It’s not easy…

The view from the dining room in the house in Campanario, Madeira, in May 2014.

Each day, when I load my computer to prepare another post, I ask myself, “What will I write about today?” Unless something specific has happened that inspired me for the day, I am often at a loss as to what to write. It’s easy when traveling with endless photo ops and stories to tell. Right now, it’s not easy.

At times like this, when it’s not exciting, I peruse the most recent news to see if there’s something interesting to report. Often, that news is distressing, and I don’t care to go down that road too often.

Yesterday, when a police officer and two civilians were killed (see the story here) and several injured in a shooting only 20 minutes from here, I cringed over writing about this. But a part of me feels compelled to report such local incidences to serve as a warning to everyone to be careful. Even so, there would have been no way to prevent what happened. The only lesson it serves us right now is to stay away from Minneapolis if possible and stick to the suburbs.

But even suburbs aren’t exempt from shootings and crimes. Nowhere is safe, including many areas we’ve traveled throughout the world. We’ve been fortunate, although we’ve made many efforts to stay safe, but no measures can ensure total safety.

Now, back to commenting about what to write during these quiet times, which is more in my mind now than in the past, I can’t help but be concerned about the upcoming many months. I even considered taking a break from posting, not for me but for all our readers who may become tired of our mundane posts and stories with nothing much going on.

Based on our current circumstances, it is almost three months until my appointments at Cleveland Clinic, beginning on August 28. Once we arrive, a series of tests will transpire, possibly over a few weeks. Once the tests are completed, there will be a surgical consultation with Tom and me to discuss and determine the course of action and time frame for the upcoming surgery.

From there, it could be as long as two months until I have the surgery, during which, most likely, we’ll stay in Cleveland while we wait. They will plan my surgery date based on two factors: 1. The severity of my situation, 2. The availability of a time slot for the surgery. I have no control over either of these factors.

There will be other patients lying in hospital beds with my condition, with worse symptoms disabling them, that will have precedence over my case. I fully understand and accept this reality. Also, if I were a celebrity, the waiting would be minimal. That’s another fact of life.

Thus, if the consultation occurs in mid-September, and I can have surgery within two months, the surgery might occur in mid-December. From there, with at least a three-month recovery period sufficient for air travel, it could be mid-March until we can fly to South Africa. If my recovery is slower, we could be as late as next June, a year from now. As much as that is a painful thought, it’s a possibility.

Although after my last open-heart surgery, I was able to travel three months later, it took me a year to fully recover. This may be shorter for younger patients, and also, since I already have coronary artery disease, the recovery period may be longer. I don’t know the answers to that now…everyone is different in their recovery.

Subsequently, I don’t know what I’ll write about in the next three months other than to continue on this current path…the trivialities of our daily lives, not necessarily trivial to us but undoubtedly trivial to our worldwide readers. Once we get to Cleveland, we’ll share the processes at the clinic, where we’re living, and so forth.

Once I have the surgery, most likely, there will be a two-week lull when I won’t be able to write at all. Once I can move my arms a little, I will begin again, with the utmost enthusiasm, knowing the healing process has begun. I can’t wait to get this over with.

After careful consideration, I have decided I will continue to do the posts, however dull and uneventful they may be. If you find yourselves uninterested, you know what to do. We understand and offer the utmost gratitude for your encouragement and support over all these years.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 31, 2014:

We chose a table closest to the ocean under a bright red umbrella, casting a red glow on our photos. For more photos, please click here.