Remember me, the faithful guardian of the Happy Couple and their guard dog Moejean? I know, I know, it has been awhile. I have noticed, with the invention of Facebook and texting, that anything I write about is old news so I just laid back until things happen that I can give you my prospective of what really happened.
I don't know if you have been around when the Village Idiot's cell phone has rung but it plays the theme song from the movie "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". For some unknown reason that is his favorite movie of all time and it just drives my sweetheart, Shari, nuts. When the Happy Couple got married 41 years ago and Laura was a sweet little thing of about 7 years old, Dufus would tell Laura that movie was about the clan. He would tell her that he was the "Good", Shari was the "Bad" and she, Laura, was the "Ugly". That is when the argument would start. Anyway that is the theme of this post, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, plus The Unknown.
Back in mid-June the Frantz family had a cousins' reunion in Wapsipinicon State Park in Anamosa, Ia. There was a sister, a brother, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, second cousins, an aunt, a lot of spouses, and a few dogs all of which were related to the Village Idiot. (He says he doesn't remember any cats in attendance.) All totaled, there were probably at least 50 to 60 people in attendance. They came from all over the country. The function was supposed to be on a Saturday, but the adult beverages started flowing on Thursday and quit sometime on Monday. Dufus tells me the sad part about the whole affair is his Grandparents did not consume alcohol and really looked down at people who did. From what I saw, William D. Frantz (grandpa) had a lot of looking down to do. He probably had to go to a chiropractor to get his neck straightened out. Dufus said it was great to see everyone; some he had not seen in 30-40 years and some spouses and second cousins he had never met. For the ones who could not make it, because of prior commitments or didn't want to be seen with the wild bunch, you missed out on a good time. A lot of laughs and a few true stories told. The OTI (other than Iowans) in attendance had to have pork tenderloin sandwiches and I imagine they probably got their fill of them. I think the Happy Couple should have had them come to Oakland Mills to Butch's for a real tenderloin but I don't know if SE Iowa would have been ready for all that. I kind of had to laugh after it was over. My best friend, Shari, was talking to a cousin of hers and the Hamil clan is talking about having a cousins' reunion next year in Mount Pleasant. They put an invitation out on Facebook and put a response box in the invitation asking if you would attend. The choices were yes - maybe - no. Dufus checked maybe. You can bet your bottom dollar Ms Shari will see to it he is there!
This spring after we arrived back from Texas, the Happy Couple went on their semi-annual trip to Cedar Rapids to see their favorite doctor, Dr. Nancy Angenend. Dufus calls her his veterinarian. During his appointment, the Village Idiot asked Dr. A. if maybe he shouldn't have a stress test since it had been about 7 years since he had done that. She asked if he was having problems and he said no. Just being cautious. Well, since she didn't have to do the treadmill, she thought it was a good idea. An appointment was set up for the following week. On appointment day the Village Idiot shows up and they did an EKG, stress test, and an ultrasound. After the tests were over, the cardiologist read the results, came in to the exam room and announced "It looks like someone is a little out of shape." The old heart rate went right up to the target rate about 10 seconds before the treadmill was turned on. Other than that everything else was normal. The Doctor prescribed exercise, and an additional blood pressure pill. The Happy Couple returned to Mt. Pleasant, Thanks to Carl and Barb Zahradnik, Dufus now has himself a bike. He says he feels like a prostitute; pedaling his ass all over town.
With all this my best friend, Shari, decided maybe she should do the same thing, so an appointment was made and back to Cedar Rapids they go. They looked at her previous medical records, checked her blood pressure, took her off a pill she was taking and sent her on her way. NO-EKG, NO TREADMILL, NOTHING ABOUT EXERCISE. The Village Idiot has been calling foul every since. He's thinking about a discrimination lawsuit. I don't think it will make the Supreme Court but who knows.
I mentioned in the GOOD section that Dufus had a brother at the reunion. That was his brother Ed who was 3 years younger than Dufus and lived in Sioux Falls, SD. On July 26, which was 6 weeks after the reunion, he passed away at the VA hospital, in Sioux Falls. Ed had may medical problems, and had them for much of his life. He probably spent as much time in the VA system as anyone. I was talking to Dufus about Ed and he said, except when they were young and in school, he doesn't remember much time when he wasn't sick with something. Dufus doesn't know for sure but he thinks cancer was the final blow. Everybody was happy that Ed, and his wife Nancy, made the effort to come to the reunion. I know, from what I heard, that had to be a lot of work for Nancy. She was such a trooper to do so. I know he will be missed by the Frantz family and the VA system. Over the years, Ed volunteered at the hospital in Iowa City and Sioux Falls and accumulated over 35,000 hours.
The Village Idiot has a new adventure coming up in his life real soon. About 5 to 6 weeks ago he was in the house with me, turning on the air conditioners. In doing so, he had to close the windows. When he was closing the window at the end of one of the sofas, which is located inside one of the slide-outs, he had to crawl up on the sofa. After he closed the window, he started off the sofa, and thinking he had cleared the ceiling of the slide out, he stood up. Unfortunately for him, he is 5' 8" and the ceiling is at 5'. He grabbed his head and sat down on the sofa. He sat there for about 5 minutes, holding his head. Sitting in my usual spot on the on the back of the sofa I got to witness all of this and thought, OMG, he broke the watermelon. I yelled at him "Are you okay?" His response was "I think I hit my head!" My thought; Well no shit! We talked for a few minutes about what to do and he decided he was going to be fine, got up and continued to go about his business. Being the tough guy he thinks he is, he never bothered to tell my friend, Shari, about what happened. A couple days later I asked him how he was feeling and his response was he was feeling fine. No bump on the noggin, no headaches, no nothing. About three weeks ago, the Happy Couple were out walking Moe one evening and Shari asked him how come he was starting to shuffle his feet when he walked. He responded he didn't know, but he did mention that he was starting to have trouble with his balance and he was fatigued all the time. After a week, these things were starting to get worse, so the decision was made to go see the aforementioned, Dr. A. The next Monday Dr. A. decided that a MRI was in order so one was scheduled for Wednesday morning. After the MRI, Dr. A. called Dufus and told him he had an appointment with a neurosurgeon, Dr. Howard, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City that afternoon at 2: 30 PM. During that appointment Dr. H showed the Happy Couple what the problem was. The MRI showed his brain was surrounded by blood. Beer or Black Velvet, I could believe, but blood? Dr. H told Dufus he couldn't do anything immediately because part of Dufus' daily pill intake was a baby aspirin, which is a blood thinner, and he wouldn't risk surgery until that was out of his system. So after 9 days of pre-surgery testing and waiting, surgery is scheduled tomorrow, 9/11 at 3:45 PM. From what Dufus tells me they are going to hit him in the head to put him asleep, drill a couple holes in his skull, put in a couple drain pipes with spigots so when the red stops and the gray starts they can shut off the flow. I don't think I would want Dufus as my surgeon. They don't want to drain to much out as there isn't a whole lot up there. I did ask the Village Idiot the other day if maybe he wasn't a little concerned about the MRI, that maybe they wouldn't find anything inside, that maybe he has just been carrying around an empty ball on his shoulders. He said he was concerned about that and he asked Dr. A about this very subject. She said she knew for a fact there was something inside the skull because he was breathing and his heart was beating and that is where the control mechanism is. He then agreed to the MRI. The reason I titled this as The Unknown is this is the first time Dufus has ever had any surgery of any kind. So far he seems to be handling things well. Actually he is currently napping on the very sofa that he was on when he hit his head. He sure does snore loud.
I know my best friend Shari has told a lot of you she will be updating you after surgery, but just a soon as I get the word, I will be sending out a short up-date, In the meantime I know Dufus would want you to follow the Most Interesting Man's favorite advice. Stay thirsty my friends...