Thursday, May 16, 2013


Since my A-Fib ablation, I still seem to have a social life of medical appointments. It has been 8 months and I still am in sinus rhythm. However, the heart, a living, breathing, self-regulated pump, is an intricate organ.

In fact, I have been even more awed by my Creator's Mind, in my experience with my now aging pump. The human pump has similar functions to a man-created pump. It has valves, mechanism for operating power, etc. I don't profess to understand all the mechanical operations of either pump.

But I digress; I am still in a healing process. Recently I wore an heart event monitor, which is a portable EKG, for a month, to see if the ablation was a success and what else may need attention, as I had a high heart rate (pulse).

The result was the ablation for A-Fib was still successful (perfect sinus rhythm) but I was left with another anomaly known as paroxysmal supra ventricular tachycardia [PSVT].
This anomaly is portrayed in old comedies where  upset elderly characters have 'palpitations.'

PSVT not considered dangerous, but will wear the heart out if persistent. Treatment is using a drug class usually contraindicated for asthma patients (me) known as beta blockers. However, since my retirement, newer drugs in this class have been developed which selectively target only heart, not lung beta receptors, at least somewhat better than the older drugs.

Later if drug therapy is not successful, an electrophysiology  study (EPS) may be done, where areas may be ablated. I think another name is heart catherization study. All the 'electrical' intricacies which are so finely coordinated in a well-functioning heart are examined.

One welcome result of the month-long annoyance of the heart event monitor--no more blood thinners.

Please excuse the technical stuff.

This week we are trying out the smallest dose of a selective beta blocker drug--brand name, Toprol-XL.

All of this medical social life has really inhibited how I had orginally imagine life would be if I could get the A-Fib fixed.   Further I expected to be able to return to my old routines and not tire. Hmmm....I forgot that was at least 3 years ago--I am 3 years older.

I had envisioned being able to enjoy fishing without worry and frustration of all the chores I left undone-NOT! My community and church volunteerism have become more chore than enjoyable, something I really regret and simply must resolve.

My camera has largely been abandoned although I have photos of recent hens and chicks. My plants have lots of peeps. I find it humorous the plants name has no rooster--guess you can say it is built-in.

Somewhere I personally have to find a balance within which I am comfortable.

The last chapter in the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes is an allegorical description of aging. I think I remember the chapter golden years there.

What happened to the GOLDEN YEARS? I supposed the phase depicts our conception of not having to work for income daily. Unfortunately even this may not be the case for the generations following me.

I  wish to give a shout to a post by Arkansas Patti entitled RERUN. I hope she archives her many posts for her family. This post so relates to many of my generation in the South even as far as Texas where I grew up in multi-racial culture, including what AP describes in this blog.

We had more Latinos that African Americans. We called them Mexicans which I always interpreted as a person from Mexico, but that has become political incorrect, too. One Latino was in my circle of friends.

In first grade --time frame WWII-- my best friend was a little girl--white--but GERMAN. I was appalled the names my classmates called her, to the point I remember in tears telling my Mother, who urged me to continue my friendship.

Texas has its own ugly racial and cultural history.

Oh yes, there is many types of discrimination and hatred. Some is popping up on the political landscape. That is why I refuse to participate in any discussions along these lines. In fact I do not declare a party to get my absentee ballots mailed to me automatically. I just don't vote in primaries.

My aged near 77 year old memory may fail me, but I believe I declared a party only once in my life and regretted that. My voting is private and may favor one flavor, but I have voted for candidates in both major parties, and once in awhile a lessor party.

By the way how many of you are having problems composing or posting with Internet Explorer 10? Or your posts look crazy in anything but Google Chrome? Even in Google Chrome, if I use large photos, the text overlaps the photos. These problems are only one excuse for my lapse in posting. I cannot solve them and dislike a post that appears to have layout problems. I make enough typing errors.

Well back to the medical/social routines.

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Shenandoah Park Overlook at Point on Appalachian Trail;
Post to Left is a Trail marker, crude steps and trail seen
near it. The Overlook is toward the Shenandoah Valley.

[This photo is SOOC, straight out of camera.]
or is it 'pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall'? [Proverbs 16:18] which we often misquote 'pride goes before a fall'? I certainly hope not the second application; certainly this post's title is part of a parable where unwise and careless choice of a building site resulted in sad great collapse.

However, at least one of these Biblical quotes might apply to the above photo, taken on the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park, a drive we took after attending the U.S.S. Henley reunion in Plattsburgh, NY en route to husband's sister in  Aberdeen, NC.

After the reunion of the USS Henley in Plattsburgh NY, one of a number of ships to which Husband (H) was assigned, I chose the Skyline Drive as alternative to Niagara Falls debacle, which allowed us to briefly visit H's family, more or less en route home.

It is a beautiful 100-mile photogenic drive connecting to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The leaves were not turning, but there were stunning overlooks of the Shenandoah Valley, as above photo and the Virginia Piedmont on the opposite side of the road.

Sometimes I become too involved in my photographic endeavors, to get just the right shot. Here I wanted to be sure I had a part of the Appalachian Trail as well as the vista. The many overlooks have paved sidewalk and curbing as well as railing.  

When I am involved in composing, I am completely unaware of my well-being. Having 10 year old artificial knees, backing up while looking forward is a no-no.  I know it, but as I said I become too absorbed in the process. H was just about to yell, 'watch where you are,' when one step backward sent me tumbling to the pavement. backward.

Momentarily stunned, I surmised nothing broken, but getting upright with artificial knees requires assistance. We carry a sturdy folding chair with us. H had to dig it out from our heavily packed pickup and hold it just right for me. Usually, a garden pad beneath one knee is helpful but we forgot that item. 
With his steady hold on the chair, I painfully regained an upright vertical position.

During this period, a very nice biker and sister stopped to assist us. We talked a long time as he, too, was a veteran. It was a delightful interlude, despite its beginning. A veteran will help a veteran, no matter what branch of service; it so happened both biker and H were Navy guys.

We each continued on our separate ways. On arrival at  H's sister, she quickly found a out-patient free-standing clinic in a shopping clinic with X-ray facilities to determine if painful shoulder bones were intact. They were just severely bruised as was one boob upon which my Nikon camera plopped undamaged. A mild pain medication made the remainder of trip manageable. Bruising was excessive due to my taking blood thinners.

I commend the excellent day clinic which accepted a stranger's insurances without question and provided very rapid care just before closing for the day.

And the interlude with the biker was a pleasant addition to the otherwise unpleasant fall. Since they saw our dilemma and turned around to return and check on us--just shows how there are still good Samaritans  among us, but we never read about them. You never know when you will meet angels unaware, and hopefully I have an opportunity somewhere, sometime to return the favor.

Friday, April 05, 2013


Anytime I have an appointment with my nurse practitioner who serves as my primary care provider, I leave uplifted.

She explains things that are bothering me like my balance has lost its way. With no whit of notice one leg may cross the other while walking or if I step backward, there is a scary redundancy of backward steps...or a sway from wall to wall. These are usually momentary instances with no feeling of lightheadedness....just happens.

It seems the method in which heart medications work with the heart, leaves other body organs and functions with less functionality. I know from reading many drug interactions, functions and purposes, this is a complicated, intertwined near inexplicable process.

Bagpiper-Plattsburg NY, USS Henley
Memorial Service - Played Amazing

 Grace [I have posted before; it is
SOOC-straight of camera]
But the bottom line is I have to deal with the bad side of every drug or procedure that is making my heart and life improved....more or less deal with it, but she says it in a smiling manner. That includes the %$!@^&* heart event monitor--I have 1.5 weeks to go.

After I heard what my half-sister in Texas pays for a housekeeper for 1/2 day's work, (nearly 60% more than I do), I smiled with great appreciation for mine.

We changed vacation to Texas to late October on advice of family as heat is much less. The bluebonnets are not spectacular this year due to 2 years of drought; so October is just as good for me.

Grand Canyon is postponed until a later date; 1700 mi one way is too much driving for H to see only 2 points of interest, although I know they both are breathtaking.

Husband has prerogative of any other trips. He is the driver. I think he may be thinking of Canada, but it is entirely his choice. I don't want him to miss the fishing season here and his summer church buddy has just arrived in our area.

He finally made appointments for Passports next Tuesday. You may remember posts before we traveled to Plattsburgh NY described tortuous events in which we found H had no legal birth certificate, hence no Passport. He does now.

This give me more time to iron out health quirks, if possible, and adapt to the aging process. (SMILE)

I know of two area events I may get to attend, one of which H is not interested. Blanchard Springs Caverns between my residence and Mountain View (I think)  has 'Caroling in the Caverns' two weekends in December. A church friend's employer gets tickets for his employees; she plans to get me included, if she does not forget. Supposedly one part of the caverns has perfect acoustics, similar to the Mormon Tabernacle where their choir performs.

Then my church has a weekend of worship for all similar churches in October at Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO, which happens to be on my birthday this year. I surely would like to go once in my lifetime. I understand sometimes 3000 members attend. It is mostly music and communion on Sunday. Some of the music is similar to that which I wrote about earlier.

The two day event includes gospel music choirs, trios, quartet, etc. performances as well as mass a capella singing. Persons who have attended earlier events says it sounds like 10,000 angels singing--quite hyperbole....

Speaking of writing about music, I removed the music posts, because I could not clearly define if I was violating copyrights. I did not reason clearly concerning material I was using; most of my postings include my photos or ClickART which includes some permissions of use with attribution. Sorry, if you missed the posts, but, my conscience is the only honor code I have.

I have found a player which is a widget and you upload a play list to a place called, but it is more than I want contend with at this point in time.

I considered forming a blog 'circle' of A-Fib sufferers as I know at least 3 bloggers or their spouses on my blog list with the same affliction. However, I thought it not equally fair as some of us have or are contending with other health issues,  some of which are just as devastating. There are just as many cancer survivors, including me on my blog list.

Praying for each other is much more productive. We all have blessings, and then there is the rest of life....

Carpe diem..

PHOTOS: by NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.