Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Delayed Return

Once again, we have learned that life is unpredictable. Last week, which was intended to be our last week in Maine, I went to see a hematologist to check to see if maybe we might check to see if I had any particular bleeding or clotting factors which would have helped explain my brain bleed in March or my blood clot in April. She thought I probably didn’t have such factors, but she did some blood tests just to check. Luckily, she also ordered another ultra sound to check on the status of the clot in my leg, just to see how it was progressing. To make a long story short, the clot had grown, probably because of the long drive to Maine, and was now all the way up my leg into my lower abdomen. Up to now I had not been on anti-coagulation drugs because of the brain hemorrhage. I had no pain or swelling and felt fine.

Now, my condition was life-threatening because of the danger of a pulmonary embolism if a piece of the clot should break off and go to my lung. So, last week I had a filter installed in my vena cava vein, in my abdomen, to prevent such an event. I saw a neurologist who approved me going on Coumadin for anti-coagulation. This will, over time, dissolve my clot, and prevent it from growing in the meantime. It’s possible I could have the filter removed within the first 41 days, but that depends on how fast the clot dissolves.

Needless to say, we have opted to stay in Maine and get this taken care of before returning to our home in Mexico. So now we are relaxing and enjoying a bit of Maine summer heat and grateful that I went to see the hematologist. I am forbidden to drive back to Mexico, so Pixie will be driving the car back; several people have offered to fly up and help her make the trip. But for now we are just recovering from the drama of the last week.

Here are a few more photos to share:

Last week we went to Reid State Park with our daughters Wendy and Cassie. Reid is a beautiful beach framed by the typical Maine rocky coastline.

And here are Wendy and Cassie, enjoying some sister time at the beach. They don't get to see each other as much these days, since Cassie lives in Providence and Wendy in Maine.

We met our friends Kevin and Judy Simpson at one of our favorite Italian restaurants a week or so ago. They are about to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

We went up north to Solon, a small town north of Skowhegan, to scatter Pixie's Mom's ashes. We met at Chet and Barby's (Pixies aunt and uncle). Chet is an interesting man who has lived his life in rural Maine. He loves vintage cars and trucks. Here he poses with a 1954 Solon fire truck he bought recently. He's got it running and in good shape.

My dad is a lifelong watercolorist. As an eye surgeon, he always needed something to exercise his left brain, and chose painting. He has, if I say so, become an excellent artist. When he is in Maine, he goes once or twice a week with his group of friends to a painting/critique session. I accompanied him on a recent outing and was pleased not only to see him paint, but to appreciate the high regard his fellow artists have for him.

Finally, here is my annual photo of my dad and stepmom, Joy, on their porch in Waldoboro.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Family and Friends in New England


We had a rare family reunion of sorts last weekend in Gloucester MA. My two brothers and I were able to be together with my dad, a very special time for us all. My brothers, from left, Fred, of the Philadelphia area, and Brackley, from Las Vegas, and I with my dad who celebrated his 89th birthday in June. We were all in Gloucester to celebrate my sister-in-law, Heidi's, birthday, a great excuse for a party.

Here are our youngest daughter Cassie (left), and her partner, Alana, posing in front of one of Cassie's self portraits in their apartment in Providence. We will be retuning to see them again in Preovidence on our way home.
Here is Pixie posing with her siblings at a family BBQ last Sunday: from left, Vance, Tex, and Liana. Her other borhter, Rick, was not there.

Here I am posing with our neice Jan ( Tex's daughter) who will continue the family tradition of attending Brown University in the fall. She received an almost full scholarship to Brown and, at this point hopes to study history. I am very proud of her!

Here my cousin Sally poses with my Aunt Mary, my dad's big sister, at the Gloucester BBQ, who celebrated her 94th birthday this week. She still calls my dad her "baby brother."

Here we have my neice Ariana (left, Brackley's daughter) and Loren, her friend form Tel Aviv, hamming it up before for the camera. Ariana produces a weekly television show, "Taylor Thursday" on You Tube from Las Vegas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkE5aHbui48

We had a long-awaited reunion of our gourmet dinner group. With us, this is three quarters of the group: from left, Betty, Gene, Kathy and Doug, and their new additon Zephyr. Both we're hoping they make it to Jalisco for a visit next winter.

Lst Saturday, we met up with our two good frineds from our old UU congregation, Mary Kay and Claire, and went to one of the free LL Bean free concerts last Saturday. The band was Blues Traveler, and the company was wonderful. They hope to visit us next year as well.

We will be visiting in Maine until next Friday, August 14, then head down to Providence for another visit with Cassie and Alana, and on to Muncie for another visit with Eric, Crystal, and Isabelle, before the long drive back to Mexico. It has been wonderful to see everyone and demonstrate that we are both fine, and to confirm that our friends and family are still intact. It has finally stopped raining in Maine (for now) and we are able to enjoy the summer Maine is famous for. We has lobster the other day ($4.99 a pound) and Heidi cooked steamed clams for us in Gloucester. We will soon be back in our home in Mexico, resuming our life there. Thanks to everyone here for their generous hospitality and love!