As I sit here, on the verge of yet another adventure, I’m compelled to rid my brain of events from the past few days. The adventure, BTW, is a trip to the Big Island.
When I do this “stuff”, I try to do it in chronological order, because that’s how events should be reported. That doesn’t always work out, however, when the one reporting has a faulty memory module. Thankfully, I have a calendar into which I enter all pertinent data that I’m sure all of you are sitting on the edge of your seats, chomping at the bit, to hear about them.
The calendar works great, when I remember to enter the info. When I don’t, then it’s a crapshoot as to what you may see here.
So, I have my calendar up and here’s what I see …
Wednesday, February 12th, was Lincoln’s birthday, and the day Diane normally submits her Avon order. We don’t typically celebrate Lincoln’s birthday, and didn’t this time, either, but Diane orders Avon products every Wednesday. Without fail. She has a room full of it.
This was the day when I also got connected with my new Cardiac Event Monitor (CLEM). I know, there’s no “L” in it, but I wanted it to sound like a name, you know? So, now it’s Clem. It’s a nifty little device that I wear on my belt, like a phone but smaller, and it has three leads that snap on to those little round patches they use for EKGs and such. I put one each just under each clavicle, and the third goes under my left breast. I suppose you are surprised to learn I have a left breast since I am, I think, entirely male. However, since I heard that men can also get breast cancer, I’ve decided that’s what I need to call them. Also, the old I get, the more tempting it is to start wearing a sports bra.
With Clem properly connected, the device periodically flashes a very bright green light. Since I’m forced to wear it 24/7 for the next month, the light revealed a point of contention between my need to wear it and Diane’s need to sleep. After the first night she reported that the blinking “lasered” her eyeballs all night long. Thereafter, I ensured the device was tucked under the covers.
Associated with this device is another device that looks suspiciously like a smart phone. Indeed, it’s connected via AT&T to a monitoring facility somewhere in the world where concerned techs keep an eye on things and ensure users are doing OK. That was my understanding, anyway. To test it, I switch the wires around once in a while to see if anyone’s watching. So far I’ve not received any phone calls to ask me what’s going on so apparently I’m either using a placebo device, or no one really cares. I’ve been assured, however, that they will definitely care if I don’t return all the devices to them in 30 days. To the tune of about $2500. This tells me they are at least keeping track of who the device was issued to. The upshot of all this is that everywhere I go, I blink. It’s especially entertaining at night, walking around in our unlit front yard, when I take the dogs out.
Oh ya! My doctor wanted me to get the monitor to see if they could associate my brief dizzy spells to cardiac events, not because I’m having a heart attack. I am, however, in the zone for things like that because I’m terrible about what I eat, and don’t eat, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. At the last office visit, where she prescribed the monitor, she also told me she wanted a daily log of my blood pressure at our next visit. I’ll tell you about that a little later down the page.
Wednesday was also a day to visit my new physical therapist for an evaluation. As many of you may remember, Diane and I spent a lot of time on the road visiting the VA Hospital, on Pill Hill, in Portland, for PT but the final determination was that my right shoulder, though it hurts, doesn’t really have a problem. It’s muscular. I left that round of therapy thinking I was just going to have to deal with it the rest of my pitiful life, like I do the other pains I have. It doesn’t hurt unless I move it certain ways, so I just don’t move it “that” way. Simple. But, my doctor asked about it, and I had to tell her, so she referred me to a local PT shop. At least it’s not a 80 mile round trip to get it done.
The evaluation determined that my Long Biceps Tendon, and my Supraspinatuas Tendon are rubbing against the Coracoid process. I could take that to mean I may not have a Bursa in my right shoulder, but that wasn’t mentioned. Since it’s not fatal, I will proceed with the new set of exercises and see how things go. I like the new PT guy a lot because he’s got “Dr.” in front of his name and the exercise picture he gave me is of a real person, not a stick figure. That’s quality in my book. So, there’s hope.
Thursday, February 15th, was my normal day for coffee with the MELCA guys. MELCA, for the uninitiated, is Men of the Evangelical Church of America. It isn’t a real group, except for us, because Larry L felt the need to have something to do when the WELCA ladies do “stuff.” We visit at the Kozy Korner, drinking coffee, harassing the waitresses, and solving pretty much all of the world’s problems. It’s fulfilling. Sadly, no one listens to our solutions, except the table full of catholic nuns who also meet on Thursday mornings. We know they listen because they look sideways at us sometimes.
On this day I was late because I paid a visit to my barber who, you may remember, was absent all last week due to a family emergency. Indeed it was. His 84-year-old Mother passed away due to complications from bone cancer. He’s really good at explaining everything. Turns out that all old people, who do not die outright from an affliction, like a heart attack, usually succumb to pneumonia because of the way the body reacts to everything that’s going on with whatever disease they have. So, his Mom didn’t pass directly because of the bone cancer, but because of the complications it caused with her body chemistry. This is good to know, and a really good reason to keep your breathing apparatus in good working order, like, by not smoking.
When I showed up for coffee, just about the time everyone was ready to leave, they all got refills and stuck around for another round of discussion.
Friday, February 14th, of course, was Valentine’s Day. I heard some guy on the radio station I listen to say that Valentine’s Day is a celebration to point out all of those who do not have a significant other, or words to that effect. Kind of self-centered, and not at all in alignment with all those retailers selling candy to anyone who buys it with the hope of making points with pretty much anyone. I take it this person has never tried that and, instead, chose to view it as a direct insult to the fact that he wasn’t attached somehow. I bet he has a dog, though.
Diane and I don’t celebrate days like this any more because candy tends to rot our remaining teeth. We don’t even get cards for each other. However, since this day was also the first day of the 34th Annual Bethany Quilt Show, and Diane is President of the WELCA group, she spent all day at the church while I just ran willy nilly around town.
Friday was also the two-week follow with my doctor. I printed out my BP chart from the free app I downloaded to my iPad, and presented it to her thinking it was not good. Turns out my BP goal is to keep it below 140/90, which I managed to do almost all the time. It’s always good to visit my doctor because it affords me a chance to say “Hi” to Kristin, my daughter’s, Jennifer’s, sister-in-law. I think that qualifies her as my semi-daughter-in-law. Either way, she’s family and it’s always fun to see her smiley face.
After my appointment, I stopped at Walgreens and purchased some Valentine Peeps for Diane and delivered them to her at church. She loves peeps, especially the little yellow chicken ones at Easter. I also got her two Butterfinger candy bars. The big ones. I knew Walgreens had them because Jack got some for Wynette from there. Walgreens is right next to ACE where Jack works most of the time.
I didn’t get anything … but that’s OK. Really, it is.
While I was at church I made an effort to resolve the issue that’s keeping the office computer from connecting to the internet. There were actually two problems – one with the computer, and one with the DSL modem. I talked with the CenturyLink tech for a while and convinced him we needed a new one. It’s going to arrive Monday, but that’s Washington’s, and Shene’s birthday, so it may not show up until Tuesday. Shene will be 21. I don’t know how old Washington will be. Really old, for sure.
That brings us to …
Saturday, February 15th, the day we fly away to Hawaii. It’s almost 1230 now, and about time to get packed. Jennifer is taking us to the airport where we will spend the evening at Embassy Suites. We’ll catch the shuttle from there to the airport in the morning for our 0700, or something, flight to Kona.
I may add more later, I may not, but I will keep every abreast of our activities over the next week. If it interests you, please read. If it’s boring, share it with someone with whom you have a grudge to settle. That’ll teach ’em to mess with you.
It’s raining here, and may be raining in Hawaii, but who cares? Now I have to go finishing packing.
I’ll leave you with some photos of the quilt show and some of the folks who made it work …
This is Nancy …
Barb & Pat …
My lovely Valentine, Diane …
… and the cooks, Valerie & Mary …