Happy Easter … Time to Catch Up a Bit

We’re spending Easter weekend in North Salt Lake with our daughter Heather and her family. Not only do we get to enjoy her company (and a fabulous Easter dinner), but Nina was “given freedom” on Friday by her foot doctor.

20140420-075853.jpg This was the six-week checkup to verify that all has gone well up to this point. He authorized her to start putting weight on her foot but to be cognizant of the pain and swelling (“The foot will swell up more than before”).

Yesterday the kneeling scooter was abandoned and crutches were employed (most of the time). She’ll be walking unaided Real Soon Now. She’s to continue wearing the boot for at least another month when she can start trying shoes. She returns on June 6th for another checkup.

My thumb is healing very nicely. The bandages are gone. I’ve made my last visit to the doctor. Feeling is returning, but the sensations are not reliable. Nerves take a long time to heal and don’t take kindly to having been disturbed. The doctor said it could be a year before all of the nerve damage is healed. At the moment, I’m quite happy that my thumb isn’t banging the space bar any more!


We’ll be here until later this afternoon. Church is from 1- 3 pm with dinner immediately afterwards. We’ll need to leave here not later than 5:30 pm to go back to Pocatello. I have a ham radio assignment at 8 pm tonight, so I need to be there a few minutes before that to get the radios turned on and set up.

Life is good! Ta ta for now!

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Did The Fall Do Damage?

Checking the x-ray

Checking the X-Ray

The fall that Nina took last Monday (the 31st) was definitely a setback. The swelling and pain didn’t want to subside. After talking to the doctor’s office on Thursday, Nina decided she should have it looked at and verify that there wasn’t more damage done. So, Friday mid-day she worked her way down the garage steps and into the car. We met with the doctor in Salt Lake City at 3 pm. He checked things out, had some x-rays taken, and determined that no significant damage had been done but that the fall had indeed been a small setback in the healing process.

We also learned that almost every Achilles tendon patient falls at some point in the recovery process. However, if the boot is on, the likelihood of doing damage to the tendon was close to nil. He printed out the x-rays for us to take home, where they’ll certainly end up in Nina’s journal. We were both quite relieved that everything was going to be OK, it was just going to take a bit longer.

Nina decided to stay in Utah for the weekend and our daughter Heather would bring her back home on Monday. I had other obligations in Pocatello so I decided to come back home for the weekend.

Our amateur radio club (http://www.pocatelloarc.org) is holding a Technician Class training program on Saturday mornings in April and I’m assisting in the process. I had also committed to visiting my friend Darwin who is serving time for Grand Theft. I try to get up to Idaho Falls once a month to visit with him. I’ve also committed to running the ham radio net during April on Sunday evenings at 8 pm. All of that along with General Conference kept me busy over the weekend while Nina was taking care of herself and her foot in North Salt Lake.

We have beautiful grandkids

We Have Beautiful Grandkids!

I thoroughly enjoyed General Conference. I’m not sure what has happened … has conference really gotten that much better or have I just grown up a bit? Maybe it’s a combination. Nevertheless, this was a very good conference with a lot of very pertinent instruction.

There’s a feminist movement underway at present having to do with ordaining women to the priesthood. A group of a couple hundred women tried to get stand-by tickets for the General Priesthood Meeting last October and a larger group were planning to try the same thing this conference. Ahead of the conference they had sent a letter to President Thomas S. Monson demanding the right to attend the general priesthood meeting and to discuss with the Church the ordaining of women to the priesthood. There’s a whole bunch of stuff going on here that I simply don’t understand … and a whole bunch more that I simply don’t agree with. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there are people who profess membership in a belief in the Church who feel they can tell the Prophet of the Lord what to do. They’ve got this thing more than a bit backwards.

Winter has tried to make a comeback … there were periods of snow, hail, sun, thunder, rain, and wind over the weekend. Winter will not end this year with a whimper. But, end it will, and I’m happy for that!

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Thumbs Up!

It  is healing ... slowly

It Is Healing … Slowly

I’m ready to have this thumb healed and back to normal. I can’t count how many times it hits the space bar on the computer or how often I bang it in some fashion. Buttoning shirts is a real pain. I’ve finally gotten the process of tying my shoelaces working fairly well. Yesterday tying a necktie took almost ten minutes! I don’t want to think about the effort involved if the impacted thumb were on my dominant (right) hand! I think everything would be immensely more difficult.

It is making progress. I went back for the 3rd visit to the thumb doctor on Monday, the 31st. He noticed that there is indeed still a stitch in my thumb. Rather than dig it out, he said we’d wait until the scab started to come off before taking it out, unless a problem came up in the meantime.

Twice I day I’m supposed to take the dressing off, soak the thumb in some warm water with a few drops of betadine for twenty minutes, let the thumb get completely dry, and put a new dressing on it. I’ve several colors of surgical tape to apply and have tried a couple of combinations to give a multi-colored look.

Two-toned Thumb

Two-toned Thumb

The tape itself is quite interesting. It doesn’t stick to my skin, but it does stick to itself and after a couple of hours, seems to stick even more to itself. The entire wrap first consists of a small pad of non-stick material, a few layers of gauze, followed by tape to hold it all together. The whole process from setting up the soak through completion of the wrap takes about a half-hour. I try to couple that with something else, like eating dinner or reading the newspaper — importantly, something that can be done one-handed.

At the rate this is healing, I think it’ll be another six weeks before I can lose the bandage. My next dr. appt is on April 14th. The dr. indicated that the next milestone in the healing process is to have the entire wound scabbed over. Most of the wound does not currently have a scab, so that’s going to take some time.

In the meantime, all spelling and grammatical mistakes are the fault of the thumb. There is no other explanation….

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A “Must Attend” Concert

Happy to be Here

Happy To Be Here!

One of the premiere concerts in Pocatello’s Season of Note series at the Jensen Performing Arts Center this year was Chris Botti. He is an amazingly talented jazz trumpet player and is prominent on Nina’s playlists. This was a not-to-miss concert. Going to Church the day before the concert proved that it could be done … Nina can get out of the house and then back home.

Then came The Fall on Monday, the 31st. The kneeling scooter got away from Nina and down she went, twisting her left leg in the process. She said it was so painful that she screamed! I can only imagine how difficult it was to get disentangled from the scooter and back upright all the while fighting intense pain, but she did it. The big question then was, could she still go to the concert?

A few pain pills later, we decided to make it happen. Some very good friends, Paul and Rosalie, bought tickets to go with us to provide assistance. Rosalie isn’t a jazz fan, but had, along with the rest of us, a delightful time at the concert.

The band and singers with Chris Botti were outstanding. The show started on time and went nonstop for 2 ½ hours. The entire audience (except for Nina) were on their feet for the last half-hour or so of the performance. We really didn’t want the evening to end.

Thankfully, Paul was there to help get the wheelchair back into the house. We came in through the front door and were able to do the job without causing too much pain and difficulty for Nina. Once in the house, though, she declared she wasn’t going back out, ever.

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A Surprise Visit With My Mother

Mother in the Assisted Living Center

Mother in the Assisted Living Center

I had thought that going up and down stairs on crutches was “no big deal” until Nina’s surgery and the requirement that she put NO weight on her left foot at all. How to get her into and out of the house proved to be a very difficult problem. The YouTube videos all featured little tiny people who were trim and fit just bouncing up and down the stairs. In real life, that just doesn’t work.

When we came home from her surgery, I picked up a wheel chair on rent from Maag’s Drug Store and enlisted the help of some friends to pull her up the front steps into the house. There is one 7” step to a landing, then four more 7” steps to the front porch, and a final 7 ½” step over the threshold and into the house. It took three of us to maneuver through the process, learning how to do it while trying not to drop her!

Two weeks later on March 22nd, it was time to go back to Salt Lake City for her checkup. We decided to go down the back steps in the garage which worked fairly well. The workable process turned out to be (1) put the crutches on the next step down, (2) put the bad (left) foot out, (3) trust in God, the crutches, and a nearby assistant (me) and hop down one step without going too far and falling forward and not hesitating such that she would fall backward. It took between a minute and a minute and a half to do each of the five stairs.

Coming back we decided to use the back steps again and she would try to go up on her crutches. That didn’t work. I then had her put her arm on my shoulders so I could help lift. Eventually we got it to work, but that required putting her left toe down to help stabilize while trying to ignore the sharp stabs of pain up the left leg.

That process worked well enough that the following Sunday (March 30th) Nina felt ready to go to Church. The process of going down the garage steps went a bit faster, but not without a lot of maneuvering around. We had a nice time in Church. Once out, Nina felt we should take advantage of the time and make a surprise visit to my mother in Soda Springs. So, after Church was over, we headed east.

The visit was definitely a surprise! Mother was able to see the kneeling scooter that Nina was using, look at the incision and the healing progress. We had a very nice visit.

The return home was another difficult problem, as was expected. We did make it up the garage steps, but again the left toe was required. We both decided that trips out of the house would have to be limited! It’s hard to imagine how difficult life is when you have only one leg to stand on.

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Another Year Already Gone?

Happy Birthday, Roland From Google

Happy Birthday, Roland From Google

Today was Number 69. Had a nice conversation with my mother and thanked her again for birthing me! Another nice part of the day was that no one at work knew it was my birthday. I liked that a lot.

When I fired up my computer, up came a Google Doodle (pictured above). So I clicked on it. This is what came up:

Roland's Google Profile

Roland’s Google Profile

My Google profile! That’s a nice touch, Google. Well played!

Meanwhile, I’m off to “party” some more (that is, study the back of my eyelids)….

Ta ta for now!

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Re-Arranging My Thumb … Not Purposely, However

A Smashed Thumb

A Smashed Thumb

Last Saturday I started the process of building a wheelchair ramp so Nina could go with me to Church. The first step was to cut a 2×4 on the diagonal. I was pushing (with a push-stick) the wood through the cut when the wood came up HARD and smashed into my thumb. OUCH!!

Needless to say, the ramp didn’t get finished and I was off to the Emergency Room. Four stitches later I was bandaged up and ready to go home. I took a couple of (out of focus) pictures of the thumb … click here … or else don’t if that kind of thing isn’t interesting to you!

There was definitely plenty of dressing on the thumb? It was definitely in the way today … it  kept hitting the space bar on the computer while I was trying to write some complicated computer programming. That made the debugging process interesting, in an understated kind of a way.

Keeping It Dry

Keeping It Dry

I have to keep it dry. Thankfully, I can barely get my left hand into an XL rubber glove for doing the dishes or taking a shower.

I went  to a hand doctor on Monday (yesterday) who looked at the thumb, praised the ER guy who did the sewing, had his nurse re-dress the thumb, and sent me home for a week. I’m to change the dressing every day, and “KEEP IT DRY!” Apparently, hand wounds are quite susceptible to infections. So, I’m trying to be very religious about keeping the dressing dry. I go back again next Monday where he’ll decide what to do next. At minimum he’ll redo the stitching to pull the wound a bit closer  together.

The ramp still isn’t built.

Ta ta for now!

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It Must Weigh At Least 5 Pounds!

The heavy splint

The Heavy Splint

While it hasn’t yet been two full weeks since the surgery, Nina is right ready to have the splint on the left leg removed. That’ll happen this coming Friday (March 21st) when the splint will be replaced with a boot. I’m not so sure the end result will be much better … except that the boot is adjustable where the splint is not and has become very tight. In any regard, getting rid of the splint is one step closer to having this process completed.

Meanwhile, Happy Birthday, Nina! For one day of the year we’re the same age!

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