Friday, March 23, 2018

The countdown has begun

I started using the plethora of eyedrops today.  This one will be each day until Tuesday.  Sunday I add another (4 times a day), then surgery and after that yet another.  Yikes!

G had his spinal injection, and to his great surprise I believe - he can still walk.  He was so concerned even though I have had about 6 of these procedures.  In fact, he feels relief from the sciatica today.

Told him so!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Yes, it's meeeeee!

Time has surely flown by.  And some things have really happened!

First, we spent our Spring Break at the SSB.  That was early because we wanted to take advantage of the (slave) labor we were offered!  My son and his family were able to get away to come up to help get some heavy work done.  

Originally they were to spend a week, but the Houston Rodeo got in the way -they had tickets for Friday and Saturday.  Then Brian doesn't have much vacation time left (and I will get to that in a bit).  So they came up on Sunday and returned on Tuesday.  BUT we were able to get the old storage shed pieces to the dump, and we were able to move all the old wood pile into the pasture so it can be burned.

All this needed to be done because the new hunters' cabin is finished.  It is for them and us when we have an overflow.  Twelve people in our house is just too many!  So we are trying to make the enclosure where the two houses are cleaner and neater.  The storage shed had its roof blown off last year, so it wasn't much use!  The wood pile was leftover lumber from the various building projects that have been done.  Anyway -  we have an almost park-like setting now.  Thanks Brian and Christina!

He doesn't have much vacation left because they have friends who moved to London.  Their daughter is graduating from high school this year, so Brian and family are going.  Christina almost talked us into going with them.  To cut to the chase, we almost went, but now we aren't.  Traveling with a group of 8 is just too much for one thing.

The other reason is G is now having a lot of sciatica pain.  I guess I am going to sound not caring, but I have had all that pain for years (at least 40 years), and I have "sucked it up" and gone on.  Being a man, you would think he should be in a wheelchair now.  He is scheduled for the spine injection (the ones I have had for the last 7 years) on Thursday.  He thinks he will become paralyzed from it.  

I could go on with all the pains I have, but that would be letting them take over.  Plus, I really try not to spend that much time dwelling on them, and I do apologize for bringing them up and groaning about them to you.  My mother did that - constantly and I swore I wouldn't be that person, yet- here I am doing that.

I am gearing up for my cataract surgery now.  Last night I remembered I am to begin using some eye drops before surgery and panicked a bit thinking I should have already started with them.  Just what I needed to add to my insomnia.  But all it good on that front.

The old adage - "if I had known I was going to live this long ..." - really holds true.  I certainly would have taken better care.  I tell my granddaughter this all the time.  She has injured her shoulder in water polo.  She finally had her MRI and will have surgery later this year.  She hasn't been doing the exercises to strengthen and especially loosen her shoulder right before games.  So she will have her surgery after the season - in May.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Surgery set

I was measured for the new lens that will go into my eye.  So this is all progressing!

I was told that I will be using a total of three drops associated with this surgery.  Two before the surgery and one (I think) after.  The person doing all this pre-op business told me there was a pharmacy that could get the drops at a lower cost to me.  But that place is a long way (and in an unfavorable area) so I decided to use my local national one.

With the hubbub that I have been hearing from other retired Texas teachers, I was a little concerned with the new that these drops were "expensive."  I have to remember that most of those with the horror stories of having things like their insulin costs rising to $1500 come from those under 65.  Those poor people are really getting hit hard - both with just the cost of their insurance but also the drug portion.  They are not eligible for Medicare, and with the Windfall profit ruling (and that's laughable when you see exactly how little Texas teachers get for their retirement) - where Texas teachers aren't eligible for their total Social Security they PAID in, they may not get Medicare possibly.  I was very worried about the cost of those drops.

I had a semi-pleasant surprise when I called and got the amount I was to be charged  The total cost was $75.  That is both a shock and relief.  That means that each bottle was $25, and that is what I pay now for my Lumigan - for glaucoma.  So even though that was $75 I didn't plan on spending, it wasn't that far out of line.

The other good news about the cataract surgery is that she can do another procedure to hopefully eliminate glaucoma in that poor ol' left eye while she is there.  THAT would mean only half the amount of the Lumigan!  At least that is my hope.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Little things can mean a lot

While I was at the water polo game, G took our recycling out front.  He saw a couple walking two Boxers, and was, of course, interested.  He didn't recognize them, and I don't blame him.  He only met them once.

It was the couple who are friends (and one a classmate) of my daughter.  They had fallen on really hard times a few years ago.  They had lost their jobs and were near eviction from their home.  They had only one vehicle and it was so hard to even look for work for both of them.

We had just purchased our SUV, and we weren't going to get but about $1500 for my beloved Pontiac.  We hate trying to sell a car outright.  There are just too many horror stories - one included when we sold one that never had the title changed on!  That Pontiac was the epitome of the vehicle "driven by the little old lady school teacher to and from school!"  And school was about 5 miles from home.  It was in impeckable shape.

To cut to the chase - we gave this couple the car. 

They live about three blocks from us on a cul-de-sac, so we really don't ever go by their house. We heard from our daughter the car was saved during Harvey.  Their house got water in it, but that little green Gran Prix was saved!

After tslking with them, G found the husband still drives that car daily to and from work!  I am so happy we did this one bit of paying it forward.  That act was never about doing anything for us.  It was to help a good but struggling family get back on their feet.  It still can make me happy though - especially because that was the car of my dreams when I bought it!  I am so happy it still lives and is functional!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

To continue

This thing has gotten so much worse - so fast!

On Tuesday, I went to Granddaughter's water polo game.  It was at 5:30 and I drove - which is something I TRY to not do at all.  It was dusk when I got out.  First, with my diminished peripheral vision, I didn't see the step down in the parking lot.  I missed it and fell - fortunately on my butt.  That was embarrassing.  Then coming home, I was scared to death.  I really couldn't see that well as the night grew darker, and judging distance was really hard.

I knew all I see is blurry objects - letters disappear, but I just was kidding myself into believing it wasn't this bad.  It is.

So I go back next Tuesday to me "measured" for the lens.  And probably some other things as well.  I lost all she was saying - just to come in next week.  Then on the 27th is the surgery.

I love my doctor.  She is so funny.  I told her I was nervous with all that has happened to this eye.  She said I shouldn't be.  I told her that was easy for HER to say!

I really am thinking I don't have that much to lose.  I know, saw the "movie" about the surgery at her office, and she said I could lost my vision, but there isn't that much left!

Keep you posted as things progress!

Big day - I guess

And I am nervous.  Last time I saw the Retinal Specialist, the doc said the cataract was getting to the point he couldn't see the retina.  SO - I see the ophthalmologist today - in about an hour.

I cerebrally know it will be fairly painless, and I will be happy with the results.  I know I haven't got a lot to lose.  I do still have vision, but it is like looking through waxed paper that has been smeared with vaseline.   But it IS surgery.  On my eye.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Nothing really new

Our weather is still bad.  I am so tired of being cold that I almost miss menopause!  Usually here in Swampland by this time of the new year, we have reached 80 at least once.  So far that hasn't happened.  Perhaps tomorrow when the forecast is high 70's.  I am doubting that however since we haven't seen the sun in days!

My arthritis is really kicking butt.  It is amazing that one session in the pool in July of last year sent my shoulders into such a state.  Many nights the pain accompanied by my insomnia means I don't get much sleep.  I know I have had problems with these shoulders since I was a teen, but they are both really bad.  The diagnosis is arthritis in the left and a torn rotator cuff in the right.  But the real pain began when I was doing some isometric style exercises in the pool.  I just don't understand.

But the shoulders, back, and knees (yes those titanium knees that still hurt) are going to have to wait.  I went to the retinal specialist yesterday. While my right eye is still ok (last time he was seeing some fluid build up), he said it is time for the cataract surgery.  I will see better - of course since I am legally blind in the left eye because I have a "filmy" cataract in that eye - that is a given. 

The state of Texas has done a real number on its teachers - both in service and retired.  Our insurance is costing us a lot more, and the coverage is poor.  I have been waiting to book this cataract stuff.  I really SHOULD have done it last year when the insurance was better.  I didn't think the same insurance company would become so terrible this year, but it has.  But I called to begin the process.  So we will see.

So here it has been another gripe session.  Moaning and groaning about health in general.  Sorry about that.  It seems that is life in these parts these days.  G has back problems that the ortho said is treated with surgery.  That didn't go over well at all.  So they are going conservative with injections and physical therapy.  Our days seem to be spent deciding who has what doctor's appointment.  So that's where the mindset is.

Stay warm!  Let's all look forward to spring!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

FINALLY melted!

I took pictures after three days in the deep freeze, but I am just too lazy to download them from the camera, but we still had snow (ice) on roofs, cars, and shady places in the streets.  This is Southeast Texas for goodness sakes!  We are semi-tropical.  This is ridiculous.

Schools were closed for two days, and well they should have been.  Our temperature didn't get out of freezing both of those days.  I knew that the buses would not run.  And they didn't. 

I am not looking forward to our gas bill.  We have two furnaces that ran A LOT!  Fortunately, we had gotten our firewood before all this, so we were good on that.  Our fireplace is really an important asset to our heat in the den.  Even with new ductwork that should have been able to send the air better, the master bedroom gets the lion share of the air (both a/c and heat).  It gets so hot in there, but the den, kitchen, and breakfast room get just a little so we have been freezing!

Today we are to have (finally!!!) temperatures in the 60's, but it is cloudy with occasional showers.  That makes it seem a lot colder.  Tomorrow temps in the 70's.  I wish the sun were to be out, the rain will be greater.

So that is what is going on in Southeast Texas.  With the flu rampant, and the terrible weather, we are sticking close to the house.

Hope all it better in your neck of the woods!