Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Saturday, September 7, 2019

incidence

 Lois and I went grocery shopping last Tuesday (9/3). It was a struggle even though we took turns. Gizelle was happy because she could grab my chair. Lois and  arrived one exhausted. We just had to bring the stuff inside.

I didn't make it.

I fell carrying a 24-pack of water in. I must learn not to try and move heavy things. I fell at the first step and tumbled over the case. This skinned my knees up. and I tumbled over the water eating one my nose.  Now I didn't walk like  a drunk. I had the red nose to go with it.


Worst of all, I couldn't get up. Yes, I had fallen and couldn't get up I lay like a turtle in the sun.

Somehow I managed to stomach crawl near the door where I could bang for Lois' attention.  It got her attention, but she couldn't life me up. I feared she would fall as well.  She called out pastor, but he had no transportation. He was the only personI could think pf who would have been strong enough to get me up.  Somehow I managed to get up that one step and inside, but still could not get any further.   I lay there praying and finally found the strength to drag myself up one of the stair steps by grabbing the banisters. This got me to me feet and I made it to my chair.  I told the Physician Therapist who came Wednesday. He said he would have to report in to my doctor, which he did. Now the Dept of Aging people are coming to see Lo and I this coming Thursday. You con't want this disease.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A most embarrassing situation

I didn't know whether to post here or in my ALS journal. Even though ALS played a part, it seemed more appropriate here, since in many ways it is humorous, I suppose.

This was  a stress infused two weeks. It began in July 11 also at the end of my morning walk. I came in and for some reason went down to the lower floor. There I discovered our rec room now contained a lake. The hot water heater had finally given up the ghost. I had been concerned with this contraption for nearly two years, for back then it had left a small puddle of water beneath itself. Wonderful, I have not had any money for a while now. We live on faith. The hospitals and doctors have drained away any extra moolah I had.

But the water dried up and we still had hot water, so life went on. Every so often it would wet the floor slightly, then dry up again. This went on for nearly two years.  I have a home warranty I took out two years ago.  Still we had hot water and only theses occasional wetness and I was advised not to worry as long as this was the case. I was told nothing catastrophic would happen, but it did.

I came home from a morning walk and for some reason went don stairs. A third o our rec room was under water and their was a river across the utility room. I called the warranty company and they sent a contractor out. He said the machine had to be replaced. It took over 2 weeks to get the thing. That was two weeks of having no hot water.

Then the warranty company, who did pay for a new hot water heater and its installation informed me they would not pay for additional work that had to be done to bring us up to code. I would have to pay $1,275 out of pocket.That was $1,275 we didn't have, but my daughters came to our rescue and loaned us the money.

The round white item was something that had to be added to meeting the code, an expansion tank.


Then an overflow basket was required at the bottom and a drain had

to be installed. The drain is the white pipe running around my header and under the sink. It was these three things that cot me $1,275. But at least we have hot water again.

It has been a stressful time while we had no hot water. Lois is seeing double, so can't drive. She has been to an eye doctor and had a CAT scan done of her head. The doctor thinks it might be the muscles about her eyes. She goes back to him this coming week.

Meanwhile, we were both to our Primary. Me because it was my regular exam. The doc is concerned about that sore left hand I have. She thinks it is gout. She has prescribed to medication for me. One is Prednisone, which I took years ago for my Graves Disease. It is a steroid and it is nasty. It changed me into a mean, aggressive beast. I do not look forward to taking it again.

The other medication is an antibiotic. I have to be careful with this to avoid C Diff again. I must take a probiotic and if I get any diarrhea I am to stop use. I don't trust antibiotics. I defiantly don't want C Diff again.

She says if nt swollen finger doesn't go down in 10 days after taking these medications I will have to go into the hospital.

Besides the double vision, Lois' feet and ankles are swollen. They sent her to the Cardiologist for tests, but the only results of that were big bills we don't have the money to pay. All the tests came out as normal, so were meaningless. Her doctor thinks the problem is her medication, so she prescribed two new medications. I hope these work. Lois still has her sleep problem.

I have grown somewhat weaker. I do go to clinic this coming Friday. My daughter Noelle is taking me.  Now the embarrassing moment on Saturday. I went for me usual morning walk. I was finishing up and come back to me car. I felt tired. There is one bench along the curry last trail and I decided I would sit there a few minutes, except I couldn't. I couldn't position myself to sit. I kept going in circles on my walking stick and the next thing I knew I was behind the bench. I tried to come around the side to the front and suddenly I fell forward atop the back of the bench.

There I stayed. My head was down on the bench seat and the rest of me was dropped over the bench back like I was limp rag.  My rear was pointing up toward the sky. My shirt had ridden up and my shorts had become a wedgie. It was a very undignified sight, but I couldn't move. I could not push myself around with my arms of my legs.

Two ladies appeared up the hill and one called to me, "Are you all right?"

"No," I answered. I must have been quite a sight, stuck across the back of the bench with my now essentially bare bottom raised up toward them.

They each had a dog, but they came down to me. They could not move me off the bench top, however. Fortunately a man cam up the path and he was able to get off the back and seated. Another man came up and gave me a bottle of water. He said he had seen us from the road. I had to ask the one women to open the bottle. Meanwhile the other woman was on her phone. I had no phone. My cell phone broke a couple weeks ago and my replacement phone isn't working yet.

She said, "Help is on the way."

Help? What kind of help? Then I saw the ambulance coming with its lights blinking Soon two paramedics were coming up the path with a gurney.

"You won't need that I told them"

They asked a number of questions. I explained I had ALS. I told them if I could get on my feet I would be fine. My car was nearby.  They helped me up and the one paramedic walked with me to my car, asking if I felt I could drive. The other stowed the gurney and followed us in the ambulance. I made my car and we all left. I had to get gas and put some side in the one tire and pick up Lois' prescriptions, all of which I managed. By the time I got home my legs were gone, but we still managed to drive down to Smyrna and see our new grandson for the fist time.

I did not walk today and I am not at this point certain I can take further morning walks. As I said, I go to clinic at Jefferson this Friday, mybe that will answer my question, but I'd hate to have to give up my walks. I can't do much else.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Normalcy

 

  It has been a long time since I have posted in what was once my everyday go-to Blog. Despite what some may think, I didn't die. I am still around, just not so full of energy as I once was. Finding myself afflicted with Lou Gehrig disease (ALS) three years ago slowed me up considerably. You can read about my struggles with  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on another Blog of mine called: "My ALS Journey -- The Nerve of Some Nerves" (lemals.blogspot.com).

     Where I have been most active during this past year has been on
my Blog "I Saw It in The Book" (lempage.blogspot.com). If you guessed The Book referred to is the Bible, you would be right. I admit I am a deep believer in Jesus Christ. I teach Bible Studies at my church on Sunday evenings. "I Saw It in The Book" is my posted lessons. I certainly urge you to read it. Actually, I urge people to read either of those Blogs.  I also began a Blog years ago dealing with Christian thought called, "Night Writing in the Morning Life" (lemnite.blogspot.com) Check it out as well. But over all, take time to read The Bible.

 
    Still, I felt I should add to "Drinking of Elder Men" because that had been my normal outlet for years and years, thus this post is titled, "Normalcy".  One, I wanted to show a lot of long time readers that I was indeed still alive, and two, this post is about one of my normal days, which means it has a lot to do with walking, an ability I am gradually losing, but haven't completely lost yet.  True, I cannot manage those 5 to 10 mile morning ambles anymore, but I still go out and walk in the park almost every morning. Now a-days this is mostly in Bellevue State Park, where the trails are somewhat kinder.  One-and-a-half miles now in generally all I manage. Today I definitely did more than that and I am paying for this overextension now.

      I like to go round the meadows. Yeah, my doctors told me they wanted me to stay on the paved trails, but I asked them, "What's the fun in that?" Besides one can just as easily fall on the paved trails, except the macadam is a lot harder than the grass covered paths of the fields. If I fall in the meadow it is fairly soft this time of year. Worse that happens is I get up mad splattered.

   
      As I began my stroll, and still on paved paths, I kept seeing these signs with arrows, which said, "MCC 5K". Well, obviously there is going to be a 5K run today in the park. This in America distance is 3.1 miles. That distance was nothing to me three years ago.  But what did MCC stand for.

     As I slowly went climbing an upgrade, I met a man and his dog coming down. The dog froze and wouldn't go past me. I thought it was my walking stick, but the man told me the dog wanted me to pet her, and so I did. I also asked if he knew what the MCC stood for.

     "The Mary Campbell Center," he said. "They are having a 5K run to raise funds."  The Mary Campbell Center is a residential long term care facility for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. Given what I have I could someday be right in the middle of those wheelchair bound individuals. I also had an acquaintance living there.

     I finished my jaunt, but as I was returning to the parking lot I saw incoming traffic had grown, including three Mary Campbell Center buses. Despite the increasing weakness in my legs I decided to press on and walk over to where the event would be kicking off. I wanted to see if my friend was there.

I got down as they were erecting the Start/Finish line. There would be a bit of a wait until the event started, so I stood precariously balanced in the grass along the track. I had dropped my cane once and was having difficulties staying upright as I bent over trying to retrieve it, but fortunately a young man saw my plight and picked it up for me.

At the edge of the line I began a conversation with a women participant waiting to be called to the line. She was from Havre de Grace in Maryland, a hour plus drive away. She came to these charity runs every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. She said she did this to stay in shape. Her husband couldn't anymore (he was 61, so I assume she was around that age). He had recently had both knees replaced as well as a shoulder. He planned to have the other shoulder done as soon as the first healed, so she was married to the bionic man. As I had been walking down to the start one of the Mary Campbell people came past me pushing a racing wheelchair. As he did so he said to me, "You're Uber is here!" I was almost ready to take him up on it.

They began the run (roll, stroll, run as they called it) with the wheel chairs, which they called
to post as "inclusion chairs". And there was my friend, right there in the first row. Her name is April, though she was born in May. She attends my  church every week. Now as the race began she was laughing and happy being pushed along for the 5K.  She is the lady on the right side of the track whizzing by with the big smile. 

I was worn down by now, but glad I stayed and saw April. I am probably fated to being wheelchair bound someday with what I have and if I become so, I hope I can still get out on the trails, God willing.