If you were paying attention, I referred to myself as 'broken' the other day. Well - surprise! - tomorrow morning at 8am I will have surgery on my neck. My main symptom I can only describe as the same pain you get from hitting your 'funny bone', from my neck to my fingers except it never goes away. It is better some times and worse at other times, but it is constant. Though my shoulder and arm feel most of the pain, there is nothing wrong with them physically. The nerve is being pinched in my neck by a herniated disc between c6 and c7. That disc will be removed and an implant will fuse those two vertebrae together - and they go in through the front and push my throat and soft tissue aside!
The pic above I found on google images and it looks almost exactly like what I will go through tomorrow, as I understand it. Click on it for a slightly larger version. I called the office on Friday, because of my pain and knowing the next step was surgery I want to get that process started as soon as possible, and I was given an appointment for this morning. So today I spent 2 1/2 hours sitting in the doctor's office hoping they could throw this together for me. See, turns out my surgeon is going on vacation, so if not tomorrow then April 11 is the next date available to have this done - so this means about 2 weeks of pain that I won't have to endure. Thankfully, I think they saw the pain I was in and they didn't want me to have to wait. Maybe my doctor would have felt guilty going on vacation knowing I was in pain, waiting for his return. Maybe. I'm just thankful they were able to pull it off. I think they needed to secure the operating room first, then they had to pull some strings to secure an anesthesiologist. That's just the gist I got, but no matter what I'm thankful to my neurosurgeon, his physicians assistant, and their hardworking nurse who I have talked to the most these last few months. She's the one who has the huge job dealing with my insurance company and coordinating the scheduling of everything.
Unfortunately, and this speaks to the whole system, one of my biggest worries is not having any sick or vacation time to use for almost a whole year after I return to work. I had everything wiped out when I was out with my leg last fall, now I'm just about to get all my sick and vacation time back and I'm afraid they'll take it all away over the next few weeks. That reminds me of this pic. Anyway, I'll see how that unfolds after the surgery. The faster I get back to work the less I have to worry about that.
Hopefully I will sleep away most of the day tomorrow after the surgery, have an uneventful night, and be discharged by noon, I expect, on Thursday. Due to the late notice my wife will have to work part of the day at least tomorrow. All she has to do is drop me off in the morning and pick me up on Thursday morning, but I'm sure she will worry and come back to the hospital as soon as she can. In those situations I always want her there with me but then I feel guilty because there is nothing she can really do but hold my hand and I know she is needed at work right now. Everyone else, please don't worry about me, it is a pretty routine surgery I'm told, but I may not be blogging or talking to anyone for a few days. I know I will feel better eventually but, man, surgery always sucks.
Today my handy wife did the grouting on the tile under the cabinets. I'm proud of how she just took it upon herself to research how to do it right and then get in there and get her hands dirty. I've been broken again lately so my role has been more to shop, advise and reassure her that she's doing a great job. It wasn't a very large space and the float trowel was pretty big so a kitchen spatula was sacrificed to help in the smaller areas and around the edges. In a couple hours we can sponge off the tile, then the next step is to get caulk and run a bead along the lower edge of the tile and perhaps the ends of the counter.
Below is what my wife did to our kitchen - I think it looks a hundred times better than when we moved in!
Of course, this is only one view in the kitchen, but I looked through some old pics and found similar views so go ahead and click read more below to see somewhat of the progression.
Aside from recent work outside on the garden and yard, the past few weekends and some weeknights have been spent remodelling the kitchen. My wife has done most everything for this project, sometimes getting frustrated with me and my lackadaisical approach. Truth is, I found out when we did the bathroom that I really hate painting and I hope we don't have to do it again for a long time. Unfortunately, though, the bathroom needs some touch up work done, so that will have to be done soon as well.
Anyway, the last of the wallpaper was removed a few weeks ago and the walls have now been painted a new shade, aganthus green, and the ceiling has a new coat of paint as well. There have been several touch ups needed and that's fine, it is looking better and better.
Sunday afternoon she was looking at putting up the tile backsplash and just jumped right in. I had to make a quick rainy run to the hardware store because we were short on adhesive, but otherwise it seemed to go up pretty smoothly. it really changes the look of the kitchen for the better.
The adhesive must dry now for a couple of days before we grout it. Tonight we can pull out the spacers and sponge it down, though.
I had my 'Horns Up' all day yesterday celebrating my favorite pastime. Shortly after I got to work I just felt the need to do some serious rocking out via ipod. At times, I was expecting someone to shoot a rubber band to tell me my headphones were too loud, but no one complained. (From what I heard in between songs they were probably too busy gossiping and such to care about my sound leaks.) I did listen to some talk podcasts to give my ears a break but still managed to listen to many of my favorite thrash albums while still churning out more work than is expected of me. Jamming to my favorite music probably even made me work faster. That feeling followed me in the car on my way home and I played concert DVDs on my computer until my wife went to bed. I can't literally bang my head anymore with my bulging neck disc so I have to do a more subtle full body sway as I rock out, but I still enjoy the hell out of my music!
In other happenings, my wife tells me the peas need to be planted today so expect an update or two over at the garden blog. Today is supposed to be sunny and in the low 50's and tomorrow cooler and rain so today is the day to do it!
Here's the newest x-rays of my leg from earlier this week. The cracks in the bottom of the femur (my knee) have healed and above that it is healing well in the back of the bone, but the front of the bone still has much filling in and healing to do yet. So instead of releasing me from care I must go back in another 6 weeks for yet another follow up. Also, he said he would order more physical therapy for me. My last scheduled appointment is next week so I'll see then exactly how many more times I will be allowed to go.
Also, my B is back! I noticed a few days ago that I was getting the orange B by my blog in the address bar again. I don't know if it was just me that saw it change for a while, only Delcatto let me know what he saw, but I'm glad it's back.
Finally, a belated Happy Birthday to my dear sister, who I just don't see enough. I'd like to spend more time with all my family in theory, in reality we all live in different cities and I don't like to travel. Sad, but true.
I'm as guilty as anyone, but I know they all have computers and an email or a comment here is a better way to get a hold of me than by phone, hint hint!
I'm not sure exactly when this happened, last night or while I worked today. It's not that I don't care, but I am trying to keep this mostly in my peripheral vision.
Listen, I have my own views and I'm used to keeping them mostly private (but I'm sure you can tell how I lean). Unless there is something spectacular happening I'm not going to keep posting on this topic. I'm sure there are plenty of political bloggers that would be happy for you to read their take. I'm not a political blogger like I'm not a sports blogger but local big events I will comment on, but only briefly.
I had another follow up visit with the orthopaedic surgeon this morning. Everything is fine but, honestly, I just don't feel like writing about it tonight - but I will leave you with this pic of a small (3-4 inches high) container that was in my exam room. No, I didn't have the nerve to look inside.
Yeah, it's finally Saturday! I've had a slow posting week as you can see. My site traffic has slowed back down to the usual teens per day. It was interesting getting so many hits last month, yet no one left a comment. Heck, my family doesn't even comment anymore.
Estimates are starting to come in for a project we want done this spring. There is one more contractor coming out early next week to take a look and get us one more estimate before we make a decision on who to hire. The project is a door and steps for the back porch. We want to put in a door where one of the windows is, then have a little landing and steps going down towards the driveway. Easier access to the back yard will make grilling and entertaining much easier. Right now we have a front door and a side door only. I'm sure I'll have much more on this as we get closer to getting it done, first the ground has to thaw.
Thursday was PT again, my knee bend is now up to 114 degrees. I have only one more PT visit approved by my insurance coming up in 3 weeks. My therapist is going to ask for more, but neither of us is very optimistic knowing how my insurance company is so cheap. Still, there are things he can do for my knee that I just can't duplicate by myself at home so it is worth asking. Also, next week I have what may be my final x-rays and follow-up with the orthopaedist. I'm still using the cane, less and less at home lately, but it is still necessary. I lurch without it but I have to learn to walk with my knee bent slightly again and not do the peg leg thing. But I'm getting there, still progressing even though it feels like slow progress. It has been over 6 months now since I broke my femur, I never thought it would take this long to get back...
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.