2-week Check-up .. Oct 30th

Today I had my hip x-rayed and was examined by the surgeon's PA .. I'm well ahead of the game ... no limp, no pain meds., doing normal things except going upstairs the regular way. The muscle on the back of my thigh was disconnected for the operation, then re-connected which shouldn't really make a difference, but it has taken away some of the strength in my leg .. once I build up a bit more strength, I'll be right as rain.
Speaking of rain, what a nice surprise this afternoon and tonight .. along with some pretty gusty winds too.
Another good thing about my hip replacement ... it has totally occupied my mind so I haven't had time to be depressed ... an unexpected benefit.
If you know someone's who's thinking about hip replacement, feel free to have them contact me .. my doctor is the best! and I have proof.
Happy Halloween ...

Friday, October 24th

I finally got to remove the bandage over the incision .. there are two white paper stickers over the scar and the incision itself is 3" long exactly! Doesn't it make you wonder how they can do all they have to do through a 3" opening?
The PT came this morning ... and he thinks maybe one more visit should do it. I can come downstairs now but when going up, I have to go one step at a time for another couple of weeks. Everything else as far as movement of my right hip/leg is almost back to normal.
My old friend Mary came and picked me up and we went to Starbucks .. sat outside .. felt so good to get out and about after being cooped up for 9 days. We shopped one store, stopped to pick up my mail and came home ... such a celebration!!!


HIP etc

Thursday, October 23rd - I can't believe how well I'm doing .. walking without a cane. The only pain comes from an ache in my calf and discomfort at the incision site. Right leg still feels longer but not as badly. It takes two weeks for the muscles to adjust to the new 'system', at which time my legs will feel even (I hope). Otherwise I'll be walking like Chester (Gunsmoke) for the rest of my life!
I have no bruising on my leg except for where the anti-embolic stocking pinches a bit at the top of the thigh .. but have big bad bruise on back of left hand, two bruised needle sites inside the left elbow and two that look like fingerprints on upper right arm. I wonder where they came from?

Feeling more like myself today ... but I'll be glad when I don't have to wear this white stocking anymore .. that's usually 2 weeks after surgery ... they're to help prevent swelling and clots .. have done their job very well apparently.

My neighbor came for a visit yesterday and returned later with my mail .. and tomorrow another friend picks me up and we go to Starbucks!!! Been 'without my fix' for over a week now ...
Thanks for stopping by ...



10/22/08 Wednesday

Yesterday I went to the hospital for a dopplar ultrasound on my operative leg to check for clots ... none found! It took me an hour and a half to shower/change for the trip, an hour and a quarter at the hospital and by the time I got home I was exhausted and my hip was in revolt! After a couple of hours icing, I was up again and packing my stuff to move back downstairs to my apartment. My brother-in-law has been great ... running errands, driving me around and moving my stuff for me. He knows what I'm going through, having had double knee-replacement himself.

Recovery has been pretty much unremarkable. Each day, I move my leg more and with less pain/discomfort. The PT came again today and said I do not need to use the cane except when going up and down stairs ... in fact it was more of an order than a recommendation. Dr. Dearborn likes his patients to become 'normal' as soon as safely possible. Seems like I'm way ahead on the recovery scale!

Getting in and out of bed is a breeze now .. and that was the hardest thing to do. I'm feeling a lot better psychologically as well ... I can get up out of a chair without any pain at all and I can do it without having to stop half way ... a wonderful feeling!

I see the surgeon for follow-up on the 22nd at which time I should be released for driving! But I have until November 26th to observe the three basic precautions they give us, in order to let the hip heal properly.

All in all, I'm very, very positive!


10/15/08 Wednesday … I had an epidural so I was totally numbed from the waist down but was awake during most of the surgery .. just dozed here and there. (I got to wear one of those clumsy blue head caps) I heard them talking every so often and one time Dr. Dearborn said something about my bone being a 2 .. well, of course, in my semi-delirium, that wasn’t a good enough rating for me! But I was informed that 1 is best, 10 is worst, so a 2 sounded pretty darned good .. nice strong bones! (Thanks dad)
I heard the saw, then the doc asked if I wanted to see the femur head .. so I looked at the screen (which was right in front of my face( and it didn’t bother me in the slightest. The head was flat instead of a nice round ball … Then he went to work hammering in the post with the nice new shiny head on it.
Apparently I also made some comment to the PA about his ‘space-suit’ but upon further questioning, post-operatively, I was quickly assured that I hadn’t said anything to embarrass myself.
I watched the PA stitch me up .. The scar’s close to 3” long but no staples or stitches that have to be removed and can remove the covering after 2 weeks.
Recovery room was funny … the nurse kept coming over and telling me to move my toes .. well being totally numb I couldn’t feel my blasted toes .. but I gave it my all … stretching my fingers as far as they would go in an attempt to get my toes to move (does this make sense?). Finally he said ‘well done’ .. and I said ‘nothing happened’ .. he said, ‘yes it did, your toes moved.’ Naturally, I didn’t believe him so I raised my head to look for myself .. and sure enough, there they went .. couldn’t feel a thing, but they really moved!
After I was less numb and more coherent, off I went to my assigned room in the Center For Joint Replacement directly behind Washington Hospital .. appropriately enough, it used to be a psych center. I had room #10 (finally a 10, I thought) .. all rooms are private. The staff was great and very professional and caring. They got me out of bed (the hardest thing to do even days later) the afternoon of surgery and that was painful. Being ever-caring, they tried different pain meds. on me but they just made me very sick .. which screwed up my salt/ potassium/electrolyte levels … I felt pretty lousy until mid-day Thursday and even wondered what I’d got myself into …
I opted for Tylenol and pain rather than powerful pills, little pain and vomiting. We had a PT and OT class for several of us on Thursday .. some were not able to attend and a lunch buffet for patients and their families put on by the volunteers .. all of whom are joint replacement alum. Out of the 8 patients operated on, none went home the next day as hoped. Come Friday morning I was feeling quite a bit better and was discharged late morning.
There are some basic rules I have to follow for 6 weeks … it takes that long for the scar tissue to form and secure the operative site. Let’s hope I can remember them all …
The whole experience was very professional with a very caring staff .. can't recommend them highly enough. Two friends have had the same surgery recently and I believe I'm doing much better in my recovery and have less limitations and scarring.



Well, I've been to a whole-day pre-op for lab tests and various and sundry interviews and a 1-1/4 hour orientation with the group who's getting operated on around the same time as me. Some are knees (one and two-at-a-time) and some are hips. I'm supposed to have a 'coach' who will encourage me to exercise, help in changing the dressing and remind me of the follow-up things I have to do. It's difficult for me to get used to being my own support .. I had 32 years with Rich who was my strength and foundation .. and it's hard to realize I have to go it myself and find my own strength and motivation.
I'm hoping that being free of pain will help fight my depression to a certain degree and I'm thinking of adopting a dog when I can walk better so I'll have encouragement to see the town via foot power.
I've had to stop my Ibuprofen which was the only pain relief that seemed to help .. (and that was only very little help). I think they have you stop so you feel the full extent of your hip pain, then after the surgery the pain is SO MUCH less! lol
Sleep deprivation is settling in ... the thoughts of the operation are pervasive ... but on the bright side, I should sleep well after surgery and catch up!
The day after surgery there's a celebration buffet lunch at the 'Center for Joint Replacement' (Fremont, CA) where all the patients mingle and compare notes I suppose. Then I'll be home ..

I thought if I put my feelings into words, I'd feel better .. not sure it worked!


This is my newest grand-nephew, Will ... but we may call him Spud because he feels like a large sack of potatoes in your arms .. my mother's childhood nickname was Spud for the same reason ... He's only 10 months old and 27 pounds ... believe it or not.



I have a sock feeder for Niger seed which I put out for the finches .. apparently they visit this area twice a year for about a month each time. I had to double-up the sock because the squirrels seem to think it's for them what don't they think is for them)! But it makes the seed last longer because the finches have to work at it a bit harder to get the food! I managed to snap a couple of photos with scaring them off ... I so enjoy watching them. It's the same feeder, just taken with a different backdrop.

Last Visit to Lake Almanor this year

I drove up to the lake on Wednesday and returned Thursday ... 'the storm' was on its way and I wanted to get home before it hit (Friday). I believe I had my last visit with the dentist for this year!
About 17 miles from the town of Chester, I drove through where several fires burned this summer .. I can still smell the 'burn' .. the CalTrans crews are still cutting dead trees and making the route safer. At one point, we were held up for about 20 minutes while the road was being worked on and when we started again, we passed about four small waterfalls .. I managed to get my camera out and take this .. probably the smallest of them all .. but isn't it amazing that after the ground was so burned and the water levels in the creeks, rivers and lakes have shrunk to ridiculous levels, these very small creeks are still flowing .. and look how the underbrush has recovered.

On the way back from the lake I drive past a lot of rice paddies which are empty now through the winter. The various birds are taking full advantage of the water/mud/slush in the fields and I can only imagine the number of bugs there are for the picking. There are billboards on I-5 advertising 'guided goose hunts' and each time I stopped for a photo op, the geese immediately took off (photo at right) ... I suppose they're used to having men shoot at them. I saw pheasant by the road and geese, seagulls, egrets and some black birds with curved bills which I haven't yet identified (bottom right in photo above left) .. they're larger than ducks and smaller than geese.