Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday September 24, 2015-Bay Colony RV Resort

We have been taking it easy and meeting with friends and family, trying to get caught up with visiting. We have been staying relatively busy but not overdoing anything but most of all-having fun!

The license tags on the trailer expire at the end of this month. Stella called and asked about renewing them online but found that there was a small problem at the tax office and they couldn't be done at this time. As those of you from Texas know, we have a new way of renewing now. You must have the vehicle inspected for safety violations before a new license plate is issued. The safety inspection has been required for many years but most people either forgot about it or simply ignored the law. No one enforced the law, and it was a non-issue....until now.

Looking at the new law from a law enforcement view, it will cause compliance now and should take unsafe vehicles off the road, but it's a pain to have to pack everything up to drive across town to have this inspection done. We've got a good handle on packing up to leave and it took less than an hour to get things ready to go, but it took longer to drive across town to the shop than it took to perform the inspection.

At any rate, it's done now and good for another year. Maybe next year we will schedule it better and I won't be so mad at the state of Texas.

So long.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Thursday September 17, 2015-Bay Colony RV Resort

Today was my follow-up visit to the doctor to get the results of the tests that he ran. They came back wonderful, although he did see evidence of a very light heart attack in the past that I was not even aware of. There was no scarring of my heart with no long-term effects except the normal doctor's advice of taking my new heart medicine, cut down on caffeine, get more exercise and lose some weight. He put no restrictions on travel and asked that I come back in four months when we plan to return to the area. He said that there was no need to be strict about the return and if it was five months, that would be fine. I can live with this...

So long.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday September 14, 2015-Bay Colony RV Resort

There has been a large gap in my posting, but it wasn't my fault this time. The Internet service went out on Thursday night and wasn't restored until today. Our mifi card is running low this month because of the usage at Mountain Views, so I wasn't able to access the Internet. Bummer...

I went to the doctor's office Thursday morning to have a battery of tests run, a nuclear stress test, an echocardiagram and a scan of my carotid arteries. I have been taken off caffeine and chocolate already, but in preparation for the tests I had to not have decaf coffee for 24 hours and to fast for six hours before the tests. Let me tell you, decaf coffee is not bad any more. Gone are the days of nasty Sanka, or after-taste coffee's and it was rather hard not to drink my normal three cups in the morning.

The nuclear stress test took the longest and of course, was the most strenuous, but it wasn't bad at all. The technician, V, as he asked to be called, inserted a virtually painless IV into the back of my hand to insert the nuclear material into my body. I was told to drink plenty of water to speed up the material in my body, and then the resting scan was made. After a short wait, I was put on the treadmill and walked for a total of 9 minutes until my heart rate was raised to 165, the desired rate for testing. I made it without passing out or even breaking much of a sweat. I didn't cry when he stuck the IV in and didn't whimper when I had to walk on the treadmill, so I was pretty proud of myself. 

After making it through the first test, I was pretty confident when I went in for the echocardiagram. A mean-looking woman gave this test, so I was quiet during the test. She used a wand dipped in a nasty gel that was hooked up to a machine to scan my heart. I couldn't see much on the screen so I guess she found my heart in there somewhere. She used a different wand but the same nasty, slimy gel to scan my neck for the carotid artery test. Both tests took less than 30 minutes and I was free!

Kim, my nurse daughter, came in for the echo and carotid tests and she later remarked that my heart looks better than hers, but she has a known heart murmur. 

I made a follow-up appointment for next Thursday to get the results of the tests. I was relieved that I didn't get a call to go to the hospital for any kind of corrective actions, so I feel pretty confident that I don't have any major issues right now. I guess I'll find out more on Thursday.

So long.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sunday September 6, 2015-Moving days-Mountain Views at Rivers Edge Resort, Creede CO to Bay Colony Resort, Dickinson TX

This post will document our leaving Colorado after my heart attack and our return to Texas. We were originally scheduled to leave Mountain Views on Tuesday Sept. 1st but since I was released from the hospital that morning, We decided to stay another couple of days and leave on Thursday. Since we had lots of reservations made to make the trip to Carthage Missouri, for the chapter rally there. Stella got busy, calling to cancel reservations as soon as we got back home. We both forgot about the Labor Day holiday weekend, so when she began calling to make reservations along the way to go back to Texas, she found no spaces open. Bummer...

We then changed our plans to leave on Sunday, after the holiday, but after many reminders that I had been told to go to a cardiologist as soon as I could, we decided to go as soon as we could locate someone to drive us. I was outvoted when I said I could drive and pull the trailer back to Texas. I called my friend Dan Mayer, who said he would drive us to Amarillo but asked us to meet him in South Fork, a short distance from Creede. Tom Mangum, among others, had already called and offered to help in any way he could, so I called Tom back and he said he would meet us in Amarillo and take us to Dickinson. Wow, what an awesome group of friends! That left me with only the drive to South Fork. I still contend that I could drive it, but again I was over ruled. That Stella is Tough! The next thing I knew was that Stella had run into our neighbors Joe and Elaine Lawler who are from Iowa and Joe insisted to drive us the 20 miles to South Fork. That fixes us up with drivers all the way!

We got up Friday morning to a crisp 50 degrees but as soon as the sun came up it warmed up. It was a great day to travel and we were soon in South Fork. Joe had a good time with the train horn on my truck along the way. It really echoes in the mountains!

Dan drove across the plains of Colorado and into New Mexico and even knew a good restaurant to stop in when we got to Raton NM. We enjoyed our lunch stop and continued on into Texas. I was sorry to see that there is no huge Welcome Back To Texas sign at the border at Texline but at any rate, we were back in Texas! After another couple-hundred miles we were in Amarillo. Both Dan and us had been to the Oasis RV Resort before, so we knew where we were going. Upon arrival, we were told to find a site and see the office in the morning. It didn't take long to hook up water and electric and throw the satellite out and we were set up!

Tom and Marti had booked a motel, so they came out to the park and we decided to go to the Big Texan Restaurant, home of the 72 oz. steak challenge. None of us wanted to try the huge steak but there was a young man that was making pretty good progress on one while we were there. 

After a good night's sleep, we went by to pick up Tom at his motel and drop Dan off at the Enterprise office to pick up his rental to drive back to Pagosa Springs. We went back to pick up the trailer and of course, little Tramp. We were soon on our way to Mansfield TX to the Texan RV Ranch. We had lucked out and got the very last site in the park. This park is mostly long term use but it was easy in and out and had decent utilities. 

Jennifer, Melissa and Ian came over to see us from Garland. We had a nice but short visit before going to the Spring Creek Barbecue restaurant for supper. We found a table in a banquet room that we had all to ourselves, so we were able to stay for a couple of hours visiting.It was nice to spend even a small amount of time with the girls and Ian. We went and added some fuel that we had found at a good price ($2.07 per gallon) before going home.

We pulled out in the morning about 8:30 and made very good time on the highway. There was a surprising amount of traffic on the road but it wasn't bad. Tom had never been to Sam's Original Restaurant in Fairfield, so we stopped and showed him what a great restaurant it is. We got there just after they shut the breakfast buffet down, so everything on the lunch buffet was fresh as could be. We enjoyed our lunch but were on the road again soon. Traffic continued to be heavy but moving right along until we got into Houston. And the backups came... Actually we never came to a stop but the crazies were out in force. Tom had been enjoying the train horn as we met or passed real trains and a couple of them returned his honks, but he really didn't get that much of a chance to use it in Houston.

We got into Dickinson about 3:30 and were pulled into the site and hooked up in short order. Tom's brother Charlie came to pick him up to take him to meet Marti in Schulenberg to go back home. It had been a very uneventful trip, and let me say it one more time, OUR FRIENDS ARE AWESOME!!!

I have an appointment with a cardiologist on Tuesday, so we'll see what he has to say and we'll go from there. Please continue to pray for me and wish me luck.

So long.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Monday August 31, 2015-Mountain Views at Rivers Edge Resort

No pictures today, but you'll soon see why.

Today was a pretty laid back rest day and we didn't do anything special. Since we've been chauffeuring Mike and Peg around, they've been fixing supper for all of us, which we've really enjoyed.

I felt bad all evening and went to bed at the normal time-about 10 o'clock. My chest had been tight, but upon laying down, it really hurt, with a crushing pain. I was too uncomfortable to stay in bed and got up and went back to my trusty recliner. It didn't get any better there and I started to feel clammy. I decided to call an ambulance. It seemed like seconds went by before Mark, a paramedic, showed up. He came in and began getting my vital signs and preparing me for transport. When he began taking my blood pressure, the first thing he said was "WOW"! He then took it again and said his meter only went to 240. Wow indeed! The rest of the crew soon arrived and brought in a machine to record an EKG as well as blood pressure. The first reading on it was 240/192!!

After finishing up the vitals, we were ready to go. I was soon loaded up into the ambulance. Stella decided to ride in the ambulance too, and Mike and Peg drove over to the hospital for comfort and support.  Actually Peggy drove and Mike rode along. At any rate, we were glad they were there. I was given more baby aspirin before leaving home and Mark soon contacted the hospital for treatment orders. He started an IV in my arm and gave me saline solution drip and gave me a nitro pill and oxygen and continued to monitor my condition. 

After what seemed like 3 hours on a 40 mile, very bumpy road, we arrived at the Rio Grande hospital in Del Norte. This is a nice hospital with a very skilled team in the emergency room. I was wheeled into Trauma 1 and Nurse Kayla took over. My BP had come down to 190/134 but my heartbeat was 194! Double WOW! As someone who is never seriously sick and hasn't been in a hospital for 50 years or so, this was very scary!  

Dr. Robins came in and took over. One of the first meds that he ordered for me was an injected medicine that would momentarily stop my heart to get the heart rate down. After explaining to me what he intended to do, he asked Mark and the ambulance crew if they wanted to watch this procedure. They did and just as the doctor was administering the drug, I looked up and saw what seemed to be a roomful of people there to watch me die! Not really, but it did cross my mind. Let me tell you, it WAS a weird feeling but it did the trick! I never actually felt my heart stop but my rate dropped to about 130, a manageable level. 

To make a long story short, about 1 o'clock, I was at a level that was acceptable. High but acceptable. Mike and Peg took Stella back home and I tried to settle in for the rest of the night. That $15,000 hospital bed was very uncomfortable! I was hooked up to a monitor that also took my BP, two IV ports in my wrists along with bright lights.  Nurse Kayla came in and covered me with a warm blanket and adjusted everything including turning out most of the lights so I could sleep. I wasn't admitted because this hospital has no Cardio specialist on staff and that is what I need. 

They came in about 6:30 to draw more blood for testing. I tried to sleep again but could only nap. The doctor came in around 7:30 and said that he had found something in my blood sample that he didn't like and he wanted to do another blood draw to recheck it. 

After the second blood draw, Dr. Robins came in and told me that he had consulted with the cardiologist in Pueblo and they determined that I could be released to go home. My choices were to be airlifted to Pueblo or to go home to see my own doctor there. You can see what my choice was. 

We came on back home and began changing our travel plans. It was soon apparent that since this is a holiday weekend, we would not easily find any place to stay, so we decided to just stay here in Creede until Sunday and return to Dickinson. Kim is working on finding a cardiologist in the area. 

Since I am writing this on Wednesday, I will tell you that I had a good night's sleep last night and feel great this morning. I started taking a new medicine for my blood pressure and heart rate this morning and am feeling like my old self again. I took Stella to the grocery store yesterday and went for a couple of walks around the park this morning. Mike and Peg pulled out to head to Carthage MO for the rally. We will have to miss it. Bummer.

So long.

Sunday August 30, 2015-Mountain Views at Rivers Edge

We took Mike and Peg up to the reservoirs on the Rio Grande today. It's a long but beautiful drive.

This is one spot along the Rio Grande that is very typical of the views along the river.

This is the largest of the three reservoirs. It runs for miles and ends at a dam.  

Please don't fall !! 

Beautiful mountains at the end of the road! 

This is near the end of the road. Actually it runs on much further, but it is narrow and 4 wheel drive is recommended.

 This should be a Ram commercial

The tall mountain is where the actual springs for the river are found. Maybe someday we'll take a Jeep or ATV trip there.

So long.