Friday, May 8, 2015

Health and Travel

Since returning to Arizona in early March, Don and I have together logged 20 visits to various doctors, clinics, labs, ERs and surgical units. We’ve been tested, poked, stuck, x-rayed, medicated, cut, sutured, bandaged, and prescribed. I had a cyst removed from my hand, and discovered the cause of swelling in my ankles and feet is due to leaky valves in the veins of my legs requiring me to wear compression stockings. Both of us had EKGs, and Don had a CT scan, esophageal ultrasound, and a nuclear stress test, to name a few.

All this time we kept thinking we’d get the next doctor visit done, then we’d be able to start our spring/summer travels. Then there would be another procedure scheduled and we would delay our departure… As a result, our travel plans, which are usually set in Jello anyway, have been changed again and again.

Today Don had a cardiac catheterization (aka angiography), and the cardiologist determined that all 3 main coronary arteries are clogged, so instead of inserting a stent he referred him to a heart surgeon for a triple bypass. We later met the surgeon and agreed that we like him, and the facilities at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson are top-notch, so we will go ahead and schedule the surgery as soon as possible, probably within the next two weeks. In the meantime, Don needs to curtail any physical activity and avoid lifting anything weighing more than 10 lbs.


Recovery time after surgery will be 6 weeks which will take us into July, so our travel plans have been put on hold for now. We definitely won’t be going all the places we had planned, but we don’t know just what the plans will evolve to at this point.

Meanwhile, the less exciting events in our lives during the past month since my last blog post included getting a new duvet cover for our king size bed, cleanup and repair of a plumbing problem under the sink in the galley kitchen which left some pans covered with rust and crud, and during the repair Don almost pulled off a toenail that required a visit to the local ER, some Escapees Chapter business requiring lots of phone calls for Don, brilliant red blossoms on our ocotillo plant for the first time, and having all the roads in our neighborhood sealed and hot-topped with fresh asphalt during which we had to park our car a few blocks away for 2 days.










We also attended a fun Cinco de Mayo potluck party with our neighbors in the Cochise Terrace common area…




…and another night we had Stu & Sandy Dutcher come share one of Don’s wonderful Santa Maria style tri-tip roast dinners.


The final note is that, in spite of this medical setback, life is still good, and we are thankful for every day. We will face the next step with our faith in God and our love for each other, as well as the support of our numerous friends and family members with whom we’re in close touch, knowing that we’ll have many more fun times ahead.