Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I managed to call NIH today to set up Woody's next appointments for June 6th and 7th. That was a first to make them over the phone. It took less waiting time on my part making them on the phone. I didn't have to wait around for them to be able to make contact with the CT and MRI folk. She just emailed me the appointment sheet after she got through to them. It seems like quite a while away, but I'm sure that the time will fly by. I went to church to work in the library for a couple of hours. Woody went to the grocery store and then got gas for the car while I was at the church. Now we are both home...he's watching TV and I'm blogging! Now it is time to head back downstairs and load up the dishwasher and do a few other things before the evening ends! I can't believe that today is the last day of February!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Graham and Elijah came over this morning to get our pizza stones. Woody sort of latched onto them and found the gardening kneeling bench and headed over to Graham's garden to plant peas. I think that Woody is happy to have weather that allows a bit of gardening. He has started seeds in flats...that he moves back and forth from our inside sun porch/mudroom to our patio. Some of the tomato seeds have sprouted. Makes us realized that Spring is just around the corner. After planting the pea seeds, Graham came over and showed interest in having his experiment time even though we weren't having school today. So he worked a bit more on getting his notebook in order and started charting weather temps, etc. on his weather grid. Woody stopped at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for me on his five mile walk. I started making Chicken Sausage Gumbo this afternoon. We then went next door for the birthday dinner and presents for Graham. I am now finishing the gumbo. And, to think that we now have three double digit grandchildren...oh, my! Happy Birthday, Graham!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Woody went in a different direction this morning...after attending the early church service,instead of teaching his 6th grade Sunday School class, he went to The Life Care Center and gave the message for their weekly Sunday service that our church sponsors. After lunch we went next door to eat birthday cupcakes (big day for Graham tomorrow...he turns double digits...as he reminded me several times). Woody went to the evening church service. I'm now watching the Oscars...we're not big movie folk...but I am interested in what is deemed "fashion" this year.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
We were back into the school routine today after a day off to honor presidents yesterday. Elijah came over first, followed by Esther. Esther read to me and then helped me get ready for art class. At 10am three enthusiastic young artists joined Esther and me. We did crayon and oil pastel resists today...that means PAINT...black PAINT. They drew pictures with crayons and oil pastels and then painted over their pictures with black paint. It made for interesting pictures as what they drew popped out through the paint. After art, Graham and I worked on his latest sewing project...directions for making a French seam. We are rewriting them for our Janome machines. Last week I took pictures of the steps of this particular way to make a French seam. I printed them off and today we started writing the directions and adding the pictures. His next session we hope to finish and then make it into a PDF file. He's learning and sometimes teaching me things about the computer and its software along with learning about sewing. Abigail rejoined me after lunch. She had an idea about something that she wanted to make as a surprise for Graham's birthday. She read to me from an extra reading book and then we went upstairs to see if her scheme would work and worked at it for a while...tomorrow we'll try to finalize plans and see if it will work. I did some more on reviving the living room to preChristmas condition...but not a lot. I "think" that there is only one small bookcase to put to rights (need to find and put books back on the shelves along with the knickknacks that belong on the shelves and then the room will be back to "normal." I got the coffee table and one end table back to "norm" and then called it quits for the afternoon and settled in to read...I'm almost finished with The Litigators by John Grisham...reason that I was a bit late blogging tonight...I'm heading back to finish it as soon as I blog!
Woody got up this morning and made Sweet Potato Waffles. Then while I was having art with Graham, Abigail, Joy, and Esther, he and Elijah read books and then made a carrot cake. He has also read, watched a bit of TV and I think has even managed to traverse across the artwork mess to play a game or two of Scrabble on the computer. He also started the daunting job of repacking the Christmas closet puzzle. Yeah! Soon Christmas will be hidden away once again...perhaps before March arrives! He is now home from his walk to and from the church prayer room and has settled in to relax for the rest of the evening.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Woody walked four miles today. He did his daily crossword puzzle and he has played quite a few games of Scrabble with the computer. He says that he is having a problem with the computer challenging words that he has made that are legitimate words (in his Scrabble dictionaries)...and the computer wins the challenge and Woody's word gets removed and he loses his turn. He says that he doesn't remember that happening when he played the computer before. He still keeps the upper hand on the computer and beats it most every time. He has read and watched a bit of television today. And, he cleaned up the kitchen...big help! I can tell that he is feeling better as kitchen clean-up seems to be back on his list of "to-do's." I forgot to mention yesterday that after church he made a new asparagus recipe...Braised Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar...quite tasty. He is now at church for Monday night prayer meeting.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
We both went to the early service at church this morning. Woody then went to teach his 6th grade boys' Sunday School class. I went to my Sunday School class. We headed home after I found some books that a patron was looking for in the library...I left them for her on a table so she could look at them after church and see if they filled her needs.
Did your house shake this afternoon??? Well, the last of our trees (as in Christmas) came down this afternoon. I have spent a good part of the rest of the afternoon and evening putting things back where they belong...chairs, pictures, decorative items, etc. Things are starting to look a little closer to "normal." The tree box is tucked up against the stairway awaiting Nathan's help in getting it back up the stairs and into the closet. It is a bit awkward for one person to get it back up the stairs...and I'm just not much help when it comes to pushing it back up or keeping it from sliding back down the stairs...and then there is the sharp corner that has to be turned...with all the boxes up against one of the walls...better to have a mechanical engineer with muscle power to help Woody than his weakling wife!
I got a newspaper clipping in the mail from my sister the other day that really made me sit back and think...and feel old! It was about a 60th wedding anniversary that had occurred in my home town in AZ...and the reason that it made me feel old was that I was the flower girl...so......................that makes me over 60...right?! I was three...but really almost four...so guess what that makes me "almost." Oh, my......!!!!!! I tried to contact them this afternoon, but so far haven't found anyone at home. I did leave a message. I hope that I get to talk to them. "The Mrs." was a student in my mother's high school Home Ec class in Glendale. Then in later years "the Mr." was my Spanish teacher at the same high school in Glendale. We had such fun times in his class...many fond memories. I hunted and found the pictures of me at the time of the wedding and a few of me and the wedding party. Mother made my dress out of pink organdy...I have one very faded color picture of me in my dress (and a swatch of the pink fabric...which hasn't faded...well, at least I can still tell that it is pink)...the actual pictures of the wedding party are in black and white. I really am old!!!!!!!!!!! I will be feeling much older in a few weeks...at this point 60 years ago I hadn't turned four yet! It has been fun thinking back over these memories...I do faintly remember being in the wedding. I can remember the priest being so nice to me and telling me exactly what I was to do and that I was to walk to where he was. And, then the memory of my Spanish class is of "the Mr." figuring out who I was in the first week of class...he didn't think that I was his flower girl when his wife recognized my name...because I had dark hair and their flower girl had blond hair...but he found out that I really was the one and the same flower girl despite my hair darkening over the years (oh, my...just thought and now it has lightened again...but not back to blond!). Another fun Spanish class memory is when the Spanish club met at my house and "the Mr." and another high school teacher made all this wonderful Mexican/Spanish food...I can still see it all set up in our kitchen and then we ate out in our backyard and on our patio...that had been recently done with a Mexican theme...big sombrero and other decorative items that we had bought in Nogales, Mexico. Fun times...fun memories. The last memory of them that I have is of "the Mr. and the Mrs." attending Woody's and my wedding...they happened to be the first people that I saw as I started walking down the aisle on Daddy's arm towards Woody. (Oh, and now my sister's grandson attends the school where one of "The Mr. and Mrs." sons is the principal.) By the way "the Mr. and Mrs." had ten children and now have 30 grandchildren and six great grandchildren! OK...guess enough nostalgia for one blog!
Woody has been playing Scrabble on our old computer. I bought him the Scrabble game for the computer many years ago now...it got played quite a bit at the start by Nathan, Kathy, Erin, Alex and Woody...but in recent years it has just sat on the shelf in the schoolroom/office. Today Woody asked me where the Scrabble CD was so I found it and he has been playing Scrabble with the computer once again. He went to the evening service at church and is now home relaxing for the rest of the evening. I will work more on the redecorating tomorrow...as soon as I post this I am going to go read. I'm enjoying the latest John Grisham book: The Litigators.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Woody walked his four-mile-route today. I do think that he is feeling much better...finally! We enjoyed the soup that Woody made yesterday.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Since I have been away most of the afternoon, I don't know exactly what Woody has been up to today. I do know that he took Elijah to the grocery store this morning and that they were gone quite a long time and that Goosey wore Elijah out, as Elijah was fast asleep in his car seat by the time that they got home! While I was gone, Woody made Spicy Vegetable Beef Soup. I had planned to make chili but put that cooking on hold for another day since I came home to soup in the making. Guess that it is time for me to come back to reality and get back to packing up Christmas ornaments! But it was good to "fly the coop" today...just needed to get away from the house for a while. I'll bet that most can't say this...I think that it was only the second time I have stepped foot into a store since before Christmas...now I can't say that about shopping online!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Busy day for me. I've hardly had time to turn around. Elijah worked on the sounds that the letters make and also on colors and counting. Esther worked on her phonetic reading and also did several pages of subtraction. I told her that I was getting her ready for college when she did one of her papers today...it was a page of analagies: a baseball is to a bat as a _________ is to a tennis racket, etc. This paper was all done with pictures...but still I remember questions such as those on a bit higher level on the PSAT, SAT and ACT tests when I was preparing to enter college. Getting her used to such questions at a young age...then she will be ready on down the road! Joy did a page and a half in her reading workbook and then worked some more on her cross stitch project. She is itching to start lessons on the sewing machine! Abigail continued sewing on the European style pillow case. She will finish it tomorrow. After Abigail's sewing lesson, I came home caught my breath and warmed up some soup for our lunch and shortly headed out the door for the library and worked there for several hours. We got quite a bit done...once again...library work is never done!
After his time in school, Elijah joined Goosey (Woody) down in the family room. They read books and I'm sure that Elijah played for a while too...and talked Goosey into a snack! I think that I remember Woody saying that he was going for a walk while I was working with one of the girls...not sure how far he went on the walk. The workman came today to try to finish up some work that still needs to be completed after the hail damage...it's getting close to being completed...we're ready! Woody had to choose the downspout color without my input as I was at the library. We had Linguine with Spinach Sauce for supper. I have cleaned up the kitchen. I am now trying to decide if I have any energy left to put away a few more Christmas ornaments...up to this moment there hasn't been any time to do that today. I've had a bit of trouble getting online tonight...so am now hoping that this will post and not fly out into cyberspace!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
We only encountered snow flurries and a dusting of snow along the sides of the road. We stopped in Johnson City, TN to see Erin and took her to Kroger to pick up a few groceries. We visited for a little while in her dorm room. She showed us some of her art work that she has been doing for her art classes. Then we got back on the road. We got home a little after 3pm central time. Graham, Abigail and Joy helped us unload the car...how nice! It's good to be home...again! Woody is back to feeling "normal" = "fair to middlin'"...which is very good in my book!
Friday, February 10, 2012
I am posting from Fort Chiswell, VA...just about the half-way point of our trip. It took a while for them to spring him today. He didn't get away from the hospital till around 1pm Eastern time and picked me up at the hotel around 2pm. We ended up deciding that I wouldn't take a taxi back to NIH and join him there. We needed to renew our ID badges, but guess we will just have to go through security the next time and get new ID's at that time. We will fax in the trip voucher forms this time. Woody is feeling ever so much better...the best he has felt in about a month. Kidney stone pain is gone, he is rehydrated, electrolytes are where they should be, etc., etc., etc!
He got a good report from his scans. They are saying that the two tumors that they are watching are the same and no new ones. Woody asked about the melanoma tumor that had been behind his ear and they said that it is no longer there. So very good news to have another tumor completely gone! Woody will go back in four months. We will have to call to get that appointment since we didn't go through the normal clinic channels. He is to make an appointment with our personal care physician to get different blood pressure medicine (part of the cause of his problems) and to have his creatinine levels checked to make sure that they are still going down. The creatinine levels were still going down this morning though still not as low as they should be this morning. They said that about six things had probably caused his high creatinine level... (1)kidney stone, (2)being dehydrated, (3)his blood pressure med, (4)the NSAID that was prescribed during his kidney stone bout, (5)caffeine (from coke...which he only drinks when on trips to keep from being sleepy...so had just had quite a bit of caffeine the day before...he says that he has had his last coke!), and (6)the dye that he had received a week-and-a-half ago for the CT scan done in Tullahoma. And, all those things probably wouldn't have caused a problem if he hadn't had the kidney stone. Then receiving dye when his creatinine level was high put him into a dangerous situation. Well, there is just one thing that we are reminded about by all these "happenings" and is so aptly said in the Bible. "We are fearfully and wonderfully made!"
It's good to be on the way home! Now if the weather just lets us get home. Winter advisories are out between here and home for up to four inches of snow between now and tomorrow evening. We need no more unusual adventures on this trip...just want to get home safe and sound!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
This morning Woody's team said that they wanted him to stay another night...that his creatinine number was going down, but that they wanted it lower. They said that there was no test to find out when the dye was out of his system...that the only thing to do about that was hydrate and flush it out. They also told him that they had called his Tullahoma urologist and that his creatinine levels had been normal when his blood work was done there less than two weeks ago.
Woody started having kidney pain again today...probably the stone decided to move a bit due to all the fluid that is being pumped through his system. The doctor told him that the main thing that was really helping the creatinine level to go down was all that he was drinking (he's being good...and following doctors' orders and drinking...and they are praising him for it!). After I got back to the hotel room after lunch, I called Woody and he asked me if I had a camera. He said that he had a picture for me to take for tonight's blog. Well, of course the cameras are here with me and they don't have the range to reach him to take a picture! So then he asked how my ears were and asked if I could hear something. I heard this rattling sound. Well, the sound was the sound of his kidney stone!!!!!!!!! He passed it this afternoon. YEAH!!!!!!!!!! He said that it was the size of a sunflower seed kernel...a pretty good size. I remember the doctor at Harton Hospital ER in Tullahoma telling us at the time that Woody had his first kidney stone that it would be quite small...that it would be black...and about the size of the tip of a ball point pen. This one definitely surpassed that one in size.
I, of course, had to arrange for another night at the hotel this morning. I had to move to a different room which wasn't a problem as I was all packed up anyway. So I have been hanging out in the hotel room. I have worked a little on learning some new things with my photo software, dozed a bit, made phone calls to update everyone. Nathan called as it looks like things are "supposed" to be finalized with our hail damage repairs tomorrow along with the final inspection for our TVA energy upgrade...everything seems to happen at one time! Thankful that our neighbors can stand in for us!
I talked to Woody a little while ago and he was hoping to get some sleep tonight. Like anytime in the hospital, it's not easy to sleep. Last night his roommate, who had surgery yesterday, had a rather rough night so that didn't help Woody's sleep. His kidney pain is gone, but I could tell that he still doesn't feel the greatest...especially when he ended our phone conversation tonight and said for me to realize that he still might not get to go home tomorrow. Of course it will depend on his blood work and what it shows his creatinine level to be. Again...time will tell! Tonight I am just glad that I heard "it" today...referring to the kidney stone! I have a feeling that I have a subject for a future blog photo!
Once again who knows where I will be blogging from tomorrow night...here...down the road...but I'll be blogging from somewhere to update you on this our latest adventure!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Okay...where to start telling about our day?! I guess at the beginning...We started out pretty early but not as early as the last time that we stayed in Virginia. It took us about 40 minutes to g0 25 miles...and we didn't get into any traffic bog downs...just typical 6:30am traffic on the Capital Beltway. We both said that we are so glad that we don't have to commute like this every morning! We used valet parking at NIH and headed straight into the phlebotomy lab...no line there...I think that there was only one patient before Woody. He had 11 vials of blood drawn and then we headed downstairs to find a quiet corner where we could read for a while. At fifteen minutes prior to his CAT dosing appointment, we headed upstairs and he signed in there. He was given his "drink" and drank and then waited for them to call him back...which they did quite quickly and he wasn't in the back for the scan for very long. As soon as he came out we headed for the MRI waiting room. They told us that they were behind, but it wasn't very long till he was taken back there and his MRI didn't take very long either. He was back out a little before noon. I was sitting there thinking that I was going to be able to tell in the blog that everything had gone like clock work today! And, then...the other shoe dropped and the clock works went haywire!
One of the MRI techs had noticed that some of his blood work showed that his creatinine level was up and that they needed to call in the docs...because...he should NOT have had the contrast that was given for the CT scan. Somehow that reading had slipped by them! Oops...this meant that he was to head to admissions immediately and be admitted so that they could pump fluids through him fast and furiously to flush out the dye. So Woody is tethered to an IV pole once again. They reported that his creatinine levels were coming down which relieved them and of course us. Woody was somewhat dehydrated too...so the IV's should be good for what ails him. He also found out that he had NOT passed the kidney stone. They are giving him some medication to help aid him in passing it. If he has not passed it in a couple of weeks, he may have to have it surgically removed. My understanding is that if he does have to have surgery that it will/can happen in Tullahoma. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it!! What is interesting...I had told Woody that I really wondered if he would be getting all the scans today as I knew that they had to check his kidney function and since he had been having so much trouble that I wouldn't be surprised if the results of his blood work would stop him from getting the ones done that called for contrast...pretty good on my part...right?!?...well, I'm now guessing that someone got into quite a lot of trouble for letting those readings get passed them and letting him have the contrast. They were really hustling him to get him connected to that IV! Good news...Woody's female Fellow told him that she had looked quickly at the scans and the MRI and that "things" continue to look good...nothing new showing up and just with the quick look "things" looked pretty much the same. So that is good news. And, I really think that what they are doing in the hospital is good too...he just had been feeling so poorly for these last three weeks and didn't seem to be regaining his strength and getting rehydrated should help him a lot. They are taking him off his blood pressure med for the moment as it may be contributing. Another med that they are putting him on should keep his blood pressure down at least temporarily. Now if that stone would just move on out!
Woody's predicament caused driving and housing problems for me. We finally decided that I just couldn't drive in the DC traffic...plus snow was still being predicted. We almost packed up everything this morning even though we had the room here in VA for another night. But we talked ourselves out of it! So all our "stuff" was in VA and we were in MD. I ended up coming back to the hotel in a taxi...oh, boy! I hate being out of my comfort zone...oh, well, guess chalk it up to more adventure! The taxi driver was very nice and the traffic was so thick that there was no way to have a wild taxi ride...and, as I was riding back I KNEW that I could never have driven in and under those conditions! The taxi driver was from Ethiopia...very nice and we were able to communicate. So I am holed up in the hotel room and Woody is 25 miles away tethered to an IV pole. I will call him in the morning and see what is happening and then we will make plans from there...whether it is another taxi ride...or me staying here for another day/night...or...whatever the newest adventure brings! I'll report more tomorrow night! There's no telling where we'll be...together...apart...here...there...down the road a piece...sitting tight...tethered... free! Time will tell!
Weather update: just a few snow flurries as I was taxiing back to the hotel...think that the snow threat pretty much petered out...they were prepared...snow plows all along the interstate and lots of salt spread at NIH on sidewalks and the roadways.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Woody still feels weak, but has managed to get through all the activities that he had planned for today. He did walk around in our yard this afternoon after he got home from the deacon's meeting...more flowers are blooming!
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Woody walked around the block this morning. Then later in the morning he went to the library and visited a friend in the hospital. Woody is better, but still feels weak and a bit queasy at times. He's trying to figure out why Sprite makes him feel better. I have no explanations...just know that when my stomach is feeling unsettled it helps and I guess he is discovering the same! This afternoon Woody and I went to a surprise 40th anniversary party for dear friends. And, it sounds like they were actually surprised...which is surprising in and of itself as so many were in on the secret! Their children and their families know how to throw a super party! We didn't stay too long since Woody looks forward to heading back to rest and relax in his recliner whenever he wanders too far from it! We have had a rainy afternoon and evening. I think the rain we have gotten today has us over the inch mark for this month already! Rain, rain, rain, and more rain!
Friday, February 3, 2012
Woody seems to be feeling a bit better today. He slept fairly well last night. He ran a couple of errands this afternoon in the car. I think that the only walks that he took today were to our mail box to check to see if the mail was here and to the compost pile to empty our compost bucket (Compost Boy was away today!). He has read, watched a bit of TV, and worked his daily crossword puzzle. Oh, and, he corrected an error that I made in the blog the other day. The car that had the flat due to picking up a roofing nail wasn't the car that we will be taking to NIH next week. Guess he is feeling well enough to read the blog and remember what I wrote!
I got up really early...before Woody...a rarity! And, I set to work on the decorations. My goal for the day was to have all decorations in their boxes except for the Christmas trees and their ornaments. I just met that goal a few minutes ago. I can't tell you how many trips up and down the stairs I have made today...but I do know that my body is telling me that I have done enough stair climbing for the day! Along with getting angels, trees, bells, and various and sundry other items put back in storage boxes, I also started to redecorate for "everyday" so that took a chunk of the day also. I haven't taken much time to sit down today. When Woody got up this morning, I made us an omelet. Then this evening we had spaghetti for supper so I stopped undecorating long enough to make the sauce (and, my spaghetti sauce doesn't come from a jar)...so that took a bit of time too. I don't have a problem with admitting that I'm tired tonight! The upstairs hallway is scary! One wrong bump to the edge of a box...and...we won't go there...hopefully! I "guess" this means that tomorrow I will start tackling the Christmas trees...oh, boy!
I emailed Woody's NIH protocol study nurse to let her know that we would be driving and that we would be arriving Tuesday night since he has early appointments on Wednesday. That way she can go on and approve our stay for two nights in a hotel...makes it easier on Thursday when we turn in the vouchers if that is already approved. I guess that is one step closer to being ready to head out dark and early on Tuesday.
Well, one more trip up and down the stairs...a messy kitchen is calling...I left it to complete today's undecorating goal!
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Well, as Tullahoma Thad came out of hibernation (at least long enough to check out his shadow), my carolers went into hibernation...all the boxes that contain carolers are now filled and upstairs in the growing stack of boxes. A lot of angels have flown into their boxes too...but still quite a few have to make that flight. The trees (small ones not the big Christmas trees...not yet...they are the last things that I tackle!) have been uprooted and are slowly but surely finding their way into a box. The coffee table no longer has carolers, but now has Christmas bells and Christmas pillows and pictures on it. Moving the bells freed frees up the shelf that they were on for the "everyday" bells (when I find them!).
Woody spent a lot of his day filling out our tax forms. He got those done and then walked to the Post Office. Friends spotted him at the Post Office and offered him a ride home and he very willingly accepted. He is still very weak. Once he got back he has rested in his recliner watching TV news, etc.
I got up very early this morning. I made whole wheat biscuits and made some scrambled eggs to go with them. Then cleaned up the kitchen. A little way into the morning after I had worked on putting angels back into boxes, I felt the need for more sleep so took a nap for a while. Then got up and got busy again. I can only go at the undecorating for so long and then my back gets to hurting so I just have to stop and rest. I have had quite a few reading and tea breaks today. I did get the shadow box in the family room back to everyday status this afternoon. So things are clearing out...less room to walk in the upstairs hallway and more table and shelf surfaces are coming to light. Oh, and, I've done a couple of loads of wash today...if only the everyday things didn't continue to need to be done! I'm getting closer to being ready to undecorate the two Christmas trees...oh, boy...what a job that is!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
We are another step/day closer to our NIH trip next week. I have gotten our hotel reservations. We will be staying just a little way out from Bethesda, MD...on the VA side of the beltway and will drive back and forth each of the days that we are there. Should work well...as long as there isn't a problem on the beltway! His appointments for the scans and MRI's are a bit later in the morning this time so we don't have to be there quite as early as in the past. I just checked a 7-day forecast for Bethesda and it shows clear for Tuesday and Wednesday. We're just hoping for no snow...well, at least for no bad road conditions!