911 — Another Update

Well, I survived the week but the congestion did not disappear. I had an awful cough and saw my (new) doctor again Tuesday. He decided to double my Advair dosage — new dispenser, not use original one twice as often. The pharmacy didn’t have any in stock so I had to pick up the new one yesterday afternoon.

Don’t know if it worked quickly but my coughing is down and I was able to get some uninterrupted sleep last night. Also using Mucinex at his direction.

Got a nebulizer treatment during the Tuesday visit and again on Wednesday when I went in for my Medicare “Wellness” exam.

So, results: prostate is OK; lungs are clear and BP and heart rate are normal — but he’ll keep me on the BP meds for at least six months or so (high normal readings) and may give me another steroid series for inflammation if the new Advair isn’t working well enough by Friday afternoon. Also, blood tests and Cologuard . . .

And, . . . I need a cardiologist (yes, I’ve already scheduled an appointment). I have an aortic aneurysm (ascending). While in Emergency last week, I had both a chest X-ray and a CT scan, and it was discovered there. It’s big enough to be checked at least twice a year but not yet large enough to be operated on. No history of heart disease in my family.

And, both Di and I had our stitches taken out today from the skin surgery of two weeks ago. Di now wants (and we’ve scheduled) a complete skin exam as the mole that was removed was first spotted by her PCP. I have my basal cell removed at the end of the month.

–  –  –  –

Commentary: I’ve got our appointment calendar next to me and, if one discounts the two days I was in the hospital, we have a total of fifteen (15) visits to various doctors scheduled for the month. I don’t know that you have to be tough to grow old but it sure helps. I do know you need good insurance.

Stay healthy everyone and    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClQcUyhoxTg

. . . and Smoke wants my lap, bye.

Our House — Our Cats — Our Rules

House Rules — Remember: We are only the cats’ staff.

  1. Our cats live here. It is their home, not yours, so show some respect. If you have been invited around, you know us well enough to know we are cat lovers.
  2. If you want to sit down, find an empty seat. Do not expect the cats to move.
  3. If you do not want to get covered in cat hair, then do not sit down, bring a lint roller or strip off at the door (although I rather hope you don’t).
  4. Do not ask us to remove the cats from a room; they live here.
  5. If you are allergic to cats, do not whine, just take a pill or use your phone to call.
    Mist and Smoke "Resting"
    Mist and Smoke “Resting”
  6. Do not shoo away the cats. If they decide to say hello, please, say hello to them. Should you be rude to them, we will see you out the door.
  7. If one or both cats chooses to sit on you, feel honored rather than annoyed. Do not upset the cat — see #6.
  8. You have no need to give us your opinion regarding the cats being allowed to be cats and do cat things. Neither we, nor the cats are interested.
  9. Saying, “They’re just cats,” is offensive. They are part of our family. We love and respect all of the members of our family and do not discriminate against those with four legs and fur. Indeed, we tend to discriminate in their favor.
  10. Finally, remember this at all times: We prefer the cats to you.


These are, of course, not original with us, and they have been adapted because we have multiple cats — I just couldn’t read the url the jpg came from.

911 — Health Update

After a day-and-a-half in the hospital I’ve been home a week now. Seen the doctor, taken my meds and have done little but rest. Been shopping and to the library, taken care of Charlie — tea, meals, meds, back and forth to the loo — laundry, cats and the litter boxes and little else.


Took two walks yesterday, a two-mile in the morning and a three-mile in the afternoon — no ill effects and it felt good to get outside.

Read the papers this morning and had a couple of cups of coffee. Took a shot from my “rescue inhaler” (which I was told to do before attempting any exercise), and sat on the exercise bike for my usual 100 minutes. I wasn’t going to do more than half-an-hour, but I felt good and Arsenal was ahead of Man-U, I was reading an interesting book, so on I went. Felt good.


In the hospital my heart rate was in the 90s – 100s. On the exercise bike it stayed in the 80s, or in the low 90s when I upped the resistance for a few minutes a couple of times, just where it was before 911. In bed last night and early this morning it was in the 60s and just now, it’s in the 70s.

My breathing is good. The only issue is a cough. I’ve got some congestion and a tickle in the back of my throat, but I see the doctor on Wednesday. Thursday, Di and I get our stitches taken out from the moles we had removed two weeks ago — test results show the areas on both of us are clear. The basal-cell on the lower-right of my back comes off at the end of the month.

Thank you

David, Di’s brother, stopped by during the week to sit with Charlie while I went and did a bit of shopping and brought a bottle of wine for Mike and Sandy to thank them for helping us.

While Sandy was staying with Charlie, and I was in Emergency, the street sweepers came by and ticketed her car (dirty word, dirty word) and Mike paid for my meds when we stopped at the pharmacy after leaving the hospital, so I wrote them a check for both and dropped off the wine Friday. Mike’s going to hold the bottle until Charlie and I come over for dinner some time.

Never really thought too much about that old saying about March: “In like a lion, . . . ” but it roared for me.

Arsenal beat Manchester United — 2 – 0.

Best wishes everyone.

Smoke, on my "coffee" arm, and Mist earlier this morning.
Smoke, on my “coffee” arm, and Mist earlier this morning.
Smoke and Mist assisting with this posting.
Smoke and Mist assisting with this posting.


911 — Know What’s Scary?


I’d had the sign before: shortness of breath. Always cured with decongestants and Benadryl — hay fever.

Only this time it wasn’t.

And another sign: sitting on my recumbent exercise bike my exercising heart rate for the last few days was not 84 or so but 100+. HUH?

March 1st — woke up because I was having difficulty breathing, took the usual pills, which didn’t help. Charlie woke up and I took her to the bathroom and then to her sunroom — I was out of breath. Over the next few minutes it got worse. For practical purposes I couldn’t breathe.


Not being completely clueless, that is, if you beat me up the side of the head with a clue-stick, I called 911.

You know what’s scary? Trying to tell the 911 Operator what’s wrong when you can’t breathe and talk. But a few minutes later the paramedics showed up at the door and I let them in. They quickly clued in on what was wrong and I was on my way to the hospital. The initial treatment they gave me was helping — I didn’t feel good, but I was no longer scared spitless.

Emergency Room

Emergency wasn’t busy — a lull between spates of overflow beds in the hallways — and I had a room with nurse, doctor and treatment. (This was 5 am on Saturday morning.)

Charlie called Mike and Sandy and Sandy came to spend time with and help her and Mike stayed with me most of the day, until I was finally admitted and given a bed in the main hospital.

X-Ray machine brought into the room — hmmmm . . . possible congestive heart failure.

Later a CAT scan.

At any rate, there is too much fluid in my lungs and I don’t get enough oxygen. I get steroids to reduce inflammation and bronchial dilators. They work and I feel better.


About 2:00 pm a bed opens up in the main hospital and I get admitted upstairs. It’s a nice double room and I’ve got the window bed — a view of the parking lot and other hospital buildings. I’m feeling better but going from the wheelchair two steps to the bathroom and toilet and then to the bed convince me that ten steps is more than I’m ready for.

Nice bed and get fitted with monitor connections, etc. Nurses and aides come by and introduce themselves and doctor tells what drugs I’m going to get by this rather large catheter in my left arm and other treatments via face-mask and pill — all explained again when the nurses actually give me the stuff.

I get a roommate who came into Emergency about the same time as I, some of the same symptoms but with a different problem — blood clots in the lungs. When I checked out, they had just told him that he was staying at least one more day under observation. (He’s 6′ – 7″ a coach and former basketball player and the bed isn’t quite long enough. And, yes, every new nurse and aide at shift changes asked if he played basketball.)

Mike returned with a couple of books and my cellphone and charger and earbuds — ahhh, music and I can “read” the e-editions of my newspapers.

The hospital social worker got Charlie in touch with a homecare service to stay with her and her brother, David, also came over to spend some time and help out.

Without going through the minutia of things (and I got a vaccination for pneumonia) my condition gradually improved, although I still got no more than a few minutes of sleep in short bursts during the night — better than my four-day stay at this hospital a dozen years earlier when I got no sleep at all and left feeling worse than when I’d come in but for a different reason.

They were going to release me at noon today, but ran into problems with our insurance, meds and the pharmacy. That took a couple of hours to clear up. Then I was released, Mike and Sandy picked me up, we went to the pharmacy and got my drugs. (Which Mike paid for as he’d taken my wallet back to my house rather than leave it in the hospital after they’d photocopied my insurance, Medicare and ID cards.)

Ah, home at last. My wife and cats were happy to see me, but not, I think, as happy as was I to see them.

Sunday — March 3rd

Do you know what I appreciate? Waking up in a warm bed next to a sleeping loved one and her cats curled up around my legs. Then rising and, after feeding the cats, having a delicious and hot cup of coffee. My stay in the hospital would have much closer to pleasant if they’d allowed me coffee.

Monday — March 4th

Woke up this morning feeling better. Fed the cats, had a cup of coffee and read the papers. Di woke up and I got her going. Ate a banana and took my vitamins and drugs with a glass of vegetable juice. Went to the med center and got an appointment with a new doctor (my GP retired a few years ago) for tomorrow morning. Came home and printed the test results from my hospital stay (I doubt my new doctor will have them from the hospital before I get there tomorrow.) from their on-line access. Breakfast, another coffee and I’m ready to, slowly, continue with my day, which includes taking Di to the dentist this afternoon. Thanks for your concern folks, but it seems I’ll be around for a bit longer.

Tuesday — March 5th

911 Update: I’m still doing OK. I’ve a tickle in my throat which leads to some coughing but no breathing issues. Saw a new PCP today, my first younger doctor. He says my lungs sound good with very little congestion. I’m to keep using the Advair inhaler for the next several months and also the BP pills I was given at the hospital – high normal readings. Full physical next Wednesday. Thanks for all the good wishes.


Remember that things come in threes? Well, we have Di’s tooth, my ARDS 911 and now — wait for it — the water heater doesn’t heat water. Called the plumber and he’ll be out early tomorrow. Hope it isn’t serious or take too long as Di has a dentist and two doctor appointments Wednesday. Ghads, retirement can be exciting.

Mist on my lap as I type this post.
Mist on my lap as I type this post.

Sorta Random Thoughts/Rants on a Sunday Afternoon

This has been one of those days of the Wandering Mind.

My wife woke up too early this morning with an aching ankle. I wanted to stay in bed. She wanted to get up. We got up. — The newspapers were not here yet.

I made her a cup of tea and brought her pills, opened the windows in her sunroom and turned on the heater. — The newspapers were not here yet.

I fed the cats. Mist had been quiet, but Smoke had been MEOWING since we had gotten out of bed. He finished all of his food but Mist left a bit of hers — into the fridge went her leftovers. Smoke will usually vomit if he gets too much of what he likes too quickly, so I put it away and give it to him a few hours later. He doesn’t seem to mind if it’s cold, but Mist won’t touch it. — The newspapers had arrived.

It was cool outside but not really cold. Yeah, I know I live in SoCal, but I spent Christmas week a number of years ago in northern Minnesota. I don’t remember a single day that the temperature got above freezing. I do remember deciding to go for a walk around my mother’s neighborhood and putting on seven layers of clothing — I walked down the steps, took half of a deep breath, and returned to the warm confines of my bedroom, removing several layers of clothing and proceeded to drink several cups of steaming hot coffee — Ahhhhhh . . .

After bringing in the papers, I made coffee. Well, I had half a pot left over from yesterday and, being the miser I am, poured some creamer (soy) into my cup and filled it with yesterday’s brew. Into the zapper it went — 99 seconds, yes, I like it hot and it’s a 12 ounce mug — then a teaspoon of sugar.

Into the living room and turned on the boob-tube to the English and German football games. Read through both papers starting with the comics and ending with the news sections, finishing my coffee before the papers.

Then into the spare bedroom, which has our recumbent exercise bike. Turn on the fan and the lights, connect this laptop to the TV and put the football games on — courtesy of Spectrum’s computer app. Cycled for the next 100+ minutes watching the tube and reading Asher’s Line War — and getting up to help Di get to the bathroom/loo when she needed to go and bringing her a fresh pack of cigarettes.

Then another cup of coffee, breakfast for each of us, re-read several newspaper articles I was interested in and on to the crossword and Sudoku puzzles in the papers.

Random thoughts?

Well, let’s see:

How do people who don’t read newspapers get their news? There is nothing in-depth on social media; television is sound-bites, sports, weather and celebrity.

Have you ever boiled water on the stove and it seemed, or seems, to take forever before you can add the ingredients? My wife is British and we have an electric teakettle. Heat your water in the kettle while gathering your ingredients. By the time you’re ready the water is hot, add things together and just keep the pot hot.

Ever noticed how much better condensed soup tastes when you add just half of the water the recipe/directions call for? Just add frozen peas, corn or mixed vegetables and it becomes a real meal, or even two.

Venezuela — ghads what a mess. The U.S. (and others) now recognize an unelected, self-proclaimed president as the leader of the government. The elected (no, I’m not going to get into the legitimacy of things) president is urged to step down. What business do we have meddling in the internal affairs of another country? (Think of our reaction to neighboring countries, allies or others demanding President Trump step down because Mrs. Clinton actually received more votes than he did and giving veiled threats about the use of troops to change things.)

Which brings on another question — How many countries have U.S. troops operating within their borders without their permission or a declaration of war? I mean, how would we react to Syrian or Afghani soldiers landing in Florida or Virginia? Shouldn’t we treat them as we expect to be treated by them? Or are we “special,” with a manifest destiny to make the world comfortable for ourselves no matter what the other seven billion people think?

And you wonder why North Korea and Iran want a nuclear capability? And if North Viet Nam had possessed nukes in the 60s?

The Oscars — NO, just no, no, no. ABC is televising the presentations and their pre- and post- shows, seemingly endless hours of narcissistic self-congratulation by the entertainment industry. I mean, didn’t people already vote with their wallets? Why watch the Oscars? To be told: yes, you were right, it’s the best film or performance or no, you’re wrong, this little arty film is the one you should have liked and seen. (No, you’ll never watch it and next year you’ll have to be reminded of what won this year and do it all over again.)

No, I haven’t seen Roma; from watching the trailers I couldn’t even figure out what it was about, therefore, a no go. No, I can’t remember having ever seen a film by Spike Lee, and I’ve never watched a Woody Allen move in its entirety. Yeah, I know I’m a barbarian and only want to watch entertaining, escapist films, not those which show me the world and how it really is. (I get that from the papers, 60 Minutes, CNN and watching the homeless push their shopping carts around the city.)

Manny Machado — 10 years: $300,000,000.00 — which is about $185.000.00 / per game over a ten-year span and assuming he plays every game (and, no, I don’t think he’ll get the Padres into the World Series). Just think, he’ll make more money for playing a single baseball game than most (any?) of us will make, or have ever made, in an entire year.

How much will Manny pay in taxes?

How much do Bezos, Buffett, Gates and Donald John pay in taxes? Amazon made $11,000,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in income taxes; yet they wanted billions in incentives to put their HQ in New York to make more in profits and still pay nothing in taxes. I’m not one of those who believe New York was wrong in having second thoughts about gifting Amazon.

Interesting article in the LA Times today about politicians and using your phone apps to keep track of you for the purpose of targeting you with their ads (and who knows what else).


Socialism seems to be the new buzzword being used to target Democrats and other opponents of the Republicans and Donald John.

Ever notice how those who can afford the best medical care say it is too expensive for everyone to have even basic medical care provided by the government? Even if they work for the government which provides for their medical care?

Do you have a Social Security Card and Number? Provided by the government — Socialism!

Do you get a Social Security check? Provided by the government — Socialism!

Do you have Medicare? Provided by the government — Socialism!

Do you drive on public roads? Provided by the government — Socialism!

Did you or your children go to public schools? Provided by the government — Socialism!

Is your water delivered by a government water district or your sewage treated by a government sanitation district? Provided by the government — Socialism!

Does your farm benefit from subsidies and price supports? Provided by the government — Socialism!

Is your food inspected for safety? Provided by the government — Socialism!

Are your police and fire departments government agencies? Provided by the government — Socialism!

You want a border wall on our boundary with Mexico? Provided by the government — Socialism!

And on and on and on . . . time for a drink.

Mist and Smoke in the Window
Mist and Smoke in the Window