May 5th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Uncategorized

Tomorrow is the big day. My surgery was pushed back a little due to an emergency they had come in this morning. They had to slide all of us a little to help this emergency so that is cool. I am only getting delayed by a few hours so it is still happening tomorrow morning.

The food here…some okay, some not. Getting sick the first time I was here did not help the star-ratings in my column and I was very apprehensive about eating anything but I had to eat. I splurged on a few things – pasta bolognese (nothing like I have made), quesadilla, burger, and bacon more than once. They were good. Other things were not but I will be eating some of this same stuff after surgery.

It is difficult for me eating here since I have gotten on a particular diet and it’s food I like. I do not drink cow’s milk (it’s for cows not people), and the menu is thin enough before the things I will not eat. I think I can make do…might even have to make a delivery order if I can get away with it.

I have been getting in some walking around the unit I am in. I am getting in almost a mile and a half of walking the halls each day so that is pretty good and I hope tp be getting more in tonight to get over two miles of walking. As I was walking a bit ago a nurse saw me and said “You’re doing great!”. I replied “My surgery is tomorrow morning! I’m just getting some pre-hab in”. Another nurse standing there pointed to a patient in a room near me and said “That’ll be you tomorrow!”. A quick glimpse was all I needed and I continued my walk.

It’s a fantastic team of people here at this facility and I know they will take great care of me. They have commented on my determination and attitude to get better, and be out of my room walking laps. Plus humor can go a long way and we have been joking a lot but also having serious conversations.

I have said it before and it is well worth repeating: major props to all of the healthcare workers all around the world. All of you kick ass in a major way and without your dedication many of us would not be here. I always let them know their dedication is greatly appreciated.

I think I will hit the “post” button on this page and try to relax a bit, maybe walk a bit more in a little while. I will be back on here as soon as I can.

Until then, Sláinte Mhaith.

May 3rd, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

I am in hospital now and it’s certainly gotten more real as I get ready to wind the day down and try to sleep. Even though it’s been a mentally exhausting day I am not really very tired yet. Wish I had a couple of bottles of wine or something to take this edge off. By the day of surgery I will most likely be quite anxious to say the least.

Earlier tonight one of my nurses went through what to expect post-op. No one had gone over any of this in too much detail yet so I am glad she did. I thought that I had a good idea of what to expect but hearing some of the details was a bit surprising and unexpected. It will be very tough, which I fully anticipated, but it is still going to be okay. It could be possibly a week in the hospital after surgery then off to someplace to go through some more of the recovery process.

I don’t know when I will be going back home at this point – it will quite possibly be a few weeks. My main goal is to get as well as I can; right now I am not worried so much about getting home as I am focused on recovering as much as I can before I get there. I feel that getting well is where my energies are best spent.

It’s just a waiting game for me right now. And for the next two days. I am so excited to get through this and get back to traveling, going where it’s possible to go safely, and having some big fun. It is what being retired is supposed to be about (to me, at least) and I have not done as much as I want even though I have done quite a bit of travel the last few years. Finishing my last three states is high on the agenda this year and there have been plans started to do just that. I have to go get my dog at some point, wherever he will be, and getting the trailer out for trips. I have family and friends to visit. Europe is not looking to be very promising this year, and Canada is not looking to be much better at the moment but I can find plenty of places to go.

So yeah…I have been busy thinking about “the road”. Then again, I always dream about that.

I just wanted to post a short update for those who are interested. Guess I really need to think about getting some sleep…

March 20th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Road Trip, Travel, Uncategorized

Tonight’s moon

I have been busy lately, getting in a lot of walks every day and taking care of personal business. I am still on my diet, losing weight and feeling good. I am still able to eat quite a variety of things but I am watching it closely. I got my ‘rona shot two days ago. No horrible side effects other than my arm was really sore but that is starting to subside.

Spring is finally here. Yay Spring! It’s the time of year where it feels like morning for the Earth; new growth, new life…it’s something positive and reassuring that feels like the beginning of a new day. Positive and reassuring are two things I know I can really use right now…

I went to the doctor this past week and there is, unfortunately, no getting out of open-heart surgery. I don’t know when this will be happening yet but it will be very soon. They gave me some packets of info to bring home and read. It was a bit overwhelming to look at this stuff knowing I will be going through such an intense, invasive procedure.

Am I scared? Fuck yes I am scared. I know it is a fairly routine procedure but it is a very serious surgery and it is happening to me – how can I not be scared? NOTHING can make this not be scary as hell. The recovery is going to be difficult at best. It is up to me to work hard on my recovery and get back to whatever normal life will be like afterwards. I did it with my shoulder surgery, but that doesn’t really compare to having your chest pried apart and opened up. I will keep adding on more walking distance each day until I have to go in so I can try to be in good shape to help with recovery.

I need to pick up some post-op clothes and other items before surgery. I think otherwise I am as ready as I can be to do this as far as the physical aspects – mentally, not so much. I will be going a few places since I got the okay to travel. I will be headed over to Montana very soon to visit family, grab some things I need from storage and finally get to see my dog (he won’t be coming back with me, though – we think it is best not to bounce him back and forth). It will be hard driving that far since the heart attack took some of my stamina away. Luckily I have nowhere to be for a month so I can take my time, but I really do not want to stay in a hotel unless absolutely necessary. I’ll be packing hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes just in case.

With the weather still fairly iffy this time of year I won’t be taking the trailer to MT. After surgery it will certainly be months before I will be able to get it out again so I’ll see how I feel about a trip when I get back. I am sure as hell not getting on a plane yet. The ‘rona is still too widespread for anything other than a trailer trip for me and I don’t know if I will even do that. I need to stay well for the upcoming surgery so I may just have to bide my time at home. This still is not quite how I envisioned my retirement.

I started looking at travel shows again. I am re-watching some “No Reservations” episodes to get my travel fix and have something fun & positive to think about. I watched the Stanley Tucci series about Italy and it was very good; it made me want to go to Italy even more than I already wanted to go. I saw an interesting show about Poland that had some beautiful scenery. I’ll have plenty of time to dream about it now.

That’s all for now.

November 19th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Road Trip, Uncategorized

It definitely was a big day today. I got my other cataract out this morning. It is so nice to be able to see the same thing with both eyes again. It’s pretty exciting to finally get this taken care of. Won’t need to do it again.

On the way home I told my friend I was buying lunch since he gave me a ride to the appointment. He had never been to Five Guys so I had to enlighten him with their one of their delicious burgers and some fries. For a treat (okay, three…) for later, it was his very first stop at Sluy’s Bakery in Poulsbo.

I got home and waited the few hours necessary to remove the tape keeping my eye closed. I’m having a few strange things happening with my eye at the moment so it may take some time before it calms down. I am hoping when I wake up tomorrow the halos and fuzziness are gone – I just need to be patient. I have a follow-up tomorrow so they will be having a look at it anyhoo and I can let them know any concerns. I have no cheater glasses and my previous glasses will need new lenses. I’ll be getting some reading glasses at the store tomorrow to get me by until then, but I just can’t really read at the moment.

There was a lady with a group of us in the waiting area. It was her first surgery and she really looked frightened peering around over the top of her mask. I mean almost a “scared to death” look. I told her she would be fine and it’s over fairly fast (which it is). I was not really ever too scared about it either time, but that shot in the eyeball to numb it is absolutely more than just a bit freaky.

After the follow-up appointment I’ll get my dog and come home. I will need to start making calls pretty soon about a storage spot for the trailer. I cannot keep it where I will be living but I want a really secure storage lot to put it in. Storage in this area is so damn expensive but they are always all full so supply and demand works well.

I just watched one of the strangest, yet funniest, shows that I have ever seen. It’s shot in a “mockumentary-style” of look and feel. It is called “Lazy Circles” and it’s filmed in Oklahoma. Yes, you heard me. It is pretty funny and if you know about the Midwest, you’ll get this movie. To some of us with a certain type of humor it is hilarious.

Just a quick update. I am off to bed pretty shortly. Thanks for stopping by.

July 3rd, 2020

Adventure, Just things, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Yesterday I had decent weather (meaning dry) and worked on a few things on the trailer. I got the leaky rear window in the trailer patched. The biggest part of the issue looks to be the rubber weatherstrip around the window has shrunk, leaving a gap unsealed about a half of an inch long on one end and an inch and a half on the other end. I sealed these gaps up previously but the rubber has shrunk back even more and exposed an opening for water to get in.

The part I had earlier thought was weatherstripping up inside is basically just a plastic strip that I am not really sure of what its function is; perhaps it is a spacer. It also looks to direct water to the internal drainage channels of tghe window but it, too, has shrunk and has gaps on the end. That means the water was not being sent to where it needed to go and probably contributed to the leak as well. It could be this part is not normally a problem in a vertical wall but the rear wall is angled out a little from the top to bottom so the window is also angled. Our friend gravity then makes the water drip inside.

Anyhoo, I cleaned out the old sealant from the ever-shortening window weatherstripping and put in a temporary patch out of a new tube of Lexel. This will get me by until I get enough warm days I can pull it back apart and install a new piece around the glass. I then pulled the window apart and added a thin piece of rubber weatherstripping over the plastic strip. I know this isn’t supposed to be in there but I will see if it helps. My main goal is to keep the water out any way that I can for now.

Today I added a little more sealant to fill in a few gaps due to settling. I hope this is a good fix until I can locate the weatherstripping so I can try to replace it. I also got two new wastewater valves – one for the grey water (sink/shower) and one for the black water (toilet). I replaced the grey water valve today but I cannot do the other valve until I get the sewer tank rinsed out good (it is already empty). That means a trip to a campground or dump station.

I also did a modification to the rear dinette set-up. Several years ago the rear table broke when it was put down into the slot to make the bed. It was made of particleboard so it wasn’t going to hold up to much pressure and the way it was designed the was no support in the center. My dad cut four pieces of lumber to make slats for the bed conversion and made a separate table from an old butcher block. I took the four pieces and screwed them together with parts from the table he made to create a new table top/bed support combination. It is much sturdier, there is only one thing to haul around and I have a table for the rear dinette once again. I will probably sand it and put a good finish on it so it looks nice.

I wish I coulda gotten this stuff fixed a few days earlier but the rains have kept that from happening. It’s probably for the best since this is a holiday weekend and the forest is probably full of too many people anyway. The nice thing about the trailer is that being self-contained I can social distance constantly and still have the freedom to go places. I am trying to get another trip together soon though.

Things are calming down finally so I am looking into cataract surgery (hahaha) on my other eye. I have an appointment scheduled to see (hahaha again) if it is bad enough to finally get it done. After that I can finally get new lenses with the new prescriptions. Next week I will be scheduling an appointment to see about getting a surgical appointment to finally get the problem in my left hand fixed. It has been very painful and weak, making it difficult to do even the simplest things. Between that and my right arm issues it’s getting harder to hold on to tools to work on things like my trailer and I have been fumbling with and dropping things for a while. I need to get it done and I probably would have done it last year except for my shoulder injury.

That’s all for now.