To make a long story short, my second diagnosis was also incorrect. I was hospitalized again on Friday, May 17th, and underwent arthroscopic surgery the next day. Synovial fluid from my left clavicular joint and right shoulder was cultured, joints were flushed out, and it was discovered that my tendon was frayed and torn. This was not repairable, so was trimmed off. Cultures came back positive for Beta Strep – Type B, and I was immediately put on IV antibiotics.
After six long days in the hospital, I was very happy when finally discharged back to the boat. Six weeks of daily antibiotic infusions are necessary to kill off the infection, so these were coordinated between Florida and Minnesota, after I had a PICC line installed. It was decided that we would finish the 2nd leg of our Great Loop adventure early – as I was unable to handle the daily tasks of traveling and living on the boat.
Before heading home we enjoyed daily ‘dock hour’ get-togethers with E-dock neighbors at the Titusville marina, saw a rocket launch at dusk during the full moon on the 24th, and saw numerous manatees and dolphins in the harbor. We never made it to the Kennedy Space Center, so will have to make it there when we return in the fall. We did take in the Space Walk Hall of Fame Museum and the Space Park in Titusville.
We decided to have the boat trailered to Lake City, MN, which turned out to be quite a feat. Calvin and Nathan, our 2 youngest sons, agreed to drive down and all the way back, towing the boat on a rented trailer. The height of the boat on the trailer was an issue, so the radar was flipped upside down, saving us a few precious inches. Nathan met up with Calvin in Iowa City, as he resides in Omaha. They drove straight through, only stopping for gas, potty breaks, and gas station food. It was very grueling, and even tougher on the way back. Their gas mileage went from 15 mpg down to 7.3.
They spent one night in Florida with us at a hotel, then hit the road early the following morning We had a good visit with them, although it was short, and much of it was spent getting the boat situated for the long journey back.
Sunday, May 26th, after my daily infusion, we got a ride to the airport, and caught a flight back to Minnesota. I was a little sad to be leaving Florida early, although hurricane season has begun, and now Andrea, the first tropical storm of the summer is pounding the east coast with a deluge of rain and wind. And I got to enjoy the lilac and apple tree blossoms here, although the weather in Minnesota has been so cold and rainy. It’s June – where’s summer?? I haven’t had a ‘short’s day since we’ve been home!
My last day of infusions is scheduled for June 28th. Next week I’ll be going to the U of M for an appointment with an Orthopedic and an Infectious Disease doc. My hope is that once the infection and inflammation are gone, I will regain the mobility in my right shoulder.
Our goal is to continue on the loop in the fall. We plan to start on the Gulf side of Florida, this time crossing Florida via Lake Okeechobee. That way we will not be covering much of the same water. We still need to determine if we will be using our current boat, or buying another boat down in Florida to finish the loop.
After the 28th we can start enjoying the use of our boat here in Minnesota. We are looking forward to our son’s wedding in July, and whenever we want to, we get to see our grand-daughter Ellie. I am getting anxious for some better weather.
Although it was disappointing to cut the second leg short, we still have much to look forward to, and much to be thankful for. All of this has taught us patience and to appreciate every day when we’re feeling strong and healthy. One never knows what tomorrow will bring.
This will be my last blog entry until we are preparing for the 3rd leg of our trip. We intend to start out again in October, when the threat of hurricanes should be over. Here’s hoping you all have an enjoyable and safe summer. Until my next entry – ARiverDerci!