30 July 2019

My Compound Ankle Fracture-

It has now been a little over a year since I watched my right ankle bone make a special appearance in Santorini, Greece. (Help! Part Two-, Pitchpull, 22May18. Look it up.)
I'd like to share my "healing" thoughts.

First, I knew the instant upon seeing the bone erupt that I was in real trouble.
We were halfway down the steps of a vertical cliff on a tiny island, in a non English speaking country, 2500 miles(?) from home. I stood up to see if I could hobble my way to the boat landing at the end of the steps; tried to put weight on my right foot. The ankle acted like a mechanic's "universal joint", and wobbled freely in all directions. Walking would be impossible. I was no longer in control of my own life.
I HAD to depend on the help of others. 

I am a control freak. I HATE being in that position.

You can read at my original May of 2018 posts how "others" came to our rescue...  our perilous donkey ride to the bottom of the cliff at Santorini; and the rest of our journey home.
But I want to share my thoughts from just over a year later:

There are wonderful people everywhere. When we were desperate, an American couple got off their donkeys, mounted Sara Jean and me, (her FIRST ride on a four-legged animal!) and walked alongside us to get us down that hill, asking me all along the way if I was "faint".
We don't know their names, but to us they certainly are heroes. I wish there was someway I could express my gratitude to them.

My Greek surgeon, when he came to visit me post-surgery, bragged about having attended a refresher course at Loyola University, and asked if we had ever been to Chicago. The U.S. Ortho expert that looked at his work when we got home expressed amazement at the wonderful job he had done.
When you hear some idiot Congresscritter from Minnesota put our country down, remember this:
People from EVERYWHERE in the world flock to the U.S. to suck up the BEST, because we are the BEST. And I thank God that Doctor Giannanopolis came to our country and paid attention to the training he received.

If this injury had happened to me 100 years ago, I'd have spent the rest of my life as an invalid. I'd have been a burden to my family. (See my out of control comment above.) I'd have been miserable, walking with a cane or crutch, and might have died early, with a bad attitude.
As it is, I am back to about 95% complete recovery. My beautiful bride and I walk 3-5 miles every evening. I don't limp. I feel a twinge of pain now and then, but I attribute that to the fact that I have a 72 year old model body that I'm trying to push in a way it does not like being pushed. My 72 year old belly looks better because of it. The 72-yr old belly and my 72 yr-old heart tell the 72-yr old ankle to kiss their 72-yr old hindquarters!

Being escorted via wheelchair through the airports in Athens, Rome, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Boston, and here at home was wonderful... and terrible:
Going to the head of the line to get tickets, board the plane, and get baggage was great. Receiving the looks from those standing in line was uncomfortable. (Again, see "control" comment above".)  

During the trip home I COULD have fended for myself with the crutches I had been given. But again, I'd have been a burden to others.

Every day, we all get a day older.
For most of us, TODAY is the healthiest we are ever gonna be in our lives. Health-wise it probably won't get better than today.
We should be aware of that, and enjoy it to the fullest.
I have a newfound respect for old people, and people recovering from terrible injuries... some MUCH worse than mine. When you see them wheeled to the front of the line at the airport, be glad it ain't you, and don't resent them.

And take notice when our elected officials denigrate our wonderful country.
When you get to the ballot box, REMEMBER.
Who is leaving the country for somewhere better?
How many are risking their lives to come here?

Thank you for the reminder Lord.
I know how blessed I am.

27 July 2019

Al Franken-

I despise Al Franken's politics, and I'm glad he's no longer a Senator, but...
As an affirmed "Boob LOVER", if I had a nickel for every time I wanted to act out the action he expressed in the photo that cost him his job?..
I could have retired a VERY young man.

10 July 2019

Tough Decisons-

Our "Schnoodle" Lucy was 13 in June. If the 7-yr rule applies, she gets around mighty good for a 91 yr-old female... begs to go with us on our nightly 3-4 mile walks. We DO have to help her with tasks requiring the ability to jump... getting up on the bed or sofa. We happily help her to do that.
But she has begun to have some of the other "old dog" problems: Growths inside and outside her body.

Our Vet has identified two "squamous-cell carcinomas" on her chest. She also has MANY warts beginning to form on her body that the Vet says is normal for poodles. And she now has a fatty growth starting to expand on her flank that could be benign or malignant. At this point, I don't even want to know which.

Is it sane to spend a fortune on an old dog to correct problems like these? (We're by no means wealthy.) And if you do try to intervene to help, how long before a similar problem recurs?

This is a smart dog. She's the lowest-maintenance dog I've ever owned, and I've owned some mighty good dogs. We've often made trips in our car rather than fly just because we wanted to comfortably bring her along.

We're now realizing at some point in the not-too-distant future we'll have to make a horrible decision.
When does her quality of life degrade to the point where she'd want us to let her go?

Again, we all take on the responsibility of pet ownership knowing, in 10-15 years, (if we're lucky), we'll face a heartbreaking loss. And the loss is more crushing when you have to say, "Yes, let her go".

We're almost there.
And even the thought of it brings tears to my eyes.