I took this title from a Johnny Cash song and I'll admit I haven't been as everywhere as he was in the song but I've definitely been around. Just not around here.
I'm going to document where I've been because years from now (actually probably hours from now) I'll have trouble remembering the sequence of events. Thank goodness I take lots of pictures to help me keep things sorted out.
I have to start out by talking a little bit about Sarah. She has had such a struggle lately. She was diagnosed and treated for rheumatoid arthritis many years ago. She eventually went into remission but back in about December some symptoms started to flare up again. Sarah being Sarah, tried to keep on keeping on. But, finally she went to her mostly absent rheumatologist (in six years she only saw him 3 times - the rest of the visits were with his PA). Since she was running a fever, they didn't want to start her back on biologics (like Embrel and Humira) so they prescribed steroids.
To keep it short, she has battled joint, muscle, and bone pain, fever, sore throat, and a myriad of odd symptoms for the last six months. And she has seen an equal number of specialists who were unable to make a diagnosis. Finally one of these doctors suggested Cleveland Clinic. And that's where I came in.
I had been pushing Mayo Clinic (and Cleveland Clinic is very similar) for several months and promising every bit of help possible if she would only go. The day she called and asked if I was serious, was a happy day for me. If I could take her to her appointment, Mike could take care of the home, the kids, and his job.
That's how it happened that on May 19th, I left for Cleveland. I stayed in a motel that night and picked Sarah up at the airport on the 20th in time for her appointment. She met with a wonderful doctor there who was dismayed at the steroids that had been prescribed for her. Unfortunately, they masked some symptoms and created others so he sent her home with a schedule to wean from them and to come back and be admitted a few weeks later.
That night we drove to Louisville and I stayed until the 22nd, spent one night at home, and Harry and I left for Colorado Springs the next day.
Although we love visiting Dan and Teresa and the kids, this was one of those visits with a melancholy overtone. The reason we desperately wanted to get out there was that Dan was leaving for Afghanistan soon and we knew it would be some time before we'd see him again.
We arrived in Colorado Springs on the 24th and stayed through Memorial Day. What a wonderful visit it was. The only downsides were his pending deployment and a problem I was having with my eyes. Although I was happy to finally go to a driving range and putting green in anticipation of actually hitting the golf course some day, by the second day outdoors, my eye was killing me. Since I'm almost a doctor (in my mind) I treated it with some old eye antibiotics and it seemed to improve. More about that in another post.
We left Colorado Springs on the 28th, spent some time in Omaha with Lori and the kids, and arrived home on the 29th.
On the 31st we left again for Louisville. Although it was only a stop on our way to our new destination of Virginia, we just had to look in on Sarah who was still struggling with all her undiagnosed symptoms.
The reason we were going to Virginia was to stay with Dave and Patty's kids while they attended Battalion Commander and Battalion Commander's Wife schools in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. We did the same thing for Dan and Teresa last year while they attended their respective schools and we always felt happy and honored to be able to help out for such an awesome cause.
We arrived at Dave and Patty's on the 1st of June and after a wonderful week with the kids, headed home on the 8th.
We were home that evening which was good because Amber and Chris and their little ones visited but early on the 9th, I was on my way again to Cleveland. I picked Sarah up at the airport and we checked into the Cleveland Clinic Guesthouse hotel.
On the 10th, she was admitted to the hospital for a barrage of tests and most importantly a diagnosis and treatment plan. On the 13th, she was released from the hospital with no definite diagnosis but with a plan for treatment of her inflammatory arthritis symptoms. I stayed until the 15th and was home until early on the 23rd when I picked up Sarah in Louisville and we drove back to Cleveland for her follow-up appointment on the 24th.
After the appointment we drove back to Louisville and I stayed until the 30th. I didn't need to stay that long but I just couldn't leave without lending a hand to a couple of wonderful kids (Sarah and Mike) who'd had a pretty rough time of it for quite a while.
So you see, I've been around. Each of these trips deserves a post of its own and that's what I'll do; but for now I just wanted to sort out the dates and the miles.
The most important thing about this post, though, is that Sarah is feeling a little better. She has begun a new treatment plan and there are some good signs. The fever seems to be gone and lots of the little symptoms are better or gone. Some of the big symptoms seem a little better too so some of my prayers are answered.
The rest of my prayers are for Dan's safety and the safety of his entire battalion during their work in Afghanistan; and, a complete recovery for Sarah.