The Coast, Oregon and Washington
A February Elk for you, courtesy of my trail cam!
February 4, 2015
(Some visual problems, again...)
At first I barely heard it. Dang thing was persistent, though! It got louder and louder until I couldn't ignore it. What now? Having a teeny tiny temper tantrum in my half sleep, I realized it to be the little reminder bell on my iphone. I guess it was designed to be slightly annoying.
What did I forget? A doc appointment? Who was I to call at (I squinted my eye) sigh... 8 in the morning?
My body felt it was so much earlier. I buried deeper into the blankets. Just me and my phone under the covers in the dark. No one else heard it. It was our little secret that I had something to do.
I finally glanced at the screen. Squinting, t read "Show". One word. Show.
For a brief second I panicked, prepared myself for warp speed to the shower, and out the door, before it hit me. I'm not going to the show! As I have been doing so often, lately, I began thanking God for all of the people in my life that work to make things easier for me.
I am such a lucky gal.
How I had panicked when I found out I had to have eye surgery way too close to the show.
I called Carmen McDonald in a panic, and being the Saint that he is, without a second thought, said, "No problem! We will handle it. You rest."
Wow. It couldn't be that easy!
He reassured me. "Easy Peasy!"
I snuggled even deeper. I could even go back to sleep if I wanted to. I realized, though, that the cage that is designed to protect my seriously skewed eye was now compromising it by poking it direct hit. Ouch. Funny how I can sleep through pain, but the more I wake up, the more I realize... by golly, that HURTS!
Where do I start? I think I'll make it short. The story of Humpty Dumpty is not a breathtaking thriller, and my story is much like his.
I broke again. I mean, again-again!
I was out in the shed, probably doing more than I should have, three days post surgery. I sure thought I was taking it easy, but my eye must have not thought so. I was feeling pretty darn good, and then, like lightning I was not feeling good at all.
It was like a fall! Good to bad, quick as that. I headed into the house, and knocked on David's door. The pain had increased to much worse. "David, I need to go to the hospital. By the time we got in the car, I had never felt pain like that. My aortic dissection had nothing on this pain! It was so bad that I was in shock, and was hot, cold, sweating, shivering, crying.... I was a mess. A Jennie mess of Humpty broken Dumpty. I wanted .... Yes. I wanted Dr. Kevorkian, and I wanted him right now!
Casey Eye or ER? I didn't know. I kinda thought ER for morphine, (Yeah. That bad) but, Casey eye said to go there. I do not think they knew the seriousness of my situation.
Ladies and Gents, I get a prize for endurance. They kept me for five hours. FIVE HOURS at Casey, without any pain med or relief for the pain! My eye was bleeding profusely. They'd poke my eye and take it's pressure. Was it really 42? Then, an ultrasound. Then pressure. "PEOPLE! I hurt! Take me to ER!" Which, they finally did.
My son, David surprised me as he became more and more demanding in the Doctor's office. He couldn't believe, seeing I was so much in pain and needing help, that they weren't helping at all. I had to tell him to calm down, but he really would not. I think for that reason, I got seen a bit faster, so... I guess I'm glad.
I was so looking forward to being out of pain and they finally, after three tries got the IV in. To my surprise, morphine didn't help! I was STILL in pain! I am still weak right now, due to the extended period of time that I was in pain. I think that's why, anyhow. It was to die for and in a bad, bad way.
Final Diagnosis is not good. Here is a quote that sends shivers up my spine. I think we are sometimes better off, without Google.
"Expulsive choroidal hemorrhage is a rare and dreadful complication of cataract surgery that usually results in either loss of vision or loss of the eye."
My sister is a great believer and not very good at believing this stuff, so together, we are dispelling this "rumor".
Regardless, right now, today, I have no vision, unless I shine a flashlight in my eye. Then, all I can see is like a solar eclipse. I can just barely see light around the edges. I'm hoping that is because there is still so much blood in my eye. Maybe when it reabsorbs, I'll be able to see??? I don't know. But, I'm trying to be positive. God is THE Great Healer. Between he and Dr. Hwang, we are going to make this work.
Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.
In the meantime, I have what I consider a pretty legally blind
left eye. They say it is 20/40. I don't see like it's 20/40 though. I have
no peripheral in that eye, and no depth perception, and besides all that,
I have no confidence in it.
But, at least, I can read the computer, now that I have the font set very high up, and using all the accessibility tools that are available on a macbook pro. The ipad, which has come to be almost an appendage to my person is nearly useless. I miss that so much! Maybe it's best, though. Maybe I was becoming too attached, so to speak.
The pain is better, but it... frankly, it hurts a bunch. What I had is called a choroidal hemorrhage. It is caused by my high INR reading (5.9) and the result of having surgery during that time. I'm trying now, to regulate that INR so that my blood is not too thin,( resulting in another hemorrhage) and not too thick (resulting in a blood clot to my aortic St.. Judes Valve. It's a very delicate dance. I haven't taken my warfarin at home in ages, so this is going to be tricky to regulate what I eat, vs. how much medicine I take, etc. Lucky I have a great team of doctors.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda... If only that lab, pre op had taken my recommendation to please take my INR levels before surgery. If only...
But, this is God's plan, and I have to trust. All things come
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
In ALL THINGS... Not just sometimes, but every time. He knows every little eyelash of mine, and where it is placed. That's just awesome to me!!!
My best defense is my smile. I'm going to use it.
February 8, 2015
loving memory of Gary Van Gordon
See photo of Hogmaster, -right column
I am seldom at a lack for words, but now is one of those times.
Gary has left us. Yep. That's right. Hogmaster is gone. What terribly empty words those are. I have done a lot of thinking about death, lately, and when it hits close to me, it seems to always change the thinking process. It adds a little light (or darkness?) to my already formed thoughts.
Some may find it hypocritical for me to even be posting this, or to even have any sad feelings- as the moderators banned Gary from ifish.net quite some time back.
As always, as I owned ifish, I was the one to take the blame for it. Not that it matters, now, but I tried, several times to get permission to bring him back. I do take responsibility for pulling the switch on some of the banned people on ifish, but Gary is one whom I just could not get close to that switch.
Ohhhh.... He frustrated me! Oh, yes he did!
Gary was a prankster. A rule breaker. He pushed the limits.
I'd rather, by far, be a rule breaker than be boring. The most famous people in the world, did not conform.
Gary was a free spirit, and did whatever he thought best. I have to respect that in him! I have to laugh about that in him, too! At least, now... looking back. At the time, though, it was so frustrating!
Gary was creative, fun, loving, really didn't mean to hurt a fly, ever, but... he sure caused a lot of work for the mod team! And when you break rules you pay the consequences. I didn't pull the switch, but I had to admit that he broke the rules too many times.
It's one of the most difficult things an ifish moderator has to do. I've read a ton of articles about it on the web. "How do you ban (or do you?) one of your forums most popular members?"
If you do, you need to stand up to the flack. If you don't, you get a lot of members saying, "Dear Jennie, How come you play favorites? Had I done that, I would have been gone in a second!"
The moderators made our decision and took a vote, and he was gone. Phst! Like that.
There was an emptiness to the board, for quite some time, after. Oh, yes, and many hijack attempts, (and several who are still on the board!) As long as they play nice, they stay.
In fact, there is still an emptiness on the board without our Hog, and probably always will be. Especially, today, for me, as I just learned about our loss through a PM from Pete. :( The words Pete wrote just shocked me. I have my ipad on huge font, so that I can use it, and it just simply said, "Hogmaster - Gary Van Gordon passed away! I didn't know."
The words stunned me. After I caught my breath, confusion hit me. How do I deal with this? Both in my mind, and on ifish?!
The only way I know how to write about Gary is with honesty.
Gary is so much larger than life, that I almost expect him to come back, like Elvis.
Gary and I had one big difference.
I don't "do" potty humor on ifish.
Gary, on the other hand, seemed to revel in it. The more I'd delete his potty humor, the more it drove him to write more, or to try to get around it, by disguising it, and saying it wasn't, and that I had a dirty mind. Just thinking about it still ticks me off!!!
And then with the soft healing that time can bring, it makes me laugh.
There was a time when Gary was my biggest supporter, and I, his. I even had a special page to highlight all of his word!
Speaking of such, I just did a search on the impeller series that I had highlighted. I came up with a bunch of classics, plus his impeller series. Click here, if you are interested.
I miss Gary, dangit. I wish I woulda, coulda, shoulda-- mended fences.
'If only.' Those must be the two saddest words in the world. That's the worst part. My time for making peace with Gary has expired. Forever. That is a bitter pill to swallow, but I can't end on that note. I have to realize that this lesson will enrich my life, and teach me as I go forward.
February 10, 2015
It's just all so weird.
I haven't seen Willie in nearly two weeks. I haven't been home in 3.
Every time the doc tells me I can go home, something goes wrong and he changes his mind. Yesterday my pressure was too high. I knew it, too. It was really sore, all day. I just knew something was wrong. And I mean it hurt more than normal, which isn't good in the first place!
When oh when will it heal? Will I ever be able to see again? The chances seem to be slimmer, all the time.
I'm thankful, over and over for my other eye. It doesn't see well, but it's better than nothing! It's scary, though, because the lens in that eye is the same age as the one that just went bad. Will both go bad? I can tell you one thing, if it does? I'm not touching it! No more surgery for this girl. I should have listened to the first surgeon who said, "Jennie, not only do I not want to do surgery on you again, I loathe the idea! Your eye fell apart in my hand!"
Why on earth did I find that funny? I'm a sick chick.
I feel badly that David has to care for me, drive me everywhere, etc... go pick up prescriptions. He's busy, busy all the time for me! I have thanked him, over and over. I think he kind of likes feeling so important to me. He is important to me, though! He is!
Well, it's off to the doc, to try again. Will my pressure be stable? Can I please, please see my dog? My Bill? My river!?! Of course all of these things aren't mine, but... right now, I would so love to take ownership! Or, at least, at the very least, hug them! Ever hugged a river!? I'm going to! try! I can't fish, but I can hug!
February 12, 2015
Home, home, at the beach... Now, if I only could
keep on the home row of my keyboard! That's one darn hard thing
to do when you have no vision!
You wouldn't think so, but it is!
I have typed two whole sentences, only to find that it made no sense! I fell off the home row!
Getting used to not seeing is difficult. Sometimes I want to throw things, I get so frustrated!
But, last night, I went out to take Willie for one last run as we always do, and I looked up at the stars. All of the sudden, I guess because my right eye is dark/no vision, it felt like both eyes came into one, and I could see! Or, it felt like I could! The stars that I could pick out with my seeing eye, kind of ghosted in my non seeing eye, and it all balanced out! My neck started to ache, because I couldn't stop looking! I couldn't stop trying to figure out if magically my vision was back, or what?
Sadly, it was not, but for the moment, it was exciting! Yjr [email protected] Off the home row! The same kind of thing happened once when I went down a dark hall. It's a relief for my eye that doesn't see, for my seeing eye, when everything is dark. It's like everything comes together like normal.
Just as dark is great, bright light, like the sunny days we are having, is hard on me. It super impresses on me, just how blind my right eye is. Oh, I wish my vision would come back. Oh, I pray so hard it will come back!
I'm just afraid, though, that my pressure in my eye has been so high, that it has damaged my optic nerve, now.
I have to take this medicine called Diamox. It's for mountain climbing sickness, and it's awful. It makes my hands and feet tingle like needles poking me. And thirsty? Oh, my gosh! It dehydrates you, thus reducing pressure in my eye. (And anywhere else!) I'm becoming deflated! LOL
But, thank God that I can do most everything I used to do, even without sight. I can fish. (but not bobber fish!) I can walk. It just makes everything a bit more difficult. I can no longer read a letter in my mail. Everything has to be large print or on the computer. Walking down a trail is a bit harder, as I walk into branches and can't see dips in the ground as well.
Yesterday, I was singing to Willie at the top of my lungs on the river beach, and didn't even notice a boat was anchored VERY close by! OOPS. Now, that was embarrassing! LOL. I apologize, to whomever you were! I still giggle.
Most of the songs I sing to Willie are Christmas carols, also, so that makes me extra silly! Willie loves Christmas carols, though!
OK, off I go. I'm getting the Kwikfish ready to mail order today, so look out! They are to be for sale, very soon!!!
February 17, 2015
I'm so proud of me! It's like baby steps all over again, for some things.
I have yet to go out to dinner or lunch. I've not gone grocery shopping, and for Heavens sake, until this morning, I had not tried to code. I did it! I did! I've been putting it off. Dabbling in it, a bit here and there, but when I ran into trouble, instead of holding a magnifying glass up to the screen or whatever, I just quit.
I've got this new kind of phobia. I'm afraid of being in public a bit, yet. I'm afraid to knock things over, or bump into someone, or not see someone wave me across the street from their car. It's little things, and if I hide in my house, I don't have to deal with it.
I'm supposed to rest my eyes, anyhow. That's my excuse.
But, this morning, I did coding, and each day, it seems, I conquer something new. And now, we have Kwikfish for sale!!! (And I have a headache! Lol)
Nah... it's not too bad. I'm going over to the board to make this announcement, and then I'll post this column.
I'm back in Oregon City, again so that I can go to my doc appointment, today. It's getting old. It's getting frustrating. I mean, they want to see me every other day, it seems. When does this end? When does the pain end, also? I'm so tired of pain, pain, pain and pain meds! Blech. I have found that Advil sometimes does the trick more than oxecodone. That's a relief. Literally.
And so, the madness begins. Packing and mailing, and making mailing labels. I still feel brave for doing all of this. I mean I have to read all the mailing labels, and make sure they go with each order. I have a magnifying lamp that I bought for Andrew at the show one year. He loved it, and now, so do I. I think of him, every single time I use it. I do have more compassion or Roo, the more time I spend without vision. He'd come to me with a recipe for me to read, and now, I do that to Bill or to David. "What's this say?" Wah. I miss my eyes so much!
But, still, there are things that are just the same. Yesterday, it was so beautiful out, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The warm wind on my back, and Willie running wild and free around me, as I sang to him. Joy. There is still joy in life, and I'm going to revel in that, rather than roll in the depths of despair. Seeing is not everything. I try to convince myself. It's a lot. But, it's not everything!
February 20, 2015
Here's one for you. Ifish doesn't have any events like this, right now, and I find it more than a worthy event! In my e mail....
"See attached promotional material for the Take A Soldier Fishing Event at Hagg Lake, Saturday, May 17, 2014.
Veterans and active duty military from all branches of the service are eligible to participate.
Go to www.takeasoldierfishing.org to register as a volunteer with or without a boat or to participate and enjoy a great day of fishing with others who have proudly served in the US military.
The material attached may be copied and forwarded as you see fit.
Again, the web page address is: Take A Soldier Fishingor http://www.takeasoldierfishing.org/
You'll need to sign a few papers and they are all available at the site. Please join in! This would be so fun to have a bunch of ifishers there! I want to go!!! I've asked Bill to see if he'd volunteer a boat, but I think we will be in between boats, then. But, maybe not? Jim, from R&B boats, will our boat be finished? :)
I'm so excited! Guess what I get to do on my Birthday?! Well, usually I go down to the ramp at 101 on the Kilchis, and catch my annual Birthday steel. It's been a tradition, for about 10 years, when I was waiting for a shuttle, cast out and caught a birthday fish!
But, not this year! Oh, no! I get to go to the doctor! LOL. I have an appointment for the entire afternoon! WHEE! OK, I'm being sarcastic. But, it is what it is. I pretty much live at the doctor's office, lately!
I can't imagine if I lived at the coast, still. Yesterday, I asked the good doc, "How long will I have to come see you every couple days? He said that on my Birthday, if my eye pressure is good, then I get a week off! YAY!
Whatever happens, I've learned that I can do most things that I have always done. All by my little self, I did the paypal coding, put up the page, and mailed out all of the kwikfish that were ordered. It wasn't even that hard. I just have to have a magnifying glass handy at all times. I think I'm going to fill my house with them. One in each room. You know what will happen, though. When I need one, they'll all in end up in one room. The wrong room! Life goes on...
Two things... I was having a pity party the other day, when my sister and I got into a conversation about why God let's these things happen. I was feeling a victim, and jokingly, I said, "I didn't eat that apple, nor would I have, and I'm paying for it!" She asked if I was sure, and that she might have given way to that wiley serpent...
Anyhow, she mentioned that she was praying for a little baby that had an inoperable brain tumor. Oh, boy did that hit in the hard place for me. No longer did I feel pity, except for that sweet child. I have a life, and a darn good one at that! And here, I'm worried about one eye? Now, I'm praying for that child, too. My problems are miniscule and I have SO much to be thankful for!
Then, last night I found this on Facebook, and it just really, really hit home.
Click pic to zoom
Things like that just change your heart. Don't they? :) Have a great weekend!
February 23, 2015
Countdown to Spring! (Click on the words!)
You know, I've had a wonderful, fulfilling life, and it's not over yet! However, with the loss of my sight, I have made some realizations.
It's time for a change, and a good one, at that!
I no longer fish every day like I used to, and I'm tired of writing about medical blah blah blah stuff, or about losing my son, or... You know, it's just been a crazy ride, lately, and I need a break from writing so much about just that!
It is time for me to give back more than I have been in the past. For you, you'll get important information, and for me, I will think about things other than my trials!
Frankly, I do feel like I've been pretty good about giving back, all along, but now I'm going to actively seek out good things to post to help our fisheries. I have an audience, by golly, and I'm going to make good use of it!
I want to use this space to let you know about things other people are doing to make a better world for our fish and fisheries!
When I get an e mail announcing something that you all should be aware of, volunteer opportunities, banquets, fund raisers, those things. So, make sure you use the contact form, if you have things to share.
This was in my mailbox, this morning!
The Tillamook chapter of CCA Oregon is having their banquet, soon, and they need your help!
"CCA Oregon has been very busy since last year’s Tillamook banquet protecting the Columbia River harvest reforms, ensuring that hatcheries are not unnecessarily targeted for elimination or reduction and participating at all levels to make sure that recreational anglers are well represented in the management of our fisheries.
As CCA Oregon state president and Tillamook chapter president I have once again volunteered to help with this year’s event.
CCA is 100 % grass roots with membership driving the ship and chapter banquets supplying the life blood of the organization. Fund raising allows us to ensure that we as recreational anglers and more importantly the resource continue to be represented by the most qualified staff available even as we go about our busy everyday lives.
Our banquet is on Saturday March 21st, 2015. Cost is $50 which includes a prime rib dinner and a year membership in CCA Oregon.
How you can help? We need prizes for raffle, silent and oral auctions. Donations have ranged from gift baskets, rifles, fishing rods, elk hunts, tools, gift certificates, Blazer tickets etc..... Cash donations are also an easy way of helping the cause.
Attending the banquet and becoming a member is very important, last years event was a huge success as the Tillamook chapter is always one of the top producing banquets in the state and number one in the nation with regards to gross to net ratio. This ensures that the majority of your donation goes directly to affecting the management issues that are having an affect on your opportunity to enjoy recreational angling. Issues like needless hatchery eliminations and reductions and responsible harvest reforms which are important to us all.
If you can attend or offer a donation please contact me by email or by phone
Thanks so much
(503) 842-6313 [email protected] PO Box 628 Tillamook, Oregon 97141"
I've been to their banquet before, and I'll be there, this year!
It's one of the greatest banquets you can go to! Make it a weekend, and come
on down to the coast for the CCA! See you there!
Alright, just a BIT of personal news... I see more and more "light" each day out of my hemorrhage eye! I know this guy that does miracles.... Can you imagine if ... ??? I'd be so stoked!
February 28, 2015
Well, this isn't working out so well, this not writing about
my life as much, and instead posting things that give back to the fisheries.
So, I'm going to write whatever comes to mind, today. You know, like normal.
I can't see, darnit! I just wish I could see! It's like my vision is blocked by a chalkboard or something. I see all gray, unless I'm standing in front of a bright sunny window, and then it's bright, but no images. If I am seeing bright, I can make out my hand waving in front of me. Not the image of it, but something waving back and forth. Movement, I guess. I also can make out my curly eyelashes blinking. Isn't that weird?
By Monday, I'll have gone an entire week without going to the Casey Eye Institute! That's the first full week off from the doc, since this entire fiasco began on January 27th. Wow. That's a long time!
The doc said that it could take months for the blood to reabsorb. Has it? Or is that what is still blocking my vision? I'll have to ask him on Monday. So many questions, I have. Like, "Has anyone regained vision after what he calls "A massive choroidal hemorrhage?" Oh, how I dislike learning new medical terms. One of my doctors said he can tell that I've had a hard time, by how many medical terms I use! Oh, great!
I'm keeping an intensive journal of nearly everything that has happened, day by day, moment by moment, since the big event, two days after my surgery.
I had all of the signs that things were not well, when I left the hospital after my first surgery of sewing the haptics down. I had low pressure in my eyes. I had a very high INR, and I was on beta blockers. All of these things are proven to lead to a choroidal hemorrhage. So, why didn't they see that? Notice it? Keep me in the hospital, to watch for that? I was not well when I left after the first surgery. Obviously. :(
And now... now I can't see. Oh, great.
It was always my worst nightmare, since oh... college days or so, when I learned more about marfan syndrome. The nightmare is that I would be blind and unable to care for myself as an older woman. Well, the blind part is now true. Thank God, though, that I have both David and Bill who take "care" of me! Whoop!
And I take care of them, in return.
Last night, Bill and I had the most awesome spaghetti and clam sauce. I can still cook very well! When I was in Oregon City, I made the most delicious spinach and feta pizza for David and I. It was to die for! I have pics on my facebook page, if you are interested in being my friend. :) (hint, hint.)
There, I also talk about my eye problems, but mostly... I just enjoy silly videos of pets, and quirky quotes, etc. I enjoy my facebook friends, so much! Almost as much as my ifish friends!
Being at the beach this week has been absolutely and most thoroughly enjoyable. The weather is like Palm Springs or something! Amazing Sunshine and odd warmth that you would never expect for February! Every couple of days they forecast rain, and we get a small Hawaii like douse of it, and then sunshine! Heavenly sunshine!
Right now, it's so bright out that my eye is half closed. My "blind" eye is so sensitive to sunshine that I have to wear two pairs of sunglasses! Isn't that strange that a "blind" eye would be sensitive like that? I mean, if you can't see? Bizarre. Learning new things, each day!
Willie is at my feet, whining to go out, as usual, and I must say, it is time.
The river is calling our names. Let's go, Willie! Let's go! We only have two more days of Heaven, here!
By the way, still enjoying my Birthday week, complete with a chocolate cake for breakfast, each morning!
I'm going to do a little watercoloring later, with some prints I did as a high school student. They are postcards of sight seeing things in Canby. Here they are, if you want to see them just in ink.
Boy Scout A frame at the Canby Park
The Paper Mills on 99E
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