Guess what?…Nine days and counting…But, right now, life is good…Reading books?…

Our photo was taken in December 2014, when our kids and grandkids came to visit us on the Big Island in Hawaii, at the observation point while Mount Kilauea was erupting. What an adventure!

We wouldn’t have complained if everything at the beginning of our visit to Mirador San Jose had been like it is now. We’ve had power for 36 hours. We have plenty of food to get us through until we depart in nine days when the little store stocked up on meat, and yesterday, we made enough purchases to round out what we need.

I feel like myself again now that I’m back on two pills a day of the antiarrhythmic drug Flecainide again. I know I will be able to get a prescription to hold me over until my ProgressiveRX order arrives at the end of the month. Yesterday, I called a CVS Pharmacy Minute Clinic. Their medical professionals will prescribe the above drug to fill the gap I was concerned about. Finally, I can stop thinking of this.

Based on the two visits I had to a highly qualified cardiologist in the past month, who continues to check on me on WhatsApp and who says surgery is not required immediately, I will wait until we get to South Africa so I can see my cardiologist there, whom I trust, and have another ultrasound to see if my situation is worsening. If it’s not, I’ll have a scan every six months. If it is, I’ll have to decide if I want to go through another open heart surgery.

But I am not worrying about that anymore. I let it go to continue enjoying our lives now that I feel so well again. The only side effect I’m experiencing from the drug is a little sleepiness about four hours after taking each of the two doses. I can live with this. This helps me sleep better at night, and after the morning dose, a nap is all that’s needed during the day—no big deal.

Today is an easy day. All I have to do is chop and dice for tonight’s dinner and make our little mid-day lunch of sliced ham and cheese rollups. Tom has watermelon with his snack, and I may have cooked broccoli on the side with mine. I haven’t been hungry for breakfast lately, but Tom continues to enjoy his buttered toast with strawberry jam, so we have our little lunch around 11:00. This holds us until dinner.

I continue to stay on my diet, motivated to help with my condition, and so far, I’ve lost 15 pounds and started noticing how better my clothes are beginning to fit. I still have ten more pounds to return to where I was when we first started traveling. These next ten pounds will be the most noticeable. But, as most know, losing the last ten pounds is challenging. Right now, my weight loss is at a snail’s pace, only at about one pound a week, if I’m lucky.

Overall, I am not hungry since I continue to keep my carbs at bay, although I’ve had to up them from 20 grams a day to about 40 grams a day to ensure I get full with lots of vegetables and strawberries. Calories do count whether we like it or not, regardless of how and what we eat. Based on my lowered level of exercise at this point, as I slowly improve my heart health, which is ultimately most important for me, the weekly loss is minimal to keep the Afib under control.

But I will persevere. If I only lose ½  pound a week for the next 20 weeks, I will reach my goal by April 24, 2024. As quickly as time flies, it won’t be long before I get there. Once I achieve my goal, I will adjust my intake to maintain what I’ve lost. Health concerns have been a massive motivator for me when I had little motivation in the past to keep me on track. My clothes fitting better and appearing less chunky didn’t help motivate me to reduce my food intake. Now, it’s somewhat easy.

We enjoy listening to various podcasts while working on our computers during the day, and when there’s a lull, we both get a kick out of playing fun games on our phones. Since neither of us reads many books these days after binge-reading in the early days of our world travels. I can’t seem to focus enough to get lost in a fiction book, although I will occasionally read a non-fiction book, most of which I received for free from Amazon Prime on the Kindle app on my phone.

When lost in a fiction book, the time passes way too quickly for my liking, and at this point in life, I’d prefer to eke out every possible moment of my day being present instead of being lost in a book. In the first three or four years of our world travels, I read over 300 books that are still on my Kindle App.

That’s it for today, dear readers.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, December 5, 2013:

We encountered these two wildebeest as we rounded the corner from our house. Enormous, it was taller than a horse, much larger than any of the wildebeest we’d seen at the tail end of the Great Migration at the border of Kenya and Tanzania. For more photos, please click here.