All kinds of trouble publishing with Open Live Writer, but hopefully this has been solved for the time being? This post was previously published in parts, without photos. So here we go again with the same post, but hopefully with photos this time!
Lets see – when we left off at the end of January, we were camped on the east end of Yuma. With Hailey needing to be fed about every two hours through her neck tube, there was not a lot of spare time for anything. Notwithstanding, I did manage to make time to get the truck’s fuel filter changed out, and have a few visits with friends and relatives in the area. One of the things on the list pending was to get the slide-out adjusted. So we took a chance one day and made an appointment at AZ RV Experts. It wasn’t long for Nick to determine that the slide could not be adjusted further – the problem was a BENT FRAME! Ouch! He wouldn’t take any payment, and suggested finding a semi-permanent place to park the rig. That’s not something you want to hear – specially when you are 1600 miles from home. Dejected, we parked it back in the desert, and spent a couple of days looking at new and used rigs at various dealerships. Looking underneath the rig, I finally was able to locate the spot where the frame was indeed bent – but not torn.
By jacking up the rear corner with my small hydraulic jack, I was able to effectively straighten it out, making the slide work perfectly again. After a bit more research, I found Dave’s Auto Detailing in Yuma, that also straightened frames on automobiles, but not RV’s. After a couple of calls and a visit, I convinced him to take on the job, showing him that I could straighten the frame out – if he could weld supports to keep it that way. So we spent the day there, where his team of welders and mechanics did a great job patching the bent area, and providing new extra supports for the frame. The rig has an enclosed belly, and the cover had to be partially removed to make the repairs, so I got my first ever look inside!
The welder hard at work under the rig.
The finished job! The other side was also braced in the same manner.
We’ll keep an eye on it of course, but hope this adds another 10 years of life to our home on wheels.
While still in the Yuma area, I took off between cat feedings for a quick look around Mittry Lake, just north of town.
With Hailey’s care at least becoming a bit predictable, and not requiring multiple vet visits per week, we decided to head out for new parking spots. I decided to head back up to the Bouse area and check in on Wandering Willy. Unfortunately, both the Bayfield Bunch and John and his dogs of John & Brenda had just left, so I missed both of them.
I went for a hike up a nearby small mountain. Pretty sure it used to have a number of radio towers on it, but only some concrete foundations and old shacks remaining now.
Wandering Willy was starting his eventful trip home the next day, so I pulled up stakes again and headed north.
We took a few photos along the Parker strip on the way through.
We made a brief stop at the vet in Fort Mohave and picked up some more special cat food that can be fed through a neck tube. A friend and former colleague had turned up on Lake Mohave camped on the beach, so that’s where we ended up for another few days.
The friends wanted to check out Lake Havasu, so we all moved down there next. Most of the boondocking areas were very busy – especially the ones near SARA park – where the big fireworks show was scheduled for the weekend. My ‘usual’ spot up on the ridge at Standard wash BLM was available, so that’s where we ended up. After a couple days there, Hailey again decided to dictate our schedule. She had been scratching and managed to pull her neck feeding tube most of the way out of her neck.
So, once again we retraced our steps back to the vet in Ft Mohave. The vet managed to remove the tube without even sedating her, (no one was injured either!) and said we should wait a few days to see if she would begin to eat on her own again.
She seems to have survived the earlier attack of the ticks in December, but the suspected spider bite on her front leg was still pretty nasty looking.
Without the tube, she began acting a bit more like herself, but it was stressful again, wondering if she would ever eat or drink on her own again.
As you may recall, this whole epic began November 30th. Since then she has made countless trips to the vet, and even spent a couple nights in hospital. She had several blood tests, several urine tests, an ultrasound, an IV, an xray, a biopsy, was sedated at least 4 times, suffered a total tick infestation that was not relieved by medication, had a strange tongue injury, the alleged spider bite, and had a feeding tube inserted. Add to this a plethora of medications, some of which just caused her to vomit, some which did not work, pills, sprays, injections … For most of December, January, and the beginning of February, she had little control of her bowels or bladder, in addition to vomiting and regurgitating with regularity. She was a total mess and I resorted to trying to clean her up in the shower or with a spray bottle with limited success. Every horizontal surface in the rig had to be covered or cleaned many times a day, or both. I had tarps on the bed, on the floor and over the seats in the truck. I bought a whole new supply of towels to help contain the mess, and became one of the best customers of the laundromat in Ft Mohave. In search of food medications and care, I visited two vets in Ft Mohave, two in Yuma, 5 in Lake Havasu. Picked up prescriptions for her at the vet, at Walmart in Ft. Mohave and Yuma, and had some more medications come by courier from Omaha! All the floors were scattered with newspapers that would be replaced every time they got soiled. Food and medications had to be be administered on a strict schedule, sometimes in the middle of the night. I have recorded virtually every bathroom visit, every meal, every symptom, every medication for 10 weeks straight. She ate or drank nothing for almost two months – relying on the me injecting semi-liquid food and water through her neck tube. I offered milk, tuna, water, cat food, and she would just walk away! Not much time or incentive to blog!
In the middle of February, after about 3 days of the feeding tube being removed, a miraculous thing happened. Hailey started to EAT, a bit, on her own! First time in two months! I bought a whole array of exotic, gourmet cat foods in an attempt to find anything that she would eat. With the resumption of minimal normal feeding routine, the random messes of the last two and a half months were mostly gone, so I was finally able to remove all the tarps, towels and newspaper that covered everything in the rig!
Living on the edge, we decided to move back to California and spend some time in the Mojave National Monument. It is only a two hour round trip to visit the vet – that we have only done once so far, for a routine weekly antibiotic injection. Two different RV friends have stopped by to visit so far.
Hailey is still not eating enough to regain her weight, and the ugly sore on her leg is taking it’s time getting any better, but once again we are hoping for the best. She has also resumed grooming herself finally, so she is looking a bit better as well.
That’s about it for now. Not sure how long we’ll be here, but no doubt it will depend on what Ms Hailey dictates. In the meantime, the weather has finally begun somewhat of a warming trend. I did a test post a few days ago with Live Writer, so I sure hope it is still working. There is no way I’m starting over again with the lousy Blogger editor.