Monday, October 17, 2011
Note: When we first started life on the road we didn’t sell the house, and I bought an old three quarter ton van and an old trailer. The conversion van had gearing appropriate for a personal vehicle, which I changed to a 3.73 rear end, equivalent to a 4.50 in a pickup. The trailer was built during a period when people ran their gray water (shower and sink water) out on the ground. That was no longer accepted in campgrounds, so I bought a 30 gallon tote tank – a plastic tank with both hose and sewer fittings, wheels on one end, and a handle on the other. After I pulled a full tank uphill on a gravel drive a few times, I had the plumbing changed so that all our waste water went into one 40 gallon tank, and could be dumped to the sewer. At 8 pounds per gallon, a full tote tank weighed close to 300 pounds, and the wheels on it weren’t that big. The handle was right on top of the tank, so it was a lot of work to move it, even on level concrete.
7/5/93 Continued – We left Mesa when the thermometer was hitting 100 in the afternoon – and no shade. The oil cooler on the van performed flawlessly – and we went through the desert and up a very long grade with the coolant, transmission oil, and engine oil temperatures well down in the acceptable range – even had the air conditioner going full blast. When it is 100 degrees it’s hot, whether it is dry or not. In two days we wound up in Ventura – drove right past Pt. Mugu and suffered a slight pang of loss. I am an outsider now.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
7/5/93 – This journal missed all the travels – from Clearwater to Panama City Beach for a week, a couple of nights on the Gulf (at $18 per night), then a week in Destin, with the sand as white as snow in another membership campground for $2 per night. We visited San Jo Cove (our home campground in Texas) and Rainbow’s End, the original Escapee campground and national headquarters. Then we went down to Rockport just because there was a CCC campground. We stayed two weeks, doing a lot of touristy things such as taking a tour to see the whooping cranes and visiting the oldest live oak in the US. It was there on the Gulf coast when Columbus showed up.
After that we went west, visited Carlsbad Caverns, and on to Tucson where we spent a week. Then Mesa, where we spent two weeks and more than $3,000 to change the rear end ratio, carburetor, temperature gauges, etc. for the van, new plumbing for the trailer. Now I can leave the tote tank with Annie.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
This has been an exciting week so far. The BW didn’t feel that it was safe for her to drive with one of her pain medicines, so I took her to various places until Friday evening, when she went out for a haircut by herself.
For the last couple of years the BW has berated me about wasting money on cable because we don’t watch much – mostly just PBS Sunday evening if they have a mystery or Masterpiece Theater. Our bill has gone from $90 to $136 per month in the last two or three years, and she nagged me again, so I called Brighthouse and determined that Roadrunner was not taxed, and that it would be $50 per month alone. Roadrunner light is $35, and was supposed to be 7 MHz instead of 10, but I couldn’t get that if I kept the telephone. The telephone was $50/month, so there wouldn’t be much of a savings, as the cable alone was $65 per month. Obviously the package was saving us a lot of money.
When I asked what the least expensive telephone would cost, it was $30 per month, just for a dial tone and Florida service, which was when it was determined that I couldn’t get Roadrunner light with it – had to be what we had. I finally decided that I would let them keep the cable and phone, and signed up for Roadrunner light.
I noticed artifacts in the movie that night, and found them in both HD and TV shows, and then realized that the bandwidth was low. After measuring the speed on two different web sites, I concluded that we were actually getting about 1 MHz, not 10. When I called Brighthouse I got a man who told me that Roadrunner light was good for 1 MHz, and he was happy to switch us to 10 for an extra $15/month. So the bottom line is we save 86 dollars a month, the phone doesn’t ring all the time, and the two GoPhones we have had for years in the cars are now in our pocket and purse. The cost is down to 10 cents per minute, and I have $486 on mine and the BW has $180 on hers – only because she let it run out and lost a couple of hundred one time. Meanwhile, our normal cost stays the same, so we end up with no speakerphone capability but also with no nuisance calls. And we save about $1,000 per year.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
I brought the BW home this afternoon - with one new prescription and orders to delete one and cut another in half, and to go see the pain doctor and her internist again. All in all she went from pretty critical to "nearly fine" again. Not bad for a three day stay, but it probably would have been prevented if she had actually had the blood test done requested at her last doctor visit. It's too bad we didn't cry for help sooner.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
The BW just called – she is finally out of the emergency room and in the hospital with a better bed. She has been feeling exceptionally bad for the last few days, and yesterday said she wanted me to take her to an urgent care center, then changed her mind and said “In another hour.” I finally convinced her that now was the right time, and took her down to the one in front of Lowe’s, on the service road next to US 19 N.
After two hours, the doctor there suggested strongly that she go to an emergency room where they had access to equipment the urgent care center didn’t have – they could take an X-ray, but not do a CAT scan, for instance, and do blood tests in house and quickly.
I delivered her to the emergency room, and the waiting area was well filled but not packed, which is different form all the other experiences I have ever had with emergency rooms, and it only took about 45 minutes to get her onto a bed. Unfortunately, she had so many complaints that I was running in and out of the place getting things from the car, and eventually left her there because they guaranteed that she would spend the night there. I had to go home to let the dogs out, so we agreed that I would just come back today. I didn’t get to bed until 2:00, and slept in until 8:00 this morning.
Today I made two trips to the hospital – morning and afternoon, and it looked as if she was going to spend the second night in the emergency room because there still were no vacant beds in the hospital. Fortunately she just called and gave me her room number. She had a much more comfortable bed, her blood pressure is down form 196/95 to 117/78, and she doesn’t feel so bad. Her electrolytes are still not back to the normal range, but she does fell some better. I’ll take her the current list of stuff she wants in the morning – she didn’t want it tonight.
She also doesn’t have a diagnosis from anyone yet, but does know that her kidneys are normal – in good shape.
Unfortunately I know a little too much medicine for a civilian, so I’m not as confident as she is, but maybe the mess that has been going on for two years will finally be resolved. I just want it to be a good resolution, where she gets back to somewhere near normal.
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