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.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Friends

Michael with me (what big feet you have Ron) , Pat, Someone and Larry and Tim in Palm Springs this past February for Michael & David's marriage. We're at the top of San Jacinto mountain.

Yesterday was the 55th birthday of my good friend Michael, aka "Dr. Spo."  


Michael taking an important phone call, even on top of Mt. Jacinto

I wish him a very happy birthday via birthday card and Facebook posting.  

I would give him a big birthday hug and kiss if he lived nearby but alas, Michael lives in Phoenix, Arizona, many miles from our little seaside hamlet here on the coastal shore of Delaware.

I met Dr. Spo through the Internet.  That is I saw his picture on a blog roll of my late dear friend Wayne "The Cajun" Juneau.  I was immediately attracted to Dr. Spo because of his classic handsome features and that dark beard. I've always been a sucker for beards, no pun intended. 

When the Internet first became popular, I heard of people meeting "friends" through the Internet. But I have to tell you I was mighty suspicious. Sounded specious to me.  Not quite right. How wrong I was.

But I have to tell you folks, even though I wasn't seeking friends through the Internet (and I really wasn't although at one time I did but that's a story for a later and much longer blog post), I have met some of the nicest people through the Internet.  Not many but the ones I have met, really nice people. 






Of course the best example of that is my friendship with Pat, my best friend Canadian "Eh?" Travel Buddy from Toronto.  We met through the Internet, a story which I have told several times (perhaps too many) through this blog.


David and Pat in Palm Springs, California - two friends met through the Internet

But back to Dr. Spo (Michael).  

It was my great privilege this year to be invited to his wedding to his longtime partner "Someone", aka David.  They were married in Palm Springs this past February.

The newlyweds, David and Michael - Palm Springs, California 2017


 Pat and I visit Los Angeles, California every cold January or February.  This year we made a side trip to Palm Springs to witness the marriage of these two fine men, along with a few other of Michael's friends whose friendships he developed through the Internet.




Of course I fell in love with Palm Springs, this being my first visit (but it won't be my last).  What a privilege it was to be invited to this marriage ceremony.  And it was lovely, that I can tell you!

So today I wish a very happy birthday to my good friend Dr. Spo (even though his birthday was actually yesterday).

Happy birthday Dr. Spo and thank you for enriching my life with your friendship.


Me, Dr. Spo and David - first meeting



Thursday, July 06, 2017

Wonderful Discovery!




This morning I made a wonderful discovery.

For several years now I have been putting off updating my will.  

Over the years I have had more will made up that I can remember. Life circumstance change which require updates to my will (and Bill's). 

Right now if I die everything goes to Bill. If he dies then everything goes to me. But Bill has nothing except a small bank account. Many, many years ago we decided to put everything in my name for protection from those family members who didn't approve of our relationship.  Those family members who viewed our relationship (53 years now) as "not quite legit."  Well, of course now we are legit after having become officially married July 3, 2013.  

However, if I am the sole survivor of our relationship I have previously made a will leaving everything to my brothers' children (twenty) by percentages. I had also named my brother and his wife executors. Both have to change. I now have two grand-grand nieces (man I am old) and, since I am estranged from my brother, I need a new executors.  Plus I have some special instructions for the disposition of our remains and other special instructions that maybe only a gay lawyer would understand and be sympathetic to.  

Times have changed. Now that Bill and I are officially married I have to change our wills to reflect that fact.  Also, I have decided to change the percentages to fixed amounts.  That will make it a lot easier for the executor of my estate.  I should know, in my previous life I work in bank trust operations.  One of my jobs was a manager of the remittance unit for trust and estate executor accounts.  Fixed amounts are much easier and don't care as much family angst.  I will leave the balance of my estate to a selected friend, who is with me at the end of my life. Also a few special bequests to those who have been kind to me during my lifetime.

My last will was prepared by an attorney in Rehoboth Beach.  He and his staff were fine but I wanted someone who I felt more comfortable with.  I've been mulling over this decision for a few years now. I keep putting off making a decision.  At one time I was going to use the law firm that Pat used for the sale of his land.  I liked them but hesitated because their law firm specializes in bill collecting.  That just didn't seem like a good fit to me.

The good news is yesterday I found the answer to my dilemma quite by accident. 

I was checking the obituaries in the local newspaper and found "Tipton" in the obits.  Finding someone with my surname is quite unusual for this area.  Not too many Tiptons in Delaware.  I knew there was one in Lewes but I never contacted her.  Most Tiptons I contact aren't interested in sharing our common family tree even though we're all related.  I've always been able to find the connection from or original ancestor Jonathan Tipton who arrived in this country in 1692 from Port Royale, Jamaica after their big earthquake destroyed his barrel stave making business.  Yes, my ancestor made barrels to store Jamaican rum.  He was part of Venables' Force who colonized Jamaica after defeating the Spanish in 1655. 

While reading the obituary of my distant Tipton relative yesterday I noted that one of his surviving sons was "Michael and his husband Eric of Rehoboth."  Say what?  There is another same sex Tipton couple in the area?  Wow.

So this morning I did a Google search and I find that Michael is an attorney who specializes in elder law and wills and estates.  Say what?  

Even better!  I check his website and I find he's a Bear.  Most of you don't know what a "Bear" is.  I do.  And most gay guys do.  



I put a call in and left a message for him to call me back.  

I have a will that needs updating.  


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Fourth of July 2017 Musings

Brother John Fourth of July 1954 Downingtown, PA

Happy Fourth of July to all my friends and blog readers!

This morning I was wondering what kind of unique photo I could post to my blog celebrating the Fourth. I could do an American flag gif.  But I've done that before.  Something different Ron.  

Then I thought it's been awhile since I've taken a trip down Memory Lane. In fact I'm long overdue to take one of those trips down Memory Lane via photos. 

This morning this photo of my youngest brother John came up on my Facebook account. Facebook has this feature that reminds me of photos I've posted in previous years. This is one of those photos that I've posted.

I remember clearly when I took this photo.  It was the summer of 1954 at our free apartment at the intersection of Boot Road and Chestnut Street in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The previous Christmas I had received my very first camera, a Kodak camera.

This is not my actual personal camera but the type that I had that I took my first black and white photos with in the Fifties - Oh I LOVED that camera!


Yes folks, even way back in 1954 I enjoyed taking photos. However, back in those olden times I could only take eight black and white photos at a time and would have to wait a week to ten days before they were developed.  Imagine the thousands of photos I would have if I had an iPhone back then!  But I didn't but I did take a fare amount of photos which was pretty good for a paper boy who only made $5.00 a week delivering papers.  And I spent most of my money on candy and comic books. It's a wonder I had any money left to pay to have those film rolls developed. 

One of the goals I had when I retired was to digitalize all my old photos. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't been that successful in achieving that goal. I think I've only digitalized about 15 to 20% of my old photos. Time to get to work Ron.

Folks, I have to tell you as each day goes by it seems that I fall further behind in achieving goals that I have set for myself. In fact I'm having trouble just keeping up with daily chores. I guess I should worry but I'm not. I just focus on what is important and that is keeping the bills paid, and taking care of Bill. I guess you could say my main responsibility now is "Taking care of Bill and bills."  At least I've been keeping up with my blog which is a major achievement for me.



Happy Fourth everyone!


Monday, July 03, 2017

Happy Anniversary!

Bill and I taking wedding vows four years ago today!

Hard to believe that four years has passed already since our official marriage four years ago!  

Forty-nine years is a long time to wait, finally we get married.

Yes, four years ago Bill and I were officially married at the Georgetown, Delaware Sussex County Courthouse. 

Bill and me outside the Sussex County Courthouse after getting married

We chose that date, July 3rd, because on that date we met forty-nine years ago. Coincidentally, July 1st was the first day same sex marriages were legal in Delaware.  

Our witnesses, our good friends Judy and Jack Dawson

No family attended our wedding ceremony.  Bill's family cut him off about a year before I met him after they discovered he was gay.  Bill has seen none of his family since then.  The break occurred when Bill was at his mother's funeral and one of his sister confronted him with "We know about you!"  This was back in the Dark Ages when being identified as gay labeled one as sick and "less than". Also, Bill's family is from the South (Georgia). Unfortunately many in the South still have the same opinion of gay people.  I have experienced this first hand when researching my family tree (my father was from North Carolina) and was discounted and banned from contact with different family members.


My family never approved of my relationship with Bill but "accepted" it as long as our gayness wasn't mentioned.  "Don't ask, don't tell."  Well, by getting publicly married we broke that unwritten rule in my family and I haven't heard from my family since. Apparently Bill was all right as long as he was my "friend" but when we came out publicly it was too much for them to accept. Of course I am saddened by the estrangement of my two brothers and their families but you know folks, I live my life and they live theirs.  I can't and will not live my life they way they want me too.  Accept me (and Bill) as I am or not at all.  

That said, and I apologize for the negativity of this post, Bill and I are very happy. Meeting and living with Bill the past fifty-three years of my life is the best thing in my life. I would not be where I am today if not for Bill. 

Bill taking charge again
Thank you Bill for giving me such a happy and secure life. 

On to sixty years now!

I hope we have many more years together

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Giant Rubber Duck


Yesterday was Canada Day in Canada (of course it was in Canada).  Redundant Ron.

My Travel Buddy Pat of Toronto ventured out yesterday in search of the world's largest rubber duck in the Toronto harbor. More accurately on Lake Ontario.  He didn't find it.  

Pat took a tour of a Canadian battleship (first I knew there was such a thing) yesterday looking for this seven story rubber duck. Couldn't find it.


video


He told me there was some controversy over the duck. Specifically the Canadian government spending $120,000 to rent the duck.  You know what I say?  Really?  

In this world where suicide bombers back their bomb vests with bolts and nails to maximize injury and death.  In this world where jihadists mow down unsuspecting tourists with rented trucks.   And in this world where this country (the United States of America) are enduring the nightmare of the Trump presidency, why not a little frivolity?  In fact, it is necessary to remind us all that we are basically nice people who just want a peaceful life and a few smiles. What's wrong with that?  

My question is:  When is that rubber duck coming down here to the good old U.S.A?  We could use some smiles.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Favorite Commercial




As some of my regular followers might know, I follow commercials. Yes, I am a frustrated marketing guy.  

In college, I majored in marketing.  If I had a little more courage, I would have quit my secure banking job and went into marketing after I completed my four year, GI Bill funded, nighttime (after working at the bank) college course.  But alas I didn't, so I am reduced to monitoring commercials (and ads in magazines and highway billboards) and passing judgement. 

So what do I think of commercials and magazine ads?  Most of them are terrible. Atrocious. Magazines have too many ads and TV commercials are often reduced to stupid white men and crying babies. Not much original. 

But every now and then one comes along that is almost near perfect. In fact, this E*Trade commercial I've lead this post with is perfect in my opinion.  

Hey, everyone can identify with what a horrible experience "Flying the friendly skies" is now.  You consider yourself lucky if  you're not dragged off the plane, bloodied and unconscious if you dare not to give up your seat (that you paid for) to an airline employee who needs to bump you so THEY can make their next flight. "Screw you" the airlines all too often seem to say by their actions.

And who hasn't flown a flight with the crying, whining baby (who flies for FREE by the way) to accompany you on your hours long flight?  And if you're really lucky, you'll have someone recline their seat in front of you to further cramps your already limited leg room.  And how about the freckle faced red headed kid kicking his tray on the back of your seat?  Ah yes, we've ALL been there. 

Full disclosure here, I have stock in E*Trade.  I've had it for years (21 to be exact).  I've lost a lot of money in my decades long holding of E*Trade stock. Just the last year or so I've come up even. 

I've never liked E*Trade's commercials.  The last several years their commercials have been nothing but exercises in vanity for the actor Kevin Spacey.  I like Kevin Spacey as an actor but man Kevin, your E*Trade commercials were awful.  I'm glad someone at E*Trade finally wised up and dumped that ad agency.  Go feed your ego somewhere else Kevin, along with Matthew McConaughey, who HAS to be the most self-involved vain actor in commercials these days.  I literally cannot watch his commercials, he's so full of himself.  You're not all that Matthew.  Really, get a life.

Thus it was a very pleasant surprise to see this latest E*Trade commercial that is succinct, to the point and one that actually causes you to remember the product advertised.  And isn't that the purpose of a commercial after all? To make you want to buy the product? 

How many commercials have you seen that you don't even know what is advertised?  I've seen plenty, too many. But this one is good. Almost as good as that Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" commercial.