Tuesday, April 17, 2012




Well, I sure misinterpreted what I thought was the Urologists urgent phone call on Monday. With the question about my kidney stone pain level, (I didn’t have any) moving my appointment ahead a day, & saying the Doctor wanted to see me right away I thought for sure my Sunday morning CT Scan had shown the Doctor something that had to be dealt with immediately. In fact, the thought crossed my mind that I just might end up in the hospital today. But, no such luck. And I say that because I would sooner have all this dealt with right now rather than later. But, later it is going to be.

Surgery is set for May 28th unless a cancellation gets me in earlier. I’m hoping. The procedure is called a Ureteroscopy & that is where they take this old garden hose & stick it…….well, it’s one of those procedures us fellers don’t care to talk about much. Anyway, a stent is put in & the stone is then blasted to bits with some kinda space age technology stuff. Well, hopefully blasted to bits. The smaller the bits the better because they have to be passed through the stent & out. No sharp edges please!! Have to return in 3 weeks to see how things are going & maybe get the stent yanked, er, carefully removed. The Urologist guy said that only takes a minute & I am already thinking that could be one minute from hell!! Yeowsers..
DSC_0005-1 DSC_0008-2

Anyway, not to get ahead of myself here…..my next step right now is another Ultra-Sound. Had one in Tucson but a new one is needed. There are additional kidney stones in the right kidney & the Doctor will try to get those out the same time he does the big stone in the left kidney. Have to make an appointment with my own Doctor in the meantime plus a pre-op blood work appointment back in Stratford. Sure sounds like a lot of rig-ma-roll to me & we’re just about buried in paper work here already.
Well I know one thing for sure…..I had better not be whining & complaining about being bored this summer again. Looks like it could be an interesting few months ahead.  And, 343 to 340…….. thanks for dropping around tonight Mel:))

I was disappointed to find out my leg problem is not connected to my kidney stone problem. Nor is my ankle bone connected to my elbow bone….remember that song:)) Looks like I am going to have to deal with that leg problem separately. After such a bad day Monday, my legs were just about perfectly fine today. So fine in fact, if I would have had the energy I could have ran around the morning trail instead of walking around it.

Ok, that’s just about enough ‘General Hospital’ stuff for awhile so time to move on. Move on to what I am not sure though. Been having some pretty quiet days lately. We did stop in to see my Uncle Harry on the way to Stratford today though. We found him in the cafeteria for lunch.  He’s still doing good despite taking a tumble in his room a few days ago.  Scraped up his arm & head but he’s OK & came up swinging. Like his Doctor told him a few years ago, “Harry, you are one tough old Bird”.


Cold windy day with a cloud covered morning & a sun drenched afternoon. Too cold to ride the bike but I did check the oil, coolant, & tire pressures. Also noticed much of the chrome on the bike is becoming slightly pitted because of the dampness in this climate. Long cold & damp winters in storage take their toll.  I’m thinking I should leave it in Arizona.

We were away about 4 hours today & aside from one of Kelly’s socks being slightly out of place, Pheebe was a real good girl again in not chewing or moving anything around. She was so excited to see us when we got home she nearly jumped right out of her fur. She is the happiest dog I have ever seen. I know they say not to make a big fuss over a dog that has ‘jumping up’ problems when first meeting them but we are just as happy to see her as she is to see us so it’s just one big happy greeting for all of us every time, regardless of how long we have been away:))


It is never a comfortable feeling inside when one of our precious Pets is not feeling well.  We have certainly experienced that feeling more than once this past year.  Mike & Gerri from A VIEW THROUGH THE LENS WITH MIKE & GERRI had their little dog Nick into the Vet after she just ‘wasn’t herself’.  Always difficult with Pets because they can’t tell us where they are hurting.  Might want to stop by & wish little Nick well.  Mike’s always has some mighty fine photos on their site as well.


Squirrels have not been my biggest problem at the bird feeders this Spring but we do have a rascally Raccoon coming in the night now & it has pulled down our main hanging feeder two nights in a row.  Kelly suggested bringing the feeders in at night so I have a big note written to myself here at the computer desk.  ‘Bring In Birdfeeders’!!  Also plan to put a piece of stovepipe around the bird station pole to stop the Racoon & Squirrels from climbing up there.


Haven’t heard from the Vet yet as to when when we can come over & pick up Motor’s cremated remains. I’m sure hoping they haven’t lost our little Beansy. Kelly, Pheebs & I are still missing her big time. It’s those quiet wee hours of the morning that are the hardest & a time when I miss all the guys the most.

GROANER’S CORNER:((   A local policeman had just finished his shift one cold November evening and was at home with his wife. "You just won't believe what happened this evening , in all my years on the force I've never seen anything like it.""
Oh yes dear, what happened ?"
"I came across two guys down by the canal, one of them was drinking battery acid and the other was eating fireworks."
"Drinking battery acid and eating fireworks!! What did you do with them ?"
"Oh that was easy, I charged one and let the other off".
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

- Home is where your pet is:))
- If one's thoughts are positive about the landscape, one's eyes will appreciate what they see...AL.
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.



  1. Al, I'm sure glad it wasn't an emergency. I was kind of worried with all the bad news that's been on the blogs, lately.

    I've never heard of the procedure you're going to have, but I'm sure they will make you comfortable.

    Maybe your legs were tired from the long drive under less than optimum conditions. Not good to sit in the same position for such long periods of time.

    Pheebs...it's such a JOY when you pup is beside him/herself every time you come home, isn't it?

    Always love your pictures. Hi to Kelly.

  2. My, you do write so descriptfully!! Gave my husband quite a laugh reading your remarks about your coming "proceedure". Like I told our doc one day:"We just HATE coming in to see you doctors, cause no matter what you do, seems you have to HURT us before we get better!!" You might find information online as to what you might could do, from a natural perspective, to maybe help those stones not form in the 1st place. I understand it is pain beyond all other pain!! Hope all will go well.
    Sure do enjoy your writing..every day, not just on such things as medical stuff!!
    Elizabeth in NC

  3. The bird on the right is a white-throated sparrow.

    Well, I'm glad the urologist visit wasn't an emergency even it the future procedure doesn't seem like fun.

    Yup, I think the motorcycle should stay in AZ.

  4. Glad to hear that there wasn't an emergency. Although waiting might be harder than an immediate surgery.
    That picture of you and Cora made me tear up again.

  5. WOW...May 28th seems like forever. I hope you aren't in any pain. I can't believe you now have one in your other kidney. Does this run in your family or any way you can prevent these?
    Those "front yard" birds look like they may be carrying little "front yard" birds...hehe

  6. I'm so very glad that there was no "emergency" and you'll be schedule for routine surgery.

    A few years back I had an old boyfriend that had the same issue. I took him to the ER when he called me in the middle of the night and he ended up having the surgery you describe. Although it's not the type of thing a man likes to think about, he did well and the recovery period was minimal.

    Thanks to both you and Kelly for welcoming me to "your world!"

  7. Wow! When I saw the photo of the turtles I was worried that somehow alligators had invaded your pond! Scary looking log!

    Glad the visit went OK. The photo of Cora has a kind of ethereal quality. She was sure a sweetie pie. :(

  8. All I can say is it sounds terrible. I was scrunching up my face and gritting my teeth reading the description and I'm not even a guy. REALLY hope it goes well and as painlessly as possible.

    Like others have said. Whatever causes kidney stones, find out, and don't do it again? Not drinking enough water? Kidneys seem to react badly to that.

  9. Just had that kidney stone procedure in February. The procedure isn't as bad as walking around for 3 weeks with the stent. It felt like a piece of wood in my.... well you know. And walking was a challenge.
    I hope it isn't as bad for you as it was for me. It certainly wasn't fun.
    Getting the stent out, I read up all kinds of horror stories, and turns out it was a quick procedure but it was still painful.
    My doctor also gave me lots of literature on how to prevent kidney stones, mostly the trick is to drink alot of water.
    I do that now, at least 3 large glasses a day at work, and more at home in the morning and before bed.
    Sure don't want that pain again.

    At least you can rest after the procedure, I had to go to work. That was the worst. People thought I had something wrong with my foot or my leg the way I was walking (with the stent).

    Hard to explain that one!!

    Good photos tonight. :) as usual

  10. I'm thinking that the procedure you are going to have to break up the stones is called a Lithotrypsy. I had one 13 years ago and it was scary but not painful because you are asleep. However, the large stones are blasted into smaller ones and do have to exit the body which is still painful but Morphine helps. Also the stint is VERY uncomfortable. I had my stones analyzed and they were calcium oxolate stones and it has nothing to do with what you eat or drink. There is a way to dissolve the stones before they grow large in the kidney and that is with lemon juice. I drink a lot of lemonaid on a regular basis in order to do that but still have small stones that pass with little pain. The lemonaid is medicine for me and it has no sugar because I'm hypoglycemic but I don't mind as it is better than having to have that Lithotrypsy again. They say passing kidney stones is more painful for men than for women. I can tell you that it is worse than childbirth if the stone is large. Good luck to you and I hope you don't have a great deal of discomfort through it all.

  11. Glad the Dr. appointment today wasn't an emergency...but sure would be good to get things all cleared up. I have kidney stones but they don't bother me too much yet. Reading of the procedure just made me feel "ouch". I know they will get you comfortable and soon it will be done.
    Thanks for the thoughts about our little Nick...it sure hurts when he doesn't feel good. Our fur babies are so much a part of our life.
    Hope your leg situation gets cleared up without too much problem.

  12. well glad to hear that the doctor visit wasn't an emergency but the sooner you get this procedure done the better you can enjoy the balance of the summer!!!..
    hang in there Al..hope the leg pain has subsided!!

  13. I'm glad it wasn't an emergency but I was hoping you could get it over with. This waiting around is for the birds. Beautiful bird pics by the way. And I miss Cora so much.

  14. wow, sounds scary as to the pain. Hopefully you will get it fixed before to much more pain sets in.
    The birds are beautiful !!!
    I miss seeing little Cora too.

  15. As an American, I am extremely impressed with the way your Canadian health care system has handled your medical issues. It seems to have been both efficient and timely including doctor’s visits, catscans and ultrasounds. Even the surgery scheduled for next month seems timely given that you are not suffering any pain from this condition and it certainly does not appear to be life threatening.
    Your case sure compares favorably to what I have heard from other Canadians about the health care system in Canada while once again proving how the critics here in the U.S. do not know what they are talking about. I presume too that all of these procedures including surgery and hospital care, ultrasounds etc. are completely covered with no expense to yourself.

  16. My son had a similar procedure at age 26. At the time, he said it was quick, which was certainly a blessing since it sounds the opposite. He also said that drinking lots and lots of water was recommended.

    I wish you much strength and the hope that you will never need to draw upon that strength!


  17. Al, love your blog - you always bring a smile or laugh with each post. And your photos are stunning - GREAT JOB!! Unfortunately, Jerry had the same issue - stones in both kidneys - which took 3 surgeries to get them broken up enough to pass them. He has now received a clean bill of health! He was suggested to drink lots of water with lemon juice as a prevention. We wish you luck and will continue to keep you in our prayers, as well with Kelly. Keep your spirits up!!

  18. Just hope they don't use a 9/16th reamer to clean out a 1/2 inch tube.Other than that you should be okay. Goodluck buddy. Sam & Donna.

  19. Nice to here it was not an emergency. After that quick trip home, just to hurry up and wait. May 28 seems like such a long way away. Hopefully a cancellation will get you thru this sooner.

  20. Good luck on you r upcoming procedures Al... I don't even want to think about how they do that stuff... yikes!

  21. Good, good news!!! We worried about you all day yesterday!!! In late summer, early fall when the bears are out and about we bring in the bird feeders at night. Don't need a hungry bear hanging around!

  22. Ohhhh yeah..Lithotrypsy..I've had 2 of those done, as well as one ureteroscopy..It's good your aren't in pain..I waited a week in horrible pain. Let me just say, that both procedures are no problem..The stent?? That's when you will need some drugs..Plus, dont be surprised if you get something like a small flour sifter to strain your urine. With all this stuff coming up, you will have more "blog fodder" than Erma Bombeck..It may not seem amusing at the time, but there are ways to look on lighter side, and I'll just bet you can...Meanwhile, practice drinking TONS of water....and cussing..that always helps :-)

  23. Sounds like you might be adding a lemon to your morning shake..... I had so many of those surgeries up the you know where last year I lost count. But they aren't too awful bad as they do put you under and when you wake up they give you enough happy juice to tide you thru.

    It is a weird sensation when they pull the tubes out, but even that becomes tolerable after a time or two......

    Best wishes for health care success.


  24. glad to see the scary call wasn't an emergency...and also happy to see that your getting in fairly fast for your procedure..our daughter had that in the fall her stint was only in for a few days..and she did very well...hoping for the best for you also...

  25. Knowing you will do what you gotta do, because you have a GOAL in mind... getting back down to that piece of Heaven in the Desert!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  26. Sure glad to hear there was nothing too serious with that call from the urologist! Had us worried there, Al. Nice pics of the birds, and all. You're really "smokin" there, Al...looking good! Hope to see you out on that motorcycle more, soon!

  27. Hope they have a cancellation so you can get that nasty procedure done quickly and out of the way so you can enjoy your summer.