Friday, April 27, 2018

"the Price is Right!" Appearance

There it is! Yesterday, right at the beginning of the show, as the camera panned the audience of "The Price is Right!", there we were!  Me and Pat were in the back row, with black T-shirts, clapping it up as directed. 

This is our fourth appearance in the audience. Have yet to be called to "Come on down!" but we know people who were.  Folks that we talked to in line. One lady even won a car!

Even though we weren't called to join Drew Carey on stage, we still have a great time. Attending a taping of "The Price is Right" is like attending a party.  The staff of the show has the four hour wait in line seem like a tenth of that time. They keep us entertained. And we get to met new friends while waiting in the line. 

It's all good folks. Maybe next year we'll be called. One thing is for sure, we'll be there again in the audience.

There is Pat in the back row with his arms raised above his head. I am to Pat's left.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

"The Price is Right!"

Me and Pat practicing wining! We're ready!

Just a reminder folks, tomorrow is the day Pat and I will appear in the audience on "The Price is Right!"

Pat and I taped the show when we were in California last February during our annual Get Away From The Cold Weather vacation. 

This was our four taping of "The Price is Right!" Last year we attended two shows, they were short of an audience for the second show and they asked for volunteers. We volunteered.  

We have yet to be called to "Come on down!" but we know people who have been called.  Two years in a row people we talked to right next to us in line were called to "Come on down!"  I doubt if we'll ever be called but it attending the show is a lot of fun. The staff at "The Price is Right" have a such a smooth operation you hardly know you've been standing in line for four hours until they usher you in the building for the taping. 

Oh I know we're being used like clapping seals in the audience but it's all good fun. With all that is going on in the world, what a nice interlude from the bad news and stresses of the day. 

Look for us in the back row in black T-shirts. We always have custom made T-shirts when we attend the show, apparently to little avail. Maybe next year we'll just go in our street clothes. I'm pretty sure they determine who they call as a result of the interviews they take while we're waiting in line outside. Maybe Pat and I aren't that interesting. Or maybe they know I can't jump.  I was so hoping they would call Pat. That would be the highlight of my life, maybe next year.

Remember to watch for us tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bill Gets His Legs Treated

Bill's doctor treating his legs

Bill got his legs treated today.  What a relief!

Bill said he never in his life got so much attention from a medical staff.  Seeing this attention to Bill's medical condition almost brought tears to my eyes.  

Bill is not one to complain about his health. He just plows through. But his legs got so bad that he couldn't sleep at night because of the pain.  He finally asked me to check into getting some care for him. 

Bill getting the full attention - eventually five workers were tending to Bill's legs (I tried not to be too disruptive taking these photos)
Bill has been under VA care for thirty-four years, since he was 55 years old (he's now 89). We've been lucky over those years that Bill hasn't had to use the VA for much of his medical needs other than medication. There was an emergency in 2001 where he had to have his gall bladder removed.  I almost lost him then.  He was in intensive care at the Philadelphia VA Hospital for a week. But he made it though. 

Bill is at the age now where his need of medical care will increase.  We are both so thankful for the VA Choice program that he can now use outside providers for his medical needs. 

Today went very well.  Bill's legs are getting cared for at the wound care center of a local hospital.  The folks there couldn't have been nicer more caring for Bill.  

Tomorrow we see Bill's new VA doctor for a followup. 

We are both very fortunate to have Bill's medical condition cared for.  And yes, his legs are getting better. But this will be a continuing care procedure. Bill has edema, on of the many afflictions of old age. Hopefully we can manage this condition so Bill can have many more years. I need someone to mow the grass.

Bill leaving the medical care center after his treatment

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Back On The Medical Treadmill

Looks like we're back on the medical treadmill again. 

Thursday my appointment for my semi-annual blood test at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown. I see my doctor this week on May 1st for the results of that blood test. Always a nervous time because of my past history of prostate cancer. So far since my seed implants a back in 2013 (was it really that long ago?) my PSA score has been down. Hopefully I get the same results this time.

Yesterday I had an appointment with my dermatologist. I had a couple of pre skin cancer spots that had to be burned off. They're scabs now. 
I had a little dustup in the office when I was asked to fill out AGAIN a six page form of my medical history. WHAT?  I just filled that out the last time I was there eight months ago.  I noticed that everyone in the office was new. Guess they threw out all that paper work I filled out last time.  I think I've filled out at least four times paper work in that office. And I didn't even get to see my doctor, saw the physician assistant instead. 

Monday I get an X-ray to make sure my kidney stones haven't returned. 

Tuesday is Bill's appointment with Doogie Howsie to treat his edema.

Today I had additional frustration. I got a notice from my new insurance company that they're cancelling my homeowner's policy because they couldn't do an exterior inspection of my house. WTF?  I suspect they couldn't find my house because when I initially changed insurance companies they got my address wrong. My address is 30231.  They put it down as 302301.  It's been nothing but a nightmare ever since with that old address popping up.  I called but the office was closed today. I left a voice mail. I have to say I am concerned. If they can't get my address right what else are they screwing up?  I don't know, is it me or do things seem to be, uh screwed up lately? First I have to fill out my whole medical history again then my new insurance (Allstate) can't even get my address right.  

At least we finally got a spring like day today. No cold winds and rain, just a nice sunny day. At least something is right.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bill's New Doctor

Bill's appointment for his edema is scheduled for next week. It was quite an arduous procedure that I had to go through to get approval for him to get medical attention outside the VA system.  The Choice program is great once everything is in place. But getting there is a challenge. I don't know how an older person who is by them self would be able to navigate the system.  

First I had to schedule an appointment with his VA care provider. They have to evaluate his situation (a "consult") before he can be recommended for care outside the VA system. Once that is done (not always a guarantee) then I had to wait for a call from the main VA facility in Wilmington advising me that HealthNet would call me with an authorization number. Each medical situation has to have its own authorization number.

Then to coordinate Bill's VA medical records with his new doctor, who is pictured above. Folks, Bill's new doctor is Doogie Howser.

Yes folks, that's not an old picture of Bill's new doctor.  That is him today. 

There was a time when I was mildly amused the first time I saw a doctor younger than me. Can't say that I'm mildly amused any more. I'm realizing that Bill and I are really 


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Spring Has Arrived!

Oh my gosh! I DO believe spring has finally arrived. Check out this video that I took this morning.  Sun, warmth, color and wind.  Spring is here!  

I see my last posting to this blog was last Saturday. Looks like I'm going to default to a weekly posting, at least for the foreseeable future. 

You may ask "What's going on Ron?"  Just too busy with daily like folks. 

The past two weeks I had to arrange through the Veteran's Choice program to have an outside provider see Bill for his leg problems. Bill had a bad case of edema. I would post pictures but they're too gross.  Take my word for it, he has a bad case of edema. His legs are infected and oozing a clear liquid. The Veteran's Choice program is a great program but I do have to jump through a lot of hoops to get him treated. First I have to arrange an appointment with his provider at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown. They evaluate his condition and then decide to issue a "consult" for Bill to see an outside provider.  Then I have to wait for that consult to "populate" through the VA system and then HealthNet, which is an outside provider to coordinates the appointments (and payments) with an outside provider. In the past Bill would have to make the ninety mile trip to the VA main facility in Wilmington Delaware. In addition to being many miles away there was always a long wait of several months. With the Veteran's choice program, Bill is eligible is he is more than forty miles away from the VA facility and has to wait more than two weeks.  Of course Bill also has to be a veteran. Bill meets all those requirements. One big sticking point is that each condition has to have an authorization number before he can proceed to be treated.  This is unlike the Medicare that I have, which I just see a doctor. My conditions don't require an authorization number in advance. And I can't get ahead of the procedure like I did with Bill's cataract surgery. I arranged his eye appointment before I had the authorization number and thus had to pay the $180 from our funds because HealthNet doesn't back date. I learned my lesson. Now I wait until I get the authorization number before any appointments are kept.

I got so caught up in getting Bill in the system last week that I missed my own VA six month checkup appointment. I got an automated called reminding me of an appointment. I thought it was for Bill.  I called and they said Bill didn't have an appointment. I thought they (the VA) screwed up so I didn't keep the appointment.  Turns out that call was for MY appointment. Darn!  I pride myself on always keeping my appointments, especially with the VA since they have signs all over their facility reminding us old vets to keep out appointments . I will call them on Monday and apologize profusely and make arrangements for another appointment.  

I'm back on the Medical Treadmill with my appointments. This month I have a follow-up with my urologist for my kidney stones. Then my dermatologist for that "thing" that is itching like crazy on my lower back. And of course my regular six month appointment that I keep track to make sure my prostate cancer hasn't returned. 

So there you go folks, a blog posting that turned out to be a medical update. 

I was going to write a blog rant about Trump but I am restraining myself. Lots of other things going on in my life which will have to wait for future blog postings. We're just trying to keep ourselves together here folks.

In the meantime, looks like our long, cold spring has finally left our lovely home here in southern Delaware. Bill's outside working now, I will go out later to let those warm breezes wrap around me. Sort of reminds me of Palm Springs. Nice!

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Blogger Reunion Memory - 2013

This spring I am again reminded of the first Bloggerpalooza that was held in Lewes, Delaware back in 2013. Hard to believe that it was only five years ago. 

We had another Bloggerpalooza the following year in 2014. Haven't had one since then unfortunately. I'm not sure if we will ever have another blogger reunion like this in Lewes again but we do have our memories recorded in video and photos.

Me dominating the conversation (as usual) with The Cajun and Dr. Spo, David Jeffreys, and others - 2013

This video is of the surprise visit we made to Wayne "The Cajun" Juneau at his place of employment, the Dos Locas restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. I did not warn Wayne that we would be descending on his popular restaurant on that fine spring Saturday afternoon for lunch. Wayne, the professional that he always was, accommodated us with grace and dignity.  

Wayne is gone now, he passed away the following year but he has left his indelible mark. Wayne is the reason I met Dr. Spo and his coterie, one of the best friendships of my life.

This is for you Wayne.

Wayne "The Cajun" Juneau in his Dr. Spo shirt - 2013 at the Bloggerpalooza

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Memories of "Pop"

My father Isaac (third from left in front) with his brother Ed and my cousin Bud during a fishing trip at Cape May, New Jersey - 1957
My father was never close to me. I suspect he didn't want kids. 

I am the oldest of his three sons. I think at first he may have been vaguely interested in the novelty of having a child but when he found out I favored my Mother, he quickly lost interest in me. 

The best I can say about my father is that he never abused me, either physically or sexually. Thank goodness for that. I've heard horror stories from others whose fathers did abuse them, both sexually and physically. Oh sure, we got "whippings" (with a belt, but no buckle) but no serious damage was done. The "whippings" were more to get our attention and a staple of raising children in the Fifties. 

My father was indifferent and often annoyed by his three sons.  However, he did favor my youngest brother. Brother John was "the pet." A fact I greatly resented when I was growing up. Those feelings of regret faded away after I became an adult and Brother John and I became friends. 

My second youngest brother, Isaac, was the classic Middle Child. I received most of my Mother's attention (and probably was considered her "pet") and John was the Favored Child of our Father.

We all called my father "Pop."  Not "Dad", or any other common nickname for a father. 

One thing I always regretted was that Pop never took me anywhere with him. Correction, he did take me to a fishing rodeo when I was ten years old.  He took me with his favorite brother Ed (my father had ten brothers) and his son Ed ("Bud"), Jr.

Me and my cousin Ed "Bud" Tipton Sept. 1, 1951 - I won the Chester County Fishing Rode0

By a fluke I won that fishing rodeo by catching the biggest trout of the day, 13 inches. My win was featured in our local newspaper. I had my picture taken with my cousin Bud, who was and is the same age as I am. That was the last time my father ever took me anywhere with him.

He never attended any of my school events, including my graduation. I will never forget my humiliation when my family didn't attend my graduation from Army Basic Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. I think I was the only recruit whose parents didn't attend that ceremony. I've blotted out of my memory what I did that cold, gray, bleak day in March of 1960. I could understand him not attending any of my high school events (I was in band and chorus and track) but somehow, his absence from that basic training graduation really stabbed me to my heart. I became numb to his feelings for me after that. 

Me, Army Recruit - Alone (again) - 1960

When I was in the hospital, off and on for six months before I joined the Army, near death from a staph infection, he never visited me once. I expected that but by not attending my graduation from Army Basic Training, was different. Being sick wasn't something I "accomplished" but graduating from Basic Training was a big accomplishment for me. 

The photo above is of my father and his favorite brother Ed (and my cousin Bud) during a fishing trip they took in 1957 at Cape May, New Jersey. While organizing my photos about an hour ago I came across this photo and it triggered all those bad memories of my growing up with a distant and disinterested father. A father who didn't want me. Is that why I'm gay? I've often wondered.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Cold Spring

Our oval planter Easter Sunday, the lighting was just right

Our cold spring continues. Last week we had a few days in the 60's and even one day the temperatures reached 70 degrees. I loved that! However, today we're back to the high 30's and the cold winds. Spring, oh when will you arrive? 

Probably what will happen we'll go straight into the hot and humid days, as has happened so often in the past years.

The past week I've accomplished a lot of yard work outside.  I love doing yard work. For me, it is a form of relaxation. I'm reading a wonderful biography of Rock Hudson. Rock also found doing yard work on his three and half acres of land in the Hollywood Hills his favorite form of relaxation.  Hey, something I have in common with Rock Hudson (smile).

Last week I had delivered six cubic yards of mulch. Every day I've spread at least four wheelbarrows of mulch. The best kind of exercise.  Maybe I can make a dent in those love handles that I've acquired the past few years. But then maybe not.  I think I'm stuck with those darlings for the rest of my life. That's why I wear loose clothing now. 

Me working with those heavy stones from Lowe's

I also had a load of stone blocks deliver from Lowe's last week. Eighty stones.  I laid every one save one.  Now that is some exercise. Those stones were heavy.  

This is the robin's favorite bird bath, maybe they like the statues

This is the first year that I'm really pleased with the amount of daffodils I have blooming. I want our little piece of Heaven here to burst in happy yellow every spring. This fall I will plant at least another hundred daffodils. Can never have enough daffodils.

The robins are back, pooping in our birdbaths. Robins are harbingers of spring to but I wish they wouldn't poop in the birdbaths. They're the only bird that does. 

Spring is finally here folks, in spite of the cold chill in the air. So happy to be here to enjoy yet another year of rebirth.

Tete a tete daffodils

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Happy Daffodils!

Easter, a sure sign that spring is finally here. My daffodils are in full bloom.

As my regular blog followers know, I haven't updated by blog for over a week now. My lame excuse is that I'm "just too busy."  Well, I have been busy stamping out the usual campfires. 

This past week I've been laying mulch every day. Also, creating stone walls. I love doing this kind of work in my back yard.  I find it so relaxing. Only problem now is how much can my body take?  I have to ration out my physical exertion. So far I'm doing good. 

Yesterday I took a video tour of my daffodil blooms this year. I've always wanted a property in which a profusion of daffodils burst into bloom welcoming spring.  Planting all these bulbs in the fall took a lot of effort folks. There were times I thought "Why am I doing this?  It is so cold outside".  But now that I see the burst of yellow around our almost one acre (.98 acres) I know my effort was well worth it. 

Now I have to order more daffodils for planting this fall. Can never have enough daffodils!

Have a wonderful Easter folks!

Note:  Just viewed the video I posted. Sorry about all the wind noise. I'll have to figure out how to eliminate that in future videos.

Caregiver Update

  Bill with his hospice nurse last week Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular ba...