Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Surgery time!

Good Morning all...Terry here

We have left The Rio Grande Valley as of the 12th of March. Dale's 91 year old mother, Alice, traveled north with us at a considerably slower pace than her past trips since we made the trip in 6 days as opposed to the 3 days that she & Dale's Dad would cover the 1500 miles from northern Indiana.

This is about a month early for us to be in Indiana, since we came straight to Indianapolis to prepare for Dale's lower back surgery which is scheduled for Friday, March 24th. We opted for the early arrival rather than visiting Jocelyn's and Brandon's families in Florida and Virginia, due to a required 6 month post op follow up that would have kept us in Indiana until late October or November.

We traveled a more easterly route to Indiana due to cold weather along a more direct route north. We cut up across Louisiana to Natchez, Mississippi, and the start of the Natchez Trace Parkway. This 420+ mile long two lane road to Nashville, Tennessee, is one of Dale's favorite drives at a leisurely 50 miles an an hour. No commercial traffic is allowed and it is uninterrupted by any stop signs along the complete route. Two short segments were missed, one around Kosciusko, Mississippi, for a fuel stop and the other was near Hohenwald, Tennessee, for a parkway bridge rebuild. All of our en-route stops were one night only except, for a stop in Brandon, Mississippi, which was two nights so we could visit with my 1st cousin Lanny and his wife Trish.

Lanny is a PHD veterinarian on staff at Mississippi State and is Executive Director of three state diagnostic centers. After a nice dinner at Georgia Blue, Lanny and Trish took us on a tour of the main center a few miles away, one of three locations that Lanny's involved in. The center is where research is done in finding the causes of animal illnesses and possible impacts on the in state livestock industry,  be it cattle, poultry, fish or any other species. Lanny has been involved with this facility for the past 16+ years since it was proposed to the state, getting the required funding and construction. He has done a great job and has much to be proud of in this 10 year old center.

We checked into the KOA Indianapolis East mid afternoon this past Saturday, with plans to be here at least a month, maybe two as she recovers. Dale had pre-op appointments and an MRI on Monday and everything is a go, barring an illness, on her part. Yesterday Dale's sister Nita visited with us and picked up Alice for the final leg of her trip to her home in Claypool, close to Warsaw in northern Indiana. Also yesterday we took Duchess to visit a vet referred kennel close by, had a tour and a meet and greet for Duchess with the staff. This boarding facility is by far the nicest we've seen in all the years we've had dogs. Duchess will be boarded there from Thursday night until Monday or Tuesday after Dale is released from the hospital.

Yesterday I purchased a 30 pound propane tank to supplement our on board propane tank, since we were expecting some cold weather during our stay and moving the RV to buy propane wasn't in my game plan. I had added a “tap” to the high pressure section of the propane line over the winter. Thirty pounds of propane will power our two furnaces for up to 20 hours of continuous use; at present it's 28 degrees and our roof mounted heat pumps stop producing heat in the high 30's.

Until next time.....


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Our stay is coming to an end...

Terry here!

Our winter in south Texas is coming to an end. We leave Sunday for Indiana, with Dale's mom traveling with us. I haven't determined our route yet as we are keeping an eye on the weather north of us. If our regular route looks iffy, we'll head east along the gulf before heading north. Our destination is the Indianapolis East KOA, west of Greenfield IN. Dale has pre-surgery appointments on March 20th before back surgery on the 24th @ St. Vincent's Hospital on the north side of Indy. We plan to be at the KOA for at least month or possibly two, post-surgery.

This winter season has been great, we've spent much the time with Dale's mom, Alice, having her over for meals, attending street dinners, taking in the sun and shopping. The weather has been great most of the time with temps from the mid 70's to a high a couple of weeks ago of 96. We have had little rain, with most days starting cloudy and breaking into bright sun by 10AM, great for our morning 2.5 mile walks.

February saw a two week visit by good friends Jim & Luanne Cripe of Syracuse IN, Luanne was matron of honor in our wedding 45+ years ago. We try to get together several times each summer. Luanne retired from nursing in January, with Jim retiring from the parks department in July so they were getting their feet wet in the world of “slow motion” after the working life.

We saw full timing friends Dave and Sandy Gibson twice over the season. They were in the area for doctors appointments on concerns of Sandy's continued back problems. Nice to see them again after a few years.

We've started putting stuff away and getting ready to close up the two properties, since the weather forecast was rain Tuesday through Saturday. So far very little has fallen Tuesday and today, which is fine, won't be any rushing to get it all done.

Until next time?

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Finally got around to it!

Terry threatened that if I didn't blog something soon, he was going to highjack the blog and post something. I told him to go ahead, but here I am.

Luanne, my friend from high school and her husband Jim are arriving here Tuesday night, so I have been busy getting things ready for their visit. They will stay in the Texas room, so that is very comfortable. It's actually an efficiency apartment, so they will have everything they need there. I've been trying to think of things to do while they are here. They were here a few years ago and we did some sightseeing, but there are many more things we can do. We are anxious to see them.

It's a good thing they didn't come the last two weeks because we were sick. We got the "Texas Crud" which is a bad cold that lingers for going on two weeks. Terry got it first, then when he was going strong, I started in with it. But we are both better now and fortunately for us, the coughing has not lingered. With some people, they continue to cough for weeks, so I am glad we are not doing that.

Duchess is doing okay. I am reading all I can about canine diabetes and I'm finding that most vets just encourage you to inject twice a day with checks periodically at the vets. The forums I am on do not subscribe to that theory and encourage home testing of your dog. The reason being is that food, exercise and insulin all conspire to regulate blood sugar and too much or not enough of any one of those items can cause highs and lows in blood sugar. Lows in dogs are particularly dangerous because the dog cannot tell us they are getting dizzy or crashing. If they are asleep, they can easily slip into a coma, so home testing is important. In fact, most of the people on the forums seek out a vet for the initial diagnosis, and that is the last time the vet actually treats the disease. They do all their own testing and adjust doses depending on what is going on with the dog. They even do their own glucose curves which tell what is happening during the day starting with a fasting blood sugar.

I do think home testing is what I am aiming for, because many of these people have been able to slow or halt the advancement of blindness in their animals which tends to have a rapid onset after the initial diagnosis. We do know that Duchess is developing cataracts, so she will still have regular vet visits, but I am hoping to do a reasonable job of keeping her blood sugar under control. We are still working at getting her regulated. I do have the pet testing kit now and have tried it a couple times. She tolerates it well and it is a little easier than I thought it would be. She is a sweetie. I want to do what I can to help manager her disease and keep her healthy. I made her a Scottie bag to carry all her supplies. She has her test kit, small and large sharps containers, extra test strings and lancets, a cold pack insulin container, and her medical folder with all her information. Here is a picture of the bag. Hers is on the left, while my bigger bag is on the left.

A few weeks ago two of my nieces, Michelle and Staci, drove down here from Indiana to see Mom. They were here for about five days. It was a whirlwind while they were here. Their days were filled with shopping and playing cards and they even twisted my arm into playing cards with them a couple evenings. It was fun and I think they enjoyed their time here. It was cloudy some days, but they did have some sunny warm days as well. It certainly was warmer than Indiana at the time.

Our street dinners have started. The residents of each street sponsor and prepare a dinner as a fund raiser. This helps us to keep our assessments low. Ours was two weeks ago, just prior to our getting sick. We prepare a pork loin dinner which is very good. Today Mom and I went to the roast beef dinner. It was very tasty and we both brought part of it home. The hall was really hot tonight and I wondered if the air conditioning was even working. It normally keeps us cold and today it was very warm. The place was packed as well. They normally limit the tickets to the capacity of the hall, but with people going from 4 to 6, it can handle many more. They actually had to set up more tables tonight. I think their dinner was a great success. Terry doesn't go to the dinners because he cannot have salt. But he's gracious about not minding if I go with Mom, so he fixed something here at home.

Our park seems to be fuller this year than it has been for several years. There has been some turnover, with some older members passing away. It seems younger people are coming in looking for cheaper living in the winter and it is fairly inexpensive to live here. And it's a nice, safe community as well.

I have been taking Spanish lessons since the beginning of January. A lady in the community visits several of the parks and teaches us conversational Spanish. She is very dedicated. She surely has been trained as a teacher, because her techniques are very good. She is very encouraging. We laugh and have fun. She enjoys teaching and it shows and we all enjoy learning from her. Half of the class is made up of French Canadians. They already speak French and English and are learning Spanish. They learn very quickly too. They seem very dedicated. I really must practice for next week. It's a review week and I want to be sure I can put into practice some of what I've learned.

That brings you up-to-date with what we've been doing. We are beginning to plan our exit from the valley. I plan to have back surgery when we get to Indiana, so we may be leaving earlier than usual.

Till next time. . .


Friday, January 06, 2017

Message for Commenter

This note is for Gary, who asked the question about towing our Sport Trac. I replied to your comment, but you made it back in a post I had made in November. It was entitled "Family Time." So you will have to look for it there. I'm posting this note in the event you didn't remember where you posted it. I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you. Once you let me know you have found it, I will take this message down.

I have moderated comments, which is why you didn't see it posted right away. I'm assuming that's why you tried to post multiple times. That's okay. . . but that's why it didn't show up.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sweet, sweet Duchess!


Our wee Scottie lass, Duchess, has not been herself lately. This has been going on about ten days before I called the vet. She started drinking at least a gallon of water a day (or wanted to) and that is not good for such a small dog. There are several health issues that can cause that and none of them are good.

We took her to the vet this week. I had taken in a urine sample and turns out our little gal is diabetic. Her blood sugar was 346, supposed to be same as humans, 80-120. And she spilled over 1000 units in her pee. So there is no doubt that she is diabetic. That's the cause of her excessive thirst. So he put her on 3 units of insulin to begin with. We have to give her a shot morning and evening. We take her back on Monday for a fasting blood sugar and he will decided if we need more testing. It sometimes takes a bit to get them regulated, but once we get the right dose, it will pretty much stay the same.

So while it wasn't the best news, it was not a death sentence. This is something that can be managed. I just hope we can get it under control quickly so she can get to feeling better. She already is back to drinking normally, so that's a start!

Till next time. . .


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

We had Mom over after we had unwrapped our presents and we all had breakfast. I had made an egg casserole the night before, so I just had to pop it into the microwave. It was really good.

We exchanged gifts with Mom. I got her a lightweight step ladder she can use to access her cupboards. She is always dragging a chair over and I don't want her falling, so I got her a ladder like mine.

Our dinner at the hall was delayed till 1:30 because of it being Sunday. So after church, all the tables and chairs had to be set up and the people working on the food preparation had to have time to get ready for the big crowd.

We did enjoy our dinner and visited with some friends before coming back home. None of us did much else the rest of the day!

We hope your Christmas involved family and fellowship with your loved ones.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Mom and took the golf cart one warm evening and checked out the Christmas decorations in several parks. We went to Sleepy Valley, Dream Valley, Pleasant Valley and our park Restful Valley.

Till next time. . .