Sunday, January 22, 2017
Made it to 70! We were planning to do dinner with some friends of ours but they were in Palm Springs for the weekend, and the rain we've had these past few days...including today...would have put them in harms way to drive out here by 6:00 for dinner so we decided to do it another time.

Health has been stable; ran into a cold and sore throat but had it checked, no strep and no infection other than the UTIs that I'm getting.

Friday, January 13, 2017
First post of the new year, and it's almost a month from the last one! I gotta do better.

New Year's Eve was spent at home, but up till about 12:10 to bring in the new year. I honestly think we lead very boring lives because really, what do we do??

I have been feeling so so, not too bad, but this last week, these last 3 days, I've been down with a cold. We went to urgent care today to be sure there was no strep throat and no pneumonia and no UTI. Things came back clear though they are sending the urine out for culture to be sure.

We met with our new doctor this week. He seems genuinely interested in our care and spent a long time with me. With my chronic health, and being a new patient, that was not unusual. He has a nice office staff and I think we're going to do fine with him. The thing now, is, the referrals to our established specialists.

Lets hope.

Sunday, December 25, 2016
This is the first Christmas without Mom. Physically. There have been several Christmases where she wasn't really with us because of her health, so today was really nothing special. But I miss her.

Last night we went to a Christmas Eve service at FCCLA; it was long and my hearing wasn't the best so it really didn't do much for me. It was cold, and the rain that we had a few days before that left the air crisp.

Today we went to Katie's for dinner; she prepared a prime rib roast, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It really was good. I'll have to do a prime rib some day. Maybe for New Year's Eve as I've done in the past. We haven't been invited anywhere for New Year's Eve so it will probably just be the two of us.

My 70th birthday comes up in a month...I don't know just yet how I'm looking at this. Grateful? Thankful? Yeah. Surprised? Yes, surprised as hell to be honest.

Sunday, December 11, 2016 - Never want to live in this cold
Our flight back home was delayed about an hour and that got kind of scary because that meant we wouldn't get our connection in Sacramento, but it turns out that flight was delayed as well, so everything went fine. Just a LONG flight home....6 hours!!

So here we are at 10:00, tired as hell, and ready for bed. This was nice to get away but we drove 623 miles in under a week and it was rough.

Saturdday, December 10, 2016 - freezing
We had an early Christmas at his place on Saturday; after an early lunch/dinner, we left to go back to Baltimore and prepare for the trip home on Sunday. Scott brought in a honey-baked ham and mac and cheese and green beans for a nice lunch.

Friday, December 9, 2016 - colder
Katie came in on Thursday night so we went back to Scott's, and later that evening we went to Kris Kringle's County Fair. The fairgrounds were not large and the temperature outside had to be in the 20s. After the event, we went to dinner at Ledos Pizza in La Plata. We arranged to stay at a different hotel that night, in Lexington Park which was only about 1/2 hour from Scott's.

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 30º
We were supposed to have lunch with Mary Foster but we were just too tired to make yet another unfamiliar drive into Virginia, so we hand to cancel. We went to Costco and a few other places that we'd normally go at home; we also found out where the restaurants were. Breakfast at Bob Evans and dinner at Cracker Barrel, both on W. Nursery Rd, a street we would learn well.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 30º
Back to Scott and Sonja's around noon, and made a few batches of candy that Scott works on. We kinda felt like we were getting in the way so we left around 2:30 to go back to Baltimore.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 30º
Up early (well, early to us) and headed down south to Mechanicsville to see Scott and Sonja. Pouring being rainy, overcast and having NO idea where we were going, we finally made it to their place around 1 and did absolutely nothing once we got there. We were still tired from the travel. We stayed there for a few hours then came back to the hotel, still in the driving rain, but made it back none the less.

Monday, December 5, 2016
Left early for a 9:30 flight to Baltimore to visit with Scott and Sonja...had to go from Burbank through Las Vegas with a 1 hour layover (which isn't much time, believe me!!) then on to Baltimore. All in all, after landing around 5:30 in Baltimore, the nearly 4 hour flight was uneventful. By time we got the car then to the hotel it was close to 9:30; and we still hadn't eaten dinner. We went downstairs to the hotel restaurant (not knowing where we could eat that late in a city that seemed so desolate) then tried to adjust to the time change and off to bed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 58º
Gettin' a wee bit on the cooler side as winter approaches.

We will be heading out to Scott's and Sonja's on Monday December 5 for the week. This is when we get to see Troy and meet Brooke.

Nothing going on yet with Trump the Rump until December 19 when the Electoral  College meets. I sure hope they do the right thing and keep this bastard out of office. If they don't, we're in big trouble.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 68º
A week has gone by since our elections. So many protests...our only fighting chance is that someone in the Electoral College who doesn't have their head up their ass will vote to NOT have Trump take the White House in January. As it turns out, Hillary received over 2 MILLION more popular votes than Trump but it's the electoral that counts...and no one really knows why. If a president is elected by the Electoral College, why are there elections by the people?

It's been a sad week for America. This election is hitting people very hard.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 85º
This is kinda of sad day for everyone in America. Donald Trump got elected to be our next president. Most people I know wanted Hillary Clinton, and while she did win the popular vote, it's the electoral vote that counts. Such a pitiful way of elections.

Yesterday's bloodwork showed a high potassium level but I'm working with the doctor to see what to do to lower it.

So far, being off from chorus this cycle has shown no one has called or emailed to see how either of us are doing. Kind of saddening

Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 75º - chance of rain
Feeling so much better from last week's bout with sepsis. Saw the endocrinologist today...I don't like the idea that I've gained some more weight. I have to do something about taking it off. I haven't been eating well, and with no exercise, the weight is bound to go up.

We decided to take this concert cycle off; between my not really feeling all that well and Carlos not really getting into the music, we thought this might be a good idea. We are on the fence about leaving the chorus all together; we don't know just yet.

New insurance on the house and the cars at a much reduced rate (although still high) but just part of the cost of doing business

Monday, October 17, 2016 - 85º
Feeling better in the morning but by mid day and into the evening I let Carlos take me to urgent care. I spent quite a few hours there because the UA the doctor did revealed a serious UTI...again. So serious that he had me go to emergency at Tarzana Hospital. I was diagnosed with sepsis. I spent until Wednesday in the hospital loaded on antibiotics. Probably one of the sicker times of my life...but here we are on Wednesday and I'm home and feeling so much better. Give me another couple days and I should have it under control.

Sunday, October 16, 2016 - 83º
Not feeling at all well today. 102.7 fever. Carlos wants to take me to urgent care but I said no. Stayed on the bed all day

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 78º
Supposed to get some rain tonight. Ha ha.

This week found me getting my suchers (well, staples) out of my back and it's been pulling a lot less. I don't know if it's my imaginaiton or not but I feel like I'm walking more upright in the walker. I just want out of it.

I don't know what I'm going to do with the house. Insurance is running high, I really don't like being here alone, and there's a chance we may consider a move to San Diego. There's nothing for me here anymore.

Went to Julie's birthday party today at Winnetka Bowl. I used to bowl there when I was a kid. Memories.

I find that if I blog every day, the blogs are boring, but if I blog every week, I forget what happened that week, so we're right back where we started.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 78º
Finally getting some fall weather and it feels good. I hope the heat of the summer is over. I have been home since Saturday and actually not feeling to terribly bad. Last couple days I've been loaded up with Percocet to kind of get a jump on the pain, but it zones me out. We are taking a little side trip to Carlos's apartment then maybe a bite out, don't know.

Having some issues with the house insurance because Mom had put it in the trust, and it needs to be in the same name as the owner so I'll have Wendi see what needs to be done.

Received a credit balance statement from Brookdale for nearly $1,100 that will go back into her account. All in all, things are going well.

Friday, September 30, 2016 - 83º
Left the house this morning around 6:45 for a 7:30 appointment for the surgery. Doctor says all will go well, takes a couple hours.

I just let them do their work.

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 83º
Pre-op doctor's appointment with surgeon. All is cleared; did a pre-admit which took forever, then out to Bob's for lunch. Nothing spectacular. Waiting for tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 89º
Yesterday's visit at the doctors showed I am cleared for surgery this Friday. I'm looking forward to it, really, and the hopes I can start to walk again.

Monday found us at the morturary to pick up Mom's ashes and bring them home and prepare for a service in the spring. That way Scott and Sonja and the kids can be here as well, which is important to us all as a family. Meanwhile, Mom will stay in the dining room on the credenza.

Not much going on; I'm doing as well as I can.

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 91º
A week between blogs isn't good because I forget what happened between the I need to backtrack a bit.

It's been very busy for me since Mom passed away. The Sunday after she died Carlos and I had to meet with the mortuary and make plans for her cremation, death certificates, etc. That was a closure. At first the mortuary was not aware that Mom had pre-planned 20 years ago and the only thing I had to pay for were additional death certificates as needed by a lot  of different people, and they have to be originals.

I've been trying to rest as I can through all this but it's not easy.

We go through many "closures" when a loved one passes away. Closure #1...Mom's passing; she spent over a year practically in a coma, so her passing meant the end had come.

Closure #2: Dealing with a wonderful counselor at the mortuary. That's gotta be a difficult job and it takes a special person to do it.

Closure #3: Cleaning out her apartment, saying goodbye to the caregivers who took care of Mom in such a loving way, making sure all her needs were met.

Closure #4: Handing in the keys and remote control to the manager, thanking them for everything.

Closure #5: The actual cremation process that took place on Thursday, the 22nd.

Closure #6: Putting Mom to rest at Riverside National Cemetery. That will take place on October 19. It's a long wait because of the back surgery I have coming up on September 30. That'll be a toughy.

I'd like to think that the way I took care of her gave her a little extra time, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Friday, September 23, 2016 - 88º
We welcomed a new Dardenelle...Brooke Inge, born at 10:29 a.m. to Scott and Sonja. She came in at 10 lbs 12 oz, and 21.5" long. Troy is getting used to sharing the attention, but if he is anything like Scott and Katie were at that age, he'll be a huge help to Mom and Dad. I know Brooke will be the charming young lady that all Dardenelle women are; yet strong, opinionated and ready to take everything on.

So, Dardenelleville has the same population, just different actors. I'm OK with that :)

Carlos and I will travel back to see them in December and I can't wait.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 85º
I received a call from hospice at 9:40; the nurse Maria said she was bedside with Mom (and fully expecting her to say she's fine and comfortable as they've said in the past). She said, "I'm sorry, but your mother passed away at 9:32."

Mom died.

Maria said she'd be picked up in a couple hours so if I wanted to come see her, I could. I didn't want to. It's been hard enough these last couple years to see her decline, not remember me, then not speaking or opening her eyes, but Sunday's visit provided me with  the hand I wanted to hold and be held back. When I held her hand, she squeezed mine...not with the vice grip as before, but an actual squeeze. That's what I want to remember. The sound of her voice a few weeks back saying "Thank you so much for everything" and the touch of her hand holding mine is what I want to remember.

I am nobody's son anymore. But a song I recorded 2 years ago, "A Song For Moms" pretty much says it all; "Your mom is always with you...she's the whisper of leaves, she's your Christmas morning...she is with you, with every breath you take...even in death"

I take peace in knowing the kind of woman she was, and proud of the way she raised me for nearly 70 years, to be the man I am, loving and compassionate, strong and able.

But Mom is gone now, resting peacefully with Art, my dad and my grandmother.

Rest easy, Mom. It's all over now. You...and I...are at peace.

Monday, September 12, 2016 - 87º
I received a call from the hospice nurse saying that Mom's blood pressure had dropped to 80/50 and her respiratory was 20; fingers are blue and swollen. I said, "so it could be a couple days" he said, "it looks like it might be today". I hoped not, because today is Carlos's birthday and I don't want this to happen today.

Today was the first day chorus reconvened and it was so nice to see everyone, get my hugs and kisses...and wait by the phone. The call about Mom never came through. I was at the ready though.

Sunday, September 11, 2016 - 87º
We've had a pretty mild summer; only a few days that were over 100º but all in all, the weather has been nice.

Visited with Mom today and as usual, held her hand, but this time she held it back. Not the vice grip like she's done in the past, but a squeeze nonetheless. She still did not open her eyes or say anything (it's been nearly 2 months since I'd heard her voice) I told her I loved her and said goodbye.

This is the 15th anniversary of the attacks, what everyone refers to as "9-11" and there was little celebration per se, but of course, remembrances.

Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 85º
Mom is nearing her last moments. Hospice called and told me her oxygen is 76 and her fingers are turning blue. Not a good sign, but an expected one.

I took her ring to the jewelers today; he called it "gorgeous" and worth something. He cleaned it for me and tried to talk me into a new setting, of course, but I decided to present it to Katie as is and let her do with it what she wants. This way it's fresh off Grandma's hand.

Pain pill time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 79º
House Ear Clinic visit today. Ears were just horrible and it showed up on the test. Actually a good thing to see just how bad things are. Prescribed a diuretic (Diazide) to see if that will help.

While we were at lunch, we received a call from Hospice that Mom's oxygen level dropped below 80 and she appears to be in transition (preparing to pass away). I went over there this morning and it was back up to 88, pulse 60, but they said this is because of the oxygen she is receiving. They are aware she is DNA but they said if they remove the oxygen she will be gasping for breath and it provides comfort, not life sustaining.

I suspect Mom is nearing the end; perhaps by this weekend.

I'm really OK with this so far.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 85º
Still waiting for information about surgery; I'll need more bloodwork and a UA to be cleared but I think this time should be all right.

We are meeting today with a social worker at Brookdale; She will meet Mom and kind of assess her and what our needs are. Every time I go to see Mom, I leave so depressed and it takes a while to get out of that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 101º
I went to urgent care yesterday to see if my UTI has been cleared and it has, so a call to the surgeon to let them know and to reschedule my surgery. Still no date. I'm sure I will need another blood test because the last one expires in 2 weeks.

I haven't been feeling well lately; I'm attributing it to the meds I was on for the UTI with the dizziness and unsteadiyness. I hope it's the meds and not sonething more serious.

Mom still hanging what, I don't know...

Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 95º
Surgery was postponed because of this UTI that I have; found out about it last week. I'm on a heavy dose of Bactrim that is causing some light headedness which is keeping me down.

I got the new Note 7 on Tuesday and have spent a couple days getting it all set up the way I want it. It's like getting a new don't just turn it on and it works...theres so much to add, tweek, etc. I haven't even paired it to the car yet.

I'm feeling a tad uncomfortable driving lately. I don't know why....but I'm glad Carlos drives when he's here and we have to go somewhere

Wanted to go see Mom today...why I don't know...but it's something I must do. I miss the sound of her voice, and to look into her blue eyes. Even though she's still here, I miss her. I want my mom.

Saturday, August 20, 2016 - 95º
I really have to remember to blog more frequently.

I am scheduled for back surgery on Wednesday the 24th but my bloodwork came back showing I have a UTI. I tried calling my doctor to see how bad it really was, but never got the chance to speak with him. I called the surgeon and of course, he was gone too. Then about 3:00 in the afternoon, both doctors were gone for the day. Carlos will take me to urgent care this afternoon and see what the doctor thinks and maybe start me on some antibiotic so hopefully I can have the surgery. But I don't know of a doctor around who will want to operate on a diabetic with an active infection.

Having issues with this damn Uverse internet. I ordered Time Warner Cable today for internet only to see if that will improve. If it does, and I think it will, I will cancel AT&T.

No changes to Mom...still no speaking, no opening eyes. I go there to see her because even though she doesn't know who I am, I know who she is. This is breaking my heart.

Friday, August 12, 2016 - 85º
Really not a whole lot happening; To be honest I don't even know why I continue to blog, other than it will help with the Christmas letter

I had the Terminix company out to do an inspection, one I'd have to do anyway when it's time to sell the house. Turns out yeah, we have termites, and it will cost over $7500 to get it taken care of. And of course that means tenting and being gone for a couple days, so we decided to go to San Diego for the time. This will be done September 15 - 17, a Thursday through Saturday. I guess if we gotta we gotta.

Saw Mom the last few days. She hasn't said a word in the last few weeks. I told Carlos today, I have a feeling I'll not hear her voice again.

Since I have back surgery coming up next month I had to start preparing with doctor's appointments. First one was yesterday with the PCP; ordered a chest x-ray and blood work. I want this done and overwith.

Sunday, August 7, 2016 - 83º
We decided to take a little day trip to Santa Monica today via the new Expo Line. We left the house around 3:00 and by time we got off the couple trains we had to take, we arrived in Santa Monica at 5:00. We were going to have dinner on the pier but some man who had climbed on top of the pier sign caused all food traffic to stop. They weren't letting anyone on or off the we went across the street to Don Frisco's Grille and had a gourmet hamburger...expensive for sure, but very good. We got back onto the train at 6:50 and home around 8:45. We will probably go back to the pier during the week, get some dinner at the Mexican restaurant at the end of the pier, and take in the sunset. Was a fun afternoon.

Saturday, August 6, 2016 - 85º
Went to visit Mom today; her breathing was short and shallow, respiration rate about 40 RPM. She didnt seem to be in any distress or in pain but I know what that breathing means and I confirmed it with hospice, that it is yet another sign that the end is near. Uncle Bob noticed that as well when he was there on Friday. She didn't open her eyes or make any kind of acknowledgement that I was there. I just sat there meditating for about 30 minutes. Something I just have to do.

Monday August 1, 2016 - 92º
Saw the ear doctor this afternoon and an audiogram shows my hearing improving slightly. It was a green day so all around made me feel very good. Will it ever be back to normal? Who knows. I want desparately to record again but afraid to put headphones on for fear of damaging an already compromised ear. Marc (the doctor) says to go light, take breaks, but it's not going to hurt my ears. I'm really going to have to bite the bullet and give it a try.

We saw mom after that; just laying there, sleeping, no eyes opened, no speaking. She's one tough little lady

Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 95º
One of many Hollywood Bowl nights, to see A Chorus Line. I had never seen it before, much less live. What a production. The dancing was amazing. We decided to take the Sherman Oaks bus instead of the Hollywood Highland; so much easier and saved us over an hour of traffic and general time.

Home around 11 instead of the usualy12:30 - 1:00 am so that was wonderful.

Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 100º
I can't believe half the year is over. The weather has been hot lately but then again, it's summer. What did I expect?

Yesterday Carlos and I spent the day going to San Diego on the train to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. It was actually last Sunday the 24th but neither of us was feeling 100% so we took the trip yesterday. We've always loved going on the train. We left from the Van Nuys station at 9:00 and arrived in San Diego around 1:00. Very comfortable ride, as always. We went to the Fish Market Restaurant on the bay and had a wonderful lunch of tilapia and au gratin potatoes. We told the waiter we were there for our anniversary, all those miles just to go to that restaurant. At the end of the meal he brought us a chocolate ganache dessert. It was...well...amazing. Easy put on 140 lbs to my already weight gained self.

Our train home was scheduled to leave at 4:00 but due to some mechanical issues, the train coming in was late, so of course that made our train late. We finally left about 2 hours later which meant that by time we got back to the Van Nuys station, it was close to 11:00. Long day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 101º
Weather has been HOT (well, after all it is summer...) well over 100º for the past week. It's supposed to be cooling to mid 80s this week...but in the valley I'm sure it will still be hot.

We were invited by Paramount Pictures to a premier screening of "Florence Foster Jenkins" last night, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. What a great movie. Truly. Meryl Streep is amazing at everything she does. We compared her to her character in "The Devil Wears Prada" to last night's show. 180º difference. She is truly great.

We were interviewed after the movie, and I have no idea what they will do with the interviews, but it was kinda fun. It's evenings like this (and with the hamburger at Astro Burger beforehand) that makes us feel so rich. So blessed.


Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 113º
Yesterday we saw the cardiologist for a routine follow up; all was well and see her again in January.

I saw Mom Thursday, and Hospice came in while I was there. We both agree that it appears she has had a stroke, with the look in her very slightly opened eyes and inability to speak. How frustrating this must be for her. I can't imagine. We decided that verifying with an MRI or CT scan whether she in fact did have a stroke was pointless at this stage of the game. She takes no meds except for pain and comfort. I took Mom's face in my hands and told her that what she is going through is normal and natural and a beautiful thing so just to let it happen and everyone here is OK.

Sometime during the night, unless I'm dreaming this, Carlos came into my room and woke me up saying my pump was making noises. Because I don't hear well and I had taken my meds earlier, I didn't hear or feel the pump. I must have been in a deep sleep. I remember him waking me up but don't remember why or what I did. I'll find out later when he wakes up. I feel ok, I THINK I felt ok I have no idea what happened.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Yesterday celebrated 3 years with Irene (you know...the "You gotta have a Cadillac"...) and while no party was held, it was nice to know that she's a beautiful machine...AND I OWN IT!!!

We went to the Hollywood Bowl last night to see the L A Philharmonic play the music of West Side Story. The concert went by very quickly because I knew all the music, my ear was "green" and the food was...well, the food was Subway sandwiches. We left the house around 5:15, on time for the train, only to realize as we came to the train station that we had left the blanket and Carlos's cover-up behind so we decided we had to go back and get them. We did that and arrived at the train around 6:45. It's becoming more and more difficult to do this because the wheelchair presents issues, Carlos pushing me uphill downhill presents issues (we're not kids anymore...) getting on the bus presents issues, getting to our seats presents issues. Everytime we get to Hollywood Blvd, the tourists ALWAYS get in our way; the crowds are unbearable - so next time we'll probably take the Sherman Oaks bus to the bowl and bypass the crowds at Hollywood Blvd.

We are having 3 new windows installed in the house, to match the other "security windows"; something that Mom didn't do for some the 2 back bedrooms and the bathroom.

I plan to visit Mom this afternoon. It's something I have to do as long as I can. Holding her hand, touching her face...something a son has to do as long as possible.

Monday, July 18, 2016
Mom is showing signs of perhaps having had another stroke. This all came on so suddenly last October where, one day she held her arms out to us when we visited, the next day...literally...she had no idea who we were. Her speech is virtually one word, her eyes are slits...when she opens them.

Last week when I went to see her, she had her mouth gaping open, barely breathing, never said a word, didn't open her eyes. Had it not been for air coming out of her mouth, I'd have thought she was gone. I honestly don't know what's keeping her going.

I heard from a girl I have known since the 6th grade, Francine Copen, last week via Facebook. We have been feverishly emails back and forth trying to catch up over 50 difficult to do. Our emails are very lengthy, naturally, and it's wonderful learning about each of our families.

We are scheduled to go to the Hollywood Bowl tomorrow night to hear the score of West Side Story. We have tickets for the handicap front!!

Saturday, July 9, 2013
Today marks 2 years since I fell and broke my hip. And I'm still in a walker. I hope after the upcoming surgery on my back it will help more.

I saw Mom yesterday; didn't even open her eyes or respond to me. She had a pulse so I know she was resting, but the last few times there has been no response.

So this is what I put up today on Facebook regarding my hip:

Picture it. Sicily, 1921. A young peasant……oh wait…

Two years ago today I was involved in what I call a tragic accident. Not that the accident itself was so tragic, I mean, it was only a fall.

But the tragedy is the aftermath.

On July 9, 2013, approximately 9:00 at night, I was thrown to the ground by a foam rubber mattress pad I had leaned up against a wall that could have killed me (as you sit there and laugh at the visual…) but I was thrown about 20 feet with my head landing within 2 inches of a desk with steel legs. As I lay there stunned and unable to breathe, my whole life passed by me, thinking, “What have I done? What do I do?” After I was able to regain myself and my breathing and my self control, I wondered where my phone was. I had to call someone to help me. I thought it was on the table next to my bed, so I tried to get up and get it, but my legs wouldn’t work. My right leg was paralyzed, which scared me. I hurt from the top of my hip to the ends of what few toes I have left. I literally had to crawl on my stomach, using my hands and arms to propel myself forward. Three feet of movement took approximately 30 minutes to get to the phone…the phone I thought was near the bed. I finally pulled myself up to bed-level, only to find the phone not there. As I looked around, I saw the phone on my desk…which was behind me, about 6 feet.

This meant turning around crawling back to the desk area. I couldn’t imagine that 6 foot crawl but the roller chair was there, and I used that for balance, and rolled myself to where the phone was, dragging my legs behind me.

Now we’re pushing 10:00…an hour had passed since I was first thrown, and by myself, and no way to contact anyone. I reached up to get the phone, and called Carlos. “I think I’ve broken my hip!” I cried, not necessarily diagnosing myself, but pretty sure I had, based on the pain. He dropped what he was doing and rushed over. During that what seemed forever wait time, I managed to get my injured self onto the chair, sitting on my left side because of the pain in the right.

He arrived about 10:30 and we wondered if it was really broken or not, or if we should call 911. We decided that was the best thing to do.

911 got there within a few minutes, assessed the damage and pain, and loaded me up with some morphine and onto a sitting gurney and off to Sherman Oaks hospital I went. By time everything was done in the way of admission, assessment, etc it was close to midnight. The x-ray indicated a “shattered break at the femur neck” meaning right below the ball joint of the hip, it was broken. Shattered, not just a clean snap break.

A doctor told me it required surgery for a hip replacement which was scheduled for Friday July 11, which meant a full day with a broken hip before surgery. Norco became my BFF.

Surgery happened, the hip was replaced, and away I was taken 2 days later to a rehab center where I would remain for 2 weeks undergoing physical therapy that nearly ruined me. I was probably at the lowest point in my life that I had ever been. I was in an old folks home. A nursing home…where old people are. Lousy food, pain, a television that barely worked, pain, and 2 roommates who were….well…old. One who bitched and moaned 24 hours a day, and another who whistled…yes whistled…day in day out. I was ready for an asylum. I did everything I could do to walk those 300 feet required before I could be released.

Released on July 24, 2013, I was sent home…with a walker…which has since become my second BFF.

This accident changed my life. Little did I realize when I fell the damage it caused. Only to find out a year later, the fall damaged my back and my spine which necessitated further surgery on my thoracic vertebrae. I required a laminoplasty from T3 to T10 which has further hindered my walking which means I am still, 2 years later, in a walker and cannot walk alone. Further surgery is needed, now on my lower (lumbar) T3-T5 which should happen soon.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to walk again like a human and not like a monkey.

It's bad enough having a chronic disease that is my personal plague, but when it's compromised the way it has been, it makes if rougher. Everyone tells me "you're a strong man" or "it's amazing what you're going through and still laugh". Well, sometimes I feel the weakness. Sometimes I feel like I'm not going to make it. Sometimes I cry.

I don't have one friend on my Facebook list who I don't know personally, or who I haven't hugged or kissed. No "friend of a friend" who wants to Facebook friend me. I know you all. I've touched you all...but nothing like you have touched my heart. That in itself is healing medicine.

The moral, if there is one, is to be so very cognizant of everything you do to stay well and healthy. Keep your sense of humor. That’s very important. Remember the times you were in grade school and laughed at everything. Keep a “ridiculist” because you’ll need it.

Above all, hold on dearly to the ones you love. To the people in your life who say “yes” when it’s just as easy…if not easier…to say “no”.

Thanks to so many in my daily life who made this tragedy a little more bearable: Scott, Kate, my Mom...but especially…and I mean especially…my husband Carlos, who, without him, surely I’d be gone by now.

Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. You are all you’ve got.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Mom is resting as comfortably as possible considering her condition. I received a call from the facility the other night that mom's roommate was annoyed with the noises she is making (I can't imagine what noises, other than pain that she was in and trying to communicate) so the roommate started shaking her shoulder to see if she was OK and to ask her to be quiet. The Executive Director found out and told the lady she could go to jail for this. I don't think the lady had any malicious intent but still, if there's a problem, you call the staff and don't take matters into your own hands. Mom is OK but we're trying to get the lady moved to a facility where she'll be more comfortable and less bothered.

Summer is here of course, but the last few days have been beautiful, and in the 70s. I expect our 100+ weather is on it's way but for now, we're enjoying the cooler weather.

My ear has seen a few "red" days which bothers me, but history shows they'll turn green...and thats what I like.

I'll be seeing the nephrologist today to talk about my swollen foot which seems to be responding to the lasix and rest.

Monday, July 4, 2016
It's been a couple days since I visited Mom; she is not as good as I'd like; slow decline but to be expected.

Carlos and I were going to go to a movie today (The Shallows) but on the way over, we both got hungry and decided to go to Corky's for dinner (club sandwiches) and go to the movie on Wednesday when it's only $5.

My left foot is swollen so Carlos took me to urgent care yesterday; the doctor (Jaime Diaz) says it could be diabetially related but to stay off it 20 minutes every hour and take 2 lasix a day and call my poditrist so tomorrow I'll get a hold of him.

The chorus is off for the summer but many of them went to GALA for a week for a friendly competition with other chorus. Denver was the venue site.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Busy weekend with the chorus having 2 shows, "Oye Mi Canto" with guest artists "Mano a Mano" from Cuba. I have visited Mom several times, last time being yesterday where she again did not recognize me and really never moved a muscle. She is always on my mind, naturally. My visits with her are only about 10 minutes or so because there is no reason to stay much longer; I just want to be sure she is OK.

We learned today that our opthalmologist, Dr. Fazio, has been taken off the list of doctors from our medical group. A call to the insurance company today reveals that we must talk to our medical group, Lakeside, for information on what to do. We are considering changing to Kaiser but at this point, we are not sure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
As always Mom is on my mind. I am having continuing dreams about her and they are always the same: She is younger, healthy, ready to come home.

Today is her birthday and she turns 95. We went to see her and she was propped up on pillows in her bed. Her eyes were semi opened, she wasn't talking much. She did ask who's house she was in. I just told her it was her house. I gave her some frosting but she said no, gave her some Ensure, she said no. This is by far the hardest job I've ever had. She did struggle to bring her arm up and give me a hug. I kissed her and she gave the lightest kiss ever but I heard her and that made it the best birthday I've ever spent with her. I can honestly say that 96 ain't gonna happen.

Saturday, June 18, 2016
Mom is slowly...very slowly...going down. I visited her Thursday and gave her some chocolate pudding that she likes. Well rather, used to like. She took a bite and said "no". I tried again, still "no". I tried to give her some chocolate Ensure but she was too weak to draw it through the straw.

Friday I thought I'd bring her some frosting, if for no other reason, than to change the taste in her mouth. She used to eat frosting off the cupcake because she loved it. But this time, "no". Twice

I mentioned this to hospice and they said the inability to draw liquid through the straw is one of the signs of shutting down and it's possible...likely...that it can lead to dehydration because she's not getting any nourishment. Death by dehydration can be uncomfortable. And it's her comfort that I want. That we all want.

Today is a red ear day for me so I'll be in the house all day; it's supposed to top out over 100º for the next few days, Monday being the worst at over 110º I'll just stay put.

Tuesday, June 14, 2018 - Flag Day
Today I will lower the flag in the front yard to half staff because of Sunday's events.

On Sunday morning, around 2:00 a.m., at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, a gunman opened fire on everyone and when all was done, 49 people were killed, 53 injured in the worst terrorist attack since 9-11. The police shot and killed the gunman so a total of 50 people died in the gay nightclub. We don't know yet if it was ISIS involved or not.

Chorus rehearsal was cancelled and will resume Thursday and Saturday because the show is next week and the guys need the rehearsal.

Bright red ear day today. Many days green, one day red ruins it all.

Sunday, June 12, 2016
We had a barbecue today for Kristy to celebrate her graduating from high school. Unbelievable that I have a grandchild old enough to even be in high school much less old enough to graduate from one!

We fixed hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs...barbecue beans, potato salad, chili...a nice Baskin & Robbins ice cream cake (oreo cookies & cream and then chocolate cake on the bottom layer. Slightly delicious!

After dinner we all gathered in the living room to present her with her gifts....a new HP laptop computer, a carrying case, speakers and a printer. She's all set. She was genuinely surprised and appeared to be thrilled. Kristy is a good kid and gives us so much reason to be proud of her. I told Julie when she graduates, we'll do the same for her. She was a great sport as Kristy got the attention. We've got great kids and grandkids.

Friday, June 10, 2016
Moving day today for Mom. She's moving into 124 from 122, just around the corner, same floor. Carlos and I got there around noon and the "got junk" people got there shortly after. The $149 I was quoted on the phone came to $274 because the movers said the stuff was "big" and took up a lot of space on the truck...but they were willing to take $100 for the whole job if I paid them cash and didn't get a receipt. Worked for me. There were done in about 1/2 hour, and the only things left were 4 pieces going to 124 when the movers got there. They were supposed to be there between 2 and 4, guaranteed. When 4:15 came around I called and was told "they're on their way". 5:00 came and went, and by 5:30 they arrived. I was quoted a 2 hour minimum, coming to $252. I asked the driver for an adjustment since they didn't arrive on go. They took 1/2 hour to move 4 pieces. I paid them what they asked but left one of my infamous "Yelp" reviews. I suppose I'll get a call about that. I also was asked to take a survey...and I let them have it about that too. You don't put "we promise" in your contract then breach it.

Mom had no idea what was going on. When I came to hug her, I asked her to put her arm around my neck and give me a hug, and when she did, she patted me on the back and said, "It's OK"

Still, and always, a mother....

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
I have been speaking with the facility where Mom is about the roaches she has in her room, and we decided to move her to another room that is already occupied. She doesn't need a lot of space, and the roommate can alert someone if there is a problem, where right now being alone, she doesn't have that capability. The room rate drops from $2800 per month to around $1900 so the savings will be tremendous.

Green days with the ear....hope it continues

Saturday, June 4, 2016
Nothing really exciting going on. The weather has jumped to triple digits; it was 106 today but expected to cool down a bit in the next couple days. I heard from the jeweler who is repairing Dad's ring; he says it looks incredible. It better for the money I spent on it. I don't believe I spent that much money ($7,500) on a ring I seldom wear but when I die it will go to Scott, with the $15,000 appraisal I'll be getting.

We have an appointment with Brookdale on Monday to discuss moving Mom upstairs where there should be less (if any) roaches, but also hopefully it will mean a cheaper room. She isn't doing well at all; I have no idea what is keeping her going. All she drinks is 2 cans of Ensure a day. How can that keep someone alive? She is so weak she can barely open her eyes. Yesterday when I was there, she said, "who are you?" which hurt deeply. If she knew what was going on with her, she'd be mortified and humiliated. That is very painful to see.

I don't see any progress in my physical therapy and I've run out of visits. They will be asking the insurance for more but the chances of my getting approved for more are not very good because if I'm not making any progress, why would the insurance want to authorize more treatment? Makes sense I guess, but then, what am I supposed to do? Be in a wheel chair the rest of my life? I'm supposed to have an MRI of my lower back which will determine if I need more surgery and maybe then I can walk better. Sometimes it really bothers me mentally that I'm going through all this. Carlos has been wonderful with me but I really want to walk unaided.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Gees...half the year is gone. My ear turned "red" today; I had 3 good weeks. My only thought is that they are greener than they used to be and the green is lasting longer.

Mom is not suffering and she is comfortable. No one can figure out why she is hanging on. But she is.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Carlos and I have 17 years in today. Such a great feeling to be loved by such a wonderful man. We each had things to do today so we can do an anniversary celebration tomorrow night for dinner.

A doctor's appointment today with the neurosurgeon revealed what I already knew: Surgery on the lower back but he says it's pretty minimal (yeah, for him...) but he wants another MRI to compare with last years. He says that is what is causing the pain when I walk and not responding to physical therapy. So now the waiting game from the insurance company for the authorization.

Today I found out that my insulin will now be covered under part B of Medicare so I won't have any more co-payments since it's considered a DME when used in an insulin pump.

All in all a pretty productive day, I'd say. Ear is still behaving. I have an ear doctor appointment at House Ear Institute tomorrow for a re-check. I live with this ear problem on a day to day basis, never thinking all is well because of the intermittent loss.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
I knew this would happen: Weeks without a blog now I can't remember what happened! Today, though, we took a train trip to San Diego for the day; had lunch at The Fish Market (kind of an anniversary day out since Tuesday will be 17 years. Really beautiful day, great lunch. On the way out, walking down the boardwalk, we ran into Billy and Santo from the chorus. Seems really odd to see someone you know 150 miles from where you normally see them.

Mom is still declining; Hospice says really it's just a matter of time (where've I heard that before??)

Physical Therapy is slow, but still going. I suspect the therapist will re-order some more because it's such a slow process.

Thursday, May 12, 2016
Well this turned out to be a pretty expensive day. I took my dad's ring, the gold ring with 3 diamonds in it, to be appraised. The jeweler said it's a gorgeous piece of jewelry but the 3 diamonds were chipped or split and if I want to keep the ring in great shape, I should consider replacing the diamonds. I wasn't expecting that. But after a snap decision I decided to have the diamonds replace and it ran $7,500 but I will have a diamond ring that appraises at $15,000 in the event it's lost. Now I have to add it to my insurance policy.

Visited Mom yesterday; no changes, but I told her it's time to go, Arthur is waiting, and I will be just fine. She just said "OK" and went back to sleep.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
This eat thing gets to be old hat...truly. Visited Mom today; I told her she needs to let go. Be with Arthur. I'll be OK. She just said OK and really, I wonder, does she know what she's saying? I told her who I am, and I said "I love you" and she said "I love you too" so that was a big plus for me, whether or now she knows what she said and who she said it to.

I heard from my cousin, Rosemary; I had sent her an email wishing her a happy birthday back on March 10. She turned 70 and I have a rough time with that because in another 7 months I will do the same. Rosemary sounds well; it was great to get some emails from her. Her dad, my Uncle Henry, passed away at age 94 3 days before Rosemary's birthday. I had lost track of him over the years but knew he lived somewhere up north, in the mountains I believe. He was always a favorite of mine; very gentle very kind.

Thursday, May 4, 2016
Days are not really exciting. What's so gold about these "golden years" ? They seem a bit tarnished. Our days are spent a lot of the time playing Scrabble at the computer, or going to Costco to replenish. We feel like two old men. Oh wait...

We are expecting some rain either today or Saturday but the weather is somewhat gloomy and humid.

Mom is becoming more vegetative lately; I really think her time is coming near. I contacted the attorney about the house since Mom is the primary trustee but because of her incompetency, I wondered if it should be changed to my name. Wendi, the attorney, says we could and there is a lot of paperwork to do, that would have to be done again after she passes away so I decided to do nothing right now and just let it be. Meanwhile, to be prepared, I had to ask Hospice for a letter indicating her diagnosis, her prognosis, and her level of competency. That really bothered me to do that because mom is really nothing more at this point than a bed-ridden incompetent invalid. How sad, how very sad, to see a once vibrant and on-the-go woman end her life this way.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Computers drive me nuts. Outlook decided to take a dump; all the tweaks and everything don't seem to working even after a re-install. Perhaps I have to do it again...

Mom had a seizure this week. Not serious, and bit her tongue, also not serious. The Hospice says this is all part of the transition she is going through. I've talked to her as much as I can, but she doesn't respond. Such a shame to see her like this and of course it makes it that much harder to go visit with her. Really not a visit because she doesn't "visit" back. She doesn't know I'm there, but I do, and that's what counts. I've told her Art is in her heart, and if she opens it up, she'll see him and when he reaches out for her, it's OK to reach back and go to him.

Nothing extravagant going on this week; a couple doctor appointments for both of us. Not much more to report on.

Sunday, April 24, 2016
9 days of green. Been taking the Betahistine like clockwork. I hope they are causing the green. I hope. Visited with Mom today; She looks just awful. She asked where Arthur was. I told her she can see him with her heart, and she should go to him. She said "OK" but who knows if she realizes what we both said.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Well, Carlos and I are back home from our week away.

Day 1 - On Amtrak train 4 bound for Chicago for a transfer to train 30 to Washington where we will change to train 97 for Ft. Lauderdale. We have found service on the train to be impeccable (thanks Chuck) and the food to rival any fine restaurant. Really. We've noticed how vastly different the landscapes are of this great country of ours (Donald Trump: We're already great and we don't need any interference from you) It's not real easy to take pictures of the landscape with a phone when you're traveling 80 MPH and the train hits a "bump" (yep, it's not as smooth as you'd think) But there are pictures posted throughout the FaceBook pages.

Beds are at best, adequate, but again, you're not sleeping in a hotel king size bed. You're on a train. Everything is compact but considering, comfortable. Our room on all 3 trains was the "access" room that they offer to passengers with special needs. The car next to the sleeping car was the dining car, up a flight of stairs. I was able to slowly walk up those stairs while traveling, so I considered that my exercise for my legs and back.

First day out, Chuck (he's a Lead Service Attendant) holds out his arm when we entered the dining car, and says "here, take my arm, let me help you. We first met Chuck last year when we took the same train to visit our kids in Maryland. We hadn't seen him since then so it was a refreshing reunion. Chuck, thanks so much for your friendship and your help on the train.

Day 2 - See day 1

Day 3 - See day 2 but not past 3:00 when we arrived in Chicago for the train transfer. We had a 3 hour layover in Chicago so we couldn't go anywhere but inside the station. Really a nice and HUGE station.

Day 4 - Arrived in Washington DC for a 7 hour layover before the next leg of the trip. Scott and Troy met us there and we went into Downtown Washington DC for lunch at the National Harbor where we ate at Rosa's Mexicana restaurant. GREAT food. Carlos said it was the best Mole ever. We went back to Union Station, waited a few hours for our next train which left at around 7:00.

Day 5 - Final day of travel on the train. Train 97, the Silver Meteor, uses older cars than train 4 and 30 and they are configured a bit differently. Instead of a double decker, it is a single level train, and our room was within steps of the dining car, so that was a relief. All the food on the trains follow the same menu. I'm pretty fond of their black angus steak and they're cooked to order. Really, good food.

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around 5:00 and picked up by Gold Coast Car Rentals (use them while in Florida. Great company), went to Peter Pan Restaurant (a real dive but a tradition when we go to Ft. Lauderdale) Really good food in a really old 50's type restaurant.

Drove the half hour to Boca Raton where we spent the next couple days doing NOTHING that we don't do here... Target, Costco, etc.

Sunday found us leaving Boca, returning the car and waiting for our flight home...via Nashville. We left Ft. Lauderdale around 1:40, arrived in Nashville for a 3 hour layover, then the long flight home through Las Vegas.

Got home around 11, glad to be home.

Saturday, April 9, 2016
Rainy and gloomy today, and they expect it like this for the next couple days. We are going out to dinner tonight with our friends Michael Graham and Michael Dardon, to "Lola's" Peruvian restaurant...I've never had Peruvian food but the Chicken Milanesa looks interesting...more to report later.

It's only 9:30 so nothing to report but so far, green ear day.

Friday, April 8, 2016
Last night we attended the dress rehearsal for the show, "Bette Babs and Beyoncé" and it was nice to see the guys after a month of not seeing them (we're off this concert season). The audience is going to be blown away by the shows this weekend, though we really didn't care much for the music because as we are in our 70's, we really don't know all the "divas" they are singing about. Midler, Streisand, yes...but Adele? Janet Jackson? Not our style.

Today was spent really doing nothing, but it was a green ear day, 4th in a row and still no side effects from the medication. Big plus.

Thursday, April 7, 2016
Day 3 of green. Another pill this morning, but no after effects so far....Crossing fingers.

End of day, and still no side effects of the pills. I think I am probably tolerating them well.

We went to GMCLA tech rehearsal tonight at the Alex; From what I could tell with my hearing, they sounded pretty good. We will see the entire show on Sunday, April 10. On Monday, April 11, we board Amtrak train #4 to Chicago, then train #30 to Washington DC and meet with Scott for lunch before we board train #97 and head to Ft. Lauderdale for a couple days. Flying home on Sunday April 17.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
My long awaited visit to the House Ear Clinic proved to be what Carlos and I consider productive. We met with Dr. John House (his father, also John House, Sr. began the clinic in 1942) and he was a very pleasant man who had some encouraging hope for me. He told me I have unstable fluid in my inner ear. There is no infection, there is no neuropathy. This could be caused by the diabetes but he really didn't think so. I asked him about a cochlear implant and he said, "Well, the good news is, your hearing is too good for that" so the implant was eliminated. He prescribed medication for me that is not available in the United States (not approved by the FDA) called Betahistine. Three times a day, to hopefully relieve some of the pressure in the ear and stabilize the fluid. I started it today and it makes me a little light headed, but as many medicines can do, it takes some adjustment. So far today is day 2 of "green". I hope the medicine will continue to give me green days and if I slip into a red day, that doesn't mean the medicine isn't working, just as a green day doesn't necessarily mean it IS working. It takes several weeks to kick in so I might have to put up with those red days when they happen....IF they happen.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
First relief in 9 days with my ear. Today it was a yellow day, almost pushing green, but no loud sounds, have some clarity and some hearing. Tomorrow is the House Ear Clinic and I hope they can provide some answers.

Monday, April 4, 2016
The ear is on it's 8th day of red. Honestly, I don't know how I'm managing to tolerate things like this. Luckily there is no pain involved, but not being able to hear properly where everything is so muffled and distorted is painful enough, emotionally.

Dental appointment this afternoon to see why tooth #15 is hurting me. I noticed this morning that surrounding teeth are taking on a gray color and the gums don't look healthy.

That's all I need....

Update on the dental: Teeth 13, 14, 15 and 18 need crowns...there goes $2,000. I have an appointment on the 19th when we come back from our trip.


Saturday, April 2, 2016
I'm starting to get depressed with this ear thing. It's so difficult emotionally to wake up, try to speak, and once again not be able to hear my own voice. That also means no telephone, no TV, no music. The hearing aids help a LITTLE but they are not designed to replace normal hearing. They do what they are supposed to do....aid. I will see the House Ear Clinic on Wednesday. I don't know if I should expect good news or this permanent or is there something they can do to help me? Whatever it is, I have to accept it because if it doesn't change, well, it doesn't change.

Carlos is in rehearsal today for tomorrow's show at CSUN. The chorus is doing Beethoven's 9th with the Colburn School Orchestra, Vox Femina, and the Northridge Singers. It should be a stunning performance but I will not be attending because of my ear and my walking. There will be over 1700 people there and for me to try and walk alone with the walker, find a seat, try to be comfortable, it's just not worth it. I've heard some of their rehearsals and the guys are amazing as alway.

Next week is GMCLA's show, "Bette Babs and Beyoncé" which is our spring show and it should be a great time. Carlos and I took this season off so we will be in the audience.

We leave for vacation to Ft. Lauderdale on Monday the 18th by train for the week, then arrive in Ft. Lauderdale on Friday and fly home on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it. Will Mom be around when we get back? I don't know. She's fooled us before...

Thursday, March 31, 2016
Last day of the month. Very red day with the ear. I really don't know how I am able to cope with this. I am looking forward to going to the House Ear Clinic in a couple weeks. I can only hope they can find something the other doctors couldn't.

Julie has been in the hospital all week with some intestinal issues. Yesterday I went to visit with her and brought her a teddy bear that when unrolled it turns into a cuddly blanket. I hope she likes it.

Mom is continuing to decline and Hospice says it may not be long before she's gone. I just don't want her suffering.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Suspecting a UTI but won't know till blood work is back today. Yesterday's ear was green, today is a red day.

Had a nice birthday dinner with Georgia as she turned 70 on Sunday. Katie fixed a nice prime rib roast and we played "Cards against Humanity"....nasty card game but fun.

Mom continues her downward spiral. She had blood work done today and it revealed some possible liver issues with high levels of AST and ALT. I have sent these to Hospice to see exactly how bad they are but when normal high is 38 and hers is 134, that concerns me.

Thursday, March 24, 2016
OOOPS!! Haven't blogged for a few days...not that there's been much going on; Urology appointment yesterday, she is please with the progress of my neurogenic bladder. Says it's a diabetic complication with neuropathy which I already knew.

We've had beautiful weather so far; people still say El Niño is still on it's way. I'll believe that when I see it. Temperatures have been in the mid 70s, expecting in the 80s this week.

For the last couple days, I've had "green" days with my ear, which is always a pleasure so I don't have to worry about what it does to me mentally. So much on my plate as it is so I don't need one more thing going on.

Have visited Mom every day and she still continues to decline. A couple days ago, she asked me, "Please tell me what I've got" and I took it to mean "why am I here?" . I told her she doesn't have anything but love from the family, and that she's going through is normal and natural and just let it take it's course. She didn't counter that and I felt good about saying it. I honestly think if she had a debilitating disease she'd have been gone by now...but she doesn't and that's whats allowing her to continue...albeit almost 95 years old. I suspect soon I will have to post that she has passed away. Right now she is nothing short of a bed-bound invalid, and if she had any idea of what's happening to her, she would be mortified, appalled and humiliated. I know I would be.

Physical therapy will begin again tomorrow. The therapist thinks I may be in for a year or more of this because of my legs and back and unable to walk properly.

Piece of advice: Never get old.

Sunday, March 20, 2016
First day of Spring and though we were supposed to have a devastating rainy season during the winter with El Niño, that didn't happen. California is still in very much of a drought. I'm glad I made the investment to put in artificial turf instead of a lawn. My water bills have been next to nothing.

Today is a bright red ear day. Carlos will be here later and when we go to see Mom, I'll have to use my hearing aids which I really don't like to do, but if I am going to have any semblance of joy in my life to be able to hear, thats what needs to be done. <Sigh>

Saturday, March 19, 2016
Well, that didn't last. I went for 6 days with a calm ear. This morning, back to a "red" day. I have been keeping a chart on what's going on with my ear: A green day means all is calm and I am able to hear myself speak, haven't used the hearing aids. Yellow is a so-so day, but the red days, which I hate the most, means I cannot hear myself speak, cannot use the telephone or listen to TV. It means I get tethered to the computer where I don't have to listen to anyone or anything, nor do I have to speak.

Yesterday we started our little jaunt to Costco, only to find my right rear tire was flat. I called AAA and they came out and changed the tire but had to take it to Roger's to get fixed...but was told it has a hole in the side and must be replaced. Off to "Just Tires" I go, and $250 later, a new tire. Actually the tire was $132 but by time they added the balance, the alignment, blah blah blah, it was $169. They offered...and I accepted...another$80 charge that put all 4 tires on a 3 year warranty so if this ever happens again, a new tire will be no charge.

I received approval yesterday for the kind of catheter I want to use, so that was a plus. But I'm still waiting for approval for more physical therapy and a neurologist to see if this ear thing is brain related more than ear.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Day 3 of a calm ear. Let's hope this lasts.

Monday, March 14, 2016
Started the day kind of lazy...first full day of Daylight Saving Time, and for some reason, tend to be a little lethargic. Maybe it's the blood sugar...

Carlos and I are taking a break from chorus this concert, so it can give me time to heal, and Carlos a break from singing. It's a lot more taxing for the singers than most people realize...

I was mentioning to a friend today, that this blogging will become boring as time goes on...when the novelty wears off. I hope to continue as much as I can but who knows?

Sunday, March 13, 2016
I sure wish I knew what was going on with my right ear. This has been going on since January, 2015, with the intermittent hearing loss. The doctors can't find what the problem is: MRI's, CT Scans, medication...nothing seems to be helping it. No one has yet to tell me it's permanent (though for over a year it's been like this...I'd say thats permanent, huh? No one has told me it's a diabetic issue like neuropathy. Maybe it is. I'm trying to keep focused on positive aspects of my life, but sometimes it is so damn difficult.

Saturday, March 12, 2016
Arose early enough so I could take my time in the shower, dress and head out to Mom's by 9 so I could be there when Allen got there. I arrived about 9:30 and he wasn't there yet so I was able to be by myself with Mom, hold her hand, get her something to drink...she is declining more and more, the more I see her. Such a pathetic thing to see your own mother who doesn't recognize you, go through this. I have no idea what is keeping her alive; I guess because she isn't sick with a terminal illness, that she just keeps on going. One of these days she'll be good, then the next day she'll be gone. I dread every time the phone rings thinking it will be Hospice to tell me she's passed away. I dread that call...but I know it's going to happen sooner than later.

Friday, March 11, 2016
Today was a physical therapy day. Remember that accident back in 2014, where I broke my hip? After nearly 2 years of walking with a walker, I've finally started PT. They are brutal. Core exercises, legs, balance, strengthening...all the stuff you usually do in a gym to get, you know, like a 6 pack (that's a laugh...a 6 pack at nearly 70 years old...) but I really do want to walk without the walker, and with as little assistance as I can get. After the PT, though, I hurt, and I'm not afraid to say so.