Friday, April 30, 2010

TGIF

TGIF! Or that's what Rick says anyhow. He's been splitting his time between here and work and feels guilty at both places. He spent part of the day tracking down my records from Pitt Memorial. We took them to Triangle Orthopedics this week but needed them back when all involved recommended going with Duke. We still don't have everything back. He's not a happy camper and I sure hope they surface by Monday or he will be rather unpleasant to deal with.

It was another uneventful day-except for the medical record search :)

A walk outside

Thursday was hair wash day for me again! That always makes me feel so much more human. Rick left for work around 7:30 and then returned by 10:00. I gave myself a sponge bath, changed clothes while he changed the bed. He washed my hair at the kitchen sink. That works pretty good.
Then, he took me for a walk outside in my wheelchair! It was a beautiful day and it felt really good to get out there. One of these days I'm going to feel up to a real walk and we'll get farther than the parking lot :)

Lunch was a half turkey sandwich and jello. My appetite is low so it doesn't take much to fill me up these days. I think that's a good thing. I get the equivalent of zero exercise so I don't need any unnecessary calories. I think the thinner I can get, the better off I am rehab wise.

We finished the day with Nicole's stir fry for dinner and watched a little TV. Our cable is free here (included with the rent) but it is basic and we don't have a guide or a DVR to rely on like before. It's taking some getting used to, but it works :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Nicole

I can't believe my baby girl turns 34 today. I'll bet she can't either :)

Wednesday was a long uneventful day. I spoke with Dr. Wilson again and he reassured me that Dr. Zura at Duke was the absolute best around. He also called in a pain med refill for me. After counting out what we had left, using my current rate of consumption, I would be out of pain meds by Friday evening. That still left me 3 ½ days until my appointment at Duke. I was worried I'd have to wean myself off the pain meds before I went to Duke and wasn't sure how to do that because I still have a lot of pain. Now I can quit worrying about that part of it :) Dr Wilson did tell me that I needed to be in Dr. Zura's capable hands because I had done as much damage to that leg as was possible and I needed the best to get the best results. He was a very nice, caring man and if I ever need an orthopedic surgeon for something less serious, he'll be at the top of my list.

Triangle Orthopedics

Our appt Tuesday was at 10:15 and it was just around the corner from our new apartment. We met with Dr. Richard Bruchs who spent some time with us explaining the break that was of most concern- a tibial plateau fracture and said he wanted a colleague, Dr. Joe Wilson to take it on if he could. Dr Wilson was in surgery but is to call us later today. We were home by 11:45 am so had lunch, took a nap and Rick went into work for a couple hours.

Dr Wilson just called. The doctors at triangle orthopedics said it was a very serious injury and that very few surgeons did this. They recommended I see a doctor at Duke that is one of the best in his field and has done dozens of these. Guess who they recommended? Dr Zura, the doctor I already had an appointment with for next week Tuesday! He did reassure me about the time frame etc. Apparently the external fixator has bought me some additional time and he said Zura has the resources to schedule surgery almost immediately. He said if he were to do it, (and he said he wasn't nearly as experienced) he'd have to schedule it for next week also because he didn't have any room in his schedule until then. Anyhow, i felt much better after talking to him and guess I'll be going to Duke next week :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Second Opinion

Monday was a first for us. Rick left me alone for a couple hours and went into work. It worked fine. He made sure I had everything I needed and was home in time to give me my 10:00 am shot (for blood clots). We got a phone call from Anna, one of our realtors, that she had our checks from the closing and asked if we had ever called Triangle Orthopedics. We had not, so Rick called them, took them the records and they set up an appt for me tomorrow (Tuesday).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Trying to get into a routine

Saturday was a better organized day. We took it slower and accomplished more with less effort. This is truly a trying time and it exhausts us both. Rick went to the storage unit and brought back the little TV for the bedroom. That was a nice touch, although we have to watch the same channel because they are so close together .

On Sunday, I got my hair washed again :) It was easier this time because I could roll up to the kitchen sink and somewhat hang my head in it while Rick used the spray arm. Pretty slick. Once again, it made me feel almost human. I stayed up in the wheel chair for an hour and a half and enjoyed seeing the world at that level. My leg weighs down after a while though and then I get very uncomfortable.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Saga continues...

The last couple days have been mostly a blur.

Tuesday was great day with much less pain. I talked to the kids for the first time; also Mom and Sheila.

Wednesday was a challenge. It was a bad day with high pain. I couldn't take my pain meds w/o itching like crazy. I tried to go off of them but cried uncle about 3 am. They tried a different drug, Norco, with success. I had taken Benadryl earlier to just zonk but that only lasted for an hour. I finally slept from 3:00 to 6:00 am...it was heaven.

Thursday I was informed that I'd be discharged on Friday. Duke has accepted me for the second surgery and follow up rehab but that can't take place for another week so I must go home first. I'm occupying a bed that someone else may need. This was very scarey. Rick gave me a shampoo and took me outside in the wheel chair. That was wonderful. I pooped out quickly but it was nice to escape the walls of that tiny little hospital room. My Foley catheter was removed at 11:40 pm and they gave me till 6:00 to pee :) I successfully accomplished that task by 4:00 on my first try! It doesn't take much to entertain me these days :)

OT/PT arrived about 8:30 am to give me more instruction and gizmos. I got a hand extender thingy, a leg lifter and a sliding board. I practiced getting into car with the sliding board downstairs in PT. They have a car simulator down there. Now I know it'll work. It took all day to get out of here. We finally left about 3ish. I was uncomfortable due to space constraints but made it. We stopped at the pharmacy for meds but realized that we didn't have my insurance card with us, only Ricks, so went home and unloaded me first. It took awhile to get out of the car until we realized we could raise the carseat to make it more level with the chair. Big difference. I got setup in bed and Rick went back to the pharmacy to get all the prescriptions filled. Later Nic came by with dinner (fish tacos and burittos-yum!) and we had a nice visit and she could see that I was going to be ok. The night was uneventful and we both slept fairly well, but it took us until almost midnight to get everything done.

Our house sale closed Friday afternoon at 1:30 pm as scheduled. At least something went as planned this week :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crash and Burn

As many of you already know, our nice long relaxing weekend to Ocracoke didn't turn out so well.
Well, life has ceased to be very restful for us all of a sudden. I think you know we went to Ocracoke for long weekend with some friends. Well, we all have Trikkes and took them along and I crashed mine Saturday morning and have been in the hospital ever since! Rick just brought me my laptop so I could communicate again-I just started feeling a bit better today. I broke my left tibia in 4 places essentially shattering it. They did  surgery and placed an external stabilizer on it yesterday and that has really helped with the pain. I'm still on heavy duty drugs but it's better. I also broke my left shoulder so that adds to the problem. Luckily, I didn't break the hip. They can't set the shoulder so that just has to be in a sling and heal. They can't put the leg back together until the swelling goes down so I'm in Limbo a bit. I'm also in Greenville at Pitt County Memorial trying to get back to the Triangle. I was first transported to the Outer Banks Hospital in Nagshead but they are not equiped to do surgeries such as this and had to transfer me to a trauma center. It was either here or Virginia. Duke said they'd take me but it was out of their 4 hour window for ground transit. They won't do air unless it's life or death and the private transport company we found wanted *are you ready for this* $25,000.00 to transport me! So, this is mid-way. I'm hoping  I can get back there for the second surgery and all the follow up rehab. My understanding is that there will be a lot.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Preparing for a long weekend on the coast

I had much to accomplish today. We are leaving at 5:00 AM tomorrow for Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks with friends Mike & Kathy so I wanted to do as much as I could before leaving.
First on the agenda was the recycling center. Our bins were overflowing to the point where we had a few extra tubs pretending to be recycling bins :) I filled up the car, literally, and headed for the recycling center. Once that was accomplished I stopped at Bill's Appliance Center to see if he would be interested in a very old washer and dryer and if he would pick up. He gave me a yes to both questions and we set up a 12:30 time for pickup.

I still had a couple hours, so I headed home and refilled the car with all the Goodwill items I still needed to donate. Before leaving for Goodwill, I listed our last item to get rid of on Craigslist. We have an overstuffed floral chair that just wasn't moving at any price, so I listed it for free then headed to Goodwill. Our donation center is on Roxboro Rd and shortly after I turned onto Roxboro, I saw a homeless man on a corner. There was a red light so I was able to see him and his sign clearly. It read "Homeless. Too ugly to prostitute, too stupid to steal". I didn't know if I should laugh or just what I was supposed to feel. I definitely didn't feel sorry for him, but I probably should have. Maybe he was just trying to add some levity to his poor life.

After making my donation and getting a receipt, I stopped at Subway and picked up a tuna sub to go for lunch. I haven't had one in awhile and always really liked them. They seem to have shrunk. They used to be bigger and meatier. Maybe it's just this location; I hadn't tried it before. More likely it's a trend that is hitting many restaurants. It's a way of keeping prices down.

My sandwich and I headed home to check emails on the chair. In the hour I was gone, I had 15 people want that chair for free. Go figure. The winner was a dad who wanted it for his little girls room so he could read her stories at night. I thought that was very sweet and he also was willing to come get it then and there during his lunch hour. It was a twofer for me. I called him and headed right over. Within 30 minutes he had a chair and I was finally rid of that thing :) Before he could leave, the guys from Bill's came to pick up the washer and dryer. The house is now officially empty!

I finished my lunch, threw a few loose items in the car and took off for the apartment. I probably wouldn't have even gone over there today except that I wanted to grab a sweatshirt for the weekend. The forecast has changed a bit and it's going to be chilly in the mornings and evenings most days.

One more stop at Costco on the way home to stock up on beverages and breakfast stuff for the weekend and I was done for the day.

This evening we are going out for a bite to eat-probably Chinese because it's close by and good. Then a little TV and an early night. We'll load the car in the morning -4:00 AM comes very early :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great Movers!

The movers arrived promptly at 10:15 this morning and made short work of the few pieces we needed moved to a storage unit. Carrie is taking a few pieces of furniture but neither they nor us had time to come and pick it up or deliver on such short notice. The solution was a climate controlled storage unit until we can work out the logistics. The 2 guys that showed up came prepared to work :) They loaded the truck, followed me 25 miles to the storage unit and unloaded in 1 hour 15 minutes. I was impressed. They have a 2 hour minimum which I gladly paid and tipped them for a job well done. One more thing taken care of.

I spent the rest of the day at the apartment working on the office/computer area in the dining room. It's still tight but it's a bit better. It's just going to require more than I had to give it today :)

I picked up fried chicken and cole slaw for supper. It's not something we have more than once a year as it's not healthy but it's easy and doesn't need to be cooked in my non-equipped kitchen. Tasted pretty good too :)

Rick disconnected and pulled out the washer and dryer this evening. I'm going to stop by the used appliance place on the corner tomorrow to arrange a pickup. If that doesn't work, I'll put them out on Craigslist for free. They are very old-the dryer is 18 yrs old and the washer is 14. They don't match and they ain't pretty but they still work, so maybe someone can get some use out of them.

Later we watched the American Idol results show. Now it's off to bed. Another full day tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pizza!

Well, I still think DiGiorno makes a pretty decent pizza for frozen. Not hard to figure out that's what we had for supper, is it? We are down to the nitty gritty here. I held back the pizza stone and the pizza cutter. The rest is gone. Maybe tomorrow we'll do it again. Or go out. It will probably depend on how pooped I am.

The rest of the kitchen went to the apartment today. Everything but the microwave (and that's loaded for tomorrow) and the pizza stuff, coffee pot and toaster.

I've managed to find a spot for everything so far but the dining room is my office and also the storage area and that's my biggest issue. We have so many files (paper) that it is really hard to make this work. If I can't make it work in an apartment, I don't know how I'll be able to make it work in a motorhome. I will definitely have to spend a couple months scanning in hopes of eliminating some of the paper.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Repairs are complete

The last of our repairs were done today. The insulation guys showed up about 9:15, ran a very long hose through the front door, up the stairs and into the attic. They sprayed insulation all over the attic floor to bring the depth back to a R-30 rating. Apparently, over the years, with people being up there occasionally and just plain settling, the insulation was not deep enough to pass today's standards. I wish we had known that it should have been deeper all these years. We would have done this earlier and maybe saved some money in utility bills. I always thought our heating and cooling bills were reasonable but apparently, they could have been more so. It turned out to be a very inexpensive repair for the potential future savings. Guess the new owners will benefit :)

Once they were gone-and it took them all of about 30 minutes, I started loading the car with more stuff. I took most of our clothes to the apartment today. We had purged and donated to Goodwill several times over the last few months and everything actually fit in the apartment closet. Yeah! I was a bit afraid as that closet was much smaller than what we're used to.

We used up the last of the charcoal and the last of the real food for supper. Rick grilled hamburgers. Tomorrow, whatever is left in the freezer/fridge goes to the apartment and that's mostly condiments :) We'll be eating pizza for supper the next couple days.

More on the Rally

Wednesday was the official start to the rally. Registration began at noon. We walked over and registered, picked up our name tags, rally t-shirts and goody bag and then came back to the cottage for awhile. We went back there at 2:30 to relieve Ed at the t-shirt table. We worked that until 5:00. All it involves is giving people the t-shirts they ordered and in the correct sizes.

The rally started with a welcome dinner at 6:00 PM followed by an icebreaker. We laughed and laughed some more. The food was very good as was the company.

After helping with the cleanup, we came back to the cottage and watched the American Idol results show. It was an early night for us.

Thursday the seminars started and were very good. They ran the gambit from the "Emotional aspects of full-time rv'ing" to "TV on the road" and "High-speed internet". I attended the entire days worth with Rick only skipping one.

The seminars concluded at 5:00 and the Chili Cook-off dinner started at 6:00. There were something like 16 different chili's to sample with all the fixin's. I only sampled 3 but they were wonderful. I still wonder at the wisdom of putting 100+ people in the same room and giving them all chili with beans :) There did not seem to be an issue however :)

After dinner, we had "Show and Tell" of favorite RV gadgets that people had come across or made to make their lives easier. Some were normal things that people had found new uses for. Others were totally different items and some were quite humorous :)
We called it a night about 9:30 and headed back to the cottage.

Sometime during the night Thursday or Friday morning the rain fell and it washed away some of the pollen. Yeah! I've been suffering with this pollen for a week or two now. It makes my eyes very sore, watery and itchy. I could just claw and scratch them out. Allergy pills help to a point, but it's still there. April will be over soon and then it will be better :)
Friday was more seminars-some we attended; some we did not.
With all the research we've done over the past 4 years, it's hard to actually learn something new but, we've certainly reaffirmed what we did learn.

Friday night was the Potluck dinner. There were so many delicious dishes, it was impossible to choose. Renea and Wayne Joiner of Louisianna brought crawfish etouffe'. It was excellent and we were the happy recipients of their leftovers :) They were in a hotel and couldn't really take care of leftovers in the room. We were in a cottage with a kitchen and happily accepted their offer :) It didn't last long! We ate all of it for lunch on Saturday :)

Saturday was the last full day of the rally. There were seminars in the morning and rig open houses in the afternoon. Several people attending opened their homes to the rest of us so we could see what they looked like, what creature comforts they had added and offered up any information you asked of them. It was very informative and nicer than seeing them at a show or dealer because the owners were there to give you their honest opinions. Salesmen, on the other hand, say they are all wonderful and there is never a problem :)

The day concluded with a catered steak and shrimp dinner along with a Golden Oldies Sock Hop. What fun! We danced the night away :) Well, until 10:00 anyhow :) We are old farts now, you know :)

After a catered breakfast Sunday morning and some parting words from our hosts, Howard and Linda, we went back to the cottage and started packing. Check out time was 11:00. While loading the Jeep, Ed and Diana from Ontario stopped by to say good-bye and give us their email address. They are snowbirds. They spend 6 months in the south and 6 months back in Canada. They still own their home there and find that arrangement works very well for them.

We pulled out of the park about 10:15 and headed home. Traffic was heavy on I-95 as it always is but the trip didn't take any longer than it did to get there-about 3.5 hours.
We hit the house running-the lawn needed a major mow and I had 3 full loads of laundry to do amongst other things. I even packed a couple more boxes to be ready to take to the apartment Monday.

It was a long full day and we slept well :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I learned how to do bead weaving :)

Tuesday was a nice relaxing day. We made a Costco run in the morning. In the afternoon, Rick went trikking while I did the beading class Linda Payne was holding. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to actually make something that looked really good! :) This could become addictive.

After beading, Linda and Howard hosted the evening Happy Hour. There were even more in attendance than on Monday evening. By rally time, there is supposed to be 109 people in attendance. Everyone we've met has been so friendly and we've enjoyed many stories and laughs.

After supper we crashed the poker game going on at the clubhouse :) We only stayed about 5 minutes to get a few pictures of the guys playing. Maybe we'll find out who the big winner was on Wednesday :)

***I have photos to add to this weeks posts, but the wifi here at the resort leaves much to be desired and I cannot upload them from here. I will add them when I return home.***

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 2 at Willowtree Resort

We got up around 7:00 and Rick took a ride around the lake while I made the coffee and tried to come to life. We lounged around most of the morning while having breakfast and taking our showers. We took off about 11:00 for N. Myrtle Beach. We figured it would probably be our only day to do some beach time as tomorrow I have an afternoon class on beading and the rally starts on Wednesday. We also needed to find a Walmart or similar store as I forgot to bring a large salad bowl and I had volunteered to make a salad for the pot luck dinner later in the week. Rick also forgot to bring a jacket/sweatshirt or anything long sleeved and the evenings still get too cool to be outside visiting in short sleeves. Those weren't the only things we forgot (senior moments?) but the only 2 that were pressing today.
It was beautiful out as we drove in. We parked in a public access spot and walked the beach for awhile. Then we cut over a block and found a restaurant for lunch-Duffy Street Seafood-which was pricey and just OK. After walking back to the Jeep we looked for a Walmart on the GPS. As luck would have it, we found one with a Dollar Tree in the same parking lot :) The Dollar Tree had exactly what I needed for a salad bowl and even had salad tongs so for a total of $2.16 I was all set for the pot luck...except for salad to put in it! Then off to Walmart. We found their only left over sweatshirt hoodie with a front zipper on a clearance rack. It was the right size, burgundy in color (Rick would have preferred gray) and marked down to $9. What a deal! Even better, when we checked out, it scanned at $5...an even better deal :)
We came back to the cabin and I took a nap before Happy Hour at Howard and Linda's campsite. Howard and Linda are the founders and owners of the RV-Dreams.com website and a wonderful inspiration to many of us. There were several couples already there when we arrived and a good time was had by all.
After happy hour, Rick grilled, we had supper and watched a little TV. The NCAA championship game came on later in the evening. It was a nail biter but, in the end, Duke reigned supreme. I must say, though, that Butler sure gave them a run for their money!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Willowtree RV Resort, Longs SC

We arrived in Longs, SC at Willowtree RV Resort for the RV-Dreams Rally at about 2:00 this afternoon. We had to wait a few minutes for our cabin to be ready (check-in isn't officially until 3:00) and then we were escorted over and given the resort instructions and info.
This is a very nice place. The RV sites seem to be a little close together but everything is very, very clean and well cared for.
After unpacking, we drove to Food Lion to pick up something for supper and a few lunch items as lunch is on our own every day during the rally.
Then we got out the trikkes and took a spin around the lake a couple times and through the park. Between the 2 of us, we ended up giving 4 "infomercials" on the trikke by days end :)
Rick grilled brats for supper and I supplied tortilla chips and salsa :)
Another spin around the property to work some of that off and that was it for the day. We were both pooped and in bed by 9:30. The pollen is very heavy and my eyes are killing me. I go through this every April in NC. It's just something to try to avoid when we're travelling...No April in NC or SC or TN or any other place that has heavy pollen!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Well, it happened...

Well, it had to happen. Here I was in my secretive innocence thinking no one would ever be the wiser about this blog when my sister said to me “ you should start a blog of your retirement travel adventures”. At which point I had to admit that one already existed :)
So, because she has already read this to date, I feel compelled to also share it with my children and my mother :)

It's been awhile since I've posted and things have progressed nicely. We've sold many of our belongings on Craigslist. After listing many things individually and getting limited results, I moved everything into one room, snapped a few group pics and listed as a moving-must sell listing. That was amazing! Two people single handedly almost cleaned us out! I seriously think they would have bought more if I had had it.

We have also rented a storage unit and a small apartment for the interim. I take a load over there almost every day and unpack it and put it away. It's 683 Sq. Ft. and it's TINY. A motorhome is 400 on a good day. I'm getting nervous...how to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Our buyers requested a few minor things done and we agreed. On Tuesday, March 30th, the handyman we hired, showed up to start the work. He completed his work on Wednesday. Now the only thing left is to add some insulation to the attic and that is scheduled to be blown in on Monday, April 12th.

In the meantime, I've continued moving things to the apartment. I currently have half a kitchen here and half a kitchen there. Neither one is very functional but they'll have to do for now.
The house is starting to echo back at us when we talk :)

Yesterday, Good Friday, was somewhat eventful. Rick had the day off so we tried to get a few things done. We listed a couple more things on Craigslist in the morning, had brunch and loaded both vehicles to go to the storage unit and unload. All was uneventful until it was time to leave. I somehow ended up with my keys locked in the car...in the ignition with the car running, my purse, cell and laptop all nestled snuggly inside. Geez!
Luckily for me, because we were 25 miles from home, I was able to catch Rick before he drove off. He doesn't carry a key to my car because the plastic part on it is broken and it would fall off his key ring. He had to drive home, get the key and come back. In the meantime, I got comfortable on our inflatable boat. Well, not comfortable, as it was not inflated, but it was something to sit on. And then there was the life jackets that I used as a pillow :)
Long story short, my knight arrived with keys and we both drove off :)

I stopped at the apartment and dropped off a couple things and stopped at the store on the way home. We're leaving for a week on Sunday and needed to purchase somethings to take along.