Sunday, December 3, 2017

It Was a Wild Ride Through November

I left off last month with Steve having an appointment at the VA Hospital with the surgery group. The appointment took a while.  First we saw a nurse who took Steve's vitals, then resident doctors, then their supervisor. Finally we saw the surgeon who would perform the surgery.  The neat thing was that they did all the pre-surgery labs, chest X-ray and EKG on the same floor.  We also met with the anesthesiologist. We left and were to return the next morning before 8:00 AM.  Also they had a cancellation - so he got to have surgery the very next day.  In a way he got very lucky!
We left bright and early on November 2, 2017 (Friday) and arrived about 8:07 AM. They got Steve in an outpatient surgery room and started an IV and asked more questions. There was a constant parade of people through. They finally took him into surgery about 11:30. They called us about 12:30 and said surgery was completed - he only had one hernia to be repaired. It took a long time for him to get fully awake and get out of recovery.  He came back to an outpatient surgery room about 3:30 PM, Kristi left us about 6:00 PM. Steve still had not been able to to pee - then he got a bad pain - bladder scan showed he now had enough fluid in his bladder that he should be able to pee.  They ended up having to have a catheter inserted and that was very painful.  We got to leave about 8:15 and arrived home about 9:30 PM. We spent the next three nights in the living room - Steve in his recliner and me on the couch. This made it easier for him get around. 
We returned back to the VA on Monday and Steve got his catheter out. Woo Hoo! And I did not go to work this day either. He was starting to improve. We spent the next few days resting and letting him build back up. 
On Tuesday the 7th of November - our back toilet backed up and we could not get it to clear. So we called the plumber and they said they would call the next day and let us know when they would arrive. We also tried to snake it out ourselves. NO luck. Then Wednesday rolled  around nothing from the plumber, so I called them and they said they would not be able to get to it this week. Then we called another plumber who promised to be there Thursday before noon.
Well of course when noon arrived, there was no plumber. So I called him and he said he would be here by about 3:00 PM. That time rolled around and no show. Finally he called and said he was on his way.  He got here about 4:00 and plunged the stool and it cleared1 He only charged us $50.00. We were fine with that!
Friday the 10th of November found us at Lowe's in Stillwater, had lunch at Chick Fillet and made a trip through Walmart. Saturday and Sunday were spent resting and watching football.
Monday the 13th of November, I went to work in Enid and then to a jewelry party at my Sister's. Tuesday I returned to Enid for a doctor appointment (female) and bought new walking shoes.
I was able to walk at the YMCA 4 days in a row this week and we just putzed around the house up through Saturday.
On Sunday, my sister Nancy went to the Hospital in Oklahoma City - she was in ICU on a vent - wow this was so unexpected and scary.
Steve and I did our run to Walmart and watched some football. My other sister who lives in Enid  and I planned out a strategy so that we could visit Nancy on Monday.
So Monday brought work and a drive to OKC then returned home and JC met us in Perry and we all ate supper and he took Pam home.
Tuesday, Steve & I got our hair worked on at Linda's (beauty shop) and ate supper with her later. The doctor taking care of Nancy called and updated us on her condition.
Kristi and the Kids came to our house Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday - I called to check on Nancy and she was stable on the vent- no real changed to report.
We had a good supper and prepared to go to my Niece's house in Bartlesville for Thanksgiving, the next day.
Thursday - we drove to Bartlesville (2 hours one way) and had a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner and took lots of family pictures.
On Friday, the 24th of November - Steve and I and the grandkids went to OKC to see Nancy. We also went by the nursing home and  saw her roommate - this has been a very sad and difficult time.
Saturday, a neurologist called and stated Nancy was not responding to the IV Immunoglobulin Treatment for her Myasthenia Gravis. Again I was very upset and scared and worried.  We decided to put up the outside Christmas lights to get our minds on something else and the grandkids were great help.
On Sunday the 26th - we met Kristi at Guthrie and had lunch at the Pizza Hut. The kids returned home with her. Steve and I went back to OKC to see Nancy - she is still on the vent and sedated.  The doctors are wanting us to make some decisions.
My sisters and I mulled this over and slept poorly Sunday night.  Nancy did not have an advance directive or any expression of her wishes. So we agreed that she would want to be a DNR and be kept comfortable.
Monday rolled around and Steve and I went to talk to the doctors to discuss this decision with them. Well the hospitalist and the pulmonologist talked to us and said since she had no advance directive and no medical power of attorney that they would take her off sedation (while still being ventilated) and ask her what her wishes were. They did this and she answered their questions. She did not want off the vent and did not want to be a DNR. So, actually this taking her off sedation really helped her in the long run, because then she started doing more breathing on her own and by 4:45 PM she was able to be taken off the ventilator and be on bi-pap.
What a troubling day. So glad she improved and got off the vent.
Tuesday was spent at home recovering from this emotional roller coaster.
On Wednesday the 29th, we went back to Enid to be with my sister Pam - because her husband had to have a kidney stone removed.
On Thursday the 30th of November - we went back to Oklahoma City and spent time actually visiting with Nancy about 3 hours. She was able to talk and they were trying to decide where to send her for further recuperation.
Finally this month is over and we are looking forward to December! We hope everyone stays well!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Update on Life at Home

Well I left off at October 2, 2017 and today is November 1, 2017. So what have we been up to?
We ordered the correct Winnebago lug nut covers since we were missing two. Of course we have been grocery shopping at Walmart about every week! That never ends.
On Wednesday the 4th of October, we went to the VA at OKC for Steve's ultrasound.
October 5,  - Thursday, we celebrated our 15th anniversary. We ate out at Texas Roadhouse and Steve bought me some beautiful flowers!

We started a jean quilt for Kristi and so we worked on it Friday and Saturday the 6th & 7th.
On Sunday - we rested and watched football!
Monday the 9th of October, we paid some bills, mowed the yard, walked and located my birth certificate. In addition, we worked on Kristi's quilt. I didn't have the right type of thread to tie the quilt so I went to Maxine's and she had a lot that she let me have - that was so nice, especially since we don't have a Walmart in town anymore.
Tuesday, the 9th - we were able to complete the quilt! Wow! I did not remember how hard it was to make one - but it felt like a great accomplishment. We were very happy with the way it turned out.

On October 11, Wednesday - we went to Stillwater to sign me up for social security. That went smooth! Yea! Also did grocery shopping and called AT & T about lowering my bill.
Some days we don't do a lot.
Friday we mowed the back yard and trimmed my Rose of Sharon bush.  Steve did weed eating - he does a great job of that.
I checked with Thousand Trails, and we can change our zone pass to another region if we desire. Also it automatically renews - but you get a notice two months prior to being charged.
Saturday we watched Oklahoma State University (my alma mater) and OU play their football games - both teams beat their opponents.
Kristi and the kids came for the week-end and we ate at La Macarena on Saturday night. Sunday we just watched some more Football!
Monday, October 16th was the day I returned to work.  I only worked about 4 hours then returned home.  We took the kids to Pizza Hut before they left for home.
Tuesday, October 17th - We listened to a sales pitch from Thousand Trails and that is about 1.5 hours of my life that I will never get back. We don't really want to buy a regular membership at this time. They try real hard to sell you though.
Wednesday the 18th took us back to the VA in OKC for Steve's eye appointment. They had no record of his appointment. But they were nice and worked us in.  Then we drove out to El Reno and saw the kids - they got fall break and so Austyn and Logan came back home with us.  Fun times!
I returned to work on Thursday- but only about 3 - 4 hours. The kids and Steve worked on cleaning out the ditch behind our fence.  They worked really hard.
Friday, I helped Steve & the kids work in the ditch until I got tired. Then we rested and later we went to Stillwater and combed the 2nd hand shops for clothes Austyn could use for her Halloween costume dance. That was fun! Of course we went to Walmart - we never miss a chance to lighten our wallets there! We cooked burgers out on the grill when we got home and made a fire! The kids loved their S'mores.

Saturday was football and taking it easy. Kristi came up and stayed overnight.
The Dallas Cowboys won their game on Sunday and I did some laundry and fixed meds - usual stuff.
Monday brought work again - about 5 - 6 hours. Tuesday we went to Ponca City to my doctor - routine check-up.  Wednesday was work.

Thursday the 26th rolled around and we drove to Chickasha, OK to watch Logan play Football. It was his last game of the season and he was excited that we came to watch him. We ate supper at Mama Carol's Kitchen and it was good. The prices were great and the food was regular down home cooking. The service was also excellent. We would definitely eat here again. They also serve breakfast anytime. I found out from the answering machine that my sister, Nancy was put in the Hospital in OKC. The nursing home called and left the message on my home phone, instead of calling me on my cell phone. If I would have been contacted on my cell phone - I could have stopped and checked on her on our way home.
Friday we got the oil changed in the pickup, ordered flowers for my sister Nancy and went to the Dollar Store. We also took a nap and I found out that Social Security had approved my retirement request.
Saturday the 28th, we returned to Oklahoma City to see Nancy. We visited her at the hospital then had lunch with one of my other sisters and her hubby, (Pam & JC)  at Charleston's in OKC.  Before we headed out to OKC our ceiling fan in the bedroom quit working. Steve checked it out about one hour and we determined that a new one needs to be purchased.  So before we left OKC we stopped t Lowe's and bought a new one.
Sunday, Steve worked on installing the ceiling fan! He completed it in two sessions. We also watched football. But the fan wasn't working quite right using the remote. So more work was called for.
Monday - I worked and Steve did laundry.
Tuesday, the 31st - Steve took that ceiling fan apart and re-did the wires and checked it and it worked correctly! Yea! It was Halloween but we did not buy any candy because we seldom  have more than a few trick or treaters. Perry has a big thing down around the town square for the kids. The businesses hand out candy and most of the kids go there.
Today - the 1st of November, we returned to the OKC VA for a surgical appointment. Steve has two hernias that need repaired. They had a cancellation and so he will have surgery tomorrow! Another adventure and back to OKC. My sister thinks we should move there as many times as we have had to go there. We ate at Whiskey Cake - their claim to fame is locally sourced food. Their prices are HIGH especially for just lunch. Service was only fair. We will not return.
More later!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Highlights of our 2017 Summer Trip

Well I have returned to the blog to write a little more about our fabulous trip. We had such a great time. Our pace was good - for the most part - we did come home a little fast - but there was a reason. We ended up driving the RV about 5,802 miles give or take a few. We didn't track the pickup miles.

Favorite Sights on this Trip 
North Cascades National Park, WA
Mount Rainier National Park, WA
Olympic National Park, WA
The Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean

Gold Bar, WA and Index, WA
Skagit River
Fort Clatsop National Memorial, OR
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment , WA
Devils Tower National Monument, WY
Spearfish Canyon, SD
The Marinas and Ports and Big Ships
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND and Chateau de Mores in Medora, ND
Badlands National Park, SD
National Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, SD
Niobrara State Park, NE
Mayfield Lake Trail & Lake

Most Unusual Sights:
Ghost Billboard
Ghost Billboard, Washington border with Canada
The Eclipse
Mary in Eclipse Glasses

Steve Looking cool in Eclipse Glasses

Abandoned Nuclear Reactors
Beautiful Emerald Green/Turquoise Water

Mary Driving the RV

Personal Bests: 
Driving the RV 
Getting my Senior National Parks Pass for $10! 
Birthday Dinner-Lakeside
Mary and her Senior Park Pass

Howard Miller Steelhead Park

Howard Miller Steelhead Park

Howard Miller Steelhead Park

Favorite Campsites:
Howard Miller Steelhead Park, Rockport WA
Salt Creek and Tongue Point Recreation Area, West of Port Angeles
Salt Creek Rec Area

Cool Temp at Salt Creek Rec Area

Salt Creek Rec Area

Holiday Park FamCamp at McChord Air Force Base Tacoma, WA
Fort Stevens State Park, OR
Birch Bay, Thousand Trails at Blaine, WA
Long Beach Thousand Trails at Seaview, WA

Pretty Campground:
Eastcreek Campground, WA

Weird/Scary Thing:
Eaglecreek Fire- OR that closed I-84 for a few miles

Car Races

Best Bargain:
Car Races at Evergreen Fairgrounds, WA
Discover Pass - WA
Free Camping at Oregon State Parks 10 days per month for Disabled Vets

Donna & Larry

Dogs and Husband:


Poopsie (Zoey) and Steve

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017 Life at Home

What have we been doing since we arrived home? Tuesday and Wednesday - 9/12 & 9/13/17 One of the first tasks was to go through the mail - three months worth. I did that in two different sittings. I also ordered meds for Steve and I. Mine come from Walmart - and since there is no Walmart in Perry - they were supposed to be transferred to Stillwater. That was somewhat of a fiasco. One of the prescriptions didn't transfer - so when I went there to pick them up I was short one prescription. They will get it renewed/ordered from the physician - OK. Let me know when it is here. Also they didn't have enough of one prescription - so only gave me a partial fill - that was also troublesome. Hopefully this will get straightened out after a few times. We picked up Steve's meds and our mail from Hazel after our supper at La Macarena. I ordered Steve's shots on Monday and they promptly arrived on Wednesday - Great! Steve mowed the side of the yard next to the alley - our part. The guy north of us must have moved - because he used to mow all of it. Oh well - more mowing! We had to completely clean and bleach the refrigerator in the house because somehow the door got shut or something went wrong and it had mold growing in it! YUK! What a nasty chore - but we survived. We unloaded some of the important items from the RV. On Thursday - we went to Walmart for supplies and meds - frustrating as stated above! Friday the 15th of September - I worked on the laundry. After about 4 loads Steve noticed that water was coming out from the toilet. The water was backing up from the washer - to the toilets in both bathrooms and the closet where the heater is. Steve worked on cleaning up the water. Since it's Friday - can't call the plumber - will do that on Monday. I called about getting Steve's ultrasound scheduled. Saturday the 16th - We watched Oklahoma State University play football - not much else exciting. On Sunday the 17th we met up with Kristi and the kids for lunch at PF Changs's. We had a belated birthday celebration for Kristi! Monday the 17th we called the plumber, ATT, Dish, Social Security, work and the VA for a new hose for Steve's C-Pap. Lots of calls and business to take care of. The plumber and his helper showed up before lunch and got us fixed up! Yea! Now we can continue to do laundry. Tuesday the 18th was my day to get a new color on my hair and a haircut. Steve also got a haircut. We had supper at La Macarena with Linda. This marked one week of being back home! On Wednesday, the 20th of September - we went to the VA at OKC so Steve could get an Ultrasound. He found out that he has a hernia on each side, with the one on the right being much bigger. We also made an appointment for a F/U with Kimberly to complete Steve's paperwork to continue his driver's license. Since he has MS the doctor has to fill out paperwork almost every year for him to continue to have driving privileges. Little do they know he drove the RV about 5-6,000 miles this summer with no problems! We are so thankful that we have had the awesome privilege of seeing this country and avoiding any car wrecks! Thursday, the 21st of September - Steve fixed the ice maker with a new part. I assisted in my usual fashion by watching and handing stuff as needed. Friday, the 22nd, Ms. Yen (Stillwater VA Provider) called to discuss Steve's Ultrasound and the need for surgery. We walked and I also typed on the blog. It is not great to get behind blogging. Saturday rolled around again and we watched Oklahoma State play football. I worked on the blog. We also watched OU play football. Sunday brought more football. We walked and checked out the mail. I am glad to be caught up on the mail and don't want to get too far behind since we are home. Monday the 25th of September - we drove to Stillwater and went to Walgreen's and Walmart. What fun! They are still working on the bridge that connects to Highway 86 - so we are going east to Bill's Corner then south to Stillwater. I hope they finish it so we can get to Walmart faster! LOL We aren't that busy - so I don't know why I would be in a hurry. Tuesday - the 26th of September, Today I sent Steve back to bed because his hernia is bothering him. We didn't do much other than go out to eat at La Macarena with the girls. This is the end of two weeks back home! I am more than ready to return to the road - but Steve needs to get this hernia taken care of. Wednesday, the 27th of September - I worked on cleaning out my closet. I made some progress. More progress is needed. I did some laundry. Steve worked hard all day on a frame for the furnace. A project that has been simmering with him for a while. Hard to explain - but he completed it. On Thursday the 28th of September - we drove to El Reno and watched Logan play football. After the game we took them out to eat Pizza and returned home. It was a lovely evening to sit out and watch the game. El Reno Jr. High played Western Heights and skunked them. Friday, the 29th - not much. I think this is the day Steve and I tried to figure out what it would cost to remodel our kitchen. You can get lost on the internet looking things up! Saturday, the 30th - Watched OSU (OK State) play football. We went to the Dollar Store in Perry - awful! I needed to get a birthday card to mail to my sister Marsha in New Jersey. The service at the Dollar Store was extremely slow. They have a junky looking store and not much of what you need. I sure wish TG & Y were still an option in these small towns. Sunday - October 1 - More football watching - Dallas got beat! Denver won! Man I wish I could figure out how to make my football watching pay off! I could get rich! We walked around the neighborhood. We had a 3.3 earthquake today about 2:45 PM that got our attention! It shook the house and made noise. We've been trying to walk on most days - trying to get up a little earlier and walk in the morning while it is somewhat cooler. Zoey has so much more energy after our trip - we want to try to keep her walking. We really want to keep ourselves walking too! Monday, October 2, 2017- We watched some TV - horrible news about the shooting in Las Vegas. So Sad! We got tired of listening to the bad news and went to walk out at CCC Lake about 9:00 AM - it was 73 degrees and we were hot when we got back in the pickup. Now, we have been home almost 3 weeks! WOW! Time flies.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 Home is on the Horizon

Funny thing - We saw this RV towing a car the other day out of Denver (9-10-17) and guess what - They are at the same RV park as us this morning. We thought this was unusual!
OK today we got up about 9:00 - we stayed up late last night watching Football. We left the RV park about 10:45 and filled up with gas and were on the road about 11:05 AM. It was an uneventful drive home. Smoky Hill, KS - Love Kansas Sunflowers!
We paid $4.75 toll for the part of I-135 after Wichita - no problem. Braman, OK - This picture is supposed to be the Oklahoma Welcome Sign - I wasn't expecting it to be on the ground. I thought it would be up on a sign post-like every other state. NOT. I had to find an old picture to use for Facebook.
Here is a crane putting up a windmill near the Billings Exit.
We arrived at Perry about 2:20 PM.
First we unhooked the pickup and removed the tow bar from the RV so it will fit in the driveway. We did this in the parking lot of what used to be Walmart. Perry has no Walmart anymore! It was closed while we were gone. I saw this on Facebook - it is bad for our town and us. We got the dogs situated at home and started removing the satellite dish (so the RV will fit under the RV carport). This took a little hard work, planning and sweat, but we got it done! Then rest. I started sorting the mail. Steve rested. Then we met Hazel at La Mac for supper - Yum! Great Mexican Food. Then we came home and I sorted more mail and relaxed. Then to bed.

Monday, September 11, 2017 Heading East Some More

What amazing surprises are in store for us today? We'll see. We were both tired this morning and didn't get up early. We walked the dogs carefully because the Mid America Camp Inn is full of sand burrs and they hurt (people and dogs). We would not stay here again unless absolutely necessary. It is a little run down and the sand burrs are extreme! Anyway we got underway and gassed - $100.00, $2.45 per gallon. It took awhile because they charge your card then let you pump. This is a PITA. So I waited inside to get my receipt. That didn't fill us up but we don't like doing business this way, so we will buy more gas on down the road. Plus I saw some real weirdos in here. Glad to move on. Park, KS
Steve headed East and drove about four (4) hours to Salina, KS and we stopped for the day at KOA. The same RV park where we spent our first night out on this trip. Plus we have stayed here other times, I think last year. The check in was very slow. The lady in the office was on the phone and took care of that first before the people standing in front of her. Plus I needed to go to the bathroom, and went around the side of the building to their restroom and guess what? You need a code just to go pee! I hate that. Perhaps I am grumpy. We walked the dogs and worked on the TV - hooking up to cable here. Not sure why we didn't use the dish - maybe something was blocking it, not sure, I don't remember. We wanted to watch Monday Night Football - The Denver Broncos. We also took a nap. Talked to Marsha and Kristi. I also called Pam - So checked in with family, which is always good. We watched football, then showered and went to bed. Stillwater VA called finally so I could tell them to order/schedule the ultrasound. Progress made.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Another day in the books! We got up about 8:00 and did routine things. We got ready to hook up the pickup and needed to back it up a couple of inches and guess what? It wouldn't start. So after some discussion (Steve didn't want to ask for help), I went to the office to see if someone would give us a jump! Of course they said, no problem. So we got it started, backed up and hooked it up to the RV. We can't put it in neutral for towing if we can't start it. Next we filled up with gas- no problem and were on our way about 10:45 AM. Leaving Laramie, WY
Crossing into Colorado!
Heading toward Denver
Denver on Sunday
An uneventful drive. We got through Denver without a problem. The key to driving through Denver is doing it on Sunday-best day! We stopped at Limon CO to walk the dogs and stretch. Then I decided I should drive again. So I got behind the wheel of the RV and away we went. Steve played the music and relaxed. Plus he got up to get me a drink and had a hard time walking in the moving RV! (I do this all the time). He was also having trouble figuring out how to use the phone to find a campground, I laughed till I cried! Funny! My navigating job is harder than it appears. Agate, CO
Crossing into Kansas
Anyway we arrived at Midamerica Camp Inn in Goodland, KS about 5:45 PM. We passed a Steak and Shake on our way in and the plan was to set up the RV, get the satellite turned in for the Dallas Cowboys Football game and go pick up burgers and watch the game. We paid, pulled in the RV and plugged in the electricity. We were ready to unhook the Pickup but decided to make sure it would start first - Oh NO-- It would NOT start. So I explained to the lady in the office that we will leave in the RV (towing the pickup) and go eat and get a new battery. So that's what we did -- Supper: $20.00, RV Park: $30.00, Battery for Pickup: $128.00. This stop cost $178.00 without counting gas. Some days cost more!! Steve installed the battery for the pickup in the Walmart parking lot. That made the pickup work! Yea! We returned to the RV park, and set up the RV, walked the dogs and put the dish up, jacks down and slides out. I had to contact Dish online to change our local channels. We got to watch the second half of the Dallas Cowboys game and we are pooped again! Two more days and we should be home.