It is home.

With the downturn of my breathing and the rehab of my fractured knee, would I be able to complete my walk? Coughing happened. I slowed down. I made it to a bench about halfway in the open field. Sitting, I took in the smells and the sound of the ocean and was once again reminded why I love this walk.

The walk back to the car was a challenge but I made it and felt better for it. I also slept like a baby last night.

Friday, October 20, 2017

New Traditions Begin this Weekend

Fridays. My favorite day of the week. Traffic lite. A day with mom. We have nothing we have to do today so no stress at all. No hurry. When I am driving home after the day together, I can feel the weekend coming on. I relax. I think about a quiet evening.

This Sunday begins the new family holiday tradition of having a luncheon before the holidays, take the time to chat with each other in person and look forward to spending the holidays in a new way. Lots to share. We hope to see photos of Shelley and Russ' new home and we will share all the latest about our son. He currently is in Mexico for a series of concerts through the weekend, working on new projects and has a lot on his plate.

At rehab yesterday, my car pool buddy Jeannie was having a very difficult breathing day. I was concerned. She spoke with the RNs, they worked with her and she looked better by the end of class. She is seeing her pulmonologist this afternoon. I have been watching her deplete these past few months, she does not have the support or living environment to qualify for lung transplants and the doctor told her at the last appointment that she was approaching the point of no return. Was she sure she couldn't arrange for relatives to help her through the process? No. She has made the decision not to consider transplants.

I was rolling onto my side in bed a few nights ago and realized the sound of my cracking spine did not happen. Prolia. I really do feel a difference already. Janet, in the rehab class, has been taking the injections for quite a while and says that she can feel when she is scheduled for the next injection. I didn't understand that but now I do. Since my mom also takes Prolia, I asked her if she feels anything before or after the injections and she said that she feels nothing. Interesting.

The bone issue is due to constant prednisone since 2005. I have all the side effects but the best one is that I am still alive. I'll put up with the rest.

We had rain last night! It knocked down many of the fires and the air is so clean and crispy. A good breathing day.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

And the Doctor Said

Well, it was one heck of a day. We did the week's food shopping before a fantastic lunch on the coast (at the tiny airport, for goodness sake) before driving to my university hospital for the appointment with the surgeon. We were there to discuss the test results from the four tests of my esophagus and acid levels in my stomach.

I was worried that the tests would not reveal the acid reflux, as I had taken some medication days before the 24-hour test, and that the sensor in my stomach would find no reflux. Two of the other tests were benign but one showed a slowing down of my esophagus. The cause? The doctor began the sentence with, "As we get older..."

Fortunately, the 24-hour test did show a higher level of acid that normal. The question was then, what to do?

If the problem was being caused by the loosening of my 2009 Nissen fundoplication, that was going to be a problem. That surgery is considered very safe. If it needs to be re-done, the fatality rate soars. Not good.

If the problem was being caused by the hernia at the Nissan site, that would involved hernia surgery.

The doctor believed that the Nissen was actually popping in and out of the hernia, making it larger and causing problems. He also believed that the acid reflux problem might be the result of that interaction.

Next steps? Within the next two weeks, I will have an endoscopy to "see the landscape" and give us more information. This involves a chest X-ray and blood tests, which I will do next Wednesday when I need to have blood taken to check my calcium levels after the Prolia shot.

Why all the drama? Even with medication, microaspirations can make their way to the lungs to cause flares. If I need new lungs, this must be cleared up before damage can be done to the new lungs.

I must admit that when he mentioned that the goal of any doctor was to always help the patient, he was concerned that my lungs may not do well during a surgery and that it, in fact, could cause my death or a very long stay in ICU, it gave me chills. That was how my dad died. Same day surgery to fix a problem. He died after thirty days in ICU. In November. Twenty years ago.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Facing the Surgeon

With Doctor's Week and the horrible air quality, the past two weeks did not include exercise and my body missed it. Yesterday, after a really hard workout, I felt terrific! So much energy! Shirts were ironed, dishwasher was emptied and I kept busy after I got home. Could not sit down.

I LOVE when that happens.

Sleeping well was also another side effect of exercise. It always surprises me how much better I feel after a good workout. We will be doing a lot of walking today then back to the rehab class tomorrow.

Mitch was at the class for the first time in many, many months. He had a terrible genetic liver disease, which caused a ILD to kick in. By the time he received a liver transplant, he was needing 10 liters of oxygen to function. What was so sad was that he had two of the sweetest young sons who clearly adored their dad.

It has been two years since the liver transplant and the ILD has receded so much that he was on NO supplemental oxygen! We had a great chat before the class and I watched as he worked out. The man did 15 hard minutes on the elliptical as fast as he could go. I can do about two minutes. And, not fast! It was marvelous to watch how far he has come physically. He is preparing to pass his physical to return full time to his job working for the county Sheriff's Department. The boys have their dad back.

The Irish Fiddling rehearsal was going to begin really late so I just popped over for a few minutes. One of our members discovered that her breast cancer had returned after ten years. She had shared that with me almost two weeks ago but wanted to tell the group when she was ready. It was yesterday. She sent an email with the details to the group, they immediately started making plans to help after her surgery next week, flowers were bought, cards were signed and they served cocktails to offer their love and support to our fellow bandmate. It was sweet. I am so lucky to be a part of the group of these very caring, lovely people.

Today. It is a big day for me. Michael is going with me and I am practicing my wordage. I am remembering all the management skills I had trying to manage a group of highly regarded, internationally known musicians. I am facing the surgeon who messed up ordering the tests for my acid reflux. We both agreed that the probable cause of the recent problem was either the Nissen Fundoplication or the hernia, caused during that surgery, right at the site. The tests he ordered never went near that area. He ordered two tests for my esophagus. Nope. Not there! Well, duh.

I fully expect him to say that there is no proof I have any acid reflux. Michael is primed to then mention that I have it 2-3 times a week even when I am careful with what I am eating. No green peppers, onions, hot sauce, dark chocolate, and so much more. So, doc, I have it and it is affecting my lungs. What are we going to do now?

It is going to be interesting. I will report back tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Working Out

Back to pulmonary rehab today! The fires and winds are waining so the air quality is better on the other side of the pass. But, it is still warmer than usual and I am just itching for Fall weather, including cool nights. It was so hot in my kitchen last evening that I couldn't cook a proper dinner. Instead, I threw a few shrimp in a pan to cook, tossed a Caesar Salad and done. Dinner. This morning, I am going to make dinner before the rehab class so it is ready for tonight.

Mom and I ran errands and had a special lunch together yesterday. She told me that my niece had phoned to share that she and her husband just bought a house. I am so thrilled for them. As we are all getting together for lunch on Sunday, I messaged her yesterday to bring photos of the new house. They close the day before Thanksgiving. So exciting!

The holidays. The new traditions are happening but they are easier for some than others. My sister's family is meeting us for our first pre-holiday lunch on Sunday. This luncheon will determine if we do these luncheons twice a year, not involving any holidays. I hope it goes well.

I am looking forward to rehab class and to seeing everyone. My body needs a good workout. The little Irish Fiddling rehearsal is tonight, too. It should be a fun, busy day.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Still Unhealthy Air

The air was unhealthy here on the coastside all weekend but it did not smell like 100 fireplaces. No odor but still unsafe. We stayed inside as the temperatures outside rose to the mid-80s. On the coast. In October. Nuts! The good news is that rain is expected on Thursday to cool things down but it will also help knock down the fires.

We stayed inside, I did a lot of paperwork, cooked, picked up the house, read a book, slept a lot and all was well. Michael needed a few tools over the pass so we climbed into the car on Saturday evening and found the sweet spot where the tourists were still enjoying the festival while some headed home. Later, on our way back home, the tourists were stopped and the backup was on the entire pass heading out of town. We were very lucky.

It felt good to get away.

All the neighbors were out and chatted with us during the weekend. Ron and Susan gave us wonderful apples from their tree. Michael told Ron that I was going to make applesauce with them and Ron told us that Susan had never eaten applesauce. (Susan is from China.) So, yesterday morning, I made applesauce and Michael took it next door while it was still hot. A success!

It brought back so many memories for me. I got the recipe in William's Klutz Cookbook for Kids and have used it throughout his childhood. When we are together in Palm Springs in December, I might just make some. A taste from his youth.

The good news: Michael is having the stitches removed from his finger. I am going along to watch the action!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Breathing Headaches

Breathing is difficult. The air quality is getting worse again today. I had a headache on and off last night and I am one who never gets a headache. Yesterday, I quickly went into town to pump gas in my car then drove home for the day, windows shut and the news on the TV. More fires. Whole town evacuated. The winds are expected to kick up today through the weekend and more fires are expected to break out.

When will this end? The stories of the people who have died and the numbers of missing people is so very sad.

Today, mom is scheduled to have her monthly shot in her eye and she can't drive afterward. I must be with her. The goal is to be outside on a very limited basis, wear my oxygen and a mask and then get home as soon as possible. I have a barking cough and my lung just do not feel very happy.

Michael's sister, Anna made the two flight connection and arrived in Knoxville to visit their mom. She has been looking at this visit as the final time she will see her as Mary has an aneurysm in her aorta, which is inoperable. I tried to work with her so she can look her mom in the eye and tell her she will see her again next year when she leaves at the end of the visit. We have told Mary we will see her in May. Sometimes a person needs something to look forward to.

She and Michael have been texting and talking and Anna is having a good time. She will be the first person to admit that she has OCD and Mary is taking full advantage of that! Refrigerator? Cleaned! Reorganizing the kitchen cabinets? Done! She is attacking a freezer today. By the time she leaves, the entire house will be shining and organized and...perfect.

As I peeked into next week's schedule, I was reminded that I finally am meeting with the surgeon about my acid reflux and the results of the testing. I am not feeling very positive about the experience. Just getting all the testing was difficult. The major test was ordered incorrectly and the actual site of the suspected source of the reflux was not even tested. It is also the worst run clinic I have ever experienced, thanks to the queen who runs the front desk. Michael is going with me, has heard my tales about the clinic and this will be a chance for him to see it all.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Offline

I have never seen Michael so relaxed, so happy, so thrilled with a medical procedure than after the colonoscopy. It was like a spa experience. Warm blanket? Private room? The Versed and Fentanyl did their job and he slept the sleep of a baby during the actual procedure. He did have an 8mm splenic flexure polyp removed and should hear about the biopsy results tomorrow. We carefully walked through a parking lot to a sweet little cafe for a light breakfast of eggs and toast. It all tasted so good but he still tried to eat it slowly.

The rest of the day, he rested, slept a bit, laid low, ate more benign foods and told anyone who called what an enjoyable experience and everyone should have a colonoscopy!

In the meantime, I was struggling with the horrible air quality, which suddenly turned really bad while we were over the pass. It was worse than Monday, I was unprepared without my oxygen and I was coughing constantly. On the coast, it was even thicker.

Around 2PM, my internet went out. I phoned Comcast, they reported no problems in my area, we tried to reboot and it was determined that I needed a new router as mine was really old. I was not happy. The closest store was over the pass in an area with just two ways in, both always packed with traffic. I even confirmed with Comcast that it was the closest store to get a new router. So, I hopped in the car, with my oxygen in tow, and headed over the pass again! I worked my way to the difficult location and it was a YOGA STUDIO! I phoned Comcast. Nope, I had the correct address. I asked for the next closest location. Nothing close.

It was then that I noticed a tiny note on the door of the Yoga Studio. Comcast had moved to one town south. I hopped back into the car, fought through all the traffic and found it! Apparently, they moved in May but the home office still has not accepted their new address. Gee, thanks! Within minutes, I had the new router and heading home through pumpkin tourist traffic.

Home.

We hooked it up and NOTHING. It would not come online. All the other lights were working except ONLINE. I phoned Comcast. Here is comes. You know what is coming, don't you? The woman told me that the service was out in my area and had been since 2:05PM and was expected to return around 11PM.

The entire trip over the pass was unnecessary.

This morning, I am online.

The air quality this morning is even worse than yesterday. It smells like I am surrounded by 100 fireplaces burning wood. The sunset last night was red. Rehab class is still on today but the RN phoned yesterday to say not to come if the quality of the air was bad. I am staying home with all the windows shut.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Just Wants it Over

Michael is prepared and ready for this morning's colonoscopy. He made it through yesterday just fine but he wants it done. Tired of the prep and waiting. Hungry? Yup. Dreaming about what he is going to eat afterwards? You bet. I do remember that it was advised that the first meal include soft and benign foods. No hot sauce, no salads or roughage. Simple foods. Eggs and toast. A plain turkey sandwich. For dinner tonight, we are planning some salmon and rice for him.

We leave in an hour.

The big Pumpkin Festival that brings over 100,000 people to our little coastside town is this coming weekend. We are staying home the entire weekend but I will run to Safeway this afternoon to pickup some final food items for us. Between tomorrow and the weekend, the shelves will be empty.

The fires to the north of us are still raging and new outbreaks are happening. The smell is only on occasion here on the coast but I don't know about over the pass. I expect to hear that the rehab class is cancelled tomorrow.

The Irish Fiddling group had a good rehearsal last night. It felt good to play, work out some issues and to look at a new piece of music. We don't have a gig for a couple of weeks so we were able to focus on specific pieces of music that needed attention.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Prep Day

Fires. It has been so sad and the entire region of several counties has been decimated. Famous old hotels, new hotels, country clubs, golf courses, huge homes, mobile home parks, wineries, housing complexes are all gone. I read an article about a couple who died in the fire. They had just celebrated their 75th anniversary, he was 100-years old and she was 99. They could not get out of their house in time. Horrible.

At mom's, it actually was a bit easier to breathe compared to here on the coast. I think it had something to do with the wind direction. The supplemental oxygen and a mask still helped quite a bit. The rehab class has been cancelled for today, due to the warnings for people with breathing issues to stay indoors.

So, I get to be with Michael.

It is going to be a challenging day. Clean-out day, so to speak. Prep day. Stay at home day. Michael is dealing with clear liquids only today and at 1PM, he will take the Suprep for tomorrow's colonoscopy. He has to drink one bottle with a bit of water followed by two glasses of water within an hour. That's it. Then, at 7PM, he needs to do it again with the second bottle. In the morning, we will head over the pass for the procedure at 9AM. He has some delicious chicken broth, popsicles, green jello and ginger ale to get him through today.

This morning, Anna (Michael's sister) is flying to Knoxville to see her mom for two weeks. Mary has an aneurysm in her aorta and, due to her age, it is inoperable. Anna is going with the idea that this will be the last time she will see her. She may have a couple more years. Who knows? We hope to see her in May 2018.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fires

We smelled the smoke before seeing the horror on tv. There are five fires burning north of us in the famous Napa Valley and in the other wine area of Sonoma Valley. Homes along the famous Silverado Trail are burning. Wineries are burning. An entire hospital in Santa Rosa is being evacuated. It was a combination of the winds and very dry grasses. Major winds kicked up yesterday, somehow one fire started in Napa and the rest is horrible news.

Our home is about a two hours drive south of the area but the smell of the fires woke us up this morning. It is going to be difficult breathing so I will be wearing supplemental oxygen and a mask today. Mom really needs me this morning but I probably won't stay over there very long. We have an extra mountain range between us and the smoke so it will definitely be worst at her home.

Yesterday, Michael and I did spent most of the day with British Don. It was his birthday and probably the last time we will spend it together as he will be moving later this month. The city was gorgeous, the Blue Angels were flying, there was very little traffic and it was just a lovely day.

Our thoughts are with so many acquaintances who live in the area of the fires. I am getting updates from many of them on Facebook and so far, so good. It is going to be a long, hot, smokey, scary day.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Birthday Luncheon

The Irish Fiddling gig on Friday evening was fun and very low key. Even after the craziness of Thursday, I wasn't exhausted afterwards. We both slept well then Michael had to run some errands over the pass on Saturday. I thought I would just sit on the couch for a few minutes...over two hours later, I woke up. I guess I needed that!

After Michael got home, we worked in the yards. I was able to cut back the hydrangeas, all five of them, which filled a huge garden recycling bin. It was a lot of work but it felt great being able to work physically. I am not sore at all this morning, except my right hand from the clippers.

This morning, we are meeting British Don for an early lunch at his favorite dim sum place for his birthday. We bought two t-shirts from a local surf shop with their very cool logo so he can remember his time here in our little town after he moves to Oklahoma City. It may be a bit of a challenge as there is a huge Bluegrass festival in the city as well as the Blue Angels air show. Lots of people. Lots of cars.

I can't believe how well I am feeling. My breathing is good but I do have a cough on occasion. Last night, I took my pillow and a blanket out to the couch as a wheeze was causing me to cough and I didn't want to disturb Michael. After a couple of puffs of the inhaler, I drifted off to sleep.

We look forward to a quieter week ahead. Only one doctor!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Final Day of Doctor Week

What a day! We left at 8:30AM and arrived home at 7:30PM.

After stops at CVS and Walgreens, my appointment with my super hip glaucoma doctor, with Michael in tow, was fun. They chatted about bourbon, our time on the bourbon trail in Kentucky and he gave the doctor the name of several bourbons to try. We had fun. As an aside, my eyes were stable. Thank goodness!

Into the city we drove and as we settled in to a quick lunch, we heard a tremendous sound. The Blue Angles were practicing over our heads! We scurried across the street to get Michael's security badge made but the computer was not cooperating. Finally, he smiled for the camera, the badge was printed and off we went.

Back across the street, we made our way to the infusion center for my Prolia shot. I had heard about this remodeled clinic but, as a patient, it was so much more amazing than I had anticipated. It was a creative use of a very difficult space. They offered juices or water while I waited sitting on a very cushy chair with a TV by my side and a gorgeous view of the city. There were those show off Blue Angles again! They really did put on a show! The actual performance is tomorrow morning but we enjoyed the preview.

Prolia. There was a problem with some lab work, or lack of lab work. There were discussions but finally, I was given the shot in my stomach. Almost immediately, I became flushed and I could feel it rising from my waist up. Everyone was a bit concerned. They called Michael in. We sat and waited. Finally, they let us go as we were going to be on the campus for a few more hours in the board meeting and, if there was a problem, I was to go to the ER.

We rushed down and back across the street to the former chancellor's office (nicer meeting space than our normal spot) where we all met for the first time since May. I can't blog what the meeting was about except I kind of felt badly for the team who came to ask our opinion on a program they had just updated. It was horrible and some of the people in the group were very blunt.

On a positive note, I was able to spend a few minutes with Jenica, whose dad was in hospice three years after his diagnosis of IPF. Her mom felt that if he could just not use supplemental oxygen, he would not become dependent on it. Wish I had a nickel for every time I have heard that, especially from older people. I usually tell them that I have been on 2 liters for sleep and exercise since 2005. He was refusing to use it at night and was even resisting using it during exercise, though he now needed it at rest.

She initially asked me about sleep issues and what I did to help my own sleep. I told her about melatonin and that he needed to exercise to work off the energy, or just move around the house. As we spoke further, she told me about his aversion to supplemental oxygen and her parent's becoming angry with her when she tries to step in. After the meeting, I realized that the probable sleep issue may be low saturation during sleep. So many people don't realize that in REM sleep, the body (saturation-wise) is working like during exercise. He might be waking every time he falls into REM sleep and he was actually sleep deprived. Sleep apnea might also be there but, my money is on low saturation rates. After we got home, I sent her an email.

We fell into bed later than usual, I will be spending the day with mom before playing a gig at the organic market with the Irish Fiddling Group! I will need recovery time this weekend!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Waiting for Biopsy Results

Doctor Week continues. Michael is learning about medical appointments and waiting rooms. I usually begin a conversation with someone and always walk away feeling like I either learned something or that it was a joy to meet someone. Waiting to be called to meet his dermatology doctor yesterday, I began chatting with a man in his 90s who had to have his nose reconstructed due to skin cancer but he also shared that he already had the top of his ears fixed. He was a very kind, nice man and we enjoyed our few minutes with him. When we were called in, he told us that we were a handsome couple and that it had been his pleasure to meet us.

A nice way to begin the day.

The doctor was excellent and removed a mole for a biopsy from Michael's back. So, we now have to change the dressings on his finger and his back! They were very impressed that he was up to date on his flu, pneumonia, tetanus and shingles shots!

We ran some errands, ate a light lunch then met with our primary doctor in town. She checked out the stitches, reviewed how to take care of them, made an appointment to have them removed then reviewed Michael's medical tests. All was good. His cholesterol was slightly elevated. She was not worried and asked that he look at his diet and make any minor changes that might bring that number down a bit. We were talking later and remembered that he had these tests after his birthday/our anniversary weekend where we ate foods not part of our normal routine.

His liver, kidneys and all other tests were perfect. We always worried about his liver because of the chemicals he has dealt with all of his adult life. Lacquer thinner, for one.

Housekeepers are due within the hour, we will be at CVS to pick up the needed First Aid items and other things before going over the pass to grab his "clean out" drug for his colonoscopy. Then, we will head to the city to my university hospital. It will be a full day. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Doctor Week Plus One

Doctor Week began yesterday.

Doctor #1 - scan of Michael's aorta - was completed quickly after our early arrival and we were in a coffee shop having breakfast at the original time of his appointment. A phone call from the doctor an hour later confirmed that there was no problem with his aorta.

Doctor #2 - was the first meet and greet appointment before his colonoscopy next week. Also, we arrived early and were out the door at the time of our appointment.

We then arranged for his Shingles vaccine before driving home for a very simple late lunch.

A good day. No problem until...

Around 4:00, Michael stuck his head in the door from the garage and asked if I would put a bandage on something. I jumped up as this immediately reminded me of 40 years earlier when I heard these same words. Show me. He did and it was ugly. And, as it was 40 years ago, I threw him in the car and we drove to the tiny ER/convalescent home here on the coastside.

He had been using a hammer and a block of wood and somehow it slipped, taking off the skin of the knuckle of his pointer finger of his right hand. Nine stitches. He had to sleep on the couch with it raised all night. No pain meds. No aspirin because of the upcoming colonoscopy.

It must be all in the family as his sister Deb was taken away in an ambulance on Sunday and his mother is also seeing a doctor this morning. I wrote to his other sister Anna to tell her to be careful! She replied that she is having a procedure tomorrow. Is it our age or is it all in his family?

Today, Doctor Week continues. Let's hope it involves only the two doctors on our schedule! No more surprises!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sadness

It was a good weekend as I dealt with a lot of paperwork and we were both able to get great sleep. We are feeling strong heading into Doctor Week, which begins tomorrow. Today, my mom has a hearing aid appointment at Costco so I will also buy some coffee and vitamins while I am there.

My knee is still an issue, unfortunately. I expected to have the swelling under control by today but it is being stubborn. More ice. Thought I would add an Aleve to the mix to see if that helps.

Around midnight, I woke up and saw the Las Vegas news on the TV. Stunned. Having a son working at these festivals and concerts that seem to be targets, I worry. My rehab class car pool buddy Jeannie says that I should not put any negative energy towards him with worrying but to keep praying for positive energy to surround him. I am learning but I did want to jump out of bed to check where our son was on tour. I waited until this morning to learn that he was home. As the news continued to unfold, it was horribly sad to hear the devastating numbers of the people who have been impacted by this tragedy.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Looking Forward to a Quiet Weekend

Last day of rehab class for a week was yesterday. I iced down my knee when I got home then wrapped it. In the middle of the night, I checked it and it was flat! No swelling! I was thrilled but this morning, the swelling is back. What happened? This weekend, it will be iced and wrapped and maybe settled in by Monday. I hope.

Sleep did not happen last night. I was awake at 9 then 10 then 11 until 3 then slept until 5:30. There is going to be a lot of coffee to get me through the day as I will be with mom. Before seeing her, I will do my Trader Joe run then leave the stuff in her refrigerator for the day. She wants to clothes shop at JCP, so that's the plan.

My weekend plans are to take care of the knee, nap, read all the rules for the Christmas AirB&B to be sure I have jumped through all the hoops, order my prescription drugs for mail delivery and water the yard. I plan to do a lot of cooking, too. I am trying a new breakfast recipe, which is perfect for my diet and I need to make something for Michael's breakfasts plus our dinners.

Breathing? Surprisingly good. The weather has shifted, it is cooler and not so humid. My numbers in rehab were very good and I felt like I had a workout yesterday. Since I have been watching my diet closely, I suddenly feel lean so that always makes me happy.

Next week: doctors. Lots of doctors!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fractured Knee = Prolia Shot

Even with icing and wrapping my knee yesterday, it was swollen this morning. More ice and I will keep it wrapped all day. It is going to take time to get the swelling under control. I will continue to take it a bit easier in the rehab class today.

What a lovely, quiet day yesterday. While Michael cleaned out the garage and even did a dump run, I had my hair done and he met me for lunch afterwards. I have been really watching my diet the past few weeks so I had a lovely warm seafood salad over the best greens ever. I watched as Michael ate cheese and green chilies enchiladas with black bean and rice on the side. So not on my diet!

It has been almost seven years since I lost over 70 pounds with the help of the weight management clinic and my nutritionist. Being on prednisone since 2005 has messed up my pancreas and has changed how I process sugars in foods like all carbs and starchy veggies and sugar. My diet is protein and non-starchy veggies. Period. But with the prednisone, my bones are losing mass. The infusion clinic of my university hospital phoned to make an appointment next week for my first Prolia shot to help my bones. Mom has been taking it for two years and has no issues with it. I hope it is the same for me!

It was 80 degrees in the house yesterday but it begins to cool today. Thankfully. It's fall, for heaven's sake!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fighting Swelling

We were third in line for Michael's blood draw at 7AM yesterday. The reward was a fantastic breakfast in a place we hadn't visited in decades. Good, hot coffee in a pot on the table with a pitcher of iced water and huge plates of food. Sort of a 1980s kind of a place. It was a real treat, though both of us were only able to eat about half of our breakfasts.

Filled to the brim, we were home by 8:30! I made lot of appointments while waiting to go back to the hospital for the rehab class. Poor Michael is seeing three doctors in two days next week. I thought I would pile them all together so it is done and not drawn out.

My knee was swollen so I took it easy on the treadmill, my first day back on my favorite piece of equipment. This morning, it is being iced and I am going to wrap and ice it for a few days to see if I can get the swelling down. It will feel nice and cool as it is going to be 80 degrees here on the coast today. I have a hair appointment this morning then Michael might meet me for lunch. Maybe.

I can't believe it is Fall. It has been such an odd year and time just flew by. So many funerals but, there were also weddings and it has been a good health year for my mom. Positive things to remember. Life continues.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lab Tests at Dawn

I stayed out in the waiting room while Michael had his physical. At one point, I remembered that he left the blood pressure machine in the car. Got it. While he was taking the eye test in the hallway, he was not doing well but he did not mention that he needed his distance glasses so I said, "Put on your prescription sunglasses!" Oops. Also, in the car. Got them. He passed the test. They also said they were not concerned about his blood pressure readings but were thrilled that he was planning to lose 15-20 pounds by the end of the year.

He ended up with lab test for many things including thyroid and one for his low blood sugar which will give levels over the past three months and several other tests. Also, he is going to have a Shingles vaccine and a scan of his aorta, as he was a former smoker. This morning, we are going to be at the hospital right at 7AM when the lab opens, have the blood tests then go to breakfast. I have to be back to pick up Jeannie for our pulmonary rehab class back at the hospital. Lots of driving today!

I really like these new local doctors. They are all about maintaining good health.

Back to rehab. Back on the treadmill but low and slow until I build up the muscles once again.

Monday, September 25, 2017

William

It all worked out. We left the coastside at 3:00PM to avoid the beach traffic of people going home and arrived at the venue to meet William only two hours early! We didn't mind. The weather was fantastic, we walked a few blocks to a coffee shop for a snack then sat in the car to people watch. We met him right on time at the Stage Door then followed him into the tour bus. What a gorgeous bus!

We gave him the baklava and settled in for a nice chat. It was just so good to look at him. He was happy. He was loving working with this group and appeared very relaxed before the concert. Several other crew member drifted in and out of the bus and it was good to meet them, as well. Nice people. Professionals.

After almost an hour and a half, we left so he could do his job but not before lots of hugs and promises to be together at Christmas. He also was looking forward to cooking during our Palm Springs getaway and even suggested a few different menus!

This morning, I am going to sit in the waiting room while Michael has his physical so I am nearby in case they ask him something and he needs my help. I want him to have to deal with the doctor directly and develop a relationship without me. We have been tracking his blood pressure and I think the doctor is going to suggest he begin medication. I have primed Michael to ask for three months to try to lose 15 pounds and exercise to bring it down instead of instant medication. We will see what the doctor says. From there, I am going to mom's for lunch.

My soul feels like it has been filled to the brim after seeing William yesterday. It is a good Monday for this mom.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Mom Day

After more than a year, we are going to see our son today! It sounds so silly but I just want to hold him, smell him and look into his eyes. Guess that makes me a mom! Michael had a fantastic conversation with him on Friday when he expressed how happy he was on this tour, with this group and their management team. They have been playing venues of 3000-5000 people but beginning in January, they move into arenas. Yes, they have outgrown the clubs with this current album's success. This is right up William's alley. There is where he feels at home. We also learned that he has a contract with them through September of 2018.

I made a pan of baklava for him and his crew. After I messaged that fact to him yesterday, we arranged a meeting before the concert tonight. We are going to meet after the sound check and he will maybe have time for a cup of coffee or a quick dinner. We will see. We are expecting nothing but a brief visit as we always remember that he is working.

He also mentioned to Michael that he is totally on for our Christmas getaway to Palm Springs. I think it will be the downtime he will need.

It is hot today and we expect hundreds of tourists to flock to the coast. That is fine except we need to get over the pass about the same time that they will all be going home. So, we are planning to leave the coast mid-afternoon and get over the bridge to the East Bay then just hang out until we see our son. Better to be there than to sit in endless traffic.

It is an unusual Sunday for us and a great day for this mom.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Lung Transplant Questions Answered

My last appointment with the lung transplant clinic ended with the founder of the clinic telling me that I was stable and asking if I wanted to check-in with them once a year. Yes, please.

Then, I became involved with the young woman in Southern California waiting for a lung transplant for a year, who suddenly was hospitalized with a collapsed lung. After four weeks in the hospital, her lung was healing on its own and she was looking forward to going home to her young daughter and her supplemental oxygen, something she thought she never wanted to see again. She wanted her life back. A life outside of a hospital. The good news was that her transplant waiting list number zoomed to the top of the list because of the collapse lung. She was in critical mode. Plans had changed again when I spoke to her a few days ago. She was being transferred to another hospital where she was listed (she was double listed at two medical centers), where they told her that she was at the top of their list and she should get her new lungs soon. All good news.

Around the same time I was speaking with her, the head coordinator at the lung transplant clinic phoned and left a message on my cell phone. We had developed a personal relationship so she phoned to just confirm my agreement not to be seen in the clinic for a year. It was in her tone that I had the feeling she was trying to tell me something. I returned her call and asked to have a conversation.

She phoned a couple of days ago. I told her of the journey of the young woman in Southern California and was wondering if I was being foolish not being seen in the clinic but once a year and maybe would miss my chance to get lungs if I suddenly crashed. Should I continue to be seen in the clinic every 3-6 months and have all the tests towards being listed? As I am functioning, I would have a big number on the list but I would be on the list. I asked if not being seen in the clinic more often would put getting new lungs in jeopardy?

There was an interesting reply. Since I am stable, they would continue to do the tests but if I were to suddenly crash, I would need to re-do all those tests. Being seen just once a year would make no difference in the long term. She said that I am now under their roof. I have a home with them, even though I am not being seen often. I would not have to start all over again if I suddenly needed to fast track lung transplants.

She then made a deal with me. If anytime in the next year I needed more that 2 liters of oxygen during exertion or if I needed any supplemental oxygen during rest, I am to phone her on her private number. At that time, she would review any latest tests I had taken through Dr. K. then order new PFTs. The process will begin from there.

I finally feel like I know what to look for before contacting the clinic. The question at that time will be whether my downturn is due to a virus, infection or a downward march of the disease.

Bottom line? I will not have to start from the beginning again. I won't have to take tests that I will be needed to be taken again if I begin to crash. I know specifically what to look for before contacting the clinic. All in all, I am really grateful for her time and conversation.

Friday, September 22, 2017

All is Right with My World

He is home. My coffee is hot and strong and delicious this morning. It was poured by a happy man with a smile who was so happy to be home. But, oh my, it was a challenge to get to the airport yesterday afternoon. I gave myself 1.25 hours to drive to the airport's cell phone parking lot to wait for their plane to land. It actually should take about 25 minutes, I just wanted to get there and didn't mind waiting.

On the pass, there was a problem. A large truck was stopped and blocking the entire westbound lane while I was heading east. Traffic was being controlled by the CHP while waiting for a large tow truck to take it away. This major artery had traffic backed up in both directions and rush hour was beginning. It was ugly. I was worried that I would not make it to the airport before they landed and also, that I would be held up after the tow truck arrived. I just wanted to get through before that. It took an extra thirty-minutes to get past the truck, I got to the airport, took a deep breath and happily waited for their call.

By the time we got back onto the pass, all the backup was gone and we flew home for a quick dinner and endless talking before I had to play an Irish Fiddling gig at the Wine and Cheese store in town. It was a good gig, I loved the venue but the audience was rather dull. Not a lot of interaction. It was, alas, a Thursday night when we are used to playing Friday or Saturday nights. Different crowd.

Mom and I are hanging out today then we hope to see William this weekend. I will be making my famous Baklava on Saturday to give to him and share with his crew. If it works out, we should be able to see him Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Michael is going to connect with him today.

A nice weekend ahead.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Coming Home

Michael and British Don are arriving at SFO around 4PM today. I must say, the worst part of having Michael away from home was at night when I didn't feel him next to me. No breathing or snoring or moving. Too quiet!

They are having a wonderful time with Anthony and his family but the big deal for Michael was yesterday. He loves the TV show "Street Outlaws" and the OKC guys are considered the best in the country. Don and Michael found the area where they work on the cars but, because people were stealing items, no one is allowed in the work areas anymore. Instead, there was sort of a store where people could buy t-shirts and other mementos. Apparently, Michael bought stuff not only for himself but for other friends, too. He had a ball.

He said he is ready to get home. I think he may miss his own bed more than anything else!

While he was shopping yesterday, so was I! My adventure at JCP went really well as I bought four t-shirts to wear with my new winter skinny jeans and a gold tone bracelet for a grand total of $40. What a deal! I continued my shopping and brought home groceries for the week.

The Irish Fiddlers are playing a gig at the Wine and Cheese store in town this evening. It is a lovely, elegant venue and the wooden floors just loves my bass. A welcome home concert for Michael!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Oklahoma City

They arrived, checked into a new hotel and were resting when Michael checked in with me yesterday afternoon. They are going to need the rest! Anthony and his beautiful wife, who Michael met at British Don's daughter's wedding in Nashville a couple of years ago, had plans to meet at 7PM at one of the two very popular and successful bars owned by Anthony's son and his wife. Got that? From there, Anthony arranged dinner reservations at an amazing restaurant then they were going to drop by the other bar owned by Anthony's son and his wife.

It was going to be a long night! Even with a two hour time difference, I have not heard from Michael yet this morning. He must have been feeling the long drive plus a late night equals sleeping in this morning.

He was so excited about plans for today. It has something to do with cars, of course.

I can't believe my time alone is almost over. They fly home tomorrow afternoon, we will throw Michael's stuff in the laundry basket then load up the bass for a gig in town. Welcome home, honey. Gotta go!

My plans today, after a shower, are to swing by JC Penney to look for a few colorful t-shirts and do the food shopping. That should take all morning and into the afternoon!

At rehab class, Bob was still AWOL so we hoped he was getting new lungs. We also learned of the passing of another person in our class, who died last Wednesday. That news is never easy to hear. She crashed quickly and died in hospice.

The young woman I have been speaking with in the hospital in Southern California with a collapsed lung, who has been waiting for new lungs for a year, is being moved. Her lung is finally healing on its own after four weeks in the hospital but the other hospital where she is listed for lung transplants is having her transferred to their facility this week. She is at the top of their transplant list and they think she will get her new lungs soon. I so hope so. She has such a positive outlook and a young daughter waiting for her to come home.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Almost There

When Michael phones in the evening, my heart beats a bit faster when I see his name pop up then I just melt when I hear his voice. Crazy after all these years. They are on their way out of Amarillo this morning on their last leg to OKC.

Here is a photo of Michael at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX. Some art guys buried these caddies half way into the earth and there they sit. People spray paint them and the metal is almost gone. I think nothing else holds them together now except the spray paint!

Here is a brief history quoted from Wikipedia: Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in AmarilloTexas, USA. It was created in 1974 by Chip LordHudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. It consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of mid twentieth century Cadillacs: the tailfins) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt"

A truly special spot for car people. I remember standing alone out in the field with the winds blowing watching Michael looking at and touching each car. It was almost like a religious experience for him. He so wanted to share this with his friend Don.

My day yesterday was fine but felt rather empty. Mom and I went to her doctor's appointment then I found a few tops at Nordstrom before we had lunch. Russian Cabbage Soup. Delicious. I slept okay but it was very quiet around here.

Jeannie and I are off to the rehab class later this morning. This evening, I am going to make dinner to enjoy the next few evening. That is all that is on my agenda today along with missing Michael.

Monday, September 18, 2017

All Alone, Day One

I am one spoiled woman. Usually by this time of the morning, my coffee is hot, strong and ready while my phone is being charged and Michael has rolled up my oxygen hose and returned it to its home in the garage. This morning? I had to make the coffee and it isn't great, I plugged the phone in and no sweet, smiling face was up to greet me to take care of my oxygen. And, that is just in the first few minutes of the day. I am sure I will continue to miss Michael's presence throughout the day. Sleeping alone was just plain strange.

But, we spoke last night after they checked into a hotel in Flagstaff, AZ after driving 830 miles and he said he was not exhausted. As it was a Sunday, there was very little traffic the entire journey. I hope he slept well as he has to get to Amarillo, TX, by this evening. That should be a much shorter leg of the trip than yesterday.

In the meantime, Leslie posted that she and Joe were going to see one of our friend's Irish Fiddling group at the brewery where we play. Another violinist from our group posted that he would join them at 5:00. Hmmmmm. There I sat, dirty from working hard in the yards for three hours and needing a shower anyway soooooooo....I joined them! I felt like such an adult, although I had a diet soda instead of a beer! We even took a selfie of all of us to send to Michael!

After I got home, I needed a bit of dinner but the phone rang. Christien. Her mother's second graveside service was Saturday. Everyone behaved themselves, her step-dad was able to fly out of Florida on Thursday as planned and all was well. Her mom's ashes were split for burial among her home in Florida, her home in Pennsylvania and next to her first husband (killed in WWII) in Holland, planned for October. By the tine I finally ate dinner, it was almost bedtime!

Day one all alone went better than I though it would.

Day two will involve my mom, so it should be fun. She is having a Prolia injection at her university hospital this morning then we will go to lunch. And talk. Non-stop.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

All Alone!

They have been gone for two hours already! Michael and British Don began their road trip to Oklahoma City, where Don is moving in October. They needed to get his beautiful 1997 Porsche through the mountains of Arizona before the snows.

It will be a three day trip. Today will be the longest drive from the Bay Area to Flagstaff, Arizona. Approximately eight hundred miles. Tomorrow will be a shorter drive of only eight-hours to Amarillo, Texas then their final destination on Tuesday will only be a fast four hours.

Once there, they will get the car registered then stored awaiting his move. They will eat at his friend's son's two bars/restaurants and visit will lots of people. I will pick them up from the airport on Thursday afternoon.

This will be the longest we have been separated. Feels rather weird.

I need to pick up from Don spending the night and pull the house together then I plan to take my clippers and a bucket and hand trim some things in the garden. It will insure that I sleep well tonight! All alone!

Friday, September 15, 2017

While Working Out

At the rehab class yesterday, we all noticed that Bob was not present again. He has been MIA for three weeks. Our collective fingers are crossed. He is the nicest man who is waiting for the phone call from his university hospital to announce they had a set of lungs for him. The last time I saw him, his sweet, handsome high school senior son was dropping him off at rehab. So young. He also has a daughter in college. This must be a very stressful time for the entire family. I only hope that it has happened for him and he is doing well.

A weird thing happened during the class. The RN walked by with an empty cart for one of our green oxygen tanks. She asked if I had noticed that it was empty when I got my oxygen at the beginning of class, which I had not. A large green oxygen tank was missing. Without the cart. Weird.

It is not worth anything to anyone when the oxygen runs out. One just can't go somewhere to get it refilled. It was a mystery. I told her to cover her butt and report it to security. If used improperly, these tanks can give off quite a big blast. She contacted her boss first then tried security, which kept rerouting her so she hung up. The boss arrived and began a search of the other rehab areas and pool area. Finally, the RN contacted security and they arrived.

They did not seem to understand the bigger implications at first. They wanted to know the value of the tank. "Why was the hospital's name not on the tank?" Well, they are not the hospital's tanks but a company that delivers filled tanks and picks up the empty ones several times a week. It is not about the value but about how it could be used to cause trouble. Finally, they said they would be aware but really what else could they do?

Then, in the mail after I got home, I received notification that Medicare rejected my last visit with the nutritionist. The comment was they never pay for it and that I should have received a letter from my provider of that fact before the appointment. It also said that I should not pay any bills to the university hospital for the appointment. Something is wrong as it has paid for my visits for almost 7 years. I will be phoning my university hospital to find out what is going on later this afternoon.

Also, this afternoon, I have a phone appointment with my endocrinologist to discuss my poor bones and the beginning of my relationship with Prolia.

But, all this will happen after mom and I have our toenails polished this morning followed by a nice lunch. I am counting the hours before British Don and Michael begin their road trip.