Update

Yikes, another month has gone by!

Jen and I did take that 5-day camping trip to Virginia. Our paddling friends Dean and Summer joined us with their Little Buddy mini-camper. It was a great time! I was able to take some 2-mile hikes on forest trails; I was pleased with my level of stamina.

Doug n Jen in VA

Doug and Jen at Cave Lake

Dean n Summer in VA

Dean & Summer with dam in background

I’ve continued to have intermittent digestive issues. With help from my GI doctor, things are improving; I’ve even put on a couple pounds recently.

We are planning to visit my son Brian and his girlfriend Angela over Christmas. We should be able to stay at their mountain home for a few days. They had snow there already:

First Snow

First snow in Ronald, Washington

Here are Brian and Angela in their Halloween outfits:

Haloween dress-up

Update

Another two weeks have passed, but it’s been pretty much more of the same: digestive issues, weight fluctuation, and working on improving flexibility and muscle tone.

I got up to 133 pounds at one point, but then a spate of diarrhea knocked me back 4 pounds. So far, I’ve gained 1 pound of it back.

I am still lacking the motivation to get back to storytelling and thanking people. Hopefully, I’ll experience some inspiration soon.

Jen and I are planning to take our camper to eastern Virginia for a few days starting Sunday. Hopefully, that will be a relaxing break for us.

Update

It’s been three weeks since my last update. I’ve continued to have digestion difficulties. My weight has plateaued at about 131 pounds. I’m planning to see a doctor today. I’m starting to use probiotics; maybe that will help.

Jen and I did get out with our camper a couple weeks ago for two nights at Mounds State Recreation Area at Brookville Lake in Indiana. We had a good time, but it was too hot. We are hoping to do more camping once the weather turns cooler.

Update

I’ve been doing reasonably well lately. I’ve held onto the 6 pounds I gained after they removed my biliary tube two weeks ago. I haven’t been very enthused about updating this blog lately; maybe the fall weather will pull me out of my funk.

I’m able to walk more than a mile on level ground now. I’m building up my strength and endurance gradually. Jen and I are hoping to do some traveling with our camper in the coming weeks and enjoy the fall season.

I attended a Sierra Club monthly meeting last night for the first time in a long time. It was nice to see everybody again.

A Turning Point

My local doctors didn’t see the need to have a trancystic stent put in (as proposed by the general surgeons at the Mayo Clinic).

They ran another cholangeogram test Tuesday morning, decided that everything looked fine, and so removed the biliary tube/bag that I’ve been using for two months now.

Since then, I put on 2-1/2 pounds in less than 48 hours! This after not having put on any weight since leaving the hospital.

Our belief is that almost all the bile was ending up in the external bag, with almost none of it making it into the small intestine. This inhibited the processing of fat. Now that bile is flowing normally again, it appears that I am processing fat normally (for the first time in a long time).

More Developments

Jen got home from the Apostle Islands at 2 AM Sunday morning; Martha, Dan and her drove straight through. She had a great time, and was able to keep up with the other experienced paddlers. They were rained-in one day on an island, but had good weather aside from that.

My brother Bill and his wife Jane left Monday morning for their home in Maine; they arrived home an hour ago.

Natalie got home Monday afternoon after her Weepin’ Willows gig in Chicago on Sunday. She’ll be staying with us for a few weeks until she reunites with Rick in the RV.

The REALLY GREAT NEWS came today: my local surgeon agrees with my local G.I. doctor that the proposed procedure at the Mayo Clinic on August 25th is not really needed. He’s agreed to take over care of my gallbladder, and is confident that we can deal with whatever arises!

Update

It has been an up-and-down week, but generally I seem to be moving in the right direction. My weight has stabilized, and I’m even gaining a bit of weight on good days.

My gallbladder seems to be stable for the time being. I was able to get an appointment with my local surgeon on Tuesday next week, so hopefully I’ll find out then what should be done about the gallbladder. I’d prefer to get it taken care of locally, rather than going back to the Mayo Clinic August 25 as currently planned.

Natalie re-joined the family Monday, and will be staying with us for a few weeks until she reunites with Rick on his RV. It’s been nice having her around while Jen has been out paddling the Apostle Islands.

IMG_1228

Jen ready to launch!

We haven’t heard from Jen since she launched, but we didn’t expect to. We should hear from her tomorrow, when she gets back to the mainland.

Today the doctor at the Mayo Clinic said I could start adding more fat to my diet. I had a Whopper Junior for lunch; it was great! Tonight Jane and Bill are preparing a wonderful shrimp dinner. Life is getting better!