Happier Post, And Why I Was AFK

My apologies for the lack of posting and response to comments since the middle of last week. Thursday was my pre-op appointment for the next shoulder surgery, and it turned into a longer (and somewhat annoying) experience.

The actual appointment wasn’t that long, but it was a different nurse and different doc, and a reminder of why I don’t take portions of that provider too seriously. Yes, I paid attention to the instructions, but could have done without the smarmy attitude and with a bit more paying attention to my answers. Not to mention having all the test results reported back piecemeal (one at 0230 hours no less) which got me separate e-mails and texts (and alerts). Also loved the ‘oh my gosh your urine was dark yellow’ freakout, given that no it wasn’t but it was an odd shade because I took B vitamins as noted. If you’re not going to reference the notes… This is something that went on for three days. Like the surgeon and his office, but this group (not the same office) is something else. Only thing I will give them is they did get the blood first stick — this time.

Then came a truly wonderful thing: I had the house and kitchen to myself for several days, and was in shape to take advantage of it. I’ve had FUN! Let’s start with having a large chunk o beef from the restaurant supply store.

I really need to get with a chef or butcher to relearn how to break down some of these cuts, but managed to do a fair job with this one even with a thick and tough fat cap. Almost enough to make me wish I could render it down into tallow… But, it all worked out.

Got five good steaks out of it, bunch of cube meat for both a savory pie and at some point some chili, some scraps for stock later, and some of what I am calling pseudo-carne. The latter were from various pieces and I cut them small, for later cooking.

Two of the nice thick steaks got frozen as is, the other three got marinated in olive oil, garlic, and pepper. Two of them were grilled and pulled just before done, the other was supper and inhaled. Sorry, too busy eating to get photos but here’s what they looked like just before going on the grill.

One of the prime goals of the weekend was to make a steak and mushroom pie. I had wanted it to be a beef and oyster pie, but there were problems getting acceptable oysters, so… Half the cubes went into this project, and were coated with flour, salt, and pepper then browned with the onions and garlic.

Add in some Taxman Quadrupel in place of stout, add in the mushrooms, throw in the oven at 250 for three or so hours, and you get this after adding some arrowroot for thickening.

I let it cool overnight, and the next day I made my pie crusts using a lard recipe that was roughly two cups of flour, 1t salt, 2/3 cup of lard, and about 5T of ice water. I used smoked salt for part of my salt, and worked the dough by hand. Next time I do a savory pie, am thinking of substituting bacon drippings for part of the lard, using a bit more smoked salt, and turning some dried rosemary, basil, and garlic into powder and adding it. Here’s the start:

Snarksalot on Twitter was a huge help in getting this going, and in referring me to the King Arthur website which has a massive help section. Highly recommended! Here’s the bottom crust getting pre-baked using my fancy and expensive (snort) pie weights:

Filled, top crust in place, and coated with egg wash:

Baked and resting:

Finally, the pie being cut up and frozen:

The pseudo-carne asada got marinated overnight, then cooked and frozen for later use:

The housemate gave me permission to raid his basil patch, so I did up a small batch of pesto. I left the cheese out as it does not always take well to freezing. So, filled the ice tray and froze it overnight.

Next day, popped them out, bagged, and put them back in the freezer. Over the winter, I can pull out a cube or cubes, thaw, add cheese, and make what I want with it. Great way to make it last and have it all winter.

I also cooked up some chicken to replace what was lost in the Wilton incident, and made up a pan of enchiladas that are now portioned and frozen.

Finally, I cooked up a package of bacon, and most of it made it to be individually frozen then bagged for later use. Most of it. It is bacon and I am weak.

My goal is to have as close to a month’s worth of meals frozen before the surgery. Wednesday, even though all will be home, hope to make up a batch of puttanesca sauce and freeze it in individual containers. Then, cook up a dozen or so hamburgers at some point and freeze them as well. I’m going to cheat and buy burritos and other frozen breakfasts once my monthly stipend arrives.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to the last few days. Think I left something out, but those are the high points at least. It also kept my mind off the horror I was seeing online starting Saturday, and that did hit hard. More soon.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Thank You Again!

I thought I should share a photo of part of what your amazing generosity has done. This is part of the items I’ve been buying (or making) thanks to you.

On the new folding massage/therapy table are some of the moist heat packs, professional-grade cold packs, the over-the-door pulley system, various foam rollers (two medical and two made from pool noodles), weights, and balls.

Before the next surgery, I would love to get one more of the professional-grade cold packs, which will run about $35 with shipping. I also want to get another cover/holder for the moist heat packs so I can do both arms at once, which is about another $35 (the covers are roughly twice the cost of the heat packs!). I’m also looking to get some more weights, so that I can continue to ramp up. I’m also wanting to start putting food away for the weeks after surgery, as well as bagging up the meds and supplements as that worked very well last time. Few other minor comfort items that would be nice to haves are on the list too.

Not shown are some of the PVC constructs and the thera-band set-up. Forgot to add any of the former, and the latter not that photogenic as it’s mostly bands on a locking D-Ring.

Thank you all for making this all possible. It is really helping with the recovery and ensures I continue to move forward while waiting on the insurance company and paperwork to continue at least some professional PT. Again, thank you!

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

New Status/Plans

Funny how fast things can happen to alter plans. Nothing life changing, I hope, but changing some plans and priorities.

This morning, I had a telecon with my orthopedic surgeon in regards my left shoulder. This entailed discussions of my right and where we are now with it. One of the threads that came out is that recovery is a process (duh), particularly when we are looking at damage done prior to surgery. Over several years, as the joints lost range of motion and strength, various muscles and tendons have contracted and/or atrophied. We are at a point where PT is not only to dealing with the surgery, but also is having to stretch those muscles and tendons back out again, and rebuild as needed. While there are a number of words that apply to the effort to stretch muscles and tendons out that have been shortened for years, interesting is the one I will settle on for now. It is definitely the politest and most family-friendly descriptor and it beats %#$@#$%%@!#$!!!!.

The doc is very supportive of continuing PT and will continue to recommend continuation to insurance. Yep, tried to find one more place to work continue into that first sentence. The PT place is also supportive and thinks we can do a lot more. That leaves it up to the non-medical bureaucrats with insurance. Crapshoot to be polite. So, more on that in a moment.

While I’m not precisely where I would like to be, the right shoulder and arm are at a point where I can deal with having the left joint replaced. I’m hoping we can get even further along on the right arm and shoulder before the surgery, and as such I’m looking at mid- to late October. The real decider on the date will be the surgery scheduler, and I hope to hear from them soon.

As discussed with the doc this morning, the left has gotten even more problematic. For the most part, I experience discomfort on the right side rather than pain (except when doing the stretching exercises). I still have pain, sometimes large amounts of pain, from the left. The loss of range of motion, strength, and pain are such that it is impacting (to some degree) some of the PT on the right. It’s impacting sleep and life.

Given how well replacing the right shoulder has gone so far, and it is far better than I expected, it’s time to do the left. If we do it soon, by the first of the year we could be in a position to be doing combined PT on both joints and working on some serious strengthening and even some muscle building. We may also be able to schedule a number of PT sessions without having to get prior approval from insurance given the new year.

With an eye towards stacking the deck, my therapist and I have started doing appropriate PT on the left side to try to get it as ready as we can for the surgery. The idea is to have a head start on the PT and recovery. No matter what, we are looking at a year or more from the last surgery for full recovery. It is indeed a process. Long one, but worth it.

Thanks to an anonymous donor to the fundraiser, I ordered some additional PT items this morning. They are needed for some of the stretching. From just the other day, my priority list has shifted. I really need a therapy table for some of the work, but they are expensive (even building it myself) and take up room I don’t have. However, if I get a folding massage table (roughly same size), I can set it up, do the stretches and exercises that require it, then take it down. Sadly, about the same as the cost of a ticket to Loreena McKinnett, so know what I will buy (first). I’m also looking at one more professional cold pack (right now we are often having to ice both shoulders after PT), and want to get good heat therapy to go with it. Using heat on the bicep/tricep and/or upper arm and shoulder before and after stretches helps with results before and relieves after. I may also be looking at a percussive massager to augment a regular unit I already have. Getting the bodyblade comes in after those items.

So, the right is better than I expected but not near where I would like it to be. I still can’t do a full knife kata, and drawing is neither fast nor smooth. Picking up items, particularly heavy items, at or above eye level is interesting. One of the best things I did last time was to get critical living items down at waist level for the most part. So, while not ideal, doing it now gives me what I think may be the best shot at a full recovery as well as being able to move out of Indy to a better location as soon as possible. Given how things are going in the world, that is a not insignificant consideration.

I really wanted to be moved a year ago, but that was not to be. While there are a couple of things to check on, the left shoulder should be the last major medical issue that needs immediate intervention. Once it is taken care of and I’m into the recovery process, well, we will see. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got a GOTH plan. Need a few more in between but working on them.

Thank you all for your support, help, and prayers. With your help and encouragement, I’m making progress.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Slightly Scattered Update

Yesterday got away from me. It was a doctor day, it was a rough day, an age of accomplishment and an age of foolishness. 9/11 is still a bit rough, and on top of the personal news from last week with the loss of my niece A’s eldest son, it hit a bit. For those new, this is a small bit about that day.

Several years ago, my niece A and her two sons got to spend some time in NYC, and I was able to recommend a number of fun things to do and tasty places to eat. I also recommended they go to the memorial, and they did so. They sent me a photo of themselves with Rick Rescorla’s name as they had read up on him as I recommended.

Which leads to a point to make for today: Get comfortable with disobedience. Had Rick Rescorla not disobeyed orders, and encouraged colleagues to do the same, the death toll that day would have been far worse.

Yesterday was the six-month checkup with the GP, and it went well. Have to do some bloodwork next Monday morning, but hopefully that will go well too. It was also a PT day, though much later than normal, and I was beat afterwards. Good news is yet more significant improvement in range of motion. Here’s hoping the stretches and an odd thing help regain yet more.

The odd thing is the use of something called The Bodyblade. I sorta remember seeing it advertised on TV at some point, and thought it was just another one of those wonder workout ripoffs. While I won’t swear to just regular exercise, I will attest to its effectiveness in PT. Doesn’t take long, but boy howdy(! even) do you feel it. Would love to get one to add to the PT gear. I continue to add to my collection, and pleased that the last two purchases were $5 or less. Few more things to pick up, hopefully in the same range, that will help with stretching out the locked-up muscles and tendons. If it makes my back feel better as well, I’m all for it.

We are already starting the process to get some more PT sessions authorized. Have the feeling it may well be a fight.

I did get a new batch of chili-lime mayo made, though there were some issues. The first batch didn’t set when blended, and suspect I may have accidentally put in too much oil. At any rate, the second try went perfect and I’m very happy with the flavor. Used sweet smoked paprika instead of hot, and it seemed to hit the spot. So, for the record, added 1T Tajin, 3T key lime juice, 1t chipotle, 1t smoked paprika, .5t cumin, .5t garlic, .5t mustard, and a couple of dashes of Cholula tequilla lime hot sauce. Add olive oil and egg, and it’s good.

Continuing to watch the fascist Grisham, and am quite surprised at some of the domestic push back she’s getting. Remember, this is the governor who shut down grocery stores during the lockdowns with pretty much no pushback. So far, the local sheriff and the local DA (both Dems!) have said that her actions are unconstitutional and will not be enforced. No sign of anyone in the democratic supermajority legislature growing a brain or a spine, but two Republicans are moving for impeachment. This needs to be stomped hard, fast, and with consequences beyond a slap on the wrist. Otherwise, how soon will others follow suit? I think High Tax Holcomb would do it in a heartbeat if he thought he could get away with it.

Continuing to watch the decline of the demented meat puppet and the flailing of the Biden Regency. They had tried their best to contain him my having him in Alaska (esp. after the fiasco that was Vietnam), but he still managed among other things to make up a story about being in NYC on 9/12. Oh, and if you think the Iran and other announcements yesterday were the Biden Regency being tone deaf, you are mistaken: those were very deliberate thumbs in the eye. If you didn’t know before, you have yet more proof of how they feel about the Republic and about you.

There’s more deserving comment out there, but for now I leave you with this and this as good reads for the day.

Meantime, be good Scouts and Be Prepared! Keep your friends close and your things where you can find them in the dark. More soon.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Working Through

Sorry for the lite posting, need to get something up about Liberty Safe and privacy/security in the digital age. Meantime, part of the reason for the dearth resides in the interesting goings on with PT.

After a couple of snafus, the right paperwork finally got into the insurance company. Who did agree to six more sessions for now, and promptly backdated the process for about two weeks and said we had to have all six sessions done by the 16th of this month. Aren’t non-medical bureaucrats making medical decisions wonderful? No way those dates were set by anyone with any medical or therapeutic knowledge.

Basically, the time constraint came up Tuesday with the notice of the approval, and to get things done in a semi-sane manner overall, I had a session yesterday, late, and another this morning, early. The remaining sessions are spaced out a bit more sanely/competently. We are hoping yet more may be approved, but you never know.

One reason for more is that we are not just hitting issues from the surgery, but issues caused by the loss of mobility in the years prior to surgery. The lack of mobility caused muscles, particularly in the biceps/triceps to “pull up” or shrink, and the fun is now trying to get them stretched back out again. Same may apply to tendons and other things. For all that I’ve gotten back some of the long-lost mobility, there have been some interesting limits to pop up.

One is standing against a wall and not being able to get my arms back to the wall. There are other positions and movements where the muscles in the biceps and triceps scream and make life fun. So, adding in stretches and such to try to get things back to where they should be. It’s going to take a good bit more physical therapy. Hoping we can convince the insurance company to realize that.

Meantime, I’m exhausted as we are no longer doing what I have been doing. Instead, there is a lot of new stuff aimed at fixing the problems from the older issues, continuing the recovery from the replacement, and in trying to prepare the left shoulder to be replaced. The latter ends up hurting a lot more than the right, which mostly experiences discomfort these days.

I have a telecon with the surgeon next week to discuss when to do the left shoulder. Right now, looking at the end of October or the first week of November. That may change based on decisions by the insurance company or others who have a say. Also, I really do want to go see Loreena McKinnett in concert if at all possible. I will go still in a sling and on pain meds if needed, and if I can come up with the funds.

For now, we are going to continue to work on restoring full range of motion and strength in the right shoulder and arm. For as long as insurance allows. Once it doesn’t, well, we will see what happens but I’m not stopping because of some bureaucrat. We will also do what we can to prepare the left for replacement.

I’m also starting to look ahead towards moving. I had really wanted to do so this year, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Provided no other medical issues pop up (and the GI issues of the last two weeks is subsiding), I may be able to start taking steps as soon as February. Again, wait and see.

Hopefully I will be able to pick up some more physical therapy items here soon. Need a different ball, some foam rollers and such, and am going to look into a specialty item as well. It is amazing how much of the therapy gear you can get or improvise for about $20 an item (or less). Need to find some pool noodles on sale soon as they can be modified… Also, want to buy at least one more professional cold pack.

This may be the only post today. I’m exhausted as we pushed hard yesterday and today. More soon, promise.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Probability Cascades

Update Below

For about the last two years, I’ve semi joked about quantum probability cascades. Fact is, I wonder if I and other lightning strike/high-energy event survivors are not real-world examples of such a phenomena.

For a deep dive on quantum logic and probability, go here. You may note the rather important contributions of John von Neumann to the mix, and yes he is the person who not only made important points about computers (and AI) but also theorized about self-replicating robots.

That gets you the proper background. Now comes my very layman take, which for the purists who get the vapors is indeed very over simplified.

The human organism is an amazingly complex system, and that applies to probabilities as well. Leaving aside the existential for now, we are a walking mass of probability. While theoretically anything is possible, in each of us there are probabilities of developing cancer or other diseases, and having various systems in the body do different things. As I understand it, lots depends on energy. For example, if you have the probability (predisposition) to one or more cancers, it’s not a great idea to work with or around compounds that can increase that risk. Adds energy in a bad way.

Where probabilities are high something will happen, it’s probably going to happen. Where the probabilities are low, it’s not likely to happen absent a change in energy. Where there is such a change, usually a sudden influx of energy, you will find quantum probabilities flipping. Theoretically, as I understand it, it’s possible for high-order probabilities to flip to low-order, and it most definitely flips low-order to high.

I began to wonder about quantum probability cascades not only because of my own case, but in reading and talking about the cases of others hit by lightning or (high energy) electric shock survivors. When you talk about adding energy to a system, you can’t get much more literal. I think it a good research project for someone to take a look at all the medical and related issues that pop up for survivors. Fact is, many of the issues literally can’t be as a direct result of the event. And for all the internal burns (hard to detect and treat) and other issues, the number and range of problems seem to extend well beyond those effects.

For me, one area that makes me wonder about a quantum effect is my digestive system. In the lower part, one minor/low-probability issue is now no longer minor. Given this last week plus, I may be developing an issue or issues on the upper end. Short version is that every time I’ve eaten for the last week plus, I’ve bloated out with massive gas (along with a very acid stomach). Of itself, right now an annoyance, but just one more thing where various issues have flipped from low-order probability to high.

There’s nothing I can do about the situation as a whole, and rather than bitch and moan I try to figure things out even if such can only be done on the theoretical level. It honestly is beyond me as there are still issues with the mind including some trapping. However, I cast this out as bread on the waters in hopes that someone with a mind that fully works and is more attuned to quantum logic and probabilities than I might find it interesting and worth pursuing. Even if it gets shot down with prejudice. Either way gets the idea considered.

UPDATE 1: In talking with Snarksalot on Twitter, I need to note that not all the “flips” are going to be bad. Some are likely to be good. The difference between “good” and “bad” and what trips them one way or another is yet another issue for discussion and investigation.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Shoulder Update

Just got back from meeting the Doc’s PA, and there is some news to share. We are all happy with the recovery progress. There is still room for improvement (a lot in my opinion) so we are going to push the physical therapy as long and hard as we can. Between range-of-motion and strengthening, we can do a lot. Now we just have to hope paperwork and insurance will let us do all we can.

We also discussed when to do the left shoulder, which gives me a lot more pain and discomfort than the right now. I have the option to schedule it right now; but, it might be better to wait a month or two (or longer) to see how much more we can get done on the right shoulder and arm before doing the left. Even after the left is done, will need to keep doing PT on the right. My plan is to talk with the physical therapist, look at the rate of progress, and then start the scheduling process.

They are starting to know me: the PA laughed when I brought out my sheet of questions. It won’t be immediate, but over the next year or so, I will be able to go back into a full upper body workout. Backpacking, camping, and a variety of other sporting/hobby options will open up as the year (from surgery) progresses. I’m cleared to use the inversion table right now.

So, the big question right now is exactly when to schedule the left shoulder. I’m going to get some additional expert opinion, then decide. Part of me wants to have it done right now, but I also know that I need a right arm as close to fully functional as possible for this. If I’m told to wait even longer, I will, though it will not be pleasant.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

PT/Recovery Update

First up, thank you all for the prayers, donations, and encouragement. It means a lot and has made a difference. Right now, I have almost everything at home that we are using at the physical therapy center. The one thing I haven’t yet found are one-pound weights, but need to go to a real sporting good store for such I suspect. The one big thing I don’t have is a hand bike, and the local Y has that.

There was a question about the gym, and it is the local YMCA as they offer varying rates. Given all I don’t quite get it for free but at a pretty good rate. Of course I want it less yet, but I can’t kick at the fee, especially with all I get. For all I think the YMCA has gone woke, it’s still the best option for me at this time.

We’ve hit the point where I am about out of PT sessions with the insurance company. The company provides a set amount per calendar year, and we are about to hit that. So, therapy has sent paperwork to the doc, who may have already signed and sent it back so therapy can ask for more sessions. Technically I have unlimited therapy sessions; but, the insurance company doles them out and has to approve based on improvement, etc. The way things actually operate, they can deny me any more for the right and deny me any for the other shoulder when it is done, if it is done in this calendar year. It’s a familiar dance for the doc and the therapy center, but prayers and good wishes appreciated so I can keep improving. It’s not that I anticipate trouble, as the insurance has been VERY good to me so far, but I want to stack the deck a bit just in case.

As for improvement, I really didn’t anticipate doing this well at this time, and with so little pain and discomfort most days. I wish some of the recovery from the lightning strike could move this quick. We are pushing towards regaining full range of motion, with the exception of hands behind the back. Because of the reverse replacement, that is always going to have limitations. Outside of that, I’m making good progress and efforts to strengthen and build the muscle base around the shoulder is underway. We’ve actually had some issues bumping into points where I had lost range of motion well before the surgery, but are pushing past them.

Part of me is almost scared to admit how well things are going in certain areas. Not because of superstition, but concern that the bureaucrats might see it and say ‘he’s doing good, he doesn’t need any more PT.’ The doc, therapist, and I all want to get as close to 100 percent as we can, and for all I can do now that I couldn’t before, there is still a ways to go. In fact, as much as I want to do the left shoulder NOW I can easily see it being December or later depending on continued PT to be sure I can do everything needed with the right arm. I want to do things right, and will take the time needed for that.

We are doing a bit with very light weights, as noted before. Max is five pounds for now, but we have moved into using the bands for some rowing and related exercises. Landlord is even letting me mount an eye-bolt in the joists to do band work out in the common area of the basement. Got to do that in a few. Never expected to see changes in definition of the arms just using five pounds, but with enough reps…

At the gym, things are moving along. I start each session with 35 minutes on an arc/ascent trainer. Haven’t kicked up the difficulty yet, but am trying to kick up the pace. Goal is ten minute miles and then take it up to the next resistance level. Then, maybe take it up to 45 minutes. With the heart meds, hard to get the pulse up but the cardiologist (who is very happy with how I’m doing things and the progress) warned me that normal target zone was not likely to happen. Her suggested zone is working well.

My cool down from that is to do the hand bike just as I do at PT. Then, I switch to the e-machines for back extension, abs, leg press, leg curl, and leg extension. I do two runs through the machines per session. Then head over to the hip abduction/adduction machine which is real weights and not e-machine. Hoping the doc will let me add in an additional machine or two at the appointment next week. Once done with that, I do my arm stretches then move into the free weight area to do my shrugs, rolls, and such with a five pound weight, then move into the other PT exercises. By then I’m wiped and head home to use cold pack or heat as needed. I try to do the pulley work and isometrics before going to the gym.

I hadn’t realized how much I had missed working out. It is frustrating not to be able to work on the chest because of the shoulders, but that will come. My goals right now are improving cardio and endurance; core and abs; getting rid of the flab; and, toning what didn’t get too flabby. Making progress.

Thank you for all your help with this. I can’t say thanks enough, and hope you know how much it is appreciated.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Your Thoughts Invited

Two quick things before I head to the gym for workout and “home” PT. I really would appreciate your thoughts on two separate things.

First, I think I mentioned that I had been considering getting a guitar to see if I could learn to play it. Someone had suggested it as a form of physical therapy, but it’s really not. That said, it could help test to determine if I can learn a complex new skill after the lightning strike despite memory and other issues.

I put it off a while back simply because I couldn’t justify it in the budget. Missed out on a sweet Ibanez that was on sale used, but just not in the budget. Oh, and I was shocked to find out how few used guitars are available. Still looking and hoping that maybe enough comes in through the tip jar to go for it. There is a nice Ibanez acoustic-electric available for a bit over $300, and I’m keeping an eye out for used. Want to go with the acoustic-electric as the thinner profile is easier on me post surgery.

To be honest, it’s a crapshoot. Positive is that if I can learn, it gives hope in other areas while giving me something fun and entertaining to do. If I can’t, well, I can at least torture the cats and maybe the landlord with my efforts. Not what I want, but I can sorta make it into a win. What are your thoughts on this?

Second, and this is way too soon, thoughts on an option a realtor suggested to me for the move. I still have to get the other shoulder replaced and recover, and that may take a while. For all I would like to get it done here soon, the right arm has to be recovered a bit more before we can do the left I suspect. How long that will take is a good question.

The option was to buy or rent an RV and use it to explore in the area where I want to move. The idea is, park the RV for a month in a general area, and explore on foot and by vehicle to get to know the area and look at options. Want to check out another area? Drive there, park for another month, and lather, rinse, repeat.

Question for you: does anyone know of any low-cost options for getting or renting an RV? I think it a good idea, but also am having to consider that the car is not doing well and replacing it is going to be a challenge. If it does hold on, and I’m not another year out from moving, any ideas on this or other options for exploring?

Yes, still looking primarily at Arizona, but also checking to see options in west or north Texas. My original thoughts of being a lone wolf out by myself isn’t going to work. Probably need to be close to/around more people, would be nice if they were good people. Near decent medical wouldn’t hurt. So, looking hard at Benson area, though it might be fun to check out Winslow or even Flagstaff. After all, a girl in a flatbed Ford might stop for me… If you get that, you might remember Pat Paulsen.

If anyone has any suggestions for a good way to get me out West, explore a bit, and find the right situation for me, please sing out. I just want to get my stuff out of storage and have a place of my own again one day soon.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

General Update

For those that are interested, here’s where things stand as of this morning. Honestly, can’t complain (too much). My left shoulder can and does though. It hurts worse than the replaced shoulder.

I am doing and feeling better than I expected based on research. Pain has not been too bad, have had far more discomfort than pain since about the second week after surgery. If I, or someone else, do something stupid, I get the message immediately. Jerks, pushes, or impacts bring strong but thankfully brief bits of pain. The industrial cold pack does a good job on the rest. I’m not taking acetaminophen right now as I think it toxic as all get out, and am going to be exploring NAC and another option thanks to some comments.

My range of motion is improving, at least towards the front and up. We can’t yet start on taking my hand/arm backwards. Hoping by the end of the month we might can do that. Meantime, PT twice a week and gym at least three days a week.

I’m setting up at home to do most of the PT I do with the therapist. The initial PT really didn’t require any gear, but doing PT at home on the “off” days has really paid off. Besides, want to be set just in case insurance cuts back on PT (see below). So far, I’ve gotten the ice pack, the pulley system, a couple of other small things, and some PVC pipe. The latter needs to be cut so I can use it for certain lifts and stretches. Amazing how much you can do on the cheap!

I need to pick up some small weights (1, 2, 3, 5 lbs to start, may need to pick up some other soon as well) as we are now doing some of the stretches and exercises with those. Also, need a ball. I’ve gone from pure isometric pushing against a wall/door frame to pushing against the ball to get movement as well.

Still limited on how much I can pick up, carry, etc. Trust me, if I overdo that one I know it quick. Hoping the weight restrictions will come off by the end of the month.

At the gym, I am getting my aerobic/cardio and some core/lower body work in as well as some of the PT. Just added in some wall crunches to go with the ab work, as I have a gut to get rid of. Easing into the aerobic/cardio instead of my previous normal “jump in hard” mindset. As is, getting in at least two miles every session and am starting to ramp up. Have been keeping the BPM under 110, but as things settle I’m going to work up to the “optimum” target of 135.

At the end of the month, I go back to the surgeon’s office to evaluate where things stand. Already working up questions, including some on shooting and future shooting of rifle and shotgun. With luck, will get cleared to start the fun phase of working the arm backwards and handling some weight. We are also going to talk about the left shoulder and when to schedule doing it. I’m actually hoping for September, for all that it will make recovery interesting as I would still be doing PT on the right even as we start doing it on the left. We will see.

We will also have to see what the insurance will approve on PT. Theoretically it should not be a problem to get all the PT approved. Reality is, it doesn’t matter what the doctor or therapist say, it matters what the bureaucrat says. Always a fun game. I will have to say, however, that so far my insurance as been very good to me and I hope they continue to be…

Between carry limits and motion issues, “real” cooking is still a challenge. Thank goodness for the cooking I did before the surgery. I did do two pans of enchiladas this week, one beef and one chicken. An experiment in several ways: could I do it with the arm; I couldn’t get my regular cheat sauces (doing from scratch not an option yet); and, I couldn’t get my regular grain-free tortillas.

It went okay. Shredding the chicken after it slow cooked actually worked the arm a bit, but not too badly. The sauces were okay but I do prefer what I usually get. Not keto, but went with some good white corn tortillas which worked very well overall, and were a fraction of the cost of the grain-free.

Will do a separate post on the half-batch of Adm. Nimitz’s CINCPAC special I’ve made. It’s a drink made by the gallon, and was apparently considered a version of old fashioned despite no citrus. Letting it age a bit so that the whole vanilla bean (!) in it can make it’s presence known.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.