Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Well here I am again. . .

It's been several weeks since I have blogged. Fortunately, Terry has taken up the pen and done the duty for me. Much like he has done everything else for the past couple months.

My back surgery was March 24. I don't know what I was expecting, but suffice to say, I got more than I wanted! Pain that is. I had multiple, I think maybe four rods placed, along with what looks like six screws and two cages. The doctor's comment was, "She's not gonna feel like doing much of anything for the first month." Truer words were never spoken. But pretty much one month after surgery I was doing well and much of the pain had subsided. Pain pills are a godsend I must say.

We started walking the week after my surgery. At first I would do 3/4 to 1 mile. We walked the Washington Square Mall. That's is very close to where we are camped and they open for mall walkers at 9 a.m. We've also walked Castleton and Greenwood Park Malls. The last two are still pretty decent malls. Washington Square is dying and it truly is a tragedy that yet another of the icons of years gone by are fading away. I suspect within a few years that mall will be gone. We are now walking two miles in the malls in the morning and in the afternoons we walk Duchess usually on two half-mile walks around the campground.

As the weeks rolled on, the pain diminished and at about five weeks the surgery pain was pretty much gone. This is the last pain to leave. . . it's the one at the base of your spine. I kid you not, every time I would move, change positions, or get up out of bed or a chair, it felt like someone took a butcher knife and stabbed me in the back. That's as close as I can come to describing the pain. And this pain was there even with pain pills. I can honestly say I was starting to get a little depressed, so we planned a few little outings to keep things interesting.

Riding in the car is a challenge. Short hops are fine; but we have made two trips up north to see family and after two hours, things start aching. I still am taking the occasional pain pill for moments like that. My legs get "restless" and my butt starts to hurt. I did buy some gel cushions for in the car and those are helping. I also wear my back brace in the car and that helps. I'm guessing it helps to stabilize my back.

It's now seven weeks post surgery and I still have the same restrictions. Basically I can't do anything. I am up though and I have driven some, if I haven't taken a pain pill. Picking things up off the floor is difficult because I can't bend. I help with dishes, but I not supposed to do things with repetitive motions. I don't do things every day, but occasionally I help set the table, etc. It feels good to be a team again and I don't overdo it. Terry keeps a watchful eye and will remind me. He's getting me back for all the times I "remind" him about stuff he's not supposed to do. LOL

Saturday we will be leaving Indy KOA and heading north. We are spending a couple nights in Warsaw as we are all taking Mom out for Mother's Day. Then we will spend a few days at the house. We hope to work on it some this summer and start cleaning it out in preparation for selling it. We use it so infrequently that it doesn't pay to keep it. We will never live there permanently because Terry can't stand the cold weather in the winter, so we need to work at getting it sold.

We are toying with the idea of heading to Mississippi for the family reunion. We are going to try to do it, but whether we succeed will be determined by my being able to withstand the travel. I'm hoping the motorhome with its air suspension will be better than riding in the car.

So that's where we stand now. Things are going very well with my back. My limp is slowing fading and my bursitis is also healing. The two conditions were related to my back problems and are starting to correct themselves as the back heals. Whoo hoo!

Till next time. . .


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rain Rain Go Away. . . . . . . . .

Terry here again!

We moved to higher ground today.

Two days of heavy rain looked like this at 8 a.m. this morning. 

We closed up the RV, went to Walmart and bought taller boots to tear down camp. In twelve years of living in the RV we've never needed more than low cut water shoes, not today. We are now about ten feet higher in the KOA, if we flood out now so will I-70 about ¼ mile away. Three to four more days of rain in the forecast for the coming week and it's raining hard now.

This week after our “normal spring doctor's appointments,” we took a ride in search of an Amish food store for dried onions, cheese and meat. We had remembered a store close to Milroy, Indiana, about 30 miles from our campground. It still exists! Stocked up on what we went for and headed back to Phaeton Place. On the way I saw a sign for Moscow, Indiana, and thought I remembered a covered bridge being located there. I was right!!! However it was lifted off it's piers by a tornado in 2008 and rebuilt with recycled parts in 2010. This is the Moscow Covered Bridge of today.

Till next time. . . 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

We're here for the long haul!

Made a trip to Goshen Easter weekend to visit with family and friends. Found that riding 110 miles was hard on Dale's back even with several stops to stretch. We came back Tuesday for Dale's first surgery followup on Wednesday. I'm glad to say all is well per her follow up is in late June. We are still doing the daily walking as physical therapy at present most days are about 2.5 miles with 1.5 miles being early morning at a local mall.

This morning we dropped Duchess off at DeTails in McCordsville, Indiana, for a spa treatment. Next stop was U-Haul in northeast Indianapolis to have a Class #3 trailer hitch installed on the Flex. It was all done in less than 45 minutes and looks to be a very nice job. I opted to do the wiring myself since the Flex is already wired for towing by the motorhome and I didn't want any of that harness messed with.

We were doing a walk at Hamilton Commons shopping area when the groomers called advising Duchess was ready to pickup. We had almost finished our 1.5 miles and were about 6 miles away, so back we went. Duchess looks great, nice to find a groomer who knows a “Scottie cut” is different than a “Schnauzer cut."

The next two weeks are taken up with doctor's appointments, blood tests, our broker and hair care for Dale. Will the fun never end. Yes it will! On the 13th of May we're outta here, since our 2 month stay will be over, then up to northern Indiana for a while.

Till next time. . . 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Still here.... yes it's me, Terry again!

Here in Mt. Comfort Indiana for another 5 weeks, at the KOA. We've decided to hang out here since there is more to do here than in area's farther to the east. Dale can get daily walks in at various malls close by without a 20 mile drive to Muncie or Richmond, if we moved over to New Castle. She is doing very well with her recovery, and walking over 2 miles per day now. I am, on the other hand, getting a real workout doing the household stuff since she isn't allowed to do any, bending, twisting or lifting for another 3 months plus. But she's taken care of me for years without a complaint, so I'm glad to help her now.

I did take her out for lunch this past Saturday at Texas Roadhouse on Shadeland Ave on the east side of Indianapolis after our walk at the Greenwood Park Mall and stops at Camping World and Old Time Pottery.. She got a steak and as usual they did a great job for a chain steakhouse. My ½ pound cheeseburger and cup of chilli were excellent also, we each brought back about ½ of our meal back to the motorhome and ate those for supper.

Sunday we went and did two miles at Castleton Square Mall on the north east side of Indianapolis, and then hit a new grocery in Carmel called “Market District” for some needed supplies. It was an upscale grocery very similar to a “Wegman's” found in the North East. Found out it is an offering by “Giant Eagle” another NE grocery chain. It also reminded us of the “Central Market” stores owned by “H.E.B.” in Texas. Basically it fit the old adage, “If you don't see it, you don't need it”. Market District had a larger variety of meat and seafood than we've seen in this part of the country with many prepared meals to go.

Monday was another day of mall walking and hanging at the RV park. We went to New Palestine, Indiana, and met up Dale's cousin Nancy and her husband Roy for lunch at a local pub. The food at “The Around the Corner Pub” was very good as was our catching up on each other's kids and grandkids.

Editor's Note: A big thanks to Terry for helping with the blog. Not yet into doing much reading or writing, so I am glad he is able to help.

Till next time. . .

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Still moving on. . .

Terry here.

It's been 12 days since Dale's back surgery and all is going well. The pain in the area of the incision is less each day, but still requires medication. She hasn't had the nagging sciatica pain down each leg and doesn't have the hip pain she has had in the past, which is a definite plus. Most mornings she's up by 6:00, which is early for her, but it's time for her meds which is fine. We've been driving about 8 miles every morning to a local mall so she can walk on a smooth surface rather than the gravel of the RV park. She has gotten to 1.2 miles for the morning walk and another .6 miles during our “big” walk with Duchess when the weather permits. On these walks she is using her “hiking poles” to steady her on the gravel in case she trips, which could twist her back.
We bought two sets of the poles years ago, have lugged the around in the motorhome seldom used. They sure have come in handy during her recovery. There is no physical therapy for her surgery, other than walking and that is “walk as much as you like and more.” The doctor's office has checked on her several times since her release from the hospital and have complimented her on her walking efforts. The later part of April brings her 1st in office followup visit and our spring doctor's appointments.

We have decided to extend our stay here at the KOA Indy East another month since no other rv parks anywhere close has access to walking areas close by. So we will be here until May 13th and at that time we will head to northern Indiana.

Till next time. . . 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Healin' time!

We be healin'!...Terry here.

Dale had her surgery last Friday morning, the Doctor was very happy with the results and found nothing outside his expectations. He felt both places in her spine were relieved of pressure during the surgery.
The doctor released her late Sunday afternoon after her incision drain was removed and she was able to walk the hall and climb a set of stairs.

We arrived back at the campground about 7:30 with a couple Wendy's cheeseburgers and a large order of fries to split for supper. She has been in some pain and has eaten little without feeling nauseous. The pain pills knock out the pain and her at the same time. So yesterday was spent watching her dose in and out between pills. Today she called and got some nausea meds called in. After adding those she has felt much better and was able to walk twice as far outside as she did yesterday after dinner.

I dressed her incision as directed yesterday and it appears to be between 4 & 5 inches long, but looks rather good considering it's only been 3 days. We've been hanging out in the motorhome for the most part, only going out for perscriptions and groceries.

I picked up Duchess from the kennel yesterday afternoon about 4. The kennel owner said she did great and ate all he foods and gave no problems on her insulin injections. She acted happy to be back in the RV.

Until next time

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.