Saturday, August 18, 2018

At Last We are up in Silent Valley

Finally, on August 8th we packed up and drove to Banning, CA.  We unhooked the car from the motorhome and I drove the car up the hill to Silent Valley.  I was a little scared, but it went OK.  We checked in at the ranger station and went looking for a site.  None were available in the section we like best, so we ended up in section C again.  We usually take site 538 but only 539 was open.  The site IS long enough, but it shares a driveway with 540 and we had to drive all the way to the end of the site, which makes the hookups very difficult.  I won't go into details, but emptying the holding tanks was a miserable task.  The next day, Thursday, we drove back by car, to Menifee for my therapy.  Still having vertigo episodes on many days.  On Friday, Ryan from Shade Pro came up and installed our shade panels on the awning, and window shade covers on the outside of our long windows in the living room and dining room.  He asked if we also wanted them for the smaller windows at the front and back of the slide-out room.  I had not asked for them ONLY because I didn't think they would make them that small.  So he had a guy named Mark come up and install them on Saturday!  YAY!!!  They are supposed to block up to 94% of the sun's glare and heat.  It does seem to be more comfortably cool in here now.  Will include pictures a little later.

Sunday was a quiet day here, and then Monday we drove back to Menifee for therapy again.  Tuesday I had a few bad episodes of vertigo again.  Very frustrating and depressing because we are doing exactly what Natalie tells me to do, and it's just not going away.  Tuesday afternoon the site next to us became available, so first thing Wednesday morning Jim took down the outside stuff and we began the move from 539 to 538.  It took us a couple hours but by noon we were all set up again, despite my having some really bad episodes of vertigo.  This site is much better and has a private driveway, so we have more space for the car.
 My dear brother Tony sent me this picture.  I hope you can read what it says on the spare tire cover of the Jeep.  So cute.
 The picture on the right is our home set up with the shades hanging from the awning.

 Here's some more of our "outdoor decor".  I just love this stand that Diane & Steve made for us.  We have over a dozen flags to hang from it, some with owls too.  We use a pair of solar lights in the end holes to illuminate it at night. You can see a couple owls on the table too.

 This picture shows the end and side shade covers on the windows.  They are silver colored to match the detailing on the sides and front of the motorhome.  They give shade but you can still see out of them, and we think they look really nice too.  They need to be removed for travel and then put back up on the windows when we get where we are going.  The small ones attach with a "snap button" and the longer side panels use a "turn buckle" so neither will be difficult to remove when we travel.  
This is a view into our shaded living area.  We had considered getting what Shade Pro sells as a shade room (also called a California Room) in which the side and front panels connect together with zippers.  It also has privacy panels to shut out rain or nosy people if one wishes to sleep outside in the room.  We had one before, and once it was set up, it was WONDERFUL.  But the double layered panels were much heavier and difficult to lift.  It had become a nightmare to set up and take down.  We never slept outside and never would, so the privacy factor was not too important to us.  This is lighter and easier to put up or down, and takes up a LOT less space when we pack up to travel!  We think it was a win-win decision to choose this option over the closed in screen room.  I had to rest the remainder of Wednesday and then on Thursday we drove back to Menifee again for therapy.  

I am afraid even Natalie is getting discouraged because of the continued vertigo episodes.  She did some research and found that in a small percentage of people with vertigo, the particles that moved around may adhere to places in the inner ear and not go back where they should be going as a result of this therapy.  On the one hand, she said she does believe it is just a matter of time until the particles WILL go back where they belong.  But on the other hand, if they don't I might need a referral to a specialist to do surgery to remove them.  OMG, I really hope I don't need surgery, but I really, REALLY want to get rid of this terrible vertigo and be able to resume my normal activities.  Right now, she is having me sleep on the couch in a sitting upright position.  I do NOT like sleeping away from Jim, and I'm not very comfortable trying to sleep upright since I am used to sleeping flat down on one pillow, on my right side.  After we came back here on Thursday I had NO episodes of vertigo or dizziness that day.  Friday I had no episodes of vertigo or dizziness, and again I slept on the couch sitting mostly upright.  This morning I woke up and when I tried to get up I experienced a slight sensation of dizziness, but not true vertigo.  I was a little disappointed that I had some dizziness today, but it's still better than the vertigo that makes me feel like the motorhome is rolling over on its side!  Today she wants us to do the therapy again.  She said to skip a day between therapy sessions, so we didn't do it on Friday, and will skip it on Sunday, then back to see Natalie on Monday.  Reluctantly, I will continue sleeping on the couch in the upright position at least until Monday, as I promised her I would do.  

I have a friend who told me about the use of CBD oil for medical purposes and she suggested that I try it for the vertigo.  It is used successfully to treat many types of pain, such as arthritis, and it is supposed to be very beneficial in controlling the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.  We have a very beloved friend who suffers from Parkinson's, and has drastically reduced his social interactions because of the tremors he has.  I truly HOPE he will try CBD oil as he might find it will help him to control the tremors so he can enjoy going out to dine and see friends again.  As for me, I don't know if CBD oil would simply mask the vertigo or if it can actually make it stop.  I have decided to "stay the course" as long as Natalie thinks she can effect a cure of the vertigo.  However, if she gives up on me, then I will try the CBD oil therapy to see if it will cure the vertigo.  Also, even if the therapy does produce a cure of the vertigo, I want to try the CBD oil for the pain I have from arthritis, compression fractures in my back and sciatica later on.  If it helps me, Jim will try it too as he has arthritis and sciatica too.  

I realize many people every day are dealing with problems much worse than my vertigo.  And people who have never experienced it may mistakenly think it's JUST dizziness, but it is much worse than dizziness.  When it strikes, your whole existence is thrown out of whack!  You can't stand or walk, and you don't know which way is up.  Your eyes "snap" so you can't see clearly.  If not protected, you could definitely fall and injure yourself.  And one of the worst parts is:YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN IT WILL STRIKE, until it happens.  It can also cause severe nausea and vomiting.  This isn't a fun way to live.  

In spite of this, we do count our blessings every day, and we pray for those others who are also suffering and trying to cope with their own problems and issues.   We KNOW that God listens to all prayers and answers all of them according to His plan for each of us.  We thank Him for all He gives us, and trust Him to see us through all of our difficulties.  For each of you who is dealing with issues that cause you pain or distress, we encourage you to pray for healing and comfort.  Know that God loves you and is watching over you all the time.  He will bless you and keep you.  Please take the time to really talk to God and create an intimate, loving relationship with your heavenly Father.  

Have a great day and remember it's called "the present" because it is a gift from God.  Enjoy it and thank God for it.

Good bye for today.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Here We Go Again

We came back to Wilderness Lakes on July 18th, and got settled in on the site behind where we had been before.  We saw Natalie for my therapy on July 19th and the 26th.  I was doing great and she discharged me, as hopefully cured of vertigo that day.  The next day, July 27th, I drove us up to Oak Glen for a nice picnic with Donna & George.  We had a great time except it was pretty hot up there.  The next day, on Saturday I woke up early, as we had several things we had planned to do that day.  When I sat up, I was hit with a vertigo episode that knocked me back onto the bed.  On the advice of Natalie, I had not taken any meclizine since the previous Sunday morning.  With Jim's help I managed to get out of bed about 20 minutes later.  I wasn't able to eat any breakfast.  Jim had to help me get my shower because I was not able to sit up straight.  Despite taking meclizine that morning and mid-day, the vertigo got progressively worse.  I got so sick that day that I wasn't able to take a third dose that evening.  Sunday was even worse.  Monday morning I called my doctor, and he wanted to see me that afternoon.  He was surprised to see how bad the vertigo had gotten.  He tested me and said it was quite awful, as if I didn't know that already!!!  He said I needed to get back into therapy as soon as possible.  He made the referral and I spoke to Natalie that same day.  She couldn't schedule me an appointment until the following Monday.  I was quite upset and told her I couldn't go on like this for another week.  She said they would call me in early if she had any cancellations this week.  I asked her if Jim could do the treatments until I could get back to see her.  She was reluctant at first, but since he had watched every treatment she said we could try it.  She suggested going through the therapy twice completely.  She wanted us to do it every day until we got in to see her.  Unexpectedly, she had a cancellation on Thursday afternoon, so I got to go see her for therapy.  She felt that maybe the vertigo had not really gone away.  Since I had been taking the medication, maybe it was masking the symptoms, and after I stopped taking it, the symptoms flared up again.  I told her I have been taking the med since Saturday but I am not getting better.  She tested me for the vertigo and agreed that it was as bad, or worse, than when I first started the therapy.  Now I am going to see her twice every week for at least four to five weeks, AND she wants Jim to do the therapy twice a day on the days I don't come see her.  Sadly for me, it has not gotten any better yet.  I haven't barfed since Monday, but we are both pretty depressed about all of this coming back.  We are trying to do everything Natalie says to do, but so far, there has not been much progress.

Today we wanted to go to to Candy Bar Bingo at the Family Center.  It was noisy and chaotic; before long I was dizzy and started to feel sick.  We left and came back home.  I was dizzy all afternoon.  Later this afternoon we did another session of the therapy, but I'm still having the vertigo.

As many of you know, we usually have a compact refrigerator outside the motorhome for extra soft drinks and ice cream (and other stuff).  This past Monday afternoon one of the park Gestapo people came by and told Jim he couldn't have it outside anymore.  They think having things like that outside make the RV Park look like a trailer park (i.e. trailer trash).  Jim had to unload it, since we had shopped that day, and carry it inside.  We went to the manager meeting on Wednesday, and I brought the subject up to Jeff.  The bottom line of it was, he said if he can't see it, we can have it outside.  We thought about getting a new screen room from Shade Pro.  We would love to have a screen room again, however, then I thought about all the work that goes into setting it up and taking it down.  We talked it over and agreed that we should consider other ideas.  We decided to get what are called Vista Shade panels that will hang off the front and the ends of the awning.  If any RVers want to know what I am talking about, Shade Pro has a web site where you can see what they offer.  They can still be seen through, but not too much.  We found a folding table that we can stand OVER the refrigerator, and we bought two flannel backed vinyl table cloths that we can use to hide the fridge from view.  We have a really cute lighthouse lamp and a vase of artificial flowers we can set on top of the table.  That way it will just look like a side table between chairs.  

We are also getting window covers for the two windows on the driver's side (over the couch and over the dinette).  These covers are supposed to block 94% of the heat and glare from the sun.  Since the RV is white with silver decals, we chose silver colored shade panels.  The nice thing about them is that you can see out through them.  YAY!  Since we are going up to Silent Valley on Wednesday, we are going to have the guy come up there on Friday to install everything for us.  Yipee.  We will include lots of pictures, the awning shades, the table over the fridge and the window covers next time I blog.

Now for a few pictures for today.
The owl on the left is actually supposed to be a "mini pocket watch/necklace" and I thought it would be cute for Jim.  When it got here he said no way, and told me I could have it.  The beautiful enameled owl on the right is from our very dear friends Diane and Jim Hubert.  They came down here before my vertigo came back and brought us a birthday dinner.  She made me a birthday card with owl stickers all over it.  It is so cute.  They gave Jim a cute gray tee shirt that says "I used to be a people person, then people ruined it".  If you look closely you will see lovely gems on the end of the feathers.  I really love the pendant.  Diane and Jim also gave me a beautiful gray owl that sits with my other owls on the shelf below the TV.  I will include a picture of that one next time.  I have been so miserable with this vertigo that I haven't taken very many pictures lately.  I'm sorry about that.
This is the owl watch Jim got for me for my birthday.  It came with a braided thread band with a knot to hold it.  I made a bracelet of beads and magnets that I like a lot more.

Last, but not least, is a picture we have seen in the VA clinic in Murrieta where Jim sees his primary doctor.  He had to go there this week for a blood test and asked me to take a picture of it.  It is a reminder of the commitment men and women of the military make when they enlist to serve this great country.  Not all who serve are sent to places where they put their lives in danger, but all who enlist have made that commitment, and therefore they deserve our respect and our gratitude.  Please remember to thank veterans whenever you see them.  Please honor them on Veteran's day and EVERY other day as well.  Many veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorders, so please be patient and compassionate whenever you encounter a veteran who may seem to be behaving inappropriately.   As I have said before, we should try to be kinder than we need to, and this certainly applies to veterans.

God bless you all and good night.