Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Beginning our 8-Month Hiatus

Monday, September 2, 2013

OLA: Beginning our 8-Month Hiatus

Laguna Pueblo Mission west of Abuquerque, New Mexico
with Suzanne and Dean, at the Ranch
We were confident, after Bill’s Tuesday appointment with the doctor when he registered 1.7 on the INR scale, that our Thursday visit would finally let us resume our trek to Arizona. On Wednesday, the Harpers treated us to lunch at the Ranch Country Club, a historic 160-acre Joseph Marion Homestead where they are members. Bill and Suzanne had steaks, fries, and broccoli, I had grilled mahi mahi with wheat berry and broccoli, and Dean had Penne Vodka with shrimps. 

Bill's INR
When we went back, we were shocked! His INR still registered at 1.7 with no improvement at all! Our hearts sank; we were all packed and ready to go. The doctor and the pharmacist talked to us about what we could possibly do to accelerate the progress to the desired 2-3 level. His dosage was upped and we were given lots of reading materials. It has to be a delicate balancing act. Bill has to take enough anticoagulants to prevent clotting but not too much to increase his propensity to bleed. It was also about eating healthy but staying away from foods high in vitamin K (BROCCOLI!) and keeping mobile but giving the leg enough elevated rest at regular intervals.

We set our sights to the next visit with the doctor on Saturday. The Harpers, on the other hand, left for their mountain vacation home at Breckenridge, Colorado on Friday evening. We saw no need for them to wait till the next morning when outbound traffic to vacation spots creates freeway logjams. After all, it was the 3-day Labor Day weekend. And we were more confident this time (NO MORE BROCCOLLI!).

On Saturday at the Family Care Center of St. Anthony Hospital, the LED display was 2.5! We burst into cheers with the nurse practitioner and physician assistant. After instructions and new prescriptions for maintenance routines and medication, we proceeded to complete our packing, have an early lunch, cleaned up the basement area which was home to us for 2 weeks instead of the planned 4-5 days, picked up Bill’s meds, and off we went on our trek to Arizona where our ‘home’ was stored.

Carol at the foot of St. Joseph Church, a World Heritage Site
full view of St. Joseph Church, built in 1701
We divided the 14-hour trip into three drive-days, whereas before we would have made it in two. From Westminster, Colorado to Springer, New Mexico at the state’s northeastern corner, it took us 5 hours with 3 stops for gas, restroom, and water. The following day took us to Gallup, New Mexico at the state’s southwestern corner in another 5 hours with 2 stops, once for gas, restroom, and water. The other was for a brief visit to the Laguna Pueblo Mission, the only one of 8 pueblos comprising the First Nation that was visible from a major freeway, I-40. It is said that American Indians had lived there since 300 BCE.  The dominant feature of the Mission was the whitewashed St. Joseph Church built in 1701.

OUr 'Home' in storage
At 1 PM on Sept. 2, we reached Verde Valley Thousand Trails Resort in Cottonwood, Arizona. We took our RV from the storage lot and completed the hook-ups, the extension of the slide-out, and the finishing touches to our ‘home’. It is good to be back. We had made our 8-month reservations in Arizona since last year when we felt I needed a stable environment for my health. We didn’t realize that Bill would also benefit from it as much. We are now ready for Ann’s visit Sept. 3 to 5!

 Finally, we are beginning the 8-month hiatus from RV cruising. Our traveling lifestyle had to change.  We do not yet know what, how, where, and when it will resume. From now on, my posts will be mostly about WOWs, Wonderings on Wanderings. They will be about what we have learned, how to live a stationary cruising life, and where we plan to be in our modified traveling lifestyle.