Thursday, April 27, 2023

Keeping Busy While Healing.....

Is important, at least to me. Just getting back to my regular activities, like hanging out in the garage and listening to the radio felt good, and now that I'm mobile enough to readily get up and down the basement stairs, I've been tinkering away down there. I keep walking away from my hiking staff without missing it, so I guess that's a good sign, too. 

I'm not quite ready to start wrestling 40+ pound audio/radio gear around, but this is a great time to catch up on smaller projects, like the speaker kit I received right before The Great Hip Incident. It's also a time to look at how other customers put their kits together and get some ideas on how to do it solidly.

So let's get started!

The front baffle and one of the side panels go together first:

This first step is important, as you need to get the two panels square, and lined up:

Then the top and bottom panels go together:

Glued AND screwed together:

 Add a few more pieces, and the cabinets are almost glued together:

And I get some of the light weight items put back on the shelves:

And we just got back from my follow-up visit with the Orthopedic Surgeon. He said it was an easy surgery, and things went together in a "text book" fashion. I'm now cleared to drive, and be by myself for extended periods. And next week they might give me sharp utensils.....!

Friday, April 21, 2023

Well, That Didin't Work As Planned.....

 Wednesday was OK after the cat came out, but still no acceptable results. After moping around Thursday, and getting up every 60~90 minutes Thursday night, I called the Urology office and went in.

I was up to about 750mL, well over my "Fill Line", so they put a new catheter in, and what a difference! Since I'm in the Urology Clinic, they're much more familiar with the finer points of doing this, as in the size of the cat (one size does NOT fit all!), the different materials they're made from, and how to insert it. You'd think the Hospital and the Rehab Facility would be a bit more on top of this, but I'm sure they have their own reasons for doing things they was they do.

I also got fitted and instructed on a myriad of things like collection bags, securing the line (SAILOR! Belay That Line!), etc, but that's all too arcane to go into.

So, we're back to where we were as far as that issue goes. Meanwhile, the hip continues to improve and strengthen, and the pain is tolerable with a minimum of medication.

Battlespace Report For the Week - We're stalled on the "Retention Front" until reinforcements arrive, and we continue to make significant gains in "Operation Right Hip".

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Cystoscopy Procedure A Scrub for Today

 But I did have the catheter removed, and that's a relief. After discussing the procedure with the Doctor who will perform it, we both agreed it would be better to have me completely out. They were prepared today for the "Bite-A-Bullet" version, but it'll take a week or so to get everything scheduled. This also allows things to proceed at a more relaxed pace for the Doctor, and he can collect the samples he needs, and document anything else that's abnormal. And then we'll go from there. He said he saw nothing in the Cytology report or the CT scans to cause any concern, and considering this only got "bad" in the hospital, he sees no hurry to rush. The Cytology report noted some "Atypical Cells", so this exam will help determine what they are, and where they're coming from.

And I haven't used the walker in over two days, and man, I'm feeling it. I never knew I had muscles in the some of these areas!

Monday, April 17, 2023

Boy, I Sure Left Myself A Mess.....

 I had just started a(nother) new project the day I fell and fractured my right femur, a kit to build two "better" speakers for the workshop stereo. I had to move both my equipment racks. One was also turned 90* to make better use of the floor space. That meant taking everything off the racks, and stacking it "someplace" until I got the racks moved. That was actually going to be Saturday's project until I got side-swiped by an errant extension cord, bringing all my activities to a screeching halt.

 And the errant extension cord was Terminated With Extreme Prejudice. It's replacement is awaiting assignment.

Today was a beautiful day, and the PT gal and I went for a stroll using just the cane. Down the driveway, across the street, and back down and around the cul-de-sac until we got back here. Almost 1800 steps per her device. I mentioned I'd been going down to the basement to see how much work it was going to need to get it back on-line, and doing a few minor things, and she said it was good to get back doing my regular routine, and she saw no problem with it as long as I was careful and had the cane with me. A few steps around the kitchen counters sans cane was also said to be a Good Thing.

SLW and I stopped at my Primary Doctor's practice and I had blood drawn to check on hemoglobin and red cell production. I keep hearing about blood-loss during hip operations, and it looks like it's more than I thought. I'll save that one for my Orthopedic follow-up.

Wednesday is the appointment with the Grand Inquisitor Urologist. I'm hoping they can figure out what's been going on, and treat it. Gets pretty irksome dragging all the plumbing around.

Carry On.........

Friday, April 14, 2023

Small Steps.....

 Overdid it a bit the other day using my Hiking Staff, and I'm paying for it today. No damage to anything, just really sore muscles in places I didn't know I had!

I'm doing stairs very well, as long as I remember to start down a flight with the bad leg, and come up a flight starting with the good leg. And take ONE step at a time. I just can't quite do it "normally" yet, and I'm working those muscles more with my exercises.

Had a great Virtual Visit with my Primary Care Provider. and she pretty much cleared me on any Bad Things that might have showed up in the various CT scans, MRI's, and X-rays I've had over the past month. NO signs of anything suspicious, strange growths, masses, or anything else. The "abnormal" things I saw mentioned are normal signs of aging. Throughout our whole conversation I kept mentioning the hip repair was "A non-issue", and "no big deal", to which her eyes popped open and said said "Well, a broken femur IS a "big deal", and can have serious complications". I agreed, and back pedaled a bit to say the pain and pain management were no big deal, and the PT was proceeding very well, and the other issues I was having weighed more on me than the femur. And it could have been much worse, requiring a total hip replacement, and not just some hardware.

The care I received at Poudre Valley Hospital was excellent. The food was pretty so-so and bland, but the staff was great, and I enjoyed talking with them. Same for the post-op care I received at the Centre Avenue Health and Rehab Facility. The food was much better, though, and the daily specials for lunch and dinner were outta-the-park. And they had ice cream! The staff was great, and the PT/OT people I worked with were a hoot. We were always cracking each other up, and one of the young ladies is a Monty Python fan, so we were throwing bits of dialog back and forth. She'd never heard of "Fawlty Towers", so I clued her in on it, and I'm sure she'll like it.

Next major thing is next Thursday when I have the follow-up with the urologist, and then again on the 37th when I have my follow-up with the Orthopedic Doctor. In the meantime, I'll just continue on with the Daily Slog of walker, exercise, cane, exercises, and dragging around all the plumbing hardware associated with having a Foley inserted.

Hope y'all have a Peaceful and Blessed weekend, and keep on rockin' on.

Onward, Through The Fog! (attributed to Oat Willie)

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Transisition From Walker To Cane

 Or "Hiking Staff", if you prefer. The PT gal watched me do some more movement and checks for flexibility, and said "Let's try your walking stick". Had to learn a few tips, but I was up and cruising around in no time. She said I'm not limping, my balance is good, and I'm cleared for using the stick around the house for now.

My virtual (Zoom) appointment with my Primary Provider is today, and I'm sure she'll have a few things to add, and test results to go over. I seem to be making good progress, but I'll let the experts worry over what level I'm at, and where I should be headed.

Beautiful day today, so SLW and I might make the trip down the driveway to the sidewalk a few times just to get some movement out in the Real World.

Oh....and Beans....My Cystoscopy  will be done under anesthesia, similar to what they done for a colonoscopy.

Thank heaven for small favors......

Monday, April 10, 2023

He is Risen

 Interesting (or Ironic) that my recent injury happened at this time of the year. Had some time on my hands, and did some introspection. Every bit of pain I experienced was nothing compared to what He suffered. And it led me to a much more profound understanding of Christ The Man.

So what else have I been doing thee last few days? Well, I'm itching to get back in the workshop, even if SLW has to be my "Assistant". The desire to get back down there comes from what I had just started, a pair of Speaker Cabinets with all the stuffin's!

A pair of TriTrix MTM/TL speakers from Parts Express. Pix courtesy of Parts Express.

I'd been mulling over getting different speakers for the Shop Stereo since I upgraded to the Pioneer SX-980. Next step is an SX-1080, and then ultimately an SX-1280. The SX-1980 is considered the Holy Grail of the Silver SX Pioneer series, but there's NO WAY I'm paying the ask for one of those.

The first set of speakers I built were the "HitMaker" bookshelf speakers, also from Parts Express.

These were "Okay" speakers, and can get unpleasantly LOUD when driven with just 7~8 Watts. They're also sensitive to being off-axis to you, as the highs from the tweeter, already too "bright", get very harsh if you go more than 12~15* off-axis of the tweeter. Makes them very sensitive to room placement. They're best being at ear level, and no more than a few feet away. Great for listening to some Sinatra while tinkering away on some intricate little mechanism for Q-Section.

And since I want to understand these things called "Loud Speakers", I have to get a better grasp on things like "Crossovers", and "Speaker Drivers". and the merits of different "Enclosure Designs". The first set was just a "Tuned Port" or "Bass Reflex" enclosure, while these new kits are of a "Transmission Line" enclosure design.

The assembly of the knocked down enclosures is very straightforward, and the CNC cut pieces fit snugly.

Should be a nice project.

Friday, April 7, 2023

A Whirlwind of Activity Engulfs Me....

Yesterday morning I had my Urology appointment so we can get to the bottom of this Urinary Retention issue I've been having. We went through all the urology stuff, my history, etc, etc, etc. He wants to leave the catheter in place until my next follow-up in a week, at which point they'll pull the cat, do a Cystoscopy, and then a urinary retention test. Doesn't sound like fun, at all....

  Yesterday afternoon we met with the in-home nursing care "Intake Nurse", who did all the usual nurse things, talked to me for a while for "Cognitive Ability", did a an evaluation on things like balance and Range-of-Motion, and had us sign a couple of documents. The nurse will stop in once a week to check up on me and do nurse things, and report the readings to The Doctors.

This morning we met with the PT/OT coordinator who did PT/OT evaluations, watched me maneuver around the house, and other PT/OT things. Then it was back to the hospital this afternoon to have a CT scan of my "Regions Down There". That went quite well, and the results came in about 90 minutes after the procedure. The verdict? Well there's bunch of terms I had to look up and grasp, but the gist is NO suspicious masses or cysts in the bladder, prostate, kidneys, and associated plumbing. Pancreas and Adrenals were "Negative", along with Lymph nodes and other structures. SLW, who went through this with her first husband (RIP, sir), knew most of the terms, and was whooping up and down saying "No Cancer!". So I guess I might be "clear", but I'll wait until the next appointment when I can discuss this with a Doctor. I have a Virtual Visit with my Primary Care Provider next week, and I'm sure we'll be cracking jokes back and forth while we discuss all the findings so far.

So, in the mean time I'll keep doing the exercises, taking some new meds, and drinking LOTS of extra water and a 50/50 mix of H2O and Gatorade.'s the installed hardware:


Hope y'all have a good weekend, and a Holy Easter Sunday.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Back Home!

 And I have almost 1000 emails to sort through.....DUH!

No problem getting in and out of SLW's car, and up the driveway into the house. The half-flight of stairs from that level to the main level is also no problem. Even made a cup of coffee unassisted.

 Getting from the lowest (Den/laundry/garage) level to the Main Level (Living, Dining/kitchen/sunroom)is easy, as it's only 5 steps. Going up to the top floor isn't bad, either. I did very well going up and down stairs, once they taught me a few things. And I have a walker up there, specifically for upstairs use.

Have not tried to go down in the basement yet, as SLW would most likely get quite nervous. Probably this weekend. Our Visiting Nurse comes by tomorrow afternoon for a meet-and-greet, and our Visiting PT gal will do the same a day or two later. If/when they clear me for basement access, I'll be quite happy.

I've already gone into the garage for a tool and some hardware, and had no problem. Yes, the Extension Cord of Doom has been removed  and banished. The cord reel goes up this weekend when my son comes by. The screws on my walker were loose, and one was missing, so I just had to fix it!

 Pebbles, as expected, turned into a Screaming Yellow Zonker for about 20 minutes, licking me everywhere she could reach, and wagging her tail so hard the back half her was a blur. It's nice to know you were missed!

Tomorrow morning is my appointment with the urologist, and we'll start looking seriously into the problems I've been on-and-off having for the last several months.

Next week is my appointment with my Primary Care Doctor, which should be fun. She's quite good, and can have a wicked sharp but subtle sense of humor.

Going Home..

 What beautiful words!

SLW will be here in about two hours, I have some paperwork to sign, and then we head home. We only live about a half mile from here, so easy-peasy drive.

I'll post later tonight after I get settled in at home.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Cleared For Release!


I'm being discharged tomorrow at 1100! 

Have to use a "Foley Catheter" for a while until I see the Urologist on Thursday, and they figure out this retention problem I've been having.

Gave me a bit of a scare, as I was passing some blood, but that seems to have cleared up overnight, and now the color in the bag is normal.

We ALL gave a huge sigh of relief thlis morning.

I think I see an MRI in the near future to give us a better view on things.

Pain management is going well, and I'm taking 4~6 Tramadol per day, depending on how much I hurt. Follow-up with the Orthopedic Surgeon is the 27th, and I'll have him look at my right knee, too. I think I twisted it when I fell, but the pain from that was so far down in the noise that I didn't notice it until my hip  improved and I was off the heavy duty pain meds.

It's been a trial, but the Psalms and Proverbs helped keep my sanity and gave me comfort. I'm also very thankful for having such good medical care, and the help my wife, family, and friends provided and offered.

So I'm "Number 1 On The Runway", and we're at T-minus 26 hours and counting.

I got out of this pretty light compared to what it could have been, and for that I'm extremely grateful.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Holy Smokes....I Logged In!

 Finally found a password that works. 

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their well wishes and encouragement.

Second, posting with a cellphone SUX! I'll try and comment on your blogs, but I doubt I'll generate any content here.

I'm being discharged to home on the 5th of April,  and do a catch-up post ASAP. The hospital care was excellent, and the PT/OT people here at the rehab facility are very good. I'm about a week ahead of what's "normal" for the operation I had (a couple of plates and a half-dozen screws), and I have a PT regimen to work on at home.

And now it's nap time.


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