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Re: I was thinking... [Re: Mark1952] #411706
07/01/16 10:18 PM
07/01/16 10:18 PM
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I hope that your wife applied for Social Security disability, Mark. Unless things have changed, many are not approved the first time, but then when they are approved later the money is retroactive back to the date of their first application.

I filled out the SSD application the first time for my sons' father. He was denied benefits. Three and a half years later, he got a free attorney and was approved. He got all of those months of back benefits. I think the attorney got half of the retroactive amount.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: I was thinking... [Re: believer] #411727
07/02/16 06:04 PM
07/02/16 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted By: believer
I hope that your wife applied for Social Security disability, Mark. Unless things have changed, many are not approved the first time, but then when they are approved later the money is retroactive back to the date of their first application.


Hi Mark,

Believer makes a good point. Did you request and get an official ruling on your wife's eligibility for SS disability?

If not, I agree that it's a good idea to start the process soon.

((((((<<<<<<<Mark & W>>>>>>>))))))))

Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: I was thinking... [Re: believer] #411728
07/02/16 06:14 PM
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Mark1952 Offline OP
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Yes, she has applied for SSDI. Right now the doctors can't agree on defining it as a disability. That in two years she qualifies for SS retirement benefits gives SSA even more reasons to delay.

Even if she gets SSDI retroactively in two years, we have to get through the two years. I'm actually more worried about keeping her alive for a while than the money but money is looking to be more of an issue as time goes on.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Mark1952] #411729
07/02/16 06:49 PM
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I'm glad that she has applied. That's good.

We went through the same thing, doctors not agreeing on whether my sons' father could work or not. He was a pipe welder working at the top of oil refineries under construction.

Actually, he never did work again.

The way they do things can be really stressful.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: I was thinking... [Re: believer] #411925
07/14/16 02:16 AM
07/14/16 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted By: believer
I just want to be sure that Mark takes care of his own health.


How are YOU doing, Mark?

And how's your wife? Any news?

Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: I was thinking... [Re: believer] #411930
07/14/16 11:04 AM
07/14/16 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted By: believer
I hope that your wife applied for Social Security disability, Mark. Unless things have changed, many are not approved the first time, but then when they are approved later the money is retroactive back to the date of their first application.

I filled out the SSD application the first time for my sons' father. He was denied benefits. Three and a half years later, he got a free attorney and was approved. He got all of those months of back benefits. I think the attorney got half of the retroactive amount.

The attorney gets 25% up to a maximum of $6000 and a good one is well worth the money as there are lots of things they can insure happens, like the government having all the doctors records.

Seems that you submit them and they just throw them away or into a pile on someones desk and they never get into your case file.
I would say that is the main reason for getting denied.

Re: I was thinking... [Re: Rich57] #411974
07/14/16 08:10 PM
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Mark1952 Offline OP
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We're about a month or more from the next round of testing to see how her heart is improving... or not improving. The SSA actually contacted her last week after she submitted all the paperwork to say they thought they had everything necessary to process the application for SSDI. They also changed the payment date of my SS retirement benefits to the first of the month, stating that it was necessary because of another member of the household receiving benefits but that happened even before the paperwork was all completed.

The insurance company has decided to change plans for her twice since this began and I just got a notice that my insurance has to change as well. In my case the reason given was that I am going to transition to Medicare within the next year. From what I can tell, the changes mean fewer providers, more travel time to reach them and another transfer of records for both of us to people who have no history with either of us.

For now, I have been off of all meds since March and except for the return of some joint pain that was there before, I seem to be doing OK.

I'm still the salt Nazi and try to monitor every gram of sodium she consumes. I don't try to make her eat a salt-free diet because I know that salt is something that helps create the flavor in many foods. It allows us to taste other things and without any salt, most foods taste like a picture of them might if you print it out on plain paper.

Instead, I monitor the salt she eats at any given meal and if she has more at one meal, I try to limit it for the next. This means pretty tight menu planning most days. We can't just decide to go out to eat at the last minute and I generally know what lunch and dinner will look like before I decide on breakfast.

I began doing most of the cooking when I retired and she was still working. Since I enjoy cooking and what I fix is typically as good or better than most restaurant food to start with, we haven't been going out much for a few years.

It gets more difficult on days when the church has a pot luck dinner or when we get invited somewhere to eat. Most people have no idea how much sodium is in the food they prepare and will say "I didn't add any salt" when the ingredients, usually from a can, have more salt per serving than most people should have in a day.

If you want to try an experiment, read the labels for the food you are eating and add up the sodium content. Be sure that you note the serving size when you do it and total what you are likely to eat instead of just totaling the numbers in the space labelled sodium per serving.

Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup has 870 mg of sodium per serving. A serving is 1/2 cup of prepared soup. Who eats a half cup of soup? The average person should have no more than 2400 mg of sodium per day. If you eat a cup of soup, you are at 1740, which is already over the target for her sodium intake for the whole day, which is 1500 mg. That 2400 number is less than a single teaspoon of salt.

Now, add a grilled cheese sandwich, using salted butter or margarine on the bread, a cheese like cheddar which might be over 150 for a thin slice and bread that might be anywhere from 170 on the low side to 350 on the high end per slice and you can see why not adding salt isn't the only consideration. Add a dill pickle on the side, and it could trigger a trip to the ER at zero dark thirty again.

What this means is that she simply can't eat anything that is an unknown. If you can't tell me how much sodium is in a reasonable serving, she doesn't get to eat it. I fix fried chicken, fried or grilled fish, tuna salad, and a bunch of things she likes to eat but I use ingredients that I KNOW how much sodium they contain. I don't just omit salt or replace it with some commercial salt substitute because she can't eat a lot of potassium either because of the meds she is on. One of them is a potassium sparing agent so she can't have bananas or a bunch of stuff with really high levels of potassium. Many prepared "low salt" foods simply substitute potassium chloride for sodium chloride and so might have really low sodium but potassium that will turn her blood to drain cleaner.

I now make my own Italian sausage, breakfast sausage and chorizo. The only time I use commercial sausage for anything is that I buy locally made fresh andouille and fresh Polish and smoke them in my smoker. Though high in sodium (880 to 900 mg per link) I use them one at a time in other dishes and so limit total sodium for a meal to 500 or less most of the time.

One of her favorite breakfasts was always biscuits and gravy. Even with my home made low salt sausage, this is difficult because of the baking powder in the biscuits. A large, made without salt, biscuit has about 350 - 450 mg of sodium. That doesn't leave much room for sausage and gravy, which becomes pretty bland with zero salt anyway. They make sodium free baking power substitutes but you have to use about ten times the quantity and the reaction isn't always predictable.

So I came up with a new favorite that she really likes. Recipe follows:

Not Your Grandma's Cheese Blintzes

Crepes are simple. They are not just thin pancakes and contain no baking powder and do not require salt for flavor since most of the flavor is from what you serve them with, or in this case, fill them with.

Basic filling:
1 package cream cheese at room temperature. (The low fat versions are higher in sodium than regular stuff. Gotta have one or the other to make it cheese)
2 or 3 Table spoons soft (room temperature ) unsalted butter.
(For those not eating low salt, use salted butter if you wish, but margarine doesn't process the same way) If it isn't soft, don't melt it. Just wait until it is soft.
3/4+ powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (try to use the real stuff!)
About 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk

Put 3/4 cup powered sugar, the vanilla, the cream cheese and the butter in a bowl and begin slowly mixing using a stand mixer or hand mixer. As the ingredients incorporate so the powered sugar isn't blowing about the room turn up the speed and add about 1 1/2 T of milk. (M/L) If too thin, add a little powered sugar. If too thick, add a bit of milk.

Whip on the highest speed for a few minutes and as air gets incorporated it begins to take on the appearance and texture of thick whipped cream. If you are using a stand mixer, this is simply a matter of ignoring it for about 3 minutes or so.

Simple crepes:
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter (salted butter or margarine works for those not on low salt. You can even use vegetable oil if you prefer)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of cold water (M/L)


Mix crepes by hand using a large table spoon or wooden spoon. The trick is to not create any bubbles as bubbles will make them fall apart as you try to turn them. Optionally, make the batter the night before (I make the filling the night before too) and store it in the fridge in an air tight container. The butter might separate but gentle stirring will return i9t to the right state, just don't beat or whip it and add air to the mixture.

If you are making the batter ahead of time, just use a blender and run at high speed for a couple of minutes and let sit overnight before using. You may need to add a bit of water for use.

Combine the eggs and milk and mix until blended. Add about half the flour and the butter an and mix slowly. Add the rest of the flour and about 2/3 of the water. Mix slowly, adding cold water so that you have a thin batter. This needs to be thinner than cake batter and MUCH thinner than typical pancake batter. It should not mound up in a spoon and should pour easily. If necessary, add more cold water.

At this point, a sort of magic happens if you are hand mixing with a spoon. Small lumps exist throughout the batter and can be pretty hard to break up. Adding a few drops of water at a time while stirring suddenly, as the water content is just right, causes the lumps to pretty much vanish. Not sure why this happens, but I have reproduced the results a dozen times now. If you have made the batter the night before, add a little water if necessary to reach a very thin consistency.

Heat a skillet (a saut skillet with a 9" bottom is what I use) on medium to medium high heat for several minutes. Once it is hot, melt about 1/3 Tablespoon of unsalted butter in the pan and push it around to coat the bottom and to break up any bubbles that are present.

Using a tablespoon or small ladle, put 4 - 6 tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan and then swirl the pan to distribute it evenly. It should look like a very skinny omelet rather than a pancake. Cook until the surface is well set and the crepe slides easily around the pan.

Some people simply flip the crepe by tossing it using the pan. Some use their fingers and have no feeling in the thumb and index finger of their dominant hand. I use a thin spatula to lift the edge of the crepe and slowly turn it over in the pan. Creasing it usually causes it to break. If it isn't cooked enough, it will break. If the batter was full of bubbles, it will break. If it is full of large lumps, it will break. The first time you turn one, it will probably break. Practice will help a lot. Making them smaller and serving more per person will also help. Mine are 9 inches across and you can read through them.

Assuming you get it turned over, the color should have a few areas darker than the batter, but not be entirely browned. Again, this isn't a pancake. As the bottom cooks through, they become a lot easier to handle and you can check progress and when a nice browning starts occurring in a good sized portion of the crepe, slide it, pan side down, onto a plate.

Though I make the filling the night before, at serving time is when I add fruit to the mix. I have used blackberries (our favorite), raspberries, blueberries, mulberries (they grow wild around here) and diced fresh peaches.

Put the filling in a bowl, add fruit and mix with a rubber spatula until well incorporated. If using berries, go ahead and break them up a bit.

For a 9" crepe, place about 2 Tablespoons of the filling about 1/3 of the way in from one side. Fold the short side over the filling and begin rolling until you reach the other edge.

Sprinkle with powered sugar or put a bit of whipped cream on top. Add some more of the fruit if you wish.

Serve for breakfast or as a dessert. Try making them about 4 inches in diameter and use minimal filling, spoon on whipped cream and add bit of the fruit used inside or drizzle with chocolate syrup. It's the filling with cream cheese, butter and sugar that is addictive. The crepes are just the excuse to eat the good part. It's like lefse, which is something to put butter and sugar on so you can eat it.

BTW, the filling makes a good substitute for frosting on a cake or in place of whipped cream on strawberry shortcake. Try it on regular pancakes or waffles.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Mark1952] #411985
07/15/16 02:03 PM
07/15/16 02:03 PM
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SmilingWife Offline
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You are amazing.

Re: I was thinking... [Re: SmilingWife] #411988
07/15/16 03:03 PM
07/15/16 03:03 PM
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Mark1952 Offline OP
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Uh, no...


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Mark1952] #411989
07/15/16 03:04 PM
07/15/16 03:04 PM
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Miranda Offline
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Uh, yes... thumbsup


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Miranda] #412009
07/15/16 08:06 PM
07/15/16 08:06 PM
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HI
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Orchid2 Offline
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A man who can cook and is retired........how attractive.

Your wife is fortunate to have you by her side.

Don't even care if you have love handles, u r my hero. smile

Ok, now share more recipes......in fact have you thought about publishing a recipe book? I mean you've got a captive audience here that would pay for it, right?

I know I would. thumbsup

jmo,
Orchid



Re: I was thinking... [Re: Mark1952] #412029
07/16/16 07:25 PM
07/16/16 07:25 PM
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Rich57 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup has 870 mg of sodium per serving.

They do make a low sodium version of this.

http://healthyheartmarket.com/campbellslowsodiumcreamofmushroomsoup.aspx

It has 60 mg of sodium per can.

So here is a recipe I made yesterday.

Took chicken breasts seasoned garlic and paprika, poured above can on chicken heated it @400 degree oven for 1 hour.

Great lunch!

Re: I was thinking... [Re: Rich57] #412060
07/18/16 03:01 AM
07/18/16 03:01 AM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Add me to the "uh, yes" column.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: I was thinking... [Re: holdingontoit] #412104
07/19/16 03:20 AM
07/19/16 03:20 AM
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I have to avoid cream of _whatever_ soups because they all use modified food starch, maltodextrine and a host of other bad ingredients for a food allergy.

So I make my own - modifying for low salt - I bake 10 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts seasoned with garlic, no-salt seasoning, and some smoked paprika or italian seasoning at 325 degrees for an hour; then I drain off the broth and chop the chicken into bite size bits for salads and freeze most of it (I hate turning on the oven so I'll do two weeks worth of baking for our family all at once). I'll use that broth, along with chopped celery, carrots, 1 potato for thickener, and an onion, then blend it up so it's smooth. Cook it until it's reduced by 25% and add a pint of cream and I have homemade cream of chicken soup to go in my wisconsin cauliflower soup (think Zupas version if you have that chain nearby), and a bit of pepperjack cheese gives it some zip. you'd have salt from the cheese, but I can't think of any other added sodium in that recipe.


Consider that we don't have to live with the consequences of our advice in your life. Act according to what you can live with!
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Kayla] #414083
09/22/16 04:35 PM
09/22/16 04:35 PM
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Mark1952 Offline OP
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Some of you already know that my wife had a procedure done on Tuesday to put in a device called an ICD or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. The procedure is minimally invasive and was performed in the cardiac cath lab in just under two hours. Total time in the hospital was within minutes of being 24 hours.

She is uncomfortable, frustrated because she can't use her left arm right now and is experiencing a bit of pain. She finds it hard to sleep but naps periodically to shut out the pain.

She now gets to carry a snazzy ID card telling the folks at the airport security line to quit waving that stupid wand at her unless they want to see her go into cardiac arrest.

Wish I could get the battery in my phone to last that long...



mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Mark1952] #414090
09/22/16 07:04 PM
09/22/16 07:04 PM
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Orchid2 Offline
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Glad to hear your W had the surgery and is healing. Sorry to hear about her pain, though. Hopefully that will lessen with time.

My mom had a pacemaker put in her. That's about as much as I know since my father refused to let my mom share information with me and kept us apart. frown

So I appreciate the article you posted. It was very helpful. smile

Sending prayers of support. smile

Take care,
Orchid

Re: I was thinking... [Re: Orchid2] #414092
09/22/16 07:24 PM
09/22/16 07:24 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Wishing your wife speedy and full recover, freedom from pain, and both of you many years of health and happiness together. The world needs more couples like you guys.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: I was thinking... [Re: holdingontoit] #414093
09/22/16 07:25 PM
09/22/16 07:25 PM
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Miranda Offline
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Wishing your wife speedy and full recover, freedom from pain, and both of you many years of health and happiness together. The world needs more couples like you guys.


I'm going to 2nd this. I hope her pain diminishes quickly!


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Miranda] #414097
09/22/16 09:58 PM
09/22/16 09:58 PM
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Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Prayers for a speedy recovery and an end to her pain.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Fiddler] #414102
09/23/16 04:15 AM
09/23/16 04:15 AM
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I'm praying for her recovery too.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I was thinking... [Re: NewEveryDay] #414115
09/23/16 02:58 PM
09/23/16 02:58 PM
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SFB Offline
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Mark:

I hope that she is feeling ready to run the marathon soon....

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: I was thinking... [Re: SFB] #414122
09/23/16 08:57 PM
09/23/16 08:57 PM
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Mark1952 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: SFB
Mark:

I hope that she is feeling ready to run the marathon soon....

SFB


Right now I'll settle for running out for ice cream.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Mark1952] #414125
09/24/16 02:21 PM
09/24/16 02:21 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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My mother has had this device for many years -- assuming I'm understanding the health issue. I understand that when it goes off it is a great deal like getting kicked in the chest by a horse.

My mother is not a poster child for good mental health by any stretch of the imagination and has allowed the device to rule her life. She is utterly terrified of the thing going off. She refuses to take any kind of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drug ("allergic") so her life now is laying on the couch all day with a visor on to keep the sun out of her eyes. She isn't going to risk setting that thing off for anything. I'm not terribly fond of her but it is nonetheless a terrible thing to watch happen to another person.

Her heart doctors tell us that many people tolerate the device going off without much angst. Mother experiences it as the absolute worst thing that can happen to her and her fear has paralyzed her.

Based upon my experience with her and my conversations with her doctors, I would suggest y'all get great clarity from the doctors on what sets it off (tachychardia) and what doesn't set it off (activity). In my completely uninformed opinion, exercise should be part of a heart patient's therapy and recovery, but mother won't do anything but walk to the bathroom for fear her heart rate will get high enough to set it off.

We (her children) have suggested that she turn the damn thing off and go live her life until she dies, but she won't hear of it.

Hopefully, your wife's device will never go off, or if it does it will be a "well that felt weird in a truly awful way" experience and move on.

The good news about the device is that it WORKS! It has probably gone off 10 times in as many years and every time it has done the job exactly as it was supposed to.

All of our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: I was thinking... [Re: LadyGrey] #414214
09/28/16 04:27 PM
09/28/16 04:27 PM
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Mark1952 Offline OP
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My wife saw the cardiologist on Monday. She got to take a regular shower this morning and was cleared to drive. She is back on her regular schedule this morning and is doing stuff at the church.

I'm going to try to catch up on yard work while she is out...


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: I was thinking... [Re: Mark1952] #414223
09/29/16 12:40 AM
09/29/16 12:40 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 4,683
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Blair Offline
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Blair  Offline
Member
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Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 4,683
Yay! Good to hear of her improvement!

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