Archive for June, 2007

I get therapy and Amy gets a break

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Last week we noticed that my left side was swollen and the doc said come in and we’ll take a look to be sure everything is OK.  We got to the doctor’s office early and was quickly taken to get an ultrasound done on my left side. It showed everything is open and flowing good and PT should help develop muscles and tone up the area and reduce the swelling.

Speaking of PT  Monday was my first visit. It was mostly paperwork and evaluating me.  I start Thursday and will treatments twice a week to work on my shoulder and side.

This morning I dropped Amy off at the airport, she flew to Charlotte to meet up with her sister, niece and nephew for a drive to New York to see Mom & Dad. They made it as far as Baltimore tonight and will visit the Aquarium before they continue the trip.

I would like to apologize to everybody that tuned in for Amy’s updates and got mine, she is a great wordsmith and will return in a week. I know you can’t wait to find out how her poison ivy and chiggers are healing or maybe she will find some poison ivy in NY, who knows.  We’ll have to wait and see unless she gets access to a computer.

Armed with info….

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

The nasty chiggers that have feasted and rained down misery upon me are not inclined to succumb to the many folklore remedies… NOT that I haven’t tried a good bunch of them.  But, for those of you who care, and admittedly this is not really a Farewell to Arms entry, here is a good link about chiggers:

Charlie Chan… Man seldom scratches where he does not itch.

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Suffice it to say I am scratching all over. Trying to be positive here.  BUT I AM POSITIVELY ITCHY BEYOND DESCRIPTION.  Makes it hard to focus on Jim, but that is why you tuned in here, so the updates shall continue DESPITE POISON IVY AND CHIGGER BITES ON TOP OF THAT (insert appropriate pity and sympathy sounds here).

Jim is back to work these days and is adjusting to that.  Trying to get on schedule has brought some of his prior to surgery problems back.  His sleep still tends to be somewhat disturbed, and between that and some pain issues, he did have to go in to work a few hours late one morning.  His left side is visibly retaining fluid all along his ribs. We will see the doctor on Monday for that just to be sure all is well. No hugely unusual pain associated with it, but we want to be reassured.

Monday will in fact be a rather busy day medically for him.  PT starts Monday after work so I have hopes for reduction or alleviation of pain for him over time.  Instantly would be better but it is a start. Gordon at the prosthetic office is getting a custom “sock” for Jim to wear instead of me ace bandaging him daily.  That should also be ready on Monday.

Now, if i could just STOP itching, all would be just ducky. (A duck goes in a bar, orders a beer and says, “Put it on my bill…”)

Take arms against a sea of troubles…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

But the good news is that the trouble is all mine – Amy’s.  I have my second bout of poison ivy for the year. I have great hopes that the shot I got today will short circuit the cycle.  As my parents said, Jim is the one doing well….

And he is.  Really well.  Back at work and welcomed back like a returning warrior. His boss and co-workers had a nice breakfast spread for his first day back. When I spoke with him today, his second day back, he was deciding on a pain pill or not. I encouraged him to take the pill and then a nap if he needed it. The next time we spoke, he was a much happier boy. The PT appointments should start maybe even tomorrow, so we are hopeful that the pain in his shoulder and neck can be alleviated.

Phantom pain does not seem to be a problem so far. He can feel the arm and hand, but not painfully usually. He is keeping ace-bandaged so every morning he can shower before re-wrap.  His clothes are loose too. Never got a weight on the arm, but Jim has lost about 11 pounds from before surgery till now, so probably half of that is real weight loss.  He looks and feels pretty good, but I sure miss having him to hang around with.


Do not staple, fold, spindle, or mutilate

Monday, June 11th, 2007

He is UNstapled! Our doc admits UNstapling is not his forte, so his wonderful nurse Diane did it.  Painless. Quick.

Sealed nicely, according to our doc, who is pleased and says we only need to come back if we want to or need to.  No scheduled visits necessary at this point.

So we went to the mall, ate lunch, walked before we saw a movie, saw Ocean’s Thirteen, walked again and came on home. Life is good.

Tomorrow Jim goes back to work.  I shall have to face the messy house, pool in need of TONS of work, school work to prepare for my Denver trip in July…. in fact, real world. I have loved all this time with my hubby. He is the funniest guy alive, and I am missing the dailyness in advance. sigh.

I already feel stapled, folded, spindled and mutilated…. BUT, Jim is doing GREAT, and tonight, he can shower!!!!!!!!!! TOTALLY!!!!!!  Life, as I have said, is good.

Quite handy

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

I have re-wrapped the ace bandage on Jim twice now and have found a bit of draining occurring. He thinks it is likely because, without the cast, he is tending to sleep on that side occasionally. His appointment tomorrow is at 10:15 for staple removal so I will have updates following that.

However, good to note he is still one handy guy…. I needed some purses off the top shelf of my closet, and he very handily reached up and pulled down the box for me. I guess I’ll keep him after all.


A little short handed….

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Jim and I have tiredly returned from our trek to the State Park in San Angelo. We were looking for a change of scenery for Jim to continue his healing so we rented a cabin in the State Park.

Tuesday morning we had breakfast with a friend of Jim’s and his father.  The father is an arm amputee as well, and about as sweet a guy as you want to meet.  It was so great for us to hear about how he has handled the challenges of life in the 40 years or so since his amputation.  He was so positive and encouraging, not to mention interesting as he described his upbringing in cajun Louisianna (complete with pet alligators, at least sort of). It was a great restful start to our rather laidback trip.

We arrived at the park and were almost immediately whisked away on our private tour with the ranger. We were shown two rather pathetic petroglyphs (that our ranger guide was inordinately proud of) but also dozens of wild flowers. Ranger Pat also showed us which plants leafs to eat to numb our tongues and which ones would freshen our breath (what are ya trying to tell us, Pat?). We watched the long-legged jack rabbits bound across the vista that opened from our cabin porch, and listened to the assorted birds singing their songs. We cooked our cowboy dinner of corn on the cob, red beans and rice with smoked sausage and somewhat burned to a crisp biscuits on our little grill. Jim attemped Jiffy Pop, which was a Jiffy NOT, and we slept well despite the noon-day brightness of the half-moon shining in our window.

On Wednesday we met Ranger Pat to take us to the longhorn and bison herds, and we meandered home after all that.  We didn’t DO a lot, but really relaxed and enjoyed the time.  Jim’s pain hasn’t been too bad, but he has taken care to keep up with his pain pills. He no longer has the pain patch on his body so we are progressing.  The shoulder continues to ache but we hope PT will start soon and aid with that. 

Anyone who is curious may view some pix from our trip here

Cast Off and Cast Away

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Just back from the doc. Cast is removed and gone forever.  Our happy prosthetic guys were there too, Lambert and Gordon, and they are both still happy with Jim’s progress.  Dr. Senkowsky thought all looked fine but decided to leave Jim stapled but castless for another week.  He is ace bandage wrapped and feels another 10 pounds lighter.

We got a prescription for PT/OT to get his shoulder loosened up and help the pain there, and, not incidentally, help prepare him for an arm at some point.

Tomorrow we cast off for a mini-vacation to San Angelo State Park where there are petroglyphs for us to explore AND an air conditioned cabin to stay in.  Roughing it, yes, but only a bit…. (Although the cabin has no indoor plumbing or kitchen facility at all, so it does qualify as ROUGH.) Should our food on the firepit plan not work, we shall forage for restaurants.  Ah, the simple life!

Arm in arm

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

We had a couple of errands we needed to do, and the morning was only 71 degrees or so, so we set off, hand in hand, to walk to the store.  NOT, of course, the stores 1/2 mile away, but the FAR ones.  Must be twenty miles down the road…. or maybe a full mile or mile and a half.

Outbound was pleasant with a lovely breeze and occasional shady spots. Our buisness quickly concluded, an icy bottle of water purchased, we were faced with the decision of straight back home, minus the breeze and facing the prospect of little shade OR take the long way home, through the back roads and through the church yard.  Should be shadier and we were in no hurry.

You see, now excercise does not increase Jim’s pain. It actually tends to decrease it. So the long way was chosen.

The rest of the story is inconsequential (although it was hotter and longer than predicted).

Since surgery, arm in arm, we are walking daily. It is a lovely new thing for us both.