Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All fixed!

I want to apologize to my followers that I have not posted the photographs from last June/July into the daily journal on the Blog.  These photos of Via Tolosana, Camino Aragonés, S.D. de Silos, Burgos, Madrid, Santiago, and VF del Bierzo (where I was a hospitalera) are available to view on my website.  I thought that I would post the photographs into the Blog during my recovery but that did not happen.  I found that the drugs put me to sleep. I will get to updating the Blog, I promise.

Meanwhile the photographs can be seen on my new website for camino photos: http://web.me.com/lkarner/Part_2/Welcome.html

Three days shy of a month (surgery was December 28, 2010) I am well along the road to recovery. Yesterday I went for my second post surgery check-up with Doctor Parr. He has now cleared me for normal activities, although advising me to take it easy. I do not return to his offices until late July when I go for a check-up before walking the Camino in August.

I am looking forward to the days of little or no pain. I am there in my right knee but the left knee is still healing and has a low level pain in the surgical area. There was considerable more work done on the left knee because of the kneecap having problems, hence it is taking longer to heal and recover.

On the left is my right knee and on the right, my left knee.

The white spot on the left of my right knee is camera glare.  The work was only on the inner side of the knee, the big square white blob on the femur and the little strip of white on the tibia.  The partial knee and kneecap work was greater on the left knee.  The base on the tibia is also larger than the right knee.  Dr Parr was so happy with the precision of that piece, thanks to the robot.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Movin' On

Yesterday I was given a good grade by Doctor Parr at the ten day post surgery check-up.

I am sure we all have these days.  A day when everything feels right in your world.  Today is one of those days for me. I jumped out of bed and noticed ... no pain.  I went downstairs to feed Tuppence (Penny does not have wet food) and again, no pain.  Yet I was not due for medications for another hour.   Soon all will be great with my knees and it will be back to those days .... the days before arthritis pain.

Thanks to modern medicine, medical inventors and engineers, hospital staff, and the skilled work of my surgeon and his team I have two new knees that should give many years of pain free walking.  However, the biggie for me is rehab after the surgery.  If you have a great physiotherapist (and I do) who will help you to work on the the mended parts you are on your way to success.  I am grateful to all who have played a role in bringing this smooth walking capability back to me.

The world awaits ...
Now I can contemplate my planned 2011 vacations and Camino walk knowing that I will be able to enjoy them and not be hindered by a crippling disability.  I can walk and explore, not hobble and look.  It is still amazing to me.  I am so grateful.

April 1 - April 16
Photo: LGK Rome, Italy
Andrée and I have enjoyed a few French vacations together over the years, now we are setting our sights on Italy.  We have both visited Italy and we are working on our itinerary.  From Rome we will travel to Firenze (Florence), and Pisa.  We complete our tour in Genoa where Andrée attends a photography seminar.  We do not speak Italian but like Italians, we can talk with our hands.  My last Italian vacation was with Felicia in Rome when I was able visit all museums and places of interest.  I visited Firenze for four days prior to meeting Felicia.

April 24 - May 19
Photo: LGK Utah, USA
Bev and I will visit  the Four Corners area and then Dawn in Louisiana.  My best vacation over the last thirty-five years was with Bev in Chile, Bolivia, and Peru.  It was magical.  Will it be just as magical in Navajo Land?
Photo: LGK Machu Picchu, Peru
I used the South American pack as my 2002-2007 pilgrim pack.  I did not know this trip was a Camino backpack learning experience.  It took me three pilgrimages learning to pack light and get it right.

June 29 - July 17
Garry and I view cruises as an opportunity to relax while sleeping in a moving hotel.  Each day we have the luxury of a new city or country waiting to be explored.  Our ports of call from London are Copenhagen, Denmark; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia; and Warnemunde, Germany (Berlin tours).  We travel through the Kiel Canal on our return journey to London, UK.

August 26 - September 30
So far a busy year is planned. The test of my new knees comes now when once again I walk Camino Francés, although this time with a difference.  I plan to walk 780 kms east from Santiago de Compostela, Spain (SdC) to Saint Jean Pied de Port, France (SJPP). 

This has been my dream walk since I first learned about El Camino de Santiago in 1999.  I will be walking the way that last year Sue Kenney (pilgrim, author, speaker, leader) called al Contrario on her Blog. http://mycaminojourney.blogspot.com/ 

Walking this way will offer different challenges and bring me back to where I started on the Camino in 2002.  Completing the journey by taking me full circle.

With these plans to date, I have a wonderful year ahead.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy New Year

Will you be able to realize a dream this year?  Scratch another wish off your travel 'Bucket List'?   Did 2010 leave you wanting more?  Then you have a chance to continue to strive for that dream to come true.   I wish you a prosperous and Happy New Year and may your prayers be answered.

The story so far .....
I ended 2010 on an elective surgical note.  On December 28 my left knee was shown the same treatment as the right knee underwent last September, a MAKOplasty partial knee replacement.
Doctor Parr decided to mix it up by resurfacing the patella and adding the fixed part to the femur that the patella moves over.  It will now be a smooth pain free operation to walk.

I enjoyed my five star hospital digs with its foot pumps and the IV fed liquid diet.  My stay in hospital was extended one day because they needed to pump morphine into me when I came up allergic to yet another narcotic.   I 'rested' for a day or two of adjustment over the New Year break and now I am in need of Physical Therapy.  No, no, no, no, NO!

She's back .....
She is so good that I requested her services again.  I hoped that she would want to torture me this time as I believe she enjoyed coming to my home last September.  She did.  Jeannette, my at-home Physical Therapist, returned and has put my knee through its hoops and paces for the first time today.  She's good, Jeannette makes the knee work.  I can tell she wants her patient (me) to still be smiling and alive at the end of the session.

Stand up straight, no limping, NO LIMPING!  I can still hear her now hours later, after ice, more drugs, and a sleep I can still hear her.  Quietly now, a little softer, maybe she thinks that will work.   

No limping, you do not want to limp along the Camino!!!

Well my friend with your help maybe my 2011 Camino will be the first time that I will walk a Camino without limping.  Before the arthritis I limped from blisters then when I had the blister problem solved arthritis set in.  

I had not realized the value of physical therapy until I had it.  Jeannette you are a magician, no wrong, you are a well trained physical therapist who performs magic on your clients broken and mended parts.