View From My Window

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 — It’s always something, isn’t it?? I have one sister left out of four — she’s younger than me by 3 years and she lives in Texas. She had injections in her spine recently, to hopefully eliminate or reduce the chronic pain she’s been experiencing. I sent her a card but hadn’t heard from her — now I know why. She’s been told she has a growth on her brain. She had surgery on her ear earlier this year and had been losing her hearing in that ear so she went in to an ENT to see what was going on. She’d also fallen a couple of times this year and wound up in the hospital with concussions. Tests showed the growth. They’re sending her to a specialist in Dallas.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Be safe, take good care of yourself and be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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Monday, November 23, 2020 — Cold and cloudy this morning, the sun can’t be seen at all. I hope it warms up a bit because we’re going to be heading for the Depot this morning to do a test fit on the train layout table drape.

I came into the kitchen this morning and spotted Ruby laying in one of the deck chairs. We wonder where she spends her nights because she does nothing but sleep and eat all day. We discuss this situation on a semi-regular basis, last night being the latest time for our musing about where she goes when we put her out for the night. She does like to sit in the window and watch the birds, but this is second only to eating or sleeping in one of the office chairs. We put her out if we have to leave the house, but can always depend on her being right there on the deck upon our return home.

Be safe, take care of yourself and those you love, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Be patient with others and yourself. We can’t know what is going on in other people’s lives, but home confinement is once again the order of the day.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020 — For a number of years the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum has had a Photo With Santa event, with a G Scale train layout loaned to the Depot by member Mike Nixon.

This year, the Depot will have its own Christmas Train display, and I’ve been asked to sew a drape to go around the tables. I’ve ordered felt to cover the tops of the tables. The felt will help soften the noise of the train.

The drape will have elastic run through a casing at the top to give it a bit of fullness, and adhesive backed velcro will be used to attach the drape to the table’s edges.

Off to other topics, I see the gastroenterologist tomorrow. I don’t know that he’ll want to do anything further on me, considering the outcome of the MRI. I’m thinking that the gallstones are the source of my pain (still have occasional pain in my back) and for that, just watching my diet might be all that can be done.

I need to make an appointment to see the opthalmologist who did my cataract surgery so scar tissue can be removed from the lens in my right eye. I also need to touch base with the cardiologist. I’m really not sure I want to have a pacemaker installed right now. I’m of the mind that ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ I do o.k. right now without the heart meds and am content to let things go until something happens to force the issue. I’m hoping the cardiologist agrees with my decision. I feel there’s more risk involved right now than there would be if I HAD to have the pacemaker installed. Right now, I consider it an elective decision, and I’m thinking I’m going to elect to not have it done. The eye surgery? Absolutely–I have one heck of a time trying to thread a needle with the way my eyes are now. A recent eye exam is what uncovered the situation, and I can’t get new glasses until the scar tissue is removed.

Be safe, take good care of yourself, and remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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Thursday, November 12, 2020 — I’ve been working on another scrappy quilt top. This one will go to Adventist Health Tehachapi Hospital.

I used scraps and made a stack of four-patch blocks then added 1.5″ strips on two sides (one white and one complimentary color). Next, I took two charm packs and matched them up to the four-patch blocks. It made for a very interesting pattern. I don’t know what I’ll use for a backing. Perhaps I’ll find a nice yellow fabric.

I don’t know that I mentioned where my last quilt was donated. It was a baby quilt and it went to the Family Life Center here in Tehachapi.

This is the fabric for the quilt top. I thought I’d taken photos of the completed quilt, but I can’t find them right now. I used a different fabric for the backing but it turned out really nice. I received a nice thank you card from them.

Be safe, and be well. Take care of yourself and remember you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 — I had a good visit with my primary dr. this afternoon. He added one blood pressure medication and asked me to come back in 3 months. I asked him why I should have a pacemaker installed if I’m functioning o.k. as is. He said I needed to discuss that with the cardiologist. I’m thinking that the medications only improved my heart function by 5% so I quit taking them. The dr. said if there are no blockages or other problems I probably could get along without the pacemaker. My kind of thinking completely.

Feeling very good right now. He did put through a referral for an Opthalmologist and it happened to be the one that did my initial cataract surgery. Small world, indeed.

Be safe, be well, and know that you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 — Happy Veteran’s Day and a heartfelt thank you to all veterans for keeping our nation free.

I know I’ve said in the past how very blessed I am to have a husband who is both patient and understanding. Last night, he asked me if I was upset about something and I said no. I actually was still harboring a bit of my unease about the shower incident, but couldn’t bring myself to open that particular subject up.

Well, tonight, I finally released a lot of the things that I have been stressed about, and we had a very calm discussion of the shower episode from the other evening. He apologized and I told him an apology wasn’t necessary because I realized that it was his mind that was changing and he can’t control that. I so appreciate that we can openly discuss anything and everything that goes on in our lives. In talking to him, we came to the conclusion that since he showers each and every evening, the handle for the shower is always in the same place as he left it when he last turned the water off. But since I showered before him that particular evening, the handle wasn’t in the same place as he expected it to be and it altered his routine. Just that little thing and it threw him off. Now I know what other caregivers mean when they say that keeping to a regimen is vital in reducing frustrations for the person with dementia. He also confessed that when he’s in the shower and he closes his eyes, he has to hang on to the safety bar that I had installed in the shower because his equilibrium is completely gone.

Tomorrow I will see my primary dr. I have my list of things to discuss with him, and I have the referral from the Optometrist that indicates I need eye surgery to remove scar tissue that’s growing over the lens in my right eye. I’ll need to get my eyes examined again once the eye is healed, so new glasses can be ordered.

Continue to keep the faith — stay safe, take good care of yourself and know that you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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Monday, November 9, 2020 — Today is the beginning of Open Enrollment for Federal Employees Health Benefits insurance changes. Each year at this time we’re given the chance to change our health insurance plan. If we’re happy with the plan we have, we do nothing and it stays the same, except that each year the premium typically goes up. The increase never matches our COLA, so I’m faced with trying to find a plan that we can afford and that will provide us with the necessary coverage for the upcoming year. I have to look at our health and try to guess whether we’re going to have any major illnesses or surgeries. As we age, this job gets harder and harder to pull off.

Part of my depression and stress has been the completion of this task. Once done, it can’t be changed for another year unless one of us dies or there’s a major situation that would qualify us to move to another plan. I’ve never had to do that, but I’ve had to live with a bad plan choice more than once. Not good.

I managed to find a new plan that not only costs less, but has 99% of the doctors we’re already seeing as part of the in-network provider list. Robert will have to change his primary, but all of his specialists will remain the same, as will mine. This is a very big issue for me, as I want his continuity of care to remain unchanged. He gets confused enough without any insurance upheaval.

Speaking of which, we had an interesting but bizarre conversation last night. After his shower, Robert came in and said he had a small complaint to make about how I used the shower. He asked me to follow him into our master bath where he pointed out the handle (one handle controls hot/cold water flow) position on the shower. He said every time I take a shower, I leave the handle on the cold side and when he gets into the shower, he is hit with a spray of cold water. Thus, we stood there, discussing the way the handle works and without getting angry, I said I would try to always put the handle on the hot side of the control. For myself, I reach in, turn on the water and turn it to hot–wait for the water to turn warm and then turn the temperature down before stepping into the shower. Apparently, Robert gets in and THEN turns on the water… Odd, but o.k., it’s how he works the shower controls. What puzzled me was that a) he apparently didn’t think about controling the temperature of the water before he got into the shower, and felt that because I showered before him, I had set the controls to cold so he’d get blasted with cold water. Realizing that this could turn into a negative situation very quickly, I gave up and said I would try to watch it in the future. Of course, I left the room totally confused as to how I could control the placement of the shower handle so he wouldn’t get hit with cold water. <sigh> The fact that he felt this was something I was doing wrong didn’t fail to register in my mind. It was evening, so I know he’s most likely experiencing the Sundowning effect of dementia. Still… it left me totally perplexed as to why something like this could be so important to him as to bring it to my attention. I can’t begin to comprehend how his mind works anymore.

Each day is a learning experience… all I can do is go with the flow, and allow things like this to just pass right on by.

Be safe, take good care of yourself and those you love. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Appreciate the good moments and let the bad ones go–they’ll only weigh you down.

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Thursday, November 5, 2020 —

I was very depressed today. Stayed quiet in my office and spent the day on the computer–working the checkbook, finishing up working on the bill-paying and alternately watching for signs that the electoral vote was being updated. It never was, as far as I could see, and in checking various sites on the net, I saw that oftentimes, it was less than what I was currently seeing — time-wise.

And then I made the mistake of listening to Trump’s speech from the White House. He hadn’t gone 10 min. and I was in shock at the words coming out of his mouth. How dare he claim to be the winner when they’re still counting votes?? Never in the history of our nation have we ever suffered such a fool.

I apologized to Robert tonight, letting him know (although I know he already sensed it) that I had been depressed and he said if it wasn’t for the garden railroad and his trains and his books, he’d be depressed too. He said he gets very depressed at times. It’s not the first time he’s mentioned that he has been depressed. Horrible that this whole thing is affecting the two of us the way it is and I know it’s hard on so many millions of others dealing with the same (or more) issues.

This is such cruelty–to be in partial lockdown because of the virus and to be subjected to such negative/blatant lying from someone we’re supposed to honor and look up to. Not one iota of respect for that — can’t think of a word ugly enough to describe him — person.

Hugs and hang in there — we shall do the same. Ever trying to remain positive, I’m thankful for my friends…

Be well, be safe, and know that one day this will all be a distant memory for us. We must persevere and keep the faith. Remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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Saturday, October 31, 2020 — I learned something new about my computer recently. It has a very small battery on the motherboard that keeps the time and date correct. I’d been seeing an error message whenever I booted up the computer that said my battery was low. Since I didn’t know I had a battery, I ignored the message until the day my computer failed to boot.

I got the name and phone number of a guy who works on computers and took it to him to repair. He and his wife brought it back last week. He kindly suggested that I needed to ‘drain my swamp hard drive’. Too true that… I have stuff from the beginning of time saved there. So for the past several days, I’ve been going through the hard drive, folder by folder. I’m at the dreaded (and well overloaded) CRAFTS folder, which has no less than 16.5 Gigabytes of data stored there (and that’s after deleting things for the past 3 days!). Talk about getting lost in the swamp! My word…

I came across my first journal entry, from 1999! Fascinating. I moved the file and kept it. Robert came in to find me reading the entry and said ‘it’s history–nobody cares–why are you reading it?’ I read it because it revives memories of that time in my life, as these words will remind me of today if, or when I should ever have occasion to read them in the future. Sometimes, reliving the past is a comfort.

On another topic, I had a Caregiver’s Support Group conference call on Thursday. There were only about five women present, and listening to them discuss their lives and the things they were dealing with in caring for their loved ones made me more than a little depressed. I was already borderline depressed, but this kind of pushed me closer to the edge. It’s really hard to remove one’s self emotionally from other’s pain and sadness. It’s even more difficult if you’re not in a strong emotional position. After a bit, I announced that I had to leave as my time was short that day so signed off. I spoke with the group coordinator a couple of days later and apologized to her, letting her know that the discussion was depressing me further than I already was. She said she knew that it affected me, and that it was o.k. She and I agreed that Robert wasn’t progressing nearly as fast as others, and may continue to be in the mild stage for years to come. I told her that listening to the other women caused me to realize that their experiences were possibly in my own future–not something I wanted to accept, but intuitively knew to be true. For now, I must take each day as it comes, doing what I can to make our lives comfortable and safe.

Blessings to all, with thoughts of gratitude for your presence in my life. Be safe–take care of yourself and those you love. Be sure to remind those you love that you love them.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020 — Actually, it’s Wednesday, the 28th, but who’s counting?

Thanks to modern technology, I was able to access the report on my recent abdominal MRI. I’m not a doctor, but I do know how to Google words I can’t suss out. What I didn’t see was anything resembling the words malignancy, or need for follow-up testing. I did see notes about various cysts and their sizes, one of which matches the size of the one that was supposedly in my pancreas. Not a single instance of ‘abby-normal’ (thank you, Young Dr. Frankenstein!), so coupled with the fact that I’m no longer having any symptoms (since I stopped all but the most necessary medications), I am inclined to believe that what happened to me that weekend in July was a gastric attack. Possibly gallstone related, as the report did mention signs of their formation.

I pushed the edge of that envelope this evening when we went out to eat with our neighbors. It IS Taco Tuesday, you know, and consequently, we meet at 4:30 p.m. each Tuesday and go for tacos at a local Mexican eatery. The COVID rules have been relaxed a bit so we’ve been able to dine inside the restaurant. Lovely!

Last week, I was very good and ordered a #1–cheese enchilada with rice and beans. I ate the enchilada and the rice, but passed the beans to Robert. Tonight, I was hungry — hadn’t really had much to eat but a single piece of toast and a cup of coffee this morning, so I ordered the #2 (cheese enchilada and a chicken tamale with rice and beans). I ate the enchilada, part of the tamale, the beans and rice. Bad… I had some mild discomfort later in the evening, so I know that the beans were possibly a no-no. Next Tuesday I’ll try Fajitas… and take the leftovers home! The beans and rice will be served separately and I can pass the beans to the rest of the group to share as they want.

I’m thinking of eating as a mine field these days — there’s danger afoot and one must be very cautious when dining out. But to feel as good as I do these days is nothing short of marvelous.

Be safe, take good care of yourself (listen to your body–it really does know you better than your doctor), and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Get your vote turned in! I really don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote.

BTW, we received three new trees for the Sunset Pacific Ry. yesterday. They’re Crape Myrtle’s from The Crape Myrtle Company. I purchased two and received a third one free. Two of the trees were called “World’s Fair” and one was called “Pink Blush“. I don’t know if they’ll have time to bloom before they go dormant for the winter, but they look very healthy.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020 — Over and done with! Hallelujah! The test was done with and without contrast–and in today’s mail was an authorization for the MRI WITHOUT contrast! ROFL here… Ah me. But, the important thing is that it’s done and now I wait for my consultation appointment, which I’ll try to get moved up from mid-November.

Feeling much, much better without all of the drugs in my system. And, I have an appointment on Monday at LensCrafters to get my eyes examined and new glasses ordered! Definitely looking up — pun intended!

I wound up driving myself to Bakersfield today–Robert was vomiting and had digestive issues so I left him in his chair with the promise that I would go there and be right back. I was only gone 2.5 hrs (1 hr. driving each way and 30 min. for the test). He was doing a bit better when I got back home, and tonight he seems just fine. I think it was a bad case of worry over me and my tests. Poor guy.

Tomorrow, we will have a “group with social distancing” event at the Depot, to say goodbye to one of the Tuesday Crew, who is moving to Montana. We really hate to see them leave. They are already being missed, big-time. We’ll bring our lawn chairs and our beverages — we’ll have pizza and cupcakes courtesy of the Tuesday Crew leader, Dennis Storms, his wife Pat, and their daughter, Melody.

Blessings and heartfelt thanks to everyone for their prayers and positive thoughts. I truly appreciate each and every one of you. Be sure to take good care of yourself and remember to tell those you love that you love them. You are special to me and I want you to remain safe.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 — This is a bit of a downer post, but I have to say what I’m feeling. Last night, after taking my evening meds, I felt so sick to my stomach that I vowed then and there that I would stop all the meds that had been prescribed since my first illness attack (end of July) and go back to just my original meds. Medications should help you to feel better, not make you ill, and all of these medications were making me feel worse.

Other than the nausea that comes from taking the medications, my tastebuds have changed and nothing tastes the same anymore. As someone who has always had very strong tastebuds, this has been a real challenge for me. Needless to say, I’m still losing weight, but part of that is my lack of interest in food because it doesn’t taste like it should.

On top of the problem with the medications making me feel ill, my calls to the radiology center and the gastroenterologist’s office yesterday didn’t go so well. The MRI is now scheduled for the 22nd of this month, and the gastroenterologist has set my consult appointment for the middle of November.

Today, I’m going to contact my Blue Shield case manager and talk to her. I’m not a happy camper and she’s bound to be able to help.

But on a happier note, last night I Googled, “How to hang in there when the going gets rough.” and came up with all sorts of positive notes. I’ve always believed that we have guiding angels who help us when we run into difficulties in life. They guide us to answers that we need to keep persevering. And that’s what happened to me last night. So here I am this morning–still feeling out of it a bit, but I’m hanging in there, one day at a time.

Sincere and heartfelt blessings to all. Be safe, be well and take good care of yourself. Tell those you love that you love them and remember that you are loved as well.

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Monday, October 19, 2020 — Happy Monday! Phone calls to the radiology center and my gastroenterologist’s office have been made and I’m free until they get their act together and call me to set a new appointment for the MRI.

So glad to see clear skies out my window. I’ve wondered how the little seedling trees were doing down below. I hope a few make it to adulthood. Seeing a mini-forest instead of the brown grass would be a welcome sight.

One thing that I noticed there in Las Vegas was the difference in how COVID-19 rules were set when it came to restaurants. We ate at a local restaurant called The Village Pub. They’re a chain restaurant with numerous locations in Nevada and California. We were able to go in (masks on) and sit together at a round table. The one we went to was 3 blocks from the hotel. The servings were MASSIVE , so if you happen to go to one of their restaurants, be prepared with a healthy appetite.

Well, it looks like I’m being paged so will close this for now. Be safe, be well, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them!

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Sunday, October 18, 2020 — Home again, home again, jiggedy jig. So very glad we made it to Paul and Laura’s wedding. It was lovely and everything went off without a hitch. The reception was great and it was held at this huge lake there in Las Vegas. We left Friday morning and returned around 4 p.m. today. A wonderfully uneventful (i.e., accidents, mishaps) trip.

When we got back home, my answering machine was making noises so I pulled the messages off. One of them happened to be from the radiology center and it announced that my MRI had been canceled because the insurance company approved the wrong type of test. <sigh> So tomorrow’s battle is going to be getting the correct test approved by the insurance company. I’m not concerned. I have a case manager that can smooth things over and get this thing back on track.

Wishing everyone a blessed day — we had a very full and happy weekend. Continue to be safe, and remember to tell those you love that you love them, every chance you get!

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Sunday, October 11, 2020 — I just finished reading a post by Alice in Memoryland, which reminded me of an important discussion I had with Robert last night. I was updating our checkbook when he came into the office and sat down next to me. He said he hated to talk about it, but was wondering if something should happen to me, how much money would he have to live on. Would he be able to afford the house payment? What would happen to our income? I told him I honestly didn’t know. It’s something I hadn’t really considered other than thinking of how much I would lose if he were to die from complications of his kidney disease or Alzheimer’s.

All of this thinking was before I found myself facing the possibility of passing away before Robert. I’ve seen signs that indicate he wouldn’t be able to cope all by himself. He would need someone to handle his finances, for sure. And, someone to fix his meals, shop for food and take care of his meds.

He asked me what I would do if he were to pass and I told him I would sell the house and move back down to San Diego. I still have a lot of family there, and there’s a better level of health care choices available. I wouldn’t like it–I love my life here in Tehachapi–the peace and quiet, the slow/easy pace of life, all of our friends and our beautiful trains. But I would do what I had to in order to survive.

But decisions like that are in the future. For now, tomorrow I will look for a financial advisor–possibly our tax person, and follow up on getting my MRI scheduled. One day at a time, one moment at a time when the pressure is high.

Perseverance is a watchword for me these days, especially on days when I feel like all I want to do is sleep. On those days I feel absolutely worthless. I get up late in the morning, leaving Robert to fend for himself, and I drift through the day. Not every day is like that. Most days I get up a bit after Robert and I do o.k. through the day, showering, getting dressed, setting up trips to the store or to run errands. I’m o.k. But other days, it seems like I’m a shadow of myself. So strange… but I persevere and am glad to do so, because I know one day all of this will be behind me and my days will be normal once more.

Blessings to all…

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Sunday, October 11, 2020 — One task for the day completed: Made Hershey’s Kisses Peanut Butter Blossom cookies from the mix I’d purchased at CostCo the other day. Robert gave me the nudge yesterday by saying, “When are you going to make those peanut butter cookies I see in the pantry?” They’ve been there right at a week now so I imagine seeing them every time he walks into the pantry is just pushing his snack button like crazy. LOL All done… though the cookies won’t last long.

Feeling a bit out of it today — fatigued, with a slight headache. I feel my mid-day nap coming on. LOL

Be safe, be well, and please take care of yourself. Know that you are loved. Remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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October 9, 2020 — This morning’s mail contained several insurance approvals so I was able to get my MRI scheduled for next Monday morning at 8:00 am. The dr’s nurse told me to tell them it was “Stat” so we’d get in right away. It’ll be another early morning drive to Bakersfield, but my consultation with the gastroenterologist is set for Friday, so it’s o.k. We’ll leave Friday evening for Las Vegas and I’ll be caravaning behind Paul so no way I can get lost. (hope, hope! LOL)

I will be so glad to get all of this over and done with and get to healing. I want to feel good again!

We did manage to get into the beauty shop and get our hair cut this morning! Happiness is… So happy to have my hair short again.

Not much else to report so will close this with blessings to all. Be safe, be well, and please remember to tell those you love that you love them. We all need to be reminded that we are loved and that we matter to others. Take care!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020 — I placed a call to the gastroenterologist’s office today and after playing phone tag a couple of times, I managed to speak with Dr. M’s nurse. I asked if we could just bypass the testing and remove the growth from my pancreas. She said she would ask the dr. When she came back, she said he wanted to do an MRI so he would know what he was dealing with and would discuss it with me in the office. So I set an appointment for the 22nd. She told me that she would get the MRI scheduled and call me with the day and time.

Waiting is one of the hardest things to do in life. It’s designed to teach you patience–allowing life to unfold, one moment at a time. There are times, however, when we want to skip ahead to a certain moment, bypassing time itself. Strange… every minute of our life is special, yet there are times when we feel it is holding us hostage, keeping us from learning what the future holds for us. I must be patient, and keep faith that all will work out for the best.

Be safe, take good care of yourself and those you love. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Appreciate the fact that you are special–there’s no one else in the world like you. Blessings to you and yours.

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Monday, October 5, 2020 — As far as I know, the CT exam went well. It only lasted a couple of minutes and was absolutely pain-free. I expect I’ll get the results when I next see the dr., which should be in a week or two.

Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts… they’re greatly appreciated.

Tell those you love that you love them–be safe and take good care of yourself and those you love.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020 — I had an appointment for an echocardiogram this morning, followed by an appointment with Dr. A., my cardiologist, to discuss the results. He wanted to see if the medications had helped my heart. The results showed only a 5% improvement, so the decision was made to do the pacemaker/defibrilator.

Next, I asked Dr. A. if he’d spoken with Dr. M., my gastroenterologist, about the mass they’d discovered in my pancreas. He said no. I told him that Dr. M. wanted to discuss having my heart fixed before he did the biopsy of the mass. Dr. A. immediately tried call Dr. M. but got the answering machine. He hung up and proceeded to let me know he would call Dr. M. later in the day and he would get back to me. We headed back home, and around 6 p.m., we were out on the deck when Dr. A. called to let me know that he and Dr. M. decided that the biopsy came first, and then he would take care of any heart issues. For now, I was to continue taking the meds as directed.

So, just like that, the shoe was on the other foot. The plan is to do a CT scan of my pancreas first, and then I’ll undergo the biopsy procedure. I’ll try to keep this blog updated.

Be sure to take care of yourself and those you love. Tell them that you love them, and continue to practice safety measures for COVID-19. It will go away eventually, but for now, we must remain vigilant. Blessings to all.

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Monday, September 28, 2020 — We both had doctor’s appointments this morning. I went first at 8:30 a.m. and had a nice visit with a new gastroenterologist. Not a long visit, but an intense one. Even though my primary doctor has already submitted a request for a CT scan of my pancreas, he put in a second request and labeled it STAT. Because I have a heart situation, he’s also sent a request to my cardiologist for authorization to do an endoscopy. He said that the cardiologist will have to ‘fix’ my heart before any inspection of my pancreas can take place. He said if he put me under to do the inspection, I could die. I told him I’d take a pass on that one. He also gave me an order for bloodwork, to look for markers for cancer, among other things. I left with all sorts of papers and orders. I told him that I had a maternal aunt that died of pancreatic cancer. This announcement was not wasted on him.

All of this and a wedding just over the horizon. It just might be a tight situation, but I’m going to do my best to make it to the wedding.

Robert’s visit to his urologist was also brief and positive. No problems showed up in the CT scan that was done a month ago. Good news… Come back in a year, and call if there’s any problem before then, was the basic instruction. Sounds good to us. We waited in the outer waiting room while orders were worked up for his yearly CT scan and a follow-up appointment in September 2021 with the doctor. Easy-peasy…

Nothing else to report so I’ll close this for now. Be safe, be well–take good care of yourself and those you love. Use your face mask and maintain a safe distance away from others. COVID is still with us, and we are all still at risk. Blessings to all.

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View From My Window

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 — Such a day today. An underlying sadness because it’s the day my father-in-law passed away in 2014. Then I had my follow-up appointment with my primary doctor to learn the full results of the ultrasound that was done on my stomach/gallbladder. Yes, indeed, there are gallstones, BUT, (and this is a big but) there is also a nodule on my pancreas that needs to be checked out. So now I wait for authorization for a CT scan while I wait for authorization for a new gastroenterologist.

It’s always something, isn’t it??

But I was able to stop two of my medications, so there’s that to be thankful for. Of course, those two were replaced by two new ones, but hey, change is a good thing, yes/no? LOL Just amazing. And still, the pain remains. Not quite as severe, but noticeable most of the time.

We went to Home Depot yesterday and purchased 20 colored retaining blocks for the layout. Got them home, and discovered they were the wrong size. <sigh> Back we go to Home Depot today and exchanged them for the correct size. A couple of the blocks were different in color and I mentioned that to Robert as they were being loaded into the back of the truck. He said they would be on the bottom row and people wouldn’t see them so it didn’t matter. Okaaay. LOL We shall see. I also picked out two small trees yesterday. I want to put them in the western end of the layout since we have 12 trees ordered for the eastern end. Plus, I’ll also be receiving some ground cover to put in on the eastern end. Photos will be forthcoming once we get everything planted.

I expect to be out pulling weeds tomorrow, and trimming trees in anticipation for the addition of the new plantings. I do enjoy working on our railroad. It’s very much like meditation as you can just be focused on the job at hand and your mind quits picking things to worry on. Nice…

Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Be kind to everyone you come in contact with (6 ft. social distancing, please). We’re all facing different challenges these days. We have to trust that everything will work out the way it should and just go with the flow of life. Find moments to hold fast to — whether it’s the smell of the first bloom on a plant, a smile from a child or just a blue sky and clear air. We are all blessed in some way.

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View From My Window

Monday, September 21, 2020 — A very quiet day today with only a couple of phone calls. I received a letter of approval for a referral to see a gastroenterologist and when I called today to make the appointment, as is usual, they didn’t have the authorization. Apparently, there are two levels of approval. The first level is from my HMO and then, I’m guessing the second level is from the insurance company itself. But in a way that doesn’t make sense as the HMO takes over all jurisdiction for the insurance company. hmmmm… confusing as all get out. Anyway, we’re working on getting all of our ducks in a row, which is a good thing.

One of the other calls I received was from the Food Bank and it was to let me know that my food box will be delivered tomorrow between 9 and 4. I can’t wait to see what is in the box. I need to call my other neighbor that would qualify for this and let her know so she can check out what I receive. I know she can use the food as much as I can.

I’m still having pain and have been using pain patches (Salonpas) and when it gets really bad (usually in the evenings), I take a stronger pain pill. Then I’m able to sleep through the night pretty much, except for the routine bathroom breaks.

Please remember to take care of yourself and those you love. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. This will end and we’ll be stronger for enduring this difficult time in our lives. Blessings to you and yours…

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View From My Window

Saturday, September 19, 2020 — The younger son and our niece came up last night to spend the weekend with us. We’ve had a wonderful visit. We had the neighbors over for dinner tonight and they brought an excellent bbq’d tri-tip steak and a pot of her wonderful baked beans. I made dessert (Texas Sheet Cake and vanilla bean ice cream), salads and rolls. We ate and then sat around and visited for a couple of hours. We’ve agreed to get together for breakfast in the morning before the kids have to leave to return home.

Last night, I went to close the blinds in the office and the very first slat came off in my hand. I tried repeatedly to slip it back into the carrier, but I’m too short to push the slat into its slot. Tonight, I asked Robert to give me a hand. When he came into the office and saw what I needed done, he looked at me with irritation and said, “From now on, don’t touch the blinds. Let me open and close them.” I felt totally put down, as though I were a child. He looked at me with such menace that I really regretted asking him for help.

Earlier, I had gone to him as he was in his chair, supposedly watching t.v. I was going to ask him if he wanted a cup of coffee, which he usually does in the evenings before he takes his shower. He was asleep, so I left him be. Later, I told him I had found him asleep in his chair and he denied — seriously and firmly. I didn’t make an issue of it, just let it go. It didn’t matter in the long run and I wasn’t about to waste my energy arguing with him about it.

By 9:45 p.m., he was physically dragging and announced to me that he was going to bed. I watched him walk toward the office and he stopped suddenly and said, “I’m going the wrong way.” He turned around and headed in the opposite direction and I turned to follow him. He stopped and asked me where I was going. I said I wanted to help him get ready for bed. He said o.k. and headed on to the bedroom. When we got there, he said, “Go ahead and go. I can get in bed and turn the light out.” So I left. Sometimes he seems remote and withdrawn. Here’s hoping tomorrow is better.

Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. It’s difficult to refrain from collecting and keeping all the little hurts that happen when caregiving. I know that harsh words aren’t being said to hurt me, rather, they come from an inner frustration of the person speaking. I’ve been having trouble with my own memory and it bothered me to the point of tears–I’ve had so much stress about my own health lately, and having my mind less than 100% seems like the cherry on the sundae. But I have to hang tough–keep a positive outlook and just keep trudging. There will be good times in the future–I have to hold the thought and be patient.

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View From My Window

Thursday, September 17, 2020 — The ultrasound went well, and I received a confirmation of my guess that my gallbladder was the cause of my pain. I apparently have several gallstones, some of which are quite large. So, my next step is to see my primary to discuss the test results and make a plan of action. I have no clue what he will do. We shall see.

Meanwhile, I got my application for the 70 lb. box of food submitted. By chance, the freebie table at the Sr. Center had books on Alzheimer’s disease. The center’s director was there and he asked me to take all of the books home with me. So, I did. LOL I’ll read them and pass them on to the support group coordinator, who can add them to her personal library or offer them to others in the group.

We are still inundated with smoke from all the fires. We’re surprised because our sky was so clear the other day. It only lasted for the one day, however, before becoming all clouded over again. We have friends in New Zealand and she wrote me yesterday, saying they were covered with ash and their sky was all hazy with smoke being brought from our west coast. I apologized to her, though I really wasn’t at fault and couldn’t do anything about smoke being blown her direction because of the winds. Still, it makes me sad that our misery could be spread around the world the way it’s being done. Horrible…

Not a completely ugly photo, but not nearly as nice as the one I shared the other day with the beautiful blue sky.

Here’s praying the fires are put out very soon and the air is cleared for the foreseeable future.

Be safe, be well, and please tell those you love that you love them. Our world will improve soon… we just need to be patient.

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