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Sat. Oct. 22 Sebastian FL to Fri. Oct. 28 Miami FL

Saturday- Moving day- What beautiful weather! A cold front moved in with no rain, but the temp is in the 70’s and the humidity is in the 40’s. Bright blue skies with a nice breeze. Awesome!

We packed up and left the Thousand Trails and drove southeast on Hwy. 27 to Hwy. 60. We drove almost to Vero Beach and turned onto CR. 512, which after it crossed under I-95, took us right to the RV park.

We drove into the Sunshine Travel Encore Park in Sebastian FL at about 12:30. The office was closed, but they had an envelope for us with the map and what site we were to park in.

We disconnected the car, and went to the site. Bob backed the MH into the site and we set up. We are in a nice, 50 FHU site for $19 per night! It is a little noisy when outside, as we are right off the interstate, but we have a concrete pad with a nice fairly new picnic table.

We ate lunch, then drove to Vero Beach, using Hwy. 1, then onto A1A. We drove south to the end of the barrier island, and returned to the MH at about 4 PM via I-95. I went in search of the book exchange, but never found it. There is a nice activity center, pool and laundry.

We sat outside and read until dinner time. We ate leftovers for dinner and settled in to watch TV.

Sunday- We left at about 9 AM and drove east on CR 512. We turned north on Hwy. 1 driving along the river. We drove north until we were able to cross the bridge over to the barrier island and to continue north on A1A.

We stopped in a beach parking lot across from the AFB. We walked out to the ocean. The tide was out and there was actually beach there!. No umbrellas are allowed due to the sea turtles buried in the sand, so there were only a few folks sunning on the beach and a few fishermen.

We continued north to Cocoa Beach. There was a 1/2 marathon going on, so one lane of the road was closed for the walkers. The traffic backed up, so we made a U-turn and went back south. We left A1A and went back west to I-95 and drove back to the MH.

During my walk this morning I found the book exchange so I went over and exchanged a bunch of books. I started the sheets in the laundry in the MH and Bob took the towels over to the laundry. We did our budgeting and checking of our accounts while watching the Redskin game. We ate lunch and  dinner at home, watched TV and went to bed.

Monday- We left and drove south on I-95 to Juniper. We went to visit the Juniper Inlet light house.


Jupiter Lighthouse

Built  in 1860, it is one of the oldest lighthouses in Florida as well as holding the title as the oldest existing structure in Palm Beach County. It was only illuminated for a couple of years before the confederate army extinguished its light during the Civil War, but when the war was over, it was re-lit and has been guiding ships along the shore to this day. It is a 156-foot red beauty, standing tall on the Jupiter coast. It cost $60,000 to build. The light can be seen for 24 nautical miles. The building itself has a double wall design to withstand hurricanes.

From the lighthouse, we turned right and went north on A1A thru Jupiter Island, where the mega-wealthy live. Each house had a gated entrance and a ‘service’ entrance.

We went out to Rt. 1 and ate lunch at  Southern Pig and Cattle Company.  The BBQ was pretty good! We continued north back thru Vero Beach and back to the RV park in Sebastian.

Tuesday-  I woke up and realized that I had not had my blood drawn. So we stopped at the Quest Labs in Sebastian. That was a mistake. It was an hour wait. My lab work was not fasting, so we left  and will return later.

We drove south to Vero Beach, stopping for $2.15/gal and then went to the McKee Botanical Garden. $8 each, senior rate.

The McKee Botanical Garden is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an 18 acre plot of tropical jungle garden, described as one of the most lush and serene around. Our first stop was at the 1932 Hall of Giants, a rustic wooden structure that has stained glass and bronze bells. It also contains the world’s largest single plank mahogany table at 35 ft. long.

Mahogany table, McKee Botanical Gardens

We continued our journey through the park. It was a lovely walk, looking at the various exhibits. There was a large lily pond, the palm tree grove and the sculptures.

Lili Pond, McKee Botanical Gardens

This is the sleeping tree. During a hurricane, the tree toppled over. It continued to grow!

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

McKee Botanical Gardens

We left and stopped at Panera for lunch, then continued north on Hwy. A1A to the McLarty Treasure Museum, which is owned by the State of Florida.

McLarty Treasure Museum

McLarty Treasure Museum

We paid our $2 entrance fee, and went in to watch the interesting movie on the salvage of the ship wrecks. Basically, what happened was the Queen of Spain refused to consummate her marriage until she received her dowry. She had specific requests. The King tried several times to get the required pieces, but each time there was a hurricane and shipwreck. Time was marching on with no heir to the throne.

This time, the ships were heading to Spain from Cuba, when the fleet was hit by another hurricane, just off the coast, in 1715. The fleet was between Sebastian and Fort Pierce. The 1200 survivors made it to the beach and were eventually rescued by the people at the Fort in St. Augustine, the only settlement. They had to live on the beach in August, which was not pleasant with the heat, humidity, lack of shelter and the bugs!

Various people tried to find the treasure. Eventually, in 1928 one wreck was discovered off of Fort Pierce. In the 1940’s some of the treasure began appearing on the beach. In the 1950’s, a hurricane completely changed the face of the shore, and this spot where the museum stands was found to be the site of the beaching of the survivors.

The treasure hunters, with licenses from the state, found the sunken ships and brought up the treasures. This is still an ongoing process!

McLarty Treasure Museum

McLarty Treasure Museum

There is a walkway out the back of the building which takes you to an overlook, through the sand dune and the plant coverage.

Sand dunes near Sebastian FL

Sand dunes near Sebastian FL

We drove back south to the bridge, crossed the inland waterway, and drove north to Sebastian. We stopped at Quest and I was taken right in for my blood draw.

We returned home to very happy dogs. Bob walked and fed them. We left at 4:40 and went to visit one of my high school friends, Jim Lehner and his wife Karen. We visited at their home for a bit, looking a their beautiful glass. They make and sell various glass objects.

We all left and went to Sticky Lips Seafood Restaurant for dinner. We had a nice dinner, right on the river. We left and drove north, where Karen showed us Arlo Guthrie’s house on the river.

We went back to Jim and Karen’s, talked for a bit longer, and then left, returning to the MH and went to bed.

Wednesday- Moving day. We packed up early and drove out of the park at around 9. We were traveling south on I-95 for about 40 miles. The weather was not good! The prediction was for 20-25 mph. winds. We are very high profile, so we wanted to get settled in before the winds picked up too much. Since the winds were coming from the east, and we were traveling south, this could have been tricky, but we arrived before the worst of it! We actually turned off of I-95 and took back roads where we could go slower and there was less traffic.

We arrived at Miami-Everglades Encore Park at about 12:30. Bob unhooked the car and I went in to check in. The gal said I owed $196. Huh??? This was completely paid for. That fact did not show up in the computer system and I had left my phone in the MH and the reservation is on the phone in the saved file.

So she charged my credit card $196. Not happy! I kept telling her that I knew that was incorrect! So we moved the MH into the site, set up and started eating lunch. My plan was to find the reservation and call Encore.  The gal came knocking on the door. She had found that I was correct, and we had paid $23 ea. for eight nights FHU. We received a refund! Glad this worked out, as we have the same situation at the next RV park.

We settled in and went to Costco, a few miles north, getting gas at $2.19/ gal and groceries. Bob noted that he did not feel right and seemed to be having an irregular heart beat. He looked okay and realized that he was not having A-fib. We returned to the MH and he used the pulse ox which showed his heart rate to be 133. We could tell it was irregular and we realized he was having A-flutter. The cardiologist told us if he had A-flutter, he needed to go to the ER.

Bob walked the dogs and I went to the insurance website and found a hospital,12 miles away,  which was listed at 5 stars, and had cardiac listed. The closer hospitals did not have cardiac listed and McKendall Regional Hospital was also a trauma center. So I drove Bob to the ER.

We arrived and parked. During the drive Bob had flipped from A-flutter to A-fib, and now he was having shortness of breath and some tightness in his chest, as he does when he has the A-fib.

We were taken right into the ER. There were 48 beds, and he was put on a gurney in the hallway until a room emptied out. I liked the ED doc and the first hospitalist. The nurse was a waste of time!

They drew blood and did an EKG. He seemed to be flipping from A-flutter to A-fib ,back and forth. They gave him IV Cardizem and that seemed to take care of the issue. His heart rate settled down into the 60’s, still with some irregularity. The EKG showed an ischemic area near the AV ( or was it the SA ?)node, which would throw an electrical current, setting off the node. Which was why he was flipping in and out of the two irregular heart beats.

They planned to keep him in the hospital overnight under observation and monitor him on Telemetry. Sounded good to us!

He continued to have an irregular heartbeat, and the nurse completely disappeared. I know she was busy, but really??? No checking back on him for hours???

Eventually, the transported arrived and he was moved upstairs onto the Stroke Unit, I guess because they had no other beds. We would have preferred the cardiac unit where they understood heart issues!  They placed him on Telemetry, so I knew he was monitored.

The nurse, after we insisted, found some food for Bob, who was really hungry by now. He also tried to give Bob aspirin, with the Xaletro, and Lipitor, which he cannot take. Bob refused the aspirin and the Lipitor. They never asked about his CPAP.  It was now after 9 pm, so I retuned home to the dogs and tried to walk them between thunderstorms!

Thursday- I was out the door by 6:50. I wanted to get to the hospital to meet with the cardiologist. Well… the trip took 2 hours to go 12 miles! There were a lot of accidents and it was raining.

I arrived, having missed the cardiologist,  and we sat for awhile. Then the nurse came in to give Bob aspirin. Bob is on the blood thinner, Xaletro, due to the A-fib.  In the warnings for the Xaletro, it specifically warns that you should not take any other blood thinner, including aspirin, as they significantly increase the risk of bleeding and DEATH. We discussed this with the nurse who kept saying that it was to prevent his platelets from clumping. This is what happens when you are on a stroke unit, instead of a cardiac unit. It you are having a heart attack,( which he was not)  they give you aspirin. Bob politely declined the aspirin, as he had done last evening.

The cardiologist had ordered a nuclear stress test. Bob had one on May 29, but the cardiologist did not want to bother looking at the results of that one. So we had to wait for the results of the stress test before Bob could be discharged.

Poor guy, he was not allowed food or fluids. Plus they were not giving him any fluids via IV or even checking his blood sugar levels. I asked the nurse to check his blood sugar, and she told me that someone would be in at 11 to check the blood sugar. That never happened!!!  At 12, the nurse came to give him the first injection of  dye, and the IV infiltrated. So he only got part of the dye.

At 1 the transporter showed up to take Bob for the stress test, and of course, the IV had not been changed, so the transporter had to leave while the nurse changed the needle.

They took him at 1:30. He was supposed to be back by 2:30. He called me at 2:30 because they had not been able to do the test and were still working on it. They had to give him more dye, surprise surprise! Plus they could not see the areas because he was now constipated from having no fluids or foods.

I left and went home to walk the dogs! I returned at 4:30, right after Bob had returned to his room. At 6 I asked about dinner for him. They finally brought him a tray. It was now almost 12 hours since he had eaten, and he had only had a small amount last evening.

So now we sat, waiting for discharge. At 6:30, I went to the desk and asked for the nurse. At 7, I went to the desk and asked to see the nurse. At 7:30 the day nurse and the evening nurse came to the room, on their rounds, to tell us that Bob was not being discharged because the cardiologist had left without reading the stress test!

I asked the nurses to please speak with the hospitalist to ask the cardiologist to read the test so that Bob could be discharged. They declined telling me that Bob needed to stay in the hospital overnight to be monitored. No other reason given. Hmmmm, the cardiologist had looked at the EKG prior to the stress test and it was normal.

Literally, the nurse informed me that this was Bob’s heart and they wanted to make sure that he did not have another issue and return to the hospital. Really??? Like I don’t know his heart is important?? They were doing nothing for him. He was even taking his own meds and they were not giving him anything! Remember I worked Observation?? I dealt with this daily!! The goal of Observation is 18 hours, in and out. We were now at over 24 hours!

So I left and returned home, fed the dogs and went to bed.

Friday- I was out the door at 6:45 am, I wanted to meet with the cardiologist. It took an hour and a half to get there. Less traffic getting to the Ronald Reagan Florida Turnpike, but more on the turnpike.

I arrived and Bob had not been seen. He had not have anything done overnight. No blood work, no EKG, nothing! But in the middle of the night he was made NPO( nothing by mouth again!). No breakfast! They even woke him up a couple of times to remind him he was NPO. Grrrrrr!!

So finally at around 9, the hospitalist comes in to tell us that he has spoken with the cardiologist and that the stress test showed the ischemic area that is causing the problem, but it is so small, that they were not going to do anything. This is the same area that had shown up on the stress test is May, that the Minnesota cardiologist decided did not need to be treated! Also, he would ask the cardiologist to visit us.

So now Bob did get breakfast, at 9 30AM. So it was 15 hours since he had eaten, no fluids, no blood sugar test.

Meanwhile, the man in the next bed was total care. He was bathed and his gown changed one time each 24 hours. He was left on his back the entire time. Basic nursing care, nursing 101,  is that a total care patient should be turned and re-positioned every 2 hours to prevent bed sores. The only person who actually visited him was the Respiratory Therapist who came every 4 hours to give him his breathing treatment. The aide would come in and check his vital signs, but did nothing else. Unbelievable, and very scary, as he had no advocate!

The thing that bothered us the most was that the nurse was wearing a tag that recorded every time that she would wash her hands. What she would do is walk into the room, and hit the antiseptic soap/lotion latch. She would let the soap drop into the tray underneath and not use the soap/lotion to wash her hands. Who knows how many times that she actually washed her hands during the day. No doctors EVER used the antiseptic soap. But then the Doc never touched Bob at all, even to check his heart rate?????

Just as we were getting ready to leave, the Team Leader came to ask how things had gone! I gave her an earful!  There was a lot more that they did not do that is “standard of care”. She said that she would get the cardiologist to visit, nope we did not want to wait! She said they would check his blood sugar, nope we were leaving before they killed him!

This hospital does not have the nurse, who is caring for the patient, review the paperwork with the patient. They take you down through the ER and drop you off and give the paperwork to someone who has never seen the patient. At this point we found that they had given Bob a prescription for the Xaletro, Coreg, Nitroglycerine and aspirin! Bob has never taken Coreg and he has not had any chest pain which would have warrented the Nitroglycerin, but then they had been insisting the entire time that he had chest pain, and Bob would correct them, but NO ONE LISTENED!!!. Even the nurse in the discharge room looked funny at the aspirin and Xaletro! 

We got the heck out of there, both of us sooo stressed! We went to Costco for more gas, it was $2.18 today. We stopped for lunch at  the Crepe Maker Café. We did carryout and returned home and ate lunch. I took a much needed nap. Bob spent the time writing a long note to his cardiologist in Colorado, asking if he should take the Coreg and what to do about the Fleconide( the A-fib med that they had not ordered, and told him not to take). We are not filling the prescription for the Ecotrin(coated aspirin) or the Nitro. I am usually a big believer is following MD orders and always tell my patients to follow them, but I have not been so afraid of the care as I had been this time! Bob is not going to follow up with this cardiologist, he already has an appointment for next week at a cardiologist in Key West.

We ate dinner, watched TV and I did a lot of laundry.

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