News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

16th Anniversary

I’m grateful to be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary, and Phil took the day off for it and not because he’s sick or has a medical appointment! Halleluiah!

OK, he’s also taking it off because it has been a rough week for him too. His dialysis port clotted again for the third time in five months. The good news is that he wasn’t admitted to the hospital. The unclotting procedure was scheduled as a same day thing. It meant he had to miss a dialysis session because of the timing, and I really thought with all of the fluid they may have to pull, he was going to be in bad shape when he got home Thursday night. They’re pulling the extra fluid over a couple sessions to lessen the severe cramps. Though tired, he was in pretty good spirits.

Now for the thing for which we really need prayers / positive thoughts. After the unclotting, his hand stopped hurting the first two times. The temperature of it also returned to that of the other hand. Neither of these things is occurring this time, and we’re worried there could be damage. Losing a hand would be devastating in the worst case scenario! His doctors think when the swelling subsides, things will settle down. He’s got the dialysis staff talking to the doctors about this.

Along with all this, the last two weeks have been about getting the new computer set-up, then the printer, and finally the hardest thing — the modem. Though our e-mail addresses stay the same, Phil learned that switching Internet Service Providers would save money on our phone bill. The switch happened the day of the procedure. So here he was fresh from sedation and on the phone with customer service twice in one night. Things seem to be working beautifully now. Download speeds are double to triple what they used to be, we can do more than one thing at once like download and stream music, and our wireless network is secure.

I fought off a bug for the majority of last week, and I didn’t even realize it was a bug until it was almost over. I’ll spare the details, but let’s just say that I wanted to know where the bathroom was and didn’t dare sneeze or bump into anything as it was quite …. jarring! I wasn’t good for much besides reading “The Hunger Games” trilogy — good books that turned my stomach in places.

With dialysis, Phil and I aren’t social butterflies, but we had two social engagements in the last two weeks. My younger sister, her husband and their daughter came to the Mall of America to shop for the day. Phil and I met them for supper at the Rain Forest Cafe — the place where Phil and I shared our very first meal after meeting in person. It was a fun night, and my niece was impressed by all of the scenery around us.

Then Monday night our friend Michael had his 40th birthday party at Davanni’s –a local pizza, pasta, and sandwich place. Michael works for Phil as a student worker at the University of Minnesota. Both are technology savvy and are working on a pod cast for users of I-Devices. Michael and I try to meet for coffee after my standing Tuesday appointments downtown. His parents are local but in a suburb. It was great to meet them and one of his two brothers.

Michael and I are both musical people. He played flute on my last album. We are both in the middle of siblings of our gender. If that isn’t enough, his brothers are 18 months older and five years younger just like my sisters. You already know Michael and I are around the same age, and in another crazy coincidence, so are Phil and Michael’s girlfriend Patty. Phil and I can share a lot of the same experiences about being blind, but Michael and I have the same spacial foibles. One example, neither of us can carry a tray level if our lives depended on it. We tend to make the same kinds of mistakes and have trouble learning the same kinds of spacial concepts. Poor Phil gets exasperated with us. Phil jokes with Michael that he has another one just like him at home. When the three of us get together much laughter and conversation are likely.

Michael and we have several mutual friends who attended the party, and it was fun to see people we don’t get a chance to talk to very often.

The food was so good that Phil asked to go back to Davanni’s for another meal for our anniversary. We’ve had their food when delivery was available at the apartment, but it’s much better eating in! Phil ate there for the first time and really loved it. It’s one of my favorite places, so he didn’t get any argument from me.

Our friend Linda came over to help Phil label some things. Then she dropped us off at the vet to have Zane’s nails clipped. Garron absolutely hates his paws handled and his nails clipped. He’s come to associate the vet with those things, and even though he wasn’t scheduled to have it done, being at the vet was enough for him to put on a dramatic performance for us. Dinner was a good as expected. It was early in the evening, so there were very few customers eating in. We walked the six blocks to a direct bus home, and between the the wonderful, cool air and Zane’s clipped claws, we really cruised!

Phil’s been working on the computer and printer/scanner/fax all night. He also just set it up to scan and print from his IPhone. I was reading a great book, but I think there was some Caffeine in something I drank late last night. I absolutely didn’t sleep much. Though sleeping late today, I had a nap while Phil did all his techy things.

Though Phil needs his wash done, it’s going to be much slower paced weekend for me. For the last two, I’ve had to play for both Masses, and this weekend I don’t play for either. I still have the Malt Shop Sunday night, but unalike last Sunday I won’t have to try to be ready to play a funeral the next morning. I was running late for the funeral , because our security system decided to start beeping once a minute. I had visions of people breaking down the door to get into our house while I was gone, so I took the time to make phone calls to stop it. I arrived to play just as Father started. He started singing before I could give him an introduction. It’s not everyone who can just start playing the song in the key in which he was singing. Many times I need to think on my feet to find suitable music for offertory related to his homily. I didn’t know the woman or her family, but she was a teacher. The Gospel passage was about Jesus asking that disciples let the children come to him, and Father’s homily was all about the shared love of children the deceased and Jesus had. So I did Jesus Loves Me — at first very simply and gradually incorporating counter-melodies. Father and the congregation then started singing along with me. I probably sound like I’m bragging, but truth be told, being a musician can be lonely. Sometimes it’s hard to feel good about myself when it comes to music. these moments of being appreciated for my talent are few and far between. Oh, people compliment my playing, but very few understand everything which goes into it. It felt good to be called “a miracle worker” after the funeral.

Rebecca Kragnes and Zane – Black-lab and Seeing Eye Dog
Home: 612-827-2132
Cell: 612-387-5884
Twitter: @RebeccaKragnes

Comments on: "16th Anniversary" (2)

  1. Happy anniversary; sixteen years is a big accomplishment! Hope you two have many more! Kathie and Luna Katherine Schneider, Ph.D. Senior Psychologist, Emerita Counseling Service University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Author of To the Left of Inspiration: Adventures in Living with Disabilities and a children’s book Your Treasure Hunt: Disabilities and Finding Your Gold Blog:

  2. Happy Anniversary! Glad you got to celebrate it up right! You did make me hungry *smile*.
    Congrats on the great job playing too – it does indeed take a gift to do what you did!
    Have a great week – mE

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