Tuesday, February 26, 2008

She lives!

well, surprise - here I am, all ambitious, and I can't get pictures in again. so please check back!

OK, OK, I know, I’ve been bad. I’ve been neglecting my blog, shamefully. For a whole month, I see. Shame on me!! I have lots of excuses, of course, but mostly it’s just that each time I think, “OK, time to get caught up,” I decide to take a nap instead. And what I have to write about would probably put my readers to sleep anyway! Today, I’ll make the serious effort to not take that nap, and to write a brief (?) update to cover the last several weeks! Lucky you!! 

(I’m sitting in a repair shop – surprise!! – with a couple hours to spare, so rather than napping like I did yesterday while here getting lubed and oiled and tickled and prodded, I’m going to put the time to good use today!! Actually, for those who might worry, I’m just getting a tire rotation today – after 33K miles, it’s about time!)

The major event in my life as we speak, is of course the healing process from my grand finale to 2007. I’m sure I mentioned it previously – hip replacement surgery is major surgery and a real eye-opener to the actual state of one’s health and well-being, both physically and mentally. I periodically remember to thank my lucky stars that I’m in as good shape and health as I am, relatively speaking. Because it’s been a tough get-well process, and my heart really aches for those sweet little old ladies and the occasional gentleman who must suffer this indignity at 10 or 20 years more than I acknowledge!

And, again, I thank my marvelous network of friends who have helped me thru it! OK, enough mushy stuff!

The hip is doing great! As far as I’m concerned, at almost two months, it’s healed up terrifically well. There’s no pain at all, only an occasional pinch if I bend a little too far, not much ache in the muscles around it – all in all, surprising even to me in it’s progress!

The rest of me – well that’s another story entirely!

The head, of course, is as warped as ever! Which is a good thing! Relying on a cane has reminded my hands that they’ve been hiding a bunch of arthritis monsters, so I’ve begun my Cod Liver Oil regimen again. (My Brit pal, Ms Parker, taught me her Mummy’s secret formula for dramatically helping arthritis pain some time back, and I sort of forgot to remember to keep up with the treatment. It truly helps, and if you’re interested, please get in touch and I’ll fill you in!!) All the other lower joints are as bad or worse than prior to the fall.

Both knees ache, and threaten occasionally to buckle with no warning. Which is not a good thing – I’m really scared of falling again. And the damned right ankle? It’s misbehaving more than ever. I simply cannot put my heel on the ground, so I walk on my tip-toes. I think it’s in the knee – it won’t straighten. And I think the pool therapy made it worse. I probably overdid the exercises, (naturally, since it felt so good to do them in the water!), and believe that’s what’s causing that knee to buckle at the most inopportune moments. I’ve backed off from the therapy, with the therapist’s approval, until the knee stabilizes again, then will try once more, at a more gentle pace.

Needless to say, I walk really funny! I used to kid about walking like an old gorilla – I’m not kidding anymore! What’s interesting about it is that I can now wear fairly high heels again – makes it easier to walk on my tip-toes when I have a solid shoe under my heel! And don’t worry – I do mean ‘solid’ shoe – I long since got rid of all my spike heels! Sadly. Sure miss being bare-footed though!

OK, enough about me – Penny is doing OK. Her poor little heart just can’t handle the wild excitement of my life, (as you probably recall, she gets so excited when I return from a brief excursion without her, that her heart stops and she passes out), and she is simply not able to take the heart meds that have been prescribed – as I’ve mentioned, they really mess up her poor digestive system and give her uncontrollable runs. Nothing has helped, so I won’t put her through that.

I’m now getting ready to start her on the next suggestion. She’s also has been diagnosed with “severe pulmonary distress”, and the solution to that is Viagra. Yup – the little blue pill. But she gets it in liquid form, at a much reduced dosage. Presumably Viagra was originally formulated for this physical ailment, until the researchers realized one of the major side effects provided for a much more commercially profitable use! We’ll just have to cross our fingers and toes (I can’t cross my legs anymore!) that this one will be tolerated and will help!!

Next, I need to finish up reporting “the trip”. This will be the quick part. I spent most of the time heading west after the hospital back on my bed, as you may recall, because sitting up and being jostled around was more than I was ready for at that point! So no exciting pictures or notes to speak of! But I do want to get the maps in the blog, for those who enjoy that part of the trip! They will have the scheduled trip, but not the actual route taken. Nothing major missing, just fuel stops and grocery visits and such, and you can pick up a few extra details on the notes in the past few postings.

I left Kerrville, Texas on Saturday, January 12th, with my sweet pal Liz at the wheel. That first day, we made it 252.3 miles to Ft. Stockton, Texas.

On Sunday, the 13th, we reached El Paso, another 238.9 miles west. If you check back in the blog a couple days, you’ll see all the disasters that befell us there.

Thursday, the 17th, we made it all the way thru New Mexico, 255.6 miles into Arizona, and stayed the night in Willcox.

On Friday, the 18th, we finally made it 204.7 miles to the Phoenix area – the John Wayne RV Ranch, SW of Phoenix, in Maricopa, Liz’s home. Her son Paul came by to help set up and take Lizzie home, but first she stepped in a big depression in the dark and fell, making a mess of her already bad knee. So much for any of the planned help for me, getting to doctors and therapists and the like. After resting up for several days, I decided to head down to Tucson, where I could rent a car and do the doctor thing myself.

That all worked out fine. Paul followed me down to the Beaudry RV Resort and helped me get all set up and pick up a car from Enterprise. Two weeks of that rental convinced me that I could/would/must be able to drive my own car – my sweet stick shift Mustang, with a stiff clutch! Liz brought the car down, and by then I’d healed up enough to handle it just fine!!!!!

I have to tell you – getting in that car, and finding I could handle it with my recovering hip, made my day! What an incredible boost to my morale!!!!!!!!

I consider arriving back in Tucson as the culmination of my 2007 trip, from late June to mid January, 2008 – a grand adventure, including Mt. Rushmore which I loved; lobster in Maine and the tour of the Maritime Provinces with Meg; the magnificent and powerful Niagara Falls; skirting the U.S. shoreline of all the Great Lakes to enjoy the incredible fall colors, which so entranced me; the cruise of the Eastern Caribbean on the Caribbean Princess with Candy and back to the alligators and flamingoes in the Everglades; the drive thru Lynchburg for my visit to Jack Daniels' home, and Nashville to the Grand Ole Opry, to St. Augustine in northern Florida, so enchanting; and across the southern states to my fateful end to 2007. The trip was blessed with incredibly good weather, and included several visits to repair shops, as seems to be my norm, plus lots of terrific visits with many old friends and some new, and a total of 15,481.1 miles of spectacular vistas of this gorgeous country. Marvelous!

Since then, I’ve been doing my doctors and therapists, and Penny’s doctors, and learning to walk again, and shopping and just enjoying the weather! Until the 19th when Beaudry kicked me out – they were hosting a Country Coach RV Rally – over 425 RVs, which took every single space plus over-flow. I had a coupon for 4 free nights at a park up in Casa Grande, so I took advantage of that. Short drive, but a gorgeous day, and the golden poppies are out in profusion, especially around Picacho Peak!! Desert Shadows at Casa Grande is part of one of those membership places, where you have to listen to the sales pitch to qualify for the free nights. I had no intent whatsoever in buying.

That last little line means that I did, of course, buy in. I joined the Western Horizons Resorts membership – with access to about 400 parks nationwide, at from $0, as in zero dollars, per night, to $6 in some parks, and $8 in some parks, and 50% off in others. Considering I spent way more than a grand a month just for RV parks on this 7 month holiday, that definitely appeals to me. I figured that if I take full advantage of this system, averaging it all out, it should cost me between about $150 to $350 a month. That works! Even if I stray occasionally, it’ll save me a lot of dinero overall! Plus, I figure I’m probably not going to do anymore huge trips, like the last two – Alaska one summer, the Maritime Provinces the next. This’ll give me the chance to actually visit some places and get to know them, because I can stay two to three weeks at a time at these parks, stay one week somewhere else and then do it again! A win-win all the way around!

Soooo, once I get out of the service bay, I head to a different park here in Tucson, Cactus Country, which I’ve booked for a month. This should give me the time to get all the odds and ends tidied up and let me start thinking about what’s next. I’ve pretty much missed out on Kino Bay for this winter, which I’m sorry about, but sometimes circumstances just take over from plans. There’s always next winter!!!

I’ll admit right now that I won’t be posting much here for the next couple weeks. Too much to do, planted in one spot. I’ll report in on a weekly or so basis, or when something really fun happens! Like the sticker I saw on a car’s back window yesterday – “BAHIA KINO – a drinking village with a fishing problem!”

Beaudry RV Resort & Rally Park*
5151 S Country Club Road
Tucson, AZ 85706
*since gone out of business

Cactus Country RV Resort
an Adventure Bound Camping Resort
10195 S Houghton Road
Tucson, AZ 85747

The Animal Rescue Site

LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?