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June 29, 2023

I’m Still Standing ~Elton john

In my last week prior to surgery, Sharp Hospital wanted to know if our ‘Durable Power of Attorney’ was in place, including medical directives.  The surgery nurse asked if I had a DNR in place.  She said ‘I’m good at CPR.  You will not die on my watch, but your broken ribs will hurt more than the surgery’.  I felt like I may have met the real Nurse Ratched!

Father’s Day

Kami invited us to join the family as the grandgirls took SIL Jason to a Father’s Day Brunch.  An easy ‘YES’!  The venue was TERI Common Grounds CafĂ© in North County.  “TERI’s mission is to change the way the world sees, helps and empowers individuals with special needs.”

Jason, Aj, Kami

Never got a picture of the whole table Kg is to the right and Fran to the left.

A lovely time with the kids. and excellent food.  All for a good cause.  And a couple jigsaw puzzles for my weeks of recovery.

This one will be a challenge

Lots of fun piece in this one

DIL, Lori designed a coffee cup for me.

"Let's wander where the WIFI is weak

Pretty darn clever, isn’t she!?

Our last chance to bike mission Bay was Wednesday.  A postcard prefect day for fish tacos at the Royal Rooster.

In addition to the grilled tacos I ordered a 50/50 basket; a mix of fries and rings.  And my last adult beverage for awhile, a Mexican lager on tap.

Hiking Equipment

Like many folks I started hiking with branches found along the trail for my hiking sticks.  Eventually investing in adjustable hiking sticks.

For the Zion’s Wiggles and Narrows trails I made a staff from bamboo.  Its strength and light weight were of great benefit.

After I crashed hiking Nobel Canyon I was relegated to crutches and a boot.

I worked my way up to using only a cane for the past couple years

I can’t go much further down as I am now confined to a walker for the next few weeks.

Like Jacob in the book ‘Water For Elephants’ the walker represents my vestige of freedom.  Just for now anyway.  I should soon be back to using the trusty cane.  I'm really looking forward to a bike ride and an adult beverage, and then the hiking sticks.

Neighbors were kind enough to drop off a box of decadent Crumbl Cookies.  Very thoughtful and very decadent.

We started with a half dozen ...

Fran continues her project of painting the kitchen cupboards.  They are looking pretty good, too.

I still have another week with in-home PT to be followed by 4 weeks of outpatient PT. Fingers crossed Fran will finish the cabinets before I am able to help :)

I chose Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing’ as the title for this blog as the song is a tribute to resilience and perseverance, while overcoming challenges.

And it is hard to fathom the survival story of Jeremy Renner.  The inspiration he provides and physical challenges he has overcome can be found in the link.

June 07, 2023

Creaky Knees - the ultimate solution

It was Lynn (RIP) from Winnie Views that really gave me the push to publish a blog.  She named the blog by adding it to her sidebar, before I published anything!

When we were not traveling I wanted to document some greater San Diego hiking areas, hikes that could be done by visitors.

It was just over 5 years ago that my creaky knee became a serious issue.  The surgeon, I was referred to, informed me the XRAY showed a total knee replacement would be needed. 

I was definitely not yet in favor of that option and found  Dr. Besser, a muscular/skeleton specialist in sports medicine, and he became my new best friend, as he too felt surgery should be the final option.  This pretty much confirmed my notion that surgeons want to operate and sports trainers want to keep you active.

After a cortisone injection, a couple months of RICE and physical therapy I was back  on some the local trails. 

That is until Nobel Canyon a couple years ago, where I took a serious tumble.  I was unable to get up, so Fran called 911.  CalFire sent 2 units, the local sheriff and the NPS showed up.  Mountain Rescue provided 2 units.  It was quite the turnout for one stranded hiker.

This was during the height of Covid closures, and no in-person sports medicine or physical therapy was available.

It was almost another year to get in to see Dr. B. again.  A new XRAY and an MRI images showed a complete tear of the cartilage.  Being stubborn, I requested another cortisone and he added 12 more weeks of PT and RICE. 

I set the goal of being able to walk to the Fly Geyser and the Fly Ranch sites as it was a staging area for Burning Man art exhibits.  Fran stuck with me and skipped the tour of the distance art sites, but, with the aid of a cane, we did enjoy the Fly Geyser :)

Dr. B. has offered gel injections of hyaluronic acid, but warns the procedure is painful and provides only short term relief for most patients.

I am now scheduled for full knee replacement the end of the month.  The process includes a meet-n-greet evaluation with the surgeon.  Approval by my insurance, Pre-Op approval by my Primary Care Physician, Dr. Cao (chow), for kidney and heart functions. sugar levels, and 4 vials of blood for whatever additional lab work.

A Pre-Op meeting with the surgeon where I was presented with exercises to do now, for a better recovery.  Also what to expect, the first week will be “agony”, followed by 12 weeks of physical therapy. 

I was asked to visit the Coronado Hospital for a nasal swap to test for pretty much all known airborne contagions.

The big unknown is how I will respond to the anesthesia and its possible long term affects.

Am I worried? "Terrified"!, would be a more accurate description!  But next year I want to be able to follow the boot prints of Pam the “nimble hiker” again.

Fran will be rescheduling ‘gal pal outings around my recovery.  So to be productive she has challenged herself with redoing the kitchen cabinets.



I have several audio books, plans for a few new hanging baskets as feeders for the visiting hummers.  And more then a few jigsaw puzzles.  I’ll be able to be somewhat productive when not doing the home PT or having Fran drive me to in-person PT.  For sure Fran has the tougher tasks! :)

I do not plan to blog the recovery process, unless requested in the comments.

Aj has graduated !!!

Aj has received a comparable offer from her first choice college UCSD.  So instead of heading off to Embry-Riddle in Prescott, she'll be staying local.