week and a half and I'm still around. I finished the steroids
early this week and have stopped taking the antihistamines since I
have no more apparent symptoms. I do have another appointment at SELVHCS
(that's Southeast Louisiana Veteran's Healthcare System for the unitiated)
on the 21th of this month, and I guess we'll go to Plan B. Oh,
I turned 65 this week so Medicare is now in effect but I think I'm
gonna hang in with the VA for the time being. First, because
I'm not sure I want to change docs right in the middle and, second,
VA only pays for drugs prescribed by THEIR docs and I doubt anything
I could get would beat their $8 co-pay.
I made the Nine
Mile Sonic last Friday, as well as Hub's this Wednesday. As
I recall, Tuesday was a tad damp for the Fairfield Sonic. I'm
still not pushing the body too much until I'm comfortable with how
it pushes back. I might make a couple more decades if I'm careful.
The middle of this week was a tad hectic around the house; Mom
wanted a new toilet in the bathroom and wanted it moved as well.
You haven't lived until you've had plumbers jackhammering up your
bathroom floor. We also had them replace the shower plumbing
and put in cut-off valves for the first time in the 54 years since
Dad built the house. It's ALMOST back to normal but it's a little
tough when there's only one bathroom in the house.
was a disappointment for me. There was a whole slew of biker
stuff going on today and it was too wet for me to ride, although I'm
sure a bunch of hardy folks did. What can I say but I'm getting
old. Hey, y'all take care and ride safe.
around and still taking it somewhat easy... Maybe passing
the middle of my 7th decade has as much as the Graves to do with it
but I, flat-out, don't have the energy. On Tuesday, I rode out
Fairfield to see what was shaking at the Sonic but no one was there,
so I continued over to Hooters on Bayou. Now I know where everybody
has been. There was a good 50 or 60 bikes there, mostly crotch
rockets but a few grownups. (Don't get your fannypacks in an
uproar, youngsters; someday your backs won't let you ride like that
anymore and you'll graduate to the upright riding position!)
I hung around a while, bs'ing and looking the scoots over, but left
before too long. I'll probably be back, but the parking lot's
too small, too hilly and the traffic coming in off Bayou can get scarey.
not in Tallahassee this weekend for the Freedom Rally. I still
don't feel comfortable getting too far from home until I'm more confident
in my invulnerabilty again but, also, because I've got lab work on
Monday before my next NOLA appointment. This week I did start
on my 14th gallon of blood, though. We'll just have to see what
future medical treatments do to my elegibility but, for now, I can
still give (once I got all those steroids out of my system).
it's a gorgeous day out and I'm going riding. Oh, before I go,
there's a new local website for bikers you might want to check out,http://www.blacktopbikers.com . A bunch of the features are still
developing since it's only a week old but it may have community potential.
If you sign up, tell 'em Coyote sent you! That's it; I'm gonna
go catch some air. Y'all ride safe and be good to one another.
...and the adventures continue. Yesterday
brought another trip to New Orleans as a follow-up to the failed first
course of medication and last Monday's bloodwork. At least this
appointment was at 2PM, so I didn't need to leave in the wee, dark,
hours to get there nor fight Mobile rush hour traffic. The broken
down concrete of the roads hadn't improved but I was ready for 'em
this time, so I wasn't quite so terrifying (but more on that later).
dutifully a half hour before my appointment time, I was only and hour
and ten late getting it...and a new doctor this time so I explained
it all once again. No interns this time, though, although this
was another teaching physician with Tulane Medical Center. The
gist of it all was that the blood work showed nothing improved and
the only other medication available had about the same probability
of alergic reaction as the methimizole. The next step was killing
the thyroid with radioactive iodine and medication the rest of my
life. Okay, diabetics deal with this all the time and at least
it was pills rather than injections. Now comes the fun part
of dealing with the VA.
As I think I've said before, the New
Orleans system is separate from the Biloxi system. The game
plan is for me to go to Biloxi's Nuclear Medicine department for the
procedure and then, 4-6 weeks later, come back to NOLA for the follow-up.
Guess what? A NOLA doc can't order procedures in a Biloxi
facility. Even better, the two patient medical systems can't
even communicate so Dr. Wani hand wrote a letter for me to carry to
Dr. Wyrosdick in Pensacola so he can order it and change my medication.
Okay, no sweat...we'll make it happen. By this time, it's almost
4:30 when I hit I-10 for the drive home. After pounding the
pavement out of there once again, I stop in Biloxi for gas and something
to eat, since it's almost 6.
Leaving the Waffle House to get
back on the slab, I felt some shaking of the truck. I guess
I hadn't noticed it before because the roads were so bad, but this
was newish blacktop and I managed to find a tire store open and found
out I had tread separation on both rear tires (I knew they were close
to replacement, but the pounding must have accelerated the process),
one slightly and the other, a real bubble. Anyway, I managed
to get them replaced 5 minutes before they closed and got home around
9. I was blessed to discover the problem before one blew at
speed and all this thyroid stuff might be moot.
Y'all ride safe,
look out for one another, and I'll seeya on the road....I hope.
May Day, workers of the world, unite...er...uh. Oh, that's right,
the Evil Empire has been replaced by the Axis of Evil. Damn,
I can't keep up with the world politics stuff. Of course, I was in
the Army when the Berlin Wall went up and Cuba almost did and I am
a little warped. I guess that opening is better than whining
about the slowness of the VA, though. Finally, over a
week after Dr. Wani changes my prescription, I finally get it in the
mail. Now, if only they can get the nuclear medcine appointment
(his orders were "ASAP"), maybe I can start getting the body so I
can ride in the heat of day.
Hub Stacy's and Hooters are nice
little rides for evening juants but I'm really PO'ed that I'm not
gonna make Thunder Beach this weekend. I tried a little daytime
riding this past week and even that was a tad too much for this heat
intolerance crap. On the really plus side, though, I did find
out that when the VA superclinic opens (supposedly in August) we should
have our own endocrinologist on staff and I won't have to destroy
too many more tires going to New Orleans.
As you can see, I'm
not doing much riding to report on but I hope everyone has a great,
and SAFE, time in Panama City this weekend. Wish I could join
you, but I WILL be thinking of you. Again, be safe, and be good
to one another.
Well, as of this
morning, I still don't have a nuclear medicine appointment in Biloxi
through June 9, and the heat is definately keeping me off the
road in daylight hours. If that isn't enough to totally tick
me off, I haven't even been able to contribute that much to getting
our new bar set up. Oh, that's right, I haven't said anything
here about that, have I? All this medical BS has been on
my mind and gotten in the way.
The Panhandle Motorcycle Society
is a private, not for profit, organization just formed (and chartered
by the State) and we have our own building which will include a bar
nad other recreational amenities (read bandstand , pool tables, etc).
This is all a cooperative effort and we can use all the help we can
get. It's located on Fairfield Drive, roughly half-way between
Gulf Beach Hwy and US98, on the west side in the big curve.
Once we get done, it'll be a great facility for bikers; a private
club, fully fenced and paved and run BY bikers, FOR bikers.
Big Henry is the manager and, if you want to help or find out more,
he's at 607-7796. C'mon down!
Thanks to the relative coolness
of the evenings, I have gotten out to Hub Stacey's and Hooters on
occasion. Both have had good turnouts although Hooters has pretty
much destroyed the Fairfield Sonics nights. Just my personal
opinion, but I much preferred Sonic to Hooters. At least there
are flat spots to park and nobody tied a balloon to my mirror.
Kinda miss a chocolate malt as opposed to an adult malted beverage,
too... not that I don't enjoy them as well.
Well, I'm gonna shut
this down for now and head over to PMS and see if I can get some more
holes patched before it gets TOO hot. Y'all ride safe and maybe
I'll seeya there or on the road in the cool of the evening.
Wow, I hadn't realized how long it had been
since I'd been here. I've done a very little daytime riding,
relatively early early in the day, but the onset of the heat has pretty
much kept me off the road. Unfortunately, it's also kep me from
doing too much work over at PMS, as well. Henry and some others
have been going at it, though. The bar is almost finished, the
bandstand is started and they need someone to buy that outside lift;
it'd go a long way to helping pay for other stuff.
I had another
visit with my primary Doc yesterday. He asked if I had heard
from Biloxi on the Nuclear Medicine appointment. When I told
him, "no", he got on the horn while I listened to his side of the
conversation. It seems they GOT the order last month right after
I got back from NOLA, but somehow hadn't gotten around to putting
it in the system. My Doc said if I hadn't heard back by next
week give him a call and he'd re-light the fire. Well, by the
time I got home, there were TWO messages on my machine: one from the
appointment clerk, AND one from her supervisor. I guess the
fire was lit!
I now have an appointment for next Wednesday at
10AM in Biloxi to sign paperwork and get my no-iodine diet...again
(it was a miserable few weeks prior to my thyroid uptake exam last
time). I'm allowed to bring a passenger for that trip but for
the actual nucking trip in another three weeks, I have to come alone:
they don't want anybody that close to me for the couple of hour trip.
In fact, I'm suposed to stay at least 7 feet away from anybody for
three days...but Dr. Wolpe says I won't be glowing. On the other
hand, I should probably also avoid any Homeland Security radiation
detectors. I asked her if I should get a note from my doctor.
that's what's been happening; Hub's on Wednesday evenings, Bands on
the Beach Tuesday evening, and not a whole lot else. I really
DO hope I seeya on the road but it's a little iffy for a while yet.
Til then, though, stay safe and stay happy.
boys and girls; he's back! Back from Biloxi VA, that is.
This was the preliminary visit, with all the warnings, diet, and stuff
before the actual procedure will be performed on June 11. For
the next two weeks I can't eat anything with taste OR take my vitamins
OR my Aleve (so I might be limping around more) OR anything containing
red dye #3. THEN, there's a long list of stuff for 2 to 11 days
After! Sleeping alone for the next 11 days is no sweat, as is
avoiding small children and pregnant women. One thing interesting,
though, is that I should maintain a distance of 7 feet from others
for 3 days, but only avoid kissing for two?????? Does that mean
on the third day, I can kiss someone from 7 feet away? Then,
there's all kinds of stuff pertaining to the bathroom I just won't
Beyond that, the only riding I've been doing remains
in the evening but, if it gets much hotter, I may have to cut that
back. Last evening, I rode out to Pensacola Beach for Bands
on the Beach, but left at the intermission and came back by Hooters.
There was quite a crowd of scoots there but I decided to head on home
before the "loudest pipes" competition. It was a longish drive
this morning, getting there, but I stopped in Beau Rivage on the way
home and almost broke even. I stayed off the interstate as much
as possible on the way home, so the return wasn't quite as noring
as the trip over.
Y'all keep on riding for me out there;
it'll be anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months before this radiation treatment
cuts back on my heat intolerance so I won't be on the road in daytime
this Summer. C'mon, Fall! Ride safe and be good to one
Half-way to glow-time on June 11
and life is pretty bland. Limiting my riding to the evenings
suck, big time, but I do manage to get out most days. Coming
back from Hooters on Tuesday, one of my rear turn signal lenses broke
and fell out, but that's been the extent of my excitement on the road.
After dropping by Seville Square last night, though, I'm almost ready
to admit defeat by the heat. As long as I'm riding it seems
okay but the still, hot, air was kicking my butt. Now if
I could just get past waking up with hives!
PMS is progressing,
but Henry still needs help with various tasks. I can't do diddley
and he's only one man. Does it sound like my Ramblings are just
complaints? That's what I'm feeling right now, so live with
it. Maybe, when I get past this medical BS, you'll hear about
fun stuff again. I'll try to do better next time but, intil
then, you'll have to do the riding for me. Be careful out there.
Okay, I'll finally admit it: I'm real uncomfortable about
this trip tomorrow. Actually, I'm about three steps from
scared shitless but maybe it'll let me ride in the daytime in hot
weather again and that's worth it. We'll see.
I don't know
how many of you out there remember JW. He was one of the old
members of ABATE when I first joined and, probably, best remembered
from Cack's. My best memories of him are from the '97 VNV get
together at the fairgounds. There was all 6'6 or 7" of him on
that little 50cc minibike, drunk as a skunk with his knees up around
his ears, having a blast. He was always there, to help, or to
He left town a few years ago but came back home about
a year ago, not riding, but to fight the Big C. Well, as of
last Saturday, JW (or John Wayne Moomey, as this former Chapter Membership
Trustee would remember) doesn't have to fight anymore. Wineman
has been helping his widow with things and it wasn't until now that
he's been able to get me any hard info. I don't think there's
going to be any funeral procession but his ashes will be interred
at Barrancas National Cemetary at 2PM on Monday, June 16.
widow told us that his worry was that he'd be forgotten and we
promised her he wouldn't be. I know it's a workday for most
but, if you can, please come out to NAS for this. Wineman is
working on finding more details and I'll be in Biloxi tomorrow and
out of hand for the rest of the week, but if I find out more I'll
try to get the info out. 'Til next time, ride safe and think
of your brothers and sisters.
Sorry I haven't updated sooner
but, frankly, there hasn't been much to report. I think this
is the longest I've gone without starting the scoot but rain, heat
and radiation has held me back. After all, if I went down, I wouldn't
want to endanger any pregnant EMT's. That's on the 11-day exclusion
The trip over to Biloxi was totally uneventful, traffic
through Mobile was smooth, and I arrived in Building 3 a full 50 minutes
before my appointment. I even remembered to bring a book to
read this time. Dr. Wolpe, who also holds the title, "Radiation
Safety Control Officer" or something like that, went over and
over the rules I had to follow. She said the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission was very strict about this and for me not to get her in
trouble by screwing up (so I've been a good boy).
When we finally
got around to "doing the deed", I was led down the hall, past the
bold red line encircling the floor, walls, and ceiling to a room with
heavy glass in the door. One of those red and yellow radiation
hazard signs was on it! Going inside, I was sat on a metal stool
beside a counter which had a plasic tumbler of water on it.
Next to this was what looked sorta like a sand-blasting cabinet with
no sides, about 18 inches wide. Next to that on the counter
were three olive-green ammo boxes, also with radiation warnings on
Okay, this little tech already has a lead apron on, and
NOW, she puts on long, heavy gloves and starts looking at the labels
on the ammo boxes. When she finds the one with my name on it,
she literally drags it to the front and opens it. No wonder
she drug it: it has a one-inch lead lining. Now, she lifts out
a lead jar with more warning tape on it and puts it behind the glass
(also, probably lead) which happens to have the sides open toward
me, about 2 feet away. Great, no apron and gloves for me. Now,
she opens the jar and takes one-foot forcepts to take out a pill bottle.
After checking that it also has me name on it, she places it in front
of me and heads for the door! Whooppee!
As she scampers
out, Dr. Wolpe stands in the partially-open doorway and says, "Be
sure and drink all that water with it; we don't want it coming back
up." Hell no, and I'm not sure I want it going down, either.
After I take the capsule and dutifully drink all the water, she sticks
her head around the door and says, "now get out of here, fast, and
stay away from people for three days. And that's why you didn't
see me at Hub's on Wednesday or Seville on Thursday. Ride safe,
Well, it's 18 days since since my radiation
and I guess their 6-weeks to 6-months estimate of improvement may
be more accurate than I hoped. I've been doing my riding after
sunset, lately, but I dropped by the Harley dealership (hey, there's
not too many other places to run into friends, anymore; at least not
'til PMS is open). I was in the S-10, but all it took was a
couple of minutes outside too realize all the heat intolerance was
still there, if not worse.
I've been running most Tuesday through
Friday evenings, Hooters, Hub's and Seville Square, and occasionally
out to P'cola Beach on Saturdays. Last night was little different
except I had the worst rain-tag loss I've had in probably 10 years.
The ride over was nice, but the humidity AT the beach was so oppressive
that I decided to ride around some more instead of perusing the tourists.
I'd noticed some lightning flashe but didn't think too much of it:
this IS Florida in the Summer. Just about the time I hit the
Bay bridge, though, the bottom dropped out! By Gregory street,
I couldn't see squat so I pulled over into the Shell station at 9th
Avenue. Before I knew it, there were 3 or 4 sport bikes and
a scooter right behind me. Let me give you some warning for
the future; their building overhang leaks...badly! Scooter-guy
and I each stood there, dripping and smoking our respective cigars
until the heaviest stuff let up. Turns out he had past Beaulah
to get to, so I didn't feel too bad about just getting to Myrtle Grove.
was still raining, but at least I could half-way see, so off we went...until
Pace Blvd. I'd say the wind was gusting to 40 or so, and it
was a cold one. At least no hail!
My only concern now is
how long it's gonna take my boots to dry. I poured at least
an inch of water out and have been through a week of News-Journals
trying to dry the insides. Think I'll stay in today. Y'all
ride safe and enjoy the road!