FAMILY NEWSLETTER – APRIL 2020

Oh, my goodness. It is hard to believe – it has been a year since I last wrote our Family Newsletter. Where has the time gone!

One of the reasons for the long span of time is because between Sept 2019 and Jan 2020, I was dealing with Lyme’s disease. I do not remember getting bit; however, we did spend Aug and Sept in New York last year. And it was just a couple of days before we returned to Sebastian that I thought that I was coming down with the flu. I would not wish anyone to go through this dreaded disease. I would have bad days, and then a day of feeling a bit better, then back to feeling bad again. My sister, Kris, several years back had suffered through Lyme’s disease and it eventually was her suspected diagnosis, with us talking almost every day, that hinted that I, too, might have it. In the early part of November, I spent four days in the hospital with chest pressure and shortness of breath. While I was there, I asked them to test me for Lyme’s.

Then on Nov 16th, I went by ambulance to the hospital with more heart issues and was lucky enough to have a pacemaker installed that very day.

I did not hear back with the results of the Lyme’s test until I visited my GP on November 21st. The results were positive – yup! – I had Lyme’s disease. I was sent immediately to an infectious disease doctor. She prescribed that I would have 28+ days of daily infusions of anti-biotics, so I was then sent directly to the hospital to have a “pic” installed in my arm. My treatment started the next day. Toward the end of my treatment, I experienced worse symptoms and they changed my infusions to stronger anti-biotics and extended the treatment an additional two weeks. Luckily, I was completely cured when this was completed. Amazingly, I do not even feel that this pacemaker, this miracle instrument, is even inside me. So far, so good. Even though I am feeling great, my strength and stamina did take a hit, and I am trying to work at building that up again.  It is quite easy to recall all we did during that time frame – nothing, nada!!!

And now, we are dealing with the quarantine of Covid-19. Another long stretch of time of not doing much. We are so fortunate to have a comfortable home, a swimming pool right out our door and a fair supply of Sudoku and Crossword Puzzle books. We are also fortunate we like each other’s company. We still enjoy our coffee every morning with several hours of talking about everything and anything. We do not have small children – we do not have jobs to worry about – we do not have large amounts of bills hanging over our head. We are staying home and minimizing the potential of getting the coronavirus. We are very blessed.

As mentioned previously, we spent Aug and Sept in NY. During that time, we started building a small primitive seasonal cabin on the same property where our 5th wheel camper is located. We tossed about the idea of upgrading the camper. We decided to spend our money on a more permanent place. We are going to keep it simple, as we will be using it only 6 to 8 weeks per year. We are currently planning on having solar power, no heat, no insulation, no finished walls on the inside. It has one bedroom a kitchen/living area and, the best part, a big open porch. We just love it already. Hopefully, we will finish it this summer when we visit. Jimmie’s son, Craig and his family were extremely helpful with this project.

Over this past summer, it is sad that Jit’s sister Rita and his sister Bea’s husband, Paul, passed. As we have entered the “late fall” or “early winter” phases of our lives, I am sure that we will experience such losses more frequently. Luckily, the Prud’homme family is remarkably close and many wonderful times were shared and experienced, and those memories will help us keep them close to our hearts.

In December, George and Diana sold their home in Latham, NY and moved to their new home they had built in Wimauma, Florida. This city is close to Tampa, so about 3 hours west of us. We went to visit them mid-February. Kris and Dave came from Cape Cod to visit them at the same time, as they helped with some of their “fine-tuning” home improvement projects. Their home is great, and it was wonderful spending some time with my brother and sister.

We had a very mild winter and our spring has been overall warmer than normal. We were able to use our pool almost a month earlier this year. It is hard for us to sit here in the heat and imagine that some folks in New York are still getting some occasional show. My arthritis is much happier here. We have our hibiscus and bougainvillea flowers blooming and have had a couple of tomatoes off our plant already. Our lemon bush has finally started to produce some lemons that we have picked.

To be honest, with all the time on our hands, I have had time to reflect on the past, the present and the future. I laugh as I recall my Mom saying that “the older you get, the faster the time goes.”  I thought she was wrong. Now I realize she was so right. All and all, I am a grateful person to have the life I do. We took a ride to the bank the other day to make a deposit at the ATM machine.  It had been a couple of weeks since I had left the house. It was good to get out even if only for a few minutes. Yes, I am happy and content here. I have gotten a little better at crosswords. I have read more. I baked some banana bread. I started a project of scanning family pictures onto my computer and then adding them to my website. I wish I could say I have got more housework done, but I cannot tell a lie…. I do miss lunch dates with my friends, the book club that I belong to, going out to dinner at a restaurant now and then, going to the movies, visiting friends and even our occasional visit to the casino.  This too shall pass!

I know that being confined has been difficult for so many people.  However, I believe knowing that not only my neighborhood, my city, my state, my country, but the whole world is dealing with this as well, has made it seem more tolerable to me. Many more people have suffered through this. I would not use the word suffer to explain our situation. I do hope that when we get back to “normal,” we realize that our lives, at least our attitudes. might be better. We should realize the folks that have helped us through this time; doctors, nurses, truck drivers, etc. are so much more important than movie actors and sports figures. Seeing and being present with our relatives and friends will be cherished. Being able to shake someone’s hand or give someone a hug – I hope we find the wonderful joy that we previously took for granted.

I shall say goodbye for now. I will continue to pray that the numbers of infected keep decreasing, and people are soon able to return to work and their regular lives. I hope that most people and companies do not suffer to much economically.

Love to you with lots of virtual hugs.  Stay safe.

Susan and Jimmie