Week two of retirement went by quickly, too quickly. We did more tinkering with the winterizing of the RV and got things set up mostly the way we want. A cold snap heading this way. Big events for this week were Drs. LOTS of doctors. Superhubs had his annual SCID (Spinal Cord Injury and Disease) check up. This is a grueling, exhausting, day long evaluation of his current condition and the progression of his Multiple Sclerosis with all it’s myriad symptoms. We left home shortly before 6:00 am and got home shortly after 4:00 pm. About 2 hours is drive time but the remaining 8 hours are spent at the clinic, Ultra sounds, blood work, and meetings with every known doctor, therapist, and specialist. Whew! It was a mostly good news kind of day. The good news is that he’s not lost much in the way of functionality which means he’s recovered nearly all of what he lost from 2019’s brain surgeries and strokes. The kind of “bad” news is that while he has very little in the way of MS relapses or exacerbations, he does have secondary progressive MS, which is a fancy way of saying he’s not going to get any better and now it’s just a matter of deal with the old damage. He was diagnosed back in 1999 and actually had the disease for years prior to that (based on lesion age) so for somebody with a 20+ year history of MS, he’s doing really well and I’m thrilled with the progress he’s made. There comes a time in every spoonie’s life when “no further deterioration” is excellent news. He has lost a bit more cognitive function but nothing drastic or inappropriate for his age. So we’ll continue to work on cognitive aids, physical therapy exercises for that right side (partial paralysis from strokes) and enjoy life!
The next day, I headed off for my much anticipated (and dreaded) cardiac MRI. The weather held good and the short drive to the radiology clinic was nice. It’s not a painful or invasive procedure but it is somewhat extensive and it involves a full 90 minutes “in the tube.” I spoke with the sedation nurse last week and was given permission to “self sedate” (aka pop half a valium) before the procedure. IV in; no problem, questionaire complete; no problem, cardiac stent; no problem, total knee replacements; no problem, interocular lenses; no problem, eye stents …. oh wait, you have what?!? Which ones? Huh? Although I do not believe I have any metal in my eyes from the drain/stent procedure to reduce my eye pressures (glaucoma), there are a couple that involve tiny amounts of titanium. Long story short, could not get a confirmation of the absence of any metal in the implants so, they sent me home and rescheduled for next week. Huh … well OK then.
That was enough drama for me for one week, so I spent the rest of it trying to establish a new schedule.
Home means so many things to so many people. For me it has never been a place but a feeling. To quote Dory “I look at you … and I’m home.” This is the first time in many years I have stayed in one place for this long (over a year). RVers say “Home is where we park it” for me home is anywhere my love and I are together, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Winnebago in Colorado, home is not a place, it is not walls or land, home is truly where my heart is. Je t’aime mon coeur.
Here are a few places I’ve called home.
Looking out the window of our Winnebago, Bayfield, Colorado
Just down the street Hart Ranch, Rapid City, South Dakota
“The Remarkables” as seen from our window in Queenstown, NZ
Heading “home” to Zion — Springdale, Utah
“Even as I wander I’m keeping you in sight you’re a candle in the window on a cold, dark Winter’s night”
I can’t fight this feeling any more ~REO Speedwagon
Til next time ~Stay Safe, Stay Sane, Stay Sanitized ~JP
Leisure is one thing I’m feeling the lack of lately. Most of my leisure activities, you see, involve traveling. As in, long distance traveling. One of my absolute favorite leisure activities is staying on a little stretch of beach near Kapaa on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii. There each morning we rise early to watch the awakening of the day. We stand and soak in the glorious ambience of sun and sea.
Aloha Oe — Teresa Bright
Til next time ~Stay safe, stay sane, stay sanitized ~JPP
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “practice/practise.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!
One of the blessings to come out of this “lockdown/quarantine/social distancing” has been the evolution of my spiritual practice. Lacking personal interaction, I seem to be more and more seeking solace in spirit.
My dad once said “there’s no such thing as an atheist during an earthquake.” He said it during a 6.5 quake that shook the Imperial Valley back in the late 60’s. It stuck with me.
My spiritual practice is a hodgepodge which I won’t get into here but it’s taken on new breadth and scope in the past couple of months. I have finally found my meditation mojo and the quieting of the mind is an awesome thing, even when it’s only 10 minutes.
I once attended a Paul McCartney concert. When he played “Let It Be” 100,000 lighters clicked and the utter silence from the crowd was deafening. There was nothing but the stage, the song, and, perhaps, the voice of God.
“I do not fear a man who has practiced 10,000 kicks. I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Let It Be ~The Beatles
Til next time ~Keep your face covered and your heart full ~JPP
What Day Is It Anyway? — Coping with Covid 4/16/20
What day is it? Grocery day! Who would have thought that the big adventure for my week/month would be a trip to the grocer. We try to go to town every two weeks for supplies. One trip we utilize our “curbside pickup” store and pick up our on-line grocery order. No telling what they will have been able to fill for us until we get home but hey that’s the adventure part. Today was our trip to the Health Food Coop. We go early during “immunocompromised” hours. It’s a small store and there generally aren’t more than 3 people when we go which is awesome. Today was no exception.
They’ve made some changes to the store layout and everybody is masked. It was actually a rather empowering experience. For once I didn’t feel panicky or handicapped.
We managed to get the frozen blueberries and the particular bangers that we prefer. Also casein free not-cheese and the extremely dark (92%) chocolate that Superhubs likes. Picked up some fresh bananas and apples, a couple of sweet potatoes and …. oooooh fresh organic strawberries! Also managed a 4-pack of toilet paper and an extra liquid hand soap. We deliberately passed on a few items like cabbage, packaged salads and mushrooms just because they didn’t look “good.” No soft margarine, onion powder or potato flakes but my situation isn’t dire and I can probably get those from the grocery pickup in a week or two.
Then we went by our drive-thru pharmacy, picked up my prescriptions and a bottle of isopropyl alcohol that the clerk was kind enough to snag off the shelf for me and pass through the pickup window.
We did the drive through food stop at our local Starbucks. First time in MONTHS we’ve had something that has not been prepared in our kitchen. Let me tell you a coffee and bagel never tasted so good.
So, today’s been really good. Warmer weather coming should enable us to take down our RV skirting this weekend which I’m looking forward to.
Oooh Child — The Fire Stairsteps
Til next time ~Keep your face masked and your pantry full ~JPP
What day is it anyway? Hmmmm I’m thinking Friday? I only know this because it’s “Castle” night. Yep, we watch dvds of the series “Castle” on Friday nights and, hey I never miss Nathan Fillion. It’s quiet here, very quiet, no people out walking, no carts driving by, no snow plows. It’s almost eerie and kind of weird but we’re just taking it all in.
“I am not anti-social, I’m anti-idiot” ~ Sherlock Holmes
In a sudden irrational act of antimicrobial, antihistimine inspired social distancing, I caught myself waving to one of my soon to be co-workers from my window this morning. He didn’t wave back, then I remembered, I have tinted windows, you know those shiny mirror things that block the view so I can see out but no one can see in. Drat! That’s what you get from inhaling too much sanitizer! Wonder if that could be considered huffing?
We ventured out into the wilds of semi-suburban Rapid City to our local Health Food Coop today. It wasn’t half bad. Special “immune compromised” hours and a very small store with fairly high prices led to an almost serene atmosphere. No toilet paper, no wipes, no rolled oats, but filled most of the rest of my list. Got in, got out, got home, just in time for a Spring Squall complete with snow. Ahhhh Black Hills in the Spring. How y’all holding up?
Til next time ~ Keep your head down and your pantry full ~JP