Ah, summer. Is there any greater time of year?  The Year in Review series continues…

July:  Trailblazing was how we chose to usher in July.  The first couple of weekends we logged over 50 miles.  Not bad for two out of shape parents lugging packs and a baby.  The summer looked to be shaping up just the way we had in mind.  Blue lips brought things to a screeching halt.  Just as Drake began to get healthy, Dustin decided to give us all a scare.  After a hike, Dustin experienced an irregular heart beat, cold sweats, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, and blue lips.  Dustin told me he relayed the incident to Rod; no fear he said, Rod thinks probably altitude sickness.  Shrugging it off, we went ahead and continued to make plans.  Then the episodes started to occur at work and home.  This time I spoke with Rod.  Turns out Dustin didn’t give him the whole story.  As soon as I threw out the blue lips, Rod told me I needed to get Dus to a cardiologist as quickly as possible.  Trailblazing ceased and staying near a hospital commenced.   

We also lost LaFonda the Honda this month in a t-bone collision.  She had a good run. 


August: Anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, worry…all of those flooded over me again.  If it’s not one man in my life it’s another.  Dustin continued to have strange episodes.  Some days I was even fearful for him to go to work.  One day my fears were realized; Dustin called to say he was headed to the ER.  Thank goodness for little blessings as Dustin worked at a hospital at the time.  During August, Dustin wore a heart monitor, which he wore for a month.  The purpose was to see if a pattern could be identified. 

In hope of some answers, we tried to a short backpacking trip.  Once we made it to our campsite, Dustin informed he felt pretty terrible.  As I set up camp, he started to look worse and worse.  Thinking a walk down to the lake might help, we ventured to the water.  Unfortunately, this trip was not meant to be.  Reaching the car could not come quick enough.  The heart rate monitor was all over the place.  Scary times.  With that failure, we decided to not venture anywhere but the Front Range.

Mixed into all this, we broke our camera (for the last time), bought a new to us Subaru, Drake went to his first Rockies game, the Monner began to walk, his vocabulary really started to build (thank you books and sign language), and he could identify (by pointing) almost anything we asked.  If you asked him where are the fishies?  He would point in the direction of the water, even if the water wasn’t in sight.  Clever kid. 

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September:  The month began solemnly with the passing of a beloved extended family member.  We made a brief trip to Omaha, which we wished were under different circumstances.  Results also came in on Dustin’s heart about mid-month.  Passing the stress test with flying colors, the docs decided that he was healthy and in no danger of a heart attack.  He had some tachycardia issues, but nothing to be concerned about.  The only suggestions the cardiologist could offer was low potassium or dehydration.  He suggested Dustin follow up with a pulmonologist.  I’ve yet to get Dustin to do that.

With good news, seems to always come not so great news.  A trip to the eye surgeon revealed Drake had lost vision in his left eye.  She suggested we patch for a couple of months and dependent on the results, possibly consider surgery.  Groan.  

Once Dustin was cleared, it was time to get back out…and then the rains came.  A small, overlooked section on the Thompson always proved fruitful for us.  In all ventures up the canyon, we’ve never seen anyone in that spot.  For one, it doesn’t look that great from the road.  Two, there isn’t a pull of near it.  I’m grateful to say that we had a successful day in “our” little spot the day before the canyon became ever changed.  Later trips have shown us a foreign place.  My heart goes out to all the families impacted by the catastrophic flood. 

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Until next time,


Written by Stephanie Mullins

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