Sunday, June 14, 2015

Update on Don; Back to Benson; Anniversary

Don’s condition is improving by baby steps, but he’s still in Cardiac ICU at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson. Today his white blood count had gone down some, but the doctors and nurses are still unsure what’s causing the infection this indicates. He was taken off of the paralytic a few days ago, is handling that well, and has good blood pressure and heart rate. He’s tolerating the 24-hour dialysis fine.

It’s hard to be patient with this slow process, but Dr. Huang and all of the CICU nurses keep reminding me that any progress is good progress, and we’re in for the ‘long haul’ as far as when they’ll be able to take him off sedatives and begin waking him up. He will remain in CICU until various milestones are achieved, and that won’t be for a long while.

On Friday, our friends Dennis & Carol Hill and Denny & Susie Orr joined me for the 45-mile trek from Tucson to Benson. It felt like a modern version of a wagon train, with me in the lead in our Tiffin Phaeton motorhome pulling our Honda CR-V, followed by the Hills in their Winnebago Journey motorhome pulling their Jeep and cargo trailer (with Harley trike inside), and the Orrs bringing up the rear in their new-to-them VW Vanagon. Dennis provided direction for me backing the motorhome onto our site, since it’s a little tricky to get it in just the right place. It took a little longer than with Don directing me because he’s never done it before, but we ended up really close to perfect. I just need to move back about 1.5 inches so I can open the door for fresh air and get it to where it will stay open. However, since temps are hitting the high 90’s and sometimes triple digits, I’m not leaving the door open much, and I can secure it with a bungee cord when I do.

For pictures and a report of our first evening in Benson, go to Dennis & Carol's blog.

Before leaving Davis-Monthan FamCamp, Carol asked the office staff to give me a credit for the 4 days I had paid for and wouldn’t be using, due to the circumstances. Lora Cowan, manager, made that happen in spite of the computer not wanting to give me credit for more than 2 days because we had received a free day the previous week on their summer rates, and a free day was included when I paid for another week. That darn system wanted to snatch back the free day I had already used, in addition to the current week’s! Thanks for Lora, who believes that rules are made for a reason, but reason should be used in applying the rules. She said her parents raised her right! Amen!

Naturally, I was reluctant to move further away from Don and the hospital, and I was afraid Murphy’s Law would come into play and he would come out of sedation as soon as I did. Alas, that didn’t happen – is that a good thing or a bad thing? This is one time I wish Murphy had raised his normally ugly head! But I’m definitely more comfortable on our lot in Benson and glad I made that decision. Round trip to the hospital is about 95 miles, so I’m still not too far away to get there within an hour if something should happen requiring me to come quickly. Today’s visit went well, but I find it hard to see Don and not be able to have a two-way conversation.

In this picture, D&S’s Vanagon is sandwiched between D&C’s and my motorhome. The FamCamp managers just turned their heads and allowed D&S to park as another car on my site. Another couple of people who were raised right – thanks, Joan and Bob!


And the back side.


Happy hour happens whenever Escapees gather. Mickey (who’s having cataract surgery on both her eyes) and Lynn Waite joined us.


I’ve never been in southeastern Arizona at this time of year, so it’s interesting to see that sunset views are a lot different than in the winter.



I noticed that gremlins were playing tricks on me with the indoor-outdoor thermometer!


The pop-up on the Vanagon provides a nice sleeping area for Susie & Denny. And a ladder makes it easy to get up there.


My concrete patio area had been expanded with pavers, as this was previously an assistant host site. It provided a nice, shady area for us to gather.


The Phaeton looks a lot cleaner than it was, almost like a mirror in this shot.


In Benson, everyone was looking for ways to help me. Denny & Susie washed the Magne Shades for me (no pic). Susie & Carol helped me finish another jigsaw puzzle, providing several hours of companionship and diversion. Denny & Dennis changed the anode rod in the water heater and flushed out all the gunk.


Susie & Denny enjoyed some down time while using the wi-fi connection on my unlimited plan.


And Dennis was his normal self, picking on Carol. But she held her own and avoided the drenching! This shot was during our burger cookout on Friday.


Last night we all went to my favorite Mexican restaurant in the area, Magaly’s. We raised our glasses to Don’s recovery and to our 7th wedding anniversary (June 13), to be celebrated again as soon as Don can join me. Although it will always be a memorable day, it was disappointing not to be able to celebrate together.

This morning I had to say goodbye to these wonderful friends. How nice that they were able to accompany me to Benson and stay an extra couple of days! We all enjoyed cooler nighttime temps, down to the low 60’s since Benson is at a higher altitude than Tucson. Denny & Susie are really enjoying a minimal approach to RV travel.


Dennis & Carol were inside getting ready to leave my neighbor’s lot. I got more hugs from them before they pulled out.


So long, see ya down the road. I’ll miss you my friends, but will look forward to the next gathering with you and other great friends. In the meantime, I have lots of projects to keep me busy and will continue to visit Don in the hospital every few days.