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Posts tagged hip surgery

And, She’s Off…

Mid-Summer                                                    Waxing Honey Flow Moon

Kate now moves short distances without her walker, without wincing.  Her color is great and her recovery seems, to me, faster than last time.  Just checked.  She walked without a walker about 5 days post-op last time, so she’s right on schedule.  She has always done surgery well, knows how to recover, how to push herself, when to rest.

I’m up a little slower today after a busy time since last Thursday when Kate went in for her surgery.  Decided to change my exercise routine (again) to one hour, but including time for resistance work, which I unwisely abandoned some time ago.  My back ouching means I need to get back at it.

Today is a garden, bee day, once I get exercise done.

Medicine

Mid-Summer                                              Waxing Honey Flow Moon

Kate showed up at the breakfast table this morning, the Zimmerman walker nearby.  Her friend TJ Zimmerman gave her this fancy cherry red walker before her last hip surgery.  It’s a speedy contraption, should have flames and streamers.  When I went upstairs a moment ago, she was at her computer, old habits at work.  I bought her an I-pad2, an early birthday present, and it’s right by her bed.

The last few days have had a lot of this and that, into the hospital and back again, Kona’s injury, groceries, gardening.  Now with Kate home at least all of them have a home-based locus.  Much easier.

Kate’s hospitalist called, delivering what he thought could be seriously bad news.  She has a nodule in her lungs.  But.  We had our anxiety over that one several years ago when we thought it might be cancer.  Nope.  Some kind of hardened mass.

Medicine much on our minds here right now.  Will be happy when it subsides to the background where it belongs.

Bandaged

Mid-Summer                                                                                 Waxing Honey Flow Moon

Picked Kate up at a very quiet Fairview-University.  She got into the truck cab under her own steam, stands on her new hip and walks short distances with the aid of the walker.  Her progress from last Friday amazes me.  She tires quickly, of course, but she’s already on the mend.

Now the fireworks.  Rigel, who hates thunder, doesn’t distinguish between thunder and fireworks.  She becomes agitated, barks.  No fun for her.  Or us.

I discovered a new sensation with Kona’s injury yesterday.  I put the bandage on, wrapped the coban around her thorax to hold the bandage in place, and the dog who had been snapping and biting, shrieking and limping, bounded up the stairs as if nothing was the matter at all.  Today, after Kate got home, I checked it for heat or tenderness, both signs of infection and it felt cool, plus she didn’t flinch.  Being able to help her move from a limping, snarling state to a normal carefree state in just a couple of minutes gave me a lot of satisfaction.  Made me realize what Kate feels in the urgent care.  It’s a rush and a pleasant one.

Gertie, who almost certainly bit Kona, is asleep at my feet, looking innocent.  In this instance my guess is that Kona snapped at Gertie and Gertie bit back.  Kona has become a bit crankier as she ages.  I don’t think this will be a long term problem.

It’s going to be a busy July.

It’s Illegal

Mid-Summer                                                                                             Waxing Honey Flow Moon

In to see Kate this morning after making some soup and killing potato pests by hand and soapy water.  Integrated pest management  suggests hands-on management for small crops.  It’s actually pretty straight-forward to keep pests in check if you inspect regularly.  Like the plastic bags for the apples.  The concept also allows that some leaves will get eaten, some plants will get lost, but that if you plan for these and don’t excited, you can keep pesticide use to a minimum.  I haven’t used any for years.

Companion plantings helps.  Crop rotation helps.  Regular surveillance helps. Replenishing soil nutrients helps. Every bit of positive input reduces the hold insects pests can get on your veggies.

Kate’s color looked normal this morning even though her hemoglobin is still a little low.  She’s ready to come home.  Her nurse yesterday tried to get her to wear little footies with a sticky pattern on the bottom.  Kate doesn’t like things on her feet.  “You don’t want to wear them even though it’s illegal?”  I knew who would win this contest.

Back home for a nap, read a little, then got ready for Tai Chi.  Kona had been injured in the morning, but I couldn’t find the problem.  She held up her right front foot, which I checked carefully, finding nothing.  Mark found the wound.  It was a tear in her side just above the right shoulder.

Uh oh.  This is the kind of stuff Kate makes easy. So. I called her and asked her if she could come home.  Nope.  Well, I figured.  Her advice though helped a lot.

After a snappy, biting 10 minutes or so, I figured out how to do what needed to be done, Kona stood quietly and let me put a gauze pad on the wound and wrap it on with a sticky bandage.

I missed the first hour of Tai Chi, but I made it for my class.  Be patient with yourself.  Relax.  Trust the process.  Cheryl, the teacher, is a calming influence in a learning curve that can be difficult.

By the time I headed home I needed some comfort food.  A peanut buster parfait later, I felt calmer myself.

Kate

Mid-Summer                                                                                               Waning Garlic Moon

Oh, boy.  Mark felt right at home yesterday, but noted, “Well, it won’t last.”  He saw the temporary nature of high temps as a bad thing.  Different acclimatization.  He continues to work through difficult stuff.  We had a long, very interesting talk yesterday.

Having Kate in the hospital raises the stress level.  She’s tough and handles surgery and hospitalization well, but the exposure to hospital based infections bothers me.  Also, every time you have general anesthetic and surgical trauma the risk for complications exists.  Thought we entered that territory, but not so.

I didn’t get a lot done Thursday and yesterday, but I imagine things will get better provided her recovery remains smooth.  I’ll go see her around lunch time.

Wind, Water, Wound

Mid-Summer                                                                    Waning Garlic Moon

A groggy Kate called this morning to say she had a temp and they’d done a chest x-ray.  Maybe pneumonia.  The adage after surgery is wind, water, wound.  That is, look for an infection first in the lungs, second in the kidneys/bladder and third in the wound itself.  This seemed to fit.  My mind danced over the possibility of these superbugs, among them pneumoccocus strains. Let that thought dance right out again.  No need to worry about something I don’t know.

So, I canceled my Latin, did the errands and drove in to make sure I did know what was going on.  After a while, Dr. Stein came in, a good doc, a hospitalist we met a year ago when Kate had the other hip done.  He looked at her oxygen saturation and her temp.  O2 sat was fine; her temp slightly elevated at 102.  In his judgement the temp could be the result of the stress of surgery.  Her hemoglobin dropped to 7 though, so they ordered her two units of blood.

We ate lunch together, talked about this and that, the dogs, the bees, Mark, her friends.  She got some new drugs for pain and was about to head into lala land, so I came home for a nap myself.

Everything seems fine, given the trauma of the surgery.  Whew.

Kate’s Hip

Mid-Summer                                                                     Waning Garlic Moon

The ritual masters of the American medical system had us rising with the sun at 5:00 am for the Admittance to the Hospital ceremony, then the Cutting of the Flesh.  By getting us up at a time far earlier than our usual 7:00-7:30 we knew this was a magical moment.  We proceeded through the rush hour traffic to Fairview University where attendants took our vehicle away, out of view.  After appeasing the money changers, Kate received the ritual accessories, bracelets of varying colors including one with the mystical words:  Fall Prevention.

They came for her, the blue-gowned deacons of this mega-church, and led her away where her clothes were removed and hidden away.  She received a lavender gown of paper, marking her as the morning’s sacrifice.  The high priest and his acolyte came in to see her and the acolyte initialed her thigh so the Cutting of the Flesh would be done in a way approved of by the medical gods.

As in many ancient rituals, Kate received a powerful drug that made her smile and seem goofy just before the blue-gowned ones wheeled her away to the secret chapels where the High Priests work their magic.

Satisfied that the gods had received the offerings of insurance and accepted them, I left for home.

A Day in the Life

Mid-Summer                                                                                                   Waning Garlic Moon

“God has no religion.” – Mahatma Gandhi

If there is one, Gandhi has it right.

Another day of Latin.  This stuff, at least right now, is hard.  It requires holding several different ideas in the head all at one time, then juggling them to see how they all fit together.   Here are as many of those things as I can name:  word meanings in Latin and English (often multiple), noun declensions (usually multiple), verb conjugations, participle forms, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, clause types, infinitives, word order (often shuffled in poetry for metric purposes.  ovid is poetry.), flow of the narrative, many different grammatical rules and exceptions.  They float in the air like bubbles over a cartoon character’s head, as if, say, Dilbert couldn’t figure out what to say until he mixed and matched the diverse bubbles into a sensible sentence.

On the other hand, at times I’m able to do it, to switch the balls in mid-air and see the sequence fall into place, a sentence emerging from what James Joyce or William James called the “blooming, buzzing confusion.”  Then, it’s sweet.

Took Mark down to the Anoka County Work Force center for a morning’s class on resumes.  He seems calmer now, less agitated.

Kate’s in pain because she has to go off all her non-steroidal anti-inflammatories for 5 days before her surgery.  This leaves her arthritic joints free to express themselves, especially in her hip, neck and hands.  This Thursday, S-Day, will find her with a second new hip, a procedure that should reduce her suffering quite a bit by relieving the hip pain and making her body mechanics better.  I’m glad she’s getting the new hip.

Eternal Tru Luv

Lughnasa                               Waning Artemis Moon

Kate’s at work.  Two months almost to the day after her hip surgery she has returned to the Allina Clinic in Coon Rapids for her last four months of full time practice.  I anticipate a successful evening and final four months for her, having seen a remarkable recovery in terms of her day-to-day pain.  The hip is wonderful, the back’s pretty good, the only clinker right now is her bursitis on her left hip.  Still, compared to the awful weeks just prior to her surgery, she’s a different woman and it’s great to see.

Having her home full time, practice retirement, helped us see the possibilities in the next phase of our life together.  We’ll manage our gardens and our orchard and our bees with greater ease, two persons engaged from the start of the growing season.  We’ll have time to go into art galleries, out to lunch, just wander around more.

Other people must find the one who gets them, around whom they can be their authentic selves, I’m glad to say I’m among them.  And that the experience is reciprocal.

Eternal tru luv, as we used to say.

Leviathan

Summer                             Waxing Grandchildren Moon

I decided to take a month off from Latin tutorials.  Not from Latin, just the every week preparation of a new chapter.  I need to cement my learnings about verb conjugations, pronouns and certain uses of the ablatives and genitive.  Also, I need a break from expectations.

Kate’s up seeing her Physiatrist, a regular check up on pain meds.  She considers Beewin her medical home since her health issues focus on spine deterioration and arthritis, both of which have pain management and physical fitness as key treatment components.

Over the last two weeks I’ve had an ear infection and pink eye.  Good thing this 63 old kid has an in-house pediatrician.  I got expert care for these afflictions of the rug rat set.  Makes me feel young again, but not in a good way.

Have you caught any of the Washington Post’s report on the US counter-terrorist establishment?  It’s a fascinating example of how a genuine problem can breed responses that I’m sure make sense to each person who created each entity.  The whole, probably largely invisible in the–I know it’s way overused, but I’m gonna use it anyway–silos of various bureaucracies, is a Hobbesian Leviathan.  Hard to know whether to be amused, frightened, outraged or complacent.

August 2017
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