Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Tough Summer and Florida Trip

Against the sad backdrop of an American president acting like a pouting teenager (he has compiled an ‘enemies list’ and vilified, first Wall St. brokers, then bankers, automobile executives, Chrysler bondholders, fictitious doctors who supposedly cut off healthy legs to earn $30,000 fees, fictitious doctors who fraudulently take out tonsils unnecessarily, white policemen if they dare confront a person of color, Rush Limbaugh, health insurance companies, his hand-picked Commander in Afghanistan, Fox News, Price-Waterhouse, the US Chamber of Commerce, and anyone else who disagrees with his plans and programs – and who blames Bush for everything that goes wrong under the Obama administration), Norma and I have had a tough summer and early fall. Perhaps it is because we are so depressed by what is happening in our beautiful country – and so frightened that American healthcare is about to be ruined forever.

All summer I have been hampered by back problems and a collapsing left leg, while Norma has been undergoing a long series of tests to see if she qualified for Reclast treatment for osteoporosis. She was cleared for the IV treatment for the Friday before we were to fly to Florida for the winter on the following Tuesday (this past Tuesday). We had already changed over our mail, addresses and various utilities and services, but we went ahead with the treatment because not to do so would mean that the exhausting testing would have to be repeated all over again.

Coincidentally, our RI condo complex decided to repave the condo streets that week – raising the possibility that we might be trapped in our condo, or that I would not be able to get Norma home after her Reclast treatment. Fortunately it rained for a few days, which postponed the repaving.

I brought Norma home from the hospital Friday afternoon after the Reclast. We had been told that Reclast had potential severe side effects, including flu-like symptoms, nausea and vomiting, but her doctor said not to worry. Three o’clock Saturday morning Norma began to shiver violently and got a splitting headache. Then she began having nausea and vomiting over and over again. She was terribly sick. When she got chest pains (she has had several heart attacks and has four stents), I called 911, and she was taken to RI Hospital, about 30 minutes away.

She was released about 3:00 PM on Monday, and we rushed home to get some prescriptions filled and to do all the things we always do to winterize our condo, including draining the pipes. We have a long checklist we have developed over the years.

Our wonderful friends, Joan and Bea, helped load our luggage (I can’t carry much of anything) and took us to a motel beside the airport. After they left, Norma came down with some new reactions that were scary, and we didn’t know whether it was because of the Reclast, or because of the new medications she was taking to combat the Reclast side effects. Luckily Norma had a Benadryl in her luggage, and that seemed to slow the reactions and help her to sleep. We made our flight the next morning.

We had planned to rent a car in Tampa and drive to our Florida condo, but our great friends, Mason and his Norma, offered to pick us up and take us home. This was about a four-hour round trip for them, so it was no small offering. We gladly accepted their offer.

I had previously made an appointment from RI with an orthopedic surgeon close-by in Florida, and I found out on Thursday that I will probably need a hip replacement. I am also writing this blogpost on a brand–new computer, because on Thursday my old computer went kaput and would not boot – even from the Operating System CD. This new computer uses Microsoft’s new Windows 7 Operating System, so perhaps I will gain some insights about it that will help my friends when they upgrade.

One good thing did happen. A year or so ago I subscribed to an online service that automatically backs up your files (, and after I set up my new computer I was able to recover all my text files, pictures, videos and Favorites. The only other problem is that my old printer will not work with Windows 7, so I have also had to get a new printer (I got one that operates on our Wi-fi network).

We are very, very happy to be in Florida for the winter. Now I have to get my hip replaced before Obamacare hits.


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At 6:47 PM, Blogger Christopher Logan said...

Good luck!

At 7:55 PM, Anonymous David & Sue Charlesworth said...

Wow! And we thought we had an exciting life! Hopefully Russ, you still have a sense of humor. Things can only get better. Yes, get that hip replaced before Obamacare comes into play. Once Obamacare becomes law, the person us old guys will get to see is Dr.Kevorkian!
Hang in there. Best wishes for a better winter for you and Norma.

David and Sue

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Wow! You folks have been having a pretty rough time! I hope that everything gets back to normal real soon.

Best Wishes
& Warmest Regards,


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