Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month shows a SUNSET over the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, 8/7/19.

Monday, February 18, 2019

2018 --- A Year I will NEVER Forget --- Part II

One of the many roads I traveled in 2018;  This was at Mammoth Cave National Park,  Kentucky in July.
Dear Friends,   Two weeks ago,  I published  Part I of my Journey with A Fib.... IF you missed that post,  please  click HERE to read it first...

Today I'll share more of our 2018 adventures  despite my health problems.  In Part I--I featured   January-June,  so today I'll share a bit from July -December...




The family of Ken Adams at his funeral, July 16, 2018.
In July,  we took two short trips.  The sad one was when we drove to Indiana for the funeral of George's brother, Ken.  Ken had suffered with Cancer for a few years ---and no matter how hard he tried to beat that disease,  he lost his battle on July 9.



The happy July trip was to Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky,   where we spent a couple of awesome days with our good friends,  Neal and Patti.





In August,   George took me on my 76th Birthday Trip to Mount Pisgah along the Blue Ridge Parkway, west of Asheville,  North Carolina.   We stayed at the Pisgah Inn and enjoyed this view from our room.  It was such a wonderful and relaxing  trip!




Our 'big' trip for 2018 was a wonderful journey out west from September 6-17.  We visited  South Dakota,  Montana  and Wyoming.  There are so many highlights that it is hard to narrow it down to one or two... The picture above was taken on our amazing journey across  the Beartooth Mountain between  Red Lodge,  Montana,  and the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park.





Another highlight for me was seeing the Grand Teton National Park.   This picture was taken at the Schwabacher Landing ---as we looked at the mighty TETONS...  I always tell George that THIS is my favorite place in the world  (after our Great Smoky Mountains here in Tennessee)... ha




The only long hike we took on our West Trip was our hike around String Lake in the Grand Tetons.   What started out to be a 'short' hike (so our hiking book said)  turned out to be a LONG hike ---since when we thought we were lost, we back-tracked a couple of times... My A Fib really caused me to struggle on that hike --but with George's wonderful help,  I/we made it back to the car!!!!!  We can laugh about it NOW --but at the time,  I was SCARED that I couldn't make it out of that area!  But ---isn't it gorgeous (when looking at the picture)?????







Soon after getting home from our Western Trip, we made a trip to BILTMORE to see the CHIHULY Exhibit there at NIGHT.... Wow---what a highlight for us!   (We had seen the exhibit during the day when we were there in August --but just HAD to see it at night.  it was SO awesome!)




Here's one more picture showing some of the awesome glass displays at Biltmore.



October  brought our annual Autumn Trip with our friends,  Neal and Patti.  This year,  we spent several days in Maggie Valley,  North Carolina  checking out the Fall colors,  the views,  the food (ha), the Blue Ridge Parkway,  and, best of all---- just having fun together.  One of the highlights of that week was seeing the ELK at Cataloochee.



On October 28,  with my son's encouragement,  George and I went with Mark and Diana to Elkmont in the Smokies and hiked to the AVENT CABIN.   I wasn't sure I could make that hike since it was 4 miles round-trip plus some elevation changes.  BUT--I was willing to try it  and I DID....  I made it and was so proud of myself....

Although I did many short hikes and walks this past year (and did fine),   this  one  and the long hike in the Tetons were the only two that I would even consider hikes more than 2-3 miles...   Since  I did TWO of these hikes in 2018 ---my goal is to do at least FOUR in 2019....  Can I do it????  I hope so.



November was family month ---and I was thrilled to have all 3 sons  together here for Thanksgiving.  It is so seldom when I can manage to get them all together ---so you can imagine how happy I was!!!!




December was our annual trip to OCEAN ISLE BEACH.  Like Pisgah Inn (in August),  this is another trip which we can truly relax and enjoy every minute.   It was wonderful to see the Sunrise from our balcony...



Another big highlight of the year for me was our special trip to Asheville,  North Carolina,  to attend CHRISTMAS at BILTMORE.   What an awesome evening.   This was taken inside the Biltmore Mansion.



Before we toured the big home at BILTMORE,  we walked around the front and captured this photo.



After our tour of the BILTMORE House,  we drove to the Antler Village area which was also all decorated with many lights.   This was the first time we have seen that area at Christmas.   Since there was a little snow on the ground,  it truly felt like Christmas.  What an awesome evening we had...

But---December wasn't over!!!!   On Christmas Day,  we drove to Georgia and had a fantastic dinner with son Jeff and daughter-in-law Dawn,  along with Dawn's parents.   Thanks be to God also for all of our family which we saw off and on ALL year,  not just during the Holidays.

****************************
WELL ---that's my/our year in a nutshell...   As I look back on everything we did ---I am amazed at how little the A Fib affected me most of the time.  BUT---I also know that I still do NOT have the energy or stamina that I used to have.  I have really slowed down --and it has been frustrating not being able to do what I want to do.  As I have mentioned before,  my medications keep me alive but they all do have side effects...

Knowing that I cannot walk these big hills in our area anymore,  we knew that we still needed to find ways of getting  'real' exercise while here at home.   SO ----we bought a fantastic STATIONARY BICYCLE  in December.  We both use the bike  ---and most days we both do 2 --30 minute rides per day... This new purchase is sitting right in our Living Room ---and is very convenient (especially after/during all of the RAIN we have had this winter--which keeps us inside)...

Working on our health is the most important goal for 2019 for both George and me.  Right now,  besides putting a priority on our Biking,  we have changed our eating habits so that hopefully,  we both can lose some of this weight we have gained this past year.  As I talk to others with A Fib,  I know that one of my medications  (a Beta Blocker) does cause weight gain in many...   Getting the 15 pounds off that I've gained since getting A Fib in Feb., 2018 would surely make me feel better.   I'm TRYING!!!! At least,  I do NOT want to continue gaining!!!!  Grrrrrr.....

WELL my Friends,  as I write this,   things may change quickly this week.   I have an appointment with my Cardiologist on Thursday,  and both of us see our regular family doctor on Friday!!!!!  These are our 6-month check-ups.    We'll go to the Lab tomorrow morning for our fasting blood work.   I would appreciate prayers as we go through this week.

I don't know if any of you have A Fib  --or know someone who has it,  but just remember that A Fib is DIFFERENT in each of us.  My A Fib is called  Persistent A Fib ---and I am 'in' A Fib constantly (rather than others who may have occasional episodes)...  Each type is treated differently.  So far,  mine is being treated by 4 different medications...   Be patient with us ---since even though we all may look the same as we did,  most of us have had a HUGE lifestyle change.

Hugs,

31 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I am happy you have been able to go on your trips and do some hiking with the A-Fib. I enjoyed all the photos. The Tetons are one of my favorite places to visit. Having the stationary bicycle is a good idea, I use my treadmill on the bad weather days. Sending prayers and Good luck wishes to both of you with your doc appts. Wishing you a happy day and new week ahead.

Rita said...

Will be praying for both of you. Afib has been a challenge for you and I wish it had not happened. With your determination I feel it can improve. To have the fluttering leave would be such a blessing from the Lord. Thank you for the recap of this last year and such beautiful pictures.

Marcia said...

You've made some lovely memories from your trips. Hope the appointment goes well this week.

George said...

I'm really proud of you for all we were able to do in 2018 in spite of your A-Fib. I only hope 2019 will be even better!

Delores Parks said...

I sure enjoy your pictures and we have been to so many places that you have visited. My husband has the A-Fib too and it too seems to stay. He takes a lot of medicine and in no way could even walk a 1/2 mile but he has other health problems too. You are doing great and I will be praying for you! Thanks again for all the absolutely BEAUTIFUL pictures!! God bless.

Sally Wessely said...

You sum it all up so well in that last statement: Be patient with us. I find my children can’t seem to accept my limitations. I just tell them they will learn first hand what it is all about soon enough. I can’t imagine being in persistent aFib. That would take some really adjusting mentally, physically, and emotionally. You are making all the right choices. I love that you always read your body and make adjustments in the areas that need adjusting.

On another note, I think of blogging and friends on blogs such as you and thank God you are in my life to be a companion in the journey. Keep on keeping on, and keep on writing. You inspire and you show the way. Hugs. XO

Arkansas Patti said...

Regardless what you have been dealing with, you two have made every day, week and month count. That is how to live.
I can't imagine having AFIB all the time. Must be maddening.
Keep up with the stationary bike--I do the same thing when watching TV.

Betsy said...

My dear Betsy, it amazes me how much you and George do each and every day. As you know, I am only 59 and I can’t do a quarter of the things that you do. YOU amaze me and you are my hero! You’ve visited some beautiful places this year and you didn’t let your A-Fib stop you. As you know, I can relate very much to what you’re going through. I take some of the same medications for my tachycardia and with my back issues too, sometimes physical activity is near nonexistent.
I have learned to appreciate each and every day that the Lord gives me and to do what I can. It’s frustrating to accept those limitations but what are my options, right? My dear Betsy, keep on being the wonderful encouragement to all of us that you are. Wishing you and George a wonderful 2019 and I will definitely be praying for both of you this week.
Blessings, Betsy

linda m said...

Both you and George are in my daily prayers. And as for the weight loss, I know you can do ti.

David said...

Betsy, It's great to see that despite the A-Fib you're keeping up your efforts to keep on with your travels. Limitations are a way of life as we get older. We either have to overcome them or work around them...but we can't stop working to enjoy what we like doing.

It is kind of sad that so many family gatherings (at least in our world) take place at funerals.

We loved the Grand Tetons too and Beartooth Pass is one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

You certainly had a busy year, especially considering the health issues. That hike around String Lake resulted in a beautiful shot of the Tetons, one not seen during a drive through the area. The trail must have been vague if you thought you were lost. The Smoky Mountains set a high standard for clearly marked trails, a standard not always found in other National Parks.

Lady Fi said...

You're a shining example to us all!

Your photos are fabulous.

Ann said...

I love seeing and reading about all that you did in 2018. That picture of the mountain is stunning.
Your year makes mine looks absolutely boring. But then I already knew my years was boring...lol

Ruth Hiebert said...

Despite the A Fib, you have had busy year. I am happy for you to be able to do these things. You have lovely photos to share and to relive the memories.Keep on making more of those special memories.

Susie Swanson said...

Always love to look at your pics and your adventures my friend and like you 2018 was one more year we both can't forget. Praying for you both for a good outcome and your health. Hugs and Love.

Chatty Crone said...

I am sorry about the loss of George's brother. I love your beautiful pictures and i love the clouds.

Linda said...

You had a very mixed year! I'm glad you found so much beauty in it, and that George was there to help.

Jeevan said...

Looks you have done really good despite the A Fib and I wish you the 2019 will be a better year with improved health condition to do your fav activity - hike - and meet up with families and friends lot. Lovely sharing from the past year!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I hope you and your husband are well. I've enjoyed very much the photos of your awesome trips. Mammoth Cave National Park is one place I would love to see. The Grand Teton National Park is amazing. We were blessed to go there a few years ago. I always enjoy the Biltmore House and gardens. I'm hoping you will be able to take many more wonderful trips this year and share the photos with us.

Ginny Hartzler said...

You sure did not let the a Fib slow you down, you are amazing! My favorites here are the Tetons and the one after it. I am guessing you can bike while you watch T.V., that purchase was a very good idea. Do you have any restrictions placed on exercising? Please let me know how your appointments come out. I have prayed for good health and healing and no more issues for you!

Shug said...

Prayers for both you and George. As my mother once said...."Getting Older is the Greatest, (with a huge sarcastic grin and wink!" She made the most of it, even though we knew she was in pain. Hoping that 2019 will be a great year for you, both physically and emotionally. Every journey you made in 2018 was a Blessing to me, as you shared photos from all of the areas... Hugs sweet friend.

Connie said...

Your photos are beautiful, Betsy, and it looks like you had a very full year in spite of your struggles with A-fib. Your picture of the Tetons is amazing, and I would love to see that Chihuly exhibit someday.

Tanza Erlambang said...

beautiful series of photos.
have a great day

Dee said...

Dear Betsy, I'm sending prayers your way. Living with A-Fib has, as you've said, changed your life. But I'm still awed by all that you and George manage to do in a given year. And 2018 was a year of testing for you--testing your resolve and your stamina and your fortitude.

I so hope you get your 4 hikes in this year! And with your will to do so, I suspect you will. Peace.

diane b said...

Considering your health problems you had a great year with family, friends and travel. Well one. Bill lives wit Afib but he has a pace maker to help now. Good luck for the future to both of you.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Betsy,
A lovely post and I enjoyed both reading and seeing your lovely photographs about the many trips you were able to do. Well done …
I think the stationary bicycle is a good idea.

My thoughts and prayers as you both under go your Doctors appointments, I hope they went well.
My good wishes.

All the best Jan

LV said...

You just had to take a little detour from your regular activity. You are stronger than you think, and will bounce back again in time. Time takes care of a lot things. Hang in!

Kim@stuffcould.... said...

Oh dear I hate that you have to deal with A fib.....my uncle has it. I like seeing all the trips y’all make and photograph it beautifully. I enjoyed the Builtmore with its Beauty. I love the Smokies too. The Grand Tetons are breathtaking

Lady Fi said...

So many gorgeous shots! And yes - health really is wealth!

BeachGypsy said...

Just checking in with you, my friend--you haven't posted in awhile. Hope all is well. How were the check-ups? Was thinking about y'all. Hope to see you back blogging soon. Sometimes we all need a little break. I love all the pictures on this post!

Kay said...

Hi Betsy! What a year you both have had. I love reading about your zest for life. You sure have done a lot of traveling and seen amazing places. I've been to Mammoth Cave. Isn't it absolutely HUGE? I'd like to wish you another wonderful year of fun traveling and excellent health.