Monday, June 28, 2010

Welcome Home!

It's official: Tomorrow Rick is coming home!

He will have to go to the VA twice a week for therapy,but that shouldn't be for long. It will get down to once a week,once every other week,etc. They said the only reason they are letting him go,aside from the fact that he is doing such an amazing job,is that I can bring him to his appts.

I went grocery shopping today,instead of my usual Tuesday,and spent the day sweeping,washing the floors,cleaning our bedroom,washing the bedding,cleaning the bathroom, other words,getting the house nice. Rick's raised toilet seat is in,and the shower bench is ready. We already have a handle in case he needs it to get up off the toilet ( we put that in a couple years ago)and he will be bringing home a hand held shower head and a handle for the tub. He should have no trouble climbing the steps to get into the house,as he has been climbing half a flight of stairs with ease at the VA. Zach made a "Welcome Home Daddy" sign for the house.

He has lost 20 lbs since the operation. He still doesn't really have much of an appetite,but that was to be expected. We were told it might take awhile for it to come back. His clothes hang off of him now,and he is hopeful that he will continue to lose more,once he starts being more active. His goal is to get down to 200 lbs ( he is now at 234-he hasn't been that in a long time). The more weight he loses,the better it is for the life of his knee replacements. I told him we can lose weight together!!!

We got our turkeys on Saturday,and they are quite funny. I finally got the cuke trellis done as well. Rick has been bothered by the fact that he his missing this phase of our Little Farm. We now have a tiny little green pumpkin! I bet that once he gets settled tomorrow the first thing he will want to is walk the property and check everything out. He knows he cannot do ANYTHING! No weeding,feeding chickens or turkeys,NOTHING! All he can do is walk and do his exercises until Dr Bernini tells him differently. Rick does not want to mess his knees up,so I know he will heed what he is told. There was a gentleman in PT with him the other day who did too much when he wasn't suppose to.He felt great,and decided to do some yard work. He wound up dislocating the joint and had to have his knee operated on again to have everything put back in place. Rick does not want to go there. As much as I know it will bother him not being able to do anything, I also know he is smarter than that and he will content himself with just being able to enjoy seeing what is going on (and maybe pointing out what needs to be done!!!)

Well, I need to go make the bed......have a great day!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Garden Is Coming Along Part II

This is my kitchen garden. There is Rosemary,Dill, Sweet Basil,Thai Basil,Greek Oregano,German Thyme,Marjoram and Spearmint. You can't see the Marjoram because I bought the other plants (with the exception of the Dill).The Marjoram and the Dill are the only plants that I started from seed that survived,and Marjoram started out very small.
Our strawberry patch! I believe it's called Everglow. There are three harvests- June,July,and August. We now have three green strawberries,so I guess July will be our first harvest,no telling how much we will get. I anticipate the August harvest being better.

Our pumpkin patch,with Jack O Lanterns and Sugar Pie pumpkins. I hope to make some pumpkin pies,and maybe sell a few by the road,depending on the yield. Right now these vines are growing outside of the boxes,which makes it look neat.

This is a better shot of my lettuce. I planted more,and they are now starting to come up. The lettuce,like I mentioned in my previous post, is bigger than this. I can't recall off hand which row is Green Ice and which is Caesar,but I have them marked in the garden at least! The cantalopes in the third row are starting to come along.
Corn! One can never go wrong with corn. I asked my neighbor Ron,who has quite the green thumb,if he knew of any technique to get rid of corn worms. He said to put a drop of mineral oil on them when they start to "swirl." I will have to ask him about that further,since I have no clue as to when they swirl,or what they look like. Does anyone out there know?
I took these photos to show Rick last Saturday. He was amazed at how quickly everything is growing,and feels bad that he is missing this stage of the garden. Today I planted our blackberry and raspberry bushes,and found a home for my Echinacea ( Presido Mix). I put them next to my Lavender bed,which is about to bloom. The Lavender My Dear Friend Michelle gave me has bloomed already. I must cut the blossoms off them soon and dry them. I would like to try Lavender Honey Lemonade this year. I do still have some dried Lavender from last year. I have kept it in a mason jar in a cabinet. I bought three more tomato plants,and made the mistake of buying hybrids. I have heirlooms ( Rutgers) and I didn't want to mix the two,but apparently I mixed up determinate with indeterminate. Oh well. That's how one learns. Hopefully the cross pollination won't mess things up too much.
Today is very muggy,and HOT! We had a downpour earlier,and I wouldn't be surprised if we have a big old thunderstorm later. WMUR ( NH's news station out of Manchester,channel 9) mentioned that there would be scattered storms,and some of them would be heavy. Brother B and I were visiting the chickens when it started raining a bit,and then the skies opened up,and it downpoured with heavy wind. No thunder,though.
Next time I will post pictures of the girls-and two boys. Apparently a couple of roosters found there way into our order,and it is quite funny to hear them try to cock-a-doodle-doo.
Have a great day!!!

The Garden Is Coming Along Part I

These photos of the garden where taken on Saturday. Since then,the garden has grown in leaps and bounds. Because it takes awhile for the photos to upload ( I have dial up) I will do this in two posts,because I have errands I need to run.

The photo above is of my peas. As of yesterday,we now have several pea pods that have come out. In the middle of the square are cantaloupe,then on the far side are lettuce-Caesar and Green Ice. The lettuce is now double the size.

The above box has peppers on the left,green beans in the middle,and on the right in the foreground is zucchini.The back has summer squash.The zucchini and summer squash have started blossoming. You can see our hen house in the background.

This morning I started building the trellis for my cucumbers.I planted Straight Eights in the closest two rows,and in the further two I have planted National Pickling. These have started getting blossoms on them now. It started to rain,so I only have the stakes up.In the back you can see my pumpkins,the Sugar Pie and Jack O Lanterns. They have started growing outside of the box and these too,have started flowering.

This is my carrot and potato box. I took out the soil for the potatoes,and will keep filling in as the sprouts come up. I am staggering my carrot planting.

Here are my Walla Walla onions and my Rutgers Heirloom tomatoes. These I didn't have too much luck starting ,but I plan on buying more Heirlooms to fill in the remaining three boxes.
I will share more of my garden later! Have a great day!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Weekend

Rick Giving The Thumbs Up!!

This past weekend Zach and I visited Rick Saturday and Sunday,Father's Day. Each day we spent 5 hours. It really boosts Rick's spirits to see us,especially Zach,since Zach has not been able to visit much because of school. Zach's last day was Friday,so now he can go whenever I visit.

Rick has lost weight because his appetite is very low,but we were told that would be the case for quite a while after surgery.Rick is glad he has lost some weight,and is also glad that he hasn't chewed tobacco since the day before surgery.That makes two weeks now without a dip,or even an urge to dip.Not only is it a nasty habit,but it costs anywhere from $3-$5 a can,depending on what brand he buys. That adds up. Now he is tobacco free,and plans to stay that way. His beard is getting longer,because he can't shave due to the coumadin (blood thinner) he is on. Three more weeks and he shouldn't have to take it anymore,and he will have that baby face that I know and love back.His beard is mostly white,and he looks older than he is in this photo.Anytime he grows his beard it makes him looker older,and as soon as he shaves it,he looks younger. I have always liked the clean shaven look better,anyway!!!

Rick has a total of 39 stitches. They are suppose to come out today. He is looking forward to it. The nurses say that they can hinder the knees when they bend,because the patient feels them pulling and is afraid that they will rip,so they tend to not bend them as much as they should. Rick is still working on getting them to a 90 degree angle by himself. He can do it with help,but the goal is doing it on his own so he can be more independent.The incisions are healing nicely,and he has had no problems whatsoever. Once the stitches are out,he can shower normally,he won't need anyone to cover up his legs.

Each day after Rick has therapy with PT (during the week) or after he has done exercises on his own and walked around,his legs are put in this passive motion machine.He was in it right after surgery,two at a time,and it was barely moving.Each day they make the angle that the knee is bent greater and greater. The knee bends,then straightens.The above angle is the most so far. Each leg is in the machine for an hour.While one is in the machine,the other has this blue cuff put on it,which has ice water flowing from a Igloo-type water container,down a hose,and into this blue cuff. It keeps the swelling from all the activity down. Rick says it actually hurts more once the ice water is taken off,because the muscles have contracted,then once they start warming up again they go back to normal size. He is still on pain medication,because they want to keep his pain level down as much as possible,at a constant level. After the surgery he was at a 9-10,now he is around a 5-6. Before surgery,he was a constant 5-7,sometimes 8 (on a scale of 1-10,10 being the worst).
Yesterday we brought Rick a gluten free cake,which he appreciated,and some cards. I had asked him if wanted anything special,but he said all he wanted was to see me and Zach. We went for a walk,and he felt up to going downstairs to the courtyard. Zach brought his wheelchair,in case he got too tired,but he didn't need it. He did really well! This was the first time that he has been outside since June 7.He really enjoyed it. It was a warm day,but we sat in the shade at a table and enjoyed looking at the flowers and the day.
He has been remembering to walk straight and tall.He has been walking hunched over for so long,that he has to remind himself to stand up straight. When he starts off,he is a bit slow,but then his muscles start warming up and stretching,and his strides get longer and longer. He has been climbing stairs at PT,and once he is standing,he can do some things standing without the walker. We had gone into the vending room and he got a cup of coffee,which he fixed standing without using the walker.He even bent down to get the cup on his own.

Zach has been getting very proficient at using a wheelchair. I tell him I hope he never has to use one! He sits in it whenever he visits.On the way back from the courtyard,Zach wheeled himself to Rick's room.Rick's room is all the way at the end of the hall,on the left.

Everyone at the VA has been wonderful. I know some people have not had good experiences at some VA hosptials,but the people in Manchester have been nothing but wonderful to Rick. They come in and ask if he needs a cold drink,or anything he might need or want. Everyone has been great,and we are confident that he is in good hands. I just wish he was ready to come home,because we miss him very much!!!
Today is housekeeping catch up day.Zach has organized his closet,and needs to organize his TV area next.I need to wash the floors,do laundry,iron,and clean the bathroom. My poor tub is screaming to be cleaned,it is my least favorite job on the planet!!!!
Have a nice day where ever you may be!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting Better All The Time

Rick wound up having low iron in his blood. If this possible from surgery,I don't know. He has had blood work done many times within the last year (he has a physical every six months,plus the blood work Dartmouth did before his surgery) and his iron level was never an issue. They did blood work on Friday at the VA,found his iron was low,and gave him a supplement. When we visited on Sunday he felt much better.

Yesterday my Mom and I went to visit him,and we sat in on his physical therapy session. He was able to bend his knees to 90 degrees,and lift each leg on his own.They had him walk a lap around the corridor with a walker,and were amazed at how well he was doing so soon after surgery.His temperature now only goes up to about 99 degrees,and only after he has exercised. He was more like his old self,cracking jokes and making my Mom laugh so hard she had to wipe tears from her eyes. It's good to see him happy.I haven't seen him like that in a long time,it reminded me of the old days.

This morning I had a Muffin Date with My Dear Friend Michelle.Since the kids get out of school tomorrow,this will be our last one until Fall.That is not to say we will not see each other,but it was the last time we will have some girl time without the kids. I went shopping after to find some shorts,and had a heck of a time. Remember back in the beginning of the year when I was on a diet and exercise track? I swore I was going to maintain it? Well, that fell to the wayside, I am ashamed to say. I still have lost some weight,about 15 lbs,but since I haven't been exercising,lets just say that things are toned as they should be. Though a 14 fits OK,I don't like it because I have (ahem) some pudge which goes over the top of my shorts and I am very embarrassed by it. Then I made the mistake of trying on a bathing suit, a two piece with a tank top and a skirt bottom. Yuck. So I decided to keep my old one piece and just buy a cover up instead. No one needs to see that!!!!!

After I got home, I called Rick. He sounded great! Full of energy. Rick has had a more flat intonation in his voice for a while,and I am sure it had do with the depression he has been having. Now he sounds happy and positive! He informed me that he woke up during the night,and needed to use the restroom badly. Without thinking,he got up,walked without a walker or any assistance to the bathroom,did his business,and got back into bed. Just like that,though of course,it probably took him a bit of time to do so. When he informed his PT nurses today,they were astounded. They even gave him permission to start using the walker full time instead of the wheelchair,even though they said they shouldn't do so quite yet.He told them that the tiny steps they have him taking with walker are uncomfortable for him,and he really needed to take longer strides. It felt better,and gave him more range of motion. The PT nurse is tiny little thing,and Rick said that she had to take quick steps to keep up with him. Again,they were amazed at his progress. I had told Rick that once he is recovered I will probably have to take two steps to his every one,just like in the old days. His is 6 ft and I am 5 ft 2 inches,so I was always telling him to slow down! Then of course, I was the one who had to wait for him after his knees got bad.

Today there is a Dr who specializes in amputations and bilateral joint replacements going to the VA to talk to the PT's. The PT's asked Rick if he would be so kind as to go with them so the Dr could demonstrate various techniques. Apparently,they do not get many bilateral joint replacements at the VA ( most of the patients are older veterans),so they are using single replacement techniques on Rick at this point. I am not sure what the difference could be,but apparently there are some. Rick has people come into his room and say,"So you're the bilateral knee replacement! I don't know if you are crazy or very smart!" Like I already said,bilateral patients are not very common there.

After I spoke with Rick,I planted potatoes. A tad late,I know,but when potatoes should've been planted in spring,we were in the process of building our boxes. Next year we will be on top of the game.

Have wonderful day!!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Yesterday Zach and I went back to visit Rick.It did his spirits good to see The Boy. Rick did have his low grade fever back (went up to 100.5 before going back down again) and he wasn't feeling as spry as he did on Saturday. They checked his incisions and they are healing well,no red angry areas,and the swelling was minimal. Rick can now lift his left leg easily,and control it as he lowers it.He could not do that just a few days ago. Each day he gets more mobility in his knees,though he still anticipates pain in his joints when he stands.Of course,there is no more pain in his knees,all the pain is in his muscles. Today he begins his Physcial and Occupational Therapy,and will be walking around with walker. He should be starting to practice climbing stairs soon.

Today and tomorrow I am playing catch up around here. Because of the weather over the weekend,the lawn could not be mowed. Between today and tomorrow,I plan on mowing and weed whacking the lawn,weeding the garden,planting potaotes ( I am woefully behind),more lettuce and carrots,the blackberry and blueberry bushes,and I need to find a home for my coneflowers. I need to get groceries,more chicken feed,and clean the house. Today I have ironing and tonight we have a Boy Scout meeting. Happily,Zach is done with school on Friday,and he will be a big help with chores and with Rick.

We hope that Rick can be home by Father's Day-if not,we will bring Father's Day to him and celebrate it properly when he gets home. My Mom and I are going on Weds to visit,and then,since Zach has a 1/2 day of school because it's the last day,we will go visit him on Friday. I feel bad that I can't get there every day to see him,but I know that today he begins his therapy sessions,and that he is going to be tired. He understands that there is a lot going on here,and I have to do what I have to do,but I still feel bad. I miss him very much and will be so very glad when he is home.

Thanks again for all your kind words! I pass along your good wishes to Rick and he appreciates them all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Closer To Home

Today was a good day,as Zach and I went to visit Rick.Zach had not seen Rick since we left for Dartmouth last Sunday,so he was very excited to see his Dad. Rick is at the VA in Manchester. He arrived there yesterday afternoon. They had mentioned different cities and rehabs,but he wound up in Manchester! I didn't realize they had any inpatients anymore. Manchester,up until around 2000,had been a full service hospital. Apparently,it was felt that there weren't enough vets to using all the services,so they scaled back. Then,9/11 happened, and well.....I think everyone knows what happened after that.

Rick is in a semi private room,and his roommate,Mark,was very nice.Since the therapy staff is not on during the weekend,they don't want Rick using his walker.He uses a wheelchair,but does his individual exercises,and they have his legs in the rotating machine for periods of time. He was able to freshen up today with a basin of water,and get out of the wheelchair and sit in bed by himself,though Zach held onto his arm the whole time. He also pushed Rick in the chair,thought Rick could handle it himself,and when lunch came,Zach set everything up for him,even putting salt on his veggies! What a help he is.He loves his Dad sooo much!

Rick showed us the main room,where the can all go to watch the big screen TV,have coffee,do ceramics,make models,or play Bingo. They also take them out bowling once a week ( those in wheelchairs use a stand that they place the bowling ball on,then push the ball off).They also have computers that they can send and receive emails from,go on Facebook,etc. While we were in this room,a friend of Rick's from his PTSD group came in. Rick didn't know he was there,so he was happy to see him.This gentleman is a Vietnam veteran,and about 7 weeks ago he was in a terrible head on collision on Rt 125,coming back from a VA appointment. The other driver died. He wound up with a broken left leg and hip,fractured right leg,broken arm,and caved in chest. I remarked how lucky he was to be alive. He agreed!

We are going back tomorrow to visit,and hopefully Rick will be able to come home by the end of the week.They said that it all depends on his progress,and he may be there upward of two weeks. The range of motion in his left leg is not where they would like it at this point,but that was his worst leg. It was affected by the arthritis first,so it's understandable that it would require a bit more work to get things right.Plus,he still needs to climb stairs. He has had a fever since the surgery,which in not uncommon in joint replacement cases.The body doesn't understand what this foreign substance is in his knees,so it's trying to adapt. His temp yesterday was 100.4 degrees,and now it's 99 degrees.He said he felt the best today that he has since the surgery,and he sounded good too.His face is a bit thinner-weight loss is expected because the appetite is lessened because of the pain.He even dressed today,though he did need a bit of help,but I expected that.

Monday I must weed the garden,and find homes for the blackberry and raspberry bushes. The weather is suppose to be nice,and I must tend to my outdoor chores. I am going to see if I can find enough posts for the cuke trellis,I may have to buy some. The lawn is also in desperate need of mowing and weed whacking. Brother B planned on doing it today,but is has rained for most of the day. Maybe tomorrow there will be a break in the weather. If not,I will do it on Monday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Look What I Recieved!

I received this award from my blogging friend,Sue. She has a great blog,Living The Good Life at She one of my friends from "Down Under." Thank you,Sue!

To recieve this award,one has to do three things:

1) Thank the person who gave it to you.

2)List 10 things that make you happy

1) My husband,who is the most incredible man I have ever known
2) My son,who is an amazing boy
3)The love and support of my friends,especially My Dear FriendMichelle
4) Having good neighbors,which makes good friends
5) Having our own little piece of earth to call our own
6) Making a home for my family
7) Sitting still outside and listening to the birds,and seeing the beauty of nature
8)Watching our cat,Little O,roll around on the floor
9)Trying to live the way we want to live
10)Finally reaching a point in my life where I am happy with who I am

3) Passing the award along to five others

1)Damaris at Candid Country Life @ One of my Australian blogging friends!

2)Karyn,my fellow New Hampshire-ite! Her blog Lizzy Lane Farm can be found @

3) Laura,at Our Wee Farm,also known as Darroch Cottage,is my blogging friend from New Zealand.

4)Rina,and her blog Our Slice Of Heaven,which can be found @ Another Aussie connection!

5) And last,but certainly never least,Rhonda from Down To Earth. Her blog gives me lots of inspiration.It can be found at She hails from Australia as well!

I hope that all the links work to these sites.These ladies are all great,have a great drive and have lots of joy in their lives,even when things might not be going the way they would like at times!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Surgery Day at Dartmouth

When Rick and I arrived at Dartmouth at 5:35 Am on Monday,the hospital was like a ghost town,and it made us want to whisper as we walked towards the registration area.There were three patients ahead of us,and two others showed up right after we arrived. After five minutes it was our turn. The receptionist went over Rick's info,and me a beeper.That way if I was in the cafeteria when the surgery was done they could beep me.They also gave me a PIN number that I could refer to on a computer screen,which was Rick's personal PIN number. The screen told me when he was going into surgery,in surgery,and out.
After Rick and I waited for five minutes,they brought us into pre-op. We had just gotten settled in ,and Dr Bernini came in. He asked Rick if he was excited,and Rick told him he was. "Are you ready for your life to change?" Dr Bernini asked. "Yes!!!!" Rick said. He then told us that the joints they were going to use were new,by Johnson and Johnson. The area that works as the joint rotates,so there is a longer life to the joint (they do have to be replaced after 20-30 years). The nurse took Rick's temperature and blood pressure,which were normal. When she went to put in the IV,blood spurted out onto the floor and her New Balance sneaker. "I didn't see that much blood in Iraq," Rick joked. The nurse laughed and said,"Now,just stop it!" We met one of the anesthesiologists,and he asked Rick about his stroke and the side effects. Then one of the members of the nerve block team came in,and explained that they would be putting nerve blocks into his legs so the top and sides of his legs would be basically numbed up. The nurse than asked me leave so they could administer the block,and I went back into the waiting room. Once that was done,they brought me back in,and there were 8 doctors and nurses standing there. "Wow,you have quite the team assembled here for you,"I told Rick,then I gave him a hug and I kiss,told him I loved him and that I would see him later.They wheeled Rick down to the OR at 7:25,surrounded by doctors and nurses,and as I walked away I looked back,and felt like crying.

I went downstairs and got a coffee and muffin.The coffee didn't help.I probably slept a total of an hour the night before,and we had to get up at 4:00 AM. I tried reading in the waiting room but my eyes were getting heavier and heavier,so I tried to take a nap,which was difficult. I was somewhere between semi sleep and awareness,when suddenly my beeper went off at 9:25. The surgery started at 8:04 according to the computer that I had checked when I came back from my muffin and coffee. I woke up and Dr Bernini was standing in front of me. "The surgery went well. He had a lot of fluid in his knees. His knees were worse than we thought,based on the xrays.Remember we thought he had moderate arthritis? It was more advanced-he had areas on his knees that were bone on bone. But he is doing well.We were able to use replacements that were the same size for both knees,so that is good. He will be in recovery for a while,then you can see him." "Thank you so much for everything you have done,Dr," I said gratefully. Rick had been saying for two years that if felt like his knees were bone on bone. He knew it all along!

Finally,at 12:15,they beeped me again,and I was able to go into recovery to see him.Normally it only takes 1-2 hours,but because of the meds he is already on,plus the anesthesia, he slept longer. Recovery is one big room,with many surgical patients. Rick's legs were put into a machine which straightens and bends his legs ever so slightly. He had two jugs,very similar to blue Igloo water dispensers, on either side of him. Ice water flows from them down a tube to a cuff around his knees ,in which the water flows into to keep the swelling down. I was very happy to see him,to say the least. As soon I was by his side,Dr Bernini came in to see how he was doing.He asked him to wiggle his toes,which he did. Rick said he felt good,and his pain level was a 6 or 7 out of 10.The back of his knees hurt,and his feet ached. I was allowed 15 minute visit,then had to go back to the waiting room. About an hour later, I was beeped again,and he was in his room. Happily,it was a private room. I visited for an hour,and he was getting tired,so I left,though I hated doing so.

Tuesday his pain level increased,because the pain block went away. Yesterday, my Mom and I visited him,and he had his first therapy session,which last an hour.He was able to bend his knee to a 50-55 degree angle,and with help on each side and a walker,got off the bed and walked 10 small steps to the chair.My poor Mom,who doesn't have strong stomach,had to leave because she couldn't take the pain Rick was in doing the exercises. She felt sick to her stomach. After the exercises,they gave Rick pain meds,and Mom and I went to lunch.When we came back,Rick was asleep,and when I tried to rouse him,he was not that coherent. I did understand that while we were at lunch,they came in and told him he might be leaving Dartmouth Thurs (today) and go to a rehab in Hampton. They can do exercises with him three times a day in rehab,so even though we are anxious to get him home,this is what is best. Hampton is about 45 minutes from us,which is great. They had put him on a list for a rehab in Manchester,which is 1 hour and 15 minutes away,so we are pleased that he will be going to Hampton. Poor thing,he is in soooo much pain,but thankfully,each day it will be less and less.

I should call him to see if he knows what is going on. Thanks to all for your prayers and good wishes!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Quick Update

Good morning!

Just a quick little update on Rick,since I have lots to do today.Rick's surgery went really well. His knees were worse than they thought,based on the xrays. Dr Bernini said that in some areas,there was nothing,it was bone on bone.Rick had been saying it felt like that for the last couple of years. The surgery took 1 1/2 hours, with one Dr one each leg,and a team of 8 in the operating room.He should be up and starting to walk with a walker today,and beginning his exercises.His hospital stay should be 3-5 days,and we are hoping he won't have to go to a rehab facility for a few days afterward. He (and we!) want him to come home. I can care for him here.

Thanks again for all your prayers and good wishes. There is a long road ahead,but we are happy that we can go down it!

My Mom and I are going to visit him tomorrow.Today I am playing catch up with the house,and Zach has a chorus concert tonight.

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tomorrow Is The Day

Well,after 2 years of waiting,praying,and hoping,tomorrow is the day.

My wonderful husband is about to get his life back.

At this time tomorrow morning, he will be in surgery having his knees replaced.

I cannot begin to tell you what this means. Once he is healed,he will be able to walk without pain. He will not need morphine anymore. He will not need crutches at all. He will be able to hike,run,ride a bike,and be back to his active self.

Right now he is cooking French Toast for breakfast. He took over the cooking duties a while ago,because he said that was something he could actually do,since he couldn't do very much anymore. He won't be cooking for awhile,so I better get my cooking skills back to where they were! :)

We will be leaving for our motel in Lebanon around 1-2:00 PM. Once we check in,we are going to go down the road to Hanover,which is the town that Dartmouth College is in.Dartmouth is one of the Ivy League schools here in the States,meaning it's one of the oldest colleges in the country. Rick's distant cousin, Daniel Webster,attended Dartmouth College.He was a famous lawyer and statesman in NH.Once we explore the town,we will get a bite to eat,then head back to the motel.

Rick needs to wash his knees with antibacterial soap,wear clean pajamas,and take Coumadin tonight.(Coumadin is a blood thinner to ward off clots-he will have to take it for four weeks after the surgery).He then has to use the soap again in the morning,and scrub any dirt he might have from under his nails. He also cannot wear any jewelry.

We have to be at the hospital for 5:45 AM.They will give him a pain block that will extend down the front of his legs and the sides.It will be good for 24 hours after surgery. However,there will be no block on the back of knees,so that will be very painful.He will be put out completely. He was going to ask for that,anyway.He was concerned that if they only gave him a spinal,and he was in and out of consciousness,that his PTSD might kick in,and if he was only semi lucid,he wouldn't know where he was or what they were doing to him.He didn't want to have a negative reaction.

There is a computer near the waiting room that gives you updates on the patient. I will be given a PIN number,and when I type it in it will tell me his progress. The surgery is about 2-3 hours long. I will be armed with a Diana Gabaldon book from her Outlander series.One eye will be on the book,the other on the clock!

We are nervous,as anyone would be with surgery,but excited as well. We do know it's going to be a while before Rick will be able to get around without a walker.The hospital will have him up and trying to walk the day after surgery.He will not be allowed to come home until he can get to the bathroom,climb stairs,and be able to walk (with a walker) by himself. We are not sure if he will have to go to a Rehab facility for a few days after or not.That is up to the VA,and I think it all depends on how well he does with his mobility and exercises.

I might not post for a few days,but will send updates as soon as I can.

Have a great day,everyone!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Trying To Catch A Break

As I sit here there are thundershowers coming and going,and it is raining. We wanted to get the fencing done on the coop this weekend,since Rick will be in the hospital starting on Monday.Our NH news channel,WMUR,did say that it was suppose to clear by noontime,at least for a while,so we will have to take advantage of what we can. Anything that doesn't get done I can enlist my brother in law,Brother B,to help,no problem.

This week not a lot got accomplished outside. We had two days of doctor appointments,and whenever we were home it seemed like we either had to run errands or if would rain. My poor garden needs weeding,and I need to plant my herbs,peppers,and cantaloupe.

Tuesday our town is having it's bi annual household bulk pick up,so my sister Linda is bringing up some of the stuff that she no longer can use or is unusable. My Mom is coming up with her to see Rick before his surgery,and they should be here about 10:00 AM. After they leave I am going to My Dear Friend Michelle's house to have tea,chat a bit,and pick up Zach. He spent the night over there,as his Best Friend is Michelle's son,Ethan.It is always very strange when he spends the night somewhere,the house is quiet and takes on a whole different dynamic.

The chicks are getting BIG and I am anxious to move them into their permanent home.

Yesterday Rick and I went to the VA for his pre surgery physical,and he wound up having to go to the dental clinic for an exam. Apparently,surgeries are not done if there is any infections in the mouth,as it can travel into the body. No one informed us of this,and his physical was scheduled for 1:00. But the problem was,whoever was taking care of making sure all his appts were done never scheduled his dental exam. So we were stressing that they wouldn't be able to get us in,and because of how things tend to work for us sometimes,we had it in our minds that his surgery was going to either be cancelled or moved. We were not happy campers. We had to wait until Fee Basis approved the dental appt,then see when they could get us in.Happily,the clinic was not busy,so the wait was more for the approval. Rick does have two impacted wisdom teeth,and the Dr said he really needs to stop chewing tobacco ( a nasty habit he is trying to quit and has actually cut way down on).Other than that,he was fine,his paperwork was faxed to Dartmouth,and he is all set. We left shortly after 4:00 PM and got home at 5:45 PM,still stressed and tired from being stressed.

Dartmouth left a message on the answering machine,telling Rick he needs to be at the hospital for 5:45 AM on Monday,which meds he should take,were we should park,what area we need to go to,etc. Rick is starting to get more anxious. I can't say I blame him. He has been waiting for this for 2 years...and now it's finally here.

Well, I am off to get ready for the day. Have a great one where ever you may be!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Holy Smoke!...Or Holy Pollen!!!!!

Here I am with our Chocolate Lab,Sasha, on Friday with the beginnings of our chicken coop. I had to hang on to Sasha's collar,because every time Rick tried to take our photo,she would walk away! My pink hat is always on my head when I am working outside,whether I am gardening,building,or doing other yard work. I thought that since working outside would be dirty and sweaty,I wanted something in a pretty color that would be fun to wear.

Our coop is on the southwestern side of the garage. You can see the window facing the northwest. The other window,which you can't see in this photo,is a small frosted one that faces the southeast.

Saturday,I woke up with a horrible headache,and I had no Excedrin Migraine ( damn! I know I forgot something at the grocery store today!!)so I took some ibuprofen. Well, let's just say I took six of them during the course of the day and I didn't get rid of my headache until that night.

I did get my tomatoes planted,and I put out the cantaloupe and the peppers to harden them off. After I watered,I grabbed my "Outlander" book and sat in the screen house and read for the rest of the day,with some breaks.I watched Rick's brother Brian (who had the day off from work) and our neighbor Kelly working on the coop.

Zach wanted to help,so Rick helped him put some screws into the studs while they put up the walls. You can see the frosted glass window in this photo.The human door will be in the front on the left,and you can see the chicken door down by Zach's legs. I am standing in the garden area.
During the day,we kept seeing this fog like cloud that was blowing through the yard. Pollen has been terrible this year.We have never seen so much pollen,it was blowing through the yard in clouds.Everything is yellow.Thank goodness today (Tuesday) we had some rain,so that will keep it down.
Then,yesterday as Zach and I were leaving to march in the Rochester Memorial Day Parade,we noticed that it was really hazy outside,but it wasn't hot enough to be hazy,and it looked different than it does on a hazy day. We smelled something was burning. Of course! The wind currents had brought some of the smoke down from the fires in Quebec. Rick tried to putter around outside and make the door for the coop,but the air quality was poor,so he had to come back inside. The smoke seems to be gone now,and the smell as well.
Tomorrow is a full,full day. We have two Dr appts at the Manchester VA,one at 9:00 AM,then one at 10:00 AM,then one at Dartmouth at 1:00 PM.All are mandatory for surgery. Very busy indeed! But all for a good cause! :)