Archive forMay, 2016

John’s coming home!

John was hospitalized over the Memorial Day holiday. Hopefully he’ll be released this afternoon. He’ll be coming home but he’ll need to continue using oxygen but at least I have him at home.

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John’s condition

John’s comfortable but not well. He’s on oxygen 24/7 and antibiotics to get him over the lung infection (double pneumonia). This morning he had an adverse reaction to the antibiotic. (I am also sensitive to antibiotics so I know that you can use one for a few days and then – wham! you get a reaction.) They tried again this afternoon but it started again so now they’ll try to find one he can tolerate. He won’t be released until Tuesday, June 2nd. He’ll have been there a week.

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Yesterday.. what a day

We started out the day by going to my wrist surgeon. I will have the plates removed, but he made me feel that it’s “my choice.” He doesn’t realize how uncomfortable my wrist is.

We left there and about 2:30 we went to the St. Mary’s outpatient emergency room. He hasn’t been feeling well and his pulmonologist had suggested that he go to the E.R. for a chest x-ray and ct scan.

At the E. R. he was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia (aka double pneumonia) and possibly congestive heart failure (which means fluid around the heart). Although he wasn’t happy about it, they said he needed to be admitted to St. Mary’s Medical Center. I hung around the emergency facility until 7:00 pm but finally headed home. The ambulance finally transported him to the hospital and he was admitted to his room about 8:30. I sure hope he doesn’t have to stay long.

He called me this morning and said he’s feeling a little better.

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Obsessed with John’s condition

I notice the only thing I’ve talked about lately is John’s health. That’s all I think about.

I’m sure he’s tired of hearing me ask, “How are you feeling?” I bug him about it all the time. Patiently he replies, but maybe it’s to shut me up.

His energy is non-existent and it rubs off on me. While watching TV, he sleeps. I don’t feel like doing anything. (I justify my laziness by saying to myself, “I were to bustle around, he’d feel compelled to try to do more.”)

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Maybe it’s the flu

John’s been feeling so rotten that we’ve begun to wonder if maybe he has a bug. Afterall even with pulmonary fibrosis, he can still catch the flu.

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Times they are a-changing

John hasn’t been doing very well. He’s been sick, short of breath and miserable.

Yesterday, he stopped taking Esbriet, which is the pricey medicine prescribed for his idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in January. It comes with many side-effects. He felt he couldn’t cope with the constant nausea and the absence of taste sensors which mean nothing tasted good. After losing nearly 20 pounds, he felt it was time to take a break from the poisoning of his body by this potent medicine.

(I should note that a majority of those taking Esbriet quit due to the side effects. His doctors said 75% or more of their patients had quit taking it.)

He had an appointment with his Saginaw pulmonologist Monday. She recognized that he’s gone down-hill. She said normally the best you can hope for staying comparatively well (even with treatment) lasts five or six years. John’s nearly to seven years!

She is having him tested to see if his lung problem may have reached a point where he isn’t getting sufficient oxygen as he sleeps. If that’s the case, his heart could be affected. She feels the arrhythmia he’s been diagnosed with could be an indication that he’s developing this problem. The fix is to have him wear an oxygen nose mask when he sleeps (like those diagnosed with sleep apnea use). He won’t use it all the time, but at night, it might help him.

He and his physician talked over his need for a handicapped parking placard. There are times when he truly can’t walk the distances required. His doctor filled out all the paperwork and today we got him a handicap permit at the Secretary of State office.

This afternoon was a good example of his need for that privilege. We went shopping, but he could only make it to the door, and he just couldn’t go further. He’d run out of oxygen. I ran around the store while he guarded our shopping cart near the door. He was exhausted.

But looking ahead, we were also worried about our Evart festival and what would happen if we ended up with a distant campsite. He’d just be stuck at our RV. And when we’re headed back to Florida next fall, we were concerned that we’d have a similar problem to last year. Our motel room had close-by parking places but they were all handicapped. John couldn’t have handled the luggage from the non-handicapped spots. The motel management understood his situation and said, “Don’t worry about it, we’ll vouch for you and explain there were no other sites, if you have a problem.” Now he can legally occupy the closer spots.

Today we stopped at a half dozen places after he had the placard, but he never used it. He won’t abuse the privilege but he’ll have it, if needed.

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Adjusting to Michigan

John’s been totally worn-out since getting home. For the first time, he actually said “maybe” when I suggested flying back to Florida in October instead of driving. We have a guy (Larry’s Ride) who could pick us up at Tampa International for $35. Problem would be the stuff we’re able to bring with us including: wine that John’s making, favorite clothes, musical instruments (banjo, uke, hammered dulcimer, marimbula and autoharp), air purifier, and food. I keep trying to leave more and not drag it back and forth, but some items are needed both places.

Before we left last fall, I had in mind that I’d leave clothes in Florida, but by the time I started packing to head north, I’d forgotten what we had here. Therefore I brought most of my popular items back with us. Now I’m finding lots of stuff I can wear this summer so I could have left more in the south. I just have to do more list making this fall.

I’m trying to get organized and clean this place but there’s still lots more to be done around here.


We had planned to go to the Moose Club for all-you-can-eat walleye tonight. But John had a rough day and didn’t feel like spending an evening away from home. We ran to the closest supermarket for coffee and something for a meal but we were only gone about a half hour. At home we made a huge pot of chili and had it for dinner. Hopefully tomorrow he’ll feel better. Today is Friday. We have dinner plans with his siblings Sunday at 1:00 and Monday he sees his pulmonologist. I hate seeing him so uncomfortable. His nausea came back and his oxygen levels are scary low. He’s weak and has lost more weight (which he can’t afford to lose). I just hope he bounces back. I think he needs to start finding help. He can’t maintain the yard alone, and I am not much help. (I’ll be having surgery on my hand probably this month.)

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We made it back to Michigan this afternoon

We left our Florida condo Sunday, stayed overnight in Marietta, Georgia, and last night in Miamisburg, Ohio. Made it home about 2:30. The trip was fairly uneventful. A few traffic jams slowed us down, but we managed to survive them. We got home in time to the drag stuff from our truck inside, but it will take a few days to get everything back where it belongs.

Now that we’re at our Thomas Township home, I have to ask: how can a house get really yucky dirty with no one here for seven months? There are dead petals all over the hot tub room where we store the geraniums for re-planting, there are lots of dead flies/bugs around the house, the toilets were disgusting and the dust is unbelievable. The stuff we brought back with us is piled up on most level surfaces. I want to know: how could anyone leave a house in October looking like this?!! Housekeeping isn’t my thing, but this is beyond my understanding. I’m so ashamed but too tired to do anything about it.

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I’ve been neglectful of this blog

Sorry to anyone who like to follow this blog and have found that I’ve been lazy (or preoccupied). I will try to do better.

We have been busy packing for our trip back to Michigan. We leave Sunday, the 8th. We always hang around for the big Kentucky Derby party hosted by the Michigan Club. This year that event is May 7th.

This past month has been VERY busy! We have attended several parties including a “birthday party” for four girlfriends who will have birthdays after the snowbirds have left for the summer. We also attended an appreciation dinner by the Michigan Club, a dinner/dance for Baby Boomers members, a Front Porch Pickers picnic, a farewell party at the home of friends, an evening with another couple, and a birthday lunch for a super nice lady friend. We went to a 40th anniversary party for best friends the Conklins, a couple dances (including one featuring the Dukes) and even spent an afternoon helping a friend with her computer and smartphone. With that lengthy list, you can understand why I haven’t been doing as much blog posting.

And we’ve been packing. Packing involves moving the lanai furniture into the garage (stowing the fabric cushions in plastic bags). Thank heavens John finished that chore on Tuesday before we got nearly 4″ of rain. The lanai and everything on it was soaked.

Of course I have scheduled the vacation changes which take time. I have scheduled shut off our Brighthouse cable service which includes our wi-fi for Monday after we’ve left. I’ve contacted our newspapers, the post office, and our credit card company.

I also spent a full afternoon making sure my smart phone would work as a hot spot.

Last year we used Charter wi-fi and TV in our Michigan home, but this year I’m trying a cheaper solution. I have established a wi-fi ($30 monthly) hotspot through my smart phone. We’ll get our TV through our digital roof-top antenna so we’ll get all local channels but maybe nothing like HGTV and History which we enjoy here in Florida. Hopefully some of our Brighthouse channels will still be available to us via my smartphone myBrighthouse service. Doing it this way will give us connection to the outside world when we’re on our way home, at our place in the upper peninsula and also when we go to Evart.

Last year we paid for a month of Charter that we couldn’t use (because we weren’t home). This way we’ll be able to take it with us where ever we are and at a savings of about a hundred a month.

The hot spot will extend to my computer and John’s tablet. That way John will be able to access the stock market and major news stations. We’ll all be happy!

The only requirement for making my phone into a hot spot was keeping my “unlimited Verizon usage” and paying the $30 monthly. It has cost me a bit more but hopefully it’ll pay off.

My to-do list is still huge. Lots of the stuff I have to do is “last minute” but I think it’s all doable.

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