Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Update and Random Thoughts

Location: New Rockdale RV Park; Mansfield, Louisiana

Well, it's been a couple of months since I've posted to the blog and people (Cat Lady being the latest) have been correctly prompting me for an update. So, with thunderstorms rolling in from Texas and a hot cup of coffee, here goes. To simply the post, since I'm out of practice, I'll itemize it like a shopping list. 

1) It's been almost six months since Brandon's transplant and he continues to get stronger every day. Both kidney and pancreas are performing well. He has blood tests every two weeks with doctors visits every four weeks. The main doctors are his Transplant doctor and his Nephrologist (kidney doctor). The Transplant doctor was in the surgery for the kidney/pancreas transplant and is mostly concerned about organ rejection. Brandon is on anti-rejection medication which suppresses his immune system to keep it from attacking the transplanted organs. At the same time, he is on antibiotics to specifically fight certain things that may come up because of his weakened immune system. It is a balancing act and took about three to four months to get the dosages right. Almost all of his test results are showing to be in the normal range. The kidney doctor is pleased at how well the kidney and pancreas are functioning and those tests are also normal. All is going well and he continues to get stronger.
Brandon, Olivia and Brittanie

Brandon bowling on one of the family outings. He couldn't have done that prior to the transplant. Amazing.

Olivia looking up at me after letting her bowling ball go down the slide. She is giving it a little English with the body language. Oh well, there is always another frame in life.


2) New Grandbaby Nathan is three months old and also is getting stronger every day. It took a while to find a formula that suited him but now that search is over and it's back to growing. I was a little surprised the baby formula industry hasn't tried ethic flavors such as Mexican Formula or Italian Formula. Maybe I'm just ahead of the curve. Olivia is handling the big sister role perfectly. She checks on him regularly and especially when she wakes up in the morning or when she arrives home from school. It was nice to attend her school Christmas program.
This is one of my favorites. Olivia just got out of her bath and came to check on Nathan before going to bed. "Goodnight baby brother, see ya in the morning"

The four grandkids all in one place at Christmas time. That is Cooper, Tucker, Olivia and baby Nathan. Nice.
  

3) I've visited with all of my doctors and they all said I'm good to go for another year. I was pleasantly surprised that my cardiologist didn't suggest a stress test so I guess the EKG looked good. To be cynical, some doctors would call for extra tests just to run up the bill, but my doctors aren't like that and I'm glad. My optometrist checked my eye pressure and glaucoma. The pressure is holding steady from six months ago and the optic nerve is unchanged. For those of you that haven't been to an optometrist in a while, think about going if for no other reason than to get a "baseline picture" of your eyes. If you have any kind of problem in the future, the baseline will be extremely useful. I'll see my GP sometime in the spring and we will decide which blood tests are needed. I think I'll ask for one of those colonguard tests I've seen on TV since I'm pretty sure I won't be doing a colonoscopy again.

There were no changes in any of the medicine I'm taking and none of them said anything about me losing weight (one may have said something about "diet" but since I don't speak French or Swedish, I don't have a clue what he was talking about). 

4) Liberty is a mess from sitting still for so long. I meant to wash the outside but kept putting it off and now that it's kind of chilly during the day, I've determined it is too late in the year. Dang, and I was really looking forward to doing that chore. The inside is messy also. When I'm traveling, everything is put back into it's traveling spot after using. But when sitting still for so long, things are where ever I dropped it. It will take several days to get her back into traveling mode. 

5) Freedom had her oil changed and regular servicing performed. Her back up camera is still not working, but since I don't use it too much, it's not a problem. The Ford dealer said it would be $99.00 just to hook it up to the diagnostic machine and it may or may not say what is wrong. The casino riverboats could take some lessons from Ford. 

6) I may be able to hit the road after January 8th. I'm not sure yet. I've been scouting for places to go and the likely long distance destination spot is Yosemite National Park. The last time I was close enough to drop in, it wasn't open due to snow and ice. So, I passed it up with the intention of coming back some day. It is one of the few major National Parks on my list that I haven't visited yet. The route from here to there is still being worked out and will greatly depend on the weather. So far it has been a mild winter around here with only a couple of nights in the mid 20's. The two week outlook shows the same. A couple of Texas State Parks that I planned to re-visit are still closed due to storm damage. They are Goose Island and Mustang Island down on the Texas gulf coast near Corpus Christi. Those closures will definitely affect my route and time of departure. 

7) The news just reported the release of 1,000 asylum seekers in the El Paso area with more to be released in the near future. El Paso is one of the towns that gave me the hebbie jebbies when I was there a few years ago. There has only been a couple of places that have given me that feeling of heightened sense of situational awareness where my head is always on a swivel. I guess I need to post that list some day. To head west from here during the winter months almost requires a person to pass through El Paso. When and if that time comes, it will be a quick trip through without a campground stop like last time. 

I guess it's time to take my Christmas decorations down for another year. "And my crew sock was duck taped by the space heater with care,,,,," Merry Christmas to all.
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.    

18 comments:

  1. Great pictures! Grandkids are cute, cute, cute. You probably need to check Yosemite. YNP may be closed due to government shutdown.

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    1. Hello Emjay. I figure it is closed too but even at my faster speed of travel, I wouldn't be there before late February to mid March. Even then, it may be closed due to weather like it was last time I was near there. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. "And my crew sock was duck taped by the space heater with care...", it doesn't get any better than that! :-)
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Hello Rob. Good hearing from you. I hope you're enjoying expensive Florida for the winter. Be safe over there, don't get sunburned.

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  3. Welcome back to blogland. It is wonderful to see all the folks getting around well. Mustang Island has the beach area open for day use. The rest of the park is getting a total rebuild. Goose Island has the wooded area camping open and in good shape. The area down to and including the boat ramp is in use and in decent shape. None of the waterfront sites are open. The long fishing pier is totally destroyed. I hope to be leaving around the end of January when the cold goes away. Shoot me an email if you need more info about this area around Corpus.

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    1. Thanks for the report Barney. I was sort of looking forward to the parking lot style campground on Mustang Island. Great sunrises on a deserted beach this time of year. Stay warm, even in Rockport.

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  4. So happy to see an update. Good to hear that all is well with the family. Very impressed with Brandon's progress. May it continue. It is cool (in the 50's) in the Phoenix valley but bright and sunny so pack up Liberty and head on west.

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    1. Hello Barb,,,, that is the direction I will be heading when I hit the road. Just a matter of when and how many stops in between. Ya'll be safe over there. Time for an update on your blog too. :)

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  5. Thanks for the update, Darrell. It’s wonderful news about Brandon, thank the good Lord. I hope you can hit the road soon. Take care.

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    1. Thank Cat. I hope all is going well with you and yours.

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  6. Glad to see update. Have a safe, happy, prosperous new year.

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    1. Thanks Dianne. I hope you and yours have a happy new years too.

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  7. Glad to hear from you. Modern medicine is amazing.

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    1. Hello Shawn. It sure is. God was guiding the surgeons hands as well giving them the knowledge. Have fun in the southeast. Be safe.

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  8. Been awhile since I've dropped in on you Darrell and I'm glad to see both you and Brandon doing well. That favorite photo you liked I like as well. Good one and it's all in the faces of the two children.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Al. Ya'll be careful on your trip back south. I hope you have great weather and easy traffic.

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  9. I'm glad to see everything is going well for Brandon, and yeah those Grands are as cute as can be. It will be good to see you posting regular when you get on the road again. I hope you're able to find someplace warm to go to when you hit the road but at the moment southern Arizona isn't it. Things have been a bit chilly of late and I'm getting tired of having to wear a long sleeve shirt.

    Tom

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    1. Hello Tom. It seems to be a strange winter so far. Only a couple of nights in the mid 20's here. Be safe and warm out there.

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