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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Detour

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 19, 2009

I was very glad to have been able to spend some time living with Scruffles, his kitty, horse, chicken and rabbit friends cause the following week I landed in the hospital.

It started simply enough with abdominal pain, not so much I could not deal but enough to make me wonder what was up. By 6pm on the Tues after spring break I was having a hard time breathing properly because the pain was so intense. I thought it was just cramps until a client called about something, we starting going over my symptoms and she suggested it was not cramps cause I had finished my female cycle 4 days before.

I called Mom, the registered nurse, see what she thought. She mentioned the possibility of food poisoning and I would no doubt start vomiting any minute. I never did.

The intense pain only lasted about 4 hours, I called the doctors office the next morning to make an appointment. The lady was very nice when telling me to come in at 10:50.

I was examined by several doctors, gave blood and urine then had a CT Scan done. In the end it was decided I had cysts on both ovaries and they must be causing  the pain.

I was given the option of managing the pain with drugs and antibiotics to see if in fact the cysts would shrink or I could have surgery done to remove the offending tissue. I was not given alot of time to decide,  in the end I choose Laparoscopic surgery cause the Doc said it is possible but unlikely  the largest cyst 7cm would shrink. I had a  life to live and did not want to do so on pain meds if it could be helped.  The idea was to go in for surgery at 12pm Thurs and be out at 8pm. This was only if every thing went swimmingly. Dr. Kim was very up front about the possibilities of things going wrong along with the release form I signed the following day which said “Oh by the by, you may not live through this.”

Once in surgery the Doctors found my right ovary was multi-cystic so they removed it. In the process of figuring out what was up with the left ovary they found an abscess on my colon which started to ooze some nasty pus into my abdomen. They cleaned me out as best they could, placed a drain and started me on “the big gun” antibiotics then admitted me to the hospital.

Dr. Kim came by while I was in the recovery room to say “You are about to be very very sick.”

He wasn’t kidding, over the next three days I had temps between 101.9 and 103.8 with a very low oxygen level. I had tubes going in me with fluids and antibiotics, I had tubes coming out of me cause I could not get to the bathroom. I had an oxygen tube up my nose and a gadget on my finger attached to a small box which sent a signal to a guy behind a computer screen monitoring my oxygen level and my heart rate. The nurses call them the tattletales, if a patient with this gadget needs help the tattletales call them.

We were all pretty frightened  being concern they may not get the infection under control or in the process I would fry my brain. There were several nights of something they call a cooling blanket, its a blanket with cold water circulating through chambers they set at 60 degrees in addition to placing ice packs under my arms pits.

When the fevers came down they sent be back to the CT scan and found another abscess, a second drain was placed.

The Tues following the original Dr apt I was feeling well enough the doc told me I could have clear liquids. Mind you I had had nothing to eat for six days in the hospital and very little the four days before.

Wed,  a full week after the first CT scan,  they removed my tubes and hoses and told me to EAT!  Yuk, by brain understood but my tummy was all kinds of scared. Mom brought me my favorite potato soup so my taste buds were excited even if the rest of me was wacky.

Thurs morning one of the docs removed the 1st drain. They sent me home with the second drain still in me that afternoon.

I was in the hospital for a full seven days. It was a very odd experience. The world outside keeps on moving and chugging along, yet in the hospital all you have is your little bubble of pain and fear.

Stranger still,  I was fine on the Monday, painful Tues, trying to die Thur, Fri, and absolutely fine again the following Friday. I did sleep a fair amount  the first few days out of the hospital but truly  was fine.

It is now Sunday 18days after the surgery and I am back to normal, finished the antibiotics this morning, am not in the least bit sore. Truly it is amazing how fast your body can heal given the chance.

Just a few side thoughts.

Had the abscess on my colon burst during spring break, not only would I have died but the animals I was caring for would have suffered.

I am usually in a third would country in March, I only came back this year early to pay off my broken leg from last July.

I was suppose to drive to TX with my mother the Tues the pain started but the weather was so bad between were I am and where she is I decided not  to go.

I had 10 days of no responsibility to any of my clients to do anything I wished with. The first of  those days was the first day of pain.

Imagine the universe, god, a higher power or hell, maybe it was me lining all these things up in such a way I not only lived through it but no one else’s life or plans were interrupted.

I am telling you if you allow that higher power to take care of ya…. it will!

Planning? Who Me?

Filed under: Inspiration,Ireland — she_travels at 9:52 am on Saturday, June 2, 2007

After the little mishap in New Castle and with tourist season fast approaching I decided I might take some time for a bit of planning. I am once again sitting in someone else’s office. This time instead of the deep blue sea, white sand beach and waving palms of Roatan, I am watching huge rain drops being plastered against the window while the wind rattles this nice country house in Ireland.  I am at the other end of the world.

So, planning…I posted a note to both Lonely Planet and Travellers Point online forums asking anyone willing to answer what they thought I should spend just over two weeks seeing/doing/visiting south of Galway and Dublin. I am now in the process of putting the information suggested to me into some form of organization.

The replies were all about the coast..so it looks like I will be seeing the south west coast of Ireland to go with the North East coast I have seen. Oh wait, I saw a bit of the middle west coast as well. Ya know, its kinda tough to get away from the coast. Though, looking at the map. I have seen some of the interior as well. Lots of rolling green hills with famous Loughs (lakes).

Ahh, but I am on a mission. I was asked by a friend in California to locate and photograph a castle on a beach. As yet I have seen castles on cliffs, on islands in Loughs and close enough to toss a rock off the highest turret having it land in the sea but no beach castle. I did suggest to this person the other day..being castles were built many an age ago it is possible anything built on a beach has been in the sea for some time. Still, I search. *smile*

For longer distances (mind you ,anything over three hours is an eternity to Ireland) one must make a connection on the bus route. Looks like I will be Galway again, (well, through anyway) on my way to Ennis. Ennis is not yet to the coast but why travel four and an half hours in one day when you can do it in two. A stop in Ennis then on to Kilrush. I think the ferry will take me across the bit of blue water on the map to Tarbert. Both Kilrush and Tarbert have many a walking route to see. At this point I am in County Cork, wandering on down the coast to see, Caherdaniel, Dingle, Schull, Balleyhob and Baltimore.

I don’t like planning much that was how I ended up in BallyCastle so long but at least I have a better idea of where, perhaps not for how long but  the where is do-able. I have been told the “Ring of Dingle” is much more worth  the trip then the “Ring of Kerry”. Soon, I may know.

Options, ya gotta love em

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 10:31 am on Saturday, April 14, 2007

I started perusing the work exchange program sites I found many months ago.  Ireland has two sites which post individual farm needs. The idea in the beginning was to pay for a years worth and use it, now since I will only be in Ireland for eight weeks I decided to go with the less published site that costs less money.

I found many possibilities including “a working sheep farm in west cork, Ireland in the beautiful Borlin valley”, “spring calving herd of pedigree Friesian cows”, “We will give experience on cheese making and looking after animals. We have all types of fowl hens geese ducks and sheep pigs and cattle”, and “Small private riding school located 45 minutes (by bus) from Dublin in the scenic Boyne river valley famous for Newgrange, Slane Castle, Bru na Boinne etc”.

Ya gotta figure these and others will keep me busy for some weeks. Or perhaps I will plant myself in a hostel along the “Ring of Kerry” and hike for a couple weeks.

Choices, choices.  *giggles*

Many Emotions Abound

Filed under: Beginings,Inspiration — she_travels at 12:21 am on Friday, February 2, 2007

Quick update for those of you following me.

I left my little house yesterday. I was so very sad about many things I think but the house was the trigger for the tears. I am so very much going to miss seeing my friends (the horses, dogs, kitties and their owners).

Several of my clients called (you know who you are) while I was driving. I was thankful for some one to talk with about the sadness of my leaving a job I love. At the same time I look forward to all the new adventures I will have over the next five months.

By the by it was a six hour drive through the nastiness if icy Highway 93 to the slushiness of The Tunnel, to the moonlit byways of Glenwood Canyon and the steepness of McClure Pass. I was so very glad the moon was out it was almost daylight. Truly beautiful reflecting off the snow.

Today I have been packing, repacking and taking care of the last minute stuff, a bit of banking and a post office run at 4:58p.

Tomorrow my parents and I fly from Montrose to DIA. Spend the night at the Red Roof Inn then I get on a plane at 6:05a bound for Roatan while my parents get to sleep a bit longer with a sensible departure time of 8a bound for Mexico.

To all of you I have had meals with the last week, THANKS oodles for the good food, good company and well wishes.

It’s 11:30 and I still have to repack my bag one more time.

Excited? Delighted? Elated? OH MY!

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 10:39 am on Friday, January 26, 2007

Yeah, sure enough I have been experiencing fleeting tickles at the edges of my gray matter could it possibility be I am at the beginning of anticipation. Holy buckets, full blown elation can’t be far off. *giggles* Three months in the Caribbean is enough to thrill anyone but this is a major life change we are talking about. Less work, more play – for years. Shezz, it’s kinda hard to wrap your brain around. Maybe that’s the reason it took me so long to get to this stage.

All the stuff listed in several blog entries so I will not bore you with those again. Lets just say we are down to the last few things needing to be taken care of then I am leavin on a jet plane.

I finally started interviewing property management people. I think my choice is going to come down to speed of response, accessibility and advertising method. Phoenix is the current front runner. I may call them tomorrow, sign the contact and ask when they will start showing the place. I am not looking forward to prospective tennants coming by for  a showing. Could be interesting around here for a couple weeks. I would be very excited if they manage to rent the place the 1st of Feb.

Snow again today, I think in the end there were about 5″. Hard to say I swept the walk three times.

I have a client who wants to go to Arizona the week of July 4th so I will be back the 25-ish of June. Woohoo

I am attempting to find a way to keep my phone number and only use/pay for it while I am in town. I will keep ya posted on that front. Other wise the best way to find me is the email address.

Did I mention I am leaving on a jet plane Feb 3rd. Holy hannah, all of 8 days from today.

Holy buckets!

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 12:36 pm on Friday, October 27, 2006

It’s been forever and a day since I updated this. Stuff starting happening very fast.

I have several ads on Craig’s List offering my furniture for sale. I did pretty well selling my plants. Mom took a load of stuff  she wants to keep. I was slightly un-nerved when I came home from morning chores and all the art was off the walls. The quilts are off my bedroom walls, the house echoes and feels a bit colder.

I can’t remember when I started telling clients but they all know now. It took me three months to design the card I was sending then it took 3 days to make 52 cards. I think I missed a couple people and I want to send one to my father to let him know what I am doing.

An old friend from Alpine surfaced the other day. We had a long chat and might get together to visit with a friend of hers who may be willing to rent my house and perhaps care of some of my client’s horses. We also made tentative plans to see some of the Stock Show with another friend of ours from WY. It’s like a mini Alpine reunion. None if us have worked for the place in over 10 years.

Mom’s car was totaled by the insurance company so she is going to buy mine. Talk about working out. Woohoo.

The City still has not decided what kind of payment plans they are going to offer to the residences of the neighborhood for the paving project over 40% of us voted no on. Its all driving me a bit mad.

The bank I found offering no ATM fees world wide and absorbing the currency exchange fees finally got off their hinnies to send me the contact. I sent my contact person a email telling him the contract didn’t reflect what we had discussed. It took him over a week to let me know he has changed it and will send me another one. I am so glad I got started with the process in May. It took me four months to find a bank offering what I wanted now its been another three to get to the contact stage. Shezz!

I have been all kinds of waffling about my health insurance I think I finally decided to not worry and continue to pay Kaiser. During the next year depending on what happens I will review the options.

On to Gear! Woohooo!

I ordered three pairs of Fisherman pants. I love these things cause they are light weight and fast drying. I have a pair of long underwear I can put under them if it gets cold and I will have rain gear of some kind if I need another layer.

I bought some trail/gortex/padded socks I just love. The reviews were amazing! I will take three pairs of those with me. When not wearing socks I will wear Tevas or something similar.

I have had two pairs of light weight, gortex, breathable, water proof, hiking shoes in the house neither one fit well enough not to hurt my feet. I think it’s time to see a professional about foot size.

I have been researching backpacks for months. I tried on several packs at various stores but the best deal on any of them was online. Free shipping both ways. Can’t beat that! I decided to order a 40Liter put all my stuff in it and see what I think. I can upgrade to the 49L+ 20L if the 1st one is to small. The pack may even be here today.

The airlines changed the liquid rules again so I may be able to go just carry-on. You can now take 3oz bottles of liquid that all fit in a quart size bag. I bought some 3oz bottles and have shampoo, face soap, face lotion and anti itch gel in four of them. They fit well in the bag with a bit more room. I am hoping to squish in sun screen and deodorant. And some camp soap that washes cloths well. I took some with me last year to Roatan. I may have to buy sunscreen. Big bummer I like that “No Ad” stuff.

Change

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 7:16 am on Monday, July 24, 2006

Several days ago a client brought her dog to me. Jessie is a huge, wild, rather intense sorta ball fetching German Shepard. The thing I love about Jessie is when you speak to her she pays attention, she doesn’t always do what you ask straight away but there is no doubt she is considering what you said.

Jessie’s Mom mentioned she was craving Chinese food and had stopped to pick some up, while she was ordering she thought perhaps I would like some lunch as well. She offered me broccoli chicken or some thing I don’t remember the name of but sounded good. 

Jessie’s Mom sorted out the entree, soup and a fortune cookie gave it all to me along with her Jessie dog and was off for 10-12 days at the beach in Virginia.

I plopped the food on the kitchen counter before introducing Jessie to the various canine friends staying with me. Bella, a golden retriever, was fairly taken with her so they started a game of tag.

The chicken was crunchy, sweet with a hint of hot. Very yummy. What a delight to have a client bring me lunch.

I did not find or open the fortune cookie until hours later. It said

You will make change for the better.

The giggle worthy part… I didn’t  buy the food, I didn’t pick the cookie that would be mine. The universe truly brought that cookie to me.

On a side note ~

My ISP is giving me hassles again. I uninstalled, reinstalled, checked all the things the help says to and nothing worked. I tried the other laptop with Mom’s Juno and it was not working either. I installed my ISP in that computer and still nothing. I called to see how Shawna felt about my plugging my computer into her phone line thinking maybe its my phone. Chatted with Brian, did what he suggested, call the ISP. It took no less than 2 hours to get through. Just over 45 minutes the guy decided it was taking to long and gave up. I went to bed convinced somehow the phone line is acting wacky.

I got up this morning, hit the connect and walked off. When I came back from letting the dogs out I didn’t hear the modem trying noise. Peering around the corner of the office wall I found the computer had connected. What the heck?

Fairy Tales

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 5:17 pm on Friday, July 21, 2006

Last week I placed at advisement with one of the house sitting sites. Thirty-two dollars a year and your ad is searchable for anyone looking for a house sitter.

I sent notes to two home owners and received the an “I am reviewing all applicants and will get back to you” email. I was pleased to get a response at all.

Over the last several days I have been revising my ad and employing a bit more thought to the notes I send. I have decided one must try very hard to personalize the note, perhaps that will make mine stand out a bit more.

I was contacted last night by some one who found my ad. They are from the UK and have moved to just out side of Sydney. He said he was in the very beginning stages of using the search service and saw my ad. He sent me several questions I answered, tossed the mail back and was pleased to see another mail not moments later. I think there were four mails on all. He said when he decided when is leaving he will get back to me.

The third ad I replied to was for a magical mud brick house by the sea with a kind terrier. You can imagine I was enchanted. A matter of hours later I was responding to her response. Tasmania, the house is in Tasmania.

Mantra

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 3:29 pm on Monday, July 10, 2006

I have been searching for a solution to my journaling boggle. When I was in Honduras last year I took my lap top, this way I could down load my pics and keep a journal, not to mention watch movies and listen to music. I do love my laptop.

This trip, if that’s the best thing to call it, is not going to blend well with a laptop. I posted my needs to Lonely Planets, Thorn Tree. Those folks are suggesting a PDA with a foldable keyboard for the journal along with CDs to load the pics to.

One of these days when I am not swamped with work I am going to pop on down to my local “We have every electronic device known to man” store and see what we come up with.

The other bit of business running about in my head is Health insurance. I have been with my insurance company for about 15 years. Ya just really hate to give up that kind of relationship. Sadly, they don’t do international anything. It was suggested I talk to Blue Cross, someone was under the impression they do both national and international. I called they said no.

Several travel web sites recommend Nomad Travel Insurance. The boggle there is if and when I come back to the states I have to go thru the acceptance process of a company here.

Goodness the more ya think about bailing to travel for an undetermined amount of time the more you realize why very few people do it. The list of things ya gotta deal with is growing by the minute. Not to mention the money aspect.

The thing one has to keep in their head is

Everything always works out. Not to worry”

The above has become my mantra.

Neighbors

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 4:05 pm on Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The neighbor across the street caught me on my way out to pick up Madi (a black lab) this morning. He was concerned in a playful way that I have not as yet left town. I told him much what I have been telling other s who ask, “Not, yet still working on the logistics of it all.” 

We chatted a bit bout the wheres of my going.

We chatted a bit about the what to pack. I realized as much as I want to take my laptop I really don’t want to be hauling it about the world. Maybe a combination of internet cafes and a hand held tape recorder will help me remember all the interesting things about to happen to me.

The last thing my neighbor said was “I hear a book in the works.”

I confessed I have been thinking about writing a book for some amount of time.

I am so very lucky in that I have the most delightful neighbors.

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