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Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Puzzle

     It seems that even when we aren't at the Moorings, we are enjoying it vicariously by doing picture puzzles of it.

     This was a Christmas present from Cindy. She used a favorite picture of hers from one of her morning walks last summer and sent it in to a company that made a puzzle out of it. It took Durelle a month to finish it. Even in the photo here you can see that there are MANY similarly shaped pieces and that there are several large, monochromatic areas. In spite of a wagging golden retriever tail, there are no missing pieces.
     If you are wondering if Mocha is having any difficulty accommodating a new household, I offer Exhibit A:

     I paid a visit to the bus at ProTech where they are tackling a laundry list of fixes that are being worked on in between other jobs in their full lot. There are two birds killed with one stone. They have a "hangar queen" to work on at their leisure, while I get a winters worth of storage. They have maintained the bus since we bought it ten years ago. A few readers will not be surprised to learn that the beast takes 28 quarts of diesel oil. They also replaced a burned out transfer switch which might explain some of my battery difficulties.
     I still doubt that I will drive it to Maine. I am now driving the Corvette regularly and feel entirely safe. If you watched me exit the vehicle, you might have your doubts, however. We'll defer that decision for a while, but I do have to accommodate the schedule of my alternate driver. By range of motion and other measurable improvements the knee is getting better. I know we are not done with the knee, but sometimes it is hard to separate what is knee and what is neuropathy.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

January in Charleston

     It has been a pleasant month in Charleston. Two days ago we set a new record high temperature for the date...80 degrees! I am back to using the cane. It is not quite as stable as the walker, but it is a lot more convenient. The rejuvenated Corvette runs well. My half hour driving around the development at o/a ten MPH went well. Friday I drove it to PT with no problems. I'll try it again tomorrow. I am doing a lot of PT: MWF outpatient and twice a day for forty minutes each at home. I am seeing measurable progress in several areas. I can step over higher thresholds, and the range of motion continues to improve. If a perfectly straight leg is at 0 degrees and a knee bent at 90 degrees is at...wait for it...90 degrees, then my knee goes from 2 degrees to 115 degrees.
     Cindy has a coworker at the paper whose parents are also old Nashua, NH hands. During their latest visit a creative Sunday brunch was arranged at Edmund's Oast. It is one of the names that consistently appears at the top of the list of fine eating and drinking places in Charleston. 
     The food was all we expected. I ordered a "small" charcuterie plate for the table.

     I had a Trout Hollandaise. I had never heard of such a thing, but it was excellent. the sauce was not at all cheesy. Even Durelle's cheeseburger was far from pedestrian.

     Here's the requisite group photo.

     The place also has extensive outside service, both covered and uncovered.

     As we were leaving, I took a picture of a very appropriate motto. Actually, it may have been on an adjoining business, but it is a good one nonetheless.

     So, it's not spring yet, but things are brightening up...both the weather and my prognosis. Although the knee mechanics are improving, old man neuropathy is not giving up.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Knee et. al.

     Since the only thing new in my life is surgery recovery, AND since I haven't posted in two weeks, I guess I am left with nothing topical but my health status. I had my right knee replaced on 30 Nov, was released from the rehab hospital on 9 Dec, had three weeks of in home physical therapy and started outpatient PT yesterday. There was a side note to my first day of PT. Over the past few years I have done a lot of PT at two local facilities: Sports Plus, and the Balance Center. Recently the Roper St. Francis hospital purchased both of them from Clemson University. They consolidated them where the Balance Center had been. It was an amicable takeover and all the old heads are still there. Durelle accompanied me because I am not (yet?) driving. First, while I was still filling out paperwork, a couple the the male therapists came out of the orthopedic side with big grins and handshakes. Then! while I was on my back on a table getting my leg stretched, three women from the Balance Center came over, one at a time, with more grins and big hugs. First was the lead therapist, then the receptionist, and finally "my" therapist. Durelle was sitting across the room observing the parade with a smile (I think).
     So, recovery is well underway. On Tuesday I saw both the surgeon that replaced my knee and, in the afternoon, my neurologist. With the former it was all good news. The range of motion, the incision, the swelling, and the X-rays were all excellent. The neurologist visit was not so pleasant. I remembered that, ten years ago, his predecessor told me that I had an "idiopathic, incurable, degenerative neurological disorder". In layman's terms he said, "We don't know what caused your neuropathy. We don't know how to fix it, and it's going to get worse."
     Well, sure enough, it is getting worse. From an annoyance in my feet a decade ago, it has now moved up above my knees. The neurologist also said that when it gets above the knees, it sometimes shows up in the hands. There is no sign of that, but it is an unpleasant thought. So, since the neuropathy restricts me to using a walker, the therapy regimen for the knee is being substantially modified. 
     As a side note; this afternoon I will go to Senator Graham's Charleston office to help interview candidates for the various military academies class of 2021!!!. Of the four candidates I will be interviewing, all want to go to Annapolis. Half want Marine Corps Infantry. Oh well, I guess it's too late to dissuade them. Seriously, their credentials are outstanding. One is a track star valedictorian. Another is Captain of BOTH football and swimming at Myrtle Beach High School!...and that's a large school.
     Life goes on...largely with Durelle's help. I still plan to try out the Corvette with a few laps around the neighborhood.  It would be nice to be able to drive myself to my own PT three time a week so that Durelle would not have to watch those unseemly spectacles that she did yesterday.😉