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Dec. 21 to Dec. 27 2019- Sun City AZ

I am finally done with the 27 articles that my Editor had sent me to update, right after my hand surgery, so now I can temporarily get back to the blog!

Saturday- We went over to the craft fair at the resort. At 2, we had tickets for a play performed by a local group. It was a Christmas theme play. It was okay and the acting was pretty good. We had won the tickets last year.

Sunday- We did our usual Sunday tasks. We had a quiet day at home. We took the dogs to the dog park in the afternoon.

Monday-  I had a pre-op appt. with the PA at my PCP office at 9:15. The poor assistant had to assist me with taking off and putting on my bra for the EKG. I already had my lab appointment scheduled, so I asked her to fax over the lab slip.

We ate lunch, and at 3 I went to my OT appointment.

Tuesday- Christmas Eve- I went to Maj in the morning. At 4, we had a party at the park model on the corner. The gal’s name is March, and her kids were there to assist. We had a nice time meeting more folks on our street. The kids had made hot buttered rum and hot cider. Yummy. Everyone brought something and the gal provided BBQ.

The party was outside on her patio. Guess you can tell the weather is fairly warm!  We left around 8:30.

Wednesday-  Merry Christmas. I went and played Maj in the morning at 10. There were 3 of us playing. We ate a lite lunch, then we had the park pot luck for dinner at 5. At 3 we went over to assist with set up. We arrived for the dinner at 4:45, sitting with MaryAnne and Ray.

Thursday- I went to Maj in the morning. I had a mani at 1. At 2:30 I had my next OT appointment. At 5 we had a Vet appointment for Koda who was licking her paws and her butt. We think she has allergies. She had also been scratching her right ear.  That is also what the Vet said, she gave us some ear drops and a med for the allergies.

Friday-  We went grocery shopping and had a quiet day after that. We even went to Costco, early, and it was not too bad.

Sat. Dec. 14 to Fri. Dec. 20- Sun City AZ

Saturday- We had the “Holiday Bazaar” at the park, but it was actually the regular vendors. It was sad as there were so few vendors there. We left there, returned and picked up the dogs, and took them for their grooming. We ran to Costco for gas, then grocery shopping. We picked up the dogs after lunch.

We went straight to Petsmart for the free Christmas pictures, realizing that this was Karlie’s last Christmas with us.

Petsmart Santa 2019

Roxie in on the left, Karlie on the right, and Koda on the floor.

We returned home and had a quiet evening. The dogs were exhausted and slept most of the evening.

Sunday-  Ugh, my Colonoscopy prep day, so you know what I was doing! I stayed home and Bob did some tasks around the rig.

Monday- My procedure was at 7:45, so we left early to go over there. Of course, that was the easy part. Then we went to breakfast at Biscuits Café. We returned home with lots of leftovers. I took it easy most of the day. The biggest issue I had over the last two days was bilateral sciatic pain. So Bob drove me to the Chiropractor, since I was not allowed to drive today.

He found a huge knot in my left buttock. I have had 7 knots in my left leg, also. So this is all tied into my left ankle issue. I am anxiously awaiting my surgery day so that I can get this all taken care of…the Chiropractor was able to loosen the knot and the pain went away.

Tuesday- I had the OT this morning. At 2, we had an Vet appointment for Karlie. This was for her follow-up lab work. Over the last two days, Karlie has deteriorated significantly. The Vet thought that we should do the kidney labs, to check to see if it was that or whether it was arthritis. She had also had diarrhea this morning. So he gave us medication for the diarrhea and an NSAID for arthritis. She did not want to eat, but she did eat Milk Bones, so we gave her all she would eat.

Wednesday- I had an 8 AM visit with Dr. Gillespie for an H-wave treatment. It is like a Tens unit, but with two waves. I hope it helps the ankle.

We returned and Dr. Hummel, the Vet called. The kidney values had dropped. Karlie could hardly walk, so we set up her final appt. for 11:30. She had really deteriorated in the last 3 days.

I texted Linda to ask her to meet us there to help with Koda and Roxie. We had discussed this with the Vet, and we needed to have the other two dogs see Karlie, so that they would understand that she would not be returning home.

We walked the dogs around the park, letting Karlie sniff as she wanted too, and carried her, as needed.  We stopped at Linda and Mike’ s, and Linda fed her some of the food that she keeps for her. She ate some of that, since she thinks it is special.

We arrived at the Vets and turned Koda and Roxie over to Linda in the lobby. We went into the room with Karlie and stayed with her the entire time. After, Dr. Hummel, gently placed her on the floor, on a pretty pink quilt they have, and Bob went and brought Koda and Roxie into the room. They wandered around sniffing the room, they both sniffed her, and we left.

I was a sad afternoon for us, but the dogs did well. Roxie immediately took over the head dog duties, which we found interesting. The Vet had said that they might have a rough evening, but we believe that they understood. They both ate and played.

I had a PT appointment for my leg. It kept my mind off of our loss.

Karlie

Thursday- I played Maj this morning.  I had OT this afternoon, then a Chiropractor appt at 5. My neck was really sore, and he found more knots, which he was able to knead out. Both of us are grieving.

Friday- I was back to OT this morning, then and I had my hair appt. in the afternoon, which I had moved from Wednesday. Kathy has 3 dogs, so she understood my grief.  She gave us a box of Russel Stover’s. She always gives me a present at Christmas. We had a quiet evening.

Sat. Dec. 7 to Fri. Dec. 13- Sun City AZ

Saturday- We had a holiday craft fair today. We both went and looked around. We did not purchase anything. It was a quiet day.

Sunday- Bob did the sheets and towels. He also went to Target for their Gift Card sale. We picked up $30 worth of gift cards, at 10% off. We will use them when shopping at Target. I stayed home and relaxed .

Monday- I was off to OT at 11 AM. Adam changed some of the exercises, so I have more to do there. The OT office is very busy, but it moves like clock work.

Tuesday- I had the retired Nurses Breakfast Meeting this morning from 9 to 11. At 1:30 I went for the stem cell injection. It was a pretty easy injection, much easier than the steroid injections. Bob of course had to go also, as he has to help me get into and out of the ankle brace.

Wednesday- We had the Alfa Breakfast. Mike was having his colonoscopy today, so Mike and Linda were not there. Alan and Donna have left for Oregon, and MaryAnne is sick with a cold. Ray is back, but he stayed with her. 

So it was only John and Karen with us, but we had a great time catching up with them. I returned and set up Maj. Bob picked me up at 11:45. We stopped at Good Cents for lunch, then traveled on to our annual Dermatology appts. Bob had a couple of areas sprayed, but I was okay. At 3:30 I had my next OT appt. Another busy day!

Thursday- I had a pre-op appt. with the surgeon for my ankle at 9:15. We stopped at Costco and had lunch at Café Zupas. I had a 2 PM mani/pedi. I returned home and Bob put my brace back on. At 4, we had the residents meeting.

Friday- I had my OT appt. at 11 and returned in time to speak with Karen from Dakota Post, our mail service, about our car registration. We are still working on that. The temporary tags do not expire until the end of January, fortunately! Karen will take care of the SD MVA in Sioux Falls.

Sat. Nov. 30 to Fri. Dec. 6- Sun City AZ

Saturday- We moved very quickly this morning. We went straight to Costco for gas, arriving at 8:44. As a result, we drove straight into the gas pumps. We purchased the gas, $2.89 gal, and left. We went straight to grocery shopping from there. We were in and out of Walmart in record time, with no one ahead of us in line.

We returned home, ate lunch, and Bob went to a metal place for a piece for under the bedroom slide. I stayed home and rested my ankle, which had been bothering me. We ate lunch and it was a quiet afternoon..We had a vet appointment for Roxie, who has been having an upset tummy. The Vet gave her a shot and medications.

Sunday- Roxie was better. We did our usual Sunday tasks. It was a quiet day for me. Bob put on the piece of metal, under the bedroom slide. 

Monday- I had a 9:30 appt. at OT. I go three times a week to OT along with my 4x a day exercises. I am doing really well, so far. At 1 PM, I had an appt. with a Dr. Gillespie  at Arizona Ankle and Foot. My CORE Doc had sent me there for a stem cell injection. Bob and I were both skeptical about this, but when we med with the Doc, he explained that the stem cells come from amniotic fluid, taken from mothers who are having scheduled C-sections. The fluid is with drawn immediately prior to the C-section and there is no danger to the mother or baby. The mothers have all been screened prior to the procedure, so there is no risk of Hepatitis or HIV. We sure have come a long way…I will have the injection next Tuesday.

Tuesday-  Roxie was still having issues, so we went back to the Vets for more medications. I had a Chiropractor appt. in the afternoon. and at 4, I had my OT.Bob had the Astronomy Club mtg. at 7, and I stayed home and watched Hallmark movies.  It was a busy day!

Wednesday- I played Maj this morning. In the afternoon, I had PT to strengthen my legs for the ankle surgery in January.

Thursday- Back to OT again at 9AM. I have really been busy with appointments! The rest of the day was quiet.

Friday- I had a quiet morning. At 1:45 I had an appointment with the PA to have my stitches removed from my thumb. I had 5 stitches on the thumb and 2 on the arm, where they removed the tendon. They came out easily. The PA had me move my fingers, touching my thumb to my little finger. He was impressed, as that was a 6 week goal, not a two week goal. He also apologized for the fact that the 1st OT appt. was so early, it was not supposed to be until after today’s appointment. Oh well, I am really ahead of the game!

Sat. Nov. 23 to Fri. Nov. 29- Sun City AZ

Saturday-I woke up at 2:30, no pain. I woke up at 5, no pain. Just before my shower, I took a Vicodin. I had ordered, from Amazon, an arm cover for the splint. We could not get my hand into it. So Bob cut the edge, and we were able to get my hand in. Then we closed it with 2 rubber bands. It worked better than regular plastic bags.

Cast 1

I ate breakfast and went 6 hours without the Vicodin. I took one in the late afternoon and one before bed. I slept until 7 am with no pain.

Sunday- We had a quiet day at home. Bob did laundry. We watched Netflix and Amazon Prime. I had minimal pain and only took the Vicodin at bedtime.

Monday- Today was another quiet day. No pain medication needed. Bob worked on putting up our Christmas lights. I napped and we watched TV.

Tuesday- I still did not feel like going to Maj, so it was another quiet day. Same as yesterday. No pain.

Wednesday- I had a nail appointment, so Bob drove me and he went over to Fry’s while I had my mani. From there, we went to my first OT appointment. We arrived and the OT, Adam said, we don’t usually see folks until week 2. I told him, that CORE had made the appt. and that I had thought it was too early, and questioned it! Also, I had asked the surgeon, the day of surgery and he said it was okay. Good thing on the drive over, I had taken a picture of the cast.

Cast 2

The OT cut it off and gently moved my wrist. He gave me a different splint to wear. I will wear this splint for 6  to  8 weeks. I can take it off to exercise, to wash my hands, and to shower. I do exercises 4X a day.

cast 3

At 5:30 we took the dogs for their second flu shots. Expensive dog month!

Thursday- Thanksgiving. We had a quiet day up until 3, when we went over to assist with set up for the park pot luck. I put napkins and table cloths out of the tables for others to put out.

Bob cooked out Honey Glazed Cinnamon Carrots. We took them over and enjoyed a nice meal with MaryAnne at our table. There were several other folks there. One was a retired nurse. MaryAnne needs someone to give her Vitamin B12 injection, as Ray is in Pennsylvania with his 101 year old mother , who is hospitalized. We were afraid I would not be able to do it one handed. The other nurse declined, as she is no longer licensed. We were appalled. Huh? Its just a quick shot….so I asked another nurse friend. Unfortunately, she was sick.

Friday- Another quiet day for us, other than MaryAnne came over for her shot. Bob drew up the medication into the syringe, with me carefully watching. Then I gave MaryAnne the shot. No problem.

MaryAnne brought us dinner from the Elks Lodge.

Sat. Nov. 16 to Fri. Nov. 22- Sun City AZ

Saturday- I was out the door before 8:30 to help set up our card groups table for the craft fair. We set up and then I stayed, selling greeting cards until 10. Then I returned.

We had a quiet day, staying home. Bob still feels pretty awful.

Sunday– We did our usual Sunday tasks.  We had a quiet day at home.

Monday-  I am hurting due to being off my anti-inflammatory. So  I went to another Chiropractor appt., and that helped a lot. We went to Café Zupas for lunch, then on to Best Buy. Bob was going to have to sit for an hour and half, so we made an appt. for 4:40. We returned home, picked up Koda and took her to her Vet tech appointment. The tech showed us how to check her anal glands.

Bob went back to Best Buy, and the tech knew exactly how to fix his issue. His tablet was stuck in downloading mode. So it was fixed quickly. He returned home and we ate dinner and watched some shows that we have recorded.

Tuesday- I was off to Maj at 10. I returned at 12, we ate lunch and I went for my haircut. Meanwhile, Bob was working, with Allen, on the bedroom slide. Initially, he thought the problem was that the rollers had worn out, but it appears, that is not the issue. The bottom of the slide was sinking, so they are doing a repair for that.

It started raining, just as I returned. We spent the rest of the afternoon inside, up until just before 4 pm. We drove over to the Ballroom for the Manager’s Town Hall. Scott learned, that if he serves ice cream, he has a great turn out, so there were drumsticks and Eskimo pies.

The meeting lasted an hour, with the ending being the gal, from Peoria’s Recycling Program, talking about our recycling program. Our address is Sun City, but we are really located in Peoria. Del Webb did not want any “trailer parks in his Sun City”, even though now the motor homes cost more that the houses in Sun City!

We returned, had dinner, and watched some recorded shows.

Wednesday- It had started raining. In less than 24 hours, we have had more rain than they had all of monsoon season, this past summer! Luckily, the rain had temporarily stopped when I drove to the facility.

I had a PT appt. for my ankle. I went back to the same PT I had before. I think he was really annoyed that the Doc had sent me back for PT when I have been doing all the exercises that he had given me in the past. I told him that my goal was to increase my strength, in my legs for surgery in Jan, on my left ankle. That immediately loosened him up. He agreed with that goal. He said that my legs were fairly strong but that we could work on getting them stronger. (I think he could tell that I was telling the truth that I have been doing my exercises 2x a day, every day as ordered to….). He ran me thru the old exercises and some new ones. We agreed on weekly PT sessions, on different days than my thumb PT.  He is submitting my assessment to see if the PT will be approved. My schedule is going to be busy!

Just as I left out the door, it started raining. As I walked across the parking lot, the skies really opened and the wind started to howl. Whew, I was immediately drenched! Umbrella and rain jacket did not do a lot!

The drive back to the park was really something! The roads flooded. Fortunately, the Highlander is high off the ground. Coming from the east coast, I am use to rain storms. Arizonans are not. Many cancel everything, like in a snow storm, and stay home. A good thing!

Then, there are the crazies! There was less water in the left lane, as the road slopes to the right. There was a Subaru driving in the right lane, throwing water in both directions, speeding! I imagine, the driver was screaming,  weeeeee! What an idiot! I had to stay well behind him, to let the water return to the right lane. Of course, he backed up traffic.

Farther up the road, closer to the park, there is a golf course. By this time, the area was really flooded. Fortunately, I have driven this route enough times to know, that the water was not so deep that I could not drive thru it. I watched a small car coming towards me, and they made it thru, going slowly so that they did not stall their engine.

I made it home safely. We ate lunch, then went to Costco and grocery shopping. The roads had improved significantly. Crossing the bridge, over the usually non-existent river, was interesting. The river was flowing and flooding the bike path next to it.

We returned home, ate dinner, and had a quiet evening. Bob showered before bed. I will shower in the morning.

Thursday- We left at 6:15, since it had rained hard, again overnight. The road were actually pretty clear, with just some standing water in the middle of Union Hills Dr., which is banked to the center. We arrived at the Banner Core out patient surgery facility at 6:35. I was to check in at 6:45. There were a number of people there already. I was taken back around 7.

The Nurse,Brenda, was great. The Anesthesiologist did a nerve block, which was not fun! He did it under Ultrasound. I just closed my eyes! If it was done on someone else, I would have watched in fascination.

Then they brought Bob back. I went into the OR at about 8:20. The Doc said 45 min for surgery and 45 in PACU. So Bob had 90 minutes to wait.

I had, Mike, a nurse anesthetist, who I liked. Once I woke up they brought Bob back to me, they got me dressed and off we went back home. The nerve block was to last for 18 hours, which meant it would wear off in the middle of the night. I was told to keep the arm elevated and to take a Vicodin at bedtime.

The nerve block makes my arm basically a 10 lb. log I am carting around. The worst part is that my brain thinks my arm is one place, when it is somewhere else! It is a really weird feeling.

Friday- I woke up at 1:45 and got up and took a Vicodin at 2:10. That got me to 6:10, the 4 hours. Whew, it really started to hurt. I was taking the Vicodin every 4 hours, and it was only lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. I finally had Bob call the MD office. They called back and said loosen the wrap and take 2 Vicodin up to 10 per day.

So Bob loosened the wrap ( I have been keeping the arm elevated), and I took 2 Vicodin. When I woke up it was much better. I kept up with 1 Vicodin from there.

MaryAnne  brought us dinner from the Elks Lodge. We  ate dinner and I took 1 Vicodin at bedtime. My ankle PT has been approved for 4 visits.

Sat. Nov. 9 to Fri. Nov. 15- Sun City AZ

Saturday-  Bob is coughing and sneezing, so he stayed home with the dogs. I went to the “Shoppers Paradise” here at the park. It was also “Western Day” ,s so there was a cowboy and his horse. Hmm, it was also the patio sales day. Too much on the same day!

Paradise West

I wandered through the very few vendors, skipped the patio sales, and went to the Craft Fair at the Congressional Church up the street. This is one of my favorite craft fairs. It was bigger than last year. Then I went to Walmart, Target, and Sprouts.

I returned, we ate lunch and took a nap. Bob still feels pretty bad. We sat outside reading until dinner time. We ate dinner, then watched the “Last Czar” on Netflix. It is a docudrama and it was interesting from the view point of Russian History.

Sunday- We did our normal Sunday tasks. We finished watching the “Last Czar”. Of course, we know the ending, but it was interesting to see how they arrived there!

We did not nap today. Bob was feeling a little better. We watched” Kaminsky”, season 2, on Netflix.

We sat outside with the dogs, then cooked and ate dinner. We watched TV.

Monday- I went to the exercise class, then rode my bike around the park. I returned to find Bob working with the paper shredder. It is broken. We seem to go thru a lot of them!

Bob started working on our insurance for next year. The Capitol Checkbook came out today, so he could not work on it before today. I think we are going to stay with our hated current insurance, as the options are worse.

Bob has been sick with a cold which has gone to his lungs, so he has been staying in side most of the time. This afternoon, we are having a pot luck at Mike and Linda’s, so Bob wore a mask to the pot luck. We had a great time with our Alfa friends.

Tuesday- I was off to the Retired Nurses Breakfast. Gabriel, who does the BBQ food truck at the park, runs the kitchen at the local golf course restaurant, where we have the breakfast. He had to raise the breakfast price $3 each this year. The group was approached by a  Medical Facility which does stem cell treatments. They are going to sponsor the group, paying the extra $3 per person for us. They get to speak to the group 2x a year in exchange. Sounds good to me! Anyway, breakfast was minimal this month, as it starts in December.  Below was the table decorations, that we could take home. I am a bit disappointed in my picture. It was really cute. Two Oreo’s, one malt ball, 1/2 a Reeces PB cup, and the candy corn. The gal who made them, had to slam on the brakes, when driving to the breakfast, so they a a little off from what they were originally!

Turkey

The speaker this month was from Hospice of the Valley, the largest Hospice in the area. I am very familiar with them. as I did a lot of referrals to them when I was working at Del Webb Hospital. The speaker did a nice talk on the difference between Dementia and normal memory loss from aging.

I returned home, we ate lunch, and I had a Chiropractor appt. at 3. Bob went with me, as we stopped in at Walmart afterwards.

Wednesday- We had the monthly Alfa breakfast this morning. It was a lot of fun, and the food was very good. Then MaryAnne and I left early and went to Maj.  It turned out it was only the two of us playing. We had a great time playing the new way, for two people, that we learned last year.

I returned at noon, we ate lunch, then took a nap, as neither of us slept well last night. We sat outside with the dogs, as the weather has been so beautiful, with bright sunny skies and temps in the nice and dry low 80’s.

Thursday- I had a 7:30  am appt. with the podiatrist, for follow-up from my MRI. I was taken back at 8 AM. The MRI showed that I have lost most of the tendon in my left ankle, it is basically a fragile string, which is why I have been having so many problems with just walking. Yesterday, just walking across Walmart, I had to circle the ankle several times to get the bones back in line. He said that I need surgery. He also said, it is an easy surgery for him, but my recovery is not fun. 2 weeks, totally non-weight bearing, then 6 weeks in a boot. Plus lots of PT. Eek!

I told him about the hand surgery on Thursday, next week, and he said for me to think about the ankle surgery. I told him I think we will do it in the fall, when I returned.

I raced back to Paradise, and hopped on the bus. Bob was supposed to meet me there, but he was not there yet. When he arrived, I told Bob and MaryAnne about what the Doc said. We discussed it, and decided that I should have the surgery in January. So I called and made a pre-op appointment. 

We took the ‘geezer’ bus to the South Mountain Farm, where we had a picnic breakfast. The breakfast was spinach and peppers quiche. Neither Bob nor MaryAnne could eat the quiche with preppers, so the gal brought out two cheese quiches.  She also served a huge bowl of fruit, scones and muffins. It was very good. I felt sorry for the gal who was allergic to eggs!

After we ate, we wandered over to the gift shop. None of us purchased anything. We also wandered around the farm. It’s a beautiful place, and would be a great place for a wedding reception.

South Mountain Farm

South Mountain Farm 2

Above was our picnic lunch under the pecan grove. Below are just some beautiful cactus.

South Mountain Farm 3

South Mountain Farm  4

We thought the sign above was a hoot!  Below was one of the party venues

South Mountain Farm  5

South Mountain Farm 6

The farm has chickens, they also sell fresh eggs.

South Mountain Farm 7

They also have this desert tortoise. He was huge! There was no sign saying how old he is or how much he weighs. At first I thought he was not real, until he moved.

South Mountain Farm 8

We safely returned to the park.

At 4, we went over to the pool area, for the Welcome Party. The band was great. The food was not! Gabriel was selling nachos ( Velveeta over chips) and hot dogs. We enjoyed the music and then returned to feed and walk the dogs. Below is the band and some of the dancing.

Welcome party 19

We went to dinner at In ‘N Out burger.

Friday- I went to the “Stretch and Strengthen” class. It was aerobics today. I returned and went went to Walmart. We ate lunch and took a short nap. We sat outside most evenings this week. The weather has been awesome!