Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween and Patient Update!!

Happy Halloween from Lilly and Tucker!!

I've spent most of the evening trying to catch up on all my blog is so nice to be back home. Rick is resting and recovering. I'm doing my best with the nagging to keep him laying low but I have to say its not an easy job. He is doing very well and I have to say he truly is a good patient, as long as I nag. Something of which I am not very good at - but I'm learning. 

We geared up for a lot of ghosts and goblins this evening but only had 3. I remember when we used to have 300. I miss the little ones and the cute costumes.

A visit from the 'grands' is always a pick me up
Caitlin and Hannah

I am very tired from the trip and have not slept well since we left home on the 24th, and I feel like I'm coming down with a nasty cold. Mind you the nasty rain and snow from yesterday doesn't help one feel too chipper.

The furkids were extremely happy to see me yesterday when I went to pick them up from the sitter's. I was very worried about them returning home and jumping all over Rick but it is like they knew something was up with Daddy and they were very gentle with him.

Shouldice Hospital is the place to go for hernia surgery. They definitely know what they are doing, and have all their ducks in a row. They perform 34-35 of these surgeries daily. I did feel they maybe gave Rick too many drugs..he was high for the whole day. The procedure is performed under a local which is probably a good thing. He sure doesn't remember anything. They gave him 2 atavan, 1 oxycotton, gravol and 2 percocets. No wonder he didn't remember anything. This is a man who hardly ever takes even a tylenol. He has been managing the pain level since with tylenol and hasn't taken any since Saturday. 

Hey --it worked for "Big Momma" 

Betcha they didn't do Big Momma the Olive Baboon with a local

I stayed with my cousin Alice and her husband Russ and I was treated like a queen. It was nice to be able to visit with them. I was chauffeured  daily to the hospital to visit Rick- over an hour away. Everyone should have family like mine. 

 I wrestled the doctor on Wednesday to let Rick out on Thursday-yup I turned on the charm -and it worked. So we had a couple of good days with them before we flew back home on Saturday evening. 

Now is recovery time, then we will plan to head south. We have company arriving for christmas so it will be the end of December by the time we haul out of here. 

It is nice to finally catch up on all of you-it is amazing how much you miss the blog reading during times like this. Take care all and stay safe. Time to go watch Rick eat all the left over candy.

Home is where you Park it
"May your day be filled with blessings like the sun that lights the sky~and may you always have the courage to spread your wings and fly"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We are Home !

We landed back in Moncton last evening at 11:30pm. Rick is doing very well and we are both definitely happy to be home.

Its been a long week..but now that is behind us...its onto healing and planning. My biggest problem will be keeping him 'down' during the healing time~I fear I will have to become a nag..don't do this, don't do that , don't be lifting etc etc..I think I can handle the job.

I hope to catch up on all the blog of the past week within the next few days..take care everyone

home is where you park it
"May your day be filled with blessings like the sun that lights the sky~and may you always have the courage to spread your wings and fly"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Surgical Update

Just a quick note to let you know we arrived safe and sound on Monday in Toronto, Rick was admitted to hosp early afternoon. ..his surgery was early yesterday morning..and all went well...thank you all for your emails etc..of pray and good wishes. He should be released from hospital on Friday if all goes well and we will head back to New Brunswick on Saturday..take care all and I will update again as the week goes on...

home is where you park it...

May your day be filled with blessings like the sun that lights the sky~and may you always have the courage to spread your wings and fly

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Technical Question!!

I know I should be packing and running around like a chicken with my head cut off-heavens knows there are a million things to do before we leave early Monday morning..but I am desperately trying to catch up on my blog reading. And we have accomplished a lot so far..
The MH is winterized..checked over and ready to roll out at a moments notice-Rick's suitcase is packed-the airline tickets are printed off-a big birthday supper is almost prepared for a friend and her family who will arrive in a couple of hours....the furkids are packed and ready to go to the sitter's tomorrow-aww my todo list is getting smaller..thankfully.

Now onto my technical question..I just know one of my blog friends will have the answer..I've checked the blogger help section but cannot find any reference there.

How do you put a gadget on your blog that will show you "when" and who are "new" followers. I never know when we receive a new follower and I'd love to be able to say thank you and welcome-plus I'd like to be able to follow them if they have a blog.

Thats it- thats my question..looking forward to your answers..have a super duper Saturday..

home is where you park it..

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Verdict is In !!!!

We just received notification from the Hospital in Ontario that all of Rick's pre op tests results are good and the surgery is a go on the 25th.....!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a super day everyone!

Home is where you park it~

Monday, October 17, 2011

A bit more Waiting

Well its been a busy few days to say the least..rushing to empty the MH and reload it after sorting out everything that was in there since the spring..organizing all the bathroom stuff into totes and the pantry all I will have to do is take them back out when 'roll out' time is upon us:)

After finding out from the Toronto Hospital that they had not yet received the pre op tests from our local hospital I was on the phone to the 'locals' first thing this morning, chasing down the results-all forms were highlighted and clearly marked  that everything was to be 'faxed' to Shouldice Hospital in Ontario. Needless to say I had to explain to about 1/2 dozen people here the 'story'...before I was finally put through to the right departments..ughhh...but I would have gladly told 50 people if it meant getting the results.

I received an email an hour ago-that the results are finally at the hospital in Toronto and have been passed on to the doctor for review and they will contact us within the next 24 hours.

So that is behind us..I worried about that all weekend..I have the luggage out of storage, so now onto the packing.

I'm sure things will be fine..Rick is very active and very healthy..but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed and a prayer on my lips that nothing shows up to hold up this surgery.

Home is where you park it...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Flights Booked-Surgery Booked-where are the test results

Getting a wee bit nervous here. Yesterday when I hopped online and checked the flights (west jet) for Toronto I noticed there were only 4 seats left. I had been keeping an eye on them daily.  I didn't want to book our flights until Toronto Hospital received our pre op testing results which we had done on the 12th. Our local hospital is suppose to fax the results to them. I'm praying nothing shows up in the testing and the results (blood and EKG) arrive there before the 24th. 

I booked the flights yesterday because they are filling fast. Possibly due to the strike talks at Air Canada everyone is booking West Jet to be on the safe side. 

So we are booked to fly to Toronto on the 24th for surgery on the 25th..providing all test results are good...I'm nervous to say the least..but last I heard Murphy's law was somewhere else..Please stay there...

Be safe everyone

Home is where you park it

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Booked for Surgery!

Hello everyone, it has been a very busy past few days since my last post. Richard is booked for surgery at Shouldice Hospital in Toronto for October 25th. I submitted all of the medical paper work online last week, for review and he is reviewed and approved..they called yesterday and we set the date!!

A big THANK YOU to Bob of "The Caretaker Chronicals" for posting their information in a post on my blog!!! You truly are a Caretaker Bob!!

 They forwarded to us via email a requisition for pre op blood work and an EKG yesterday. We presented ourselves at our local hospital early this morning and had it all done, the results will be faxed to Shouldice..Upon receipt of the results the patient planner has promised to call us and if all is ok with the pre op testing-then I will book our flights to Ontario for October 24.

He will be admitted on the 24th with surgery on the 25th-and released on the 28th and we will fly back home on the 29th. I'm estimating we will not be crossing the border until late December..thinking we were stuck here this winter, I agreed to have company from out of town over the Christmas Holidays. So hopefully the weather holds up and we are able to leave Canada the end of December. Yahoooooo

Because of our local surgical wait time of 1-1.5 years we will "Have Surgery While We Wait"

Now Do you think Tucker Needs a Haircut???? Miss Lilly is always beautiful...!!!

Tucker and Lilly Visited the Groomer

Today was a sunny but chilly fall day~As you can see the trees are changing in some of these shots of our backyard

So it has been an eventful week since seeing the surgeon last Wednesday. How fast things can change. Now we are on the move prepping the motorhome for winterizing, emptying it then reloading it, making lists then making lists for the lists. I will reload it so that when the time comes all we need to do is turn on the fridge and fill it. We will ensure that the gas tank is full, and propane topped up before we winterize and park it in our spare driveway (so we can make a quick getaway when the time comes). Rick took the car to the dealer last night and had it all serviced, and the winter tires put on. One thing off the list :)

Here's hoping all is well with Ricks pre op testing (I'm praying)..and we get to Toronto for the surgery and all goes well. Oh wow so much to do..and so little time. 

I see from reading your blogs quite a few of you are in travel and some getting ready to travel (like us!!!)...stay safe out there blogland friends...and I hope we meet up down the road in the not too distant future...I will keep you updated as we know more...thanks to you all!

Remember - Home is Where you Park it

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Plans set in Stone!!

Thank you all for your opinions and supportive comments on yesterday's blog. I value and appreciate each and every post.

I think one of the posters made a good point. It might not 'suck' but our medical system could sure use some sprucing up and improvement. And we need to be squeaky wheels and advocate for ourselves.

During election campaigns we always receive mega promises concerning everything from lowering taxes, improving schools, improving medical wait times yadda yadda...these promises are vote grabbers. They will promise us the moon for the vote. If the government has control (and I'm not thinking only of health care here)...we have 'none' seems to be all or nothing with our government. You vote for who you think is the best candidate, and you hope and pray for the best possible outcome.

On December 23, 2006 I was diagnosed with a breast tumor. Go home have a good Christmas and we will schedule a biopsy for early in the year. Merry Ho Ho to me! This wasn't my first rodeo, as I had a lumpectomy back in the early 80's. Bear in mind I had a grandmother who had breast cancer, and 5 aunts who also had breast cancer (apparently the aunts didn't count because they were paternal). Forward to end of January 07, I was called in for a biopsy. Not bad I only waited a month. The needle core biopsy wasn't performed that day because it was decided that an ultrasound biopsy would be the better route to take. Meantime I'm sitting in one of those elegant 'gowns' awaiting the decision. Ok with me lets go to ultrasound. Well you can't you have to be booked for it! Well please do not send a letter back to my family doctor and make me way for another appointment referral to the ultrasound doctor-no no we won't do that this wonderful physician states..I will personally take your file myself to the ultrasound Doctor and get it all set up, its just down the corridor. Out of the gown and back home we go - don't anyone touch that phone I'm waiting for a call from the hospital. No call!

I called in February, I called in March, and I called in April. Now we are 4 months into this-and I'm petrified. Toward the end of April my calls were becoming irate. I was finally told that I wasn't even in the system for a biopsy. And I go through the story again. Yes I was there in Dec. I was there in January bla bla shorten the story~ they didn't even have me on file as having a mammogram in December, let alone seeing the physician in January at the hospital. Of course I'm beside myself..what if I have cancer and I'm losing precious treatment time. I begged to pay for the biopsy they stated "you can't" I said if I was in town from the United States requiring treatment you'd pencil me up a bill pretty quick-but I couldn't because I was a 'canadian'.. On the last day of April I called again-and I definitely was irate this time. I told them they had 3 hours to find my files and information and call me back with a biopsy appointment or I would be arriving at their department with the newspaper, TV, and radio. In 2.5 hours I received a call and an apology beyond my comprehension. I was found at the bottom of the pile of files on the physicians desk. The same physician who was suppose to deliver my file to the ultrasound physician just down the corridor 3 months earlier. If I hadn't stood up and verbally threatened would I have ever gotten found? I think not. If it was his wife or daughter would she have ended up at the bottom of a mess on his desk? I think not. But to be fair to this physician I do have to say he was probably over worked and short staffed. But he choose the profession!! Anyway I did finally get my biopsy and all was fine..the tumor was benign..but what if it wasn't???? I would have lost 4 months of treatment time. I often wonder how many people have gotten 'lost' in the system-and possibly died because of it.

But our system is 'broken' needs to be repaired. Above is only a sampling of what happened to us. We have a son who lost his leg to amputation at the age of 14 due to medical incompetence. Another apology! It was like oops sorry. And what did we do? We swallowed it. We can't make waves it may blacklist us in the future. Did we have actual proof of this medical incompetence? We had tons...

We have good doctors, surgeons and some very good health care workers. But the biggest problem is the 'wait' times. The wait times are caused, by the system. The NB govt' sets a budget for health care and in order to not overrun that budget determines how many doctors they can afford and how many operating rooms they can have open.It does not seem to matter if there is enough doctors so that every resident can have a family doctor what matters is the numbers match. So we wait, and we wait. We are too accepting of the govt - we don't squeak when we should and we let things slide-we don't want to make waves. But what choices do we have? Its the only show in town..we don't have a choice but to accept. Its not walmart where if we don't receive good service at one we can just run across town to the other. In a way its a monopoly.

I have been on a medical rant for years..its not because Rick has to wait over a year for hernia repair-its because I can't make a difference on my own. I have seen too much in the past and watched people get swept under the carpet. And its a very sad state of affairs.

Ok I gotta find me a new rant, because this one is giving me heartburn...

Plans Set in Stone:
We are going to empty and winterize the motorhome this weekend. Then park it onsite in our spare driveway in case we can make a quick getaway. I'm going to immediately reload it as if we were heading south, minus the food items, and get all my 'south' lists in order. We will put the snow tires on the car and service the snowblower.

Rick will stop taking his aspirin now in case we get a fast 'come on in we have a cancellation' call. He will not eat or drink after midnight, because I assume if we do get a fast call it will come sometime between 8am and 10am so he will not have breakfast until after 10am each day. Good thing he likes to sleep in~in the mornings. We will think positive and try hard to stay upbeat. He is pretty disappointed, he was so looking forward to being out of the snow and cold on our first winter of retirement. But as I tell him it could be worse, much much worse..

Ok stepping down and putting away the soap box..I'm done!!!

Stay safe all~
home is where you park it

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Surgical Update !!!

Hi everyone, its been awhile since our last post..but we haven't been travelling, so have had no news to post..and our days have been fairly humdrum so the daily churn isn't worth sharing...actually its been quite boring...the autumn weather is upon us..and it is too chilly now to travel in this area. The only travelling we now want to do is 'south bound'...but  it is not looking like that is going to happen in the near future if at all :(..

We just returned from our consultation with the surgeon. As most of you know Rick has a hernia..not a major health issue but major enough to not permit us to cross the border from Canada. If we do and if it strangulates it will require immediate emergency surgery, then our blue cross and travel insurance will 'not' cover us because it is now considered a pre existing condition. He went in as the patient and I went in as the begger. "We have a new motorhome, just retired and want to go south for 6 months". The surgeon did recognize us (he had previously performed my 2 surgeries)...but should we chance it, he cannot lie concerning the pre-existing status-nor would we ever expect him to. He did agree that it is now considered pre existing.

Anyone from Canada knows how our health care system 'sucks'....we may have government funded medical coverage but we do 'pay' thru the nose for it. We pay 15% taxes on everything we purchase-everything!! And we still have to carry Blue Cross insurance with monthly premiums. Is it worth the risk to still go? Definitely not..the risk outweighs the benefits. For instance-before retirement we traveled to Florida a couple of years ago for client meetings. I tripped in the hotel on our 3 or 4th day there and broke my foot..after a visit to the emergency room, xrays and a 1/2 slab cast we were taken care of and on our way. Upon our return back to Canada they inadvertently sent us the bill for our 3.5 hour visit, and treatment. They had our medical ID #s incorrect and Blue Cross of course refused to pay the bill. The cost of the invoice was almost $6,000.00. So I can only imagine, what the cost of emergency surgery would be! As a foot note Blue Cross did pay the bill once we got the ID#s straightened out.

Are we heart sick? Yes to say the least..they have put us on the cancellation list~but I find it hard to pray for that to happen fast. Because around here someone would have to pass away to get their appointment-and I sure won't pray for that. People just do not cancel surgery here in Canada because they have waited so long on the waiting list to have it performed.

Rick's medical problem is not life threatening, like cancer etc. and we are willing to travel to Sackville NB to have the surgery...this is another hospital where our surgeon can attain OR time at. Its only about an hour from here and Rick is a candidate to go there, where he is not over weight, is healthy and active, and it would be just a day surgery barring no complications. If he was to have it performed here locally the wait time would be over 2 years.

He will go off of his aspirin now just in case-because the nurse stated that sometimes if there is a cancellation you will only receive maybe a days notice. We stated we would take an hours notice and provided her with all of our contact numbers. I will pray hard for a cancellation but not due to the death of someone- but if they had a minor cold or low grade temperature and couldn't go to the OR that day I could live with that.

So onward and upward. We will empty and winterize the motorhome for storage, but we will store it right here on our property so that we will have easy access to it. I can soon load it up quick enough to pull out. There is a 4-6 week recovery period he told us..but he also said as long as we hang around for a week to 10 days to ensure there are no complications or infection he would be happy with that. I do know how to hook the car to the blue ox system and unhook and gas the coach..and dump all the tanks..and I can definitely do whatever lifting and lugging is required. I do drive the coach but I'm not sure if I would want to be the soul driver responsible for getting us all the way.

We will do what we have to do and that is take 'one day at a time' often throws you a curve and you have to put one foot in front of the other and walk through it. Its just disappointing that we retired, traded our other coach for this one, completed all our renos all in anticipation of heading out for six months, for the first big retirement voyage.

Until we can leave, we will live and travel vicariously through all of you and your blogs. I will update when we have more news.

Take care all, stay safe

"Home is Where you Park it"