The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday: Updates


1. The last couple of days have been very rough for Joyce. She had tried to lay off the pain and anti-nausea meds on Sunday and Monday and thinks now that was probably a mistake. Also, even before her surgery December 28, she had been fighting a throat infection, which since the chemo started last week, seems to have returned. Her fever went up Monday night/Tuesday morning, but she started taking the pain meds again and got it under control. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic which I picked up for her last night, so she's taking that now too. The fever is only part of the problem, however. When the pain meds diminish after four hours, she is experiencing quite a bit of pain. They say that's to be expected, that it's the chemotherapy at work, but it still hurts like hell. She's taking the pain meds regularly now and sleeping more.

2. I have to run out for about an hour around 2:00 to see my doctor for a coumadin check (hopefully, I'm in the last 2-3 weeks of taking this stuff for the clot). No problem there except that the snow is supposed to begin after lunch and continue throughout the afternoon. This could make getting back through the Hollow and up our long drive iffy. I'm thinking I may reschedule this appointment.

3. We have a 2009 Toyota Avalon, so this morning's news about the investigation into sudden acceleration was of interest to us. Seems the investigation showed that the issue was not electronically caused. I've always felt these instances were more than likely driver related.

We've owned several Toyotas and this is our third Avalon. But, we do have problems with this car. The dealer couldn't explain why it died with the motor running the other day when I was bringing Joyce home from the hospital. Could this happen again? What if we were pulling into traffic on the Interstate with a big 18 Wheeler bearing down on us and the thing decided to shut down again?

Also, there's a big issue regarding the seatbelt warning alarm. I say alarm instead of chime because that's what it is. It sounds as loud and irritating as one of those shrill backup beepers on a truck. Let's say you want to go down to the end of the drive to check the mail before buckling up. Or suppose you're at a strip mall and you want to move your car a couple of hundred feet to another store. In each case, however, the alarm begins to sound. And it increases in intensity and rapidity like a mad parent screaming at a recalcitrant kid. YOU MUST BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELT! NOW! NO EXCUSES!

It's a beautiful car. Really. And on the road, minus this irritation, it's a joy to drive. Effortless. Smooth. Quiet. But. Since the alarm thing happens everytime you get in the car, this Federally inspired and Nanny Corporate backed safety feature has made our experience with this Avalon a disaster. The driving experience has been totally ruined.

4. Warning. Unexpectedly rough and sharp segue. Did you know that Avalons are manufactured in Kentucky? And that Kentucky is the Bluegrass Music center of the universe?

Bill Monroe wrote this song and I love it. I may have already posted it before, but I'm putting it here. Right now. Enjoy.


  1. Once again, my best and most hopeful thoughts go out to Joyce. I wish strength and peace to both of you during this trial.

    That's good and bad news about the Avalon. It's too bad the seat belt warning is so intrusive; that would drive (heh) me crazy, too.

  2. Buck, thanks for your remarks about Joyce; it means a lot to her to hear that even our internet friends are supportive during this time.

    The other 2 Avalons we owned (a 2000 model and a 2005 model) had nice, pleasant chimes that sounded softly a few times, stopped, came back after a bit, and gave you one more soft reminder. And that was it. I'm not sure why the engineers had to take this to the next level. Since this car's market is primarily people in our age group, do you think that they feel most of us are hard of hearing? Who knows. Joyce is even more upset about this than I am. We're looking at different cars next time.

  3. Being someone who was raised up wearing a seat belt (this was before legislation), I have a hard time even going to the end of the drive without being buckled up; it just doesn't feel right. But I can feel your pain with the increasing volume of Wicked Wanda telling you what to do.
    As with Buck, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Joyce. I sincerely hope things get better with both of you soon.

  4. Your Avalon is a nice looking and very comfortable car. I understand though, once they let you down, the trust factor comes into play. No one likes to be stranded by an unexplainable glich.
    I know Joyce is a fighter. Thoughts are with you both.

  5. Deb, Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for Joyce.

    I learned to drive in the mid '50s before cars had seatbelts. If I remember right, the '56 Fords were the first American mass produced cars to offer them as an option; since we owned a '54 Dodge, I had no training in their use. We're religious about their use today, however, except in the two instances noted in the post. Plus, it's the tone of the thing that gets us. It's so damned insistent.

    Scooney, You're right. Once the trust is gone, there's always a little doubt. That's why I'm a little pissed at the dealer; looks like they would understand that and with modern diagnostics offer some kind of explanation. Joyce says, "Hi," and "thanks."

  6. As with the other folks, our thoughts and prayers are with Joyce for her full recovery and less pain.

    Elaine and myself have owned Toyota's since 1976 and have never looked back.

  7. BTW, Dan. When I wrote on a post above that I had really been enjoying these posts, I didn't mean the part about Joyce's struggle.

    But, I appreciate you keeping us in the loop. And as always, you both have our love and prayers.

  8. I understood what you meant, Andy. No problem.