Link to the First Page that details the first six (1-6) months
Link to the Second Page detailing the second six (7-12) months
Link to the Fourth Page detailing the fourth (almost) six (17 - ?) months
Week Fifty Three - Sunday, January 10 2010
I took my bike out for a little spin around the neighborhood. I'm a little more cautious this time but I'm already getting better ankle motion with less pain (two for one) than from last time. We even go for a walk around part of the neighborhood for a little proper-form walking where I try to keep the foot straight and force proper rotation and limited limping.
In honor of the one year anniversary tomorrow, it's time to take the Christmas Lights down and put the decorations away. I'm even back in the Loft! Although I never had any trouble in the loft in the first place. But don't worry, I'm using both hands getting in and out of the loft.
Monday - One Year Anniversary
I have a Doctor visit today and my one year anniversary to celebrate. We manage the visit with a nominal 90 minute out-of-office traversal time. The Doc likes what he sees and so do I. There's bone growth around the outside of the fracture site and even some growth in the middle. We appear to be past the "you can still break the plate" point with this much growth as long as I don't do anything with more impact than a normal step.
The Doc keeps using two technical terms, Bone Remodeling & Rigid Fixation, when referring to my leg and the healing process. Rigid Fixation refers to the plate being installed and Bone Remodeling is the process that will occur once we have complete bone connection rendering the plate obsolete. The bone is growing around the fracture in an attempt to fuse the two ends together and in that process we get lumpy bone growth as the body attempts to patch the break and stop the motion. Once the motion is stopped then Bone Remodeling occurs where the body essentially makes it look nice. It's at this point that the body recognizes that the fracture has been healed and it's time to make it look like it is supposed to. The lengthy process of growing the bone in the middle (there's a technical term for that too) begins and as that progresses the body removes the extra, lumpy growth around the outside and cleans things up.
Like I mentioned before adding the plate can trick the body into thinking that the outer bone is healed and as such, to begin the remodeling stage a little early. Everything will still heal but at the bone remodeling pace rather than at the broken bone stage. That's where we are today.
I have another appointment in eight weeks and in the mean time it's to be more of the same - walk as much as is comfortable, ride my bike in a controlled manner, and stay off of tall objects without adult supervision.
The Aortic Dissection of a close friend
I have a close friend that we'll refer to as Ricky, who was my Best Man and I his, who went to High School with me and even spent some time at my house while I was in Thousand Oaks in the 70's, that has found his way into the hospital with an Dissecting Aneurysm. He started feeling poorly yesterday and wound up at the local Emergency Room following a brief ambulance ride in the afternoon and then was transferred to a well respected Medical Center for emergency surgery after dinner. Nine hours later he's alive and recovering in ICU.
I think that there is a certain, unrestrained feeling that one gets from a monthly visit that shows progress. And as a result of said visit I do believe there is a little less limp and a little more spring in my step.
Ricky is intubated, restrained, and sedated while we wait for his oxygen levels to rise.
Walking is getting easier but I think that this is more of a mental thing than a physical thing. Peace of mind is wonderful thing.
Ricky is still intubated & sedated but getting restless, with oxygen numbers still low, we're watching his liver & kidney numbers closely.
Jer and I watch a TV show called Top Chef and Jer, much more than I, tends to follow these newfangled restaurants and Chefs pretty closely. Well, there's one restaurant in particular that she's been angling to visit called Pizzaria Mozza that is at Melrose & Highland out in the Highland Park region of Los Angeles and since we're going to be halfway there I decided that I'd drag her the rest of the way out there as a surprise.
She doesn't care for surprises much so when we talked in the afternoon and I mentioned that I had a surprise for her, she decided not to wait and pried it out of me. It turns out that it was probably lucky that I did spill the beans because she _may_ have wanted to change into something a little different. And to boot, she out-played me by calling and making a dinner reservation and I might add that it was a good thing because with a 9:15 reservation we were able to nab seats at the counter by 8:30. It was an impressive evening.
The swelling in the foot is down noticeably today. It feels like a foot again to the touch but the primary clues were 1) the amount of show lace that I could find after being tied & 2) the ease of which the foot came out of the shoe. With the swelling down I was able to take some real strides almost like a regular human and the toes seem to bend better.
Ricky is still intubated, sedated, very restless almost uncomfortable, with not a lot of motion in his left arm. His kidney and liver numbers are getting better.
My foot swelling is still down and the big toe is still bending nicely.
We had dinner with the newlyweds at the Buffalo Inn tonight. Two things happened that make me wonder if the place has sold: 1) they were out of several popular beers on a Friday night & 2) the band was without a doubt the _worst_ band that I have ever heard that actually got a gig. Bad and loud - maybe they think the volume helps.
I should have visited Ricky yesterday because when we visited today we learned that he had a setback when they found fluid in his abdomen and and had to drain it in the afternoon. They immediately did a CAT scan to confirm that the dissection hadn't opened up again but they don't know where the fluid came from. They subsequently learned that he had a fever and today they ran a camera down his intubation line to inspect the lungs for infection where they found what they think is the cause of the fever.
Week Fifty Four - Sunday, January 17 2010
The leg feels pretty good these days. I haven't been exercising anywhere as near as much as I should be primarily because I've been commuting to visit Ricky. I realize that my excuse is pretty weak but it's all that I've got. Ricky has pneumonia and they are collecting cultures daily to try and pinpoint the particular bug - they even brought in an infectious diseases Doc for consult.
Ricky is better. His oxygen numbers are better and his temp is slightly down. He's still heavily sedated and they have fine tuned his antibiotics for the infection.
The swelling in both the foot and the leg are staying the same, that is, no more and no less. The bottom of the foot, like the big toe, feels bruised at times but I think that will heal like everything else. Today the toe isn't bending as well but I'm chalking that up to all of the walking that I've been doing. Even without specifically exercising I've been getting plenty of walking while visiting Ricky.
I'm getting a whole new feeling while I'm practicing my walking today. The sensation is one that all of you already enjoy, it's the sensation of rolling off of your toes and pushing off of the ball of your foor when you step. Until I did it today I didn't notice that I wasn't doing it on that leg. We're just going to need to fix that right away. I think that it's a mixture of a weak calf muscle and a protective instinct to stay away from the toes that remain somewhat sensitive. Either way the right leg has pushing off officially moved to the top of it's agenda. I wonder if it even knew that it had an agenda.
I didn't visit Ricky tonight but I did speak to his people and they indicated that was to undergo a surgical procedure this afternoon to fix something to do with his large incision. I'll get my facts straight tomorrow night.
Yes, I'm practicing my pushing off but maybe not with all of the vigor that I should be. At least I'm thinking about it.
Ricky seems to be holding his own. His liver and kidney numbers are fine but his oxygen saturation is back down. His temperature is still elevated and they are keeping him pretty heavily sedated. When they went looking for the cause of the fluid in his abdomen they noticed that he had broken the wire that binds his rib cage together and that's what the surgical procedure was for yesterday. They got more wire and threw in to staples and glue for good measure and put him back together just fine. Now we wait some more.
The ankle continues to feel better and I find myself trying new positions and movements with it. I'm referring of course to walking, standing, twisting, climbing, and the pushing off motion from yesterday. You can relax in the comfort that I'm being pretty cautious on this glass joint.
The swelling is about the same for both the ankle and the leg.
Ricky's numbers are better. If we can get a couple of more days of good numbers we can yank the tube out.
Waldo still isn't better so we're off to to his personal Vet this morning. My walking is getting better every day and today is no exception. I got plenty of walking today and while the ankle was ready for the day to end, my form was still good and holding up when the day did end.
Did I mention that I was going to see the play "Rent"? in Upland at the Grove Theater with the Kelly's of Upland? Well, I am, I did, and I liked it a lot. There were two different times during the play that I had tears steaming down my cheeks - what a softy. You don't think that all this steel has made me weak, do you?
I didn't visit Ricky today but his people report that his numbers are holding. Ricky wouldn't cry if he were to see the play.
Week Fifty Five - Sunday, January 24 2010
A little bike ride around the neighborhood to get some motion in the ankle. I tried a different pair of shoes today to see how the foot likes it. I actually tried a pair of boots first and gave up when I couldn't get them on but these hiking boots went on fine and felt okay for a while. Eventually my foot got to hurtin' and I'm back in sneakers now. I should get a couple of pictures for some comparison, like the two ankles at the beginning of the day and then again at the end of the day.
Ricky had a minor setback this morning with a reaction to his food. All of his numbers are about the same.
More of the same with the walking today and it's actually becoming more comfortable to walk. I'm continuing to work on my form and after I get going a little the limp is much less pronounced but I've been slacking off when it comes to barefoot exercises, specifically, bending the toes. There's still some pain associated with taking my shoe off so I tend not to do it as often as I should, more like once when I get home before I trek upstairs.
Ricky had another good day numbers-wise but some arrhythmia kept the staff cautious.
When I concentrate I can consistently walk almost normally. Almost normally includes a shortened stride, a slight limp, and no up,down, or steps. That's almost normal, isn't it?
Ricky had a good numbers day today so they changed his meds to prep him for extubation tomorrow.
My swelling is the same but the soreness in the toes seems better.
Good day yesterday or not, Ricky didn't get extubated today.
The toe is back to being sore to the touch so bending is a painful proposition. I'm still bending it to walk but I'm not putting much weight on when I push off. The swelling in the foot might actually be down a bit. The lower leg is large but I don't know if it is going to get any smaller primarily because it doesn't feel swollen just bulky. Maybe we should have used smaller hardware.
Ricky got his tube yanked today. Not to say that he didn't get extubated but, well, you know, I just couldn't help myself. He's sore, exhausted, can't speak, and it hurts to cough but he can smile and wave. Welcome back buddy.
The big toe is back to being sore but the leg is working fine. Out to dinner with my Mom to Cafe Montclair this evening. Their restaurant has been closed for 12 days while they have been repairing rain and water damage and to make matters worse their landlord took no interest in their woes requiring them to perform the repairs out of their own pocket. What a guy, eh?
I didn't visit Ricky today and I didn't even check up on him but I'm sure that he's doing fine.
This was kind of a blah day for my ankle with no exercise to speak of. By the same token it didn't give me any trouble either hence my declaration of a blah day. Out to dinner with the Fishels this evening for both of their January birthdays at Cafe Allegro in La Verne.
I didn't visit Ricky but we're going to check on him tomorrow.
Week Fifty Six - Sunday, January 31 2010
My ankle is a little cranky this morning. I can walk on it okay but it might be just a little tender. I have really got to get back on track with my rehab program. I didn't ride my bike at all this weekend and just in case you hadn't noticed this ankle doesn't seem to get better by itself.
My Mom, Jer, & I all visited Ricky today. He's eating real food as of this afternoon and he's speaking although without a lot of energy. You've got to catch the first four words before it turns into a whisper but he's sitting up in bed and he looks good, just with not a lot of breath for lengthy conversations.
The ankle doesn't seem to swell as much as it was but it still swells but it doesn't quite get a waist anymore. The foot is still swollen but doesn't seem to swell much during the day with activity. The leg still swells with use and activity. It manages to reset to it's smallest size by each morning so it's ready to go again.
Ricky is still in ICU with a pretty nasty fever and some swelling in the extremities. He still has a feeding tube in but he's eating people food and carrying on, albeit short, conversations.
I walked two laps at Bonita High tonight with Waldo and Jer. I can keep up with Waldo primarily because he get's sidetracked pretty easily and tends to wander and sniff but Jer lapped me and put me to shame. Did I mention that she lapped me in one lap? The ankle actually felt better at the end of the first lap then it did at the beginning of the first lap or the end of the second lap but isn't that what training is all about? Let's see how this thing feels tomorrow morning....
I'm not going to visit Ricky today but his people say that he's getting stronger and he's done with oxygen but he's still got that fever.
What do you know? The ankle feels fine this morning. I guess that means that I had better increase the tempo on my weak and meager training schedule.
Turns out that Ricky is the strangest patient ever. First, they removed the breathing tube and his numbers got better. Now, they've taken him off of all of the antibiotics and as a result, his fever is gone. They're shooting for this weekend to move him from ICU to the hospital.
The Kelly's from Upland and the Kelly's from San Dimas rolled to an ECHL game of the Ontario Reign tonight at the Citizen's Business Bank Arena. Maybe I should mention that this is Ontario California that we're talking about, not Ontario Canada, but I digress. We tasked Warren with getting the tickets and he put us four rows back adjacent to the visitor's bench. Have I mentioned that he doesn't take challenges lightly?
Ricky is slated to move from ICU to a stepped down hospital room on Monday. His strength is improving and the Docs have a pool on when he'll be able to walk.
Week Fifty Seven - Sunday, February 7 2010
I had time to get in a little bike ride around the entire neighborhood before some, supposedly important football game this afternoon. In honor of this purportedly important, life changing game I'm jumping off of the wagon. This picture needs a footnote because I only made it, I'm more than a little embarrassed to say, almost half way through the glass before light-weighting out and switching back to iced tea.
My knee has been making quite a bit of racket recently when I climb and descend steps or stairs. Since it's my good knee I'm not worried about it and I'm chalking it up to lack of use. Riding my bike is a great way to get the knees bending without any impact or other ankle abuse.
That's right, they managed to move Ricky this afternoon out of ICU and into a regular care hospital room where he resting comfortably and gearing up for his rehabilitation. Speaking of which, he managed to sit up on the edge of the bed today with his feet resting on the floor. We're all coming to the realization that this rehab process is going to take awhile.
I have been trying to wear different shoes occasionally with varying degrees of success. Alright, I confess, it's actually just two different pairs of shoes but whatever. Yesterday I wore my lace-up boots and by late afternoon I was limping pretty badly and today my big toe is right up there on the soreness scale. So today I'm back in my sneakers and the toe feels better already just by lunch. So, was it the shoes or the bike ride?
The foot was better yesterday and is better yet today with limited soreness and some bendability. I walked 3/4 of a mile last night with both Jer and Waldo at Bonita High and that seems to have little effect on the big toe's bendability (See? It is a real word.) or even on the following day's soreness. The ankle was a little swollen last night and a little stiff this morning but I think my other pair of shoes has more to do with overall soreness than exercise does. I'll rule out riding the bike as a cause in another week or so because this weekend is already completely booked with the drag races.
Week Fifty Eight - Sunday, February 14 2010
We spent both weekend days in 80+ degree sunshine (which is one of the reasons that I choose to live in Southern California) out at the drags in Pomona. Granted, it's only a mile and a half from our house but the view is lots better from the stands in section 2 row 29.
I've got another week left on my six month handicap placard so we used it this weekend to keep the walk down under three miles :-). It might have been a mile if you count both directions and the ankle held up like a champ and didn't swell much at all. I'm still holding the hand rail for stairs going down so that there isn't any additional impact on my stainless plates so I'm pretty sure that everyone figured I was drunk (like everyone else there) and just trying not to go on my head.
No swelling at all this morning in the lower leg and the foot looks almost normal sized. I can tell that it's not normal sized yet by the length of laces left over after my right shoe has been tied but it is getting better. Since the swelling is down and not up after a weekend of walking I'm going to make the connection that it's ready for more exercise. More exercise means walking for the motion and weight bearing and riding the bike for leg motion and strength. I suppose I could even get some cardio in if I were to pick the pace up while riding but I keep coming back to the question of what do I do if I need to put my right foot down in a crash stop situation.
Ricky just happens to be right where I left him, that is with the one exception that he has changed rooms again. He's healing slowly but steadily and the current thinking is that he'll be ready for exporting to a rehab facility in the next 7 to 10 days. There is also a plan to install a kidney stent tomorrow. His sugar numbers are high which is probably a contributing factor to having him on a limited diet that excludes some foods and all juices which also means that I'm going to have to stop smuggling in Naked juices and become part of the solution not part of the problem :-).
I walked an entire mile on the track with Jer and Waldo last night. The ankle started out okay, got better during the first lap, stayed okay during the second lap, and got worse during the third lap. The last lap I alright - I don't want to give you the idea that I had trouble holding it together or anything like that but my stride and form did start to degrade.
And then I tried to get out of bed in the middle of the night. I got up a couple of times and those combined with my alarm get-up made me remember the days when I thought that I might need to crawl rather than walk. It was a fleeting thought but I have to admit that it did pass through my mind. The good news is that within minutes it feels better and I can actually walk on it and not just hobble. The most surprising part is that it is not swollen and may actually be a little less swollen than normal. That didn't translate well so the english version is something more along the lines of "damn, the right shoe fits better today than yesterday."
It has remained a little sore most of the day so far.
I missed another great photo-op today when we went to the Los Angeles Boat Show to book our houseboat vacation and get the show discount when I didn't take our picture in front of HempCon, also at the LACC this weekend. And no, the parking lot didn't look like a scene out of a Cheech & Chong movie where all of the cars are filled with smoke. Anyway, I got some walking in here at the show.
From the LACC we traveled to see Ricky and see how he's getting along. He was evaluated this week by some different rehabilitation clinics (think career day in college) and is just waiting for the nod. Even the hospital staff gets into the spirit by providing an extra shave or some additional therapy so that he looks his best. He's able to stand with a walker for 18 minutes but still needs help getting in and out of bed and into the standing position.
Week Fifty Nine - Sunday, February 21 2010
The three of us had breakfast in the Village in Glendora this morning and then we walked around the village to loosen up. That and a little bike ride around the neighborhood and I'm all set for exercise today. There wasn't any pain while I was riding but it was plenty sore when I got off but since we just finished with a half mile walk, I guess that's not too surprising.
I often get up early on New Year's Day to see if I can catch either the lead-in or the tail-out of the flyover for the Rose Parade but I have yet to see one. Well, today we got to see the Blue Angels three times as San Dimas was the rallying point for the flyover for the Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. For my trouble I got a couple of great cloud shots and one picture that actually had airplanes in it and you're going to have to take my word for this but on the last pass, we could read the paint on the underside of the wing.
All of this exercise must be paying off because my ankle is one sore but unswollen joint tonight.
Guess who's moving? That's right! Ricky is and he's moving tonight. I guess that once the health plan makes the decision then there is little reason to stick around and every reason to move to the next step. He's out of the hospital and into an acute rehabilitation facility (hospital) where he has a daily regime of occupational and physical therapy sessions but still spends his evenings in a hospital bed.
Last night was the first time that I've taken my shoe off and had no pain or wincing in the process. The problem is bending the big toe and while it does bend some it doesn't bend much and what it does bend, it does so slowly. Maybe this thing is actually healing.
I walked a half mile last night with the rest of the family on the track and that was about all that I had in me. What a light-weight. Everything feels okay but the walking motion with any kind of a stride much more than a shuffle tends to bring on the limp as a protective measure. I'm hoping that as the toe loosens up I'll get some stride back. Then I'll try that ball that they show the speed skaters standing on while they work out. That entire concept makes me shudder just thinking about it.
Ricky is all settled in and healing nicely. Occupational therapy teaches him how to shave and brush his teeth and physical therapy makes him strong. Plus, they've only dropped him once so far. They have a very cool chair that looks like the gardener built it out of sprinkler pipe that he sits in and rolls right into the shower. Who needs a $200 hammer from space when you can build patio furniture out of materials found in the garage?
And last night was the second time that I've taken my shoe off and not scrunched up my face while doing it.
Week Sixty - Sunday, February 28 2010
This next week should prove interesting, I'm taking my action on the road. Let's see what I've got in me.
I'm on the road again for the first time in a year without crutches. I'm traveling with Trevor to Portland Oregon for a regional trade show and then a two day training at one of our Oregon customers' sites. Traveling to Portland means one thing - airport security, and I can hardly wait.
Lucky I didn't wait too much because I didn't tip the alarm on the metal detector. No beep, no wand, no frisk, no glove, no nothing. I'm thinking about asking for my money back because there's apparently no metal at all in there.
I let Trevor book all of our travel with just a couple of instructions - make sure that we stay in the same hotel as the trade show, book us into a hotel on 9th Street in Corvallis, and no flight connections in the airport. He came through like a champ and followed my requests to the tee and as a result I had no problems at all.
I tried to make it as long as possible without sitting in a chair in the trade show booth. Sitting down in the booth is a bad idea in general because I think it sends the wrong message to anyone walking by, one of indifference or over confidence, and I try very hard not to do that. I made it three hours to 11 but that was all I had. I sat down until we went to lunch with Todd from Redcom and lo and behold, the ankle feels fine walking to the other building for lunch. Based on the morning's results I used a similar technique in the afternoon but I'm really on pins and needles to see how this baby does tomorrow.
I made it an early evening because I was a little worried that I might need to sit on the bathroom counter with my foot in a sink full of ice. The early evening was a fact but the sink full of ice was not and the ankle feels fine this morning. I'll spend as much time standing as possible and see what this leg has got in it. Is it possible that I've just been babying this thing for the last two months?
We're in the trade show from 8 til 1:30 and then we've got a two hour drive south down Interstate 5 so my leg has a full day again today.
Okay, last night my right ankle was sore. I got up in the middle of the night and thought maybe I should just hop to get anywhere. Once I got up this morning and got it warmed up it's doing fine. Today, we're spending the day at the Customer's office doing a little training on one of our products, a network operations monitor called CiNAS so there is the normal amount of walking and standing. The ankle feels so good that I really need to rethink my rehabilitation program and move away from wimp status.
Have I mentioned that my alcohol consumption these days is greatly reduced? Of course I have but I thought that I'd mention it again. My contacts at this customer are serious home beer brewers and my only saving grace is that I don't care for IPAs because of their hoppy taste or my head would feel like some of the other members of my dinner party. As a result, both my head and my ankle are in good shape today. I've got good motion in the ankle, good enough to walk to lunch both yesterday and today. While we're on the subject of lunch let's talk about Mexican food and the likelihood of finding decent carnitas in rural Oregon. I would have bet good money against that occurring and I would have lost.
We booked a late evening flight home so we could spend the entire day at the customers doing what we came for and what they paid for. It was a good week and while I'm glad it's over, it's good to be back in the saddle doing what I get paid for.
Week Sixty One - Sunday, March 7 2010
Dang if I didn't miss another OCLUG meeting yesterday. Oops. Enough of my failings. I went for a nice bike ride today all around the local neighborhoods and the ankle feels good. I'm off to the Doctor's office tomorrow and it's been eight weeks since my last xray so to say that I'm a little more than excited to see what's going on in there would be a huge understatement.
It's been a week since I've seen Ricky so I'm pretty excited to get back over there and check in. He's been making significant progress and he walked this last week with the assistance of a walker 100 feet. He's likely to be there three more weeks but when you consider that he makes progress each day one has to figure that there was a long way to climb.
The growth looks good but it seems to be taking it's sweet time getting there. You can see the slow growth in the middle of the break and the pronounced growth out at the front edge indicating that this is going to take months to complete. Both plates look good with no indications of screws backing out or loosening and both bones are still properly aligned above and below the break. The ankle surfaces look good with proper spacing and alignment. All in all a good checkup.
So I mentioned the problem that I'm having with my big toe while we were chewing the fat about me making it through airport security without so much as a latex glove. He rolled his stool over, motioned for me to give him the foot, and proceeded to bend the toe down past the stops and well beyond where my "good" big toe goes. I was able to open one eye wide enough to see through the tears to notice both the Doc and my Wife grinning from ear to ear. He held it for a while, released it, and then cranked it back over for some more. Did I mention that as he held it he asked me where it hurt? Even though I was completely contorted out of my chair and writhing wildly I was able to point through the tears to the foot just over the ball of the foot.
He released the toe and then bent it back towards my knee to show me how far I can stretch the tendon in that direction also.
I managed to wrest my foot from his grasp and wiggled the toe in a gentle motion designed to determine if it was still attached and noticed how nicely it bent in almost all directions. Hmmmm, maybe there's something to this. You can imagine that Jer's totally on board for bending. Yea, I think not.
Let's see how it feels tonight.
The toe feels fine today so I'm just being a big baby.
Ricky walked 130 feet in the walker on Monday.
I'm beginning a rehab program that entails stretching and bending both the ankle and the big toe this week. The stretching exercises are the same as you might see a runner doing during warm up with gentle stretching working into (and hopefully through) the pain zone.
You'll be happy to know that there is nothing wrong with my ankle or big toe, at least with regard to the soreness and lack of bending. I walked a mile at the track with Jer and Waldo last night concentrating on rotating forward and bending both the ankle and toe as I push off and it works as advertised. The whole assembly gets a little tender while in motion and later in the evening it can be a little sensitive but there is no swelling and after a night of rest, it's all set and ready for another day.
Ricky had a minor setback today and I found him with a fever last evening. He would appear to be the beneficiary of the flu that one of his visitors deemed him lacking. He'll probably spend today in bed trying to recover because it was during one of his rehab sessions that his symptoms appeared resulting in a Doctor visit and a "back to bed" order yesterday.
The more that I stretch the ankle and toe the better it seems to operate so how come I'm not stretching all day long?
After I left Ricky on Wednesday evening the healthcare staff decided that he would be best served by the local hospital so they shipped him off for testing and wound up getting admitted. This evening he's still there but I don't think that it's because of having the flu. No one but me even thought that he had the flu and his Wife had him properly diagnosed as having a urinary tract infection even before the test results came back.
Week Sixty Two - Sunday, March 14 2010
It was such a nice day and I have been getting so little exercise that I decided to pull out all of the stops and when I finished with my ride around the neighborhood and surrounding areas, I rode to work and on the return trip I rode up Walnut to Cannon Dr, past Ken's house and home. Walnut goes up a couple of hundred feet to the top at Cannon Dr in just over a quarter of a mile so it's a nice little climb but no match for the granny gear on my bike but almost a match for me. Later in the day we walked the market and the ankle feels pretty good.
Ricky is still in the hospital and the infection is under control but they're looking for a leak. He's low on hemoglobin and apparently that's important stuff that you're not supposed to be low on. When blood thinners are introduced then the likelihood of a leak increases so they're thinking that maybe that's why he's a quart low.
The ankle feels better this morning first thing out of bed than it has in 14 months. Wow.
The ankle is a little stiff the last day or two primarily after sitting. It seems to bend okay but my walking form is suffering. Since it's St Patty's Day and everyone is coming over for corned beef and cabbage this evening, I won't go for a walk tonight but I will tomorrow.
Ricky was headed back to the rehab facility last night after being tested for everything that one can be tested for and survive. The fever is gone and has been for a couple of days so the reason that originally got him here is gone as well. They have been getting him out of bed daily while he was in the hospital so maybe he can drop back in almost where he left off. Maybe they're just going to ignore the leak.
Week Sixty Three - Sunday, March 21 2010
Looking back at the last week of ankle wiggling has provided some valuable insight that I didn't see while comparing day to day progress. The ride up the hill last Sunday affected my walking for almost a week and I didn't notice. I had my resident trainer call my on my form on Wednesday and it wasn't until I reevaluated the entire week that I recognized what she was speaking of. I had some muscle soreness at the front of the shin and I had been favoring the leg trying to keep ankle bending to a minimum without really noticing. It was slight enough that I was able to ignore it but it was apparently screaming at the knowledgeable observer. By Friday or so the soreness had subsided and my walking returned to my typical cadence. Because there was no swelling associated with the soreness I have come to the conclusion that it was nothing more than muscle soreness and based on that conclusion, I rode up the hill again today.
Are you familiar with the story of Mr. Roberts and specifically the palm tree on the bridge? You can look it up but the premise of the act is that the Skipper puts a single palm tree on his bridge and when that tree gets thrown overboard he replaces the single tree with two trees. At this point Mr. Roberts is faced with the dilemma of "how many trees will appear if these two trees disappear? Three? Or Four? And so he feels the need to throw both trees overboard to see the result. Well riding up the hill is similar. Will it hurt all week again or have I misdiagnosed the soreness of the shin?
My walking is better but I learned that by stretching the toe and allowing better motion I have been masking a stiff, non-bending ankle. I never bent the toes far enough to let the ankle bend to its current limit so I didn't notice. So I am now working both angles (get it?) I manually bend the toes kind of like the Doc did only very differently and way less painfully and then separately, I stretch the ankle by planting the foot and moving the knee forward like a runner might do.
Ricky is back in the rehab facility, has moved rooms twice and beds once, walked 300 feet in one session, and can pop himself out of bed and on to the walker pretty much by himself. I think that he's about ready to move home and work on his rehabilitation as an out patient.
I made my annual Westec pilgrimage today with Warren. Okay, it's not quite annual because Warren said that he wouldn't push me around the show in a wheelchair last year but other than that, it's been an annual trip. For grins I rode the Metrolink #319 in to Union Station and then connected via the Red Line to the Blue Line and exited at Pico close to the Staples Center for a short walk to the Convention Center that included just two hookers and a stripper (not the electrical wire type). We met up with Jack the founder of Accurate Fishing, and walked to lunch at The Farm which is attached to L.A. Live which would appear to be the plaza outside the Nokia Theater. I mention lunch for two reasons - first, is the walk involved and second, is that we dined with Gray Davis. He looks and sounds in person just like he does on TV except the color is better. Live, the color is better live.
The significance of all this dribble is the amount of walking that the day entailed. Warren drove to the Convention Center because he wanted to attend a seminar on re-shoring and as it happened, his car was parked closer than the train station reducing my afternoon walk and to be quite honest, just when I needed it.
The leg is still a little sore this morning but it is not swollen and it is getting better as I spend more time up and around.
Week Sixty Four - Sunday, March 28 2010
Ive been getting less exercise and more stretching this last week and my walking is improving for my trouble. The swelling is pretty much the same and my toes are still pointing is strange directions but Jer maintains that the toes did that before any damage was done. Hmmmmmm. The "less exercise" is a result of being lazy and spending my time on things other than rehab.
The current thinking on Ricky is that he's slated for home Easter weekend (that's one week from now). He's walking with a walker every day and walking without a walker under controlled conditions but is still primarily getting around in a wheelchair.
The ankle is feeling pretty good these days although I'm not walking much. You don't suppose that those two are related, do you? "Not walking much" entails walking normally during the day but no additional walking on the track in the evening and no additional exercise-type stuff either. I can go up stairs pretty well but I still favor the right going down stairs and seldom lead with the right off of a curb. That practice dates back to 1972 when I stepped off of a curb the day that I got the cast on my left knee removed and wound up in a heap with the knee under me. I still cringe when I think about it.
Ricky has a release date of 4/6 (that's a week from today) and he's pretty stoked. In celebration he walked with a cane for the first time and did quite well if I am to understand correctly. He's motoring down the hall these days with his walker, saving the wheelchair for late in the day or occasions where he's just plum tuckered out.
We use 48VDC power supplies here at Cordell and they're heavy, heavy enough that we don't move them unless we have to. I'm working on a big order and I needed some extra capacity so I head on out to the warehouse bay to find a spare and I take a cart. Even with the cart I wind up carrying the supply three or four steps and an hour or so after the fact I can really feel it in the ankle.
When I get to Ricky's this evening he is sitting in his wheelchair, idling in the doorway to his room, and ready to pounce. The good news here is that he's obviously feeling better and is probably ready to go home. The bad news is that it had to be the saddest thing that I'd ever seen. He and I toured the grounds including a detailed accounting of the gym and had him back in his room before he turned into a pumpkin and before his Wife got there and turned me into a pumpkin.
Jer and some of her work buddies are walking in a 5K race at Santa Anita Race Track on Derby Day. The 5K starts at 7:45 in the parking lot and finishes in the infield for a day at the races and since we're running a touch late I let Jer execute a Navy Seal shoulder roll exit from the moving vehicle and I trek off to park. When I return I find the entire group together, registered, and ready to strut so Rich, the other designated bystander (and Plastifab Jefe), and I leave them at the staging area and make our way across the parking lot for the infield.
As we emerge from a group of cars we come upon a guy of 28 years or so telling a story to two of his contestant buddies about how the bone had stuck out about here and detailing the pins, plates, and screws all the while pointing to a scar almost exactly where yours truly's is. I'm so taken aback that I stop and without thinking interrupt him with "I've got one just like that" while pulling up my pant leg. I immediately realize that I've stolen his thunder and completely derailed his story. Wow, that was socially unredeeming. In my (weak) defense I am unable to take my eyes off of his ankle because I can't tell them apart and I am so excited about the idea that my ankle has a future. I'm assuming that the conversation has stopped because I've interrupted him but thinking back, it could have been because of the stare that I was giving his leg and his worried concern about how our encounter was going to turn out because I'm sure that I was looking at his leg much like I might admire a Stripper's leg. His two ankles were identical in size and shape and like I said, I can't tell them apart. I asked him how long it had been since he broke it and he responded with just under five years. About that time one of his buddies asked how he had broken it (motorcycle) and I was able to escape without any further embarrassment.
Rich and I found a nice bench right on the race course and we spent the time chewing the fat and watching all the different racers come by. I need to add that I watched more than one participant come by that doesn't walk as well as I do today further pointing out that I really don't have any excuse.
After the Fourth race I decided that my ankle had enough so we skedaddled out of there and had lunch at the Boat where I think that you'll find that the smoked sausage sandwich is the ticket.
Week Sixty Five - Easter Sunday, April 4 2010
I'm going to kill two birds with one broken ankle and plant tomatoes at my Mom's house. This will give my Mom the thinly disguised task of providing the care and feeding of the plants and secondly and more importantly, provide a source of good tasting tomatoes. A few years ago any tomatoes that ripened on the vine would be consumed by my Mother in her cooking with not so much as a flinch when asked about any ripe tomatoes and their whereabouts but today with simpler cooking habits, any tomatoes are much more likely to survive until I get there. The concept of assigning her the task of caring for the plants may turn out to be a tricky one especially if she comes to the conclusion that I was trying to give her something to do.
Do you remember when I stretched and the ankle got so sore that I couldn't walk? Well, I stretched Monday at my desk, not all that different from when I stretched in July, and the ankle has been a little tender ever since. There's no swelling and I can walk but I'm definitely limping more that normal. I'm going to walk tonight at the track with Jer and we can see how it reacts to that.
Ricky was slated to go home yesterday. I haven't heard anything but I have no reason to believe that he didn't go home so I'm going forward on that assumption.
The ankle is still pretty sore when it bends but 1) I've been standing in the lab a lot & 2) it's not swollen so I'm trying to ignore it. We wound up not walking Wednesday evening so with the exception of a lot of standing, the ankle is on limited duty this week.
I checked in with Ricky and he's home and doing well. So much so that he's already been to Home Depot on an excursion.
Dinner with all my Girls at The Taste of Texas tonight for my birthday. Yep, my birthday twin Trey was in attendance to keep a lid on things.
Since it's my birthday I get to pick the menu we're having au gratin potatoes. We'll have a couple of Prime Top Sirloin steaks from Plaza Produce in Glendora to accompany the potatoes but let's not get confused about the real star here. Yea, they were amazing.
Week Sixty Six - Sunday, April 11 2010
As I'm sitting in the red chair fondling my ankle I realize that there is some new definition around the ankle bone. I spend a little time surveying the terrain and I come to a conclusion: this ankle is less swollen than it was. When I put my shoe on and lace it up I have laces left over and am able to make a nice knot complete with bows. This is after spending the last week wondering if I had re-injured the joint and lying awake Friday night vowing to call the Doc on Monday to assess the damage.
My thinking is that all the standing and lifting that I've done recently has aggravated the ankle joint but not the break and that said aggravation is just part of the rehab and healing process. Suck it up and get used to it.
Week Sixty Seven - Sunday, April 18 2010
I spent less time standing this week but I also didn't walk much so that's not much of a comparison to anything but bed rest. The ankle feels good, the swelling is still down, and I'm gaining comfort and confidence while walking on uneven surfaces like a lawn or a field.
It still doesn't like standing and I'm equating that to the same behavior that some early radial tires had where they developed flat spots when parked but evaporated once the tire warmed up. Well, my ankle is just like that. Walking is fine but standing isn't.
I took the liberty of riding my bike around the neighborhood, over to the shop, and up the hill today for a little exercise and the ankle feels fine.
No real stiffness or soreness that I can attribute to yesterday's hill climb so it must have just been muscle soreness.
<non-ankle related rant>
I enjoy my life. I really do. And it weighs heavy on me when I let someone down and because I try to go to great lengths to keep from letting others down, I'm always surprised when someone lets me down. So this morning when I received the e-mail from LA Bridge, the DSL provider at the machine shop, informing me that in 17 hours they are going to change the IP addresses of all of their clients, I was surprised. Maybe horrified would be a better term. In most cases the act of changing all of the IP addresses around amounts to no more than walking over to your DSL or cable modem and cycling the power on it. But when you have a server that has a static IP address in the mix things get a little more interesting. We went with LA Bridge years ago for the static IPs that they offered at essentially the same price as dynamic IPs probably because they were actually issuing dynamic addresses with the promise of not to change them, thereby making them static. I realize that it is unreasonable to expect LA Bridge to never change the addresses but everyone that sells static IPs knows that before you do change them there are some things that you need to take care of and that it needs to be done with more than 17 hours notice.
Apparently everyone that knows this has either moved on to greener pastures or forgotten it and we're left with 17 hours to do a 25 hour job. Fair enough. We're not saving lives here and it is just an e-mail list server so this isn't the end of the world. Just yet.
I find myself on-site the next morning with enough spare time that I can deal with the new addressing and still make it to work on time with some socialization time slotted in there as well. The problem is that no change has occurred so there is nothing to do. They may perform the change during the day but more than likely the change will occur tomorrow morning. At least the 17 hour notice is no longer an issue.
I'm going to spare you any more of the details but suffice it to say that when we still don't have service on Saturday I move the list server to an alternate location.
The list server has a name (it's Penguin) and any of you that have followed the links to OCLUG have visited the machine first hand. Since we couldn't manage to get two IP addresses at the machine shop at the same time, the local machine shop LAN is connected via LA Bridge and Penguin is here
</non-ankle related rant>
Week Sixty Eight - Sunday, April 25 2010
I'm going to be gone for most of this week to a supplier of ours in Calgary and as a result, I'm gellin' like a felon in the red chair today. The ankle is bending okay as are the toes and I'm ready for an airport adventure.
I booked my own travel keeping a close eye on short airplane connections so that I don't need to jog from gate to gate. I'm flying Delta from Ontario to Salt Lake City and then on to Calgary, eh? I'll bet that you didn't know that you can check-in for your international flight from a kiosk, did you? I did but that was so two-airports-ago. I arrive in town, rent a car, do a drive-by on the office, find a hotel, and eat dinner, my first meal of the day. I choose a nice place close to the hotel and settle in with some chicken fajitas while I watch the _only_ sport on their tv, ice hockey.
A couple of things that I found noteworthy were that the sun sets at 9:20pm in April and the weather is spectacular - sunny and shirtsleeves.
LA Bridge is back with a vengeance. I was pretty clear that 1) I was leaving town and 2) we were not to interrupt service to the machine shop while I was gone. To add insult to injury they rolled in actual static IP addresses, disabled the current IP addresses, and then sent an e-mail outlining the changes. The true beauty here is that even from Calgary I had a better chance of being able to read the e-mail than the locals at the machine shop. Wow.
The weather has taken a small turn for the worse and the rain has turned to snow. It's still 33 degrees so the snow is not sticking but everyone expects that to change.
It snowed all night and finally began to stick around 2am. I didn't sleep all that well but I've got a plan and the plan includes leaving the hotel at 5am. It's dark, the car is covered in snow, and the road is slush but all of the other cars are pointed in the proper direction and moving so the plan is holding. Right up to point where I try to check in.
I cruise over to a field of generic kiosks that are setup for many different airlines to use, each with their logo on a splash screen for easy identification. I get slapped with a "denied" because of some such nonsense about selecting the wrong airline for that confirmation code. Not to be deterred I move directly into the field of Delta kiosks in front of the Delta counter and try again. Nope, not going to happen. So I move directly to the counter where there is a woman working and a woman sitting being chatted up by a male agent. The tire of having me watch them and she makes eye contact and beckons me over. Just as I get to "can't check in" the male agent interrupts with "your plane is not here." I know that I'm early and he can probably guess what flight that I'm on but I'm still checking in so I press on. "You plane is not here. There are no planes here. Didn't you get a call?"
Okay, now he's got my full and undivided attention. I am all too aware of what happens when the airline plays the "weather" card and I'm on the wrong end of it. The woman asks for my particulars so that she can look me up and get rid of me and after a brief moment responds with "We have booked you on another plane. Saturday at 1:25pm."
Before I can catch myself I ask "this Saturday?" to which she responds without even the slightest smile, "yes, the day after tomorrow." She has apparently listened to herself so she excuses herself to make a call confirming that flight. The male escort moves off and in his place appears a different agent from a different airline. Only after the woman has been on the phone for 30 or 45 seconds do I notice the the new suitor is twirling the woman's hair in his fingers. These Canadians are a friendly bunch, eh? He notices me watching him and he comments "I was twirling her hair, wasn't I?" I grin, nod, and respond "That's okay with me." She remains undaunted in her pursuit to get me a better seat on my Saturday flight and hasn't even flinched.
I look down at my duffel and remember a time when I traveled with a different company and spent an hour or two sitting on top of the dryer in the hotel in my drawers waiting for my laundry to finish, and smile. At least I got an early start.
She eventually comes up dry and shares the bad news with me and the hair twirler wanders off.
I step over to the next counter and find myself with an American Airlines agent who seems very friendly but maybe not to the same degree as the last agent. She reports that she can get me to Ontario (CA.) Friday afternoon but it's going to cost $2000. I'm sure the color drained from my face because she adds "You can get it cheaper on-line." I'm more than a little taken aback and respond with "I'm at the airport!" but I don't think that she understood that I wasn't planning a trip as much as trying to implement a trip. Her response was "Don't you have a laptop?" to which I backed away and answered "You could probably make this more difficult if you tried."
I moved on to the next counter, U.S. Airways, and found two women agents, one working hard and the other not working and having no intention of working. The working one moves around the counter to intercept a family that is obviously late for their check-in and proceeds to get them moving. I detect movement out of the corner of my eye and who should appear? None other than the hair twirler. Turns out that he's a U.S. Airways gate agent. He recognizes me and asks what I need. I tell him where I'm headed and he types for a while and responds "yes, I can get you to Ontario." Before he gets too far I interrupt him to inquire of the cost. I'm a little gun shy and need to make some real world decisions here that aren't just based on my laundry predicament. He responds with "$384" and I have my American Express card resting on the counter before he can twirl anything, much less my hair. I hand him my passport and drink in the sights and sounds of a bad dream. Only after he finishes printing the boarding passes and hands me back my stuff do I ask "when is my plane?" figuring that I have the rest of the day to chill in the airport. He smiles, turns to the Customs doorway, points and reports that "your plane is about to board." He can twirl my hair if he needs to.
The U.S. Customs Service, now called the Customs and Border Protection which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, has a program called preclearance which amounts to United States sovereign soil in the Calgary Airport and has the effect of clearing Customs before you leave the country or even boarding the plane. I'm getting the idea that since there are lots of small destinations south of the border that it is easier for the Customs Service to take care of business at the natural choke point of the air travel experience, the originating airport. To better implement my Customs experience the United States has commandeered a cavernous room tucked away within the airport and with the exception of the sheer size of the room, it looks very similar to LAX, just with better lines of fire.
As I'm standing in line making my way through the bullpen I spot the hair twirler moving toward the middle of the room where he meets up with a gate agent that I have not previously seen. They chat and then he points for her benefit to me standing in line, they both nod, he speaks into his radio, and they both move off in opposite directions. I wait my turn knowing that the gate agents are keeping an eye on what my guess is the last passenger to board the waiting plane. I move out of Customs and up to security where everything looks familiar with three exceptions: The man asking to see my boarding pass and ID is speaking French, the TSA agents aren't wearing TSA uniforms, and there is the second (secret) agent waiting patiently for me to pass.
The French speaker is only of note because of the fact that he is the first and only French speaker that I have come across during my entire stay in Canada. Apparently Alberta doesn't recognize the French language in any official capacity because with the exception of this guy and some signs in the airport, I could be standing in San Dimas looking for someone that speaks French. The TSA uniforms or rather the lack of them brings me back to the simple fact that I am still in Canada and these folks are most likely Canadian.
At security everything is as I expect it so I figure that we're playing by US rules and I belly up and begin the process of laying out my wares just as though I was in the Ontario International Airport in Ontario CA, not Ontario.ca and wait to pass through the metal detector. The Canadians don't care about the stainless hardware in my leg either so I wander back to the conveyor where the technician is going crazy with the swab tool. He points to my shoes and tells me that I can put them back on but that I need to not touch anything else because he's not finished. He apparently doesn't know about my (secret) agents.
Since I've got some time to kill I turn to look around and notice the full body scanner sitting idle and the operator of the same notices my gaze, approaches, and asks "would you like to try it?" Who can say no to something like that? Over we go to the millimeter wave machine where the operator directs me to step inside while they step around to the console on the side. In the center of the phone booth are two painted feet indicating where I am to stand and while I'm "assuming the position" I notice that the feet are awkwardly far apart but not uncomfortably so. Once I get them positioned we make eye contact and she shows me how to hold my arms over my head. I can't hear her but this doesn't require any detailed instructions so we're getting through this just fine. The operator reaches for the console and two transducers which are 180 degrees opposed rotate 90 degrees giving the impression that both doors are closing. The transducer wipe takes less than a second and while you can hear it, it's the motion around you that you notice. And it's over that quick. I step out and comment "that didn't even hurt" to which her passing Supervisor stops and comments "Have him do it again." Who says the Canadians don't have a sense of humor, eh?
By now my boy is almost done swabbing so I begin to gather the stuff that he finished with and as I do I look back through security toward the entry from Customs and I notice both of my guardian agents, the hair twirler and his accomplice, where upon they both give me the thumbs-up and motion for me to move (rapidly) to the gate. I give it my best fast hobble carrying my two bags and arrive at the gate to find that I'm not even the last to board - there are two families with small children rallying but have yet to move into the jetway.
We board, I'm in the second to last row, and the plane lets out a collective cheer when the stewardess announces that we are headed for Phoenix where it is not snowing. We push back to deice and roll out shortly thereafter and I settle in for a 2 hour and 50 minute ride. Since it is still before 7am here it is too early to alert the folks at the office and besides, someone got the Delta call and knows that the plane was canceled. Besides, it doesn't matter because I'll be home before they even notice.
I power up my state-of-the-art Treo 600 as we go wheels-down at Sky Harbor in Phoenix and damn if I don't get two voice mails and two text pages before I can even drop the vibrating thing. This can't be good. The first text is Bill informing me that U.S. Air has canceled the PHX to ONT leg of my flight and that I should contact a gate agent. The second is my Supplier inquiring of my status after he heard of the canceled flights. Okay, how worked up can I be with the morning that I've had? Seriously! I'm in Phoenix. I can rent a car and get home from here. Southwest leaves here for Ontario every 35 seconds so just how stranded can I be. Well, I'm not and to be honest, I'm practically giddy with the fresh challenges that I've be presented with.
I deplane and stop at the gate to show my now worthless boarding pass to the agent and get new instructions. Where's the hair twirler when you need him? The gate agent reports that I have been re-booked and that I should make my way to Customer Service. Not to spoil the surprise I don't even ask about my new flight and off I go. I make it to the Customer Service center where everyone else on the canceled flight is already in line and I try to relax. When my turn comes I wander up and hand the agent my boarding pass to which she responds "we have you booked on a 5pm flight" and I give her my best crestfallen look. She too knows that she can do better so she throws out a couple of ideas. "How set are you on Ontario?" is the first. I reply that my car is there so, pretty set. She offers up Orange County with transportation to which I inquire "when?". She replies that it this morning so I whip out my phone and call Bill. I actually called Trevor but for a guy that can't seem to be without his phone in his hand, I get no answer. Bill replies that he can pick me up at Orange County so I hang up on him by telling him that I'll call him from the gate <click>. The agent (apparently of the same fraternal order as her Canadian brethren) is already printing the boarding pass and points and shouts instructions as I move off.
You'll recall that my sole criteria for flights was that I have no short gate to gate connections. Well, I flunked. I need to move from Terminal 4 A7 to A30 which just happens to have two moving walkways. The good news is that I can walk almost as fast as a woman in high heels so I wasn't the last person to arrive and when I did arrive they were just announcing the first boarding call for high mileage travelers and families with small children. U.S. Airways felt sorry for canceling my plane and tucked me into zone 2 boarding. On I go, off we go, and I make my first entrance to John Wayne Airport with an hour and a half to spare before my original Delta flight would have arrived. Not bad for two canceled flights, eh?
This international traveling ankle is feeling pretty good for all of the walking that it dealt with yesterday.
I'm off to ride my bike to the shop. It's good to be home and I can get some quiet time to catch up.
Week Sixty Nine - Sunday, May 2 2010
I'm walking better and the ankle is continuing to get better definition. The ankle bone on the inside now looks like your ankle bone and the bone on the outside is starting to peek out and show some bony definition. The walking is the most surprising thing. It seems like almost overnight my walking has improved noticeably.
Doctor visit today!
We've got some new xrays to review for all you budding orthopedic surgeons. Don't get thrown by the fact that the xrays are hung upside down as you look at them. I didn't do the math until I was back at my computer labeling the pictures so I didn't get a chance to take better pictures.
The bone growing discussion mostly kept around the subject of types of bone growth as we discoursed on how to best categorize my leg's improvement. Woven bone being the quick and dirty stuff that the body throws at the fracture site to stabilize the break and lamellar bone being the nice, uniform bone with lot's of grain giving it strength and how my fracture seems to be taking it's own sweet time moving from woven to lamellar and in the process, filling in the center. We all seem to agree that there is improvement so there's (to quote a friend of mine) high-fives and ass-slaps all around and I'm back in my office 85 minutes later which, by the way, includes a 45 minute discussion with the Doc. It's nice to be infamous. Oh, and first too. Next checkup is in four months rather than eight weeks. And four months from now will mark the one year anniversary for the second surgery.
Week Seventy - Sunday, May 9 2010
It's Mother's Day and because we're having dinner at Yord's I get to skate on everyone else's coat tails. Not much exercise required. The swelling is down and the shin bone is becoming more pronounced. There is still a waist on the ankle so it is not well defined but you can see where the ankle bones _should_ be and you can feel them if you go looking.
We've got a busy day scheduled today. A 90th birthday party (Mindy's Dad) and backyard wedding ceremony (Mindy & John) in Redondo Beach and then the annual St. Dorothy's Oak Tree Festival in the evening. It seemed harmless enough this morning but by the end of the day I found myself with three and a half hours of freeway travel time, not bad for a Sunday if I do say so myself and six and a half hours of standing and walking time. Out of the six and a half hours there was probably 10 or 15 minutes of sitting while on a ride but the rest of the time was spent walking and standing.
Trey and I had a great time getting our carnival on and contributed greatly to the Catholic Church. I normally rely on Jer to recoup some of our funds with her bingo game but they must have seen her coming.
Week Seventy One - Sunday, May 16 2010
Wow, is that thing sore today. I completely underestimated the amount of standing that the day held until I climbed out of bed this morning. After we get back from my Mom's you can look for me in the red chair.
I have noticed that just during the last two weeks how much improved my walking has become. Two motions in particular with improvements are stair climbing and walking. Stair climbing can now be accomplished with just the ball of the foot making contact with the stair tread and walking has improved to where I can actually push off, albeit gently, from the ball of the foot. The toes are still complaining loudly but things seem to be loosening up enough to allow some additional rotation. Today, nothing is rotating but that's temporary.
My ankle is feeling better today and my walking is getting back to normal. I hobbled around both Monday and Tuesday in an attempt to keep any ankle bending to a minimum. Today I'm back to into a normal heel-to-toe step.
We're stepping outside the box and going to see Iron Man 2 today. We accidentally waited long enough before going to see it in the IMAX format that we missed it in IMAX and wound up watching it in an dang near empty theater. The real reason for my diversion here is that by the end of the movie my ankle was stiff and sore just as though I'd watched the movie standing up. The only difference between sitting here in the theater and sitting at my desk is the duration of the sit. I didn't think that sitting for three hours would make such a difference.
Week Seventy Two - Sunday, May 23 2010
The ankle was a little sore this morning but recovered nicely by mid-morning and seems to be ready for action. I missed a nifty opportunity yesterday when we no-showed the dog walk for my first outing walking on an uneven surface. The dog walk is held over at Bonelli Park on a combination of pavement and dirt trails and _would_ have provided some nice uneven walking surfaces for the ankle. Jer threw me a bone for the pass on the Dog Walk with the promise of a walk in the Park today so we ate breakfast at Norm's Hanger at Brackett Field which is adjacent to the Park. We grabbed Waldo and walked a nice series of trails that provided just what I was looking for and I'm happy to report that the ankle performed admirably. I'm in the chair now because it _might_ be a little sore but I'm fine with that considering the performance.
I fell out of the 20th century and in to the 21st when my new phone arrived today. I'm now sporting a Nokia N900 and traded in my Palm Treo 600. Both were unlocked so none of my talk, data, or text plans need to change. Both the Treo 600 and the N900 are mediocre phones but I make so few phone calls that even six years later it's still not a problem.
Week Seventy Three - Sunday, May 30 2010
The ankle is healing nicely these days. There's still some stiffness when I stand or sit for any length of time but it loosens up pretty quickly and I can walk at almost a regular pace.
I had a significant event today while putting my pants on. That might seem a little strange but before you judge me listen to what happened. I put my pants on while standing up by putting the broken leg in first and then balancing on the broken ankle to put the other leg on. In the past if I were to lose my balance I would either catch myself with my good leg or I would rotate and fall without replanting the broken leg in an effort to protect it. Well this morning I hopped twice on the broken ankle to catch my balance.
Later in the day I went up the stairs at work two at a time. What a day, eh?
Week Seventy Four - Sunday, June 6 2010
I combined my bike ride with a walk today, right after I got a flat tire at the dam. I walked my bike home and wound up getting the best of both worlds exercise-wise. Prior to the flat I cranked up the Walnut hill and got some decent exercise in. I took advantage of the walk home to stay on uneven surfaces where possible so all in all, a good day.
Yea, yesterday was a good day alright. Just because I can't walk today should have nothing to do with that, right? That's good because I'm hobbling pretty good today.