Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Ruptured Disc and a Trip to the ER

Just a quick update to explain why we have not made comments lately on your post!!

We arrived at Rainbow Plantation Escapee Park on Friday, July 6.  We secured our spot and settled in for a 3 day stay.  Sunday Mike complained of a sore back and started taking Tylenol thinking all would clear up soon.  Monday morning, our travel day, I got busy readying things inside the Oliver while Mike began getting things unhooked outside.  He came inside about the time I had finished and I assumed he was ready for the final check and load myself and our fur babies and get rolling.
Instead he wanted to lie down on the floor! 
 I could tell he was hurting and asked him if felt like even traveling.  He wasn’t sure so he laid there on the floor for a few minutes.  We both finally decided traveling wasn’t going to happen on this day.  So I began to put things back together to stay another night.  I looked at Mike and I knew....he was not just hurting but in excruciating pain!!!  I asked him if he needed to go to the ER and he said “yes!”

So off we head to Thomas Hospital in Fairhope, Alabama.  We arrived at the ER but Mike was unable to walk so I got a wheel chair and that’s when the kind folks at this hospital went into action.  They got him checked in while I got the truck parked.  We immediately, without any waiting, went into an exam room and was taken care of by the nurse and doctor assigned to him.  
They began administering a ton of meds which included morphine, oxycodone , ibuprofen, and who knows what else.  Nothing
was relieving the pain.  They ordered a CT scan and those results showed ruptured disc.  They admitted him for the night.
Early the next morning they ordered an MRI and this along with the CT scan showed the location and severity.  He had ruptured L4 and L5 disc.  They continued to administer pain medications.  We met with the hospital doctor and the orthopedic surgeon as well as his PA.  Sometime during the early afternoon a physical therapist came and worked with him.  He had him use a walker because at this time Mike still could not walk steady due to the pain.
He was finally discharged around 5:00.
After a day of Morphine and Oxycodone I was ready for
When we had our follow up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon we learned, by actually looking  at the MRI, the damage.  There is quite a large rupture!!  His recommendation is for Mike to have a lumbar epidural.  That will be scheduled sometime in about 2 weeks.  Then after the epidural we will have a follow up visit with the doctor to see how effective the treatment was.

So we will be at Rainbow Plantation for approximately a month.  We aren’t sure after this what our time looks like.

The good news is he is feeling better everyday, but still has numbness in his right leg!!  Thanks to the prednisone and muscle relaxers, he no longer takes the pain medication.  I am now the designated driver!!          
Asher wanted a bed, so we let him borrow Nick's until we get on big enough for him.
We will (we have permission) drive the truck only, no Oliver, to Lagrange Wednesday of next week to complete the doctor’s visits we had scheduled.  Remember that crown....yep it’s still waiting for me!!  I also have my biannual oncology visit!  We will get this done on Thursday and return to Rainbow Plantation on Friday!!  Whew!!  That will be a quick trip but necessary!!

So this is why it’s been kinda silent at Through the Lens these past few days!  We plan to get back to blogging and catching up with all of you very soon!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Mike the Tiger

Every university has a mascot!!  Auburn has their tiger, Aubie!! LSU has their tiger, Mike!!   Aubie is not a real tiger but instead it's a "character" tiger usually dressed up as Aubie or perhaps a blown up version to show school spirit!!

At LSU the tiger is a real live Bengal tiger!!  There have been seven Mike the Tigers and we went to visit the current one...Mike  VII.                  

We found him living in his 15,000 square foot habitat right outside the LSU Tiger Stadium...Death Valley and across from Pete Maravich Assembly Center.                     

Basketball Stadium         

Mike's  habitat consist of lush plants and trees including a waterfall, stream and large swimming pool.  In 2005 $3.7 million dollars was funded to create this beautiful habitat.  

Mike VII began his reign at the beginning of fall semester of 2017.  He has both Siberian and Bengal characteristics and I might add he is quite handsome!!                 

On the day we visited he was enjoying the shade provided by a group of trees.  It was quite warm and he seemed happy lounging in the shade!  What a magnificent animal!!
We really enjoyed spending some time watching this gorgeous tiger!!  

Our son's apartment is in the downtown area of Baton Rouge and so he gets to experience lots of the downtown activities such as a Saturday Farmers Market.  Now I have been to various farmer's markets but this one was most unique!!              

The gentleman is walking to the side entrance of the market.  They closed a block of a one way street for the market

  First of all, it was quite large with an indoor area to purchase plates of different kinds of food to purchasing essential oils, bread, paintings etc.          
Stephen got a bacon egg biscuit and a fresh berry muffin inside

The outside area had more of the local farmers and their produce, meat, fish and shrimp, plants and for good measure a local band played for our entertainment.         

We purchased fresh tomatoes, squash and some homemade jellies.  
I can't begin to tell you how delicious those tomatoes were.  We had tomato sandwiches and steamed squash for several days!! 

It was a fun morning in downtown Baton Rouge!!   We have never been big city people and certainly not big city "downtown" people but this was nice and I am sure Stephen will enjoy the young vibes in this area.                     

With Stephen moved in his apartment and our dog sitting services  no longer being needed we will be getting ready to move on very soon.  We have enjoyed exploring a little in this capitol city of Louisiana and meeting some very nice folks as well.  Thank you Stephen and Baton Rouge for a great visit!!!   I am sure we will be back to catch some of those beautiful plantations in the area!!  I can't wait!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

An Old Capital Tour


Thursday we decided to take a drive downtown and visit the Old  State Capitol Building.  We had heard there is a lot of history in this old gothic style building.           

     Louisiana's Old State Capitol, a Gothic architectural treasure, stands high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.  The 165 year old statehouse has withstood war, fire, scandal, bitter debate, abandonment and an occasional fistfight.  Today, the building stands as a testament to bold, inspired leadership and active citizenship.

The state capitol saw its first Legislature in 1852 and remained the seat of government until January 1861.  This is when the legislature voted to secede from the Union in the House Chamber.  During this time a fire broke out while occupied by Union forces.  This fire destroyed the interior of the building but the brick walls remained intact as did the wrought iron fencing around the grand building.               
This is a side view showing the fencing around the capital
In 1880 a fourth floor was added and the beautiful stained glass dome for which the building is known.             

It was built to look like a castle and many locals refer to it as "Louisiana Castle or Castle of Baton Rouge and Castle on the River."              
View looking out from the House Chamber                                   
We spent most of the afternoon just rambling around the many rooms in this building.   
Side entrance to the Old State Capital 
Second floor atop the stairs 


Looking up to the second floor and above 
House Chamber Room 
On the second floor of the Old Capital
View from the Senate Chamber into the rest of the building               

Well, we not only mad it up the stairs, but...          

also down the stairs...


The Louisiana State Capital building is the tallest capital in the United States. It stands 450 feet tall with 34 floors.  This capital will forever be entwined with the political career of Huey Long as it was his idea to construct a new capital building in 1928 when he was running for governor.

We finished off our Thursday with a light dinner and nice evening sitting outside our Oliver enjoying the night sounds....not to mention the humidity!!