A Long Awaited Update! September/October 2017

Living On Oxygen for Life

Let’s be honest… I’ve missed blogging and I know it’s been since before my birthday (last month) that I’ve posted anything on my blog for you to read. In my defense, the last two months have been incredibly… what’s the word I’m looking for?… trying?…no. Hectic? You could say that. Let’s throw in challenging with a bit of a MacGyver twist and super stressful at times. If you wrap all that up and include my two road trips that I took (one to Oklahoma to see my family & one to South Padre Island for my birthday/25th anniversary), I have to admit, it’s been a pretty awesome adventure.

It all started with my birthday/anniversary vacation that we try to take every year. We both took turns driving down to South Padre Island which took us about 9 hours even while having to stop nearing every two hours (when K was driving) to get out and stretch our legs and walk the dog. Rocco loved sniffing new territory but I hated having to use convenient store or McDonald’s bathrooms. Not just because I never knew what to expect going into one of those things but also because getting in and out of the car and walking to the bathroom now wears me out and makes me short of breath in the worst way. That’s something new.


We made it to Padre and it was overcast but that’s ok because we knew Hurricane Harvey just past by and almost everything was up and running again on the island. Yay for us! Two days after we arrived, a boat washed up on the beach which drew everyone, including the Padre Beach police, to check the boat out. We should have set up a beach chair next to it and charged people for us to take their picture! It took nearly a week for the boat to wash up this far on the beach.


K and I normally go for a nice steak dinner for our anniversary celebration. But who knew that there wasn’t a restaurant on the island, nor close by on the mainland, that sells a good steak? Instead, we had a small party of two at our condo with a gigantic birthday/anniversary cake that K intended to share with the waitstaff had we gone to a restaurant. Thankfully we brought our big ice chest and I had some square foil pans to save the leftover cake to freeze and take home. You better believe that I ate it all once I got home (K had the last piece..darn him!). I LOVE birthday cake!

We really had a lot of fun and took a few goofy pictures. I was even a pirate! Argh! After ten days in Padre, it was time to go home and on the way home, the craziness began. We were north of Austin, Texas when it happened. I was reading and K was driving… thankfully. Our grill from the front of our van broke loose and flew over the hood and smacked our windshield and then continued over the top of the van. It scared us so bad. Thankfully, no one was behind us and we looked but didn’t see it land on the highway. We get home ok and called our mechanic to see what it would cost to get it replaced. $600! Are you kidding me? The thing was made mostly of plastic. K and I had the same idea… look on eBay for the part. K said he could fix it himself and I was, like, “You go Rambo…you get into that MacGyver mode!” Sure enough, it cost us a total of $200 and K attached it with no problems! YAY K!

What K didn’t tell me was that on the way home from Padre was that he was starting to see floaters in his right eye. Then when he went to work, he called his optometrist and they told him to come in RIGHT NOW. He had a detached retina. I was so worried because now he had to have surgery and this was his eyesight!. The first time I went with K to his optometrist, K told me that he had been telling the doctor about me because he has a daughter who has some similar health conditions. Let me tell you that I have no problem that K talked about me. I mean, I blog… so of course I don’t mind. I was really excited about meeting this doctor to learn more if he wanted to talk about it. Naturally, I knew this appointment was about K but I did bring a printed copy of an x-ray showing my scoliosis. This doctor was really neat and very personable. K and I really like him. But what excited me the most was his waiting room. Holy cow… the moment I walked into the building, I was thinking that EVERY waiting room should be like this one. There were crocheted afghans on a blanket rack next to the door and in each waiting area there was a card table with a puzzle to be put together. I immediately zoned in on the puzzle. K knows. I love puzzles and there was an older man sitting there working on the one I noticed. I just blurted out … “Oh yay a puzzle!!!” (I know you’re visualizing that.. aren’t you? haha!) The man heard me and started to get up saying that I could work on it. I told him to please stay and I can work on it with you. I told him that I love puzzles and this reminds me of when I worked on puzzles with my dad. Awww! I know, right? I was so engrossed that I didn’t even hear K’s name called by the nurse. What’s so awesome was that there was ANOTHER puzzle in the waiting room in the back! I was in waiting-room heaven!

K’s surgery went well but I wore myself out having to drive him to appointments and waking up to check to see if he wasn’t sleeping on his back for the first week after surgery. That was stressful but after the first week, he could sleep on his side but NOT on his back. You would think that it wouldn’t be a big deal but people move around while they sleep and K is accustomed to sleeping on his back. So, I had a lot of waking up to do to check on him. With everything that was going on with K, I truly had an eye opening experience about how much he does for me without complaining. He drives me to doctor appointments that are an hour away, he pushes me in a wheelchair when I need it, he takes care of everything in the background when I have migraines, not to mention doing most of the chores and all of the grocery shopping now…and most of this is done without me having to ask. I got a taste of what he does for me when I needed to take care of him for a change. I was definitely humbled and I gained a new appreciation for what he does for me. Not that I never appreciated it but my health is changing faster now, requiring K to do more and I don’t always see what he does for me.

Lots of love to you all! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to follow along! Leave a comment too! Have a great day!!!

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2015 Oklahoma Vacation

Living On Oxygen for Life

Sorry all! I know this blog post has been a long time coming but I’ve FINALLY got all my photos from K & my vacation on my computer and uploaded to my blog. Whew! That was a LOT of work. Now that that’s done, let’s get busy discussing! First, I told you in my last blog that we had yet another tire mishap on the way to Oklahoma. The thing that I didn’t mention was that the oxygen concentrator gave out about one hour before we were to leave. Yes, I was a little stressed but I called my Oxygen provider and told them what happened. We needed a replacement concentrator ASAP! Luckily, my driver had a new concentrator in his truck. He was about 40 minutes away but he turned around to drop it off at my house! How awesome!!! Crisis averted! Whew!

We get to Oklahoma and I take all the next day to rest while my van was in an Oklahoma shop getting the falling apart Firestone tire replaced. The next day was my 46th BIRTHDAY and I had just received some AWESOME news! My little sister and her family were going to make it to the party! That means my whole family will be there. Let me explain… it’s so so hard to get everyone together at the same time, on the same day! Most of my family lives in Oklahoma but they are spread out and everyone has kids.. some young as a baby and some old enough to drive. I can’t even express to you how much it meant to me to have them there to celebrate with K and me. I darn near cried. One of my sisters made a special cake. Thank you T!

My 46th Birthday Cake! YARN BALLS!

My 46th Birthday Cake! YARN BALLS!

The party was super fun and I don’t think I laughed so much because my sister who has Klondike was telling us how surprised she was when she received my rubber chicken in the mail. You see, even the slightest of handling of the chicken will make him scream and he’s a wee bit bigger than she imagined. Teeheehee! (I’m still giggling over that! hehehe!) However, they are still going to take him to Paris and show him a good time. In fact, today is the day that his adventure begins. Keep a look out for pictures of him on my blog. Go Klondike Go!

The next day, I had some energy leftover. So, we hopped in my van and took off for the Museum of Osteology. Words don’t do this place justice to describe how intriguing this place is. If you like bones, you’ll love this museum. As you enter the building to pay your entrance fee, to the right, you can look in a window to see beetles cleaning a coyote and a domestic dogs skull. It wasn’t gross like I thought it would be. It was, however, very interesting! Look at what’s inside this museum!

Bones of so many types of animals! 2015

Bones of so many types of animals! 2015

Sunday morning, we went for breakfast at Jimmy’s Egg. I guess that’s like a IHop or a Denny’s. It was good. I had biscuits and gravy, with eggs & bacon. Who doesn’t like bacon, right? *drool* The biscuits and gravy were PERFECT! It makes me want some right now! Yes, I’m hungry. I had to go get my labs today. Anyway, after breakfast and because I ate, I got sleepy. So, we went back to take a nap. After that… we went to Oklahoma City to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial. We went about 30 minutes before sundown. That way we could take pictures at dusk and then at night when everything was lit up. If you’ve never been here, you should see it at least once. It’s somber but BEAUTIFUL. Go here to read about what happened.

This building holds artifacts from the building.

This building holds artifacts from the building.

OKC National Memorial & Museum 2015

OKC National Memorial & Museum 2015

The chairs represents each person who died in the blast. The smaller chairs are for the children who died and the 5 most western chairs are for those who were outside the building who died.

The chairs represents each person who died in the blast. The smaller chairs are for the children who died and the 5 most western chairs are for those who were outside the building who died.

At night, the chairs light up and are so somber but beautiful.

At night, the chairs light up and are so somber but beautiful.

At night, the lights come on.

At night, the lights come on.

I was able to see the name of one person I knew on the wall of survivors but I couldn’t tell which chair was the one that represents the survivor’s spouse. Losing a family member is hard but to lose a spouse in a terroristic bombing is horrific.

After we got back to my parent’s house, we ordered pizza and watched a movie. We were leaving the next day. I will have to say that our trip to Oklahoma was a blast….even Rocco had fun. Maybe, he had a little too much fun because he scared my parents so badly. They thought they lost Rocco. While we are there, he runs free of a leash like their dogs do. Well, Rocco got sneaky and tricked my parents into thinking he ran away. He was just looking for K. We had to make a run to Walmart and that’s when Rocco thought he lost his daddy (K). So he went looking for him. He showed back up when we pulled into the driveway. Silly dog. Sorry for scaring them though. Yikes!

Stay tune for Klondike’s Big Adventure! He’s on his way to Paris, France now! YAY!!! Be well everyone and FOLLOW my blog! *hugs*

Son of a gun and I’ll be dagnabit!!!

Living On Oxygen for Life

Have you ever had something go wrong every time you tried to do one particular thing? I have to say that I’m pretty darn upset and frustrated about it but there is good news… We made it to Oklahoma!!! I’ve been super excited about this trip to see my family. K’s family lives close to us in Texas but mine, well, they live in Oklahoma which means I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like.

So, for my birthday, K decided to take some time off from work to drive me and Rocco to Oklahoma. We had almost made it to our destination when, wouldn’t you know it, another tire (from Firestone!!!) on my van started making the same noise as it did on my solo trip to Oklahoma in May this year. This will make the 3rd brand new Firestone tire to fail on me. The tread is coming off or at least that’s what we think is wrong. K is going to take a closer look at the tire in the morning. I’m just glad K was with me this time.

I was so tired when we got here in Oklahoma. I didn’t want to take my diuretics but knew if I didn’t, I would start to have trouble breathing. My family is really good at going at my speed and letting me decide on what I want to do while I’m here. They know I tire easily and they do whatever is necessary to accommodate my needs. They turn the air conditioner down (shhh…it feels like a meat locker but I can breathe better!) plus, they let K and I come and go as we like. I feel so blessed to have such an understanding family.

I can’t wait until Friday because the whole family is getting together for a combination birthday party for me and one of my parents. It will be so much fun and there will be birthday cake!!! Who doesn’t love birthday cakes?? This year is a special milestone for me and on Friday, I’ll tell you all about it. So, stay tuned in!!

Be well and breathe easier. *hugs*

[2015]

Random Picture Day #5

I was waiting for K to setup the camera timer and it took my picture too early. Hence, no smile!

I was waiting for K to setup the camera timer and it took my picture too early. Hence, no smile!

Living On Oxygen for Life

Today I am posting two pictures for you since they come from the same time period and location. As a surprise, I arranged a little vacation getaway for K and my anniversary and my birthday (which happens to be on the same day!). As a child, I liked going camping. K, as a child, did not like to go camping. However, I decided I’d risk it because the place that I selected had a beautiful cabin with an AWESOME hot tub out back. How can you turn down a hot tub??

So, I got everything arranged secretly… He had no idea where we were going. K got the right days off from work and we piled all my stuff in the van. You know.. oxygen, bipap, extra tubing, clothes, food, K’s knives, more food and our rubber chicken (at that time it was Poke Jr.) This all happened in 2005 which is the year before I started Tracleer. I had more energy back then. It was so quiet and no one bothered us. We just showed up and unloaded. There was a pit for a fire and lots of trees. I have to admit.. I was a little worried about snakes! The weather was perfect.

We did have an adventure though. We went off to find a store for something we forgot. I don’t remember what that was but as we got lost, we found a casino! Woohooo! Did we stop in? Of course we did! I even got $10 in credit because we went on my birthday! It was great!!! haha! I even won some money. What a birthday, huh?

We also went out to search for Turner Falls. It’s located really close to where we stayed. It was really beautiful with the waterfall cascading over the rocks. Look at that old fashion cellphone! haha! Even though K isn’t too keen on camping, we had a really good time. Love does that for you. I hope you enjoy looking at photos of my life. Don’t forget to FOLLOW my blog so you can see more of what’s to come!

Turner Falls, OK

Turner Falls, OK

I’m home from vacation!

44-21

Living On Oxygen for Life

I’m back from my vacation and I sure missed you, my loyal followers! I hope you’ve been keeping an eye on the Instagram widget that’s in the right column of my blog because I’ve been sharing with you some of my fun pictures of my vacation! Every year about this time, my husband and I go on a special vacation because it is the week we celebrate my birthday and our wedding anniversary. Yes, you heard me right! I get a whole week of celebrating for my birthday and because our anniversary happens to fall on the day of my birthday (we planned it that way!), our anniversary gets celebrated for a whole week too! My husband is one who feels that birthdays are just another day.. that is, he felt that way until he met me. Birthdays are very very important to me. It’s the day that God decided that there should be someone special placed on Earth to make a difference in someone else’s life and that person is you. That’s right. YOU are special. K (my husband) goes out of his way to make this day very special for me. I’ve fought the LONG hard battle to make it to age 44 and every year I make it to the next birthday is a celebration.

Roadtripmascot

I once asked my previous Pulmonologist the question that no doctor wants to answer. Amazingly, he answered it. I asked him how long he thought I would live. He told me he thought I could live (with all the health problems that I have) to the age of 40 or 45. Here I am at 44 years old and so very excited to see what the next year holds in store for me. So, we are trying to decide what we should do and where we should go (with Klondike, our rubber chicken roadtrip mascot!) to celebrate. Family members will be involved to be sure!

I’m happy I made it to 44 years old but a little scared too. I won’t lie to you about that. My husband is taking my health declining every year very well (or so it seems on the outside). I know it’s hard on him because he is taking on more and more responsibility around the house. He wheels me around in my wheelchair and assists me by making my needs a priority. On vacation, he doesn’t complain about how much we load in and unload out our van when we stop for the night. Trust me. It’s A LOT! This year we decided to make a pitstop in New Orleans!! It was a last minute decision to break up the trip to Destin, Florida. K didn’t know for sure that I would do well with driving 12 hours straight to Destin… with our pup, Rocco, and we’ve never been to New Orleans (which we’ve always wanted to go there! It was AWESOME!).

alligator

neworleans

In New Orleans, I had my first taste of Alligator! It was great! We ate at Pat O’brien’s Restaurant on Bourbon Street. Um… a word about Bourbon Street.. It STINKS! No, really, It stinks bad!!! You can actually smell it before you get there. K pushed me in my wheelchair! Watch out for the horse poop and pee!! hehe!

crabcake

Now you know that when in Destin, so close to fresh seafood, we had to sample some crab cakes, grouper sandwiches, and shrimp. This is a picture of one of two very large, very delicious crab cakes. But I have to admit, my husband makes better. I suppose I’m biased! hehe!

The good thing was that there was a Lincare located in Mary Esther – near Fort Walton Beach area so that I can refill my liquid oxygen tanks. As usual, we go to them so that they can fill the tanks. I try very hard to make it easier on the route drivers because we are disrupting their delivery schedule to their local clients. I know how I would feel if my driver would be late arriving with my needed oxygen. So we make it a point to be on time and get it done as quickly as possible.

Please FOLLOW my blog by entering your email address in the box in right column so that you will be notified when I post new stories, articles, and fun pictures. If you don’t have the Instagram app, you can still click on the picture to see all the pictures I’ve taken! Enjoy your weekend! I plan to post another “IN THE KITCHEN” within the next few days. My sister is coming down this weekend and I’ll be busy playing with my niece but I’ll try to get it posted! Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page too!

It’s hard to even imagine….

Living on Oxygen for Life

It really is hard to imagine that I will soon be 44 years old. A month after I was born, my parents were told to come get their little girl from the hospital because there wasn’t anything left for the doctors to do. In order for my mother to take me home from the hospital, she had to first learn how to insert a tube down my nose every time I was to be fed. Over the years there have been so many uphill challenges to face but I have been blessed and very lucky.

When I was about 25 years old, I once asked a pulmonologist how long he thought I would live. Now, doctors don’t like to answer this kind of question but he surprised me by giving me an answer. He said he thought I would live to the age of 40 or 45 years old. Of course, at the time, I didn’t think I’d live to see 30 years old. So, I kind of privately scoffed at his answer but I was skeptically optimistic.

There definitely must be a reason why I’ve lived long enough to surprise and amaze many doctors. I’m a rebel who likes to beat the odds. *big cheesy grin*