Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Medical News Not So Good, But We're On the Road Again Anyway

 At Downtown Riverside RV Park, Little Rock, Arkansas...

First of all, I cannot help but recall the terrible attack in New York 20 years ago. I grieve for those who were lost, for their families and for the impact it had on our country. 

Furthermore, I have done my best to mitigate my utter dismay at the current Washington administration by refusing to watch or read any news that is biased toward these troglodytes through broadcasting or writing obvious disinformation or censorship. Getting my news from trusted and unbiased sources has made my attitude much better, and I throw fewer things at the television. 

My dear friend Janice scolded me, with good reason, for the occasional long lapses between my blog posts. My standard excuse is that our lives are not all that exciting if we're not traveling and seeing new things that may be interesting to readers. 

I tend not to ignore Janice, as that is something to which she is not accustomed, and it usually doesn't end well. Furthermore, she is usually right about most things and has the uncanny ability to make you think she's right even on those rare occasions when the facts or truth change. (See what I mean? I can't even acknowledge that she has the capability of being "wrong.")

Janice and Dave are now dear friends whom we met while they were RVing, and we have many in that category, including Debi and Ed, with whom we had a lovely dinner recently. I wish I could name them all here, but they have showed up in this blog at one time or another.

I am, obviously, getting ahead of myself. The last blog post described our sad departure from Colorado and friends Jackie and Steve for Dante's Inferno in Texas. (Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, as there was no fire falling like rain, as in Dante's observation of hell; in fact, there was no rain at all.) But we had gotten accustomed to the perfection of our Colorado climate, and I can't help but whine about leaving it. (Before you judge me, you should know that I'm an only child, and only children have special needs...which I translate, roughly, into 'whatever I want.')

Special needs or not, we had to get back to our doctors for post-op checkups for Sandy and a pre-op checkup for me. Some of the news was not so good. Most of Sandy's surgeries were successful. However, the operation for numbness in her hand was a failure. The surgeon is now looking for other causes; she will need a neck MRI next. My knee surgeon, who first thought I would be a candidate for partial knee replacements, has informed me that an MRI showed my condition to be too advanced, thereby indicating full replacements will be necessary. That will be coming up in a couple of months.

Before getting this news, we spent a few days at our place in Hondo, where we changed out our summer wardrobe for the upcoming winter. Being a guy, this takes about 15 minutes for me, since I don't carry many clothes in Phannie anyway. However, for Sandy, it's more like restocking a Nordstrom's, except it's never to her satisfaction. I can't tell you how many swap-outs there were...some of them swapped more than once. 

When I point out that I have only about 18 inches of Phannie's closet rod (she has the rest), she explains that it is different for women--there are so many variables and so many rules for attire that don't apply to men!  When I remind her that we're retired and nobody really cares what we wear, I get "the look."  That's when I find something else to do.

After spending several days at Hondo and visiting with friends Karen and Richard, including eating a good Chinese meal, Sandy went shopping in San Antonio. It seems a couple of her winter selections didn't have the right blouse or pants or something...more clothes!  

Before you find me asphyxiated with a pillow over my face, I should mention that Sandy made a real effort to weed out the clothes she didn't often wear and were not her favorites; we gave a rather large amount of these to charity. I don't know how it happens, but even after this purge, there is little evidence that the quantity has changed. Oh well, she has an uncountable number of wonderful traits so, if she's going to have a vice, let it be this.

We had only four days in Houston and, among all the doctor visits, we barely had time to see Mindy, Tyler and the kids. However, since we have to return soon for the medical stuff, we will try to be more accessible.

Okay, fine, you say; so what are you doing in Little Rock? Well, we're on our way to Red Bay, to get some new carpet in Phannie's bedroom and to have her annual service done at Bay Diesel. Tonight, we are staying at the Downtown Riverside RV Park for one overnight, where I think most RVers have stayed at one time or another. Unfortunately, the I-30 bridge over the Arkansas River is being rebuilt, and getting to the park was one of the more complicated experiences I have had in Phannie. Fortunately, a park manager called me ahead of time to give me explicit instructions, which I followed closely, and after what seemed like going through an endless maze, I found it, just as instructed. Had it not been for that call, I'm sure we would still be searching for the entrance to the park. Following are a couple of photos, the first one showing the bridge girders being replaced:

Below is the older bridge on the other side of the park, with some views of the construction barge and a bit of the park on the river:

Oh, by the way, this park is no longer a Passport America park but, with a Good Sam or FMCA discount, it is still a very reasonable 31 bucks.

Well, I hope you're happy, Janice. I will try to be a little more diligent about posting, although I'm still not sure how interesting it is to talk about rather routine matters. Okay, I already know what you're going to say: "Your medical condition is not a routine matter!" 

One thing I do know is that age catches up with everyone, and the things that we once could do with ease sometimes becomes difficult and painful. That's why I encourage everyone to live their dreams and don't put it off. We are thankful that we took that approach, and we can truthfully say that, regardless of what limitations may befall us, we have no regrets. We did it our way, and we're thankful that God let us have those years.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; 
please forgive me if I fail to appreciate it each day as I should.

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw

"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood



  1. Oh thank the good Lord Sandy is back to shopping! Things are getting back to normal it sounds like. You know, "the look" comes in many formats, and it sounds like you've learned the best chance of survival is to wonder off and find something else to engage in. My former husband was heard telling his buddies had he only knew the pains of growing older, he would have been much better husband in his 20's because the hinny surgery in his 40's was painful and rough when his wife hours to come home with his pain meds. Subjects which cause "the look" you might want to avoid until after those knee surgeries are completed and you are healed. We women find solace in shopping, and then we will need a good cold glass of ICED tea to recover, which does delay our return a bit more. Good luck on the Knees, on your travels, and try not to waste your good energy on the Washington administration, they are not worth it. Sadly, our Country is being destroyed by the minute.

    1. Your advice is right on point, and you must know how addicted Sandy is to iced tea. I am going to be more careful, for sure.

  2. Well done. . .very, very well done! Gotta love a man who can follow instructions.

    Enjoy your little adventure, and come back to us safely, all ready for YOUR body repairs.

    Love you guys!

    1. Sometimes I learn slowly, but I learn. We'll see you soon; love y'all, too!

  3. Gunnison to Hondo to Little Rock to Red Bay doesn't seem like a good route. But at least you are traveling.

    1. Well, you're right about that convoluted route, for sure. However, we simply didn't have a choice because we had obligations and needs along the way that didn't lend themselves to efficient route planning. Luckily, Phannie doesn't know any better; she just goes where I point her. (grin)

  4. Okay, is there actually a book for husbands that teaches you all what to say about your wives and their clothing? :D from the beginning of your conversation about Sandy's closet, clothes, purging, remaining results................I could swear that Bill wrote it. Yes, I hear it that often in discussions with me and groups with other couples. hahahaha, you had me laughing that I'm not alone!! Hang in there Sandy!
    Sorry about the health issues, soon you will both be good as new!

    1. Don't worry, Patsy. I have an iron skillet and I know how to use it! Sandy

  5. While I'm truly sorry to hear about your and Sandy's setbacks on the medical front, it's good to know that no medical emergencies were involved. As far as not wanting to bore your readers with the mundane, Mike, I swear you could turn any mundane topic into an hour-long comedy with your potent combo of excellent writing skills and delightful sense of humor. Bore your readers? No way! Travel safely, you two!

    1. Well, bless your heart! (We say that a lot in the South.) Coming from you, I must pay attention. What I see as mundane may actually be interesting to others , for reasons that are not entirely clear. I am going to try to do better at recognizing that which could possibly not be boring. It's not easy.

  6. I get the 'it's different for women' explanation/argument quite often. I can empathize with you. Oh well, if mama ain't happy, nobody's happy. Getting old is not for sissies. If you haven't read 'Getting Old Ain't for Wimps', it's a great read while you are convalescing from surgery. Keep on keeping on.

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