Thursday, March 05, 2015

Coping

Bill and I just got back from shopping at Walmart.  I had to use one of those motorized go carts again. I would ask Bill to pick up my items but he gets them mixed up.  All I needed was the Walmart brand of bran cereal and 100% Concord Grape/Cranberry juice.  I stocked up big time since leaving the house, getting in the back seat of the car and getting out is so laborious.

I also took a shower this morning, which is exhausting.  What normally takes me about five to ten minutes takes at least forty-five minutes now.  I have to be very careful with my injured leg, I can't lift it.  I have to drag it over the small metal ridge into the shower.  And I certainly don't want to collapse in the shower with my leg giving out so I have to take my metal cane in with me. Then I have to wash with special anti-bacterial soap, which I was told to do several days before my surgery.

I don't feel as bad now as I did yesterday with my little setback of cardiac clearance prior to my surgery.  I understand now this is fairly common practice in the litigious society we live in today. And I do have an extra heartbeat that I've known about for the past few years.  My cardiologist says it is fairly normal for a person of my age (old guy that I am) to have the lower left ventricle not close all the way and the rest of the heart to try and make up for that pump malfunction.  He said "After all Ron, your heart has been beating non-stop since 1941."  These days I am getting more and more references to what an old man I am.  Funny that, in my mind I'll always be a Young Guy. 


Me at the doctor's office the other day filling out more forms

I have a fairly restful night last night.  I finished watching the last episode of "Downton Abbey."  Now for another non-violent series (all my Netflix DVD's have violence which I'm not in the mood for right now) to take my attention away from my current situation.  Watching the white tie tuxedo lords and bejeweled ladies sitting around that magnificent banquet table for "dinner", really helps. 


Upstairs with the swells, where I wish to be
Downstairs with there servant class - where I belong
I wish I could go on folks but I am exhausted after the shower this morning and shopping this morning, which requires me getting in and out of the car and onto that go cart.  I've said it before and I will say it again, thank God for my Bill.  What a saint he is.  Going on fifty-one years and he's still waiting on me hand and foot.  Maybe I do have it better than Lord and Lady Mary Crawley of Downton Abbey.


Lord and Lady Mary Crawley ; "What? Ron Tipton is joining us for dinner tonight? And just WHO IS HE?" 
Guess who is coming to dinner

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Roller Coaster



This day could best be described as a roller coaster day.

Earlier this afternoon (2:15 PM) I had my surgery time to repair my injured knee, confirmed: 

this Friday at 11:30 AM. 

I was wrapping my head around this when I took to my bed for my daily afternoon nap.

I awoke an hour and a half later to the sound of my silenced iPhone beeping with a phone call.  As I pick it up I notice two messages on it already.

I answer my phone.  It is "Ginny" from my orthopedic surgeon's office.  She tells me that I didn't pass my EKG test yesterday and they have made an appointment with my cardiologist at 10:30 AM this Friday.  They detected an extra heartbeat (something I've been aware of for a few years now, two stress tests during those years) for:

Cardiac Clearance

She said the anesthesiologist will not go near me for surgery unless I get a "cardiac clearance."  

I called my neighbor Barbara and told her the latest developments.  She said she has to get a cardiac clearance whenever she goes under.  Apparently this is routine.  I hope so.  

Of course this development has me scared to death.  I'm not ashamed to admit I'm not a brave man.  But I do care about those who care for me.  I am afraid.  More afraid than I've ever been for surgery.  I was wondering why earlier today and was told because this knee surgery affects my mobility.  So much of what I do.  

Bill hates it when I say this, but he gets more upset than I do when something like this happens. We're just trying to hold it together here folks.  Thank goodness we have each other.


Quadriceps Tendon Rupture



The news from my doctor wasn't good yesterday afternoon.  He informed me that my quadriceps in my left knee were torn (disconnected) when I fell three weeks ago (to this day).  That's why I can't lift my lower left leg.  The technical term is:

quadriceps tendon rupture 

See HERE

He has to connect (sew) them back together.  That means he has to drill holes in my knee for that repair. That means I need surgery.

Surgery is scheduled for this Friday.  It will be outpatient surgery. Six to eight weeks recovery. The doctor tells me I won't be able to punt a football anymore. But I should recover nicely with a combination of bed rest and physical therapy. 

You know, there is a good blogger friend of mind who occasionally complains of his "boring" life.  Well, my life is anything but boring.  I'll take boring any day to what I'm going through now.  

I'm not a brave fellow folks. I'm the first to admit it.  But I will get through this.  I think the worst of it will be the inactivity and not being able to drive.  The loss of my mobility. But I will adjust.  I've already adjusted. 

Now back to bed to put this leg horizontal and get some relief.   


Monday, March 02, 2015

Relapse (Temporary)



Bill brining up food for me from our basement freezer - what would I do without Bill?

Late yesterday my flu symptoms (sneezing, aches, fatigue, congestion) came back with a vengeance.  

I had seven huge sneezes in the space of two minutes.  You know what that sneezing indicated don't you?  Your body trying to expel those germs (or virus) or whatever.  All I know was that I was feeling lousy again and I went back to bed after my first decent meal in two days, beef stew.  




The last two days I've eaten nothing but Campbell's and Progresso chicken soup.  I really feel the chicken soup consumption lessened my flu symptoms but man oh man, did they come back last night.

I didn't want to go to bed at 7 o'clock.  I wanted to watch a movie but wasn't in the mood for a bloody, revenge movie "Blue Ruin" (what I had on tap from my Netflix DVD) so I pulled up my saved DVR "Downton Abbey."  I needed some real escapist diversion.  I wasn't in the mood for guns and gore last night. I had no more "Judge Judy" and I wasn't in the mood for the plasticity of Patti Stanger and "Millionaire Matchmaker" (can only take so much of that Hollywood glitz and glamor phoniness of so-called millionaires).  

I had saved last season of "Downton Abbey" and was saving this season but to my dismay I saw that last season was gone.  I guess when my DVR saves a new season, the previous season is wiped out.  

So I watched it anyway, missing the whole of season four.  Guess what?  It only took me a few minutes to catch up that Lady Mary is involved in yet another pre wedlock affair, Thomas is still struggling with his homosexuality and still an unsympathetic character, Mr. Bates is still being hounded 

Les MisĂ©rables style, Daisy is still trying to better herself by book learning, Lord Grantham is still strutting around like a cock rooster and best of all, Dame Maggie Smith is still playing Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. So many reasons to watch this wonderful show but Dame Maggie is the best.  I hear she probably won't be in next season (if there is) which is a shame because Dame Maggie "Weekend? What's a weekend"?" if Dame Maggie goes I fear there go the raison d'ĂȘtre for me watching this show.


Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess on "Downton Abbey". Superb!

So where am I going with this post?  It was supposed to be all about my convalescing and I get diverted off to the very talented Dame Maggie Smith.

Well folks, I feel a lot better this morning.  My flu like symptoms seem to be gone (finally) now.  

This morning was Shower Day.  Every third day I take off my leg brace and take a shower, an exhausting challenge for sure (try it sometime when you injure your leg).  




I still can't bend my knee nor lift my lower leg but I was able to get in and out of the shower (one little step up in and same out) easier than I have before.  

Of course sitting here at my computer desk is still very uncomfortable with my left leg extended out so I'm going to end this little missive shortly.  

The photo at the top is Bill coming upstairs (he lives in our finished basement), bringing me food (frozen beef stew in individual boiling bags) last night.  I cannot go up or downstairs.  Thank goodness again I decided to live on one floor when I moved to Delaware, in anticipation of getting old and immobilized like I am now.

I feel like I'm rambling so I will end but not before reminding one and all I have my appointment tomorrow at 2:40 PM with my orthopedic surgeon.  He has the results of my MRI that I had taken last Monday.  I'll find out what the extent of the damage is to my left leg and how long it will take to heal.  I'm hoping no surgery will be necessary.  What a mess this has been.  Again, I cannot stress enough, be very careful when walking about outside in icy and unsafe conditions.  You could end up like me.



Sunday, March 01, 2015

Back Among the Living

The view from my bed the last two days

Folks, I'll won't beat around the bush here.  The past two days I felt like dying.  That's how bad my flu was.  So much for my annual flu shot. Every year I get a flu shot at the VA and every year, except last year, I get the flu.  And I get it BAD.  The past two days was no exception.

And to have a bad case of the flu hobbling around on this injured leg of mine.  I didn't even put on my pants the past two days and that's not like me.  All I wanted to do is go to sleep and not wake up.  That's how miserable I was. 

Laid up and out of commission - at least I have my pants on today - I'm not a bathrobe kind of guy


I could only eat chicken soup.  I didn't even want to drink that much. My Nestle's bottled water didn't even taste good.  My day consisted of:


  • sleeping
  • getting up and going to the bathroom
  • hobbling out in the pitching and preparing something to eat (chicken soup only)
  • getting back into bed
  • sleeping
The first day I was all slept out so I watched TV.  The only times I watch TV are when I watch one of my Netflix movie rentals on the weekend.  The other times I have the TV on is for wallpaper; either while I'm eating or doing something in the kitchen or working on my computer.  I never just SIT and watch the TV like a couch potato.  However, that's what I did yesterday because I was all slept out.  It worked.  I binged watch "Millionaire Matchmaker" for hours, even to the extent of watching Patti trying to match up the odious Perez Hilton (God, who would want a date with THAT?) 

Perez (Mario Lavandeira, Jr.) Hilton

The past two days I've been coughing up green and yellow phlegm (sorry) and just feeling blah, the way you feel when you have the flu.  I must have had an infection in my bladder because that was even hurting (not now though).  Usually when I have a bad case of the flu my bladder hurts, like I have to go but I can't.  

This morning when I woke up I actually felt human again.  Still exhausted, still hobbling around (not much pain from my leg thank goodness) and still have the remnants of this flu but I feel it going away.  You know how you know when you're over the worst of it?

I wish I could sit longer at this computer typing but as you know, my left left still has to be straight, not bent and it is very uncomfortable typing.  But I did want to bring everyone who is interested up to snuff on how I'm doing.  I actually think I'll survive this latest health crises.  I keep thinking back to how easily I could have avoided my slip and fall that put me into this position but I guess I should be thankful I wasn't more seriously hurt or left to lie outside in that alley all night, unable to move.  Thank God I took the three steps into the hotel lobby before I collapsed and thank God I had my iPhone with me.  Who needs Life Alert whiny have your iPhone?  Not me, that's for sure.  

Standing on my own two feet this morning 


Thank you again Steve Jobs for saving my life, again.




Friday, February 27, 2015

Chicken Soup, Gingera Ale and Plenty of Rest


Best flu remedy ever - chicken soup!

The old home remedies really do work folks. In addition to my incapacity with my injured leg, I had a bad cold.  This one was the flu.  So much for my flu vaccine.  Last year was the only year that I didn't catch the flu.  Each year I get the flu vaccine and each year (except for last year) I get the flu.  

The ONLY soda for flu upset stomach - Schweeps doesn't work


Well, the fever broke last night.  I'm losing track of time here but yesterday (or was it the day before yesterday?) I was in bed all day and all night sleeping off and on.  I was exhausted and feeling terrible.  Not just because of my leg but because of . . . . yes . . . you guess it although I was in self-denial . . . I had the flu.  

I can always tell the signs of the flu.  For one thing I ache all over, I don't have an appetite, I feel like I have to constantly urinate and I have "that cough."  You know the kind, that hurts and brings up the yellow-green mucus. I apologize if I'm grossing anyone out. 

The overall feeling is of one you just want to lie down and die.  

Time for Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and Canada Dry Ginger Ale.  Sure salt ladened soup and sugar ladened soda but hey, that's what works for me when I have a bad cold or flu (I have a hard time distinguishing the difference between the two).   I knew I was really sick when I didn't have the taste for my usual late night Key Lime pie with strawberries for dessert.

Instead of sleeping all day yesterday I laid in bed with my injured leg horizontal and binged watched five "Judge Judy" episodes I had on my DVR recordings.  I had lunch of chicken soup and my hummus wrap (which, again I didn't have an appetite for, thus how I knew I was sick), then took my usual afternoon nap in my sunny, solar warmed bedroom.  I have the best bedroom for convalescing bar none.

Convalescing with Judge Judy and Bert 

Waking up, at four PM, I struggled out of bed (that's all I do with this injured leg is struggle and envy people who can walk around on two legs). and spent some time with Bill.  I prepared a light dinner (chicken soup again) and then back to bed.  More "Judge Judy" then "Millionaire Matchmaker" with Patti Stanger (don't be judging . . . . . I LOVE that show).   

Patti Stanger - my guilty pleasure


Eleven o'clock rolls around and I'm off to Dreamland again but not before taking a swig of Niquil.  

I wake up at 2 AM and I am soaked.  My flannel sheets are soaked, my T-shirt is soaked and my tight-whities are soaked.  And . . . . could it be?  I actually felt human again.  Still sick mind you, sick had a bum leg that I'm struggling with but I actually felt like I had a reason to live.

I went back to bed but this morning I had to wash everything.  Sheets and myself.  With this bum leg I only take a shower every three days (don't judge) because it is such a struggle.  Thank goodness I can take my leg brace off and wash my blue and purple leg, unlike when I had a hip to ankle leg cast in 1962 on my right leg that I couldn't take off for six weeks and my leg stunk to high Heaven when the doctor broke of my leg cast.

I knew I had made progress with my flu when I coughed up some big pieces of greenish yellow phlegm this morning.  Imagine that stuff in your lungs.  No wonder people die from the flu.  

I'm still weak and need plenty of bed rest.  I sent Bill to the store this morning for some food.  This is the first time he's ever done that and he was nervous.  Only four things; 73% hamburger, frozen Famous Fries, one red onion and a dozen eggs.  He had to take an old bag of Famous Fries.  What takes me ten minutes took him over an hour to get but he was successful.  He said "They have that stuff spread all out over the store!" And he said he had the hardest time finding a red onion.  I said "Did you look in the vegetable section?"  He doesn't know a vegetable section.  Folks, I'm not kidding you, Bill is helpless and clueless on the household side of things here.  He's great at handyman activities but cooking, shopping, paying the bills, and running a household?  You're looking at it right here . . . . moi!~.  Do you know the fifty some years we've been together Bill has only cooked one meal for me? And it was a disaster.  But then I wouldn't know how to put up a backsplash either so I guess the household chores all even out.  

Well folks, I have to get now.  I've told you how uncomfortable it is to sit at my computer with my left leg extended whilst I type my ruminations. 




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Not Well



Folks, I'm going to be absent for a few days from this blog.  I'm very sick.

It is painful for my leg to sit at this computer, I cannot get in a good position.  And now I have a horrific cold. 

Yesterday I slept the whole day in my bed, only getting up for a light lunch and dinner.  The last two nights I've been to bed at 7:30 PM to 8 PM.  

The only relief I get from the pain in my leg (which isn't a great pain but still very uncomfortable) is when I am lying horizontal in my bed, so that's where I'll spend most of  my day today also.

Monday I had an MRI taken to access the damage to the ligaments of my leg.  I didn't hear anything back from my doctor's office so I called.  My doctor was out of the office this week, so they had another doctor look at the MRI.  They didn't tell me anything but do want to see me next Tuesday instead of the following week.

I still can't lift my bottom left leg but I can wiggle my toes.  This cold isn't helping things out one bit.  In fact I am miserable.  

Sorry to dump all this on you, my blog readers but I'm just telling you how it is.  

Hopefully, someday soon I'll be back to normal.  But in the meantime, I'm just getting through one day at a time.

Now if you'll excuse me I have some bills to pay.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Learning a New Humility

Today I learned a new level of humility.  Ever go shopping and have to dodge those handicap vehicles?  I have and to be honest with you, I'm usually annoyed.  No more. This morning I learned a new level of humility when I conceded the only way I was going to shop at B.J. Wholesale Club (me and Bill's main source of vitals) was to ride one of those dang things.

I was going to give Bill a shopping list but I knew that wasn't going to work.  Every time in the past I've asked him to get even one item in the store, he ALWAYS gets the wrong thing.  I just had too many things to get today plus I wanted to stock up so I wouldn't have to go as often since I'm wearing this leg brace.

So check out the video folks.  I have been humbled. By the way, shopping from one of those vehicles isn't all that easy either.  Reaching and looking at items, difficult when you're sitting that low.  And halfway through the shopping I thought I would have to abandon my vehicle because it wasn't running.  Thank goodness the green light came on again and I was able to traverse the five football field lengths of B.J.'s (which never seemed that long before my leg injury).



 This morning started out with a jolt. I awoke at 7:30 and realized my appointment at the healthcare campus was at 8:30 for my MRI.  No breakfast for The Injured this morning. 

Again, thank goodness for Bill.  I dressed quickly and Bill helped to get me in the back seat of my car.  Bill's driving now.  Usually I drive but who knows when I'll be driving again.  What do people who live by themselves do when they're in the condition I'm in?  I am so lucky in so many ways. 

Bill drives me down to the healthcare campus.  Of course I hobbled into the wrong building.  I always do.  I've been to this campus many times over the past few years. It's where I had my seed implants.  Also various tests and it is also were my dermatologist is located.  Oh yes, I've been cut, inserted, tested at this location plenty of times and yet, I always seem to get the wrong building.  

As I said, I hobbled over to the correct building rather than get in the car and get out, which would actually take longer.

They took me right away at the testing area.  Ever have an MRI?  It is LOUD.  Thirty plus minutes in a tube and LOUD.  What's with the LOUD?  The technician asked me what kind of music I liked so I could wear earphones to drown out some of the LOUD.
I said "anything but rap and folk music."  She choose "Fifties".  Gee, I wonder why.  So while listening to Bobby Darin singing "splash splash I was taking a bath . . . . " I was further radiated.  Heck, I gave up years ago having babies.  After my seed implants for prostate cancer, on of the lovely side effects is that I shoot blanks.  Yep, that's right folks . . . . nothing come out.  TMI?  Just telling you like it is folks.

After this procedure, which wasn't as horrible as I feared, Bill took me down to the hotel where I work.  My co-worker Monica was going to loan me her crutches.  That's right folks, Ron is on crutches now.  


Me in the backseat of my car (the only way I can ride with this stiff leg - I did this once before in 1962 when I dislocated my right knee - I have experience)

I've never used crutches before and I wasn't sure I could but you know what?  I took right too it like a baby swimming. I only use the right crutch though.  That seems to work best for my bum left leg.

So this morning, the day after the Oscars, I would have normally written about my criticisms and hosannahs about the Oscars.  Hey, doesn't Lady Gaga have a wonderful singing voice?  And what was that "making it all about me" moment when Sean Penn

Sean "It's All About Me" Penn


announced the winner for best Oscar.  See HERE. I know many of the Hollywood celebrities have outsized egos but man oh man, Sean . . . . get over yourself.  It's not about you man. Go back to Haiti and get some more good-two shoe points.  And how about poor Reese? She didn't get her Oscar so maybe her "You'll soon know my name" (when her and her hubby were stopped for suspicion of DUI and she took great umbrage that a police officer would actually QUESTION HOLLYWOOD royalty - she of "do not make direct eye contact with me to the servants") attitude will diminish, ever so slightly one would hope.  Did you see that forced smile her hubby Jim Toth had after Julianne Moore won for Best Actress?   


Actually. . . . embarrassing. Can you say "Jumped the Shark?"

I didn't seen the beginning of the Oscars because I was busy feeling sorry for myself while watching to God awful Netflix rentals. My pal Pat reminded me.  I tuned in just in time to see Oscar Host Doogie Howser Neil Patrick Harris  in one of his oh so fashionable skinny suits (this one was a shiny maroon)

The ubiquitous SCARF that some male celebrities wear to the special events.  What's with THAT? What are they going to an art show afterwards?  I thought that's the only place where one was ALLOWED to wear The Scarf.


looking like a deer in the headlights doing his  Oscar hosting chores.  See HERE: By the way, what was that THING with former Oscar winner Olivia Spencer that Neil kept trying to make funny?  I felt sorry for Olivia, one classy lady.  Neil, I like you but you sure ain't Ellen.  What happen to Neil anyway?  He actually made James Flacko Franco look good as an Oscar host. Of course James won't be around as Oscar host anymore because he and Best Buddy Bromance Boyfriend Seth Rogan are too busy with their next ridiculous script for a totally stupid, asinine movie for which they will be paid millions.  Who sees their movies anyway?  Are we really that stupid in this country that ANYONE would pay to see those two clowns again?  But I digress.  See what you missed by me not writing about the Oscars last night.  I should have been Tweeting all along but I forgot that too.

Just one more thing about the Oscars:  don't you love it when some of these guys (and almost always, it's the guy who are so pretentious with their messy hairdos and scarves) get up there and ALWAYS thank their WIVES, KIDS and last night one self-important discoverer of polio vaccine even thank (are you sitting down?) HIS DOG!  I hope he was joke (probably wasn't).  


"The Green Card Son of a Bitch Guy" (according to Mr. Self Important Sean Penn) director accepting the award for Best Picture - "Birdman"
Oh I can't help myself, more Oscar comments.  Didn't Jennifer Anniston look great?  Hey, gay man here but Jen looked HOT!


Perfect Jen!
And the gay in my of course LOVED Lady Gaga's outfit.  



Okay folks, I had fun here.  I feel like my leg is getting better (yes, I switched lanes).  My orthopedic doctor will analyze the results of the MRI I had taken today and tell me of the damage and what I have to do.  

I do so hope I can get back to my regular routine soon.  My appointment with him is March 9th. I'm ready for some GOOD NEWS.