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So Long, Weirton

I used to live in Weirton, West Virginia in an apartment...not in a regular apartment building. My building basically looked like a house with an extra wing. There were 4 apartments, 3 in the front and one around back on a lower level. Unfortunately, I wound up not being able to stay there due to my poor health and moved in with my brother and his wife last fall. Cleaning out my apartment and all my stuff has been a slow arduous process. We finally finished it today, though.

I had previously written about a cat I took in last year I named Tammy. We were letting her stay in the old apartment because I could only bring one cat here and I had to choose Cindy who's been with me for over 12 years. The last two times my family went to my apartment, there was no sign of her and her food hadn't been touched so it's obvious she managed to escape during one of their cleaning sessions. I feel bad about her escaping but I did have her spayed last year so at least she won't have any more kittens. I wrote about her in a previous post.

Meanwhile, Cindy has definite health issues. She has a large lump on a leg and has a heart murmur which might indicate heart disease. She had been peeing a fair amount and we first thought she was diabetic but it turns out that is not the case. We are waiting for her lab results which could happen any day now. Once they're in, we'll decide on our next move.

Roger's Latest Medical Report

I'm going to have to stop visiting doctors. Every time I go, I find something else is wrong with me. And I was looking at myself through my cellphone's camera and because of my thin neck (and other things), I look like I'm about 85. Gross. Recent medical revelations...

My vascular surgeon tried to unplug the arteries in my legs but it seems the problem's not that they're plugged...but that I now have hardening of the arteries. That's not a fun thing to hear. I also learned during the pre-op that I have a hernia. That doctor also recently informed me I have pulmonary hypertension of the arteries in my lungs. That is causing fluid to leak into my stomach and that is probably the cause of my hernia. That doctor has referred me to a doctor who works out of the hospital at Ohio State University. He tells me she's one of the best doctors in the country. I'll see her next month. My surgeon also said I had the wrong shoes so I went shopping for those today...special shoes for diabetics. Two pair of shoes that cost me just over $300.

I recently had my colonoscopy. That had better results. They did find one polyp but it wasn't cancerous. They do want me to have another colonoscopy in a year. More fun to look forward to.

Cable Channels I Miss

As many know, I have left my old apartment and now reside with my brother and his wife. The only thing I miss about my new situation (apart from Tammy, the cat left behind) is that we don't get all the TV cable channels here I was getting there. I was getting something like 155 channels via Comcast there. Here we have a more local cable service and don't get every channel I liked getting before. Don't get me wrong...I do enjoy what we have. We get something like 70 channels here but here's a few channels I do miss...

MLB Network--During the season, they air something like 5-6 baseball games a week. They also have some other programs I liked seeing, especially Intentional Talk, a show hosted by Kevin Millar and another guy named Rose (forget his first name now...I guess absence does erase memories!). While I miss this channel, I do still get to see most of my own baseball team's games which are aired locally on Root Sports.

GSN--Formerly known as Game Show Network, they now just use the initials of their former name. I like game shows, but frankly have seen most of what they had to offer already. I don't get to see their new version of The Newlywed Game hosted by Sherri Shepherd but that's really about the only show on there that may still have episodes I haven't seen...well, that and the new version of Minute To Win It, I guess.

Encore Westerns--I got all of the Encore channels...there was regular Encore, plus several other channels which each covered a certain genre. I like their Westerns channels the best. I like their western TV series but they didn't show enough different western movies. How many times can you see one movie? I do have many DVDs of both western movies and TV shows so this is one channel I basically can program my own version of.

The Cat Cometh

Since my hospital stay in December, I've been living with my brother and his wife...their home is now my home. They told me Cindy would be welcomed here once Christmas was over. We recently put away most of the Christmas decorations (there's still some on the refrigerator and a few small ones here and there) but te big stuff like the Christmas tree has been put away. We picked up some more things the last few days and finally went to my old apartment today and picked up Cindy. When we got here, she started checking the place out cautiously but went under my brother's bed before long. She didn't stay under there for long...maybe an hour or so. My first cat Shadow spent about 4 days under my bed before he ventured out. This time it helped that Cindy has lived with me for about 12 years and she had seen Sherrill several times when he went up to check on her and Tammy. Now I need to do something about Tammy, my other cat. One of my dialysis nurses had said she'd take Tammy, but that was over a month ago. I haven't seen that nurse lately (her name is Amanda) so I need to get in touch with her and see if she still wants her. One catch might be that I've not seen Tammy lately. Either she's gotten out, something as happened to her or she's one darn good hider. I'm betting on the latter. Tammy has hidden well from me on earlier occasions.

I got my eyes examined this past week and the ordered new eyeglasses at a trip to Wal-Mart. My sister-in-law Diane said to get "cool" glasses. I've been called many things before but I don't think cool was ever one of them. But I think (I'll like these new glasses. Perhaps when I get them, I'll take a new photo of myself and use it as a new profile photo. Cindy is with me in my current one so may try to get her in that new photo, too.

I just finished my latest book, one that is currently residing in my Kindle Fire. The book is Commodork and is written by online friend Rob O'Hara. It deals with his experiences with the Commodore 64 in the year or so before a new invention called the internet reared it's ugly head. I found it very interesting. Rob has written a second book, one on collecting video game arcade machines. I have no plans to get into that so the interest level might be limited forme...then again,I liked Commodork and I was never into the Commodore computers, being an Atari computer guy myself. Now I'll have to pick another book. Either I'll pick another book in my Kindle Fire or maybe get back to my 1,001 Movies To See Before I Die. I note they've done revised versions...this means to add the new titles I've heard they have that they would have to remove a handful of films (or more) to make room for those and keep the title at 1,001 Movies... How do they choose which ones to give the boot to?

Hospital Stays and Other Updates

Wow, I can't believe I haven't updated here since September...that's two months. I wonder if anyone besides my family and Jen is reading this. I'll continue for now anyway.

Today happens to be my cat Cindy's "Saved" Day. A pet's saved day is what you give them if you don't know what their birthday is...it's basically the day you took them in. I took Cindy in on November 24, 2001 which was 2 days after Thanksgiving that year. This means she's now been with me for 12 years. She is the B&W cat seen with me in my profile photo here. She was about 6 months old when I went to get her. I ha to drive to a small town in Ohio to get her. About half the trip home, she was hiding underneath the front passenger car seat but by the time we got to my town, she was up and walking around on my shoulders which made me laugh. At any rate, she's now about 12 and a half years old now.

I spent time in a hospital three straight months: September, October and November. This last time, I wound up there with pneumonia and congestive heart failure. I've been out of the hospital now for close to 2 weeks but I am not recovered I'm still very tired and weak and it will take quite awhile to get over this. I am on oxygen and living with my very giving brother and his wife. They're not just good people, they're very good people even though my brother gives me a hard time now and then...I know that (in most instances) it's meant in good fun.

We had our first real "outing" yesterday, driving up to Robinson Township, Pennsylvania. We stopped first at Old Navy an I barely made it inside...having to stop and lean against a post so I went immediately back to the car. I did better t Sam's Club (I got to ride one of those motorized carts with a basket on it though I did get to the store and back without much problem) and we had a nice meal at Longhorn Steakhouse.

I had been getting dialysis twice a week but two doctors told me I needed to return to three times a week. One doctor said if I didn't, toxins would creep into my brain. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

Two Weeks In A Hospital

Yesterday, I got out of the hospital. I had gone in Monday of last week. I went in after I went to my dialysis clinic and I was told I was finding it very difficult getting to my seat. I went in and found I had infection of my dialysis and of my blood. I also wound up getting a fever and ran a temperature of up to 103. For the first half of the time I was there, I couldn't walk straight without assistance...ten I started getting better. I was getting dialysis every other day. My weight dropped...my lightest this week was 179.6 or so. The last time they weighed me, I had ballooned back up to about 183. I finally was discharged yesterday. I got a breakfast invite to my brother's this morning where I had waffles and plums.

Hoo-Hah, Another Update!

My next-door neighbor got a pet just recently. The father is allergic to cats, so they got themselves a white rabbit. I don't know if his allergies would come up if around the rabbit but the bunny is being kept in a coop...not a chicken coop...I guess we can call it a bunny coop. The rabbit is completely white...I haven't learned the name of the rabbit but it they're as predictable at names as the girls in the family have been before, I figure the will name the rabbit Snowball or some such thing.

My newest cat, Tammy Tabby, is reacting like most cats I've seen, meaning she has been racing around the apartment at about 50 miles per hour. She's haveing fun...with Tadpole at least. She still doesn't particularly like my other female cat Cindy. Maybe they have issues about who's the dominant queen of the clan?

I've been given a different "binder" from my dialysis clinic. This is a drug designed to keep phosphorous out of my system. I'm not sure why they call them binders. The one I'd been taking has raised the amount of calcium in my system a bit too much so we're trying this one. It has less calcium in it so we'll see how it does in keeping the phosphorous level down. I was given 3 bottles of it...each bottle has 30 tablets...and I use 2 tablets for a meal and 1 per snack. I didn't have to pay for these...that will obviously change if it turns out they want me to continue using these regularly.

So far, my baseball team is doing well...they lost today but won 3 of 4 games against the series that ended today. My team is the Pittsburgh Pirates who last had a winning record way back in 1992. Twenty years without a winning season is a sports record...not something to be proud of!

A Rare Update

I don't seem to update much anymore but here's one. I wonder if I should keep this going or try a different site? I don't get many comments and I have several LJ friends but only about one of them (Jen) seems to post anymore. I'll have to think about that.

My new cat Tammy is adjusting to life with my other cats Cindy and Tadpole. Today I saw her and Tadpole lying next to each other...except that there was a glass door between them, the door leading out to the balcony. Tammy is the one cat who sleeps with me now. Tammy still isn't quite that comfortable with Cindy but I'm not hearing that much hissing when they accidentally get close to each other now.

I saw one movie last year, Marvel's The Avengers. I may see one movie this year...if so, it will likely be Man Of Steel which is the new Superman movie. Movie reviewers are giving it midling scores so far. Entertainment Weekly and Richard Roeper gave it C's and Leonard Maltin gave it two and a half stars in his 4-star system. So I have to decide whether to break down and go see it in a theater or wait and get it on Blu-ray or DVD.

Tammy Tabby


I recently became the owner of a third cat...or I gained a third owner cat...I'm not sure which is the more accurate description. I wasn't planning on this but sometimes things occur beyond your control.

There are a number of stray cats that come around that I put food out for. I have given names to several of them. There is Buster, a striped and white cat...Fluff Fluff, a long-haired cat...and Crier, a black cat that's always meowing. But the friendliest (towards me, anyway) has always been a grey striped cat (what people call a tabby cat), the only stray that's ever hopped up on my lap while I'm sitting in a plastic chair outside. I first called her Tommy Tabby but then she got pregnant so I figured Tommy wasn't an appropriate name so I altered her name to Tammy Tabby. Recently, she got pregnant again...for about the third time I'm guessing. Unfortunately, she started delivering and her kittens came out dead. I worried that some remains of her kittens might stay inside of her where they would begin to rot. That would probably cause Tammy to die herself.

I tried to make an appointment at my regular animal hospital but they said they couldn't fit her in and simply suggested I take her to an animal shelter. Maybe I felt too close to Tammy by this time (I'd been seeing her for a few years, after all) so I wasn't too happy with that suggestion. About 5-6 years ago, I found a guinea pig and my hospital wouldn't see her either (my hospital doesn't treat small animals, just cats & dogs) so I was able to get her into another animal hospital that happens to be very close to where my dad lives. So I called them and was able to get Tammy in there that day. The vet there told me she couldn't feel any other kittens inside Tammy but gave her an injection because she was running a fever. She also gave her something to do away with any placenta remaining in her.

We gave Tammy some time to recover and then they spayed her. This morning they removed the sutures from that operation. By now, I had decided to keep Tammy. She was snuggling with me on the first night. By the time I had gotten Tammy home from the hospital the first night, I had already decided to keep her. Tammy is a very gentle and loving cat...to me anyway. Of course, I had an early advantage as Tammy already knew I was the one who had been feeding her. How will she react to my other two cats? Well, that's a story yet to be told. I have been keeping them separated until Tammy was well again. We'll see how that goes in the very near future.

A Few Funny Stories From My Past

My Lottery Extravaganza
Do you recall your first lottery experiences? I remember when my state first got a lottery. You picked six numbers from 1-30. I started marking down the winning numbers each week and I noted certain numbers seemed to come up often so I started playing those numbers. One night ingot very excited when I had all six numbers right! But my elation didn't last long...the next morning, I learned that not only did I have a winning ticket, but there were 42 other people who also had winning tickets! The jackpot was $260,000 but my share, after taxes, only amounted to about $4,600. Well, it was better than nothing, I guess...

Danny and the Pizza
Back in the 1960's, when I was a kid, my family lived in a small area in the country called Louise in West Virginia. You won't find it on a map as it's not really a town. It only had one business, a beer joint. The only time I was ever in there was when they had us kids go through it, meet Santa and get bags from Santa which contained fruit and other treats. At that time, my family lived in a tall two-story house...possibly the nicest house in Louise. That would be fitting, after all, I had the best parents and the world's best dog. And as to my brothers...ehhh.

We had several dogs...a black cocker spaniel named Blackie (okay, maybe original dog names wasn't exactly my parents' strong suit) and at least 4 different beagles...and Danny. Danny was a large mutt of a dog...he looked a little like a golden retriever and a little like a collie. He may have been part of those and he may have had other breeds in his multi-mixed genes. If you've heard of the magical bygone days of a boy and his dog...Danny was the dog.

Back in those days, when we wanted pizza, Mom would make it. No Pizza Huts back in that day, I guess. I think she made it in a large rectangular cookie sheet. I remember one time she made such a sheet of pizza and we then sat down and enjoyed it. We ate about half of it and then decided to go outside for awhile, leaving just Danny inside. At this point, Danny was probably still a puppy. When we finally went back inside, we went to get the rest of the pizza and found a surprise waiting for us. The pizza didn't look like it had been touched with one minor detail. Every piece of pepperoni was gone. Danny had gingerly removed and eaten every piece of pepperoni without touching the rest of the pizza.