October 2008
August 2008 October November 2008
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View entire year's route With Google Earth 223K
View year's Camps With Google Earth 33K
View this month's route With Google Earth 31K

The first leg of our travels will take us from Washington DC to New Orleans where we will attend the IGRA annual convention. Frank will be webcasting the proceedings and supplying the computers needed to run the projector screens. After that we will head west into Texas where we will probably spend about a month. Then on into New Mexico and Arizona and southern California before turning east again. We expect to return home sometime in March.
Tuesday, October 21 Todays route using Google Earth
Fort Chiswell RV Campground,   Max Meadows, Virginia   Locate this campground with Google Earth $29.21 per night
We are on the road again. This morning we finished packing, turned off the water and set the furnace low then readied ourselves for 5 months of traveling. We got off to a poor start, or should I say the truck didn't start and required a jump from the other truck. We headed west on I 66 then south on I 81 covering 280 miles.  This is a very pertly campground. One to come back to, and the owner was very friendly with a strong south west Virginia accent.
Wednesday, October 22 Todays route
Riverside RV Park and Resort,   Sevierville, Tennessee   Locate this campground with Google Earth $31.22 per night
We headed further south west today covering another 135 miles. Frank is having some chest pains and is worried that it might be a heart problem. But when he eats something the pain goes away so may be an ulcer. He will call later today and talk to his health advisor. We are beginning to get the trailer back into shape. At the start of the last trip we were worried as to how the trailer would travel. This one has not had the same effect. The trees are at their peak of color but not the best of years.  
Thursday, October 23 Todays route
Twin Lakes Catfish Farm and RV Park,   Baxter, Tennessee   Locate this campground with Google Earth $27.00 per night

Hi All. Please forgive this generic email to several, but I needed to simply bring most of you up to date on Frank.

We left Northern Virginia on Tuesday and headed to New Orleans. On Wednesday he complained about slight chest pain and blamed it on indigestion. On Thursday morning we awoke in Knoxville, TN and left the campsite heading west around noon. Within an hour his indigestion was back with a vengeance. After six Gaviscon and three Motrin, Frank said he was in pain and his left arm was hurting. He asked me to take him to a hospital.

I called 911 and they helped me locate the nearest hospital...20 miles away. We drove to their ER. After several hours of tests, it was determined that his EKG was fine, but he had elevated heart enzymes (tested twice, the second level higher than the first). Their conclusion was Frank was having or had recently had a heart attack. They also said they would have Frank transported to a town closer to Nashville which specializes in cardiac patients.

So while I relocated the trailer to be closer to the second hospital, they sent Frank by ambulance.

On Friday he had a procedure called a heart catheter where they go in through the groin and can follow arteries to examine the heart with dyes etc. Then they can determine if there is a problem. If a problem exists then they can choose one of three alternatives: 1) try to solve the problem with medicines; 2) put in a stint to expand clogged areas; 3) perform open heart surgery.

Friday's Cath lab image of Frank's blocked arteries.

Frank's cardiologist said after the procedure that Frank had had minor or a series of minor heart attacks. He has three small but 90% blockages in the Circumfles artery, but wants to try medicines first. This Dr has been speaking to Frank's primary HIV Kaiser doctor in Springfield, VA.

Frank is doing fine, and will remain the hospital until at least Sunday morning, if all goes well. Assuming it does, we will continue on to convention in New Orleans, but limit Frank to stress free activities. Then we will travel for three weeks, returning to VA for a follow up examine at Kaiser. All of this is subject to his cardiologist's and main Kaiser Dr approval.

I am taking in a notebook and an internet connection, so Frank should be on line tonight to Saturday.


Sunday, October 26

Frank had the heart catheter procedure on Friday and his cardiologists wanted to try a "medicine only" regimen. But two days later Frank was still having chest pain.

So a decision was made this morning to go back in and place a stint in the blocked arteries.

Before insertion of first stint.
First stint being installed.
After first stint placement.

Frank now has two stints and is recovering. I do not know yet if his doctors will release him Monday, but I suspect unless there is a relapse, he will be released Monday or Tuesday. If released on Monday, it is conceivable that we will go on to New Orleans


Monday, October 27

Frank was released from the hospital today with two stints... and a lot of medicine to take. Tomorrow we are heading to New Orleans and may arrive on Thursday. We will be staying at the Marriott with our trailer six blocks away. We both need now to lose weight and become more health conscience.

Thanks for all your prayers and concerns.

Tuesday, October 28

Yes, it is me again. Frank was released from the hospital yesterday and we spent a quiet night in the campground.

This morning we started west to New Orleans but turned around after travelling ten miles. Frank's right foot was numb and cold. So around we went back to the campground to drop the trialer, and then back to the hospital. After some ultrasounds, they declared him healthy, but said some swelling at the groin incisions were pushing on nerves, causing the colder feet.

Frankly (no pun intended) we are running out of time to make it to New Orleans, plus even though Frank promised to minimize his work efforts, it would cause some stress. Six nights near Nashville have consumed too much time for the trip. In my life I have found if I pushed too hard to achieve something... then that something is wrong. I have tried to relax and float with life's stream... rather than continually fight the current upstream.

That being said, we are heading back home to Virginia tomorrow. Hey guys, we tried.


Wednesday, October 29 Todays route
Cave Country RV Campground,   Cave City, Kentucky   Locate this campground with Google Earth $30.80 per night
Today we moved on toward home, taking back roads and are now just outside Mammoth Cave National Park. The fall leaves are at their peak as we travel through the back roads of Kentucky and Tennessee.   We will spend some time at the park visitor center tomorrow but will probably not take any of the cave tours as Frank couldn't take the walks or climbs. This is a very nice, well maintained campground that is only on its third year. Very friendly owner.

Thursday, October 30
This morning we went to Wal-Mart and Frank figured he could hang on to the back of a cart and just take it easy. Turned out he was wrong. Just slowly walking to the bed pillow department, then to the electronics department exhausted him and got his heart pounding. He had to lay down and rest for an hour after getting back to the trailer. It's going to take quite some time to recover his stamina. We had planned on going to the Mammoth Cave visitor center and just look at the exhibits and film, but we just stayed in the trailer instead. Frank has found he can work on web pages as long as it doesn't get frustrating.

October 31 Todays route
The Outpost RV Park,   Salt Lick, Kentucky   Locate this campground with Google Earth $20.00 per night
Today we drove through much of the Kentucky Blue Grass area and around Lexington we saw so many beautiful horse farms. This is the place for horse money.   This campground is pleasant but a bit crowded with seasonals and permanents. Nice scenery around, lots of trees in the distance.   Almost no trees in the campground. Todays drive was a bit too much for Frank. His stint insertion point hemorrhaged slightly today but very little blood seems to have been released. It's Halloween but I don't think we will see any trick-or-treaters.