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Ten weeks post-surgery

me at star
Saw my surgeon today for the ten-week followup; he's happy with the incision and with my progress to date. Then PT tonight included the stationary bike for the first time. Only a couple of minutes, verrrry slooooow, and no resistance - but first time on the bike, none-the-less.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/178449.html - comment wherever you please.

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Eight weeks post-surgery

me at star
It's been eight weeks, now, since my knee surgery, and progress continues to progress. Today, my knee was flexible enough to let me actually tie shoelaces! Up to now, I've been wearing slip-on shoes. It's very nice to have that particular option back.

I'm also hobbling along well enough to handle walking from the North Station train platforms to the bus stop (for the rush-hour-only bus that stops two blocks from my Current Paying Gig) or the taxicab stand (in case I find myself at the station outside of rush hour). This means I can actually take the train into work rather than having to drive all the way downtown - some of the time, at least. Physical therapy days will probably still involve driving in, however, as I don't want to risk being late (a real danger with the T's commuter rail).

The real big thing about being eight weeks post-surgery, though, won't happen until my next session of physical therapy, as that's when "muscle strengthening exercise" will start.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/178248.html - comment wherever you please.

Six weeks post surgery

me at star
It's now six weeks since my knee surgery, and I had a followup visit with my surgeon today. He's happy with the incision, and very happy with my range of motion to date.

Which means ... I no longer need the leg brace! I'm actually allowed to walk around without my knee locked! I don't have to stump from point A to point B! Yay! [1]

Of course, it's still going to be quite a while before I'm back to full strength and agility. For that matter, it'll be a while before I feel comfortable walking without my trekking pole as a balancing aid.

And, alas, I'll no longer have the leg brace to act as an automatic conversation starter. Oh, shucks.

[1] Insert Kermit-flailing arms image here. [2]
[2] Without any corresponding jumping up and down, alas. The knee's not in that good shape yet.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/178017.html - comment wherever you please.

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Four weeks post-surgery

me at star
And things are going reasonably well.

Not perfectly well, mind. The knee brace is being occasionally recalcitrant, sliding down my leg further than desired and thus not providing the support it's supposed to. And, of course, having to wear the thing at all is an irritant. It's particularly irritating to have to wear it to work, since the Current Paying Gig doesn't permit men to wear shorts and the brace does not fit under dress slacks. (OTOH, the knee brace is an effective conversation starter.)

Having to drive into downtown Boston on a daily basis is irritating, as well; rush hour traffic has not gotten any more fun since the last time I had a downtown gig. The long-term solution will be to take the commuter rail; however, that has to wait until (a) I can walk several blocks in reasonable comfort and (b) I don't have to keep working physical therapy appointments into my schedule. The short-term good news is that the outfit running the parking garage seems to have figured out that, yes, there are now people driving in who use the handicapped-accessible spaces; unlike the week before, I didn't once have to bug the attendants to unchain the accessible spots.

However, my range-of-motion is continuing to improve, as is the strength of my left quadriceps muscle (which basically had nothing at all to do for the whole month of July). Hopefully I'm still on track to get rid of the brace after my next followup (in a couple of weeks).

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/177844.html - comment wherever you please.

First PT!

me at star
Today was the first of I'm sure many physical therapy sessions. (No boats, alas, to go with the PT.) The session was mostly administrivia, but I did get a couple of exercises for homework.

Meanwhile, for the second time this week, I've pulled into the garage at the new Current Paying Gig and found the handicapped spaces chained off. Grumble. Apparently the garage folks aren't used to anyone actually using them. I may have to drop a note to the facilities folks and see if they can lean on the building management to lean on the parking vendor to, y'know, maybe leave the handicapped-accessible parking accessible ...

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/177471.html - comment wherever you please.

Knee status

me at star
Is actually pretty good. I had my first post-surgical doctor's appointment today (thirteen days post surgery), and the surgeon is quite pleased with the healing to date. He says I can now start flexing my knee up to 90 degrees (instead of the 30 degrees I was limited to for the first two weeks). Of course, my knee is saying "whoa, not so fast there, bub!" since it hasn't been flexed that far since the surgery, but I've got new settings on the mighty leg brace.

Also a prescription for PT. Goodness knows I want my full range of motion back, but I don't want massive ouchies along the way. I suspect I may not get the one without the other, though. (Will call the PT place in the morning and see what they have to say.)

With some luck, I'll be rid of the leg brace in another month or so. I'm definitely looking forward to that!

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/177354.html - comment wherever you please.

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Medical milestone

me at star
It's been a week (and a bit) since my knee surgery. A milestone, rather than a millstone.

The good news:
No complications from the surgery that I can detect. The post-anesthesia fog cleared up in about a day (as expected).
No excess bruising or swelling.
No sign of infection, leaking sutures, etc.
Not much pain anymore; I don't need the high-power narcotic pain medications anymore, and can usually get through the day without needing even OTC pain medications.

The bad news:
My mobility sucks and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I need to have my knee brace locked at full extension (leg completely straight) whenever I walk anywhere. Even with the brace, I'm very leery of trying to walk any significant distance. My new Current Paying Gig is in downtown Boston, at least a quarter-mile from the nearest transit stop; this means that I actually have to drive into Boston at rush hour and pay downtown parking rates to get to work.
Climbing up stairs is a very slow process; climbing down stairs is worse. Climbing down stairs with any sort of cargo? Very difficult; I have come to quite the appreciation of the concept of the dumbwaiter. (And I'm really not looking forward to any building evacuation drills that might occur in the next few months.)
Getting into and out of the driver's seat is literally a pain in the ass. My knee does not like bending, even as far as the brace will let me bend it; to get in the door, I have to slide myself into the car sideways and sit on the center console before I can get my left leg far enough into the car to fit under the wheel. Hopefully that'll ease over time, but right now, I'm not only using handicapped spaces, I'm using handicapped spaces with the extra striping by the driver's side door.
Physical therapy has yet to begin, but I can already tell that my left quad is a lot weaker than it used to be (having effectively done nothing for the last month). This will be my first time ever having to do PT, and I'm not looking forward to it. (I'm looking forward to it being done, but that's not the same thing.)

Bonus before and after picsCollapse )

Six months is going to seem like a long time to recover.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/176420.html - comment wherever you please.

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Achievements unlocked!

me at star
We have unlocked the First Post-Surgical Shower achievement!
Along with the First Post-Surgical Dressing Change achievement!

Alas, we also unlocked the Discover Differences Between the Post-Surgical Instructions and the Actual Treatment achievement, which was not so fun. The instructions said that the incision would be closed with Steri-Strips. "Remove the large dressing, but leave the small white steri-strips in place. The steri-strips will be blood-tinged - this is normal. Apply band-aids over the steri-strips after it is dry." So, imagine my surprise when I removed the large dressing and found a completely streri-strip-less incision! Apparently the good Doctor used surgical glue, rather than steri-strips, for wound closure. (Happily, the surgical glue was not blood-tinged.)

This qualifies as progress. Thus say I.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/176054.html - comment wherever you please.

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And now commences the boring part

me at star
Home.
With very large brace for company.
As well as large collection of painkillers. Fortunately, I haven't needed any of the really powerful stuff today, which hopefully qualifies as good news.

So now comes the boring part.

Sigh.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/175639.html - comment wherever you please.

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Surgery surged

me at star
And apparently successfully. Have big new knee brace and very ouchie knee under it. Also lots of mighty painkillers.

More nap now. Thanks to those who were Thinking Good Thoughts in my general direction.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/175423.html - comment wherever you please.

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Musings on disability

me at star
About a month ago, I slipped and fell, landing with my left leg folded underneath me. At the time, I thought I'd probably sprained my knee; however, when it still hurt a week and a half later, I went to see my primary care physician, who immediately referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. Turns out I had ruptured my left quadriceps tendon. Ow.

I'm going in for a surgical repair tomorrow morning. (The original 10:30 AM start time has been pushed back to 12:30, for reasons not as yet explained to me.) The doc says the odds are extremely good that I'll recover full strength and range-of-motion, although that recovery will likely take six months or so.

Right now, though, I can't extend my left leg below the knee. I can't push off on that left leg, unless I've locked the knee or have the knee locked in a brace of some kind. I can go up and down stairs - slowly, and deliberately - as long as I do all the lifting / lowering of my weight on my right leg. If I have to walk any distance without a handrail in reach, I need to use a walking stick to keep my balance. And, after the surgery, I'll be on crutches for some not-yet-known period of time.

That last bit qualifies me for a Massachusetts handicap placard (since I can't walk more than two hundred feet without an assistive device). It's a definitely mixed feeling, having one of those. I certainly don't like needing one of them, but I'm grateful that they're available and that I'll be able to legitimately use HP parking while I'm hobbling along on crutches.

I'm even more grateful, though, that this is going to be a temporary deal. I find myself with a new understanding of what some of my less-than-perfectly-mobile friends have to put up with on a daily basis. Which, frankly, sucks; the Americans with Disabilities Act notwithstanding. Don't get me wrong; the fact that new construction has to be ADA-compliant means that most of the places I need to go can be accessed without having to climb stairs or step over high thresholds (which are the things I have had the most trouble with so far). OTOH, not every place has power-opening doors (which will be more of an issue on crutches, I suspect), and many of the accessible ramps are out of the way in annoying manners.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/175293.html - comment wherever you please.

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Happy Canada Day!

me at star
Allow me once again to wish a very Happy Canada Day [1] to my friends and neighbors north of the border. Allow me further to appreciate how said friends and neighbors continue to demonstrate exquisite good taste by celebrating their national holiday upon this my own personal natal day.

[1] Pour saluer la fête du Canada en français, appuyez sur 2.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/174205.html - comment wherever you please.

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New Shadow Unit!

shadow unit
So new, in fact, that the main page hasn't caught up yet! Not that that stops our Powers That Be ...

The Kung Fu Master is [IN]

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/173955.html - comment wherever you please.

I can neither confirm nor deny ...

submarine insignia, dolphins
Okay, this is pretty cool. The US Central Intelligence Agency has made its first official Tweet.

Well, at least according to Twitter, it's their first tweet. The CIA, of course, had to include a standard disclaimer:

CIA's First Tweet

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/173755.html - comment wherever you please.

In case you missed it - Asylum!

shadow unit
The penultimate episode of Shadow Unit is now live on the WTF network: Asylum, by C. L. Polk and Elizabeth Bear.

No spoilers here - but do keep an eye open for the hidden DVD extra.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/173399.html - comment wherever you please.

Ten Years Ago

keep calm marry on
Hilary and Julie Goodridge, lead plaintiffs in the Massachusetts gay marriage case Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health, exchanged their wedding vows ten years ago today - one hundred eighty days after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that prohibiting same-gender marriages was a violation of the Massachusetts Constitution.

One decade later, the world has signally failed to come to an end.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/173291.html - comment wherever you please.

TDD, RIP?

me at star
In which I use my "professional" blog to disagree with claims that Test Driven Development is dead:
http://www.edmundschweppe.com/2014/04/tdd-rip/

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/172427.html - comment wherever you please.

This year? Rude bridge *and* flood

me at star
Today is the 239th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. I've written about the battle several times over the years, often quoting the first verse of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn":

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
   And fired the shot heard round the world.
A couple of years ago, we'd had a very dry winter, and the Concord River was remarkably low when I went to visit the bridge on April 19. This year? Well, we had plenty of snow (just look at this year's weather entries), and so there's plenty of flood for the rude bridge to arch.

(I'll post pictures once I find the right adapter for my camera.)

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/172253.html - comment wherever you please.

Hard to believe

moi
but I've been blogging on Livejournal for ten years now.

Time flies, don't it?

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/171789.html - comment wherever you please.

Twenty five years ago today ...

submarine insignia, dolphins
On April 13, 1989, my military service officially ended. Six years, ten months, zero days and a wake-up earlier, I was sitting in Logan Airport waiting for the flight to Chicago and boot camp, and wondering how much trouble I'd be in if any of the (ten?) other recruits traveling with me managed to miss the plane. Fortunately, nobody missed their first military movement ...

Getting out was the right thing to do at the time, just as getting in was the right thing to do at that time. I still wonder, though, how my life would have turned out had I stayed in the Navy.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/171423.html - comment wherever you please.

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