Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day Three

Day Three:

I am woefully behind in reporting my progress. Before I forget too much about the days in the hospital I should attempt to finish that part of the story immediately. On Wednesday morning I was again awakened by a nurse taking my blood pressure and temperature, at three o’clock in the morning. I must have missed the fine print but I thought that a patient was suppose to be resting and recuperating but alas that is not so. She did a wonderful job of only waking me to the point that I asked her what time it was and if all of my vitals were still good. She reassured me that I was doing fine and to go back to sleep.

Around six o’clock breakfast appeared but this time instead of agreeing to sit in the chair for three hours waiting for physical therapy I told them I preferred to just sit on the side of the bed until PT arrived. To my surprise they said, “OK” and that was the end of that. John, my PT arrived around nine and again we proceeded to do the walk. This time however we walked down the hall. I suggested to John that we could just keep going and within two or three hours I would be at the front door of the hospital. It was then that John told me that I had progressed far beyond the expectations of his department and that he was clearing me for discharge today. I wanted to give him a bear hug but knew that if I let go of the walker I was so desperately hanging on to, I might ruin all chances of my discharge on top of embarrassing John.

Around twelve o’clock a doctor appeared to remove the epidural that I had been connected to since Monday morning. Of course he saw my NCAA bracket sheet first so we spent the next fifteen minutes talking basketball. I hope that he did not take my advice, because after Kansas lost on Friday my sheet was pretty much shot to hell. Remember I told you that there would be more to the story of the epidural, therefore if any of you ever saw the movie “The Forty Year Old Virgin” you may have a clue as to what happens next. The doctor made some comment that the next second or two may hurt just a bit but it was not life threatening. It was at this moment that he ripped a piece of tape from by back that ran from just below my neckline to somewhere just below my waist line. This tape was holding on the tube which had been feeding me pain killers for the past two and a half days. Now for those of you who live in southern Texas I am sure on Wednesday morning around noon who heard the faint sound of words which I dare not repeat now, being uttered with such proclamation that even Dave Crockett would have sit up in his grave. With one quick and deliberate tug the tape was removed along with every particle of skin and hair off of my back. (jxd?aop!lpuoep*?!!!!)

After this the rest of the afternoon went without much fanfare. I was happy that two friends dropped by to see me, officials who broke up the boredom before I was discharged around seven pm. Marcia had not anticipated this early release but I had been pushing for it all day. I was ahead of all expectations for a patient with bilateral knee surgery and all of my vital signs were good, so why not. She was such a trooper getting everything together in such a short period of time so around 7:30 PM I was wheeled out the front door and headed for home. However there was one small problem we did not anticipate.

When John and I had practiced how to get up and down steps early Wednesday morning our practice step was only four inches high. When I got home and slowly moved to the three “GIANT” steps into the house (approximately eight inches in height each) it became apparent very quickly that either I was going to spend my first night at home in the garage or a miracle was going to happen. I told Marcia to call the largest neighbor we had and tell them we had an emergency. I only had at best two or three minutes before I had to sit down again and time was running out. Thank goodness a giant of a young man appeared, 6 feet 4 inches weighting around 255. Thank goodness he had the strength to lift me up three steps (dead lift) at which point I slowly made my way to the fold out couch and fell upon it and did not move for the next hour, literally.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day Two "The Great Adventure"

Waking up on day two was a jolt into the real world. I knew then that my decision to undergo the operation was correct, but I also knew that I was in for a lot of hard work. After and outstanding four star hospital breakfast (not) I then began the road back. I spent the first two and a half hours of day two in a larger than normal chair waiting for the physical therapist. I knew this was part of the recovery process but two and a half hours???? DA! Finally, two very nice ladies showed up around 9:00 and instructed me that it was time to get moving. Now on any other day I would have just jump up and moved, being the gentlemen my mother taught me to be, however this was different. What they had in mind was for me to walk. Ok, I said and off we went, from one side of the bed to the other. This seemed like a hundred mile adventure trip but only about ten steps. What I didn’t realize was that they really didn’t expect me to go that far. Nobody with two new knees goes that far. Ok, so I exceed their expectations. I was totally wiped out for the next five hours until John appeared.

John the physical therapist was 6 feet 5 inches and weighted around 280. Needless to say John was a big guy. Now John made it clear that however good I thought the morning session was, he wanted the afternoon session to be even greater. John instructed me that I now had to walk across the room and back. Good news is that ever minute of ever day you get better. The body has a unique way of healing itself and with modern medicine and great meds, it really works. So off I go on my trip across the room. What I did not except nor did John, I made the trip three times. To quote Billie Crystal, “just marvelous.” After our great adventure I immediately returned to bed under John’s advice, and continue my love affair with the scientific side of the medical community. As John pointed out, take advantage of what is available in a controlled environment. Thank you John.

Later in the afternoon two friends, both of which are officials stopped by to check up on me. One had had the same surgery in December. He has been a plethora of good advice and information on what to expect. He also happens to be a Division I men’s official who will return to the court in November. If he can do it, so can I. My other friend happens to be one of my football partners. I think he was not only surprised to see me so up beat but also how much I had been going through prior to the surgery. I really had to rely on modern medicine just to make it through a game. As I always told my friends, Bret Favre had nothing on me. Gene being the good friend he is help me dress. Now don’t get weird on me, he only had to readjust those famously and often desire hospital socks. I am thinking of putting them Ebay and auctioning them off. Good idea or not?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

That is pretty much what the first few hours in a hospital feels like. They ask you to get there early (5:30) then they finally get you to the pre-operation area around 6:30. It was at this moment I asked for the stuff that makes all of the rest of the day bearable. What I like to call “feel good” stuff that makes you and everyone else seem a lot funnier than they really are. Much to my liking the nurse was in total agreement and the good times began to roll. My orthopedic surgeon wanted me to have an epidural rather than a general. All I remembered about epidurals was that when Andrew’s mother had one when he was born she was not a happy camper when they gave it to her. Therefore, I certainly did not want to remember that experience. I will speak about the epidural later in a much lighter context.

The operation took about four hours. The rest of Monday is similar to driving through a dense fog. About all I remember were voices talking to me and me uttering something about there was nothing to this. Both legs were affixed in a CPM, (Continuous Passive Motion) machine. It was like riding a bicycle sitting or in my case lying down. They also had attached to me (and what was not attached to me at this time including most ever orifice) was a device that massaged my legs. How cool was this, laying in bed both legs affixed to a machine getting a rub down from this most beautiful girl…oh, I forgot that was the “feel good” medicine making me think it was this beautiful girl.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Packing Day

What a great day. Really it is. I have been waiting too long for this and now it is just one short day away. Of course packing for something like this is not like going to Key West or maybe it is. I get to take long slow walks, room service at the push of a button and an all inclusive meal package. I'M ON VACATION.

Which indulges the question, which boxer shorts to wear, seeing both "figuratively and literally" that the local custom is to wear a certain type "gown" with an open back. If this were Key West or better yet the beaches of Brazil I would just take in all of the sites, but I am not sure what if any sites I want to give or receive under these circumstances.

Hopefully tomorrow at this time I am waking up from a deep and restful sleep surrounded by beautiful babes in those all but flattering blue, green or sometimes pink ceremonial "hospital looking" outfits. Wanting nothing more then to make sure I am not in too much pain, because I must remember they are in CONTROL.

See you tomorrow.

Time Out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Getting Ready

Hi everyone. It has been a very long time and that is entirely my fault. I will do better going forward. I am down to  S - 5 and counting. Who knew there were so many things that needed to be completed around the house and with the hospital before you can have something done. What if I were in a wreck, would I have to make all of these appointments and pre-surgery meetings before they would fix  a broken leg. I think not, but now I am beginning to understand why healthcare  has gone out the roof. CYA!!!!!!

My plan for next week  is not to bore you, but enlighten you each day with the trials and trebulations of the daily get  back on your feet ritual. I truely appreciated all of you who have gone before me and your suggestions and best wishes. Let me just say it now, getting older "not old" sucks. I remember when my parents would talk with their friends about "medical" stuff. I thought at the time I will never be doing this, but alas here I am and I am talking with all of my friends about "medical" stuff.

For now just take the next few days off and have a one or two for me and we will meet again in the next few days for laughter and joy.

Time Out.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It has been a long time since I last blogged. Question: Where does help start? We have all given help but when we need help how do we ask. Today so many of us are asking for help but is anyone listening.

To me the meaning of help begins within each one of us. It is an opportunity to redirect our attention from ourselves to others. We have to reach out and give assistance without expecting anything in return. Help does not know economic barriers. Help is not prejudice nor does it have conditions.

If we need help we must first give help.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Time To Make a Decision

With the Democratic Race for the Presidency coming to a close in a few short weeks, the Democratic Party needs to make a decision. Not the obvious one with regard to who will the candidate be, but more importantly "does the Democratic Party want to win the White House"? I believe the second question is more relevant and poignant because if you cannot win the election than you have lost the political war. One of these two people must take the high road and put the good of the country before and ahead of their own personal gain.
Both of the candidates have demonstrated their desire to lead our country. They each have the integrity to move our country forward in a direction of reconciliation and unity. It is therefore time for the "leader" of the Democratic Party to step forward and demonstrate leadership.