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Staying the Course -- June 9, 2020

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Superbob

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Staying the course with our health issues -- physical and mental -- is a big part of our lives. So I hope all our Coursers are doing okay in these stressful times.

Still trying to help daughter prep for her move here, along with granddaughter. With help of a handyman we got the interior much better secured. Eliminated the doggie door with sheet rock and siding. Getting a security alert system too. No more breakins to report.

On medical front, finally bit the bullet and set up a consultation with a hernia expert for tomorrow. I have the incisional hernia in upper abdomen area from my OHS last fall. This surgeon is local but has nearly 30 years experience and is well reviewed. I have tried to make connections with the out-of-state specialist who is supposedly renowned but much trouble actually connecting. Repeated failure to return calls. I have read reviews that note the same experience. If I have to have this procedure, I would rather have it done locally anyway -- by a competent surgeon and assistants who actually care about me.

Because I have had two open-heart surgeries in past 15 years, some PAs and nurses have suggested trying to live with it might be best option. Certainly the possibility of another cut in that area is not pleasant to contemplate, but I want to see if minimally invasive techniques might be an option. Or get advice on ways to just stay the course with it -- some kind of braces or support, maybe? Or when I would know it was entering a dangerous stage requiring surgery right away. Lots of questions.

It has been as humid as a South Carolina summer here -- and we've already had a tropical storm landfall and another passing close by. Crazy to be happening so early in the hurricane season (June to Nov. 30). Hoping the thunderstorm coming through right now will at least cool us down a bit, for an hour or two anyway. Time to stock up the survival kits. Lots of water, batteries, flashlights, nonperishable food, etc. Because of the pandemic, we already have some of those provisions.

Anyway, be of good cheer, if you possibly can, dear Coursers. Take care.

Cheers,
Superbob
🦸‍♂️
 

skeptic49

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Checking in, hope everyone is well and healthy. My husband and I got out of Dodge (Philadelphia) just before the George Floyd protests began...we're on Fire Island. We both just tested negative for Cov-19. It's secluded out here so we hope to stay safe and healthy. Superbob, I hope you can manage to live with the issue rather than have another surgery. I had to forego my five year echo and cardio meet and greet but I am feeling fine so it can wait. Best wishes to all here in these troubled times.
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Paleowoman

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Hi Superbob - still staying safe here. Despite relaxations in lockdown, my GP phoned me last week to tell me that as I'm high risk, shielding, I should not go out. That's fine with me as I can go in our garden and we have all our groceries delivered now. DH goes for walks but he's not allowed in shops as he's shielding me. It's very crowded in this area of England and almost as busy now as prior to lockdown. Problems with DS - he's sure the government is just wanting to control him with lies about the existence of the virus - he thinks it doesn't exist, he's very delusional and angry.

Hi @skeptic49 - is that photo of where you are based ? Wherever it is, it is beautiful !
 

skeptic49

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Hi Paleowoman - yes the photo is a view of Fire Island looking west from Cherry Grove, the hamlet where we have owned a small cottage for 20 years. Fire Island is a barrier beach located several miles south of Long Island, NY. I took the photo with my sUAS (drone.) The water on the left in the photo is the Atlantic Ocean, and on the right is the Great South Bay.
 

Superbob

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Checking in, hope everyone is well and healthy. My husband and I got out of Dodge (Philadelphia) just before the George Floyd protests began...we're on Fire Island. We both just tested negative for Cov-19. It's secluded out here so we hope to stay safe and healthy. Superbob, I hope you can manage to live with the issue rather than have another surgery. I had to forego my five year echo and cardio meet and greet but I am feeling fine so it can wait. Best wishes to all here in these troubled times.
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Great to hear from you, Jim, and glad to know you and your husband are doing well. Your locale reminds me somewhat of the Outer Banks of North Carolina where we used to vacation in summer with the kids. Ocean on one side, sound on the other , with just a small strip of two lane road separating the two. I remember we drove down a particularly narrow section one night just as a storm hit, and it felt as though water were closing in on us from both sides. Of course, now we're one Carolina down, but still near the Atlantic, about 5 miles from the beach.
 

Superbob

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Hi Superbob - still staying safe here. Despite relaxations in lockdown, my GP phoned me last week to tell me that as I'm high risk, shielding, I should not go out. That's fine with me as I can go in our garden and we have all our groceries delivered now. DH goes for walks but he's not allowed in shops as he's shielding me. It's very crowded in this area of England and almost as busy now as prior to lockdown. Problems with DS - he's sure the government is just wanting to control him with lies about the existence of the virus - he thinks it doesn't exist, he's very delusional and angry.

Hi @skeptic49 - is that photo of where you are based ? Wherever it is, it is beautiful !
Wow, sounds like the lockdown is considerably tighter than in our South Carolina, for better or worse, I don't know. It is wonderful though, Paleowoman, that you have your garden to enjoy. I find myself out in our yard more trying to improve the shubbery and such (with the help of a young guy to do the heavy lifting). Just put out a hummingbird feeder again after a year's lapse and happy to see hummers buzzing back in right away.
 

Paleowoman

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Humming birds Superbob ! Nothing like that here ! It's nice I can get out in the garden, ture, but looking at Jim's Fire Island I think I'd rather be somewhere like that...so beautiful. There's riots here in England too and now statues being pulled down - the world has gone mad with this virus and everything....I just want to get away to somewhere beautiful.
 

dornole

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Good to hear from everyone. I'm staying the course here. Paleowoman, I'm sorry your son is having that anger and delusion, my son is decompensating somewhat also with all the chaos from COVID and then the grief and anger over the George Floyd death which occurred here in Minneapolis. It didn't help him that I had to spend 3 weeks in Chicago coping with an eldercare crisis either. Home now though and I'm planning a socially distant coffee outside with friends tomorrow who I haven't seen in months. It will be so good to see them again.
 

Seaton

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London, UK
Hi Superbob - still staying safe here. Despite relaxations in lockdown, my GP phoned me last week to tell me that as I'm high risk, shielding, I should not go out. That's fine with me as I can go in our garden and we have all our groceries delivered now. DH goes for walks but he's not allowed in shops as he's shielding me. It's very crowded in this area of England and almost as busy now as prior to lockdown. Problems with DS - he's sure the government is just wanting to control him with lies about the existence of the virus - he thinks it doesn't exist, he's very delusional and angry.

Hi @skeptic49 - is that photo of where you are based ? Wherever it is, it is beautiful !
Greetings Anne. Glad you got all your shielding food deliveries and daily routine sorted. And hoping things settle better and soon for your son.

I was back in shielding mode myself for a few days end of last week while awaiting a Covid test result. I lost my sense of taste and smell suddenly and distinctly. Taste and smell loss is one of the listed symptoms for testing. Logged on to the Gov site and filled in their notification questionnaire and was offered a next day drive-in test or postal test. I chose drive-in – choice of Hammersmith, Twickenham or Hyde Park. I chose Hyde Park. It was run by the military.

Long story short, test was negative ... result came through less than 48 hours later by text (they had said it could take up to 5 days). But for a couple of days I was back in a lockdown lounging position.

I suspect it was hay fever that had affected my taste and smell (have had a few HF flare-ups of late) ... just that I’d never had that happen before with hay fever. Was advised to test anyway. Hyde Park looked lovely in the sun ☀
 
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Superman

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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Good to see everyone’s updates. Some areas getting back to normal, some still sheltering. The gardens sound really nice. Funny how all over the world, things are fairly similar and follow the seasons.

We, too, are focusing on outdoor projects. After cleaning up and spreading mulch and some planting around the house, we decided to overhaul the small fish pond we have. It was there from the prior owners. Proved difficult to keep clean due in part to lack of proper filtration. We also were losing dirt from under the retaining wall and it was sinking. In the end, we removed the old pond (quite literally tons of rocks!). That was a large weekend project for an office worker. Sore for a couple days. Hired a local company that’s digging it out over twice the volume and rebuilding it. Adding proper filtration, a waterfall, and we’ll be able to support more koi. Should be wrapping up tomorrow. Weather isn’t cooperating today.

Nice to sit on the patio and watch the fish swim and listen to the running water. It’ll be a small waterfall, but when we hike, waterfalls have always been a destination. It’ll be fun to have one.
 

Paleowoman

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I was back in shielding mode myself for a few days end of last week while awaiting a Covid test result. I lost my sense of taste and smell suddenly and distinctly. Taste and smell loss is one of the listed symptoms for testing. Logged on to the Gov site and filled in their notification questionnaire and was offered a next day drive-in test or postal test. I chose drive-in – choice of Hammersmith, Twickenham or Hyde Park. I chose Hyde Park. It was run by the military.

Long story short, test was negative ... result came through less than 48 hours later by text (they had said it could take up to 5 days). But for a couple of days I was back in a lockdown lounging position.
Oh goodness @Seaton ! I'm glad you're okay, phew. The pollen count has been high recently, lots of people complaining about hay fever. The way you were tested for Covid sounds quite efficient !
 

honeybunny

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Hello all!
Enjoying your posts.
Sorry about your son, Anne. Two of my daughter’s children are dealing with depression brought on in part by their mom’s alcoholism and all the chaos that entails. My grandson age 20 moved in with me two weeks ago to get away from it all. My 12 yo granddaughter had a venting session with me last week and had a first visit with a therapist on Monday. Their mom is also seeing the therapist but the drinking hasn’t stopped.
Lovely pic, Jim. I bet the weather is wonderful. I grew up in NJ. Now I contend with Houston weather.
Glad your test was negative, Seaton :) continue to stay safe.
dornole, glad your home and safe too. George Floyd was buried less than 10 miles from me but there were no disruptions aside from some street closures. I cry every time I read an article related to his death.
superman, I would love to have a koi pond but no can do with my 4 dogs (long story) and a fifth that my grandson brought with him.
Superbob, thanks for your faithfulness it keeping this thread going. I seldom come to VR but when I do your posts are the first I check.
stay well all💖
 

MartinF

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Jul 11, 2016
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Southern California USA
Glad to hear some positive news on this thread.
We're opening up more here in Orange County. More stores opening. I went into work 3 days this week compared to 5 days in May.
Last week I reported going to Pita Pita. I had a bowl with a Greek salad base. That didn't help my INR test 3 days later and it came back at 1.7. So I need to get tested after 2 weeks instead of 5. I need to adjust my warfarin next time.
Weighed 172 this morning so trend is slowly down still. I ran Tuesday night and had trouble breathing. I think it's my allergies, I have asthma. We had a lot of rain this past winter so more plant growth. Now that it's summer it's all turning brown.
The official start of summer is coming up soon and let's find ways to enjoy it.
 

rich01

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Covid-19 cases seem to be on the increase in states that started opening up a month ago, so keep doing the right things - social distancing and wearing a mask. Some of the increase is more testing, but hospitalizations are also going up. For example, S Carolina.
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I had my HR rate jump up about 15 points for 3 days, but thankfully BP stayed normal. Last evening HR went back to normal and is still normal this morning. I think it's related to diet, but it's hard to tell. I think some foods if eaten infrequently are OK, but if I eat them 3 or 4 days in a row cause a problem, but I can't be sure that's what caused it.
 

Protimenow

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Superbob - I hope you don't have a dog.

Can you imagine it running for the doggy door? Talk about hernias....

Now - I'll talk a bit about hernias. The location of the hernia can make a difference in the outcome. There are some where the cure is worse than the disease. Others, like the one it sounds like you have, may be an almost trivial surgery, if done by a surgeon with experience in doing that kind of surgery. I'm not aware of problems, once healed - but Nobog and Vitdoc may want to weigh in here. They should know more than I do about hernias.
 

Superbob

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Oh yes, I have a dog, and have always had dogs. I call myself the dawgwalker because we walk every day, even when I'm not keen on leaving the couch. These days it's the about the only semi-strenuous exercise I get.

The doggie door I was talking about -- the one we boarded up to keep out intruders -- was not in my house, but in a vacant house we are preparing for my daughter. My dog has never gone through that door, nor have my daughter's dogs (haven't moved here yet) -- so no doggie hernias.

As for my consult with the local hernia expert, it was productive. He's been doing hernia surgeries here for nearly 30 years, so probably has done more than anyone else in South Carolina. But when I took off my shirt to show mine in upper part of OHS incision, his first reaction was "wow!" (No it wasn't an "S" for Super that he saw.) I don't think he used the world "complicated," but he did indicate it was uncommon. He said he had done only a few surgeries on this type of incisional hernia and didn't leave feeling that he had done a good job for the patients. So he didn't want to take on mine. I appreciated that honesty.

The good news is that he knows a renowned surgeon who has done many of these successfully. He took pix and sent off a referral for me to this surgeon on other side of the state. They are to call me to set something up -- I hope maybe a telemed consult for starters. Sure hope it does turn out to be fairly simple. But since it's in the upper abdomen area, and not really far from the aorta --and plus I've been sliced open like a hot potato twice now in that area -- I would think it's at least kinda tricky. And still there is the question of whether I should just try to live with it without another surgery. It is causing no pain yet, but without offering TMI, it does affect bowel workings. I find that Colace comes to the rescue, however, and my GP says it is safe to rely on that regularly to be, well, regular.

From my reading, I gather a pretty high percentage of open-heart surgeries result in some sort of hernia happening 3 to 6 months later. And of course the rate is higher if you have had more than one OHS. I do not fault my heart surgical team, therefore, but I do wish they had warned me about this possibility. I might have been more cautious about lifting household objects early on or being gung-ho in cardiac rehab (to impress the nurses, you know).

Oh well, always something going on.

Would just like to say as the STC thread-starter I am delighted at all the observations, reports or whatnot we've had this week. It's been refreshing and good for the morale. And informative, too.

So keep staying those courses.
 

Superbob

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Covid-19 cases seem to be on the increase in states that started opening up a month ago, so keep doing the right things - social distancing and wearing a mask. Some of the increase is more testing, but hospitalizations are also going up. For example, S Carolina.
View attachment 887378

I had my HR rate jump up about 15 points for 3 days, but thankfully BP stayed normal. Last evening HR went back to normal and is still normal this morning. I think it's related to diet, but it's hard to tell. I think some foods if eaten infrequently are OK, but if I eat them 3 or 4 days in a row cause a problem, but I can't be sure that's what caused it.
Glad your HR settled down to join BP in normal range, Rich.

Yes, indeed, and our part of SC is a particular "hot spot" right now -- the beach area ("Grand Strand") where millions of people come from all over to vacation. One reason is that testing -- after being almost non-existent for months -- has ramped up dramatically. Got drive-through testing on large scale going on practically daily. Naturally, that drives up the numbers testing positive. As you indicate, the more concerning figure is the increase in hospitalizations. That could be partly the result of Memorial Day drawing huge crowds and too many visitors (and okay locals too) ignoring the need for precautions such as distancing and mask-wearing. Summer tourism continues to be brisk now with the approach of the Fourth of July despite the health emergency.

We have here a classic Hobson's Choice. Tourism is a very large part of our economy here. Shut down the hotels and restaurants again, and a great many will never recover, and people will find it hard just to pay for necessities such as housing and food. The other choice is to stay open and exercise precautions (dine-in, for example is at 50% capacity, and tables and such must be sanitized over and over). But with many coming here, it is sadly likely that some more are going to catch Covid-19. Of course, that could have happened to them back home as well.

So each choice has undesirable consequences. We are doing the best we can and trying to muddle through the summer.

As for being tested, my DW still has nasal injuries from her terrible fall, so being swabbed deep in the nose would be problematic. I could go solo I suppose, but I take my temperature and use my pulse oximeter several times a day, and all readings have been okay. I wear a mask when I go in the store or pharmacy. So I don't see a pressing need to be tested. If I am wrong, someone tell me.
 

Superbob

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Hello all!
Enjoying your posts.
Sorry about your son, Anne. Two of my daughter’s children are dealing with depression brought on in part by their mom’s alcoholism and all the chaos that entails. My grandson age 20 moved in with me two weeks ago to get away from it all. My 12 yo granddaughter had a venting session with me last week and had a first visit with a therapist on Monday. Their mom is also seeing the therapist but the drinking hasn’t stopped.
Lovely pic, Jim. I bet the weather is wonderful. I grew up in NJ. Now I contend with Houston weather.
Glad your test was negative, Seaton :) continue to stay safe.
dornole, glad your home and safe too. George Floyd was buried less than 10 miles from me but there were no disruptions aside from some street closures. I cry every time I read an article related to his death.
superman, I would love to have a koi pond but no can do with my 4 dogs (long story) and a fifth that my grandson brought with him.
Superbob, thanks for your faithfulness it keeping this thread going. I seldom come to VR but when I do your posts are the first I check.
stay well all💖
Honeybunny, I always enjoy your posts. Drop by when you can. Thanks for the kudos for me keeping the STC light on. Once in a while I get "down," but I will try not to let myself get that way again. I am pleased to be able to keep this friendly conversational corner going.
 
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