Our Schedule

Sunday, November 24, 2019

As we continue on

Cullman,  AL

Way back in 2007 or so I started a blog as we prepared for retirement and planned for our full time RV lifestyle.    At that time the blog had a different name:     theeastsheadwest.blogspot.com 

I blogged on our preparations for RVing,  the trips we made and destinations.   Online I met many other RV bloggers.   Some have passed, some have quit blogging, many have now purchased homes and settled around the country, some still as fulltimers.    I cherish those continuing friendships.

We now find ourselves in a new season of our lives.   Fortunately we purchased our home 3 years ago come December 28.   We have made changes and improvements.  In this new season, we know we can no longer do those things that require strong bodies.  We can sit back and enjoy our remaining years.

Recent enjoyments:

Last week, with son Lennie and DIL Lois,  we went down to Birmingham to see the Christian comedienne Chondra Pierce.  What a hoot!

Chondra is the most awarded Comedienne ever.   We understand why.    This show lasted 3 hours!

We usually leave our Beagle Biscuit outside when not at home.  He meets us when we enter the driveway.    Once we left him inside when I took Len to the ER and got home late.  He had chewed a wooden blind.   As it was cold out last week when we went to the concert, we left him inside again.  When we opened the door he shot out like a bullet.    He has never done his business in the house, ever.    He must have tried to get out on his own.   Our door facing.

We will be buying a kennel for him this week.   Hate to do that but with cold weather he can not be outside when we are not home.  And not allowed to try to escape to the outdoors to do his business.

This week we had a visit from our friend Jill Steel who we met earlier in the year at our last NOMADS project in Georgia.   She was on her way back from out west headed toward NC and then NJ.   Always glad to have someone park in one of our RV sites.   During her 3 day stay she and I walked through Ava Maria Grotto here in Cullman.   This is a must-see for any of our visitors.   Another is Clarkson Covered Bridge.

We drove into town to see the recently constructed German pyramid set up for the Christmas season.
If anyone knows the German name for this, I sure would be interested to learn.

Another day we went to one of our favorites in nearby Decatur.  Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.  It is time for the migration of Sand Hill Cranes.   They are there by the thousands.

The refuge has a informative visitors center.  Here is Jill again.

This is a special recognition to our son Lennie.   Leonard is no longer able to lift his arms to do some basic tasks.     Our back porch lights blew out last week.  It needed a new ballast and bulbs.   A day later the light bulbs went out on the front porch.   He changed to bulbs and installed the new ballast.  Wow!   Now we can find our way into the house.  Both front and back.

Our Muscovy's are getting well brazen when they want food.   I expect they will come in house soon and demand to be fed.

As I began todays blog, our life has changed.   I no longer blog on RV lifestyle.   I no longer blog on long trips and sights we see.   This has morphed from an RVing blog to our life blog.  We realize that Leonard is no longer able to assist in setting up and tearing down the RV.   We will be selling it.

He is now on oxygen full time.   In addition to a concentrator in the house, we have purchased an Inogen One concentrator so he is more mobile.   He has started the medication Adempas.   And that is a life long medication.  It can only be purchased through a specialty pharmacy.   We were told the cost is $20,000 a month.   The doctors at UAB applied to our prescription insurance.  It was approved but at a cost of $2,000 the first month and $500 therefore.   But Adempas referred us to a Foundation for people with this condition.   We applied and were approved.   The cost will be either 0 to $10 a month.   Praise our Lord!!!! 

A nurse came on Friday and spent 3 hours with us.   We are told his Pulmonary Aterial Hypertension (PAH) is very rare.   Only about 200,000 people suffer with it in this country.   He will not get cured,  the meds are to slow the progression.  It might take up to 18 months to see a difference. 

The nurse will be back in 2 weeks.  Every month they increase the dosage.  He takes 3 pills a day, 8 hours apart.   If he misses 2 days the whole process starts over.   Should he go to the hospital he must take his medication with him.  The local hospitals would not have any nor can they get them.

So.... we are living with a chronic condition.   I will be posting less on traveling but more on living with this diagnosis.

Wishing each of you a blessed Thanksgiving.   Or as our pastor taught today..... we each need to have Thanks Living.

Until next time.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The past month and looking forward

Cullman,  AL

It's been it a bit since I have blogged.   It's not that nothing has happened ..... a lot has.

One thing that has become really evident .... I HATE SHOPPING.  But I knew that.   This includes grocery shopping.   I've tried a couple of the meal programs.   Ok for a while.    Gets rather expensive for what you get.

What I do now:

Meats.    Over the years I have occasionally ordered from Omaha Steaks.  Now this is mostly how I purchase all meats.   The more often I order, the more vouchers I receive for future order discounts.  Sometimes $15.00 sometimes $20.00.    I also joined their rewards program so I get points with every purchase to be used for various items.    I will not pay shipping so only order when shipping is free.  I like free stuff so will only order when they toss in a ham or a roast.   It's working well.

Groceries:    I LOVE the Walmart Pick Up System.    I go online, place an order, select a date and time and pull up to the  parking area where someone comes out and loads the truck.  No fees for this service.   And if they don't have what I order they will substitute a better item at no additional cost.

Veggies:    I joined Misfit Market.   Every other week I get a box of veggies and fruits at a cost of $22.00 plus shipping (dang.... have to pay shipping somewhere).   This produce is all organic.  It is produce that farmers can not sell to stores due to being misshapen or some other minor thing.  First weeks shipment.

Now to get the reader up to date.

We always enjoy company.   On October 11 our friends Kathy and Bill Waters pulled in with their motorhome for an overnight stay as they were on the way to a nearby NOMADS project.

We asked Kathy and Bill to invite the rest of the crew for lunch the following week.  Here are some of them.

Some of you know that Leonard has health issues.  We had to pull of off doing any more NOMADS projects as his breathing has become more labored.   Our family doctor and cardiologist diagnosed him with Pulmonary Hypertension.   This is caused by blood clots having gone to his lungs a few years ago and damaging one side of his heart.

Our cardiologist made arrangements for him to see specialists down at University of Alabama in Birmingham  (UAB).   We are assured this is a top-notch facility.   His first appointment was October 10 where they did some testing.  They scheduled him to return on November 11.

Our children are aware of the seriousness of this diagnosis and have been fabulous with helping.  Daughter Terri flew in from Harrisburg, PA on November 1 and left on the 5th.  While here she decided we needed more color in our living area.   One accent wall between living room and kitchen.

Oh yes,   she gave us more color.

On  Friday November 8 daughter D'Juana flew in from Houston.  Another big helper.   She left on November 12.

Our visit to UAB on November 11....    We had to be there by 6:30 am for Len to have blood work done.  Then there were appointments all day.   Breathing test, Right Heart Cauterization, CT scan, Electrocardiogram,  Doctors appointment.   We got out of there after 5:00 pm.  Long day.

In addition to D'Juana, son Lennie and daughter-in-law Lois were with us.  It is good that we all know what is going on.  They are all such a comfort.

This is the bottom line......  Len will be on oxygen 24/7 for the rest of his life.  The doctors are prescribing a medication that will improve his quality of life.  It is expected that it will allow him to be more active and able to walk more without having to stop and rest after only about 50 feet which he has to do now.    They are working with our Prescription insurance to determine what they will pay.  The cost of this medication is 20 THOUSAND a MONTH.   If they can not get this preferred med down to a reasonable cost there are options.   The primary option is VIAGRA!  Okay.... I can take the wisecracks.

Yesterday, with help from D'Juana going online and finding right answers we ordered an Inogen One.   It's portability will allow him not to be tethered to the house.    Here is Len with D'Juana

Although our NOMADS and camping days are most likely over, our traveling will not be.  We will be visiting family in Louisiana the second week of December.   And other family in the northeast for Christmas.

Until next time.