Wassup, you ask? June 17-25, 2015

Alert -- Knee surgery follow-up photos!

NOTE FROM JIMMY:  Things are going as great or better than I expected, but enough about me ... I would like to tell you about the other side of knee replacement surgery.  The extra amount of work Nickie has taken on to help me recover.  There are a lot of things to do:  Meds, ice, food, showers, and much, much more.  See below.  I'm lucky to have her as my wife and friend, and I appreciate and love her very much.  (he made me insert this )

Ah, wassup? Healing, recovery and rehab, that's what! Can I tell you how busy I've been? Between a half-acre yard and a 3/2 house, and a husband who can't do much ... yet, very busy! 

Jimmy had left total knee replacement surgery on June 10th, and came home on the 12th. A home health nurse removed his 24 staples on Wednesday, June 17th. They were replaced with a "ladder" of 11 sterile strips, and they, in turn, are curling at the edges; some have already fallen off. He's had a great physical therapist come to the house a couple times weekly to put him thru some rigorous exercises. Every time she gives him a new exercise, it causes renewed pain.  Mostly he's focused on getting his knee action back. Mostly I've been focused on him and everything else. The really great news is he has become a lot more independent as his knee heals. You don't realize how reliant you are on someone till you can't use both legs. I didn't realize how much work was involved being a caregiver. Now we both know.

We're pleased that by today, he can ease off and on the bed by himself, exercise by himself, etc., and he sits on the back deck before it gets too hot out, with no help required. Doctor's orders are that he continue to use the walker for six weeks, but he's walking w/o a limp. He can even shower by himself now. These are all things that it's taken him two weeks to "master."  He's still taking Norco for pain, but he's beginning to voluntarily wean himself off meds. I've been feeding him lots of protein and plants, healthy stuff. We have smoothies for lunch most days with everything but the kitchen sink in 'em and he hasn't had the dreaded constipation issue (so common while on these meds). Throw in a glass of prune juice (yum-yum?) in the mornings and he's all set. The slushy ice has been a lifesaver ... after exercising he gets 20 min of icy relief. And, hey, pilgrim, he's watched a few old John Wayne war movies on Netflix, plus other goodies.  What else is there to do?

Photo taken yesterday, 6/25/15, two wks post-op.

Norco is a controlled substance, requiring a doctor's script that must be hand-delivered to the pharmacy. Last week we called the doc's office in Sacramento to get a refill mailed to us, which was done. I waited till Monday to fill it at Walgreen's and was told NO WAY, because it wasn't dated. Jimmy had maybe a day and a half left of meds. Could Walgreen's call the doc's office? How about a fax? NO WAY. The pharmacist said, go back to your doctor. I said, the doctor is in Sacramento. She just looked at me. So? 

Geez.  So, with Jimmy's blessing and with the nurse expecting me, I hauled my butt the 65 miles down to Sac, where the nurse apologized and wrote the date on the script I brought with me, the original one. Geez.  I left the house at 9:30, got the DATE on the script and was finished by 11ish.  Always one to look for a silver lining, I'd called son, Matt, the nite before to see if he wanted to "do" lunch. Sure. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Cafe Bernardo, after which I went back to their place to visit for a few minutes, and then I hauled my sorry ass back up to Walgreen's in Nevada City where the script was filled by a different clerk and pharmacist. No problem!!!  (Could I have filled in the date myself and come back the next day?  Maybe, but I figured I'd get in trouble somehow.)  So, I was home by about 3:45, and that was my Tuesday. Oh, BTW  -- the temp in Sac was 99 stifling hot degrees. BUT, Jimmy was on his own pretty much all day, and he did just fine. 

People say, "don't forget to take time for yourself."  I don't forget, but in these two weeks, spare time has been at a premium.  However, I've been able to get out and walk this past week, a half-hour at first, but this morning I walked the canal path for a bit over an hour, something I enjoy very much.  We're looking forward to getting back on our hikes, all in due time.  I got an early start this morning, 7:15, since today's forecast temp is 97 degrees, whew!  
Welcome to summer!

 Lamb's Ears in our backyard, about the only thing thriving.

Fiery red summertime plants growing along the ditch.  Leopard Lily above, Cardinal Monkeyflower below.

I take my walking stick with me when out walking by myself (I miss my partner!), to chase off dogs and/or predators.  Today I saw a bear in someone's front yard!  I didn't have to scare it away; it ain't going anywhere! (enlarge photo!)


  1. Hah, funny about that bear! Jimmy's leg sure looks straight! yay!

  2. You make a good team ... and that's what recovery from surgery requires. A shame about having to go all the way back to Sacramento for the Rx to be dated ... sure you probably could have dated the script with the blessing of the doctor's office, but who knows what Walgreen's might have done if they suspected forgery ... better safe than sorry ... plus you got to have lunch with your son.

  3. Good to hear everything is progressing nicely.

  4. I am truly amazed at Jinny's quick recovery. Just looking at that leg makes me want to NEVER have knee surgery. EVER. Of course I can' take pain pills either. So, at the risk of being a stickler...the plant you called Lamb's Ears is actually Lychnis coronaria, or common name rose campion. I grew them for yeas and they are great at propagating. Lamb's ears is Stachys lanata or Stachys byzantia. I love them because they have wooly leaves that are soft and fuzzy and they are really drought tolerant. Maybe in the south the common names are interchangeable? I started to put links in the comment but then realized that was stupid. Google the names and you will see photos.

    1. Yup, I knew about Lamb's Ears, but everybody in these parts calls them that (incorrectly) anyway. I like the fact that they don't need watering, and just spread all over the place! Jimmy's is doing well, tho by the end of each day, his knee is swollen. Tonite it hurts, so I think he must have been on it too much and/or stressed it too much by exercising. Tomorrow it'll be better! :- )

    2. Oh dear. I know that one well. There is no "warning" button that kicks in before the "off" button comes on and you are hurting and realize that you went too far. I really wish there was a yellow warning light of some kind! Tell that sweet guy to get off that leg and take it easy.!!!

  5. Anonymous7:26 PM

    Hi Ruthie, I read your blog regularly and see Jim had knee surgery. Today I read your experience being the caretaker and all things involved (refilling meds, etc). It sounds like Jim is on the way to recovery. Take good care of yourself. Please tell Jim hello and I hope he has a speedy recovery. Becky


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