Riding the Longleaf Trace

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Our first stop this morning was at Donut KingThere is a doughnut shop across the street from Oak Grove UMC where we are parked. You all probably find it hard to believe, but we arrived here last Monday and made our first purchase today. Oh my goodness they have wonderful doughnuts and cinnamon rolls. It won’t be our last visit.

We really debated riding our bikes today or staying at home resting. But we had planned to ride the Longleaf Trace rails-to-trails multi-use trail earlier in the week. The trail has a great reputation and since it was the last day we would have, we got up early today and hit the trail. The weather was perfect for a ride and this is probably the best bike trail we have ridden. Nice wide, paved trail. We understand why it is so popular. It’s a 41 mile trail and we road 22 miles round trip today. It was a really nice, fun ride.

After our ride we stopped and picked up some groceries before returning FRED. Later this afternoon, team members George and Lynn arrived. We have never worked with then so we will enjoy making new friends. Our final team members will arrive tomorrow. Otherwise it was a quiet afternoon. Just before dark we walked four laps of the parking lot to stretch out our legs.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to worship here at Oak Grove. Don’t forget to be in prayer for tomorrow’s services.

Update on Mama Ruby:  She is back at assisted living.  She is still weak but was discharged today without oxygen.  Still concerned about her, but glad she is out of hospital.

Back Together in Hattiesburg (and Another Flashback)

Friday, September 29, 2017

We are both in Hattiesburg!! It’s so nice for us to both be back at home. Thank you God for safe travel today.

Update on Mama Ruby: The cardiologist visit today was encouraging. He was pleased with the lab values and amount of fluid that we got off yesterday. Mom responded so much better to the lasix yesterday. He said he wanted to do one more day of IV lasix then we would see about changing to pills and talk about getting her home. That was very good news, although Mom was a little anxious because she wasn’t sure she had improved enough to go back to assisted living. Her oxygen saturation is still lower than we would like but we are hoping will slowly improve now that she has less fluid in the lungs. So today was about getting everything in place to assure a smooth transition back to assisted living. Anne and her brother Jim visited the assisted living facility to arrange for a nurse to visit Mom at the hospital today to do their paperwork to allow her to return. There is some state required stuff that has to be done if she is out more than 48 hours. We also made sure we had everything in place for oxygen to be delivered if it is determined tomorrow that she will need it. Mom had therapy today and walked further than yesterday. She also, late this afternoon, walked the hall two more times (using her walker) with Jim and walked a little further than with the therapist. We are so glad. We were concerned about her loosing some of the strength she has worked so hard to gain. She is such a hard worker at therapy. So Jim decided that Mom was doing enough better that he felt he could stay an additional night and move Mom back to assisted living tomorrow by himself. He suggested that Anne return to Hattiesburg and he would stay in close phone contact about everything. Thank you so much Jim. You are a gem! Anne rejoined Max and FRED about 6:10 tonight. Praying that labs are again better in the morning and the cardiologist still feels she can be discharged. Once again, thanks to all who have been sending notes and praying. It means more than you will ever know.

Our evening by the bonfire
The Fall 2016 NOMADS Team One Evening by the Bonfire

Another flashback: Since not much was going on in Hattiesburg today (except Anne making it back), we looked back to where we were this time last year. We were at Camp Sumatanga on a NOMADS 3 Week Project. For some reason we didn’t take as many pictures there as we usually do so some of these pictures were taken by friends. The project went from September 25th to October 14th. The main task was to remodel the rooms in Retreat Center 3 (a huge task) but, as always, there were many other tasks to keep us busy. We had a great team led by Bill and Jane and enjoyed meeting up again with old friends and making many new friends.



Still in Two States

Thursday, September28, 2017

Anne: I am still in Tuscaloosa and right now don’t know when I will be returning to Hattiesburg. Mom is a little better. Her oxygen saturation has remained at 98% all day today, up from, 96% all day yesterday. She is still on oxygen at 3 liters/min so still not where she needs to be, but a little better. A good deal of the swelling/edema in her legs has resolved. That is much better. Because she is 93 and has a 93 year old heart and kidneys, the cardiologist is taking a cautious and slow approach to pulling the fluid off in order to avoid putting her into kidney failure. Yes, I am very thankful for his approach although is means more days in the hospital. Currently, we have been given no anticipated discharge date. She continues to received IV diuretics and won’t be discharged until she is transitioned to pills. She is discouraged/depressed by the slow pace of things. She is encouraged by the messages we have received from everyone praying for her and the family. I have told her about or read each one to her. Thank you so much!!! BTW her name is Ruby Richardson or as most friends and family call her Mama Ruby.

Max: Un-blogworthy day in Hattiesburg. The most productive thing I did today was clean many miles worth of bug splatters from the windshield and front cap. And prayed for Anne and her family.

Mississippi and (still) Alabama

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Max: Gary and I met with Chris, our local coordinator from Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi (R3SM), this morning to see the work sites planned for us next week. We saw two houses. The first is on Edwards Street and needs the bathroom and kitchen finished, the floor refinished and some drywall work. We may also finish up some outside trim work.




The second is on Roby Street and mostly needs some wall finishing and flooring.




These houses were heavily damaged by the January 21, 2017 EF3 tornado and the residents have been displaced since then. We hope to have both of these families back in their homes before the NOMADS leave in a few months.




Chris also gave us a tour of the R3SM building. It is an historic building that was once a hotel used by travelers from the railroad depot across the tracks. The organization has remodeled the building into agency offices and dormitory space for volunteer groups.




Anne: I am still in Tuscaloosa, AL at DCH hospital with my mom. I was at the hospital most of the day. Mom did not have a very good day. They changed her to an IV diuretic, and gave her a big dose of potassium because her potassium was low and they expected the new diuretic to make it drop even more. Something made her nauseated most of the morning. I suspect it was the large dose of potassium. Unfortunately, the new IV diuretic didn’t have much affect this morning and her shortness of breath worsened. Just getting up and going to the bathroom, which is about 6-7 feet from the bed, makes her short of breath. She did respond a little better to the afternoon dose of diuretic but still not what they would like. She is also on strict fluid restriction. That is hard for mom because she really likes her water. We are just trying to keep the water out of sight, so she has to ask for it. Out of sight, out of mind? Seemed to have worked today. But now I’m pretty sure I didn’t drink enough water today since I was keeping my water out of sight too. Silly me.

new shoesThe only other thing I did was go buy a pair of shoes. I forgot to change shoes before I left yesterday and ended up in Tuscaloosa with a ragged but very comfortable pair of tennis shoes as the only shoes I had with me. Since Mom noticed and made comment on me needing to get some new shoes I figured I better go shopping. However, buying shoes is usually a challenge for me. I wear a size 5 and I usually just order them because so few people carry size 5 in the stores. There is a DSW store within about 3 blocks of the hospital so I went there and just went down the aisle looking for anything size 5. I found 3 pair of 5 ½ and then found 1 size 5. Bought it. Not my favorite shoe but it fits and is comfortable. It will do for now. Mom was surprised and pleased when I returned with new shoes on me feet. Please continue to pray for mom and my entire family. These are hard times for us. Praying for a better tomorrow.