Yup, I’ve been lazy and I have put this off for much too long and I have no real excuse, but I’ll try to think of something. Those who know me would expect that I’m already in Mexico for the winter……..I wish!!! My last blog, I’m ashamed to say, was more than two months ago, but I have been very busy…….some of the time.
Since the last blog, I have made several repairs and modifications to the motorhome. Although I was making headway in getting prepared for the trip back to Xpu-Ha, other problems kept cropping up and demanded instant attention.
There was the day I went out in the garage and found water flowing from the laundry room. That sure woke me up in a hurry! The water heater sprung a leak after only 31 years of service. Of course I quickly shut off the water to the tank. A quick trip to Lowe’s was necessary and I had a brand new unit. There was no moving of the tank full of water, so I bled off any pressure and cut the pipes. Then I used the blower end of my shop vac to blow the water out of the tank and it came out pretty easily. Getting the replacement installed was almost problem free except for one copper fitting that I had to solder four times before it held. I will be isolating the water to the tank when we leave.
Next was the day I went out and found the area around the pool pump puddled and pouring out from the pump seal. The pump was removed and brought to a pump repair shop in Crystal River. A couple of days and $130.00 or so and we were back in business. I also had to do some modifications to the plumbing, installing check valves downstream of the pump. It worked well for awhile and then gave me more trouble. In the end, I had to prime the pump every time I turned it on, so I had to disconnect the automatic timer. There is more to be done before I open the pool again.
On October 19th, my older son, Paul, married Sara Anne Smith. They were married on a sunset cruise ship out of the St. Petersburg area. It was, perhaps, the nicest and most fun wedding that I’ve been to. This was an excellent event to blog, and I started to, but when I had Helen check the picture for the blog she balked at the picture of her I had chosen. That was reason enough to not blog.
Originally, we planned to leave for Mexico a day or three after the wedding, but my son wanted us to dog sit Patches, the Tempesta wonder dog. Though Patch hasn’t spent a lot of time our house he blended right in with the pack. He was such a good dog, gave us no trouble, ate well, and behaved himself. I’m a dog person and I like good dogs, which really means all of them.
It’s important to note that if we hadn’t had to dog sit, we would have been in Mexico by the 23 of October, but that’s the day I detected that I was losing blood. On October 28, my suspicions were validated by my gastroenterologist and he scheduled me for an endoscopy and more for Wednesday, November 6th. Unfortunately, I didn’t make to that date, but Had Helen drive me to the ER Sunday afternoon due to very low blood pressure and feeling faint. This is another time when I went directly from the front desk to a bed, bypassing all the other people in the ER waiting room. In just a few minutes they took my blood pressure and started my saline solution IV.
Monday my GE doctor came in and arranged for an endoscopy in the afternoon. He saw nothing. In the meantime, I was getting saline solution around the clock. With my hemoglobin level plummeting, I was given a blood transfusion on Wednesday. They did some kind of red blood scan using radioactive blood to see where the leak was, but without a positive finding. On Thursday I was transferred to Shands Hospital in Gainesville for as different kind of high tech endoscopy Friday afternoon and the results there were the same, they found nothing. On Saturday morning the team of doctors and students came to tell me that they found nothing and my hemoglobin was steady and they wanted to send me home. I really wanted to go home, too!
On Wednesday the 13th, I was back in the hospital for same-day surgery where they checked out the rest of my digestive system, culminating with the capsule camera that I swallowed, but by now the symptoms of blood loss had stopped. The camera takes two pictures a second as it passes through and sends a signal to a receiver worn around my waist. Thursday morning I brought the receiver back to the office and a women there wanted to turn me loose with a follow-up appointment in three weeks. I was flabbergasted!! I told here that I would be back in the hospital or dead before the appointment, so no appointment was made. Thursday afternoon I saw my oncologist/hematologist and he was startled to see my blood work up. He had to check with the lab to make sure it was correct. It was, my hemoglobin was down to the “needs a transfusion” level. He sent me directly to the hospital lab to have my blood crosschecked and Friday I got another two pints of blood. With a full tank I felt great.
Earlier this week I had another blood test and the levels were up dramatically. I asked Dr. Acevedo when I could leave for Mexico, since the blood loss was over and my levels were rising. He told me that I could leave as soon as I wanted, but he would rather that I come back in another week just for the blood test. If everything is still trending up, we’re good to go.
This is my chart and you can see the sudden drop. You can also see the rebound that is my ticket to going to Mexico.
That would bring us up to the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It would be a shame to pass up the holiday with the family for only a couple of days, so we’re having some family and friends over for dinner. Our journey south of the border will start Sunday.