What’s Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day is a day celebrated on February 2. The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania with Punxsutawney Phil.

According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge, social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g’spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime, or quarter per word spoken, with the money put into a bowl in the center of the table.

Groundhog Day, already a widely recognized and popular tradition, received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day.

I grew up in Pennsylvania with Groundhog day folklore.

Source (Wikipedia): Groundhog Day Photo Credit: Dazzlejunction.com

Photo Credit: Dazzlejunction.com

News from Vancouver, WA

This is post composed and uploaded from our Nexus7 — which I purchased from Victor before we left for Mexico. (Too hard to type on the virtual keyboard so will finish this on a normal keyboard.)

It was freezing last night (and for the next few nights), so here is photo of me having fun with the ice on the rear window of the Jeep.

I purchased a heating cord for the water hose a few days ago, so now we don’t have to worry about the water freezing at night.  One less thing to worry about.

Have been living a rather normal life during the day now that the catheter has been out for approx three weeks.  Still have problems at night so I have to wake up every 60 to 90 minutes to go to the toilet so I don’t have an ‘accident’ while sleeping.  The muscles are slowly returning to normal so I shouldn’t have this problem too much longer (I hope).

Guess I’ve been acclimating to the colder weather here in the NW because when I was discharged from the hospital, I could not stand the cold weather — I was cold most of the time and had NO resistance to the colder temperatures.  I also had very little body fat.

Now, I’m much more comfortable with the colder temperatures and can do a double-time up to the RV Rec Center for some fresh coffee in the mornings.  When I first arrived, I walked up the hill like an old man and had to use a cane — now I double-time it.

Back in US of A

On December 11, we flew from Saigon to Portland, Oregon where my friend drove me directly to VA Emergency (where I had to wait five hours) before I was seen by a doctor who sent me upstairs as an in-patient.

I stayed six days at the VA in a somewhat isolated room because the bacteria I had could only be treated by ONE antibiotic.  The bacteria was particularly easy to transmit, so everyone had to protect him/her self against my urine.

I was later told that I had experienced kidney failure, at least once, but they kicked-back in (not a medical term) quick enough that I could keep on as normal — no dialysis.  Thank goodness!

I was sent home with a picc (IV inserted in one’s arm for up to a month) which allowed Mai to attach an external ball filled with the antibiotic once a day for 14 more days.  Out-patient is much more comfortable for the patient and much less expensive for the hospital.  No use staying in the hospital just to get an IV every day.

BTW, I may have the catheter removed on Dec 30th.  Hope so, it’s getting frustrating (not to mention painful) having the damn thing in there.  It’s my TENTH catheter.

I’m still recovering, so this is not a very lucid post, filled with good grammar nor clear content — but I did want to post an update on the blog.

Mai’s Side of the Hospital Saga

FYI: This is a long post — may break it into 2 or 3 posts tomorrow.  Too tired tonight.

These are Mai’s emails which she sent to various friends during our hospital ordeal.

Nov 6th:
Chris got rid of constipation a few days ago. The pharmacist gave him two doses, but the morning it supposed to work I was in town to get some things done, I stopped at the pharmacy again to get him another dose because to me it didn’t seem working. When I got home I heard Megan said dad had a surprise for you, it turned out that he got over with constipation. What’s a relief.

I’m up almost all night last night, now I am exhausted. I told Chris I let Megan taking care of him today. I need to rest. If I’m sick who would take care both of us.

When an adult is sick they are as fussy as a sick child. I almost ran out of patience last night. He is sleeping right now. Hope he feels better

Nov 10th:
We are already in contact with our long-term US friend here. The director of the Medical University Hospital children are going to the International School which was founded by our American friend. He said he will call the director and ask for the best doctor at the hospital to do the operation. Haven’t heard from him yet. In the meantime it’s raining so hard that it makes me more worried– what happens if there is a flood and we have to go to the hospital again during this time. Try to be calm but when I heard the intense rain pouring on the roof it makes my heart ache. I hope we will pull through this somehow.

Heavy rain due to a tropical depression. Most parts of central of Vietnam are flooded.  My mom’s house is right in front of the Perfume River. The forecast said that heavy rain will continue until tomorrow.

There’s more »»»

My Ordeal (Part I) — ICU in Vietnam Gov’t Hospital

I’m back to being able to do some computer work, but it’s been a long, very painful journey. The next several posts will outline our experiences — Mai was 100% part of the medical experience.

Upon arrival in Hue, I started having medical problems — very painful bladder infection together with a small kidney stone. For one whole day all I could do was moan from the intense pain and pace the bedroom until the medication took affect.

Then I couldn’t stop urinating. Mai bought some adult diapers for me, but medically I was slowly getting sicker. I kept having a fever.

One night, I couldn’t stop shivering no matter how many blankets Mai piled on me, so Mai called the ambulance which took me to emergency at the Central Hospital.

There’s more »»»

Hue on Oct 25th — People Power Outage

Woke up at 6:30am and around 7am the electricity suddenly was turned off.

Mai could make breakfast for me (and something else for her and Megan) without electricity because we have a propane gas stove in the kitchen. Of course, there were no lights and the refrigerator didn’t work, but the Vietnamese are used to such unannounced power outages.

After breakfast, I jumped on the bicycle and took a quick jaunt and found out that about 1/2 mile away the electric company was pruning the trees around the electric wires. They had a high lift crane carrying a guy who was pruning the branches.