June 30th 2013 Lorraine’s report
Hello once again from the Shakopee Sioux RV Park in Prior Lake, Minnesota.
We have had Chuck's family reunion, and I must say it was wonderful. To see all his relatives, their families and off spring was pretty amazing. Aunt Lila and her daughter Karla did a wonderful job of getting and keeping a whole bunch of relatives together; and it was amazing. Only 2 of Chuck’s brothers didn't make it up to the reunion. Sorry we missed you Ivan and Brian. But it was great to visit with everyone and see how you who did show up. There was no talk of when we would get together again.
This week has been pretty eventful for me. I had surgery on my left foot, that ganglion cyst I have been having trouble with was removed. It was on Thursday, two days before the reunion. Now I know this wasn't the best timing, but the surgeon I saw is off next week and wouldn't be doing any surgeries. It was a bit wild to get the appointment in the first place. We called a place to schedule an appointment, and that nurse transferred me to several other places, I ended up at the Burnside Orthopedic Doctor's Office, and as luck would have it, I was able to get into see him the following day. We kept the appointment and that doctor said I could get surgery, on Thursday, about 8 am. It was not the best situation, but I took it, knowing how hard it was to get in and see a doctor and to be seen by a certified orthopedic surgeon, and he did have time in his schedule for me.
Susy and Kaitlyn came in that day, and while I didn't get to meet them at the airport, they did come by to see me, so all's well and even though Katie is with her mommy at Yami's hotel, we see them every day. Chuck is writing out all the stuff for this week, so I'm just writing a short bit.
So yesterday was the reunion, and a fine day it was. The temperature had moderated, not to much humidity. Everyone there seemed to be enjoying each other's company. Lila's brothers, Chuck’s uncles Keith and David were there and it was nice to visit with them, learning about old times. I'm not sure how many people came, but Chuck did a rough count and we think about 130 people show up. and of course there was so much food, that if you went away hungry, it was your own fault. And I have to say, the salads and desserts were absolutely wonderful, and enough chocolate there for an army, was totally wonderful.
Well, yesterday I took a shower and Chuck wrapped my foot back up again. But all was not right with my left foot. While sitting in the shade, resting my foot on ice, the side of my foot started getting what looks like an angry red blister. It was small at first, then it kept getting bigger and bigger. By later on in the afternoon, it was the size of a thumb, and about as long and wide too. It was red, hot and not feeling good. So the decision was made to take me to a walk in clinic. So we took the rig, came back to the RV park, went in the car to St Francis Regional Hospital and Emergency room. Of course we had to wait a while, it being a Saturday evening when everyone needs to see a doctor they go to emergency.
We waited and waited, finally Susy, Kaitlyn and Yami went to go eat while we sat there. A few minutes after they left the doctor saw me. He said it didn't look like it was related to my surgery, but he couldn't be sure. It needed to be drained and then he put me on an antibiotic for 10 days. It took from 4:30 until we got back at 9 pm. All of Chuck's family went to dinner, but oh well. I'm happy to have that ganglion cyst removed, even though it hasn't been very easy.
Susy, Yami and Kaitlyn are shopping, and now we need to go see Aunt Lila up at here home.
I'm not sure how far we came, but it was fun, and it was nice to see everyone. Thanks once again to Aunt Lila and Karla for doing this; I know it was a lot of work on you both. Also, thanks to Susy, Kaitlyn and Yami for being here for us. Take care and well see you down the road...
6/30/13 Chuck’s report
Yea, after a great trip, we’ve reached our destination for the family reunion. We’ve been slowly traveling East and North, sure glad we aren’t in the extremely hot weather back in the West. I can’t believe anyone would travel to Death Valley to be there just in case they break the hottest temperature ever recorded, I think that would be 135F, and they might get that today. But I did read where quite a few folks were there, hoping to see a record breaking temperature. No thanks, I’ll stick with the 70s and 80s, thank you.
Last Sunday was a travel day for us, we were getting too much rain in Morton so we called and told them we would come here a few days earlier than expected, no problem. But Saturday evening we were having electrical issues in the coach, I was thinking maybe our inverter was out as we didn’t have any 120 amp electrical power inside the rig. I first tried tripping and resetting all the circuit breakers, no luck there. I tried lots of different combinations and found that if I disconnected from shore power, I did have power to some outlets? Boy, that was stumping my ability because with no shore power, I had to have power from the inverter. But anyway, while I had power we retracted the satellite antenna because I wasn’t sure if we would still have power in the morning when we got ready to leave.
Sure enough, we soon lost all 120 again, we tried with the generator running, shore power and from the inverter, nothing. But we were able to charge the batteries when on shore power so we decided to head out in the morning anyway and get a mobile RV tech we’ve used before here in Prior Lake to assist me when we got here.
After a pretty uneventful trip, we got here and got set up. I was hoping some of the bumps in the road might shake things back in place and we would have power after we hooked up but no such luck. I called the RV tech and left a message, I’m still waiting for the call back by the way, 7 days later.
I recently made connections so I could plug/unplug my auto former and/or surge protector instead of having the auto former plug into the shore power pole and the surge protector was hard wired. I know from my troubleshooting experience to always question the last change that was made so I unplugged everything but still no luck. But I did notice I was getting power on both legs of shore power but didn’t show any volts on leg 1. No really knowing what could cause that, I once again tripped and reset all the circuit breakers, still no change.
I figured the only thing left was a either a broken/burned wire somewhere or problem with the transfer switch but I couldn’t guess what might be wrong with the transfer switch as I did have power without the generator running or shore power connected back in Morton. But what the heck, I’ll check the transfer switch anyway. Once I got the box opened, I found where one of the main wires from the transfer switch to the coach was very loose and the connection was burned, meaning that was a bad thing I thought. But to get that wire back into the connection ended up being about a four hour repair and I wasn’t sure that was the main cause our problem but it had to be fixed anyway.
So after taking everything out of the electrical compartment so I could get better access, I started peeling back insulation and disconnecting/reconnecting wires. I was able to get any three of the four wires hooked up but couldn’t get the fourth wire no matter which combination I tried. Finally I took the wire bundle apart and worked with each of the four wires individually. Even then it took a long time but I finally got everything back and was satisfied I had good connections on each wire.
Holding my breath, I turned on power and found - - I didn’t have power to anything, anywhere. Now I know I didn’t unhook any of the main power wires from the shore power to the transfer switch but that seemed to be the cause. So I went to turn off the power at the shore power pole and notice that I had forgotten to plug in after I finished rewiring the transfer switch, I had unhooked it to insure there couldn’t possibly be any power to the wires I was working on. So holding my breath, I plugged it in, turned on the power and after the surge protector did it’s thing, got power to the transfer box. I went inside the coach and found we did have power to everything. YEA, I managed to fix an electrical problem, even though my trouble shooting skills didn’t lead me to the correct assumption. But I didn’t care, I fixed it, ha.
Now our friends who live here, Dave and Sandy, knew were coming in early and called to invite us over to their house for dinner. I told them we would be there as soon as I found and fixed the electrical issue, probably about an hour or so. Lorraine kept calling them to tell them I still didn’t know what was wrong but was going to try “one more thing first”. They were good about it, said everything was good and just come over when we could.
So after I cleaned some of the grease off my hands and such, we headed over to their house for dinner. We had a great time and visit with these fine folks, we saw them in Arizona back in early April so didn’t have too much to catch up on. The last two times we were at this RV park, they have brought their rig over and set up next to us. But this time we caught them between rigs, they were planning on getting a new one this winter and their old one sold unexpectedly early so the don’t have a rig right now.
So thanks Dave and Sandy for a good meal and better friendship and visit, just what I needed after a day of working on electrical stuff I don’t really understand anyway.
Monday we made a few phone calls and found a place where Lorraine could get a pedicure, she’s been trying in the last three places we were staying without any luck so she really wanted to get it done before the reunion. After that, we had an appointment with an urgent care place to see if they could/would remove that ganglion cyst she has on her left foot. We’ve been to two different clinics in the past couple of weeks but didn’t have any luck with either of them. We were hoping that we would have better luck with this group as we were planning on being in this area for a longer time.
We didn’t have any problem getting to see the doctor but he wasn’t interested in cutting it out, his recommendation was to see an orthopedic surgeon instead, shoot, not what we wanted to hear. But the gal at the front desk was very helpful, called three places and got us an appointment to see a surgeon the next afternoon.
So Tuesday we ran a few other errands then stopped by the surgeon’s office. He agreed to do the surgery on Thursday morning IF we could get a pre-op physical before then. Thursday was for sure not our first choice for surgery because Susy and Kaitlyn were coming in that afternoon and we had the reunion on Saturday. But the doctor was on vacation for the following week and said he wouldn’t do the surgery unless we were confirmed to be in the area for at least 10 days after the surgery. So we went ahead and set up the time slot and then hoped there wouldn’t be any issues with the pre-op physical.
We called the doctor we had seen at the urgent care place but wouldn’t you know it, he was off for the next two days. Lorraine tried explaining our time concerns and finally they agreed that a different doctor could see her Wednesday afternoon. But they called back about 1/2 later and said that doctor had other plans and could we come in later to see a physician's assistant. We agreed to the time and doctor change.
Wednesday morning we drove our car up to scout out the park where the reunion was to be held on Saturday. We found it with assistance from the GPS and it looked like a very nice place that my aunt Lila had picked for the reunion. After that we headed out to get the pre-op thing done. The gal didn’t really want to do it that close to the actual surgery but due to our time constraints agreed to get all the tests done on the same day and would fax the results to the surgeon’s office. So finally, after three attempts, we were set to go to get that cyst removed from Lorraine’s foot.
After the doctor’s visit, we met with Dave and Sandy at the casino here at the park for dinner and a bit of slot play too. We had a good time at dinner, Dave and I not so good at the slots but at least the gals both won. This is a big casino, easy to get lost and hard to find someone too. Dave and Sandy were ready to leave and tried calling us on our phones but of course the service inside the casino isn’t very good but they were able to get ahold of me. I tried to find Lorraine with no luck so they just said to tell her bye for them and went home. After another trip around the big slot floor, I found Lorraine. She had been trying to call me on the phone with no luck and was sorry that she hadn’t seen Dave and Sandy before they left. But we called it a day too and returned to our home on wheels.
Next morning we had to get up early, I was up at 4:30 and woke Lorraine up at 5:00. We had to leave around 6 and check in at the surgical center by 6:30 for her appointment at 8:00. We made it with time to spare, got checked in and waited in the pre-op bed until the doctor showed up a few minutes before 8:00. After going through everything, double checking the records and checking the pre-op info from the doctor the day before, he gave the ok to continue with the surgery.
They had Lorraine all prepped and ready, the anesthetist doctor came by to talk with her then the operating room nurses showed up to take her away. I had the doctor give me her prescription for pain pills and I ran over to a Wal Greens to have it filled while she was in the operating room. I got back and didn’t have to wait but a few minutes before they allowed me to go back and see her in the recovery room. The doctor came by and told me everything had gone well. The cyst was deeper than he first thought, it was coming from a joint and he had to scrape the bone too, hoping to make sure it doesn’t come back.
Because they had to dig a little deeper than anticipated, that meant they put Lorraine under a bit deeper than expected too. Once she woke up, she was feeling a bit nauseous so the anesthetist doctor came by and gave her a shot and a patch to put behind her ear to help. They also allowed her drink some juice and eat a couple of crackers which helped too. Within minutes, she was feeling better and the rest of the recovery was without issues.
About 11:00, the nurses were checking her out and agreed she could be discharged and go home, yea. She had a bandage on the surgery site and her foot was wrapped with an ace bandage. She said her foot was still numb from the surgery and didn’t need/want any pain pills so we got her dressed and into the car. The trip back home went quick and I got her into the coach and in bed in short order.
Lorraine slept off and on for awhile and about 3:00 or so wanted to sit up on the couch. She also asked for a pain pill as she was feeling some pain in her foot from the surgery. So she ate a banana and took her pain pill and the pain didn’t get any better. About 1/2 hour later, I gave her another pill, hate to get behind in pain control. She said this one was working so we set up a schedule of one pill every two hours vs. two pills every four hours as prescribed. It worked just fine for the rest of the day.
Our daughter Susy and grand daughter Kaitlyn were flying in from California with a plane change in Chicago and called to let us know they were delayed in Chicago due to a thunderstorm, might not even get out that afternoon. So I waited around the coach, taking care of Lorraine and when Susy called to let us know they were loading the plane, I headed out to the airport. Of course, the plane was late even then but when I got to the airport I spotted Susy’s friend from Florida who was also coming in for a visit. I was able to visit with Yami while we waited for over an hour for Susy’s plane. I called Lorraine a couple of times to check on her and keep her informed of what was happening. Finally, about three hours late, their plane came in, Yami picked up their rental car and we all went back to the coach.
Kaitlyn was sure excited to see Nana and it’s been about three years since we’ve seen Yami too. But after a short visit they had to leave so Lorraine could rest and to get Katie in bed. Boy, it was a busy day, surgery in the morning and a visit with Susy, Kaitlyn and Yami that evening.
Lorraine had to get up three times during the night to use the restroom and take her pain pills. Friday morning she got up and was in pain so we kept the pills going. I went by to pick up Susy and Katie from their hotel and bring them back to the coach. My brother Brad, his GF Dolly and my oldest brother Steve had driven up from St. Louis and we invited them to come by too.
After awhile, it was time for everyone to leave and let Lorraine rest so they took off except for Katie who stayed here to help nurse Nana. I asked Susy to stop by Costco and pick up some roasted chickens and invited Steve, Brad and Dolly over to our place for dinner after they picked up my sister, Corliss and my niece, Samantha from the airport. They had flown in from Bowling Green, Kentucky for the reunion too. So soon we had a full house and a good time too. After dinner, everyone took off for their hotel and I got Lorraine settled in once again. Another good day and Lorraine was able to keep the pain under control too.
Saturday morning we got up and got the rig ready to travel as we were taking it to the reunion. I hoped it would help Lorraine, give her a place to rest if needed and have all our stuff with us as needed too. Only problem, Susy had taken our car to the hotel the night before and our GPS was still in our car. I knew the general directions we needed but must have relied on the GPS too much when we checked out the place on Wednesday morning as I wasn’t sure of which exit to use. But I called Susy and she read me the directions from the GPS and we took off. We only called Susy once on the trip to get addition info and made it to the reunion site with no further issues.
Once there, we set up the rig then walked over to the pavilion to meet with the folks who were already there. As the day progressed, of course, more and more folks showed up and food and such was put out. Everyone seemed to have a good time visiting with known acquaintances as well as those who they hadn’t met yet.
I was pleased that of my seven remaining brothers and sister, five of them were able to make the reunion. It’s been over three years since we’ve been in Missouri or Kentucky so it was good to see them again. Plus two of my favorite nieces from Missouri were able to attend too. I won’t try to go through everyone who was there, I think there was over 135 people who showed up. But it was good to meet with my aunt, uncles, nieces, cousins and all who were there.
Saturday morning after Lorraine had her shower she showed me a rash on the side of her foot, same one she had surgery on. As the day progressed the rash turned into a blister, getting bigger every time I checked it. After all the group pictures and such, Lorraine told me the blistered area was hurting and was getting hot as well. I went over to our coach and started getting it ready to go back home, planning on taking Lorraine to an urgent care place near our RV park. While I was getting everything in traveling order, Susy and Yami came by and suggested I get Lorraine to the doctor as they were worried also.
So we drove the rig back to our spot in the RV park, stopped long enough to hook up power and hopped in the car and took Lorraine to the urgent care place at the nearby hospital. We got checked in and they said that due to her recent surgery she couldn’t be seen in the urgent care but must go to the emergency room, same place, different door. Only thing is the waiting time would be longer, just like most emergency rooms I’ve been to.
As with most emergency rooms, it took awhile for the nurse to show up and check Lorraine. She came in and told her to get undressed and put on a gown. I suggested that seeing as she had a problem with her foot, she shouldn’t have to get undressed. The nurse didn’t seem to be impressed with my thinking but agreed. She got the information she needed then said the doctor would be in. Of course, the emergency rooms were full and he was busy but finally he stopped by to take a look too. He asked some questions, assured us that it wasn’t an infection like we were worried about and said he had to check out two other patients then would return.
It took about an hour before he got back but he was ready to drain the blister. By now it was about the size and shape of my thumb. It didn’t take too long to clean the area and poke a hole in the blister to drain it. They also checked out the surgery “wound” to make sure there was no problem there either. A few minutes later the nurse came back and put on new dressings and said someone would be right in with the discharge papers. About 20 minutes later the nurse returned and seemed surprised we were still there then she left to get the discharge papers.
Finally, after about 4 hours after we got there we left the hospital emergency room. I guess I don’t know how many other patients were in there but it sure seemed to go very slow for us, especially when it took less than 10 minutes of the doctor’s time. But we were glad to hear the blister had no connection with the surgery and more important, it wasn’t an infection.
So once again it was a long day, the reunion starting in the late morning and most of the afternoon and the emergency room to fill out the rest of the day. But like I said, glad it was nothing bad. The next thing is to have the stiches removed on the 8th. Here’s hoping there are no more issued we have to deal with.
We started writing our blog this morning but stopped to go over to my aunt Lila’s house this afternoon. She had invited folks from the reunion over to visit the next day and help eat some of the leftovers too. We got over there a bit late but were still in time to eat and have dessert too. We sure had a good visit, my brother Craig and his wife Alicia were there and planned on starting their drive home after the visit. One of my cousins from St. Louis, Peggy and her husband Mike were there along with Lila’s son Kevin and his wife Nancy. We had another great visit, sure good to see these folks, maybe we will be doing this again sooner than the 19 years it’s been since the last reunion, ha.
After we left Lila’s house we met up with Susy, Katie and Yami, who had spent most of the day shopping one of the malls around here, for dinner. After a quick stop at a nearby Wal-Mart we headed back to our rig and they went back to their hotel rooms.
So here we are, trying to finish our blog and get it posted. Guess I’ll go through the pictures and add some. I got a disk with pictures from the reunion from cousin Karla but don’t think I’ll go through it right now to add pictures taken by others but get this posted soon.
The weather has moderated a bit, the highs are only getting into the low 90s but the humidity has fallen to a much more comfortable level. The lows have been in the low 60s, its funny to see some folks bundled up like it’s winter in the morning and others, like me, wearing shorts and Tee shirts.
We still aren’t sure of our travel plans when we leave here, heck, we aren’t even sure when we will leave here. But we are thinking about going to the UP (upper Michigan) area as we’ve never visited that area. Of course, we don’t have reservations but I can check on available RV sites in the area. After that, who knows but I’m sure of one thing, we will try to enjoy ourselves where ever we may go. It’s a tough life!!
Our friends, Dave and Sandy, invited us to their house for dinner the day we got here.
That bump in the middle of Lorraine’s foot is the cyst we’ve been trying to get removed.
Kaitlyn playing with her MY LITTLE PONY stuff. That’s just the ones she brought with her on the trip.
My older brother, Steve, on the left, younger brother, Brad, on the right.
Brad’s GF on the left, my sister, Corliss on the right. Corliss’s daughter, my niece, Samantha on the right. Today is Samantha’s 18th birthday.
At the reunion. That’s a picture of my great grandmother on the left. Katie and Susy.
Susy’s friend from Florida and our second (or third) daughter, Yami on the left.
Katie flying her kite.
My aunt and uncles on the left. Some of my brothers and only sister on right.
Some of our kids on the left, grand kids on the right.
A picture of the North clan on the left, Zimmerman cousins on the right.
That’s part of the family “tree on the right.