Getting Out of Charleston – a Retrospective

03 Jun

The last two weeks in Charleston were pretty hectic. The harder it seemed that I worked to get stuff done, the more my subconscious fought. I had laid everything out on a schedule (which even included a couple of days that were labeled “catchup”). Man, am I glad I did it that way.  Even with the cushion, I didn’t leave until early Sunday evening. I wanted to stay at a motel on the way to the first campsite so we weren’t facing a five hour drive followed by setting up camp immediately after.  That proved to be a good plan … but I’ll get into that tomorrow.

The biggest problem I face is with Frank. I took him into the vet’s office for a check over and to get his annual shots taken care of. I chose Banfield, the veterinarian that’s associated with PetSmart because they have offices all around the country and Frank’s records would be instantly available at any of their locations. Little did I know that would be a necessity.

Frank was diagnosed with heartworm disease. The vet explained that it’s serious and it looks like he’s had it for a while (I actually looked back on the Humane Society’s records and they say he tested positive for heartworm when they took him in. I don’t remember them saying anything about it to me, just that it was important to give him his monthly heartworm meds.) With my memory and time lapses, I’m sure I must’ve missed a couple here and there.

Needless to say, I was pretty upset by the diagnosis. I have to say, the veterinarian, Dr. Amanda King, was unbelievable in how she proposed taking care of the situation given our traveling plans. Frank has to be on meds for another couple of weeks (a month in total). He has to have three shots of an arsenic-derivative medication after that. Dr. King made arrangements with their offices in Spanish Fort, AL for an appointment on June 18th (his first shot); and in Dallas, TX for an appointment on July 17th and 18th (his other two shots). They have to keep him at the office all day, to monitor him immediately following the shots. And for the following six months, he can’t get “excited”. The meds evidently break the parasite into pieces and any elevation of his heart rate to too high a level could cause a piece to move and cause a blockage in blood flow.

So, Frank will have to be kept quiet through the end of the year. I’ve decided I’m not going to do any fishing for that period. The last thing we need is for him to be struggling on the bank of a river or lake, trying to get to me as I’m wading out to cast a fly. It’s not a big deal. If it comes down to a choice of ensuring Frank is around for a long time or fishing? Well, it’s a no-brainer. I think the biggest risk is going to come from thunderstorms though. I’ve talked to Dr. King about the possiblity of a sedative and she’s alerted the other vets so we can make a determination once he’s had his first treatment.

(And speak of the devil … I just finished a 30 minute break because we’ve had a thunderstorm crop up here in Georgia. Three days, three thunderstorms. And even though it’s pretty warm here this afternoon, I’ve put Frank in his thundershirt. I feel really bad for the little guy!)

Anyhow, Dr. King went above and beyond in the help she provided to Frank and me. Act of human kindness #1 in this post.

Act of human kindness #2 came towards the end of the second to last week in Charleston. I was going over our inventory and realized that the tent carpet I had ordered (and paid for) hadn’t arrived. but when I went on line at Amazon, it showed that it had been delivered. Despite that, the vendor agreed to replace the item I had not received. It arrived two days before departure.

Act of human kindness #3 came early last week. I was installing the roof rack and was beside myself because the assembly just wasn’t working. As I told osmeone on Facebook, the directions were for a product that was designed in Sweden, probably manfactured in China, and shipped with instructions in 28 different languages! Of course the English version seemed like it had been translated from Swedish by someone in Japan! It took me almost 5 hours to finish what I had lanned would take two. And I wouldn’t have been able to do THAT if it hadn’t been for the patience, calmness and humor of the tech support guy at Rack Attack, where I had bought the system.

Finally, on Wednesday before departure, my C-Pap hose split in two. It was a long time coming … I had been taping it together, but it finally gave up the ghost. New, they cost around $150 and I didn’t want to argue with the guy at the C-Pap store about whether or not I should have to provide a prescription. There weren’t any to be fund on Craigslist. When I spoke to Larry later in the morning, he suggested I look on eBay, something I would have never considered. Sure thing, someone was selling two of the ones that were made for my machine. Total cost – under $30!!! And for an extra $15, the vendor agreed to expedited shipping … they arrive on Friday, two days before lift off.
Acts of kindness #4 and 5 (I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Larry’s kindness in making the suggestion – he’s always come through for me. A most amazing friend!

There was quite a bit more that happened during that time. The guy came from the used furniture place on Thursday before I left and took everything out fo the apartment. Bringing back the cable equipment to Comcast was the totally rewarding and fulfilling experience I’m sure everyone else has in dealing with them. (/sarcasm).

Oh yeah, and then there was the cooler. It leaked from the drainage valve after I had put ice in it to pre-cool it before packing up. Garrett was incredible! He walked me through how to remove the valve to check the washer fitting (assuring me it would not void any warranties). I was able to reseat the washer, tighten it up and avoid having to ship it back for repair.

I’m going to end t here. All in all, I’m amazed that it’s all behind me and that I’m sitting here on the edge of a lake in the middle of Georgia.

I’ll follow up tomorrow with photos and more examples of human kindness that have taken place since setting up camp. For someone looking to have his faith in humanity restored, humanity is sure doing ITS part!

Oh yeah, thunderstorm’s passed. We’re now back outside. Good thing … it was getting pretty hot in that tent. Looks like I need to find a better fan than the one I paid under $20 for! ;o)


Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Travels


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Getting Out of Charleston – a Retrospective

  1. Dale Isom

    June 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    so glad the angels are helping you along the way–continuing prayers for a safe journey and for a swift miracle healing for Frank


  2. ustabe

    June 3, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you Dale … very much appreciated as always.



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