aberdeen: (Window)
Stealing straight from [livejournal.com profile] rustycoon, because this is pretty nifty, even if it is old.

The Johari is a place where people who know me can select a few positive attributes about me so that I can learn more about myself through the eyes of others.

The Nohari is the same thing, only for negative attributes so that I can learn about how people perceive my weaknesses.

http://kevan.org/jh/aberdeen_ (apparently Aberdeen was taken for johari. I did the nohari one first.)

aberdeen: (School)
I have been officially accepted by the program. The director is "thrilled" to have me on board!
I go to Anchorage (probably) the 25th - 27th of September for a workshop. They're still arranging the details, but that seems to be the plan. The 25th is an inservice day, here, so I won't even miss student-contact time.

aberdeen: (willowme)
No pictures, 'cause I ate them, instead.

I made squash ravioli from scratch! I made the pasta and the filling and made it into raviolis! And then I made an alfredo sauce, but since there's no cream, I found a recipe that has you make a roux and then use milk, instead. That was pretty darned good, too, so, yay!

I have leftover pasta dough, which is now in the freezer. Maybe I'll make a fettucini, next week.

Filling was acorn squash, egg, provalone and parmesan cheese, nutmeg and cinnamon. A little potato flour for thickening, and a little brown sugar to round out the flavor. I didn't  measure anything (well, I used 1 squash and 2 eggs, but that's counting not measuring).
aberdeen: (ocean)
And I have a phone, too.

That is all. More when I get home, tonight.
aberdeen: (Braces)
The allergic reaction has more-or-less completely cleared (it's hard to say completely because it was so wrapped up with the infection), and the infection is well on the way to clearing. Lots of pink skin, still, lots of inflammation, but the general impression is that everything is looking the way we'd like.

So I've been cleared to go home!

I've also been given permission to swap out the heavy, clunky, frustrating brace for the lighter, better fitting, more comfortable, more (in my opinion) supportive brace for most of the time. All of the time if I can figure out how to use the locking features to lock it at 90/100/120 degrees when I'm not doing my PT. The more annoying brace is really easy to lock/unlock at various points. I know the other one can, and they showed me how... on June 12. And it wasn't as easy and involves adding and removing pins underneath a set of padding. But, still. Totally worth it if I can figure it out.

The surgeon-who-is-not-my-surgeon who saw me last week and today is really pretty awesome. He grew up in Unalakleet (which is not terribly far from Kotlik) and in the '70s was a mail pilot in the area. Before there were gravel runways. He completely understands the whole living-in-the-Bush thing (which was why he made me stay until today), and stuffed my bag full of extra ace bandages and other goodies, and reminded me to fax them the travel authorization form so my insurance will reimburse me for (some of) the airfare.

He's more pleased with my RoM progress than my PT is, though, it's been 3 days since she made me push to 125, and I have been working it, so I did have more than 90 degrees (he didn't measure) without warming up. I like to think my PT would have been happy with that, too. (: He gave me a couple exercises for hamstring strength that weren't in my original routine. I think they're basically a variation on what I was doing, but slightly more accessible for me at this point.

And... now I'm going to pack up because we're about to start pre-boarding. 
aberdeen: (willowme)
My PT, today, almost slipped up. She almost called me Amelia. Then she admitted that she keeps almost calling me Amelia Pond. Or Emily Pond, or Amelia Poole, and that she thinks in some other reality I must be the Doctor's Companion.

We agreed that being the Doctor's Companion would be an excellent incentive to complete my PT and get my knee in good working order -- for all of the running away that would be required.

I don't think she expected me to know what she was talking about when she first started explaining.

Also. I got to 125 degrees in RoM exercises, today, meeting the goal for the week. (Now I just have to maintain that much and keep going.)

PT: Day 2

Aug. 5th, 2014 05:31 pm
aberdeen: (ocean)
52 degrees RoM!
Weight shifting (basically what it sounds like - Stand up and shift your weight from one leg to the other, in this case while holding onto a support)
Leg lifts, forward, outside, and back. Forward is "easy". Outside is... possible. A little scary, a little painful, but possible. Back was a no-go. Or, well, I did them with the PT's help, but could barely do one on my own. I get to start those basically standing and moving like I'd step backward and hold my leg up behind me. When that's easy, then I graduate to lifting from prone.

I went to the surgery center before my PT appointment and told them I was too squeamish to pull out the catheter on my own, so they slipped me in when the anaesthesiologist was between patients. It was... just as simple as they'd told me, but I'm still glad I let him do it. Still pretty numb, but feeling should be coming back (with the exception of a small squarish spot on my upper shin that I should expect will remain numb because of how the nerves run through the knee and where they need to cut) through the evening.

Also. I completely forgot to mention before.
My anaesthesiologist is Doctor Sweeney.
The other one in the office is Doctor Todd.

I am not making this up.
aberdeen: (Braces)
Met with the PT and did some basic consultation and evaluation. It's a little tricky since I still have medicine in the nerve block ball, so I still have significant numbness and can't access all of the muscles I should.

I'm of two minds about this.  I've turned down the pump to 4ml/hour, which means I'm getting some feeling and the pain isn't too bad, but it's not going to run out, today. On the one hand - Yay, because I'm all for keeping the pain minimized for as long as possible. On the other hand, I'd like to not be tied to the ball, and I'd like to, um, remove the catheter while I'm around medical professionals. And I'd like to be able to do the PT.

As for the PT:
We did some RoM activities. I got to about 45 degrees, and maybe I could have gone farther, but it was hard to tell with the nerve block. She said 45 is good, for now.
I did straight leg raises, and she was pleased that I was able to do those, given the numbness. I was a little worried about floppy knee, but I managed to do it, so, hey!
I did ankle pumps and quad sets.
I couldn't do the standing weight shifts or mini-squats which were on the list, because of the numb-knee, and we couldn't do the straight leg raises in other directions because of the catheter.

She's going to talk to the surgeon about whether he wants me to have a EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) machine. She's more of a fan of having people do it on their own, but sees the usefulness.

She also noticed my, uh, flexibility.

The only thing we did that was, um... unpleasant, was the innocuous sounding "Patellar Mobilization", which involves putting fingers on the patella and moving it around. Ow.

Good news: I can do minimal weight bearing. Which is enough to make a difference for me being able to get around and take care of myself.

I have appointments tomorrow and Wednesday, and she says she can do some email consults in between then and when I can get back. Technically, I should be doing 2 - 3 PT appointments per week for 14 weeks or so.  
aberdeen: (ocean)
Probably as a desperate attempt to win back an audience with the really nice new theater around, Dimond Center updated (at least some of) their theaters. (I don't know about the ones that didn't get recliner seats, but I imagine they got a remodel, too.)

There are about 100 seats - 6 rows of 18 recliners with one row missing several to make room for wheelchairs. The projection has been updated, too; it used to be a very dark theater, but there was plenty of light for Guardians.

Even with my feet up, there was room for the 4 year old to run back and forth in front of me without bumping my foot. (Thankfully, the parents put a stop to that during the previews...)

Every seat has a great view, so far as I can tell. It's no greater a slope than it was, before, but the distance between rows and the offset means that there aren't any obstructions. Footrest comes up all the way, and the seat reclines as far as you could want.

Pictures! )

I might go back on Tuesday or Wednesday to see something else. The worst part of the trip, for me, was the cab ride back to the hotel, because there was only one seat, and it was on the right side, so I couldn't put my foot up or sit sideways, and every bump or change in speed was another jolt of pain. (The cab seems designed to hold a stroller, maybe? It's not tall enough to put a wheelchair where the empty seat was, and it's too high to get a chair in with someone in it, anyway.)


Aug. 1st, 2014 05:18 pm
aberdeen: (ocean)
My CyberKnee! New brace, ice machine, and OnQ medicine ball for my femoral nerve block.

Pictures! )
Just got back from my post-op appointment. Everything looks good. He snipped away the torn bits of meniscus (which is the more common of the two options for the type of tear he found), but was able to keep most of it. He showed me the tears to the cartilage behind my patella, and suggested that'll cause problems in the future, but nothing to be done about it, now. (But that's old news, anyway.) The surgery itself went really well. He was very pleased.

I have PT appointments for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. He gave me the protocol and it looks like 21 weeks of very specific graduating program, 7 months of PT, and then another 5 months of "and keep this up until 1 year post-op". Looks like I'll get an electro stimulation machine, since that's going to be part of the protocol. We're both hoping that the school district PT will be willing to consult with me sort of on the side when she comes out.

I'm supposed to come back in 6 - 8 weeks for a follow-up, and then again in 3 months or so. We've agreed that the clinic health-aides can do the wound check in two weeks. There's really only 3 little external incisions to look at, anyway. As long as everything internal is good, there won't be much to check. And if everything internal isn't good, well, I'll know before the clinic appointment, and I'll head back to Anchorage.

I told the doc I wasn't taking any oxy and he gave me a very skeptical look and said I would probably need to, soon. I said I was going to try just the ibuprofen, first, but, uh, he continues to be skeptical. We'll see. I turned down the nerve block from 6 to 4 ml/hr. If that's enough for pain management, it'll last a bit longer. If I have to take the oxy, I have to take it, but I'd really rather not. Or at least keep how much I take to the bare minimum.

On the bright side, I got new bandages and I'm allowed to shower, now. (:
aberdeen: (Braces)
Everything went well, apparently.
I hate oxycodone.
Still nauseous, dizzy, and groggy from anaesthesia this morning.
I'm plugged into an ice machine on one side, and a femoral nerve block pain medication machine on the other.

When I'm less blargy, I'll take a picture.


Jul. 15th, 2014 06:43 pm
aberdeen: (ocean)
I'm in Kotlik. My house shows absolutely no sign of them having done... anything, beyond ripping out the carpet. Oh, and they put in the door they were supposed to put in, last summer.
Most of my things are either here or at school, but, uh. Not everything.
My TV, apparently, is being used by the contractor. Which I don't really mind, except for the part where no one asked me. The microwave is nowhere to be found. The TiVo is absent. Pretty much everything that had been in the utility room is missing.
The bookcases did get moved (which is good). But, uh. All of the furniture that belongs to the school... gone. And that includes, say, the kitchen table which was supposed to be brought to this house because the one here was broken and had been given away already in expectation of that one being brought over.
I have a bet with the secretary-- Actually I don't, because she wouldn't take it-- that the new furniture won't be here before school starts.
In the meantime, I'm staying at the house next door. All of my stuff that's here is sort of randomly stashed, mostly in boxes. There is no internet at the house (but if I hold the laptop in the window, I can connect to the school's network for brief periods). The school internet continues to block, er, a lot of things.
I haven't found the contractor, yet, so, I'm not sure what the timeline is for finishing.
My goal is to... continue going through the boxes that are over here, and getting rid of as much stuff as I can. I'm definitely leaning toward the "if you haven't used it in the last year, get rid of it".
And I just made a date to watch a movie with my 'brother', tomorrow afternoon.
aberdeen: (Braces)
Went to see the surgeon, this morning. He's happy with the progress. I have 110 degrees of bend available with the knee, and nothing mechanically stopping more (no misalignment or bits of torn meniscus getting in the way) - just pain because there's still a lot of inflammation, and that's mostly because of the meniscus tears. The MCL seems to be healing well, and he said there's some good stability, there. I could, if I so chose, do some work on a stationary bike. I guess I'll see if the one at school is working. If not, continue with what I am doing.

He's pleased enough that we scheduled surgery for the 31st (pre-op appointment on the 30th, post-op on the 1st).

We talked more specifically about the types of grafts. If I were an athlete, we would probably do the patellar graft, despite the slight risk of patellar fracture (he said he's only had it happen, once, and it was in a patient who jumped off a table 3 weeks after surgery, so he takes no blame for that), because it gives the best (tightest) results for the ACL replacement. However. It means you can't ever kneel again, pretty much. It also is a more time consuming and more invasive surgery with more pain involved and a longer recovery time. (Which fits with what the guy on the street outside the Austrian restaurant told me about his experience with patellar autograft vs his second allograft results.) It also often leads to chondromalacia, which I already have, so not really the best choice. And, as it happens, I'm not an athlete. I just need to be able to walk without my knee bending the wrong direction.

He's not a fan of allografts (tissue taken from cadavers), which is okay with me.

So what we settled on was the hamstring graft. His only hesitation is that the MCL is kinda sorta supported by the bit of tendon we'd be harvesting from. But he thinks, given that I'll be braced for the ACL that'll be plenty of support for the MCL until it's finished healing, and it's doing well, now.

Smaller incision. Less difficult procedure. Less pain. Faster post-op recovery... There we are, then.

I'm going home on Monday and will see about moving back into my house... That ought to be fun.
aberdeen: (Annoyed)
Item 22 under Covered Major Medical Benefits for my insurance:

Medical Supplies. Dressings, casts, splints, trusses, braces and other Medically Necessary medical supplies, with the exception of dental braces or corrective shoes, but including syringes for diabetic and allergy diagnosis, and lancets and chemstrips for diabetics.

And yet. Today I found out they're not covering either the original $175 brace I was given after my initial visit, nor the $812 ACL brace I will need at least until surgery.

I will be calling to appeal, tomorrow. 


Jun. 13th, 2014 12:56 pm
aberdeen: (Braces)
Got to see the results of the MRI, and the X-Rays. The doctor was accompanied by a medical student (who still has a lot of studenting left to do), which I think means I got a little more explanation than I otherwise would. Though, really, for a surgeon, Dr. Sparks was very informative.

He looked at the MRI, pointed out things like the bone bruising, the chondromalacia (which we've known about for decades), and the massive amounts of edema in and around the knee.Then he pointed out the PCL, and noted how it was nice and tight and connected in all the places it should be. And then he pointed to the ACL... which was just sort of dangling there. Yes. Well. He pointed to where it should be connected to the bone but wasn't. Yes, well. Then we looked at the tear in the MCL, and the two meniscus tears. Well then.

One can, he says, live a nearly normal life without an ACL, if one is not an athlete. However. I have loose tendons/ligaments to start with, and am prone to sprains because of that, already. I have chondromalacia, and there's documentation that shows that not repairing the ACL hastens and worsens arthritis. I also live where I am likely to be walking on unstable surfaces, and not having the ACL can make even minor missteps cause more damage to the other parts of the knee. Therefore, there is a strong recommendation that we do surgery.

Unfortunately. The ACL cannot be repaired, it must be replaced. We talked very briefly about options, there. There's grafts taken from the femur/hamstring, from the patella, from the opposite femur/hamstring, and a couple others. We didn't go into a lot of detail, there, because --

Surgery has to wait for the MCL to heal, and to get as much range of motion back as I can, because whatever range of motion I have before the surgery is the best possible range of motion outcome for post surgery.

So. I have a really snazzy new brace. I can start putting weight, as I can tolerate - and as the bone bruising and swelling decrease, the pain and range of motion should increase. I spend the next 6 weeks with light duty, brace and crutches at first, and then just brace when I can walk without pain. And then we make decisions about surgery.

Post surgery is another 6+ weeks of braces/crutches. He said probably three days of catheter pain management, so probably a week in Anchorage, but it's outpatient surgery, and ambulatory right away.

Six weeks is too long to stay in a hotel, here. Duh. I'm staying through the weekend, partly to make sure the brace fits and works well enough, partly because I need time to figure out what to do, from there.

(Oh, and the Orthopedic Clinic is mailing me a disc with the MRI and X-rays. Cool, yeah?)
aberdeen: (ocean)
"You just made my day! I've never seen anyone who was attacked by Autons, before!"

So in the continuing saga of "What's Wrong With You, Now?" I noticed that my right ankle was more swollen than I really would have expected, given that it was my knee that was in pain. So I poked the Just Answer docs again, and they said, "Um! That could be a blood clot. Get thyself checked out!" So I did. And, since I was already there, when the doctor said, "Do you have any other questions?" I said, "Hey! Can you look at my finger, since I'm here?"

He made me promise that I hadn't beaten anyone up, and the X-Ray technician thinks that since I didn't keep the mannequin arm after I pulled it off, the mannequin actually won the fight. The doctor did know what Autons were. As did the person who wheeled me down to X-Ray, whose parents built a TARDIS in Homer, apparently.

My finger is not broken (I didn't think it was), but the doctor made all sorts of faces when he touched it and it crunched, which is why it got X-Rayed. We decided that, while a splint might do it some good, it might interfere with the crutches, and I can buddy-tape it if I want, or just be careful with it. I'm opting for the just being careful.

My ankle. My ankle IS swollen. It is far more swollen than it should be. It turns out, it's also tender if you prod at it. I don't have untoward pain in my calf, and I don't have any other symptoms that would indicate a blood clot, so they elected not to do the $4000 ultrasound. (Why is an ultrasound $4000?) I thought that was just dandy. But the doctor was concerned with the swelling, and, er, after prodding at it a bit, was worried that I might have actually broken something, there. So we did X-Rays of the ankle, too. No breaks, but I have, apparently, damaged the ligaments in the ankle, too, and so now I have a brace for the ankle that ends about an inch before the brace for the knee begins, and I'm not allowed to put weight on the ankle until the knee is functional.

I can honestly say I think this is a first, for me. I've had Strep and not known I was sick, but I've never sprained my ankle and had no clue.

Also. I need a new Userpic for the whole hanging my head in shame and disbelief sort of... thing.
aberdeen: (ocean)
I went to Fred Meyer, yesterday, because, um, having been in the midst of moving, and unable to walk, there were some necessities I wasn't able to pack before I left.
Fred Meyer has these lovely electric carts for mobility impaired folks, which is great. But, uh. Not all of the store is really organized for their use. I clipped a display stand with the back of the cart, and the Auton leapt down mannequin fell on me.
Brilliant, right? I was mostly unharmed. My left index finger is still pretty swollen, but there doesn't seem to be any actual significant damage.

(The manager and customer service clerk person were both very helpful and friendly, and all the appropriate paperwork has been filed.)

In other news, today I overdid a little by hobbling all the way from the Tikahtnu theatre allllllllll the way to the Pet Smart. Which, on the one hand, is only across the parking lot(s), but on the other is about a quarter mile. My knee is less happy with me, this evening, and I'm sort of assuming that's why.


Jun. 7th, 2014 12:53 pm
aberdeen: (Common Rotation)
Cody, TK, and I are here in Anchorage, and thanks to a friend, all of us are at our respective destinations.

Cody is at A Happy Dog Day Camp, with the expectation that he'll stay there until I can walk. I dislike the idea of how long that's likely to be, but at least I know that Cody enjoys his time, there. I also know that it's less fair to him for me to not let him outside except a couple times on a static line, and selfish of me to want his company. So. At least for a while.

TK is staying at a vet's boarding facility. He'll stay there until I can go home, since he doesn't require any sort of mobility on my part. I'm hoping this will be better than the place he stayed last summer. (God, that was awful.) I still haven't ever found anyplace to rival the cat boarding place in Portland, but I'm hoping that this, at least, won't be traumatic.

I have a reservation at a hotel for the weekend. I'll need to figure out what to do after that.

The orthopedic clinic has walk-in (Hah!) hours, and I was able to get in, last night. X-Rays, brief exam - "You definitely need an MRI, and a follow-up with the surgeon. Almost positive there's an LCL tear, probably an ACL tear, likely some other damage as well, but the MRI will let us see."

So now I have an appointment for the MRI on Wednesday at 1 (because they had to wait two business days to be sure they can get pre-authorization from the insurance... and we're all just assuming that they will, at that point, because, yeah). Then a follow-up with the surgeon on Friday. I could have seen the surgeon on Tuesday, but, of course, not useful with the MRI needing to wait until Wednesday.

This hotel is awesome. It's the Hampton Inn, behind Applebees. It's not so much the facility (which is nice - clean, well maintained, etc.) It's the people. They got me the room closest to the lobby, so I don't have to hobble, far. The random people working this morning came up and spontaneously offered to make me a breakfast plate (from the free breakfast stuff - which doesn't suck!) - and when I was almost done, someone else came up and asked if I wanted anything else and offered to make me a waffle from their waffle-maker thingy. When I bought some food from their little store, last night, the desk person carried it back to my room for me.

And they're not just awesome to me. I was talking to the manager, who was working the desk when I was waiting for the shuttle (yes, they have a free shuttle to the various hospitals, on call, until 10 at night). He was trying to do a hundred things at once, and I noted how busy he was. He said he was that busy because he was covering the desk when he would normally have been back in the office. But the person who was supposed to be working the desk was gone for 45 days with her son, who was being treated for Leukemia. The staff had all agreed to cover her duties so they could save her job for her, for when she got back. Seriously awesome.

Anyway. They're awesome enough that they don't have any rooms available after I check out on Tuesday. This week is apparently very popular in Anchorage. Still trying to get in touch with Hank, in the hope that I might be able to stay with them for some of the time I have to be here.
aberdeen: (Annoyed)
Today, I managed to step wrong on a bit of uneven ground, and my ankle turned (but did not sprain, for once), and... my knee popped. And down I went.

Read more... )
No stress here. No sir!


May. 11th, 2014 03:30 pm
aberdeen: (Cultural)
The seniors approached me at the end of last week, and asked me to be their graduation speaker.

Here's the speech I gave, last night. )

I was a bit worried, well, about a lot of things. And,  ya know, public speaking, in general. But the speech went well. I didn't break into tears. And I had a few people come up to me, after, to say that they appreciated it. Some appreciated that I included the Yup'ik. Some appreciated that I had a forward focus. And my pronunciation didn't suck.
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