Catching up with the last week of February

I realize I am still behind, but this will at least jump over some of the past things, bring me up to the current time, and I can add previous information – as I get to it.

Sunday, February 24 Here’s a nice start that was photographed today, in our front yard, to begin an otherwise bad report day. Last Thursday night at the Audubon meeting we just heard about this bird, a Varied Thrush. We have had a couple hanging around our feeders ever since. I thought when I first saw one last week that it was a Rufous-sided Towhee, but apparently that name has changed, and it is a different bird: (this below from Audubon)

The study of birds, like any science, remains a work in progress. New findings about birds’ DNA or other attributes bring changes in classification of species, which often result in new names. Take the Rufous-sided Towhee, found across North America. Differences between its western and eastern forms – plumage, songs, genetics – brought an official split into two distinct species: the Spotted Towhee in the West, the Eastern Towhee in the East.

So for years we’d “been seeing” a Roufous-sided Towhee that wasn’t a Towhee at all, or if we did, it should have been called a Spotted Towhee. Our bad!

Temperature on our front porch at 8:00 a.m. is 28.8°, at the airport (Bower’s Field) 5 miles south the reading is 36° (wrong). And it gets worse during the afternoon.
The airport weather station was off all week with sensor problems reading the temperatures much higher than they should be. John wrote a notification to the Pendleton NOAA site, and it only finally got fixed at the end of the week.

At 5:45 a.m., I awoke in the wrong position with a painful neck. Turned off alarm to go off at 6:00 a.m. to remind me to take my Amoxicillin; went to the back guest bathroom, where I found a brown blood spot on my shirt from my mouth overnight. I assumed it came from the socket, but I checked in the mirror and had no blood in my mouth.

Czar-cat was visiting for attention, and I left the guest bathroom with him, and came back down hall as Rascal came into hallway (hissing, at Czar). I put Czar out the front & Sue was at the door. John began taking care of cats in and out, while I heated my flax seed bag to put on my sore neck. I took my 6:00 a.m. med. John went outside to shovel a path to a small hay shed and for the cats. He determined we had 3-4” overnight, and it is still snowing this morning. John continued to take dry food out for Sue, Woody, and Czar, and I figured out how to set up a pillow next to my neck, to protect it directly from the hot flax bag. I then needed John’s assistance to place the bag behind the thin pillow. That done, I rested on heat. Also was thinking about what might have happened and what I should do. I decided about 6:35 a.m. to have John get me a tea bag from the kitchen cabinet, and a bag of gauze from the green carry bag given for post-op procedures after the extraction. I took out 2 pieces of the unfolded gauze. I had John wet the tea bag with cold water, and bring it to me. My idea was to stop any bleeding that might occur.
I left that on for 45 minutes, and noted the pressure was hurting the socket. So I got John to fix me an Instant Ice Pack (came with the post–op materials, for swelling, but it also helps with pain for me. That helped a little. I decided after 45 minutes, it was probably under control.

BP 135/73 pulse 80 at 8:37 a.m. on new monitor; FitBit p 65. The new monitor is consistently higher on the pulse than is my FitBit.

Monday, February 25

About 6:00 p.m., I experienced a little pain from the socket. Took 2 Acetaminophen at 7:00 and it seems to be improving. No front tooth pain after early morning.

Lacey at KVH FM-CE requested the standing order for my potassium and INR to be in Chelsea’s name (my new PCP). Dr. Norm Wood officially moved from the area and/or retired 2/21. Too far from family and friends – apparently.

I went to town to the hospital lab for another INR check, and it came back as 2.1. I’m now finished taking the antibiotic (which raises it), and resumed my dosage of Coumadin to the normal one full pill once a day in the evening (2.5 mg).

Tuesday, Feb 26

Took 2 Acetaminophen at 5:00 a.m. now needed every 6 hours.
Did the first load of dishes. Took me 1 hour and I kept running out of energy and having to stand still and breathe deeply. I still have shallow breathing plaguing me. Whether a function of medications or illness, I’ve not a clue.
Pet and fed Sue, put Czar out to rub faces. They like each other.
I’m drinking strawberry PowerAde Zero and resting.

Left home at 1:45 p.m.
Went by Bi-Mart to check number.
By KVCH to request at front desk the medical records from Jan 24, for the lab only. I forgot to ask for an ROI form for future use to leave at Cle Elum Family Medicine.

Wednesday, Feb 27

Emergency need for me to go to food bank soup kitchen with music because of Evelyn’s broken down car from Thursday, last week, still not fixed yesterday, and won’t be by this morning either. I took the KV F&F music for Jan/Feb (our last time to play it is tomorrow at Hearthstone). We had a good turn-out of players at the FISH Food Bank lunch: Rob & Kevin on guitar, Richard on drum (a plastic bucket) using regular drumsticks, Dean (Harmonica), guest Amy on Flute and Violin to give us the first starting note, I was singing, leading the choice of songs after checking with those there to be sure we only did songs they knew, and announcing to the group out in the large room. Another Richard sat to my right, singing, next were Reta, and Bob, both singers. We did a good job and provided music for over a half hour to an appreciative audience. Then we sat and visited over lunch. I had taken one of my liquid nutritious drinks. Met a few people there I had not seen in weeks.

From there, I came right home. I was still very weak, and still experiencing shallow breathing, tiredness, unable to carry much weight (music bags), and generally not feeling well.

Later in the day, Evie Schuetz’s daughter Franka took this photo of the sunset tonight on their way home from Franka’s cello lesson. She took it out the window of their car on her mom’s cell phone. A wonderful sunset landscape over a snowed-on hay field in our Kittitas Valley. Artistic touch and beautiful composition in Franka’s photo.

We cannot get such nice beautiful views of sunsets from our house because of the trees. But, often if I’m out driving home, I’ll view them. Sadly, I never knew about this one, having come home at 1:30 p.m. and lying down to recuperate. I guess I’m still recovering from my surgery. But this awesome view today surely helped at the end of the day, when I saw it posted by Evie on Facebook.

Thursday, Feb 28

Today was Kittitas Fiddlers & Friends music at Hearthstone, with many of our normal followers and a good crowd of new folks in the audience. We used all the audience copies, with several sharing, so was a large crowd. Players included Anne, Marilyn, Manord, Amy, Dean, I was there to call music and hold both Charlies’ and my amplifiers for the microphones attached to our heads. I’m still unable to play my violin. Charlie and I sang the lyrics to lead the audience. I announced the song title and number in their books. Evie was standing behind us, playing her fiddle, for the first half hour, until she had to leave for a doctor’s appointment. Also there were Maury, Kevin, and Charlotte.

I was still walking slowly, and concerned with side effects from something, combo of meds, surgery, or who knows what.

In the afternoon, after talking to the oral surgeon’s assistant and hearing their recommendation, Dr. Tew was not concerned about my high blood pressure but thought I should visit my PCP and have my heart and lungs checked out. So I called for an appointment and got one tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

Friday, Mar 1 Willow tree draped in frozen fog, photo by Allen Aronica, 3/1/19 He’s our neighbor a mile north on Naneum Road.

We had to be at my new “doctor”, Chelsea
Newman’s office today at 9:00 a.m. in Cle Elum.
She is a Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C), from the State of Oregon, and Pacific University, Hillsboro.

Frozen fog was wicked in our valley, and I-90 was dangerously icy – with cars off the road [some upside down]. We made it safely (and slowly), and I had a fine (long) visit (with John present), w/Chelsea. For this change, we had 4 folks to choose from. A few years ago when our doctor was out of town, he suggested John see her. We really liked her then (it was when he had his hernia issue). She did not do much then, but seemed competent and nice.

So, I explained my problems with recovering from the tooth extraction surgery 2/18, and how I had no energy, slow walking, inability to carry weight any distance, shallow breathing, and overall weakness from normal activities. She examined (listened to) my heart, my lungs, could not hear the lower left lobe, so she requested two chest x-rays, and heard my complaints of congestion and concern of a possible return of Pneumonia, as I had in February last year.

She reviewed my whole medical history (which is not documented in their medical records, because the provider quit (in March or so last year – here and at the KVH hospital, of which the Cle Elum clinic is part). A switch to another medical records provider’s database, has seriously affected historical records. The new one would not move the records forward because of worry they were endangering their own medical records to a hacking, or something. All data have to be reentered by the individual doctor’s office for each patient! They don’t have the “manpower” to rebuild it (even though they still have access to the old records). It’s a tedious process, but will try to enter old stuff as needed.

So, she listened to mine and John’s memories of what I had been through since 2009. She was very attentive and concerned, and spent an amazing amount of time with us. She ordered the two chest x-rays for me to have there. I was having them done after 11:00 a.m. She returned to the lab to review them, when I returned to the examination room. She had also requested two blood draws, which were done before the X-rays were taken, with the results being analyzed and reported to me by late Friday afternoon. The X-rays will be reviewed by a contract specialist in Yakima, but that will make a difference only if he notes something Chelsea didn’t. [He saw what she said, so that’s good.] She had mine from November, 2018, at the annual physical there, and it had not changed from then.

Normally, I receive such lab test reports from the Triage Nurse there, after she’s read it on their computer report. Instead, at 5:00 p.m., I had a phone call from Chelsea. I have never had that happen in my past. She went through all the values, we discussed them, and she requested my going Tuesday morning for a re-draw to check out the high value on my Potassium – it was 5.6, and when she said that, I knew that was very high. I have that drawn every month along with my INR (for blood thinner [Coumadin dosage planning]), so I know I’m always in the low 4.0 range, not higher than 4.2. I asked what could cause such and she gave me some answers I expected, but also one that I had never ever heard before. She told me to tell my fav phlebotomist at KVH lab to be aware of the high value and be careful with the draw because of something about the way the procedure used to draw it can affect how the red blood cells are handled and will (or can) cause a higher reading {Things that make you go – Hmm?}

I do know what the person in Cle Elum used, and it was not a syringe as I’m normally used to having, from which they reload the blood sample into different vials. She also used a different needle (larger than a butterfly one, usually used on me). With the one she used, the vials are pressed into the container while it is still in the vein, to fill. I know that is unusual for me. John says he has had that done, but can’t say where.

It will be interesting to see if there is a noticeable difference in that blood draw from a different lab, and from someone whom has never drawn my blood before (even there in Cle Elum). With all the INRs I have received in the past several weeks, it didn’t seem necessary to draw the standing order potassium along with, so we weren’t. Now I’m sorry we made that decision. My potassium value has been consistent for a long time.

Saturday, Mar 2

My day had an earlier interesting start by seeing a video with a short narration from a former student and friend since we first arrived in Idaho in 1974.
Chas Scripter at his house on Lake Coeur d’Alene

Otherwise, this was one very screwed up day on the Naneum Fan.
I slept in until 8:00 a.m. after being up for an hour between 4:00 and 5:00. Then I was busy responding to an email from Evie about a new song she wanted to add to our practice folder: It’s Hard to be Humble (by Mac Davis). I asked her about another one that I want to add to our repertoire, called Lovesick Blues, then found the sheet music on line from 1922, and started checking other things about that song. At some point I switched to work on the blog and start on dishes, because most everything in our house was dirty and piled on every flat space in the kitchen. I didn’t succeed in completing that dishwasher load until 6:30 p.m., tonight.

I really zoned out completely around 1:00 and still don’t know what happened. I finally moved enough dirty dishes so I could fix my eggs and toast for brunch. I didn’t eat until ~12:30 and I had Annie sitting in front of me wanting my leftovers, but there was a lot of the crust left from my toast on my plate. I guess I was tired, and never got up from my recliner to throw away the excess bread, so I could give her the rest of my leftovers. Apparently, John was working on his computer, turned it off deciding to go outside and work some, but saw me sitting there sleeping, with the plate on my knees. He took it from me and left me there. He went outside for over an hour, came back in and found me still in a very bad position for my neck, and still asleep.
He was moving around opening the back door, feeding the birds, and I awoke not knowing where I was, or with any memory of what had happened. He said what he knew, and commented he bet my neck was sore from the position I had been in for the last couple hours. It certainly was, plus I was disoriented, not knowing what happened. So, I started again, and it was ~3:00. I took my blood pressure right after I awoke, and it was low (for a change).

I decided to fix an Ensure/Yogurt drink to get back on line, and returned to constructing the blog (only for this week, Feb 24-Mar 2). I also continued to load stuff in the dishwasher all afternoon.

Finally, after he’d fed the outside animals, gotten the mail, and paper, I added more things to my to-do list, based on what arrived in the mail (such as the yearly property taxes).

I made my normal evening call to Gerald, and we ate our baked chicken thighs and butternut squash dinner John had prepared.

John went to bed just after 9:15 p.m. I stayed up and now need to take my meds and hit the hay too. It’s 11:15 (yikes)! I didn’t get into bed until midnight, and then I awoke at 1:30 a.m. and stayed up awhile, because I felt I needed to eat something.

Sun, March 3

I managed to sleep until 5:00 a.m., got up and took 2 Acetaminophen, walked to the back bathroom with companion cat Czar, and back to the front door to find Sue outside wanting food. So, I handed her some, and went back to bed.

John has now fed the outside animals and we are near to having a brunch. We did have a part of an omelet, hash browns, sliced pears, and I had a piece of toast with Kenny’s apricot preserves.

John’s been out moving snow, starting and running the blue Crosstrek car old truck, that aren’t used much right now, and doing other things.

I’m going to try to end this, and get it to John for editing. Then I will take my afternoon nap.
Oops, no, first, I must complete the PDFs for players to have to get their music in order for the March / April music for the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends, starting at the Rehab this coming Thursday, March 7th.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan