Memorial Day… every day

VA-1030020memdayr2I see the wrinkled eyes of the gentleman greeting us as we enter the shiny glass doors of the VA Clinic/Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.  Passing the display of photographs from wars in our country’s history I pause to think of these young eyed soldiers and what they had seen and experienced.  I step aside to make room for a wheelchair as we enter the elevator.

As the spouse of a veteran, I have the opportunity to experience a look into a convergence of soldiers’ of yesterday on an annual basis.  A variety of medical issues are addressed and everyone has experiences that are similar, yet different.  Many have a connection to the rural Midwest which makes the waiting room conversation predictable.  We all tend to make the best of the situation and if waiting is involved… well, that’s O.K.  We’ll just chat.

With our experience, the staff is always friendly and helpful and do the best to their abilities.  After all, they aren’t God.

Memorial Day is about honoring soldiers that have passed away.  The VA employees administer care on a daily basis to veterans so that their day of reckoning can be put off until a later date.  Yes, there is bureaucracy, as the news has reported, but the day to day people working with the patients, in our experience, have been wonderful.

Thank you to the staff at the Sioux Falls VA.  You helped put off our day of reckoning…

“On the go” germ warfare

Small one ounce spay disinfectant works great when traveling.  I’ve used it to disinfect shoes after hiking through muddy cow path trails, accidental steps in dog doo-doo and general traveling who knows where.
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Questionable restroom facilities? Quick spray and all is well again in your world.
Just a little handy tip for the traveler.

Affairs of the heart…

The ability to tolerate pain may be considered an attribute but my husband, Randy, may have carried this a bit too far.  We associate pain down the left arm and tightness in the chest with a heart attack but pain located in the neck and shoulders we tend to blame on strained muscles from something we did. Never did we dream that strong, fit, healthy eating Randy who regularly has complete physical check-ups could be having a heart attack. Fortunately, he had been taking multiple aspirin tablets for pain so his blood was thinned down during the 1 1/2 hour drive to Sioux Falls, SD. (Thank you, Bryon, for being a good and speedy driver. Now you can put ambulance driving on your list of accomplishments.)

A primary artery was blocked 99% and was the culprit causing the heart attack. A stent was put in to fix the artery causing the attack but the angiogram showed another primary was 90% blocked and two secondary were 80% blocked. Who’d have thunk it, huh!   Two more stents were put in to form a “Y” 3 days later to fix a main and secondary at one time. The remaining secondary one will be controlled with medicine.

We have been educated on affairs of the heart this week and I’ll always be amazed by the advancements in the field of medicine. The Sanford Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD is an amazing facility with  top notch staff.  Thank you for the exciting vacation – we were just discussing last week that it would be nice to get away for a few days and you were here to provide.

I try not to dwell on the “would have/could have/should have” so let’s just say that God was looking out for Randy in spite of everything we did or didn’t do out of either denial or ignorance. Randy commented that he was glad Pastor Mueller came to the hospital with a comforting message and Holy Communion. We are so blessed that we have Jesus and the promise of heaven. Sounds like a “win/win” scenario but I’m extremely thankful that Randy is all fixed up and after cardiac rehab will be good to go.

In time of trouble…He shall set me upon a rock. Psalms 27:5