May 2012

Happiness is accepting that -
It Is What It Is

  05/01/12- Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Fl 
Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Fl
I10>I295>Local>Jacksonville, Fl
We arrived in Jacksonville on Tues so we have a day of rest before we go to the Mayo. We'll see what's next on Thursday, but we're expecting the same answer we got in Tx, she needs to go to the hospital for some high end treatment.

At this point is appears that, taking out advise above, that traveling was not in the grand plan for this year so we're getting ready to look for a place closer to the clinic so we're here when her new lungs arrive. Having learned to believe in those words of wisdom we're not expecting it to be something it isn't so we're good with whatever the plan is. We're together, so we'll just go with the flow.

You may notice from the site show that the dishes are down. We have decided that if we're staying put for awhile that we might as well turn off the satellite web and we turned off the Direct TV as well for now as in the trees it's never worked. Since we'll be staying here where it's warmer shade has become an issue in looking for a spot, and shade invarliably means trees and no view of the sky. So we'll stick with our netflicks and let the TV go as well I think. It's either that or switch to a portable so we can place it where it'll work and switch to Dish so we can watch our movies without needing to be connected to the satellite.
More to follow as
05/06/12 Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fl
Mayo Clinic Hospital
Update - As you can see the accomodations are stellar and Sheila is getting the best of care. Updates will follow as she continues to get better. For now she's on the mend and we're expecting that she may be released Tuesday but no definite word from the Doctor yet. She will need to get off the IV antibiotics and high does steroids first. But they started cutting down the dose Saturday so she's moving in that direction.

06/07 - Monday: They switched her to oral steroids today which is a good sign. Still hoping for tomorrow for a release but still no official word from the Dr.
06/08 - Tuesday: Sheila's home :)))) - still recovering from this last issue, but they've got her on pills now so she can finish recovering at home. Sure is good to have her home again.

Now we need to get to the business of finding a place to stay up here while we wait for her new lungs to arrive.

05/07/12 On the home front -
Kitchen counter
While the cat is gone the mice will play -

or in this case find a little project to while away the evenings without the honey around. I thought it might be nice to get those corian counters looking bright and shiny again. After almost 5 years of fulltime use they had gotten a little dull and scratched up so I did a little research and found the answer to my quest on the Tiffin forum which always seems to have an answer for every question I come up with, especially when it concerns maintenance.

So without further ago - 3M Marine Rubbing Compound for those little scratches that you pick up with time and use and follow that with 3M Finesse-It II Glaze. You put them on with the foam pad type of buffing wheels and I just used me handy Riobi power drill for the task. I have a lot of Riobi 18V power tools and they have proved up to the tasks for me. I have 2 flashlights as well as a spare battery that lives in the charger and I needed all 3 for this job. By rotating them but they time I'd gone through the other two the third one was charged up again. I could have spent a little more time on the compounding, but I was under a deadline so just gave it a lick and a promise this time, but the results are still pretty impressive (at least to me). That original shine is back and you can see yourself in the counters again. Next time I'll get all those little scratches out :))
05/08/12 - Morning Walk - On The Beach
Well no page is complete without a a little sunshine on it, so here's a shot from my morning walk. Took this with the iPhone and stitched a couple shots together to get a panorama.

Sheila is continuing to improve but very slowly this time. We went to the market today and she used her scooter and I tagged along behind with the shopping cart. That worked well for us. She has another blood test last week, they're still trying to figure out for sure what brought her down and we have a CT scan coming up Wed.

We move to our new long term home here in Jacksonville Tuesday. Pictures to follow once we're settlect.
Morning Walk on the beach
05/12/12 - Hanna Park - Latest Project -
Ladder & Sewer Hose compartments
I got the ladder out to do the front and before I put it away I needed to get something of the slide out tray. The ladder has a slot in the tray on one edge. I get it in and out from the passenger side so very rarely see the drivers side of the slide out without the ladder in place. This time, with it out, I could see that the ladders was tearing up the carpet on the bottom of the slide out on that end so I decided I needed a new home for the ladder where sliding it in and out would not tear anything up.

I'd read about using a 4x4 vinyl fence post for that purpose, but measuring the ladder I discovered that my ladder was a little over 4" folded up. So I move up to a 4.75"x4.75"x8' version and that worked like a charm. Ladder fits inside perfect. The ladder is a little over 7' long so I just left the 8 foot length alone as it just matches the width of the coach which you can see in the back view. I had originally planned on putting it on top and leave my spare sewer hose under the rack, but the 4.75 was a hair to high and so it hit the bottom of the ladder and cutting it off wasn't an option as then it would be too short for the ladder. So I switched place, put the sewer house on top and the ladders new house on the bottom. I't held in place by 4 stainless steel hose clamps, 2 main ones to hold it, two slightly looser ones as a back up in case one of the tight ones breaks.

All in all it turned out well and I just picked up another 5 inches on the side of the slide out tray that I'm sure I'll find a use for :))
05/13/12 - Flamingo Lakes Rv Resort, Jacksonville, Fl
Flamingo Lake Rv Resort
Our future home :))

After deciding that it's time to stop traveling and to settle in Jacksonville until after Sheila's new lungs arrive, our next chore was to find a place to stay up here. We loved out spot in Malabar at Camelot, but it's just a little to far for us to be able to make the drive when the call comes (we have 2-1/2 hours to get to the clinic when they call), so we had to give it up. So last Thursday we headed out with the names of a few parks that sounded interesting and where within out price range. The winner was Flamingo Lakes - picture from their web site to the left. Not sure if they'll have an opening where we want to get our final long term space, but they have some openings for us to occupy while we wait for our dream site to open up and they told us some people were leaving this weekend, so we may have it when we arrive on Tuesday.

We like Hanna, but it has time limits, so is not a place we can stay long term (however long that turns out to be). We think that Flamingo is going to be a place we'll enjoy, it's 27 miles (all freeway) to the Mayo and we timed it the other day and it took us 30 minutes to get there from the park. More pictures in a couple days once we get settled in there.
5/15/12 - Flamingo Lakes Rv Resort
Flamingo Lake Rv Resort
Local>I295>Local>Flamingo Lakes Rv Resort, Jacksonville, Fl -
The move was uneventful just a lot of work on a warm muggy day but I got everything done before the rain came which was my major goal for the day. We did have a site open up in an area we wanted to be in (Thank You), and the picture to the left is the view from my office window. That's the one I spend most of the day sitting in front of :))). I think that's an inspiring view.

Our site
backs up to the lake and the way the sites are angled you get more of a view of the lake than you do of your neighbor. If you look at the picture above we're on the far right right in the middle of those units that back up on the lake. It's a really nice site with room between the rigs and a big patio area with a concrete slab at the back, where I set up the garage for Ruby. There's also a nice area to sit outside either by the lake or back under the awning..It's got a long road around it to walk around the lake and it's level for the Honey. All in all I think we found a winner and we're  really happy and grateful that the perfect space opened up for us :))

The universe is based on circulation and we're always grateful when we are on the receiving end as well as when the opportunity to circulate something ourselves comes our way.
5/22/12 - Morning Sunrise
Sunrise At Flamingo Lake
5/22/12 - Sheila Update - Back in the hospital but doing fine and home in a day or two.

We went to the Mayo Monday morning for a couple lab tests. They’re still working on identifying and validating some earlier tests on what bacteria is still in her system so they can knock it out and get her back on her feet again. One of the test was this sputum test where she was supposed to cough up some phlegm from deep in her chest. Since that wasn’t a possibility for her the Dr ordered a bronchoscopy to check what was going on and get the samples they needed. They discovered a lot of phlegm in her lung and so they cleaned that out but that process was irritating to her lungs and she went into a bronchospasm (basically it’s the same thing as a serious asthma attack). They put her on a CPAP type machine (a machine that helps you breathe) for a couple hours and checked her in to Intensive Care. She bounced back in a couple hours and they took the mask off (it’s a full face mask and not particularly comfortable but it does the work of breathing for you). So she's fine now and ready to come home as soon as they'll let her. Dr said is depends on whether they find anything in the sample they took that they want to treat before they send her home, so we'll see what shows up. Like the sunrise at our new 'home base' each day dawns full of hope and promise and we'll just keep reaping all the rewards life has to offer. Accepting that "It Is What It Is" keeps us both smiling. As the Dr who did the bronchoscopy said - "She's a trooper, always smiling!". That says it all I think......

5/24/12 View from Sheila's windowView from Sheila's Window
5/24/12 Sheila Update - still in the hospital, they want to keep her on the IV antibiotics and let her have a little more time to get her strength back. She's fine sitting but still tires rapidly when she does anything. She did get out for a walk (a loop around the floor) today and is getting better slowly. We've both agreed there's no rush to get home this time, we'll just let her have whatever time she needs to get back on her feet again.

The laptop is working great, I'm at the hospital doing this update. Took the picture with the iPhone, transferred it to the home computer and then uploaded the update from home. Team Viewer has been a giant leap forward for us doing remotes for support and allowing all of us to work more efficiently from home. I'm spending the days at the hospital with the honey and it makes it easier for both of us - pretty much same as home, she reads I compute and there's just a few brief interruptions for treatments, Dr visits, etc. during the day. She's taking her afternoon nap now and then they'll come with her 4pm IV (antibiotics) and we'll have dinner. She's a bit hit here - the lady who's always smiling :))

I'll email everyone a link today and we'll do the updates here till she's home again. Thanks for the vibes and keep them coming, they do help.
5/25/12 - Posing for the camera :))
Sheila - Hospital or Vacation?
5/25/12 Sheila Update - still in the hospital but doing much better today. We're hoping she may be coming home tomorrow, but we'll see what the Dr has to say when he makes his rounds. But as you can see she's looking pretty good. I also cajoled her into a walk after dinner and she did really well. Of course she was using the walker, but we did two laps around the wing and she never dropped below 94% on her oxygen level or above 105 on her heart rate. As a comparison - below 90% is starting to get bad, and a heart rate over 120 is getting high, so her stats were really good.

We have Lincare coming out once we get home as she's being switched to liquid oxygen and continuous flow so that pulsing psst we're all grown to love is going to go away. We're still working out exactly where the new resevoir tank is going to go, but that's my department and I'll take care of it. We have a couple options.

Our excitement for the day was the helipad just outside her window got used today. So we watched the chopper come in and depart. We're pulling for the occupant whoever he/she was.

Hopefully this saga will end tomorrow and we can go back to regular events - like out first bike ride since getting up here :)))
Helicopter Landing At Mayo 5/26/12 - Sheila Update - getting better, they stopped all the IV's today and said if nothing changes she can come home tomorrow morning - She's Ready, I'm Ready and I'm sure everyone is ready for her to get back on her feet. Her oxygen needs have changed with all this so Lincare will be bringing us some liquid oxygen tanks  (resiviors they're called) and a unit that we fill from the tank for her to carry around. We'll see how that works out. When up and doing she is going to need more air than our old home fill bottles can deliver and she needs it on a continous flow.

The picture is a test to see if you clicked yesterdays links lol. I walked with her today, dragging along the oxygen bottle (my job as official 'Beast of Burden' :)) so not pictures of her walking today, but we did 2 rounds of the wing on the first walk and 3 rounds on the second. She did great - we're moving a little slower and she's on a little more air, but she's up and doing and chomping at the bit to get home and load her new continous flow system into her walker and hit the road to see what a difference the new system is making.

So home tomorrow and we'll start getting back to our normal routine again :)).
Tropical Storm 5/27/12 - Sheila Update - Tropical Storm Beryl welcomes the honey home. Sheila is home again and feeling much better. The storm is supposed to arrive shortly so it sounds like a good night to curl up in front of the tube and watch a movie and we just picked up 4 new Netflix so we're set.  We;re just a little to the left of the red dot in this shot of the oncoming storm, but it looks like the cells with the worst of the winds will be south of us as it goes by. It's rotating counter clockwise - currently sustained winds of 45 to 65mph with hurrican force gusts. Awnings up, lawn chairs are stowed, satellite dishes are down so we should be set.

We'll be contacting Lincare Tuesday early and should have Sheila's new oxygen equipment by Tuesday afternoon. A bike ride is looming in the near future, so the next report will hopefully be some pictures of a new adventure and a picnic once this storm moves out of here.

Till then thanks for all your positive thoughts and wishes. They helped us through this trying time and her Dr at the Mayo commented as he released her that she's a 'tough lady' and he'll be sure the whole team knows that she's a fighter and an ideal candidate for a transplant.