Sunday, May 4, 2014

False Alarm - The Little RV Remains Stationary for Now

As is often the case, we had planned to leave on May 1st for a few weeks and enjoy some time in a dryer climate but those plans have changed...again.  

We are so fortunate that the owner of the lot we are renting has allowed us to continue renting month to month at a very reasonable price.  We haven't had to move the Little RV and that makes life so much easier.

My intent in writing this post is not to express a woe-is-me attitude.  It's just the facts.  This medical stuff is a big part of our lives and calls the shots in a big way a great deal of the time.  

Sometimes it does get us down but I'm generally pretty good at counting my blessings and I know how good we have it and how lucky we are to be in the position we are in.  

When we arrived here in Western Washington in early July our plan was to complete the sale of our house, spend some time here and in Oregon with my daughter and her family, be here for the birth of our little granddaughter Clementine, and spend the holidays here with family.  After the holidays we planned to head Southwest for warm winter weather.
Clementine 7-months

Back when all of this RV travel planning began we knew that there would be times when Rob was not well enough to travel, let alone well enough to drive and we would have to sit tight and wait it out. We have had a lot of sitting tight over the last 9 months.  

It started back in October with severe stomach pain that caused Rob to lose 60 lbs because it just hurt to eat.  That problem remains undiagnosed but after some intense testing and specialty visits they are guessing it is gastroparesis which is apparently most common among diabetics with nerve damage. 
Your medical terminology lesson for today:

  • Gastroparesis (gastro-, "stomach" + -paresis, "partial paralysis"), also called delayed gastric emptying, is a medical condition consisting of a paresis (partial paralysis) of the stomach, resulting in food remaining in the stomach for an abnormally long time. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for additional digestion. The vagus nerve controls these contractions. Gastroparesis may occur when the vagus nerve is damaged and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not properly function. Food then moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract.

We had also made appointments with his cardiologist (heart doctor), nephrologist (kidney doctor), rehumatologist (gout doctor), internal medicine specialist, urologist, and his ophthalmologist.

Basically what happened is each time he saw another doctor they wanted this test and that test, more labs, more x-rays more ultrasounds and more check-backs. 

When he saw his eye doctor they discovered his had developed more bleeding in his eyes so he has been having months of laser treatments to control that bleeding. Rob had previous laser and injection treatments for bleeding about 4 years ago and had remained stable until just a few months ago when his vision started getting steadily worse. We believe we are nearing the end of his eye treatments for now. He is scheduled on June 2nd for the second check-back. We believe we will be cleared to go at that point.  

We try not to dwell on what Rob can't do and focus on what he can do. However it is becoming clear to both of us that his driving days are nearing an end.  He's not there yet but it's coming.  That's  a pretty hard pill to swallow.  His eye doctor has told him driving at night is out. There are days when his vision is so bad during the day he knows he should not drive.  He has tunnel vision often and just plain blurry vision most of the time. Once all of the laser treatment is finished he will get a new glasses prescription which should help but we won't know to what degree until he gets new glasses.  

So, what's the point Juley?  

The point is I am going to have to suck it up and put on my big girl panties and do most of the driving and towing the trailer. I'm not ashamed to tell you this is scares me, a lot!  

I love our truck and love to drive it but towing that HUGE trailer is a bit scary. Especially pulling into a gas station to fill up. Hopefully that will not happen often with the new auxiliary fuel tank.  I plan to always try to fill the tanks when we are unhitched.  

Our plan for now (not sure why we try to plan) is to leave ASAP after the appointment on June 2nd.  We plan to head for the East Coast, then the Southeast and end up in the Southwest for the winter.  Next summer, ALASKA! 

I see a lot of practice towing the trailer in my future.