Medicare Part B card finally arrived…Plans change…Thinking about the future…

Our friends Ken (left of Tom) and Don at a dinner party at our bush home in 2018. Many great memories!

This morning, I received a notice from our mailing service that a letter had arrived from Railroad Retirement. I am assuming it is my Medicare Part B membership card, which, as a spouse of a railroad worker, comes from them as opposed to Medicare itself. Once I have the card in hand, I will make an appointment for a cardiac ultrasound to determine how good or bad my valves are.

Hoping for a good outcome, I am anxious to find out if I can avoid another open heart surgery. The report I had in Manta, Ecuador, a few months ago and in Nelspruit, South Africa, indicated I have issues with both my mitral and tricuspid valves. If I can avoid surgery, I will be extremely excited.

Many patients with these issues never opt for surgery, but not doing so may shorten their life expectancy. It’s a tough decision, but once I have this test done in the US for the first time and receive a diagnosis and recommendation, I’ll go from there. I am trying not to worry about it until I know more. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to enjoy our daily lives while looking forward to plans for the future.

This morning, Tom’s sister Colleen called Tom to tell him there would be a special party for their sister Betty in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to celebrate Betty’s 70 years as a nun. This impacts our plans for the date we’re leaving for South Africa, which we’d planned for June 14. Apparently, the date of the party is yet undetermined but should be around June 15.

We’d planned to visit Betty on our way to Minnesota to see the family in May. Fortunately, we hadn’t arranged our flight from Minneapolis to Nelspruit yet. We’ve been watching the airfares with plenty of time to book flights for June. But, instead of flying out of Minneapolis, we can make the one-plus hour drive from Milwaukee, after the party, to Chicago, Illinois.

By flying out of Chicago, instead of Minneapolis, we can save about $1000 on our combined flights. The layovers and overall flight times are long, but we’ve dealt with that more times than we can count. We’ll figure it out once we know the official date of the celebration.

Also, once we know the date, we’ll let Louise know our new arrival date, which will most likely be three or four days later than initially planned. We’d already signed a rental agreement, paid a deposit, and may lose those few days of rent. But, this celebration is worth it to us to support Sister Beth (her name as a nun) on this special occasion.

Sometimes, things change that are beyond our control. In each case, we attempt to make the best of the situation and accommodate schedule changes accordingly. It usually works out well.

Not much is on the agenda over the weekend. Since we were out to dinner twice this past week, celebrating my birthday, we’re not dining out as we have most weekends. Next weekend, we’ll get our usual schedule and dine out on Friday or Saturday night.

Tonight, we’re having homemade taco salads, minus the carb-laden shells, seasoned ground turkey for me, ground beef for Tom, diced onions, tomatoes, green olives, cheese, and shredded romaine lettuce. My salad will be topped with hot Pace Picante sauce and spicy guacamole. We serve the salads with heated meat and topped with cheese and other items. Delicious!

Have a lovely weekend, and be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, February 24, 2014:

A male kudu visited on Saturday, lounging in the shade. It was the first time we’d seen a kudu lying down. For more photos, please click here.

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