Slow Food

Friday, 8 April 2016 11:44
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
This flu started out with a stomach upset. And roughly ended with same. Today was the first day I ate a meal without feeling bad. Of course, the 2/day x 5 days of Tamiflu started Saturday ended yesterday, and the general report from the staff on Tamiflu is that it upsets the stomach. Except for one reading of 99.1°F, my temps been normal pretty much all week. Highest recorded was 101.9°F. Congestion mostly gone, the big globs of green phlegm are gone, but I still have a cough every few hours. Feeling better. Still getting lots of sleep.

So I think I will survive. Get off lockdown on Saturday -- can't wait to get some outside air. Monday is back to Hanger for Leg 2.1 try. PT eval when I get back.

The blog title came from the slow way I'd pick through food this last week. Even jello and saltines was a little rough. But I managed to eat menu food on Tuesday and Thursday, roast beef sandwiches on Wednesday. I'd lost around ten pounds or more, but alas, resuming eating will bring some of that back.

The blog title has other significance today -- the whole morning was running late. I'm supposed to get a 7:30 early tray every day. Didn't come this morning, had to call down. Of course today I wanted to start early getting up so Dave from PT could take off my bandage and inspect and handle my stump and scar. But breakfast was late. Getting on and off a bedpan ran late. Dave was late.

But, he was very happy with how it all looked and felt. Cleared for Monday.

Kept in our rooms since Saturday, we're all on limited in-room therapy. Made easier for me because I had no strength to do diddlysquat. Today I did a full set of 200 exercises with the hand weights, full set of all three leg exercises, and 175 of the black theraband pull downs from the top of the door jam. While not a full day's work, it's the best I've done in over a week. Comes at an opportune time, I'd say.

I've had to burn a lot more battery time on the Kindle, playing my playlists to drown out the nasal noises while trying to sleep. Naturally I have a new story in my head, but I've only made notes.

I wanna sit up and type, dammit.

Best thing I can say about the flu -- I was wondering how I would survive two weeks of limbo before the next leg attempt. Apparently I was to entertain a virus. Oh well, kept my mind off other matters.


Dr. Phil


Monday, 4 April 2016 11:48
dr_phil_physics: (sick-winslet)
Long weekend. Friday and Saturday night, little sleep. Sunday morning I emailed Mrs. Dr. Phil at 6:20am not to bother to come in. I wouldn't be any fun. At 4 I had terrible heartburn and kept asking for a couple of damned Tums. Even water was too irritating. -- I finally got the Tums at 9:20. Coughing up gobs of crap irritated a rib muscle. Great. One More reason not to sleep.

Yesterday afternoon I did sleep. In fact they couldn't wake me at 5 to get up. They got me up at 5:30. Dietary sent up a quartered fresh orange and it was the first thing in two days to taste good.

This morning I ate half a breakfast. Stomach has been annoyed with me since. It's gray and snowing a tiny bit outside -- too warm to stick -- but this makes the sky too glaring and annoying.

The good news is that the flu outbreak seems to have been confined to Five. The bad thing I am living on Five. I want outta here.

So yeah I feel better. Better enough to complain. (grin)

Dr. Phil

House Arrest

Saturday, 2 April 2016 12:09
dr_phil_physics: (sick-winslet)
Well, we're in lockdown mode here at Fuller due to the flu. They did nasal swabs and the first results were negative save for one. But it sounds like the repeat, longer test showed widespread flu.

Meals and therapy in rooms. I could sit in the dining room, but I'd have to wear a mask. But that's too hot. I've never been able to wear a mask for more than a few minutes. Hell, I don't even wear a scarf in the winter.

Not surprisingly, my pulseox has dropped due to congestion. 88, 89, 90. So I had the nurse get me a nasal canula for lying down and running it at 1 L.

Sitting up in wheelchair for a couple of hours. Did 40 minutes of PT exercises. Will get up again in the evening, as usual. Have zero interest in lying in bed and getting fluid in my lungs again like 2013.

If I was at home, I'd be sleeping in Debbie's chair. But with one leg, I don't know if I can get out of it right now. So best to be here.

Local news had a flu story -- a strain of H1N1 swine flu not covered in the last flu shot is racing through West Michigan. Wonderful.

And it's snowing steadily outside right now.


Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (sick-winslet)
Weather was a rollercoaster on the last day of March. At 6pm there's fast moving white clouds and blue sky to the north and fast moving storm clouds to the south.

Did not sleep well last night. With warm rain outside the humidity indoors shot up. Put on the room fan eventually. Three times I broke out the Kindle to play music to drown out hallway and noises from other room. I had finally got to sleep when I was woken up by an aide at 5am that my weight would be taken at six. No. Besides, I get my weight taken most weeks and especially before a doctor's visit.

But what really didn't help was the increase in the gassy bloating feeling. Yesterday was mac and cheese lunch, but I only picked at dinner. I ran into this two years ago with food making me gassy. I just need to get out of here and get real food again. Took a couple of Gas-X at 3am, more at breakfast, lunch.

Had no interest in the lunch or dinner trays. I had a small cup of orange jello and some saltiness for lunch. Chicken noodle soup and two cups of orange jello plus saltiness for dinner. The noodles and chicken were well boiled, so I had some. The broth was good, though it had a lot of sage in it.

Late afternoon temp was just 99.6° F, so I'm not deathly ill. Dozed in afternoon.

But... today was the first day of PT in a week, so we ended up going outside under the portico out front. As suspected, the folding walker sucks on non-level surfaces. But I did well with my four wheel walker. First time I really got the push-brake-step coordination together. Go me. Also did well on a wet, slippery surface.

My entry for WOTF was due today -- the first quarter where the deadline was 9pm PST and not 11:59pm. Of course at 11am EST the system was closed. I had to send my RTF file directly to Joni. She was not happy with the IT problem. I think they get a huge number of entries in the last 24-48 hours.

This is an experimental story. I fully expect it to be punted, so I probably will rewrite it traditionally for Q3.

I hope this bug goes fast. Being sick in a hospital sucks. All the usual things I would do have to be filtered through other people.


Dr. Phil

Fast Track

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 18:30
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
The biggest scare of Friday's scar splitting has been how do we keep that from happening again? Well, it sounds like there are products which are designed to prevent sheer forces on skin. Wish this had been brought up earlier. My skin, especially on my lower legs, is known to be weak. Oh well.

Today, Tuesday, we went out to see my orthopedic surgeon. He liked what he saw. Gave order for the nurses here to pull out the stitches next week.

Tom from Hanger and Dr. Fras have talked. Potentially, I might have the leg soon, if they can keep the lower stump skin from being stretched. Maybe next Friday?

So, it could be as few as two weeks of additional $280/day, which is less frightening than just unknown.

The wheelchair ambulance ride back to Fuller was the first with a sidedoor lift and not a rear door. This faces out, not in. A little nervewracking.

Beautiful weather today, but deteriorating as week advances.

The wheelchair lift should be installed on Thursday. In theory, than at least gets me in the door, though not quite ready to go home yet. Closer...


Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
The blog title is a line from the movie Apollo 13, when they shut down the command module navigation computer before getting the lunar module's computer up and running. For some seconds, things were chaotic.

Another line I keep on coming up with, one I coined myself, is Hasn't anyone ever done this before?

Saturday is a lovely sunny day. And was supposed to be my PT eval with the new leg, thus putting me back on the clock with insurance. Alas, after yesterday, no leg delivered. And we're in limbo with insurance -- does the medical procedure change my status -- because you can't hope to get any coherent and accurate information on a weekend.

But no, it's dumber than that.

The expectation was, that with a successful eval, we'd start into the new PT regimen on Sunday. Well, I should be able to put on a Kiwi and resume what I've been doing on Sunday.


Dave discharged me from therapy so I could be evalled. And he's not on this weekend. So the person who was going to do the eval is going to have to get in contact with a supervisor.

You can't write this stuff.

And due to a bureaucratic drop kick, it's possible I'm still on the $280/day room and board, with no PT.

It didn't help that I couldn't get up until 11 this morning. Our best aide, Sabina, was on, but there were three admits and other crises. I haven't decided if I'm being a cranky crab or a whiny child when my schedules fall apart. It's a long story. Perhaps in the future I'll reread this entry and wonder what the other issues were this morning. Ah, well.

Onward... at some pace.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
The morning in Grand Rapids dawned overcast and cold. Eventually it would enable up blue sky sunny. Not much breeze.

Sat outside and did my sets of 150 with hand weights. Had to come in after a couple sit to stands -- partly a cold breeze and partly fumes from a gas leaf blower. Not very green.

Everyone was excited about me going to Hanger and picking up my leg. Ran it a little close timewise -- finished getting redressed after urinal and bedpan just in time for getting into LIFE's wheelchair. Actually early to Hanger.

It will take getting some time in the leg to get used to it, and we had to make some adjustments. The mount I have has some give in it -- you slide deeper into it as you stand up.

Did a couple of steps. Was able to stand without holding the walker.


When we took it off to make the last adjustment, there was blood dripping from the sock.


Upon removing sock and Ace wrap, what Mrs. Dr. Phil, today's ride-along aide Autumn and Tom the prostheticist could see is that part of the surgical suture line had split. Maybe two inches long. Not a lot of blood, but damn...

We worked on calling the orthopedic surgeon's office -- it was already 2:30-ish on a holiday Friday. Had trouble getting through. Eventually got through to one of Dr. Fras' PAs. Yes, we needed to go to the ER. Yes, he'd call ahead to orthopedics at Butterworth. The secretary had already called ahead to the wheelchair ambulance return number. And here's where it got complicated.

The wheelchair ambulance driver is not allowed to transport to the ER. Discussion with the case manager at Fuller said we couldn't have the wheelchair ride paid for by insurance if we returned to Fuller and got an ambulance there.

So... we had to wait for a full ambulance. Fortunately, it was a lovely afternoon.

Next issues. This was their bari wheelchair and our seat cushion. So the wheelchair guy had to stay. We had the folding bari walker with us. So on a parking lot with no level surfaces, I had to sit to stand, then sit on the stretcher. At Butterworth, Autumn was picked up by the case manager, along with the seat cushion and walker.

Into the ER.

The hardest part was dealing with the uncomfortable hospital gurney. My weight pushes me down on the hardware underneath. Had to shift around a lot.

The orthopedic surgeon consult came down. I got seven plus one whip stitches done by an ER doc.

ER figured I could go back in a wheelchair ambulance. But, my walker was gone and Butterworth didn't have a bari walker. So they cancelled the first call and made a second. Due to arrive at 7:15pm, I was in the back of the bus by 7:10. Along with a shoe and a Kiwi brace that wouldn't go over the bandage.

No real problem missing dinner. Our original plan was to have Jimmy John's for lunch, but they were changed to dinner due to scheduling. So I had a fine dinner.

The consult said it was just a surface skin split -- the tissue below looked in good shape. Will try and get an appointment to see Fras this coming week. Not sure this sounds like too much of a delay. Not sure if we need more offloading on the attachment cap or what.

The prosthetic was feeling better as we worked at the clinic, so it was disappointing not to come back with a leg.

I am assuming the new skin from the revision surgery was too tight and hadn't enough give to it or something. Maybe not enough protection since we took off the Ace bandage layer.

Onward... with some delays.

Dr. Phil

60 / 150 / 2:30

Thursday, 24 March 2016 11:40
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
We've been getting the back edge of Winter Storm Selene. But West Michigan is right along a boundary line. Ice then snow north of I-96. Rain south to Indiana. High today of 60°F by the border, 40s here, 30s north. It's rained enough that looking down at the grass in the back garden, there's some ponding. Green Bay got snow. The northernmost part of the Lower Peninsula is getting 12-15" of snow. Welcome to Great Lakes spring...

Tuesday in PT we went back to the regular corridors, having concentrated on carpet for a couple of weeks. My previous record number of steps on a single stand was 26. I had runs including 19, 26, 24, 26. Finally eked out a 27. Go me. All told we had gone 47', so we measured another 13' to make it sixty feet and achieved it.

Definitely go me.

Yesterday in RT, we were able to spend some time outdoors. Melissa is always egging me on to bigger numbers of reps. I'm up to 100 (100+1 or 105+1 depending on the exercise). So she said 150. While Melissa and Autumn chatted, I went through three exercises with the hand weights, three sets of fifty each. Or 150 x 3. So th-bbbt! (grin)

Today in PT I didn't have the stamina of Tuesday. But... I did make a total of 45 feet in the hallway. And I got to talk about helium and nitrogen and liquefied air and the Liedenfrost Effect, etc. during the breaks. So it was a good day.

Also had to talk legs. I get my leg tomorrow. So Saturday's PT will be an evaluation and then I should be put back on the clock for full therapy. The first few days will be just having the leg on for a couple of hours -- whether sitting, standing or even first steps. Probably will stay with RT until I can do sufficient stuff to warrant turning OT back on, too. But Dave thinks I'll be back on the insurance clock on Saturday.

Man, I do hope this goes as smoothly as I think it can... but I know it will be weird at first, too.

I was going to write and post this last night. But I must've drifted off sometime after midnight. I woke up, my light and TV were still on, and still had my reading glasses on. Was sure the clock said 6:10am. But that meant I was way behind with water and hadn't charged my Kindle. So I checked the Kindle, which had gotten a partial charge in the evening. It read 91%. It also said the time was 2:30, not 6:10.


It was hot on five in the middle of the night. My ice water melted too fast. But I slept.

So onward, as the rest of Selene passes by. Sun tomorrow as we ride off to see a man about a leg.

Dr. Phil


Friday, 18 March 2016 17:17
dr_phil_physics: (kliban-basketball)
Ah, March Madness. And the sweet sounds of brackets crumbling all over.

-- Yale? First tournament win and its first ranked win since like 1948.

-- Michigan State just lost. Never led against #15 Middle Tennessee. The faithful here in Michigan had been annoyed that the Spartans had been seeded #2. Many brackets had them winning the whole thing.

The beauty of the NCAA tournament is it's one-and-done and you cannot look ahead.

The therapy gym was filling out brackets for fun and I'd put in my sheet.

My bracket has Texas winning. Beating State in the final. So my brackets are shredding. As per usual.


Only briefly checked in on the women's tournament on ESPN2. The men are on CBS-TBS-TNT-Tru, but alas we don't get the last, so I missed all the "First Four" play-in games.

However, they've come to their senses and no longer claim those four games as the First Round. That is reserved for the two days of 32 games.

As it should be.

Order has been restored to the universe.

Now, will someone beat Kansas?

Dr. Phil


Thursday, 17 March 2016 23:10
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
Today was a big one. Today we went off to Hanger to try on the test leg.

They use a thick clear thermal plastic, so they can see the fit inside, and carve or reshape with a blowtorch as needed. Next the adjusted connecting piece will be used to cast a mold for the first real piece.

Once we got around the spots that were digging into my thigh, added a pad inside, it was time to stand up to the folding walker we'd brought along. Now I've been standing up with one leg for months, so I knew I could do it. But would the stump handle this?

Smooth up and standing. There were, of course, two immediate issues. First, I have gotten very used to looking down and checking my left foot placement these last two years. Similarly, the prosthetic foot has no nerves, but I could see the foot clearly bending out. Easy to fix with a wrench. Second, I realized I had to stretch up and lock my right knee to try to equalize the leg lengths.

Tom and their builder, Kevin, brought out pads to slip under my right foot. Interestingly I have had troubled lifting my foot with the walker. Not as hard with a second leg -- marvellous invention, they should issue those standard. First ¼", then 3/8". Perfect. Or at least much better.

I probably had at least three stands.

It felt like I could take a step, but there was no stretchy sleeve to hold the leg on. So no.

Next appointment, Friday 25 March 2015. 1:30pm.

Pictures from today are on Facebook. I'll eventually get them up on the blog.

The leg is different from my imagination -- which I expected. Surprised that the ankle is completely fixed, no sprung motion in any direction. Not sure how I feel about that. Even the AFO on my left foot had some fore/aft bend to it.

So a typical below the knee leg comes in at 5-7 lbs. This one will be more like 8-10 pounds, given the heavier weight loading.

Definitely a surreal experience. Next time for real. Then more serious walkage...


Dr. Phil

24... 26...

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 18:05
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
Yesterday it rained some, which is important because the contractor we're working with couldn't work outside, so they built an extension to the landing outside our back door into the garage. It's fantastic. They even reused the old railing, extending and reinforcing it so there's a nice railing before you fall to the floor of the garage. We ended up choosing this extension so the hydraulic lift will all be on one of the two slabs of concrete in the garage -- and between the two vehicles.

Last week, during Spring Break, Mrs. Dr. Phil had done a heroic job of cleaning out the cardboard recycling and the detritus of twenty years that had lived in front of the Bravada. With it cleared out, the space was easy to measure and then draw lines on photographs. I'll post those someday. Some of the old treasures were put by the side of the road with a Free Stuff sign -- and miraculously disappeared. One of our neighbors, wanting to help, added some of the trash to their garbage, as they have the unlimited contract instead of the by-the-prepaid bag we use. They have four sons, so go figure... (grin)

In my meager three days of PT a week, we've been concentrating on starting and stopping and restarting with the folding walker, side and back steps. Today we went for distance. My previous best was 22 steps, once done on the floor and one on carpet. I think one had a restart.

Today we did all carpet, and at the end I took off and had runs of 24 and 26 steps. These weren't just steps, but some distance covered all session. We've been concentrating on rolling the foot heel and toe, but having gotten that -- I'm not sure I can do the flat footed stomp anymore -- on these last two runs I just got the forward lean on the walker right and took off.

Yay me. Progress.

After lunch I got an aide to take me outside in the breeze and sunshine. Nice.

I shall break out of this place...


Dr. Phil


Monday, 14 March 2016 11:36
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
So... Wednesday the flight surgeon cleared my left stump for takeoff. Or at least some weightbearing.

Friday I'd already made an appointment to get measured for a prosthesis. We planned to do the same wheelchair ambulance maneuver as on Wednesday, but this turned out to be an adventure in itself.

Now the stand and transfer wheelchairs in the hallway, including moving my seat cushion, worked swell. Except this one had me leaning way back. Fortunately the driver had a blanket with him, which he put along the back so I could sit up straight. Then there was the ramp.

For some reason the folddown lip to the ambulance lift ramp wasn't lying all the way down. The driver had to hold it down with one foot while pulling me up. Then when he went to engage the lift, a red light came on and it beeped. Eventually he climbed in, removed a plastic cover, inserted a handle and pumped it up manually until the light went out and then the remote ran the lift. I speculated that the pressure in the hydraulics might have been insufficient until there was a few manual pumps.

Mrs. Dr. Phil didn't ride along, because my aide Sabina and her trainee had to ride along, since this was a clinic visit. Of course that meant the driver had to leave his second wheelchair at Fuller, so he could fold down the second row seat. Mrs. Dr. Phil met us at Hanger on Cascade Road.

Lovely sunshine and blue sky. Backed out, rolled up to the front door, hit the handicapped button, let the door open, pushed forward and... S C R A P E... Yeah, the chair barely fit through the door into the entryway.

Second door swings open, we get pushed forward and... BONK.

The wheelchair does not fit. Huh. Pretty funny for a prosthetics clinic.

So... we did bring the folding walker. In theory I could stand and hop through the doorway and fold the chair and get back in. But would the wheelchair fit through the interior doors? Well, yes, they were wider. But in the end they got some channel lock pliers, took out a nut to remove a pin from the door opener, so the door would be opened all the way. With some scrapes, we made it through. A few bumps through the next two wooden doors. I was in.

Naturally we gave Tom a hard time about his ADA doors, but truthfully, bariatric wheelchairs are wider.

So, onto the main event. Ever proactive, I had Mrs. Dr. Phil bring two left shoes, so they could fit a foot to size 10½ 4E/6E and get the height right.

A plaster cast of my stump was made. Very similar to the procedure used on my left leg for making an AFO. Measurements of my right leg from the knee down in the same shoes.

This Thursday I go back for a first fitting with a clear attachment, so they can see how it fits. Then they'll make the real one and next week I shall hopefully have a leg.

Very exciting.

But the fun didn't end. Getting into the ambulance wasn't a problem -- I think the hydraulic pressure was back up. Except... as the lift ramp was swung up and the back doors closed, there was a loud SNAP and something hard from behind and to the left struck me on the cheekbone, just below the eye. WTF?

Couldn't find anything on the floor of the van and the skin wasn't broken or bleeding. When I was being unloaded at Fuller, however, the driver found a jagged flat piece of hard plastic sitting on the back of the shoulder of my shirt. I have it and will put a picture on Facebook -- update this post later. The driver figured the cover he'd removed earlier must have been pinched by the mechanism.

Funny, as long as no one lost an eye.


Did another sit and stand with assistance from the 17" mat table in RT today. This was smoother than last week. Hard to do with one leg. We'll get there.

And in a couple of weeks, I may be able to walk through doorways -- using canes or a walker. But it's coming.


Dr. Phil


Sunday, 13 March 2016 00:44
dr_phil_physics: (7of9voyager)
In thirty minutes the time change from EST to EDT will roll out. And 2am suddenly becomes 3am.

My aide this morning remarked that her phone changed overnight. As in Saturday morning, not Sunday. Huh. She had to go in and turn off automatic DST and set the time manually.

And what kind of phone? Apple iPhone 6s. She said other people she knew had the same thing happen.

Haven't looked at much news or net today, so I don't know how widespread. But I am assuming the DST change was programmed for year day N.

And Apple forgot that 2016 was a Leap Year.

This afternoon I cracked out my cellphone to call my Mother in NC. As often happens, seeing as I don't turn on the phone very often, I was in the middle of dialing when a text message received screen popped up. And as usual, it was a message from Verizon saying that $XX.XX was being charged to my credit card under monthly Autopay.

Except March 12th is the wrong day for the message. At least I think that's what the message was about. It was in Spanish.

There was no way I was going to call the 800 number shown. So first I replied to the message, Why the hell is this in Spanish? But as I expected, this message won't take replies. So I called customer service at *611. The first call got dropped after I made it through the security crap and reached a real person.

On the second call, the woman I talked to laughed and said they'd done a big system upgrade and "everyone" got a text message in Spanish. Ignore it.

Okay, so they hadn't switched my account language.

But given the anti-immigration climate amongst Trump and other supporters, I do worry that this will reach the tinfoil conspiracy crowd and make them nuts. The Mexicans are taking over Verizon! Sigh.

Oh, and my mother? She wasn't available -- she was in the main dining room for Bingo and popcorn. Good, she likes popcorn. And she might even be playing Bingo. Another time...

Cellphones 0-3 today.


Saturday PT included steps forward, to the left, to the right, and back. I swear it sounds like I'm doing the Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show...


Dr. Phil


Friday, 11 March 2016 01:17
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
This morning I was sitting up in bed and eating my breakfast, when I looked down -- my stump looked it was lying at a funny angle to the left. Then I realized I was looking at the Ace wrap and it was probably falling off. Did the white 5-ply sock come off in the night?

Uh, no. It was sitting over on the chair. The nurse last night forgot to put it on. And I can't see what's going on.

OK. Whew.

Did handweights outside on the way to the gym. Nice.

In PT we again started straight on the carpet. But this time we did steps forward, sideways and back.

Actually I did steps to the left. Right didn't work. Yet.

And one of my back steps was HUGE. Surprised all of us. (grin)

My back hallway goal was to this short side corridor going down to a new door onto the patio outside the gym. It's been covered in plastic, the hallway that is, for months. But they just did the work in the last day. Apparently the first new door was jamming and sticky. They replaced it.

Finished PT with some wheelchair squats. We haven't done them in a long time. Push back on something and tilt the wheelchair. We used the edge of the steps in the gym. My leg is a lot stronger than it used to be. I'd tilt and hold. Dave started adding resistance. No problem.

Since there are wheelie bars, I am now cleared to do this exercise on my own.


Dr. Phil

Random Errors

Friday, 11 March 2016 00:41
dr_phil_physics: (skype)
So Mrs. Dr. Phil and I Skype every day that she's not here. It's been marvelous.

Of course, as a free service, it's not been without its glitches. Mrs. Dr. Phil's Kindle Fire HDX seems to have an issue with something flexing inside which causes the microphone to cut out. So she's using her laptop now.

Tonight, in the middle of our conversation, the screen on my Kindle Fire HD flashed white and we lost video. I think she just got my avatar and I got nothing. Still had sound. Eventually we tried restarting the session. Got various versions of either avatars and nothing.

A bunch of apps updated themselves today. Maybe there was a mismatch of versions.

Rebooted. Reinstalled the app. I could see her now, but my image was black.

After we logged out, I suddenly wondered if my camera still worked. It did not.

Another reboot. And now it does. I'm hoping this fixes the problem.

But software updates are going to be the death of our civilization.

I worry about starting up ZEPELLIN, the Windows 7 laptop from Wendy, after so long. People are starting to run into forced upgrades to Windows 10. I've had enough troubles coming up with workarounds to restore XP and NT functionality to 7, and I know some of those won't work easily in 10. There are some hacks to prevent this, include at least one on Microsoft support, but first thing I'll do is disable automatic updates until I sort things out.

Fuck you, Microsoft.

Dr. Phil


Thursday, 10 March 2016 01:34
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
Warm, rainy day. Humidity is up so the foam cups of ice water we live on have condensation.

There are some guardrails at the front entrance, sturdy enough to use for sit to stands outdoors during RT. Sat down on the 17½" mat table for the first time in the gym -- this is home toilet height. Had assist on the gait belt to stand up. It seems so far down, but then there's no supporting rails or handrails to get up with. We'll do more.

After lunch schedule was tight. Lay down to pee and bedpan, then back up in chair. Wheelchair ambulance brought their own chair that fits their ramp, unlike mine. Used the stable hallway railing to stand while wheelchairs swapped, including my seat cushion. Success!

Appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Fras, went exceedingly well. I am cleared for limited weightbearing and my next appointment is in FIVE weeks.

Unlike the regular ambulance crews which wait for you, the wheelchair ambulance leaves and the office calls for return trip. Came swiftly.

Excitement at top of ramp from I-196 to Fuller Avenue. To our left, the freeway overpass was blocked southbound by two Grand Rapids police SUVs. In between two officers were wrestling with some guy with a backpack. He was swinging arms and legs, kicking and punching the cops, at one point lifted off him feet by the cop behind him. Most definitely resisting arrest.

We didn't turn north towards the hospital, because there was a rapidly approaching siren. Michigan State Police car came to a stop right in front of the fight and a tall state policeman in impeccably straight and pressed blue uniform, leapt out. By now the man was struggling on the ground. The state cop knelt on the guy's shoulders and cuffed the man.

Incident over. By the time I was out of the van, an ambulance was arriving. Our driver speculated the guy might be going off in restraints for evaluation. Who knows?

But I am cleared for the first stage of prosthetics!


Dr. Phil

113 / 3

Wednesday, 9 March 2016 00:29
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
It hit the low 70s in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Holland on Tuesday. First time since 5 November 2015 -- 113 days ago.

It's warm and stuffy in here. 74°F, which isn't hot like it was in December, but I've turned on my little battery powered fan.

Needed a blood draw today. The order came in too late for the morning vampires, so my nurse came in. We joked and then she poked -- easy -- and nuthin. Well, actually bled after the needle was pulled out. She only pokes once, rather than stabby-stabby. So another nurse came by. Her first poke got some blood, the second finished the job.

Sigh. I've gotten good with blood draws the last couple of years. But I'd stick first in the crook of the elbow crease -- which was never touched.

Now... to be fair. I'm not ragging on nurses. These were veterans, but they don't have to do blood draws often. My only point was it took 3 sticks.

And your day?

Dr. Phil


Tuesday, 8 March 2016 00:17
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
We took some hand weights outside and I did my arm exercises in the fresh air. The sun really came out later, but I'm not complaining.

Did better getting up from the 19" mat table... the 17½" mat table is repaired, finally, and awaits.


Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (miss-michigan-usa)
Tomorrow, Tuesday 8 March 2016, is Michigan's presidential primary. Both parties.

A few years ago, Michigan was worried that -- coming after Super Tuesday -- they'd become irrelevant and wanted to linejump the first in the nation Iowa/New Hampshire races. So did a lot of other states. Even suggesting they'd go as early as December. They didn't, but they did raise the ire of the parties, which subjected and then retracted sanctions against the state. Candidates skipped Michigan.

Well, we're March 8th this time and to everyone's surprise, Michigan still counts for both the Republicans and the Democrats. Even with the endless four-year campaign.

Welcome to 2016.

To me, who wins is less important than turnout. Some Democrats could go either way with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump may bring more Republicans to the polls. So while there are two primaries, which team will bring more voters out? And will that say anything about which way Michigan goes in November?

Dunno. But it's going to be interesting.

Michiganders -- it's going to be a lovely day. Weather will not be an excuse. Come on and vote.

If you don't, you're letting others make decisions for you. It's the primaries -- you don't have to win to make a statement.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
Second shower this morning. First time the stump was free to be showered. Different aide than before, but it all went well.

Mrs. Dr. Phil brought meat loaf she made last night, a couple of slices of Velveeta and our travel ketchup bottle. And bread. Real bread. A bit dried out, but while grains. Sturdy. Bits of nuts.

And flavor.

Ooh, and pickles! Bonus!

One of the other inmates took my ham and cheese sandwiches from the lunch tray back to his room. So we felt good that food wasn't wasted...

After the Sunday paper, we went outside. Alas, a bit of a breeze cut down our time outside, but it was in the 40s. 50s and 60s coming.

Mrs. Dr. Phil also brought a borderless 8x10 print from the new 3-in-1 printer that came on Friday. Cute picture of us outside on Christmas in our red hats. Put it on the wall where several of the aides spotted it right away. What a cute couple we make...

Today was a rest day. Monday we pick up the pace anew. Wednesday we see the surgeon. Friday we hopefully start on the prosthetic.

Mentally I've been ready to get out of here for a long time. Physically we are getting closer.

Want to be home.


Dr. Phil


dr_phil_physics: (Default)

April 2016

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