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Showing posts from November, 2012

A Random Act of Kindness

Today was supposed to an uneventful day, one of the last before I head back to work next Monday. For most of the day it was uneventful until I headed out for PT, and made the fateful decision to take a route to I-4 that lead down Hollywood Way (from Turkey Lake) right onto Universal Blvd, which led directly to I-4 east. It was after I'd just turned onto Universal that a car came very close around my right front and I swerved left to avoid them. I hit a low curb with the left front tire and blew out the tire's sidewall. The other car, in such a hurry to get around me, kept right on going.

And that's the way it was, with heavy traffic flowing around, and no-one bothering to stop (there were a number of witnesses). It didn't take long to see I was going to need to put the spare on, the problem being my healing leg getting in the way. So I decided to use, just this once, my AAA Premier service I pay over $300/year for to see if they could schedule a wrecker over to at lea…

More Progress

I have been making reasonable (some might say remarkable) progress this week towards healing in my left knee. I'm pushing myself to do as much exercise as reasonable while I'm still off from work. I've been mixing workouts at RDV in the therapy pool as well as regular "dry land" PT, to the point where I'm doing something every day. I've been doing that now for nearly two weeks.

For many of you this may not sound like much, but this past Sunday, three weeks to the day after being discharged from Florida Hospital, I was able to drive to RDV and the pool. And I've been driving every since. Not very far and not for long, but still. Tonight I was able to take both Labs, together, for a regular one mile walk in the neighborhood. They were ecstatic.

I'm on track to go back to work next Monday, four weeks after the partial knee replacement. My company is still allowing time off for me to go three days/week in the afternoons to RDV for continuing PT throu…

Shutter Therapy

My personal road to knee surgery recovery continues. Today was my second visit to RDV, with more exercise. More tissue is healing and more feeling is returning across the knee. Flexibility continues to slowly increase. In spite of the increased flexibility I'm still just a passenger, which requires that my wife drive us around. When we arrive at any given destination I get out and help do whatever is necessary, such as carry items to the car.

This photo was taken as a local Bubbalous we'd stopped at to pick up our smoked Thanksgiving turkey. On the way back to the car I spied this combination of items which triggered something odd in my mind. Right before we left I grabbed a shot of this with my Olympus E-P2 and the Panasonic 20mm opened up to f/1.7, the 20's fastest aperture. Ignoring the "quality" of the image for the moment I want to direct your attention the lack of distortion in the photo, all those very straight lines. The JPEG was converted from Raw (ORF)…

Walkabout

Every day I get out of the house by running small local "errands" with my wife. I ride in the front passenger seat while my wife drives. I can't drive until I get a clean bill of health to do so from the surgeon. While I walk where-ever I stop, my left leg still lacks the flexibility to bend far enough for comfortable and safe driving. It's certainly gaining in flexibility from one day to the next, but I'm not back to the same level of flexibility I had pre-operation. But as I've written before, I'm no longer at the same level of pain either. I am, for the most part, pain free.

Today's trip was to Sears at West Oaks Mall in Ocoee. We had to return some items we couldn't use. On the way up to the store's second story we passed a lot of merchandise that was marked 10% off. We also passed all the trappings for an early Christmas, including this sparse display. The pink flying pig in the foreground was going for $80. Snooppy on the mailbox was $1…

Aftermath

I didn't realize it until I went back and looked, but it's been a year and a day since I first had to deal with my left knee, other than to use it and ignore it. It was a year ago that I took my first trip to the hospital emergency room and from there to physical therapy and then more doctors, leading up to the MAKOplasty operation two weeks ago.

Since that event I've been home recuperating, daily following the directions of the physical therapy people to slowly gain complete reuse of the left knee, and the left leg. The pain caused by the loss of cartilage within the joint is gone. Completely gone. The pain I feel now is different, more a healing pain, and far less intense than before the operation. My walking is limited, but I no longer walk with a limp. That's gone completely.

The only issue at the moment is lack of flexibility in the left knee. It's still swollen, but the swelling goes down slowly but steadily. The home-based PT helps me to build up flexibilit…

At home recuperating

They discharged me Sunday afternoon from the hospital. I'm home ensconced in my big leather recliner in the TV room to keep the knee up at a proper level. I get up to go to the head because I'm drinking lots of water to rid my body of the residual anesthesia. That gives me lots of opportunities to exercise the knee.  I've also got plenty of time to do my 11 physical therapy exercises three times a day. Thing hurt, but it's a healing hurt, and I'm taking my sweet time to make sure I don't do anything wrong. The physical therapists at Florida Hospital worked with me Friday, Saturday and Sunday to go over the key exercises. Today I'm flying solo. Starting tomorrow for the next two weeks I'll have a nurse come by once/day to check and make sure progress is being made and nothing goes wrong.

And of course I have my security camera with me. Photo was taken with the Sony in black and white and post processed on my wife's Macbook Pro. I resized it in Olymp…

So I got myself a new (partial) knee

WARNING: NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH

After a year of limping and increasing pain in the left knee, I finally went under the knife on Friday to have a partial knee replacement. I'd already gotten three separate opinions that all said essentially the same thing: the knee was a bit of a mess and needed some degree of work/reconstruction/whatever. I eventually went with the Florida Hospital Fracture Care Center. My wife had her left knee replaced by them (a second time) in 2008. Her surgeon was Dr. J. Dean Cole. I knew and trusted the group, but I was still too chicken to do it before now. My surgeon from that group was Dr. Brian Vickaryous (pronounced "vicarious" or simply Dr. V). I like Dr. V for a number of reasons, but the most important is his past. In the mid-2000s he was a Major in the Army and an orthopedic surgeon with the 8th Forward Surgical Team in Iraq (In Iraq, 'it's us versus death'; Mass.-based unit on constant call). Dr. V has seriously got his act tog…

The Good Old Days

You're looking at something I'd completely forgotten about, something I built around 1980. It's a custom perf board I built on a slab of aircraft-grade aluminum, on which I wired a complete 6502-based embedded computer. It has 4,096 bytes of static RAM, 16K of EPROM (2716), a combo-peripheral chip that included two serial ports and two eight-bit-wide parallel I/O ports, a fully decoded keypad and a six digit display broken into four digits for an address and two for data, all in hex. I was proud of those displays. They were special HP multi-segmented alphanumeric displays that read ASCII bytes. I had them display hexadecimal and special words, and then got them to scroll text. Although the keypad looks like it will only handle hex digit input, I had added software so that if you held the key down it would give you a display of the function and an alt function. Primary and alt key functionality was toggled by the tiny switch on the top left.

The calculator is a TI Programm…