Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Two Weeks Until Our Trip North (04/02/14)

Hello Folks...
In just fourteen days, Josh Kreider and I will be back on the road driving once again and traveling to the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. It's been well over three years since our last NB fishing adventure. Our last planned visit was cancelled because the river flooded and we were unable to fish it. Hopefully, the same scenario won't happen again this Spring.

I started packing my clothing and personal hygiene items already. Under my particular circumstance, dealing with surgeries and health matters, I must take extra special precautions and time to be sure I have along all that is necessary.

Life continues as I prepare. I continue to attend PT for my revised knee replacement three times per week. I also have several upcoming doctor appointments before we take off. And two weeks ago our "faithful" refrigerator gave out and started smoking... a locked up condenser.

I also had my G3 up to Lakeside Marine and spent well over $1200 in three deep cycle batteries and a new 4-bank battery charger costs. I suspected I would need a battery or two for about $250, but the actual total cost blew my yearly boat budget right out of the water!

I am now in process of writing down the odds and ends that I do not want to forget. For example, I will definitely need all my medications prepped for four days. I also have to take my diabetic monitor along for accurate readings and sugar pills in case my blood sugar drops. I also travel with a support pillow for between my legs as I sleep. This pillow helps support my bi-lateral hip replacements by not allowing them to criss-cross.

As you can see, traveling is not an easy task for me and those like me who have so many health issues.

Here's a cute, but all too familiar, story about my personal health condition. My wife and I were eating at one of our favorite small sub shops in Willow Street, Pa. called "The House of Pizza". We eat there at least once a week and know most of the servers quite well.

Well, we got there early last Thursday for lunch and there was a group of four young student nurses already eating there. We had parked in their only handicapped parking space... I believe after bi-lateral hip replacements, two left knee replacements, a recent spinal fusion, diabetes, and chronic liver disease that I am one of those folks that "deserves" a handicap plate and placard.

As we were enjoying our lunch, a sweet older couple arrived at the restaurant. I over heard the husband say loud enough for us all to hear that someone had parked in "THEIR" parking space... The Handicapped Parking Space.

It was actually becoming a bit annoying knowing that he was saying it loud enough to "make a point" among those of us sitting there eating our lunches.

When the one male server came out to clean off their table and bring their drinks, this elderly man repeated once again loudly that someone was in "THEIR" space. The server looked out the doorway at our vehicle and I jokingly said it was "MY CAR and MY SPACE".

The server looked at me puzzled and said... I kid you not... "You aren't handicapped!"

I corrected him by telling him about all the replacement surgeries I've had done in the past decade. The elderly couple sat there in amazement as they heard about the number of joint replacements I've had.

The server then said to me, "You would never know." I thanked him and told him I have worked very hard not to draw attention to my handicaps... Hint, hint, hint!

So many people draw attention to their issues. I remember a young woman I met at a restaurant who was using a cane to assist in walking. I, the one with two replaced hips, a replaced left knee, and a spinal fusion, allowed this "cane walking" woman to go ahead of me in line to pay for her breakfast bill thinking she was in pain.

As she passed by me, I asked her if she was okay since she was in need of a cane at such a young age. Her response was, " My knee 'bothers' me sometimes."

Say what!? All this attention seeking because her knee 'bothers' her sometimes... Geez! I just couldn't believe it.

I am driven not to draw attention to my physical handicaps. I try not to use my cane or walker when possible, although I do own them. I try not to rely on my back brace, and I try not to limp when I walk. But because I try so hard, my handicaps are not always "apparent" to others.

Please keep in mind... "Some physical handicaps are not visible!"

Take Care and Be Safe,