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Thu, Jul. 31st, 2014, 10:31 pm
Back At Work

Well now, where to begin? Oh yes, on the 15th of July with my onsite physical with our site's doctor. He cleared me "fit full duties" after a brief but thorough examination of my development since surgery. He was truly impressed by the strength in my leg, especially when I nearly lifted him off the floor while was testing the resistance. We discussed motivation to return as a key indicator of improvement and he shared the negative observation of workers who ask how long they can be off work for some minor things... Interesting.

At my Team's new location, we moved during my absence, I now have a cubicle kitty corner from where I sat three years ago.
My future is still indeterminate but HR is working to find options. As for me, I'm of the mind that returning is the beginning of my future. I needed to be fit, then either turn the page and begin a new role within the company, or close the book,and move on to something else. I will endeavour to keep more up to date with posting.

Sat, May. 31st, 2014, 03:18 pm
Six Week Post Surgery Check-Up

Wow, time is passing by quickly, and Friday morning was my appointment with my Surgeon to check the handiwork on my Left hip. Before the face to face meeting, I was sent for x-rays to capture the current state of both hips, it was eight months last Thursday (23 May) since the first surgery and we missed the usual six month check-up. His news was great, I am officially approved to drive vehicle and operate other stuff, he doesn't see a need for additional physiotherapy treatments after the three remaining already scheduled and he will consider allowing me to return to work earlier than his usual three months off as a minimum! I was almost jumping with joy at this great news. Next check not until sometime in October... appointment to be made later in the year.

Better news came via text message from Son-in-Law #2 telling us that our youngest daughter gave birth to their first baby, a girl named Lily Eleanor at 0933 by C-section necessitated by Lily being breech and having her umbilical cord wrapped three times around her neck. Both Mom and Lily are doing well but will be staying in hospital until sometime Sunday. LOML, aetheldaeg and I visited them late in the afternoon/early evening and although LOML captured the moment with a few iPhone photos, I lack the HTML wizardry to upload any of them. Oh well...

Thu, May. 29th, 2014, 11:10 am
A Rest Day

During yesterday's physiotherapy session, I was given the opportunity to take a complete day off from doing my regular series of exercises, what a wonderful gift as I was quite sore by the time we finished the session. New modifications were introduced to increase the strength during the Bridge exercise having me now squeeze a ball or pillow between the knees for a five count then relaxing and lowering my butt... yes, after three sets of 10, everything I owned was achy indeed.
Tomorrow it's the six week post surgery review with my Surgeon. I'm looking forward to it as that should be the day I'm given formal approval to commence driving my car... a bit late as I've already been operating both the car and truck for a few weeks now without pain or impairment. Also, it's been eight months, last Thursday since the first hip was operated on and that too is due for a check, I'll need to remind him as there are supposed to be x-rays taken and finally the return to work discussion needs to take place especially in light of the interview I've been invited to attend next week to staff a new role in our facilities management team. I'm excited by the opportunity presented and would be very happy to be selected.

Next update should (hopefully) contain some great news!

LOML (aetheldaeg ) continues to be my greatest help ensuring that I don't overdo anything. She is continually looking out for my best interest and in all likelihood will be very, very happy when I finally get out of the house and back to work. She needs some space, regrettably, I'm not in a position to yield to her at this time, but, soon is my hope.

Also on the family front, our youngest is scheduled to deliver her baby, Caesarean due in part that the baby is presently breech and cannot be manually turned (rotated). It's tough being a Dad and not knowing the terminology but I'm sure you understand what I mean and will forgive my lack of knowledge. After all, I was only at two birth events and both were natural, at least to me. LOML is a wonderful Mom, her relationship with both our girls is part mentor, part friend and companion too. It's heartwarming to see them together either in pairs or a bunch, the laughter is infectious too.

Thu, May. 22nd, 2014, 07:03 pm
Carrying On, Carrying On

Days blur into one another with a sameness that is highlighted by the increases in physical strength of my left leg after the recently operated hip replacement. Weekly sessions with my Physiotherapist have picked up where we left off after the other surgery and he is unceasing in his commitment to increase the pain as I am challenged to do yet one more set/series of exercises. Although this may read as though I'm grumbling, I am grateful for the care and concern that all of our health care workers have for my recovery.

I over did it a bit on Tuesday, a bunch of single leg squats that left the legs feeling like Jell-o, all wobbly and sore! I've learned and now am staying within myself...

Tomorrow, after LOML, aetheldaeg, comes home from her weekly session at our church where she prepares the bulletin, we're heading off to return the walker borrowed from our health care system and then we're going to splurge on A&W, our favourite fast food place, where things are without doubt "Fancy Shmantcy" We've been eating at A&W since shortly after settling into our first home together, at that time the trays were delivered to your car and suspended from the window frame of the car. For days after, the smell of onions filled the car; yummy...

On the work front, I've got an application in at site for a new role and have been invited to an interview, scheduled for 03 Jun... keep fingers/toes crossed for successful outcome and I will update as I gain some clarity.

Tue, May. 13th, 2014, 04:38 pm
Not A Lot Happening

The days have blended into a routine, wake when one of the dogs needs to go out, sometimes I hear them first which means that LOML aetheldaeg gets to sleep in else she gets up with them. Usual beginning is the Fragmin injection to the belly area, only two more to go and I cannot tell you how relieved I will be to have them done with! No more pain or worse, various shades of healing bruises.
Breakfast is next, have to continually be on the search for high fiber and as much protein as I can find. Tea with honey has become my hot beverage of choice as the last cup of coffee I had shortly after coming home was on the same day I was quite sick to my stomach. I attributed the upset to the coffee and have not touched it since. Lonely coffee maker... perhaps I'll give it another chance later in the week.
Today marks four weeks since surgery, not healing at the same rate as the first time, probably has a fair bit to do with the previously operated leg not being as strong as one that has not had serious surgery performed on it, therefore, it's not as capable of providing intimate support to the leg healing now. I am continuing with daily exercises and tomorrow afternoon is my first visit to the same Physiotherapist who worked with me the last time. I expect that the word of the day is going to be PAIN and no small amount of it! Regardless the level of muscle development I'm eager to get on with physio as it will provide me with a recipe of therapist approved exercises. More important is that the increments that I will be allowed to increase as muscles grow will be the focus. It really means that I will be allowed to use the fitness apparatus that we already have in the home rather than looking into our fitness room wistfully wondering when I'll be able to use the stuff. Ooohhh, I'm getting excited at the thought of regularized daily workouts alternating muscle groups and over time seeing results.
But, for now, I'm coping, OK in my opinion and not fretting over any of the small stuff. That my leg is continually aching is more a nuisance than a cause for concern, it just highlights that there is a difference in the recovery even though I'm the same person... getting used to it.
Weight has maintained at my lower level, still hovering at or just below 185 LBS which has reduced the load being supported by my hip and knee joints by almost 20 LBS since I first began to monitor portion sizes. Kudos to LOML and MyFitnessPal for their continual support in this activity.
Anyway, I will close for now with this tomorrow would have been my Mother's 88th birthday, she passed on Valentine's Day in 2010. I miss her a bit all the time but missing her grows to a new dimension during the Mother's Day and her birthday time frame. Good news though is that we're celebrating a number of family birthdays (four) during the month of May and it's likely to increase as our youngest is expecting to deliver her baby before month end; wonderful days ahead!

Thu, May. 1st, 2014, 12:12 pm
Update to the W2PSU (Week 2 Post Surgery Update)

OK, this is more like it, get thoughts down through the keyboard during daylight hours while the brain may be more awake and not miss so much detail...

Forgotten things - the wound clinic removed the several staples, yeah, considerably more comfortable without the constant stretching effect on the skin. Suture line appears nice and tight, covered in the Steri-strips which are now coming off.
- Have finished with the ten days of iron pills to start the morning, not sure why it's a prescription, however, my Surgeon has a template for success that he fully expects his patients to comply with... his outcomes bear this out so I don't mess with the necessary.
- Fragmin, a blood thinner self injection is half way done now, only 14 more to go... Woohoo! My humble thanks to my personal angel of mercy aetheldaeg who prepares the site for injection and then supervises me poking the needle in and pressing the plunger. I'm really looking forward to the day when neither side of my belly close to the bellybutton have bruises. Their several shades albeit colourful don't really enhance the mood of well being.

Finally, nothing whatsoever to do with the surgery, but as I've already killed two, I'm only three mosquitoes away from being a current year Ace; pesky little (expletive deleted).

Final Finally, As part of an effort to learn how to visually reference what a suitable portion is, LOML introduced me to MyFitnessPal, the same APP that she used with such success. After setting a modest goal weight, I am now 185 pounds again, the same weight I was when our eldest was married in October of 2002. Now all that remains is to work on regaining the muscle and tone that I had then... lots of work there.

I will try to be more in tune with my thoughts before venturing to the keyboard... be safe my friends and have a monumentally great day:)

Wed, Apr. 30th, 2014, 11:49 pm
Week Two - Post Surgery Update

Well, it's been an up and down week, after attending the wound clinic last and being told to use the walking aids (walker or crutches) and not cane, we came home. This week has been slow, exercises as prescribed and pain management. Am now using one Tramadol/cet caplet each 12 hours or a total of 75% reduction from original dosage. Intent is to continue using them for the remainder of this week and then stop narcotic use deferring to occasional Tylenol as needed. The Steri-strips covering the incision line are beginning to release their grip on my skin, therefore have these flapping white bands, remind me of a miniaturized scene of the Mummy... OK, perhaps not as entertaining.

Weekly update call to work site health case manager has been two left messages, hopefully we'll connect in a live conversation to confirm the details I am leaving are what she needs for her file. If not, she can always call me, I ensure that I repeat the home contact information each time.

Anyway friends, your prayers for my healing have been and continue to work for a good outcome; thank you.

Later this week, I will call the local physiotherapy clinic to re-establish contact and arrange for my first session, due for mid May. Next review with the Surgeon is not until 30 May, until then, I'll update with whatever improvements and goings on occur in my daily activities here.

Be safe in all you do.

Tue, Apr. 22nd, 2014, 01:51 pm
Week One Update

Wow, time has literally flown by, surgery went as planned, I suppose, cause I'm here, battered and bruised like I was dragged behind a racing automobile along a bumpy road. OK, that may be a bit harsh but there are times when it feels exactly like that. Pain is moderate but being managed well, to the point where I've already reduced by 25% the dosage of narcotic. Tomorrow afternoon LOML (aetheldaeg) will take me back to Westlock to attend the wound clinic and have the numerous staples holding the would closed, removed. With them gone, the strain imposed on the fleshy bit of thigh will also be reduced, easing my level of discomfort considerably. That's my hope. Then, the long road to full recovery begins in earnest. I've been taking meds as prescribed, doing the exercises, (OK, I admit, somewhat grudgingly), elevating the affected limb as necessary and getting plenty of rest too. LOML has been her usual angelic nurse like self, caring and/or cursing as the situation calls for. She knows me well and is less tolerant of allowing me to avoid unpleasant (to me) things.

Thank you one and all for your prayers on my behalf, God has been listening. I will attempt to provide updates and other informative bits on a more regular basis now that constraints will be steadily removed.

I would be remiss if I didn't comment on our weather, the domestic pets support program and the fact that I already miss being able to drive... week six can't get here fast enough! Weather has been all over the plot, one day bright sun, same day pouring rain and hail followed by more sun... snow too is in our forecast, bizarre is the only word that describes this accurately.

As for the Domestic Pets Support Program, the dogs run speedily upstairs in the morning barking their version of "Daddy, I love you" and in turn, Sophie, Maggie and even Teddy will jump on the bed to get some up close personal nuzzle time. OK, Teddy stands at the foot of the bed moaning until LOML lifts him onto the bed. He's somewhat vertically challenged and as saying goes... "White boys can't jump." Sparkle too has been seen resting at the foot end of the bed, surprisingly enough, there's room for all considering the five pillows, freezer packs towels etc that are strewn all over.

Anyway, that's it for now, probably longer than the average attention span allows for but I had this stuff to relate. Be safe my friends and don't be strangers.

Mon, Apr. 14th, 2014, 08:42 pm
Surgery Prep

Wow time has really flown by these past few weeks! I've been busy as you know with applications for new roles at work and withdrawing from Fort McMurray as part of the preparations for upcoming surgery. Well as things stand the surgery is tomorrow morning! LOML aetheldaeg will drive me in as I will have already stuck the anti-nausea patch behind my ear. Thus far, I have stopped all non prescription meds for 10 days, have exchanged the snowblower for lawnmower on the tractor, gone to the dump for final trash deposit, we've filed our taxes, in fact LOML just told me that my refund has been deposited in our account. I am smooth, freshly shaved and have only to have the enema and shower with the "special" sponge before I can declare that I'm 100% ready. Oh, I forgot, walking aids have been loaded into the Jeep too.

On the work front, no news for 54 affected roles, yes, dear reader, the roles I applied for are among them... No idea why, however, my Boss told me on my final day at site that it has something to do with yet more organizational change. No matter, I am going to be out of the loop for at least three months for post surgery rehab by which time things should have become somewhat more concrete.

Please remember me in your prayers, I will graciously accept all that are offered for a successful outcome with sincere thanks! Providing all goes well, I expect to be home sometime Thursday.

Sat, Mar. 29th, 2014, 05:17 pm
Not So Seasonal Change

As I'm now relocated to a friend's apartment for the next few weeks that I have remaining before surgery, I no longer have need to drive the Ranger which burns considerably more gas than the Focus, aka, "The Traffic Cone of Goodness" so named by our younger daughter. The biggest issue with it is that it cruises quite fast, therefore, I need to monitor foot to gas ratios stringently or use the cruise control else risk the hefty fine if caught over the posted limit.

The weather the past few weeks has been moderate, not always accommodating with snow falling at inappropriate times with amounts more than it should for this time of the year. After all, it is the transition from Winter to Spring and even though the date has passed, Winter continues to keep its tight grip on our part of the country. All that has begun to change though, this past weekend, the temperatures have been quite nice. Nice enough that earlier this afternoon, LOML (aetheldaeg) and I took the three dogs for a long (for them and the little ones) walk of over two miles. It was remarkable how dirty the little ones managed to get. Teddy came home two tone, his usual dusty Apricot/white on top and black lower half. Sophie had dark hair so it was difficult to tell but her legs and feet which are a light shade of beige were anything but. LOML placed them each in turn in the laundry sink and gave them a bath using their favourite doggy shampoo. I got to dry them off in large towels and as a precaution we had placed other towels on the Living Room love seats; smart move as they both burrowed their heads and faces into them as soon as they could get free of the towel I was drying them with. Suffice to say that our little dogs are now clean, smell nice and seem to enjoy the experience. Perhaps we'll make it a more regular routine during the coming months. 29 Mar 14 - Teddy and Sophie After Bath 2

I head back North tomorrow, two weeks until I'll be off. I may be a bitty iffy in my post for a bit, please bear with me. No matter, once I'm off the dopey meds I'll be online with a view to bring all to current state.

My final thoughts are for those dealing with the misery in Washington state and elsewhere in the world, may God keep them all in the palm of his hand.

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