Friday, March 31, 2017

Trump Presidency Is Unraveling

Michael Flynn leading the "Lock her up!" chant at the Republican convention

Every day I watch the further unraveling of the Trump presidency. 

I remember clearly when the Nixon presidency unraveled. 

I voted for Nixon. Twice I voted for him. That was a time in my life when I was a conservative Republican who believed in fiscal responsibility and conservative values.  

I believed Nixon that he didn't know about the "plumbers" that broke into the Democratic headquarters. 

The year was 1974 and I was summer vacationing in Provincetown, Massachusetts. That was 43 years ago.  

When Nixon was found to be lying (because he secretly tape recorded White House conversations) and was forced to resign rather than face impeachment and prison, I couldn't believe it. I was shocked.

Never again in my lifetime did I think I would witness a president who resigned from office in disgrace.

Well folks, that time has come again.  

Donald Trump hasn't even finished one hundred days in office and already his presidency is meshed in numerous scandals. But the worst scandal is slowly coming out.  And that scandal is that he and his campaign has colluded with Russia to affect the presidential election.  Of that I have no doubt.

Yesterday, the odious General Flynn has requested immunity because he has "a story to tell."  I bet he does. General Flynn, who infamously led the chant at the Republican Convention to lock up Hillary Clinton, now fears jail for himself. He should fear jail. He belongs in jail because I believe he worked for Russia. Of that I have no doubt. 

So what do I expect to happen?  I think we will be witnessing history again. Trump will resign.  Pence will resign because he knew Flynn was lying.  I think the election will be declared null and void. I think a new election will be held. History will be made.

This story is long from over. Of course the die hard Trump supporters, the ones who would support him even if he shoots someone on Fifth Avenue, will be outraged. So what?  Who cares?  I don't.  I've had it with the diehard Trump poorly educated supporters.  They will never be satisfied.  

The United States has to regain respect in the world and it's never going to happen as long as Donald Trump and his incompetent minions are in power. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Uncle Bill

Uncle Bill with his nephew Ikey and niece Karen - 1975

This morning on Facebook this photo appeared on my timeline. Facebook has this function that reminds one of photos posted years ago. This particular photo said "42 Years Ago.  See Your Memories"  Facebook gives me the option of posting this photo on my timeline for my Facebook friends to see, which I did.

This photo was taken March 29, 1975.  At that time Bill was known to my family as "Ron's friend."  A member of the family but not quite equal. I have five nieces and one nephews. I also have ten grand nieces and nephews now and even one great-grand niece but that's a subject for another blog posting.

All of my nieces and nephew love Bill.  Bill has a way with children that I don't have. I've always thought it was a shame that Bill never had children of his own because he loves children so much. Of course back then in the Dark Ages of Gay Life a gay couple couldn't adopt a child.  I wouldn't want to adopt anyway not that I have anything against adoption.  I did fantasize at one time about making an arrangement with a willing lesbian to have a child but that situation was fraught with complications.  I decided to get dogs instead. 

Seeing this old photo and realizing that Bill is their legitimate uncle gives me a great feeling.  He truly is "Uncle Bill" now.  

Bill hasn't seen his nephew and nieces for years.  Nor have I since I am estranged from my brothers, which is a shame. Ironically what lead to the estrangement was Bill and I getting married officially. I don't think either one of my brothers approved of our marriage.  My brothers aren't bad people and I will always love them and wish them well. But I will not accept their attitude towards me and Bill that we aren't a legitimacy married couple. 

But one thing remains true, Bill is their uncle and he is my husband. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bill Approved For Cataract Surgery!

Bill getting his eyes checked this morning

Finally!  After two cancelled dates, Bill has been approved for cataract surgery on April 5th.  

Bill lost his driver's license last June because he failed his eye test.  He has cataracts.  He couldn't get his license renewed unless he had his cataracts removed.

We then began the torturous route into arranged an eye exam for cataract surgery.

First we had to get enrolled in the Veterans' Choice program.  That was major torturous.

Then we had to go through the routine of getting authorization from a cardiologist.  Yet again we had to get another authorization from the Veterans' Choice program.

Then there was a mixup about not having a thorough visit with the cardiologist.  We had to arrange yet another visit.

Then Bill had his medial emergency.  His gastric ulcers hemorrhaged. Yet another delay.  

Because there were so many delays in his cataract surgery appointments we had to go through the whole routine again with his eye doctor.

We just returned this morning from his eye doctor.  

Bill's downstairs now, uncomfortable with his eyes dilated. 

But we're on tract for his cataract surgery April 5th.  

Four month's late but better late than never folks.

Now to get his driver's license back so she can drive me to my next emergency room visit.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Furniture Store Pat

We all have our favorite diversions. My Travel Buddy Pat's favorite indulgence is to visit modern furniture stores. 

The employees in the modern furniture stores in Pat's home in Toronto, Canada know my friend Pat well. Pat is a frequent visitor to their establishments, as they well know when they see Pat's shaven head enter their floor to ceiling glass doors. 

Pat checking out a recliner at CB2 in West Hollywood

When we're visit West Hollywood in California, one of the first places we visit is the CB2 store at 8000 Sunset Plaza (see banner photo).  We frequent this plaza because that's where our favorite foodie place, The Veggie Grill, is located. A CB2 store is also located there.  

The Veggie Grill in West Hollywood, California

This plaza is located on Sunset Boulevard, right across the street from the Comedy Store and the Chateau Marmont Hotel. Talk about a prime location. Absolutely one of our favorite places to visit when we're in West Hollywood. Of course we have yet to spot a celebrity but that's all right. We enjoy the vibe.

Me and Pat enjoying about to enjoy an excellent meal at the Veggie Grill (all vegan!)

Thus every time we have a meal at the Veggie Grill, we make a side visit to the CB2 furniture store. I have too admit I too like the furniture in CB2.  If I had to furnish my house from scratch, I would definitely use modern furniture. I like that clean, uncluttered look. Unfortunately over the years I have accumulated a mish mash of furniture that I am stuck with now unless a hurricane wipes out my house here in Delaware.

Pat enjoying a smoothie while sitting on his favorite sofa at CB2 in West Hollywood (the sofa is you Pat!)

So when we make our annual visit to California, one thing is always on our itinerary, and that is a visit to the modern furniture emporiums. Last year we even visited one in Beverly Hills. Of course the prices in that store were astronomical but it was interesting to see how the Other Half lives. 

We have yet to visit a movie studio (unless you count "The Price is Right") but you can be sure we'll always visit the modern furniture stores. Hey, I'm okay with that. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trumpcare Bill Fails To Pass Congress!

Eddie Munster Paul Ryan - BIG LOSER TODAY

President Donald J. Trump suffered a major loss today. The "dealmaker" couldn't make the deal. 

Of course now Trump is now blaming the Democrats for the failure of the bill to pass. This is interesting since the Republicans hold a HUUUUUUGE majority in the House. 

Paul Ryan was hellbent on passing Trumpcare yesterday on the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") into law.  Guess he and his cohorts won't be doing a circle jerk on that mean spirited goal of taking away healthcare from 24 million Americans.

One would only hope that Trump learned a lesson today.  That he is not the Emperor.  He is not the king.  He is the president of the United States and he will have to work with ALL of the members of Congress, including the Democrats and yes, the much hated Nancy Pelosi.  

Today was a good day for America folks. Twenty-four Americans didn't lose their health care.

Are their problems with the Affordable Care Act?  Absolutely!  Now let's work with the Democrats to fix it. Put the American people first. Of course the only answer is a single payer system.  Let's do it!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Price is Right Redux Part 2 2017

Time to pick up on where I left off on my last blog posting of our experience attending "The Price is Right" TV show tapings. 

Last year when we attended our first TPIR taping we were seated to the far right of the audience, near where George Gray, the announcer is stationed.

This time we got better seats, right in the middle of the audience.  Now we could actually see the games being played.  Much better! Plus, we were right in camera range.  

I didn't count how many TV cameras there are but there is one on a big metal swing arm that sweeps out over the audience every time a new contestant to called to "Come on down!" and the games are being played. Tune in TPIR  May 2nd and May 3rd and you'll see me and Pat in the audience, wildly cheering like the old fools we are.  We're the two old guys with baseball hats on.  I think we were the only audience members with hats.  I have to tell you folks, it IS fun knowing you're going to be on television. That's the ham in me coming out folks! Who knew? 

One of the most enjoyable things about attending the tapings of TPIR is watching and enjoying the interaction of the host Drew Carey with the audience during the commercial breaks. We in the audience are literally getting a free comedy performance. Drew is funny. As is George Gray the announcer. I have to hand it to the producers of TPIR, they do everything possible to make the whole Price is Right experience enjoyable for everyone in the audience.  And it's all free!

This year at the end of the taping, George asked the audience if anyone wanted to stay for the second taping.  Seems they were short of the three hundred audience members they needed for the second taping in the afternoon.  Pat wasn't as enthusiastic as I was to stay but, being the nice guy he is, we acquiesced and went along with my plea to stay.  

We were told that we didn't have to go through all that security procedure that we went through in the morning. That was a relief. But we did have a lot of time to kill. Another three hours to be sure.  I hadn't eaten anything in the morning and it looked like I would' the eating anything this afternoon. TPIR has a concession stand but it is VERY expensive (which of course it would be, just like airport concessions, they have a captive audience).  Pat took advantage of the pricey concession stand but I abstained. 

We were assured by TPIR staff that even though we were holdovers from the first taping, we could still be called to "Come on down!" And indeed that proved to be true because the lady behind us in line was called.  Pat and I were next to last in line and this lady (and her husband) were last. I was teasing her that she "was last."  Well, she had the last laugh because she was called to "Come on down!" and she won a car! I was very happy for her.  Look at the May 3rd show, she the little woman with the frizzy hair going crazy when she won that car.  Of course I would rather that be me or Pat up there on stage jumping around but we both have a lot less hair than she had. Maybe that's why they didn't call either one of us.

All in all another good experience at "The Price is Right" folks. We'll be back next year. But in the meantime look for us on both the May 2nd and May 3rd taping.

Have a great day!

P. S.
The video at the beginning of this blog has nothing to do with TPIR. We're not allowed to take photos are videos at TPIR taping so I substituted one of my other videos of our second day's stay in West Hollywood. We had fabulous weather!  So lucky!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Price is Right Redux

Pat and me in The Price is Right line February 14, 2017 on Beverly Boulevard, Hollywood, California - check out  Pat's cool white trimmed sneakers - he left his sandals at home and survived!

Finally, I'm almost feeling normal. Back to the good stuff. Now where did I leave off with our Annual California Adventure? Ah yes, our return to "The Price is Right" TV show audience.

My erstwhile Canadian Travel Buddy Pat just goes along with me on this one. In fact, he never saw "The Price is Right" TV show until he was in the audience for the first time last year during our visit to Hollywood, California. Me, I started watching TPIR before Bob Barker's hair turned white.

Ah yes, the Plaid Suite Days. I used to have a plaid suite just like this!

In fact, just to tell on myself how old I am I remember when Bob Barker first came on TV. Ralph Edwards, the host of the old black and white Fifties show "This is Your Life" introduced a very young Bob Barker as the host of Edward's new TV show "Truth or Consequences" in (wait for it) - 1956!  Sixty years ago folks! Wow, am I past my sell by day or what?

Ralph Edwards and Bob Barker - 1956
In fact folks, actually the first "The Price is Right" shows I used to watch were with Bill Cullen.  You all remember Bill Cullen?  The "I've Got a Secret" panel member. The crew cut and black rimmed Buddy Holly glasses who walked with a limp.  I never did know why he limped by the way.  I do remember thought that the first TPIR show was a lot different from the current version of TPIR.  One might even say it was boring but back in the Fifties we were thankful for anything on TV.  We didn't know Boring back in the Eisenhower Years.  But you know folks, I would take those years back now in place of the nightmare we're going through now.  But I digress.

Bill Cullen, original host of The Price is Right

What a difference in TPIR from those day until today!  Back then the audience wasn't allowed to help by shouting out the prices for the contestants.  I remember Bill Cullen often warning the audience not to shout out the prices.  SOOOO serious. But this was the Fifties folks.  Today, the audience IS the show. We are clapping seals encouraged to shout out the prices even though some of us can't even see the game being played because of the TV cameras and staff blocking our view.

By the way folks, I can see where this post is going to be longer than my usual post so if you have to go to the bathroom now, better do so. If you have anything on your stove, turn off the burners. Settle in for a LONG narrative of our second experience at "The Price Is Right!" TV show.

TPIR has two tapings a day.  They are done at the CBS TV studio on Beverly Boulevard in Hollywood, California.  Two years ago, during  our first visit to The Grove with our friend Nadege, who lives in California and works sometimes at the CBS TV studio, she told us TPIR is taped there.  I could see the large black building with the white CBS logo on the building from where we were standing in the elevated parking lot at The Grove.  That planted a seed in my head "Why not write for tickets and be on the show for our visit next year?"  

Pat wasn't too keen on the idea but he went along with me on this one. After all, we're in Hollywood!  Let's do something HOLLYWOOD!

Well, we had a good time last year.  Didn't get on the show but as I said before, TPIR audience IS the show. A fact that the staff frequently tells us while we're waiting four hours in line outside waiting for the first daily taping.  They tell us "You're all going to be on TV and you're all going to have a good time!"  And you know what folks, they were/are right.  We had a fabulous time. Last year and this year.

I wrote for my priority tickets, which guarantees that we would be in the audience, several months ahead.  

We're told to be in line outside the CBS Television studio by 8:30 for the 12:00 taping.  Now that sounds like we're standing in line a long time and, of course it is, but you know what folks?  They keep us so entertained that you're not bored at all.

The long TPIR line outside the CBS Television studio on Beverly Blouvelard
One of the requirements is that there be no sandals which posed a problem for my Canadian Travel Buddy Pad.  Pat wears sandals.  Last year we purchased a $30 pair of cheap sneakers for his size 10 1/2 tootsies. Those sneakers were only worn once and we left them next to a sleeping homeless man under a paper tent on Hollywood Boulevard. This year we purchased another pair of sneakers, only $20 this time. Pat didn't get to "Come on down!" with those feet smoothers either.  We left them in the closet of our Airbnb when we checked out. Maybe the cleaning woman can use them.

There are two types of audience members in line. Those who just get in line and folks like me and Pat who have the Priority Tickets. 

While you're standing in line in the chilly Los Angeles morning (temps around 55 degrees) you get to meet all kinds of interesting people.  Last year one of the people we met was a couple from Kansas. Pat told me that the guy would be chosen to be a contestant and darn if he wasn't!  

TPIR has a well honed procedure to keep you occupied while you're standing in line becoming acquainted with your fellow potential contestants called to "Come on down!" and win a car (or two). 

Staff member walk down the line and collect the priority tickets and tell us special folks to follow them, right past all those other woebegone still standing in line. That always feels good to walk ahead of the line, but I'm not one to cut the line.  I followed the proper procedure. I didn't cheat.

TPIR audience has three hundred members. If there aren't enough priority ticket holders the rest of the audience is chosen from those still standing in line.

The next step in the procedure is staff members ask your name and write it on a sticker and place it on your person. 

Then there is a whole procedure of filling our a multi paper release form.  Also, photo ID's are taken.  Folks, there is more security to getting on TPIR than going through TSA at the airport. The only difference is that I didn't get a pat down.

You don't have to stand in line the whole time you're waiting, benches are provided and coverage in case in rains

There are different stages in the line.  Of course one of the stages is we're standing next to TPIR souvenir shop.  Yes, I did indulge. Really didn't need to but why not?  I can show my grandkids my "The Price is Right" tote bag. More likely, I can show my fellow Food Lion supermarket shoppers that expensive tote back.  

The Price is Right souvenir shop

We're allowed cell phones while in line but we have to turn in our cell phones once we go into the studio.  Both last year and this year I didn't take my iPhone with me because I didn't want to put it into a basket with all those strange (and unclean) phones.  Who knows WHERE they have been?

Some of the photos in this blog of standing in line I took from the Internet that others took. Next year I'm going to take my iPod with me and take my own photos.

One of the souvenirs I always get, and most others do to, is the photo next to The Wheel. It's taken with a green screen behind us.  The photos cost $20 each but what the hey? You only live once.

One of the main parts of standing in the line is being interviewed.  This is how they pick contestants. They are looking for people who are genuinely happy to be there.  The interview is short, only about twenty seconds long but the interviewer can tell who is going to provide good TV and who is perhaps not.  I will say, he is good. 

I think most of us are happy to be there but some are obviously very forced.  The key is to be genuine.  You either are or you aren't.  Not being chosen for two years in a row now has given me some thought but hey, I know I'm happy to be there.  I always have a good time whether I'm chosen or not.  Of course it would be fun to be chosen but still, it is a wonderful experience.

Four hours quickly goes by (really) and the last stage is the line just outside the studio. They have six to eight TV's going with old TPIR episodes with contestants winning cars and trips, screaming and jumping up and down, to get you in the mood. By the time we're ushered into the music thumping, colorful, brightly lit studio, we're primed!!!

The smiling and efficient staff quickly assign us our seats while while everyone is clapping to the infectious music.  The excitement builds to a crescendo  as everyone is hyped by all TPIR crew, including one man whose job it is to raise his hands and arms up and down as to the volume of our cheering and clapping.  We are trained seals.

Then George Gray,  TPIR announcer lovingly mouths into his microphone and says 
"Here it comes, from the Bob Barker Price is Right CBS studio in Hollywood, it is The Price is Right!"  As the camera swoops over the cheering, diverse, colorful, clapping audience George says his first "Come on down . . . . !" (and says the name of the first contestant in contestants' row).  By the way, in the audience see the name of the contestants on a written out on a big billboard held by a staff member out of camera range.  I often wondered how the audience could hear whose name was being called to "Come on down!"  

All for now folks. I'll have to continue with my Price is Right experience in my next posting. I've already exhausted you enough with this posting. By the way, we were there for two tapings this time.  Whoopee!

Friday, March 17, 2017

What a Difference a Week Makes

Me with my Mother during my first kidney stone passing - 2001
They didn't know what was the matter, I was kept in the hospital for observation for two days - got about a total of two hours sleep in that semi-private room with all the hospital activity

This time a week ago I was undergoing another one of my painful kidney stone episodes. I didn't know it at the time.  I think in retrospect I was in denial because I thought I was rid of all my kidney stones.  I have lost count of how many kidney stones I've passed in the past fifteen years.

My first kidney stone passing was back in 2001.  I thought my appendix was bursting.  I took myself to the VA Medical facility (this was before I had Medicare) nearby our home in Pennsylvania. They shipped me to the nearby civilian hospital where I stayed for two days. Eventually, after a heavy dose of painkillers, I was released.  Looking back now, I realize that was what had happened.  I passed a kidney stone.  No CRT was taken at that time, I was only kept in the hospital for observation.  The same hospital where my father died the year before. I never did like that hospital. They have always had a bad reputation.  My stay didn't do anything to disprove my attitude.

I didn't have another kidney stone episode until August of 2013.  At that time I was at an auto repair place when all of a sudden I became overcome with nausea and had to go outside behind the building and throw up.  I don't know how I made it home but I did.  

This time I'm living near Lewes.  Bill took me to the emergency room. I literally thought I was dying.  I did not know what was happening to me but I did wish I was dying just to end the pain. This hospital was a better.  They did an CRT and discovered I was passing two kidney stones. 

Me in the emergency room after a heavy duty pain killer was administered - 2013
No hospital stay other than about eight hours in the emergency room. I was sent home with a strainer to capture the kidney stone.  


Different kidney stones captured in strainer

I've lost track of how many visits I've made to the emergency room since I've lived here in Delaware.  I know the one visit required a two night hospital stay for a kidney stone that was stuck and I had to have an operation (the details of which I won't go into here since I've grossed you out with the the "strainer" pictures). That operation resulted in a stent in my penis which had to stay there three weeks to keep three other kidney stone from falling until I could have another operation to blast those kidney stones out.  

That was the last time I had kidney stones.  I thought I was over with kidney stones. Apparently not. 

Me in the emergency room this time last Friday

This latest visit to the emergency room I was told by the emergency room doctor that I had "more kidney stones up there."  Thus I have a visit scheduled with my urologist next month.  

In the meantime, I will continue living each day as if it is a gift.  Today I was about to transplant a tray of daffodils that I had purchased before this latest episode. 

One day at a time folks.

Back to my regular posts tomorrow.  I still have a lot to share of my California holiday. God, wasn't I lucky that this didn't happen when I was in California? Or Canada, where I'll be at the end of the summer. 

Could be a lot worse. But for now, what a difference a week makes. Today I almost feel normal.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Worst Is Over

I do believe, the worst is over. 

Yesterday I was still feeling very "blah" even though I didn't have that excruciating pain.  At least I had my appetite return, albeit partial. 

Not to gross anyone out but part of the problem was by taking all those pain killers I was constipated big time. 

Last night I was just so sluggish I couldn't do anything so I went to bed early at around  8 pm. I woke up several times to go to the bathroom to take a pee (no blood thank God) and just to move my legs from every increasing cramps that were awakening me.

At 2:30 am I was wide awake so I played online Scrabble on my iPhone, as I had the past three nights. For some reason I found that playing that not too mind inducing game relaxed me and took my mind off of my impending doom.

My boss at the hotel texted me yesterday to ask if I was coming into work. I wasn't sure if I was ready but I texted him back that I would.  I'm feeling a lot more confident now about going into work three hours from now. I do need to get out of the house.  And now that I have lost ten pounds since last week (yes, it is true I have lost THAT much weight) I'm ready to show off my new slim body.  HA!  Do I really care?  No.  But it is nice to get back to my more comfortable weight of 163 pounds. The past ten years or so I was whizzing past 170 to 175 and not happy with that extra poundage at all.  See folks, isn't it wonderful how I can be so vain even in my health crises?  A vanity, never leave me my friend.

I've been anxious to get back to posting about my wonderful California holiday. So much to tell and show. 

I've also been wanted to comment on the current political environment, especially Trump's latest "Toddler In The White House" moment of accusing former president Obama of wiretapping him but you know what folks? I am SICK TO DEATH of that monster in the White House and all his enablers. ALL OF THEM.  I never in my life thought I could hate anyone as much as I hate Trump but I do folks. At times during my illness I thought that the very idea of that psychopath lying narcissist in the White House representing our country to the world, makes me gag. Literally, I gag. But that's all I'm going to say on this matter, for now anyway. 

I'm on my way back folks.  This one isn't taking me out. Something will in the future, of that I am sure. But not this lousy kidney stone. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Feeling Better

Dare I say it? I'm actually feeling better this morning. Still weak and sore (abdomen) but I don't feel like I'm dying. 

I'm not sure if my kidney stone has passed (the soreness in my lower abdomen) but I no longer have blood in my urine. 

For the first time since this current kidney stone episode began last Friday, I've been able to eat my normal breakfast of brand, almond milk and strawberries. Taste is still somewhat off but I didn't have to throw away half the cereal like I did a few days ago when I first tried to eat my normal breakfast. 

I'm off he painkillers, I can take this little bit of soreness.  Got to get my bowels working again, which is the downside of painkillers. They kill the bowel movements. 

I'm scheduled to go to work tomorrow evening. I think I can make it.

One thing that isn't helpful is this brutally cold weather, winter making its last blast. Thank goodness we missed the snow that blanketed areas north of where we are enduring day to day living here in southern Delaware. I look out the window in the morning at the stiff daffodils and puzzled robins, trying to figure out why they can't take a drink out of my now frozen bird baths.

This too shall pass Ron.

You know what folks, sometimes I just get so tired of these medical emergencies that I feel like going to sleep and not waking up.  But then I think of how fortunate I am that my health isn't much worse, which it isn't. And can you imagine if this happened while I was in California? Or Canada? 

Life is a roll of the dice isn't it folks? Here we go for another day. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Still Suffering

Have I passed my kidney stone? I really can't tell. My stomach is still sore but that may be because of my infected bladder.

I just got back from my local VA Outpatient 
Clinic. I called them yesterday with an emergency request for more pain killers. The  Emergency Room over the weekend only gave me twelve painkillers (a generic Percot pill). I was in a panic because I used the last pill from the Emergency Room yesterday. Thank goodness the VA came through for me. 

Folks, the worst thing about passing a kidney stone is the pain. And each time is different. 

I began feeling something was going on early last week but I willfully ignored the signs of kidney stones and bladder infection.

I could no longer ignore this extremely painful process which is why I ended up in the Emergency Room.

So here is the update on my situation. I called my urologist's office to make an appointment. They told me since I was "passing a kidney stone" then couldn't see me until NEXT MONTH!  I was stunned. I called back just to make sure and I was told I have to pass that kidney stone first. Why don't I just die while I'm at it?

Passing a kidney stone, I've seen this movie before.For most of the weekend I've been in bed all day, sleeping.  Then Sunday night I woke up and felt NO PAIN.  I actually felt normal, which is a wonderful feeling when you've been banging your head against the wall for so long. 

The pain in my left side has moved down. I haven't seen any kidney stone in my pee but it could be a small as a grain of salt.  Something that small cause so much pain?  Oh sure. I can't seen too much in my urine anyway with the the blood.  The most blood I've ever had during one of these episodes. One thing though, I'm not in excruciating pain, which is often the case with a kidney stone passing.  I was Saturday night, big time. The kind of pain where you say "Lord take me, I'm ready to go!"

So you know what the other problem is don't you? Not to gross out my more sensitive readers, but I haven't taken a good poop since last Friday morning. I usually go twice or more a day! TMI?  That's the downside of painkillers, they do back you up.  And folks, I'm pretty well backed up. Of course I haven't eaten that much either. I'm on a Kidney Stone Diet. HA!

Folks, I'm so anxious to get back to normal. Thank goodness my co-worker Don W. filled in for me last night at the hotel. Believe me folks, you wouldn't want to encounter me in the state I'm in, if you were checking into the hotel last night.  

Oh, I forgot to mention. How lucky are we here to have missed this Major Winter Snowstorm?  I drove the thirteen miles (one way) to Georgetown this morning in the high winds and rain to pick up my prescription. Well worth it folks!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Passiong a Kidney Stone . . . . Again

Good morning folks. I'm going to try and get through this post even though I'm doped up with pain killers and exhausted.

Yes, as my blog title states, I am passing yet another kidney stone.  

Early last week I noticed that I had a painful urination, so painful that I felt like passing out.  No blood in my urine though. I thought maybe I had slight infection in my bladder. I refused to acknowledge that I was passing yet another kidney stone. 

Regular followers of my blog know that I have passed many kidney stones, starting in 2001.  I have had two operations to get rid of my kidney stones. One operation to remove one kidney stone that was stuck in my uretha. Another operations to blast out kidney stones that were waiting "to drop" at the top of my kidneys. Those operations were three years ago.  I thought I was done with kidney stones for the rest of my life. Oh how foolish for this wishful thinking.

Me waiting in the emergency room for the results of my MRI Friday night at 2:00 AM in the morning. 

Friday I noticed the onset of that dreaded pain that accompanies a kidney stone moving.  I still refused to believe it was a kidney stone. I was concerned that I had a gallstone or bladder infection. Finally the pain became so great I could no longer avoid the inevitable. I called 911 for an ambulance for another return visit to the local emergency room. 

Bill waiting for me in the emergency room . . . . . again

I have lost count how many time I've visited the emergency room since I moved down here. I think this is my fifth visit.

The results of my MRI scan at the emergency room showed that I was indeed was passing a kidney stone and I also have a bladder infection. Oh wonderful. Here we go again.

When I was in the emergency room I wasn't passing blood. After I left the emergency room at 2:30 am with my list of prescriptions for the infection and painkillers (Percot). Since I receive my medications from the VA I was going to wait until Monday to fill these prescriptions. Big mistake.

By the time I got home the pain had increased, big time. And now I have blood in my urine. I still have blood in my urine.

I called the emergency room and asked them if they could do something about my pain, which was becoming unbearable. The woman on the other end of the line asked "Didn't you fill the prescription?" I told her I hadn't.  She said "You could be several days before that kidney stone passes. You should fill your prescription right away!"  Thus I got in my car are drove down to the local Walgreen's, which is open 24 hours. Thank goodness.  I asked how much it would cost to fill my prescriptions.  I have to be careful when filling prescriptions because they could run into hundreds of dollars.  I was told that the prescription for the nausea was the most expensive at $100.  The pain killer was only $9.00. I told him I could handle the nausea but I did need the pain killer.  Also the antibiotic for my bladder infection.

Emergency Room Beebe Hospital Friday night - not the first time I've made an early morning visit to this place

Somehow I made it back home, driving my car even though I was in tremendous pain.  Bill can't drive because he lost his driver's license last June (he needs eye surgery for his cataracts). I was shaking so much.  When I drove up to Walgreens I got the dry heaves.  I leaned my head out of my car and tried to barf up nothing. I noticed a police car in the far end of the parking lot. Oh great, that's all I need to be questioned by the police for barfing in the Walgreen's parking lot. Thank goodness the police left me alone. Maybe he was sleeping in his police cruiser.

Hey folks, I have end this post now because I'm becoming very weak.  I'll update it when I gain some strength back.  I have called my urologist's office to make an appointment next week to address this problem, especially those kidney stones which are "waiting to fall."  Thank goodness this didn't happen when I was in California.  

I'm hurting folks but I'm still here. 

Waiting at the24 hour pharmacy in Walgreens to get my prescriptions filled. It a lot of pain here folks. You don't ever want to experience this kind of pain, believe me.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Memories of California Holiday 2017 Part 3

Pat at our Airbnb accommodation on Croft Avenue in West Hollywood, California

Once we finally got settled in our Airbnb accommodations on Croft Avenue in West Hollywood, we had a very restful night.

Our bedroom in West Hollywood - very basic

At first we were both a little put off by having "company" in our Airbnb accommodations.  We're used to entering a space unoccupied when we're on a holiday.  We weren't expecting to see another couple already settled in.  However, we eventually acclimated ourselves to our "roommates", a delightful couple from Germany.  We were so tired that we relinquished the common space to our German co-guests and retired to our bedroom.  

Common space at our Airbnb in West Hollywood - nice big TV but poor sound. We suggested a sound bar for our next stay.

We also had a TV in our bedroom so all was well. One thing we didn't like though was the heavy down comforter.  All those dead ducks who had to give up their feathers. Neither Pat or I could sleep under that travesty.  I pulled the comforter off and stuffed it into the top shelf of the closet. After watching a bit of "Shark Tank" on the TV, Pat and I drifted off to dreamland. A LONG day.

Pat resting on the couch in the common area before our German roommates arrived 

The next morning, we both took showers (separately) in the very nice bathroom.  Our only issue with the bathroom was the shower head.  Their were mineral deposits on the shower head which caused the water to go every which where.  And the water pressure was way to hard.  Taking a shower was a painful experience for my sensitive old dry skin.  I suggested to the owner to replace the shower head with one that wasn't quite so brutal.  We're staying here again next year  and I have no desire to go through that needle sharp shower experience again. If she hasn't replaced the shower head next year we'll just buy one for ourselves.  

Our bathroom at Croft Street

After showering we decided to go to a local legendary restaurant called "Norm's" for breakfast.

Me in front of Norm's restaurant. Which is cooler? Me or that sign? 

 Pat likes the Fifties vibe of this place and I like the food.  Check it out folks, I had an omelette to last me for the week!

My omelette at Norm's, which I had already taken a bite (or two) out off. Pat got a vegan sandwich. Check out those home fries! Fresh squeezed orange juice too! What one would expect in sunny California after all.

Norm's was just the place to get in the mood for our two week stay in West Hollywood. The ambiance, the waitress, the patrons, the food, the smell, the noise, the architecture.


I'm trying to remember what we did next during our first day in West Hollywood. Pat and I don't go on these holidays with any fixed schedule.  We play it loosey goosey, whatever we feel like doing that day.  Always seems to work our.  One thing we did have on our schedule was attending our second "The Price is Right" taping the next day.  More about that in my next blog posting. But for now we had to go to the local drugstore to get some of those liquid necessities that I couldn't get through TSA on our six our flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. 

My intention was to keep a daily journal of our doings during our holiday but we were so busy being in the moment that I never got around to it.  However, I was able to take many photos and short videos to memorialize our annual jaunt to La La Land. Seeing these photos and videos should jog my tired old head into what we did those days.  One thing I know for sure, we thoroughly enjoy every moment we're in California, wherever we are. Just how fortunate am I to be able to do this every year and to do it with such a good friend like Pat.  Pat, my chauffeur and all around good guy. Not many people can put up with me for any period of time on a trip like this, not even Bill.  That's why he (Bill) doesn't go. Pat can put up with me.  At least for about a week.  Then he needs a break. I accommodate. 

On our way back to our Airbnb accommodations we stopped by the local drugstore. Pat found a shopping cart on the street outside the drugstore and wheeled it in.  

I had expected the prices to be pretty high but they weren't.  Everything seems to be reasonably priced.  At least where we were.  later in the week we stopped by Nordstrom's. I'll relate that experience in a future blog. SOME people in Beverly Hills have TOO much money judging from some of the prices for apparel we saw at Nordstrom's. 

Our first day in California was beginning.  

Caregiver Update

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