Saturday, October 19, 2013

Home again, Home again, Jigety Jig

Surgery was on Oct 17th, 2013.  Everything went well, according to the surgeon, although the area between L3 & L4 was so compressed that it took quite a while to heal everything straightened out. 

I woke in recovery and immediately realized, this surgery was not like the last.  I still had pain in the inner thigh on the right leg, and it stayed with me for the next few days, even through the morphine drip.  That made me more concerned and in the end gave me a very bad night Oct 17th.  I did not sleep at all, suffering sweating all night although my temp was 97.4. A headache plagued me all night along with all the noise in hospitals. Finally around 5am I was catching a 1/2 nap when they woke me for getting my stats.  My Surgeon's Asst stopped in on Friday morning and verified that - even though the leg pain is still there, the nerves were so smashed together and compressed by the spine, they good in their prognosis of a good recovery, and that it would take a few months for some of the pain to abate.

Adele got there Friday morning and we talked about it, she was a great help in calming my worries.  Weird, that is not usually the way that works out. A Lay Pastor from LCBC visited and we had a good discussion together. Then I was able to catch naps and work with the nurses there easily. Adele was helpful with the cutting food during my lunch and dinner (sliced turkey and gravy both meals) and then she left for the night.

Friday night was much more pleasant Friday night.  Saturday morning was busy with X-Rays and Physical Therapy appointments.  PT passed me, with no need to use a cane or walker, so things started looking up.  Lunch came, along with Adele and news that I might be released soon, if all the doctors agreed, as Physical Therapy had already OKd my exit.

Saturday afternoon, Adele and I walked in the house together, my first time since Thursday morning. What a great feeling to be home, in my own surroundings (including my own bathroom). We took a walk together Saturday afternoon, and although I needed to stop a few times, pain was not an issue, just strength.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

S-DAY is tomorrow

I will be in surgery at LGH during tomorrow afternoon.  Yo know what happens, they say be here at 1:30 for your 3:30 surgery and then some minor changes along the way happen to make your schedule earlier or later (usually later) than that.  I promise I will be a happy, smiling and patient patient,
Tomorrow is yet another disc fusion in my back, S1 to L5 to L4 was not enough last April 2012, so now they will do L4 to L3 and get that all connected to the earlier fusion.  I will really be Mr T (titanium)

Adele will be busy with my care and I will not be able to come on site to fix PC problems during my recovery, especially Oct 17th.  I know that the surgeon will keep me away from driving for awhile - so I might not be able to join you on site for awhile after surgery. So now is the time for clients to be patient also, and let LogMeIn work for them.

I will let you know tomorrow if I will ever drive again. Rick

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I am in for a morning of sleep and other more painful pleasures.  Adele will be running all over Lancaster County trying to get everything done that is in her basket.

With the passing of my daughter's father-in-law last Thursday, she is also trying to help as much as she can with that.

Rest in Peace, Pete! We all loved you, especially Ruby Rose, your first grandchild.He will be missed for his great cooking and tender heart.

Peter J. “Pete” Barna, 69, of Quakertown, died Fri. Oct. 4 in St. Luke’s – Quakertown Hospital. Husband of the late Catherine M. (Dougherty) Barna.
Born in Phila, he was the son of Ethel (Horwatt) Barna, Phila. and the late John Barna.
Pete served with the US Navy during the Vietnam War.
Surviving with his mother, sons, Eric, wife Julie, of Evans GA and Scott, wife Amanda, Sellersville, grandchildren Ruby Rose and Cole Patrick.

I have blood testing and an EKG scheduled this afternoon at 1 PM, of course with a 12 hours fast included. That means I will get hungry soon and not a happy guy for the morning.  Oh well, I can dream on about the salad with 6 oz. of chicken that I will be making for a late lunch.

First up is get the list of meds done for the nurse call tomorrow morning. Since I already dropped the meds that I cannot use before surgery, that list will be shorter. The I will need to fill in a short survey for the MRI I had at Ephrata Community Hospital.

Nothing else going on, unless you count a 'foggy feeling' in my head and need to watch steps I take.  And typing is a real chore now, I find myself making all the bad choices of keys to use since the head is so foggy anyway.

Thanks for 'listening'

Monday, October 7, 2013

I have been getting asked how I am holding out and thought it would be nice to once again send this to everyone, and from now on, updates will show up in my blog, an extension of Adele and my life journey. Go to http://rstauffer43.blogspot.com/ for the blog and http://rick1lap.blogspot.com/2013/03/it-time-to-start-posting-again-for-this.html if you want to see some great cars and what I did last spring. Many miles and acetracks over an 11 day period and once we got home, to bed for a day and good food. 

Everything is recorded there, yes, a big OH NO just escaped from Adeles’s lips.  For those in our new church (“LCBC Style” as my granddaughter calls it, swaying down the walk), this could also be an interesting read into our past and imperfect lives.  I am sure I have some of you who will now read the blog all the way from Sept 2007 through what is now there.

Anyway, the blog does contain everything I went through with a 3 disc fusion in 2012, and It will let me know what to avoid this time. I am in better shape but will be unable to do much exercise.

This past July and August I participated in the Ephrata Rec’s Biggest Loser Contest and came out of that 6 weeks being very stoked on getting fit. New clothes, sweat just gets sucked up and evaporates better with these, new kitchen scale to weigh ingredients, new blender (a good one) to make smoothies, and a few more items, heart rate monitor, computer programs to track my progress, etc.  Stoked! I meant to look like those guys with the big muscled necks and  a six or ten pack of abs. No turning back.
 
I have had a wonderful time working on our tech team on a soundboard that would make even Captain Kirk quiver with joy!  In September I offered my service to the 5th Sunday for the satelite duty, never knowing I would be held back by then.

Now God has a way of ‘poking’ into me and my ‘over the top’ goals.  First I started noticing a slight muscle (so I thought) pain in my leg, top of leg, at the back and right at the top of the..  Wait a second, do I have a hip problem, is my infant polio coming back to haunt me with PPS, what is goin on?  After a few pokes of her own, Adele got me to see the family doctor.  

He listened and looked at few things, and we talked about what it could be, then he sent me in for an MRI.  NO Doc NO - I hate that tube. But go I did, and in a few quick days he called to let me know I need to get to my back doctor with the MRI results immediately. My family doctor called it a “severely herniated disc”.  After a week or so, I had an appointment with Dr Monachi in Lancaster and in 5 minutes, he knew what he needed to do – OPERATE. 

I am now so doped up with pain killers (every 4 hours), there will be no more driving until long after surgery.

Any way – testing – blood work – EKG – surgery – back brace – and recovery are the moments I will cherish for this winter.  If we get snow, I wonder if Adele will try to start the blower, or hire a kid to do the walk and drive for us. I mean, I am already a bit upset about the grass height.

·         Tomorrow the 8th of October, is blood work and EKG (all of 3 minutes from our house).
·         Oct 9th will bring  an phone interview with a nurse.
·         Thursday the Oct 17th is surgery at Lancaster General Hospital.
·         Should get out by the next day, Friday the 18th and home wearing a back brace.
·         Sometime before the staple removal I should be able to ditch the back brace
·         October 29th is Wound care and staples removal, always fun.
·         Nov 10 – 17th is a Cruise on the Atlantic to Fl on Norweigian Cruise Lines with LCBC as our guides
·         Nov 19 is X-Ray of surgery site and doctor review of how things look
·         I might be able to drive around the end of November

Sounds like fun – NO?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day after Memorial Day 2012

Memorial Day was tons of fun, family visiting and eating a big lunch with us including some new recipes.  Tom, Shannon, Kaelyn, Mason and Mom & Dad all were here and we had a great time.  Kaelyn & Mason wanted to see the 'Pig Boiling Pot' from my Great Grandfather Weidler - I have it currently in the shed. Tom had to move the Corvette out of the garage to help with some, 'Get this put on the patio, get this shutter back on the house' time.  So after he got the tasks done, he and Shannon took a ride in the Corvette, on the back country roads around our house.

The Oven Fried Chicken IV recipe that I used for the first time, was a hit with everyone.  Changes I made, followed the hints in the allrecipes.com reviews.  Some milk (1 cup) with 16 Oz sour cream, some French's Onion Rings crushed with the corn flakes, substituted Thyme for Rosemary (I do not stock Rosemary and am now out of Thyme), I also reduced the garlic powder to 1 1/2 tablespoons and I also added the seasonings to the sour cream mix, not the crushed flakes. Smelling the garlic in the recipe while the chicken was cooking was throwing me off, and I thought it would be too heavy with garlic, but it was fine.  I did 3 baking pans of chicken and coated the racks with Pam before, but the racks and pans still needed a bit of soaking to loosen up the drippings and stuck on coating that came off some of the chicken.  All in all, a fairly easy cleanup while Adele took a rest, reading and napping.

The Pretzel Bottomed Reese's Peanut Butter Pie recipe was also slightly changed.  We had a store bought graham cracker crust, so I used that for the crust.  Most of my pretzel crusts have always been too hard to chew (could it be my oven temp that is 50 degrees high causes that?).  Of course I kept thinking we needed a 9" crust, so I was OK with the smaller store bought crust, but then after filling and baking the pie on Sunday, I reread the recipe, and lo and behold it says use a 10" pie or tart pan.  Oh well, I did everything as shown until adding the flour / salt / baking soda mixture, that had to be hand mixed as my old Sunbeam does not work well with heavy mixes.  I needed 45 - 50 minutes to get everything cooked to perfection (??) but it was a huge hit with everyone.  Talk about a sugar high - this dessert is one of those type. We added a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream as a topper for the pie. Clean up was nothing except throwing away the tin foil pie pan.

Adele added her Mother's Potato Salad recipe to the lunch and a fresh fruit salad that she made on Sunday.  Sometimes we bump into each other so much in the kitchen, we need to allocate separate cooking times for our recipes.  She is a easy going cook, and I am an up-tight, what is next, Oh Gosh - Not sure I have that!, "Adele - I need you!", better lay out all the ingredients before I start (sometimes) kind of cook. It is much better that we do things at our own times in the kitchen when preparing for a big meal.

Well - I mentioned a few times that the recipes I made were first time ever recipes for me, and added that 'Family is where we should be able to try out those new things', and everyone took that in stride, and the food was great!

We all had a good time talking and sipping coffee afterwards, while the kids played with each other. Mason took home a stash of Vette magazines, we sent the rest of the pie back with Tom & Shannon also.  This week will be one of finishing all the left overs, which should be easy to do.

I hope and pray everyone had as good a Memorial Day weekend as I did.  See you all later.

Rick

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May Flowers and other such stuff

Here we are in May and everything is growing like wildfire outside.  Adele needs to do everything outside, as I had back surgery on April 9th, and am under doctors orders to exhibit caution when doing any lifting, bending or even sitting.  We did have the youth group - ICON - from church over on a Saturday for some help in getting the front yard plantings prepared.  They did a great job ripping out old plants and getting the peat moss cultivated into the soil.

Adele has planted annuals in that area, and planted some shade plants under one of the large maple trees.  We also tried to dig out all the old tulip bulbs, as they are becoming anemic after 6 years in the ground.

Now to prepare for Memorial day on the patio (or inside if it is really 90 degrees) with Mom & Dad, Tom & Shannon and the kids. I am planning an 'Oven Fried Chicken "IV"' recipe I found on allrecipes.com.  For dessert I am making a 'Peanut Butter Cup Pie' again found on the Internet.  I do love making new things for guests, I get a better feel for whether the recipe should stay in my list of good things to make or not.

My next doctor appt is on June 8th, and I might be able to start mowing again after that.

Thanks for watching our posts.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Time of Joy

We are in Augusta GA this week, visiting Ruby, Julie and Eric for a week. My back surgery is in 7 days, so I wanted to get here before I would need to be more careful about how long I can sit in a car.

Adele will be my caretaker for the next few months, until I can get back to a more normal schedule. The first month will be no more than 10 pounds lifting. Then I think it is More like 20 or 30 the next month. Physical therapy only starts after the first month, and after an X-ray to verify the setting of the rods and screws and discs. I trust the Lord will help me do the correct things, so I do not hurt my healing. I thank Him now for the patience I will need for this time.

We are thinking of coming home in 2 days, as I have more pain than I would like every day. Maybe 6 hours the first day, and then 5 the next day.

See you all for Easter Sunday.