RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

First & Last Biking Ride & Party Time

                                                              March 6, 2016
Two days before my surgery we had a beautiful day, so I talked Joe into loading up the bikes and kids and going to the bike trail.
I had bought a tag along bike for Maddie this year off  Craigslist  We had not used it or even rode our bikes once this winter. A tag along bike attaches to an adults bike. The rider can pedal along, though Maddie could barely touch the pedals. Lennox opted to ride his scooter that day, and Noah was on his bike.
I originally was going to attach the tag along to my bike, but my bike was too short and it did not accommodate it. Joe was stuck pulling the weight.
Break time at one of the many donated swings by a family of a deceased ex-biking snowbird.
It has been a really rough winter for me this year, with getting so very little sleep. We have not spend much time with the grandkids, and Joe was frustrated because we didn't do much this year.  I have felt like a hamster on a hamster wheel, spinning my wheels, just trying to accomplish the basics of daily life, before it was time to go back to another sleepless night. It was nice to have just one day with the kids on the bike trail, knowing that after surgery this was not going to happen again until next year.
Joe takes Lennox for a ride on the tag along.
Then Noah gets a chance to ride with papa. Joe said the boys were much harder because of the weight increase and their moving around much more, which jerked his bike around.
Somehow we forgot my bike's basket. Being our first year without our Nest, it was hard to think of everything. I got out my kangaroo pouch and Mallery rode this way. The only problem was every time I stopped and started, I would bump her head on the handle bars. The pouch is not a real good way to bike with your fury friend.
Our ride was pretty short, as Lennox got tired pretty fast riding his scooter. Noah was upset we had to turn around as he wanted to go to the rock climbing park that he played at last year. Some day they will hopefully all be at the same speed to ride bikes and I will be normal again.

On Monday, my daughter Alisha and I went to Mobile for my pre-op appointment at Dr. Charles Max Roger's office. After blood work and appointment we found the Drury Inn that I had booked for the night before surgery. On arrival we were given coupons for 4 free drinks each. Unfortunately I could not have any alcohol 24 hours before my Abdominal Hysterectomy surgery, so I told my daughter she could have mine. Alisha had just started a diet, so we both gave up our freebies. Later I went down to get something out of my car, and in the lobby there was a free salad bar/pasta dish and other food buffet for free. Yea, I was told it would be best if I had a clear liquid diet for dinner that night and nothing after midnight. Oh and there was free popcorn too. Dang!
I had to be at the Mobil Infirmary Hospital at 6AM the next day on Tuesday March 8. At check in I was taken to outpatient surgery and as my anesthesiologist talked to me, his assistance put my IV in. I had a really bad experience with IV placement when I had an  emergency appendectomy in 2003, with 4 different people trying to insert it. I know I was dehydrated then, but it has always been  a fear it will happen again. At 7:30, the anesthesiologist assistance said it was time to put my party hat on. I looked at her with a question mark look, I am sure. She pulled out the blue sterile surgery hat and put it on my head. Then she said, "See I have my party hat on too"! She really had a way to lighten the mood and put a smile on my face. Next she said, "It's time to go to your party" and started to roll me down the hall! We got to the operating room and then the lights went out! I woke up an hour later, seeing Alisha and Jamie asking how I was feeling. Jamie came to Mobile for the day because his new job is in Mobile.
I spent two nights in the hospital, sleeping under pain medication most the time. I remember both nights, I woke up and looked at my schedule board, only to find I had another hour before my next pain pill. I ate very little while in the hospital, because I felt so nausea, and had a dry mouth. At one point I just about lost it. I asked for a bucket, and said "no" to myself, knowing it would probably hurt like "H".  I set my mind and got control of the situation. This hospital didn't have the best rating according to www.Healthgrades.com, so I was a bit apprehensive about having surgery there. Dr. Charles Max Rogers had great reviews, and he had many years of experience, so I took a leap of faith on the hospital. I can gladly say I felt I had exceptional care and the facilities were great at this hospital. I had a private room with a heated toilet seat and a rain head and horizontal wall sprayer in the shower. I would rate both Dr. Max and Mobile Infirmary Hospital very high.
 The hospital has a hotel on the top floor, and I had reserved a room for Alisha, but her husband told her, I would probably feel better if she stayed with me. She cancelled the hotel room and stayed with me on the jack- knife couch. She didn't get much sleep with the constant traffic of nurse checks and the uncomfortable sleeping situation. I was so glad she stay the first night, as I couldn't get out of bed due to being hooked up to oxygen, (oxygen levels were low), leg pumps on my legs from ankles to knees, (to prevent blood clots), and the IV hook up. During the first day and night I was on morphine. During the night they switch me to Norco, another opiate drug. One of these drugs cause a allergic reaction because I became extremely itchy from head to toe. After 4 hours, they switch me to Percocet. The next day I was taken off the oxygen, and leg pumps and was up and walking. If you are squeamish you may not want to see the next picture. I ask my surgeon, if he could take a picture of my fibroid. On the 2nd day when he came in, he handed his phone and this picture to me.
The scissors are 6 inches for size reference. Most women who have hysterectomies do so mostly because of fibroids, endometriosis, prolapse of uterus or cancer. In the fibroid case's, most women have heavy bleeding and or pain, neither of which I had. My only problem was it got so big that it shut off my urethra, causing me to be unable to go to the bathroom. Then it was off to the emergency room to be catheterized two times. I also self catheterized myself 5 to 6 times, as a urologist showed me how to do it until the mater was taken care of. This is a very rare symptom that I was so blessed to have! Some women have many small fibroids. I had one small one and one very large one. This fibroid was close to10cm or the size of a grapefruit. The small one was 1/2 the size of a pea.
I spent one year off hormones and a vegan diet trying to shrink this fibroid baby. It shrank only to grow back when I restarted my hormones. I tried supplements that were suppose to help shrink it also. I prayed for healing, but nothing seemed to help. My prayers were answered when I found surgeon's hands, whom I felt comfortable enough to cut me open and to remove this mass of muscles. I know God had his hand in this surgery, because my biggest concern was who was going to watch Mallery. Mallery hates going to both my daughters house's, because she hates kids, cats and dogs, which both of them have. I looked for doggy day care, but there were none close by. I thought about boarding her at a veterinary, but that meant leaving her in a kennel all night with no one there and having to give her a rabies shot first. I refuse to give her any shots with her being so sick. It says on the rabies shot information, not to be given to a sick dog, yet it is a law that dogs have to have them to be kenneled or groomed. How crazy are our law's. Years prior, I saw my sister's old dog die the same day he got vaccinations. Two weeks before my surgery, my daughter Alisha, quit her job to work independently again. A few days later her husband was hired to a new job, that would allow him to be home every night, verses home every other week. With all these happenings, Alisha offered to go with me, Joe could stay home with Mallery, and Jamie was able to stay home with their kids. Two weeks prior, none of this would have been possible. God is good and answers prays in ways we don't understand. I originally planned on having my surgery with a Chicago surgeon, but after the 1 1/2 hour ride home from Mobile, I knew we had made the right decision. The 6 hour drive from Chicago to Northern Michigan would have ended, I'm sure, in 2 night stop stays in hotels, just to get back home.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Slappy, Kid's Church, Snow Tubing, & The Turquoise

                                                   February/ March 2016

Our Lennox with his new Slappy, a ventriloquist doll, from the Goosebumps books and movies. Every year Lennox is fixed on something new. Last year it was Ghost Busters and Angry Birds. His Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Daryl came to visit and they finally gave in to buying him this doll. He tends to be none stop talking about what he likes and wants and if you are living with him, it can get old very fast.
I started the kids at Kid's Church on Wednesday nights at our church, Christian Life Church in Orange Beach. (Lennox and Noah sharing a chair and computer and Maddie by herself at the end).
They have a monitor outside the class to watch them if you like.
Before class and before most of the kids had arrived, I took a picture of Lennox in one of the classes.
They have Worship in this classroom for part of their service.
I stepped inside the kid's worship service room before it started. It is set up in a cool way to engage the kids.
Maddie is into fake glasses. I remember when Alisha was young and kept asking for glasses. I don't think they made fake kid's glasses back then, so she never got any. We always have to stop at the bathroom with Maddie before we head home in the car.
We got another beautiful day for a beach walk. Mallery didn't do as well as before. She kept wanting to go the opposite direction we were going, so she got carried more on this walk.

We saw a man and his son working on a sand project as we walked up the beach. On the way back we saw the finished project.
Alisha, Jamie and the kids took a trip to Gatlinburg, TN. for a weekend trip. Here the kids are enjoying the aquarium.
While they were gone, I told Alisha I would take care of Robin her cat and Maggie May, her dog. Unfortunately when I came to her house to feed them, Robin was no where to be found. After scouting the house, we realized he must have slipped out the door either that morning or night before when Hayleah and her friends were spending the night. (Before Hayleah headed back to collage). At 10 pm that night, I talked Joe into going back to the house and I stood outside calling for Robin. After a while I heard a faint meow off in the distance. I kept calling and soon he was running to the door. He was a hungry kitty!
Alisha sent me these pictures of  her and the family getting ready to go snow tubing. After going down one hill with her dad, Maddie had enough of snow tubing. Sounds like her mom when we took Alisha snow skiing. Though she was much older, one hill, and she was done.
Noah loved it though, making the trip well worth it. Because their trip was the end of February, the snow was made at the resort and the real stuff had melted every where else.
The last week of February, Joe, Mallery and I made a trip to Mobile, AL to meet my GYN/OB surgeon. Surgery went well and I will blog more about it in the next blog.
Our kitchen/dining room continues to progress in the remodel mode. There are two new windows that never exist on the wall next to the slider. (A suggestion made by a designer we hired once mainly for paint color choices).
It was time for Joe, Mallery and I to start the hunt for a place to stay next winter. This cottage is right on the Gulf, but it was 18 miles out on Fort Morgan Road which is a peninsula.We looked at 3 places in the same area, but it was just too far to have to drive every time we wanted to go to the store, the girls, church, or to Dr's appointments. In the end we decided to book the same place we are at for next year, but for 3 instead of 4 months. It seemed that booking needs to be way earlier as there was little to look at this year.
 Alisha had booked a night at the Turquoise Condo's on March 4, for a surprise Birthday for her husband.
Alisha got this condo for a trade for doing a photo shoots job. She just needed to pay for the cleaning charges.
It was on 5th floor and had a hot tub on the deck.
It was a real surprise for Jamie's 40th Birthday party.

I got a picture of the kids before they took their clothes off and got in the hot tub.
Alisha showed us around the condo. I asked her to poised for a picture. She has always been my ham!
A beautiful model in a beautiful bathroom. Live it up girl, you turn 40 next year!
Noah and Maddie enjoying the hot tub with their other Nana watching over them.
Joe and I took a walk to see the rest of the property grounds and facilities. Here is one of the outdoor pools for when it is warm enough to swim in, which should be real soon now.
A bridge connecting the 2 buildings of the Turquoise over the pool.
The Turquoise has 23 floors, which I think might be the tallest condo's in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area.

On I believe was the 4th floor of  one of the buildings is a Lazy River Pool. You will also find a work out gym, tennis court, playground and open outdoor bar along the outside pools on the property.
The Turquoise Condo is one of the newest luxury condo's in this area.
Both buildings have indoor pools as well.
Rumor has it, that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have rented the top floor condo before.
We enjoyed the evening with pizza, cake and ice cream with Jamie and his family. Happy 40th to you Jamie!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Family, Snow At Home, Construction, And Exercise

                                                           January / February 2016
With Tiffany, Blake and Lennox gone for Christmas, we didn't get together with Noah and Maddie until January. Because we are not in our Nest with all our stuff, I didn't have any wrapping paper, tape, and bows for just a few presents. I read that all that Christmas paper and bows just fills our land fills and to be creative when wrapping presents. One suggestion was to wrap with towel, making them gifts as well. My Nana kids looked at me like I was a strange Nana.

This Nana and Papa are so different to their other local grandparents. The suggestion to do this kind of gift wrapping, forgot to mention how difficult it was to wrap on unusual shaped gifts using towels. Oh well, at least I tried to help my little Nana kids understand how we need to take care of our environment!

After 3 weeks, it was time for mom to fly back home. Bye Bye Mom! I wish I hadn't had a terrible cold the whole time she was here, but I was so glad she never picked it up. I gave her Vitamin C the whole time she was here.
Alisha and Maddie invited me out for horderves at the Hang Out one day.
There was a new look to the place. They moved the bar that use to block the ocean views. Smart move, Hang Out!
And put a long bar and a line of TV's on a side wall.

Before we left we put our wish on the wishing wall.
I wonder what Maddie wished for.
I spend  an hour, 1 to 2 times a week filling large pill contents into small pills casings for Malley. She can't swallow the large ones and they large ones contain more ingredients than she need. She takes 7capsules that have to be converted to smaller capsules. Like I said before, a senior dog can take a ton of extra work.
Mallery has enjoyed this area of Gulf Shores. She likes it here better than the State Park Campground. No sand burs here.
Though we have had cooler weather, mostly low fifties, we never get snow, like up north in Boyne City, Michigan. We kept track of the snow fall in our Northern home from this website. On this first large snowfall, we got 10 to 12 inches.
Another map showing 8 to 12 inches in our area.
Our contractor sent us a picture of this snowfall.
I found this picture in a magazine, and said to Joe, "Wouldn't you like to see winter like this again"? Of course "No" was his answer. I always loved winter when it was like this. So quiet and beautiful!
I put the Nana kids in swimming lessons again in January. All three of them really excelled this year.
Our new contractor, Dane, started our kitchen on January 11. Upper cabinets gone!
Lower cabinets gone!
We spent most of January, and February shopping for windows, sliding doors, under cabinet lights, switches, can lights, faucets, and interior door and more. We had the cabinet and flooring picked out before we left. The sliding door was the most difficult, as the displays were in very sad shape.We were not even able to open the slider, because the frames were on a cart that didn't give  support causing the doors to jam which resulted in broken doors. And to top it off, Lowe's and Home depot carry different doors down here.  Hurricanes and hot humid weather verses below zero and heavy snow fall climate we have up north. We never thought about this. Windows and doors should be picked out in your local area! Duh!
Our agreement with our new contractor, was to send us more pictures of his progress. New ceiling and walls in progress.
Joe and I decide we needed some exercise, so we went to the gym on the property. That's Joe back there on a tread mill.
I chose a tread mill up front where I could look out the window.
This was my view. Camera's always give an impression as things are farther away.
Alisha had asked me if I wanted to go with her to Pensacola to get Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging.
This is me showing how much inflammation I have in my body. Nobody can see the pain that fibromyalgia produces in people's bodies.
I did my whole body, but since you must take off all your clothing, the rest of the images are too revealing to show. Of course red and yellow show inflammation.
We had a nice day, so we decided to take our first walk on the beach. The first time we had gone to the beach, the first week of December, we left coughing due to the red tide. Hoping things had improved, we returned in February. This time no coughing.
I put Mallery in her kangaroo pouch and walked up the beach for 20 minutes.
On the way back, Mallery wanted down. To our surprise she took off and walked almost the full length back to the starting point.
She was thoroughly enjoying herself, and kept being drawn to the water.
Mallery has good days and bad days. This was one of her best days we had seen in awhile, with so much energy and walking in a straight line.
In January, I started looking for a Gynecology Surgeon, thinking maybe I would get another opinion on my female problem. This winter has been really rough with sleepless nights. I have been lucky to sleep anywhere from 3 hours to 5 to 6 hour a night. The nights I did sleep well were because because I hadn't sleep well for 2 nights in a row prior. Then there are the nights Mallery wakes us up wanting to go to the bathroom during the night. Once I am woke up, sometime I am unable to get back to sleep. Joe really wanted me to have a surgery here verses Chicago, as the drive is shorter. I found a Doctor I like in Mobile, AL. He is rated high but the hospital not so much. I am scheduled for an abdominal Hysterectomy on March 8 AM. Joe is staying home with Mallery, and my daughter Alisha is coming with me. I ask for prays that Dr Max Rogers, the anesthesiologist, and nurses hands are guide by our Holy Father in Heaven who is Good and Faithful, and that I make a fast and comfortable recovery. After trying for the last 3 years to shrink the fibroid, (which has ranged from the size of a soft ball to a grapefruit) through diet, and stopping hormones, I have decided to end the madness and to get it out. All the Dr.'s that I have talked to recommend Hysterectomy verses Myomectomy (removing just the fibroid). I look forward to being able to take hormones again and to sleep like I use to. I thank you a head of time for your prayers!