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

Archive for January, 2015

First Update of 2015.

Seven years ago on January 8, 2008 I met my now 9-year-old Black Lab Zane. He’s been my best worker hands down, but I believe that’s probably the last time I’ll train during the winter. A new dog needs at least a few months to get used to our environment before we add snow and cold into the mix. Zane is still working well, as is Garron, and we’re grateful for that!

Last year on January 8, Phil was going through is current kidney transplant. It and the pancreas transplant from 2009 seem to be doing well.

Today we received some potentially hard news depending’ on what happens. You all know that I am a fan of finding out the absolute worst scenario, because then if it doesn’t happen that way, it’s even more of a relief. Otherwise, I have more time to brace for the worst. Our holidays were dampened by the persistent and increasing pain in Phil’s toes. He saw his primary care physician a couple times in late November and early December. The soonest his doctor could originally get him into the combination wound doctor and podiatrist was January 15. An appointment opened up for today within the last week, and Phil went. His primary doctor did a blood flow test and said things were fine there. Today’s doctor and his vascular colleagues did more extensive testing, and although the blood flow is good, the oxygenation in that area was not good. The next step is an angiogram too look at the vessils in order to determine what kind of blockage it is. Some dye will need to be injected which could be hard on the kidney in larger doses. Luckily, they won’t need that much. The transplant people say as long as he discontinues one of’ his meds the day before and stays hydrated, it should be fine. There’s a 50 50 chance they may be able to go in and fix the problem. Calcification or hardening of the arteries is responsible for this issue, and just because The Diabetes is not present doesn’t mean the damage isn’t extensive. There are a couple of positives. Unlike last time, the toe is cherry red, not black, and one adjacent toe which was blistered has completely healed. This means that potentially, the two other affected toes could do the same. The worst possible scenario if the the blockage can’t be addressed is another below-the-knee amputation of this leg. Living through all that was not an easy experience for either of us, and I hope and pray we don’t have to relive the pain and frustration of those days. Now at least we’re in a house instead of a 640 feet apartment, but the holidays were testament enough about how difficult it would be for us to go through the pain. Phil’s allergic to many pain killers so has been taking what he can. They make his brain fuzzy, his body lethargic, and/or his motion sensativity high. I’ve been on pins and needles figuratively and liertally trying not to step on any toes. Of course, the dogs don’t understand the issue, and both have stepped on his foot more than once. In addition to the pain which is unpredictable and makes him grumpy, he has a head cold which has gone into his sinuses. This means coughing and moaning. The pain and coughing are most frequent at night, which doesn’t make me want to go to bed until he is long asleep. We’ll get through whatever comes, but we can always use prayers.

We have had good news on the computer front. Our friend Eric came over and installed the new drive in our machine. The first time the old drive was imaged, things didn’t work well at all. Over the next week, Phil and Eric worked remotely by FaceTime. Phil would point the iPhone camera toward the screen, the two of them would talk about what was on it deciding on a plan, and Eric would tell Phil what to do on the keyboard. In this way, they restored all but a miniscule part of the hard drive full of errors and reimaged it onto the new drive. The computer seems to be working beautifully, and I’ve been able to go back to doing two live shows a week — Blessing Blend Wednesdays at 10 Eastern and Keyboard Kaleidoscope Friday Evenings at 8 Eastern. Both shows can be heard on

The only other relatively minor thing comparatively speaking is that the guy who helped me get started in this radio thing has left The Phoenix to broadcast at another station. Although I know I have a lot of friends and colleagues who respect the unique shows I’ve brought to the station, I will mis working with Dave. He said he’ll always help me if I need it, but with the computer under control, I feel like I’m starting to be on a roll with my shows. It was a real compliment to be ask to do special holiday shows during Christmas and New Year’s. It really does make me feel good to do these shows, because I remember how much of a difference listening made when alone and/or ill, not to mention enhancing the good times.

For now, Phil is using a combination of Metro Mobility and rides from coworkers to get back and forth to work. This is not only because of his foot, but because of the frigid weather we’ve had. I thank God for heat and our fireplace!
I know it’s been cold everywhere , relatively speaking. We’ll get through whatever comes and the rest of this winter. I’ll keep you abreast of what’s happening here, and we will hope for the best.


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