Yesterday feels like a long time ago.
Yesterday morning we had to run a few errands. As we started out, we stopped at our mailbox to get the mail. We found a card from the realtor who helped us find our house. He had sent us a $100 gift certificate from Home Depot as a thank you for choosing him as our realtor. I thought that was amazing. He really was a nice guy.
Michigan was expecting severe weather yesterday. I enjoyed watching the interesting clouds come in, but all we got was some heavy rain. However, the Mid-Michigan region had terrible storms. Friends down there had terrible storms, heavy rain, flooding, tornadoes, and power outages. Yikes.
A massive solar storm has been hitting the earth, which means the Northern Lights are very powerful. EJ saw the Northern Lights glimmering and dancing over the lakes as he drove home from work last night at about 1 a.m. or so. He said they were some of the most powerful he had ever seen. He woke us when he got home so we could see them too. We all went outside, but couldn’t see any so EJ drove us to the lake shore where we’d have a more unhindered view. Alas, we didn’t really see any because they had died down by then. Bummer. However, they are supposed to be very powerful again tonight so we are definitely going to watch for them. I have only ever seen the Northern Lights once in my life, and they were relatively weak.
After our night-time adventures, I had trouble getting back to sleep. I finally fell asleep about 5:30 a.m. With so little sleep last night, I was very tired today. Yawn. I’m not sure why the nights are always sleepless just before a busy day.
Today JJ had his port taken out. Because the removal was scheduled for the afternoon, I had to take JJ to the hospital myself, without EJ. I was able to get us to the hospital and back again with the help of Viki, our GPS. I get lost VERY easily, but I feel more confident finding my way in this new region than in the old. Viki helps, of course, but I also like that there are no freeways to navigate. Freeways make me nervous because if I miss an exit or take a wrong one, I could have to drive miles before I can turn around. With no freeways, I can just make a few turns to correct a mistake.
Viki was able to help on the roads, but not in the hospital. I tend to get lost in the maze of hallways inside a hospital. I laughed when we went to the information desk inside the hospital to find out where we were supposed to go. The lady behind the counter printed out a form for JJ to take with him and then immediately called a volunteer to walk us to the correct place. I thought, “It it so obvious that I can get lost anywhere?”
JJ was given the choice of either having twilight anesthesia (which means he’s not totally asleep, but not aware either) or to just have localized anesthesia. The nurse said that most people choose to just have local anesthesia. Seriously? They are awake and aware as the port is removed? Bleagh! JJ felt as I did and chose to have heavier anesthesia but he says he still was quite aware of the procedure. As always, I made him laugh before they wheeled him away. He said he babbled through most of the procedure. He was quite “loopy” when they returned him to his room where I was waiting. He babbled, didn’t make sense, and couldn’t decide on what to eat from the menu they gave him. I had to choose food for him. After an hour, he had recovered enough that they let us go home.
A month or two ago, a friend of ours asked if she could have JJ port when it was taken out. We asked, “Ok….uh, why on earth would you want JJ’s port?”
Our friend, Cris, is a member of Michigan Search and Rescue, which is an all volunteer missing persons response team serving Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. As they describe on their website, their services include those of trailing dogs – usually bloodhounds who trail the scent of a specific person from their last known location. Also included are airscent or wilderness dogs. These dogs range from their handlers and look for any human scent – alive or recently deceased. When they locate such a scent, they return to the handler in order to lead the handler back to what they’ve found. Cris has a human remains detection specialist dog. These teams specialize in locating deceased individuals including buried and drowning victims. I think the work they do is awesome. I actually got to meet several of the MISAR handlers and their dogs a few years ago when they worked at a local cemetery finding “lost” grave sites. It’s really interesting following the adventures of my friend and other MISAR handlers at Facebook as they train and work their dogs in all sorts of settings. Here is a video of one of my friend’s training sessions with her dog, Joe Pete.
When we asked Cris why she wanted JJ’s port, she told me, “Dogs recognize chemotherapy drugs as bad stuff. They have to learn to work through the scent to the human scent. Birds of prey won’t go after bodies that had chemo either. They are doing studies at the FOREST in North Carolina.” MISAR doesn’t often have an opportunity to train the dogs to search for people/remains of those who have had chemotherapy. Therefore, my friend wants JJ’s port as a training tool for the dogs. I would have forgotten to ask the medical staff for JJ’s port, but JJ remembered to ask and they gave him the port after they removed it.
I think it’s really awesome that we can help MISAR a little by donating JJ’s port.