Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Night Before-Sharon's Side of the Story

Well, I just had my "last supper" and in a couple of hours I've got to take that MOST delicious "cocktail"-if you know what I mean. This is the night when I can't have anything to eat or drink after midnight-guess I'll be pretty hungry before my surgery happens tomorrow afternoon but won't care much after that. I'm hoping I'll be able to lose some more weight during the next weeks and months.
We got everything caught up here at the "house" and I feel good about the living situation here. I'll be recuperating here before we head back to Tenn.
I'm really ready for 10:30 in the morning to arrive so we can get "on with the show". We've been anticipating this for quite some time so I'm very ready for it to happen. The anethesiologist called this evening to ask a few questions-found out his parents live just south of Nashville and he went to school in Nashville. It's a small world.
We'll appreciate the prayers of everyone-we have a fantastic prayer chain that reaches from Maine to Florida to Texas to California and points in between. I know the Great Physician will be standing right there beside my Dr. tomorrow and it is in His hands that I place myself tomorrow with absolutely no apprehensions.
Stand tuned for updates from Joe during the week.

All Ready To Go!! - "O" Day minus one

As of just before noon today, we completed the last step in preparation for the big day tomorrow. We dropped by the hospital today to have a last blood sample drawn for analysis for the operation tomorrow. This has been a relaxed and hectic two weeks here. Wait a minute you say!! Those two things are total opposites! Yes, that's correct! We've tried to squeeze a lot into these few days and have pretty well succeeded! When we've rested, we rested hard! When we were busy, we were pretty intensive doing whatever it was that had our attention at the time. Usually those two activities were alternating days! [:D]

We considered putting Bulli in a doggie day and night care facility for a few days during the operation and immediate post-op period but, after considering a couple of facilities, we decided that as close as we are to the hospital, that I could do double duty and provide the necessary care for both. He is used to staying by himself in our little apartment here, our smells (hopefully, not odious!!) are here and as long as he can eat and be taken out occasionally, he will fare well. I guess that's what you have to do when you have a creature that is totally dependent on you for ALL his needs.

Continue your prayers for the surgeon's hands and a speedy recovery. We have been so anxious to get this over so that we can get on with whatever life holds afterward, that getting here feels good! Of course, that's easy for ME to say!! Sharon is holding up well and if she's nervous about it, she's not showing it at all. Almost like, well, let's go to the store and get my new hip! If it were me, I'd probably be balled up in the corner, calling for "Mommy" in a weak pitiful voice!!

Will post more as soon as things happen!


Friday, September 28, 2007

Word for the day!

Short post today! Have been caching over the last couple of days! Went up into Oklahoma to get a cache I have had my sights on for almost two years! Nice day run but we found that McGeehee's Catfish House in Marion, OK is closed ONLY on Wednesdays! We have had a long-standing desire for McGeehee's for a very long time and were even planning to wait to have lunch very late so we could fully enjoy it! Guess what day we chose to go - Wednesday, of course!

We cached up and back to Lexington, OK! Covered with the resulting infestation from neck to toes, the word for the day is CHIGGERS! Fortunately, Sharon is chigger free! I have chigger marks from Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas, and now, Oklahoma! I surely hope we're not headed for another state - I don't believe my itch quotient will take another one!!

Remember the word - CHIGGERS!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"O" Day Minus Six

Our count-down continues toward "O" Day! Yesterday we spend a delightful day of Geocaching with ATMA, Tim and Rhonda, from Houston. They had come up to be at the Hip Event Sunday and stayed to do a caching run through the north end of the MetroPlex. We had a successful day of caching and planned the run through parts of town that would let us enjoy some countryside caching as well as some of the more urban-style hides and finds. We may have gotten a little carried away because, by the time everyone decided it was time to eat dinner, a glance at the clock said that most places were closed. We finally found a Chili's that was open late and settled in for a very late dinner!

This morning, Tuesday, finds us quite late at being "up and out!" Two of us went back to bed for another nap and the other of us stayed up to answer the mail and write this!! [:D] A pot of coffee may have helped that!

Meanwhile, the countdown continues! Until later,


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Events

We, Joe and Sharon and Bulli, hosted a Geocaching Event this afternoon at an American '50's or '60's diner/cafe. We had a fairly small room that would normally have seated around 50 people somewhat comfortably and totally stuffed it to overflowing with, at last count, approximately 91 cachers! That included all members of each group that was there. The logs probably won't show that many but one entry may include 4 or 5 family members. Needless to say, we overflowed into the main restaurant! As fate would have it, the air conditioning was inoperative in the main dining room and it slowly built up enough heat to make you think you were under the North Texas Sun!!! BUT, a great time was had by all. We had door prizes donated by several Geocaching companies and even managed to snag some gifts from local businesses this week! ALMOST everyone got a door prize, but we may have fallen a little short of total prize saturation. To those who weren't able to snag a door prize, our apologies!

What a great group of geocaching friends! It was fun just to overhear some of the local caching tales straight from the sources! Thanks to all who warmly greeted us and made us welcome!

To those of you who are not geocachers, You just had to be there.......!!!

Cheers! Until next time....

Friday, September 21, 2007

I have just been served .........

Well, here we are living life at it's fullest! Another day closer to "O" day and living life as it is passed to us! We continue to make our nest as comfortable as we can for our post-op period. Of course, that includes trips to Wally-World to get groceries, etc. for eating in a lot afterward.

Humor of the day! As we were heading for our daily WW trip, we stopped to grab a bite of lunch. You know the old thing about NOT grocery shopping when you're ready to chew your arm off for nurishment. Well, we stopped at a place on the way called Planet Burrito. Didn't know what to expect, but just had to check it out. Turned out there was one of the local radio stations broadcasting from the place as a promo for the Planet! While I was ordering our burritos/salads, Sharon registered me for a drawing with the station. I was still ordering when I won a prize in a drawing! OK, great! Now I have 10, yes, TEN, haircuts from a local hair saloon! I haven't had my hair cut 10 times in a shop that many times since I've been back from Taiwan. That was 9 years ago!!! Well, we may just have some extra door prizes for the event Sunday!! [:D] The burrito's were excellent, by the way! Just before we left, I saw the manager take a large burrito (and I do mean large! The largest one is called GIGUNDUS! and it really is! It is about 14 inches long and about 5 inches in diameter!)

As we got back in the GeoVan, I turned on the radio to check out the station that was broadcasting from inside. The DJ was saying, "I have just been served a burrito the size of a German Shepherd! It is 10 stories tall and I'm sharing it with a family of ten!" We both just about fell out of our seats laughing at this description! We had just been talking about how much food was in ours. I had the middle of 5 sizes and was stuffed! As a matter of fact, that's what they called it! The Stuffed! Sharon's salad (same stuff in a bowl and no tortilla) was a Small and it was more than adequate!!

OK, enough local color!! Just a humorous point for the day!!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just about ready!

Well, just about all the preliminary items have been taken care of. Yesterday we spent just about the whole day with "STUFF!" In the morning, we attended a class about what to expect and where things happend now with a joint replacement. Most of it was old hat for us, unfortunately, but it was a good refresher course. We did get to go up on the orthopedic floor and see the new digs where the post-op activities will be. The whole deal has changed in the last 14 or so years. There is a lot more "do it now" involved presently than there was then. There is very little time to sit still and reflect on it because you're up and busy the next morning post-op! The average stay is now three or four days! That's a lot different than the first total replacement she had in '75! There, she stayed in bed in the hospital for almost two weeks before they'd even let her up for more than going to the bathroom. Now, it two weeks, you're supposed to square dancing and doing cartwheels!! Well, that may be a small stretch of it, but absolutely NO grass will grow under any part of you! One of the reasons for the early up and out is to get you out of the hospital where all those sick people are! There are, gasp, GERMS where there are sick people and they don't want you exposed to that any longer than absolutely necessary. The only thing left to do now is the last minute lab retakes on Sunday before the operation on Monday. The afternoon yesterday was devoted to preregistration and the early lab work.

Now the concentration will be on making our nest comfortable for when she comes back post-op and Geocaching. Tomorrow and Saturday we will be finalizing our plans and preparations for the "Hip"py event we are hosting Sunday afternoon. We had dinner Tuesday night at the cafe where the event is to be held. Our only concern is that the meeting room may be just a little to small, but there is room to spill over onto the outdoor patio. Sure have had a lot of cachers sign up that they are coming. We look forward to meeting a lot of new friends. We already know some of those who have signed up to come. It will be good to see them again!

The area we are in here in Plano seems to be a hub for just about every kind of food you would have any desire for. Last night, we ate at a great Mexican Cantina, night before was a very American grill (50's style), lunch today was at a great little Asian place. I had a great dish of Pad Thai noodles with all that Thai spice! Tonight we ate at home! That will happen on an increasing frequency. We have to make our food run to the grocery store tomorrow. The kitchen in the apartment is small, tiny, miniscule, not large, and could even be called minature!! Cooking here is definitely going to be a one-person deal! Guess I know who that will be, particularly post-op! LOL! Guess Nurse Joe will fill many shoes over the next few months!!! Like I've said before, this ain't our first dance so nothing is new to us!! I will admit to being somewhat younger on the earlier occasions, though!!

Until later,


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Meeting with Dr. E (Emerson)

Had x-rays and met up with my Dr. this morning. He is very optimistic that this procedure is going to "do the trick". This new technology wasn't even available 5 years ago. The theme for the next several months is "calm and be still" as my body heals from the surgery and the bone fuses to the prothesis. Now those of you who know me well are probably saying "right!!!! her be calm and still?" If I want to get on with my life I'll have to so you just watch me. Joe says it's about as possible as orange juice coming out of the moon but I hope to prove him wrong there. More updates tomorrow as we have two more appointments to go to.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Arrival in Plano, TX

Yippee!! We finally dragged our tired selves into Plano tonight! We were held up in Clarksville and Harmony, AR for a time early today and didn't leave the area until almost 2:30PM with about 350 miles to cover after that! First, this morning, I checked one of our tires that I had added air to yesterday, and found it to be extremely low. After checking with Max, I took it to a tire place and had it checked out. The shop was very busy and the single tire tech was loaded down but he worked me in in about an hour. Another hour and we were on the go again. Turns out, the valve stem was cracked and could have come apart at any time. That could have ruined our whole day on the interstate somewhere! Since we were on a late start anyway, and had another stop to make in Harmony, our day was slid around the clock a little. Had a nice visit with Ron and Marybeth. Harmony is a beautiful area and we almost hated to leave after such a short stay.

We are at the Extended Stay Suites about a half a mile from the Doctor's office and the hospital in the other direction. We have a temporary room tonight and move into our long-term room tomorrow. We had to accept one of their Studio Suites tonight because the full two-bed suite wasn't available. If we were here only for a few days, this would be OK, but for a minimum of 6 weeks, for our sanity, particularly post-op, we need the extra living space. I hate to move, but it will be worth it.

We hated we had to pass up a visit with Joni and Larry in Fort Smith, AR. We had planned for a long time to stop in and visit for a while, but with the two hours spent on the GeoVan, it was unavoidable. We did chat with Larry on the phone for a bit, after a round of phone tag. Was good to hear him again, even if we didn't see them! L & J, we promise next time.........!!

Better get to bed! It's after midnight and Sharon's first appointment is at 8:30 AM. What with canine-maintenance, breakfast, et al, it's going to be a short night!

Until later, Cheers!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Trip Fun Continues

The trip enjoyment was increased tremendously today as we met for an early breakfast with two pairs of GeoFriends before a concentrated day of caching here in Clarksville. What a beautiful day of caching! Hosted by Nonnipoppy and RKPMBL, we had a ball snagging every cache that we could cram into a day! The day was shortened a little by a severe attack of (yes, Virginia, there really ARE) chiggers!!! They attacked poppy with a vengence and I have some evidence that my Kentucky and Tennessee chiggers may have to move over for some new "skin" mates!!! Mine aren't that terribly bad but his were horrendous!!! Cachewise, we had a very successful day!!

Sharon jumped with us until it got to be a little too much at which point she turned into trip secretary and nagivator, er, navigator! (Always did have trouble with that word!!)

After caching and resting, we all met for a dinner at what has to be one of the most scenic places within 500 miles in any direction. We were on a pavilion jutting out over a 200+ feet high bluff over looking a lake on the Arkansas River. In the bend of the lake, there were dozens of islands. Each one of them was just begging for a cache of some type! Saw a magnificent sunset to the west and watched nightfall overtake northwest Arkansas! A river barge tow was coming up river below us as it was turning dark. It was interesting to see that operation from above. It was almost like watching it happen on a model layout down below us. What a perfect end to a great day! We thank nonnipoppy and RKPMBL for a perfectly hosted, most enjoyable day!

We're back in the room taking care of the administrative part of caching - writing logs for all the finds of the day. Some of it may wait until we're in Dallas!!

Tomorrow, we head out for Plano. It's not a long drive (350 or so miles) but there are a lot of caches between here and there! Will have to at least snag a few along the way.

Until later, cheers!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Arrival at Mid-Point of trip

Hi, we finally arrived in Clarksville, AR this evening at around 9:45PM. We covered 481 miles and 14 cache finds (and 5 DNFs) along the way! It sure is a little tired this evening, also. Up at 4AM hasn't been a normal part of our lives for a long time!

We are to meet some caching friends here in town in the AM (6:30 for breakfast) and then spend the day sightseeing and mostly caching around the area!

Time for bed!!!!


Finally on the road!!!

It's 6 AM and we're on the road! We have about an eight hour drive to Clarksville, AR for the night. Weather looks good so it should be clear sailing. Wish us GodSpeed as we travel. Have a few caches on the schedule but all are OUTSIDE of Tennessee! We'd never make it out of the state if I put those on the map!!! [:D]

Next post from Arkansas!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Last minute prep

Here we sit watching the 9PM news after spending the day making the last preparations for leaving. Let's see, clothes packed, check, GeoVan loaded, check, last pocket query run for caching along the way, check, maps filled out with those caches we could stop at for a leg-stretcher, check! OK Looks like almost every thing is taken care of! Plan to be up around 4AM to leave!

Now that we're leaving for a few weeks, it has begun raining a little and our grass has begun growing again! I even have some green spots out there now. We even had to mow and trim yesterday. We'll probably have to cut, tetter, and bale when we get back! Haven't made any plans for anyone to cut it while we're gone because we didn't figure we'd need it! Oh, well!! So be it! I've more important things on my mind now!!

We'll travel to Clarksville, Arkansas tomorrow. Will have breakfast with some great GeoCaching friends early Sunday morning and spend the day with them getting a geocaching tour of NorthWest Arkansas. Monday we'll drive on down to Plano so we can be there to start the pre-op festivites Tuesday morning. Of course, that will include caching along the way, as well! (We're not addicted!! We can quit anytime we want to!!! Just don't want to now!!)

Had a nice visit this AM from one of our good friends who dropped by to wish us well. That meant a lot and gave us a very bright spot during a busy day! ThanX!!

Next entry will be on the road.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Clarification of Dates

Since it was somewhat hidden in the last part of the first note, I will add some known dates and info in a slightly different format to this page:

15 or 16 September - Depart for Plano from Nashville

17 thru 20 September (approximately) - Pre-op lab work and self-donation of blood

23 September - A Hippy Event Geocaching meeting in Plano

1 October - at 10:45AM - Sharon checks in to the hospital for operation. Operation performed sometime later that day. Time depends on the Doctor's schedule flow throughout the morning. He performs her kind of "revisions" later so he can take longer IF it is necessary without disrupting the normal flow of events.

Hospital stay (as we know it now) should be from 1 to either 4 or 5 October.

Cheers! Thanks for asking for the clarification.

BTW: We will be staying at the Extended Stay America suites in Plano. They are quite close to the hospital, offer separate living and sleeping area, have a kitchen, and perhaps MOST importantly, are pet friendly. That was necessary for any place we were to stay. Little Bulli is family, too!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Preparations for Plano

We continue to get ready this weekend for the Big Journey on next weekend. While it seems like a week is a long time, we know from past history that this will be one of the shortest weeks of our lives!! Very likely, next Friday night will be spent in a flurry of activity as we scurry around for those last minute things that must be done before leaving Tennessee. As I'm sitting here writing this note for you all, Sharon is sitting next to me adding to the list of things to be done next week. Some of you may recall her propensity for lists!! Sometime I do believe that somewhere she has a hidden list of things to make lists for. (;>) Just kidding of course, but her lists do somewhat keep our lives on an even keel!!

We are continuing to do our normal "stuff" while we are getting ready. This weekend we have two GeoCaching events to attend, one on Saturday in Clarksville, TN and one on Sunday afternoon in Franklin, TN. Saturday, we plan a joint 'caching run in Clarksville with one of our good Geo-Friends! It's always a blast to cache with her and the time seems to fly late into the night whenever we "hit the trails" together. For those of you who wonder just what that GeoCaching thing is, just check out this web site: I usually describe it as the most fun game of hide and seek adults can have with their clothes on! This may get highly censored when Sharon reviews the post!! Of course, caching will also augment our trip through Arkansas and Texas as we head to Plano. We have used caches as leg-stretchers for the last four or five years and it has shown us some interesting and unusual places on our travels.

This is just a quickie update on our progress toward "O"Day! Cheers!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Blog Purpose

This blog has been created to act as a chronicle to keep our family and friends informed on the progress of Sharon's fourth hip replacement/revision. The background, for those who are not familiar with her history, will be briefly reviewed early in this blog for informational purposes. We have been looking forward with some dread to this for the past couple of years. Her hip condition has steadily worsened with loss of leg length and a lot of, as she says, discomfort! She will never admit to having "pain" with the problem!

This process began to be scheduled while we were in Texas during May 2006. We visited Dr. Roger Emerson's office and had her first appointment with him in several years. Dr. Emerson had performed her last hip replacement in 1991 and because of some rather severe complications including massive infections and removal of the prosthesis, replaced the replacement in 1992. We have chosen to go back and have him perform this replacement because he and Dr. William Head, now retired, have been on the leading edge of hip prosthesis development for many years. Once again, their lead has placed them with the advanced design joint prosthesis that Sharon needs to overcome the problems of severe deterioriation of the cup area of the pelvic structure.

Presently, we are scheduled to leave Tennessee around the 15th of September for pre-op lab work and blood self-donation. We are to be at the hospital in Plano, TX at 10:45 AM on 1 October for the operation. The operation will follow later in the day.

I will attempt to have this blog updated daily or more often as we get closer to "O"-Day. We ask your prayers and thoughts for her fast recovery and, perhaps most importantly this time, NO COMPLICATIONS, PLEASE!!!