"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Heart Attack----Not!

Look who has been visiting my feeder.

I’ve been in a bit of a blog funk lately, mainly because I am still not completely back to normal health wise. I hate colds because it always stirs up my asthma and that slows the whole getting well process down. Seems there is always a cough to deal with for several weeks. The last couple days have been better so I think I may kick this thing yet.

John has recovered from his cold but this week will have an umbilical hernia repaired. This showed up a couple months ago and at his physical they decided now is the time to deal with this so off to the surgeon for the consult he went. Everything else on his physical was great. His BP is good and his cholesterol etc. is also very good. However, because of his age the surgeon wanted a pre-surgical EKG.  The next day we get a call that the EKG indicates John has had a heart attack at some point and they want him to return to his doc to check it out. What??? John’s has never had any symptoms, his blood  work is great (cholesterol  only 170) so this just doesn’t sound right. Back to his doc, who looks at the EKG and has to really study it to find what we later found out the computer spit out. John does have a strong family history of heart disease, his father had 2 bypass surgeries so I agree that just to be safe lets have a consult with the cardiologist. Since the surgery was already scheduled they got him right in. John figured he was in for a stress test so dressed ready for a work out. The cardiologist comes in asks lots of questions about family history, any symptoms etc and has a listen. Then he looks at John and he says,  guess what? You are healthy and and the EKG is a  variation within normal limits and there is really no indication he has had a heart attack. Good, now just to get the hernia fixed. 
John playing with his bug zapper

I think this whole episode was just a reminder to the both of us that we are getting older and that there likely will be some blips along the way. Our goal however is to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. We know that this winter we both kind of slipped on that goal and gained some weight and were not as active as we had been. This was the kick in the but to get back to a more healthy lifestyle. I’ve been walking again and working on some strength training and as soon as John gets passed this surgery he plans on doing the same. We also want to get back on our bikes and get some good rides in.

The weather here in Iowa has remained on the wet side. Many areas saw significant flooding earlier this month and now with more rain up north, other areas are experiencing flooding. I know our friends Evelyn and Kevin (RV Khronicles of Kevelyn) have had lots of rain in Wisconsin too. We are going to be visiting them in a couple weeks so we hope it dries out a little. I was listening to the forecast today and it said this week would still be wet but after that its looking like it may dry out for awhile---here’s hoping they’re right!
She's starting to smile!

Flowers from Evie
We’ve been babysitting a lot and its such a delight. Evie is getting more active and stays awake more and beginning to smile too. This grandparent gig is great. For the first time in my life the girls in the family out number the boys ( its 4-3 now!). What’s great about having girls around is they are a little more in tune with things. They help the guys remember birthdays. For the first time in quite a few years my kids gave me a birthday party and it was so sweet. I love my boys but this is not something they would think to do on their own so I have the wonderful women (Melissa and Emily) to thank for that. The guys did do some of  the cooking. They had some of my favorite things, burgers on the grill and mac ‘n cheese (its been my fav since I was little but I rarely indulge in it anymore), and a chocolate birthday cake complete with candles. Evie gave me flowers and so did Gabe and Melissa and together they gave me a gift card for John and I to go out to Hotel Kirkwood for dinner. I have to say its the nicest party with my family that I’ve had in a few years. So thank you Gabe, Melissa, Mitch, Emily and Evie for a wonderful day. I love you all.

Can you believe I almost got them all out.
Good thing they didn't put all 57 on!

I have a couple other things I could write about but this is getting a little long so I will save it for later. Hope summer is treating everyone well. Until later.....

Happy Trails.............................

Friday, June 7, 2013

So this is Iowa????

We left the rainy Northwest in early April and traveled back to the even rainier state of Iowa. This is not at all the way it should be! We expected lots of rain in Oregon and Washington but Iowa has out done them all. This is the rainiest spring in Iowa on record. In May it rained 21 days of the month and I think most of the other were overcast. There has been significant flooding once again, however the city was much more prepared than in 2008. I long for some beautiful sunny days.

Along with the dreary weather came colds for John and me. We have struggled the last couple weeks. I ended up at urgent care last week with ear and sinus infection as a result and today back to my regular doc because my asthma is acting up. So after antibiotics, lots of ibupofen, decongestants, and now predisone and albuterol I am hoping there are better days ahead. I actually have had things to blog about but no energy to do it.

John and Walt

Memorial Day John’s brother came to visit. Walt usually takes a little time in the summer to spend a couple days with us. He is a physician in a workman’s comp clinic in Missouri. The weather was not conducive to spending time outside so we decided to visit the Czech & Slovak Museum.  I had a few photos in a previous post but I had not been in the museum since its big renovation and John had only been there for a friends wedding.  Currently the museum has former Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s pins on display. This is an exhibit that is worth seeing if you get the chance. She was known for wearing pins that reflected her mood or what she wanted to accomplish. As an example, there is one of a snake that she wore in Iraq after there poet laureate called her a serpent, her message there was beware!. Then when she visited NorthKorea she had
a large American flag pin made. North Koreans can only display their leaders face on any pin, patch or decoration so she made sure hers reflected her loyalties and couldn’t be missed. The pins are varied from expensive jeweled pins to costume jewlrey.  There seems to be a story for most of them and lots of photos showing her proudly wearing many of them. One of the Soviet leaders once said they always wanted to see what she had on before a meeting to gauge how things were going to go. I am a huge fan of this lovely and talented lady who has served her county well. She chose this museum as the jewelry's first stop as her family fled the Czech republic when the communists came to power. This display will be traveling and if you get the chance, it is worth the visit.

The museum also has its gallery of Czech and Slovak traditional costumes, beadwork, lace, pretty much all things Czech. They also have a film about the invasion of their countries in 1968 by the Soviet Union. I am old enough that I should remember this but I really don’t. It was very sad and reminded me that war and occupation are never pretty. I wish we could find a way to get along without these conflicts. I truly wish we could  embrace our diversity through out the world instead of each group insisting its way is the only way. I think that applies to the militant Muslim as well as our own county. I know many will disagree with me here but thats ok. If there is anything I believe all Americans should embrace is the right to agree to disagree. I really don’t want to go all political on this. So I hope you take that simply as my opinion which I am entitled to just as you are entitled to have a different opinion.

This week we celebrated the birthdays of both my boys. Gabe was born June 4th and Mitch, June 6th. Gabe wasn’t here for his birthday so a phone call was our celebration but we may get to do a little more on one of their visits here later this summer. Thursday we babysat little Evie while Emily and Mitch went to Hotel Kirkwood for dinner. This is a restaurant and hotel run by the community college. Their culinary students run the restaurant and it is very upscale. They had a wonderful dinner and then came home and we had his favorite Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake to top it off. Emily surprised him by decorating the house after he left that morning and she bought him a patio set that he had wanted. He loves to grill and entertain. I think he was amazed by all her efforts and the gift was perfect.

Time to party!

Happy Birthday Mitch!
So here we are in rainy Iowa trying to get healthy. This week we are scheduled to move to Sugar Bottom campground at the Coralville Reservoir with our friends John and Gayle. This is a COE campground and the flooding on the Iowa river which feeds this lake has been some of the worst in the state. They thought it might breech the spillway but crested yesterday at about a foot shy of that. I think our site is high enough it shouldn’t be affected but we will check in with our friends before we leave.
Had to add one cute baby photo---Evie 1 month old!

I sure hope the sun is shinning where you are. :)

Happy Trails........................