Friday, November 23, 2012


John was released from the hospital late this afternoon.  

Yesterday as we walked, I felt that he might be released today.  He was able to walk, breathe and talk at the same time.  Two days ago, it was impossible to talk and breathe.  

Of course, I have already had to reign him in a bit.  He is up and putzing in the motorhome a bit too much and not really being a good diabetic.  

More later.  Thanks again for your prayers, thoughts and well wishes....

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Dr. Lykens was able to make a diagnosis today.  They were trying to decide between more lung problems and atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure.


That sounds bad at first.  At least until the diagnosis is made and the treatment is centered upon one illness to treat.  Actually both are linked and the old saying "which comes first, the chicken or the egg?"

This time the extreme fatigue from moving into our new motorhome is the culprit.  In simple terms, he just, plain overdid it.  

The fatigue, catching a cold, the Atrial Fib, his COPD and his unwillingness to just totally cease all activity and rest taxed his body beyond what is reasonable.  

He began to retain water, he was always tired and felt weak, the end of last week, he was unable to sleep because he could not get his breath. He would wake at five or five thirty in the morning.  I would rouse in the dark to see him sitting on the side of the bed.  His head would be hanging. Keep in mind, this man loves to sleep and would gladly sleep till nine any morning.  

We would come to the dining area and he would be so tired that he would put his elbows on the table, hold his head in his hands and nod off.  This would last for two or three hours.  

I am telling you in order that someone will read this and keep it in their memory bank.  It might happen to  you or a loved one sometime in the future.  Congestive Heart Failure is a sneaky menace.  


John is making progress much faster than in the Spring.  He is working hard to follow all instructions to the tee.  Learning to breathe in deeply through the nose and out through his lips is difficult to remember.  If he does this, he is able to keep his oxygen levels in the nineties.

Using the tried and true breathing exercise was hard at first.  Now, he makes that ball do the happy dance!  Aren't those yellow socks cute?

Finding plant based food and eating on a diabetic plan has been a stretch of the imagination.  He combs the menu for hours deciding what will work for both eating programs.  It is much easier here at home.  

He has made both plans work together.  He is my hero!  

I never hear a complaint from him.  He amazes me and the entire medical staff with his quiet humor.  

Indiana University Hospital is a teaching hospital.  The physicians that are produced by this program are among the nation's finest.  And eighty percent of Indiana's top Doctors work at the medical complex of Indiana University.

The two on the right are Residents.  On the left you see a pharmacist.  These pharmacists travel on rounds to help with the dosages, spot drug interactions, make recommendations.  Every Pharmacist has a "Pharm D"... a doctorate in pharmacy.  

This afternoon, Dr. Lykens, came to check John's progress, give us tons of information and to allow us to ask questions.  He was in no hurry to leave and answered every question and asked us if we needed more information.  Then he pronounced John improved enough to leave the Progressive Care Unit and go into a "regular," (my works, not his) room. 
The best news was and is that Johns congestive heart failure is not permanent.  

 Do you think John is eager to move?  His bags are packed and he is "ready to rumble!"  Where is that nurse with that wheel chair????

Ahhh here she is, going through her check list.  This young woman  is an excellent nurse!  I am so thankful that she was the one to care for John today. 

Some nurses just seem to go through the motions.  This lovely lady was so efficient and caring.  When she told us that she was her first nursing position and started just one month ago, we were astounded with her presence and skills.

When the director of nursing checked with us to see if we were happy with the care John received, we were sure to heap praises on this angel of God. 

Dr. Lykens was so encouraging.  CHF - Congestive Heart Failure does not have to be a permanent diagnosis.  For John, this is temporary.  We WILL need to be  cognisant of any signs or symptoms.

If all goes well, John should be out of the hospital by the first of next week.  We should be able to travel in about two weeks after a follow up visit with Dr. Lykens.  

There are a few new rules.  John can drive a maximum of two hours, if his feet do not swell.  If swelling occurs or the two hours are up, I take over the driving and John gets to sit in the co-pilot's chair, a recliner, and tell me how to drive.  Oh happy day.

I do not know how much rock climbing and rock hounding we will be doing.  I want this to be a winter of recovery and strengthening.  We have the rest of our lives to do the more active interests.

Thanks for visiting. Thanks again for your support.  You all are a wonderful group of people.  We are blessed.  

For you new visitors, on the regulars too.  Feel free to leave comments, ask questions etc.

God Bless and have a great Thanksgiving.  "Count your blessing, one by one....count your blessings, see what God has done..."

Monday, November 19, 2012


Sometimes, we just have to pay the piper......or something like that.

As I told you earlier, John has been so tired from moving to the new motorhome.  He has not had energy and has been feeling very weak and his left foot and leg has been swelling.

This morning at breakfast we decided that, because he was sooo tired,  I would run the last minute, pre-tomorrow's departure errands and John would putz around the motorhome.  So I left the motorhome around eleven thirty and returned just before four o'clock to find a hubby that was way too tired for just "putzing." He had been working, not putzing.  (What am I going to do with that man?) We decided he would do a breathing treatment and lie down for a bit.

While he was doing his breathing treatment, I called Dr. Lyken's office and talked to Kelvey, his absolutely indispensable secretary/nurse.  All I got was her answering machine.  I explained my observations and asked for advice.

While waiting for Kelvey to return my call, I pushed ahead and called our Internal Medicine physician.  His orders were to take John to the hospital- immediately, if not sooner.  That is exactly what I did.

In addition to his breathing problems, diabetes etc, John has had a history of Atrial Fibrillation for thirteen years.  The A-Fib is what was causing most of his problems tonight.

Atrial Fibrillation, in simple terms,  is an irregular, rapid  heartbeat.  John's heart rate was 148 beats per minute and jumping all over the place.  (72 is normal)  Since his heart was pumping too quickly and not in a steady pace, he was not getting the circulation to reach his extremities, he was feeling tired (gee, I can't imagine why) and feeling weak.

The emergency room physician prescribed a bolus of Cartia (for heartbeat), {a large amount given at one tune} followed by the drug, Cartia in an IV drip.  The goal is bring his heart rate to around 90 beats per minute.

Thus far, all is well.  I felt comfortable enough to come "home" and will return to University (Indiana) first thing in the morning.

It is hard to describe my feelings tonight.  I feel...... if this is just a bump in the road and we will be on our way just two or three days later than expected.  I think the reason for  this is that is just what the physician told us right before I left the hospital.

I ask that you continue to pray for John. And for me.  I need wisdom to spot the warning signs of trouble.  Both of us were willing to ignore them just to get on the road.  THAT is unacceptable.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love and respect my husband.  I have a story to tell you all, but not right now.  It is a story of God's love and the miracles He preforms.  It is too long for tonight and I must be up and at the hospital at an early hour tomorrow.

OH, by the way!  We discovered today that we have not only a furnace powered by LP gas, but we have a heat pump....powered by Camping World!  Gee, we are truly blessed.

I wonder what else I will learn about our new home.  And our new life of full timing with a man with precarious health conditions.   Whatever it is, I KNOW that God has a plan for our lives, a hope and a future.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


19-02-2010_9RA.jpgIn my last blog post I wrote about John having a biopsy for prostate cancer.  Dr. Koch said that the results of the tests he ran showed an eighty percent chance of the biopsy confirming the cancer. Tursday afternoon was biopsy day.  

Friday, we left for Kentucky to pick up our Tiffin motorhome!  How could such a short ride turn into such a looooong ride?  Anticipation?

Saturday morning, we pulled into the dealer's lot and was greeted by our new home on wheels.  All the basement doors were open showing a spic and span basement. Ohhhh that storage.   When we walked inside, I said to John "welcome home!" What a blessing!
We love the extra room, but were surprised with the task of making everything fit.  Having slides changes the storage space in some of the cabinets.  We made a few adjustments and gave a bit more away to make everything fit.
  Early Monday  morning we were awakened to the thrumpthrumpthrump of a helicopter.  John said that he thought he had heard the sounds of a crash earlier. Sure enough, at the end of the drive to the dealers lot there was a head-on crash involving a pickup truck and a smaller compact car.  

loading patient into a Med Evac
The young man in the car had just left work after working the "graveyard" shift.  As he left, it was reported, that he told a co-worker that he was exhausted and was going home to bed.  He never made it home.  He fell asleep at the wheel and ran into the truck.  His condition was reported to be extremely critical.

  I called the dealer yesterday and they reported that he is improving - slowly.  Another blessing.  

It took us a total of four long, hard days to move and arrange everything.  In those four days, John totally abused his body and has paid the price since then.  Each day his condition improves.  But we learned a big lesson.  John cannot do the things that he used to do.  

The Colts plate will come later
John's final task was to put the license plate on the Tiffin!  

He was so tired that he could only put the plate on the back of the Tiffin and he left our Indianapolis Colts plate that rides on the front of the motorhome in the place of honor for a later time.    

Driver, take me to Greenwood, IN!  
We rolled out of the dealer's lot Tuesday afternoon.  It was so good to be on the road in our new home.  The ride is like floating in a bubble through the air.  And we can talk to each other in a normal voice.  No shouting over the noise of a gas engine. What a blessing.  

As you can see, Olivia likes riding in her new home. 
Both dogs are a bit miffed though.  In the Winnebago, they rode on the Dashboard.  No more dangerous traveling.  

Oliver says since he is the elder, he should ride on Mom's legs as she knits.  

Occasionally, both ride on my lap and the knitting is put aside.  

Since we have been back in the Indianapolis area, we have rested and awaited the outcome of the biopsy.  Today, we were given the diagnosis of......  NO CANCER! Another blessing.  

On a lighter note, you can see that Oliver's younger sister, Olivia is not
a beggar.  She just sits behind John with her chin on his shoulder and waits to see if he sneaks a treat to her when mom is not looking.

As you can see in this photo, there is still much arranging to be done.  Much of it is fiber that is waiting to be spun.  But this will wait for a few days. We are delivering pounds and pounds of llama fleece to a processing mill in Wisconsin that will wash, card and spin all the fiber into yarn to be sold on the internet.  

From Wisconsin, we will head to South Dakota to establish residency, title our motorhome, and get our South Dakota driver's license.  

We will probably spend Thanksgiving in South Dakota.  For the first time, we will not have any family to share our Thanksgiving dinner.  That is going to be strange.  

Our prayer of thankfulness will be long this year.  From John coming from death's door to his recovery and our full time living in our new motorhome.  What else could we be blessed with!  Absolutely nothing. 

It is time that we share our abundant blessings with others.  

Oh!  by the way, we closed on the sale of our condo Tuesday.  

Until next time....

Abundant blessings to you.... God is so good!    

Thursday, November 1, 2012


In two hours we head out to Indiana University Medical Center and Simon Cancer Center for John's biopsy.  Regardless of  Dr. Koch's 80% chance that John has prostate cancer, I am praying that it is not and he is in the twenty percentile. 

BUT, I rest in Jeremiah 29:11 that tells of God's plans for our lives.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD ".....Plans to give you hope and a future."  

Tomorrow starts our future in our new to us Tiffin Allegro Bus!  We will leave Indianapolis area and head to Kentucky to pick up our new home.  That is exciting John!  I love to see his eyes twinkle as he talks about it.  Again, we are thankful for God's blessing.  Sometimes I shake my head in disbelief that we found a motorhome that contained every item we put onto our "wish list" for a new home.  I know, I should not be surprised....I am astounded and extremely thankful.

Short post today, but will write more soon.  Thank you again for all your good wishes and prayers.

See you soon...