Monday, February 1, 2016

February is Springtime in Texas

29 Feb, Mon: This is it??? That's all? The end of February??? Yup, even with a bonus day, that's all folks! CrossFit is first on today's list - followed by breakfast and a trip to UPS - and then to prepare the house for the buyers to preview furniture Cynthia hopes to sell. Ron vacuumed, washed Windows and floors. The contract clock started ticking today. The jacuzzi was good for our tired bodies. Good-bye February.
 
28 Feb, Sun: Church, brunch, late afternoon walk with evening walk and phone visits
 
27 Feb, Sat: We have a contract on the lake house with closing March 25. Inspection this week.
 
26 Feb: This evening at the lake house in Montgomery, Texas we enjoyed a quiet dinner after a roller coaster day. The early start contributed, but the fact that the ophthalmologist appointment in Brenham was yesterday, not today. Fooey, big disappointment after driving more than an hour. Fortunately Sandy and Bill were delightful company and were able to join us early at the Blue Bonnet Herb Farm restaurant in Hempstead. News from Jon has been exceptionally encouraging: the couple interested in the house are planning an offer at full price with owner financing and are interested in buying the furniture . By nightfall, the offer had not yet arrived, Jon was too over-committed to take time to discuss logistics with Cynthia, and her mood crashed. It is 8 PM, time for us oldies (but goodies) to get to sleep. My goodness, the thought of moving out is daunting; there is so much to do; Cynthia has to find good homes for all the artifacts that she loves (and her children have no interest); I have tons of paper to process - must shift gears from genealogy to reducing possessions. Wish us well and good luck (after all, I'd rather be lucky than smart or talented any day.) My a-fib continues, but the breathing is much better since the Flecainide is out of my system. We had a great walk and the Fitbit buzzed for the first time in a long while; 16-17 curious deer crossed the trail in front of us.
25 Feb: We are outta here early to see the neurologist this morning with an afternoon appointment to see Cynthia's oncologist. Lunch is at Pappadeaux in the Woodlands celebrating five years of cancer survival whilst reading Christmas mail Clarence has forwarded. (Hey, IRS - we are keeping track of our mileage). Offer may be forthcoming on house - owner finance.
 
24 Feb, We are still ensconced in Montgomery, Texas; it is a beautiful, sunny day. Ron is still waiting for his AFib to correct itself, Cynthia is still attending physical therapy for her hip and IT Band with a trip to the chiropractor today. We can attest to the adage, "Getting old isn't for sissies." Editing James Lea has taken a backseat to other projects today. Cynthia roasted chicken and a baked sweet potato for our date night dinner; the sunset was a delight with lavender and rose cascading down to the lake. We watched the DVD "A Walk in the Woods", but the idiotic 5 movie previews before the movie ever started was way too frustrating. The movie could not be endured. Robert Redford did not fit the part nor was his acting worth watching. Is it any wonder we don't watch movies? We have a house showing tomorrow morning at ten and another one on Friday.
 
 
23 Feb, Published!! Congratulations to editors Ronald S. Beatty and The Rev. Dr. Kim-Eric Williams for the masterpiece publication: Vol. 6 A and 6 B (includes the 1761 Wrangel Catechism), The Wrangel Years 1759-1766, Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania. Ron awoke at 5:30, sleepy but not falling back asleep by 6:00, he arose and worked on James Lea edits; he was sleepy when Cynthia awoke. Ron is still sleepy at noon-thirty; we need a nap (A normal EKG was recorded last night at bedtime but reverted to AFib by morning-no wonder Ron is sleepy!). We almost forgot our special anniversary day seven years ago when we exchanged vows on lake Murray.
The Editor!
Four Plus Years of Intensive Labor
Books for Sale!
22 Feb: Mon: Texas redbuds are blooming, azaleas are budding, and the blue bonnets are beginning their springtime show. Ron hardly worked through the night, finally put out his light at 2AM and repaired to bed awakening Cynthia who was bright-eyed and ready for the day. After writing e-mail messages, breakfast, a trip to the Chiropractor, Enterprise Car Rental, Kroger's, Smoothie King and Wally World, we were in need of repair by the time we reached home and smelled fresh bread baking. We indulged in a bread orgy. Mmmm. Cynthia made fat-free-sugar-free potato salad using organic products, plus lime jello with bananas and crushed pineapple. Four of the seven Ambars have arrived from Norway for seven granddaughters. The Ambars are exquisite, heirloom pieces hand-carved/painted by our friend Lene Kjelvik who lives near Kristiansand. Lene has worked on the Ambars nearly every day for months. Thank you, dear friend!
 
21 Feb, Sunday: Oops, we Eureka'ed too soon; at church Ron was short of breath, checked his pulse, and found an irregular rhythm again. Fooey. Still, the eternal optimist sees this as a good sign, that the heart was willing to revert by itself. Next job is to STAY regular. Earlier: EUREKA !! (at least for now), Ron's heart reverted to normal sinus rhythm over night and is back to the normal 51 beats per minute. This is yet another Sunday to Thank God for whatever still works - even when it is not working as perfectly as when we were all younger. Whoa! Oh, no! Now ended! During worship Ron was short of breath, manually felt his pulse, and determined AFib had returned. Oh well, briefly we enjoyed the exhilaration of normal sinus rhythm. While brunch at the Yacht Club was delicious, as usual, it isn't quit as exhilarating as breathing normally. Afternoon Ron repaired to the dock until the sky began leaking lightly. Thereupon Ron repaired to the patio, occasionally looking up from James Lea to watch the birds and boats on the lake. An Eagle has been reported in the neighborhood.
 
20 Feb: The Smooch Family is still stuck in Montgomery, Texas not enjoying medical issues. But, the breakfast at Magnolia Diner is always a treat; Ron filled up with fat-free blueberry pancakes. The house is clean, ready for a showing this afternoon, while we managed another 45 minute walk on the turf to the surf. Linda B. E-mailed Cynthia hilarious puns recognizing we all need a good laugh (John had hip replacement surgery Monday and Linda is preparing for knee replacement). A huge box arrived from Clarence in Kansas City containing a year's worth of Ron's mail: Dear Sirs or Madams: do not expect a quick reply.
 
19 Feb: Thank you, Oke!!! The Sudokus are a great gift; thank you for your thoughtfulness, friendship AND the Sudokus. The periodontist that erroneously prescribed a ZPak phoned with an abject, heartfelt apology. Lessons learned: when we say no to surgery, we won't be dissuaded again without a second opinion. We won't take any meds without first reading the warnings. Breakfast at Magnolia Diner brought us the usual egg white veggie omelets, grits and fruit, followed by Cynthia's visit to the chiropractor. The cleaning machine has been at work, the laundry is washed, folded and put away, giving her a beatific glow. Ron's clothes were washed last year. Ron made fat-free high protein strawberry smoothies for lunch. We thoroughly enjoyed a short walk on a turf trail without a breathing episode.
 
18 Feb: Ron was up at 2:15 and broke a drinking glass in the bathroom. Inconsequential, but somehow it disturbed him so that he could not get back to sleep, so at 3:30AM he walked to the nearby woods to bury the compost. After crossing the street, he had to stop for two minutes to catch his breath. Yup, the atrial fibrillation combined with the Flecainide is causing him to become entirely out of breath frequently, inconsistently, and entirely unpredictably. When Cynthia stirred in the bedroom, Ron arose from the computer at couch, walked to the bedroom and had to sit on the bed breathing hard for three minutes. Cynthia was quick with her AliveCor smartPhone app to take his EKG. We were quite SHOCKED to see a heart rate of 164. Ron informed Dr. Gould by e-mail, and his immediate response was to invite us to the Weatherhead PET Center today(!) for an evaluation. We availed ourselves of the opportunity to breakfast at the Toasted Yolk - and then drove the hour to Houston's medical center. We love Maria, she ran the EKG, took blood pressure, sympathized, chuckled, and was happy to see us. We missed Mary. Dr. Gould said the Flecainide is doing its job but the med isn't working for Ron. If I understood Dr. Gould, the heart absolutely cannot pump 300 beats a minute, so the body overrides the impulses to beat more slowly. However, the Flecainide apparently lowered the atrial rate to half that, and the heart CAN pump 150 beats a minute, so the override isn't activated, and the 150 beats a minute leaves me very short of breath immediately (understandably so). [Aside to my honey: I need to get your Williams Sound device out for you more often.] My exceptionally low heart rate (normally 50 bpm) combined with the blood thinners (Eliquis and Berlinta) makes for too many complications, so Dr Gould discontinued the Flecainide, and we will see what happens after the body flushes the Flecainide out of the system in a day or two. (Ron, always the juvenile, is thinking "Roller Coaster.") We are scheduled to see Dr. Dougherty, the electrophysiologist, on the 8th of March. Ron would prefer an ablation, but Dr. Gould warned that the procedure is extremely risky because of the blood thinners; the risk is filling the pericardium with blood. Dr. Gould was intrigued with Cynthia's AliveCor EKG device on her cell phone. BOTTOM LINE: We will continue to enjoy life daily and trust God. Cynthia had a stressful day, especially seeing Ron so disabled and out of breath so many times during our walk through the hospital. The traffic returning home was heavy; a major accident shut down I-45 at the Woodlands. Can you imagine that Ron, the Techie, insisted on stopping at the Conroe library to take photos of land plats for his James Lea project. The next stop at Smoothie King was even more satisfying. Cynthia needed real food, so we fed her at the "Caddy Shack," our usual dinner place. (Ron didn't eat there. The smoothie and a bowl of cereal are easier on his poor, abused mouth.
 
17 Feb: Chiropractor, UPS office, editing books. Ron is improved but still in AFib. The nature of recent cardiac procedures means anticoagulants will be a necessity for a very, very long time, as in years, with one of the meds lifelong. Dental work has been a non-option necessity and hardly a thoughtless action/elective. Unfortunately, the dentist convinced us gum augmentation and grafting was an ok procedure because they "work with people on blood thinners all of the time."
 
16 Feb: A gorgeous sunrise - a beautiful morning - with a temperature of 70 degrees.
15 Feb: Ron's medication reaction to Fleicainide seems to have subsided. After breakfast Cynthia went to the chiropractor to discuss the MRI report - which tells us what we know: she has stenosis between L-4 and L-5 with exiting nerves in contact. The chiropractor said she has the hips of a 30 year old (joints!) and we are hearing about this repeatedly. The epidural injections worked a miracle; that being the case, she had cortisone in the top of her left foot for immediate relief.

 

14 Feb: Happy Valentine's Day to my beloved Smooch! We worshipped at Grace, then enjoyed brunch with Jon and Barb at the Walden Yacht Club. Ron is writing a strong letter to the substitute periodontist who prescribed ZPak antibiotics on Feb 3rd known to cause heart arrhythmia; 4 days later Ron's heart was back in AFib. Dr. Gould prescribed Fleucainide Friday, but the Dizziness/fainting is a major problem. the cardiologist will need to change RX tomorrow. The situation is not life-threatening, nor is stroking likely to occur while on two anticoagulants.

III
13 Feb: The house was spit-spot clean for the real estate viewing at 11:30 while we boogied off to breakfast at Magnolia Diner. The realtor and her clients were still here at 1:00 PM, so we drove the neighborhood and enjoyed the thrill of paying $1.39 a gallon for our fuel. Simple pleasures. The house offer (promised a few days ago) did not materialize, perhaps it is time to reduce the price on the house. The weather was a splendid 72 degrees, perfect for walking. But, AFib causes breathing issues, the meds exacerbate running out of breath, so we are not walking, much less doing cartwheels or playing basketball any time soon.

 

12 Feb: We woke up, and that's a good thing. No appointments. No fitness classes. We are awake to the wild excitement of editing books and DNA. The James Lea book is moving along nicely, so is Vol. 7 of the Gloria Dei Record Project. The Cafe on the Green fed Ron nicely with salmon, baked potato and carrots puréed to the consistency of baby food. Cynthia's research on AFib pointed to an error made by the substitute periodontist who Prescribed ZPak on Feb 3rd known to cause arrhythmia. The following Monday AFib developed. Hopefully the new meds will reset the heart to normal sinus rhythm. We went for a lovely ride to the Sam Houston National Forest where Cynthia was amazed to discover a very clean trail restroom that actually had toilet paper.

11 Feb: The sun arose in great glory. An offer on the house is anticipated in a few days. Another showing on Saturday. We are enjoying breakfast at the Toasted Yolk before seeing the orthodontist. After passing out this morning, Ron scheduled an appointment with the electrophysiologist for March 8th, the very soonest she had time. Fainting is one of the symptoms of AFib. The cardiologist phoned in a RX to attempt to reset the heart. Sooo Cynthia is doing the driving. She needs to take lessons to get her motorcycle license.

 

10 Feb: Another gorgeous sunrise greeted our day. Yup! AFib has returned with rapid heart rate; breathing being a challenge upon exertion. Ron E-mailed Dr. Gould to get his recommendations regarding pacemaker vs ablation. The nurse replied "ablation," Dr. Gould formerly suggested a pacemaker for Ron's slow heart rate in January - but now with an accelerated heart rate a pacemaker isn't prescribed. Threre are three types of ablation; we will meet with an electrophysiologist. Ron is on two anticoagulants to prevent strokes caused by clotting. Ron wants to wait a couple of weeks to let his gums heal. Cynthia is had cortisone injections for her L-4 and L-5 today in the Woodlands. Ron drove home and is taking wonderful care of his wee-fee.

 

 

9 Feb: The sunrise was marvelous. Ron is on the computer in the car while Cynthia is getting an openMRI of her lumbar region. We wonder if the tea bags to control/suppress bleeding may have caused AFib to reappear. We will keep tabs on blood pressure. The No-shows showed up for a house viewing half hour early. The realtor has questions which is a good sign.

 

8 Feb, Mon: Whoa! We are tired and ready for bed having had an exhausting day, from the long drive to the periodontist in SW Houston, racing to get the house ready for a showing that was a no-show, and finally back to work on our computers. Ron is feeling improved, the doctor says the ridge augmentation is a masterpiece and most importantly the liver clot is gone. Yes. It is time for bed.

 

7 Feb, Sunday: We are up early at the lake house in Montgomery, TX. This ordeal of bleeding has certainly dampened Ron's spirit and enthusiasms. Lack of exercise for 18 days is not helping either. On the positive side, we continue to Thank God (especially on Sunday) for our many, many blessings. Our blessings are much more apparent when we compare ourselves to others. For instance, it is a huge relief that Beverly's transplanted kidney has awakened and prospects for a more normal life without dialysis are brightening. AttaGirl, get well !! The ordeal of hiding Ron's beloved organizational piles has proved worthwhile this time since the Tasmanian Devil housekeepers were followed by Cynthia's beloved niece Robin and now by the house showing scheduled for this afternoon. Robin, Rachel, Ryan, Steven and Karen pictured.

6 Feb: Chatting Non-Stop Saturday followed by a marvelous birthday dinner for daughter Roxanne, Robin, Jon, friends, and Roxanne's dad.

 
5 Feb: Cynthia's exercise class, breakfast, chiropractor, dinner with niece Robin Fell from Santa Barbara, CA for the weekend. Tyler, Lauren, Cynthia (back) and Rachel, Robin, Jon front row all smiling at Ron.

4 Feb: The Tasmanian Devils arrived with their mops and cleaning supplies to torment Ron. Ron's mouth started bleeding right after breakfast, again at dinner time. The high point of the day was seeing a picture of our friend Beverly B., smiling hugely after her kidney transplant. The second big thrill was a fat envelope from Oke (Inn at Long Trail, VT) packed with Sudokus.

 

3 Feb: The periodontist diagnosed Ron's headache, etc. as a "liver clot." Google says liver clots are rare complications of oral surgery. The dentist applied another type of "bandage" to the palate and sent us home with gauze strips and instructions about how to get Ron to SW Houston if the clot hemorrhages. Cynthia asked the dentist to feel free to keep Ron until he is well. Why did he think that was funny? It is good for office morale to have entertainment. Instead of being the comedian on staff, Ron returned home. Cynthia made fat-free mashed potato salad. Ron is down to 172 pounds.

2 Feb: Ron has successfully platted James Lea of Kilgore's Branch ca 1760 and all of his neighbors.

 

1 Feb: Another medical appointment near the Woodlands means a stop at the recycling center. Cynthia saw her neurologist for cortisone injections; he scheduled an updated MRI prior to the shots. Last chiropractor treatment. Breakfast was a great treat for us over-hungry smooches at 10:30 AM. After a delicious breakfast with our stomachs filled we were happy for hours at the Montgomery County Library. Ron is getting tired of his headache and bleeding mouth. It was not smart to allow the gum surgeon to operate while I am on blood thinners. (I.e. I never should have agreed to it, but the surgeon made it sound simple.) The bleeding has been sporadic, but the headache has been getting worse and is consistent. I'll be glad when this ever heals, but the healing has must be slowed down by repeated bleeding. Poor Cynthia has to put up with a less-than-jovial Ron.

 

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