Plan B it is …

Well, I finally met with the cardiac surgeon. Once again there was a delay, so overall – we waited over two hours. The question was whether I would have bypass surgery or not. Well, it turns out not. Because of my lung disease, I have taken prednisone – on and off – for many years. That leaves me with a significantly enhanced chance of infection after surgery. And then, of course, there is the lung disease which is now being treated with remicade and methotrexate (since the disease has worsened over the years). Chances are good that I would have a long, difficult recovery. So, with all of this, and at the advice of the surgeon, I am not having bypass surgery.

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What is Plan B? In the next few weeks they will try putting in stents (angioplasty) again. (I already have two stents). They are pretty sure they can stent one area – and one area is a maybe. I also have narrowed arteries and a bundle block – neither of which can be fixed without bypass surgery. The stenting will not correct all of the issues but it should make it better. Chances are that I will never become a world-famous athlete because I won’t be able to do things that require a lot of exertion – but, then, I have never been a athlete in any sense of the word. And I can find plenty to do when sitting …

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So, that is the plan.

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return. 

 

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Time goes on … decay continues

Recently I had the chance to re-visit the sites of old buildings. To my surprise, the decay of the buildings seems to be hastening . . .  the buildings soon to be down and the stories they tell along with them.

Remember this structure from a previous blog?

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Here it is now …  037.JPG

And another … Soon it will be a pile of boards. We think they may actually be removing and saving some of the boards.

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We have been watching another building for a long time: It is on the way to the location of the Amish Haystack dinners (see previous blogs) that we frequent. On this visit, however, it had changed dramatically . . . also soon to be a pile of boards on the ground.

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And so, the rages of time . . .

Thanks for looking and reading. I hope you will return. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Coats and Vascovagal … aren’t I the lucky one?

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Last week I had an angiogram – where they determine if there are any blockages of the arteries to the heart. (More about that later.) My procedure was scheduled for 11:00 am. But, as luck would have it, there were two emergencies where they needed to do angiograms on the patients. So I got bumped to the end of the line. I finally went to the procedure room about 3:45 p.m. Not a big deal, except that I have ‘white coat syndrome” – where ‘patients exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range, in a clinical setting, that they don’t exhibit it in other settings.’ This all seems quite silly to me – that my blood pressure goes up – because I don’t feel that anxious. In fact, part of the time I was falling asleep. The ‘cure’ for white coat syndrome is to relax – so sleeping should be sufficient. But is wasn’t and it has never worked for me. During the angiogram, my systolic (upper number) blood pressure was over 200. A reading of 140 or more is considered high blood pressure. As a result, they gave me medication – twice – to get the systolic pressure down. It took until AFTER I got home late that evening to get it under 140.

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I also suffer from vasovagal syncope –

Vasovagal syncope (vay-zoh-VAY-gul SING-kuh-pee) occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. Vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly. That leads to reduced blood flow to your brain, causing you to briefly lose consciousness. (from the Mayo Clinic – online)

The last incident of this was when I had a tooth pulled. I drove home (about 20 miles), put gas in my car, and then worked at my computer for an hour or so. It was then time to change the gauze. I removed the gauze, stood up, was immediately weak and dizzy, and barely made it a few feet across the room to a chair where I collapsed, falling across the chair. I turned “ashen white” – as described by the paramedics who arrived after we called – because we had no idea what was going on. After an ambulance ride to the local hospital, I was soon home but It takes several hours to get back to normal. I asked the admitting ER doctor what I could do to avoid this – because it seems so silly and should be preventable – and he simply said: “When you figure out what to do, let me know. My wife does the same thing.” By the way, I am really good at passing out; I have it down to a science – with the most important thing being to get to the lowest level so you don’t hit something as you fall. Vasovagal syncope is usually harmless and requires no treatment. It is just a temporary annoyance.

It appears my body reacts with a ‘high’ (blood pressure) or a ‘low’ (passing out); I would be quite content with something in the middle.

Back to the angiogram – not the best news. I do have blockages – that may not be correctable with stents. (I already have two stents.) They are now considering some sort of bypass surgery. However, I also have a lung disease so they need to determine if I am a good candidate for surgery. Interestingly, the angiogram was done through my wrist – instead of through the groin – which is a big change from the last time – and a big improvement. It is amazing how many changes/improvements have been made in medical procedures and treatments. Perhaps they will have a new idea on how to address the blockages and narrowing of the arteries. I’ll learn more when I confer with the surgeons/specialists in about two weeks. — More on that later.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return. 

Summer is hanging on . . .

Our yard is full of yellow maple leaves  . . .

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And today a breeze is making it rain even more yellow leaves,

but there is still summer color everywhere …

The flowers are still blooming …

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The tomatoes are quickly ripening and the recent rainy weather brought forth many mushrooms …

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There is color everywhere …

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So, while you can, take a walk, ride a bike, sit on the deck … get outside and enjoy it while you can. That’s what Milli is doing …

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Thanks for reading! I hope you return!!

 

 

Silly Milli plays ball …

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It’s been a bit since I’ve blogged about Silly Milli. A few things  have happened. In about ten days, Milli is having surgery on her eye. It became sore about two weeks ago; after waiting a couple of days to see if it would clear up, we decided to take her to the vet. The examination showed that somehow Milli has a hole in what I believe is the outer part of her eye. While the veterinarian was concerned, immediate surgery was not needed. It is painful for Milli, so we are giving her a pain pill and using ointment on her eye. You would think she would be lying around, maybe acting sick … Nope, not Milli. Milli has been playing ball.

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When the weather is good, we start our day with coffee on our deck and playing ball with Milli. She loves her tennis balls. We throw them across the deck and she quickly retrieves them – for a half hour or more. Most of the time she will bring the ball back and then stop short – so that we have to reach to get the ball. Sometimes she will put the ball on the deck and just look at us. I guess that’s the point where she’s had enough exercise.

Other times, I will sit on the deck – with Milli – but Milli plays ball on her own. I simply watch and chuckle – a lot.

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As you can see, Milli enjoys playing ball and we enjoy watching her – even when she is being  very serious …

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Thanks for reading! I hope you will come again (and so does Milli!). We\’ll be sure to post some photos after the surgery … when she is wearing a cone around her neck. I wonder if she will be able to play ball?

 

 

A nice surprise … the Wall that Heals

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica at Barker’s Island in Superior, MN. (Lake Superior is in the background.)

Recently we traveled to Two Harbors to deliver our son’s vehicle to him. After lunch with he and his family, we headed to Duluth to spend a few hours before we returned home. We visit Duluth – and Lake Superior — as often as we can. I’m pretty sure we could conduct one heck of a visitor’s tour of the area.

One of our mandatory stops is Canal Park, often to visit the Canal Park Museum – this time to get the 2018 copy of Know Your Ships. (We are long-time dedicated Great Lakes shipping fans.) And, then, of course – the visit to the popcorn wagon, that sits in the parking lot area of the museum, is a must.

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Popcorn wagon in Canal Park, Duluth

We often also take  a quick ride across the Blatnik Bridge to the City of Superior to see the ships in port. This time we decided to see if anything had changed on Barker’s Island, home of the S S Meteor Whaleback Ship museum. (For more information on the museum, Click HERE.)

To our surprise, however, we found that The Wall that Heals Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica and Mobile Education Center was on display on the lawn and parking lot area of the museum.

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The following text, as stated on their web page, describes the purpose of the display.

“On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) unveiled a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication, The Wall That Heals has visited more than 400 cities and towns throughout the nation, spreading the Memorial’s healing legacy to millions.

Bringing The Wall home to communities throughout our country allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist once more among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings. The traveling exhibit provides thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.”

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We arrived at the exhibit shortly before the day’s end; however, I was still able to peruse the displays in the mobile education center and walk most of the wall. My brother, and many of my friends and high school classmates, served in Vietnam so this was a very sobering experience for me, but it is well worth the visit should the exhibit come to an area near you.

For more information on the wall, Click HERE. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you will return. 

 

There she blows … Cousins weekend (part 2)

The first blog on cousins weekend was mostly about the lake. This blog is about other activities of our weekend.

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A little shopping entertainment

So what does a group of women do on an women-only weekend. We go shopping. In this case, we went to Spooner, Wisconsin – just a few miles away from the cabin. Spooner has a two  or so block area with several gift and antique stores. Unfortunately for us, we decided to go shopping on Sunday – so some of the stores were not open. (Wouldn’t it be nice if all the merchants got together and were all open during the same times?)

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The store above gets the “My Choice for Best Store” award. It is a book store AND  a yarn store – all in one. There is a nice selection of books and a wide variety of very nice yarns. Even better – if you look closely at the picture above – you will see it is located in a building that was – or is – home to a Masonic Lodge – which typically have interesting architectural details.

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A key feature of this shopping area is this wall mural and small park. There were several areas where shoppers could sit and rest or just people watch.

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The shop called the “Dock” (shown above) was also the entrance to public restrooms — an important feature for women shoppers. We did not visit “The Wobbin Duck Saloon” – nor did we take time for a tattoo. Maybe next time. Maybe not.

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Back at the cabin

At the cabin, we had several visits from a woodchuck – who apparently lives under the shed. We thought about getting a be-be gun to shoot it; and then we thought better.

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We spent a far amount of time playing cards. Since I don’t play cards, I wasn’t the best at it. We played Skipbo and some other high-stakes game (as shown above) where we bet on which cards would appear. I think I won a few – but clearly I could use some practice.

And, there she blows . . . almost a catastrophe

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You’ll have to pardon my rudimentary sketching but this sketch will help you understand our near catastrophe. Later Saturday evening, we had all gathered in living room area of the cabin. I was sitting in the recliner (shown on the right in the sketch); one of my sister-in-laws was sitting in the rocker to the left of the recliner; my niece was in the chair immediately above the recliner that I was sitting in; and my other sister-in-law (and owner of the cabin) was walking between the recliner and the rocker.

I decided that I would hook up my oxygen bottle for the night. (It was empty from use the night before.) However, I have never hooked it up; my husband always does it for me.  So, I put the valve on the tank – as I thought it should be. Then I decided to test it – so I turned the value to open it — just as my sister-in-law walked by (between our two chairs). Well, I didn’t do it correctly and a blast of oxygen shot out, making a loud gushing noise. It either blew my sister-in-law (who was walking) over or it scared her. In any case, she fell forward – into the area between all of the chairs. I was watching her fall and trying to shut off the value – but then, I leaned too far forward – and ended up on the floor — all tangled up in the hose for the tank. I tried to get up by leaning on the chair, which just kept tipping. Finally, I was able to get up – and see that my sister-in-law was okay.

Just one more little problem – the one who fell had knee surgery on both knees, so she can’t lean on them. That makes getting up even harder – and, of course, it’s hard enough for us old folks to get up. After a few minutes of trying to figure out how to help her – we took one of the cushions off the couch and put it on the floor. She was able to scooch over and get onto that cushion; then we took the other cushion and put it on the first one. Again, she was able to scooch onto that cushion. Then it was easy for my niece to pull her to her feet.

After all of that, we just sat in the living room, laughing. I’m sure it was a funny sight – at least for a few minutes. Luckily, I now know how to correctly put the gauge on the oxygen tank. The bonus — the sister-in-law who fell had been suffering with a kink in her back for a few days prior to this incident; the next morning, the kink was gone!!!

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.