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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Still Here ------ And A Selfie

Good Day. It's the first day of September and in a few short minutes from now, my wife and I are setting out for St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta where Dondra will have what is known as an "Ablation".

From Web MD: " Catheter ablation, also called radiofrequency or pulmonary vein ablation, is nonsurgical and is the least invasive. The doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube in a blood vessel in one's leg or neck. Then they guide it to the heart. The doctor uses either heat, cold, or radio energy to scar tissue inside the heart, in the location where the irregular beats are triggered. The treated tissue helps to stop the irregular heartbeat.' in Dondra's case this irregular heartbeat is called atrial fibrillation, or, as it is commonly called, "A-Fib".

This also is the reason you all haven't heard from me of late. We have had so many issues with A-Fib that in one week she needed 3 hospitalizations! Many meds were tried until we found one which worked: Eliquis, which is an anticoagulant - meaning it stops blood clots from forming. Because the drug is so astronomically expensive, we were happy to be able to apply for assistance from Bristol Meyers and were approved for its use just yesterday.

The major complication with the ablation procedure would be if there were a clot present and the catheter were to dislodge it. A CT was done, however, so we don't expect any problems.

Because of her heart condition, Dondra has also not been able to have some crown dental work done and we hope this will now allow this procedure to happen as well.

Before I close, I'm going to show you a couple of pictures: One will show what is supposed to be me looking tired and concerned at my wife's hospital bed, and the other is what a-fib looks like together. Be sure to note the two beats close together.

Me? There's nothing wrong with me you don't already know about. Besides, I'm not the one who's important here.

See you soon and don't forget to click and feed.



The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Clowns To The Left Of Me: From The Memoirs

....... Jokers to the right........

The Watchmen, circa 1965 with yours truly on the drums and vocals.

Left to right: Victor - Lead Guitar And Vocals; Ike - Vocals; Dewey - Rhythm Guitar And Lead Vocals; me; John - Keyboard and Vocals; Johnny - Bass Guitar And Vocals.

By the way, those aren't white socks, they're my real ankles and I'm barefoot with some homemade sandals on.

This is one of two surviving photos from that time. We're still looking for Ike Stevens (Stephens?) in order to reunite in the near future.

Please click below to feed. You do make a difference when you do that.



The Animal Rescue Site

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dondra: My Love, My Wife And Caregiver

I have not written about her lately, but she is a major part of my life, and she is in poor health. Very poor health - and blood pressure related. We can't seem to find a medicine to control it that isn't expensive as hell, so it's my job to make sure she endures no stress on my behalf.

I take care of the entire house and I like doing it.

Dondra is not only my caregiver, she takes care of her side of the family as well. She has a brother and sister who are both in their 80's and it has fallen to her to be the unofficial "doctor" when they are sick. She also transports them to doctors' appointments.

And she works.

I don't like for her to do that, but she likes to work at her job as a respiratory therapist in her hospital and wants to as long as she can, so there's nothing I can do about that. She has, however, reduced her hours to four a day and only a couple of days a week.

So all she has to do is come home and relax. There is virtually no housework to do and the odd thing that arises, I  take care of.

She takes care of the bills, which I can no longer do, and which I am hoping to turn over to a CPA for the elderly as soon as I can.

In the evenings we usually watch a movie or discuss whatever current events are taking place and at bedtime we go over the next day's plans before I tuck her in.

My wife is a wonderful lady and I don't know what I would do without her. She shares my involvement with animal welfare although neither of us is as active as we once were. So no more cross-country bicycle rides benefiting the Humane Society for  "The German Boy". :-)

Anyone old enough to remember this joke?: "Who's that lady?"  Answer: "That's no lady, that's my wife." :-}

I say, "That lady is my life!"

There are some pics of her in the gallery for the folks who may have just begun reading the blog. They are the only ones she would allow me to post here. Ha-Ha!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to click and feed. The icon, as always, is below.

She loves this song and I love her.



The Animal Rescue Site

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Working On The Gallery

Just adding some photos off my camera from a while ago. Y'all can take a look if it suits you. I'll post more later.



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"I Love You, Mom." ------ "We Love You Too, Bill"

That was my mother. She never once came right out and told me she loved me, and when I'd try to "cue" her (like in the title line above), she'd come out with that answer.

"What's this 'we' shit?" I used to think to myself, but I took what I could get. Bless her heart, she was bipolar as hell, and my brother and I were just grateful when she'd have one of her "good days".

My mother was also my patient and died with me taking care of her on a ventilator. There was no one else to work for me, and what the heck, I'd be there anyway, so why not be there for her as well as my other patients. Same for my Dad, who died a couple of years before her. He was my patient, too. Yeah, it was hard seeing them both die right in front of me like that, but I think they were both proud of me as well, so I really don't have too much to bitch about, do I?

Am I bipolar? I don't know -- never been diagnosed and now I'm on so many meds, that even if I were, it might not even show up. In short, all things considered, I'm a "Happy Boy!"

So now that I'm 65, (yup, my birthday's today, thank you!) I've given a lot of consideration to dying. If I stay physically healthy, maybe I'll have 10 more good years, but (again) all things considered, it hasn't been such a bad life for "The German Boy". Looking back, I've done a lot of good for some folks and a lot of animals. Loved a lot of women (more than I should have, probably; especially that last one. I'll probably see her in Hell - HAHA!), played a lot of music, helped some folks feel better, skydived (bucket list) and remarried my first love, Dondra. All in all, not so bad a life.

And to think, I used to be afraid of dying. Now I think I know what that's all about: You just come to terms with what you've done, not done; whom you may have hurt and loved and then you say to yourself, "Well, ol' boy, you did the best you could", and close those baby blues for the last time.

And no, I'm not going to hurt myself or take my own life. Just not afraid of dying anymore. Well, let me amend  that just a bit: I'd rather die easy rather than suddenly and/or painfully. What's that old song, "Live fast, die young and leave a good-lookin' corpse"?

Before I forget, let's go back to the "I love you, Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister, etc. etc". Paul McCartney says if you love someone tell them now; don't wait till they're vegged out or dead already. It's not a matter of being too "macho" to say it. If you feel it honestly, then let them know and look them in the eye when you do say it. Don't do like my Dad, and say something like, "I told you 50 years ago I loved you. If anything changes, I'll let you know!" That said, I know he loved my mother, my brother and me, but other than when he was drunk I never heard him say it to me.

I wish you all a great 2015 and what the hell ---- I love you ----- even though I don't know so many of you and one or two of you actually hate my German ass, but we'll discuss that another time. Take care of yourselves, try not to hurt anybody, don't worry so much about things you can't help, forget about New Year's Resolutions and be good to the four-footed ones. Especially them and you can do that by clicking on the icon I'm leaving for you at the bottom of the page.

See ya'!

========================================= ========================================= The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

And may the New Year suck less than this one.

You don't need me to tell you that, do you? I mean: in 2014 the bad outweighed the good by at least 75% in my humble opinion. That's both in my life and the world in general.

Being that we're all human and have this strong desire to live and the wish and will to survive, we'll keep on "fighting the good fight" and try to help others as best we can. And I think that is just fine. Sometimes we get wrapped up in our own problems so much that we forget our neighbor down the road facing a much worse fate than you or I.

But don't ever say or think, "Well, things can't get worse!" You say that or think it, you'll be surprised how quick things can go down the drain. Not telling you what to do, of course - just telling you to think healthy thoughts, not impossible ones.

Myself, I'm neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I am a REALIST!

Y'all know the definition of an optimist, don't ya?

An optimist is someone who thinks you can pick up a turd by the clean end!

Before I close out the year of my blog, I wanted to give you some good news.

You know the "Feed The Animals" icon at the bottom of the page I ask you to click whenever you visit me here? Every time you did, you helped some shelter pet get 1.5 bowls of food and so far in 2014 the total is 36.0 metric tons or 79,389 pounds. Thanks for clicking and please try to do it daily.


Thanks for visiting and see you next year! ======================================= ======================================= The Animal Rescue Site

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"How Was Your Vacation, Bill?" PART III

One of the nicer things about my trip was the "Scavenger Hunt" my good friend Hans-Peter had me do.

Rothenburg on der Tauber is one of the few medieval towns in Europe totally surrounded by a wall.
It was on that wall, that Hans-Peter hid something for me to find and here it is:

Hans-Peter has been a friend for quite a number of years and although we've never met, we've formed a bond in that we're both very proud of our German Heritage. My friend took his family on vacation and was in Rothenburg a couple of weeks before me. We thought we would have some fun and I asked him how he felt about hiding something for me somewhere in the town, and he chose the picture of his first grandchild Nicholas. What a cute kiddo, huh?

Before I end this little "travelogue", I have to comment on how I was treated by Germans other than my friends and family: shabbily.

I went into a bakery to purchase some "Brötchen" (breakfast and dinner rolls) pretzels  and pastries and the young lady waiting on me really had a chip on her shoulder to the point where she just about threw my change at me. No idea what she has against Americans or maybe she was just having a bad day, but when I brought it up to my friend Peter, he told me that lately just about all the hired help had "attitude" problems.

All in all, it made it very easy for me to choose never to go back. Yes, I'll miss my friends and what family remains, but unless they come to America to visit, that's it.


In other "news", I took a look at my "visitors" (people who have actually signed up to read the blog)and coincidentally those whose blogs I too read, and I noticed that some have either stopped writing or......have passed on. I really hope the latter isn't true. People do get tired of writing, but one last entry was in 2012.

But we sometimes lose touch, don't we, so I hope that is all it is.


I'm glad to say I was still able to function enough to help some folks with the voting process last Tuesday as Dondra and I are volunteers to help at the polls. It is something that we both look forward to, because it gets us both out of the house and we get to see some old acquaintances and catch up.


Last but not least, I have an appointment with my counselor this Thursday morning which is when we will reassess my status and maybe change some meds around or discontinue some others. I'll write a short synopsis when it's all said and done

This one's for Nicky and his Opa. Maybe they'll sit and sing along together? ======================================= ===================================== Please remember to click and feed the animals. Winter's already almost here and the shelters could use a little help. Thanks and see ya next time! Bill ======================================= ======================================== The Animal Rescue Site

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"How Was Your Vacation, Bill?" PART II

So.... to continue..... One thing that didn't suck were my Airlines, United and Air Berlin. Even though they lost my luggage, I have to give them points for the way I was cared for. From Atlanta to Nuremberg there was someone at every gate to greet me and accompany to my next leg of my trip and I am so happy they were there, because without them, I would never have made it to Germany and back on time. The only thing I hated was having to ride in a wheelchair. There's nothing at all wrong with me physically and my legs were in good enough shape to run a 10k with no problems, but they insisted. This caused some stares and mean looks, but as I said long ago, I don't know what time is left to me and I sure don't want to spend it worrying about what people think.

Three days after my arrival, my son called and left a message with my friend Peter: Dondra had fallen here at home and had broken her arm. This relates back to the cellulitis she is dealing with since someone ran over her right foot at the grocery store with one of those electric shopping carts. At the same time as the broken arm, the fall also caused her to lose two of her crowns.

Should I cut my trip short and come home? My son assured me all was being taken care of and I should stay and enjoy my trip.

Right. "Enjoy your trip, Dad."

How could I do that now? I did my best every day I was there. Did some shopping, mostly for Dondra and our son Jason as well as my grandson Julian and the grandkids of my brother. For myself I bought only one thing: cotton swabs. Before you think I've totally lost it, in Germany they make cotton swabs that are just a little bit less rounded with cotton than they are here in the US. That means I can stick them into my ears (being careful not to go too far in) and clear out the wax of which I have more than the "Average Bear". Don't lecture me, okay? I stick the swab in and twirl it, I do not shove it in and go back and forth.

There was something different about this trip as well, and I don't mean the aforementioned trials and tribulations. It just didn't feel right. Was it my age, I wondered. Had my friends and family changed in their feelings towards me? I couldn't put my finger on it then and I still can't today.

Back to the three cousins for a moment. That was a time I can't get out of my mind. Instead of speaking in a normal tone of voice, they yelled at each other. There were three cousins, their husbands and children and one next door neighbor who came over for coffee, cake and beer. As the beer settled in, the voices got louder and louder and it didn't help that the kids (3 toddlers) began their caterwauling.

I tried to make conversation, I really did, but as the afternoon wore on, I knew only one thing: I had to get out of there!. So about 2 hours into the visit I told the husband of the cousin whose house it was that I had a prior commitment and needed to get going. So he gets pissed off and a couple of the kids of the cousins (2nd cousins?) took me back to Rothenburg and my hotel. With two more days to go, I'll save telling you about those for part III. ============================================================ ============================================================ ============================================================ ============================================================ Thanks for helping to feed the animals! See you next time! ----- Bill The Animal Rescue Site

Friday, October 31, 2014

"How Was Your Vacation, Bill?" PART I

Hey Everyone

Ever had someone ask you that after you returned? What do you tell them? Here are some answers you may have heard before or maybe you have used them yourself:

1. It was great! Thanks for asking.

2. Fine. Just not long enough.

3. Great, but I hated to come back to work.

How about this one?:


That's right: I was in my beloved Germany for 12 days and I don't know if it was me being older (3 years since my last visit), or if friends and family were getting tired of seeing me, but it totally sucked.

I have written before that Dondra couldn't go because of her knees and just not being able to handle all the walking necessary in airports and the places we would have visited together. That should have been my "wake-up" call that the "vacation" wasn't going to go well, but well, I mean damn..... you do your best to make it work, right? Sure didn't want to let on that I wasn't having a good time thereby making the folks I was visiting feel bad.

Airline lost my luggage --- Omen #2 ------ one of my suitcases had half my meds in it, and, it turned out, all the medicine for pain. Solution: see a German physician, show him the documents which showed the meds I was on and have him write a new prescription. Total cost: $103.00 USD. Luggage arrived two days later.

Before I go on, I need to let you all know that a large part of visiting my German family was to gather some family history from my uncle and I was looking forward to seeing him, but he stood me up and had me meet and have a late afternoon "tea" with my three cousins, who of course didn't know shit about the family, said as much and related that my Uncle Bernd didn't want to tell me anything anyway. Apparently, there are/were some skeletons in the Kuehn family closet and I am not supposed to know about them. What they didn't know, however, was that I already knew about that, but the information was so sketchy I needed someone to fill in the gaps.

This was also my last time to visit my home country. That was it. If my wife can't go, then no one will go. The only reason I even went this time was because it was a non-refundable ticket.

So this is part one, my friends. There's more to come about my trip to and from Hell. It is a bit lengthy, but I promise you it won't be boring or without humor. Stay tuned.
===================================================================================== ===================================================================================== ===================================================================================== ===================================================================================== The animals still need our help. Please click the icon to help feed the unwanted ones, thank you. ===================================================================================== ===================================================================================== The Animal Rescue Site