December 19 – January 15, 2014/15
Not too much going on here as we sit still for the winter in South Texas. The weather was pretty good, in the 70-80s, until the New Year where the temps have fallen to the 40-50s as highs and with a lot of rain. So, no golf or playing water volleyball or much else outside. The outlook for this next week is for the weather to get back to normal 70s for here. Then they are predicting it to cool off again and rain by the end of next week. It’s a good thing propane is cheap here!
|Not sure what kind of bird this is but it was sort of cool just hanging on to the awning one cold wet morning.|
On the health front, we have finally made significant progress with Patty’s medical issues. She now has a new Primary Care Provider (PCP) that we both like. So, in the past 6 weeks Patty has seen 4 doctors; a Gastroenterologist, Endocrinologist, the new PCP, and a Pulmonologist. She has had many, many tests and we now have 2 diagnoses; Autonomic Neuropathy and Pancreatitis. Neither of these are very nice things to have. What we need to do now is to make sure she has both of these or just one of them by eliminating other possibilities. After giving this some thought, I now believe she has both.
Patty has 2 main health issues that are affecting her quality of life right now. She has a blood pressure issue and a digestive issue. The digestive issue she has often but not constant and it is probably triggered in some way. We don't know by what yet. When it is active she has uncontrolled vomiting and diarrhea which can last many days at a time. We believe that this is a symptom of the Pancreatitis. She has been prescribed a pancreatic enzyme replacement medication for this which she has not received yet (mail order). Right now, Patty in not experiencing any symptoms with this.
The blood pressure (BP) issue is much more troubling but isn’t painful like the Pancreatitis symptoms are. Patty's BP issue is that she has both high and low BP spikes with the low spikes happening more often. BP is very similar to that of blood sugar highs and lows in that lows of both are mostly easy to recover from but constant highs will kill you with no symptoms.
We didn’t know until just this past month that Patty was also having a high BP problem. She had a somewhat simple nasal surgery under anesthesia just after Christmas and her BP shot up to 220/110 in the operating room. This caused her to bleed much more than was expected so the Dr. had to put in plugs to stop the bleeding. As for the low BP, she has had, at last count, 6 episodes of fainting in the past 11 months. The first one was last February here in South Texas. She had her last one just yesterday evening while standing by the pantry and talking to me where I was watching TV in the living room. All of a sudden I heard stuff hitting the floor off of the fridge and a thud which was Patty. By the time I got up and asked what happened she got back up and said, “I don’t know”. We checked her BP and it was in fact low. No other side effects and no other or further effects for the evening.
|Patty with the compress after the nasal surgery. The surgery increased the open area in one sinus and 2 nasal passages. Pretty cool that she breathes through her nose instead of her mouth at night now.|
What we need to find out next about the BP is if we can control the highs and lows. The lows are going to be the most life changing for us if we can’t control those. Since we don’t know when they are going to happen, Patty needs to be away from things and areas when falling that could hurt her or others. The big thing is going to be her driving in the future. Right now we have decided for her not to drive. It’s not a real big deal as I can take that over for her as she doesn’t drive very much anyway. We just need to make sure we don’t have conflicting plans is all.
As for highs and how we control that, we just don’t know yet. I have done some research on the internet and it seems that there are drugs for high BP she can take that may not add to the chances of having more low BPs. It seems too that there are no assurances about not having the lows though.
We now have follow-up appointments with the Drs in the coming weeks to discuss what we do now. Her symptoms for these things she has overlap many specialist areas. Anybody that has gone through this knows that when you see many doctors for the same symptoms it can get very overwhelming quick. All of the Drs want to do tests and it can be hard to keep which tests are from which doctor and which doctor said what. Well, that has improved for us now that I am retired and am able to attend all of her Dr. visits. I really don’t know how she did this in the past and worked too. I do however know the outcome, both her work and her health suffered.
Ok, now for the recap of where and what we have done last year.
January – April: We spent in South Texas at Natures Resort.
- We spent a week with a friend in San Antonio
- Visited the LBJ Ranch in Johnsonville TX
- Attended the International BBQ championship in Memphis TN
- Visited Graceland and Beal Street in Memphis
- Met new Internet friends in northern Illinois
- Had warranty work done on the RV in Elkhart IN
- Visited with Grandkids and Family for a month
- Visited with new south Texas friends in PA
- 4th of July with friends in the Poconos of PA.
- Visited with friends in Elmira NY
- Visit with Family in Buffalo NY for 4 weeks
|Patty's mother, father and her son Chas|
|Out for dinner with Patty's sister Sandy and husband Mike|
|Patty's brother Tommy and his girlfriend Kat|
- Help get Patty’s father into an assisted living facility
- Visited with more South Texas friends in Niagara Falls Canada
- Attended Patty's 40th High school reunion
- Went to a Hart concert in Buffalo
- Visited with friends and family in New Jersey
|Jersey shore with NYC in background|
|Beach concert on the Jersey shore|
|Chas, Patty's son at his store in Brick NJ|
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland OH
- More warranty work (frame) on the RV in Elkhart IN
- Another week with Grandkids and family
- Grand Ole Opry in Nashville TN
- Visited with Patty’s childhood friend in Nashville
- Traveled the Natchez Trace south
- Visited Elvis’s birth place in Tupelo MS
- Major repair work on the truck in Jackson MS
- Attended the Mississippi State Fair
|I got my corndog fix!|
- Drove back to Buffalo for Patty’s mothers funeral
- Visited with our San Antonio TX friend again
- More work done on the truck in San Antonio TX
- Visited with new Internet friends at an oil well in Cotulla, South TX
- Arrived back at Natures Resort for the winter in the RGV of South Texas
- Drove back to Indiana to visit with my step father in Hospice
- Visited Mexico
- Keeping warm in South Texas
|Lunch in Mcallen TX. Good food here.|
This year, 2015 we are planning to travel the East Coast from NJ to Georgia before returning to Texas for the winter. We will also visit family and friends in Indiana, New York, and in New Jersey.
Ok, that’s our story and we are sticking to it!