Monday, November 19, 2018

It would be EZ to find her...

I swear on all that is holy...if my dear wife ever disappears and just cannot be found, I'll simply go and sit on the toilet. In ten seconds or less, she will be there!

Friday, November 16, 2018

EZ to take for granted.

Each day, we likely take some very important things for granted. Like breathing, for instance. This morning during my self-guided yoga session I was spending a few moments just concentrating on my breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Repeat. Even with concentration I realized that I was really taking each breath, and the next, for granted. But each breath is precious, vital, and tenuous.

Yesterday morning, at about two AM Mountain Time, my sister, Sarah Leane, stopped breathing. She had breathed her very last. She will be dearly missed. Sarah, at 86, was the eldest sibling and the last, save me, surviving. I had earlier lost my two brothers -- one at age 70 and one at 82. My parents, of course, have been gone for decades so as far as my immediate blood family goes I am now truly alone. I told a niece that I feel like an orphan. 

In. Out. In. Out. Repeat.

Our oldest son, Vincent, a foster child yet one we love dearly, cannot take breathing for granted. He is suffering some sort of lung disorder whereby his lungs are only working at about 60% capacity. For months he's been unable to work, short of breath and quickly in cardiac distress with any normal exertion, and his family is having troubles due to the lack of income. Doctors have been ineffective. Through a broad battery of tests, including biopsies, they have not been able to definitively diagnose the disease. This week, he was admitted for an invasive process to open his chest and examine the lungs and get some additional tissue for tests. We are hoping for results by today, Friday, November 16, 2018. We were told it was a simple procedure and that he's be out of hospital in a day or so. Not so. Three days in and he's coded twice and has now been moved to intensive care where they can use a positive pressure respirator to assist his breathing. Before this move (but after the procedure) he was unable to maintain sufficient oxygenation without supplemental O2. Then it got to where he wasn't getting enough oxygen even with supplemental under a C-PAP type oxygen mask. We are so praying for him and also hoping for a diagnosis that will allow the medics to help his body fix whatever is ailing him. Meanwhile, the VA has been essentially telling him that there is nothing wrong with him as if he were a malingerer. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

In. Out. In. Out. Repeat. 

Keep doing it, Vincent, we pray.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Moving sucks

I feel as if I’m attending my own funeral.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Aging is not EZ when it impacts loved ones.

My dearest Glenda’s vision is rapidly fading. She suffers from both the beginnings of cataracts and fairly severe macular degeneration. She can no longer read even large print. When writing she often writes over top of the last line that she wrote. Yet she is persistent and faithful in writing in her journal and taking notes 📝 in church when she hears a nugget she feels would be good to recall regularly in our lives and in the lives of our children. No one will ever be able to read this. Bless her, Lord, for her good heart and faithfulness.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Beyond not EZ to hard -- losing friends from this life.

I got heartbreaking news this morning that my high-school best friend, Ronald Hardy Estep, has passed from a massive heart attack. Ron shared birthdays with Glenda, delivered by the same doctor in the old Magic Valley Memorial Hospital in Twin Falls on February 19, 1950, and was my absolute best friend thru school and some years beyond. Ron was a runner before it was popular and would regularly push me to run until I dropped (I was always the slow, fat, kid). He said that pushing his body to the limits of endurance made him feel more alive than anything else. He always pushed me to perform better--physically, academically, and socially. I served as his campaign manager when he won election to the student body presidency for our senior year. He and I performed a stand-up comic routine together for a high-school Junior Year talent show. Ron was my straight man. We also performed a cover of Paul Revere and the Raiders hit, "Kicks," at the Senior Year talent show, with Ron on lead guitar, me on bass. I don't remember who our drummer was. In 1971, I performed a speaking role in the stage play Ron produced and directed as his Idaho State University drama class year-end project. He still managed a passing grade! A graduate of Idaho State University, he became a high school history teacher and tennis coach and later a school administrator in Couer d' Alene, Idaho. He and his wife, Sandy, joined the LDS church as adults and together they raised a large family. He did not attend the recent Valley High School reunion in Idaho as he and Sandy were serving a mission in Detroit. I feel like he'd still be pushing me to be better. RIP, Ron. I will miss you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Preparing to move for downsizing

Thanks to the generosity of my children, we have professional help -- an organizer and a stager -- helping us to prepare to move; Amanda and Raquel of ABCOrganizing. They do good work, but that requires us to cooperate and make decisions on what to keep, what to sell, what to donate, and what to discard. Much of what we choose to keep must be packed away somewhere out of site so the house can be nicely "staged" for sale. Even with help, this is not EZ. Plus, I've had a bad case of 'dropsy' the last couple of days. Everything I touch tumbles or falls. If it weren't for the floor or the ground things would go all the way to China (where some of it probably came from).  If it weren't for gravity God only knows where things would go when my grasp doesn't grasp them.

Shots here of Raquel and Amanda at work.


We also had our kitchen countertops refinished from a 1970s avocado to a modern granite look. Yet to go, repainting selected items and rooms.

BEFORE:


AFTER:


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Moving is not EZ

You never know how invested you are in your community until you start to seriously consider leaving it behind for a new stomping ground after decades of aging in place.

Medical
  Insurance - We are enrolled at the San Antonio Military Medicine Center with Medicare and Tricare and have the providers we have needed - because we get our care and our prescriptions at the Army facilities, we VERY rarely ever have a co-pay or deductible to worry about
  PCM - Dr. Kosik - For both Glenda and me
  Medical records - All of our records are in the Army hospital's electronic system
  Pharmacy - We know where they are, how they work, and which is best for each need
  Specialty clinics - Dan
    Cardiology - Drs. Barnwell, Garasimon, and Thomas
    Urology - Drs. Hudak and Reed and Ms. Schadee
    Orthopedics - Mr. Gaffney (PA) and Ms. Blasingame (orthopedic oncologist, Dr. Quinn)
    Dermatology - Dr. Sorensen
    Oncology - Dr. Arballo
    Gastroenterology - Dr. Shaffer
    Dental - Monarch Dental - Dr. Shah (for Dan and Glenda - with Delta Dental Ins. of Texas)
    Optometry - Dr. Delgado (for Dan and Glenda)
  Specialty clinics - Glenda
    Cardiology - Dr. Bush
    Plastic surgery - Dr. Brostrom
    Psychiatry - Dr. DeLlanos
    Neurology - PA Weiss
    Ophthalmology - Dr. Webber
    Pulmonary - Dr. McInnis

Our life insurance and annuity advisor - Mark Gregory
Our property and casualty insurance agent - Steve Villa
Our massage therapist - Sheryl Pursley - Rubbing us the right way since 2008
Our personal trainer - Cynthia Flores
My mechanics - Tony and Kaylee
Our home cleaner - Annette Kjar (In fairness, she's moving, too)
Our Optician - All Seeing Optical
Glenda's hairdresser of 20+ years, Anna Medina
Our neighbors - Martha, Jay and Jayne, Steve and Linda, Nick, Nancy and Edwin, Rob and Andrea, Marc and Cindy Lavesque, Clayton Perry (city councilman for our district and long-time friend)
Our LDS ward and stake - 200 friends and associates. We've been in this ward since 2010 and in this stake since 1973 (with gaps)
Friends in Harmony - 200 men of good character who love to sing directed by Artie Dolt--internationally renown director
N.E. Senior Assistance Center and the staff of volunteers
San Antonio Cars and Coffee
The local Dunkin' Donuts
The local HEB - The cashiers know us by name
Gym membership at Gold's
Taco Cabana
Whataburger
The Edwards Aquifer
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union - has served us since 1973
Margie, our mail carrier

Our Family Trust, a Texas Trust, established in January 2018
Texas military Meritorious Service Medal vehicle registrations -- no annual registration fee
Bexar county does not require smog inspections (yet)
Our private pool and hot tub

Moving is never easy. Moving to a whole 'nother community requiring starting over on so very many fronts will certainly be even less EZ.