Progress Report, Smoke Report, Surgical Error Report, Kasha Report


Three weeks post knee replacement, I've gone from using a walker, to two crutches, to one crutch, to a trekking pole (an adjustable walking stick with a strap), to no aid at all around the house. Instead of working out three times a day for twenty minutes, I work-out almost continually throughout the day (as I write this, I'm flexing and straightening my knee. My major goals for the first six weeks are achieving a normal bend in the knee (120-degrees) and being able to completely straighten the knee. Last Friday, my bend was 105, which was good, and I was three degrees from achieving complete straightness.

Yesterday was house-cleaning day, and I excitedly anticipated being able to help, but after two and half hours on my feet, the knee started to swell (more than it is normally swollen), turn red, and feel hot. The PT said that I could expect swelling to be a problem for two or three months, and, of course, it negatively impacts my therapy goals. There's nothing I can do for it but to lie around for hours everyday with my knee elevated above my heart, and ice packs draped over my knee. It's enough to drive a person crazy. At this point ALWAYS feels like the stiffest knee that a normal person ever had in his life, and it NEVER stops hurting, but it's not pain that's through the roof. One good thing I can say about the pain of exercising is that it was many times worse when I started than it is today, and that by itself is enough to keep me motivated to work-out. 

Until a few days ago, the only outdoor walking I did was to and from the car for my physical therapy appointments. This was because the smoke from the many forest fires (I live in Oregon's Willamette Valley) has been so bad that people are advised to stay indoors. Fortunately, Peggy and I have air conditioning, something that not everyone here has because really hot days are rare--or at least they used to be. 

The smoke has been SO bad of late that there have been days when the sun never appeared; we couldn't see the nearby hills; and we could even see smoke by looking toward the shrubbery in the backyard looked smoky. Peggy taped cardboard over our bathroom vent fan; laid towels along the bottoms of doors to the outside; and avoided opening outside doors if she could help it. Picture a bad air day in Beijing, and that's what much of Oregon looks like. Peggy has had bronchitis and an ear infection from the foul air (she was prescribed steroids and is much improved), and many people are wearing masks. We get some smoke from forest fires almost every year, but this is record-breaking, and it has been going on for over two weeks. Fortunately, it has gotten some better during the last few days due to a front moving through. We even had our first rain in months, although it only lasted a few minutes. Every summer here is a drought summer, but as with the heat, the droughts are getting worst.

Once all the steri-strips fell off so that my incision was visible, my physical therapist (Kasha) pointed out that the incision was crooked (she thought this was a lot funnier than I did), and indeed it looked like what you would expect if a drunk man with palsy tried to draw a straight line seven inches long. I knew that Brian didn't have palsy, and after much reflection, I eliminated as untenable the possibility that a sex kitten of a nurse might have goosed him during surgery, and this left me with but one inescapable conclusion, namely that Brian had operated on me at 7:00 in the morning while drunker than a skunk, and that he had put my new joint in upside down and backwards. I knew this had to be the case because if the situation were otherwise, he wouldn't have been chewing gum to mask the alcohol odor, and I would be able to straighten the knee completely. Also, when I bend it, it would bend in the back like a normal knee instead of in the front like a bird's knee. I think that the best option at this point is for Brian to replace the right knee too, and to put it in upside down and backwards, so that it will match the left knee. Naturally, I would expect him to do this for free. It's a sucky situation, but I'm sure it happens all the time, and I don't hold it against him. Actually, it reminds me of a funny story.

If you've had surgery at either of the local hospitals in the last thirty years or so, you know that the surgeon will come around and put a mark on the spot where he or she is going to operate. He will do this while you're still awake, and you're expected to verify that he's marking the correct place, the goal being to avoid the embarrassment that comes when doctors operate on the wrong patient, amputate the wrong leg, perform hysterectomies on ninety year old men, do tummy-tucks on four year olds, and other fox paws (fox paw is French for fuck-up). As many of you know, Peggy spent her last 24 years as a nurse in an OB unit that was devoted exclusively to labor and delivery patients. Word came down one day that all of the doctors would be forevermore expected to mark the abdomens of all of their C-section patients in order to insure that they (the doctors) wouldn't do something embarrassing like removing a woman's ring fingers. The doctors considered the new rule too stupid for words, and the nurses backed them, so it was soon discarded.

But back to Kasha. I liked her quite well when we met, but she's an avid cyclist, and when the smoke became bad enough that biking was making her throat hurt, she became so despondent that I started to dread seeing her. She would bitch about the smoke; about not having air conditioning at home; about her gym being closed for servicing just when she needed it most; about her difficulty with getting a baby sitter; and about injuries from old bike wrecks; but especially about being unable to ride her bike. I was one appointment away from either having a serious talk with her or simply going to another therapist when she immediately turned herself around and became as good a therapist as I had thought she was when we first met. I even told her after my last session that I had enjoyed working with her, which surely isn't something she hears much from knee replacement patients because these sessions are painful. She looked like she could have cried, and I went away feeling very glad that I hadn't fired her before she could pull herself together.

25 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I am very glad to hear of your progress. And totally unsurprised about your determination to make it happen.
Kasha just managed to avoid that firing bullet didn't she?

Winifred said...

Sounds like you're making good progress Snow. My friend had her knee replaced a few months ago and she would agree with you stick to the exercises, never let them slip.

America is having some horrendous weather you with the smoke & Florida with the hurricane. Can't recognise Miami with all that flooding, nightmare. We're booked to go to Orlando in 5 weeks so hope it's improved by then. But if it doesn't well we'll just have to make the best of it. I'm sure global warming is at the heart of this as the weather seems to be changing in so many countries.

We're always complaining about the weather here in the UK but honestly we don't have anything to complain about. We don't get really good summers but then we don't have to worry about fires and hurricanes or tornadoes. We don't get really bad weather any season. We should just shut up moaning, we don't have anything to moan about.

Take care & keep up the exercising once the swelling has gone down.

kylie said...

If your knees are in backwards and upside down, does that mean you walk backwards?

Emma Springfield said...

I am happy to hear that you are making such good progress. My oldest grandson had to have surgery to replace and repair all the ligaments in one knee and the AL in the other. He normally can endure more pain than most people. The surgery on his knees was brutal as far as pain. I hurt for him.
Glad Peggy is feeling better. Smoke does terrible things to your body and your environment. I hope the fires are over soon.

Charles Gramlich said...

I am sorry you all are dealing with so much smoked. Glad your leg seems to be getting better though

PhilipH said...

Very hard times for millions in the USA right now and I hope things improve asap for all. You are doing stoically well and I'm willing to wager that you'll continue to face all that confronts you in the coming weeks, months and years. Love and very best wishes, Philip.

angela said...

Your doing very well indeed.
I laughed at your imagined knee replacement being all out of whack!
My friend has just had her wrong knee replacement in the last few months. As soon as one was kinda healed they did the second pushed is currently trying her hardest to get back to mortal as she is visiting family in Michigan in a few weeks. And won't flying that long haul be wonderful with two knee ops!
Keep improving and thanks for the giggle xx
Hope those fires are out soon xx

rhymeswithplague said...

I certainly hope you are kidding (pulling our collective legs, as it were) about your knee being put in upside-down. I don't see how that could even be possible given how they are constructed and how they are anchored. You can't be serious. I refuse to believe you.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Glad you are making progress with your knew and have made peace with your therapist. Hopefully the rains will have washed the ash from the air by now and all of you can breathe happily again.

Strayer said...

I hate the smoke too. Supposed to rain this weekend, substantial rain this time, maybe some will clear up. I was sent to therapy for my knee, but it was a joke. No exercise machines, nothing. The evaluation session was unbelievable. The guy couldn't stop talking, and it was all bizarre, like bemoaning the fact patients aren't in gowns for sessions, and even telling me women should stand naked in front of a full length mirror once a month. I was speechless. I came back for one actual session, when all he did was kind of massage around my knee, for what reason, I don't know, did me no good, and his motor mouth wouldn't stop, this time all kinds of bullshit, I told him I was not returning as this was not helpful in any way. Which it wasn't. I felt it was a scam. Anyhow, I hope yours is actually helpful.

Snowbrush said...

“Kasha just managed to avoid that firing bullet didn't she?”

Things have since been idyllic. I will never gain enough wisdom to know when it’s time to pull the plug on someone.

“We're booked to go to Orlando in 5 week.”

Disney World?

“Take care & keep up the exercising once the swelling has gone down.”

The swelling was up enough today that instead of increasing my 105-degree bend, I had lost down to 95, but Kasha wasn’t concerned. In fact, the praised me for how well I’m doing.

“If your knees are in backwards and upside down, does that mean you walk backwards?”

No, it means that I stand there looking like someone who was just in a bad accident.

“My oldest grandson had to have surgery to replace and repair all the ligaments in one knee and the AL in the other.”

What on earth did he do to himself, and did they use cadaver parts?

“I am sorry you all are dealing with so much smoked.”

Sorry you’re dealing with the ongoing threat of hurricanes and tornadoes. I saw some footage from Houston in which a fire ant colony was floating in the floodwaters. Can you imagine wading along a flooded street—or even a living room—when a whole colony of fire ants sees you as their salvation!

“Very hard times for millions in the USA right…”

And it’s not just the hurricane, but the way the media runs the news of the hurricane into the ground. For example, the national networks would devote entire newscasts to Irma, suggesting that nothing of importance was happening anywhere else in the world, yet they wouldn’t even give good coverage of Irma. They rely heavily on live feeds of people who were trying to stay on their feet while yelling into their microphones, and for what? What are we to learn from this, that hurricanes are windy. It’s as if the coverage was created by a group of fifteen year old boys who were inordinately impressed by loud noises, but had almost no use for substance.

“My friend has just had her wrong knee replacement in the last few months. As soon as one was kinda healed they did the second…”

The worst part of it for me isn’t the pain or the disability, but the fact that I am going stir crazy. I exercise the knee continually throughout the day, but the rest of my body is getting no exercise at all. I can’t wait for the first six weeks to be up because if I get that far without a clot or an infection, I should be out of the woods. Also, the surgeon told me that the first six weeks is the worst, and that I can go back to doing things like yard work afterwards. I’m now 16 days from the end of the first six weeks.

Snowbrush said...

“You can't be serious. I refuse to believe you.”

Oh, where is the trust?! Let me try to reassure you about my truthfulness.. I never lie about anything serious because maintaining credibility is extremely important to me, and I know that once credibility is lost, it will probably stay lost, and that the friendship will be irreparably damaged. However, I do sometimes make up things, like my story about the knee bending the wrong way, because it tickles me to do so, just as I hope it will tickle my listeners who will presumably understand that I’m pulling their legs. I would guess that are a very trusting person, and I am sorry that I left you in the least bit of doubt. My mother was also trusting, and I used to kid her so much that her only defense was to disbelieve anything I said that sounded even a little strange. One day, I told her something that sounded fantastic but was true, so what does she do but ask Peggy if I was telling the truth, and what does Peggy do but look her right into the eye and tell her I was lying! Poor Mother! Just know that if you ever wonder if I’m telling you the truth, you can ask me, and I’ll confess if I’m not, just as I’m confessing now. I have no idea why the incision is crooked, but I don’t attribute it to having an incompetent surgeon, much less a drunk surgeon. All I can think is that maybe the stitches pulled more in some places than others, or else uneven swelling made it looked crooked, yet both my PT and my nurse at Slocum Clinic said they had never seen such a crooked incision. Whatever the case, I’m not worried about this, and, yes, I was kidding you.

By the way, I’m thought much about your poor wife having this surgery done on one side and then having it done on the other three months later. I think I would pull my hair out if I had to go through a whole other period of pain, worry, boredom, and incapacity. Also, I’ve tracked that hurricane assiduously because I knew it might go right over your house, and indeed that’s what they were saying last I heard. Of course, you shouldn’t get anything but a lot of rain, but since there’s the risk of tornadoes, I’ll be glad when you and yours are in the clear, both as to clouds and to knowing everything is going to be okay.

“Hopefully the rains will have washed the ash from the air by now and all of you can breathe happily again.”

Things are 95% better, smoke-wise.

“women should stand naked in front of a full length mirror once a month.”

I wonder what he wanted you to look for, and why he singled out women.

“I told him I was not returning as this was not helpful in any way.”

I’ve surely been through 100-200 PT sessions for one thing or another over the years, but they seldom of ever did me much good.

rhymeswithplague said...

I feel so much better now since your confession of leg-pulling. I thought so. Trust your instincts, that's what I always say. I must be a lot like your mother in that regard but I have made a little progress over time. Maybe I will write a book and call it Gullible's Travels. As for Irma, we got about 3" of rain over two days (nothing unusual for Georgia) and a few healthy gusts of wind as well but personally lost no trees or branches or electrical power. Lots of power outages and trees down, some on houses, all around our county though. Our own subdivision has underground utilities so I suppose that helped. We never even lost the satellite feed and normally the TV goes out at the slightest provocation. What was left of the eye actually passed between Atlanta and Birmingham.

Marion said...

Okay, you and your commenters have totoally talked me OUT of having knee surgery. If I'm going to be in that much pain, I'll keep the knee I have which hurts like crazy along with my hip. (My biggest issue is I now have no one to help me convalesce since I'm getting a divorce. Long story, that). I'm glad to hear you're feeling better and you still have your wonderful sense of humor. That comes from being Southern, don't you know? LOL! While you're sitting around, read some good books, Snow! Try James Lee Burke's "Dave Robicheaux" detective series. He's my favorite author, ever, and he just happens to be from Louisiana. Keep up the good work and feel better soon!! xo

Snowbrush said...

"Okay, you and your commenters have totoally talked me OUT of having knee surgery."

I would pursue any and every viable option first. I had imagined that the recovery period couldn't be that bad because if it was, 600,000 people each year wouldn't have the surgery. I also thought that since I live with chronic pain, I would be better able to bear-up than are people who are unfamiliar with pain. Finally, I was impressed by statements like the following: "Total knee replacement...relieves almost all pain for 90 percent of patients who have the procedure, allowing them to return to work and tremendously enhancing their quality of life." (http://www.anationinmotion.org/value/knee/)

Yesterday, I was four weeks out of surgery. The first week was the worst, with things getting better every week since. While I have never been in agony from the surgery, I am in constant discomfort. The best way I can describe it is to ask that you imagine having sat in one position for a long time and your knee getting so stiff that you had to limp for a few steps when you got up. My knee feels like that times ten 24/7 no matter how much I exercise. The worst part by far for me is that I can't be on my feet for long without the knee getting hot to the touch and swelling. Since swelling is a major obstacle to physical therapy, it is to be avoided at all costs. This means that I'm largely worthless for handyman projects, housework, shopping, yardwork, gutter cleaning, etc, so Peggy is having to do the work that I usually do plus the work that she usually does. I spend a whole lot of time each day lying flat on my back with my knee elevated above my heart, and an ice pack on my knee; and I spend a whole lot more time doing my PT exercises.

cont.

Snowbrush said...

Because you don't live with anyone who could fill the "Peggy" role, I don't know you would manage because you can't simply push your way through the pain and swelling without imperiling your chance for a successful outcome. Medicare will pay for a few days in rehab, but I don't know how people who live alone manage after those few days are up. I prepared for the surgery by doing alot of cooking in advance and putting the results in our chest freezer. I also did all of the advance shopping that I could, got the house and yard immaculate, and so forth, but that was five weeks ago, so a lot of what I did then is past needing to be redone. While Peggy is a tremendous help, she simply won't do a lot of the things that I normally do because our values about how clean and tidy things need to be varies a great deal. As for a lot of other things--outdoor things mostly--she simply can't do them. We could hire someone, but I'm hoping that in another couple of weeks, I'll be able to do a lot more. I'll still be limited by the swelling though, which the PT lady says will continue to be a problem for two or three months.

I'm told by said "PT lady" that I'm doing really well, and that my most serious lack is patience. Indeed, I am chafing at the bit, yet I know that I'm doing really well because I can see how far I have come (this week, I was finally able to put on my thigh high TEDS hose all by myself, which is a real boon since I usually get up an hour or two before Peggy but shouldn't get out of bed without the hose). Also, the knee pain that I was having before surgery is gone, and whereas it was pain that I knew would increase with time, this pain is emotionally easier to bear because I am confident that it will decrease. The only thing that bothers me about it is the very thing that caused me to put the surgery off for years, by which I mean that artificial joints aren't anywhere near as good as the originals, and the thought that I might have to go through this same surgery ten or twenty years from now when I am older, and Peggy is less able to help me is scary. However, another reason that I put off the surgery was that I was hoping that the joints and the surgery would keep getting better, and they have. Surgical techniques have improved so that less damage to muscles and tendons is now done, and technology has advanced so that artificial joints now last longer. If I take care of the joint, it might very less outlast me, and in fact the surgeon all but promised that it would. He said that he might need to replace the plastic part in the lower part of the joint, but that it was but a ten minute job.

More later, Robert. Since your wife has been through two knee replacements, I'm wondering if the way I described my experience to Marion (who is practically a neighbor to you since she lives in Louisiana) is true to her experience.

Marion said...

Wow, your experience blows me away, Snow. I hate to hear that it's not a bed or roses. :-) Thanks for the brutal honesty. Yes, people I know who've had the surgery are all like, "Oh, it was nothing, I was up and at 'em in no time!" Well, that sounds like pure bullshit to me after reading about your experience. I talked to a woman who works at Wal-Mart who had a knee and hip replacement and was back at work 8 weeks afterward, standing on her feet all day...BUT, she's ten years younger than me, too, and probably has to work to eat which is good incentive to hustle.

I know it'll be tough, but my hip doctor won't do my hip surgery (the hip is causing me MUCH more pain than my knee...it's 24/7 no matter if I'm sitting, lying down or standing and forget sleeping) until I've had my knee done. It's frustrating. I want the hip done FIRST because the pain is so severe. Unfortunately, where I live, there are only 2 good orthopedic surgeons and he's the only one I'd even consider. Sigh. What a clusterfuck, right? I have to do it all: keep up the yard, house, cats, cooking, etc. and it's already tough in the shape I'm in, much less post-surgery. I do realize that putting it off will only make it worse as in I'll be older. Sheesh! I've painted myself into a corner here. For now, I'll just limp, use a cane and hope for the best. But I do know that I have to get it done, for sure, next year at the latest. Thanks again, for the honest, practical advice. I appreciate you and hope your knee improves soon. (I'll pray for us both. Tee-hee...) xo

rhymeswithplague said...

Mrs. RWP often says that if she had had the second knee replacement first, she would never have had another one done. Her first knee replacement went swimmingly; she raves about how good the first surgery was. She said her pain from the surgery was less than the pain she had experienced prior to the surgery. So she was not anticipating the pain of her second surgery. Medicare approved an extra day in hospital before she was released. So for her, knee replacement surgery gets one thumb up and one thumb down in what actually happened. Over time she has decided getting new knees was the best thing she ever did for herself. Sorry if I'm sending mixed messages.

rhymeswithplague said...

P.S. - It was the same doctor and the same hospital.

joared said...

Glad to hear your surgery went so well -- pretty remarkable recovery with the joint in upside down or was it backwards, but should have known you wouldn't let a little thing like that interfere. You say the P.T. survived you, or was it the other way around? Ah...patience is often the wild card in recovery. Sure sorry you've had to put up with so much smoke from the fires, but glad you've had A/C.

Snowbrush said...

"I must be a lot like your mother in that regard but I have made a little progress over time."

A funny thing about my mother being gullible was that her own mother was a compulsive liar. Of my four grandparents, I'm ashamed of two of them because I don't regard them as ethical people, and those would be my mother's mother and my mother's father (when they eloped, she was 16, and he was just short of 29). Anyway, my mother had a very insecure childhood (she didn't even know her father), and therefore a great need to trust her mother, although her mother was probably the very person who was the least worthy of trust. Besides my mother, I've known two other people who, as I learned to my sorrow that were so gullible that I couldn't kid them because they would believe anything I said and then hold it against me when they found out I was pulling their leg. Based upon my observation of gullible people whom I've known face-to-face, they have little if any sense of humor, probably because they have no understanding of irony. You don't seem this way to me (you kid and take kidding all the time), but I do wonder if you have any thoughts.

"My biggest issue is I now have no one to help me convalesce since I'm getting a divorce."

I think it helps immensely to be in a good space, both physically and psychologically. By physically, I mean in terms of health and in terms of having someone to be with you and help you 24/7. I guess there are people who go it on their own, but I think I might have fallen apart. Not only have I needed Peggy's help, I've needed there to be no friction between us.

"Yes, people I know who've had the surgery are all like, "Oh, it was nothing, I was up and at 'em in no time!'"

The doctors and nurses tell you going into it that it's "major surgery," and I doubt that many people would say "it was nothing," unless they have exceedingly poor memories, or else they've invested in presenting a tough image even if they have to lie to do it.

"...my hip doctor won't do my hip surgery...until I've had my knee done."

Well, maybe he figures the un-natural motion of your bad knee would harm the new hip. By the same token, I wonder if he thinks that having the knee done first would take some of the stress off the hip.

"I appreciate you and hope your knee improves soon."

I have good days and despondent days, and the latter are caused by the fact that it really gets to me that I can't do things that need doing, and that I'm not improving as fast as I think I should be. Maybe those friends of yours really are just tough people, yet I've been told through-out that I'm ahead of the curve, recovery-wise, and because I've been working my butt off doing the assigned exercises and it's still taking a long time, so I doubt it. You've probably googled things like "how hard is it to have a total knee replacement." Of course, the newsgroup comments you get aren't necessarily balanced, but for total recovery the following is typical on the ortho sites "It can take up to 3 months for you to return to most activities, and likely 6 months to one year to fully recover to maximal strength and endurance following a TKR. This depends on your condition before surgery, additional medical problems, and your expectations." The upside is that you will be seeing improvement as you go along. What gets me down are the days on which I don't think I'm any better than I was the day before, and once I think that, I go right into thinking that I'm not improving at all. I know this isn't true, but if you're prone to depression anyway, it's easy to go to a bad place in your mind and see all of life through a lense of hopelessness. Yet even on my worst days, I don't regret having the surgery because it wasn't something I rushed into, and I did realize that it would be a trying recovery.

Snowbrush said...

"Mrs. RWP often says that if she had had the second knee replacement first, she would never have had another one done...it was the same doctor and the same hospital."

From what I hear they could have both been replaced during the same operation. There was a lady at the hospital when I was there who had both knees done on the same day, and I wonder daily how she's doing. I asked her at the time if she thought long and hard about whether to have both knees done at once, and she said that, no, she wanted it over with and the decision was obvious. I just don't know how people can be so cavalier about major surgery, but she seemed tough enough that maybe it really was the right decision for her, although I can't imagine that it would have been the right decision for me. However, I have wondered how much of her seeming toughness came from being the only person in the therapy class who had gone that route. I know that, for me, it 's easier to be strong when I have an audience, which she did because people didn't know whether she was an idiot or a person to be admired.

"She said her pain from the surgery was less than the pain she had experienced prior to the surgery."

I've heard of such things, and maybe the people who Marion talked to had that kind of an experience.

"So she was not anticipating the pain of her second surgery."

Well, there you go! There's no way to anticipate with certainty how things will go, and there are no doubt variables that are unknown even to one's doctor.

"Over time she has decided getting new knees was the best thing she ever did for herself."

90% of people say the same, and even for the other 10%, the surgery is not necessarily regarded as a complete mistake, but rather not as a complete success. (cont.)

Snowbrush said...

"Sorry if I'm sending mixed messages."

You're often a mystery to me, you know, as I almost surely am to you, and it is partly because of this that we've experienced many years of interest in one another--or maybe I should just speak for myself. In this case, I can't imagine why you would say you're sorry, or, given that you did, qualify it with an "if." I mean TKR's aren't something that comes out the same every time for the SAME person much less for different people, and it's this unpredictability that makes it so scary, and that's just the facts of the matter and certainly not a reason to feel bad for pointing out. In fact, I've been immensely about Mrs. RWP's surgeries because I feel a little it like I know her and because she's your wife, and I'm interested in things that have an impact on you. Now that I too have had the surgery, this makes my interest even greater because I can relate to what it must have been like for her and for you. If you worked as hard caring for her as Peggy has caring for me, you must have been all tuckered out. Of course, you surely had one thing that we lack, and that's a church whose members would have surely brought over casseroles.

Even the 90% success rate can be taken as a good thing or a bad thing. If it were 10% horror stories, I would take it as SUCH a bad thing that I would have had to have been in unremitting howling pain to submit to the surgery. Because I'm prone to making comparisons, I'll point out that the comparison I would make in this situation would be to say that only the most desperate of people would play Russian roulette for ten to one odds no matter how much money someone might offer them to do it. Ten to one odds might be good when it comes to betting on a ball game, but not when it comes to surgery.

" You say the P.T. survived you, or was it the other way around?"

Sounds like I need to go back and change something--thank you for pointing it out.

" Sure sorry you've had to put up with so much smoke from the fires, but glad you've had A/C."
We just got the air conditioning within the last ten years and am VERY glad we did. As for the smoke, it came back a couple of days ago, and is supposed to be blown away again later today. It's so very sad to think of all the suffering that these fires cause. Of course, all the news reports is the human suffering, and, as I observed during the recent hurricane, a storm that causes a lot of damage but little if any loss of life in the U.S., is thought to deserve one entire newscast after another, compared to which updates on an earthquake in Mexico that kills a 100 people won't even be mentioned, at least after the initial 30 second report that it occurred. Truly, in the value system of the media, property damage in Florida is thought to be worthy of reporting even when there's nothing left to show but an awning shaking in the wind, while property damage PLUS loss of life in Mexico isn't. Our species is nothing if not tribalistic. By the way, I haven't forgotten your comment from my last post about your alma mater's sports team being called the Apaches. My thought about such things is that if the local Indians are present in sufficient numbers to present a consistent voice, and they don't like the name, then change it. Otherwise, screw the PC Nazis because they aren't speaking for what's right but for their opinion of what's right, and I'm not going to give into their efforts to shame me unless they can prove that the name offends the people who are being referenced, and who they are pretending to represent.

possum said...

Glad to get your surgery report...
Sorry about the smoke. It must be frustrating to have to be confined to the house - but, as we all know, things could be worse as the woman from the UK pointed out about complaining. I think of those folks in Texas, the folks in Florida, and especially those in the Caribbean where I have spent many wonderful vacations.
Now here we sit watching Jose and then Maria and little Lee is sitting out in the Atlantic waiting his turn. This is a scary year to be living on the coast... we are between the Chesapeake bay and the Ocean, 2 miles from the water in either direction.

Hoping today finds you even better! How lucky you are to have Peggy! (and of course your kitties who help with your morale as does mine.)

Snowbrush said...

"as we all know, things could be worse"

Indeed! Read the following story that Philip sent about a knee surgery gone wrong: http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/grimsby-news/man-lost-nearly-blood-needed-485304

"we are between the Chesapeake bay and the Ocean"

I'm sorry to hear this, but glad that hurricanes don't generally have a lot of steam left when they get that far north, because otherwise, I can imagine the sea coming to visit you unless you're at a higher elevation than I would guess. Here, the threat is a really bad (more than 9.0) earthquake that hits in cycles and for which Oregon is about sixty years overdue. If it were just me, I might move because I'm in such dread, the odds of it hitting in the next fifty years being one in three. I won't live fifty years, but the odds are still appreciable for the 20 or so years that I might have left, and I know I'm not physically able to cope with such a disaster, and I'm not so sure I'm emotionally up to it either.

I just finished (and recommend) "Fortunes of Oliver Horn" by F. Hopkinson Smith, a book that was set in the Chesapeake Bay area during the years before, during, and after the Civil War era and later. Smith was the engineer who built the foundation to the Statue of Liberty but was also known for his writings and his paintings. What I liked about this book was its portray of the attitudes with which Northerners and Southerners regarded one another. Truly, the Civil War was about more than slavery, but you wouldn't know it from listening to the statue removers, and I don't think they know it themselves. Nearly all of my reading is from American authors from the period between the Civil War and the Great Depression, although I do stray a little. For example, I'm now reading a book by Josephine Pinckney. Most of the books I read are out of print except for inferior paperback xeroxes, but one can pick up the originals fairly cheaply from eBay, Abe Books, and Amazon. I got so carried away with my favorite author, Margaret Deland, that I ended up with multiple copies, many of them signed, of most of her books, and even bought some of her letters and period photographs. I do love old books.