Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Today's Jewelry Class

Today's creation -- a silver wire-wrapped dichroic glass cabochon.

Monday, June 20, 2016


One of the side effects of the laser treatment that I had done to my left eye was floaters. If I understood what the ophthalmologist said, when he zapped that membrane that was blocking my vision, it was broken up into little pieces (floaters) that keep dashing around in my eyesight.  It's like little bugs flying around my face so I am constantly fighting the urge to swat bugs.  I look pretty silly.

Today was my followup with the ophthalmologist and he said that a lot of the floaters should dissipate on their own and I should give it a few weeks.  However, if they don't, he can do more laser stuff.  I would like to get rid of the annoying floaters; however, it is a small price to pay to get that vision back.

My prescription changed quite a bit so I got to order a new pair of glasses today (boy, the price of eyeglasses is outrageous).  Since it is very hard for me to pick out new glasses because I can't see good enough to determine what they look like, the technician kept taking my picture so I could see the choices better.  Here's the final choice -- they should be ready in a week:

And while I was there picking out glasses, guess who walked in for an appointment?  My cardiologist!  I think it's a good sign that I picked a good ophthalmologist if my cardiologist also goes to him, right?

I had a jewelry class on Saturday and it was a lot of fun.  Tomorrow is another class.

Next Wednesday I have to take Okie to the vet for dental work.  I know it is for his own good but I hate taking a pet in knowing they are going to have anesthesia.  But it will be out of the way when Tricia comes next Thursday to stay for a week.  My sister-in-law and niece will be here the 4th of July.  So it will be busy.

I've made arrangements for a road grader to work on my road down in Westcliffe.  That will probably get done in early July.  Hopefully it will help the house sell.

Monday, June 13, 2016

I can see!!

I had the laser treatment on my left eye today and the vision returned to normal instantly.  I am so pleased.  It is great to be able to see again.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Trip to Westcliffe

The trip down here was lovely. I stopped at Pikes Peak Harley to thank them for helping me get Marshall's bike transported.

I got to my house only to find that the telephone and the Internet were both down. I pay $90 a month to CenturyLink to maintain the phone and Internet down here because the area is so remote that I like to be able to have reliable contact with the outside world. But it is almost always not working so I am just throwing $90 a month down the drain.

I drove over to my neighbors' house (Dave and Cathy) and used their phone to call CenturyLink, I got through and then was on hold 37 minutes, and then got cut off. So I give up. I'm going to cancel this service altogether. Why pay $90 a month on the off chance that things will be working.

Now, a reasonable person would think that it isn't the end of the world to not have a landline if you have your cell phone, but AT&T doesn't seem to care about those of us out in the boonies either so my cell service is intermittent and even intermittently it will only work in one small spot in the entire house. And if you call AT&T they flat out tell you that "your area is such a small market, you are on the bottom of the totem pole with regard to service."

On the way down here yesterday, I was getting all nostalgic and wondering how I could have ever left such a beautiful area but by the end of the day it all came back to me. I was going to stay here the entire weekend but I have now decided to go back home after the funeral.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the road to my house that is not maintained by the county but is left to me to maintain, is washing out in one area. No one will ever be interested in buying this house when the road is almost impassable. Well, I shouldn't say "no one," because quite a few people who move to these mountains do so because they want to be "off the grid" but I want to hedge my bets so I went by the office of the road grading company down here and asked them to come out and give me an estimate to work on the road.

And already I am in trouble with a neighbor -- my road borders his property in one small area and he got kind of worked up because he doesn't want the road fixed in the area that touches his property. I tell you, my reasons for moving away from here are coming back to me very clearly. Marshall could deal with all this stuff, but I hate it.

So I will head back to my townhouse with glee!

The funeral was lovely. It was at the Catholic Church and I'm not Catholic so for the most part it was over my head but still lovely. The Knights of Columbs played a part and that was kind of cool, with the fancy outfits, and the swords, etc. The part of the service that was at the cemetery was a tear-jerker. I always get weepy at a military funeral (21-gun salute, the playing of Taps, the folding and presentation of the flag). It was moving.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Marshall and me

I know I said I don't cry hardly at all any more, but I picked up Marshall's Samsung Tablet and opened it and this popped up --

Doctor Visit

You know, I miss the good old days when a doctor was your doctor for life or until you moved.  But these days it seems to be the doctors who bounce around.  You get used to your doctor and all of a sudden, for one reason or another, you need to move on.

When Marshall was diagnosed with prostate cancer we spent a lot of time researching oncologists and we chose Dr. Flaig.  We had to drive for 4 hours (one way!) to see him once a month.  We really liked him and Marshall was doing so well under his care.  But after about a year he started saying, "You really need to start seeing my Nurse Practitioner, Kathryn, because I want her to be familiar with your case in case I can't be here."  Sounded reasonable so we made our appointment with Kathryn.  Well, Kathryn pretty quickly become the only person we saw and it's hard to explain your thought process when you know you are dying, but when we realized we weren't really going to be seeing Dr. Flaig any more (unless we specially requested it), Marshall's mood started deteriorating and his condition started worsening.  He felt betrayed and abandoned and it affected his frame of mind.  It was sad.

Well, today I went to my cardiologist appointment and instead of my doctor, who I just love, I had to see his Physician's Assistant.  I understand that doctors are busy and they need to open up time for new patients, but still...  And on top of that, his nurse, Michael -- who I see every week for my blood work and who I have developed a really good relationship with -- has applied for a job with the government and he may be moving on.  I'll survive but I hate these kinds of changes.

At any rate, I did like the Physician's Assistant.  First we did the regular vital signs and my blood pressure and INR bloodwork was right where it should be.  Then I saw the representative from Medtronic and she "interrogated" (that phrase just cracks me up) my pacemaker. All of the wires are still attached as they should be and I haven't had a single solitary episode of atrial fibrillation.  But the best news with regard to the pacemaker was that with all the little tweaks they made to it the last time I was there, the pacemaker re-set itself and the battery life is now 6.5 years (instead of 1.5).  That was great news.  She then made one tiny little tweak to the pacemaker, which she described as something that would make my heart use its own power a little more instead of being pacemaker-driven 99% of the time (she explained that to me twice but it was beyond me), and she said that little change may give the pacemaker even a longer battery life.

Then we discussed what I can and can't do.  Because my implantation surgeries were problematic, they don't want to release me to regular activities for a while longer.  So for at least another month, no motorcycle riding, no heavy lifting, no over-stretching, no mammograms (boo hoo), no high impact exercises, no unpacking any boxes (will I ever get unpacked?), etc.  I asked about altitude (since I'm going to Westcliffe this weekend and will be at 9,000 feet) and she said that was fine, just drink a lot of water.  So that was a great report!

I've been spending time in the garage polishing Marshall's motorcycle and reminiscing.  That bike was so important to him.  It feels really good to have it here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Mountain Lion

I keep meaning to share this:  About six months before I moved from my house in Westcliffe up here to Thornton, I had set up a game camera in a tree in front of my house.  It's a pretty cool way to see not only what kind of animals congregate in your front yard during the night but also monitors any other activity that may be going on.  For the most part, every time I looked at the activity on the memory card the only animal activity I saw was an occasional deer going by.  Most of the other pictures were of me coming and going, the UPS guy, neighbors who visited, etc.  So when I moved up here I gave the camera to the couple who own the cabin down the road from my house.  I neglected to look at the memory card before giving it to them.

Well, wouldn't you know that would be the one time when something interesting happened.  A mountain lion had wandered by the front of the house.  The pictures aren't the best but you can definitely tell it's a mountain lion.  It's the only animal in our area that we had never seen firsthand (we've seen deer, bears, coyotes, fox, bobcats, antelope, but no mountain lion).  They are usually too skittish.  Anyway, for what it's worth, here's the photo;


So far, my appointment with the cardiologist  is still set for tomorrow -- although he did change it from 3PM to 10:45A.    And I'm beginning to realize that my doctor's expectations from our appointments are quite a bit different from my expectations.  For him, it just means listen to my heart and ask how I'm feeling and answer any of my questions.  To me, I was thinking he would do a pacemaker "interrogation" and then go over the report with me and also do blood work.

I think he plans to do all those things tomorrow, but only because I brought it up.  I asked his nurse if he was going to do an interrogation and the nurse said, "Why?"  I think that sums up our differences right there.  So tomorrow I guess (hope) we are going to do the kind of workup I was expecting and from here on out I will try to approach these appointments with no expectations.  Live life on the edge... (ha)

On another note, this morning I was able to successfully use a stud-finder to find the studs on the kitchen wall and I hung a pegboard pot rack, which is all the more impresive since I am limited on using my left arm!  I also hung some artwork and framed photos.  I think it's time to get a tool belt!!  Of course, when I hung the pegboard I had visions of it coming loose and hitting the floor in the middle of the night and scaring the stuffing out of me.  But at least I am progressing.

As soon as I can find the proper "riser" ramps to use to get the motorcycle out of the garage without dragging the "gatling gun" pipes (the driveway into the garage is short and steep) I ought to be able to venture out for a short ride.

Some people looked at my house Saturday and they acted very interested but I haven't heard anything since so I guess they changed their minds.

Remember the girl (Gina) who helped me through Marshall's illness?  Her dad died last week so I'm heading down to Westcliffe for a few days to go to the funeral.  I will be able to see how my pacemaker does at altitude.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The motorcycle has arrived

Marshall's trike is finally "home."  The doctor says I can't ride just yet because I'm not supposed to stretch out my arm.  Next week I'll find out when I'll be allowed to ride it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ophthalmologist Visit

Today I saw Dr. May, Ophthalmologist.  He is the first ophthalmologist I've ever gone to who does everything himself.  He put the drops in the eye, he checked my glasses, and he did all the tests.  And he was very efficient about it.  I really liked him.  (So far I've been very lucky in all of the new medical relationships I've been forming.)

Anyway, I went to him because I haven't been able to see out of my left eye for several months -- everything is a big blur.  And the left eye already has had cataract surgery about six years ago.  So he examined me and found that a membrane has formed behind the lens that was inserted when the cataract surgery was done.  He tells me he can fix that with a laser procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis.  He says it is painless and only takes a few seconds.  So my appointment for the laser procedure is June 13.  And I can't wait!!

Tomorrow the motorcycle should arrive.  Things are progressing nicely, aren't they?