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Friday, November 27, 2015

Got Set Back on My Heels a Bit Here

Whew.. it's been a whirlwind, and I guess I had this coming. Something to set me back on my heels and make me STOP!

We were busy on Monday, gathering with family at dad's cabin and making plans, sorting momentos and clearing out all the food.  The guys winterized the cabin, and then we added new locks and heavy hasps and padlocks to the cabin.  There are plenty of neighbors to keep an eye on things, but sometimes awful people read about a death and think they can go pillage a place.

Tuesday was going fine, and I met with the crematory, handled legal paperwork, cancelled his cell and phone service, truck insurance etc.  Went through piles of papers.

Finally on Tuesday evening I thought I was calm and relaxed on the couch, playing solitaire, reading blogs, and sharing some photos with Steve on the Chromecast to the tv screen.  Nothing stressful.

Steve noticed I was breathing shallow and fast, plus I realized had a throbbing pounding like my heartbeat in my shoulders and arms, and a tightness in my neck and jaw that wasn't there earlier.  Rut Roh!   After a bit, we decided to go into the ER and see what was what. The hospital is only one mile away.

Whew.... my blood pressure was up!  I have never had high blood pressure before, could it be stress?   I was calm, even so calm I was falling asleep on the examining table in the ER while they set up the EKG machine.  Each time they checked my blood pressure, it kept RISING!  Soon it was over 200.... oh my!

They admitted me as an inpatient about midnight to the hospital, hooked up some heart monitors and started pumping me full of blood pressure meds! Steve ran back home to get a few things for me, and let the dogs out to go potty.  I was then monitored and tapped for blood samples every four hours to make sure I was not having a stroke or a heart attack!   My IV infiltrated and my arm swelled up.  They had to poke me 4 more times to get a good spot for the IV again.  About 3 am the meds started working and my pressure was going down.  WHEW!

By about noon on Wednesday, they determined that I could finally go home, as things were back in the safe range.  They said no evidence of stroke or heart attack, but I needed to take blood pressure meds and see my doc as soon as possible.  Steve bought me a blood pressure cuff machine and we are monitoring it.  Well, the meds they gave me worked TOO well, and by Thanksgiving morning I dipped way too low too fast and got dizzy, weak, lightheaded and cold.  Cancelled our plans to have dinner with Steve's family.

I figured I needed a medication adjustment. Calling all over on a holiday was not fun.  The regular doc hadn't seen me yet, so his office is closed of course.  His answering service has NO records on my blood pressure problem or hospital stay yet.  (because I am not seeing him till Monday)  ... calling back to the hospital, they just send you to Ask-A-Nurse, who says to call your doctor!  LOL!  Circles!

Finally I called back to the hospital on a third try and asked them to put me through to a doc or nurse who saw me overnight in the ER if they were working the holiday. Yes!  Got ahold of a nice nurse who remembered me, and she talked to the doc on call for me.  I didn't have to come back in, (and incur another ER bill)  We cut the pills in half and watched my pressure and it was much better overnight and this morning.  They did make me promise to call my doc office first thing this morning, and see if I could move up my appointment from Monday to today, Friday.  Yes, that worked and I am going in to my regular doc in one hour.  Whew!

Guess it's a wake up call, eh?   For never having high blood pressure before, with even going through four major surgeries and bi-annual scopings under general anesthetic, high blood pressure was never an issue. It is now.

I did manage to finish up Dad's Obituary
 to get it posted to the newspaper:


Stephen (Yooper) J. Bicigo, 78, passed away Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 in his home at Crooked Lake, Crivitz, WI.

Steve was also affectionately known as Yooper to the local residents, and Wankel to the residents of his previous home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Steve enjoyed raising Siberian huskies, snowmobiling, ATV riding, camping, fishing and hunting in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Steve was especially fond of his garage parties, Packer games and family gatherings at his little log cabin in the woods.  In his retirement, Steve was very handy at small engine repairs and kept yard equipment running for many area homeowners.

Steve had suffered a brief illness with cancer. He peacefully passed away while watching the Packers, upon the final winning score.

Steve was born on April 3, 1937 in Crystal Falls, Michigan to Antone Bicigo and Olga (Today) Groop. As a young man, he moved to Cedarburg, Wisconsin where he worked as a machinist for various companies in the Milwaukee area.  On June 27, 1957 Steve married Rita M. Kafehl and they had six children together.  Steve retired to the Crooked Lake area, living in a log cabin he built with his children, known as Windmill Oaks.

Steve was preceded in death by his mother, Olga Groop, step father William Groop and father Antone Bicigo.  Also preceding him in death is one daughter, Suzanne Marie Bicigo, two brothers William and Michael Groop and one sister, Anne Luckow. Also preceding him in death was his long time companion, Issiah the cat.

Steve is survived by five children:  Steve Bicigo Jr. (fiancee Roxanne Cannonie) of Iron River, MI,  Karen (Steven) Pfundtner of Chilton, WI,  Linda (Fuzz) Andersen of Gaastra, MI,  Randolph (Lisa) Bicigo of Mohawk, MI, and Eugene Bicigo of Iron River, MI.  

Nine grandchildren:  Mike (special friend Karen) Bicigo, Matthew (Amanda) Bicigo,  Darren (Chelsea) Bicigo, Bobbi Su Bicigo, Erin (Waylen) Choate, HeatherLee (Jesse) Wade, Dan (Heather) Pfundtner, Christopher (Lyndsay) Andersen, Vincent (Susan) Sherman, and Mike (Missy)Sherman.

Ten great-grandchildren, Jameson and Whitney Wade, Allison Mercier, Allegra and Mason Pfundtner, Chelsea and Clayton Lock, Braydon and Emery Sherman, Taylor and Mya Sherman, Matthew and Colin Younger.

Sisters Elsie Shroder of Dearborn Heights, MI and MaryJane (Ted) Ridolphi of Iron River, MI. also many nieces and nephews and good friends.

A special thank-you to friend and caregiver Nikki Gerondale of Grindle Lake for her faithful attendance and loving care shown to Steve during his illness.

Saturday, Dec 5th, a memorial luncheon will be served promptly at 1pm hosted by the Crooked Lake Ladies Auxiliary at the Crooked Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Community Center, 15441 County RD W, Crivitz, WI

Immediately afterwards, a fellowship gathering will be hosted at Randalls Resort, 15345 County Rd W, Crivitz, WI (Between Mountain and Crivitz at Crooked Lake)

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Unity Hospice of Marinette, WI is appreciated.


  1. That rise in your BP sure sounded scarry! I hope they can come up with a benign explanation!

    Sad to read about your Dad. 78. Thats only seven years older than Craig, and nine years older than me. Guess we should treasure our healthy days.

  2. Karen make sure you read the instructions on how to sit to take your BP. A change in the way you sit or if your laying down will affect the reading...

  3. Was sorry to read about your dad Karen. How nice it was he had his final moments in the cabin he built. That hi gh blood pressure coming on so quickly would definitely have been a scary thing. This aging process is just full of nasty little surprises for we folks who are now gradually entering the Senior stage of life. Hopefully this blood pressure thing will settle down for you..............

  4. Sometimes we are so busy taking care of others, we neglect our own health. I think we are all guilty of that from time to time. Slow down, relax, take your meds and take care of yourself now. Hope you feel better soon. Nice words about your Father...

  5. Jan Ogden from Elfrida, AZ here... So sorry about all that you have been going through. I have followed your blog; for many years now and enjoy the makings of your life and family... You both amaze me on what you get done in this life...I felt bad about the loss of your Father and all that goes along with it. You had been so faithful to him and it is time consuming. But time well spent and never forgotten by him, I'm sure!! I did want to tell you about an herb that could strengthen your heart... They use it in Europe all the time... It is amazing stuff. It's call Hawthorn Berry. All parts of it are mighty for the heart.... Sure hope you can start drinking it.....And it even tastes good. Do a search on Google and see what it can do for you.... Had to share with you... Prayers for you and your family as you are going through these trying times. Hugs, jan ogden from Elfrida, AZ (It's getting cold here too, but no snow yet..Just wind and 30 degrees at night and 50-64' in the daytime. I guess that beats the alternative....LOL)

  6. So very sorry to hear about your Dad passing away. I know he will be missed. Now, take care of yourself. Get the BP down. I never knew I had high blood pressure until I went to a dentist. He said that he had just bought a sphygmomanometer and could he try it out on me, I agreed, and my bp was 220/120. He told me to go straight to a doctor. I have been on medication ever since and that was a long, long time ago.

  7. Karen & Steve;
    Sorry to read of the passing of your Father. He seems to have been a well liked and loved man. He soulds like the type of person that could get along with any one. I would have liked to have had the chaance to meet him. I think he and My Father and father-in-Law would have all done just great with each other.
    Very sorry to hear of your health problems. Youa are in my wife and my prayers.

  8. So glad Steve noticed your problem right away, now if they can adjust your meds and get you back on track. You Obituary is very nice.

  9. Awe, Karen, that rough. Please take care of yourself. Sending blessings your way.

  10. Karen and Steve, I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. Thats very tough stuff. I lost my dad a year and a half ago, which is why I am even here typing this now. He didn't share very much of his life with us kids, but he did leave us this 38' Serengetti and I don't think I could ever give it up. It's all I've got left of him. Please take care of yourself Karen! I'm always so grateful for all that you give to this Safari community and for your adventurous, tenacious spirit. Thank you!

  11. I was worried about you, Karen, knowing that stress is the biggest reason people get sick. SO glad that your problem was caught and managed, and even if a bit scary, you are taking care of yourself. The obituary for your father was quite lovely. Take care and sending a virtual hug.

  12. Very glad you caught the high blood pressure situation! Take care, Karen . . . .

    I'm sorry for your loss. Your tribute to your father is lovely.


  13. I am so sorry for your loss Karen. Losing someone is never easy but it sounds like you and your family did everything you could to make his last days as comfortable as possible. You've had quite a bit of stress in your life recently so please take the time to care of you. You are fortunate to have a husband who knows you well and took action right away. I love reading your blog and look forward to each post that shows up, from your RV travels to the house improvements, both in and out, your weaving, and family moments. It's what life is all about - our everyday lives. Best wishes to you and many prayers for you and your family!


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