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It’s a matter of Sense …. A Grandpa Tale

Most of us have or should have the 5 basic senses, some of may not be so fortunate.  They are sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.  For the most part these senses are all self-explanatory and don’t really need to go into them.  But to further the explanation I am calling on Wikipedia (in part) for a slightly fuller definition.   

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_senses 

A broadly acceptable definition of a sense would be “A system that consists of a group of sensory cell types that responds to a specific physical phenomenon, and that corresponds to a particular group of regions within the brain where the signals are received and interpreted.” There is no firm agreement as to the number of senses because of differing definitions of what constitutes a sense. Sidebar;  the music today is being brought to you via my IPOD being featured today include, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilot, Gemini Syndrome, Van Halen, and Puddle of Mudd, I almost forgot yes, Nickelback is pounding away too!!!!

Smiling, I am done with definitions (at least for this post), I want to talk about that 6th sense, or the 7th sense, or and 23rd sense. It’s the one each of us have, that is not recognized as one of the common senses (nor is it common sense).  Some of us know when to hit on 17 at the blackjack table and are successful more times than not (especially if they are playing 5 decks), others wouldn’t know if they had a guide-book. Some will hear a phone ring and answer it knowing who is calling.  Some of can sense when a friend is sick or needs us from thousands and thousands of miles away.  Others of us know when not to get on an airplane.  Some of know when it is really the right time to give that beggar something more than a dirty look.  Moms are extremely good at knowing when their child needs a tiny bit more attention, and even more importantly when their child truly needs to be left alone.  Some of us dads can figure it out with our daughters, but have more issues trying to figure it out with a son.  These extra senses don’t stay with us a lifetime, sometimes they are only one time events, but that event stays with you the rest of your life,  you remember your little miracle, you remember that special time and it gives you a good feeling, it does warm your soul. Sometimes these extra senses, come with maturity, and are honed as we age.  Yet other times they happen for no definable reason, at no particular age. Case in point: the young man who found the 20 dollar bill in the Cracker Barrel parking lot and felt it was the right thing to do by passing it on with that now world-famous note to the soldier, who has in turn passed it forward. 

I think that another word we need to consider is premonition. It is exactly like a sense only different. But just like that oddball sense you from time to time I am sure you have had a premonition.  You know that feeling you get just before a storm hits, or a view just outside of your vision that something bad is going to happen. Notice the 2 examples I gave for premonitions were negative, but being honest I don’t remember having a good premonition.  If I thought I was going to fail that math test, it was a pretty foregone conclusion I was going to fail that test. But what about your premonitions, have the outcome always been bad?  

 I suspect you’ll are awaiting my announcement as to what my special skill or talent may be, or if I have some superpower I haven’t shared with you.  Oh and I do have one, but I am not going to share it with you (at least not yet). 

Yet be it a premonition or an extra sense.  I do believe we all have one or more.  Some stay with us for a lifetime, others only for an incident.  I also think a person can talk themselves into having an extra sense, and by the same token talk ourselves out of a special ability.  In my opening sentence I stated that most of us have or should have the basic 5 senses, and that others might not be as fortunate.  Let me be very clear, I truly believe that the folks that do not have those 5 basic senses, utilize the senses they have to a much finer degree than we do, they hear better or see better or smell better or have extremely good taste.  But these folks also have special senses and utilize them much more so than us burdened with the basic five. They are not handicapped, they are empowered. 

This post while playful is also somewhat serious.  Please take a moment to think about yourself, and if you’re willing please share with us your special ability. 

As always if you have any questions or concerns or if you have a comment please feel free to ask or post it.  Take care, Bill.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings, Uncategorized

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 04/18/14……

For the week ending 04.18.14, while I am starting it a little later than normal I will have plenty of time and few interruptions because I am a bachelor for the next 2 weeks and I am in complete control of my schedule.  So any delays are purely my fault and I take complete and total credit for them. The jukebox is fired up and today will be featuring a lot of loud shaking the windows music focusing on whatever catches my fancy and is driving.  Sidebar; So be warned a lot of Nickelback will be played today, with a good mix of SRV, Hendrix, Seether, Theory of a Deadman and Puddle of Mudd to name a few. I don’t believe I will be playing any ballads today. Also I won’t be complaining about Pollen this week, it will be hanging around for a at least a couple more weeks so no sense continuing to beat that horse, but I will say I do notice the difference between moderate levels and high levels of pollen.  So if you discount the impact of the pollen, I have had a good week. Yes SOB is still a very real and pressing issue and one that pretty much rules the roost.  But I feel better this week than I did last week.  I am going to break my trend of going in .25 increments and say that this week I feel 2.9 all things consider and evaluated fairly.  I have not changed my scale it has just been a good week. 

The week I have had 2 doctor appointments; one with Doc Infectious, and the other my monthly IVIG treatment.  The appointment with Doc Infectious was very positive.  He has created a standing (protocol) order that if I come into the office at any time complaining of the symptoms associated with having a COPD exacerbation, that a predefined series of blood tests would be taken.  In addition, I would immediately be proscribed X drugs to be delivered to home.  My Mediport would be accessed before I left the office so I could administer the necessary IV drugs.  This avoids the emergency room and allows me to stay home for treatment.  I find this to be a BIG plus.

Let get the vitals out of the way for the week ending 04.18.14

  • INR = 2.1 taken 04/08/14 – next INR reading scheduled for 05.12.14

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 93 taken on 04.18.14 — avg daily is 92 for week

  • Peak Flow = 230 taken 04.18.14 – avg for week 220.

  • BP = 116/64 04.14.14 and 132/76 taken 04.17.14 – I will be damn if I know why there is such a big swing

  • Heart rate = 106 taken 04.17.14

  • Temp = 98.7 taken 04.16.14

  • Weight = 271.2 taken 04.14.14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 4.18.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week I have chosen Hospice. The definition used in today’s post comes to us via http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hospice

hos·pice , noun – 1. House of shelter or rest for pilgrims, strangers, etc., especially one kept by a religious order. 2. Medicine/Medical a. health – care facility for the terminally ill that emphasizes pain control and emotional support for the patient and family, typically refraining from taking extraordinary measures to prolong life. b. a similar program of care and support for the terminally ill at home.

Origin:  1810–20;  < French  < Latin hospitium hospitium

Saying Hospice to a group of folks that could be, who are, or know someone who is terminally ill is kinda like dropping the “F” bomb in a completely inappropriate place.  But there I said it. I have had very little personal experience with Hospice or Hospice care.  If you had asked me a few years ago about it, what little I knew wasn’t positive, and could fit inside thimble.  My father passed away as they were moving him to a hospice bed, my Mom passed away after spending no more than a week under hospice care, and my friend Mike passed away after 5 days at the hospice house.  Of the folks I have known, Mike was under hospice care for the longest period of time, it may have been as much as his last 5 weeks.  Mom, Dad and Mike were all deathly ill at the time of their involvement with Hospice.  And because of this I have always felt that Hospice is only short-term, weeks not months, and surely not years of care.  Being honest that was my extent of knowledge of hospice. 

But Hospice care is much more involved that my naïve thoughts.  They provide a wealth of services not only to the patient but to the family as well.  And it needs to be understood from the very 1st their job isn’t to expedite your passing, but to make your passing as comfortable as possible for you and your loved ones and friends.  I have done a tiny bit of research and have found that Hospice has cared for folks as long as 3 years prior to their passing.  Hospice provides 24/7/365 medical coverage for the patient.   You are not denied life-sustaining medications, you are visited weekly by an RN or LPN, and your medical equipment needs are met.  Hospice has trained professional social workers, trained volunteers, Chaplains, and a host of other services tuned directly to the need to the patient.  In addition there is an extensive support network set up to aid your spouse, children or family, as well as, friends.  

Other important information to have regarding Hospice is that you can opt out any anytime, and opt back it, if the need occurs. Also you are evaluated on a regular basis (every 3 months by an RN, and every 6 months by a doctor) to see if you still meet the criteria for Hospice care.  In other words Hospice will OPT you out of the program if your health warrants; you’re not declining but maintaining an even level, or if your health improves.  Look at it this way, if you going to be kicked out of something, being under Hospice Care would be high on my list. 

Some of us may cringe when we hear the term hospice used about us.  My point is that in reality at the time we may need them the most, is when they will be there for your or me.  That we should do our own research, and become familiar with the program and how it will aid us (and our families) in our transition.  

As always thank you for indulging me as I have rambled on.  I hope you have a great weekend.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask, if you want to comment those are appreciated as well.  Take care, Bill

 

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The Difference between Rich and Poor People

A friend on AOL shared this with me, and I felt it was simple and good enough to share with you’ll.  Most have probably seen it, many probable live a life with these appreciations.  I know I try, sometimes I am much more successful than others.  Take from this what you wish, I am just offering it because I liked it. Take care, Bill
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Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Pictures, Ramblings

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 04/11/14……

For the week ending 04.11.14 I am actually starting this post in a timely manner, that’s not to say that it will be finished in a timely manner. It sure was nice to see Kentucky lose the National Championship Game, that’s all I am saying on that matter. Sidebar, we are going cover song to start today, “Bad Company” by Five Finger Death Punch, very true to the original. For the past few weeks I have felt like I was in the early stages of yet another exacerbation. I have been coughing (mostly nonproductive, but slightly milky otherwise) so hard my chest hurt, my nose has been running a marathon and winning, I have been weaker than normal, and of course the SOB is always present.  And like a dumb ass I kept it to myself, I fretted, I worried, I let my attitude slip a bit, but I hadn’t gotten to the point of actually having a pity party. Finally I sucked it up, and saw my nurse (as I advised last week). This week I am giving its due. On by the way, this is the March/early April time frame, if I had even paid a lick of a bit of attention to the local weather, even I might have picked up on a potential cause to all my recent problems. With the patience of a saint, she explained to me that the bulk of my problems have come from the “P” word POLLEN. Folks the Pollen level here in the Tampa area of Florida where I live has been either High or Extremely High, with the exception of 2 days, for going on 3 weeks. Being honest I never even considered POLLEN to be the issue. But Doc Lungs confirmed my nurse’s diagnoses and I have been told pretty much too just “suck it up” and deal with it. And BTW! STAY INDOORS as much as possible. Sidebar, the last 4 songs I have listened to in this order are: – 1. This Means War by Nickelback, 2. Possession by Sarah McLachlin, 3. Gotta Get Me Some by Nickelback and 4. Stairway Way to Heaven by Heart. No wonder it takes so long for me to write a post. BTW if you are a Led Zeppelin fan and have not heard Heart’s cover of this song you need to give yourself a treat.   Having said all of that about pollen, and the multitude of issues it brings with it, I am going to still rate my week as a 2.75, and at the same time increase my stock in Kleenex.

This week has been relatively painless regarding Doctor appointments. I saw Doc Head, Monday and that is such a positive impact on me. She is having me read a book called When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold S. Rushner. The book is only 111 difficult pages LOL LOL. I am half way thru the book, and he (btw he is a Rabbi) is finally starting to make good sense. And while it may be a difficult read for me, it may not be for you. If you or someone you care for is trying to play the blame game, for whatever ails you, this could be a very helpful book. I haven’t finished it, but I will, and already I am getting something good from it. It is just a suggestion. Also this week I saw Doc Lungs, when I spoke to him about the nurse’s diagnoses about the Pollen, he gave me that patented “DUH” look. He said “honestly I never thought to talk to you about this, of all my patients I thought you had this one figured out.” I really expected him to have me sit in the corner with the dunce cap on. He listened to my lungs and stated they were as a clear as they would be for me, and that he would see me again in 4 weeks, and that at that time he wanted to do a breathing test (oh joy!). The only appointment I have lined up for next week is my monthly IVIG treatment.

Let get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 04.11.14

  • INR = 2.1 taken 04/08/14 – next INR reading scheduled for 05.12.14

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 91 taken on 04.11.14 — avg daily is 93 for week

  • Peak Flow = 225 taken 04.11.14 – avg for week 220.

  • BP = 112/62 taken 04.10.14

  • Heart rate = 102 taken 04.11.14

  • Temp = 98.5 taken 04.10.14

  • Weight = 273.5 taken 04.11.14 – beginning to have some belly creep

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 4.11.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect. This week I have chosen Challenges. The definition used in today’s post comes to us via http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/challenge

 Challenge – Noun

1. call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc. 2. something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.: Space exploration offers a challenge to humankind. 3. a call to fight, as a battle, a duel, etc. 4. a demand to explain, justify, etc.: a challenge to the treasurer to itemize expenditures. 5. difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.

Challenge – Verb — verb (used with object), challenged, challenging.

11. to summon to a contest of skill, strength, etc. 12. to take exception to; call in question: to challenge the wisdom of a procedure. 13. to demand as something due or rightful. 14. Military. to halt and demand identification or countersign from 15. Law. to take formal exception to (a juror or jury).

Challenge – Verb — verb (used without object), chal·lenged, chal·leng·ing.

21. to make or issue a challenge. 22. Hunting. (of hounds) to cry or give tongue on picking up the scent.

Challenge — adjective

23. donated or given by a private, corporate, or government benefactor on condition that the recipient raise an additional specified amount from the public: a challenge grant.

Origin: 1175-1225; Middle English chalenge  < Old French,  variant of chalonge  < Latin calumnia calumny

Folks I choose to talk about challenge or challenges today because we all face them. Our 1st day at school, or earning that final degree, in the prime of health or on our death-bed, standing over a 5 foot putt for a 12, holding our newborn child, or our grandchild, choosing a career or changing careers in mid-stream, we all face a variety of challenges. Some challenges are humongous; some are no more than an ant hauling one grain of sand. What challenges one individual may have absolutely no impact on another. Sidebar, I have listened to tons of music as I have put this together, Van Halen, Tom Petty, The Wallflowers, BB King, and then some old school Kinks and Zombies, and Rob Zombie to name a few. But that being said because each challenge is different we are allowed to handle each challenge differently. For me I have a simple process, I start at the most difficult part of the challenge for me, at that time, and work back from there. Example, my wife cooks a great meal and it has a ton of different ingredients. When the meal is presented to me I eat the things off the plate that I like the least, for instance, if peas (YUK) were on my plate I would gag those down 1st, unless I was allowed to push them aside, and use the taste of the next ingredient to cleanse my palate. This is easy because I usually only encounter this challenge when she cook Asian. Until the remaining ingredients were all to my liking, then I would just kinda graze through them. This is the approach I have used to deal with most challenges my entire life. But it’s not for everyone. I will admit that some challenges you just can’t attack head on, so I have had to change my approach from time to time to accommodate the challenge presented. Overall it has worked well for me. You choose the method or methods that work best for you to deal with the challenges you encounter. And remember to find what works best for you, given the situation.

As always thank you for indulging me as I have rambled on. I hope you have a great weekend. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask, if you want to comment those are appreciated as well. Take care, Bill

 

 

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 It’s a Matter of Music…. A Grandpa Tale

Good morning folks, I hope your Wednesday is starting off great, mine has.  Per my normal daily habit I was up and about at 6ish this morning. I was nebulizing this nebulizing that, and taking the rest of my morning medications.  As usual during this morning ritual, I was scanning my email accounts and Facebook. As I was scanning Facebook, throwing out some likes, I stumbled upon a post by a dear friend (Huntmode). She shared the following YouTube video.

http://www.thisblewmymind.com/street-musician-tipped-girl-happened-next-blew-whole-city-away/?fb_action_ids=10201782776426970&fb_action_types=og.recommends

Of course it was one of those staged flash mob video’s which I truly enjoy, because they just make me so damn happy.  So I am nebulizing and blasting this flash mob video, it comes to an end I am smiling, already it’s a great day, and I begin to explore.  Originally my intent was to find some more orchestra (flash mob) video’s and just sit and immerse myself in some classical music. So I jumped on YouTube, and immediately encountered the 2 Piano Guys, which if you haven’t discovered them I would strongly suggest you give time a listen. I just wasn’t in the mood for the Piano Guys this morning, but…… if you have spent any time on YouTube, on the right side of the page is a column of what could be related or similar video’s kinda if you like this you may like that…   Well I was going down the column and there were a bunch of 2 Cello video’s available, I had never heard of 2Cellos, but I recognized the title of one song from the get go, “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, and for those that know me, know that AC/DC is one of my favorite bands (maybe you didn’t know cause I do have hundreds of favorite bands), so of course I had to give it a view, and from that view grew this post.

I have attached (besides the inspirational video from Huntmode Facebook post) 5 additional videos from 2Cellos.  Two are from AC/DC, one from Guns & Roses, one from Michael Jackson, and finally one from Jimi Hendrix.  I know as sure as I am sitting in a black chair, in my office, that some of you can’t stand any of the bands I just listed, some of you love all of them, some of you are too young to appreciate Jimi Hendrix, and some of you are a mixture of all of the above, or for that matter none of the above. I know I now have a new appreciation for Guns and Roses LOL.  But if I could beg your indulgence, please do me this one favor and watch the “Thunderstuck” video. Angus Young (lead guitar for AC/DC) must be beside himself.

If you have any level of vivid imagination you can see the roots of rock: hardrock, grudgerock, acidrock, puckrock, in this video and besides it’s just fun, considering the setting, the music and most importantly the audience.  If this is the direction that elevator music is taking, I may ride elevators the rest of my life.

Thunderstuck – AC/DC – as covered by 2Cellos  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT3SBzmDxGk

Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze – as covered by 2Cellos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae23y2D8VSI

Welcome to the Jungle – Guns and Roses – as covered by 2Cellos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V7EugoweM4

Highway to Hell – AC/DC – as covered by 2Cellos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfGggAGITwg

Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson – as covered by 2Cellos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx0xCI1jaUM

Sometimes as adults when we listen to the music our children enjoy we scratch our heads and know exactly why the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Other times we are filled with joy, the fact is, it’s their music.  If for every Foo Fighters, we discover a group like the Piano Guys or 2Cellos, we are all gaining and we are all part of the every growing metamorphosis of music.  I know when I was a kid, my dad had a conniption fit whenever he heard us play the Beatles, or the Rolling Stones, or SteppenWolf (Dad destroyed my copy of their album when he heard the song Pusher Man).  I know I looked at my daughter in sheer wonderment when I found out she enjoyed rap, and even gangster rap, music I detested then and even now, though I will admit I have become a fan of Kid Rock.

Quickly jumping down from my soapbox. The point is I am offering you six videos for your enjoyment, if you don’t like any of them that is your business your choice, and I completely appreciate it.  I get it, I am just saying discovering 2Cellos has made my day, and has satisfied an itch.

As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask them and as always your comments are greatly appreciated.  Thanks Bill

 

 

 

 
29 Comments

Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Music, Observations, Ramblings

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 04/04/14……

For the week ending 04.04.14 I am actually starting this post in a timely manner, that’s not to say that it will be finished in a timely manner.  The memory of Louisville’s lost to Kentucky has not completely faded and I am not watching anymore of the NCAA tournament in fear that Kentucky may actually win if I watch. I am just saying that my 2 favorite college basketball teams are Univ of Louisville and any team beating the univ of kentucky.  Sidebar, we are starting today with Eric Clapton, from his blue’z times.  SOB continues to be the overriding health issue, also this week I felt I was in the beginning stages of another exacerbation and I was greatly concerned (and still am to somewhat lessor degree).  I did see the nurse yesterday, my lungs are clear, and the drippy nose, the nagging non-productive cough and the scratchy eyes are the result of the damn pollen.  But as anyone with COPD or for that matter any respiratory ailment will attest, these symptoms always cause great concern. My general health is okay, no aches or pains and I survived the dentist last week without even getting a lecture. As stated the most significant issue of the week has been the pollens, and the concern that caused me. Given all the relevant information I am going to rate the week a strong 2.5, or to please some of my readers a very very weak 2.75, you choose.  It’s really only slightly down from last week, but laughing it has been a difficult couple weeks.  All things considered when I woke this morning, I knew I was going to have a GREAT DAY!

Last week I spoke briefly of attempting to add mental health into the evaluation for the weekly rating and I am still pondering that. Sidebar, this talk of mental health has had me reach for Sarah McLachlan, go figure (but she has such a beautiful voice).   As most of you have long figured out I am the eternal optimist, and that alone has helped me so much over my lifetime, but even more so in recent years since I have fought this battle with COPD.  If my weekly rating were solely based on mental health (attitude) they would be around 4.5 on a regular basis, because to my knowledge there is only 1 perfect individual. 

Let get the vitals out of the way for the week ending 04.04.14

    • INR = 2.0 taken 03/24/14 – next INR reading scheduled for 04.08.14
    • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 96 taken on 04.04.14  
    • Peak Flow = 220 taken 04.04.14
    • BP = 127/86 taken 04.03.14
    • Heart rate = 108 taken 04.04.14
    • Temp = 97.9 taken 04.04.14
    • Weight = 271.5 taken 04.03.14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 4.04.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week I have chosen Attitude. The definition used in today’s post comes to us via http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/attitude

ATTITUDE — noun —1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.  2.position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.: a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.

As much as I would love to share my attitude with everyone facing the challenges this and other terminal diseases brings to you, I can’t but I can and will be your biggest cheerleader, I can and will be the one patting you on the back telling you what a great job you’re doing and to keep it up. Sidebar, moving swiftly away from Sarah we are now enjoying some SRV (Stevie Ray Vaughan) “Crossfire.”   I will be there to pick you up when you fall.  I also believe that attitudes can be changed. But like any other bad habit, changing your attitude takes work.  Smiling I have an abundance good attitude and if I could I would give you some of mine, but (smiling) you really need to want it.

As you know attitude comes from within. But no matter what your, going in attitude is, I think it is something you can improve.  When I played golf I sucked, oh I wasn’t terrible (well maybe a bit terrible), but it didn’t matter to me if I shot 83 (my career best), or 120+, I always found one shot that was good enough to bring a smile to my lips and reason to come back again.  A dear friend on the DS group used to post every day the one thing she found that gave her a reason to be thankful.  By her admission it helped her greatly. I always admired those posts.   Finding that little thing, or that point to be happy are small steps, but they build and build, and as they do so, so does your good attitude.  Clearly this is an over simplification, but it is a start.  But conversely if you have a bad attitude, no matter what you do that attitude shows thru, it shows in your conversation, it shows in your walk, it shows in your illness.  Sidebar, we have moved on to Toby Keith’s “How do you like me now?” We are finishing up our time with Toby with “Weed with Willie.”  And have moved on to Aretha Franklin, Brooks and Dunn, Matchbox 20, and Creed. Maybe I have spent so much talking attitude because mine has been down slightly these last 2 weeks but I see it on the rebound, just talking about it in this manner is a boost. Sidebar, I have my music on the “Random” selection I just went from Lewis Black to AC/DC to Five Finger Death Punch, tell me that won’t perk you up.  Of course you do need to like this stuff!  Okay okay, back to the point, Attitude will carry you.  And you don’t even have to be sick.  A smile and polite word will always get you more than a displayed crappy attitude.  If your attitude needs correction, take it in small steps.  Cause folks notice, 1st curb the old, heck it might even do you good to admit you know you have a shitty attitude and you are working to change it, so a little patience during the process will help. And yes during the change you will display some of that old attitude, smile acknowledge it, and keeping working on it.   If you have a good attitude great!! Smiling we need to work on that as well.  I just think the process is easier, if you’re starting with a good foundation.

Okay folks, most of you are saying he is just typing to be typing.  I will bring this t o an end with the Eagles blasting away.  I hope you have a great weekend.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask, if you want to comment those are appreciated as well.  Take care, Bill

 

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A beginning

FlaHam:

Yea Yea Yea — I have beeb warning you my Daughter was publishing her Blog beginning today April Fool’s Day. As a reminder I am reblogging her 1st post. Be nice LOL LOL . Take care, Bill

Originally posted on Burning Candles:

April Fool’s Day isn’t exactly sentimental for most people, but I always kinda look forward to it.  It isn’t like Christmas or the Fourth of July, obviously, but it is a special day for me because an AFD prank is the reason why I’m married to my husband.  We both count AFD as the beginning of our relationship.

Stu and I had become friends a bit inadvertently through a mutual friend, Chip, whose life was way more complicated than ours…  he had high maintenance girlfriends and troublesome roommates, and always managed to make plans with us to only back out.  So Stu and I found ourselves thrown together more and more.  Turns out, we had great times together and laughed a lot.  He was my best friend.  That semester I audited a pottery class at the community college where Stu was taking classes part-time, so we would park next to…

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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Moving the Household Step 3… A Grandpa Tale

Please refer to Moving the Household Step 1 for volumes (the 1st 2 paragraphs) of background information, posted on March 27, 2014.  Step 2 was also published on March 27th.

For those who have not been following along my wife and I moved our household from Northern Virginia to Florida in 2002.  To me it seemed like it would be a simple task. You contract with a moving carrier, they come on a defined day and pack your belonging (Step 1), then on the next defined date they come and load all your belonging into a truck and move it to the new address (Step 2), and finally at the new address they would unload the truck, setting up furniture, and putting clearly marked boxes in the appropriately marked rooms in the new home (Step 3).  The process as written here would appear quite straight forward and relatively simple, “NO NO NA NA’ to quote John Pinette.  Enjoy parts 1 and 2 to see what I mean.

We finished part 2 with me sharing coffee and donuts with the truck driver and his crew, who were, his cousin and nephew (Darrell and his other brother Darrell). Sidebar, we just finished listening to Five Finger Death Punch’s “Bad Company.”  That seems so appropriate. So without further delay let’s wrap this up.

Step 3: on scheduled move in date, the truck would arrive and unpacking and set up would begin and finish.  After coffee we discuss the plan for unloading the truck, we walked the house (each room clearly marked with big RED signs).  The furniture was to be brought in 1st and set up, followed by the boxes. I had an inventory of the boxes and would check them off as they were brought into the house. My job was to be the traffic cop, I would direct traffic, I would say this piece of furniture goes in this room or that room until all the furniture was off the truck and set up as I defined, and (of course I was working from orders from my boss).   Because the movement and placement of furniture was quite specific it was really hard to screw this up, but I will give Darrell and Darrell credit they tried their very best and were quite successful in many instances.  But after butting heads a few times the furniture was placed where the boss wanted it placed.  Sidebar we now have Gemini Syndromes “Stardust” playing. 

Now the difficult task was to start, each box had a number that corresponded to the packing list.  The list had a box number, and the room from which it came from the house in Virginia.  For instance the fancy plates and stuff were packed in boxes marked dining room.  The everyday plates were in a box marked kitchen. Loose stuff that was drawers of end tables in the living room were marked “Living Room” and on and on.

In my role as traffic cop, I stood at the front door, and as a box or 6 came thru the door I would mark it off the master list and direct it to the proper room.  I would look at the list if the box came out of the master bedroom I would mark the box 1 to correspond to the sign on the door of the master bedroom, bedroom 2 would go to room 2, and on and on.  This process seemed to work real well or so I thought.  Sidebar, we are now listening to 3 Doors Down. When they took their first smoke break, and I used that time to do a walk about the house to see how things were going, and I would find a box 3 in room 2 or a box 1 in the family room, and when smoke break was over I had them move those boxes to the proper room.  But with the sheer quantity of boxes and the furniture in the rooms, the rooms were becoming impassable. So I made a command decision that the overflow go into the garage. That first smoke break was the last time they took a smoke break together, from that point on at least 2 of them were bringing things into the house.  If I needed a break they just stacked stuff in the garage.  The problem was I was 1 guy with a list dealing with 3 guys trying to empty a truck as fast as possible. In all my years in management I had never really dealt with gentlemen with these skill sets and inability or desire to follow direction.  But then I was dealing with Darrell and Darrell.

As the unpacking continued I recognized a serious problem in the process. The problem was; that the boxes were marked by one person by which room they were packed. But they were packed into the truck by 3 guys according to weight and size without regard to what room they came from.  They come off the truck last box on, was the 1st off the truck. So rarely did 2 boxes come pass me going to the same room. Sidebar we have been listening to a selection of songs from the Byrds, CSN&Y, Buffalo Springfield and Charlie Daniels.  This kept me jumping all over the inventory list.  When the final box was off the truck, my checking of the inventory found there to be about a 20 box difference from what I checked off, and what was to be delivered.  So we had to painstakingly find those 20 boxes, after 45 minutes of searching I was satisfied that we had accounted for all of our belonging.  What a major P I T A!!!!

The driver and Darrell and Darrell started unloading the truck at approximately 7:15am they were pulling out of my driveway a little after noon. I was never happier to see someone leave my home as I was that day when they left.

This concludes Step 3. In the future I may actually write about unpacking over 100 boxes and the process for getting rid of all that cardboard and packing paper, not to mention what I discovered opening each box, it was like Christmas LOL LOL.  As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask. If you have any comments I would enjoy hearing them.   Please take care, Bill

This is my 250th post since starting my Blog in June 2012,  and it gives me great pleasure to remind you that my Daughter’s Blog “Burning Candles” debuts tomorrow April 1, 2014. It can be found at the link below.  Thank you for giving it a look. Take care – Bill

 http://burningcandlesblog.wordpress.com/

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Observations, Ramblings

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 3.28.14… (sorry for delay)

The week ending 3.28.14 has come and gone, and it 725am on Sunday morning. But I am going to write this as if it were still Friday the 28th of March.  So the crushing defeat of the University of Louisville to the damn WildCats of Kentucky will not play in the assessment of my health for the week.  As I have been stating the SOB (shortness of breath for my new readers) is the dominant factor in how I evaluated my health in recent weeks.  Given that I will rate the week a weak 2.75.  This week has been particularly stressful mentally and therefore physically (which makes stress the word of the week). Sidebar musically we will start with the Allman Brothers Band “Statesboro Blues.”  

Last week I gave my health an overall rating of a solid 2.75, even with the stress of the week, I am only going to downgrade my overall health to a weak 2.75.  All things considered even considering a visit to my Dentist the week still gets a 2.75.  Last week I didn’t complain of headaches or any other aches and pains, this week again no out-of-place difficulties that I can define.   Also last week I briefly discussed adding the mental health factor into my weekly assessment, I am still noodling this around.  The more I think about the mental component of one’s health, the more I see the validity of addressing it on a regular basis.  I am pretty sure I can say, and that you would agree, a happy head helps the body stay happy. Sidebar, of course we had to have some Nickelback, so “Next Contestant” is blasting away.  

Last week I touched on attitude does help carry the body thru difficult times, but please don’t think for a second that I advocate attitude over medicine.  But a great attitude and good medicine is a very difficult combination to beat.  I truly believe this and as I said last week “My attitude has carried the load, and has allowed me to press on.”  This also bears repeating from last week “The fact remains for COPD or any other traumatic disease the patient’s attitude will do just as much towards their recovery or functionality as taking all the required medicines does for their body”.

Let get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 03/28/14

  • INR = 2.0 taken 03/24/14 – level is therapeutic no changes in dosage
  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 95 taken on 03/30/14  
  • Peak Flow = 225 taken 3/30/14
  • BP = not take recently enough to chart
  • Heart rate = 98 taken 03/30/14
  • Temp = 98.6 taken 03/30/14
  • Weight = 272 taken 03/30/14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 3/28/14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week I have chosen Stress, for two reasons, one I have been under a ton of it this week (this was the prime reason) and 2 one of my good blogger buddy’s wrote a post about stress.  I have not read her post or commented yet so while we listen to some “Big and Rich,”  I am going to read and comment on her post.

There is the text book definition of stress.  Taken from: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stress

Origin:
1275–1325;  (noun) Middle English stresse,  aphetic variant of distresse distress; (v.) derivative of the noun

Stress as a Verb

verb (used with object)  1. to lay stress on; emphasize.  2. Phonetics . to pronounce (a syllable or a word) with prominent loudness: Stress the first syllable of “runner.” Stress the second word in “put up with.”  Compare accent (  def 18 ) . 3.to subject to stress or strain. 4. Mechanics . to subject to stress.

verb (used without object) 1. to experience stress or worry: Don’t stress about the turkey; I promise it will be delicious. Dad is always stressing out over his job.

Stress as a Noun

noun 1. importance attached to a thing: to lay stress upon good manners. Synonyms: significance, meaning, emphasis, consequence; weight, value, worth. 2. Phonetics . emphasis in the form of prominent relative loudness of a syllable or a word as a result of special effort in utterance. 3. Prosody . accent or emphasis on syllables in a metrical pattern; beat.  4. emphasis in melody, rhythm, etc.; beat. 5. the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.

The soundtrack has moved on just like time, we now have some Toby Keith playing “Beer for my Horse” which is a great tune and you can check it out on UTube, BTW as you can tell I have been all over the juke box today.  Okay back to the subject at hand “STRESS.”  Last Saturday my wife and I left the house briefly to go pick up a pizza.  We walked out of the house with the washing machine starting a load of laundry; we were gone for 25 minutes.  Now think about your home, ours is a single level.  Went we came home we saw water coming from beneath the garage door.  Stress level went to Decon 3, as the garage door opened, the water cascaded out, DECON 4, my wife jumps out of the car, races into the house and the utility room is flooded, the water is working its way down the hall, the water has seeped into the dining from by going under the wall, DECON 5 and we are at war with the water.  Within 2 minutes of coming in the house the water was shut off, but the damage done.  I spend Saturday evening thru Friday evening talking to the water cleanup company, our insurance company, the claims person, the folks that checked the washing machine 2 weeks prior to the accident, the insurance company lawyer, and the insurance company contractor who will repair the damage.  Not to mention the many levels of scheduling I had to do.  My day and week went from ho hum, to pulling my hair out stress.  It didn’t impact me, I really didn’t feel much, for 30 years I worked in that type of environment, it really had no impact on my head at all, and actually it was like old home week.  But my breathing took a beating, each day the situation, the calls, the meetings, the calls from the wife wanting updates, all played a part and my breath got shorter and shorter, by the weekend I was having issues pushing air.  That my friends is a clear result of stress.  Mentally it was no challenge, physically it abused me.  

In response to my friend’s post I wrote in part the following: “I really think it is in the makeup of the individual, their soul for a lack of a better term, in how an individual deals with stress.   Taking your example a touch further if those same two individual encountered 10 identical “stressful” situations, that there is a good chance that you could get completely different reactions from the individual depending on which situation occurred.  In some cases neither of the individuals would be affected at all, while in others both could react the same way.

To further muddy up the water, I feel that in addition to an individual’s soul an individual’s environment plays a significant role in how they react to a “stressful” situation.  Life experiences, age, sometimes their sex may have an influence, but these are all just contributing factors.

In the past year you have been pulled in so many directions, you have had so many outside influences impacting you and your world.  It is easy to see how stress can impact you.  It is easy to see how some influences impact you more than others.  And for all of these reasons it is easy to see how you could react differently.  But your own answer is clearly one of the keys “Perhaps the answer to the stress question is this:  Accept what is; make the most of every single hour of every single day; and get back on that bicycle!” “

If you notice not once did I mention the physical impact stress has on an individual, I spoke at length to the mental component but again failed to get into the physical.   It wasn’t until I came back to this post and start writing again did it dawn on me the very real impact that the stress of dealing with washer issues had on my body and my ability (or lack of) to breathe.  But my friend didn’t address how stress had physically impacted them. But you can bet in the future I will pay closer attention to stress as it relates to my breathing.

I really didn’t answer a question, I just put this out for thought, maybe as a reminder to all of us, that when we are in a stressful time not only is our head affected but so is our body.

Trust me a lot of music has played since I started this, but it has gone on long enough, so no more sidebars today on music. If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or ideas please feel free to ask away. I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon.  Take care, Bill

 

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Moving the Household Step 2… A Grandpa Tale

Please refer to Moving the Household Step 1 for volumes (the 1st 2 paragraphs) of background information, posted on March 27, 2014.

 It needs to be understood at this point my wife had already departed Alexandria VA for Tampa because her new job required her to be in town and available for in processing for new teachers.  In addition new teachers were required to participate in at least 8 or 10 days of pre-school year instruction.  I had been left to attend to the closing of the sale of our home, the managing of the move from this end, and the final cleaning of the house before we turned over the keys at closing. 

Step 2:  The moving truck and crew would show up at the allotted time and begin loading. The truck and crew consisting of the driver who was an older guy not skinny but not fit, with cigarette stains on his fingers and bright yellow teeth, and his crew, who were, his cousin and nephew (Darrell and his other brother Darrell), both big burly ex-football lineman kinda guys who were quite capable of lifting and carrying a small 3 bedroom house belonging and all, had driven an empty truck 600 miles to pick up this load and take it to Florida.  They showed up two days before the scheduled pack date, which was not scheduled for 2 more days (in essence 4 days early), calling me at the office demanding I allow them into my home to start loading the truck.  I explained to them that the packers hadn’t even got there yet so they would have to wait.  

Apparently the truck driver called the parent company to complain that the customer wasn’t ready.  The parent company then explained to the driver he was there over 2 days early and would have to park his ass somewhere while the packers got the house ready.  The only reason I know any of this is because the truck driver explained to me in quite graphic terms that he and his crew had been parked at a local motel for 2 days waiting to load the furniture and boxes into the truck. 

The driver must have been in direct contact with Josey because not 15 minutes after Josey and her crew departed he and his crew showed up.  The driver demanded that he be able to start loading the truck, to which I said, “Why are you in such a hurry, you can’t deliver the load at the Florida address until July 18, and it was only the 10th of July.” He responded “Well shit! I will have this stuff in Florida in two days.” To which I replied, “The contract I signed mandated that delivery would take place 5 days after scheduled pickup, you’re trying to pick the load up two days early, take it up with your company”. Grumbling he got back on his cell phone with the company office and again was told to cool his jets.  I allowed him to start packing the truck on July 11th, and he completed the packing that afternoon. I told him I would see him on the morning of July 18th in Florida.  He said okay, and they took off.  

I will admit that they seemed to know how to pack a truck, and they didn’t destroy any of our stuff.  After they were done clearing the house of all the boxes and furniture, I cleaned the house from top to bottom.  Having been in the Navy I had a lot of experience cleaning, that house was spotless when I was done.  Next on my agenda was closing the sale of the house.  Then I went to closing and completed that task. I then took off for Florida on the 14th of July.  I arrived early on the 16th of July, and that evening while having dinner with my wife my cell phone rings, it’s the driver from the moving company, he said he was parked in front of the house and needed access so he could unload the truck.  I told him that it wasn’t going to happen, that we hadn’t even closed on the house yet, and we didn’t have keys.  I also reminded him that he wasn’t even supposed to be here until the am of the 18th.  This redneck truck driver finally lost his patience with me, started cussing and telling me how time is money and how he and his crew were losing money on this deal, and on and on and on.  I told to take it up with his company, and that I would see him am on the 18th, and hung up and turned off my phone.  At 5pm on the evening of July 17th, again the driver called and asked if they could come and start, the driver’s tone was different and I said sorry but no, not until the 18th.  He asked what time could they start, I told them I would be there no later than 7 am, they were parked in front of my new home at 630 am when I arrived with 4 cups of coffee and a dozen donuts.  After the coffee and donuts, the 3 man crew began the unloading process.  So ends Step 2 of Moving a Household.  

As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask. If you have any comments I would enjoy hearing them.  Step 3 (the final step) will be short and sweet compared to steps 1 and 2.   Please take care, Bill

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings

 

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Moving at household (Step 1) … A GrandpaTale

Oh the process is quite simple you call an internationally known and trusted long distance carrier (they don’t like the term mover).  They come out to your home, walk about your home for 12 or so minutes, sit at your kitchen table and provide you a detailed quote (which is well within you budget). They show up a little early on the scheduled day to pack your belonging “with tender loving care.”  The very next day the truck and crew shows up (looking neat and professional). Quickly, efficiently and with great care the crew moves all your worldly possessions into the truck (with the exception of booze and cleaning supplies).  When the truck is loaded, with a warm smile the driver says he will see you in 2 days at your new home, and to not worry your stuff will be safe with him and his crew.  As promised 2 days later the smiling crew arrives at your new home.  They quickly grasp the plan for the unloading of the truck, and quickly proceed to aptly go about unloading the truck.  Placing furniture exactly where asked, and moving it about as necessary to please the customer (wife), without so much as a single dirty look or grumble. A few hours later the task is complete and with a quick handshake, and friendly good bye, driver and crew are off to their next destination.  That my dear friends is the fantasy version, that is how we were told it would go, gee I wish it had been true.  That would have been a nice story, and without a doubt much shorter than the experience I am going to share.

 

First I didn’t call one vendor, I ended up having to call 3.  I was quite surprised with the 1st moving company just rejected my business, claiming that we were moving to little stuff to far.  I had been under the impression that moving companies really liked my kinda business but I was set straight.  It seems that for them to make a real profit there has or needs to be a move at the other end coming back, or the need to have 2 households packed in the same truck, or at least a household moving in the return direction to make it profitable for them.  They did give us some usefool tips, that were in fact cost savings.  My wife and I are both readers, and this was before Nooks and Kindles and other devices where you could read electronically.  The mover told us the sheer volume of books we wanted to transport would almost double the close of the move.  This information was further confirmed by both the other vendors I was offering the job too.  The net result was that the public library in Alexandria VA gained over 1,500 books, of which 350 were hardback 1st editions, all with perfect dust covers.  After considerable time spent meeting with 3 different movers, we chose the one that started with a “U” and ended with “nited”. The process was to be quite simple Step 1: on the scheduled day the mover would send a team of “professional” packers to the home and pack for shipment anything that wasn’t nailed down with the exception of food, alcohol or cleaning supplies. These boxes were to be labelled (detailing the contents, the room from which packed i.e. Master bedroom and so on, and box “X” of “X” boxes) so we would have expectations to be able to find things when we arrived at the new home.  Step 2:  The moving truck and professional crew would show up at the allotted time and begin packing. Step 3: on scheduled move in date, the truck would arrive and unpacking and set up would begin and finish.  We had in the contract that pick up would be on X date, and that delivery would be on Y date, with an extra 5 days between X and Y (we did pay extra for having those 5 days).  Gosh this seemed so clear and clean.

 

Step 1: on the scheduled day the mover would send a team of “professional” packers to the home and pack for shipment anything that wasn’t nailed down or food. alcohol or cleaning supplies. On the day scheduled for the “packers,” Joey called at about 8:15am and stated the team would be there within the hour to begin, he also when on to say that based on the walk thru they should be done by 4pm.  I said no problem Joey and I look forward to seeing them (from the sound of the voice, I had made a terrible assumption, that being that Joey was a guy). At about 9:45am (at least 30 minutes later than promised) “Joey” and 3 other ladies (all 4 women could have been extra’s on any recent women’s prison movie) showed up, and this burly woman, and walked up to me and said “Mr. Hamilton, I’m Josey, we spoke on the phone, sorry we are late.” That was about as polite as Josey was to me the rest of the day, more than once, I was advised that I was in the way, and that I was hampering the work effort. More than once I stated that I would continue to watch because it was my “Stuff” being packed. Josey made a point of advising me that they were the professionals.  I will admit right here right now, that nothing Josey and her team packed was broken.  But when it came time to unpack the boxes (which was my responsibility), Josey had proved to have won the battle of wills.  Of all the packing, her and her team did, only one room was completely correct, that was the dining room.   Half the boxes were miss labelled.  A box marked den might actually have 2nd bedroom stuff in it.  I suspect in total almost half the boxes were miss labelled as to the contents which made unpacking a treasure hunt.  Smiling, I had taken time off for this, and my wife was working (at her new job) so my job was to unpack as much as possible. At one point, I thought the “packing team” had taken several of my wrist watches.  But 4 months after the unpacking began, I found my watches wrapped in paper, in a box marked garage.  It was one of the last boxes I unpacked.  But there they were, my 12 wrist watches.  I withdrew my complaint.  I will say it is amazing how many boxes were used to pack our belonging.  It was close to 100 boxes, many of which only had an item or two in them. My biggest surprise of the day was exactly how much booze and cleaning supplies I had in my home.  Much more than I had planned on having to drive down there myself,

In addition it needs to be noted that I still had my job in Washington DC.  I burned up a lot of comp time and leave flying down on Friday’s and returning Sunday’s or Monday’s.  Thank God SWA had cheap fairs and a great frequent flyer program.  A good portion of my trips were on flights earned.   After we finally got moved in and settled I still could commute back and forth from DC to Tampa, finding ways to spend at least 4 or 5 days at a time about every 3 or 4 weeks.  I did this for 2 years.   

This concludes Step 1, Step 2 will be following shortly, and Step 3 later in the day.  Normally I would have just on typing and typing and typing, but in fairness to you’ll I am breaking it down into smaller posts. With set up and step 1 this post is over 1300 hundred words, had I just continued, it could have become my “War and Peace.” And for those that may have been wondering, music has been ongoing thru out this entire process, trust me my music choices were unique.  I just didn’t want to bore you with the playlist.

If at anytime you have questions or concerns please feel free to ask, for those who have comments those are always appreciated.  As always thank you for your time.  Please take care, Bill 

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 3.21.14……

Well I hope all my Irish friends have long survived Monday the 17th.  Having a splash or so in my system, I quietly celebrated, and didn’t turn any shade of green.  Not being green made the week more pleasant LOL.  Today my excuse is that is that I just got a late start putting this together, and besides knowing that music will be involved. Today we are starting with a classic.  The very first time I heard 1st Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain” was at my Mother funeral, it made me cry that day and every time I hear it now I cry. And when my time comes this song will be featured at my funeral. I have included a link for your pleasure.   Because even songs that reach deeply into your soul can be a pleasure to hear and be touched by.   Sidebar — as much as I love Vince Gill I only have one other song of his on my IPOD, the other is A Satisfied Mind.  Now moving on to music provided by the Dixie Chicks, I am looking forward to “Not Ready to Make Nice!” it is probably one of the most heart-felt songs I have every heard.

http://www.vevo.com/watch/vince-gill/go-rest-high-on-that-mountain/USUV70500229

Last week I gave my health an overall rating of a 2.5.  When I was addressing that rating I said that it sneaking towards 2.75, well it is still sneaking towards 2.75 and if I can get any breathe back I will indeed move it to a solid 2.75, but as long as the SOB is the ruling body, the best I will rate a week is 2.5.  I have no other significant medical issues driving me.  I don’t have any aches or pains, no headaches; all systems seem to be working properly.  Though today I am beat, exhausted, sleeping with one eye open.  I was up until 2 am this morning, watching my beloved U of L barely beat Manhattan Univ in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, it’s a wonder I have any fingernails left.

In the past I have been quite willing to grade on a curve, and equally willing to change my internal scale to accommodate what the disease is doing to me.  I have decided to maintain the grading scale I had before my last hospitalization.  This is my reality, changing the scale each time I need to justify my changing health isn’t fair, and it doesn’t present an honest picture.  When I started my blog, its’ foundation was honesty, and to show how I progressed thru the illness. I have come to realize that changing the scale really isn’t the honest approach.  I suspect there will come a time in the future when a 2.5 week is a damn good week.  I might consider adding a Mental Scale, that reflects how my head is doing dealing with the disease, and other issues that I encounter as it regards to the disease.

This all came about because last week I made an off-hand remark that my brain adjusts much quicker to my disease than my body.  Folks’ there is a lot of truth to that statement.  Attitude is everything.  My attitude has carried the load, and has allowed me to press on.  Sidebar – moving on to Joe Cocker now, “I get by with a little help from my Friends.” Which folks you are, and your help does help (without the getting high part).  The fact remains for COPD or any other traumatic disease the patient’s attitude will do just as much towards their recovery or functionality as taking all the required medicines does for their body. 

Let get the vitals out of the way for the week ending 03/21/14

  • INR = 1.7 taken 02/17/14 – dosage increased to 6mg Coumadin daily

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 92/93 average O2 for the week

  • Peak Flow = 250 taken 3/20/14

  • BP 128/76 = taken 03/20/14

  • Heart rate = 108 taken 03/20/14

  • Temp = 98.7 taken 03/19/14

  • Weight = 272 taken 03/20/14 – damn it – looks like I ate the gift horse

So ends the general health aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 3/21/14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.

As we shift to the word of the week, I am still hanging with Joe Cocker, but I can say that George Thorogood is next to hit the imaginary turntable.  We are starting with the live version of “Johnny B. Goode”, and will listen to some “Bad to the Bone” (Terminator 2), then off to “I Drink Alone,” most likely followed by “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” to we see a theme developing LOL. 

This week’s word is PEAK FLOW.  The book definition will be taken from Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_flow_meter

The peak expiratory flow (PEF), also called peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) is a person’s maximum speed of expiration, as measured with a peak flow meter, a small, hand-held device used to monitor a person’s ability to breathe out air. It measures the airflow through the bronchi and thus the degree of obstruction in the airways.

Function — Peak flow readings are higher when patients are well, and lower when the airways are constricted. From changes in recorded values, patients and doctors may determine lung functionality, severity of asthma symptoms, and treatment options.

First measure of precaution would be to check patient for signs and symptoms of asthmatic hypervolemia. This would indicate whether or not to even continue with the Peak Flow Meter procedure. Measurement of PEFR requires training to correctly use a meter and the normal expected value depends on a patient’s sex, age and height. It is classically reduced in obstructive lung disorders such as asthma.

Due to the wide range of ‘normal’ values and high degree of variability, peak flow is not the recommended test to identify asthma. However, it can be useful in some circumstances.

A small portion of people with asthma may benefit from regular peak flow monitoring. When monitoring is recommended, it is usually done in addition to reviewing asthma symptoms and frequency of reliever medication use.

When peak flow is being monitored regularly, the results may be recorded on a peak flow chart.

It is important to use the same peak flow meter every time.

Folks, this ends the technical aspects of the PEAK FLOW meter and measures. This was taken completely from of Wikipedia, but a quick search of PEAK FLOW on line will net you dozen’s inputs and you can feast upon them.  I chose this word this because the Peak Flow Meter is just one of the tools I use to monitor my health.   I am not saying run out and get one, I am suggesting that you talk to your doctor and see if this is a tool t that you should use in monitoring your health.  And as you’re well aware I am an advocate of you being involved in your health, the decisions, and the directions to be taken.  Of course you are consulting your Doctor at each stage of the way, but being aware of the things going on in your body are very helpful.

When I talk to Doc Lungs, I can say on this day my PEF was such and such, and on this day it was so and so.  I have even come to stating the conditions (weather or inside climate, pollen, things like that) if I find it particular high compared to my baseline.  LOL I don’t even know if Doc Lungs cares but he sure acts like he does.  Sidebar, I now have Jeff Beck with Rod Steward playing “Shapes of Things.” 

Smiling, it takes so much time to write this because of all the breaks I take to play air guitar, and sing along.  Lord so I sing terribly LOL, but I am home alone and no one can hear.  I will bring this to an end with Jim Hendrix’s “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” 

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or ideas please feel free to ask away. I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon.  Take care, Bill

 
 

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Our Move to Florida…..A Grandpa Tale

On July 17, 2002, we bought our home in Florida.  It’s a beautiful Florida Ranch, with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, tall ceiling and plant shelves and my favorite area, the kitchen/breakfast nook and family room.  This is a post how this move came about.  For your viewing pleasure and envy I have included a picture and the floor plan for our home.  The hand drawn part shows the pool and screen covered pool.  But enough about that now, I will come back it later. 

This is a story on how we got here.  It begins on January 3, 2002.  My wife went to work at 8am as she had been doing for years.  She worked in the Hi-Tech industry, for an extremely large and profitable company.  She was doing very well and had worked her way up the corporate ladder quite well.  But rumors had been floating for months that reductions in workforce were coming. At noon that faithful day they stopped being rumors, my wife was one of hundreds laid off that day. She was caught in the 1st wave of massive downsizing of High-tech companies in the Washington DC area. 

Her severance package was very good, and would allow for her to take some time off, do some project in our home in Alexandria VA, and just relax before she started the search for a new job in earnest. 

In was very neat coming home each evening to find what new project she was working on. Like refinishing the hardwood floor in our den, doing decorative tile work leading down to the basement, and not mentioning all the work she did in her beloved garden. Our home had become the poster child for “Better Homes & Gardens” it was beautiful. 

During April of her efforts my annual golf trip came around.  I and 5 friends were meeting in Orlando Florida for a week of golf.  I was flying back on Saturday early afternoon, and upon my return was immediately driving to Fredericksburg VA to pick up our daughter and her friend so we could go to the NASCAR night spring race in Richmond VA.  When my wife picked me up, she told me she had been busy that week, and had accomplished a ton of stuff around the house, and she when into all the things she had accomplished, and drum roll please!!!! That she had decided what she wanted to do next career wise.  This really perked my interest, and I began to drill her seeking as much information as possible.  Smiling my wife told me it could wait until the next morning (Sunday) because she knew my schedule was extremely tight that day, she went on to tell me she thought it was a good direction, and for me not to worry about it until Sunday.  Trusting my wife, I took her at her word, and shoved the million questions I had to the back of my mind.  I picked up the girls as scheduled, we when to the race, and had a GREAT time.  After dropping the girls off at their dorm, I proceeded back to Alexandria, getting home at 2 am. 

Sunday morning over coffee and breakfast the story began to unfold. I must say that there had been a plan in progress for my wife.  While my wife was redoing the re-beautification of our home, she was spending hours and hours on the internet scouring the Washington DC area for potential employment, in her field at an acceptable salary level.  She understood going in there was a general industry wide layoff of folks with her specialty and especially at her salary level, but she was making had been making every effort for 2 months and to date had come up with zero, zilch, nothing she found acceptable.  She had even considered going to Kelly Girl, a place she had worked years and years before at the beginning of her career.  

But while I was playing golf, she had a flash of brilliance.  Realizing I was close to retirement, and that we fully intended on moving to Florida when we retired she renewed her search efforts looking in Florida for employment.  She almost immediately found that Florida has/had a significant shortage of teachers, and were hiring, and it fact were searching the entire country for qualified individuals to teach.  Steph immediately filled out a “pre-qualifying” job application.  Within hours of submitting that application, she was asked to attend 2 job fairs being one the 1st being conducted in Tampa FL a few weeks down the road (which would have put it in the last May time frame), and a second very shortly after.  We didn’t know what to expect except that if hired (and she was verbally advised that she would get multiple offers). They would have an expectation for her to be available to start the 1st week of July for new teacher training. 

In anticipation of Steph getting a job in Florida, and in her general choice of areas, and understanding the time constants, we enlisted the aid of a friend to put us in touch with a realtor on the East Coast of FL in the Cocoa Beach area.  We had a house hunters East Coast of Florida weekend.  We flew into Orlando Intl Airport, got a room there for the weekend, and met the realtor bright and early Saturday morning. Over the next several hours we viewed numerous houses, and I mean a shit pot full.  And pretty much like the show the agent showed us a ton that came nowhere near our list of demands.  It was like she never paid any attention to our requirements at all.  But come the end of the weekend we found a place that was okay, it didn’t have the required pool but the lot was large enough and the price low enough that adding a pool would not be an issue.  We signed a contingency contract and left $5,000 in earnest money. Flew home Monday morning thinking it was a good weekend. 

Two weeks later we are once again flying to Florida, this time so Steph could go to the Hillsborough County Schools job fair. (Hillsborough is on the west coast of FL).  We departed Friday evening (at least we tried).  We were scheduled on a 6pm flight out of Dulles Intl Airport, but because of weather (surprise surprise) our flight was delayed and then delayed again, not departing until after 10pm with us arriving at the hotel after 1am.  Steph at to be at the job fair by 7am, we had no clue as to where it was or how to get there.  The folks at the hotel were quite helpful, and after about 4 hours sleep I was driving Steph to this all day event.  She was to advise me on a regular basis how it was going (which she didn’t) at least not regularly. But Steph being the trooper she is, managed to get her dance card filled with interviews that morning.  I believe all told she had 4 or 5 interviews that day.  She ended up getting three job offers while attending the fair, 2 of which would sign her to a contract that moment, and she accepted the one that she felt best suited her skills and abilities.  This job required her to be in Tampa, for pre-school training by the 10 of July. 

We were forced to cancel the contract we had for the home on the East Coast and have yet another House Hunters weekend in Tampa.  The realtor in Melbourne FL recommended a realtor in Tampa, and we met her the Saturday of father’s day weekend.  Over the next 30 hours Steph and I visited between 30 and 40 homes, and pretty much rejected 30 of them in moments.  Of the 10 or so finalist I wasn’t really happy with any of them.  And I asked that we be shown just a touch of new construction.  The realtor took us to some model homes of a style that Steph really liked.  They had 4 home that were spec homes that would be ready in early July.  Of these homes we found them to be either too small or without a yard big enough to have a pool built.  As we walked back towards the model, the sales rep said she did have one other spec home in another neighborhood that might meet our needs.  She took us over there, and I fell in love with the house the moment I saw it.  It had the only curved drive in the neighborhood, and just captured my heart, and the backyard was large enough to support a nice pool.  Steph loved the house as well, but maybe not as much as me, but it was by far, head and shoulders, above any of the other 30/40 homes we viewed we immediately agreed.  We when back to the sales office, filled out 2 tons of needed paperwork, and left 5K in earnest money. We returned to the hotel knowing we would be flying back the next weekend to finish the paper work and make all of our selections for rungs and all those items. We were guaranteed the home would be ready for occupancy in a time frame that met our needs and the job was complete.  I am enclosing the floor plan and a picture of our home. We closed on the housed pictured below on 07/17/02, and immediately began the moving in process.

 As it is 10 years after we moved in

As it is 10 years after we moved in

 

I drew in the Pool and covered area, as well as  the Driveway.

I drew in the Pool and covered area, as well as the Driveway.

Because this has become a marathon I am going to close it out now.  If you want to hear about the experience of selling our home in VA, and the actual move itself, you’re going to have to ask LOL. 

As always if you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to ask.  Take care, Bill

 
35 Comments

Posted by on March 20, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Pictures, Ramblings

 

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Pictures of Vanity and other fine shots…. A Grandpa Tale

I am 64 years old and have a wonderful head of hair, it’s about 95 percent white, and it is a flowing mane.  Yes I am extremely vain about my hair.  For years and years it was the only aspect of myself that I really really liked.  But as lovely as it is now (or so my stylist tells me), it had a much more powerful impact when it was a deep red.  No I was never a strawberry blonde, when I was younger it was RED with a capital RED! 

What brings this up you ask.  Well my wife and I have spent the last weeks shredding old documents, things that have been stuff in boxes, hidden in drawers, and stuffed in filing cabinets.  It was spring break for my wife, and this is a project she has wanted to tackle for months and who am I to argue with the boss.  I had suggested we just gather them up and have a professional company handle, but I was overruled, and to her credit she must have shredded at least 4,000 pages of documents that should have been destroyed years ago.  OK OK I know get to the friggin point Bill…. In a file cabinet in my office in one of the last folders we were going to search we came about a bunch of pictures, 1 of these I had been searching over the last 10 years.  Others are pictures of me in the Navy in my late 20’s.  I am going to share these photo’s for 2 reasons, 1) it shows my long RED hair, and 2) they show me almost skinny.

This 1st picture is my wedding picture, the very beautiful woman next to me is my wife of 35 years.  My hair is a deep RED and over the collar of my suit.  We were married on 10/07/78, I had been out of the Navy since March of 78, a week before this picture was taken was the 1st time I had gotten a haircut since that March.

Wedding Pic

 

This next picture shows me sitting on the deck in the cubicle where my rack was located, again it shows my RED hair.  BTW you have to back to my bootcamp picture to find a photo of me without facial hair.

Bill approx 28 (Navy)

This picture is of my rack onboard the USS Independence, I slept in this space for the better part of 2 ½  years.  In a posts a couple of months ago I spoke of this space, and I commented on how neat and tidy it was.  This photo was taken in a rare moment.

Bill Sailor in bed

This next photo was taken somewhere in the Mediterranean most likely in 1977, I am the stud in the middle with the hat. I wore that hat when departing the ship to hide the length of my hair.  I remember both the guys standing with me, and the guy taking the picture, and at the time of the picture we were as thick as thieves. But as each of us left the ship we never stayed in contact.

Sailols on Liberty

This picture was most likely taken in Hawaii in 1982 or so while I was in the Navy Reserve.  If I remember correctly my 1st two week active duty period was for 17 days in Hawaii.  I remember working my ass off and not really getting to do much tourist stuff.  I was working 12 hours a day from 7pm to 7am, and only had 3 days off during the period.  I would visit Hawaii 2 more times as a civilian with my wife.  We had a truly fantastic time.

Bill approx 31 . 2

The final picture below was most likely taken the same day as this, I appear to be wearing the same cloths with that same lost look.

Bill approx 31

This is just a goofy post to show off my red hair and skinny body, either of which I have today.  It is also intended to show off my wife.  She is just as pretty today as she was then.

Thank you for indulging me today.  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask.  Take care, Bill

 
27 Comments

Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Pictures, Ramblings

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 3.14.14……

Folks I hope you have had a pleasant week, mine has been okay, actually fairly good.  I have all manner of stuff going on today, so I expect this well be done sometime in the late afternoon.  As I have been prone to do recently, making a musical out of my posts, there will be a multitude of songs I will be referencing as I write this.  Our 1st selection comes from The Byrds, with Roger McGuinn, (for the uninformed) he was the frontman for the Byrds (I am such a music snob sometimes LOL).  I have listened to 3 selections including Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn, Turn, Turn.  But I will soon be listening to his solo album “Back from Rio” with King of the Hill, and Someone to Love both I consider to be his best work.  I will say this for Roger, he doesn’t waste a lot of time writing happy songs, LOL.  Below is the link for King of the Hill. Enjoy!  BTW that is Tom Petty singing backup.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr1ozA6GeRs&list=AL94UKMTqg-9DT-_bHVz2kWurO6uOHuHpx

Last week I gave my health and overall feeling a 2.5 rating.  I am sticking with that score for this week.  While I feel marginally better, I don’t know if it is my head or my body that is taking the credit for that upward push.  Each day I seem to be redefining, what SOB (shortness of breath) means.  I have been diagnosed and dealing with COPD for going on 6+ years now.  As I have said countless times, it is not a disease where you look sick, but you really are.  SOB is one of the very few visible indications of the illness.  Right now if you were to watch me do just about anything sedentary, you would never have a clue I was sick.  Sometimes even that is a blessing.  But if you were the fly on the wall and followed my movements about the house as I do my Domestic King administrations, you would see the very real impact of COPD.  Seeing me stop to grasp onto a table or counter, stopping short of completing any tasks without multiple small breaks, or stretching my neck to catch a breath, are all the indicators you need. It FU…king sucks. My appetite is off a bit, which would account for a bit of my recent weight lost. There have been no changes to my current medicines and my only medical appointments for next week are with Doc Lungs, and my monthly IVIG treatment.  Other news includes that the gut retching cough seems to have to an end, with now only a simple cough, which is non-productive.

Let get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 03/14/14

  • INR = 2.6 taken 02/24/14
  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 93/94 average O2 for the week
  • BP 118/64 = taken 03/12/14
  • Heart rate = 102 taken 03/13/14
  • Temp = 98.4 taken 03/14/14
  • Weight = 269 taken 03/11/14 – I am eating less, and that’s the lowest it’s been for quite some time, I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth.

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  I have listened to a variety of songs by the Byrds, Roger Mcguinn, The Nashville Teens, and Zombies clearly it has been OLD SCHOOL today. 

As we shift to the word or phrase of the week, my music selections have change as well.  I am in a particular mood right now, so it seems a few selections from Rob Zombie seem appropriate. This week’s word or phrase is Documents and Documentation.  The reason for these words is quite simple, you need to cross the “T”s and dot your “I”s.  This advice isn’t just for the terminally ill, it isn’t even for the sick, it’s for each and every one of us.

As I have been told a million times you never know when your end is coming.  To protect yourself and those you love, you need to take care of the paper work.  So with that said, I will provide the book definitions for Document and Documentation, and then offer my 7 cents (up because of inflation).

Our definition of Document is brought to us courtesy of Yahoo at dictionary search yahoo.com

https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AkydiHiX_sDa7BSky2P2TxGbvZx4?fr=yfp-t-901-s&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&p=document%20definition

Document Definition — n. noun – 1. A written or printed paper that bears the original, official, or legal form of something and can be used to furnish decisive evidence or information.  – 2. Something, such as a recording or a photograph, that can be used to furnish evidence or information. – 3. A writing that contains information.

Document Definition – tr. verb – 1. To furnish with a document or documents. –2. To support (an assertion or claim, for example) with evidence or decisive information. – 3. To support (statements in a book, for example) with written references or citations; annotate

Documentation Definition – n. noun – 1.  The act or an instance of the supplying of documents or supporting references or records. – 2. The documents or references so supplied. — 3. The collation, synopsizing, and coding of printed material for future reference.

I truly hope that me adding these book definitions to the words I choose to talk about is not overly offensive, I realize you’ll are very very smart, probably  smarter than me, but writing them out allows me to focus and not stray from my objective.  So if I have offended you, please understand it is more for me than you.

I am going to list the base line documents that I have signed, sealed and stored in a place that is easy to access in the case of an emergency.  Ease of access is really my key point in this.  You, your loved one, your spouse, significant other, your kids, care giver, and any other individual that is important to you must know where these documents are, and they need to be easy to access.  It does no one a lick of a bit good, if you are the only one that knows what documents you have, and that you buried them under a rock in the backyard.    — This has spilled into Saturday so now I am a day late and a buck short, but it will soon be wrapped up. — Music selections start today with selections brought to you by Melissa Etheridge, off her “Greatest Hits! The Road Less Traveled” she is another artist I am extremely fond of, and her rendition of Refugee ranks up in my TOP 100 favorite songs.

I have a 3 ring binder in my office that lists each document and in many cases the original of the document.  In the case of an emergency you just walk into the office and grab the “Bill’s Emergency Documents & Stuff” book (btw—this is a living document and as information changes so I make the appropriate changes to the book — you would need to get into this habit as well).  This book contains the following documents: A copy of my will, my DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Order) for the State of Florida, my OPM (Ofc of Personal Management) retirement handbook (which provides the needed instructions on who to contact and when to contact them after my death), my durable Power of Attorney, cover page and POC (point of contract) for each life insurance policy I have.  The list of documents also contains my personal account information for my ITunes and Barnes and Noble accounts. It also contains a list of my signons and passwords for the digital world I live in.  It also tells my wife which are important to me (or her) and why at the end of my retirement.   As I said this is a living document and changes and additions will be made as needed and as I get closer.  This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list; your list of documents will be slightly different.  Also if you’re reading this and you think I missed something please send me a note.

Before we get into Documentation, the music has move to Peter Gabriel, with a couple short stops with Phil Collins, Travis Tritt, Nickelback (surprise) and Muddy Waters.   It is incumbent upon you to leave behind all the useful documents that run your household.  Names and telephone numbers for the various vendors you use such as; telephone company, Cable provide, the handyman, lawn care provider, and on and on, you get the point.  If you’re anal retentive like me, you have all the warranties for the things around the house; stove, TV’s, ceiling fans, wine cooler, and on and on, again you see the trend. You’re other half has come to depend upon you over the years to have that information available, for the most part they don’t even have a clue, so setting it aside in some neat container will make their life much easier.  This folks is not repeat not gender specific.  Each individual in a relationship collects, maintains, updates, and disposes of household information on a regular basis.  One of them may do 99 percent of the family finances with the other pretty much clueless.  So when you start to gather your documentation remember this, and package in a neat and orderly way to help your other through what will be a difficult time.  I just spoke to finances; it would make things a ton easier if there were a whole separate binder just on checking, saving, investments, and all other money matters.  If the bulk of your banking is done electronically, and you’re doing 99 pct (like my wife does) detailed instructions should be provided so your partner doesn’t have issues getting into the accounts after your gone.

Again this week I have managed go on and on.  So with Garth Brooks filling my headset, I will bring this to an end.  If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or ideas please feel free to ask away. I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon.  Take care, Bill

 

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Movies with Allison…. A Grandpa Tale

This story comes to mind because yesterday my wife and I when to the movies, us going to the movies is a rare event, but the movie (Monument Men) was great, and I give it a solid 2 thumbs us.  But sitting in the theater with Steph reminded me of the hundreds of times I went to the movies with Allison.  Allison and I love movies and truly enjoy going to them together, though we haven’t been able to coordinate a movie together in months and months.  But this grandpa tale isn’t about today it’s movie or the wonderful date with my wife, it is about all those other movies I saw with Allison and I am sure more to come.

 

I can’t begin to tell you with any degree of accuracy what movies we saw together. But here is a partial list, Terminator 2, Harry Potter 1; Lord of the Rings 1, there had to be a drama or 6 and a few dozen comedies, and a sprinkling of horror (Maybe Scary Movie 1).  I can’t say how old she was our first movie date.  Though to be honest I suspect it was while she was in junior high that it really began in earnest.  Our movie dates always ensured we got to the theater in plenty of time to get some junk food and a soda’s before the flick, it allowed for perusing the billboards for coming events, making initial determinations of which movies struck our fancy, and finally going into the theater so we had 1st choice in seat.  Sidebar – today at the movie theater I most often use they have assigned seating, which is the single biggest piece of crap idea I have ever heard, especially when only 5 people are in the theater to watch a given movie.  Allison was of an age that we normally saw PG-13 movies, I don’t believe we saw our 1st “R” rated movie together until she was at least 16 or 17, that’s not to say she didn’t see them at home when we rented a blockbuster or 4 for a weekend, or managed to see one or more with her friends.

 

Folks, my daughter Allison is a giant chicken, she is the 1st one to cover her eyes when the blood starts to flow, if you pinch her at the right time in a movie she will come a foot out of her chair (I know, I have done this to her successfully dozens of times), blowing on her ear makes her shiver likes someone is walking on her grave, and saying BOO! Works real good even to this day.  It is for all of these reasons that I love going to the movies with her.  Another truth is that she acts the same way now (at 34) as she did when she was 12, she just slaps me harder now, when I get her.

 

Smiling, but if there is a downfall to taking my daughter to a movie, she has this single nasty habit, which is probably payback for all the antics I play on her. I have this one nasty, despicable, horrid, unscrupulous, and nasty, let’s just say bad habit when I go to the movies, I hog the armrest, and I am not a good sharer.  Allison doesn’t really care if I am hogging the armrest or not, she makes her claim, and will put her arm directly on top of me if she finds it necessary.  She also plays with the hair on my arm, twirling it or softly pinching it, just to let me know that she is not in total approval of my hogging the armrest.  But the minute she becomes intense, or feels something is about to happen that she will not appreciate, she does two things.  One she immediately takes her free hand and covers her eyes (like that’s going to help), and two (and much more important to me) is that soft twirling or pinching of the hair on my arm where her other hand rests becomes ten times the level of intensity.  And that soft twirling and pinching ends up being the Vulcan Death Grip on the hairs of my arm.  I will swear on a short stack of bibles that over the years I have most likely lost 4 square inches of hair on each forearm    from my daughter pulling it out during intense parts of movies. Hell she will do it during the credits LOL LOL.  Also trust me slapping her hand away does not save you.  Yes I always get that “gee Dad, I am so sorry!” line of BS, and you can tell its BS because of silly her grin on her face as she says it.  But I love her so I tolerate it; probably even relish it a bit.

 

In past years we have shared a meal after the movie, and chat like dad and daughter, these are the moments father’s live for, and I have been so fortunate to have shared so many with my daughter.  I hope you have enjoyed this story.  I am sure that when Allison reads this she will call and tell me for the umpteenth time how my memory differs from hers, and I will respond for the umpteenth time “that’s because they are my memories.”

 

Folks as always if you have any comments or questions please feel free to ask, you know I will answer each of them.

 

Also I have an announcement to make my daughter Allison Poindexter has started her own blog, Burning Candles, Perspectives from a wife, mother, and teacher who burns candles at both ends. She will be launching her blog on April 1, 2014 (how appropriate). If you get a chance, give her a look-see.  She is a hell of a lot smarter than me, she has written a book, and she spells and proof reads tons better than I do.  It should be quite good if I do say so myself.  Here is the link for her upcoming blog. http://burningcandlesblog.wordpress.com/

 
37 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 3.07.14……

I am beginning this weeks’ report at 1pm and I know I will have a ton of interruptions between now and when I finish, so I can’t nor will I say this will be complete by COB today.  Music will be brought to you today courtesy of Nickelback, truly one of my go to bands. Because of the known numerous breaks I will have today, the music selections and bands will be changing of course I will keep you updated. BTW I have 44 Nickelback songs on my IPOD, so I doubt if I run out.

Last week after I hymned and hulled I gave the week a 2.5.  I feel that is still an appropriate rating for this week so for those keeping score this week is a 2.5.  There has been no significant forward movement, and rather than just change the scale, I will keep the rating. The coughing has all but stopped with just time a day were it is a major factor and when I cough it is not productive. As ugly and nasty as it sounds the best cough for a person with COPD is a gut retching deep nasty cough that is super productive.  Smiling when I cough like that I am bragging not complaining.  Last week I complained about barely holding my own.  Even with such little progress I am managing to hold my own.

Let get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 03/07/14

INR = 2.6 taken 02/24/14 — next check 3/17/14

O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 92/93 taken numerous times this week

BP 122/74 = taken 03/05/14

Heart rate = 99 taken 03/05/14

Temp = 97.6 taken 03/05/14

Weight = 272 taken 03/07/14 – that’s 2 lbs less than last week HOORAY

There has been only a slight change in my medicines.  I am no longer using Cefepime via IV so the Mediport has been cleaned and is now back in standby mode. -–interruption 1 —  Still working Nickelback.  LMAO I wonder what the guys in Nickelback think should they hear that one of their biggest fans is a 64 year old fart.  Who really listens to and loves the lyrics.

This week I had appointments with both Doc Infectious and Doc Lungs.  It seems that whatever bug I have that is currently managing to crap in my lungs is now at bay, at least for the time being.  The normal cracklings, gurgling, and other unique noises my lungs make aren’t nearly so bad this week. The extremely shortness of breath is being attributed to the worsening of my COPD, (brought on by the last exacerbation) and this is expected.  It is really part of the process of being ill. Do I like it when my doctors concur that the disease is winning, of course not, but folks it is what it is. And again the process mandates this is to be expected. Sidebar note, if you get a chance listen (closely) to Nickelback’s “Kiss it Goodbye.” Additional sidebar, maybe bragging about liking this song in this part of my report was inappropriate, but’s a great song that happens to be playing now. Both Doc Lungs and Doc Infectious are realistic men, their staffs are realistic, but most importantly they have my best interests at heart.  We are staying the course they feel is in my best interests.  But with any condition or disease you must be prepared for changes in condition and direction.  That’s a long way of saying I was expecting the SOB to get worst, and I am somewhat prepared.

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  I have gone thru about 15 Nickelback songs in a row, many I have heard dozens of time, and I am still enjoying it, but as we move into the word or phrase of the week phase of my report, I believe I will listen to Jimi Hendrix for a bit.

The word I have chosen for this week is “Support.”  As with last week the definition is being taken from the Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary.  I will be providing an edited version of the word, but you can go to the link below to get the “complete” definition.

As defined at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/support

1 sup·port  transitive verb \sə-ˈpȯrt\ : to agree with or approve of (someone or something),  to show that you approve of (someone or something) by doing something,  to give help or assistance to (someone or something)

Full Definition of SUPPORT— 1:  to endure bravely or quietly : 2a (1) :  to promote the interests or cause of (2) :  to uphold or defend as valid or right :  advocate <supports fair play> (3) :  to argue or vote for <supported the motion to lower taxes> b (1) :  assist, help <bombers supported the ground troops> (2) :  to act with (a star actor) (3) :  to bid in bridge so as to show support for c :  to provide with substantiation :  corroborate <support an alibi> 3 a :  to pay the costs of :  maintain <support a family>  b :  to provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of <the island could probably support three — A. B. C. Whipple> <support a habit> 4 a :  to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for b :  to maintain (a price) at a desired level by purchases or loans; also :  to maintain the price of by purchases or loans 5:  to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage :  comfort 6 :  to keep (something) going

2 support  noun : the act of showing that you believe that someone or something is good or acceptable : approval of someone or something : the act of helping someone by giving love, encouragement, etc. : help that is given in the form of money or other valuable things

Full Definition of SUPPORT  1a :  the act or process of supporting :  the condition of being supported b :  assistance provided by a company to users of its products <customer support> 2 :  one that supports —often used attributively support staff> 3 :  sufficient strength in a suit bid by one’s partner in bridge to justify raising the suit.

Buckets Loads
Bucket Loads

I got this card in the mail this afternoon, isn’t surprising the timing of things.  I was writing about support, and guess what, I got a bucket load.  I have no idea who Liam is, but I can’t thank him enough.  It proves you never know when or how support will find you.

It is now 730am on the morning of March 8th, so clearly I didn’t make the self-imposed COB deadline, though I did listen to some Hendrix last night.  I have been thru my morning meds process, I have nebulized the stuff that makes my beard sticky and glues my eye lashes together, so thru squinty eyes I am working to complete this post.  I have chores today, and I must watch the UofL vs UConn basketball game at 2pm EST.  I am just saying this may end up a weekend report. Imagine all the extra music you will hear me talk about.  To fire my butt up, and to really get my motor running we are starting the day with some AC/DC.

Folks isn’t support a wonderful word.  It is far reaching, and has thousands of applications, it can be big or little, it can be a word or a million bucks.  Support will allow itself to be what you YOU, need it to be.  Support can come from millions of directions, some expected some totally unexpected.   But as wonderful as it is, one of the most difficult aspects of support is realizing when YOU need it.  And friends don’t be offended with me saying YOU, when we know I really mean ME.  But it does also apply to YOU as well.

Support will be one of the key cornerstones on how we progress through our illness.  It will come in stages, and you will find it in many places. It will not be a bad thing to knowledge that you need some support.  You will see support in many ways; spiritual, physical, that quiet moment, the guiding hand, a smile or look even direction.  It will come from people you know and trust, to complete strangers and all points in between. As your disease progresses you will find the smile you get from the nurses aid to be a bit more genuine, their touch a little softer, you’re doctor or team of doctors will  be there for you, clearly with your best interest at heart.  At your pharmacy, the pharmacist’s smile is a touch warmer and maybe the service a touch faster.  The clerk at the grocery store will unload your basket with a genuine smile on their face. Unexpected people will open doors for you. The neighbor will drag your trash bin back to your garage and not even take credit. And this takes place in the beginning, and will grow from there.  For the longest of times I have tried to man up and do it all myself, standing my ground refusing any and all support and help.  But folks as it gets more difficult you can’t do it all yourself.  And as I have done you will find graceful ways to accept the support you get.  I also suspect the further the disease progresses the more willing and graceful I will be in accepting both support and help.  I write this to suggest that you think about this as well.  The folks offering their support and help are doing because they care, it is not being done out of pity.  Try to remember that.   Yes sometimes it will be too much, but trust me there will be a time when it isn’t.

I have managed go on and on.  So with Genesis playing strongly in the background I will bring this to an end.  If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or ideas please feel free to ask away. I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon.  Take care, Bill

 

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Courage Is

FlaHam:

Colleen, has a way with words I so envy. If I were skilled enough I would copy her style, but I could never copy her grace. This is a very worthy read, it speaks volumes and volumes. Thank you Colleen. Take care, folks — Bill

Originally posted on The Chatter Blog:

I know these people.

And every day takes some courage from some people.  Maybe moments.  Maybe hours.  Maybe forever.

I wouldn’t for a minute underestimate the courage it takes to get through life.

These people, I admire.

Courage is the young father and husband who is terrified he can’t provide for his little family.   Who gets up and goes to work each day.  And fears the powers above him that could take away the small security of having this job.  This job that is not all he can do.  But all he can get right now.  He knows he can do more.  And plans on it.

There’s courage in the dark of night for the aging widow who never spent a night alone in eighty years of life.  And now she sits every night without the comfort and security of the familiar face.  The familiar face that shared joys…

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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Beast, Beauty and she has Brains! …. A Grandpa Tale

In so many of my posts to date I have poked fun at my daughter, I have told stories about teaching her to drive, about her college friends invading our home, about her tattoos, and about our boating adventures at Disney.  I know I have accused her of being beautiful (cause she is), and I have talked about how smart she is. Now I want to just say she was a beast in High School and her freshman year at college. 

Allison is an only child, and she has enjoyed all the trapping of being an only child.  Yes she was spoiled and still is, but not as badly as some.  But this isn’t about being spoiled, though I may have to write about that at some point.  This is about her being a beast.  Allison got her brains and beauty from her mom, there is no doubt about it, she is as lovely as her mom, and just as smart.  But she got her competitive edge and desire to win from me.  She plays Monopoly like she is a slum lord.  And competitive doesn’t even begin to describe how she tackles Yahtzee, especially a friendly (ha) family game.  My wife can barely stand playing me Yahtzee one on one, but if Allison is involved the wife runs and hides.  But this isn’t about that. It’s about her just being a beast.  My daughter played basketball her freshman year in High School, she was so so at best and it pissed her off, she was taller than 95 pct of the girls she played against, but she didn’t have any natural talent, and she sure didn’t inherit any from me.  So after her freshman year, she chooses to move on from basketball.  Out of the blue she choose Lacrosse, I had never seen a game played, I didn’t know what the equipment looked like, I didn’t know the rules, heck at the time I didn’t even know it was played outside. Allison moved me completely away from my comfort zone, I knew basketball, I loved basketball, but like Allison I had no skills. Unless having the ability to foul out in less than 10 minutes is a skill, because that was my specialty. 

But Allison wanted to play Lacrosse, and both my wife and I became her biggest fans. I remember taking Allison to the sporting goods store to buy her 1st Lacrosse stick, I let her choose which one, but probably steered her away from the most expensive.  We also got her the cleats and the pads, which I probably didn’t steer her away from the most expensive.  We wanted her protected, and were more than happy to eat those costs. 

Before 1st season started I remember playing catch with Allison in the backyard.  I had my ball glove on, and Allison was equipped with her stick.  Remember that sound in baseball when you hear the ball pop as it was caught.  That was the noise my glove made. I always tried to catch her throws in the web of my glove because if I caught in my palm, my hand would sting for days. Allison was firing the lacrosse ball at me sometimes I thought faster than the speed of sound, because I felt the sting long before I heard the pop. I remember manning up and throwing that ball as hard as I could, throwing my best fastball and Allison snatching it out of the air like I threw it under hand to her. Then she would whip it back at me, yes I said at, not to, and sometimes I just had to duck and let it bounce off the fence.  She scared the crap out of me.  It was so natural, so fluid; she was beauty/beast in movement.  And I remember thinking and she likes me, what about those poor slobs she doesn’t like.  Her passes were pinpoint, and made me look a fool, but it was worth it. I could throw it anywhere in her general direction, and she caught it, I could bounce it to her, she caught it, I could try and throw it over her head she caught it. She was a beast.  She worked as hard at learning how to be a great player as she ever worked at anything before or since (well maybe she has worked a lot harder being a great mom).  But all of her efforts paid off. Did I say she was a beast at lacrosse, well let me say it LOL.  She was a beast. 

Allison was not a good Lacrosse player she was GREAT.  When Allison started lacrosse it would be fair to say I didn’t know squat about Lacrosse.  But I would be the 1st parent hoarse screaming at a game, cheering her team on in the loudest voice I had.  One time her coach a very fine lady name Amy Newell came into the stands to tell me the referee was going to call a bench yellow card on her team if I didn’t shut up. So I bit the end of my tongue off and the team didn’t get the yellow card. Allison played “attacker” for her team, and damn was she good.  She played the game with such intensity, such determination, and with skills I only dreamed of having. She played Lacrosse for 3 years in high school and one year of college.  She made the all-county teams all 3 seasons she played, one year she made second team all-county and spent the last half of the season on the bench with a broken leg. I can only imagine how great she would have been had she played a year without a significant injury.  Another season she sprained her ankle so bad that it kept her from performing at her peak but it didn’t prevent her from playing.  I was so damn proud of her, hell I am still proud of her.  In college (she made the team as a walk on), but she broke her back playing Lacrosse and that pretty much ended her Lacrosse playing days. 

During the 3 years Allison played Lacrosse, I think I missed maybe 3 games, four at the most.  I went to home and away, I was the passionate one about half way up the stands.  I would watch Allison race, back and forth, I would watch her carry her stick high, and pass sharply; I would see shots on goal and be amazed.  Then I would see her race to play defense.  Folks to this day I don’t know the rules of Lacrosse, but I will say it is more intense, more physical and more demanding than any other team sport I have ever watched with the exception of field hockey, her other choice in sports, which she was also a beast. 

Folks, I imagine that somewhere in the way way way back of her brain Allison would consider coaching Lacrosse.  If she were to choose that there is no doubt in my mind she would be a damn good coach.  But she has chosen to be a Teacher, and your kids would be damn lucky to have her.  I call her a beast because of what a great jock she was in High School and in College, but now folks she is a BEAST because of how she teaches, for the care she  shows her students, for the skills she passes on to them, for the encouragement she provides and for the love of teaching she clearly displays.  She takes great pride in her abilities, and her kids reap the benefits.  They don’t have all-star teams for teachers but maybe they should.  Allison would be a 1st team all-star every year.  Smiling proudly, she has been nominated for Teacher of the Year several times, and has been awarded that for her district.  

Folks, thanks for taking a few moments and listening to me brag about my kid.  Someday Cari (my granddaughter) will read this and have a great conversation with her mom, and they both will smile. 

As always if you have any questions, thoughts, concerns or comments please feel free to share them.  Thank you, Bill

 

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings

 

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If Mark Twain Wrote Today

FlaHam:

I found this to be an wonderful and thought provoking blog, I did read it and comment at 630am, so my hair wasn’t even neat, Kinda like Mr. Twain’s. But Colleen and I have a question, so if you read this and comment, please add who else would we want to write a blog? Thanks, Bill

Originally posted on The Chatter Blog:

If Mark Twain wrote today I wonder if he would blog?  Or use Twitter?  Or Instagram?  I wonder if he would have a private Facebook page and a public one.

I wonder if his friends and family would look forward to his posts?  Or would they roll their eyes and sigh that the posts keep popping up in the daily feeds.

My Mark Twain

Would he have blown up Twitter?

Would his family raise their eye brows?  And wonder what and how  to comment on his posts?  What if their interpretation of what he was saying was way  off?  Let someone else comment first and see what they think.

When he sent out “Go to heaven for the climate, Hell for the company” on Twitter would he have been appreciated as witty? Would someone have made it a country song?

When he wrote a blog post called “The Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County”…

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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

End of Retirement

My blog “Dealing with COPD,” is a forum I use to write about the zillion of things that go on in my head regarding COPD.  I use this forum in the ways I want, saying things that I feel need to be said.  I talk about my health, the medicines I take, I talk about specific words and phrases, I talk about what the disease is doing to me, my family and my friends.  I also spend a great deal of time talking about my symptoms, my daily battles, and from time to time about the depression it sometimes brings.  Rarely do I actually say that I am dying, or that my death is pending, because as strange as it may sound, death and dying rarely cross my mind. Also I don’t bring it up because rarely do dwell on it, and I don’t want my readers to either. 

The last thing in the world I want to do, while talking about myself, while encouraging others to be strong, to be their own advocate, is to be a downer, and bring the “D” word into the conversation. Because I don’t need to, I don’t need to be that reminder, because one thing we all know is that in time the disease will win. My readers who have COPD or some other terminal disease deal with their illness and the fact it is terminal in a way that is comfortable for them.  Some take comfort in what I write; some have given me comfort and strength in how they deal with it.

Many of you have gotten to this point in the post and are saying “Jesus Bill, for something you don’t think about, for something you don’t dwell on, for something you don’t want others to waste a lot of time and energy on you sure have yapped enough about it today!” LMFAO (for the abbreviationally (made up word) challenged figure it out), I will get to the point soon.  Many of you already know if it can be said in 200 words, I will find a way to say it in 500.

On to the point, recently my wife has been concerned with her financial future after my departure.  I retired after working for 40 years.  I have a defined retirement benefit plan that includes a defined benefit for my wife when I die.  Laughing, I remember when we had our 20th anniversary how she bragged that she was fully vested in my retirement.    Indeed she is, for a million years (at least 20) I have been telling her that she would be fine, that she had no worries, that between my retirement and her SS, she was pretty much set.  But, I am just a husband so what do I know.  So anyway we contacted a Financial Planner (David), to whom we provided a bunch of numbers.  After David at an opportunity to review those preliminary numbers we had a teleconference.  Many many many things were discussed, David was advised of my health situation, and then we talked some more.  At some point we were discussing where we needed to go (financially) and how/what needed to be done to get there. But David started to verbally dance, he had a question he needed to ask, but didn’t know how to ask, before he could start making a final analysis. Finally after a lot of soul searching on his part, he said “Bill, I have to ask you, just how much time do you have left?” David did this as delicately as he could and I responded.  “David I will tell you what the Doctor tells’ me when I ask that question, he says 3 to 5 years.”  

The teleconference soon ended with David telling us he would have formal draft numbers to us early the next week. But David announced that he had to say one important thing before he hung up.  He said, Mrs. Hamilton, you don’t need to worry, between the annuity Bill’s retirement leaves you and your SS, you are set. To which I looked my wife dead in the eye and said “Told You!”  BTW I have said “told you” several times since that teleconference.  I think it is getting kind of old and I may have to shelf it for a while.

I am finally getting to the point.  When the draft document came in, my wife and I reviewed the potential options.  But as I was looking something caught my eye and just made me grin and even chuckle to myself.  There is a line item on the financial documents that addresses me, and the shift in financial structure upon my death, it says “Bill Hamilton – end of retirement,” at the three and five-year points.  That my friends is one of the coolest ways I have ever heard dying addressed “end of retirement,” of course it doesn’t work for everyone, but it sure works for me.  So I am just warning you now that from time to time, I may refer to my “end of retirement.”

I had shared this “End of Retirement” with a blog friend, her immediate response was, that is a good euphemism! ;-) (the smiley face is from her), which as you can tell I completely agree.  I threatened to write about it, and I just did. 

Folks I hoped you enjoyed this little story it’s one of the few I have written recently that didn’t focus on me being under the weather.  If you have any questions, thought or concerns pleases feel free to send them, and as always your comments are always welcome.  Take care, Bill

 
22 Comments

Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Observations, Ramblings

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 2.28.14……

How I Feel for the Week ending 2.28.14……

I am beginning this weeks’ report at 6:07am, so hopefully I will get it complete and out to you by COB (close of business).  In keeping with recent trends on my part, the jukebox is fired up, and we are starting with some old school Buddy Guy.  Because I know I will be doing this in spurts throughout the day I will provide musical updates as well.

Last week I rated the week a 2.25 and I said that was a weak 2.25, this week it has hovered between 2.25 and 2.50. The reality is that I have been making very little progress, and just barely holding my own.  Well there was a reason for that.  It has been determined that the medicine regiment prescribed for me upon discharge from the hospital has not been effective against the infections in my lungs.  In fact the prescribed medicines have had no impact on the infections in my lungs post hospitalization.  On the 19th a new sputum test and blood work done.  Results of these tests (02/24/14) showed that the Merrem IV and TOBI were having no impact, and different medicines were ordered (Cefepime via IV and Colistimethate via nebulizer) to fight the infections.  It was determined on the 25th that I was stable enough to not required hospitalization at this time, but I was to be monitored and re-evaluated on March 3rd.  I have been instructed to “rest and take it easy,” can I tell you what a PIA (pain in ass) that is, I do rest and relax quite poorly. But having said all of this, I am going to rate the week 2.5 because I feel I am beginning an upward trend.

Having stopped to do a couple of chores we have moved on musically to Brooks and Dunn.

Let get the vitals out of the way for the week ending 02/28/14

INR = 2.6 taken 02/24/14

O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 94 taken on 02/25/14

BP 112/60 = taken 02/25/14

Heart rate = 101 taken 02/25/14

Temp = 97.8 taken 02/25/14

Weight = 274 taken to often

This week I had appointments with the big three (Doc Head, Doc Lungs, and Doc Infectious).  The appointment with Doc Head was good as always, she has a way of drawing me out when I need to be drawn, and sitting quietly when my mouth and brain are in overdrive.  The appointment with Doc Lungs was not overly productive, we rehashed the finding of Doc Infectious, and I got his concurrence on the path Doc Infectious was going.  Then I had my appointment with Doc Infectious, where we talked about what happened post hospitalization, and what were the future options for drug therapy. It was explained that there are fewer and fewer drug   options available, and that with each future infection, it will take a jumbling of medicines, to pinpoint the ones that will be effective against whatever strait of the infection I am currently fighting.  It was an awareness conversation.  One I appreciated, and one that needed to be had.  Notice I didn’t say it was a fun conversation.

As I had reported last week I was and still am having significant issues with the SOB (shortness of breath), and an overall lack of energy and desire to do anything (all the symptoms that put me in the hospital originally) I have managed to play cards a couple of times a week and I have been kicking Art’s butt, which is a good sign on hundreds of different levels.

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  I have grown tired of Brooks and Dunn (after 11 songs) and have moved on to Cheap Trick.

Cheap Trick only lasted about 6 songs, and I have moved deeper into the “Blues” with the Queen herself Aretha Franklin.

This week I want to speak of self-advocate.  Something each of us needs to be. This week definition is taken from the online version of The Merriam-Webster online dictionary. And can be seen in its’ entirety at:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate

Ad-vo-cate – Noun

Full Definition of ADVOCATE: 1 — one that pleads the cause of another; specifically:  one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court, 2 — one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal, 3 — one that supports or promotes the interests of another.

Examples of ADVOCATE : 1 — a passionate advocate of civil rights, 2 — She works as a consumer advocate. 3 — He has paid respectful attention to the home schooling movement by meeting with its advocates and endorsing their cause. —Elizabeth Drew, New York Review of Books, 10 June 2004

First Known Use: 14th century

The key to this definition is the fact that I have added SELF to the word Advocate, meaning you have to stand up for yourself.  You are the single most important aspect of your health, you know your body, you know how you feel, and you know the different aspects of yourself.  If you have suffered from this disease long at all you know how you’re doing, you know when you having a bad day, you know the signs and symptoms leading up to an exacerbation of you COPD, and this awareness will help you as much as any doctor you have on your team.  Your doctor depends on you to tell him or her, what is working what isn’t working and how you really feel.  If you have an appointment and you tell the Doctor you are feeling fine when in reality you feel like shit.  Your doctor will treat you as if you’re feeling fine. If you tell him you feel like shit, then your doctor has a different set of values to work from. You must tell him, you must be able to say to you Doctor I don’t believe the drugs or therapy is working, you have to sit or stand for yourself.  I am sure 99.9 percent of you have more polish than I do, and you can use that polish to your advantage.  To have as long and productive life as possible with this disease you must be your own advocate.  If by some chance you haven’t figured out what leads you to an exacerbation of your COPD, you need to start learning these things so you can be your own advocate.  And as you learn you need to share this with your significant other, so they can see the signs when you choose to ignore them (which I have been known to do).  Again the key is to be your own advocate.  To know what is going on in your body, and to be able to communicate that to the people who need to know.  So when the doctor asks you “How you doin?” you can say something other than “fine” If you’re not feeling fine. Folks I am not saying being a self-advocate is easy, in reality it is extremely difficult. But I am saying start, work on it bit by bit, build your confidence, and trust yourself.  As you build confidence, you become more aware of yourself and you will find it easier and easier to be a self-advocate.  Some will take to it easier than others, and some won’t take to it at all.  Again the key is to try, to be there for yourself.  The doctor doesn’t want to hear fine if you’re not feeling well, he really wants to know, but unless you look like death sucking on a lifesavor, he will have to believe what you tell him.

I was discharged from the hospital on February 11, 2014.  I was sent home with a prescribed list of drugs to use, with specific intervals, for a specific duration.  My 1st follow up with Doc Infectious was on February 19th, at which time I advised him that I was still feeling poorly, and in fact that I felt I had made no improvement since being discharged.  I cited several reasons why I felt, if anything like I was back sliding.  Doc Infectious countered with the fact that normally it takes 3 or more weeks post hospitalization before I am “right” and that patience was needed to allow the medicines to do their magic.  I was persistent, even a PIA, and told Doc Infectious that yes he was right historically speaking, but normally after being on a drug protocol for a week post hospitalization, I had some feeling of being better, I didn’t that day!  It was thru my being a self-advocate that Doc Infectious said okay, lets’ do another sputum test and some more blood work and see where we are.  It was those sputum and blood tests results that showed that the drug regiment I was under was not effective, those results were why my drug regiment was changed mid-stream, and this all happened because I was a self-advocate.

Folks, I don’t claim to know it all, but I have been suffering from COPD long enough to get a feeling for my body, to know the signs.  I have done some reading, and a bit of studying.  And I have a big mouth, and I can be a PIA.  You don’t need a big mouth or to be a PIA, but you need to know you, from there you have knowledge, and knowledge is never a bad thing.  This is just something I feel you need to give serious thought as I have done.

I have completed my report with musical selections from Eric Clapton’s Crossroads and other tunes from the Cream days.  I hope you have a pleasant day.

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or ideas please feel free to ask away. I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon.  Take care, Bill

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 02.21.14……

I hope everyone is okay today and this week.  The jukebox is open and today’s post will be brought to you courtesy of Match Box 20.  The week has been non-productive in so many ways.  I have made no significant progress, the coughing which is semi-constant is productive, and 2 times a day I seem to reach into the depths of my lungs to find that truly gross shit and I have a massive coughing attack which brings most it up.  This a good thing, but I would have hoped the coughing would have eased up a bit, but more importantly, I would have hoped that with all the drugs I have had these last 3 weeks that the product would be less offensive.  I am having headaches that I don’t normally have and extra strength Tylenol is not effective.  The SOB (shortness of breath) is kicking my butt, and being honest I am embarrassed by how hard it has hit me.  I did follow-up with Doc Infectious on Tuesday when I had my monthly IVIG treatment.  We talked and I got to spit in the cup again, and we added another antibiotic (Zyvox 600mg 2x) to the mix.  While holding steady with the Merrem IV and the TOBI (nebulized).

For all the reasons stated above I am going to give this past week a 2.25, and that is a stretch.  While I seem to see slight improvements, for every positive I’ve seen, I am finding 1.5 or 2 negative ones.  This coming week I see Doc Head and Doc Lungs on Monday and on Tuesday I see Doc Infectious. This brings us to this week’s word, Patience which I will get to in a moment.

Let get the vitals out of the week ending 02/21/14

NR = 3.5 taken 02/19/14 – outside of therapeutic — my medications have been adjusted to get this number down below 3.0

O2 level = 93 taken on 02/21/14

BP 114/62 = taken 02/19/14

Heart rate = 94 taken 02/21/14

Temp = 97.1 taken 02/19/14

Weight = 264 taken in hospital before discharge 02/11/14 — I have looked at the scale in the bathroom several times since last week and it repeatedly says “Stay the F…. off me for the time being!” I am heeding this advice.  While I don’t think I have gained much (my appetite has sucked), so I am eating because it is required not for enjoyment. 

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report moving now to the emotional discussion aspect.  BTW I have listened to 12 Match Box 20 songs getting to this point.  Rob Thomas has one hell of a voice.  I am just saying.   Moving now to SRV (for the uninformed Stevie Ray Vaughan) I have only about every song he has recorded LOL.

So as I stated earlier today’s word is “Patience.” Over the years I have heard many phrases regarding “Patience” such as; the patience of a saint, or Patience is the greatest of all virtues, A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains, and Patience is the companion of wisdom, to name a few.  Whenever someone approaches me to explain why there is a minor or significant delay, I ask if I look impatience, and if I do to forgive me because I have patience.  And as I have aged I truly believed I had developed a level of patience I never had as a child, kid, teenager, young adult, and even early adult. In review I can’t even count the times I have shown true patience.  In reviewing the definition of Patience as provided I truly believe that 1, 2 and 3 clearly had me in mind when this dictionary was written. 

Patience As defined by Dictionary.com.

Pa-tience – Noun

1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.

3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

4. (Cards chiefly British ) solitaire (  def 1 ) .

5. Also called patience dock. a European dock, Rumex patientia,  of the buckwheat family, whose leaves are often used as a vegetable.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/patience

Setting the stage in this manner; CLEARLY I DON’T KNOW MY ASS FROM LEFT FIELD about Patience. LOL LOL.   I was in the hospital for 9 days suffering a serious exacerbation of my COPD.  Throughout my hospital stay I was given an extensive array of drugs and breathing treatments, all in hopes of getting me better.  After 9 days I was sent home with a continuation of the drug therapy, told to rest, take it easy, and to not rush things.  I don’t think in fairness I listened to a friggin word.  COPD is complicated no exacerbation is like the one before or the one after.  Each has its’ own regiment of drugs and treatment, and for these to work it takes PATIENCE !!!  Why in the world I can’t get this thru my thick head is beyond me.  I get up on my soap box and preach and preach, and sometimes I don’t bother to listen to my own words. Hell last week I said, and I quote “I know that I am still in the recovery mode, and that it will take a couple of weeks to get back to wherever I am going to get back.”   So having been V8 slapped in the head today, I realized I need to chill, relax, take it easy and let the medicines do their job.  I can’t hurry it, bitching about won’t get me better sooner, I have to let nature and trust my Doctors to do right by me.  I share this with you to remind you that when your ill, you to have to have patience, you as well need to listen your doctors, you need to take all your medicines, and follows instructions. Just as I have to. I know it is easy to preach about because I have, now I am going to sit in the front row and follow my own instructions.  Please, the next time you are sick please try to remember this post, it may save you a ton of headaches and anxiety, maybe more.

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or ideas please feel free to ask away. I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon.  Take care, Bill

 

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A COPD Video — A good death

As you know my blog is about COPD a disease I suffer from.  Some of those that follow or read my blog from time to time also suffer from the disease or they may know or love someone who does.  This video is for all of us.

I have never made the disease out to be pleasant, I haven’t highlighted any good points because there aren’t any, but I rarely take a negative position.  This is a much watch video.  It isn’t gross, but it isn’t pleasant either. This is 100 percent about reality.

One of the individual’s in the Daily Strength Discussion Group to which I am an active member shared this video.  It is touching, it is moving, and it is in the future for many myself included. It makes some very strong points, and it is something that needs to be shared, talked about, and thought about.

It will take 30 minutes of your time, but it will be a very worthwhile video.  Please consider it.

http://vimeo.com/39258619

As always if you have any questions, thoughts, concerns or comments please feel to ask me.  Please take care, Bill

 

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How I Feel for the Week ending 2.14.14……

Good day folks and a very Special Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you.  Would you be my Valentine??  Well let’s just get right to it, I feel about 2.5 and that is a weak number.  I got out of the hospital on Tuesday the 11th (after the 9th day of captivity) BTW we are starting the Post with AC/DC blasting “Thunderstruck” in my head, almost appropriate I think.  The music is much more enthusiastic than I have been all week.   Last week I rated the week a 2.25 and that was a solid rating given how I was feeling, my location and all the other giving facts.  This week report will not move much off that number.  So many of the reasons I was in the hospital are still with me, the cough very productive (with the bright yellow crap), the Shortness of Breath (SOB), chills, overall weakness, I do lack the self-pity, and I can read and write (which are positive signs), so having the scales of healthiness before me, the week gets a 2.5, I am improving, and I am doing things.  The reality is that I don’t feel that much better than I did in the hospital.  But if I am going to feel like crap I would much rather do it at home.  I was a touch under the weather during my hospital stay, and to fight the bugs that were trying to control my body at one point or another I was given the following drugs: Merrem, Vancomycin, Cefepime, Levofloxacin, IPRAT/Albuterol, Methy1prednisone (via IV), tobramycin (via neb), Levaquin, azactam,  and Acetaminophen.  I have stopped taking all of these with the following exceptions, Merrem and Tobi (10 days post hospitalization), IPRAT/Albuterol (taken normally) and now on oral prednisone 10mg.

 

The day before I was released from the hospital I had a PT assessment and during that brief test I managed to walk 300 feet with the walker.  That was the 1st time in 9 days that I had been allowed to venture outside the room. While as a guess, I was given enough cannula to venture from the bed to the bathroom, but not quite enough to get from the bed to the door, so my area for pacing was greatly limited.  Wednesday the 12th I visited Doc Infectious’s office to pick up medicines, and to have my Mediport dressing changed.  Then off to the grocery store, where I walked 400 yards pushing a grocery cart.  Big improvement for 1 day I would say, but damn I was beat. (Side bar comment I have my iPod on shuffle, I have gone from AC/DC to John Penet, to Allen Jackson, to CC Rider by Ray Charles to Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull… Strange mix).  The bottom line is that I am still significantly weak, and still sick.  I am improving, but the reality is I don’t bounce back as I used to. 

 

Let get the vitals out of the week ending 012/14/14

NR = 1.5 taken 02/12/14 

O2 level = 95 taken on 02/14/14

BP 118/64 = taken 02/12/14

Heart rate = 98 taken 02/14/14

Temp = 97.7 taken 02/14/14

Weight = 264 (hospital weight lost) 02/11/14

— This is the one of the most beneficial reasons for going to the hospital.   I went in weighting 278 and not happy, 9 days later with the most extensive exercise I did was rolling over on the bed, and I lost 14 lbs. Another 6 or 7 weeks there and I could get down to my target weight LOL LOL.

 

Now on to the hospital rant, (you know if I spend 9 days in the hospital I will find something to rant about).  Any of you know that if you go to the hospital and are admitted you end up in a room   Each room consists of 4 walls, a 40 inch wide door, if you lucky a bathroom, many pieces of equipment hanging from the wall (TV, nurses desk, white (uninformed) board, clock (maybe), safe and or on equipment/monitor stands.  Some of these machines the IV hangs from and is passed thru a box that makes sure it drips properly, then there the stat machine which monitors your heart rate, your blood pressure, your oxygen level, and 2 or 3 other important numbers.  And as I am sure you know, that if at any point the machines that monitors’ you don’t like a number or event they start to alarm and alarm, and become most annoying.  Generally I have found the most alarms go off at 2am, the nurses are all napping, the room door is closed containing the noise, so it just beeps and beeps and beeps and friggin beeps, and then beeps some more. Which brings us to the single most important piece equipment in your hospital room (even more important than toilet paper), it is the nurse call button.

IMG_20140211_105759_401 - Copy

This device turns the TV on/off, it increases the volume, it changes channels (in only 1 direction) and it calls the nurse.  Well it connects to the nurses’ station, but from there I suspect it goes into a black hole.  If you are in need you press the bright red big button right there in the middle, it beeps once, and then a dis-embalmed voices says “can I help you?” to which you may reply, “help me!” or may I see my nurse, or “there’s a monster in the room!” or may I get a glass of juice or some such perceived need. Once you hit the button a light goes on outside your door, and a bright light fires up on the wall where the button is connected.  This is the visual alarm that goes along with the insistent beeping.  It is amazing how quick someone comes to the room to turn off the alarm and say I will have your nurse come right in.  Well 40 minutes later, still no nurse, you hit the button again, and again the dis-embalmed voice says “can I help you!” only this time the voice doesn’t seem as patience, and there is an edge on the voice saying “I told you I would tell your nurse!” 

 

You don’t rest much in the hospital, you really don’t. You don’t lay there in a comfortable position, you don’t relax, no no, you are always anticipating the next visit.  The next time someone comes in and wants to take vitals, or a doctor wants to listen to your chest, or the CNA comes to weigh you, or the vampire wants to draw blood, or house cleaning wants to know if this is a good time, or food services wants it’s empty  tray back.  So you don’t really relax, you don’t rest at all.  I say all this to demonstrate that these are the times folks come into your room unannounced or uninvited, without you the patient having a desire for them.  You didn’t hit the red button to summon someone, these folks came because they wanted to be in your room to complete whatever function they wanted.  The red button had no impact on them.  But as soon as you hit that red button all visits stop.  The light goes on outside the room, it lights up a bulb at the nurse’s station and in the room, but as soon as you hit that red button, all activity stops.  No one comes in the room for fear that the patient may have a real need that needs to be meant that moment, something that can’t wait for a more convenient time for the staff.   Yes of course I am being unreasonable and cynical, but I am the patient and I have expectations, and I truly hate being ignored when I am in the hospital.  The only good thing is that I know I am not alone.

 

I don’t have a solution for the red button, I don’t have a magic trick that works for me, I have found that to get something, it generally takes a minimum of 2 pushes of the button spaced 20 minutes apart, but have seen it take as many as 4 pushes in an hour.  But in fairness I have pushed the red button by mistake many times and have gotten immediately response and action. I am just saying this so you can plan accordingly your next visit to the hospital.

 

Folks I am extremely happy to be out of the hospital.  I am very happy to be home. I know that I am still in the recovery mode, and that it will take a couple of weeks to get back to wherever I am going to get back.  But my finger tips are sharp and I will get to doing some posts quickly. 

 

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or ideas please feel free to ask away. I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon.  Take care, Bill

 

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