Thursday, August 17, 2017

Six-Packs



Who doesn't want a six-pack?  Not talking about beer here folks, I'm talking about a sculpted bod.

A progression to a six pack. I would settle for the middle status. The far right is actually a little bit much.



My good friend and Travel Buddy is a yoga enthusiast.  Recently he began taking pilates twice a week, in addition to his yoga classes. He sent me this photo this morning after his "boot camp" Pilates session. Pat, the results are there!  I'm jealous.

Pat this morning after his Pilates class - looking good Pat!

Way back when I used to have a sculpted body like this. That was when I used to walk a couple of miles to work every day (when I lived in Center City Philadelphia).  I put in a couple more miles walking around performing my job as a Trust Operations Manager at the bank where I worked.

Me on the beach in Provincetown, Mass 1976 - more hair, less fat

Also, these days my six-pack has been replaced with a permanent belly.  No, I'm not going to show you a photo of it.  I'm too ashamed.  In fact, I'm nervous about donning a swim suit when Pat and I next visit Palm Springs, California this coming February. At least our pool is private and I'll only have two display my little pot belly to Pat.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

VHS Tape Transfers


My old VHS tapes to be transferred to a digital format - finally

Today I finally addressed a lurking concern that I've had for many years. 

As regular followers of my blog here know, I am an inveterate photo taker.  I've also taken many videos. I started taking videos in the late 80's. 

I had one of those huge VHS cameras.  You know the type, the ones that you put on your shoulder. The ones that often intimated the subject of my videos just because of the size of my camera.

Me in my videotaping days - location my father's roots Pigeon Roost, North Carolina - 1994

Since the onset of the ability to take videos with smaller cameras and now an iPhone, I long abandoned taking videos with that huge video camera.

Me preparing to go to the top of Green Mountain Cemetery to video tape my great grandfather Isaac Lewis's grave in Pigeon Roost North Carolina 1994 - this was before my distant relatives knew I was gay and banned from ever returning to this sight because I "practiced the gay lifestye". Good old homophobia alive and well in those beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

There were many drawbacks to taking videos in the old VHS format. Not only was the camera bulky and intimidating, the cost of the VHS tapes and storage was a problem. Also the length, since the tapes were two hours long. One tended to take videos that were too long and boring.  Hence, I tended not to look at the videos once I took them because they were to much trouble to pull out and then look for the part of the tape that I wanted to see.

Then came the digitized videos from a much smaller camera (Cannon) and now my iPhone.  I take much shorter videos, averaging 30 seconds to two minutes. A three minute video is unusual. 

Thus the last several years I've been very happy accumulating many short term videos, which I store on my computer, thus eating up a lot of hard drive space, a new drawback. But one that isn't as onerous as all those old VHS tapes that are just getting old and slowly deteriorating. 

A few years ago I checked into the feasibility of transferring my old VHS tapes to CD's.  I purchased one of those machines that do that.  Only problem there is that the procedure is complicate and very time consuming.  For instance, a two hour tape takes two hours to copy to a CD.  And, there is also the possibility that I can accidentally erase my original VHS tapes, which I did a few times.  Thus, I've been putting off transferring my many old VHS tapes until I "had time."  Like the wintertime.  But wintertime comes and goes and I still haven't done it. 

I checked for services to transfer my old VHS tapes. There is a facility in Rehoboth Beach that will take my old tapes and transfer them, at $25 each.  That's too much money. I have at least forty-old of the old VHS tapes.  Also, I don't know where they send the VHS tapes.  I suspect they send them to India.  That's where they send old negatives to be processed.  And you don't get the negatives back. Don't believe me?  Try telling the Walmart photo center you want your negatives back.  They don't send them back.  Those negatives go to India and God knows what they do with them.  I ruled out that option.  Thus my old VHS tapes sat, patiently waiting to be transferred to a digital format all the while slowly deteriorating. 



Last Monday, during a slow period at work I searched the Internet again for a solution. Through Amazon.com I found a service that was receiving excellent reviews. And they were only charging $10 a tape!  Even better, they will transfer my VHS tapes to my flash drive.  Super!

I called "Kirk", the guy who runs that business out of his office in Washington state today. He spoke English without an accent. He was nice and very helpful, even suggesting that I send my tapes by UPS, media rate, because it would be cheaper.  

So folks, that was my big project today. Sorting out my forty-one VHS tapes today. Rewinding the tapes, which seems like it takes forever. Brings back bad memories of why I don't like VHS tapes. 

I have the tapes sorted out. I number them  and I'll take them down to the UPS store in Rehoboth Beach tomorrow.

This is going to be great folks! Not only can I easily access all my old videos, I can upload them to my You Tube account so future generations can enjoy them long after I'm gone from this earth. Also, I can freeze frame those videos and take individual pictures and bore you, my faithful blog readers with those images during one of my "Down Memory Lane" blog posts.





Saturday, August 12, 2017

Small World




Last Thursday night when I was working at the hotel checking in two guests, I realized what a small world we do indeed live in. 

The guests were a mother and her adult son. She came in on a walker.  I often ask what brings them to Lewes, Delaware. Her adult son told me his mother was in town for a hip operation at the local hospital. Looking at him I knew I had seen him before.  But I did not know where.

Was he a famous person?  He said "No."  I told him "I know I've seen you before.  You look very familiar."  

I continued to go through my routine of checking in the guests, telling them of the amenities of the hotel.  Again, I told the man "I'm sure I've seen you before.  Have we met?"  He said "No, I don't think so."  He mentioned a French restaurant in Rehoboth Beach that he frequented.  I told him "I don't think so.  I don't go to French restaurants." (too expensive my God).  

Their room was one of our outside rooms (courtyard) so I had to show them the way.  And again, I couldn't let it go that I had seen this gentleman before.  He was very unusual looking and to be quite frank, I found him attractive. He was very thin, had a prominent nose and a dark beard and a confident manner about him.  Not arrogant for self involved but just comfortable in his own skin, even though he wasn't your classic All-American handsome type guy.  Bill has often kidded me about my taste in men.  Yes, I'll admit it, I am attracted to some dorky and nerdy men.  Not all but some do strike my fancy.

Then I think his mother mentioned that he was a flight attendant. That was it!  Now I remembered where I saw him.  He was a flight attendant on our (me and Pat) trip to Los Angeles this past February.  

I notice him right away on the plane after I was seated.  He went through the usual flight attendant procedure including showing how to use the life vest in case the plane landed in water.  Then we prepared to takeoff.  Much to my pleasant surprise he took a seat opposite where I was seated.  I paid extra for the seat with extra leg room. Opposite me was a jump seat which he put down and buckled himself in. Thus, I had the pleasure of sitting across from him during takeoff.  Of course he didn't notice me at all but that was all right. I always enjoy being around attractive, nice men. Women too but more so you understand, a nice looking guy.  


"Patrick" - American Airline attended - yes, I snuck a surreptitious photo of him with my iPhone


The six hour flight to Los Angeles was uneventful except that I had the pleasure of him sitting across from me again, during the landing in LA.

Fast forward to this Thursday evening when I told him that was where I saw him.  He told me "I don't think so, I take the flights to Paris."  Well, excuse me.  I told him again, I was quite sure that he was on this fight to LA.  He finally admitted "That might have happened. I do remember vaguely that I filled in on that flight."  Clearly, he didn't remember me.  Oh well, usually I have more of an impact but I am that Old Gay Guy now.  Faded into the background of a mass of faces.  More likely, he sees literally thousands of passengers and why would he remember me? Fact of life Ron. Get over yourself.

I could tell he was more concerned with his mother's impending surgery the next day so I decided I had bothered him enough. However, I did ask to take a picture which he graciously acquiesced too.  See, I told you he was a nice guy.


"Patrick" - hotel guest this past Thursday

Now, here is the really mind blowing coincidence. I asked him what was his name.  Guess what it was?  


PATRICK

Yes, the same name as my Canadian Travel Buddy, Pat.  
That's Pat, in the red hat and pillow around his neck and Day-Glo jacket on his arm

Although I'm sure this gentlemen goes by the monicker "Patrick."  

And, he lives in Philly, small world indeed.

Makes you wonder how many times you run into people like this.  What are the odds? From a flight to LA in February to a hotel checkin in Delaware in August?  Now it would really be weird if I run into him again when Pat and I spend a week in Philly at the end of this coming November.  



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Updating the Wills and Other End of Life Documents

Me at my lawyer's office this morning about an hour ago


Just got back from my lawyer's office in Rehoboth Beach. 

Yesterday I received the documents for new power of attorney, medical directives and wills for both me and Bill through e-mail.

Man, life is complicated especially when one if preparing to leave life.

Since Bill and I are officially married now I felt it was time to update all of our legal documents for end of life.  


Bill and me waiting for our conference room at the law office

I had a number of changes to make to the first draft of the documents.  I had to put my former boss and long time friend Dave S. as executor of both of our wills.  Dave is in the business of settling estates and executorships. In my Previous Life I used to work as operations manager for Dave in the bank trust department.  Yes folks, I had a life before hotel front desk clerk life. Dave is good at what he does but I was concerned that since his practice is in Pennsylvania he would not be able to be the executor of our estates.  Dave said he could but he would have to do it as an individual. Thank you Dave. That takes a load off of my mind.

Me and Dave at lunch a few years ago

I also had to add the two newest babies to my beneficiaries.  My grandnieces are having babies. Wow, what does that make me. Old. 

I was so hesitant to drive down to my lawyer's office in Rehoboth Beach because of the heaving summertime traffic. But I decided appearing in person was the most efficient way to show the changes I wanted to our legal documents.  And yes, the traffic was heavy. Very heavy.  

But we got the changes in and just returned home. Hopefully this is the last draft of our documents and we can sign them and put them away until we depart this earth that seems in so much turmoil today.  



Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Happy Thoughts



Spo, Pat, Larry and Doug at Food Lion, Milton, DE 

With the threat of nuclear war in the air, I have decided to write about happy places, people and times. 

Regular followers of my blog have probably noticed that I haven't been ranting about our Fake President, Donald J. Trump.  Just because I haven't written about him in my blog post doesn't mean my feelings of disgust and doom have changed. They haven't. By the way, I have been venting, on my Twitter account. More about me and my Twitter reactivation in a future blog post. Instead I will post about happy places, people and times. 

In my senior years I have been blessed with new friends that I have made through this blog. Of course you all know of my new BFF Pat of Toronto, Canada.  

Guess which one is Pat. (hint, he scratching his chin)


Pat is that friend I've been looking for all my life. A kind, gentle, good-looking, smart, funny guy who likes me in spite of my many faults. Pat and I get together four times a year.  Our next get-together is next month when I visit Pat at his new home in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  Pat is moving to a classic old hotel in Hamilton, that is being renovated into luxury condos. I am so looking forward to that trip.


Pat and me somewhere (I forget) that was OPEN - How do you like Pat's "Moose" glasses. Thank goodness he lost them in the snow

Last February Pat, during Pat and I annual trek to California, we reunited with other friends I have made through blogging. Dr. Spo, Someone, Tim and Larry.

Pat, Someone, Tim (back row)
Me, Dr. Spo and Larry (seated) at Mt. Jacinto, Palm Springs, California February 2017


Dr. Spo and Someone had invited us to their wedding in Palm Springs. By the way, have you noticed how happy gay people are when they marry?  Check out the photos below of Spo and Someone and me and Bill.


Someone and Spo at their wedding February 2017
Me and Bill at our wedding July 2013


That folks is genuine happiness. How can anyone deny that happiness?

Today I was think that all during my life there has been a threat of war. The first I can remember is the Korean War. I was ten years old at that time. And here we are again, the threat of war.  

None of us knows how long we will live in peace and happiness. But I know this, I appreciate every day I have in good health and good friends.

Larry, me and Pat at our annual Old Time Photo in Rehoboth Beach, DE 2017
Smiling desperadoes





Sunday, August 06, 2017

Bill Drives




Bill is down at Lowe's this morning as I type this blog posting.

This is Bill's first solo drive since he regained his driver's license last week. 

He was hesitant to drive, having not driven since he lost his license last June. 

I offered to drive him down to Lowe's. Down the notorious dangerous Route One, aka Coastal Highway. We're in the height of the summer season down here in Rehoboth Beach Land and the traffic is heavy.  Especially heavy on the weekend, sometimes at a standstill when the vehicles block intersections.


Good old Route One traffic headed to the shore

Of course I'm nervous that Bill is out on his own this morning. But he does like to roam around Lowe's without the hinderance of me tagging behind him.  I'm more of a garden center kind of guy.  That's when Bill tags behind me.

My regular blog followers may have notice that I haven't posted since last Tuesday. Time just gets away from me folks. 

Last week was a good week, except of course for the heavy traffic. It's getting more and more difficult just to get out of our development here.  And it will only get worse as the years go by.

I've been giving some serious thought to eventually moving away from here and this summertime mess.  Of course I would have to sell or get rid of just about everything I have in our home. After fifty-three years together we (or more accurately me) have accumulated much during those years of happiness and bliss. I guess I would get rid of everything except our artwork.  

An artistic collage of yours truly when I was very young by my very talented cousin Danny Hart


The furniture wouldn't go with me. 

But here I am veering onto another subject which is more suited to a separate blog posting. Right now I'm concerned about Bill. I'll be relieved when he returns home from his first solo driving since last June. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Bill Gets His Driver's License!

Bill takes his eye test at the Delaware DMV this morning


This morning, Bill got his driver's license back!

Oh what a wonderful day!

Last June, Bill failed his eye test during a routine visit to the Delaware DMV to renew his driver's license.  Thus began a year long odyssey to get his driver's license back.

First we had to get an eye examination. Bill uses the VA  for his medical needs. Anyone who has dealt with the VA knows what an onerous process this was going to be.  I won't take you through all those torturous steps but the first one was to get him in the Veteran's Choice program.  I missed the first step and we had to pay the $180 for the eye examination. Bill was approved for the Choice program but I didn't have the authorization number to give when I scheduled Bill's eye examination and the Choice program doesn't back date. Okay, lesson learned.

I had the Choice authorization number and scheduled Bill for his cataract surgery. Then came the need for Bill to see a heart doctor. Thus another application for a Choice authorization number. More delays.

Bill had his scheduled date for cataract surgery in December. Yes, Virginia, it took THAT long to get the Choice approval but I'm not complaining. It's working now and they have been very accommodating and paying.

Then Bill had his emergency room visit. His ulcers had hemorrhaged.  A stay in the hospital and more interaction with the VA to pay for Bill's medical bills. After several months, we finally settled the bills.  Of course I dread checking the mail even today because you know these medical bills are like zombies, never completely dead. 

Then finally we began Bill's cataract surgery. Drops, visits to the doctor, etc. We were both glad Bill didn't have three eyes.

We got a new prescription for eyeglasses for Bill. We picked them up last week.  

Bill wanted to get used to wearing the glasses before he took his eye test. 

This morning I decided that today was the day we go to the Delaware DMV and take his eye test. 

Bill was nervous. Edgy. Short tempered. He didn't think he would pass.

We arrived at the Delaware DMV early this sunny, warm summer August morning. Thank goodness the DMV wasn't crowded. 

We got our ticket number (12) and were called immediately. "Danielle" was waiting for us.


So thankful Danielle was nice. I explained that Bill had lost his driver's license last year because he failed his eye test and had cataract surgery to improve his vision. She was receptive and sympathetic to my explanation. 

At first Bill wasn't reading the chart right. Bill must be dyslexic, he was reading from right to left!  Several times he put his head in that machine, nervous, and read. Danielle was trying to be helpful, thank goodness she didn't dismiss him right away.  She was patient. Bill tried again. Same result. Didn't get one right.  Then on the third try she said "Read from the LEFT to right."  Bill said "Oh!"  Now I know why I have so much trouble explaining to Bill how to use his iPad.  I've often told him his brain is wired backwards.  Now I know it is!


Bill read the chart again.  He passed!!  

Danielle was issued his driver's license good for the next eight years. 

Thank goodness and thank you Danielle!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bill Gets His New Glasses

Bill tries on his new glasses

It's been a long slog folks, but Bill finally got his new glasses.

Last June Bill failed his eye test for renewing his driver's license. Thus began the long journey to get Bill's license back.

First up was an eye examination. Bill hadn't had one for years (his choice).  His doctor discovered that Bill needed cataract surgery.

Now any of you who have had cataract surgery or know some who has had cataract surgery, you know how long that process is.

We scheduled Bill for cataract surgery in the following months. But then Bill had an emergency room visit. He had ulcers that hemorrhaged. Thus his cataract surgery was delayed, for months. 

Back to "GO."  

Long story short, Bill endured went through the long procedure that is cataract surgery and recovery. Something that is in my future by the way folks.

Last week we made the final visit to Bill's eye doctor and got a prescription for his new glasses. 

We immediately went down to BJ's and ordered new glasses for Bill.

The video below shows the result.

Bill can see!!




Now just to get him used to wearing glasses. Bill is so used to not wearing glasses, he keeps taking his glasses off.  

He wants to get used to the glasses before he takes his eye test to get his driver's license. 

It's looking good folks!



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ron's Short Comings



My Nebraskan friend Randy blowing bubbles at the last Bloggerpalooza 2014

How about it folks? My last several blog posts have been so serious, with a heavy emphasis on medical.  This morning, while perusing some of my favorite bloggers I came across my dear friend Dr. Spo's recent blog post.  It was titled "Spo Short-Comings" or things he hasn't or can't do. 

We all have those lists. Here for your contemplation and amusement are some of my short comings (some of which are exact duplicates of Dr. Spo's shortcomings):

Throw a ball (football or baseball, I throw like a girl)

Whistle (it's true, gay men can't whistle)

Spell "architect" (which I had to look up just now) and other words like "occasional" - I have a mental block, all my life

Swing a baseball bat or hit a ball (yep, when I try, swing like a sissy)

Dribble a basketball (I can't run and dribble at the same time)

Run (seriously, I can't run. I can walk fast though)

Scream. Of all the things I can do like a girl, curiously I can't scream.

Experimented with drugs (does pot count?)

Had children (yes, a regret)

Have sexual relations with a woman (I tried years ago but couldn't rise to the occasion)

Run a 5K race (or 10K or any race. I can't run, remember?

I can't draw (I wish I could)

I can't play a piano (however, I can play a Sousaphone)


Ron - DHS Marching Band 1958


I can't speak a foreign language (except to greet my landscapers with an "Ola!" which never impresses them)

Drove a car in a city (like Philadelphia or Los Angeles) and I never will

Never sky dived (although given the opportunity many years ago, I chickened out)

Never been off continental North America (only foreign country Canada)

Never changed a flat tire (which I am very ashamed to admit)

Never wrote my autobiography (not too late but I keep putting it off, unsure whether or not to include ALL the salacious details)

Never waterskied (tried once and almost drowned, swallowing massive amounts of water much to the amusement of my friends in the speedboat dragging me mouth opening the water)


My friends waterskiing - this is the boat where I almost drowned because I couldn't' get up on the water ski's, they could! (1958)


There are many more shortcomings of yours truly but I like to keep my blog postings short because I know my blog readers have other things to do today!












Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Results of Bill's Latest Doctor's Visit



Good news, Bill doesn't have an infection in his legs. 

That was the good news. Also good news was that we were able to get into the VA system after having called yesterday.  In the past, our wait would have been a good two to four weeks, if that.
Now we have instructions to call a Nurse number. I explained Bill's situation to the nurse yesterday and she put us on what is called a "Rapid Response Team."  It worked.

We had an appointment at 8:00 am this morning at the VA Outpatient clinic. They couldn't take us. Too busy.  They asked if we could stay until 9:30 am, in case that person didn't show up.  We stayed another hour and a half. The patient showed up who had the 9:30 am appointment. 

They asked us if we could come back at 1:00 pm.  Well, we could. Bill had to get his leg looked after. 

We drove the twelve miles back home. 

We returned at 12:30 am. We always show up early for our appointments.

The doctor saw us at 1:15 pm.  She looked at Bill's legs and determined that he had chronic swelling of his legs.  Her advice was to keep his legs raised as much as possible. I asked why his legs were so red and swollen. She said probably the after effects of the IV Bill received during his endoscopy last week. She gave us a prescription to help remove the water accumulated in Bill's legs.

She took a look at the gash in Bill's right leg. She and the nurse cleaned the wound and applied a gauze bandage. 

Thank goodness we got this resolved. We were both concerned that Bill had a serious infection.  

Another day in the life folks.

More Doctors' Visits

Bill's legs, look better than they actually look in person


Bill and I just returned from the Georgetown VA Outpatient Clinic.  We had a Rapid Access appointment this morning to check why Bill's lower legs are red and purple and swollen. 

Bill sustained a deep gash on his left leg after his endoscopy procedure on July 17th. The hospital said they "didn't do it" but I suspect otherwise. How can I prove it? 

We were hoping the wound would heal it self but alas, it is still draining and Bill's leg looks terrible.

Bill says his leg doesn't hurt (unlike mine which are hurting right now and most of the day) but his legs look terrible. 

As you know Bill's medical care is total VA and you all know how burdensome that can be. But I have to give the VA credit for allowing us to see someone about Bill's condition today.

This morning we had an appointment at 8:30 am. The nurse saw us but Bill's doctor was unable to see us this morning. The nurse asked us if we could stay around until 9:30 in case the doctor's appointment didn't show up.  Alas, the 9:30 appointment showed up.

She then asked us if we could come back today at 1:00 pm.  Of course we can, Bill's legs have to be looked after.  I'm relieved that someone is looking at Bill's legs.  I'm also relieved that we could get in so soon at the VA Outpatient clinic. This is something that wasn't possible just a few months ago.  Dare I say it?  I think Trump is the difference. All I know is that before Trump it would have been months before we could see anyone at the VA.  Now it's one day, even though our appointment has been delayed a few hours. At least someone is seeing us and they seem to care.

And yes, I have another day lost doing my caregiver duties. I got to work tomorrow at the hotel, yet again filling in for a co-worker.  Then my regular shift on Thursday. Maybe I'll be lucky and have the weekend off from caregiver duties and hotel front desk duties.  That would be nice to have some time to myself.  And folks, if you're wondering why I'm not making my regular visits to my favorite blogs, this is why. 

As the new description on my blog says, we're at this time of our life when we're facing multiple medical challenges. 

Again, bring up Bette:




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Free Grocery Winner!

My "win" this morning. I'll take it!

This morning as I was checking at our favorite local supermarket, my bill came up zero.

The elderly lady was a new checker. She thought she made a mistake. I had already inserted my credit card in the chip receiving device, waiting to see the "OK" I could touch screen.  

She called the manager, thinking he had done something wrong. The manager came and looked at the above screed and said "Oh, there is nothing wrong.  You won free groceries today."  

Hey, I'm a winner!  How about that?  

Always nice to win.


During the unexpected mini celebration of my win I noticed the customer behind me.  His downcast fast said it all.  I said to him "You missed it by one."  He looked up at me and said "Hey, that's the story of my life."  

My happy win this morning reminds me of this Spy TV joke that ran a few years ago.


Only difference is that I didn't win a million dollars and my win wasn't a joke. But to the guy behind me this morning, he wasn't happy. But I am! Wha a nice way to start the day.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

One More Doctors' Appointment - Today


Bill after his endoscopy - "Get me out of here!"

Well, Bill's endoscopy went well. 

Thank goodness!

Bill's doctor (who is fabulous) stuck a tube with a camera down his throat and checked his healing ulcers. The good news is that Bill's ulcers are healing well.  

Thank goodness!

Today I take Bill for his last visit to his eye doctor who performed his cataract surgery. Today Bill gets his prescription for new glasses. 

Thank goodness!

Finally, Bill can now take his eye test at the Delaware DMV so he can get his license back.

And oh, one more thing, remember how I said I was look at a doctor free month for August?  Dash that reality. My cardiologist scheduled an ultra sound for next month.  That's where they grease up your stomach (cold grease by the way) and take a picture of the goings on down there. 

And, I have my annual dermatology appointment next month, which I had forgotten.  I have a few spots on my skin that my dermatologist has to check out. 

And the beat goes on.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ready For a Week of Medical Appointments



We're ready for a week of medical appointments. 

Tomorrow at 2:30 PM (the latest time change after four previous time changes) Bill is scheduled for an endoscopy at our local hospital.  This a result of Bill's medical emergency last November 29th when I found him lying at the bottom of the cellar stairs coughing up blood from his ruptured ulcers.
Bill will be put under anesthesia for this procedure and you can be sure I'll stick around the hospital waiting room until he recovers.  I don't want a repeat of the last time he came out of anesthesia (from his cataract surgery) and I wasn't around. Remember that story? I went to do some errands, waiting for a call to come and pick him up, a call I never got because my iPhone message box was full. God, I don't want a repeat of that goof on my part.

Tuesday I have a six month followup appointment with my cardiologist. I have an extra heartbeat. We're monitoring it. I've already undergone all the test (treadmill and ultra sound) and I know what condition I'm in. My extra heartbeat is a result of a defective valve that is wearing out after seventy-five years of constant beating. I'm taking medication to lower my cholesterol but other than that, I'm not doing anything special about my extra heartbeat. I'm certainly not having a valve replacement, pig or otherwise. When my time comes, I'm ready.  Hopefully it will be quick and painless and not a stroke that paralyzes me and leaves me brain dead.  Not nice things to think about but all possibilities. When I go I want to go like my cousin Randy, I go to sleep one night and don't wake up the next morning.

Thursday we have our final appointment with Bill's cataract surgery eye doctor. We have two more days of eye drops to add to Bill's eye, which Bill is eagerly looking forward to ending. Thank goodness he only has two eyes. At this appointment Bill's doctor will check to make sure Bill eye is healed completely then give him an eye exam so Bill can get glasses. Once Bill gets the glasses he can retake his eye exam at the Delaware DMV and hopefully get his driver's license back. Bill lost his license last June because he didn't pass the eye test.

After these doctors' appointments this week we're looking at the WHOLE month of August without ANY appointments. Hard to believe a whole month without any appointments.  I doubt if we can get through the whole month without some kind of medical situation.  I'll believe it when we actually go through the whole month of August like normal people. That would be nice.


video



Friday, July 14, 2017

Medical Appointments Last Minute Changes, Incredible!



Bill is scheduled for an endoscopy. Originally the date was next Wednesday, July 19th at 8:00 am.


Last week I got a call changing the date to Monday, July 17th 8:30 am. 

These were messages left for me on my voicemail. 

I was to receive a call telling me of the exact time to be at the surgery center. I didn't get that call. I called this morning and there was confusion as to if I'm to be there on Wednesday or Monday.

I got a call later this morning stating the time WAS  Monday at 8:30 am. 

So when I took my daily afternoon nap, I turned off my iPhone, secure in the knowledge that this was a settled time. And oh by the way, I'm scheduled to work at the hotel next Monday on the 17th at 3 pm. So the 8:30 am time works for me.

But not so fast Fredo.

Fredo Corleone

I wake up from my nap today at 4:57 am and see I have a message to "call immediately doctor's office for an important message."

I call but of course I'm too late because their office is closed. I leave a message with their answering service and also with the doctor, who is very nice by the way.

Then while I'm outside in this brutal, oppressive, heat and humidity collecting Japanese beetles I get a call on my iPhone. Now the time has changed to 9:45 am.  Uh, okay. I can still manage that.  

Then I get a call from the doctor. He doesn't know about the time changes. Now I feel guilty for bothering him with something that is clearly a function of his staff. He probably thought Bill was having a swallowing problem. Well, one good thing, I now know I can get hold of the doctor.  That's good to know.  As I said earlier in this post, I like this doctor. 

Now get this.  I get ANOHTER call from the scheduling staff.  They want to change Bill's procedure to 2:30 pm.  Man oh man.  Can you say "Keystone Kops"? 

Not only are all these changes very disruptive and chaotic, Bill has an anxiety problem. Bill doesn't like change.  This is another responsibility I have as Bill's caregiver. I have to keep things as calm as possible. Good thing I'm here to take the flak. Bill would just cancel the appointments altogether. In fact that's what he wanted to do.  But I don't want to see Bill sprawled out on the floor in a pool of blood like I did last November 29th when his ulcer's ruptured and he had to be taken to the emergency room at the local hospital.

Now just to add icing to the cake I have an appointment next Tuesday with my cardiologist.  And Bill has an appointment next Thursday with his eye doctor as the final follow-up for his cataract surgery.  




I tell you folks, it's a challenge being old and keeping it together.  I'm just glad I'm here so I can take care of these things for Bill. If I wasn't here I don't know how these things would be handled. Bill can't keep these things straight. And to be very frank, I'm starting to have a hard time keeping everything straight and organized myself. 

If I ever reach Bill's age (88, which I seriously doubt) I wonder who will watch out for me. Yes, I wonder. Well, I can't worry about that now.

Now if this heat and humidity will just break. I feel like having a big piece of chocolate fudge cake.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Another Day, Another Doctor's Visit



Today we visited the Georgetown VA Outpatient Clinic for Bill's dermatology appointment. He has a growth on his right arm and some suspicious spots on his face. "Lois" took pictures and will send them to the Wilmington VAMC for their dermatology department to examine. 

Another day, another doctor's appointment.

I used to tease my Mother years ago when her weekly schedule revolved around doctors' appointment. I remember what she told me:
"You just wait, you'll get your turn."  

Well, my turn has come as well as Bill's turn.

Next Monday Bill is scheduled for an endoscopy by his gastroenterologist. That means he undergoes anesthesia . . . . again. 

Tuesday I have my once postponed appointment with my cardiologist. My previous appointment I had to cancel because it conflicted with one of Bill's doctors' appointments.  

Thursday we see Bill's eye doctor for he final followup to Bill's cataract surgery and eye examination for his new glasses. 

Now, I've checked the calendar for the rest of the month and I don't see any doctors' appointments. And get this, I checked next month, August, and there is NOTHING.  Hard to believe. Wouldn't it be great if we could go one whole month without any doctors' appointments. Here's hoping. 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What a Day!



Retirement isn't what you think it is. Take today for instance.

First up was my 3,000 mile oil change for my red 2010 Subaru Forester.

Then a stop at Ace Hardware to return rope lights that we way too bright for the soffit in out kitchen. 

Then after that a trip down Rt. 113 to the Delaware DMV to get my car inspected and renew my registration.  

Then to my barber (Hyatt) to give her and install the other box of rope lights to put around her step up to the barber chairs. She moved to a new location that there is a step up that us old men are bound to trip over when approaching the barber chair. That little job took over an hour and left me soaked in sweat on this very hot and humid day here in southern Delaware.

Then back home, soaked, to pick off the latest batch of Japanese Beetles to put in a jar of soapy water to die.  Yes, this is that time of year when the Japanese beetles attack and devour my roses and Crepe Myrtle trees. 

After installing those rope lights at my barber's shop, I took advantage of being in Lewes and made the rounds of some restaurants to collect their menus for our front desk at the hotel. I also stopped by the excellent Mexican restaurant Agave and got some of their fabulous pico gallo salad. Yum!


Whose says retirement is boring?

Tomorrow I take Bill for his dermatology appointment at the Georgetown VA. 

I'm looking forward to some coasting time. And to some days when the temperature isn't in the humid 90's. I can't breath in this kind of weather folks. 

It's all good folks. I'm basically healthy and for that I am thankful.