Thursday, June 6, 2013

What A Difference 100 Miles Makes


From this…


to this…


Monday morning at 8:15 and 58 degrees, we left the Mogollon Rim and made our way to McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills, AZ, where two and a half hours and 100 beautiful, hilly miles later it was 98 degrees and we were back in the Sonoran desert, one of our favorite places.


Jim had his appointment with the hematologist at the Mayo Clinic that afternoon, and Dr. Northfelt was not convinced of the diagnosis of the rare clotting disorder made by the internist in Mission. So they drew more blood for some different tests and will call next week with the results. We both really liked the doctor, and hope the tests are normal, which probably means Jim just inherited bad veins. It’s still all up in the air.


After we left the Mayo late Monday afternoon, we decided to pick up a few things at Trader Joe’s. On the way we passed Four Peaks Brewery,  and since it was 5pm we just had to stop and sample their beer. We liked all three that we tried, and their veggie pesto pizza was a good accompaniment. We will be sure to go there again the next time we’re in town.

The highs have been in the low 100s, but with the low humidity it really doesn’t feel that hot if you stay out of the sun. At $25/night we are getting our money’s worth with the AC running almost non-stop. And another nice thing is that we are the only ones in the campground besides the hosts, whom we haven’t even seen. There was one other RV the first night but they left yesterday morning.


We took advantage of having water and washed the Subaru and did some other chores in the early morning. We were embarrassed driving around covered in dirt with all the high dollar vehicles in Scottsdale. We forgot how good it looked when it’s clean.


Yesterday afternoon Jim had one more appointment at the Mayo, this time with an ophthalmologist who specializes in corneal disease and dry eyes. They are doing a new procedure for the dry eye problem and Jim wanted to see if he was a candidate. He’s had problems with this for years, and uses lubricating drops and ointment, but it seems to be getting worse.

The tech did several tests and then Dr. Patel came in to examine his eyes. Instead of discussing the new procedure, he told Jim he didn’t think he really had a dry eye problem, but a chronic low grade infection that was causing the irritation and dryness. It’s great that someone finally is getting to the root of the problem, after going to quite a few different ophthalmologists over the past few years.

They swabbed his eyes for cultures, prescribed a one-time mega dose of azithromycin and nightly antibiotic eye ointment, and will call with the culture results next week. It will be interesting to see if anything grows, since the doctor thought it might be due to something rare such as cat scratch disease or possibly even Lyme disease. If this treatment doesn’t bring relief in the next couple weeks, he wants him to come back for some other lab work when he sees him again in a few weeks.

So it looks like we will be returning to Scottsdale near the end of the month again. Depending on where we are at that time, we may just make it a day trip and not stay here.


We’ve been just as impressed with the quality of care at the Mayo this time as we were two years ago when Jim had his gall bladder removed, so I think we did the right thing by coming back here. It would be nice if all we had to worry about was where our next campsite would be, but it seems that life has other ideas.

Today we’re heading back up to our spot on the Mogollon rim and some cooler mountain air….



  1. I'm glad Jim is seeing good doctors. It's amazing how many times we have a wrong diagnosis; I hope the tests results this time are all things that can be taken care of easily.

    Love your photos. The cactus wrens are such pretty birds.

  2. Now won't this be interesting if both of his original doctors misdiagnosed Jim.

    I have dry eye and have used Restasis for years. It has helped immensely! Hope they can get to the root of his problem.

    Glad you like the hematologist. Another issue I am sure you two can't wait to resolve. Looking forward to reading the results of his tests.

    I am sure the Brewery stop helps calm you both down. Good medicine for what ales...get

  3. I sure hope that they are getting to the root cause of the problems. Then you wouldn't have to worry so much about locating where you want to.

    I don't think I would like to have to stay in the Phoenix area too long with that heat.

  4. Hopefully, you will find what is really going on in both situations. Sometimes, we have to plan around problems, not just travel, don't we?

    100 isn't too hot if you stay out of the sun? Anything above 90 is too hot, in my opinion.

  5. Your comment that it would be nice if all we had to worry about was the next campsite really struck home. I sure hope both of these things turn out to minor and easily fixable so you can get on your way with only campsite worries.

  6. Glad to know about the good health care in that area. You never know when you might need someone. Hope the new tests come up answers.

    Returning to the cooler temperatures is definitely a good idea.

  7. Glad to hear about such good medical care in the Phoenix area...and that you don't need to hang out any longer in 100 degree temps! (Even though McDowell is one of our's not much fun if you're stuck inside the RV!)

    Fingers crossed the test results indicate easily remedied issues.

    Metamorphosis Lisa

  8. Good luck, Jim and Gayle...doctors are just "practicing" most of the time. You should have the best of the best at Mayo, tho. I hope they can get to the root of the problems, and that you don't have to go back.
    Take care,
    Box Canyon Mark

  9. Praying for positive results. Mayo is a good place.