Here it is the middle of September and my summer is now at an end. It is back to school/work and being a productive member of society once again.
It has been a bit difficult because everyone wants to know if I “had a good summer” and the truth is, our summer was very stressful and filled with health difficulties for both my husband and myself. I took a bit of a break from blogging – both writing and following – because my head was not in a good place.
I’ve mentioned in the past that I have lymphocytic colitis and severe IBS. Sometimes these conditions don’t bother me too much and sometimes they make my life miserable. I have been very sick most of the summer, suffering since May with constant bouts of colitis. I went to see our new family physician who prescribed a new medication, then I proceeded to go back to the colon surgeon who was treating me last year, who then referred me to a new gastroenterologist. I am now on a very restricted diet – no wheat, dairy, or high fiber fruits or vegetables -and also a new regimen of OTC meds. Hopefully I am on the way to regaining my life.
My husband has also been dealing with his own issues. For the past few years he has been experiencing episodes of memory loss, difficulty concentrating, struggling at work, trouble driving, etc. Our new doctor ordered an MRI and the results showed something called Global Volume Loss and Atrophy. This was a very frightening diagnosis for both of us, as it can sometimes be a precursor to early dementia. It took months to get an appointment with a neurologist who specializes in memory loss and dementia. In the mean time he was evaluated by a psychologist who determined he has all the symptoms of mildly-severe ADHD without it actually being ADHD. While we waited to see the neurologist, we began to get our house in order, having our wills drawn up, getting durable powers of attorney, etc. and discussing options should he become unable to work. Suddenly our future looked very different than it had a short time before.
Finally in late August we saw the neurologist who looked at his MRI, did some in-office tests and asked a lot of questions. She declared she didn’t see anything concerning on the MRI and basically said she didn’t know what is wrong with him and sent us on our way, referring him to other specialists for more evaluation. Even though this was “good” news, we left that office in a state of shock and frustration and anger. Instead of celebrating we left there with more questions than answers. One specialist she referred him to is a neuropsychologist and the earliest he can be seen is January! In the meantime, he is still experiencing the same symptoms he’s had all this time. We both feel frustrated and a bit bewildered.
In between all our appointments we have managed to go up north a few times. The work on our place up there continues at a positively glacial pace. The new septic tank and leach field is in and operational. The new well has been dug but has not been hooked up yet. Not one other thing on our long list has been accomplished. Instead, we have mountains of dirt in our back yard, a bulldozer in our front yard, and mess everywhere. (I know, I know, it WILL all be worth it in the end!!)
Here is a gallery of photos of some of the work.
The weekend of August 20th when we were up there we actually had some very good birding opportunities and I added several species to my list including grasshopper sparrows, clay-colored sparrows, and I finally got to see and photograph a brown thrasher! I was so thrilled!
The birds were active in our yard, too. We have had many northern flickers and I got some really good shots of an ovenbird.
Over Labor Day weekend we didn’t do too much because of the high heat and humidity. A couple of days it was all we could do to function! We did go to a lot of garage sales and one night we drove out to Sportsmen Dam Lake in the dark and watched the northern lights. On Labor Day the temperatures fell enough that we could take a nice hike on the High Country Pathway. We drove up to Tomahawk Lake and did a four mile trek. We didn’t see anything of interest, but it was a very pleasant hike and it sure wore the dogs out!
This past weekend we went on a little local adventure, driving up to Lake Erie Metro Park in Brownstown, Michigan for the broad-winged hawk migration. It was a really awesome experience! I didn’t get any photos of the hawks as the “kettles” they fly in were way too high up, riding the thermals. They were very hard to see with the naked eye. There was a very nice group of hawk counters there, from Hawk Watch, they were very helpful and encouraging.
We also walked two different trails while we were there and saw plenty of birds. Along with adding the broad-winged hawk to my list, I was also able to add black and white warblers, pie-billed grebes, Philadelphia vireo, and black polled warbler. As many of you know, I’m Miss Perfectionist about my photos, so I was intensely disappointed by all my shots from the day. Here are two of the best and they are not very good.
I posted a few others on my Facebook page, so you can check them out there if you wish. Despite my frustration, it was a lovely day and we had a great time. We may go back this weekend. Watching the hawks was certainly a thrill!
Now that I am back to work, we won’t be free to go up north as often. We hope to go up for Elk Fest the last weekend of this month, but it will be a very quick trip. Then I will be off to Tennessee with my six sisters for our annual Sisters’ Retreat the first weekend of October. I hope to get back to blogging on a regular basis and want to catch up with all my blogging friends. I really have missed you!
I send my best to all of you and hope your summer was better than ours! 🙂 God bless and thanks for reading! ❤