Red Tide and Other Challenges

Sean and Jerry at Gulf View Grill

Sean and Jerry at Gulf View Grill

I was on the beach early Saturday morning for one of the last turtle patrol…not a fun one, I must say.  After 70 days we dig up nests to try to figure out what happened.  Did they hatch and we missed it?  Or didn’t any of them hatch at all?  Usually they didn’t hatch.  Sometimes we can figure out why, sometimes not.  Anyway it’s not my favorite part of the job and this year with Tropical Storm Hermine flooding our beaches and leaving behind a few extra feet of sand, it was a major project.  I dug down about theee feet…never did find those eggs and quit after an hour, hot and full of sand.

But it was beautiful the beach.  It’s never NOT beautiful early in the morning on the beach…beautiful except for all the dead fish along the shore.  Red tide ….yuk

Red tide is an algae bloom off shore that kills fish (they wash up and all you see for miles is dead fish along the edge of the water.)  And usually it causes respiratory distress.  All you can hear if you go down to the beach is people coughing.

Good news was it wasn’t really bad…lots of dead fish, no coughing, no scratchy throat.  Jerry and I even got to yoga on Sunday.  I’m not sure how bad it is up and down the coast but we’ve gotten off easy so far.

Other good news…Jerry continues to get better each day.   Isn’t the brain an incredible thing?  I am blown away with how far he has come.

Other news…no bypass surgery until after the holidays and maybe not even then.   We met with the surgeon this morning.   We’re waiting so Jerry can be in the best shape possible.  Even then, it’s up to him. It’s riskier than the typical bypass not only  because it’s a repeat (he had a triple bypass in 1998) but also because of the stroke. In order to do the surgery, he’d need to go off blood thinners which would put him at increased risk for another stroke.  That’s scary.   And, as Dr. Fong pointed out, he’s doing okay…no chest pain, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue.  So he’ll try to get in shape and we’ll meet with Dr. Fong again in January.

I really liked Dr. Fong.  In Being Mortal, Atuk Gawande, describes three kinds of doctors…paternalistic (ones who tell you what you need to do and what they’ll do for you…may not even give you all the information you need because they are going to make the decisions) informative (they give you all the options but provide no guidance, no recommendations) and collaborative (tell you the options and then listen carefully to you and what you want and try to help you find the way the make sense for you)  Dr Fong is collaborative…and we both feel very safe with him.

So we left Dr. Fong and headed home…and the Camry died on the way to Venice.  We spent the afternoon in the Toyota dealership in Sarasota when they brought her back to life with a new alternator and assorted other things ($1000 worth ) and we finally got home around 5:30.

Lucky us  it didn’t happen on the way TO the doctor.  And we had enough warning to get off the road and into a parking lot  and it was fixable  and we were fine  and we didn’t have any other appointments this afternoon.  Yep, it all worked out.

So we continue to muddle along  and slowly but surely we’re working our way back to normal.  Sean was here for almost a week and that was so good.  I took off and went to Milwaukee to my friend, Kate’s, memorial service.   It was a quick trip but I loved getting to know the Milwaukee Kate and meet some of her good friends.

And it’s funny.  One of the reasons,I haven’t done a blog in a few weeks is that I’ve been so busy but the other is that I’ve been a tad overwhelmed and wanted more than anything to just crawl in bed and pull up the covers and not wake up until everything was magically better.  And then, a few days ago, that heaviness lifted …maybe because things WERE better or maybe just because I was better.  It’s happened several times in the last six weeks…you know, when you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that there has to be a  light at the end of that damn tunnel and you wake up one day and there is light, glorious light…and you just can’t stop smiling.

Oh, here’s the ending to the day.  Jerry and I had a nice lunch at a German deli near the Toyota place and had it late so I wasn’t about to cook dinner when I got home.  I wasn’t even hungry.  So I (who never do this) suggested we have ice cream for supper. Jerry said he thought he might have a plant but yeah, ice cream sounded good.

A plant?  I said.  Oh you want a salad. (I am getting very good at reading his mind and translating his words)

He did mean salad…but we had ice cream.

At reception after Memorial Service...Kate's favorite

At reception after Memorial Service…Kate’s favorite

At reception

At reception





9 thoughts on “Red Tide and Other Challenges

  1. Glad to hear things are looking up. Think and pray for you both daily. Dr. Font is a wonderful human being….his son Jonathan was in my 4th grade class many years ago. I know of several people who have had amazing results from his guidance and care. He will also pray with you. I love that in a doctor.

    Take care….please keep the good news coming.


  2. Ice cream? Hummmmm, not a bad dinner! Glad to hear from you…Jerry looks great!

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Happy to hear that Jerry is doing so well. Keep putting that one foot in front of the other!

  4. So glad Jerry is doing better! Love the Cosmos!!

  5. Love hearing your thoughts in your blog! And so glad Jerry is making good progress. We are enjoying all our memories from our trip. And we pray for you both and hope to adventure together maybe again one of these days!

  6. We like to have dessert before dinner, but dessert FOR dinner? Now you’re talking!!! So happy to hear there is progress.

  7. It was so wonderful talking with you the other day. I’m glad you guys do not have to rush into the surgery and can take more time for Jerry to recover. It’s wise for him to be in the best shape physically and mentally if you decide down the road that surgery is the path to take. I think I was not the only one missing your blog as it seems, while you are searching for the light, you share the hope and insight that it is still there to be found. Keep smiling…

  8. Dr. Fong sounds wonderful. I am so glad that you found such a guiding light to get you through this. Also I am so happy you were able to go to Kate’s memorial service. You are amazing my friend.

  9. So glad Jerry is improving more each day and that you can resume your normal activities!
    Must’ve been great having Sean visit! See you next week!😎🐢🌴

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