Monday, June 29, 2009

Ah, Spring!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Lucky Me!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Back on May 20, Neal went in for a physical and talked to the doctor about some minor symptoms he has been having over the past few months. The doctor said it probably wasn't anything to worry about, that Neal is getting a little older, but that he would run a few tests jut to make sure. So the next day, Thursday the 21st, I drove Neal down to the clinic for some blood work and a resting EKG. Much to our surprise and shock the resting EKG showed Neal's heart rate at 38 so the doctor told Neal to "go home and get your toothbrush. I'm admitting you to the hospital and you're buying a pacemaker this afternoon." So we drove home, got Neal's toothbrush, called Bishop Westover and his son, Tom, to come give Neal a blessing, then drove to the hospital where Neal was admitted.

Neal did not get a pacemaker that afternoon. The cardiologists, Dr. Patel and Dr. Walker, came in and talked with Neal and said they wanted to make sure he hadn't had a heart attack, so a series of tests began. Thursday afternoon Neal had an echocardiogram - that came back absolutely perfect. Friday morning he had a resting stress test with the radio active dye pictures - those came back absolutely perfect. Friday afternoon he had a walking stress test with the radio active dye pictures - they came back with some tiny shadows. So Saturday morning Neal had an angiogram done - and that came back absolutely perfect! Now we have undeniable proof that at least this auditor really does have a heart!

So as it turns out, not only are all the plumbing parts of Neal's heart absolutelly perfect, but all his blood work came back perfect also! But he does have what is called Bradycardia which means he has a slow heart beat. His heart rate has been running anywhere between 34 (right after the angiogram) to the mid 50's. Right now he is wearing a monitor that records 24/7 for 30 days. He will then meet with the cardiologist the later part of July to evaluate what should be done at that point.
There was one absolutely hilarious event that took place the first day that gave us something to laugh at during all of this.

When Neal was admitted that Wednesday, he was first admitted to room 7001 on the Neuro floor because there weren't any rooms available on floor 5, the cardiac floor. When we first got to the room and were waiting for the nurse to come in and give us instructions as to what to do, I noticed that there was a wall that didn't go all the way to the ceiling. Curious, I walked over to the door and peeked in. Low and behold it was a bathroom. I thought, "that is odd that the walls don't go all the way to the ceiling. It doesn't give you much privacy. And, wow! What a large toilet! I wonder what they do to need that large a toilet." (I know, I am rather slow to figure things out! I also need to back up and tell you this wing of the hospital is brand new, just opening the previous Monday and Neal was the first patient in room 7001.) Well, the technician who did Neal's echocardiogram was explaining the perks of the room and as it turns out this was a bariatric room.
So after the echocardiogram was complete, the time came that Neal needed the use of this very new and very large throne. So I pulled the curtain, helped Neal into the parially enclosed bathroom, and stood guard at the door. No sooner had I taken up my post than I heard this enormous crash coming from Neal's bathroom and Neal immediately saying "I'm okay, the toilet seat just broke." I then turned around to see just about every nurse from the floor at Neal's door! I assured them Neal was alright and he would be out soon, but the toilet seat broke. All those nurses just stood there like thay had no clue to make of what had just happened. So I repeated that Neal was just fine and he would be out soon and that the huge crash they heard was the toilet seat shattering! Things finally sunk in and the nurses left the room and I was able to get Neal safely tucked back in his bed. As soon as I pulled the curtain back the parade of nurses began to inspect the broken toilet seat!

My initial feeling was, "oh, no. We broke the toilet seat. I wonder how much that is going to cost us." Then when I could see the nurses weren't mad at us and that they were actually appologizing to us, we started laughing that we broke their toilet seat! Then we got to thinking about it and were actually kind of glad it happened to us and not a patient who really was in need of the "perks" of the room.

One of the things the nurses did when they came and checked Neal's vitals was to check the pulse in his feet. As a nurse came in to check Neal's vitals later on, we found a little blood from a small cut on Neal's foot from a piece of the shatterd toilet seat. Well, that really made the nurses nervous and they gave us a gift certificate for the gift shop! Again, I couldn't figure out why they were giving us a gift certificate until Neal said they didn't want us to sue them over his foot getting cut. I guess I just don't think like most people! So we used the gift certificate to buy Wesley the most adorable little monkey!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Date Night
When Alicia was just a small little tike, our date night consisted of playing games after Alicia went to bed. We were poor and we didn't have money for babysitters, plus I didn't like getting babysitters. I really didn't like spending time away from my family. So when we made more money, we kept with the tradition of playing games after she went to bed because I didn't like spending time away from her! Then as she grew we turned out Friday nights into kind of a family date night with home baked pizza and either games or a movie.
These were some favorite game during these years.

When Alicia went away to college she used to call and tell her Dad that he needed to take Mom "out" on a date. We were so used to our Friday pizza and game night that we didn't think we needed to go out. Neal used to joke with her that :

She didn't buy it!
Well, I have to let you all know that for the past couple of months Neal had been taking me on the best dates a wife could ask for. March 28 Neal and I were called once again to be ordinance workers in the Portland, Oregon Temple every Friday night. And although we don't get to see much of each other while we are in the temple we have an hour of uninterupted time in the car driving up and back. But I love the feeling working in the temple brings into our home and relationship. Before our calling we attended the temple each week, different nights depending on our schedule each week and always stopped off at Burgerville on the way home for an ice cream cone (Burgerville has the best soft serve ice cream in the world, by the way!) And we still keep up the tradition of getting our ice cream cone on the way home! Life really doesn't get any better than this!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Monsoon in Salem

Yesterday was the heaviest rain storm I have ever seen. Neal had a doctor appointment at 1:30 that I accompanied him to. When we went to the appointment the sky was blue and the temperatures pleasant. I threw my sweat shirt in the back seat of the car to wear to Wal-Mart after the doctors appointment. As I drove to Wal-Mart around 3:00 I noticed the wind had really picked up, but didn't really think anything about it. Around 4:00 we could hear the rain pounding the roof of the Wal-Mart store. I thought "Oh great! I'm going to drown going out to the car." But I hoped that since I still had more shopping to do the rain would ease up by the time I went to the car. Well, Neal called at 4:10 and said there was a tornado watch and that it was raining like crazy and could I please come pick him up. Well, I promptly forgot about getting the rest of the items on my shopping list, raced to the checkout, paid for my very large cart full and made a dash to the car. To say the least the rain had not let up and I was being met with not only the largest rain drops I've ever encountered, but the largest raindrops coming down in torrents. By the time I got my purchases depositede in my trunk and the cart returned to its stall, I looked worse than the proverbial drowned rat! I was soaked through and through. When I got down to pick Neal up I looked like I had just taken a bath with my clothes on! You could literally wring out my sweat shirt! By the time I had gotten Neal from work, made a quick stop to deliver a very important birthday wish, and got home, the storm had pretty much passed and the rain was back to normal heavy Salem rain. The lightening and thunder, however, lasted a few more hours.

I have to say it was a beautiful storm. I wish I could have been home with my camera instead of driving in the river that used to be the streets of Salem! And my poor kitty, he just layed there and quivered. To let you know just how severe the storm was and how much my kitty didn't like it, he didn't even finish his dinner! That is one bad storm!

Here are a few pictures I got off KGW's website of some of the rain and lightening we had yesterday. Sorry I didn't have my camera on me!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where do you hide during a thunderstorm?