October 19, 2019

The Danger Zone

I hope I an not starting a new routine of waking up around 1:00am, wide awake and unable to get back to sleep for a couple of hours later. Soon after waking up and seeing the reflection of the moon lighting up the bedroom the sound of coyotes filled the air. I wondered just how close they were because they sounded as if they were just on the other side of my fence. At that time of night you can get a lot of thinking done. There was nothing major on my mind but I did think of a few interesting topics.

I am what I consider in a danger zone now. I feel so good that more and more I am forgetting that I have a hip that is still healing and will not be finished for almost 50 more days. It's that kind of feeling where I might become complacent, not as focused on how I move my right leg which affects my hip. I still have to separate good pain and bad pain, although pain is almost a memory now. Soreness is more like it and I know I have a lot more ahead of me as I start an exercising program.

Saturday's morning sunshine is just peaking around the corner of the patio. It was a cool 48° and I may have looked strange wearing a sweatshirt and gym shorts, no shoes. Luckily I'm hidden when I am on my patio. It still beat the weather I would have felt this time last year with rain and temps in the 50s. Our day of course started like all the others only today is "Football Saturday", with games starting at 9:00am.

By the time I ground a bag of coffee and made myself a cup, the hounds were attempting for the second time today, getting their breakfast served. They did try as soon as we got up, a little past 5:30am but now was time. I grabbed "the grabber" and lowered their bowls of kibble to the floor.

Another sign that I am healing is that I can bend over probably more than I should and feel no pain or soreness. Yet I still put a hand on the wall to brace myself, lift my surgical side leg up so my hip stays at 180° as I bend over to pet Heidi or pick something off the floor. "The grabber" by the way can pick up a coffee bean off the floor, it's that good of a tool.

This is the mystery of the week. Every day or night when I see the blanket's corners folded like this, I straighten the blanket out flat. At first I thought the wind was whipping around the patio and making it turn up. Last night as I stood at the open window at 1:30am, there was zero wind and the whole SE Arizona area was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop on the desert floor.

I like thinking outside the box about stuff like this. It makes you wonder.

With a full stomach, Stella was ready to start another day. She wonders when we will be able to start walking again. I also have to do some testing myself to see if I can even walk a half mile. I have before but not that many times. I'll ask the doctor again on Tuesday when I can walk the bloodhound again. I can't wait to get back to that routine first thing in the morning ... things will seem more normal after we resume those walks.

Heidi spent a lot of time this morning exploring different parts of the yard. Yesterday she was laying in the sunshine on the patio with Stella. She is loving these lower temperatures and the high afternoon temps near 80s seems to agree with her.

All of these photos today are a mix between the iPhone 8+, the older Nikon D3200 and my new Nikon D3500.  I can tell the difference between cameras and my suspicion of years ago was true. It's only been a few hours but I am happy with my new purchase.

A thought I had last night at 1:00am ... does it do any good to take the Bayer Low Dose 81mg Aspirin? It was prescribed by the surgeon. I need to take it for 6 weeks after my surgery. With my AVS I am assuming I need to take it every day for the rest of my life. Yet, recently medical news was online stating they had found it didn't make that much difference for people with heart issues.

Which is it? A requirement or a take a chance and follow the most recent study?

Something else I was thinking about while I laid in bed wide awake ... a "plant based" diet. As you know I have tried different eating styles in the past five years and all of them making a positive difference for me. A friend in Bisbee changed to a plant based diet after his open heart surgery. I met another blogger last year that did the same thing, both people claiming it was the only diet to follow if you had heart issues.

While reading Facebook during this two hours of 'wide awakeness' I ran onto a blogger I use to follow that must do his writing on his Facebook page now. Years ago he was blogging about his dog Atticus. He was having some medical problem about the same time I stopped reading his blog. Well last night I see he is also on a plant based diet, taking less meds, seeing less doctors and has lost 140lbs.

Yet, just like the medical study on the benefits of taking low dose Bayer Aspirin, there are studies that says it makes no difference to the heart if you are eating plant based, Keto or Paleo. Most things I've read suggest the Mediterranean Diet and following 'moderation' when it comes to eating red meat or all that good fat ice cream.

So which is it? Follow your intuition, the latest medical study or the most consistent information?

After I made the big camera purchase last night, I wondered if I would have bought the new Apple Phone 11 Pro if I had the phone with me instead of leaving it home to take a video of Stella while I was gone. I will say that with my watch, my phone anymore is basically just a camera for low light conditions and close up, normal portrait type shots.

I can reply to text and email verbally on my watch. I can get the same GPS info on my watch and people tell me that the phone calls are more clearer than the phone, when using the watch. With the new Series 5 with the cellular feature, I usually leave my phone at home now when I am out and about.

I don't do it a lot because I don't trust myself, but I like the phone WITHOUT a case best of all. It's dangerous to do that because my cheap Speck case has saved my phone a few times when I dropped it on the title floor or on a concrete driveway or carport. It does happen for one reason or another, just not age related. Still, I like it without a case.

So as I operate this morning taking photos with the iPhone, adding what food I eat into the Cronometer app and checking mail ... the phone feels "new" without the case. The photos are sharp and clear ... all of this talks me out of going to Best Buy on Sunday (too much football to watch today) and trade the 8+ for the 11 Pro. No, I don't need it.

Such a change from 12 hours ago or a little more as Stella was seen on video trying to dig right though that door jam to get back inside the house. That is her normal position about every morning when I am out on the patio, just to let me know that she misses her walk.

No matter how much stuff she had damaged the past 4 years and 2 months, she is just a great hound. She has a unique personality that gives you a laugh a day and almost more than just one. She is laidback as long as I am home with her or she is with me in the car. She doesn't mind going to the vet, doesn't mind seeing new people or dogs in the neighborhood ... she is just a great bloodhound.

She catches up on her sleep when I spend the day watching football.

Heidi couldn't make up her mind this morning if she wanted to go back to bed on her dog bed or hang out with Stella and I. She made numerous trips to the bedroom, tried the computer room and numerous trips outside to stand and think. She likes the warm sunshine ... always has.

She is also a great hound. After 8 years I cannot remember one thing that she done that she shouldn't have. A perfect house dog. I still wonder what caused all the times she would be found in the animal shelter before GABR rescued her?

I have a neighbor a couple of houses down that is moving out. Stella was more than interested in all the different people pulling into his driveway or in front of his house. At first I thought he was having all of his friends stopping to help him move but found out later he and his wife were having a garage sale.

I've seen some serious yard sale buyers this morning. This people out west don't play around when they shop for the best deals. They are towing large trailers that show they have made other stops before here. Pickup trucks are packed and strapped down with more things than you can imagine. Just a little different than the yard sale buyers back in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

I told you that Heidi was moving around a lot this morning ... can't make up her mind where to finally lay down.

While the hounds enjoyed their day inside the confines of home today, I watched the IU game on my computer, taped the UW-Oregon game on tv to watch Sunday morning ... and was amazed that I am doing more activity than I have since my surgery. I drove downtown to pick up some center caps at Toyota for my new wheels ... no sign of soreness in my hip.

I'd like to drive or hike up to the live of the 'yellow'. That is something I could not capture standing on my patio until I tried the new 70-300mm lens.

I also took my longest walk yet this morning and did another at the halftime of the IU game. In total I had three walks that were longer than a half mile each time. I feel that I was more flexible today for the first time but still aware just how far I could bend over.

I even forgot to take my cane with me when I went to the Toyota Dealership. I took the cane with me on the three long walks but never needed to use it. I could feel my hip and upper thigh getting stronger with each walk. Still, in back of my mind I hear a little voice telling me to be careful and not blow this improvement by being too over confident.

With a stiff breeze throughout the day, the house stayed cool, and the hounds spent more time outside than they did inside. I was even able to walk to the mailbox and back where Stella never woke up and never knew that I was gone.

By late afternoon after seeing another one of those fantastic night photos taken by the new iPhone 11 Pro, my brain cells started scrambling and I was about to pull the trigger on purchasing the new phone. My 8+ is just a couple of months shy of being 2 years old. So this afternoon as I was walking laps around the inside of my yard between ballgames I took some photos with the 8+.

All of that vacant land is behind my fence and where I heard coyotes and the javalinas the other morning. I wonder how brown all of that will be during the winter months.

I took this while I was walking and didn't stop to take the photo. For some reason the Activity app on the phone was not synchronizing with my two different watches and wasn't recording all of my steps or walks today. So after a little searching on the internet I found I should get to a better location for GPS service. I carried the phone with me while I walked and eventually things started downloading.

I also noticed today while I did normal activity that my right leg was moving in a natural direction and sometime that included moving to the right at a sharper angle than it had since my surgery. What is mind boggling is just how good I feel compared to just a week ago when I was crawling into CVS to pick up the muscle relaxers.

I am anxious to see what the surgeon will suggest for my next phase of rehab. There will be some soreness involved but it will be the good kind as the muscles and tendons start getting stretch back to their normal positions. I'll be sore again as I get 'in shape' ...

It was really a good day in the 'hip department' today in the Wild West.

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