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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Better than I was, Not where I need to be

I guess by the title you can tell that things are still not back to normal, whatever that is.  I do feel better than I did a couple of weeks ago but I am still having some issues, lower back pain for one thing, so I have another doctor's appointment on Monday.  I might need another round of antibiotics or something.  We shall see what she says.

I continue to be amazed at Dan's progress.  He just seems to be going right along and sometimes I have to remind him NOT to use his left arm so much.  He is not suppose to lift it above his head or use it to pick up stuff that weighs more than a gallon of milk.  Sometimes he forgets, but he is really doing well.  We see his Primary Care doctor this Thursday and we shall see what she says.  He doesn't go back to the cardiologist until the 21st of July.

Last week I took it pretty easy - took me two days to get the house completely clean (from the ceiling to the floors) and get the laundry done.  Then Dan and I did a little work in the yard for a couple of days.  I cut down a smallish cedar tree in the back yard with the chain saw.  It was the first time I ever used a chain saw but it wasn't bad at all.  Don't worry, it was NOT a big gas powered thing.  It is just a small electric one, but big enough for me and it did get the job done.  Then I did a little weeding around the back patio.

Saturday we decided to go down to Gainesville and go to the new Bass Pro Shop and I thought we might be able to see the girls since Melissa and Justin were on their way home from Nashville and would be though Gainesville between 2 and 3 that afternoon.  By the time we got down there Dan was hungry so we went to Red Robin for lunch.  We had never eaten there and Dan wanted to try it out.  It was actually good and we enjoyed the burger.  Dan thought it would be more like a Chick-Fil-a instead of Chili's - but we had a cute little waitress that had us laughing.  We will definitely go back again. 

Then we headed down to Bass Pro Shop - we wanted a new lamp for the end table by Dan's chair and we had seen one on line, but wanted to see it in person to make sure it was what we wanted.  Dan liked the lamp, so in the cart it went. 







Then we picked up some new wax melts and a couple of new mugs for us.  We spent a little time, about an hour, just looking around.  Dan enjoyed the store and I have to say that it was a nice store.  It wasn't huge like the one in Orlando and it made looking around much nicer.  We then decided to run up to Home Goods and look around - we picked up a new dog bed for Jessie to use on the back porch and a watering can for the potted plants.  When we got to the car I had a text message from Melissa that both girls were asleep and that they were just going to keep driving.  While I was disappointed that I wasn't able to see the babies, I was also tired and ready to head for home.  It had been a long day and I slept really well that night.

Sunday was a quiet day at home - I went down and visited with mom for a while.  She is really starting to show her difficulties.  We have an appointment with her doctor next week for the definitive diagnosis but we are pretty sure what they are going to say, but we shall wait and see for sure.  I'm not sure how she will handle the diagnosis but we will do what we have to do.

Yesterday I worked a little out in the yard again - using the weed eater and trying to get the side yard cleaned up.  I only worked for about 20 minutes before the daily rains moved in, but I got quite a bit done.  Will have to try and get the rest done later this week.

Today Dan and I went to Lake City to a produce market we were told about - it was very nice and a trip we will probably take a couple of times a month.  Then we came back to Live Oak and went to WalMart. Along with a few groceries I had to pick up a new hair dryer since mine started spitting fire at me on Sunday.  We also broke down and bought a new printer.  This one is wireless and I can print from the computer, my phone, or the Kindles.  We shall see how it all works out.  The set up was easy, but I haven't printed anything yet.  Time will tell.

Tomorrow I will work down at the store - I'll work two more weeks before I take off for a couple of weeks for my Nashville trip.  Last week was really slow and I expect tomorrow will be also.  That's okay - I took the book the doctor recommended that I read with me and I'm about 1/2 way through it.  I'll take it again tomorrow and next week if I haven't finished it before.

Dan and I have also been talking about the projects we want to tackle around here in the next few months.  A couple of things that have been on the back burner will be moved up and one thing that will be in a completely different direction.  I'll wait until things are starting to happen before I say any more.

Well, that catches everything up.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

So much for plans!


Well, so much for plans!

On my last post I talked about going down to Lakeland this week and keeping the girls, going to the beach, having fun....
Well, that's not happening.


You see, I had been ignoring some health symptoms for quite a while thinking that either they would just go away, or that "what ever IT was would run it's course, and go away". I knew that we were having some issues with my blood pressure, which we still haven't got fixed, but that's for another day.  But the current issues ... well, they didn't go away.

I should have known that things were coming to a head on Friday when I didn't want to eat.  And they on Saturday when my back was really hurting - but I kept making excuses.  I wasn't hungry because I was worried about Dan - my back hurt because of the recliner I had to sleep on.  Anyway, following my usual pattern of ignoring Sunday was a quiet day at home thinking about everything that needed to be done before leaving on Friday.

Monday morning I didn't want coffee (big deal).  By noon I was having chills.  I told Dan that I was going to lie down for a little while, but if he needed me to call.  Well, two days later Dan is loading me in the car and we are heading to the doctor.  I had pretty much slept for two solid days with fever and chills the entire time.  Dan kept coming in and checking on me, but all I wanted to do was sleep.

After several tests, and a big honkin' shot in the bottom, I was sent home and back to bed.  I had two very strong antibiotics  to take over the next 14 days and orders to stay in bed and take it easy.  No trip to Lakeland, no keeping the babies, no trip to the beach.

Seems like I had a major infection that had moved to my kidneys and I had been very close to going into septic shock.  I have had this infection for quite a while and those where the symptoms  that I kept ignoring.  Anyway, Thursday I was feeling some better - and decided that I could go with Dan to his doctor's appointment in Gainesville on Friday - bad move.
We were up at 6 Friday morning, a quick shower, and in the car and on the road by 6:30.  I had gotten out of breath and hot while getting ready but thought it would be fine.  By the time we got to Gainesville, I was not feeling that good.  Thank goodness we were called back early for his appointment and all went well.  He is doing SUPER and the device is working great.
We were done at the doctor's by 9 am and Dan asked if I wanted to go anywhere.  No, I just wanted to go home.

On the way home I started having chills again and I covered up with Jessie's blanket from the back seat.  I called the doctor's office and was told to go home and get in bed - if things got worse - go to the ER.  I was determined that I was NOT going to the ER so I came home and went to bed.  After spending the rest of the day in bed and having an early night.  I woke up Saturday morning feeling somewhat better (maybe like Thursday).  I could have kicked myself in the butt that I tried to do too much too soon. 

I fixed some Chicken Enchilada Soup in the crock pot - not a hard recipe to do and it cooks all by itself.  In ten minutes I had supper cooking and only had to add some cream cheese about an hour before we wanted to eat.

Anyway, I have just been taking it easy since then - sitting in my recliner or on the couch for the last couple of days.  I am feeling better today then I have in a very long time.  In fact, Dan and I rode down to Mayo and ate lunch at the Mayo CafĂ©.  Then I also went on a golf cart ride with Dan and Jessie for the first time in well over a week.

I am going to try and pace myself to get some things done - like laundry and getting the house clean.  I'm planning on taking all week to get those two little chores done - so we shall see.  We don't have anything on the calendar this week since we were suppose to be gone - so what gets done gets done and what doesn't I'm not going to have to worry about it.

Hoping for a better week!

Oh, and Happy Father's Day to Dan Mihlfeld - you are a great dad and step-dad.  You are always looking for ways to make things better for everyone - me, your kids, my kids, and the grandchildren.  We all love you!

  To Justin Thibodeau- you are a fabulous dad to my two grand babies.
 
To Donnie Collins - you have always been a good dad to our children - you have always stayed in their lives and you are a good grandfather to Lorelai and Adalyn.

And finally, to my dad, Bud Lowery.  I miss you every day and I wish you could have seen how Crystal and Melissa have grown up to be beautiful, successful women.  I wish you could have met and held your great grand babies.  You would have loved Lorelai's sweet heart and Adalyn's spunkiness.  I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day in heaven.  Love you daddy!!!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Changes, changes, changes

Well, as the title says there have been some changes around here.


On my last post I left you talking about Memorial Day.  We did have friends over for a very nice dinner.  I had not decided what to have for dessert, but Dan thought that some homemade Orange Ice Cream would be nice - so we got the ice cream churn down (that we haven't used in about  5 or 6 years), got all the ingredients in the churn, turn it on ----- nothing!  It won't work.  Well, about that time our friends show up and see the problem - they run home and get their churn and we still have ice cream.  (It's really more like a sherbet than ice cream, but it's still good!)

Wednesday was another quiet day of volunteering and Thursday was the Executive Committee meeting. 

Friday morning we had breakfast at another neighbor's house - the last get together before fall.  A lot of the neighbors on our street leave for the summer and go up north - in fact some had already left - but we had a nice little group and breakfast was wonderful with eggs, two different types of quiche, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, pastries, orange juice, and coffee.  So much of the diet!

My mom had a doctor's appointment at 11 here in the Village.  It was the first time I had been able to get her to see the doctors here, but she was on her best behavior.  While she did get upset we did get a troubling diagnosis - the doctor believes she has Alzheimer's Disease but we are going to do some further tests to make sure.  It would explain a lot of the symptoms that we have noticed but we shall see what all the tests that we are going to do in the next few weeks will tell us.  I have been told to read The 36 Hour Day which I have started.  It gives a lot of information, some of which is very disturbing.  This looks like it is going to be a very difficult stage for us, but as I said, we will wait for the definitive diagnosis.

Dan and I left Friday afternoon for Lakeland and Lorelai's fifth birthday party (fifth birthday????? How did that happen?????)  Mom did not want to come (another trait of the disease), but we had someone check on her a couple of times every day we were gone - which was just Saturday and Sunday.

My daughter that lives in Nashville had flown down on Thursday and we had some "family" time Friday night before the big birthday bash on Saturday.  I don't know how many people were there, but the house was full and the kids had so much fun on the big water slide the kids got.


Lorelai, Ada, and their cousin Jake









For some reason I didn't take many pictures (well, I did forget to take my "big" camera, so all I had was my cell phone), but there were a LOT of people there!  A boat load of kids, but Lorelai seemed to enjoy her birthday.

Anyway, Dan and I had to leave Sunday to get home for Dan's doctors appointment in Lake City on Monday.  He had a ECHO first and then a doctor's visit immediately after.  Well, it was decided, after MUCH discussion, that Dan would have an ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) put in on the following Monday, June 12th, there in Lake City.

Tuesday was Lorelai's actual birthday and I was able to Skype with her before she went out to dinner with her family - there were pictures of she and Ada at Mellow Mushroom on Face book, but I don't know how to get them to the blog.  Oh well!

Wednesday I wasn't able to volunteer again as I had to take Mom to Madison to the hospital to have a CT scan done.  Then I got her home and settled.

Then I spent the rest of the day on the phone with the doctor's office as they could not do Dan's procedure in Lake City on Monday - it was decided that it would be done on Friday, June 9th.  I can not say enough how great the doctor's office was - they were so accommodating to get this done before us leaving town next Friday.

Thursday night we went to a friends house for dinner.

Fish, grits, beans, corn, hush puppies, cole slaw, pickles, and more.



Bud





A corner of my plate.
Since I don't eat fish, Joyce fixed me some chicken.  I sure did eat
the grits, beans, and hush puppies though!



 Dan's plate!

He certainly enjoyed all the fish and we always enjoy the fabulous company!

Friday morning we took Jessie to mom since Dan was going to have to spend the night in the hospital.  It would give her something to do and we had one of her neighbor's check in on them while we were gone.

We were on the road by 9:30 as his admission's appointment was at 11:30.  We were a few minutes early, but we didn't have to wait long before we were called.  I had done a lot of the pre-registration on the phone Thursday, so there wasn't much that had to be done - a copy of our insurance cards, answer a few questions, sign consent forms, and get his beautiful bracelet.  Then we were taken straight back to the cardiac unit and he was set up on a stretcher.  This was some what amusing since Dan is 6'4" and these stretchers seems like they were made for someone about 5' he had a lot of leg hanging off the end.  Anyway, they got all the pre-procedure stuff done - the doctor came in about 12:30 and said they were going to take a quick lunch break and then it would be Dan's turn.  Well, a quick lunch turned into a little over an hour but he was taken back about 1:45.  I was told it would take about an hour, so I went to the cafeteria for some lunch (I hadn't had anything except one cup of coffee all day) and then I was back in the room before he was brought back.  He was fully awake when he came back and was eating "lunch" by 4, and they brought him supper at 5:30.  Anyway, he was taken up to his room about 7 - while it was a semi-private room there was no one else in the room but us. After getting Dan settled I made a quick trip to the car.  I wanted to get the Life Vest to the box for return and possibly move the car since we were parked on the top floor of the parking garage.  I was able to move to the second floor and then I went by the cafeteria and picked up a sandwich for supper, which I only ate about three bites of.  I went back upstairs and got as comfortable as I could in the recliner by Dan's bed..  After a restless, uncomfortable, but for the most part, uneventful night we were ready to go home Saturday morning.


My Guy!

The doctor came in around 11 and we were finally on the road a little before noon.  We went through Live Oak so I could drop off his prescription for pain medication then I brought him home and got him all settled in his chair.  Then I went and picked Jessie up - brought her home - then into town to pick up his medicine (which cost $.80, yep you read that right - eighty cents!).  Our sweet friend had left some soup on the back porch - so I didn't have to worry about supper (thank you Joyce!)....


Well, everyone is settled in and I was so ready for "bed" last night.  Dan is still sleeping in his recliner as he can not lift his right arm over his head for the next six weeks and he's afraid he would try while sleeping.  So, I am still on the couch, but that okay, as it is really comfortable.  I think we both slept pretty good last night since Dan didn't get up until almost 9 and I was up just a few minutes later.

Today we have spent the day quietly here at home.  We've had a few rain storms and are suppose to have some more.  I think I'm going to  go down to the shop tomorrow and have the store manager take me off the schedule for the summer since I have so much coming up and having to be gone so much the next two months it's just doesn't seem to be fair to her to wonder if this is a week I'm going to be there or not.  It just seems like it would be easier to be completely off the schedule until August.

I will be getting us ready to leave for Lakeland on Friday.  We are going to keep the girls for a week - and spend four days at the beach.  Dan won't be able to get into the ocean or the pool - he also won't be able to lift the girls - but it will be good to get away for a while.  I will arrange for someone to check in on mom everyday and I will be telling her service coordinator that we will be gone - so that should not be an issue.

We will stop by the doctor's office in Gainesville on our way to Lakeland to have Dan's device checked - and then he has another appointment with the cardiologist in July. He also has an appointment with the PCP the week we get back from the beach along with labs.  We'll be home for two weeks before I leave for Nashville to help my daughter who will be having surgery on the 10th.  Then it's more appointments for me, Mom, and Dan.  I guess this is going to be the summer of doctor's appointments.

Well, we do what we have to do.

I guess I'll close for now.