Thursday, May 30, 2013

Scott & White: Emergency Room, Joint Camp and Pre-op Appointments

Starting the middle of last week, Dan wasn't feeling well. He was running a low-grade fever, aching, lacking an appetite, and feeling the need to sleep a lot. By Friday night, there was nothing "low-grade" about his situation. I ended up running him to the Scott & White (S&W) ER, where he received outstanding care, which involved testing, scanning, diagnosing, pain-management and (most importantly) sympathy. I don't mind sharing all the details of my own medical issues with the world, here on my blog, but will give Dan the respect of not disclosing the details of his night in the ER. We finally came home around 2:30 a.m., and he has been slowly but steadily improving each day, with the help of some strong medicines.

Today was the day I was registered to attend S&W 's "Rapid Recovery Joint Program" (more commonly known as "Joint Camp"). I wasn't sure that Dan would be up to going with me, but he proved himself a trooper, and came along. The information presented at Joint Camp included a general guide to joint replacement surgery, the physical map of the S&W campus and where to park/where to go/what to expect on the day of surgery, post op activity goals and exercises, follow-up in-home PT and care, and contact information. There were about a dozen folks there who will be undergoing either hip or knee replacement surgery in the next few days, as well as their at-home care givers. I thought the staff did a bang-up good job of informing us and easing some of the anxiety that comes along with a hospital stay.

Tomorrow I have several pre-op appointments to keep: a blood draw, a pre-op evaluation and medical clearance, a session with the admissions and scheduling office, and an appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Allen. The only thing I'm nervous about is that I don't think they've YET contacted my insurance company and gotten pre-approval for the surgery. I'm hoping that during the admissions session tomorrow they will take care of that. I've bugged them several times about it, and they don't seem nearly as concerned as I am!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

52 in 2013 - #21 Theme of the Week: Weather

Bell County, where we live, was under both a tornado watch and a thunder storm/hail watch this afternoon. Thankfully, we didn't see any tornados, but we did have some thunder, lightning, occasional hail, and heavy rain. At one point we looked out to see someone's garbage can floating down the street at a rather rapid clip.

Friday, May 17, 2013

52 in 2013 - #20 Theme of the Week: Transportation

In Roswell it's not uncommon to see some rather alien modes of transportation. I hope this guy succeeded in getting his pickup truck jump-started.

52 in 2013 - #19 Theme of the Week: Countryside

Yesterday I drove home from visiting my Mom in New Mexico. As I was nearing home, I stopped alongside the road to take this picture of the countryside dotted with a flock of goats. The sun was getting fairly low in the sky, so the colors had a somewhat golden hue.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

Several years ago I put together this collage of photos in honor of my Mom. I don't think I ever posted it on my blog, and this seems like a good day to do that! By the way, the sailor on the stamp is actually my Dad.

I will be driving to Carlsbad on Monday to see Mom for a few days. I hope I can make up for being a day late for Mother's Day.

Love you, Mom! Can't wait to see you.

52 in 2013 - #18 Theme of the Week: Reflections

Pond on the campus of University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Belton, Texas

52 in 2013 - #17 Theme of the Week: Off Beat/Quirky

A quirky fence in Salado, Texas

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Welcome to Texas, Milt and Susie

Back in 1967 I came to Abilene Christian College as a freshman, and met Dan, who was two years ahead of me in school. Because of that, he had a well-established circle of friends; I was the new-comer in that circle. Although some of Dan's friends were never more than acquaintances to me, a few of them I grew to love as true friends. Two of those friends were Milt and Susie. They were newlyweds when I first met them. Two years later, when Dan and I were about to tie the knot, Susie hosted a bridal shower - a lingerie shower, to be more precise - for me in their cute little apartment, just across the street from campus.

That was back in 1969. Since then we have kept in touch only at Christmas time. We did get together one weekend, in 1979, at a mutual friend's home in Redding, California. That was the last time we had seen them until this week.

Milt and Susie have just made a big move from their long-time home in California to Georgetown, north of Austin. Their new house is about 45 minutes away from ours. Milt called us Monday morning to let us know that we are now "neighbors." Dan and I drove down, that very day, to have lunch with Milt. Susie is continuing her employment with her California employer by telecommuting from a home office. Since she was just getting back to work, after their move, she wasn't able to go to lunch with us, although we did get to visit briefly. We're excited to have Milt and Susie back in our lives, and look forward to many more good times together.

Milt and Dan - college pals

Friday, May 3, 2013

Trading In the Old for New

Every car owner knows that there comes a time when the old worn-out car just won't dependably get you around any more, and needs to be traded in for new "wheels." Well, metaphorically speaking, MY wheels have worn out and I'm no longer able to safely and easily get around. I'm not talking about my little red VW; I'm referring to my creaky, unstable, painful KNEES.

Today I saw an orthopaedic surgeon. I told him I'm DONE with all of the Bandaid fixes I've been trying; I'm DONE with haltingly walking up- and downstairs sideways, like a crab; I'm DONE with not being able to walk around the block; I'm DONE with waking at night and painfully trying to unbend my knees; I'm DONE turning down invitations to do fun things because my knees won't get me through the day; and I'm READY to trade in my worn-out knees for some shiny new metal and plastic ones (with that new-car smell).

What I didn't expect was how quickly the Doctor said he could accommodate my request. He offered me a date this very month, but I declined and chose, instead, a June 4 date. That will give me a month to prepare myself for this adventure and to make a quick trip to New Mexico to see my Mom. I know I won't be able to travel for a while afterward, so I want to go visit her prior to the surgery.

On June 4 I will be having my right knee done. As long as all goes well, I should be able to have the left one done three to six months later. I asked a lot of questions, and the doc was kind and patient in answering them. I'm sure I'll have others, but I am signed up to attend Scott & White's Rapid Recovery Joint Class, known colloquially as "Joint Camp," where prospective patients (like me) and their at-home care givers (like Dan) will get a ton of information and have the opportunity to ask anything and everything of the experts.

I plan to blog about this experience, from start to finish, mostly for my own benefit. It will help me when I'm going through it a second time. I'll have something to refer to and to compare with. Come along on this journey with me, if you're interested!