2015 ended in the ditch

Monday, Dec 28

For Dec 29 CPAP. Reported figures. 7 hrs with AHI=0.72 Events: 5 H, 1 PP, 1 CSR, 12 RERA. No major mask leaks (max=11 L/min). Used the light AirFit 10, bottom tube mask, happily. Lowered to AHI=.56 after CPAP off for added 9 hrs, with good activity the whole time, high SpO2.

Minimal activities today – just the usual things. Thinking of it as resting up for the rest of the week because of activities planned – and unplanned.

Tuesday, Dec 29

For Dec 28 CPAP. Reported figures. 6 hrs with AHI=0.33 Events: 2 H, 2 CSR, 8 RERA. No major mask leaks (max=13 L/min). Lowered to AHI=.29 after CPAP off for added 1 hr with good activity the whole time, high SpO2.

We drove into Ellensburg and met Carly C at Hal Holmes parking lot at 10:00 a.m., after passing a car in the ditch, already being helped. From her we received (almost new) Chinook Steel Toed Work Boots (her husband did not like them), freely given from the Buy Nothing Ellensburg (BNE) site. Many of the things given via BNE are ordinary items but this is one of those fantastic things that happen. John is hard on boots and he needed something stouter than the “specials” from Bi-Mart or Big-5. So, something for John:
Chinook-Tarantula; BNE view . . . . Now presented on John’s feet.

While in town, we stopped by Super 1 and went to Bi-Mart for a non-stick fry pan, and got an 8″ one on sale for $7.99. The last one I bought John is nice, but a little large for eggs for the two of us. So, it is getting used for other cooking. Our old pan had lost its non-stick character from years of use.

I dropped off empty clean recyclable containers, with tops, at AAC, wished the staff a Happy New Year, and got two pieces of Bundt Blueberry Cake to take home in one of my donated containers. I’ll have to try that trick again, soon. The center is very generous with cookies, cake, and pastries to go with free coffee, and encourage us to take some home.

We left about 12:30 p.m. for Yakima. Got there in time to stop off at the Subaru place we buy our cars, to check our number, on a special mail flyer wanting us to by a new car. Got there at 1:20, found our favorite salesman with a couple doing the final paperwork on a sale, and gave him a hug. Then I answered questions from another guy, and picked up my big winnings (Wal-Mart $5 Gift Card). The potential big prize is a new car – yeah, right.

We made it to YHC just in time at 1:45. John let me off and continued on to Costco to fill my gasoline tank. Last time we were in Yakima for my surgery, 12/18, we drove his car, and paid a nickel/gallon less. I checked myself in with all the paperwork and gave my signature required, for first visiting my device technician, and was given the paperwork to forward me to the cardiologist for my follow-up appointment in the same building. Before I was called in for my first appointment, I met a couple from 7 miles down the road, the man of which plays guitar with me in the music group that travels around town. He had the same heart surgeon as I did 5 years before mine. He also has an implanted device and goes to the same technician.

Soon, I was called by Toni for device check (on the new unit), and to obtain the new wireless reader for the database that is shared about 2:00 a.m. via land line to the Yakima Heart Center staff. It was fine, and showed it was pacing at 15%, up from 9% with the last unit. That means if my pulse goes below 50 while I am sleeping, it boosts it to 50. I need to question my cardiologist if the changed medication of Metoprolol increased dosage (from 50 mg to 75mg) is causing the more frequently occurring slower pulse, or what? While there, I had taken my old Biotronik and wanted her to pull out her examples of the new Boston Scientific that was implanted recently. She did the best she could to find a close match to what I had. Then we took photos to compare. They are close to the same diameter but the new one is thinner. The doctor thinks this new one might last 10 years.
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New thinner Boston Scientific on top. Units compared. I had to turn my old Biotronik upside down to be able to read the print on the side.

From there, across the hall to see a Physician Assistant (PA) for my cardiology update. PAs seem to be the “new thing” and frees up time for the more highly trained doctors. This is my first time with Kari. She was very nice and thorough. Dr. Kim was supposed to be there for consultation, but he had been on call yesterday and was not there today. We discussed all my new meds and questions, she and I visited about various things of my health, she listened to my heart, lungs, and reviewed my labs. She was pleased with several things and with my recorded blood pressures the preceding week taken at different times during the day. She answered my questions about the possible side effects of conflict with a new drug I’ve been on about a month, and noted that my uric acid in my blood had decreased, so that was good. We’ll check it in another couple months – so I will return to see Dr. Kim the end of February or early March.

The implant I got this time is called an AICD on my identification card; “A” meaning automatic, apparently. I mentioned that to my device technician, Toni, who said they still refer to them as ICDs.
The difference between a pacemaker and an ICD

We left Yakima about 4 p.m. and expected to be home about 5. No such luck. The Forester got spooked by something and jumped into a ditch. The overcast sky and fading light did not provide any definition to the hard-packed snow covered road. The right front tire met snow on the road from a plowed driveway and that shifted the momentum ditch-ward. This is a spot just 2 miles from home. There is an intersection with a stop sign, and we were slowing for that. The ditch is about 4 feet deep with only a little water now, but lots of snow. Was a good thing. Waited an hour for a tow. I was in the passenger seat, but my door could not be opened because it was in a snow bank – and we were at a 45° angle.
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This is the view I had. Note the black triangle on the lower left of the left photo. That is the dashboard, leaning, a little less than, a 45° angle. The bright dot in the center is the Stop sign. We stopped. The right photo is taken out the right window and shows the right side mirror with the snow bank behind, which kept me from opening my door. I am not sure I would have wanted to anyway, because I did not have on my boots, but just regular shoes for going to the doctor.

John was able to open his door and climb out, but I couldn’t because there is a console, and the hill was probably too steep even if I could have gotten on the other side of the vehicle (uphill). We did not think it would be a good idea to put any strain on my left shoulder because the recent ICD implant was on that side.

I called our neighbor, Ken, who came and picked up John, and I called AAA who came an hour later, and pulled us out. Ken drove John back home to feed the animals, and I stayed put to answer calls from AAA and talk to people who stopped to help. [At that time, we did not know if the Forester would be drivable, so we wanted another car.] About 6:00, I called John and told him the “tow” was 6 miles away. He drove our other Subaru down. Luckily, it was a clean slide into deep snow, a little water, and some mud. Two body parts come together there on the front right. They separated but popped back into place with a smack from the tow truck driver. I was still in the car. I had John show me and I took photos later. See some on Thursday’s write-up below.

The worst part was the cold wait, and the angle of repose, slammed against the door. Before John left, he handed me two pillows from the backseat that I slipped in between the door and me. Again, tough because my weight and gravity on the slope were working together to make it uncomfortable.

While I was there alone, several people stopped to see if they could help. One guy named Stephen lived on farther east on Rader Road. He stopped once and opened the driver’s door and I turned the key for him to roll it down a little. Otherwise, no one could hear me talking to him or her when someone came up to the car. A neighbor came by and called the Sheriff’s Office and, so, Deputy Ben arrived just before John, who arrived just before Bernie and the truck. Thus, we had 4 vehicles with flashing lights. It looked like a parade. The deputy also set out flares on Naneum at the intersection with Rader.

Subaru Off Road Story of Snow, Ditch, & Removal

If you watch the video above, you will see the majority of the pullout after the tow chain was connected to the front of my car. Also not seen in the video is the need to jump my battery so it would start my car for us to be able to take the car out of park and put into neutral and then drive. I had sat with the emergency flashers going the entire time, and once turned on the engine to blow some heat in. I would occasionally turn on the inside right light when a person stopped and came to the window so they could see there was a person in the rig. When I made the comment to deputy Ben, I had run down the battery, he said cars do not like running from that leaning position. We were surprised that the battery would have run down that fast.

You’ll notice our comments (calm) as we are being pulled out, and I think the noise we heard near the end, once up on the road, was perhaps the time the end of the tow chain shield popped out the front fender. (See that discussion on Thursday below.) Once the car was unhooked, the three fellows checked all around all sides, declared there was no damage, and those were the kind of accidents they liked.

I was now able to get out my door, and walk around to get into the driver’s seat. I drove my car home. John drove his Subaru. We got home, before 7:00 p.m., warmed up, and John fixed a great supper we fast finished.

Wednesday, Dec 30

For Dec 29 CPAP. Reported figures.5 hrs 26 min with AHI=0.35 Events: 2 H, 2 CSR, 18 RERA. No major mask leaks (max=10 L/min). Lowered to AHI=.27 after CPAP off, total 7 h, 24 m with good activity the whole time, high SpO2.

We drove by and took a morning shot of the place of last night’s activities. Thank God, we missed a culvert. John and Ben, the Sheriffs deputy, knew it was there, but I did not until this morning, and had not heard them talking about it. Yikes – that would have caused much damage and probably deployed the inflation of the air bags.
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This collage was taken on Wednesday and Thursday. You can see the culvert in the left hand photo, and our tires footprints from the top of the photo, where you can follow the descent. Looking from the west in the right photo, you can see the place our tires went to end up in the ditch. Our right side tires went over the top of the culvert. [The above left picture was taken as we headed to White Heron Winery for the Raclette, and the right was taken on our way home from the dentist, Thursday morning.] We were extremely lucky!

We left for our trip to White Heron for the Raclette a little before 10:00 so we could take pictures of the accident site. We also carried our favorite Crockpot Chocolate & Peanut Clusters. As well, we took a loaf of sourdough bread cut into serving size for scraping melted cheese over. (95% of the wood is from our place – John took about ½ chord over in the truck last year.)

Raclette 2015 pruners, Dec 30, 2015 – also had one January, 2015 for 2014

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Looking from the bonfire, downhill, over the Mariposa Vineyard, to West Bar and the Columbia River. Middle are our hosts, Phyllis & Cameron Fries owners and workers of White Heron Cellars, and on the right shows the only photo I got this year with the melting cheese over the hot coals, a rectangular piece on a metal holder, with John’s right knee behind, and Cameron in the driver’s seat for scraping the cheese onto plates of food for the participants.

You’ll have to follow the 2014 web page description until I manufacture one for 2015 – to find the descriptions in more detail than are going here. Check the link below:

For Details on 2014 Raclette

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Left shows some of the potluck food brought. Middle is my favorite, Roussanne wine, in a special Wenatchee Wine Country glass. Right are 5 of the pruners, and another there at the Raclette didn’t make it into the picture.

Here are three videos I took during the Raclette:

John, Mark, Tom & Pennsylvania State Liquor Control Laws
In a little over 3 minutes, you will hear an interesting discussion about buying alcoholic beverages in another state. So unlike what many in the west are used to experiencing.

Cameron Reflects on Plutarch’s Lives
In only 1/2 minute, Cameron describes his reading of Plutarch’s Lives written at the beginning of the second century A.D., supposedly a brilliant social history of the ancient world by one of the greatest biographers and moralists of all time.

Followed by another discourse:

Cameron on Plutarch’s 3 Theories of Causes of Meteors

And, clothing preparation for cold weather at Raclettes:
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I wore my new suede boots, given to me from Katie R on the Buy Nothing Site, along with leggings and fluffy socks. I put on wool socks, and I took my last pair of toe warmers, but waited too long to put them in, and my feet were too cold to recover. I could not put my feet close to the fire for long enough to warm them, because the rubber sole starting smoking. The right photo shows me trying, and my leg has gray gaiter on it, which Lynne (a pruner’s wife) knitted for me. She also repaired a couple of holes in a favorite blue alpine-design sweater I bought in Denmark from Iceland in 1965. I got it back from her and put in my cedar chest drawer in a chifferobe, and totally spaced on wearing it this year. I WILL wear it for the next Raclette.

My friend Lynne also had extremely cold feet. She brought a hat (with a hole in it) back to me without the hole that she repaired, after I gave it to her when we were there in September. I wore it most of the afternoon, after trying on and modeling a furry hat with ear flaps, given to me by Marla F on the Buy Nothing Ellensburg site. I took it along in case the wind was blowing in the cold temperatures. It was not, so I didn’t keep it on the entire time. I could have tied the ear flaps up and worn as a hat but it wouldn’t cover my ears as the other, unless the flaps were down, and without a wind, it was too much hat with which to contend.
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I came home and got on Amazon.com to investigate foot warmers. I found a complete insole to cover the ball and heel of my foot. I bought enough pairs (at a 5% discount), to use myself next year and to share with Lynne, who expressed an interest in the toe warmers. I will have enough for others there, if someone needs it. We will start early. I will put mine in at home, and they have a long lasting time (9 hours) that goes beyond our Raclette. I think we were there for five hours. When spring comes, and John sees Tom, I’ll send along a pair for Lynne to have ready to put on ahead of the Raclette.

Thursday, Dec 31

For Dec 30 CPAP. Reported figures. 7 hrs 22 min with AHI=0.14. Events: 1 H, 0 CSR, 26 RERA. No major mask leaks (max=15 L/min). AHI=.12 after CPAP off for added 1 h, 10 m with good activity the whole time, high SpO2.

I got up early to take Amoxicillin an hour before dental work. We left and got there right at 9:00 a. m., and John left to go shopping at the grocery on the south side of town. I had to wait for two people ahead of me. My tooth was re-glued in. Unfortunately, there was very little to connect to, and my dentist found some decay in the root and is hoping it is not down to the bone. For now, he put the old gold tooth back on temporarily, and he will have to rebuild the structure and create a new crown. He took an X-ray and a picture – needed for the insurance company, I guess. I go back Jan 25 for 1 hr 20 minutes for a more complete assessment of the required solution. There was no charge for the repair work today.

After leaving there, I had John take me around the block, south, to drop of a bag of knitted hats (we have “stuff”) to be delivered Saturday to the homeless in Yakima.

Once home, John pulled my Subaru that went in the ditch out of the shed. Luckily, it started right up. He drove it ~10 miles to check it out, and then parked in the driveway to show me all the things I wanted to see. I took several photos, but below is a summary collage.
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Far left is the right side rear, showing lots of mud and snow, and no apparent gouges or scratches. Middle is the passenger side mirror and front door and part of the windshield. Right is John’s hand on the line where 2 panels join. The lower one coming around under the lights came out from the one where his palm is. These go together in the manner of assembling something, as in “put tabs A into slots B, and press together.” That was done and the tow truck driver smacked it with his hand. We did not find any dents or scratches but need to get the snow, ice, and mud off and have a serious look. Goodness, we were fortunate.

At home, I found a note on Facebook from the person that got firewood about 2 weeks ago from us. That was on Dec. 19 and it has been cold ever since then. She has a Ford Expedition (picture then, in the blog). Her kids have to be in the back seat (in car-seats) so we can’t lower those and fill the thing. She needs another load, so John has taken the old pickup, through the snow, to a pile and is loading some so it can quickly be transferred when she comes.

Friday, Jan 1, 2016

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Happy NEW Year !! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For Dec 31 CPAP. Reported figures. 6 hrs 33 min with AHI=0.15. Events: 1 H, 0 CSR, 9 RERA. No major mask leaks (max=14 L/min). No extra oximeter.

I do not know what I accomplished today. Felt as if I just was spinning my wheels all day. About 1 p.m., John and Jess transferred firewood into her car from the back of of our old truck. He made sure the horses had water and lots of hay. Then on the computer he determined the Chinook boots that were given to him were actually the waterproofed version. He got on line at the company site and found them. The first he found had yellow lining and highlights, but these were blue. As he checked further, he found that the blue indicated they were waterproofed, whereas the yellow were not.

I worked on dishes, and John cooked two nice meals, brunch, and a pork roast dinner with carrots and mushrooms.

We did not get a lot of sleep last night, so may get to bed a little sooner, I hope. Didn’t work. Still 11:00 p.m. bedtime.

Saturday, Jan 2

For Jan 1 CPAP. Reported figures. 7 hrs 15 min with AHI=0.55 Events: 4 H, 15 RERA. No major mask leaks (max=15 L/min); oximeter on an extra 2 hrs 10m. Good activity the whole time, high SpO2 without CPAP on. The H events were right before waking up from a weird dream at 6:30. Quiet night otherwise.

Lightly fluttering of tiny snowflakes (not much moisture in the air, so it was more like frozen frost particles), and it has been ~15° since midnight. We slept, with potty breaks, for 9 hrs.

John fed animals and cooked a brunch of omelet, home-fried potatoes, and ham. For supper, John fixed leftover heated pork roast mixture, he poured his over potatoes, and I had mine over two little pieces of the sourdough bread, toasted. I cleaned dishes and he fed another cat that showed up. So two ferals have had food, in addition to Rascal, the inside/outside cat.

Rascal noticed something on top of the wood stove (unlit) and jumped up and sat there awhile looking at something. We’ve been meaning to get a stove guard so the cat prompted John to act. He measured across the alcove and searched for a guard “fence-like grate” to reach from side to side. Most such things sold are about 50 inches and we need over 80. He found one: UniFlame 3 Fold Oversize Stove Screen, for $75 – due to arrive next Wednesday. It is not fancy, nor overly expensive. But, wow. Check out ‘wood stove screens’ and see how much you can spend on one. Fire-place screens are not the same.

Sunday, Jan 3

From a temperature of near zero at Midnight we have had higher altitude air move in from the south and things have warmed up to 20 or so. This flow has more moisture in it than what we had been getting and most is sliding up over the cold air. So, it is snowing! About 2 inches, so far.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan