Monthly Archives: August 2016

Them’s the breaks

A week ago, while getting Susan back to bed after a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night her left arm got caught under her as I was trying to move her.  We heard a pop and suddenly her arm hurt a lot.  She toughed it out over the weekend, with both of us hoping it was just sprained or something but by Monday it still wasn’t feeling any better so I asked her primary physician to order an x-ray.  We drove into Tucson for the x-ray yesterday, got back, had some lunch and then her doctor’s office called and said get back to the ER, her arm is broken.  We spent a good part of Wednesday in the ER and they ended up putting a brace, not a cast on it.  They said it would take 5-6 weeks for it to heal and we already have a couple follow-up appointments scheduled.  Susan has osteoporosis so I guess we’ll have to be even more careful in the future.  As you may guess, it hurts but other than the brace and taking pain med there’s not much she can do about it.  She is telling everybody it’s my fault and I guess since I was the one trying to move her there’s at least some truth to that.  My response however, is that if I had intended to hurt her I wouldn’t have left any marks or bruises and that she should keep that in mind.  Hasn’t stopped her though.

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What a difference the monsoon makes

This is our first summer in Arizona.  We didn’t plan on staying here this long but we didn’t really have a choice so we’re making the best of it.  We’ve officially been in the monsoon season for over a month and have gotten a number of downpours during this time.  The rain is almost always very localized.  It can be fascinating to look over the San Pedro Valley and see an area mile or two across getting rain (often with lightening) but just over next to it is in sunshine.  The rain has made one distinct change in the landscape around us.

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The Whetstone Mountains near Kartchner Caverns state park

The difference is that it’s green everywhere.  Normally the mountains are brown but starting a couple of weeks ago they greened up and have been that way since.  We’ll be interested to see how long this lasts.

Our new RV site and casita

This is our third winter at the SKP Saguaro Coop RV Park in Benson, Arizona and we’ve been on the “hot list” (waiting list) for a permanent site for over three years.  When we started on the hot list we were number 292 and since then we moved up to number 144.

Site 6 is just down the street from site 702 where we’ve stayed the last three years, and it was vacated earlier this year.  The previous leaseholder had passed away last Fall and it had taken her family almost half a year to remove her belongings and her fifth-wheel trailer from the site.  Since I could see site 6 from my desk I watched them refurbish the casita (small house) on the site and when they were done, it was put on the leaseholder availability list.  Leaseholders (those that already lease an existing site) have first crack at any new sites that become available and many of them take this as an opportunity to move to a better site.  To our great surprise, particularly since #6 is one of the very nicest sites in the entire park, no leaseholder requested it and it became available to hot list members. We spoke up for it, and again to our great surprise, we had the lowest number of those who called in and we got it.

Just so you know, you don’t own sites in the SKP Saguaro Coop, you lease them.  We had to pay a lump sum for the lease on site 6 but the way it works is that if and when we leave we get that money back (and probably some extra for the improvements we’ve made).  We were able to “pass papers” on the site and move onto it about a week later.

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Front view of Site 6. Front door opens only to the workshop.

One of the reasons we think this site is so nice is that it has a view across the San Pedro River Valley to the Dragoon Mountains, which are about 18 miles away.

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View from the back porch of the casita looking east to the Dragoon Mountains

Continue reading Our new RV site and casita

Staying in Arizona for the Summer

And not really because we intended to.  This seems to be a year devoted to health issues.  I never wanted to be the kind of person that would immediately bore you to death about all their health problems and their operations when you asked them how they were doing, but there’s not much else to tell you about what’s been going on with us lately.

To make a long story short, Susan fell and broke her hip last November.  She spent a week in an acute care hospital and then a month in a rehab hospital after a partial hip replacement.  Although she is better her recovery has been slow.  She fell because of vertigo and when they started doing tests to find out why she has vertigo they first thing they found was that she had heart problems.  So, during late spring and early summer, she had two arteries in her heart stented and her aortic valve was replaced.  She is better than she was but again recovery has been slow.

For myself, my right hip was replaced in March and my left hip was replaced in July. Fortunately my recovery has been swift and I am now walking and climbing stairs pain-free (what a novel sensation!) for the first time in over five years.

When we first hit the road five years ago both I and some of Susan’s close relatives had some concerns about our health care when we were going to travel full time.  The fact is that we’ve been able to deal with all of our health issues very well no matter where we’ve been.  I’d even add that changing our doctors and health systems may have saved Susan’s life.  Two years ago we switched all of our medical care to the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson (now the Banner University Medical Center) and from the beginning Susan’s doctors have been very aggressive about diagnosing and treating her problems. It’s quite possible that without this her heart problems would have been overlooked.

So we’re spending the summer (and really the entire year) in Arizona because of the health issues we’ve had to deal with.  That’s the way it goes and we’re making the best of it we can.  Hopefully we can resume our normal traveling next year.