Spring 2021 – Part 2

On our way back to Missouri from Asheville, North Carolina, we wanted to make a stop near Paducah, Kentucky. We frequently drove to Paducah when we lived in Dexter to shop or just get away for a weekend “B4RV” (which means before we started RVing full time).

Not far from Paducah is Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and an area called Land Between the Lakes. Near the lakes is a town called Eddyville which is very close to one of our favorite places to eat: Patti’s 1880s Settlement in Grand Rivers, KY.

Patti’s has quite a history (it’s story is on the menu!) and the best pork chop you will ever eat! Well, all their food is delicious. If you are ever in the area, you will want to make plans to eat there! Don’t eat much the day you go to Patti’s!

We stayed at an RV park in Eddyville called Venture River Water Park Campground. It’s a new water park and campground combo that I’m sure will be very busy during the summer months.

Here are a few pictures of Patti’s 1880s Settlement.

Patti’s has THE BEST bread that they bake in an actual clay pot (just like the photo above) served with real butter and their special blend of strawberry butter. Oh! I wish I had some right now! I absolutely cannot believe I didn’t take any photos of the inside the restaurant or of our food!

We arrived in the St. Louis area on April 1st and spent our time there visiting my sister, her husband, and my dad. My dad turned 91 years young this year, and he still loves to play a card game called Three Thirteen every time we are home. Most days he wins more games than we do.

On May 1st we headed to Springfield to visit with Jack’s mom, his brother, sister, and her husband. We were supposed to stay in Springfield for three weeks then go over to Edmond, OK, to visit our youngest son and his family for a week. Welllll …. Things changed very quickly.

Jack’s left elbow had a small sore on it (he must have scratched it on something). One day he said his elbow hurt, was red, and slightly swollen like when he gets gout in his foot. I looked at it then googled “gout in the elbow” and the pics of it looked just like his elbow.

We went ahead with our errands and chores, and that afternoon we went over to Jack’s mom’s house to play Skip Bo (like we do every day). However, by then the redness and swelling had spread some and his elbow felt warm to the touch. Jack’s mom said that he should go see a doctor, but Jack wanted to give his gout meds that he took a chance to work.

The next morning his arm was much worse, and I said we were going to the doctor whether he wanted to or not. The Urgent/Ambulatory Care doctor ran some blood work and did an X-ray. She gave him IV antibiotics to which he had a reaction. We then stayed longer so they could give him IV steroids and Benadryl. They drew lines on his arm around the redness and said we were to go directly to the hospital ER if the redness went outside of the lines. We were given a prescription and told to come back the next day to let the doctor check his arm.

He got up the next morning and the redness had stayed within the lines. However, a little before it was time to go back to see the doctor, the swelling and redness had begun to go outside the lines and the arm was now hot to the touch. We went to the same doctor anyway, and as soon as she saw him, she said she was admitting him to the hospital. Well, to TRY TO make a very long story short …

Jack spent six days in the hospital on IV antibiotics. We learned from the cultures taken the first day in the hospital that he had a MRSA infection (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus). MRSA is hard to treat because of it being so resistant to antibiotics. Because it was MRSA and in the elbow joint, they assigned an orthopedic doctor and an infectious disease doctor to Jack.

After being on IV antibiotics for four days and seeing NO improvement, Jack told his doctors that enough was enough; he was ready to go ahead and do the surgery to clean the bursa sac (or remove it) and flush out the whole area that had the infection. They did the surgery on Tuesday, his arm was MUCH better the next morning, and he was discharged from the hospital that afternoon.

Ugly scar the day after surgery before the drainage port was taken out.

When you get a MRSA infection like Jack had, you have to follow up after your hospital release with more antibiotic treatments. Fortunately our insurance agreed to the two IV antibiotic infusions (the alternative treatment is oral antibiotics for several more weeks). He took the first infusion on Thursday, the day after he got out of the hospital, and the second one was scheduled the following Thursday.

However, we had to stay another week to see the surgeon and get the stitches out. That doctor appointment went well, the stitches came out easily, and Jack was finally officially released.

The day the stitches were taken out.
His elbow today – all healed up! That scab is ANOTHER scratch he got the other day. He now cleans every new scratch with soap and warm water before covering it with a bandaid!!!

All this time in Springfield put us about two weeks behind our scheduled RV campground stops for the whole summer. We did some calling and rearranging and fortunately it was fairly easy to “fix” our three week delay. The Springfield RV park was GREAT and was able to let us stay the extra time without us having to change sites (thank goodness because I would have had to move the RV by myself!).

This encounter with MRSA is something I hope we never experience again! We did learn something new: Left untreated, a MRSA infection can kill you within 36-48 hours! If you ever have swelling and redness that is warm to the touch, do not wait! Seek medical attention as soon as possible!! Jack is very fortunate; with as bad as his infection was, he could have lost his arm or worse.

So, for now ….. we are truly glad to be “On the Road Again!”

Betty

RVing and the COVID-19 Virus: Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?

I know that you all have probably thought that I have dropped off the end of the earth. It has been a long time since I posted anything. I am sorry about that.

This post will probably NOT be the most interesting post I’ve ever written. Therefore, I feel the need to occasionally post some “fun” photos for your viewing pleasure. 😉

Ricky and Lucy are always playing.

When October 1st came around, we left our good friends, Darrell and Malia, in Wisconsin and headed back to Missouri. We spent about seven weeks in Missouri visiting family.

When the time came, many of the “guys” in the family met at the farm in Thayer for deer season. The wives had some much needed “down” time; well, at least I did! When you live in an RV, time alone is a rare, precious commodity. While in Missouri, we enjoyed time with our parents sharing meals, watching TV, and playing cards, of course!

This is the new, homemade deer stand. It is huge!

Look how BIG it is.

This is our grandson, Jackson, enjoying the deer stand’s protection from the cold wind.

While in the STL area, Ricky and Lucy were old enough to have their surgeries so there would be NO puppies. Of course, they had to wear the “cone of shame.” They actually did pretty good adjusting to the cones while still chasing each other around my dad’s house.

Around mid-November we headed south to Foley, Alabama (warmer weather). We chose Foley so we wouldn’t be too far away to return to see family for Christmas. Foley is about 10 miles from Gulf Shores, AL, and the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve been in this area several times before, so we really didn’t need to “go exploring.” We walked along the beach numerous times and had a relaxing time.

This COVID-19 virus thing has really changed the way people do their RV/camping now days. Everyone is cautious and stays at least six feet away. Five o’clock Happy Hour is not so happy anymore. Most places have indefinitely suspended planned, group activities. People are still very friendly, but it’s just NOT like it used to be.

I was beginning to think COVID had gotten the best of us all. However, with the first vaccines being given recently to healthcare workers, I think we can reach “herd immunity” sooner than later! There just might be light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel! 👏👏👏

I am happy to report that Jack and I have avoided this virus, and we hope and pray we can continue to do so. For the most part, all our family, on both sides, have been fortunate to avoid it. I’m sad to say that we’ve had friends who have gotten it. Some had SEVERE symptoms and will have a lengthy recovery time; others have not been so fortunate and have passed away. 😢 We have been greatly saddened by each call we have received informing us of COVID infections and deaths. May God help us all to stay healthy and get rid of this virus! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

We did make a “shortened” trip for Christmas Day. We went to Edmond, OK, to see our youngest son, his wife, and our grandkids. Our oldest son decided not to come because he would have to fly to get there. He didn’t want to risk being exposed to COVID on the plane and passing it on to us. Also, we did not make our usual “rounds” in Missouri because we didn’t want to risk exposing OUR 90+ year old parents if we picked up the virus. It was definitely an unusual Christmas. Here are some photos of Christmas Day.

Jade (left) and Kylee (right).

Jackson (in the background) and Mike’s wife, Jennifer (foreground).

Jade

Kylee and Finn, their little Maltese.

Jackson

Our two sons: oldest, Jeff, is on the phone screen and youngest, Mike, is in the foreground.

Our annual family Christmas photo: COVID style!

On January 1st we headed to Florida in order to get further south, visit with some dear friends (after we isolated for the appropriate number of days), and see our oldest son. We will be here until April 1st. Hopefully, we will be doing some visits to outdoor places, so I can blog about them.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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