Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The words "I Enjoy Writing" Didn't Actually Come From MY Mouth? Did It?

 It has been a busy few weeks for us.  Pam was referred to physical therapy (PT) both by her primary care provider, for constant back pain, and by her Neurologist, for her Parkinson's symptoms.  After the PT evaluation, she is now scheduled twice a week for the entire month of May.  She also had a DaT brain scan last week.  The good news is that despite being a blonde, she did have a brain.  OK, that was mean.  I agree.  But you have to admit that it was funny.  Actually, the results showed that there is diminished activity on the left side in the part of the brain that controls movement.  The conclusion is consistent with Parkinson disease or atypical parkinsonian syndrome. While we have not yet talked to the Neurologist since the scan, that effectively confirms the diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia vs Alzheimer's.

Pam is not a big fan of PT based on past experiences. But I am convinced that it will help with the apparent loss of range of motion and strength in her legs.  And let's hope it has some impact on the continuous lower back pain. Actually, after yesterday's PT session, we stopped at JC Penney for her shopping fix and she went over 30 minutes walking around without the wheelchair. She also had a referral to pain management and that appointment is in about a week. On Sunday, she woke me at 1:15 AM to make sure that I was ready for our breakfast appointment. This year we are trying to take our five grandsons out, one-on-one, to eat for their birthday. But I doubt that our eleven year-old grandson was going to breakfast at 1 AM. And she did it again yesterday in preparation for her PT appointment a little after noon. She gets very frustrated because she can not understand the problem. She just can not process time, especially time spans. She continues to suspect the accuracy of the clocks. I also tried a visual countdown times with the hopes that she could understand just how long she had to wait, but she did not. I have exhausted all methods for dealing with this.

Next up would be my health. Let me start by saying that getting old really sux. Generally, I feel pretty good. My view is that I need to live at least one day longer than Pam. it is something of a priority for me. Having had issues with shortness of breath on exertion, my Cardiologist recommended a cardiac catheterization to get an inside view of the ticker. That was done in October. The good news was that there was no coronary artery disease and my cholesterol numbers have been very good. The bad news was a diagnosis of mild pulmonary hypertension. This relates to the blood pressure in the lung vessels. My first reaction was very pessimistic. Life expectancy of five years is about sixty-three percent. 

My Cardiologist is much less pessimistic. There are a number of causes and in my case it is most likely related to my life-long asthma and my weight. So losing weight is my number one issue. This is going to be very tough given my passion for cooking (especially baking) and eating the results. I tried Keto for a couple of weeks, using Keto sweeteners and almond flour. But the baked goods tasted horrible. And then the Cardiologist told me that a Keto diet is not good for your heart. So Keto is out. [Anyone want some Keto pancake mix? Never opened. 😉] My primary care doc wanted me to have an abdominal aortic ultrasound. Apparently, previous smokers (I quite 45 years ago) are prone to aortic aneurysm. Mine was negative. So we have some metrics to track while I continue to walk for exercise and try to loss some weight.

That is my physical health, but what about my mental/emotional health? I have not really felt under any stress or pressure because of our current circumstances. I have had numerous people approach me about helping out where they can. And I greatly appreciate that. I have not taken advantage of the offers yet, but those days will come soon enough. I have also had fantastic support from our daughters. They each help in different ways. And I know that they would gladly do more if that was necessary. 

I have a number of 'distractions' that take me away from the realities when I need it. The writing of this blog is one. Also our youngest gifted me the Storyworth experience for the holidays last year. They send you a question a week, which you write a story about. It is a way to leave some of your important life experiences behind for your kids and grandkids I was able to complete forty-seven stories and the book is done and printed... all 296 pages of it. Gardening is another of those distractions. I am building new planting boxes for the deck this year. I have received permission from the HoA to expand the planting area in front of our condo. I plan to focus on some of our favorite shrubs, like Rose of Sharon, hosta, and hydrangia. The one thing that I have not done well handing is anticipatory grief. But I am going to expand on that in the next blog entry. Generally, I feel like I have a handle on things so far. I could be fooling myself. I think being a strong pragmatist has helped. You could drive yourself absolutely coo-coo worrying about this stuff. I don't.

Pam and I are both excited about getting the RV onto a seasonal site this summer. This past week we were able to get a number of maintenance things done, as well as a good bath and wax job.  I am immensely indebted to my sister Carol and her husband Bill, for letting us use their driveway for two days, followed by dinner and dessert each night. And Superman Bill was amazing at waxing and buffing someone else's RV. We owe you guys. The only thing delaying our trip north is the back-order on the catalytic converter. The news recently reported the arrest of a group that was stealing and selling off catalytic converters across New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Let's hope that the sniveling low-life that stole ours was among that group. Once that part is in, the RV will be serviced and we will head it up to Alton, NH for the summer. I am anticipating cooking out on the Blackstone all summer. I might even build a couple of flower boxes to pretty up our site. 

Until next time, njoy the emergence of Spring! 



  1. Looks like you have had a great month- love reading your posts! Always thinking of you both ❤️You Guys!

  2. Blond jokes, eh? You were the king of blonde jokes a ways back. Don't know how Pam put up with you. I'm so glad you're using the RV this summer!!!

  3. Always like to read your blog, Cuz. I wouldn't underestimate the value of distractions and denial - it's helping us immensely. Much love to you and Pam.