Sunday, July 08, 2007

Blue Grass Visit

I just got back from Springfield Ohio on a visit to my sister. I found out that every summer The Springfield Arts Council puts on free concerts in the summer is a very nice park. The park has a nice new covered stage right up against a 30 foot tall limestone cliff. People set up lawn chairs in the grass in front of the stage and leisurely sit and listen to the music. Last night the venue was Blue Grass. J.D. Crowe was the headliner with lesser known local musicians playing most of the rest of the time. What a great show it was!
There were concessions and a few crafts, but not real commercialized. My sister set up her chairs at noon and just left them. When we got there at 7:30 p.m. they were still there just waiting for us to use them. Great seats for the free concert! Don't you just love America! The arts council did pass the hat, but weren't pushy about it. The friendly way they asked actually made me want to give a little more.
Congratulations Springfield, Ohio! You made my weekend absolutely fabulous!
Thank you RF for inviting us.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I Never Thought

Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man. - Leon Trotsky

I never thought I'd be in the shape I'm in this early in my life. I'm 54 now and have pain and swelling in both knees, my hands hurt with arthritis and my back is stiff after sitting a while. My right knee doesn't hurt much anymore since the partial replacement, but it still swells and gets stiff after just a few minutes of sitting. My left knee hurts when ever I walk.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, but I am. My mind says I'm 18, my body says I'm 75. I wonder if I'll make it to 75. Both my grand fathers were dead by age 62. My Dad is 84, but has Parkinson's disease and is almost totally wheelchair bound. My Grandmothers lived to be 93 and 102. Grandma L never had a pain in her body, however she had Alzheimer's disease and didn't know anyone for the last couple of years she lived. Grandma R had a great mind right up till the end. She had arthritis and took aspirin as long as I can remember. I think those genes won out in my body. Grandma R, Mom, Dad, two uncles and one aunt have had knees replaced. I get that from both sides of the family.

Some days I get really depressed. I'm not suppose to run or jump any more. I not suppose to lift heavy things. I just feel worthless in many ways. I never ran for exercise, but I ran a lot because I liked to go from the warehouse to the store quickly or from the basement to the living room quickly, or I'd just chase the cat around for fun. Doesn't that seem stupid, but that's me.

But when I feel depressed God always seems to send someone or something to cheer me up and get me out of the funk I'm in. I feel there is a reason for that. Maybe God is just a good and great. I know he is and I know he wants me to work for him. That's why I work so hard for my church. It's not work though. To do things for others is one of the the most rewarding thing a person can do. Doing good for others is doing good thing for yourself. I can't explain it in words, but there is joy in giving words of encouragement, there is joy in letting an older person in line in front of you, there is joy in visiting your father in the nursing home, there is something good (I can't say joy) in consoling someone who has just lost a loved one, it all helps. Kindness and forgiving are two of the most worthwhile and satisfying things a person can have.

Try it. It will make your personal pain feel better and you just might make a difference in some one's life. The change might even be in your life. Peace and good will.

Friday, May 25, 2007

LeBron needs help

Check out this link.

Last year I made a bad comment about LeBron on another blog. I said "maybe someday he could grow up and be a Piston". After posting it, it's said. There aren't many Pistons as naturally good as LeBron, however there are just too many nearly as good as LeBron. The man needs some help to be like Mike.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Well knee replacement fans, the pictures to the left are my "Zimmer" unicompartmental partial knee replacement x-rays. The far left picture is a front view and the other one is the side view. After two and one half weeks, I'm back at work without a walker or a cane. I have to be careful as I walk and I walk a little slower for now. There is still some surgical pain and tightness, but for the most part they feel fine.
I went in for surgery at 6:30 a.m. and was out and awake by 11:00 a.m. on February 2, 2007. They did a spinal on me with something in my i.v. to relax me. I remember them telling me that they were going to do that and I remember the Dr. coming in and explaining the surgery again and that was it. The next thing I remember is feeling alert and fine talking to my wife. They even gave me lunch that day too. I actually felt better after the knee surgery than I did after having wisdom teeth pulled out.
Don't get me wrong, the recovery is a lot more than for wisdom teeth. I spent three days in the hospital and then home. I was up and standing the same day and walking the next day. It's really quite amazing. They do about 5,000 of these per year in the US compared to about 266,000 total knees per year. My scar is only about 4-1/2" long compared to a total knee scar of about 10".
My leg was put in a "bending" machine for two hours every 8 hour shift. That made sure it would stay flexible. The machine bent it even if it didn't want to be bent. Many people call it a torture machine, but it really wasn't too bad. Yes it hurt a little, but when you know that is the best thing for recovery, you really don't mind. I was expecting a lot more pain.
When I got home I had a list of exercises to do to continue to heal which I have done faithfully. It works. I have found if you do what they tell you, things work out better.
I would recommend this surgery over total if it works for your condition. Ask your Dr. about this before you let him do a full replacement. It may or may not work, but it's worth an ask. The main thing is keep your weight down and stay in good physical shape and any surgery will go better.

I must be off.
Bill L.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's Knee Replacement Time....

Well, it's scheduled. My knee surgery. My right knee will receive a partial replacement next Friday. I just found out the date yesterday. My first thought/reaction was mild panic. I knew it was coming and was anxious for it to happen because of the pain and disability, but to hear an actual date..... I haven't stayed in a hospital since I was born 54 years ago. My heart started to beat fast and I couldn't calm down for about an hour. That was weird. How will I act the actual day of the surgery? I know this is a ho-hum operation for the doctor, but for me this is BIG! Will the pain be a lot more than I have now for a few days, or will it be the same or less. I know when it is all done, there should be no pain to speak of. I'm really looking forward to that day! I first started complaining about the pain five or six years ago. The doctors always said I was too young for knee replacement, but now the bone is rubbing bone, so as my Dr. said, this is a no brainer.
Please pray for the doctor and nurses and for me. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Surgery is coming.

Well after several years of knee pain, I'm finally going to get something done. My Dr. has been telling me at now 54 I'm too young for knee replacement. The pain gets worse every year. Finally now when x-rayed, there is no doubt that I have to have something done. The bone on bone in my right knee is really painful. Luckily there is good cartilage on the outside side of my knee, the bone on bone is on the inside side of my knee (closest to my left knee). This means they can do a partial knee replacement instead of a full replacement. The heal time and pain is much less and the functionality of the knee is much better afterwards. This also means in 10 or 15 years when this wears out, a new total knee will work much better.
I've haven't spent any time in a hospital since I was born and I am quite naturally nervous about the whole thing. I'll also miss two or three weeks of work. I hope they don't realize the place can run without me. Ha Ha!
If you have any good advice, I'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's January in Northwest Ohio, ........or is it? 50 degrees and sunny! On New Years day they had all day Twilight Zone oldies on and, well, we might be in another dimension of time and space. What, was that Rod Sterling's voice? Oh crap! This is weird. Where's the clouds, where's the 10 degree temperatures, where's the snow? What! No school delays! What, no salt all over my car! If I wake before I die, in another state, I hope am I!