Thursday, May 27, 2010


I went to the Doctors yesterday for a follow up to the surgery.  It’s been 2 1/2 weeks and I can’t believe how well I’m feeling.  I even drove all the way to Santa Monica and back.  It felt good to be getting back to normal.

They took an X-Ray, and I saw my new hip for the first time.  It was very interesting.  Here’s an example I found in Wikipedia.250px-Hip_replacement_Image_3684-PH As you can see, the bottom slides inside the femur, which surprised me.  My incision is longer than a standard hip replacement because they had to remove the previous plate and screws.

It’s healing very nicely.  The only precautions I have to be aware of is the chance of a dislocation.  So I have to careful not to cross my right leg over my left.  He cleared me for hiking, bicycling, and swimming.  I didn’t ask him about golf, because I didn’t want to put any pressure on it yet with the twisting.  I know I can play golf(or try to play) in the future.

So that’s the good news.  I have to be careful not to overdo things right now, but I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in months.  I don’t have another appointment for 7 weeks.  Like I said, everything is A-OK.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tiffany’s Grad Party

Remember a few posts back that our niece Tiffany graduated from Dental Hygienist School.  I wasn’t able to go to the actual event, but the party was a week later, and I was able to limp around and celebrate with the family.

Here’s the happy Grad with her Mother Donna, and Iris.

IMG_2662 A lot of her friends from school attended, along with the family.  Even Jeni was able to come over from AZ.IMG_2678And Matt and Suzanne were there along with our Grandboy.  Katie and Arylen enjoyed the day



We had to leave a little early because of my surgery, but it was a real joy to celebrate the big accomplishment and be with family and friends.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Jeni Comes for a Visit

Jeni came over from Chandler, AZ, for a long weekend.  Her main reason for coming was a very special event.  California State University, Northridge, where Jeni got her Master’s Degree and taught classes, invited her to give the commencement address for the graduating class in Education.  It was a thrill for our new Dr. Jeni, and the address was very well received.  She even got to wear all of her Doctor’s regalia. 

On Friday she came to visit the invalid and bring some sunshine into his dull life.  It was great to see her, because I had missed the trip Linda took over to AZ due to preparations for my hip surgery.  We had a great visit, talked about the ongoing remodel here at the condo, visited a furniture store and a lighting store, and had a great dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, which is turning into Linda’s favorite restaurant. 

We then packed up Jeni’s little bug with her new barbeque.DSCN0938 We found a Weber Q on Craig’s list, and Linda did her magic by cleaning it like new and painting the lid with special high heat paint.  Now she can grill all those vegetables like Bobby Flay. 

It really raised my spirits to spend time with my little “pumpkin”.  I guess it’s my turn now to go over to HOT AZ to visit her.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Out & About, and the Torture Ends

I finally got out of the house on Wednesday.  Linda drove of course.  Hopefully I’ll be able to drive after my Doctor’s Appointment in one week.

We stopped by the MoHo to pickup some stuff we needed that we hadn’t transferred to the condo.  The longer we’re here, the more stuff that’s in the condo and not in the MoHo.  Linda did bring back some sheets and towels that she had taken out to wash.  Oh, the most important item we picked up was my cane, left over from the last surgery.  I didn’t get to go into the MoHo, but it nice to see her.

Next stop was the El Toro branch of the library.  I actually got out of the car and walked in to pick up some new books, and we returned some of the books I checked out before the surgery.  The cane worked well, but I could tell it’s been a while since I’ve done a lot of walking.

The next stop was PetsMart, where we got more food for Pearl.  As she’s gotten older, her digestive system doesn’t work as well.  So we switched her food to a more easily digested mixture of dry and canned food mixed with some low sodium chicken broth.  She seems to like it.  But only time will tell if it’s better for her.

Our last stop was at Ralph’s Grocery Store.  They have those electric carts that people in my situation can use.  I got pretty good at driving the aisles and getting everything we needed for the next few days.  And it was easy on my hip.

Oh, and the torture?? Thursday was the last day of the twice daily shots in the stomach! Linda got really good at giving me the shots, but they still weren’t my favorite medications.  At long last they’re done.  Now if only I could get rid of the compression stockings…..

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One Week Later

It’s been a week and I haven’t left the condo since I got home from the hospital.  That’s got to change! I don’t want my new hip to freeze up from lack of use.

Things have been pretty quiet.  I’ve enjoyed a few phone calls and emails-Thanks for that.  I’ve watched a few movies and a lot of baseball games, especially the Dodgers.  They’ve done really well since my surgery, so it’s been fun to watch them sweep Arizona and San Diego(Sorry Ken & Donna).  And I finished another mystery, The End of Road by Sue Henry.  It’s a cozy kind of mystery, set in Homer Alaska.  I learned a lot about Alaska, and enjoyed the book.  Just the kind of book I needed, calm and analytical. We’re planning on a trip to Alaska in 2012, so I plan on reading up all I can on the area.

Saturday Linda attended our niece Tiffany’s graduation from the Cerritos College Dental Hygienist School.  She looks pretty happy about it!IMG_2576 That’s her Mother, Donna, with her.  Donna is Linda’s sister.IMG_2581IMG_2591Linda’s Mom is on the left, and of course that’s Linda with Tiff on the right.  Linda took most of the pictures since I couldn’t be there, and she did a great job.  If you want to see all of the pictures, click on the following link:

My big announcement today is I retired the walker and I’m just using a cane.  There’s still a lot of pain, especially just above the knee, but when I put weight on the leg, it doesn’t hurt very much.  We’re still trying to get the insurance cleared for Home Health Care and more Physical Therapy.  Until then I’ve been doing my exercises.  Now I’m going to go outside and walk more to build up some endurance.  But I’m going to take it easy and not push real hard.  We don’t want any relapses.   

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It’s a Grandboy

I don’t think that’s a word, but I couldn’t resist.  Matt and Suzanne went to the Doctor last week for a checkup and the ultrasound showed they are having a boy! Among the family I think only Lois and I guessed it was going to be a boy.

The other good news is the the Mother and baby are doing fine.  The due date is the end of September, close to our wedding anniversary.  Both Linda & I are really excited.  Are you ready for a picture?20 weeks 1I think it’s really hard to see but the Doctor said there was no doubt.  So we’re gearing up to help Matt & Suzanne get ready for the big day.  After my hip heals.

Stay tuned for more information when it becomes available.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

1st Day at Home

I awoke this morning in my own bed, which was really nice! Of course I had gotten up 3 times during the right to use the facilities, disturbing Linda each time.  But I digress…..

One of the items they sent me home with I didn’t mention was a twice a day shot requiem.  Some of you know how much I hate needles, and I tried my best to get them to change the prescription, but shots it was.  Not only shots, but given to the stomach.  Now I have a lot of room in that area, so that wasn’t a problem! The shots were a blood thinner that works much better than any other in that you don’t have to monitor it with blood tests.  But shots? The nurse thought I should do it myself, and I did the first one.  But poor Linda has been stuck doing the others.  Luckily, its only for 2 weeks, but it’s going to seem a long 2 weeks.

The first thing I looked forward to was a nice warm shower.  I had to settle for Linda doing a hand wash and hair shampoo, which was great.  I have oily skin so when I miss my showers my hair gets sticky and I don’t smell to good.  So that was a good start to the day.

About 10:00 a man delivered a VascuTherm 2 cold air machine made by Thermotek.  This machine generates a constant 43 degree flow of cold over the incision area.  I’m supposed to do a half hour on, half hour off, luckily not at night.  It’s really a cold 43 degrees.

Most of the day we just relaxed.  Linda had a chance to catch up on her sleep, and I even took a nap.  There’s not a whole lot that I can do, so I read a lot and watched some TV.  I did catch up on my emails and blog reading on the computer.  It was a bad day on TV because the Dodgers had the day off.  I finished my first book, “Treasure Trove” by Peter Turnbull.  I’ve read most of his books over the last 2 years.  He write British police procedurals set in York, England.  It’s a series staring DCI Hennessey and DS Yellich.  All are well written, and they give you insight into life in Northern England.  I’ve picked them up at the library, so if you want a good British mystery, check them out.

So that was day 1.  I did my exercises, used the cold machine, got my shots, had pizza for dinner, and gave a thank you prayer for getting through the surgery and having a wonderful wife, family, and friends.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

We spent a nice Mother’s Day with Linda’s Mom, Lois, and Matt & Suzanne, expecting parents.  We meant at the Irvine Spectrum where there is a Cheesecake Factory.  It was very crowded, but it moved fast and just gave us more time to talk.  The food and service was very good, especially considering it was Mother’s Day. 

After a four hour visit we all said goodbye, except that Lois came home with us.  She was nice to volunteer as our dog sitter while I’m in the hospital.  She has a golden retriever that Pearl really loves, so it was a perfect solution.  About 7:00pm we left the village heading towards Santa Monica.  Since the surgery is scheduled for 7:00am, we had to be at the hospital at 5:00am to check in and get the pre surgery prep work.  Since it’s an hour and a half to Santa Monica, we decided to stay close by.  Even then we still had to get up at 4:00am.  I thought I was supposed to be retired!

We made it to the hospital on time.  They’re doing some construction so the only parking option was valet.  Darn.  Even though we had been interviewed by the hospital, we still had more forms to fill out and sign.  Then I was whisked back to pre-opt, where I had to put on the embarrassing hospital gown, give some blood for a test, and have an I-V installed.  Everything went well except the I-V, where the nurse struggled to find a good vein.  Then Linda came back to join me.  I know I’m the one getting surgery, but I think it’s just as hard on the loved ones waiting for news.

The surgery went well.  The ball was in worst condition that the x-rays showed.  He told Linda that it had completely collapsed and there was just pieces floating in the socket.  No wonder I’ve been limping hurting so much.  The Doctor removed the old hardware and added the hardware.  Then I guess I was rolled down to post-op.  I don’t remember a thing.  I woke up groggy in my room.  It was a very nice room that I didn’t have to share with anyone, and it even had a flat screen TV.  I really didn’t pay much attention to anything because I was sore, crabby, depressed and any other adjectives you want to add.  I felt sorry for Linda, but I was pretty miserable.

She left for home about 8:00pm, a very long day for her.  I drifted in and out of sleep while they checked on me every hour.  When you have work done on your legs, they always worry about blood clots so I have to wear these white support stockings.  I don’t know how you women put up with panty hose all those years! And I had to have a Cather inserted during the surgery.  If you don’t know what a Catheter is, you’re better off not knowing.  Let’s just say it’s very uncomfortable.

Tuesday I started feeling a lot better.  I think getting rid of all of the leftover anesthesia helps clear the head.  But then at 9:00am the physical therapist showed up.  Didn’t he know that I had surgery the day before? So soon I was trying to lift my leg, and doing some minimal exercises.  As he left, he said he was coming back in the afternoon to start me walking.  Is this guy nuts! I floated back to sleep and then I was woken up by more tests, then lunch.  Like I was really hungry.  After lunch, here comes Dick, the physical therapist, is back and he does get me out of bed and walking with a walker.  It was completely different than the last surgery on my hip.  This time, instead of keeping weight off my leg, I was supposed to put weight on it.  It surprised my that I did well, and he promised to come the next day for more training.  Another fitful night of sleep, then more PT.  I felt so much better and the PT went so well, I decided to come home a day early.  Oh, and the catheter was removed.  Painful but a relief at the same time.  A last visit by Dick for PT to learn how to handle curbs, the I-V removed, and then the long drive home. 

Of course this whole episode would have been much tougher if it wasn’t for the support of my wonderful wife, Linda.  She had everything arranged at home from me, plus putting up with my crabbiness makes her a very special person.  I’m really blessed by her and the rest of our family and friends.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Finally a Surgery Date-May 10

Not much exciting has been happening with us as we waded through all of the hassles of preparing for my hip surgery.

First we had to get approval from the Department of Labor because it’s covered under workman’s comprehensive.  The original case worker was based in Seattle because that’s where the injury occurred.  But he’s gone, and the person that replaced him thought that it should go to the SD office.  When I explained to her that we are currently in SoCal, she wanted to transfer the case to the San Francisco office which would have delayed things.  I finally convinced her to keep the claim because we’re a moving target and who knows where we’ll be next.

Because of the second surgery, it had to be approved by a different manager, so we had to wait for that.  Finally everything is approved.  We had our choice of dates as long as it was on a Monday.  The closest openings were for 7:00am on 5-10,  or 10:30am on 5-17.  We have to be at the hospital 2 hours before the surgery.  Even though it means we have to be there at 5:00am, I opted for the closer appointment.  I want to get it over with and start the recovery process so we can enjoy a least part of the summer.

I had to get a physical before the surgery to make sure my heart was beating and a chest x-ray.  Everything went well, so we’re ready to go on Monday.

The surgery will be at St. John’s hospital in Santa Monica.  So we’re going to get a hotel room for Sunday night so we don’t have a long drive on Monday morning.

Hopefully this will be the final act in a long running play.  I have confidence in the Doctor, and I’m going to push myself for a successful recovery.  Stay tuned.