Monday, November 14, 2011

A Long Long Month

It;s been more than a month since I Blogged.  It's been a very hard time.  My father ended up in the hospital once again.  This time it was very serious and I spent a couple of very bad days worrying.  Thankfully things have worked out much better.  My father recovered, the doctors came through and the nurses were great!  After the hospital there was a two week stay in a nursing facility and my father is home and stronger and much improved.  Who could figure?  Things are much better.

This is the short version of the story.  Also I have been to my vascular surgeon and he is very pleased.  I have a CAT scan scheduled as a routine follow-up later this week.  The only thing about a CAT scan is the fact that I am allergic to the Contrast Dye they use.  I have to pre-medicate because of this and that causes some anxiety.
I have been through this all too often and I has become routine.

I miss my old life.  I was just beginning to feel useful and the things I was doing were fulfilling.  Caring for my father is fulfilling and useful, but it is quite different.  I am more of a house keeper/nurse right now.  I do laundry, cook the food, dispense medicine and even give shots.  This is a very new role for me.  I am adjusting.


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Two weeks

It has been a tough two weeks.  My father was in the hospital for a week for an infection and a reaction to an antibiotic.  He came home for a day and I had to send him back because he was so dehydrated and depleted he could only nod his head to questions.  He came home yesterday and already things are much better.  Though he could drink more he is doing better and he had a pretty good day eating.  He doesn't do much, but rest is important.  He likes the baseball games and there were a lot on today.

There is a lot for me to do for him, so I have been and will be very busy.  He is not out of the woods yet because there is still an infection in his urinary tract.  They think they know what it is, but the organism takes a long course of treatment so they want to be positive.  We will hear about that in 4 to 6 weeks. In the mean time hopefully my father will get stronger all the time.

I am trying to get established here in Rhode Island.  I slowly move what I need here.  Do I have a life?  I have put all normal things on hold.  There is much more to this story, but some is about Doctors (good and bad) and a day of shooting photos and I may do some of that another time.

I hope your day was a good one and that tomorrow will be better.

Peace and Love,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tea and Crumpets (Jonah's Lament)

I don't often comment on politics in this blog, but what is going on with this so-called "Tea Party?" I ask this because many of them profess to be Christian. The following headline caught my attention "Audience at tea party debate cheers leaving uninsured to die."  Apparently, my understanding of Christian is quite different from theirs. It is so clear that these people have no understanding of Jesus at all!   To read more about this follow this link.   I'd like to quote Cher "If you're black in this country, if you're a woman in this country, if you are any minority in this country at all, what could possibly possess you to vote Republican?" I might extend this by saying, if you care at all about others why would you vote Tea Party Republican?

I really hate being so negative, not so much that I am negative, but the topic is negative. "When God saw what the people of Nineveh did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. " (Jonah 3:10)  How will God judge our society?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Better Day

Yesterday I was very concerned for my father.  He had an infection and he had stopped eating.  He was shaking a lot and was in a lot of distress.  This morning things were a bit better.  My father ate a better breakfast and wasn't shaking so much.  I took him to his Dr and his vitals were basically OK.  The Dr ordered a blood test. We'll see on that one.

The good thing is not much was found that was wrong but the bad thing is that my father has lost 18 lbs and there doesn't seem much of an explanation. I continue to try to be creative in cooking to get him to eat.  It is a great worry.

You all stay well,
Love, Shell

Sunday, September 11, 2011

End of the Summer

Most of the Summer is gone.  Kids are back to school, nights are cooler and the leaves are beginning to turn.  The Summer is gone and I missed it.  Between the necessary surgery at the beginning of the Summer and then my father's illness I have had no summer.  I am mostly living with my father now.  He can't manage on his own like he could at the beginning of the Summer.  He realizes it and I am just wondering about what effect it will have on my life.  It is clear to me that I cannot abandon him and that he needs my support.  My life will change though.  I am rather far away from my life and my friends, not extremely far, but far enough to be difficult.

Today is the 10th anniversary of 9/1/01.  For many people that event changed their lives for ever so my situation isn't unique.  Things happen in life all the time that change the course of events.  In the scale of things my changes are small, but they are important to me.

Remember those whose lives changed so much 10 years ago, those who lost their lives then and since and their families.  I will live through my changes and make the best.


Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Birthday

My father turned 100 today!  It was a very long day for both of us.  There were a lot of nice visits and phone calls.  My father held up pretty well through it, but at the end of the day he was very tired.  I am not really sure what to make of a 100 year old parent.  I love him dearly and I am very glad he is still with me.  I have to wonder what it is like for him though.  Most of the people he has known who were his age are gone and he is surrounded by a world that is much younger than he is.  The world he knew and grew up in has long gone.

This fact was emphasized to me when my granddaughter had a school assignment for my father and me.  She asked us to write her a letter about our young experiences going to school.  I helped my father and learned a lot.  He was raised by his great grand mother (his mother worked and his father was very sick.)  The school had no electricity and was heated by a wood stove, nicknamed "old Smokey." They had a horse and buggy.  That was a different world!

Happy Birthday, Pappy!


Sunday, August 28, 2011


I am in the midst of what's left of Irene.  It's still pretty nasty out with fairly high winds and blowing rain/spray.  the blowing water could well be from the river or ocean.  Here in town my father and I have been safe, snug and dry.  We even have electricity.  I understand the beaches have been hit hard though.  Down the street a tree fell across Main St.  Otherwise from my very narrow view this has been an easy ride.

I know that isn't the case for everyone.  I feel sorry for those who died in the storm.  Though it is pretty easy here, that isn't the case in many places.  This storm has been extremely large and destructive over several days and across the Carribean and all up the East Coast.  It still isn't finished.

Though I am mostly house-bound today, maybe I can get some pictures later this week.

God's Peace and my Love, Shel

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Figure this!  I need a new car so I go to a dealer and find one I want.  Since I don't have the money to pay for the whole thing by cash, I apply for a loan.  To get a loan they check my credit.  Because this is considered a "hard" event (not really shure what that means) my score drops 27 points!  Instantly I become a credit risk.  I now have to get a higher percentage loan.  This is the logic of amercan finance.  It looks to me to be some kind scam, but what can be done?  I needed the car!

 On another theme, Irene seems like a more real possibility all the time (the hurricane if you had doubts).

Life moves on. Love, Shel

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Toy

This is a picture of the Thrive.  I didn't take this one.  It is from Wiki Commons.  I was lazy.

We had an earth quake today.  By we I mean the whole North East Coast from the Carolinas to Canada!  I missed it.  I didn't notice a thing.  As a kid I lived in California.  In school we did earthquake drills and I remember experiencing earthquakes.  I now live in New England and I miss the largest quake in this area.  The  center of the quake was in Virginia.  That is a long way away but because of the geology of the North East it was felt up here, but not by me.  Oh, well!  I don't think there was any damage locally.  There was some closer to the center and lots of people in big buildings evacuated in places like N.Y. City and Washington, D.C.
Next Disaster - Hurricane Irene, maybe.  We'll have to see about this one.  It may possibly be in the North East by the weekend and I am now at the Rhode Island shore with my father.  Things could get interesting.
Below is one of the possible paths of the hurricane.

Things could and probably will change.  Keep steady, keep dry, keep safe!

Love, Shel

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Toy

I have a new toy, an android tablet.  I am writing this post with it.  Since typing is a one finger thing it is going slowly.  It works for typing but I prefer my desktop or laptop for writing.  It is great for web browsing and the apps make many things simpler. It is light and the screen is wonderful.  For many things the touch screen is wonderful.  I got a Toshiba Thrive.  I could not bring myself to buy an Apple.  The cost was the same, but Apple has a way of tying you to their world.  I am not ready for that just now.  Picture coming soon.
Have a great day,
Love, Shel

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


BlackBerry Torch

For many years now I have been tied to a Blackberry Smart phone. The latest one is the Blackberry Torch 9800 (the numbers are necessary now because new models are available.) My cell plan let me upgrade my phone every year and a half or so. This has kept me roughly in current technology. I love the Blackberry! I love getting email everywhere and being able to carry my address book with me. I love being able to sync it with Outlook. I have over time seen the coming of the iphone and then Android and I have stayed loyal and happy with my BB.

Now it seems that Blackberry may be having difficulties. Their new models are not as competitive and the company seems to be under pressure. They are competing with giant companies like Apple and Google. They recently released a Tablet PC. It is a fine piece of equipment, but I am afraid it won't appeal to anyone other than an existing Blackberry user. They gave it an unfortunate name "the Playbook." Blackberry's strength has been for business users. Playbook, please! More than the name is the fact that the operating system is proprietary to Blackberry. It is well done, but there will be few applications. Applications are being written for the iphone/ipad and for Android phones and tablets. Fewer are written for Blackberry. The writing is on the wall.

What will my next phone be, iphone or an Android? Well I just bought an Android Tablet. I really don't want to be sucked into the Apple world! I will stay with PC's and if I move from Blackberry it may be to Android. We'll see how I like this Tablet.

By the way, Hello from Rhode Island! I hope your day is bright and sunny!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Who's in Control?

Buy the Mini Model Camera with 3 lenses at the Photojojo Store!

I thought the model camera above was just too cute!  I had to include it.

Well my life isn't exactly chaos any more, but it does seem to be changing substantially.  Right now I spend 5 days a week with my father to help him and three days at home.  At home is kind of an euphemism because when I am home I am running around doing the things that didn't get done during the week.  It also seems that everyone is having a picnic I need to attend.  I have made about half of these picnics.  I spend free time working on my sermon.  Yes, it's summer and I am filling in at churches.

One of the more difficult things this year has been that I have been unable to visit my son and his family in Arizona.  Earlier this year it was money, then it was health, now it needing to help my father that prevents me from going.  My granddaughter is growing up and I am missing it!

No matter how much it may seem that I am complaining, I really am very thankful.  I am thankful to be alive and I am thankful my father is too and it is a pleasure to be able to help him.  Anything else is that may be inconvenient is just that, a minor inconvenience.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Life is chaos!  Since my last post my life has turned topsy turvy.  I have healed well from the surgery so my health is good.  However as I was healing my father, who is just weeks short of the age of 100, my father had congestive heart problems.  He is recovering well, but the timing was lousy (is there ever a good time?)  I had not healed enough to drive any distance and had to have a friend drive me to visit him in the Hospital.  When I had healed enough to drive my car wouldn't start!  It seems that an animal of some sort took up residence in the wiring and decided to chew a bit.  Well, $700 later and a very bad day broken down on the side of the highway I was able to drive.  Guess what?  That car just became unreliable, deciding to stop and then restart at the strangest times. I was actually trapped at a drive-in ATM for a half hour.

I had to buy a new car.  I hated to part with the old one.  It had 226,000 miles on it and was an old friend.  Sentimentality aside I needed reliable, so a new car. Pictures of new car will follow.

I am now living in two places.  I spend most of the week with my father to help  him and I return home on the weekends to do church services.  Life is chaos!


Thursday, June 30, 2011


This is an update on my physical condition and does not relate to the Emergency Road Service.  I had surgery last Friday, June 24th, for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).  The surgery was successful and I am mending. Today is the first day I have felt like trying to use a computer.  I came home late Sunday after a day of waiting.  Healing is kind of like watching grass grow.  It is slow but steady.  I am beyond having pain when I sit or lay still, but oof!  when I get up!! 

As I understand it much of my pain is from bruising during the surgery.  They had to insert implants into my Aorta through the Femoral arteries in both legs.  These are major arteries and they need to heal well.  That is my job now healing.  So, I will stay at home and heal. 

Peace to you all.

Love, Shel

Monday, June 20, 2011

Update on the Medical Situation

This is less of an update than a status report.  I am all set to go in for surgery.  I am sincerely hoping that everything will go as planned and I will be out and home in a day or so.  Of course there is just a possibility that things will be more difficult than planned, but I am not expecting that.  It does haunt my mind occasionally though, I must admit. 

I am going to see my father (99 years old) this Wednesday to bring him his father's day present and to reassure him. Aside from that I am just attending to details of life and preparing for the recuperation period.  That period should be a week or two.

I will update you when I am home and feeling like Blogging again.

Peace and love,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here's the Story

It  appears that the situation with the aortic aneurysm is serious.  I am scheduled for surgery on Friday the 24th of June.  Yes, that's only about a week and a half away!  The aneurysm is greater than 5 cm now and really is a potential threat.  The Doctor is very positive about the outcome.  I should only be in the hospital about 24 hrs, including the surgery.  I am otherwise in good health and he says I have the blood pressure of a 20 year old.  I have much to do before the surgery.  I will try to give updates.
I borrowed this from a medical web site:
Endovascular Stent Surgery: Most thoracic aortic aneurysms are now treated with a minimally invasive approach called endovascular stent-graft repair, instead of conventional surgery. In this approach, a catheter is used to insert and guide a stent-graft (a polyester tube covered by a tubular metal web) into the aorta to the site of the aneurysm. The procedure begins by making a small incision in the groin and inserting the stent-graft into the femoral artery (which descends directly from the aorta). Using fluoroscopy (a continuous x-ray technique) and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), the stent-graft is guided through the aorta to the aneurysm. With the stent-graft in place, blood flows through the stent-graft instead of through the aneurysm, eliminating the risk of rupture. This procedure may not require general anesthesia, and patients may have only a two-day hospital stay.

I will be under general anesthesia.  I have rather bad arthritis in my lower spine so spinal anesthesia  isn't the best option.  I kind of think just waking up after the whole thing may be best any way.  Well more later.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Up-Date - Sort of

Well, I went to the vascular surgeon and he said, Hmmmmm. He looked at CAT scans back to 7 years ago and said ......... " I need a new CAT SCAN.  These things need precise measurement."  As he talked and the way he talked I became more and more certain that he was talking surgery, sooner than later.  I have had the CAT scan and I see the Vascular Surgeon again tomorrow.  I suspect I will leave that appointment with some more concrete information.   He did say to me that the surgery I would be looking at was the less invasive "Stent Insertion" procedure. This is a kind of a relief.  There is less in the way of recovery.  The downside is that there is much more follow-up.

In the mean time, for fun I had a colonoscopy!  This is a part of my normal follow-up from the past colon cancer.  The good news is that everything looks pretty good there.

I seems that I move from one Doctor's appointment to another.  This will probably continue for a while.  Aside from the actual appointments and occasional procedure this all seems to intrude on my life in a minor way.  I know that if I have the Aneurysm fixed, even with the stent, there will be a period of convalsecence, but that is better than it being a fatal condition.

My attitude is good and I am physically strong and that can only help.

How are other things going?  Well, I continue to fill in on Sunday Services, take event photos, write blogs, and fix computers.  I just finished working on two major Community Projects.  I am busier than anything.  I had to stop Saturday and do laundry and work on my Sermon, there was no other time.  By the way I took the above picture while on a recent job.  I had to really cut it down to get it to upload.

I keep you informed about the health.  Peace!
And as usual Love,

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Health Concerns Again

I know that I have mentioned this before, but I know it has been a while ago.  Recent events make this a concern again.  Back when I had surgery for cancer I started to have CAT Scans.  In those scans it was discovered that I have an Aortic Aneurysm in my abdomen.  It is midway down and when it was discovered it was significant, but apparently not a surgical concern.  In the almost 7 years since that original CAT scan the Aneurysm has grown.  The growth has been slow, but the size is now at the verge of being a surgical concern.  The surgery is usually successful, but it is surgery and it IS major. 

Later this month I will be seeing a thoracic vascular surgeon and I will learn more.  Life is so strange.  You deal with one thing and there is always another thing. I'll post when I know anything new.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The long missing

I have been missing for some time.  I looked at my last post and said to myself, "WTF!"  I must have been in some serious state of mind!  That is past as are many other things.  Let's catch up.  Christmas was quite difficult, mainly because I was sick the whole season.  Yes, the whole time.  I caught a respiratory bug and I was literally sick from Christmas Eve Day until New Years Day.  That whole time is pretty much a lost blur for me.   I didn't do anything much for that whole time.  I am fully recovered now, thank God.

The weather has been just beastly!  We have had lots of snow, so much that there are piles at corners that are hard to see around.  We have also had wind and cold.  Just recently we have been having ice on top of it all.  Buildings in Connecticut with weak structure or flat roofs have been collapsing.  Driving has been a nightmare.  And I have been SAD (more appropriately affected by SAD [seasonal affect disorder].)  I have cabin fever.  I have also had a string of Sunday Church Jobs.  There are a bunch of Church openings nearby so fill-in Priests are required.  I mostly work Sundays during the Summer during Clergy Vacations so this is special.  I have been having a blast. 

I am now beginning to think about a visit to Arizona to see my family out there.  I need to plan the time and flight, etc.  This should get me through the rest of the winter.

This is Birthday month.  My Birthday was yesterday.  My oldest Son's Birthday is next week and my granddaughter's 5th birthday is later this month.  Additionally, I have friends with February birthdays.  I kind of vegged yesterday.  I got phone calls from my family and lots of good wishes on Facebook.  There was also cake here last night.  All in all it was a good day.

I am going through a cycle of Medical visits.  So far everything has been good.  The Aortic Aneurysm has grown a bit (not alarmingly yet) but I need to consult a vascular surgeon for a plan for the future.  This is a treatable condition as long as the aneurysm doesn't rupture.  I also had a LAP-BAND "Fill".  The Doctor actually removed some of the restriction.  For the first time the doctor watched how the band was working with a fluoroscope.  It had been set too restrictive for quite some time.  I kind of knew this because I was throwing up a bit too much.  I feel much better now and I am actually able to eat meat again.  Denser foods like meat are better because they satisfy longer and I don't feel like snacking.

Sadly, our Dog, RJ died quite suddenly.  He went into my room and I believe had a heart attack.  We found him as he was dying and were able to sit with him as he died.  He was a good dog and loved us all.  I have been very upset about this.  We went and got a new dog about a week later.  I still miss RJ but Shiloh is a real sweet dog and her vigor and life have helped.

I have been trying to post a piece about RJ, but I get too emotional.  I will eventually gather my thoughts and some pictures and post them.

For now this is it. There is sun out right now and I am very happy about that  This morning the was ice all over and my day plans totally changed.  Keep warm and safe and stay well.