2018 Life Logs, Day 128—Visit to an Orthopedic Surgeon
Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 65, Low 45 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA
I have put off today’s visit to an orthopedic surgeon to assess the state of my left knee for almost 10 years. So, needless to say, it was long overdue. The doctor confirmed what I already knew. There is absolutely no cartilage remaining in my left knee, so it is ‘bone on bone’. When the doctor walked in the room to meet me for the first time, he immediately said he had bad news. He had the results of the x-rays that had been taken when I first arrived for today’s appointment and after the niceties of meeting and greeting, he went into detail with the bad news. He first said that on the arthritis scale of 1 to 10, my knee is at an 11. He explained that I am obviously ‘an adaptor’ and must have a very high pain threshold. After asking many questions about my normal activities, he then outlined my two options. Both include a knee replacement, but that can happen sooner or later with no further damage to my knee. The ‘when’ of the surgery all depends on what I can tolerate in terms of pain and still keep up an active life. When my level of activity is further affected, then it is time for the surgery. The doctor spent a great deal of time with me, answered all my questions, and thoroughly outlined my two options. When I made it clear that I am just not ready for the surgery right now, he agreed and suggested cortisone shots every 3 months to control inflammation in the knee, a brace that I should wear when walking and standing for periods of time, and a few physical therapy sessions to teach me what I should and should not be doing on that knee. I agreed to all three. I reluctantly got the cortisone shot in the knee today, will receive the brace in about two weeks, and will start the PT next Wednesday. As doctors go, I really liked this one. I truly appreciated his thoroughness and the amount of time he took with me. I feel like I now have someone I can trust to keep watch over my knee situation and help me make the decision when it becomes apparent that I really need to have the surgery. When I eventually got home at the end of the day, I was greeted by Shirley Wiedemann, the 92 year-old woman who owns the home I am renting. She and her sister returned from their other home today and will spend the next month or so here. Shirley is mentally sharp as a tack and doesn’t look like she is 92, but her left knee is a major problem for her. She has to use a walker to get around and when we talked about what I had been doing this afternoon, her wise recommendation was that I should not wait too long to get the surgery done or I could end up like her. I will remember that advice.
Heather continues to recover quickly from her hernia surgery. I stopped in twice today to check on her and to do laundry. She can negotiate steps, but there is no need for her to be going down to the basement to do laundry for another few days. So, as I drove into town to go to the grocery store, I stopped to see Heather and put a laundry load in. This also gave us a chance to walk down to the garden to assess progress. Everything we have planted is coming up and is looking good at this point. Now it is time to plant a few more weather hearty seeds. We picked out the seed packets to be planted next and I will do that sometime this week. Then, at the end of the day when I returned from Hyannis, I stopped in again, put the clothes from the washer into the dryer, and started a new load. I’ll continue this little laundry dance over the next few days. Tomorrow Heather has to set-up and clean-up after a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon and then starting at 3 pm, she has to be at the school to distribute packets to parents who bought things during a recent fundraiser. Then at 6 pm, she has to be at the school for Jonah’s 3rd grade chorus concert. Heather swears she feels up to doing all this, but I did get her to relent to let me come help with luncheon clean-up. Hopefully that will speed things up enough that she will have time for a short nap. Then on Thursday, she is back to work full-time. And she is still planning to continue with plans to attend a two-night camping outing with Jonah’s Scout troop this weekend. This includes a day of biking on Saturday. Sure hope this all works out for her as this was her request for Mother’s Day.
My day tomorrow includes going to a class at the gym at 9:15 am, doing Teacher Appreciation Luncheon clean-up at 1 pm, and going to Jonah’s concert at 6 pm. In between all of that, I hope to start assembling the garden raised beds I bought today while in Hyannis. I had a house warming Home Depot gift certificate from Tom and Detta Porat and this morning I got an early Mother’s Day Home Depot gift certificate from Heather, Jed, and boys. So I bought out all of the 8-foot raised beds available at the Hyannis Home Depot. The area in front of the house where I plan to locate these raised beds is covered with a mixture of grass and moss with a sand base. I will remove the grass and moss, put in the raised beds, fill them with organic garden soil, and hope something will grow.
The activity level in my life just seems to keep on going. I desperately need to take a day off focus on paperwork. I have to contact all of my accounts to make an official address change and I’m sure that is going to cause all sorts of stress. Because of that, I have been putting off the contacts, but the time has come. So hopefully on Thursday or Friday, I will stop all projects and do that necessary ‘paperwork’. In between all of these jobs, I will make sure to enjoy the lovely spring weather that has finally arrived.