Sunday, February 22, 2009

After several quiet weekends it all happens in one!

We have been having a fairly quiet winter, enjoying the slower pace and falling into a routine. Then things started to happen.

Trevor called a week ago saying he needed surgery on his wrist. The surgery was already scheduled and he asked if I could come to Effingham for the surgery. Wednesday afternoon I drove to Charleston and spent the night in Trevor's college house. He lives with three other football players and they had to be up early the next day for a 6:30 AM run. So it worked out well as they went to bed early and I was able to get some sleep. Over the years he has asked me to do various things for him that involved me spending the night at one of his college houses. Typical of any college house there is usually so much activity and energy that sleep becomes a prized commodity. So it was nice to be able to get 6 hours of sleep before our early morning appointment.

The surgery went well but he was in a lot of pain that first night after the nerve block wore off. The surgery was to fix some tendon damage and to remove scar tissue that had formed around some nerves. He had hurt his wrist a couple of years ago causing some of his fingers to go numb. Also, if he used his hand to "hit" another football player, his whole hand would go numb and he would have no grip. He had several x-rays and other tests looking for the problem but they could not find it till now.

The weekend after his surgery was also the weekend of a local euchre tournament. The family of a girl (Sarah) that Trevor went to High School and now college with has an annual euchre tournament and invites both Sarah's and Trevor's friends to attend. Trevor had invited 3 of his football buddies to spend the weekend and play in the tournament. So Thursday after a short night we had the surgery and a 4 hour drive home and then the prescription debacle. Then Friday we ran errands, loaded up on some groceries and made a big pot of soup for the boys arrival that afternoon. Then Saturday we went to the St Louis RV show, while the guys recuperated from Friday night and prepared for the card tournament. The energy these guys have is amazing! Me, I need a slower pace!

Thursday after the surgery, I drove home while Trevor dosed. They had done a nerve block and told him it would last between 12 and 18 hours. So he was in no pain on the ride home. After starting at 5:30 AM, I was beat by the time we got home at 6:30 PM. But before I stopped for the day I had one more little thing to do, I needed to get his pain meds. K-Mart is close and easy to get in and out of so that is where I usually go. I dropped off the prescription and wandered around the store for a few minutes waiting for them to fill it. When I returned to the prescription counter they only had five pills. They said they would have more in the morning around eleven. Doing some higher level math calculations I was quickly able to determine that if the prescription read to take two pills every four hours that five pills would not quite make it till eleven the next day. So I headed to Walgreens. When I got to Walgreens there was one lady at the counter and six people in line. Her standard answer for anyone dropping off a prescription was that it would be at least a half hour. So I waited. It was amazing to watch the organized madness in that place, there was no let up, there was a constant stream of people. Finally they called me and said it was ready and asked for my insurance card. I did not have it with me because K-Mart has that all on file and I do not usually carry it with me. Luckily, one of the guys in the back heard my response and said I could pay full price then bring the card in the next day and they would give me a refund. Fantastic! I was done! I could go home get supper and relax! NOT! When I got home and opened the prescription it was Cialis! Good thing I looked at the bottle before he took any of the pills, or his arm might have stood up for four hours! Back across town to Walgreens. When I got there I got back in line again and waited for my turn. Of course there was someone else working the counter by this time so I was prepared to explain everything from start to finish. But when I started to explain what happened the girl that waited on me popped out of the back room and exclaimed "your the one!" Everyone in line turned to look at me like I had robbed the store. She grabbed the prescription and headed to the back. While she was gone I finished explaining the situation to the guy that was waiting on me and he said he would get me a full refund and get the right prescription. At that time the girl that grabbed the prescription reappeared with the right on and said there was no charge for the prescription. That was nice of them! My one more little thing took two hours and two trips across town!

Enough of the trials and trepidations of one last little chore!

Saturday we left around 8:30 driving two plus hours to the RV show in St Louis. Along the way we stopped for breakfast and after finding reasonably priced parking got to the show well before noon. This show seemed to be bigger than last year and there was a good crowd. I was hoping to see more of the new European styled RV just to see what they were like but there were only a limited number of them. After making our trip around all the displays we ended up spending a lot of our time looking at the Tiffins. While there we met and talk with our Sportscoach salesmen, Eric. He is now with Byerly RV sales. Eric is a great guy and while he does not know all the answers he is willing to find them for you. We also met and talked with the Tiffin rep as well as a nice couple that were trying to decide if they wanted to get into RVing.

His name was Rex (I'm sorry I have forgotten hers) and we greatly enjoyed talking with them. We know exactly where the are in the decision process. It took us two years of looking and debating before we took the plunge into RVing and I can see that they are right where we were during that process. He is worried about the care and feeding of an RV. The maintenance, being able to set it up, a place to park it when not in use, winter storage, winterizing, tires, etc. Then there is the issue of how much it will be used. It is a lot of money to spend when you have all those questions.

By the time we got back home on Saturday evening, the boys had all ready gone to the euchre tournament. So we went to get a pizza and were in bed by ten.

Sunday morning the boys were up earlier than we expected. We thought it would be at least noon before we saw any of them, but they began to stir around 10:30. After feeding them breakfast they packed up and were gone by one. Suddenly the house was very quiet.

Someone sent me a comment asking about using Olive Leaf Extract. Most people that take Olive Leaf have absolutely no problem with it. It boost the immune system. It helps eliminate some of the bad bugs that make us sick. If you are ill or have been sick for a long time like me then it is best to gradually increase the dose over time. I have been on immune suppressants for so long that I was (am) loaded up with various bugs causing me to suffer from the die off effect (see previous blog). In any case it is like most natural meds in that it may take a month or two for it to take effect.

Ken F.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ah! It is winter time!

We have been getting some e-mails asking what we've been doing since the first of the year. To be honest ... not much! This winter has been warm then extremely cold, then warm then extremely cold. It is much better when a person can get used to it being cold, then we can complain all the time not just when it gets cold.

With both boys gone it is quiet around the house. Cindy has been working 10 hour days or longer, five days a week. So I cook, do laundry and take care of the dogs. Since Christmas I have not been feeling very good. My energy level has been way low. One Doc told my that the fatigue was due to depression. He sited a study that said 9 out of 10 patients that complained of being fatigued were depressed. DUH! If you fell weak your not going to feel like your jolly old self are you? He wanted to give me antidepressants without a thought about why I was fatigued. I went to another doc who did blood test that showed I was badly anemic. Since my Crohns disease interferes with food absorption, he prescribed a liquid iron supplement and it has helped.

I have had Crorn's disease for over thirty years now. In those thirty years I have tried all the latest and greatest new meds to come along. Some of them were very very expensive but none of them worked. These new miracle drugs must work for somebody because they are FDA tested and approved, but they have not worked for me.

This winter I made up my mind to try natural healing! I got on the Internet and researched several options (some of them pure BS), and found some things I thought worth trying. Probiotics with amino acids to heal the damage in the intestines. A list of vitamins that is recommended for people with Crohn's. And lastly olive leaf extract.

Olive leaf extract is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, anti parasite. It does not work against all the bugs but it works against a lot of them. For normal healthy people it is a good supplement to ward off the normal illnesses that we get. For people that have an illness it can be helpful if you can handle the "die off" effect.

The "die off" effect can be as simple as just feeling bad for a day or two or can be as bad as causing severe joint and muscle pain. The pain is caused by the build up of toxins in the joints and muscles. As the bad bugs die off your body should flush them away, but when there is a lot of die off then the body can not flush it away fast enough thereby causing joint and muscle pain. I must of had a lot of bad bugs! I had a lot of pain. I found out later that healthy people can jump into full doses but sick people should start with a low dose then gradually build up the dose. That is one lesson that I learned the hard way.

I've also just started some other natural remedies that I won't mention now because I have not been doing them long enough to know if they work or not.

Also this last month, Kyle got a newer vehicle. His old GMC Jimmy was on it's last leg. It ran fine (if it started) but there were so many little things wrong with it. I had used wire to reattach his door panel because all the screw holes for the arm rest were broken out to the point where even the biggest fender washer was still to small. To open the hood I had fastened a locking vise grip to the cable so we had something to pull on. Driving at highway speeds I felt like we were in a boat the way it swayed and rocked. The list could go on!

We found an 08 Mercury Milan with 20,000 miles on it. We were able to get it with tax, title, plates, and etc for $13,000 and the old Jimmy! (I was just glad to get rid of the Jimmy) Yes we did a title search and the car was never wrecked or stolen, however it was a rental. That's OK we have had rentals before and not had any problems. Kyle really likes the car! It is loaded and drives very nice. A suitable car for a country lawyer! The car is a silver gray color and is now named Misty Milan. The car Trevor drives is called Ruby Regal, you can guess what color it is.

We have not had much snow here, but we did have one snow that was several inches deep. It was deep enough for our neighbor to get out his brand spanking new snow blower! Just to try it out he did our driveway too! Thanks John. It was delivered by truck last fall. A full sized semi stopped in front of our house and I instantly figured this guy is badly lost. We live on a dead end street in a subdivision! I went out to see if I could help him and found out he was in the right place. When he told me what he had I tried to convince him that my name was John and the address was one number off! But he was not that gullible. I helped him unload it and since it was a nice day we set it by John's garage door. I knew John was out of town so I planned to help Stacy slide it into the garage when she got home. Later in the day I looked out to see if Stacy was home and she already had it in the garage! Oh well my intentions were good.

Later this month is the St. Louis RV show. We plan to go even though Trevor has since planned to come home and bring two of his buddies. We will see them Friday night and again on Sunday. They are not coming to see us anyway! The last time they were in town they spent the weekend with three girls that just happened to be in town the same time that they were. I image something like that is in the works this time too!

Have fun everybody and thank God we have spell check! We will write more often when the weather warms and we can get the RV out!