Thursday, December 14, 2017

The "Finding Time", edition.

Good Thursday morning! I know I know. It's been a while since an entry. I need to find time to write. And time is an issue this time of year ... This year.  I'll start of with dialysis stuff. After Thanksgiving a component of my dialysis machine was causing problems. I'll try to explain. There are 2 parts to the machine. One is the actual dialysis machine. Now during dialysis you need a fluid called dialysate. Dialysate is the fluid that runs thru the body and removes the waste. Blood in, blood runs through the dialysate, toxins are removed and go into the dialysate and clean blood returns to the body. 

Well the machine, called Pureflow, that creates the dialysate crapped out. The dialysate is created using a premixed sack and tap water. Since the Pureflow crapped out we had to go to plan B. Dialysis patients always have a plan B, C, D and E. You know, that life threatening stuff. Anyway. The plan B is to use pre made bags of dialysate. Yes, we have some stashed away. All home hemodialysis patients do. Well there was another issue. I normally do dialysis at night 5-6 hours at night.  When I use the bags, treatment is 3-4 hours. Here's the thing. I use 7 bags of dialysate during regular treatment. Neither us nor my nurse could even contemplate how many bags I'd need for nocturnal. Lol. So I went back to short daily dialysis. Boo. Oh yeah. This includes adjusting the settings on the dialysis machine. Because it adjusts the flow and time and rate of removal. 

The company worked with Brian to fix the machine. And sending us extra bags. Yeah. This causes storage problems, but eh. Lots of packages from Fedex from the company. Finally late last week a technician came out to change out the offending part. Now I must say that the phone tech support is great. Lots of troubleshooting. So by the time the technician changed the part, the issue was solved. I finally went back to nocturnal this past Monday. I did retain more fluid than I would like during those several weeks, so now I'm removing it during treatment. It will take about a week or 2 to recover. Tell ya what though. I missed that nighttime treatment. Brian and I both disliked having to break up the day for treatment. And as an aside, Glen had to go to his crate during treatment. He is absolutely not allowed into my bedroom. Lol. Puppy needs to learn more commands!  

I also wanted to touch on another type of dialysis, peritoneal dialysis. Long time readers may recall me explaining it. Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) differs from home hemodialysis by filtering and cleaning blood within the body rather than through an outside dialyzer. With peritoneal dialysis, the patient's abdomen is filled with a special solution called dialysate that helps remove waste and extra fluids from the blood. PD requires a permanent catheter is the stomach. Strict attention to a sterile atmosphere must be maintained. The nifty thing about PD is you can do this alone, no need for a partner. And if you freak out about needles, PD is for you. But you do the PD exchanges (dialysis) several times a day. And possibly use a cycler at night. PD was not an option for me because of the catheter in the stomach. I like swim to much. And quite frankly, needles don't faze me. But it is a viable option. 

Well that's it for me for today. I'll make an effort to write another entry soon. Update on holidays, house, and Glen. And for the fun of it, it's unseasonably warm out here. Loving it. Especially after seeing the early snow in Michigan. :-(

Enjoy your day!  

These are the dialysate bags. And yes, when I travel I have to use this set up. The company will ship the bags to my hotel or location......IF I stay at least 3 days. Less time than that then I have to cart them around myself. And each box contains 2 bags. I use 7 per treatment. I can cart around a lot of boxes. :-(

The dialysis cartridge. This is where the magic (cleaning of the blood) happens.

This is the setup I use at home. The stand is the Pureflow machine. 

This a SAK which creates the dialysate from tap water. Takes 6-8 hours to fill up. 

Diagram of peritoneal dialysis. The catheter stays in the stomach and can be highly susceptible to infection if you neglect the asceptic process. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

The "The Day After....", edition.

Good Friday morning!  Sitting in the bed watching "The Highlander", while doing treatment. Need to get it out of the way. We fixed dinner yesterday for 6. Me, Brian and Daddy, of course. And Shawn flew in from Oregon. Yes. I like that my child is close enough. Whoo hoo!! Our other 2 guests are 2 close friends of ours who recently moved from Detroit to Las Vegas. We served Honey baked ham, roast turkey and smoked turkey. We cooked candied sweet potatoes, dressing with sausage, macaroni and cheese and chipotle green beans. I also had the requisite relish tray...I got that from my mom and can't seem to do away with it!  We all overdid it on the deserts. Our guests brought a delicious chocolate pie and a pound cake. We had a pumpkin pie (for dad) and a pecan pie. I also wanted a caramel cake, but I haven't been able to find anything remotely like Reen's out here. {{cry}}. We order a caramel cake from a "favorite bakery". Not only was I disappointed, I didn't like all. Money spent and lesson learned. We threw it away.  Anyway. We all had a great time. The puppy was crated during dinner and never uttered a peep. Good dog!  And we all had a great time!!  So glad they are here! 

Did I mention that Shawn flew in Wednesday night?  Well she did. It's a cheap 2 hour flight from Portland. I love having her I. The same time zone and relatively close!  Anyway. Dad wanted to take me and Brian out to dinner for our anniversary and we agreed to wait until Shawn arrived. The dilemma was to figure out where we wanted to go. We finally decided on The Melting Pot. Brian Shawn and I had been in Detroit. Dad had never been. I made reservations for Friday evening and off we went. We did the full four course meal. Cheese fondue, a salad, proteins, and chocolate. Yes it was good and guess   who enjoyed it?  Why Dad did, of course!  He'd never had fondue. And he even enjoyed cooking his proteins in the broth. When the final course of chocolate came out he declined. But his granddaughter told him he should try it since he was there. And try it he did. And he loved it!  Lol. I hadn't seen my dad eat desert or chocolate since....I can't remember. We got the dark chocolate fondue and it was just delicious. Yum yum yum. 

I should mention that I started this entry Friday morning during treatment and just didn't feel like writing and now it's Sunday morning.  Eh. Treatment is pretty routine. Wednesday I had a blood pressure drop, but I was able to alert Brian  and he gave me some saline which fixed the problem. During Friday's treatment and treatment last night, Shawn was in bed with me. <3. 

So now it's Sunday morning. The kid is still asleep. Dad is at church, the puppy is chewing one of his many toys.  So many toys. Spoiled puppy!  Brian in on his iPad and I'm finishing this entry. That's pretty much it. Shawn leaves in the morning, but she's already purchased her tickets for her Christmas visit...Whoo hoo!!  It's been unseasonably warm..81 degrees on Thanksgiving. Nice. Movie day today for us. Have a great day!  


Always moving..

Friday, November 17, 2017

The "Dialysis, A Puppy, and Thanksgiving", edition.

Good Friday morning. Would you believe Glen, the puppy, has kept us busy?  And how have we settled into the new house?  Well let's start with something totally new and unrelated. When we moved to the new house we knew we'd need to eventually replace the appliances. With the stove being replaced immediately. They old one was pretty funky and 2 burners didn't work..on a gas stove. Oh yeah. We went from an electric stove for most of our marriage to gas. Yeah we had gas in our first house. But I grew up with electric. Anyway. We got a pretty nice countertop gas stove. Then just before Labor Day we had an "incident" with the lock on the oven which killed the oven.  A built in oven and microwave. Okay. So instead of getting the microwave/oven combo, I opted for the less expensive option of a double oven and a counter top microwave. 

And oh yeah. The dishwasher sort of wobbled so that needed to be replaced. The plan was to get the dishwasher after the stove, but there was the oven "incident". I did promise the family that I'd get a dishwasher before Thanksgiving. So I looked up dishwashers and everyone has Black Sunday sales for the entire month of November. Jackpot!!  Finally made it to the store, purchased a nice reasonably priced dishwasher. It will be delivered and installed tomorrow. Yay!  So now all of my appliances are stainless steel. But what do we do with a trash compactor?  Lol. Eh. I watch too much Food Network and HGTV. 

Glen the puppy is growing. He's up to 7 pounds. He was 4.8 pounds when he arrived. He's fitting in well. He's inquisitive, has no fear. Barks at the garbage truck. Lol. He gets that puppy burst of energy and races through the house. He's learned the command "sit"!  He's starting to pee and poop outside (!)   He is still bitey and will be for a while. We are enjoying him a lot. Lots of tail wagging.  Shawn is coming for Thanksgiving and is looking forward to meeting him. 

Dialysis is going fine. However the Medicare contractors have determined that dialysis patients, all 400,000 of us, need treatment only 3 days a week, regardless of what are nephrologists prescribe. Because the contractors always know more than the doctor, who went to school for decades, who has treated us for years...punk ass bitches. Anyway. The dialysis community is angry and fired up. And concerned and frightened. There is a link that sends letters to our congress people. I posted the link and a plea for my friends to go to the link and share the on Facebook. I am so grateful for the many friends that responded.  I can't thank you enough. Much love and appreciation to you. I was also interviewed for a video to be sent to the powers Medicare contractors. The video includes patients who do home hemodialysis and we explained the benefits, especially the medical benefits  of extended treatment. If the contractors win, my treatment options will end by the beginning of the year. Ugh. There goes my life. Literally. My life span will be shortened. The short quick hard dialysis stuns organs including and especially the heart. 

Anyway. Life goes on for now. Shawn is in Oregon which makes coming here for Thanksgiving viable. As always we are excited. I also invited my friends over they just moved from Detroit. My menu is standard fare. Roast turkey, ham, and smoked turkey (yumyumyum) from Honeybaked Ham, macaroni and cheese, candied sweet potatoes, green beans with tomatoes, dressing, gravy, rolls, a relish tray (got that from my mom) and a caramel cake from Freed's Bakery.  We've been looking for a caramel cake similar to Ree's Cakes and Things and that is just impossible out here. And even though we ordered it, it's going to be different. We'll see. 

And to offset all of this,  the gym is having a potluck on Sunday. These people are insanely healthy. They eat ....things. Lol. So I'm going to make the vegetarian version of green beans and jalapeños. Keeps Dad busy snapping green beans. Lol. Ezekiel bread. Ugh. 

Well that's it for today.  We finally turned the heat on..but only because it gets chilly in the evening. Stay warm and enjoy your weekend!!!  Oh yeah. If you'd like the link to send your concerns to the congress people about the proposed cutting of dialysis treatment time, let me know. 

Glen. Wondering what he can get into. 

Glen inviting me to play a game of tug. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The "An Average of 5 Years", edition.

Good Thursday morning. Today is November 2, 2017. Five years ago today I was told my kidneys had failed. Five years ago today I started dialysis. Five years ago today I was dying. My nephrologist told me I was 2 hours away from dying. I felt like it. I couldn't move. And finally I couldn't breathe. Brian had to call 911 for EMS. The techs gave me oxygen, wrapped me in a blanket, put me on a gurney and carted me out of the front door of my house. My neighbors were outside looking concerned .. Because that's what you do when EMS comes to your neighborhood. 

I arrived at the emergency area of the hospital and was processed pretty quickly. While waiting for the results of test, I had one more episode of not being able to breathe. Pulmonary edema, scary stuff. The best way I can try to describe it is no matter how deep you gasp, no air is getting into your lungs. I imagine it's what a fish feels like out of water. Even now, five years later, it's frightening to think about. I was eventually told that my kidneys had failed and I would be starting dialysis immediately. Well, now I knew why I was feeling so bad. And there will a procedure to make me feel better. 

Of course I remember very little after that. I was taken to the intensive care unit (ICU). The last thing I remember was nurses taking off my clothes. When I wake up, I'm in a room with a zillion monitors. I had a blood pressure cuff on my arm taking my bp at regular intervals. I had an IV on the other arm. I have a Foley catheter (ugh). And I had a new catheter contraption on the right side of my groin. Apparently that was the emergency catheter for emergency dialysis. I had had a dialysis treatment....that I have no memory of. Now that's being very ill. 

I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in ICU. I was feeling better after the initial treatments, but I had a long way to go. I recall waking up at night being incredibly thirsty, but i was to weak to reach the button to call the nurse (looking back 5 years later, why was the button so far out of my reach???).  My voice was to weak to yell, plus my throat was parched, so I could barely whisper.  Picture me feebly trying to holler "help nurse".    During the day I had a dedicated nurse, but at night we all shared a nurse, I guess. The dialysis guy brough dialysis to me. And I had a physical therapist come to help me walk again. I had to use a walker. For the record I used the walker for the next 2 months...then I moved to a cane. 

The following Monday I was moved to a regular room. I stayed in the hospital until Friday. A full week. There was a distinct difference on how I felt from when I was admitted to when I was discharged. A world of difference. I felt much better, but I was nowhere near 100%. And I clearly didn't understand how much my life was going to change. 

So here I am, five years later. I never thought kidney failure was a death sentence. I thought it was more like an inconvenience, but something I needed to adjust to. When I was doing dialysis in the centers I experienced death at an astounding scale. The turnover in center due to deaths was startling at first, then it just made me sad. Now that being said, there were others who had been there for years. There was even a mother son team doing dialysis. But why am I still soldiering on when so many have fallen? 

I know attitude has a lot to do with it. Being compliant on diet and lifestyle has a lot to do with it. And how I dialyze has a whole lot to do with it. Dialysis should done like a beef brisket, low and slow. Hahahahaha.  But it's true. In center, because the centers are a dialysis assembly line..move 'em in and get 'em out...we gotta make money..quantity over quality...treatment is high and fast. Do the treatment on the patients as quickly as possible. Well guess how that affects the heart?  Taking off too much fluid. Cramps, dangerous drops in blood pressure, passing out, nausea,....death.  This.  This is what gives the 5 year average life expectancy.  But there is more. 

An informed patient can counter this, even while doing incenter dialysis. The patient needs to know the settings that work for them. Keep track of their dry weight and know how much fluid can safely be removed during treatment. Incenter my upper limit of fluid removal was 2.5 kilograms. And I knew this because a wonderful tech actually tracked when I would crash ( dramatic and quick drop in blood pressure from too much fluid being removed). Patients need to know and question each med that is being injected into them and what meds are being described. And patients need to know that there are alternatives to doing dialysis in a dialysis center. 

You know that I transitioned to home hemodialysis a few years ago and the moved on to even longer slower treatment by doing it while I am asleep. But you know what?  I encounter medical professionals who are surprised I do hemodialysis at home...that I stick my own needles. Some don't believe me. Eh. Dicks. Anyway. 

Five years average. Well I'm passing on that. Still too much going on. I need to make my new house look like I had the Property Brothers over here (lol lol). And I have a new puppy that I need to get to dogdom so we can cuddle on the bed. Hell, he's not allowed in the bedroom yet. I don't see that for a few years, so there's that. And spending time with my fabulous daughter!!  Making it my 50 year anniversary.  Plus a few more trips. And perhaps a kidney transplant. Remember what I use to say when I first started the blog? "I got thangs to do". And that hasn't changed!  

So yeah. I made it to five years. That's nice, but can I do the same thing twice? (Who did I just paraphrase?  Hehe). I'm going for it!  Yeah, I get tired and yeah  bullshit things happen. But I'm good. Stuff always happens. So yeah. I'm here for a while longer. You can't rid rid of me yet!!

Bonus photo of Glen

Monday, October 30, 2017

The "Nearing 5 Years", edition.

Good Monday morning!  I know that 5 years ago this time I was pretty sure I was dying. And I really was dying. I just didn't know what was causing it. I felt worse than I ever had. Well. I'll return to that day on the 5th anniversary, November 2, 2012. For now, I'll talk about now!  

I just had to get a dog. And I just had to get a West Highland White Terrier. And I got it. I got the dog Wednesday night. So how have the past few days been?  We're delighted to have a puppy in the house. We're all adjusting, including the puppy, Glen. The first night we correctly anticipated the crying. We put Glen's crate in the breakfast room, the room furthest from the bedrooms. We could still hear the barking, but it was muted. As a matter of fact, the crying finally ended last night. At least it subsided early on and started up again when Glen realized we're we awake. 

The house sort of worked our favor for a puppy. We thought. We have a sunken living room, one step. Based on our previous westie puppy I thought we'd have a week before Glen could navigate the step. Heh. We had about 5 minutes before he navigated the step. At least we closed the doors to all the bedrooms and bathrooms. We spent time in the den and the den has a door we could close so we could keep an eye on him. Well. Saturday evening I left the door open to my bedroom. Guess who found his way all the way there?  Lol. Glen also found Grampy's room with Grampy in it this morning. Oh boy. 

The good news is Glen gives us cues when he needs to go outside. Yay! Smart puppy!  We went to PetSmart to get a crate and other supplies (toys). They had a buy $20 worth of toys, get a free toy box. Yes we got the toy box. Put the toys in the toy box. Glen got in the toy box. As a matter of fact he goes and plays with the toys in the toy box. Lol.  Yeah, we're enjoying the puppy. He follows us around. He greets us when we walk into the room. And he's just too cute. He barked at the garbage man today and fussed at the FedEx guy Friday. And yes, as soon as he has had his vaccinations, we're taking him to a trainer. One day he'll learn his name is Glen! 

Yesterday we tried a new Restaurant for our Sunday Brunch, Lucilles Smokehouse. So.  Much.  Food. I got baby back ribs, Dad got St Louis Ribs and Brian got brontosaurus ..beef ribs. The ribs were pretty good. And we have enough left overs that we're having them for dinner tonight. My sides were meh. But we'll be back and I'll try other sides...and maybe the catfish...or the Nashville fried chicken...

Dialysis is going fine. My venous access is being difficult, but it goes through cycles. And by difficult I mean that sometime it takes a while for the needle to find the hole. Now before you freak out, the hole is a buttonhole.  The buttonhole is very much like a pierced earring hole. You know sometimes you can't hit the spot. That's all that's happening with my venous buttonhole. I'm really liking doing treatment at night. It gives me back my days. Oh yeah. The puppy is crated for the night when we start treatment. 

Nice weather for Halloween. I have decorations and candy. Hopefully we'll get some kids. At the very least, there is a grandchild in our cul de sac. I'll let the grandparents know she can collect from us. That's it for today. I'm able to write right now because Glen is taking a nap. Yay!  Lol. I think maybe I'll take a nap now, too!  Enjoy your day! 

Friday, October 27, 2017

The "Glen", edition.

Good Friday morning!  I am so liking this weather. Highs still in the low to mid 80s. Oh yeah. Today is Nevada Day. "Nevada Day commemorates the admission of the state of Nevada into the union on October 31, 1864."  It's a state holiday so some banks are open. Most government offices are closed as are the schools. And the deep water fitness today. And Brian's master gardening class is off today. However, our trainer wants to meet with us today. Boo. 

So. We moved from the condo to the townhouse in July. We started that process in April. One of the reasons we were moving is because we had outgrown the condo. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths.  It was big enough for Mom and Dad. And Brian and I moved in, we got rid of some furniture and made it livable for 3 people. But after a while we just needed a little more room. There was, however another reason. I wanted a dog. Or at least a cat. The condo does not allow pets. And it's even iffy on service animals. And yes, some of the people had secret cats. Lol. But we were not even sure if we had room for a litter box. So it was time to move. 

We were looking for 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, at least 1500 square feet, gated community, pool, hot tub, allow pets, and age restricted. Whew. What a list. And yes, I even had a location preference. We needed to be within a reasonable distance to our deep water fitness Henderson. With the assistance of our fabulous real state agent, we found a place that fulfilled every requirement..even exceeded some...2.5 bathrooms and over 2000 square feet (!).... except the age restriction. But!  The average age of the residents is about 45. I ve seen very few children here. As a matter of fact I've seen more dogs ans than kids. 

So we moved in July. And we settled in. My goal was to get a dog by October. Ah. But I was picky. I wanted a West Highland White Terrier, Westie for short. I started searching the AKC marketplace for Westies. None in the Las Vegas area. The closest was 3 hours away in California, but the breeder had no puppies. The next closet would be an excursion into California. Eh. So I would look periodically. One day the 3 hour drive breeder had puppies again. However when I called, all the puppies had already been reserved. Boo. The next closest breeder was just over the Utah state line in Grand Junction , Colorado. 

The breeder had available puppies and held one for me. Brian and I were going to drive and pick up the puppy. But it did seem daunting. An 8 hour drive, spend the night and drive back with a puppy..for 8 hours. In the meantime, the breeder would get confused by my area code...still Michigan. She ends up sending me a text about flying the puppy to Michigan. Hey now!  How about flying the puppy to Las Vegas?  Jackpot!!  Was it risky?  Well risk was dealing with a breed long distance.. But the breeder is registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). I'm good with that. And shipping via Delta is a very reasonable flat rate. 

Wednesday evening we drove to the Delta cargo location and picked up the puppy. The crate was so small. Which meant the puppy was so small. The puppy was alert and when I stuck my finger in the  crate and puppy licked my finger. Love at first lick!!  We got him home and told him his name is Glen. Pretty sure he paid absolutley no attention to that as he explored his new surroundings. 

How did we come up with Glen?  I asked Shawn and Brian what should we name the new puppy. They agreed on Barky McBarkface. :-/  No. I then gave them four options. They countered with Iggy and Barky McBarkface...neither of which was one of the four options. They then came back with Glen. What were the options?  Glen, Ross, Scott and Stewart. Glen was the winner. So now Glen just has to learn his name. Lol. 

The first 24 hours has been busy. Puppy = Baby. We've been to the vet. Glen explores his new house. He runs full tilt around his confined area. He cries when he wants to got the bathroom. Our cue to take him outside. At the vet, while he was in his crate, a large pitbull comes out and notices the resident cat, and the pit starts to bark. The cat is nonplussed. Glen, however, is matching the pit bark for the high pitched puppy bark and growls. ROFLMAO. Oh yeah, Glen is healthy and full of personality. And all of 5 pounds. Training will be fun. And yes, we have toys, but we need more!  Teething ahoy!  Oh yeah..frozen carrots. Yes,  all three of us are delighted to have a puppy. 

On the dialysis front, all is well. Numbers are good. I got my flu shot. And I'm pretty sure having a dog (puppy) improves the quality of life for 3 of us. Dad is enjoying the puppy his granddad!  Lol. 

That's it for today. Enjoy your day!!

He has a bed...

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The, "I Got No Sympathy. None", edition.

Good Saturday morning. Oh boy. Today is a busy day. Dad is  already out doing his daily morning walk. Sunday is his day off. Then we'll head to the casino for our weekly visit. Then Dad's church is having their annual lobster fair. Yes, we ordered 3 cooked lobsters. Dad will also get a quart of clam chowder (it's not the best, but it is a fundraiser). Brian and I will look at the vendors booth while Dad is having court in one of the rooms...all of the ladies fawn over him. Lol. And if the Mexican food is ready we'll have a street taco. And then we always get something from the bake sale. It's a nice little fair held In the courtyard of the church. 

So every year we get the lobsters and then figure out how to serve them. The first year we melted some butter and ate the lobsters. The next year we did lobster rolls. This year we bounced between lobster Mac and cheese and seafood chowder. Seafood chowder won out. Yes yes. I know. We're going to have clam chowder. But I'm going to make the seafood chowder. What's going in it?  Bacon..gotta sautéd the veggies. So in addition to the lobster I'll be adding clams, shrimp and lump crab. No potatoes. I hate them as filler. I need seafood stock. Yes we could make it with the lobsters and we might. But i still need seafood stock. And I have to go to a suoermarket across town to get it. That's fine. The suoermarket, Glazer's, it the closet I have to Westborn out here. I can find honey butter there!!!  And reasonably priced Gruyere cheese. But the cost savings tend get get offset by the distance. But this time, gotta go there. We'll prepare it on Sunday. And.  There's some more shopping I need to do, but I'll fill you in on that next week. 

So now you're wondering why I did my Rodney Dangerfield impression. You  know that I do an hour of deep water fitness 3 days a week. And you know that Brian and I go to a trainer once a week. Although she's making us go and joining us at a Henderson rec center workout room for yet another hour every week. Taskmistess!!!  So yes, I'm getting stronger and my stamina is improving. And my trainer keeps pushing and increasing the workout. The bonus is at the end she stretches us out. Anyway. She increased the weight of some of the things I use. Well. When I woke up Friday, my thighs hurt. Ouchie. I sent her a text and she laughed. ;-(   Told me to go workout some more. I didn't get a chance to respond because it was time to go to the pool. I felt the pain while doing the deep water exercises. I mentioned it to the instructor. She laughed, said good and then increased the intensity of the workout. ;-(    She worked the hell out of my core. So now my thighs and my stomach muscles hurt. I felt the love. Of course. {eye roll}

Yesterday I also had my monthly appointment with my kidney care team. My numbers are great. My nephrologist was almost giddy about that. Lol. I did get an iron injection, but I'm ok with that. It boosts my energy levels. I talked with the social worker about my advanced directive. Do you have one?  I got my flu shot last month so that was fine. Oh yeah. My primary care physician's office called to let me know that they'd be giving shots next week. Told them I already had it. Not judging if you don't get a flu shot. Your choice. I need it because of the kidney disease. I'm susceptible to everything. Kidney patients so much so, that if you opt out of a shot, you are quarantined and have to wear a face mask during treatment in the centers. Face masks apply to nurses if the opt out. 

Well that's it for today. I had treatment last night and I'll do it again tonight and will be off on Sunday. I live for off days!  Lol. AC is still on. We turned it off, but then it got warm and stuffy inside, so it's back on. Time to get ready for the day. Enjoy your day!!! 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The "The Busy Weekend, Part 2", edition.

Good Thursday morning!  I like Thursdays. Why? Well. I completed my nocturnal treatment and I'm not scheduled for another treatment until Friday night. Free night!!! Of course today is my trainer day and she'll beat me up...with a smile. Lol. Love her though. And actually the entire staff and other clients are supportive of everyone. It's a welcoming place. But they make you work!  

I mentioned that my organization had an event on Sunday. The organization is The Society, Inc. The mission of The Society is, "To promote friendship and social exchange among members; to function as a resource for young people in the arts; and to promote educational, civic and cultural experiences within the community".  

The Society Las Vegas chapter held its annual fundraiser/youth showcase Sunday. It never disappoints. We showcase talented youth involved in the arts in Las Vegas. The event started with a string orchestra.  This is what greeted the guests as they entered and were seated. While lunch was served, a young man created an acrylic painting. And yes he was pretty much finished when we finished lunch. Then we were treated to a group of students from an organization that teaches violin to students. The first student was a beginning student in the program, a young man who couldn't be more than 8 years old, followed by more seasoned students. 

We had singers and dancers, all talented young people from Las Vegas. These young people are so talented and it is such a delight to watch them. I look forward to the showcase event..oh yeah, the event is called, "The Little Black Dress". Yes, I wore a little black dress...well maybe not so little, but I wore a black dress.  lol. We also had a cart load of raffle prizes and a silent auction. And for a bonus, the food was good..imagine that. 

The national director of The Society attended and we also gave awards to members of the Las Vegas community who work with the young people in the arts. The event was held at The Orleans. And I'd call the event a success! And so now the work for next year begins! 

So how is the Perry Fields house hold going?  Well did I mention that "we" rented out the condo. We were made an offer that we couldn't refuse.  It started out as we were landlords by committee. I handled the paperwork..there were some things that the condo home owners association required. Brian  made sure the apartment was emptied and Dad made sure the apartment was cleaned and painted and fixed.  However in the end, Dad gets the check. Lol. Being a landlord is keeping him busy. And it's not a lot, but just enough. Because the HOA is responsible for quite a bit. Woot!  

So the other day, dad comes running out of his room and was asking about a smell. He liked it. I was in my room and couldn't smell whatever it was he was talking about. I eventually came out and knew exactly what he was smelling. Brian was using some coconut smelling cream or lotion and that's what dad was talking about. Anyway, this led to us going to Bath and Bodyworks and getting some wallflowers. I let Dad pick out the scent for his room and he picked lemon. So now he has his own smell good room. 

Well I think I'm up to date. I need to find out if we have Halloween stuff here in the subdivision..there are children here. I'm going to do some minor decoration anyway. Well that's it for today. So now not only am I going to tell you to learn to swim, but to ask you to support art with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc. it's good for them, in more ways than you can even imagine! 

Photos courtesy of Lady Anika

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The "The Busy Weekend", edition.

Good Wednesday morning. The weather is wonderful out here. Las Vegas fall weather. I'm staying out here.  So. Life goes on. This past weekend was a busy weekend. Same weekend last year and the year before that was also busy. Here's why. One of the organizations I belong to has its major fundraiser on Sunday. So the week leading up to it is busy. And also this year a dialysis group had their yearly Las Vegas get together. I wasn't able to attend it last year because another dialysis group had a conference here at the same time. Lol. I haven't figured out cloning yet. And being around others on dialysis is important to me. Being around people who understand what we go through, what our issues are. 

So let's start with that. The group is called I Hate Dialysis (IHD). It is a message board and Facebook group. IHD was the first group I found on the internet immediately after I was was diagnosed with ESRD. I read a little. It scared the day lights out of me. I rarely went back to the message board, but they did have a presence on Facebook and that wasn't as scary!  And let's face it. It's been almost 5 (!)  years. The whole kidney failure/dialysis thing is not as frightening to me...knowledge is power. So when it was mentioned on Facebook group they'd be meeting in October in Las Vegas I let the admin know I'd be attending. Well yeah. I live here. Lol lol. 

So let me digress for a moment. I belong to several dialysis Facebook groups. I'd classify them as 3 major groups and 1 minor group, with IHD being the minor group.  But not any more. 

I wasn't able to attend all of the activities because I had prior local commitments. Brian and I went to the meet and greet. I had the address and it wasn't too far from our old condo. I was confused, but once we arrived I understood. It was a timeshare resort.  In the middle of a neighborhood. Lol. Las Vegas never disappoints. Yes, there is the strip, but there are so many more places to stay. And being a fan of Hawthorne Suites.. Wyndham properties...I've found and have stayed at Hawthrones smack dab in the middle of residential neighborhoods. 

I've digressed. Again. There weren't a lot of people who attended, but those who did traveled quite far to get here. The admin and her family are from Southern California. Yes..that's not far. There was a lady who came from Tennessee. There there were several people who came from Canada. New Foundland, Canada!  And then there was the lady who traveled from Ireland. With a fancy battery powered wheelchair!  Alrighty then. And those who where on dialysis had scheduled treatments. So this lends for a discussion on quality of life while on dialysis. Topic for another day. Let's just say travel is not a huge problem. 

In addition to the meet and greet, Saturday evening we had dinner at Buca Di Beppo. Portion control is not practiced there....  We had a great time. Although. This restaurant is probably not the best place for those of us on renal diets..unless you do nocturnal home hemodialysis (points to self). Anyway. A good time was had by all. Gifts were passed out.  Brian and I did not get the memo, but we'll be prepared next time. I got a bunch of goodies from Ireland. And I must say, everyone who attended was so pleasant. We enjoyed ourselves and enjoyed the company. 

So. I guess that was the dialysis front. Treatment is going well. I finally got my million dollar meds because I had to. The cool thing is because of the treatment I do and the frequency, I don't need as many meds. Woot!  I feel pretty good. I still get tired, but I'm getting stronger, thanks to my deep water fitness and fabulous personal trainer. 

That's it for today. I'll write about the Sunday event tomorrow. Oh. I went to a lighting store, Lamps Plus. I lost my mind there. I saw the most beautiful crystal chandeliers and I know good and darn well I wasn't going to get one, but boy, they were so wonderful!!  Lol. Lamps Plus is a dangerous place!  Enjoy your day! 

I hate dialysis. But you ready knew that. ;-)

Everything is served family style. Even deserts. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The "Las Vegas is my Home", edition.

Good Tuesday morning. I'm having a disconnect and a strong connection. What does that mean?  Let's start with Sunday night. Brian and I are just lazing around watching the 10:00 news. About 15 minutes in, the newscaster mentions there was a shooting on Las Vegas Blvd. Not to be disinterested, but every now and then there are acts of violence on the strip. They are not random acts, but targeted acts. I hate to hear about the acts of violence, but it happens. Well about 5 minutes later, the newscaster looks a little spooked and another guy joins her at the desk mentioning something is happening, but they don't have confirmed information. However Twitter is blowing up. I start looking at the various news stations Facebook pages. I'm getting a sense that this is something different. I could see the panic in the posts. Before the newscast was over all the on air personalities were on screen, including the weather guy, all trying to get a handle on what's going on. 

At 11:00 I changed channels. The new channel has more info and are now broadcasting Twitter feeds. And the weekday evening anchor has shown up. Uh oh. We stayed with it until just before 1:00 AM. At that time the death toll was less than 10 and less than 50 (!) injured. And we were being told that the numbers would rise.  And the station insisted on playing and playing the sounds of the automatic weapons.  During the night our phones were getting random notifications. Brian sent a text to Shawn to let her know we were ok and we did the we are safe thing on Facebook. 

We wake early most days and on MWF I do deep water fitness and Brian has his gardening class. I check my phone. I exclaim "holy shit!"  Brian asks me what's wrong. The death toll jumped to over 50 and the injured jumped to 500. It took a few seconds to process that. It also seemed important to continue on with our day. I had responses to my Facebook check in. I also had a message from a friend who is a radio host in Detroit requesting an interview(!). We watch the news. And go about getting our day started. I wanted to see the national coverage. Well that didn't happen. All of the local stations had nonstop coverage until late last night. You know we had to turn of the TV or watch other shows just for a break. It was just too overwhelming. 

Oh, for the record, we live about 7 miles from the hotel. Anyway. I head out. Traffic is the same. People heading to work. Kids heading to school. Landscapers headed to wherever. I arrive at the pool. Parking lot was full, people were swimming laps and people showed up for class. We were all trying to maintain normalcy. And the odd thing was no on really talked about what had happened. 

I watched as much coverage as I could. The weeping would come and go. Yes, I did the radio interview. Apparently because we had the nonstop local coverage I ended up having information that hadn't hit the national news or just random facts. Like we knew there more weapons that had been originally reported. 

We got through the day. I ordered my meds. And was resigned to pay the $1,100 for th refill. And life has to go on. We planned chili for dinner and Brian did not disappoint. He's moved from ground beef. He used sirloin for the chili. Ok ok. The steaks were on one get two free. We have sales like that out here. Whoo hoo!  I did treatment Monday night and here we are now this morning. 

So here are some tidbits for you. Las Vegas has one trauma 1 hospital. It has one trauma 2 hospital. That's it. Yes, here are other hospitals here, but they are not trauma hospitals. Look. The hospital that Brian was in last week did  not have personnel at the main desk on the week end. Same thing at the hospital dad was in when had the hip replacement surgery. At these lesser hospitals, the emergency rooms are rather laid back...because they are not trauma hospitals. Las Vegas Blvd is still closed. People started lining up for blood donations around 2AM Monday morning.  People waited in line to donate blood for up to 8 hours. So much food and water was delivered to the blood donation lines that they had to be turned away. We had a food truck festival over the weekend. Several trucks showed up to feed people in line for blood donations. Tents and chairs were supplied to people waiting in line, in addition to umbrellas to protect them from the sun. Air traffic was stopped for several hours. Officials were concerned that the airplanes could be targeted by the high powered rifles. Yes, the hotel is very near to the airport. 

There are real people getting out there doings things. Helping others. Those people donating time and resources. Doctors and nurses showing up off shift to assist. Counsellors showing up when the call went out. People Donating blood. So much so that the donations had to stop. Getting out pertinent information. Did you know several hotels are offering free rooms to relatives of victims?  Southwest and Allegiant Airlines are flying victims and relatives out of Las Vegas for little or reduced fares.  

Finally, I am a resident of Las Vegas...well Henderson, but it is the Las Vegas metropolitan area. My disconnect is the living through the horriffic event. The connect is I am a resident of Las Vegas. And I hurt for my home. But the city will survive. The residents care. And so now you know. There is so much more to Las Vegas than the strip. The residents have come through during this horrible episode. And we always will. 


People waiting to donate blood. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The "Our New Normal", edition.

Good Tuesday morning!  We stay busy in spite of ourselves. All of us, including Dad. The move is pretty much over and yet I want to do decorating...which costs money. Eh. We got a new stove before we even moved in. The original stove was kinda ewww.  And the plan was to replace appliances as needed. Well as needed happened sooner than we thought. The dishwasher needed to be replaced, so that was on the list. But then. We had a "mishap" with the oven. The oven was a wall oven and microwave. The microwave still worked, but the oven was dead. The repair guy pretty much said there was no hope. And let me reiterate..the oven issues were self inflicted. I won't go into details. So...we had to get a new wall oven. And they ain't cheap. Especially the microwave/oven combo. We decided to get a double oven and a counter top microwave. It really was less expensive. Go figure. The breakdown occurred just before Labor Day. The oven was installed yesterday. But we now have an oven. And we purchased the microwave on Sunday. We're back in business!!  

I'm looking to replace the dishwasher before Thanksgiving. And oh yeah. We have a trash compactor. We've never used one and don't care. I'll eventually swap it out for a wine cooler. Whoo!!!  And finally a new range hood. We have time. We'll be here a while. That being said, we all really like the kitchen!  

Brian is taking a master gardener class. Yes. He has a green thumb. His class is the same time as deep water fitness on MWF. Clearly I wasn't interested in gardening. I still wanted to swim. So he goes to his class and Dad lets me take his car and I go swimming. 

And guess what. We're getting a puppy!!! And that's one of the reasons we moved. Yes, we're getting another westie. We will be picking up the puppy in about a month. All 3 of us are looking forward to the arrival of the puppy. Still searching for a name. 

On the dialysis front I finally got back to nocturnal dialysis. It feels good. We weren't able to do it because of the move and the need for the water to be tested and we needed the settings for the machine. We did it flawlessly. And I feel good. Oh yeah. I left out Brian is still going to deep water fitness on Tuesday and Thursday. Same instructor, different, but closer pool. And consider this. After he goes to deep water fitness on Thursday, an hour later we go the trainer. Go Brian!!  

That's pretty much for today. It's cooled down here...for a while it was cooler here than in Detroit. We actually turned the air off. Lol lol. Yeah it's going to get warmer again, but not crazy hot. And finally a nice footnote. My dialysis nurse has volunteered to help with dialysis patients in areas devastated by the recent spate of hurricanes. My dialysis team rocks!


Friday, September 15, 2017

The "I Heart Water", edition.

Good Friday morning. I just got back from deep water fitness. And I'm tired. And that's ok.  It means I worked during class instead of slacking. There are people that treat the class as social hour. The instructor isn't having that. Lol. But yeah, we talk during exercises. I has a running conversation while doing the crawl for 5 minutes. Lol. I did sound breathless. As did the person I was talking with. 

So this is where we are. Brian is taking a gardening class...that's the same time as deep water fitness. And I gotta tell you. My interest in plants is zero. I mean I like to look at them and admire them but it stops there. My husband however likes plants and takes care of them...he got that from his mom. We still have poinsettias from last Christmas. And one still has red leaves and one still has white leaves. Lol. Who does that?  Lol lol. Well, Brian does that. I've digressed. I had absolutely no interest in the gardening class. I wanted to go swimming. Swimming is life!!!! 

So this is what happens. Dad has graciously let me use his car on MWF morning. My class is one hour. Brian takes our car. His class is 4 hours (!). Now here's the fun part. Brian drives me everywhere. Remember ...helicopter husband. But now I'm driving. And as a side note, he had me drop him off at the barber the other day. Long story short, I've driven more in the month of September than I have the entire year. I was spoiled. But now, if I want to go to deep water fitness, I have to drive myself. And I do! 

My back hurt when I woke up. I think I slept in a funny position. But I was looking forward to getting in the water to take the pressure off my spine. And it did. And the movement made me fell better. Even as I was bitching and moaning and huffing and puffing, I was enjoying being in the water. There is a dialysis angle to this. I chose the type of dialysis that I do so that I can swim. I'm happy with this decision to stick needles in my arm instead of having a hole in my stomach. No hate for the peritoneal dialysis each his own. And I know some people could never stick needles into their arms 5-6 days a week. Touché. 

Water is life!  I am allowed 40 ounces of fluid per day. I can indulge in a little more since I do home hemodialysis, but I still have watch my fluid intake. Remember, people with no kidneys don't urinate. So. Fluid intake includes drinks..water, coffee, juice...but it also includes soups and fruits...FLUID. My fluid of choice is...drumroll..Water!! Didn't see that one coming, did you?  Sure, I'll treat myself to root beer or lemonade periodically, but nothing is better than a glass of ice cold ice water. Water is life!!!

That's it for today. Apparently the triple digit weather is over for the year. I was tickled when the weather folks said fall was setting in...with temps in the mid to high 80s. Lol lol.  I'll take it!!!! Enjoy your weekend. And go learn to swim. Go on. Do it!  

Hot tub is water!!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The "Settling In", edition.

Good Sunday morning!  Not a lot going on. Still settling in to our townhouse, but all 3 of us are enjoying the new home. The increase in square footage amuses us. Dad claims he needs to pack a lunch to get to the kitchen or the dining area. Lol. I've lost Brian in the house. He was not in the bedroom with me. He wasn't in the den. He wasn't in the kitchen. He wasn't in the laundry room. He wasn't in the living room or dining area. All the bathroom doors are he's not there. Last room I checked was the office. And there he was. Lol. I've had Dad disappear also. At least we know when someone is coming or going. All entrances beep when they open. Doors and garage doors. 

Of course I'm still in love with my bed. Love the style. We've replaced the stove. We had a mishap with the oven, so we're getting a new one this week. It wasn't planned or in the budget for right now, but you gotta do what you gotta do. While we were at Home Depot ordering the oven, I got sidetracked by countertop materials and backspalshes. We just watch way to much HGTV. I do like our cabinets though, so no changes there. Hehehe. I need to get new blinds. At least we removed the drapes. I hated HATED them.  The current blinds are better, but in time....  I also want some wall fans and a few new light fixtures.  And Brian and I are talking about changes to the bathroom...but in time. None of it needs to be done right now,..except the stove. And even if it seems like I want to make changes, make no mistake. I really really like our new home. We all do. 

More rooms. More walls. Yes, we've hung our (presentable) artwork, but we still would like more stuff on the walls. We're doing pretty well keeping the clutter down. And we still have a few more boxes to unpack. And a few more furniture pieces I'd like to get, but in time. I'm enjoying the pseudo minimalist look. :-D  

We eventually got the dialysis machine and water hooked up. Bonus!  One of my nurses lives nearby, so she stopped at the house to do the inspection on her way home. We're good and I'll be back to nocturnal dialysis this week. Been 2 months. Still lots of supplies, but now we have somewhere to store them. 

We're getting back into activities. Somehow I've made myself much more active in the sorority and my other organization. Dunno how that happened. Lol. Meetings ahoy!  Brian is taking a master gardener class. Did you know his mom is a certified master gardener?  So Brian has nurtured our poinsettias from Christmas. One still has red leaves. I'm duly impressed. Anyway, here's the thing. His class is the same day and time as deep water fitness. He's going to go his way and I'll be going my way. Dad has graciously allowed us to use his car on MWF mornings. 

On the dialysis front, the sun is really messing with me. Good thing we're just about done with triple digit numbers. My feet had a blister-palooza. Ouch. Ouch and ouch. I'm down to one..but it's bottom of my left foot. Forgive me if I walk funny. Ouch. It is better today. Oh yeah. We take blood samples once a month, at the beginning of the month and send the samples to the lab via FedEx. . This month we were notified to hold off. The lab is is Florida :-(  

Finally, as much as I bitched and moaned about the drive to Oregon, my kid is finally in the same time zone. Yay!  And she may come here for Thanksgving. And other holidays if she wants.  Happy mom!!! 

That's it for today. A few of my friends have checked in as safe in Florida..anxiously waiting to hear from others. Take care.  

The back of the house. The HOA takes care of all the landscaping! 

My bed <3 ...  It does look like this. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The "The Road to Oregon...The Last Day", edition.

Good Wednesday morning!  We've left Reno and are heading back to Las Vegas. Since we came through Carson City on the way to Oregon, our way out of Reno is not the same route. Using phone GPS, we end up on a nice 4 lane highway. And too soon we're back on the 2 lane highway. Brian and I are both cranky and Brian realizes we had some pretty bad coffee on the hotel. Before were totally out of civilization we stop and get McDonalds coffee. Yes. Just coffee. The window lady asks us where were from. We say Las Vegas. She challenges us because the car has California license plates. WTF???  Brian says it's a rental car. Pfffft. We grumble about her for a few minutes. Lol.  We go through twisty tiny back roads with sketchy communities before we eventually get to the main highway. We pass a few billboards warning about the use of meth (!!!!!!) some places are still looking like ghost towns. 

It's a long boring trip. We switch out my iPad and use Brian's iPad for his playlist. We stop whenever possible for Brian to take breaks. Driving through the desert is boring and tiring. There is nothing at all to see. We stopped in Tonopah for lunch. We stop in Beatty..."The Gateway to Death Valley". where the burros roam the street. There were 2 tour buses that had stopped at the casino....  And there is a pretty nice candy store. That was our last stop. Once we got close to Las Vegas..,where the road opened up to 4 lanes, I fell asleep!  Lol. I woke up when we were in Las Vegas. 

It felt so good to be home. We may have been in this house for a month, but it is home!  Dad had some chicken waiting for us. And. We were too tired do treatment. It would wait until the morning. But lesson learned. We have to rethink these long road trips. I've had to do treatment almost everyday straight since we've returned because of not doing enough treatment while on the trip. We need to drive no more than 6 hours in order to have the energy to do treatment. Treatment adds another 4 hours to the day. I have retained fluid and that's not good. Not good at all. The good news, and I get that this make sense only to me and Brian and my home hemo readers, it that the water quality at the new house has been approved and we can use the water to make the dialysate instead of hanging all those bags. My nurse called to let me know the water was ok while we were somewhere in the Nevada desert. 

We returned the rental car Thursday morning.  And that concluded the trip.  We're slowly getting back to our routine. Went swimming today for the first time since the move..almost a month. Our swim friends were happy to see us. Apparently we were missed. We were asked if the move was complete. We said it was and mentioned the trip to Oregon. They were surprised that we fit that in during the move. In retrospect perhaps it was, but you do what you have to do. And driving with Shawn to Oregon was a nobrainer!  But I will never, ever do that drive again!  Ever! 

Well that's it for today. Pretty day outside. Enjoy your day!  

Monday, August 21, 2017

The "The Road to Oregon - Heading Home", edition.

Good Monday morning. How's the eclipse viewing going?  Vegas, the land of eternal sunshine is having thunderstorms today. Yes. I'm bitter. I got to watch it on TV and on the iPad with the NASA feed. And my kid texted me and sent a photo yeah. She's in central Oregon. So anyway. Yeah. We stayed exactly one day in Corvallis. The factors that decided such a ridiculous stay was...Shawn would be starting her new job, number of dialysis treatments and the amount if supplies we needed to transport and finally how long we kept the rental car. Pick up car on Friday, on the road Saturday and Sunday. Corvallis on Monday. On the road Tuesday and Wednesday return car Thursday. A one week rental. 

We say our goodbyes. {{Cry}}. And Brian and I head out depending on good ole phone GPS. We stop somewhere to get breakfast sandwiches and we're off on Interstate 5. We immediately take note of the many trucks hauling logs. Lots and lots of trucks. Hauling lots and lots of logs.  Oh and passed  one or two pot farms...and dispensaries in the middle of the country....   The landscape was flat farmland with mountains in the distance. But then within a 1/2 hour we were back in the wretched mountains. It was a bit better on the interstate, but there were the run off lanes and impressive curved roads going down the mountain. Oh. And trees. Lots and lots of trees. Did I mention there were trees for as far as I could see?  Except for the random bare spots where the trees had been cut down. And I forgot to mention that when we arrived in Corvallis we smelled grass and trees. It was intoxicating. The smell was missed. 

I posted a house on top of a mountain when we were at a rest stop. But the best was yet to come. It was a nice sunny day. I noticed some odd clouds in the distance. Odd enough that I took a picture of it. As we got closer to clouds we realized that that yes, it was clouds...clouds over Mt Shasta. Mt. Shasta put to shame every mountain we climbed on this trip. This mountain had the middle of August!  And not to far from it was a dormant volcano. And more mountains!  Lol. And guess what. Not to far from Mt. Shasta was where we had to turn off to head back to Reno. On a two lane highway. The good news, I guess, was instead of almost a full day in the mountains, this drive would be just under 2 hours. But still...(whine).  

The road wasn't as twisty turny but it was up and down with us reaching upwards of 5000 feet altitude. My ears are just now recovering. The highlights of the route were remnants of forest fires and new growth, people living off the grid, and a rest stop in the middle of nowhere. Now here's the fun part.  We would be going through Susanville again, but not down that wretched, scary road that we had to climb on the way to Oregon. Well. Susanville backs right up to a mountain so we had to drive down the mountain on another road. It was a just a tad better. It was shorter but curvier. I don't ever need to be in Susanville California ever again. Ugh. 

Once we left Susanville the road flattened out and the landscape was not as green. We were on the way to Reno. We finally made it to the hotel, then headed to dinner. We were cold. Turned on the heat in the room.  Don't judge!  Lol. We considered treatment, but again, after a long and stressful drive, no one wanted to unload all of that equipment and set it up, do treatment, then break everything down and load it back into the car. We slept well to get prepared for the next day, the final leg of the trip. 

Oh and look..the Sun is trying to come out now...{{shakes fist at the sky}}. Enjoy your day! 

Mt. Shasta

This is what we saw from a distance 

And this is the dormant volcano..not to far from Mt Shasta

Makes you feel good.....and check out what's below. 

Oh!  Back in Southern Nevada

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The "The Road to Oregon - A Day in Corvallis", edition.

Good Sunday morning. Yes. Still on the trip. I enjoyed the trip because of the new experiences. Ok so we're at the hotel on Corvallis, the Hilton Garden Inn right on campus across  deep in  middle of the Oregon State University sports complex, directly across the street from the football stadium. The hotel room was paid for by Shawn's employer and we stayed with her. The kid delighted at taking care of her folks. :-D  She'll be staying there until she gets an apartment. There is a hitch though. Corvallis is one of the locations for the the total eclipse. And the hotel rooms had been reserved long before the kid even planned the move. So she's being displaced for a day. To north of Portland! (!!!) hooray for the path of totality? 

So we start the morning with Brian heading down to get us some bagels and coffee. The room has a Keurig, but we were unimpressed. And the hotel has a restaurant (!) not something you see much of anymore. Brian also starts the set up for the  dialysis machine. So even though it's portable, he has to assemble some pieces and then set it up..insert a cartridge, hang 6-7 bags of dialysate and a saline bag. Then prime the machine...which includes getting air bubbles out of the cartridge because air bubbles are bad. Don't want an air bubble running through my veins. Yikes!  Then I have to prep know, asceptic technique, cleaning the hell out of my arm and access, then inserting the needles and finally Brian hooking me up to the machine. Sounds depressing doesn't it. It is, but it keeps me alive. It takes up to an hour just to prep, then I'm dialyzing for 3-4 hours. Talk about a time sink. Ugh. Anyway. 

Shawn was there for all the fun, but my child likes to sleep and she was simultaneously decompressing from Illinois and getting ready for a new phase..recharging if you will. I finished treatment around noon. After treatment I was ok. Yay!! So we went apartment hunting with the kid. Phone GPS got us around Corvallis. It's not big...population of 50k maybe, but remember there's a state university there. Heh. At one point a street ended as it went up a mountain. Lol. We went past her work place, and several apartments. And finally stopped at what we thought was a grocery store, but it was actually more like a small Meijers. And the name of the store was Fred Meyers. We all got the irony. Lol. Oh yeah. They had eclipse glasses so we bought some. And yes, she is staying in the hotel for a few weeks, but she still needed groceries. She has a mini fridge and a microwave. This is not new. Last summer she spent almost 2 months in a hotel in Edgefield, SC. The good news is she should be in an apartment by the the first week of September. 

After we shopped we went to lunch. What we learned about Corvallis is there is an overabundance of microbreweries.  Every restaurant brewed their own beer.  Even the deli we went to for lunch. More beer and coffee than you can imagine!!!  And bikes!  

We got back to the hotel. Brian and Shawn broke down the dialysis machine and packed it up so we wouldn't have to worry about it in the morning.  Oh yeah. Knowing how terrifying the route back to Las Vegas would be, I suggested changing the route, taking I-5 back to Vegas instead of back roads through national forests and funky mountain roads.  I had enough time to cancel the hotel reservation in Reno. Maybe new reservations near Sacramento. But Brian and Shawn (who wasnt driving back) said no, it would be ok. I did adjust the return route to take the interstate as far south as possible. We still then had to head east to Reno. The map didn't look promising. 

That's it for today.  You got the dialysis angle right smack dab in the middle of the entry.  We're about done cleaning out the condo for the renters. Cleaning people tomorrow, painting and carpet cleaning this week. I think by mid September we'll be able to exhale. And I can get my dog. That's why we moved!  Lol lol.  Have a great Sunday!!! 

The tree of shoes I forgot to add yesterday. 

This is what we have to pack when I travel. I have several boxes of those hanging bags. And the cartridge is that thing sticking out the side of the machine. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The "The Road to Oregon, A Long Drive", edition.

Good Saturday evening. Late entry for my east coast friends. Ah well. We finally made it to Carson City. Yes, all 3 of us shared the hotel room. I usually get a small suite when traveling with Shawn. She sleeps in the sofa bed. However because of the event in Reno, and rooms in Carson City were scarce and high. We wake up early Sunday morning, get breakfast then head out for the final leg of the trip to Oregon. 

We go through Reno and there's a slight change in vegetation. And while we are no longer on the Pure Rally circuit, now we're sharing the road with classic cars returning from the Hot August Nights, Reno's  version of the Woodward Dream Cruise. I'm cautiously delighted that we're on a 4 lane highway. But as we went past Honey Lake...another large lake damaged by irrigation..the road goes back to 2 lanes. Bah. Not too long after we cross into California.  Oh yeah. We pass a tree of shoes. I almost broke my neck looking at it. I looked it up..when I could get cell service..and found out there are quite a few shoe trees in the US..including Michigan. Who knew?  

We get to a town, Susanville, CA. Quiet on a Sunday morning. The phone GPS guides us to turn here, turn there, then turn again. O. M. G. There is a big ass mountain in front of us. And I see cars going up the face of the mountain at maybe a 30 degree angle. Up the side of the mountain. Yikes!!! Right then and there I started apologizing profusely for taking the shorter route. A two lane highway up the side of a mountain. Up, up. Up. :-(  Glad Brian was driving. Anyway, we make it up. And now on relatively flat land. 3000-4000 feet up, but flat. All country. No doubt we are no longer in the desert now. Lots of trees. 

We are on a 2 lane highway with impossible curves and a 55 mph speed limit. But the locals were quite impatient with us for going the speed limit. One car that passed us gave us the finger. Eh. Oh yeah. Nowhere to stop. No rest stops, no services for 80-90 miles. Ugh. Eventually there is a rest stop. Shawn took a photo. Maybe I can get a copy. There was a lake, but I don't remember the name. I do know we stopped in a town just as we crossed the Oregon border. Good thing we got gas because we were in for more fun. Heh heh heh. 

We entered national forest land. And RV land. And up and down and through the mountain land. Passed more lakes. Seeing the trees climbing up the mountains was a magnificent sight to see. But I'm good. I don't have to do it again!  Lol. Eventually we popped out of national forest land just north of Eugene, Oregon, home of University of Oregon. Whew!  Flat land again!  We could see mountains in the distance, but they were in the distance. 

We finally arrive in Corvallis. Home of Oregon State Univrsity. I chuckled that University Of Oregon and Oregon State Univereity were right down the road from each UM and MSU.  Anyway. GPS phone guided us to the hotel..which was right on campus. We unpacked. Got dinner at Elmers...a west coast chain. Headed back to the hotel and crashed. 

On the dialysis front. The plan was to do dialysis when we arrived in Corvallis, but it had been a long day and a stressful drive. I suggested I do treatment in the morning. One lesson I learned was if we're going somewhere that requires more than a day's drive, the drive should be no more than 6 hours so I can get treatment in. This trip proved to be an issue as I didn't have as many treatments as I should have. And of course when we did treatment when we arrived back home, there an issue. A faulty cartridge issue that we'd never experienced and a rarity. Now I need to do almost a week worthy of days deal with the fluid buildup. This morning I work up congested and had a little problem breathing. I didn't tell Brian. Shhhhh. Our secret. 

That's it for today. There are a few more entries about the trip. And.  We still have boxes to unpack. But we're loving the house! Enjoy your evening! 

Don't look down! 

A National forest. Beautiful!