October 01, 2019
The Good The Bad The Ugly
This post is long, with some rambling or a lot of rambling and some photos I found on my Nikon D3200 from September 27. A lot to read here and believe me it's all good, bad or ugly. I did not post last night because late afternoon I received my 34 page medical report from the hospital I had ordered. At the same time the postal clerk handed me my new Apple Watch Series 5, so I had that to set up and pair with my phone since I now have two watches that have me connected 24/7 JUST IN CASE I might have a medical issue living alone and need emergency services with my sister and friends to be notified.
Where do I start?
I think today I will put the description or commentary BEFORE the photo I am speaking of instead of under it. I've asked before but can't remember the answer, which do you like? I have seen it both ways on the different blogs I read.
This morning's sunrise was beautiful with cloudy skies and well after sunrise. After a restless night of sleep, after letting the hounds outside for their morning trip I went back to bed and they followed until 7am. I KNOW why I didn't sleep well and that will be explained under the Good and Bad categories.
So I'll start with the GOOD stuff and end with the UGLY stuff. How's that?
First of all the hounds are doing great during all of this lifestyle change. They have barely changed their routines while I am recouping from surgery. Yes, I have to watch when I open the pantry door which not only contains food but my ballcap hangs on the inside of the door and IF I WERE to put that cap on, that is a signal to Stella that we are taking HER walk. I don't wear that ballcap at all right now. So yes, Stella would like to walk ... I would like to take her walking but that is for another day.
I am getting stronger on a daily basis. The past two days I can feel my hip is much stronger as I move my leg sideways while laying in bed or walking to the left or right of me in the kitchen stepping sideways. No pain of any kind, no soreness later ... but I am still cautious how I make turns in the kitchen and when I walk.
The past three days I have been taking fewer steps for the day but have spent more time walking on my own WITH MY CANE IN MY HAND JUST IN CASE I NEED IT TO BALANCE !! I have made the long walk to my mailbox on Saturday and Monday. Based on the "workout" mode of the Apple iPhone Activity app ... that walk to the mailbox is a total of .26 of a mile. I walk slowly, short steps and am always aware when stepping off the curb or onto the sidewalk.
A few have asked "how do you feed your dogs if you cannot bend over more than 90°?" Even MJ the petsitter asked to see me feed them last Saturday when she stopped by. She too was worried I was breaking the 90° rule. That rule is set to prevent the hip from popping out while it's healing even though my surgeon told me there is only a 2%-3% chance of that happened and when it does it happens within the first 2 weeks after surgery. I am heading for my 4th complete week after surgery already. Time is flying !!
I have claimed "the grabber" as the best too EVER INVENTED !!!! You can see how I grip the food dish after they are finished eating. I use the same technique when sitting the dish down with kibble inside it. The large water bowl is a little trickier but when I lift that bowl there is never any water left in it. The hounds drink two of those bowls per day. To sit the half filled bowl of water down, I bend no more than 90° with my bad leg raised as I lean on the cane in my right hand. Since I am flexible that is not hard to do and is the same technique I use picking up dog poop to bag it and throw it in the trash bin outside.
I have also started reading books again. I need to read just one, finish it and then go to the next but I don't. I read multiple books at different times. I had two great books about IU basketball and IU football arrive this weekend from Amazon. Amazon Prime has been my lifesaver as well as Fry's Market grocery delivery.
I did get good news yesterday when I called the doctors office with some questions. I HAVE PERMISSION TO DRIVE AGAIN and it will be up to me which car I take considering that I don't break the 90° rule for bending over to get in or out of the vehicle. Also the seat cannot be adjusted where my butt is lower than my knees for hip reasons. I have not decided which vehicle I will drive first.
Why TWO watches???
With the latest heart issue that was found on my EKG at the hospital, or really the ultrasound photos of my heart they took Saturday night before surgery ... I thought I'd be completely safe. For once. I wanted fall detection protection 24/7 and I would not have that with just one phone during the 2 hours or so it takes to recharge the batter to 100%.
As I said in previous posts, I found out laying in the ER that Saturday morning with the watch on my wrist and my iPhone at home ... I could not supply the nurses and doctors with contact information (phone numbers) or call anyone to let them know what happened because my Series 4 did NOT have the 'cellular' feature. I was trying to save money last January when I bought it and thought I'd have my iPhone with me most of the time so why buy the 'cellular' feature?
I have both now.
Once the hounds are feed in the morning or afternoon, they do the same thing EVERY TIME ... rest and relaxation in the living room.
That does not mean later that Heidi doesn't come into the kitchen to look for any missed kibble that may have been dropped on the floor or maybe a dog treat. MJ had them addicted to treats because she would always give them a treat before she left after feeding them during the time I was in the hospital and at home recovering.
Before I did anything with my new Apple Watch, I opened the envelop I signed for as certified mail for my medical report from the hospital ... all 34 pages of it. I read every page and every word. A lot of it was duplicate information but was recorded at different times during the day and night. All of the lab reports were there but was way above my education level to tell whether I had good blood or bad blood. They said everything was good.
I read in detail about the broken hip which more of a broken femur near the hip in multiple places as the hip joint stayed in place. I admit I could not finish reading the description of the surgery step by step with the long list of items they installed in my hip and leg. I felt slightly nauseous when I saw the list of items. I did not want to picture how wide that incision was spread so they had room to fit all of those new items inside me.
I moved on to their report on my heart issue "serious Aortic Valve Stenosis".
I read every word, then went back and read it again. I thought back to the questions I asked the MD when he broke the bad news to me, where he never gave me an answer. I NEVER experienced their 8 symptoms for AVS, ever, even after riding hard on those Friday rides that are recorded on the Strava app.
I kept reading and see the word NORMAL over and over ... almost too many times in their write-up. IF everything is so NORMAL than why is it labeled SERIOUS ????
I had read online about AVS before receiving the report and found out that it is categorized as "serious" when the valve opening is less than 1cm squared. My valve is .1cm below that ... at .9cm squared. EVERYTHING ELSE WITH MY HEART IS NORMAL based on what they wrote. The word "Normal" stuck out in their written report.
Yet ... I WILL consult my new MD, then a cardiologist and another for a second opinion here in the months of October and November. My new General Practitioner is so booked up that he cannot see me until November 20th and other reputable GP's the hospital gave me to call are no better.
With the valve opening being so close to 1cm squared I felt much better than I would have to see it lower than .6 if you know what I mean. It also raised the question ... how long can I have this heart procedure or surgery AFTER this hip replacement rehab??
Just a week ago my surgical side leg, ankle and foot were so swollen I could barely put on the New Balance shoe I wore from the hospital. The more I rested sitting in a chair the larger they got. When I would lay in bed I'd elevate the foot but that didn't help much because it was not much higher than my heart. To elevate the foot on a different kitchen chair while sitting, hurt too much in my groin/hip area so I did not do it.
But the last of the good news ... the past few days when I wake up, the leg, foot and ankle are the exact same size as my left. From what I read in the pamphlet they gave me at the hospital and online information I was told the surgical side leg, ankle and foot could be swollen for up to 60 days after surgery.
Due to that estimate and the results I firmly believe the supplement I am taking for faster healing played a major role in getting that surgical side leg, ankle and foot back to normal size 20 days after surgery. I am only relaying my story with this product and IN NO WAY am I prescribing it to you ... but this was what was recommended to me to take.
When you have orders to sit only in a straight back chair, one with a slightly higher seat, those wood kitchen chairs can make your butt really sore after a few days. I went to Amazon and searched for an orthopedic seat pad and found multiple ones to choose from. My first one was just a square pad of memory foam 4" thick and it did the trick. Even this morning it might feel better than this seat cushion I bought over the weekend.
Yet, this is also comfortable and has memory foam but is cut to fit those painful pelvic bones from sitting on hard wood a few weeks, forming exactly to my build. This pad can also be used for an office chair or a CAR SEAT !!!!!
So what is the last GOOD thing that happened ????
For the first time ever I ordered a pizza ONLINE last night, paid for it including the tip for delivery and ... used the coupon I received in the mail with Pappa John's pizza. I have now declared them the best pizza where I live by a long shot ... I'll not name here who was my previous #1. I took advantage of the 5 digit code for discounts and bought more than I should have but I can stretch it out into 2-3 more meals and I never get tired of pizza, cheese sticks or those double chocolate brownies that came with it. Ha Ha
Yes .... I fell off my healthy way of eating ... but I thought after these past three weeks why not? LOL
Yesterday was beautiful. I stopped on my walk inside my fence to take this photo. The mountains at this angle look so much different than standing on the patio while taking a photo.
Now .... the BAD stuff.
No doubt the leader of the Bad stuff was ordering my first pizza online. It was quick, simple and of course like any other business they gave me "reward" points and the only way to take advantage of them is to buy another pizza. It was at my door 23 minutes after I hit the purchase button on my computer. 23 minutes to the best pizza I've had since my trip to Mother Bear's back in Bloomington Indiana.
I called my surgeon's office yesterday to ask some questions. Those are always answered by his RN staff but yesterday's answers were a little different. Only because this RN didn't have the answer right off the top of her head. On two occasions she had to ask her supervisor. Maybe a brand new RN ???
Since I feel no pain when I bend over near 90° I was really hoping to get approval to bend normal. If I could I then could pet Heidi which is slightly over the limit when I sit in a chair and try to reach her. She needs some pets and hugs since she has a look of confusion when she stares at my skinned up knee which is healing or when I walk with my cane.
That rule would also give me a clear chance of sitting in either of my vehicles and I could drive. In one car I am just inside the 90° limit when I sit in the drivers seat. But it's enough ... no pain getting in or out of the driver's seat.
There was a great sunset last night. I was happy I was able to catch it ... only because the Monday Night Football game sucked. Ha Ha
I have 7 more weeks before my first General Practitioner appointment. I have been told by various people he is THE BEST MD in town and this town is full of doctors and medical facilities. He is also the doctor my PT works for as he completes his studies to become an RN.
I've told a couple of friends these past three weeks have been worse than a 'caged animal' since I was getting in really good shape riding the bike. If any readers are runners, cyclists or athletes or ex-athletes .... you know how your body craves your activity once it's in shape. Your mind may tell you 'not today' but your body always seems to override that. That is the only reason I rode my bike that Saturday morning when I wrecked.
But since I cannot pace around the house like a caged animal, these three weeks have been even worse. Although I sat still a lot in Indiana during the winter months, that does not mean I like sitting still. I didn't when I lived back there during good weather and with great weather out here it's even harder!!!
That is the hardest part of all of this ... sitting still, resting and letting my body heal. The worst part is I cannot ride a bike even indoors right now and my brain is screaming for it. But listening to my body, it tells me to cool it, back off and let it heal. I will and I am doing that, but it's hard to do.
For many years before all of this happened I use to tell friends when they were alarmed that I did not have a regular doctor that saw me on an annual basis ... I don't do that because it would lead me to medical problems. Since I am over 65 years old I have always believed from what I have seen ... once medical issues begin at that age ... they don't stop ... it's one thing after another NO MATTER how good your diet was, how active you were or how good of shape you were in.
I've seen older athletes devastated after they turned 65 years old with medical issues, sometimes leading to their unexpected death. NOW ... I am NOT saying I am closer to dying but what I am saying or wondering about is ... have I hopped on the "medical problem train" and it's all downhill after this? My dad use to joke with me as he listed all of his medications and doctor appoints that were then part of his life ... he'd laugh and say "so they call these the Golden Years" ... he was a teacher/basketball coach, never smoked, never drank, was in good shape ... until his first Quad by-pass surgery. His next 30 years was filled with one medical issue after another.
Every night as I sit on that chair with the seat cushion watching ballgames, Stella sleeps right by my foot, sometimes on my foot until I go to bed. She never lets me get too far away.
I found these following photos on the card in my Nikon D3200 this morning. This shows what a beautiful day this past Sunday was in the Wild West. I zoom'd in on the Mule Mountains, Miller Peak and the Huachuca's.
I clicked on the green runner icon on my watch yesterday afternoon to record a 'workout' in my Activity App not just a normal walk. I turned left on the sidewalk and headed for the end of the block like I did Sunday afternoon. A lot of neighbors have dogs, large barking dogs ... all standing at their gate of their backyard fence. We all have concrete block backyard fences with a full size steel gate.
Yesterday that ONE IN A MILLION EVENT happened and it could have been ugly really quick.
As I was approaching a house where I had never seen or heard a dog, I hear a bark telling me that the dog was huge and most likely did not like anyone near his/her house or yard even if they didn't live there. I immediately stopped, slightly scared and my brain running through all of my options at the speed of sound. I wanted to keep looking forward just in case this dog made it to the sidewalk. I did NOT want to turn my back while heading the way I came from.
Nor did I want to walk backwards while looking forward to keep an eye out for the dog. I could stumble over those cracks you see on a sidewalk that is between each section of concrete. LUCKILY I hear this ladies voice calling her dog but that didn't help. As the dog, a big mastiff, walked on the sidewalk toward me ... she was there grabbing the dog's collar. Hard to believe a small Asian woman could control a large dog like that.
Needless to say I will NOT be walking that direction again. It was the same direction Stella and I use to take our daily sunrise walk. I never saw or heard that dog until yesterday.
In today's world of social media, texting, blogging and sharing files ... phone calls are becoming rare and emails even rarer. So like many of you probably, most of our communication is by texting or using Facebook Messenger ... or even email for some.
The danger in all of that electronic communication is "misunderstanding" what the other is saying or meant to say. It seems to happen a lot to me over the years, as far back as 2000 when I started a small online business that turned into a failed large online business 10 years later.
Those misunderstandings by both people leads to arguments, something I never like and don't have time for. But I just had a face to face argument with my neighbor last week so I HAVE self analyzed to find out if it is just me that caused that argument or past misunderstandings in electronic communication.
After I read my medical report yesterday, I was happy about the heart news. I KNOW ... GOD DO I KNOW ... until I have a professional cardiologist OR TWO look at my ultra sound of my heart, the EKG and the written report NOTHING can be determined UNTIL THAT TIME and ONLY FROM A CARDIOLOGIST !!!!
My friend did NOT understand that or thought I didn't know that ... she wanted to voice her UNprofessional opinion about it while I was in the middle of texting to her and the other two friends in our group discussion. We have talked in our 4 person group since iMessage was invented. So we all are familiar with texting and sometimes words might not be clear enough.
I was just relaying the information I blogged about here ... the .9cm compared to the 1cm, the word NORMAL scattered throughout the report ... I had not finished typing because I was typing on my phone instead of my computer keyboard, where I can type as fast as any madman.
She cut me off and went off on her own, to lecture to me how I was making my own decisions where a cardiologist should be making them. I had to ask her ... "do you think I am that stupid, really????"
Nothing I hate worse then having to type one key at a time on a small phone keyboard then being interrupted before I can even finish. This person is notorious for doing exactly that and "hold on let me explain" has been used many times by me and others.
But it didn't stop there ... in fact that texting argument moved into my UGLY section of this post.
These last 4 photos were taken a few days ago with the infamous Canon G9 X Mark II camera that has the large black spot on the sensor ... at least sometimes it does. I only had to edit that black mark out of one photo out of the four photos taken.
I tried to stop typing in this texting argument. Mainly because I wasn't and won't argue while texting or emailing. Two ... I was tired of typing on my phone and the voice texting makes things even worse with inaccurate translation from your mouth to the iMessage screen. BUT SHE KEPT RAMBLING... she was mad and was going to make sure I knew it. Friends huh ????
She finally stopped her madness when she realized I wasn't replying and I might not be reading them. As far as I was concern she had just embarrassed herself in front of me and our two other long times friends, friends as far back as our college days.
What did she finally decide and texted me so I would know ... I was at fault for the conversation turned ugly ME ... all because I was NOT going to let a cardiologist make a decision ... I NEVER SAID ANYTHING CLOSE TO THAT. That I was the guilty one in all of that mess.
So ... to let her cool off for a while I have blocked her on iMessage, phone calls, deleted and blocked her on Facebook ... basically I don't have time for that crap right now. Basically most things said over the recent years have been nothing but confrontational from the Cubs to IU sports.
Thinking back to that medical report, it was UGLY when I saw the itemized list of things inserted into my total hip replacement. I cannot even post that list here without being sick to my stomach. Luckily they sent me two CD of files and my x-rays but with them being in a Microsoft Windows format I will have to research how I can see them on my Apple iMac ... because recently Apple has basically shut off all Window files with their OS and iOS updates.
I can't wait for one reason to see my first cardiologist ... which is it ... NORMAL or SERIOUS??? Also which of the 4 options are you going to do to fix it?
I asked and was told to take the prescribed Bayer Aspirin Low Dosage 81mg for 6 weeks after my surgery. The original prescribed small bottle ran out last week so I bought my own large bottle. WHY DIDN'T THE MD OR THE SURGEON TELL ME HOW LONG TO TAKE THIS BLOOD THINNER ?????
Why did I have to call the doctor's office 3 weeks later to find out I MUST take that Aspirin for 6 WEEKS after surgery. To me that is just unacceptable when the MD cannot tell you that or at least write it out in the discharge papers where they listed the pills they had prescribed !!!!
No worries ... the ranting is over.
It's a beautiful day this morning, it's already late morning since the post took so long to write but I wanted to fill you in since I didn't write a post last night. I'll probably wait until tomorrow night to post something again so I can get back on schedule of writing about what we did that day.
All things really are good and I consider myself very fortunate to be in the shape I am in now with a bright future ahead. I just didn't plan on being interrupted as I enjoyed life.
The hounds are loving the Wild West ... they like the sunshine!!