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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 saut├ęd 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.