For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Jan 18, 2013

Cold Feet? 2

It's November 1.
Hoping to hear particulars by tomorrow and have an opportunity to ask some questions. I have found that doctors generally anticipate any questions and answer them before they are asked. I am experiencing a few jitters, tonight. Not so much about the surgery although it is going to be extensive, but about after care. So many things to think of. Jack is just about taken care of. Hoping to avoid a rehab facility. I've been trying not to read much on the web, but I felt I should prepare myself somewhat, if only to get things I'll need on hand. It's a long recovery just for fusion; don't know that fractures add much to that. Maybe the unstable vertebrae cause the fractures. I don't know. I can think of any number of times I could have injured my back, but my inclination is to blame all the years at a desk job--some days 12-16 hours.

Tomorrow I have to get some things from the safety deposit box and ask my long term insurance if they'll pay for a nurse to come to the house and a bed, walker, etc. I also have secondary insurance from the company I retired from which is supposed to cover what Medicare doesn't. I figured I could have the documents and insurance numbers on hand when the nurse calls me. No driving for 6 to 8 weeks. Even at that I probably won't be able to get into the big truck--can always rent a car for a month or so, I guess. My mind is starting to race. Now, if only Jack could drive! Speaking of Jack, he's spending a lot more time up on the couch with me. I wonder if he senses something or it's just the weather getting cooler. I suspect the latter. Weather changed drastically, today. I'll take it over hot summers any day. I have family on Long Island right outside of NYC that I'm concerned with. Storm surge could become a problem for them.

I never had to think of these things before. Rich took care of everything. My kids are wonderful, but those of you who are couples know that there's a difference knowing you're not coming home to the person you live with. I'm glad Jack is here with me, tonight.
Couldn't you just squeeze his cheeks? When he sleeps he sleeps!

Half Awake

Where He's Been Hangin' out more lately. That's my leg!

And, the Wait Continues...3

I was glad to find out that my family in NY all appear to be okay in the wake of Sandy though trapped in their homes--except for my sister who went into work to look after the elderly and people recuperating from surgery. I have forgotten the name of the place, again, but she is Director of Admissions. I asked her a number of years ago what the name was and she said, "The Waiting Room to Heaven."

I thought, "What a pleasant name (I think it was a home only for the elderly at the time)." Anyone who asked me where/what she did I told them that she worked in a home for senior citizens called "The Waiting Room to Heaven".

I got a few peculiar looks, but never thought much about it. It came up in conversation between the two of us and she fell over laughing. She said she was just joking. Mind you, years had gone by. We still laugh about it. She's very, very good to the residents, and I'm sure she's in there today doing the work of aides who couldn't make it in. I never met anyone who didn't love my sister.

Looks like everyone in the northeast has a long road ahead before getting back to normal living. My niece has power, but 80% of Long Island doesn't including my sister. At least I know if it gets very cold Judy and her husband can go there. No damage or flooding for my family according to my niece.

I got a call from the surgeon's office, this morning. Surgery is scheduled for December 3. A week before I have a scheduled visit to the doctor for details, and then I'll go over to the hospital for a pre-op exam. Everything is red tape in healthcare these days. This is the first time I have ever had to have a chest x-ray before any surgery.

I was asked if I had any problems, and I was glad to report none that I am aware of.

Nothing like a little waiting to get one's nerves started and doubts swimming around in the brain. (Not so much about the surgery, itself, but about being dependent on anyone during the initial weeks of recovery.)

The short discussion about recovery time/period is enough to scare me away. It made me wonder whether even with surgery I'll ever be able to camp or travel, again. Well, in comparison to other people's problems and sorrows, I won't complain. I don't like waiting--it makes me nervous, but that's just tough as some would say.

Here I ran around and hurt all night last night because I wanted to get documents from the safety deposit box, had my hair cut appointment, etc. only to find out I'll need another before I go in AND now I have to worry about having a fire and losing the papers. I haven't posted these last posts because   my sister has enough on her plate to worry about.

Waiting in More Ways than One...2

It's Monday the 29th of October and I'm worried about family and friends in New York and New Jersey, and hope they all fair well during Sandy. So far, everyone is safe and all accounted for.

When I was a teenager I had a summer job in Lynbrook, NY at an insurance company. I took three buses to get to and from the office. We had a hurricane and they let us out early. On the bus closest to home the water came so high that the bus stalled. The bus driver yelled, "Everyone off and follow me to Grand Avenue." I was chest high in water as I got off the bus, and it got a little deeper before we reached the street where we could swim to safety. We just called it a flood. It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized, "Hey, that was a storm surge!"

Little Mary has her Make a Wish Trip coming up. I hope that the storm doesn't interfere with it. Seems sometimes like that poor little family takes 2 steps forward and 1 backward--never complaining. Crossing my fingers for them.

Busy Day
Today was a busy day for me. I haven't heard from the doctor's office, yet. so I figured I'd use the day to get my papers in order. I went to the bank and got what I needed from the safety deposit box, called my lawyer and he said it was okay to give the hospital a copy of my Living Directive; the original I should keep. I have my insurance policies and the power of attorneys in a folder on the table. I tried to organize everything in case my daughter needs the financial or medical power of attorney. I filled the truck up, went to the bank, had copies made of some documents, and decided to stop for a sandwich for lunch.

Strange Encounter
As I left the sandwich shop, a woman came running up to me and said that her son had been killed in an accident this morning. I panicked. She said she needed to pick up her younger children and take a bus to Canton (there is no bus to Canton). I told her I would make room in the truck and drive her but she didn't want that, she wanted money. I didn't have any cash on me. I told her that we needed to call the police--they would know what to do and how to help her. Well, that set her off--she didn't want that. She collected $25 from several women, inside the restaurant, but said she needed more. The owner threw her out and asked me if I was with her. I said, no but she said her son had been killed. He rolled his eyes at me and said, "I don't think so." By this time I was pretty well convinced that she really was a scam artist. It so happened that a patrol car was pulling into the parking lot (I suspect someone called the police on her as she probably had pulled this with several people before reaching the sandwich shop.)

I flagged down the officer and told him that she told me her son was killed earlier in the day. He took her gently, by the arm, and said to me, "We'll take it from here, M'am. Thank you." I heard him tell her that he would help her, but he had to put her in back of the car. I have a feeling she wound up at police headquarters. I got to thinking (it all happened so quickly), "Who would say their child was dead in order to get money." As I thought about it, I didn't see any tears or just took me by such surprise that I was only thinking of helping her. Takes all kinds.

I made several batches of sweet potatoes for Jack. They should last two weeks. I'll make some more, tomorrow. They are not just a treat for Jack (though he thinks they are). Dogs with the condition/disease he had cannot digest fat, and some succumb to malnutrition if they are on low fat food. I try to keep up with the research on the web. He's on a nutrient rich prescription food, but after reading about sweet potatoes I decided that he could get a good deal of his nutrition with the potatoes.  The vets are amazed at his excellent condition. So I'm determined that his regiment will not be interrupted.

Back to watching about Sandy. Please keep everyone in its path in your thoughts--especially little Mary.

So, I Ask Myself....

It's October 28
What is the difference between other surgeries, health crises that I've faced in life and this one--I know the answer. Have I ever been afraid? No. So what's the problem, then, Nancy? I think that all I had to face was the surgery. If I made it, that was great. If I didn't, Rich was here to make everything okay. Would I be worried about Jack? No.

Lizzie, Jack, and I had a bond that was pure love, comfort and feeling safe; feeling not alone after the most important person in our lives was gone. Now, of course, it's only Jack and me so if something happens and I don't return I've provided for his care, financially, but he doesn't have me, Lizzie or Rich any more. Who will be with him 24/7 as the "significant other" in his life. Sure, I know how crazy he is about Susan, but she works. That means that he spends time alone with no one to curl up with. No one who understands everything he tells them with his woofs and moans.

I don't know if I'll publish this or not. Just feeling kind of disconnected, tonight. I miss Rich. I miss him with my whole being. He was the strength in our relationship. He was my hero. He is my hero.

Days of waiting would have been filled with laughter and occupied with things outside these four walls. Sounds like I'm afraid, but honestly, I'm not except that I have a pup who relies on me for his every need and care with the exception of his daily walk with Susan. I know she'll do her best to make him happy, and truth be known he may be happier with her because she'll have him doing all the fun things he loves to do. She loves him as much as I do. But, what when he gets old.

My kids are all so well adjusted and so well prepared to face anything in life that I don't worry about them though they are my heart and soul.