A movie and a recliner…

December 3, 2017

It’s time for my second recheck after my stay at the Shangri La Hilton for 5 days. I’m only supposed to put 15# on the leg with crutches, but you know, I’ve been bad. Bad Mary. But the leg feels pretty good. A few steps is OK. I wouldn’t use the stairs without help. Experimenting is OK if done carefully. Going too hard and fast is just plain stupid.

With the last hip fx, it was horribly painful. This one has been pretty good because it was not displaced. No pain meds except while in the hospital and here at home for the first week. My pain meds were Oxycodone-yep, the one that has gotten so much publicity of late. My doctor told me once that if you take it for real pain, you don’t get addicted. When I broke my R hip in ’04, it was so painful that the trauma surgeon had me on two tabs every four hours. Now that’s a lot. Did I come out of that as an addict? No. I just stopped when the pain was minimal. As an athlete in HS and college, and afterward, I can tell you I have never been stoned or high. I did hallucinate during the first hip fx, as I had the pump with morphine in it. I hallucinated, but didn’t know what it was.

For the L hip, I was surprised and angry that the hospital sent me home with only a week’s worth of Oxy. One pill every six hours. I was expecting horrid pain. The pain was so minimal compared to the other hip, that I got along just fine with the dosage-one tab every six hours. I renewed it once, but have only taken one pill of the second bottle.

Now that I’m mobile, driving, doing errands, and getting the mail (in the car!), when I have a busy day, I’m beat by 3pm. I eat lunch, put in a movie watched a million times, and snooze. Life is good.

Wednesday, I have an appt. with the dr. is in the morning. I’ll bring my Kindle as he often runs two and a half hours behind.At one, my usual appt. with my writing coach, Judy. Then that evening, we have our double-November/December park board meeting. I know the next day will be a movie and the recliner. One’s body has a way of telling you, “Enough”! Time to heal. The only thing I have is shlepping my currently fuzzy pup to the spa.

Thursday will be my movie and recliner day.


Thank you notes

November 22, 2017

I enjoy Jimmy Fallon’s Friday Thank You Notes on the Tonight Show. I’d like to offer some of my own.

0-means nobody stepped up. Other digits reflect on how many. $ means I paid money.

++++ means extra thanks.

To my friend and Lyft driver, +++++ You were to take me to my first dr. visit after the hospital, but got a gig to drive to DIA. That’s how it works. I started driving again because of that. You also did some chores for me. $ ++++

To the friends that kept Ivy at their home for 10 days. $$$$++++

To the cards I got. 3

To the visitors who came to the hospital. 1 plus my Rabbi and his baby.

To the visitors who came to the house. 0

For the flowers I received. 0

For the stuffed frog and chicken soup. 9, but really 2. J & E They added in the relatives in CA and AZ, but it was from them. Same as when Earl died.

To the woman who walks Ivy every day, Rover.com-wonderful. $ ++++

To the man who fed the cats and changed the litter. ++++

To the mother and son who filled my fridge. 0 ++++

To my new next door neighbors who went to Safeway and Trader Joe’s (comfort food). $++++

To people who called and checked up on me. 3

To Dr. Kindsfater, joint replacement specialist, who really had my back during the pre-op time. You told me what should be done. You called, and visited. When Doogie came to tell me he was going to replace my hip, first I’d heard of that. I became a snarling, shrieking maniac in pre-op. Dr. K stepped in on his cell and told Doogie what to do, saying if the screws failed, he would replace the hip. BTW, hip replacements are not a big deal not in technique but in fact, you just have to follow the hip rules. I asked Dr. K to please take over management of my case because we have a 12-year history, and he said yes. He sent his PAs over every morning. When Doogie’s PA showed up the day after surgery, I kicked her smarmy ass out of the room.

That’s enough. I was talking to my friend, Linda, of sixty years, and she read me the riot act about the above. She said just because I step up to help, that doesn’t mean others will reciprocate. She is right, but I’m still stewing about it. Gotta put my big girl pants on and do what Earl always said, “Get it done and move on.” Am I still going to help others, you bet. People at their worst need help, even if it is just sitting quietly with them.


Three out of four

November 21, 2017

With this latest hip fracture, I realize I have broken three out of four of the largest bones in the body. Last Feb, I did my R humerus, and it is murder with crutches. I start PT after Thanksgiving.

My ortho buddy, Dr. K., discussed my osteoporosis with me. I’ve had it forever, as most runts have, but I went off the first medication ten years ago. It made me feel bad on the day I took it. Didn’t want to feel bad 1/7 days of my life. Today, there are many meds, with many that go in  IV once or twice a year. This bypasses the GI system, so that might work.

Here is the order of what we are doing, we being me and doctors:

Fx of hip.

Discuss osteoporosis with ortho doc.

Have Dexa done.

Review by PCP

Reco going to my endocrinologist-she said PCP could manage my thyroid. He does.

Appt in Feb. to discus this with her-FEBRUARY! It’s November now. I can wait. She’s the only endocrinologist in town. Very good dr. The dr, reco’d by Dr. K, with whom I did Pilates, is not accepting new patients. My former physician and family friend went to MD-VIP, so his practice is a boutique practice model where you pay an extra $1500 to see him. It cuts down on patient load,

So, I’m sitting here healing. Getting around well on crutches. Did 3 loads of laundry, but paid the price with both hips screaming at me. My wonderful cleaning lady swapped out the summer bedspread for the winter. The summer spread was in the dryer, because dogs aren’t entirely clean. God bless her, she did some things I can’t do, like drag that comforter on the floor, take it upstairs to store in the guest room.

Whew! Creativity is the order of the day. I’m on my own, except for my next door neighbors. They have been very kind to me. No one calls, or comes to visit. My friend of 60 years, Linda, said while I am good at helping others with their needs, or the needs of their parents when the family goes out of town, leaving 92 YO mom home, not to expect people to reciprocate. She is right.

Let’s hope my large bones stay three out of four.

 


BONES R US

November 9, 2017

So how many of you have gone on Medicare the first of the month only to break your hip on the 27th? Yeah, baby, right here.

Ivy only had three supervised therapy dog visits to do to become certified to make people smile. I had her in agility class for something else to do. She is really good at it.

So, she had gone over the large upside down v shaped thing, and went to the tunnel. I went outside along side of her shouting, “Tunnel, Ivy, good girl!” when I tripped on the holder of the tunnel, fell on my L knee and landed hard on my left hip. Oy. I only have one untouched large bone left.

Fast forward to the next morning scheduled for surgery. I had talked to my world-famous joint replacement surgeon who had looked at the films on his cell phones. He said the Doctor on call could put 3 parallel pins across the femoral neck. Deja vu from 2004?

So, I get down to pre-op. The chaplain there was a friend of mine, and stayed with me the whole time.

Dr. Doogie Howser shows up. Standing at my back so I had to crane my neck over, he said, “Hi! I’m Dr. Howser. I’m here to replace your hip.” WHAT? When was that ever mentioned? I told him to go call Dr. Famous, who had replaced my R hip in ’05. In the meantime, Young Skippy comes up to me and says, “Hi! I’m your nurse anesthetist. I’m going to be doing your anesthesia today.” “No you are not, I requested an MD anesthesiologist.” Adele, the chaplain, told him to read the notes. He backed up and said to Doogie, “She won’t let me do the anesthesia, wa, wa, wa!”

Dr. Doogie had gotten ahold of Dr. Famous, and Dr. Famous had told him what to do, and that if the hip failed like the other one did, he’d replace it. Mission accomplished. I had an anesthesiologist with a sense of humor, whom I asked if he was a graduate of the Denver School of Nursing. Humor is the way I roll, not interacting with idiots who can’t read.

So now I have three pins in my L hip which will stay. I now have broken three of the 4 largest bones in the body. I saw Dr. Famous today, whom I thanked profusely for having my back before surgery with Doogie. We discussed going back on osteoporosis meds, just not the one that made me feel bad one day of the week. Twelve days after the accident, today, he said I could now put 15# of weight on my hip using my crutches. I will see him next month, and probably ditch the crutches. No PT for hips, just walking. Ivy will soon be able to have her three supervised therapy visits.

Last thought: A freshman med student can nail a hip. I’ve put a pin in the wing of a roadrunner. It’s not rocket science. I think most ortho docs think they are Jesus just because they are really good carpenters.


Happy 30th Birthday, John Morris!

March 26, 2017

I went tonight to John’s 30th birthday party. Dude-it’s about time you finally asked the lovely Arianna, your love and business partner, to marry you. I look forward to the wedding.

John was one of my students in JHS biology. He was injured in high school snowboarding, which rendered him a below the neck quadriplegic. Instead of saying boo-hoo, John went to CSU and won several awards for his invention, Quadshox. He is the CEO and President of a company which manufactures shock absorbers for push wheelchairs, which can be painful for quads. Their motto is, “Made for people in wheelchairs by people in wheelchairs. Bona fortuna, John.


Drinking Out of the Trough is the Title of My First Book!

March 11, 2017

Yes, campers, I have finally taken the plunge and written a book. It’s undergoing editing by the wonderful Judy Fort Brenneman of Greenfire Creative, LLC.

After eight years, I have a new puppy, a delightful Goldendoodle named Ivy. She is six months old. Her breeder, Cathie Crosby of Placer Goldendoodles picked her out for me as a good match. Ivy is a delightful little soul.

I gave the pup Ivy for a name because my beloved Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016. Ivy covers the outfield walls at Wrigley Field. I got Ivy 6 days after the series, and today we celebrate four months together. She’s been through two puppy classes, and will take the Canine Good Citizen class to become a therapy dog when she turns one year old.

More later.


Agree to disagree

October 19, 2010

The other day I posted on my Facebook page that I was thrilled that the AVMA responded to an email inquiry about my possibly doing an externship there in summer 2011. It doesn’t have summer programs for law students, just vet students in DC doing governmental relations work.

My friend just graduated from law school here, and took her dream job in DC with an animal rights group which I respect, but do not support. My friend posted to my FB page about possible working for an organization that supports gassing animals. I wrote her a letter:

“Without studying the entire issue and reading available literature done with careful study, one can raise the issue not with a knowledgeable approach, but rather an inflammatory approach designed to take the audience to one side of the issue. I do not condone all the methods AVMA does, even if it conditionally approves them. But we have to study the entire issue, make changes where we can so the animals that must die are put down  humanely. I wouldn’t even think of giving a lethal injection of pentobarbitol to a cat unless it is placed under anesthesia first. I made this decision 22 years ago. When Tipper was PTS from her cancer, ten days before Earl died, she was placed under general anesthesia first. My friend had a difficult time of doing the best method, and Tip didn’t die right instantly, but she was asleep.
Whoever wrote what you put on my FB page, did so for inflammatory purposes without understanding of the report if, indeed, she even carefully read it. This is why the ‘humaniacs’ drive me nuts. Gas chambers WERE used, but that was in the 60s. They weren’t even gas chambers, but decompression chambers that literally sucked the life out of unwanted pets. My mother surrendered our cats to Orphans of the Storm in 1964 due to my sister’s asthma. I had nightmares of Charlie Brown being put into a box to die. Things have come a long way since then. Animal humane treatment is advancing, not retreating.
One needs to go after those who make profits off of fur animals, such as mink farmers, who do electrocute or ‘gas’ the creatures solely for their fur. Their meat is fed to other carnivores which, in turn, are fed back to the mink. People do wear fur. I can’t bear to look at a fur coat.
Think about the Koreans who sell dogs at market as livestock under nasty conditions. They are electrocuted or beaten to death, then butchered. Bottom line, while disgusting to us, it is their culture. Some things we just cannot change. That in America, we can. Greenpeace can take over the poaching of the seas for illegal tuna netting; finning of sharks and putting them back in the water to drown so Japanese can make soup; and drowning dolphins that are caught in the tuna nets. I support that-they are illegal activities. We change the things we can, and try to change that which we can’t.
Other social issues arise, such as the local custom of illegally clubbing of baby harp seals. While gross and disgusting, it is how native peoples survive. There is no way I can say anything to rationalize the brutalization of innocent babies. The Inuits who are allowed to hunt whales. That’s all the meat they eat and sell (oil.) I don’t like it at all, but I’m not living where the sun doesn’t shine. American Indians are the only group allowed to possess eagle feathers, which are used ceremonially. Anyone else would be arrested for possession.
The AVMA puts out an annual euthanasia report. Take T-61 euthanasia solution. It is by far the worst thing I’ve seen. It isn’t even on the market any more in the US. to my knowledge. However, when a horse is under anesthesia, say in surgery, as happened in 1988 when T-61 was still used and I was the anesthesiologist on duty at CSU, it was a humane thing, as the horse was unconscious. When my little mare, Franny, was euthanized at CSU, she wasn’t anesthetized first. The student cranked her head so she would be still while I put the pentobarbitol in her. I didn’t like that picture. When our dear Marcie had cancer of the tongue at thirty, and we took her to CSU 9 years later after Franny’s death, Marcie was anesthetized in a padded induction stall, the same stall Franny was in, then I gave her the solution. It was quiet and peaceful. She was already down when she died, whereas Franny collapsed to the ground in the throes of death. It is disturbing to watch any horse going down, even for minor surgery.
Were I to be fortunate enough go to AVMA as a legal policy specialist, that would not preclude me from advocating humane treatment of animals that do have to be PTS. It is a mission of the organization to better the treatment of animals. We all took an oath at graduation to treat animals humanely even upon their deaths. My feeling is as yours, neuter animals, adopt them out, and design humane ways to go to slaughter for food supply animals, as Dr. Temple Grandin of CSU had done. You never did tell me why you didn’t like her talk. Her entire life has been devoted to animal welfare, even of those animals on their way to slaughter.
Bottom line, there are local customs, millions of unwanted animals, puppy mills that foster bad breeding and keep pet animals in abhorrent conditions, and much much more.
What disturbed me when I was on necropsy rotation in school was the pathologist bringing a calf into necropsy, attaching electrodes to lip and anus, and just plugging the wire into a wall socket like a lamp. Horrible to watch, yes. Instantaneous death, yes.
We can talk about this if you like. I would ask you to email me instead of posting on my Facebook, OK? Just because I’m interested in a position, doesn’t mean that I would be making the lives of animals worse.
Last weekend was the fall meeting and dinner of Morris Animal Foundation in Dallas with Betty White there. I couldn’t go, slammed with work. Research that organization. No animal is ever euthanized unless it is for the sake of pathological samples. There even is a program for adoption. ALL animals used in studies that are not euthanized for study purposes, a small % of subjects, are adopted. Feel free to email the president and CEO, my friend and former professor, Dr. Patty Olson, polson@morrisanimalfoundation.org. Tell her we are friends and what you do for a living. She would talk to you. She also travels a lot, and even spent a year in DC as an AVMA Congressional Fellow.
When in doubt, call the AVMA and ask for a meeting. They don’t try to cover their tracks, they merely collate information and make recommendations. They themselves don’t condone bad things that are done, they try to make it better. If they can-great. If they can’t, at least they have tried by careful studies and reports. PETA, while their heart is in the right place with regard to animal welfare, is an extreme organization that has done some pretty detrimental things to animals themselves. You are now in a position to make things better within the scope of your new legal position.
We can agree to disagree on some issues, but let’s do it on the phone, or by emails. Not on Facebook.
Take care, my friend.
I will note that my wonderful, passionate friend, when hearing of Earl’s death, emailed me “whatever you need just say it, and I will jump on a plane.” She was doing her 2L externship in Houston, and we hadn’t met yet. That’s friendship. A good friend goes through good times and bad times with you. While our friendship is relatively new, I cherish it. We share the same passion for animals and their welfare, just in different ways. Go get ’em, kid!