Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tomorrow. Tomorrow.
It's only a day away!

Tomorrow I report to Corning Hospital at 8:15 AM to have both my knees replaced. They call it bilateral knee replacement. I'll be bionic!

No food or drink after midnight. Clear liquids (like black coffee, thank God!) are okay.

I'm the second patient for my surgeon tomorrow. He's got a single knee first so he should be warmed up and alert when my time comes. Even so, 4+ hours in the OR is a looooong time. I'm not likely to be worth much in the aftermath. At least not until Tuesday.

I'm told physical therapy will start Monday afternoon. They're kidding, right? Then it's two-a-days for until Thursday or Friday before I'm released to a half-way house for a couple of days of more PT. I hope my drill sergeants go easy on me. (Not really. The tougher the training, the faster the healing.)

I've been exercising my knees--along with the rest of me--pretty hard the last couple of weeks. The knees have let me know I may have pushed too hard. Good! The pain they are experiencing just confirms my decision to have them replaced. I think I've about worn this pair out.

The hospital has wi-fi and I may have Terry bring the laptop Tuesday or Wednesday depending upon my regimen and how doped up I feel with pain killers. Until then it will be crosswords and sudoku and, maybe I'll start rereading Terry Pratchett's Disc World series...again.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Oops! Missing info on my knees.

I just checked my post from 6/21: My New Toy/Tool and Knee Surgery Progress (the last before my rant), and realized I hadn't mentioned my visit to the Corning Hospital Joint Camp and primary care physician which resulted in a visit to a cardiologist.

The folks at Corning were basically doing pre-op tests and orientation. Blood was drawn, and EKG was performed, lessons on the exercises I should do prior to surgery, and a briefing of what to expect was held. It was informative and enjoyable. seems the EKG that they did at Joint Camp on the 21st showed a strong heart beat but just 45 of them a minute*. My primary care doc was concerned my this low heart rate and--after taking more blood samples for testing--declared that I should see a cardiologist. So an appointment was made and I met with the heart doc. He too was a bit worried about the low heart beat (although it was a more normal 58 bpm when I saw him) saying that the anesthesiologist might have concerns. Also, low heart beats can be signs of other problems. (BTW, my BP was around 135/85 for most of my doctors' visits. At the cardiologist's it was 120/72.) He reviewed the results of the blood tests performed by my primary care doc and the EKG from Joint Camp. Then he had his technician run a sonogram of my heart.

That was pretty cool! You could see the valves opening and closing, the chambers contracting and relaxing and the blood moving through the old ticker. And there was sound, too!

At the end of the testing, I was cleared to go. No problems, he said. Go get those new knees!

Who knew that on the way to  getting new knees I'd also have my heart checked so thoroughly? At least they now have a base line in the data bank should anything happen and I've got to see a cardiologist for something a bit more serious than a low heart rate.

*I've always had a low heart beat. When I had back surgery in the early '90s they almost didn't do it because my heart rate was just 48 bpm but I told them I wasn't leaving until they operated (arthroscopic at that) because I couldn't walk with out pain that was somewhere around 11 on a scale of 1-10.
I'm also getting tired of them asking me if I run regularly. HA! Run? Me? No way, Jose! Maybe it's a result of all the bike riding and swimming I did in junior and senior high school...that's the last time I did any real strenuous exercise.
And stop with the "You won't have a leg to stand on" cracks when talking about the days post-op. Once was funny. Twenty to thirty times...not so much.

My Knees and Me.

Okay. I feel a bit better now.

On a personal note....

It's Knee-Day minus two. On Monday morning I'll be going to Corning Hospital to have both my knees replaced. The time in the OR should be around 4+ hours. Then it will be three days in Joint Camp (one floor, private rooms, PT twice a day) before being sent out for another three or four days  at a rehab facility. It will be a week from Monday--minimum--before I get back to the Aerie.

In preparation for my new knees, I've been giving the old ones quite a workout. Over the last month, I spent two weeks up at the Bolt Hole working in the woods trying to repair trail damage and cutting firewood. Twice I cut the lawn up there using the push mower. And at the Aerie, I cut the grass twice, cut some firewood and generally wore the heck out of the originally issued set of knees. The restricted movement and pain I experienced convinced me that the surgery is indeed needed.

There were also two long road trips into New Jersey. One for the celebration of my niece's little Sami's first birthday and the second to celebrate my Mother-in-law's 90th. Stops every two hours or so to get out of the car and walk about were required to ease the stiffness in both knees.

In which I give voice to a(nother) Rant

I've not been posting much here on Compass Points.

So much has been happening in politics that I find vile and disruptive to our freedoms that I can't begin to express my anger without growing frustrated. Between the Gang of 8's immigration push,  the IRS, the EPA, the NSA, the DOJ and the rest of the DC alphabet soup, can see little hope of our survival as a nation remotely resembling that the Founding Fathers established.

Our President picks and chooses the laws he wants to enforce (despite that being one of the prime responsibilities of the Executive Branch) and creates more by decree. Through the creation of czars and a Whitehouse that sets an onerous example of dictatorial aloofness, bureaucrats have taken on roles they were never meant to assume. Rules and regulations promulgated by cabinet level (or lower) appointees have choked our economy and infringed upon our freedoms.

Bengahzi, Fast and Furious, delay after delay on the XL pipeline for naught but political purpose, data gathering on private citizens, stonewalling the applications of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status--so as to prevent them from participating in the 2012 elections, various actions that will shut down inexpensive power generating stations in the name of Anthropogenic Global Warming (or Climate Change)--in a world that hasn't warmed in 16 years or more, a continued push for gun control headed by men from cities with deplorable illegal gun use.... I could go on and on.

And, instead of reporting the truth and focusing on the scandals embroiling out nation, the main stream press and 24-hour news channels are going all in on one distraction after another in an effort to protect the narratives(read "asses") of the Democrat Party.

All in all, things will be getting worse before they get better. I just hope that mass demonstrations will be the most that will be needed to right the wrongs being done. If it needs to--or is forced to--go beyond that, we are in a world of trouble.