A Close Call… and a Close Friend


Buffalo Shores Campground near Davenport, Iowa

Hello friends.  It’s been a rough week but with the way things had been going lately, that’s nothing unusual!  I had a close call and am fortunate to even be here to write this posting.  I was having a very stressful Tuesday and made a very dangerous mistake, one that could have put me in an early grave.


On Tuesday night I was stressed after having a series of panic attacks.  Somehow I got confused and when I took the normal, large injection of bedtime insulin, I apparently used the wrong stuff.  Apparently I’d taken a big shot of the much more powerful and fast acting meal insulin – Humalog.  Having just started to fall asleep a half hour later, Jennifer woke me up and immediately I knew something was terribly wrong.  The blood glucose was 37, low enough to go into a coma.

Because the medication (the amount used to compensate for 6-8 full meals!) was still trying to pull the level down even farther, eating sugar wasn’t helping enough… and I was soaking wet with sweat.  The hospital across the street got the level back up with food and a sugar water IV.  I was lucky.  It was barely a week ago that neighbor Steve apparently went into insulin shock and died from the same type event.

It took a couple days before the body was back to normal but all is well now, thankfully.  Feelinge better, I decided to visit buddies in Muscatine and enjoy a little fresh air.  Along the way I stopped at Arby’s and chatted with Johnnie (right) and his cool boss Freddie (left).  I told Freddie he’s got a “million dollar smile”.  As a kid, people told me I had a “sh*t eating grin”.   🙂


Freddie and Johnnie keeping everything running smooth and friendly at Arby’s.

Near the Mark Twin overlook bridge in Muscatine, Iowa, is a grassy area at the foot of the hill.  I saw these adorable critters which I believe were rather plump groundhogs.  They seemed to be enjoying the 70 degree weather.  Though they were busy nibbling grass, I made various noises to get the furry friends to look up for the camera.  The groundhogs’ interactions led me to believe they were playing.  Who can fault anyone for that?


Adorable groundhogs


Later in the day I wanted to catch the Saturday night line-up on the MeTV network (Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, and Star Trek).  Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to get a reliable TV signal at the usual overnight spot and  I had to go closer to Davenport, Iowa, to the Buffalo Shores campground.  It turned out to be a terrific choice in terms of scenery, security, and for TV watching.  The below picture is the view I had while sitting at the far end of the campground eating a delicious dinner of salad and crockpot (powered by the coach batteries) Indian Dal soup.  (Yellow split peas, lentils, veggies, butter, curry, and even more curry).


Buffalo shores campround view framed by the doors of the van.

Unfortunately, the campground office was closed when I had arrived.  The camp host said to just wait for the Park Ranger to come around and collect the fees.  He approached the van (with side doors open) and I paid him.  I had every light on inside, including the rope light, and the old cargo van was lit up like Las Vegas.  We were both friendly and there were no problems at all.  The rest of the evening was peaceful although I still get a little nervous around and law enforcement folks.   🙂


Curried lentils with veggies (and a bit of chicken) and a store bought salad. It was a very healthy and delicious meal.

In the morning I headed back, refreshed and ready to deal with life.   There are a lot of challenges ahead in the coming weeks but things will work out.  On Tuesday pal Teresa and I will be driving north to check out the leaves and, of course, a couple of fishing poles will go along for the ride.  It should be a fun time.

One update on Jesse.  The tumor in his abdomen is growing but he continues to be doing okay.  There doesn’t seem to be any pain or symptoms requiring euthansia… yet.  The little guy has never been more affectionate and I’ve been spoiling him like crazy.  We’re thoroughly enjoying the time together as his end draws a little nearer.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I’m not sure what else will be happening in the near future but Sis put a bunch of credits on my Fuel Saver account… meaning the van can get topped off for 30 cents per gallon!  There’s a place in trout country we’ve never been to – the cats and I – but perhaps late this week or early next we will go…   🙂

Take care – happy travels always!

Brad, Jennifer, and Jesse James
Anamosa, Iowa

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

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