Today, Tuesday the 20th of December, Patti and I had an appointment at 9:30AM with my surgeon’s PA (Physician’s Assistant) here at the Mayo Clinic Phoenix.

From the time I arose this morning, even though I slept well, during breakfast, and en route to the hospital I was feeling ‘woozy’ and stressed out.

This was emotional and not a vertigo attack.

I don’t do my own, and I don’t do your medical issues very well. As Patti and I were waiting for my PA to come into the exam room, I calmly got up, went to the exam table, and lay down. Better to do this than to blackout and faint into a puddle on the floor.

Key points.

1. It is OK, it is permissible, it is even to-be-expected that I am experiencing enormous fatigue and low energy. I take nap after nap and only want another nap. My PA really got into the enormous ‘hit’ my body has taken. It began with the trip (Dubai to Hong Kong to Seattle to Phoenix) just to get here. Then I was struck down with the 2-day severe intestinal parasitic diarrhea attack and the medications used to get me well enough for surgery. Add to the mix the hip replacement surgery followed by blood clots in my lungs.

2. Mechanically my hip replacement, at least as of today, is a success. My PA stressed that even with the surgery being a success, the residual side effects of internal healing are real. He explained one particular side effect in detail. From time to time, an area of my upper left leg feels like it is on fire. This is from one particular long nerve that had to be relocated during surgery. Just knowing this gives me great relief.

3. My PA ordered x-rays of my hip and I completed them after my appointment. No word yet on the results.

Blood Clots and Blood Thinners.

I feel the blood clots in my lungs have been absorbed. My lungs feel just great. However I will remain on blood thinners for the next (21-days on one regimen followed by 90-days on a second regimen) several months.

So? I am a bleeder. While eating, it is not at all unusual (once or twice a month) for me to bite my tongue and / or the insides of my mouth. Sometimes at night during sleep I also bite my tongue or inner cheeks.

I also experience horrific nose bleeds.

Serious and bothersome as these bleeds are, they are nothing compared to the risk now with me taking serious blood thinners. You can bleed-out and die in your sleep.

Last Sunday, while watching a football game, Patti and I were chomping down on a large bag of popcorn.

And? I (very lightly) bit my tongue. And? It began to bleed one drop at a time. What to do? I just relaxed and tried to be calm. We did not call anyone. It took about 2-hours but it finally stopped. It was an extremely worrisome experience.

What to do? NO MORE POPCORN. There are simply (statistically speaking) far too many bites involved in eating popcorn to risk another attack.

What to do? I am now sleeping with two (an upper and a lower) dental night guards.

Do you all see why I am only doing sporadic updates such as this one? Who wants to read this medical stuff?

Also I am not talking much on the phone. It exhausts me to talk more than a few minutes.

“How are you doing Cap?”

“I am doing one day at at time.”

Soon, maybe after the New Year, Patti and I hope to hit the road and do a few overnight road trips.

I am so lucky. I am so blessed. I escaped Dubai and Asia with my life. This fall was coming. It could not have possibly been scripted more perfectly. Walking to a flight with all of my belongings packed and checked. A little mid-course correction (Phoenix Arizona and not Ulaanbaatar Mongolia nor Russian Siberia) and here I am.

Call us .. The Lucky Two .. Patti and Cap ..


Happiness is having a nice basket to carry things in my walker. THAT is happiness today.

And what do YOU want for Christmas?

Broad Smiles ..

12 thoughts on “DEC 20, 16 .. MEDICAL / DOCTOR VISIT UPDATE ..

  1. eArThworm

    What do I want for Christmas? I want you to get feeling better and having to take fewer naps. I hope the New Year finds you much improved.

    1. cap chastain

      How nice of you eArThworm! Exciting football game for you down there! 33 to 32 for your side!

      Still plugging along here. Still taking a lot of naps. They really are not optional. It is lie down or fall down the fatigue can be so great. Last night as I lay down for the night I actually thought, “I wonder if I will even wake up tomorrow.” I did and had a great day today. Smiles and Joy. Cap and Patti.

  2. z

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 – 1:00 pm
    Hi Cap,

    Great news your hip is healing “A-OK”! As noted you have been through a really tough time from the time of your injury in Dubai – and a really, really, really painful time covering about 4 full days traveling Dubai via Hong Kong, Seattle and Phoenix with a broken hip – It’s good that you are one tough marine!!

    As you know I am on a blood thinner and when I travel, i.e. to a hockey game, etc, I always carry bandages, tape with me for “just in case” I cut myself. In fact, I did cut myself a few weeks ago. I was on my way to a hockey game and as I approached the parking area, my parking pass dropped and fell between my seat and center console. I stopped the car – no problem as I was early and no traffic – and reached under the seat for my pass. Well, sure enough, I cut my forefinger when reaching for my pass and it bled pretty, awful bad! Fortunately I had paper towels, tape and made a repair by stopping the bleeding – apply pressure and tape. Upon repair there was no pain, and the blood stopped and I parked my car and went to the hockey game! I know you are very careful and take great care so my only suggestion is to be sure you have some gauze and tape handy and that should work ok.

    We can see how things go with you before I schedule another trip to visit with you and Patti!

    It’s great that you are getting a lot of rest – that always helps!!


    1. cap chastain

      Man alive that was one real crisis in the car with the sharp metal of the seat cutting you deeply. Words fail me. Still feeling great and overwhelming fatigue but sleep does wonders. We hope to be able to visit you rather than you coming down here. Smiles and Joy and Forever .. Thanks For You Awesome Support. Cap and Patti.

    1. cap chastain

      By the way, I continue (with Doctor’s advice supporting it) to take the 81 mg baby asprin along with the Xarelto. Each works a tad bit differently. Thanks. Cap.

  3. admin_andrej

    Merry Christmas Cap and Patti
    I am always amazed by the great attitude you have towards life Cap.
    David and I hope you heal quickly so you and Patti can “hit the road” again soon.


    1. cap chastain

      Andrej it seems to all be a matter of attitude. Acceptance does not mean approval! What is .. IS. Accept it and move on as best one can. Thanks so much. Cap

  4. Tandy Wallack

    Thanks for the update Cap. I hear you about not wanting to talk about all this medical stuff , just know that I am thinking about you and Patti and sending good thoughts your way. I got a Christmas message from the head of the Red Cross in Chukotka which was so nice of her to stay connected with me. She is the one that has helped me so much with all my program work in their villages. She is the one we will be meeting with when we go to Moscow who will be helping with my Little Dimede Project. I am still thinking and praying how to present it so that we can get the permission to hold our re-Union on Big Diomede Island. Any ideas you might have in that brilliant head of yours would be greatly appreciated . Take care

    1. cap chastain

      Thanks Tandy for your interesting and exciting work in Russia. I have no ideas at this writing. As for myself, it will be some time before I venture outside of the US and risk another ‘potential’ hospitalization knowing I would never be able to repay the debt for hospital costs in cash and thus be forced to live my life out in whatever country. It is a serious and very sobering risk when one thinks about it. No wonder I do not see too many elders traveling as I formerly did. Smiles and Joy and Thanks Tandy. Cap.

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