Dec. 30, 2012 Lorraine’s report
Happy New Year, everyone. Sorry I haven’t written a lot lately, but you know how it is with Kaitlyn being around us most of the time. It was hard for me to have her daddy take her away to come south, I really missed her, Lots! It is nice to have her here with us now, Susy too!
I would like to tell Rick and Donna….Thank You….I loved the new Kindle Fire, been using it, just trying to get used to it, but I can get e-mail and check Facebook, even on the road. Thank you!!!
Christmas was wonderful, and we hope you all had a great Christmas; may the new year bring us even more health, not so much costly cares or concerns as this year has brought to us.
Until next time…
12/30/12 Chuck’s report
I’m sitting here watching college football bowl games on TV Saturday night. Lorraine and Susy went to the mall, they haven’t been able to do any after Christmas shopping together so they are taking time to go there tonight. We came down to see the Rose Parade and attend the Rose Bowl game on Jan. 1st. It will be a first time for Lorraine and me to attend the game and the first time for Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn to see the Rose Parade live.
Let’s see, working backwards, we traveled from the Bay area down here to the LA area today. We left there just before 9 AM and got here about 3:30 PM, a long driving day for us but we are set up now. I had checked with most of the Elk lodges around Pasadena about a month ago and we were planning on staying at Ontario, about 40 minutes from Pasadena. They have a few RV spots with 30 amp power and water at each site but no dump on site.
As we were driving down, I asked Lorraine and Susy to call a few of the Elk lodges again and see what they could find. As luck would have it, they noticed in the book that West Covina has RV sites with 50 amp power and water at each site and a dump available also. Seeing as how it is closer to Pasadena, they called but never did get anyone to answer so we decided to drive in and check it out.
We got here and drove through the parking lot and found the RV sites, as advertised they have 50 amp and water. We managed to get a spot close enough to the dump that I hope to be able to dump the gray tanks via a hose without moving the rig, YEA regular daily showers VS. navy type and the black tank should hold us until we leave next week so we’ll dump it the day we leave. I’ve never heard of West Covina before but it looks like it will be a good base camp for us to stay for the trip down here.
I talked to someone who was setting up at the lodge and he said just stop by the bar after 4 pm and pay them for our stay. So when we walked over to pay we found they have a very nice dinner area with a regular menu and specials too. We all decided to have prime rib, very good choice and it’s always nice to support an Elks lodge too.
Friday we took down the few Christmas decorations we had and stored them back in Susy’s garage until next year. I also stored all the extra stuff we carry in the car there until we return after this trip down here. Lorraine went through some of her stuff and we put some sweaters in a shrink bag and stored them too. She also cleaned out some drawers and such and we had some stuff to give to Goodwill.
Friday morning early I also had my second appointment with the Behavior Specialist at the VA (I call her a shrink) to see if she can help me with my claustrophobic problem. I have been getting worse and decided it was time to ask for help. She gave me some suggestions and recommend a book but mostly she said I have to “face my fears” and put myself in situations I’m not comfortable being around. I don’t like elevators, crowds, back seat of a car if it isn’t a four door or being in tight, constrictive spaces. She suggested I need to go to these places and work my way through my problems. After all those years working in the refinery and crawling through all the towers and vessels it seems strange to have issues now. But I’m going to try her suggestions and see what happens, she said I can make an appointment and see her anytime we are in the area.
Thursday I had another VA appointment in my ongoing sleep apnea problem. This time we drove to the coast to Seaside, near Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach. A few nice areas that Lorraine and I both liked. Of course, it was sunny when we were there, I’m sure the weather isn’t always that nice but it was that day. Because we were close and haven’t been in this area for awhile, we drove around and checked out a few spots, drove down to Big Sur and up to Santa Cruz before going back to the coach. We didn’t check out prices for homes in the area but both of us said we could see us going there when we get off the road, prices being in our range of course. But we aren’t ready to even check it out yet, hoping for a few more years of being on the road before we have to really start thinking about things like that.
The appointment ended up being a “lecture” via a tele-conferencing set up. It was about sleep apnea, problems that can arise from it and how it can be controlled. I had read most of that type information on line already but it is something that I have to do, another step in the process of getting me a CPAP or BiPAP machine to use at night.
Mark and Kaitlyn took off for LA on Thursday evening, Susy still had to work on Friday so we hung around and she rode down with us. Mark is going to play in the Stanford Band, both at the Parade and at the game so he has to go to practices this weekend. Mark and Kaitlyn went to Knox Berry amusement park on Friday and Saturday and he is going to bring her by this evening and she will stay with us thru the weekend and go to the parade and game with us too. Susy could have played with the band too but decided to just be a “tourist” instead. I know she would like to be with the band but it’s nice to have her with us instead.
We had a very nice Christmas at Susy’s place. It’s always nice to see Christmas through the eyes of a child who still believes. Kaitlyn was a very happy little girl, she got lots of stuff and more of “My Little Pony” stuff to add to her growing collection. The rest of us got some things we needed/wanted but Lorraine and I try to get what we need/want when we can rather than wait for a special occasion. And because we don’t have lots of space for “stuff”, Susy got us tickets to the Rose Bowl game, hence the reason we are here.
One item that Lorraine and I got was from our son, Rich, who lives in Alaska. He bought us both a Kindle, Lorraine’s is a Kindle Fire so she can access email and such from it as well. Very nice surprise and great gifts, Lorraine has used hers away from the coach and it worked great. Thanks Rick, nice presents!
The days before Christmas we spent a lot of time with Kaitlyn, Susy and Mark, going out for dinner or having it at Susy’s or our place. Kaitlyn also spent a couple nights with us, she and Lorraine didn’t get to sleep too early however as there was lots of giggling and such going on. Only good thing was they slept a bit later the next morning, Kaitlyn slept until almost 8, late for her.
On the 18th I had my second visit with my primary VA doctor. She reviewed the results of all the tests I’ve been doing and scheduled me for another round of Pulmonary Fitness Tests or PFT. I guess there are some things that aren’t making sense, I have good lung capacity but can’t get good exchange or something to that effect. Anyway, the next round of tests should help them make a diagnosis and maybe help me get back to breathing right. I am better than I was a month or so ago but still have very bad days where I can’t seem to get a full breath and sometimes can’t exhale without an effort. They have me on a different inhaler that I take twice a day along with the regular one that I use when needed so it’s hard to tell if I’m better or if the medicine is doing its thing.
I mentioned to the doctor that I was seeing flashes of light in my left eye and have lots of new “floaters” too. She had me go see the eye doctor right away, they were worried about a detached retina or something, said it could be something bad. The eye doctor checked it out and put eye drops in to deaden it. He then looked inside the eye ball while he poked and prodded it with blunt instruments so he could see all portions of it. Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, he called in the retina specialist who did the same thing only about 4 times worse. I don’t like anything in or around my eye ball and didn’t handle this very well but the end result was they couldn’t find any major problem but want me to return in three weeks so they can do it all over again. I made the appointment but am seriously considering not keeping it, I don’t like it. They did say something that I’ve been hearing from other doctors too, “it may just be because of your age'”, the jelly in your eye gets thicker as we age. I’m getting tired of hearing from the doctors that I’m getting old.
I also told my primary doctor about my claustrophobic problem and she called the Behavior Specialist who happened to have an opening so Lorraine and I got to talk with her for awhile. Lorraine said she really likes her and thinks she can help me, most folks who know me think I’m beyond help. Like I said earlier, I’m going to try some of the things she suggested and hope I can ease some of my issues.
Lorraine also had a doctor’s appointment but we got a call two days before saying he was called out of town and will not be back until after the first of the year. We made an appointment with him for the first day we are back in the Bay area. Lorraine is lots better, her speech was effected more than anything and it’s better. Susy says she notices it but she also says if you didn’t know Lorraine, you might not notice anything out of the ordinary. We are hoping the doctor can give her a few more ways to exercise her brain and get the new connections made. But I would say she is about 90% recovered, I remember the evening it happened and she didn’t even know her name and couldn’t speak at all.
All these doctor visits and trips to the hospital are getting old, that’s for sure! I don’t remember the amount one needs in order to deduct medical expenses on taxes but I’m sure we have exceeded the minimum amount, ha. But we are hoping the new year brings us better health and fewer medical issues.
With the upcoming new year it is usually a good time to remember and reflect on this year. We have a good way of doing that by reviewing our previous blogs, which I do every once in a while. Even though we didn’t write every week, we still managed to get 25 blogs posted this year, pretty good considering we didn’t post any while we were stuck in Washington while I was working this spring.
We plan on staying here so Lorraine, Susy and Kaitlyn can go to Disneyland on the 3rd, we’ll drive back to the Bay area on the 5th. We will stay there for a doctor visit for Lorraine and one for me then head out for Palm Springs and the FMCA Rally in Indio which runs Jan. 9th – 13th.
The weather has been more like winter, rain and clouds with a few days of sun. We actually ran into snow coming down to LA in the hills just North of town, pretty heavy for awhile but it wasn’t sticking on the roads. The forecast here is for highs in the low 60s and lows in the high 30s, not too bad but a bit cooler than what we would have hoped for. Oh what a tough live we have, complaining about the temperatures only getting to the low 60s in early January.
So with that, I guess I’ll go through the pictures Lorraine has taken and post a few of them here. I’ll do that in the morning (Sunday) and get this posted.
Pictures of Kaitlyn at her school program. She is sitting in the middle in the front row.
With a couple of her friends.
On stage at school.
Different evening, this time with her Brownie group.
Lighting a candle on the left and receiving a new badge on the right.
Out to Christmas Eve dinner, L to R me, Lorraine, Kaitlyn, Susy and Mark.
Christmas morning at Susy’s.
My shirt is a big lie.
YEA Dad, thanks for the present.
Lorraine with her Kindle Fire.
New toys all lined up under the Christmas tree.
California coast pictures.
Ok, that’s enough of those. Guess I’ll just wish everyone a Happy New Year! Hope you and yours have a great year.