Friday, October 30, 2015

Just in Time for Halloween

In our last posting, we mentioned Paula’s surgery.  That was completed a couple of days ago, and her doctors have said that all went well.  She was moved out of ICU to a private room yesterday and guess what she did today:
                                                    Yes! It is shopping time already!

She is almost ready to go back onto solid foods, and everyone is hoping she will be able to keep it down for a change.  Her release day may be Sunday but that’s not a sure thing yet. 

Elsewhere at the Shaw Convalescent Compound, Bob’s eye is continuing to slowly heal.  After the first procedure in Michigan, he had a bubble of nitrogen in his left eye.  It was not so big that he couldn’t share driving with Paige.  After the second procedure, he’s had a much larger bubble there.  It has been so large that he hasn’t been willing to drive, although the doctor says he is legal to  (what a scary thought).  The eye is filling with its normal fluid and the bubble is slowly shrinking.  Lately the edge of the bubble is coming into view, and the effect of one good/one bad eye is quite irritating.  With Halloween coming tomorrow, we decided it was time for Bob’s Pirate Look:
                                                                 Is this scary, or what?

A the rate things are going, he is hoping to be able to see with both eyes at his next checkup late next week, and maybe even help Paige with the driving chores.

The weather here has been beastly hot since we arrived – until today.  The high was only 80 or so – just lovely!  Love it!!  Sounds like the forecast is for highs in the 70’s.           

We had a date night on Wednesday night.  Paula loaned Bob the book “The Martian” and he really enjoyed it.  Tomie worked on the premier of the move with Matt Damon so Paula and Tomie had already gone to the move.  We went to the movie and both enjoyed it a lot.  Bob said it was true to the book although some additional tense moments were left out of the move to save time.  We then went to Panda Express right outside the movie theater and had dinner outside.  Great evening!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Latest

Bob’s invasive second eye procedure was done 9 days ago, and we’ve just come back from his second inspection.  Everything is going along like the doctors expected, which means     s  l o  w     improvement.  Our next appointment is in two weeks for another exam.  We are done with one of the eye drops, and usage of the second is cut in half.  The biggest news is “No More Special Positioning” (keeping the face parallel to the floor 50% of the day), except for not sleeping on my back.  This means I can now get out and do errands, etc., without having to think about making up position time.  I am even legal to drive, but won’t because I am not yet comfortable with the level of impairment.

So, what else is new?  Well, the 100-degree temps are over and done with.  We had 3 to 4 days of quite heavy rain, and even some hail,

 but that is also now done.  Nothing but 80-degree days and 60-degree nights; just great.

Tom has been working in his garage to get a car ready for his daughter Megan to drive in a demolition derby at the AZ State Fair this weekend.  It’s been a lot of work for Tom and Megan but they’ve enjoyed it.  Sure hope she enjoys it and doesn’t get hurt!

Tomie was here for the past weekend, but has now returned to the LA area.  We enjoyed spending time with her and hearing about her job at 20th Century Fox.  Paige had a birthday dinner at a new-to-us sushi place which we all enjoyed!

We have nothing special planned for the next few weeks but Paula does.  She’s having surgery on Tuesday to remove a growth on her liver.  We’ll be helping out around here to keep things going while she’s recuperating.  It’s the Shaw Convalescent Home here!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Eye Status

Our Michigan optometrist provided a referral to another clinic in Peoria AZ, not far from where we are parked at Paula’s.  We got to meet this eye surgeon on Tuesday morning.  He inspected the eye and scheduled surgery for Wednesday afternoon.  It turned out to be late afternoon before we were released. 
Thursday afternoon another Dr at the same clinic inspected the eye and advised us that everything was going well.  Now all that is left is a couple of weeks of recuperation.

So, what is recuperation like?  The Michigan procedure patched a couple of tears in the retina and replaced some fluid with a Nitrogen gas bubble.  The latest procedure was more invasive.  It touched up one repair, found a new area, and replaced more fluid with a larger gas bubble.

Now the metallic cup goes back on for nighttime protection, but comes off during the day.  There are 2 different drops that need to be administered 4 times a day for a week.  At night I have to block up the forehead and chest, but keep the nose and face straight down at all times.  During the day, I have to keep the nose and face down half of the time, like 30 minutes of every hour, but get to straighten up once in awhile.  This will continue for at least a week, maybe more.  My next appointment will be Friday of next week.

While waiting to leave for surgery on Wednesday, Bob noticed some ants in our bathroom.  Within 15 minutes there were ants everywhere.  They even bit Paige’s feet!!  How can so many ants come at once??  We had to take a quick run to a hardware store for Taro.  I was afraid of what we’d find when we returned!!  We set up Taro in many locations and the ants swarmed to some of them.  Bob inspected outside the motorhome and found that the ants seemed to be coming up along the electrical cord.  He sprayed all the tires, jacks, and the electrical cord.  We were gone for about 5 hours.  When we got back from surgery, we found that the Taro and spraying had mostly done away with the ants.  There were a few strays that looked confused but they went away soon.  Phew!!  I’ve never seen such a huge infestation before!

It has been too hot here to do anything more than laying around in air-conditioning and helping Paula a bit.  The past two days have had high temps near 100.  Clouds today should hold the temps to 98 or so, before more seasonable 80’s come for next week.

Tomie, our niece, is coming today for the weekend.  It will be good to see her! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

In Phoenix

We did it: 1900 miles from Kalamazoo to Phoenix in 4-1/2 days. 
We have plenty of time to rest up and get to tomorrow morning’s eye appointment.  Whatever the process will be for the eye, there will be lots of time for recuperation.

Our long drive was mostly uneventful.  We mentioned stopping at a Mission Distribution Center on our first night (in Illinois); the second night was another freebee at a casino in Tulsa; our third night was another free night at a winery in Texas where a wedding was scheduled.  The party was indoors and over by midnight.  After everyone left, we were along on the prairie. 
We had to unlock the gate in order to leave the next morning.  Last night we actually tried to rent a campsite in New Mexico, but the only place in the area was totally booked.  Many people were coming in to find there was no space, and a traffic jam occurred as about 8 of us had to make a U-turn and leave through a narrow driveway as others were pulling in.  Our alternative was to boondock at Walmart, after taking our 13 ft tall rig under a bridge marked 13’-2” (holding our breath).  This morning it appeared there were at least 12 rigs who spent the night with us at Walmart.  So, we spent 4 nights on the road and didn’t spend any money on camping!  Good deal – but we spent a big chunk on diesel fuel!!

We arrived at Paula and Tom’s place early this afternoon and got parked for an extended stay.  It’s darn hot here!!  Almost 100 and it’s going to stay that warm for a few days. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Major Change of Plans

In our prior posting, we weren’t complaining about sitting still, just saying what was happening.  Well, that sure changed! 

On Tuesday, in order to stay busy, we went to the Gilmore Car Museum just outside of Kalamazoo.  It seemed there were a million cars there, everything from early steam-powered horseless carriages, through the classic period (like this Deusenberg)

Cars from the Muscle car era:
Special displays of Lincolns, Cadillacs, Franklins, and Ford Model A’s
Plus hotrods and family cars, all spread out in about a dozen separate buildings.

An entire day could be spent at the Gilmore, but we cut it a little short after only a couple of hours.  Something seemed different regarding Bob’s eye so we made another long drive to Grand Rapids for a “just in case” inspection.  Not much changed as a result, except to increase the head-tilt from 30 degrees to almost 90. 

Wednesday we took some time to do a little shopping and found our favorite donut shop:
On Thursday’s eye inspection, it was found that the torn retina was fixed OK, but there was some additional fluid inside the eye that needs to be “squeegeed” out.  This extra procedure will require an extended recuperation period with lots more restrictions.  It should be done within the coming week, but doesn’t have to be done immediately.

Not wanting to have a long recuperation in Michigan in October, we changed our plans to drop the next scheduled project at a camp in southern Indiana, and to instead push hard for Phoenix: 1900 miles in 5 days.  Thank goodness for sisters!  Paula said we could stay at their place for this recuperation period.  Our Dr in Kalamazoo has given us a referral to another practice in Arizona and has faxed his records there.  We have an appointment next Tuesday.  We left the Dr.s office, returned to the Expo Center, and got ready to hit the road all in record time.

We have heard really good things about the on-going work at Midwest Missions in Chatham Illinois, including the invitation to stop by, when in the area.  Our route took us right through there so we stopped for the night on Thursday.  We got there just in time to be invited to dinner with some of the Nomads currently working there.  After an early start on Friday (our bodies were still in Eastern Time).  We got through St Louis late in the morning.  Here is the Arch:
We had a big driving day and got as far as Tulsa OK.  Paige did about half the driving and experienced her first toll plaza.  Three more days like this should get us to Phoenix in time for Bob’s appointment.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Not Moving for Awhile

In our last posting, we mentioned we were frequently moving.  Has that ever changed!  We got to the Kalamazoo County Expo Center for the Nomads’ Annual Meeting for only 5 days, but have extended that another 6 days, for what will be 11 days in the same park, moving only once to dump our holding tanks.

This Nomads’ meeting was our second, although we’ve been members for 5 years.  As we pulled in, we saw Larry with the parking crew; Dave and Nancy were parked nearby; Everett and Elizabeth were right behind them; after chatting with them we bumped into Kitty, while Tom and Evelyn walked by; and we missed Dave and Sally while we were parking.  The list went on and on.  We said to each other, “We will know lots of people this year.”  When the meetings started, we found there were about 160 Nomads here.  That’s when we said to each other “We don’t yet know that many people.”  We sure made a lot of new friends among those we may someday work with.  What a fun and committed service group!  They make us proud to be members.

During the week, Bob noticed some issues with his left eye and, having a family history of retinal detachments, called an opthamologist who confirmed this condition and got him a referral to an eye surgeon.  Our meetings ended with a catered dinner Thursday evening.  Friday morning we had an hour’s drive to Grand Rapids where the repair of a “retinal detachment with multiple tears” was performed.  When we returned, most of the RVs were gone or about to leave.  A few stayed overnight, but by noon Sunday we were the only rig in the lot.
                                                   Just Us - Where did they all go?

The first inspection after the procedure was positive, but full recuperation will take time.  Bob has another appointment on Thursday morning, and expects to be cleared to drive by then.  We will then have three days to get to southern Indiana to work at a church camp.