Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Day One Chauffeur

Another night of eleven hours of sleep last night. I think the daily exercise is really doing its good thing to my body. Sleeping like a baby. Today is the first day I am giving Jeannie a lift to and from the rehab class. She lives in the new senior housing on the other side of our little town, was depending on Ready Wheels to get to class and was complaining that the diesel smell was overwhelming. I offered to be her chauffeur.

She was recently told by her doctor that there was nothing more he could do for her. She is on massive oxygen, uses a walker, weighs just over 100 pounds and looks horrible. She is really struggling. Her health is on the decline. I want to offer her help, support and a bit of fun in her life. An example: A large group of us were talking about the crab sandwiches at the restaurant right on the ocean and she mentioned she would love to try them one day. She doesn't have a car and it is rather expensive so once we get into our routine, I am going to offer to pick her up early to split a sandwich before our class. My treat. Need to stop at Safeway on the way home? No problem. Those are the kind of things I want do for her.

It took her about two months to finally accept my offer of a ride. She is a proud, independent person and doesn't want me to have to wait around for her to finish working out or not able to run any errands before class. She doesn't want to be a bother or a burden. I assured her that all that didn't matter. We would make it work.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tule Fight

Another week begins. It is terrifying how quickly each week ticks away. It's the end of February already! I try to appreciate each and every day, grateful to still be physically active. We stayed in and tried to relax yesterday. Michael had been fighting with some tule in a beautiful garden pot that needed to be replaced. It was so stuffed in the pot that no water was able to drain. It was a wet, soggy mess. For two weeks, we had it sitting on its side, trying to get the water to drain or dry out a bit. We attacked it together yesterday.

At one point, Michael was on the ground with his feet on the top of the heavy pot on its side, trying to pull sections of the plant out. It was stubborn. It began to come out it pieces but still held onto the soggy roots. Finally, after a long struggle, it gave up and he won. It ended up in the recycle bin. We looked at each other. There are two others that need to be removed from their pots. Dare we try more? We rolled one of the other ones out to the front near the recycle bin, both of us grabbed it and pulled. Believe it or not, it came right out! BOOM! Into the bin it went! Success. We will have to wait another week to remove the final tule from its pot and are trying to decide what should be planted into those pots.

Off to lunch! We went to the little farm to table place near us, Michael refused to split anything as he was really hungry so I had a small cup of chili. It was delicious! I am trying to watch my calories as I see the nutritionist on Thursday for the first time since October. We had a light dinner last night.

This morning, I am leaving early to work out at the other rehab before taking mom to her monthly shot in her eye to fight macular degeneration. It will be a nice day together. A good way to start the week.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Finally Walking the Coast

I did it! I filled the oxygen backpack, threw on my best running shoes and took off for my first walk along the cliffs in a long time. Me. Alone. The storms had done a lot of damage to the small road right along the ocean and the tide was in. As I walked, I had to dodge the waves crashing onto the road. Fun. I finally got on my most favorite part of the trail, the one through the flat open space with amazing views of the harbor and sea. I was alone. The sun was shining. It was glorious.

There was a goal set and I hit the goal. It was not easy but I did it. Next walk, I will push a bit further. When I got home, I fell onto the couch for a quick nap. The rest of the day, my energy was up and my breathing was excellent. Should I mention that I slept over 10 hours last night?

Exercise. Amazing.

We have a wild week ahead so today, we will be together for a quiet day. I think we may try another walk and maybe split a lunch at the little shack minutes away. The sun's out right now but rain is expected any moment.

Things bothering me: The dermatologist told me to keep an eye on two spots she burned last November and one of those spots has not healed. I will swing by her office to make an appointment when I am in the building on Thursday. Taxes. I now have all the information, I just need to fill in all the numbers onto their documents. Nagging at me.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Lois and Peter

It was a very long day yesterday and I yawned my way through it all. By the time I got home from the rehab class, I fell into the chair and slept for well over an hour. We had an early dinner then got dressed for the viewing.

Peter had died rather unexpectedly. Yes, he was fighting cancer but it was still a shock to everyone when he died. I think Lois is still stunned.

We walked into the funeral parlor and she wept in my arms. She couldn't believe I was there. Since I have my mom today, I just can't go to the funeral so I wanted to be at the viewing. For years, I had seen photos and heard stories about her two university teaching sisters and her best friend. Well, we met them all last night and we hit it off like old friends. Michael sat back and just listened as we chatted. I think I have made friends for life.

We also met Peter's brother and his wife and his nephew. I have heard about this much-loved nephew and his two adorable young daughters for years. Peter so looked forward to their yearly visit and planned exciting hikes and just kid fun for them.

Everyone is leaving by Tuesday so Lois will be in a big empty house filled with Peter's things. It is going to be hard so we made a date to meet for coffee on Thursday. She will be able to tell me about the funeral. She was very excited about the music she is having sung for the service today. I so hope it goes well and she gets through it. It will be a tough day.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Feeling So Good

Someone asked me how I was feeling. I paused and really thought about it and replied, "I have not felt this good in over a year and I think it is exercise driven."

It is true. Suddenly, I have energy and am not feeling like I need a nap as I make my way through the day. It began when I worked in the gardens two days in a row then into the rehab gyms most days afterward. The rehab class is today after seeing my eye doctor this morning. It has been a month since my laser surgery to reduce the pressure in my left eye. Today will be the day to measure the optimal outcome of the treatment.

The orchestra rehearsal last night was excellent. We played two movements of the Mozart Symphony then three movements of his Harp and Flute concerto. It was really fun and I was once again reminded how good it is for me to continue playing with the orchestra. So many friends. So many laughs throughout the rehearsal. So good for my brain to have to read the music.

We had hail yesterday, a rare event on the coastside. It is so cold outside this morning that the snow level will drop to 3,000 feet on the surrounding hills. Another rare event, especially in February! I hear the drought is over!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Treadmill Bound

Off I go into the world early this morning. The other rehab calls to me and the treadmill is waiting. I can feel it. After a good workout, I will shop for the groceries for the week, run back over the pass, put everything away then head to town for my hair appointment. It is going to be a busy day followed by an orchestra rehearsal tonight.

The recent rains have caused such damage and areas are having problems with flooding, trees down and wire arcing. The pass looked pretty good yesterday but it had been closed in the early morning.

Irish music as well as two new Scottish song were in full force last evening. The rehearsal went well, lots of new music is being incorporated into our song list so it feels fresh and new.

The third draft of the letter I am writing from our Board at my university hospital to new patients is being sent out to the sub-group of our Board today. I think it should be the final one as most approved Draft #2. Just needed some minor fixes per a request of a member.

Into the cold, wet world I go. I'm coming, treadmill!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sad News

It was a big storm. There was a lot of damage and many roads closed around us but we were just fine. In fact, we sat in the garage and watched the heaviest of the storm blow through. Some very light rain is due this morning but the trees are now the issue. Many are expected to fall today and tomorrow, according to the morning forecast. With that, I will be going over the pass to the rehab class later this morning. My body just wants to move.

There was some sad news on Saturday. My friend Lois lost her husband after a long battle with stomach cancer. She is the woman I met at the other rehab back in 2006, we discovered we performed together when I played with a professional orchestra and she sang with a university choir, she continues to fight her own battle with 3rd stage breast cancer, she taught me so much about my prescription drug pathways but, most importantly, we became dear friends. She sent an email that Peter died at 6AM Saturday morning. They had found his cancer almost by mistake so he had a fighting chance with early treatment, which bought him several years. It is still so sad. They met in college and they are both older than I am. She said the services have not yet been determined so I am waiting to hear the date and time. His relatives are from the mid-west so I have offered to shuttle people from the airport, if she needed me.

I worry about Lois. She has brilliant sisters who both teach at universities, one in Oregon and the other in New York. I have a feeling that she will sell her house and move near one of them. The three of them are still very close. It will be interesting for me to meet these women after hearing about them for years.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Big Storm

Apparently, it is going to be one heck of a storm this morning. There is up to three inches of rain due here on the coast then the winds are expected to kick in this afternoon. Great. We were watching the local news last night, decided that it was wise to stay home today so I cancelled my day with mom. She is planning to stay in, too. I knew I could get to her in the morning, I just was worried about not being able to get home in the afternoon.

Michael and I took a field trip down the coast yesterday morning. We wanted to see if there was any damage from the recent storms, mudslides or trees downed. It was a lot better than expected all around, even the road had very few pot holes. We tried to get into the little town south of us with the goat farm and the only road in was flooded. We turned around and continued to drive further south to the fancy, yuppie campground to buy sunglasses (they have the best at the best price!) and lunch. We split a delicious hamburger and just relaxed by the fire. No one was out as it was sprinkling so we had the place and the road to ourselves.

I had not slept well the night before and I was dragging all day. Dinner was a simple Greek Shrimp concoction with a fresh-from-the-field artichoke, which we split because it was so big. By 7PM, I was fading fast, Michael got the bed and oxygen ready for me and I passed out for almost eleven hours.

We are hunkered down today. I have some tax paperwork to keep me busy and I will also have extra time to play the piano. Should be a quiet day. I hope.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weekend Fun

Happy Sunday! Rains are due all day but right now, there is a moment of sunshine. Lovely!

Yesterday was a very good chore day for me: my closet was cleaned out, checkbook balanced, bills paid, menu and grocery lists were made, medications were set up for the week and I finished Draft #3 of my Ambulatory Patient Advisory Board letter. Before lunch, I filled my oxygen container, dressed warmly and tried to walk along the coast. It was so windy that I soon headed back to the car. I was fighting to stay upright! The waves were huge and the ocean was churning.

This morning, I am going into town to pick up lunch at the organic market and to put gas in a car. Tomorrow is expected to be a heavy storm all day and I need to be with mom. I so hope I can get home on the pass without a tree falling on me! Yesterday, the road to our little town was closed from the North due to a mudslide.

Since I didn't walk much yesterday, I am planning to leave very early tomorrow morning to work out at the other rehab. The reason I am feeling so good is that I have been able to exercise. It really makes a huge different to me.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hard to Say Goodbye

I know that when one is in a pulmonary rehab class, one has to expect that people are going to pass away. Older people. People who have been ill for years. Each time we hear of a passing of a classmate, it hits hard. These are people who I have usually known for years, they stopped coming to class then months later, we learn they have died.

At the beginning of the year, I was so surprised that Caveman had died. He was either my age or a bit younger and not that sick. He did not want to take prednisone. He did not want to take any medications or get a proper diagnosis or deal with his disease. He had been complaining of a pain in his lungs, another classmate told him to see a doctor as it sounded like pneumonia, he said he was sick of seeing doctors and DIED of pneumonia.

Yesterday, I learned that a lovely lady who joined us less than a year ago from another rehab program had just died of pneumonia. Her disease had progressed and, apparently, she knew that she was probably going to die sooner rather than later. It was still a shock when I was told she died.

Sweet Carlos, who has been with us in class for many years, has stopped coming to rehab over a year ago. He was head of maintenance in the hospital where I go for rehab class. Everyone would come by to say hello to him. Everyone would tell us that he was the best boss ever. We hear he is not doing well.

And then, there is Sherman. I so miss him. We talk on the phone but I miss teasing him and we shared things we would not share with others. A good, dear friend. I so fear I am going to get the dreaded phone call from his daughters. He has given up. He is no longer fighting. At 93-years old, he might just be tired of it all and ready. But, I'm not ready for him to die. Don't even want to think about it.

Then, there is my mom. My 88-year old mom who is still teaching me life lessons as I watch her navigate this time of her life. Amazing, strong woman. Her pacemaker doctor accepted a new position in Boston and he wanted to see her before he left. The office phoned me yesterday and we are seeing him at 10:30 today. He is the doctor who offered to write a referral to the lung transplant program for me, if needed. I so hope that the pacemaker keeps her active and happy for many more years.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dim Sum with a Little Mozart

We played hooky yesterday. British Don took us to a fantastic Dim Sum place deep in the financial district in the city. (On the way back to his place, we pass the office building in the news with the 2000 pounds of hanging concrete about an hour before the entire area was shut down.) It was not a normal Chinese restaurant one would find in Chinatown. It was modern and elegant and excellent. Peking Duck! Crab rolls! Don kept ordering. I was full and could eat no more.

There was no dinner for me last night. I went to the orchestra rehearsal and got a huge wake-up call. Mozart. I had forgotten how difficult yet how wonderful it was to play his music. It was stunningly difficult and is going to take some work to get it under my hand. Here is the all Mozart program in February concert:
Impressario Overture
Concerto for Flute and Harp
The Marriage of Figaro Overture
Symphony #35 "Haffner"

The rains returned with a fury last night. It woke us up around 2AM. The major storm has blown through but bits of rains will be around all day. I am still very worried about the pass and the incoming rains for a week. Trees are going to fall and I so hope no one is hurt!

After rehab class today, there is an Irish Fiddling rehearsal. It should be fun and so much easier than my friend Mozart!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Goal Set

I had a great workout in rehab class and began adjusting to not having Sherman around. I miss him. We spoke on the phone before the class, I wished him a Happy Valentine's Day and suggested he come to just hangout before the class one day soon. People missed him. It would be nice to just see him. I don't think it will happen but I will keep trying.

Since I have not been exercising everyday, I am feeling out of shape. My goal, made yesterday, is to try and exercise at least five out of seven days a week. Reason? Two weddings coming up! My niece, Shelley, is getting married in May and Michael's nephew is being married on the Queen Mary in August. I plan to buy one nice new lightweight dress for both weddings. William is invited to both weddings, which should be interesting. Michael's family has not seen him since he was a little kid so the groom has never met him. I so hope his schedule allows him to attend.

Today, we are meeting British Don for a Deem Sum lunch (their spelling) at the #1 place in the city. I am going to try and not eat a lot but, it hear it is really good. Later this evening, the orchestra rehearsals will begin again for the February concert feature Mozart. Rather excited about it.

The rains return late tonight but there will be a break on the weekend. That will be my chance to try to walk along the cliffs for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are with your valentine today. Love to you all!

It was one of those days yesterday. Constant stress and feeling the pressure! There were signs along the way, the first being a quick stop at Starbucks on our way to Mom's appointment for her Prolia shot. There were several people in line ahead of us, a new person behind the counter and apparently, there was a problem. No drinks were being made, no orders were being taken, people were looking frustrated so mom and I turned around and left.

Traffic to her university hospital was bad and it took extra time. We hit the access road where traffic was stopped. We made it through a light then...stopped. Finally, we were in line for valet parking where we waited and waited for more precious minutes.

We were watching the clock as my liver doctor had a phone appointment with me at 1:00PM. We checked in to get mom's shot before her 11:00 appointment, thought it should take about 20-minutes until we were told that the doctor was seeing her.


I was feeling the minutes tick by.

The doctor was fantastic, as always. We talked about her two young boys who are both in music lessons. I shared a few tips for parents on how to deal with practice time and other tips to keep them from quitting when it gets tough. She had us wait in the waiting room for the RN who would be giving my mom her shot. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. We discovered that it has to be out of the refrigerator for 15 minutes before injecting. The wonderful RN arrived, took mom away while I kept glancing at my watch. 12:30PM.

We thought we would stop in the mall for a hot dog and wait for my doctor to phone. We paid for the valet parking then we waited for her car. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. It was 12:50 when it finally arrived. We drove to the mall near the hospital, parked and my cell phone rang. It was my doctor, right on time!

It was an interesting appointment, we reviewed some tests, planned for another phone appointment and lab tests. Goodbye.

Hot dogs? Nope. We were starved so we went to PF Chang's and had a wonderful lunch. To add to the stress, Michael left his garage clicker in my car so he had no way to get into the house. We were running much later than usual and I was worried that he would be waiting in the driveway for me while I was enjoying a late lunch. We ate then headed home.

The major artery to mom's was backed up for miles. They had two of the three lanes blocked off and it took forever to get through it. We kept driving north where we ran into more roadwork. It was very frustrating.

I pulled into mom's parking garage at 3:00. I still had to get home. Traffic on the pass was heavy and slow, of course. It was utter relief when I pulled into the driveway. It had been a very stressful day. Michael phoned from Wayne's house as he was trying to find a water leak in Evan's car. He didn't get home until 5:00. What a day.

Today, rehab class. I am looking forward to it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Doctor and Doctor and Sunshine

We are enjoying a few days of sunshine before the rains begin on Wednesday for another week of showers. It was a good weekend for my body as I worked out in the gardens both days AND other chores including washing our sheets and doing a lot of ironing. With that all behind us on Sunday afternoon, Michael and I sat under the umbrella on the back patio and just enjoyed the mild weather. Quiet. Peaceful.

I am feeling the best I have felt in a long time. My breathing is better. My coughing has lessened. I am not so exhausted. Working in the gardens was fun instead of feeling like a chore that needed to be done.

The latest things to help scheduling specialists at my university hospital is to have a meeting via phone, if appropriate. In my case, it is a 6-month check-in with my liver doctor. The appointment is set for fifteen minutes beginning at 1:00. It is a rather brilliant idea, especially for someone like me who is stable. I am sure he will order blood tests just to make sure all is well.

Before his call, I will be with mom at the other university hospital for an 11:00 appointment for her Prolia shot. Hopefully, they will be on time, we can get out of there, have a bit of lunch before my doctor phones. Should be interesting.

One of the things I have been pushing at our meetings with the patient advisory board at my university hospital is a letter to be included with the initial paperwork to be mailed to first time patients. The place is huge, on three campuses, the parking is confusing, patients don't know they will be seeing a resident along with a supervising physician, a mention of patient's responsibilities like knowing medications and even simple things like where to find a good cup of coffee. There is a sub-group working on it with me. This weekend, I gathered all their suggestion from the first draft, made changes and will be sending Draft #2 back to this sub-group to get their approval before presenting it to the entire group in March. I was worried that with our group of a Type A personalities, I might not get a consensus about the tone, structure or content of this letter but so far, so good.

I love starting the week with my medication containers filled, the groceries for the week are in the house, the wash is done, the sheets are clean, the yards are done and gas is in the both cars. I am ready for anything!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Endless Traffic

Mom and I spent the whole day together in the car, or at least it felt like it. My ride over the pass was slow and once we got on the road to the Silicon Valley Mini dealership, we were stalled at every junction. Even to get to the freeway, there was a traffic jam due to schools along the way. On the freeway, it was slow and stressful.

We arrived early to our appointment, were setting in with a good card game when our favorite Jennifer came to get us. It was done. The reason the Check Engine Light came on after we were there on Monday was because the tech did not push the oil dip stick all the down. Off we went back north, in horrible traffic, to mom's to get some coupons for some shopping.

The second large and different freeway to the mall was so backed up that a 15-minute trip took over 30-minutes. Traffic Karma was not going our way. We had been sitting in traffic for most of the day! We shopped at JC Penney's then went to lunch and brought home leftovers. Michael loved them: Red Lobster rice and their biscuits. I added asparagus and parmesan chicken so he had a very rich dinner.

The Irish Fiddling gig at the organic market went really well. They served champagne and chocolate in three little stations right next to us. A chocolate fountain and strawberries! Chocolates! Usually, we have people pause to listen to us as they arrive or are leaving but last night, they stayed! We had a standing audience. One woman stayed over an hour. It was a lot of fun. People were keeping time to the music and even dancing a bit. It was fun.

Today, it's into the gardens for me. I am looking forward to taking it back from the storms.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Road Closed

I was a little worried about getting home from the rehab class yesterday afternoon. Carefully, I made my way over the pass. It was flooded in areas but I was most worried about falling trees. It was about 2:30, I took a deep breath when I pulled into the driveway. Michael also made his way home shortly afterward as he, too, was worried about being stuck on the other side of the hill.

Around 4:15, we received an email alert that the road was closed, just in time for rush hour! Michael called his former car pool friend to warn him then our neighbor phoned to warn Michael that the road was closed, not knowing he was already home.

Mike, just across the street from us, was actually on the pass when it closed and we kept watching his driveway to see how long it took for him to get home. He was told to turn around then headed north and made his way to the coast to arrive in our little town from the north. It was over two hours before he got home. Misery.

Today, I hope to get over the pass before another tree falls! Highway 1 just south of town is closed as is the ridge road that Michael and I often drive in the summer. Both closed due to fallen trees.

Mom and I are heading to the Mini dealer again as her Check Engine Light came on just after it was serviced on Monday. Back down to the Silicon Valley again!

So, I am a bit nervous about the road today. I need to be home, make dinner and be in the organic market at 4:45 to play with the Irish Fiddling group for two hours. As others of the group must also come over the pass from work, I sure hope we all make it!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dinner Out

We met early, traffic was not horrible and it didn't rain. All in all, we had a fantastic night out in the city with British Don. The German restaurant offered the most amazing pretzels as an appetizer for the boys then we ordered the huge platter of five sausages, sauerkraut and smoked potato salad. I had a taste of the sausages and ordered a side of their braised sauerkraut all to myself. OMG! Sausages were wild boar, venison, chicken apple, bratwurst and duck. Heaven! We were there over two hours and talked the night away.

I have to be out of the house for the housekeepers so I am heading to DSW to look at shoes. Anna gave me a gift certificate for my birthday present when we saw them in Palm Springs. Then, rehab class. It is going to be interesting to see my numbers after not working out on my usual schedule. There is another huge storm due but I am going to try the pass. Hopefully, no trees will have fallen to block the road.

My focus is the weekend as sunshine is expected and my gardens are a mess. So many weeds and everything needs trimming. Going to need a lot of energy! Off to rehab!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pressure Check

With a storm raging, I decided not to drive over the pass for the rehab class yesterday. It had been closed earlier because of a tree blocking the road but I was more worried about trying to get home after the class. I did a lot around the house but every time I tried to nap, some scammer would phone. We have caller ID on the land line so we never answer it or our cell phones if we don't know who is calling. It happened twice. I gave up.

Michael got home early, also worried about the roads, and I was able to sleep before dinner and even another 45-minute nap just before having to go to the Irish Fiddling rehearsal. It was a rough rehearsal as we looked at three new pieces. There is a long gig coming up on Friday evening.

But, the real stress is this morning. I have a very early appointment over the pass with the glaucoma doctor to check my pressures after the laser surgery a week ago. Fingers crossed. It began at 40, was 32 last week before the surgery so now it should have settled in for a true reading.

While over the pass, I am going to food shop. The most fun is going to be tonight as British Don is joining us for dinner at a German restaurant in the city. Something to look forward to all day!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Thanks, Tom

Thanks, Tom. The Super Bowl almost caused me to have a heart attack! What a game. We enjoyed amazing food and conversation with Jim and Kathy. They had a beautiful covered patio overlooking the golf course so when it started to rain a bit, we were eating and able to enjoying the weather without getting wet. Appetizers/lunch featured stuffed jalapeƱos and baked slices of baguette filled with onions, garlic, artichokes and cheese. Delicious.

During the final two minutes of the game, we were eating dinner: Fresh caught Petrole Sole, freshly cut artichokes and a delicious salad. Jim was cheering for Atlanta and jabbing me most of the game. He couldn't believe the ending. Not possible. Impossible. It was lots of fun.

This morning, mom and I need to be deep into the Silicon Valley by 10:00 for her Mini Cooper check-up. It is going to be a long day of waiting as the coffee shop is too far away to walk in the rain. I am sure we will find things to talk about, as always.

I am really exhausted. Before going to Jim and Kathy's yesterday, I was able to sleep for just under an hour but during the game, I really began to fade. By the time we got home, I fell into bed and passed out. It has been too busy so it is going to take a few days to recover. My plan is to go to pulmonary rehab class tomorrow as that usually makes me feel better. There is also a Irish Fiddling rehearsal tomorrow night as we have a gig on Friday night. Did I mention we are going to the city for a German dinner on Wednesday night with British Don?

Since I ate things yesterday that I don't usually eat, I will be watching my food intake all week. Sometimes when I am really tired, I don't make the best choices so I don't want that to happen. Just being careful.

Off I go into this cool, rainy Monday. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Last night's orchestra concert was so much better than I had anticipated. I guess there is nothing like a live audience to get all the musicians focused and playing together. Gerry and I both agreed that the entire program was the best the orchestra had ever played and the two of us bass players really nailed it. Such a sense of accomplishment.

We were able to sleep in a bit, I will be taking it easy this morning then we are going to Jim and Kathy's to watch the Super Bowl. Jim is a major foodie but watching his intake. I can't wait to see what he is cooking!

I do have to say that we have been watching Tom Brady ever since he became a pro. When William was a freshman in high school, everyone was still taking about their amazing football quarterback who had just graduated. Yup. Tom Brady. So, it is the Patriots for us today. I know, Atlanta will probably win but I am still pulling for old Tom.

But this Sunday morning, I am going to rest as much as possible. If we were home for the Super Bowl, I suspect that I would sleep though most of it. Having to be awake and engaged with people this afternoon is going to take energy. Early to bed for me tonight!

Enjoy the game.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Board Meeting

Michael and I went to the Board meeting at my university hospital last night and learned so much. We met the head of all the clinics and he was blown away as we debated then answered his very specific questions. We solved several problems they had been wrestling with in the upper management meetings. Later, Michael and I agreed that it was well worth our time and effort to attend these meetings.

It was now late and raining and we were hungry. We thought we would stop at our favorite little place  down the road where we sometimes have lunch on Sundays. We were so surprise that the only other people there, also ordering dinner, were Wayne and Jill! We had dinner together and chatted for the first time in months. An hour later, we got home and I fell into bed soon afterward.

Today, I will be writing a first draft of a letter that we are asking to be sent out with the paperwork when a new patient is being seen in a clinic for the first time. Helpful hints from our Board. It is such a huge campus and we have heard that most people are shocked at the cost of parking because they had no warning, the chore of finding a good cup of coffee, where to get a blood test and understanding that it is a teaching facility and how that affects the patient. These are just a few of the issues we will be addressing in the letter. It was so daunting for all of us the first time we tried to navigate the system. We hope to make the entry a little easier.

My eyes are so much better today. The four different drops to be used at different times throughout the day is driving me nuts. I even have a note on each to remind me which one I need to take when! Crazy!

Mom and I will be together all day then, thankfully, nothing tonight. I hope to sleep well so I am strong for the orchestra concert tomorrow night.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Glaucoma Surgery to Relieve Pressure

It was stressful. I met with the glaucoma doctor at 11:00 and my pressures were down a little. The left eye dropped from 40 to 32. Clearly, not low enough. An appointment in the same day surgery department in my rehab hospital across was immediately made, I moved my car, registered and by 12:30, I was having the laser treatment.

It didn't hurt but the huge thing shoved into my eye to keep it opened was irritating. He hit the eye with 80 little laser blasts. My eye felt really strange afterward but was better when the gel was washed out. I worried because I really couldn't see clearly.

We made a deal to meet back at his office in an hour and I was starved. The cafe in the hospital is horrible but there was really no other choice.  I thought I would grab a hot dog. When I got there, the weekly special was a chicken shawarma. Oh yum. I was so hungry that the bells in the head were saying, "Try me! Try me!"

It was served on a base of homemade hummus with freshly grilled onions, tomatoes and slices of chicken with the shawarma spices on top. A few picked pickles were also scattered about. I have to say, it was delicious or I was REALLY hungry.

Back to the doctor's office, we checked the pressures again. No change. The treatment causes the  pressure in the eye to actually increase but then settles down. I was also given yet another eye drop to use once a day for 5 days to help with inflammation.

So, I headed home not feeling great and worried that I really could not see well. All afternoon, I kept checking to see if I could read smaller print. No. Blurred. The orchestra dress rehearsal time was getting closer and closer and...The other issue was that it was dripping. Watering.

Before the rehearsal, I wiped around the eye then gently applied some base and pretty much left it alone. Wearing glasses, Julie from the Irish Fiddling group picked me up for the rehearsal as our little car was still in the shop. More stress.

The rehearsal? Went well. I couldn't see some of the time, when the music was fast and there were lots of notes in a measure but other did that, not too bad. I think if I concentrate really hard, the concert will be fine.

This morning, my eye feels fine. I have a feeling the pressure is going down and I am looking forward to seeing the eye doctor once again next week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Back to Rehab

Rehab class went much better than expected yesterday as I had been concerned about my knee. It was so much better but I worried about putting it to the test. First up, the treadmill, cranking it up until it felt fast enough, only 2.5 mph, and stayed on it for 11 minutes. I felt it after I hopped off but in a good way. No pain. After a stint on the wall pulleys, I hit the bike feeling very confident. It was such a surprise that it was more difficult than the treadmill and I only lasted eight minutes. Everything else felt fantastic.

It had been almost 3 weeks since I had been in class, it was so good to see everyone and it felt great to work out again. I have no pain in my knee this morning but, again, it is still swollen and numb in one area. Who knows, the numbness may be permanent.

This is going to be one long day. This morning, I have an appointment with the glaucoma doctor who will perform a pressure relieving laser treatment to my left eye if he finds the pressure extremely high, like last week. That makes me a bit nervous. He said I could return to my normal routine afterward but I need to ask about lifting the weight of my string bass in and out of a car tonight. This is one rehearsal I can't miss, the dress rehearsal. My concern is also that my eye will be able to read the tiny print on the sheet music tonight. Lots of unknowns today. It is going to be a late night.

Michael and I submitted the final draft to Paul's brother yesterday. His chapter about working on Paul's 1941 Dodge hot rod was full of details and Mark will add photos when it is ready for publication. Huge pressure removed from shoulders! Done.