Wednesday, December 21, 2011




Sure was a frosty early morning start to the day as I made my way around in the dark feeding confused Chickens and sleepy Ranch dogs.  This was our morning to be in Tucson so the Bunch was up early.  Jeep was completely covered in frost so fired it up to thaw it out.  Beautiful crescent Moon played hide and seek with a wispy cloud cover as we waved good-bye to Pheebs and Motor, slipping out the gate at 6:43 a.m.



I was looking forward to our early morning drive all the way to I-10.  I knew how the fiery sunrise was going to light up the Valley floor and surrounding Mountains.  I wasn’t disappointed and how rewarding it was to see Mother Nature at her dawning finest.

Traffic was lighter than expected so we had no problem rolling westward right into the southern end of Tucson where the hospital is located.  We are a tad familiar with this area so had no problem driving right up to the University of Arizona’s Medical Clinic Center.  Spotted an ‘In N Out’ burger place on the way in and made a mental note of it’s whereabouts for our way out.


Lots of room in the parking lot and we walked through the door right into the clinic end of the Hospital.  Reception had us fill out a lot of paper work which I do not remember much about, but here’s what I do remember.  The young girl at the desk asked for our address and I told her, Canada,  “Wow” she said, “I’ve never met anyone from Canada before.”  My words back to her were something like, “well, we’re not much different looking than you folks here in America:))”  That didn’t seem to go over too well so I let Kelly do the rest of the talking.

Being Canadians, we continued to run into more paper work and insurance related stumbling blocks but with Kelly’s patience we were able to get through it all.  I probably would have just turned around and left again.  We were surprised to have to pay a deposit fee of $150 right up front.

The Urologist guy was in surgery but we got to talk with his number 1 Nurse Practitioner who turned out to be very pleasant, patient and knowledgeable lady.  Her first words after entering the examination room with all my files was something to the effect, “Boy, have you got a Whopper of a Kidney Stone.  I liked her realistic attitude right away.  She then went on to tell us that it is not just one stone I have, but several, and in different places.  And, that’s not all she told us:((



Cat Scans are very revealing things so she had a full report on not only my kidney stone status but other things going on in my abdomen as well.  Looks like I am going to have a very interesting medical summer coming up when we get home.  That ought to finally fix all my blah blah complaining about my boring summer days.  Now, how nice is that eh:))

Back to the Stone….NP said there is no way anything other than surgery is going to get that boulder out of me & it will likely involve a laser, amongst other things.  Right now, the stone has temporarily and apparently shifted to a non painful area.  She prescribed a muscle relaxer called, Tamsulosin which I am to begin tonight.  Said it is very unusual to see a Kidney Stone this size and she almost seemed a little excited by that.



Here’s the plan we are hoping for……..  We are all going to cross our fingers and hope this large stone remains where it is until we can get back to Ontario in the Spring.  I will then immediately have to set in motion plans for having this large stone and smaller stones removed.  If the stone shifts, sending me back into the Hospital I may be faced with Emergency Surgery.  Not knowing how our Insurance Company is going to react to all this it is going to be a real crap shoot to see who might have to pick up the tab for all the medical expenses.  Them, or us.  

So, long story short…..we are now faced with a slight dilemma.  Do we leave here as planned next month, moving further west to some of our favorite but more isolated boondocking sites or do we stay put in case something goes ‘bump’ in the night.  Sounds like that University of Tucson hospital is the best place to be if things turn sour before we can get home.  Anyway, it is something for us to mull over in the next couple days.  Personally, I think we should keep on rolling and enjoy the rest of our winter here in the great Southwest.



I do consider myself extremely fortunate to have reached the age of 67 without any serious medical problems in my life. Just the usual cuts and bruises. Don’t seem to even get colds anymore. No surgeries or prolonged stays in hospital and no pills of any kind except for one I take for Arthritis in my legs every few days. Sure can’t complain now just because I have a few normal aging things going on. So, no complaints from me Folks…..I have been a very lucky fellow indeed all these years:))

Hopefully, I will have something more interesting and RV related for Thursday’s blog other than medical stuff.

Upon leaving the hospital today we made tracks for the ‘In N Out’ burger joint we had spotted near the hospital.  Hadn’t eaten anything all morning so how great it was to sink my face into a Double Double burger.  We split the fries and washed it all down with water.  Seems I have to accept water now as my newest best friend in dealing with my current situation.  Water is soooooo boring……..


IMG_1438 IMG_1440


More than once in past blogs I have given my opinions on people using rude or sarcastic remarks in comments or blogs.  I particularly liked Deb’s recent post about sarcasm and the types of people who use that approach.  You can find Deb’s post at, FIND AN OUTLET when she writes about, ‘The Difference between Satire and Sarcasm’.  Thanks Deb, my feelings exactly and I also found your reader’s comments most refreshing.

Two new Blog Followers to welcome tonight.  BILLYBOB200138 climbed aboard our travels Tuesday and JOHN swung up the RV boarding plank just today.  Welcome aboard fellas:))



GROANER’S CORNER:((  There's a little fellow named Junior who hangs out at Tim Alley's Grocery Store. The owner Tim doesn't know what Junior's problem is, but the boys like to tease him. They say he is two bricks shy of a load. To prove it, sometimes they offer Junior his choice between a nickel and a dime. He always takes the nickel, they say, because it's bigger.
One day after Junior grabbed the nickel, Tim got him off to one side and said, "Junior, those boys are making fun of you. They think you don't know the dime is worth more than the nickel. Are you grabbing the nickel because it's bigger, or what?"
... Junior said, "Well, if I took the dime, they'd quit doing it!"

-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
The only thing better than right now  will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.


  1. I hope you stay close to where you can get help if you need it. Glad the doctor found out what is going on so you can. Hope it all stays put for a while until you head home.

    Love those great looking burgers! In-N-Out are my favorites!!

  2. Try ice tea or flavor it up with lime or lemon. Helps sometimes.

  3. Aww Al we are so sorry to hear of this news...I was sure hoping and praying Dr. Kelly had managed to dissolve that darn stone/stones and it was gone..just wishful hoping I guess...kudos to you for your positive spin on things...I feel like a whiner going on and panicking about Ricks' blood pressure..thanks to you I am now going to strive to put a positive spin on our situation. I think I would be worried about the 'bump' in the night and probably stay put just in case..but I'm a total worry wart so do whatever your comfortable with. Whatever you decide we will be here following along with and Kelly have a very Merry Christmas.

  4. Sure am curious to see what you guys will do next month.

    If it were me, I think I'd start heading East now in order to be closer to home if things go bump in the night- but of course staying South for as long as possible to get the most out of the Winter months.

  5. Just my opinion..Stay around Tucson...If that thing goes South,then you won't be out West, if you get my meaning. These stones are not to be taken lightly...Revisit your old haunt in Eastern AZ, and if all goes well, hightail it for Ontario..Next year you can get back to W.AZ again...Don't be foolish.
    Love ya!!

  6. Think back to the night you first went to the ER and how you had to wait a couple of hours for treatment. If you stay put, you will still have the beauty of Az all around you and having the urologist know your situation might be the best. Do you really want to start over in a different ER?

    I have always enjoyed water more than soda with a hamburger. Soda just makes me thirsty.

  7. Sorry your news isn't better, you have a tough decision to make about where to stay. I hope your insurance
    company doesn't give you any problems.

  8. Al, I'm sending prayers your way. You are so blessed to have Kelly, Pheebs, Motor, the wonderful RV and be in Arizona. Only you and Kelly can know the right decision for now. I love your positive attitude. All my best,

  9. I agree with those who hope you hang around close to Tuscon. You can always go further west next year. But it depends on how comfortable you are with taking a chance. Good luck.

  10. hate to say it but I vote for staying close for a while anyway!..better to be safe than sorry...
    those burgers look yummy! Kelly's grin as she heading towards the table!!

  11. Al, I am so sorry for your tribulations with the kidney Al has had them and says the pain is incredible. I do have to say I love your attitude. Health issues were a defining reason for us getting on the road NOW, rather than later. You never know how long you have.
    That said, I LOVE your header photo tonight. Your pictures inspire me to be a better photographer. Thank you!

  12. Boy I sure hope that "stone" stays pain free for ya and you and Kelly and the bunch can continue to enjoy your days west....Keeping you in my prayers!

  13. Al, you are amazing to stay so positive. Kudos to you. Although I agree with the previous commenters in reommending you stay close to your current location, I can't imagine doing that with your adventurous spirit. I am not sure it is true but american hospitals have affiliates or are members of a group of hospitals. Perhaps you could contact the Nurse Practitioner and ask if the Tuscon hospital is associated with any others in the southwest. Affiliate hospitals may be able to access your files. The Tuscon hosp might give you your ct scan results or any combination of options. Kelly will certainly be able to advocate for you. Also my sister in law always adds a little cranberry juice to her tall glasses of water. Takes the boring out of water. Take care.
    I tried to register as a follower, will try again.

    Bev in NS Canada

  14. Stay put because there is a hospital nearby--NAH! Any hospital can get your pain under control if the stone moves (smaller hospitals tend to have much less busy ER's and less wait time) and you can come back to Tucson if need be. Enjoy your winter, you've looked forward to it all summer!

  15. That Junior is a pretty smart kid! We love the In'N'Out Double Double. Water may be boring, but it is essential and doesn't have too many bad thingies in it -- usually! It is difficult to stay on the right side of the line between sarcasm and satire -- I have fallen onto the wrong side of that line all too often. As to your direction from here forward --- do what your heart tells you, but drop a few breadcrumbs so you can find your way back to Tucson if necessary!

  16. Sure wishing you all the luck in the world with your old kidney stones ~ what a bummer!!!
    Have fun & Happy Holidays

  17. Good luck with keeping those "boulders" in place until spring time, hope you can enjoy the rest of your winter, in southern Arizona.

  18. I like what Janna said. I don't think you will get faster ER care in Tucson just because you have a urologist there now... though they WILL have your paperwork already. Docs these days give travelers copies of their medical records (you can get graphics on CD) so you can provide them to any subsequent docs. Can you think of favorite BD sites that are not TOO far from medical care? (I just drove by the Borrego Springs Medical Center yesterday.)

    My concern would be more along the lines of what will happen if you are driving down the road when a/the kidney boulder decides to move - will you be able to calmly pull over in a safe spot, or will you lose control as you crumple over the wheel in agony?

    So sorry you are going through this! Surely must make you wonder how you managed so long before the big stone hit you, and how long you can go again without feeling it!

  19. $150.00... You would have had your bill half paid for extracting it in Mexico!! ;)

  20. Al, my advice re. you kidney boulder would be: get it over with a.s.a.p. Being in a remote area like Anza Borrego doesn't give you peace of mind.That rock can shift back into a painful position any time. Get it over with and enjoy the rest of you time down here.
    Wish you luck!

  21. As much as I like water at times it does get boring. So I buy the walmart brand drink mix. Its like a coolaid mix. It comes 10 in a box
    and you just pour one in a bottle of water.
    Myself I perfer grape but they do have other flavors.

    Good luck on your stones

  22. AL, that nurse made her judgement based on the original MRI, you still dont realy know if Kelly's treatments had any effect in disolving that stone.You also didn't mention the other discoveries made, which might effect the decision .Bottom line do what you both think your comfortable with and enjoy the trip !

    the hermit

  23. Well, Al, at least it's nice to know that you are a medical rarity! Hope things continue to stay less painful for you. Glad you enjoyed the In n Out burgers! Thanks for sharing!! Those are Donna's favorites. Try not to wake the dogs up so early, o.k.?
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. (Canadians do celebrate those holidays, don't they??;))

  24. Wishing you all the best and hope you remain reasonably painfree until the darned thing can be dealt to.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    Blessings from Anne and John NZ

  25. I would vote for staying close to Tucson. If a stone that big moves it is not going to pass but it can block your kidney. Having been very sick recently and in the hospital because of a stone blocking a kidney I would advise you not to take the risk. It can be life threatening.


  26. I would make a call to the insurance company and see what they had to say. They might cover it you know. Get that stone out of there, and you can resume your "holiday" without worry.
    At least it's worth the phone call?

    I don't think it's excluded as it's not a pre-existing condition.

    Isn't that what you pay medical insurance for?

    Just sayin?