Last year on New Year's Eve I was sick as a dog and had to stay home as my wife and our friends went out and had their fun. I still have to listen to stories about that night. It seems like I missed everything, but not this year! I will be accompanying my wife and about 5 or 6 other friends out tonight.
From what I hear, we will be generally staying on this side of town. Some places within walking distance, though I think there is a plan to cart my disabled ass around somewhat in the designated driver's car. It's in the upper 40's and much of the snow is melting right now, but sometime tonight the temps are supposed to plummet into the 20's or teens so we will have to dress for it. I've obviously done none of the planning, I just hope to have fun and roll with whatever happens. I do plan on drinking, but I want to be in good shape tomorrow so I can fully enjoy the Rose Bowl!
However you celebrate tonight, be safe and have fun! Happy New Year!
I didn't post it, but last week I bent my knee 90 degrees for the first time in four months. At last night's physical therapy appointment I had only improved 2 degrees, to 92. I have had weeks where I gain a lot then weeks like this where I gain little. At least it keeps improving! I have an appointment with the orthopaedist coming up soon, I plan on taking my camera to get pictures of that day's x-rays so I can finally show you what it looks like. In fact, I have a few medical appointments this month. Not the best time to be me, yet.
Christmas is usually stressful for me, this one more than usual. I think I did okay, got the nieces and nephews decent presents and all. But yesterday's visit at my mom's was cut short, just a hello/goodbye with my brother and a short while with my Sis and her kids. The problem was that they were planning on staying the night so they took plenty of time to get to Mom's - and rightly so for their purposes. We, however, were planning on coming home that night. About an 80 mile drive for us, but we all drove similar distances. Except for us, as we were leaving Madison a familiar problem came up.
The driver's side windshield wiper does not work when I drive highway speeds. Actually the arm doesn't provide enough downward pressure so the wiper has a chance. It must actually lift off the surface. The last time this was a problem was last Christmas making the same drive, otherwise my truck is only driven in town. I remember now stopping at an open service station and buying a new wiper blade last year (didn't help). The roads Saturday were wet, so all that salty water spray leaves a film on the windshield that I can't get wiped off while driving on the highway. I took extra care, even going slower than normal (i.e. the actual speed limit), to keep from having a vehicle driving in front of me for too long. When we arrived my windshield looked almost whitewashed, but the wiper cleaned it easily while sitting in their driveway. And yes, I had washer fluid but that was downright dangerous to spray on on the highway when the wiper couldn't wipe it away.
What all this meant was that I wanted to get back on the road before the dark of night to more safely navigate our way home. Our stay was a semi-respectable 3 and a half hours, but unfortunately not the same timeline as my sib's. There were, of course, other factors in making this particular day a little extra stressful, including the embarrassment of making a mess of crackers whilst about to eat chili and having to clean up more snow before we left. Also, it's not lost on me how negative my Christmas Pic Dump was, either. What I chose to post was somehow representative of how I really feel about holidays, I'm sure. I even had a cigarette yesterday. I can only take so much holiday before the cracks start to show. I try to be good about it, really I do...
Anyway, I hope my brother, sister, sister in law, mom, mom's bf Dan, and both of my nieces and both of my nephews had a great time with their big slumber party last night. It's just not my style, I like shorter visits and my own bed. Perhaps things would be different if we did the procreating thing, too. Perhaps not.
Just a short Pic Dump for the holidays. I hope everyone enjoys it in whatever way that makes them happy. Thank you for visiting, rules are the same: More after the break, some may be nsfw and click the pic to see original size. Enjoy!
Many thanks to the fine sites in 'My Other Favorites' on the right!
I'm driving again! When we got home tonight I hobbled around my truck cleaning off two snowfall's worth of snow. I just drove around the block, pausing to reset my radio stations, then back home. But I was comfortable driving. I could probably have driven a week or two ago but I wasn't comfortable yet, meaning I didn't trust my leg to react. On the right is some random pic off the internet. I picked it because, except for the main thoroughfares, the good roads here look like that. The side roads, while plowed, are still very much snow covered, or packed. That includes our street. The snow on the side of the road, though, is about 2 feet less than what we have here. I think we had 15.7" so far this month, not including last night's blanket of snow. Which reminds me to thank my wife for shoveling the whole driveway and sidewalks again all by herself. Thanks, hon!
Anyway, after 4 months of not driving I get to drive in this. I'll do just fine, it just stinks is all.
It has been a while since I sat down and tried to type something meaningful, so instead I will just type my usual drivel.
I have been doing a lot of shopping online this month. Much of it for Christmas presents and some for my wife's birthday in January, and I couldn't resist getting a few things for myself. First off, from my wife I got a new floor desk mat for under my chair in front of the computer. The old one was cracked and getting worse all the time, now my chair rolls freely. For my wife I got a new camera to replace the dinosaur digital camera we had. It worked well but 12.2 megapixels is better than the 3.1 we were working with. So, Christmas is already done with us.
I got all my presents online this year, a first. I think I did pretty good with the kids (the most important presents I buy), except for maybe one. I'm worried now that he's still too young for it. My problem is that I buy what I would have wanted when I was a kid - and I like spoiling my nieces and nephews a bit. I can't mention what the presents are yet, of course. Though I saw some last night, the kids will get their presents at my mom's next weekend. Other presents heavily confused my dad and brother at my dad's get-together last night but the other half is being sent to them and I will send them an email today with some links that will explain the Mangrates further. For myself I got Sean Yseult's book and The Big Four DVD, both heavy metal stuff.
Though I haven't made a lot of progress with my knee bend, I hope to actually try driving this week. I'm trying to plan it around weather a bit. I'll let you know here when I'm (auto)mobile again! As for regular mobility, I have not used the walker in a couple days and have been making myself get used to the cane around the house. I just ordered an ice grip for the cane to prevent disasters when I use it out and about. It's kind of hard to believe, but it has been almost 4 months since I busted up my leg. I had hoped recovery would go faster, but the reality is that I really effed up my leg and still face months of physical therapy. Godammit. I hate not ending on an up note, re-watch this.
In keeping with the holiday theme of postings lately, Udo Dirkschneider and some staff from EMP, a large European merchandise seller, got together for versions of Jingle Bells and Balls To The Wall in the video below. A merry heavy metal christmas to you!
In two weeks I have increased my knee bend from 65 to 73 degrees. I may be able to drive soon. I tried to fit in my truck when we got home this afternoon and while it is awkward getting in and out I do fit in the driving position. My knee bends enough that my foot can now hover over the pedals and move in between the brake and gas. I shall have to practice soon. It has been over 3 months since I've driven!
Yesterday I had an appointment with the neurosurgeon again. Still, nothing can be done until after the first of the new year because I was off so long for my leg. I have an appointment for a new MRI followed by another appointment with the doctor just a few days into January. Then maybe I will finally see a light at the end of this particular tunnel.
Are you getting ready for the holidays? They always sneak up on me (mainly because I try to ignore them). This year we have been mainly shopping online, so almost every day for about 2 weeks we have come home to a package or two. I'm almost done, yet I never know what to get my wife. She deserves diamonds for taking care of me but I'm sure she doesn't want me to spend that kind of money. She does the finances so she would find out right away. She says she'd be happy with a practical gift but I'm not buying it. I'd be happy to listen to any other ideas!
I'm up late browsing Youtube watching recent live videos of W.A.S.P. when it occurred to me to check to see if there were any vids posted yet from the show I saw earlier this year at Scatz in Middleton. There were two, and here they are:
W.A.S.P. - On Your Knees / The Real Me (great sound!)
As promised, the first snowfall of the season arrived late last night and flurried out today. I'm not sure of the official total, but my wife said it looks like we got 4 inches. I didn't take many pictures, in fact this is the only one I took when Kate just started shovelling. Unfortunately my leg and required use of crutches, walker, or sometimes cane prevents me from doing it myself. Believe me, I wish I could.
We bought a bag of hay at Ace the other day to cover the strawberry bed for the winter. You can read more about it at my garden blog. Probably the last post there for the year. I only mention it here because nothing else has happened this week.
We are expecting our first snowstorm of the season tonight. I've heard anywhere from 2-6 inches, starting tonight and ending tomorrow night. This is the beginning of no-fun time for anti-winter people like me. Alas, I manage to deal with it, year after year.
Here's the sports geek that I have become: I really enjoyed this little article, A (forgotten) drive for the ages, on Green Bay's game-tying drive at the end of their loss to Atlanta on Sunday. In fact, this blog is one of my daily reads, Kevin Seifert's ESPN NFC North Blog (also listed on the right).
It has been over a month and a new computer since the last Pic Dump. These go back a bit but I'll start collecting again and have some fresh ones for next time. In the meantime, here's what I have, dumped just for you! Remember to click the pic for original size and discretion may be advised after the break. Enjoy!
Here's a pic of when my wife and I met, just as I was about to introduce myself! Lucky her!
I feel that I have been neglecting this space lately. I have been dealing with things in real life and have not been able to share those things effectively here. I guess we all have our moments. Time to clean house?
Our New Computer is all set up and running. Even with OpenOffice we had trouble opening old files. So we hooked up the old computer yesterday and moved what we wanted to Google Docs. Done. I still don't know why file types are always changing and never compatible. I have finished moving all the music that I want into itunes. Almost 12,000 songs! That means almost 8000 audio files I have are either comedy, audiobook, or old radio shows saved for a day that may never come. All I can think of now that is left to do is to find a long term antivirus solution. I need to take a closer look at AVG.com to find the actual free (not trial) version, but I'm still open to suggestions in the comments!
Physical Therapy is still weekly, except this coming week unless there is a cancellation. I only gained 2 degrees at my last appointment, I was very disappointed. I had been hoping to get off the crutches and walker very soon, but that looks like I was being too hopeful. I was lectured a bit on what could happen if I try walking too soon and reminded that there is still bone filling in, I am not yet healed. Rehab has it's ups and downs, and I'm in one of the downs right now.
For The Holiday, Kate went to her sister's house, I was left home with football and basketball games on TV. More good football and basketball was on yesterday. Today is another football day with the Badgers playing for a championship and possible Rose Bowl. And tomorrow, Sunday, is Packers game day with the Badgers playing for their own tourney title in basketball on Sunday evening. I love this time of year!
Tomorrow our house is the gathering place for food, friends and football. Just good people, good food, good fun, good times, etc. I don't expect anything out of the ordinary other than I may end up paying more attention to the football game than my wife would like. It is the Packers, after all!
Winterization of the house and yard are finished. A couple weeks ago I had a buddy help me by cleaning my gutters. Kate and I managed a few details outside and in the garage. But for the most part, my neighbor had an umemployed friend of her brother's help her clean up her yard last year and this year. I saw him out last week and cut a deal to get my yard cleaned up for winter. He was a real nice guy and he got all the leaves and dead plants cleaned up, lawn mowed, and everything removed. I even got him to run and get me a new battery for my truck, which died since I haven't been able to drive it regularly. It was worth the 80 dollars I paid him, I was pleased. All that is left that I can think of, are a few more windows to cover in plastic for the winter. I can manage that.
Happy holiday, all. I know I've only been back to work for a short time but I'll take the long weekend! Mostly messing with the new computer and boring stuff happening here lately. We do have things happening over the next few days, though. Football, friends, football, food, football and I got to get some damn shopping done, online mostly this year, I think. I had PT again last night, that post and what else I'm doing coming later this weekend. Ta.
The new computer is all set up and running! I have spent much of the last couple days, in between football games and sleep, trying to figure everything out... - I'm nowhere close to having this thing figured out yet. I have successfully moved over all the files that we needed, got itunes up, running, and about a third filled, ipods successfully transferred as well. I've been getting most of the programs I need and fine tuning the look of things to my liking. Some minor issues are coming up, so there may be a few questions for Mr. Dan, though! My mom's bf seems to be a good resource that I may use again (and again, and again..lol).
Windows 7 Home Premium is interesting, a sleek new design with alot of bells and whistles. All new stuff to figure out yet. I downloaded Google Chrome since I used to use that, and liked it, a couple years ago after it was first released. But not since I temporarily melted our last computer over 2 years ago (all was saved with pro help). I haven't had a chance to even look at that yet though, so I'll stick with IE until I'm more comfortable with this machine.
All that and I have still made the time to keep up on most all my regularly read sites. Speaking of, see ya'!
P.S. For the question of Thanksgiving, we will be staying in town and hosting Thanksgiving for friends, orphaned and not. Thank you.
Okay, this is it until probably early next week. We're going out tonight, then tomorrow morning I will be moving files to the external hard drive. The Wisconsin-Michigan game starts at 11:00 am, so when that's over I'll be unplugging everything and hooking up our really old computer to grab what I want that's still there. Then I will be hooking up the new computer. I plan on getting AVG Internet Security (free version) and Spybot Search & Destroy as protection. If you have any better ideas now is the time to tell me! Then iTunes will have to be downloaded again and I will start from scratch re-adding files, resubscribing to podcasts, etc. This is how I will probably spend most of the rest of the weekend (except the Packers-Vikings game on Sunday, of course). I'm sure there's an easier way somehow, but I actually look forward to a fresh start and hopefully, given time, getting everything into iTunes like I never have before.
It would be nice if it was 65 degrees outside but it may be an anomaly if we see that again this year.
No, 65 degrees is how far my knee was able to bend at physical therapy earlier today. That's 17 degrees more than 2 weeks ago. The strength in lifting my leg in different ways has improved as well. I wish the progress was faster but progress is progress after all. Hopefully I'll learn more how I'm doing, well or slow, tomorrow; I have an appointment to see the orthopaedist for a checkup on my progress. No matter how well or slow I am, I do know that I have 5 mores weekly therapy sessions scheduled and I'm pretty sure there will be more.
The first thing the therapist said when he came in was that he noticed I contacted the neurosurgeons office about my neck again. They don't want do jump into another cortisone shot because the last one worked so poorly for me, so they started me on another round of a stronger oral steroid. I started yesterday and the good news is that it seems to be helping. Anyway, the therapist moved us to a different room with a traction machine to stretch out my neck. so I let it pull on my head while he was working over my knee trying to stretch my quad and patellar tendons. Those are the ones that are tight and not letting me bend my knee. But enough.
I find myself having to rearrange my evenings now that I'm back to full time at work. I don't get as much internet time so again, some things must be sacrificed. Also why I'm planning the big computer switchover between 2:30 pm Saturday and Noon on Sunday (between the football games). Mainly some of the inane sites that I visit for mindless entertainment will be put aside for slow times.... including that damn Bubble Shooter Game!
I do apologize if you are sick of hearing about my injury, but that's what I do here: Write about me!
Well, I like to portray things as looking up more than they are, I guess. Now that I cancelled my neck appointment the pain worsens. I'm trying to find out from work when I can take off for more surgery without jeopardizing my job. My leg is just not bending any further and I have been doing all of my exercises. I tried getting in the truck but with my height and the non-bending knee I just can't fit yet, let alone drive. A supervisor at work today asked me if I missed them. I told her I missed them just as much as they missed me. That's how little I think of them in that corporate-by-the-numbers workplace. No one cares.
On the upside lately is that my wife bought a shower mat so I can now bathe myself by myself. The new computer showed up Saturday afternoon (but still won't be hooked up until next weekend). And my internet problem seems to be all fixed.
I'd trade all the good just to be pain-free for a change. Thanks for listening. Normal posting shall resume shortly.
This past week I left a 'where are you/I hope all is well' comment on an esteemed fellow blogger's site since he hadn't posted in a while. Meanwhile, I let a whole week go by, a long time for me, without posting anything here. It turns out work has kept him away lately, but I have no excuse. So let's catch up, shall we?
I had another physical therapy appointment yesterday. There was not much improvement in bending my knee, but I have improved in strength and can put about half my weight on my leg when walking with crutches now.
The new computer has not arrived yet. If it arrives during the week next week I think I will still wait until the weekend to set it all up. I want to drag an old computer out of the closet and grab the files off of it that I want first, then when we're all set up with the new computer I will have 2 old ones to recycle.
I had an appointment next week to go over and schedule my neck surgery but I just cancelled that for now. Although the cortisone shot only partially gave me relief I am approved for two more if I need them so I may have that done again if it starts to get worse. The goal is to not have surgery until after the new year and before the end of March (so I don't have to use up all my vacation time for the year on recovery).
My internet connection ticks me off sometimes by dropping out briefly several times a day. This happened before and when I called to complain the tech basically called me a liar. So I got even more mad and cursed him out, but mysteriously it didn't happen again for several weeks. Now it has been happening again for quite some time now and I have just been dealing with it until today. This time I got a much nicer guy on the phone and someone will be out tomorrow to look things over. No charge.
On Wednesday I went from 4 hour workdays to 6 hour workdays. Next Wednesday I am back to full time. I am glad the orthopaedist is easing me back into work. Going back on a Monday straight to 8 hour days would have been a bit of a shock to my system, I think.
That's about it for me. How are you - yes you! See where it says 'comments' below? Feel free to give it a click!
I just bought a new computer online to be delivered hopefully by the end of next week. Earlier this week on Monday my Mom and Dan took a day off work to come up and see me and so Dan could give me some computer advice. I felt guilty that they took a day off but they assured me that they had time they needed to use up. By the time they got here I had pretty much decided that my hard drive may be starting to deteriorate and it may just be time for a new computer. So that's pretty much what we talked about and looked at online. I started by choosing a mid level computer and going through the options of what I need on it. I have no idea what all that gobbledy-gook means so it was nice to have the assurance that I'm getting what should be a more than adequate machine for our needs. Thank you, Dan! I did make a few changes, mainly in the sale packages, to get the same thing plus an extra drive for about 30 bucks cheaper.
I had another physical therapy appointment yesterday afternoon. Boy was I sore last night! Though I did alot of exercises that he had given me to do I hadn't done as many in the past week because of discomfort in my leg. I did get to 48 degrees, though. That's 8 more degrees than I could bend it 2 weeks ago. Any progress is good I guess. He said to just wait until I get to about 70 degrees then he can really start to work me over!
And lastly, happy Friday to all. A great big thank you for everything to my wife, still holding our household together while I heal. Tomorrow some socializing with friends and some relaxing. Tonight I will be watching a CKY concert at the Rave in Milwaukee, live webcast here. Have a nice weekend!
I started back to work on crutches today, 4 hours. First time I wore pants since they were cut off me on August 27th! I got all my passwords back and my desk restocked in short order. All went well, but I'm all for easing back into it. I'll be back to full time in a fortnight. Soon enough.
Still not much going on here. My physical therapist was sick on Friday so last week's visit was cancelled. I have been doing my exercises that he had given me the week before and, while there is some small improvement, mostly my knee gets (more) tight and sore. I make my return to work in a few days, and I might get my PC looked at soon.
I've been stabbed in the neck! I had an appointment at the hospital first thing this morning for a cortisone injection into a nerve root in my neck. You know, that pesky nerve problem that has been bugging me for several months now? Truthfully, my leg and my lower back have caused me more pain and discomfort lately than my neck - unless I cough hard or sneeze - but I will be going back to work in a week and the more I use my upper body the more that bulging disk will bother me. Hopefully it won't bother me anymore, though. I still suspect I'll need surgery eventually but I have high hopes that it can be put off for a long time. I have a little log to fill out and in two weeks I need to call the doctor's office back and then it will be determined whether this shot was a success or not. Here's hopin' for the best!
I know I haven't been posting much recently and what I have posted is mostly medical updates. That's really all I have going on. My days are spent gazing at the computer moving from one mindless web page to the next. I only leave the house to see a doctor. I have no life right now. I do expect things to improve rather quickly though, and getting back to work should help force the issue.
I just got back from my first physical therapy appointment for my leg. The most my knee bends is now 40 degrees, less than halfway to sitting upright in a chair. I have two different exercise sets to do every day, 3 times daily, plus ice packs and compression since there is still swelling. I really hope the exercises that I have to do will work well and the sooner the better. I have 4 more appointments over the next 4 weeks to make that happen. I was also there to get a few pointers on my neck, but that is secondary. I think my neck is past the point where any physical therapy will help and after reading my notes and testing my neck the therapist seemed to agree.
On a side note, when we were leaving I saw somebody from my work that I usually see and talk to every day, so of course I forgot his name! Sorry Ted! I felt pretty stupid but that seems to be how my brain works. I'll remember his face forever but without the day to day interaction I forget names. I'll have to remember everybody's name very soon! I hope I don't offend anyone if I forget.
Again it is time for me to regurgitate all those funny and strange pics that have caught my eye recently. You know the drill - click the pic for original size, some may be NSFW and much more after the break. Enjoy!
Well, where the hell have I been? I haven't posted this little since I started this thing. I'll try to do better in the future. Lately though, being on the computer has been a bit of a pain ever since a windows 'update' last week. I had to try to get a handle on things on this machine that I know so little about.
About 2 months ago, before I broke my leg, our computer was almost plum full so I bought a 1 Terabyte external hard drive (for less than 100 bucks - not a bad deal). Since then I have been moving over video and music files. Since this latest episode I am now finding some bad music files here and there. Sometimes a whole cd, sometimes just a song or two. A developing bad spot on my hard drive perhaps? So I have been trying to finish my transfer of music with more urgency. I will have to address missing tracks and missing albums later. I have about 50 more bands to transfer before I'm finally done. I have a lot of music.
Itunes is a whole other animal. Those bad files have led to many (!)'s that need to be fixed. I only have about half of my audio files in itunes, about nine thousand tracks. I may just start over, reset my ipod, and just add as needed and not be so anal/perfectionist/OCD about it like I usually am. Itunes is secondary, though, I need to see to my computers health. I don't think I'm that bad off but our computer is quite old and we're admittedly overdue for an upgrade.
My mom's boyfriend, Dan, knows alot about computers and has offered to help. I think I will take him up on that soon. First I want to transfer as much as I can over to the new hard drive. A very tedious task. I just don't want him here to help and we spend too much time doing stuff I could or should have done first. But soon, mom, soon I will call and we can make some plans for a Saturday and get this done.
Keep your fingers crossed - I'd be lost without a computer. Take my TV but I need my computer!
Yesterday was the appointment with the neurosurgeon. He doesn't want to perform surgery on my neck until my leg is much more healed so it looks like I will be returning to work on November 3. In the meantime, pending insurance approval, I am scheduled to get a cortisone injection into that area of my neck to hopefully relieve the pressure on that nerve. That should happen in about 2 weeks. Also, I have physical therapy scheduled to start late next week. I don't recall these exact dates but I'm close. If the cortisone injection works well then I may be able to avoid surgery, at least in the short term.
All I can do is go day by day and keep knocking these appointments out of the way until I'm better. There's so much I wanted to do outside this time of year. Oh well, what really needs to be done will get done, all else are things that would be nice yet are ultimately unnecessary. I'll clean it up in the spring.
Short post today, I guess I don't really feel like writing.
After reading Tuesday's post my sister Kelly actually called me instead of commenting because she was concerned about me. Thank you, Kel, but really I'm not sad or depressed. I'm sorry if I come across that way. I'm just reporting on my life, and right now it's mostly medical stuff.
I got a call Wednesday from my doctor's office. They got the results of the MRI back and wanted to set up an appointment with a neurosurgeon, so we did. That's coming up early next week.
Yesterday I got x-rays and saw the orthopaedist in the morning. Everything seems to be going as planned. It has been 6 weeks since the surgery and my knee is still swollen and won't bend much. I am supposed to start putting a little weight on it, more and more over the next few weeks. Soon I will start physical therapy to help me bend it. This doctor is looking at November 3 as my return to work. Part time for a couple weeks then full time. Of course this may change...
Yesterday afternoon I saw my primary doctor and we discussed many things. Most important of all was the MRI results and what may happen. I have a moderate to severe bulging disc that is pinching off my nerve. He was so sure that the neurosurgeon would recommend surgery that he went ahead and did the pre-op exam. Next is finding out how healed my leg has to be for me to get neck surgery (c6/c7). If it needs to be done then the idea is to get it done sooner so it will be less time off work overall.
I'll know much more next week but it looks more like when than if I'll have another surgery now.
I've been having a real hard time sleeping lately. Mostly I have been sleeping in my recliner the past several weeks so I can have my broken leg in a semi comfortable position. In bed, I have been limited to just flat on my back, which just doesn't cut it for me.. I've been trying to sleep on my sides in bed recently, and I can, but only for very short periods of time. So, essentially, I have been sleeping when I am too exhausted to remain awake, which adds up to just a few hours a day. We have an OTC sleep aid in the medicine cabinet and I think I need to try that tonight.
Last night I had an appointment for an MRI on my upper back/neck area for that nerve problem I was whining about right before I broke my leg. I last had an MRI about 10 years ago before my lower back surgery. Since then I feel that I have become more claustrophobic so I requested a sedative so I wouldn't freak out in the machine. I'm not sure how much of an effect the sedative had, but I got through it. I had to have my head fixed in with a part that went under my chin, my elbows hit the sides, and when I opened my eyes my nose was 2 inches from the top. Very small quarters indeed. I never totally panicked, but I had to keep my eyes closed and I tried to keep myself occupied by counting the pulses or moving my feet rhythmically. When it was all done I was very relieved to get out of that damn tube.
After coming home from the MRI, about 6:30, we ordered out pizza. It was time to relax after a stressful venture out. All trips are stressful still. I am not used to moving myself longer distances with the crutches or the walker. I had the crutches last night, but they were nice enough to give me a wheelchair ride back to the elevator. From there it was just a short hop to the car. Anyway, after dinner I was out like a light for maybe 2 hours. Upon awakening I wanted to try to sleep in bed. Unfortunately my wife was wanting to go to bed at that time too, and she didn't appreciate the noises I was making. I responded more harshly than I should have, but eventually got up to leave the bedroom to her. Then it got interesting. Sickness happened in a few different ways, none of which you want to hear about here. I have been phlegmy for a few days and I have a heck of a headache this morning, so maybe I'm getting sick or maybe it was just a reaction to the sedative. Time will tell.
This morning was testy. I actually slept for about 5 straight hours, very good for me lately. But my wife had a terrible nights sleep and the stress of having to do everything came to the surface again. Besides working full time she has to take care of me and do all of the household chores and duties herself and it is taking its toll on her. To her all I have to do is eat, sleep and heal while her workload and to do list is never ending. I love my wife greatly and appreciate all that she is doing for me, but it's hard for her to know that right now. I do wish I was more mobile and could help her. In time, I guess, in time. It's certainly no picnic for me, either.
Later this week I have two appointments. First with the orthopaedic surgeon to check on the progress of my leg. It is still swollen and I still can't bend it much at all so I highly doubt I will be back to work for a few more weeks yet. Hopefully I can start putting some weight on it soon and it, well, heals more. There is an incision over my knee cap about 7 inches long, plus they poked seven holes in my leg all around the area. All that digging around in my flesh in a relatively small area is proving to need quite some time to heal. After that, my next appointment is with my primary doctor to discuss the results of the MRI. I do know that soon I will have to start physical therapy on both my leg and my back. Hopefully with promising results in both areas or it is possible I may have to have another surgery soon on my back. Sigh, just what we need...
My wife was nice and ran to McDonald's for me this morning before she went out to breakfast with her father. I've indulged in their food several times in the past 5 weeks or so, since I broke my leg. But this morning's meal I could not finish. The taste had a strong undercurrent of 'burnt'. Kind of like when you can taste the 'burnt' on a roasted marshmallow that had caught on fire. Not my favorite taste. It didn't matter if I had the hash browns or the McGriddle, it all had that taste. I think I'm done with them for a while again, but I'm sure I'll be back eventually. I seem to go in cycles with a lot of the foods I eat, like I get sick of frozen pizza for a couple months then buy them again. Does anyone else do this or am I nuts?
Wow, I haven't posted all week! I guess the days have started running into each other and nothing has happened to move me to post. Well, in this case, no news is good news. Next week I have a few medical appointments so there should be something to discuss, anyway.
In the meantime, check out the most perfect internet video ever:
I've noticed lately that Pic Dump 14 has been getting a lot of hits. I'm not sure how to use all those statistics provided by Google Analytics, or Bloggers new Stats feature either, or else maybe I could figure out why. It's not that important, I guess. If I knew why it was so popular though, I would try to do the same thing every time.
I received more hits in the past month than any other since I've started this blog. Of course, I attribute that to family and friends checking in because of my broken leg. It's nice to know some people care, even if they don't comment. I expect my numbers to go back down to their usual lows soon. I could really try to comment more on other blogs, try to get on other's blog rolls, and self promote my site more. But that's not really me. I do speak up elsewhere and leave my address sometimes, but not too often.
I am a creature of habit. Most of the bloggers listed on the right I have read for a long, long time. I've seen them grow and change and used that when I started my own page. I don't remember where exactly it started, perhaps with Diamond Geezer or Random Acts of Reality, but I started reading several blogs from the UK. I've always had an interest in that part of the world so I'm sure I gravitated that way. Over time that list has dwindled to what you see on the right. Some know of me, some don't. Some are friendly, some seem intimidating to me. I still feel like I'm a fake blogger compared to them much of the time.
I'm just me, though, and for some that is good enough. I could certainly have a worse hobby...
Friday night friends came over for a few hours (and a few drinks). That was fun. It was the first time in a month I really felt like I was sociable. My wife said they wanted to do that the first Friday after I was out of the hospital but she called it off. She said I was not ready for visitors and looking back she was right. That first 2 weeks I was not really ready for extended visits. Anyway, friends came over and I felt kind of like a real person with a real life again for a little while. It was nice.
I'm still unable - or too uncomfortable - to be going out and about. Technically I guess I could do anything my wife helps me do, but I would be taking a bigger chance of losing my balance or fatiguing my good leg and taking a fall. This should change once I'm allowed to put some weight on my healing leg and I can bend my knee again. Even to go back to work I will first have to be able to bend my knee so I can sit in a normal chair. Right now, if you look at my leg as 180 degrees, I can bend it maybe 10 degrees at the most. This has to be because of the swelling. It bends just a little then I feel an internal pressure that just won't allow it to go further.
Most of all, I miss walking. My good leg gets tired quickly when I'm up and about and my hands are getting sore from supporting my weight when I do move. I have 2 more weeks until my next appointment so I'm not expecting anything to change at least until then. Having this broken leg grows tiresome, more and more the longer it takes...
Hello, nothing special happening lately. I did see this on the internet this morning, though. Remember Joaquin Phoenix' freaky interview on The Late Show a year and a half ago? Well, he returned to David Letterman last night to admit that it was all a joke. All made up for a documentary on his career change to rap singer that really isn't a documentary. I think it's great how Dave seems actually pissed and wants a million bucks for being a patsy in the movie. I hope he sues his pants off! LOL
I hope everybody had a nice weekend. Nothing special happened here except for football, of course. Both the Badgers and the Packers won, but this isn't a sports blog so you can read about that elsewhere. For the most part I am just biding my time while my leg heals. Not too exciting. I have nothing to do all day but eat, sleep, read, watch TV(ugh) and surf the internet to pass the time. Mostly I surf the internet. I find that preferable to mindlessly looking at the idiot box. I'd like to get drunk. I have had a few drinks lately, mostly during football games, but not enough to say I was drunk. The last thing I need right now is to topple over in my walker and hurt myself some more, so anything more than a couple is out of the question right now. Besides, I don't know if it's because my taste buds are coming back since I quit smoking or the painkillers I'm taking, but whiskey just doesn't taste as good as it used to before the accident.
Anyway, with all my web surfing I have already collected more than enough pics for another Pic Dump. So like it or not, here's the third one in just over a week. (I'll try to be more discriminating in the future.) As always, discretion is advised after the break, click on the pic to see the original size. Enjoy!
Speaking of drinking, here's a funny map. There's a good chart related to drinking near the end, too.
"In the eight years since Dave Barry mentioned us in his nationally syndicated newspaper column, what once was a goofy idea celebrated by a handful of friends has turned into an international phenomenon that shows no sign of letting up....every September 19 (and sometimes for days before and after)!"
So I was perfectly happy being miserable all afternoon when I decided to check the mail just a bit ago. One of the letters was a Get Well card from work. I work with some very nice people and I know a card goes around when someone is out for a while, but it still caught me off guard in a very good way. I want to say a great big thank you to everyone at work. Today was a great day to get this, it really lifted my spirits.
It's a gloomy day outside and with not much sleep last night my mood has matched the weather. I'm stressed because I'm not able to do much, my wife is stressed out because everything is up to her now. I'm stressed because -besides not being able to do anything- I don't want my wife to be upset yet there seems to be nothing I can do to help, which just stresses her out more. I can't help her by telling her what needs to be done, she knows. I can't mow the lawn, I can't take out garbage, hell I can't bathe by myself yet. This kinda really sucks.
I'll get over it and we'll be fine. In a few weeks my leg will be healed and things will get back to normal. But for today (at least until my wife comes home) I think I'll just let myself wallow in self pity and be miserable. Confession over.
Another Pic Dump! And so soon since the last? Well, I have extra time on my hands these days. Lucky you!
Quite some time ago I asked my wife, Kate, what kinds of pics she found funny. She said that people in animal costumes are always funny! So, I started saving those pics as I came across them for a dedicated pic dump. Now, I did not do any specific searches trying to find these pics, I just saved them from my internet travels, so this post has been some time in the making. The problem is there's just not that many of them out there, so I had to stretch the parameters quite a bit.
What follows are people in animal costume pics, people in other costume pics, animals in animal costume pics, even one animal in a people costume! As with all pic dumps, discretion may be advised after the break. Click on pic to see original size. Enjoy!
Today is the opening day for my Green Bay Packers! Expectations are high for the Packers this year, I just hope to see them do well one week at a time and perhaps we will have reason to be very excited at the end of the season. Anyway, in honor of opening day, I am spotlighting my favorite Packer ever since he was a Badger, #65 Mark Tauscher.
Today's Wisconsin State Journal has a good article on his 'comeback' last season here. And being a Wisconsin native and playing his whole college and pro career in the state prompted Travelwisconsin.com, Wisconsin's tourism board, to ask him to do a weekly blog about the state during this season. The article about that is here, and the actual blog should be found here. You didn't think I was going to write my own stuff, did you?
Wherever you are I hope you are a Packers fan, if not then at least root for them for me! I plan on enjoying the hell out of the game today against the Eagles. It won't be easy starting the season in Philadelphia, but I think Tauscher, Rodgers, and co. will do well.
It's time for another Pic Dump! A collection of pics that I have come across recently that have caught my eye for one reason or another. These aren't all meant to be funny pics, and that may be evident more so this time than in times past. I may have an eye for thought provoking, sometimes artsy, and just plain weird pics as well. As always, discretion may be required after the break. Click the pic to see original size. Enjoy!
I had my 2-week follow-up appointment this morning. It started with x-rays, followed by removing the staples. There may not have been 100 staples as I commented to my sister the other day, but there were at least 50. And yes, they hurt like hell to be pulled, but I survived. My leg is still swollen and puffy. When I touch my knee I can't feel it yet, which is a very strange, disconcerting feeling. So I decided I just won't touch it for a while. On the bright side, at least I can shower now.
The most shocking thing was that when the PA came in he put up this morning's x-rays right away before I had a chance to brace myself. Wow. Of this type of break, I really went all out. It was broken in two different directions. I now have an 8 or 9 inch metal rod in my leg with four 4 inch screws in the bottom of my femur (in the top of my knee joint) and two 2 inch screws above at the other end of the metal rod. Eventually I may try to get some images so I can show you here, but trust me when I say I really broke it terribly. My next appointment is in 4 weeks. Until then I still can't put any weight on that leg, and so I will be completely off work until I can be re-evaluated in a month.
At least 4 more weeks. Sigh. That's a long time with not much to do. All I can hope for is that my leg continues to feel more and more comfortable and I can improve my mobility even just a little. I have improved since the surgery 2 weeks ago, so I must remember that and just let myself take the time to heal. Yeah, that's it.
I had a computer and time on my hands. It's one of those things that I have never had yet always wanted. They just seem like they'd be comfortable and functional for some situations and/or weather.
About 20 years ago I saw a poncho in a store that I really liked but, for reasons I can't recall, I never bought it. I have regretted that ever since and have always kind of kept my eye out for one but never see any for sale. So with that thought, free time, and permission from my wife I went about searching for one. It wasn't as easy I thought - which makes me think I don't have fashion to worry about. Fashion only matters as much to me as any other typical 40 something male, anyway.
I wanted black, but in the interest of dirt and lint, I got a gradated gray. It has a hood, is made of sheep and alpaca wool and comes from Bolivia. I got it here, less than 50 bucks total, and it should arrive in 10 days or so. I really hope I really like it, but it's probably not smart to wear it while I still have to use crutches or a walker...
Generally the hospital stay was the necessary experience that you would expect. It started out fine, Friday night after the surgery, with competent, nice, nurses who took good care of me. When I started to see the nurse's aides on the day shifts is when I got nervous and worried. These were people who seemed underqualified to say "do you want fries with that?" It culminated in the last nurse I had on Sunday being downright scary. She didn't seem to have confidence in what she was doing, so how were we to be confident in her? She didn't even know how to operate the bed I was in. But mostly she pissed me off when she gave me the wrong meds on Sunday afternoon. I hadn't noticed at the time, but it sure explains why I got so drowsy! We wound up voicing our displeasure to anyone who would listen, and had a talk with the head nurse about her before I was discharged. We couldn't get me out of there fast enough that day.
I've had the misfortune to be hospitalized a couple times in my life, and the quality of care has gone down each time. I guess this is just a reflection of the times we live in, unfortunately.
Hello people, family, friends, peers, lurkers and random visitors. I hope all of you enjoyed your 3 day weekend, if you were so lucky. We would have been but, of course, we were both off work already.
My wife returned to work this morning for a half day, getting me all set up in my chair with everything I might need before she left. I have been encouraging her to go back, I need to be more self sufficient during the day hours. I had been working on my mobility with a walker (broken thigh, remember?) this holiday weekend and can now get myself around the house and in and out of chairs the way I need to. After this she will work full days tomorrow and Thursday, maybe with an extended lunch break that she will use to come home and check in on me. Then only in the afternoon Friday so she can get me to my leg appointment in the morning.
I know she has been upset with me a few times since getting me home from the hospital. Mostly because I had been a jackass, frustrated with my own limitations. But she has been wonderful to me this whole time. If I had any doubt that she loved me, well, she has seen me at my lowest and still has never turned away from anything. For that and so much more, I love her more than anything. When things are more normal I want to do something very nice for her.
Friday morning is the first follow-up appointment, a full fortnight after the surgery. I won't even be seeing the orthopaedist, I will be seeing his PA. I have never had staples before, I don't know if they will be removed then, but I am a little worried they will hurt. (They're metal friggin' staples in my leg!) I should get a clearer idea of when I may get back to work though, among other things. I still have not seen my original x-ray. I don't think I want to see it yet, but I may request a printout of the before and the after x-rays, in a sealed envelope for 'someday'...
I know I haven't recounted the hospital stay yet, so I may just touch upon that next. It was kind of an eye-opening visit for me, but I'll explain that later. Good Day!
Well, here is my surgically repaired right leg and meds I am taking. I tried to make it look like an exclamation mark (!). Eh, what can I say, I'm bored. But the Badgers open their season tonight at UNLV! I will be up for that despite the 10:00 pm start!
Well, I said I would recount my visit to the ER. I was in exceptional pain at that time, so the following is the gist of what I can remember in that haze. Facts may differ slightly, as may the timeline of some things. This may be hard to read for those close to me. It is upsetting for me to write.
The ambulance guys were nice, efficient and professional, and very understanding of the amount of pain I was in. They gave me 100 mg of Fentanil, I think. It seemed to me to be the most they could do. When I got to the ER they told that to the nurse and also told them that it didn't even touch my pain. The nurse shot me up with what she said was a double dose of Dilaudid, which did bring my screams down to a dull roar. I do remember her saying, "Stop screaming!" My breathing was still rapid and labored trying to deal with the pain. This may have been the point that the young ER doctor, who still thought I had just twisted my knee, picked up my leg and straightened it out and back a couple times. This made me scream bloody murder like I never thought I could. It. Was. Brutal. I yelled at him to stop, between my gutteral screams. What followed was a shot of Morphine that did nothing for me. I think around now they tried to get x-rays, but I could not be moved so the did their best and did manage to get their pics. After that everyone was noticably nicer to me - the x-rays showed them how horrific my injury really was - and I got another shot of Dilaudid. Finally the painkillers stopped my screaming, yet it was wearing off fast. I begged them to knock me out over and over but I got nothing else until I was in the OR. At one point I remember a rather large man talking forcefully to me about due to the violent nature of my injury if anyone did this to me or if anything else happened besides what I had told them. I didn't see him again and, looking back, I believe it may have been some sort of cop.
That is mostly what I remember. Definitely not everything that happened but in my state at the time I wish I could forget it all.
Edit: I should note that the accident happened at about 4:00 and I was wheeled into OR about 8:00, 4 hours later. A long 4 hours in some ways. As quick as they could, I am certain.
I had a doctor appointment this morning for my upper back. It just confirmed what I already know but there's not a whole lot to be done about it until this busted thigh bone thingy is more under control (meaning less pain and more mobility). I don't want to have to go to PT like this and I can't have an MRI with the brace on my leg (not to mention the staples in my leg!). So, I just have to deal with it until we are better able to treat it. I did get another prescription that is supposed to help with the inflammation of my back and the nerve that is giving me pain in my arm and numbness in my hand, though.
So this morning was very busy (mostly for Kate, of course) getting me cleaned up, dressed, and transported across town. Very tiring and trying for both of us. Shortly after we got home I ended up dozing until just recently, it really wiped me out. My next scheduled foray out into the world is next Friday, a follow-up appointment for my leg.
I know blogging has been different around here lately. I am not able to spend much time on the computer so I am trying to let everyone know how we are doing here so they don't feel the need to call constantly. I know it is all well intentioned, but truthfully I am sick of repeating myself, and that's just to the medical staff! I told the nurse this morning that I had written out how it happened on my website and I should probably just print it out for the next dozen or so inquirers!
Anyway, this is what I am dealing with so this is what I am writing about. I want to thank everyone for all their well-wishes and nice comments (even though they don't comment here).
We had a nice visit with Lori (from my work) yesterday. It sounds like the main rumor there is how drunk was he? Well, lol, sorry to disappoint everybody but I hadn't had a drink at all. Here's what happened:
I got home from work about 10 or 5 minutes to 4:00. After dropping off all my junk inside I took a walk out to the back yard to check out the garden and pick up sticks if needed. This is something that I do almost every day. I'm still infatuated with being a homeowner so I go out sometimes just to admire what's mine and Kate's. Strawberry runners are always trying to escape the garden, and the way our tree in back sheds sticks and branches has been well documented here. All in all, maybe 5 minutes tops.
For some reason I was just doing a fast jog back to the house. By the side door is a cement landing maybe 7 feet long with two wooden steps down to the back and two cement steps to the front. I caught my foot going up the back steps and stumbled across the landing and down the other side, landing in a heap. I laid there, unable to move my leg, for maybe 10 minutes until a neighbor got home and heard me yell. Time; about 4:10.
She was very helpful. I expected my wife home about 4:20 unless she had to stay a little late, which is a real possibility on Fridays. My neighbor called the ambulance, helped clean up the blood off of me, grabbed my ID from inside and locked my doors. The ambulance arrived followed shortly by my wife, about 4:20.
I don't remember how I fell exactly or anything, I wish I could block out the whole thing. But there it is in a nutshell. At a later date I will recount the emergency room. I have had enough of these memories for now...
I do know that everyone at work has access to read my words here. That was my choice, this blog isn't about work at all so if they're looking for dirt professionally or even personally it won't be found here. I share what I choose, but I have no real secrets anyway. So, if you are a co-worker who reads this, welcome! If you have any questions or anything to say at all please leave a comment below or email me at scoakatsblog at gmail dot com!
I'm 50-ish, happily married and child-free. My wife and I have a home near downtown Madison, Wisconsin since 2009. I am not on farcebook or other social media, only this blog. If you wish to reach out to me you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I check it when I think of it, at least monthly.