Sunday, November 9, 2008

We're Home

Pulled into our yard at 5:15 this afternoon in the dark(can't believe it is dark at that time of the day). Home has never looked so good. We had a very uneventful trip across middle Tennessee and enjoyed the residue of the fall colors. Traffic really picked up as the afternoon went on and we got closer to Nashville. After a nice Bar-b-q dinner and picking up the mail, we were home. Bulli couldn't believe we had made it and instantly disappeared into the back woods for a while to check things out.
Got alot of unpacking to do but that will come-took only essentials out of the coach tonight.
Many thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, cards, calls, etc, etc, etc during the past 2 months. All of you have been our lifelines and appreciate each and every one of you.
Hopefully we won't have any news to report on here until it gets closer to the time when we will head back down to TX for the new implant-around March 1. Then we will pick up the blog again.
Happy holidays to everyone-stay close to your family and love them every minute you are with them.
Joe and Sharon

Nashville, here we come!!!!!

Yup-we're in Tennessee. When we crossed that bridge over the Mississippi River at 2:20 yesterday afternoon I let out a "whooppeeeeee"!!!!!!! We would be home soon.
We are in Jackson, TN-about 125 miles west of Nashville. This is where our daughter-in-law (DIL) if from and where her mother still lives. DIL's Dad passed away just about the time we were headed to TX in late Aug and we felt so bad we weren't even able to attend the funeral. DIL's mother is in an assisted living facility now and we will visit with her before we leave town today.
Last night we had the joy and having dinner with some geocaching friends. It felt so good to be out with friends again after such a long period of isolation from our local friends.
We parked in the front yard of DIL's mother's house and plugged into the outside outlet so we were set for the night-best accomodations on this trip. We just don't require much while we are in this coach.
Next note should be from home-Sharon

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Home Again - Well, Not Quite Yet!!

OK, so we're not quite home yet, BUT we are back in Tennessee! We just pulled into Jackson, TN and plan to drop by and visit with Carol's mom for a little while. It will be too late to make it to Nashville and still be able to get Sharon's infusion done on time, we'll probably just stop at the Circle W overnight parking area tonight and make it home early tomorrow.

We had no web access last evening and I didn't get a chance to bring you up to speed on our progress home. We left Lewisville, TX around 11AM and made it to Benton, Arkansas just after dark. Spent the night there at a travel park we've stopped at before and left there around 7:00AM this morning. Had a good trip with not that many bumps and ruffles along the way. I had fixed Sharon's bed up and she has spent most of the day either reading or dozing laying on it. She tried sitting up for a while but the leg was just too uncomfortable, so, back to the bed!

I don't think we stopped but three times today. Once for fuel, once for a Wally World run, and once for a Bulli/Sharon reposition break.

More later!



Thursday, November 6, 2008

On The Road Again! Well, Almost!

Look carefully and you'll see the infusion bag hanging from the ceiling of the coach! Sometimes, infusions don't look like they do in the hospital! Bulli is seriously tramautized by the whole process, You can tell by how concerned he is!!! LOL

We finally got packed up this afternoon and Elvis has left the building! LOL The logistics effort to move two people and a dog from a hotel suite back into a motorhome would have made the D-Day planners proud. Careful staging of the various types of goods so that the right item would get into its proper place was skillfully scheduled and had do be implemented with precision. The landing craft (actually a purloined shopping cart, large, one each) was staged and launched after careful inventory was taken and proper bills of laden were filed. The beachhead was breached and the goods poured forth at the approriate time. This continued with wave after wave of the craft shuttles. Finally, just as the galley signaled it was time for chow, Mama Cache arrived just in time to accompany the troop carrier to the mess! The mess stewards more than adequately pleased the palates and then the helmets and body armor came back out for another assault! Mama Cache pitched in and insured the hardy schedule was adhered to along with assisting in the disassembly of some major items. When she left with the major personnel carrier (wheel chair) all the logistics requirements had been fulfilled and things quited down significantly because the beachhead had been totally secured. Finally, the last details were down to the comptroller and the mission was complete and was in the books! Ooooh Raaahh! Another successful redeployment! Proud of such a plan with such precise details included, the planning section and chief landing craft operator came back to the beachhead to survey the results of those efforts! WOW! What a mess! Say, did we get bombed when I was with the comptroller? Where the heck did all this stuff come from? Was that Buckingham Palace we loaded into here? Who put THAT THERE? Oh, I did? Good grief, that's a mess! Do you think we can squeeze out enough space to sleep? Looks like we've got some work to do tonight!!! LOL!!!

While I was settling up with the Extended Stay, Sharon called Dr Baum just to check out before we left town. She wanted us to come by and see her before we left. She was not happy with one of the results of the last blood test. One of the levels had reflected out of the desireable range and she wanted to adjust some of the meds to take care of it. We all speculated that the stomach problems that Sharon had over the weekend was probably the cause, since that blood test was drawn Monday before the medicine had kicked in. In any case, Dr Baum wanted us to go by a nearby lab and get another batch of blood drawn for a retest. She reluctantly gave the release for us to head back home. She wants Sharon to come back when we're down to see Dr Emerson in January. Both of these doctors don't seem to want Sharon to get out of their reach for fear of history repeating itself while we're away. It's almost like a protective mother seeing the first child leaving for college! Guess we'll hear what the results are before we get home, or just after.

It was so late when we finally got all that done, that we made the choice to head west a little to Lake Lewisville Park for the night. If we had gone east, we likely would not have found a place for two or three hours, well after dark and much too late to start the infusions. We stopped at Cracker Barrel and picked up a chicken and dumplin dinner for each of us and enjoyed a nice sit-downn dinner once we got to the park. We stayed here when we came through in April and again when we got here in September. It's a neat park with all the usual lakeside amenities and, at the over 60 old fart rate of $8 per night, is one of the best dollar values we've found anywhere. It's tucked into the edge of the DFW Metroplex so it gets a lot of use, but you can almost always find a place to squeeze into. Pretty place, too! Bulli remembered the place when we drove up to the front gate and was all atwitter at getting out to go "huntin". After I connected the electricity, I took him around our "usual pattern" for here and he was so glad to be out in the grass and not have to stay on the sidewalks and get to run on the grass for a bit. He was confused by the football practice going on in some of the athletic fields we walked by. He was totally blown away by the little kids playing Tee-ball! Don't know what was running through that little canine cranium, but he just could not get enough of watching that! It was so funny!

I made the comment as we were driving over here tonight that even Geovanii felt like it was running smoother, riding better and generally felt better than it has since we've been down here. Then I realized that all that was really the result of all of the stuff that had been "stuffed" into it. The suspension was settled down, and the engine actually had a little load on it, which smoothed both out a lot. Even Geovanii is glad to be back on the road again!!



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday - Post Doctor Visit

It's past midnight here in Plano when I've finally begun shutting down for the day. We had our post-op visit with Dr Emerson late this afternoon and recieved clearance to foray back to Nashville tomorrow. Dr E is still shaking his head over what this ride has been. He thinks March is a good time to shoot for as the time to do the final revision on the hip. He examined the incision closely and is amazed at the difference in now and a month ago when we were ready to make the trip home the day before the whole thing blew up. Sharon has held her breathe all day that it would look good and that he would say all systems were a go.

We spend the biggest part of the day doing those final prep things needed prior to departure. The one thing that remains is loading of the van with the stuff from here. I have the coach ready to go but didn't want to jinx things by having the van loaded today. Sooooo, we will try to get it done tomorrow and will leave whenever it is done. Probably won't get very far from Plano tomorrow but, that's OK too. Having this kind of tight schedule makes it easy to flex without throwing things off too far. [:D]

We have had two or three days of good progress since we got the right stuff to calm her stomach. I can't believe that little detail was overlooked when we left the hospital. The bottom line answer was as simple as OTC Prilosec! In fact, it's half the strength of what I take all the time. With that in her system she has begun eating a little (well, a lot, actually) better and says she feels a lot better. I truly believe part of the problem was that she was hungry, as well as the drug effects. It was, indeed, all tied together with the drug-effect on the stomach. After the doctor visit today, I even took her out to Fuddruckers for one of her all-time favorite hamburgers and fries! Somewhat surprisingly, she managed to eat well over half of it! That's a HUGE step toward recovery! She's even been sleeping better as a result of the calmer stomach. All in all, these seemingly small things have added up to a tremendous quality of life change for her. She's almost back to normal, but, somewhat fortunately, her "gotta-be-busy" hasn't returned yet. She can actually sit still for an hour or two with little to nothing in her hands. That, I think is mostly a result of her strength levels. She's still somewhat fragile yet and and tires quite easily. It will be sometime before her stength has come back to normal levels. Through it all, she's still my hero for being able to survive all the "stuff" that she has and still maintain a mostly postive outlook. Not to say there haven't been some of "those monents", but they've been rare and short!
She can hardly wait for Thanksgiving when the kids will be up. We know it's going to wear her out, but it will certainly be in a very postive way!

We will make a mid-recovery trip back to Plano in January. When I asked Dr Emerson it he wanted us to do that today, his eyes lit up like he had a new toy. I could tell he didn't want to ask us to drive back, but he said it would give him a chance to make some mid term corrections if necessary since he would be able to do a better evaluation in person than he could tell from another surgeons evaluation done in Nashville. He then smiled and said that it just hit him that we don't mind the traveling at all because it was part of our way of life! I told him that no we don't mind at all, because it would give us a mid winter excuse to make an RV run to someplace that would probably be warmer than where we were! On the road again! We can't wait to get on the road again! ...................!"

Thanks to all who have held us close for these couple of months. We couldn't have made it without your support. You're precious to us!



Monday, November 3, 2008

Last Monday???

In some of the towns around rural north Texas, they hold sales in a flea market or farmers market called "First Monday" sales. There, you can buy just about anything that your heart may desire, as long as it's legal. Come get your "fleas" just like you would at any of the flea markets worldwide. Come get your veggies from farmers or vendors. Come get your livestock, your donkeys, your pigs, your goats, your minature horses! Just about anything you might need! Well, that's a "First Monday!" We're experiencing a "Last Monday" today! That's were you sort through your things you have accumulated and decide what to begin packing in Geovanii, in what order, and when to pack it, because you KNOW you will need it in both places for the next three days! Then you see what's left over and try to determine if those items are worth storing here until we come back, OR is it cheaper to just throw them out and replace it when we come back, if we decide we need it then! As an example is a small bookshelf we bought - came from, where else, WallyWorld. Cost all of $18 and has been invaluable sitting by the door catching the "droolings" of our return each day. We definitely won't have room for it in the coach, it's bulky, if I break it down to "in the box" form, more than likely the small parts will get lost before we get back. It's definitely not worth paying for storage and it's too large to have the Extended Stay store. Toss a coin - heads, trash, tails, break it down and take you chances! That's just one item. Not a lot of things like that, but just enough that you hate to leave them, and too much to take or pay storage! What's a girl to do? What's a girl to do? LOL Too cheap to keep, too valuable to toss!! That's what today is SUPPOSED to help decide!

We had a pretty good weekend! We went for a ride yesterday to make a run to the Post Office and to get a bite to eat. That seemed to get Sharon remotivated for a bit. Speaking of eating out - I had wanted a pizza from Joe's Pizza and Subs across the way. Sharon agreed that it sounded pretty good, too. In choosing which one to get, we decided to try the "Scicilian Deep Dish" model with all the "fixin's" It took about 30 minutes to prep and get through the oven. I went back in to get it and it almost broke my arm getting it off the counter! That thing must have been almost a full 2 inches thick and square, was loaded with all the good stuff, and filled a box that was 16 inches square! We won't run out of pizza for several days. That thing weighed at least 10 pounds! BUT it was GOOD!

Sharon is getting more back on her feet everyday. She still isn't sleeping in large doses yet, but we believe this is from the infusion drugs that will continue into December. Because of them, her stomach is reacting with some burning and discomfort from there. I can imagine how strong that stuff is. I splashed two drops of one of them on my arm while I was setting up the infusion three nights ago and I still have two little spots of chemical burn on it. They still itch! That strength surely must have some serious implications on the insides!

She can't wait to get back to Nashville and she's a little nervous about anything that might cause a reinfection of the leg, as well! We will likely NOT be going to where the big crowds are!

I really should get up and get moving. The nurse is due here any time to change her pic line dressing and I'm sitting here just like I got out of bed typing away on the computer! Probably should get dressed! Wait, just for that mental image you DON'T need in your mind, I DO have some clothes on! There, "Click", that should help the camera of your mind!! LOL!



Saturday, November 1, 2008

Time, She Sure is A'flyin!

You can see from the last blog that it has been a day or two since we've posted to the blog. Sharon came home Wednesday and thing's just haven't been the same around the house! [:D] She has had a rough couple of days after getting home because of the effect the drugs had on her stomach. A small, overlooked item caused her a tremendous amount of discomfort with a massive case of stomach burning/discomfort/pain after her infusions Thursday night. We finally got in touch with Dr Baum and she realized that there was a drug that they were giving in the morning pills that had kept the stomach under control with the infusions going on. After we got the "right stuff", the infusions went smoothly and she slept well last evening. Actually, I believe she slept better than did I. I didn't close up shop until about 1:30 last night and was up again at 4 with some Bulli-related issues! I did manage to go back to sleep and stayed that way through about 8AM. Sharon was already up by then and was quitely watching TV waiting for me to wake up. She's slowly getting back into the swing of things - if you count being bored silly because she's to remain on her "short-leash!"

As I look around the apartment, we have a LOT of packing to do to get ready to go back home. Actually, as much as I hate to admit it, it has come to feel like home! We have made arrangements to leave some of the things here in storage until we come back, probably in March. Meanwhile, we still have packing to do!

In preparation for the trip home, when I walked Bulli earlier this morning, I had started the generator in Geovanii to charge the house batteries. Since we had only driven very short distances, they had not had a chance to fully charge and Bulli and I have used the "house" end of the coach quite a bit. We've left things like the refrigerator on, and while it is powered by propane, it is electrically controlled by the batteries. Anyway, several items like that have been left "hot" in the coach so we could "be at home" while we were using it. That had taken a toll on the battery charge and it was time to give them a good charge. Since there is no plug available to use with the internal charger, the generator is necessary. Anyway, to the point of this meander - when I just took Bulli down to take care of some of his business, as soon as he was finished, he went over and stood by the coach door, waiting to get in. I guess he had heard us talking about getting ready to go and remembered that the generator was running (that is a step we many times take before we depart somewhere) and didn't want to get left. I putzed around checking battery fluid levels and a few things alike that and he just sat in the copilot seat waiting for this "leaving thing" to take place! He hesitated more than just a little when I told him it was time to go back in the "house" to see his mom! Well, OK, if I must! was his attitude! I do believe the dog is ready, too! He wants his own rabbits and squirrels to manage and to help with any CATS that may be ready to come on "his" property! Come to think of it, he hasn't had a proper "cat treeing" since we've been down here! No wonder he's ready to go back!! (Sorry, June!)

We're mentally getting ready for this move. As lovely as it sounds to be going to Nashville to our real home, it is somewhat daunting as well. All of our medical help that is familiar with the case will be left behind and we'll be more on our own than here. With the massive support group of medicos here, it feels like we're leaving for a far away unsettled land! Hum! Hadn't thought of that, had you?

It will be good to get back though, inspite of it being a great unspoiled wilderness as I just described! Our friends and "toys" will in themselves be a tremendous comfort and the surroundings will help Sharon's morale greatly! Now, if I can just keep her on the "short leash" like she's supposed to be! The temptations of projects and cleaning and full-time "doing something!" are going to be hard to resist for her! LOOK OUT! HERE COMES "GOTTA-BE-BUSY GIRL!"

It's gonna' be a lot of fun!