morning walk

I talk about the state park I live at and the forest outside my front door. I take my walk there to get my knee (and myself) back in shape. I got out early this morning. It’s really quiet there and you can get lost in your thoughts. The path is diversified and it doesn’t seem like you’re out that long or have walked that far. Most of the wild flowers must have finished blooming, there wasn’t much color this morning except the sun coming up through the trees. The park was empty, also. Very tranquil…

park-2

 

Here’s the path I walk. I like how clean they keep this park.

park-1

 

 

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first mile and stuff

I couldn’t sleep last night. I tried but I was to wired up. I wanted to be active, nothing was hurting. There’s too much wildlife to go walking around here at night so my recumbent bike kept me occupied for 15 minutes. Next my drawing table had unfinished work laying around. The pain meds kept me non-creative for so long I dug out a coloring book I forgot I had. Practicing colors was something I needed to work on. Doing this for almost two and a half hours took it’s toll on my eyes so I moved to the drawing I started over a month ago, I think. After setting up the webcam (my phone) it didn’t take long until I figured out I made this too detailed to work on at 4:30 in the morning.

doingstuff-firstmile

I didn’t sleep very good as usual. Every hour I looked at the clock and the window to see if it was time to go out. I was ready with all the built up energy. At 7:45 I was dressed and out the door. It was 75 degrees with a slight breeze. Just enough breeze to make the sweat bearable. At the park, I drive to the spot I marked at 1/2 a mile the other day. I got about 100 yards and remembered I left my cane in the car so I went back. I’m using it less and less but I didn’t want to get stranded and not make it back to the car when I’m walking. I’m off again, with no pain I’m walking pretty fast. Probably the fastest I’ve moved in four or five months. It feels good on my body, my muscles are working and I’m getting air deep in my lungs. And there it is, the back gate of the park. I barely felt anything as I touched the post and made a “cheering crowd” sound when I turned and headed back. My cane is slowly becoming useful then I see the front of my truck. Running out of steam and for some reason my thigh hurts, I head for the bumper. My door wouldn’t open fast enough for me to plant my fat ass in the seat and chug some water like I’ve just ran a marathon, but I did it. In one month, after total knee replacement, I just walked a mile.

Now my arm is going to be sore patting myself on the back.

 

 

first long walk

Just got in. This morning I drove over to the park, back until it dead ends. I drove forward to measure a half mile and parked. I’ve made walks to my mailbox and had trouble. That was only a 300 yard walk. My last doctor visit he removed some fluid and it turned the pain game around. I’ve been going up and down my stairs and getting around unaided the last week. This morning when I woke up I sat right up. Nothing hurt. I drank my coffee and got pumped up some more. My first thought was I’ll walk to the mailbox and call it a day. By the time I got dressed and out my door I felt like really walking. So I drove around to the Metro Park entrance and marked my territory.

During my walk I kept feeling my new knee bang around inside a little. But I felt o.k. so I kept going. It’s nice out too. Finally it’s below 80 degrees but I’m still sweating like a pig. My knee is feeling great but my hip and thigh are starting to hurt. I can see the end of the trail where I wanted to turn around but I couldn’t make it. I was close but still too far away so I turned around. I didn’t want to get stranded back there. It was a struggle getting back to my car. It seemed like it took forever to get to it. It felt good to get the weight off my leg while I’m catching my breath. It also felt good to get air deep in my lungs. I go back in to the doctor Monday. We’re keeping an eye on the area that’s not closing up. It doesn’t hurt and it’s not infected. It’s just not closing up.

I’m guessing I walked a little over two thirds of a mile.

first walk

the knee story pt 4

Boredom is the worst part. The smallest thing is entertaining. I look forward to doctors visits just to talk to someone but those will end now. Without insurance I can’t get physical therapy or office visits. I just paid $110 for pain meds. I did get hold of my employer to get access to my company account for my personal information and check stubs. We had automatic deposit and I never saw a physical check the entire time I worked there. I wasn’t even sure how much I was being paid. It was more than I thought and with them paying 3/4 of my insurance and matching 401k, I had no reason to complain. I stay in touch with the District Manager. She said to let her know when I’m ready and she’ll hire me back at another position. I’ve never worked for such an employee friendly company in my life. There’s not even bad co-workers there. I never understood why people quit working for the company. Even if I don’t get hired back, I have nothing bad to say about them. They’ve gone out of their way with me the last two years and I feel like I owe them for that.

Back to the boredom part. I had a follow up visit with the surgeon on Monday. He took some x-rays and removed some fluid. The fluid was causing the most pain, it was never ending. Sleeping was impossible and it felt like there was so much weight to my leg. The last two days I’ve been feeling pretty good. I was surprised to get another refill of pain meds and I was afraid to ask but I guess this was serious enough surgery to get more. But the last two days I’ve been going out and moving around a lot. The walk to the mailbox is still difficult but I force it. I go up the steps right leg first just to work it. All this makes me feel better while I’m doing it but resting is when the pay back starts. I never know I’ve over done it, until I’ve over done it. So I’ll take my meds and get the ice packs out. Then I sit here. Bored. I have drawing supplies right beside me but no ideas. No motivation. I stare a lot, though. Think bad thoughts. Negative things. Stare some more. Boredom drove me to start typing this. There’s no point I have. Nothing needs to be told. I’m just bored and sore. So here’s the x-ray of my new $25,000 knee.

 

newkneesideview-rs

 

 

the never ending knee story

It’s been a week. The last two days I’ve been walking on my own and I’m paying for it. This is a different pain and it hurts like hell. Not instantly but it creeps up like a good weed you smoked an hour ago. I’m still working on a drawing. By accident the video secessions were deleted from my flash drive. They’re backed up on my Google Photo’s, so all I have to do is go through the process of putting them back on my phone in order and I don’t freakin’ feel like it. So here’s my knee cleaned up. Blood flowing and the stitches all shined up. They kind of look like a mohawk the way he’s perfectly lined them up.

 

IMG_20190617_181245820

 

Oh yeah, every morning there’s new bruises. This on just keeps getting bigger. They hurt as bad as they look. I found out these are from a tourniquet. But look at that flex. My knee is at 45 degrees. I’m getting there…

 

 

3:50 am

 

My drawing table is pretty much the way I left it several months ago. I’m not physically able to sit up for any length of time anymore. Hopefully the doctors can fix me again so I can sit up and also walk like in the olden days. Who knew getting old would hurt so much. If I don’t return I just want to say thanks to everyone I’ve met.

 

drawing table-42119

 

Youtube

 

Deviant Art

 

 

fuzzy doll and stuff – random blathering with a few beers, then…

It hurts when you get old(er). I fucked my knee up again and had some dental work done. Great insurance is awesome. I’m taking full advantage of it while it’s in front of me. Except sometimes recovery is more painful than the actual problem was to begin with. They’re still doing tests on my knee but the dental surgery is over for now. My bone graph for the implants look good. This is the first time in years my mouth/ teeth work properly. My last dentist, I’m finding out, was a complete hack. After the two root canals and crowns he performed about 16 years ago finally died and had to be cut out of my jaw, I can actually eat properly with no tooth there yet. My jaw use to click also. That went away. What the dental surgeon found in the x-rays were four wisdom teeth in the back growing forward, so his plan is to not put the last molar implants in the back. I’m cool with that.

Also my knee that use to respond well to cortisone injections decided it didn’t want to cooperate any more. The orthopedic surgeon is slow as hell as is the MRI staff. At least they gave me anti-inflammatory and more of them pain meds I’m growing fond of. According to them I’m not taking enough. I’m suppose to take them on a schedule, not as needed. But once a day in the evening is fine with me. Fuck them, I’m not going to be an addict. My employer is fine for now with my light duty schedule. We passed a State Inspection, what more do they want. I actually quit on Tuesday. Those retiree’s really know how to piss me the fuck off. They throw garbage all over the place! Why? Who the hell does that? Why would someone set garbage on the floor where there’s four trash carts inside the building and two huge dumpsters outside? What the Fuck is wrong with these asswipes? I don’t know, they sure know how to find that last nerve and keep grinding it. The corporate office said to take a few days off and come back Monday. They must like me there, I didn’t get wrote up. They scare me sometimes with that employee friendly attitude stuff. I’m not use to it.

But, here is the point of the post. I casually follow Deviant Art channels. A few I really like because I can learn their drawing techniques that apply to my way of thinking and my arthritic hand. Out of no where I found a lady who makes felt dolls. She had just opened a Deviant Art Channel and I liked her drawings. Then she posted the doll. I had to have one. I hope I didn’t creep her out, but I wanted one really bad. I told her to name her price. She’s Canadian so I tried to be on my best behavior. I didn’t want to come across as the typical media enhanced American Idiot Fox News is so great at promoting. I even opened a PayPal account just so she’d feel safer about my intentions. I wanted one so bad I would have paid what ever she asked. So here it is…

 

fuzzydoll

 

The Fuzzy Doll by Koma13. It’s simplistic but says a lot. I want more, like a collection. I’ll pay her what ever she wants. I just thought they were the coolest things I’d seen in a long time. It was cool enough, I was afraid I’d scare her just asking to buy one. But there’s also a connection to the appearance of this piece of work. It kind of looks like me when I was an 18 year old kid back in 1980. At least the hair looks the same.

Me_1

 

I’m the one on the right. Karen’s there to pretty up the picture. I was grunge before it was a thing, and Disco really did suck!

 

 

 

my friend is gone

I don’t make friends easy. I might say hello, and at the most, maybe some useless back and forth conversation. But there won’t be anything telling anyone I want anything more from them. If they start getting too nosy, maybe asking about what I do, what I like, something personal about me the subject will get changed. I don’t like attention being drawn towards me and I’m really not interested in knowing you. Saying goodbye after work isn’t common. Telling you happy birthday will never happen. I really have no interest in other people’s lives.

I took a job six years ago at a retirement home. It was suppose to be temporary until I found something I’m experienced in. After a while it seemed like I was thrown into this building to take care of everything, including the people. It took almost two years before I realized this community was dumped off on me. I’m not a people person. I’m more of a “leave me the fck alone so I can do what I was hired to do” person. I kept waiting until I noticed I was one of them. I made friends and they were interested in me and my well being. We laugh and have fun together except I keep my wall up. They will only know me at work. They’ve stuck up for me, they have my back. There’s nothing more I can ask for after finding that out.

One morning when I came into work I found an envelope on my door. Inside was a card. I didn’t open it right away because I saw it as a personal invasion. It’s like when they give me Christmas cards after I tell them I don’t celebrate that holiday. I check to see if there’s anything of value in it then pitch it. When I finally opened it, several days had passed. This was from Melanie. She was thanking me and that’s all she wanted. I thought this was the greatest thing in the world. No one has ever just said thanks to me for anything. If they did I’m sure I was ignoring them like I always do. Then I found myself doing what ever she wanted done. She didn’t ask for much and I didn’t mind doing things for her. I even found myself sitting in the lobby talking to her. Just me and her until we were invaded by the loud angry heard of bitter lonesome retirees with not much to do.

The card on my door

melanie-1

 

Inside the card reads:

Mike, Just wanted you to know that I truly appreciate everything you do for us. I thank you so much.  Melanie (304)

Melanie-2

 

I’ve kept this card on my desk. If anyone asked I’d let them read it. A few years had gone by and Mel was getting older and was having health issues. This is normal. But not once did I ever hear her say how bad she felt. She seemed tired and lost some weight but she always laughed at the dumb stuff I’d say to her. I noticed she had trouble walking so I kept an eye on her. Elderly people are hard to pick up. They either feel like jell-o with a bone in it or they’re so fragile you’d think they would break at the slightest touch. Last Friday I watched as she left for a doctors appointment. I went home for the week end just minutes after that. Monday when I came in I noticed a lot of trash in the dumpsters and some items in the bulk pick-up area. People dump their shit on our property a lot but this was more than normal. As people were waking up someone broke the news that Mel had a stroke and died that Saturday. Her family was cleaning out her apartment. I showed her daughter the card I always kept. She was heart broken. Mel’s family finished removing the belongings and dropped the keys off in the lock box.

This was for me

Melanie-3

 

 

 

**GRAPHIC**

A picture of my scar if you don’t want to see it click out.

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Second warning. This is a picture of my scar from back surgery.

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Final warning to click out of here or you’ll see it

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scar

 

I warned you. This is the scar from my back surgery. There is a medical term for what they did and I think they just make words up in the hospital. All of my prescriptions are words I’ve never heard of too. I thought it was just a 2″ incision. This is the first time I’ve seen it. My physical therapist took the picture. That’s her hand at the top just to give it some comparison. The thing is 6″ long. There’s just some small scabs left and a one of the stiches sticking out of the top that will probably just fall out. It’s healing pretty good on the outside but hurts like hell on the inside.

 

 

I’ll miss my room

I’ll miss my room at the rehabilitation hospital. Or no, I’m miss the entire place. I was spoiled the entire time. I’ve never been taken care of my entire life like I was here. The attention and respect the staff gave me was outstanding. I had to ask them not to disturb me as much. They said o.k. but continued and I never brought it up again. A lot of times in the evening no one came in to check on me but I could see them going in and out of the rooms around me. After a while I finally told the nurse that I feel like I’ve been forgotten. She told me I’m one of the few that never pushes the callimage button. I never wanted to bother them, they looked too busy. The only time I asked for anything was when they brought my meals in. They always said they’d let the nurse know. I never knew who was and wasn’t a nurse. When the nurse did come in with the med cart and to check my vitals she always asked my pain level from 1 to 10. I always said 9 and the meds weren’t helping. A few days later she comes in and said if I need pain meds just ask. So I did. Dilaudid did absolutely nothing, after several tries even with the IV, they tried a combination. This caused me to have a seizure. I was completely aware of what was going on but had no control over anything. My right hand started flinching and it felt like cold air blowing on it, when I look down at my hand I lost control of my neck. It was like my neck folded and cut off my breathing. That’s when a lot of people came running in the room. One lady was holding my head up as they laid me back in the bed. When I finally got control I couldn’t speak no matter how hard I tried my mouth wouldn’t let words come out. That was scary. After that my meds were given to me in intervals but I still could ask for pain meds anytime I wanted them. Now they were Oxycontin tablets which kind of scared me. I don’t want to be a pill addict except I’m not craving them as a buzz, I need them when I can’t hold out any longer.

The other thing I liked was the food. The place had their own cooks and I wasn’t on any special diet. I had a big menu to order anything I wanted, and I did. They fed me well and nothing I had was bad. I ate everything I ordered.

room_2

One other thing was my bed. When I went to my three hours a day physical therapy (which is a whole other story) I’d come back to all new sheets and pillow cases, the bathroom was clean and trash taken out. I was suppose to stay until May 22 but they came in on May 15 and told me I was leaving on the 17th. I didn’t want to leave, I had another week but they felt I was o.k. to go home. My last day I got up, took a bath and dressed myself. The ride home kept changing times. First it was 11am, then it was 4pm, then 6:30pm. They finally show up at 7:30pm and they wheeled me into a transportation bus and strapped me in. I was kind of afraid to go home on my own but every morning I wake up something new is going on inside me. Sometimes it’s good and other time, like today, it’s horrible. One thing I’m learning is the nervous system is a strange thing, the other thing I’m finding out is nerves repairing themselves is the most agonizing pain I’ve ever endured. I’m working on a drawing I came up with while I was here. Sitting up for any length of time is a little painful but I’ll get it done.

the city

I use to live in the city. It was above a pretty popular restaurant which made living there a pain in the ass. If I left during the day I would have to park pretty far away until they closed then go get my car and move it back where I could see it. For once I really didn’t like the other people that lived up there. The one kept getting into my mail box until I threatened him. I’m pretty laid back but I will get in peoples faces if they piss me off. The other neighbor I called him Joe Dirt. That’s exactly who he looked like, the hair and everything. He was straight from the ’80’s. The owner evicted the mailbox guy then changed the locks at the entrance. He tried to get back in and Joe Dirt went to talk to him. Joe, being a little slow, forgot he left hamburgers grilling on his oven caught his kitchen on fire which set off the buildings fire alarms. The fire department shows up at this historic landmark thanks to these two clowns. This was in the summer, so it’s around 90 degrees out and we had to evacuate the building. I was pissed because I just got home from work and I was working a few beers. Don’t interrupt my fucking beers, god dammit! The other guy was evicted for not paying his rent. I mean it was only $400 a month, WTF. So he destroyed everything in his unit. Then it was just me up there. I think the owner liked it that way, I was responsible and kept and eye on his building. But I didn’t want to be his after hours security. I didn’t want to be responsible for anything that happened to that building. It was a popular restaurant, even the local news personalities ate there in the late morning. I really liked the apartment. It was kept up for as old as it was. New cabinets, new hardwood and ceramic tile floors. The one thing I didn’t like was I felt like I was always on stage there. I had to go past all the customers in the parking lot to get to the second floor stairs. And it was two flights of metal stairs, those things made some noise too. Once inside I felt safe. I liked my place, I liked the view of downtown and Broad Street. In the very back is where I kept my computer and tech stuff. I didn’t even have a living room because this is where I spent all my time. The window and balcony to my left was a nice view at night. The streets calmed, the lights dimmed and the city went quiet. This is where I forgot everything and went into another world.

OFFICE

 

I finally get my surgery next week. I’m probably typing this because I’m wigged out on Oxycodone and Gabapetin and I’m not even aware I’m doing this. But anything is better than the excruciating pain I’m normally in. Just one more week…

 

 

boredom

The one thing I can’t get use to are the endless hours of boredom. I’m kind of stuck, if I hurt I can’t move, if I’m medicated I turn into a jelly glob and still can’t move but things don’t hurt as bad. I tried drawing laying down, it’s not the same. My arms move too much and I flip the paper every where in front of me. Then my pencils roll under my ass and I get pissy and stop. I’ve even started watching T.V. I hate it, T.V.’s the most idiotic form of entertainment. Even PBS is has turned to crap. There’s three PBS channels and it’s nothing like it use to be. I’d never waste money on cable and my digital antenna picks up quite a few stations and if I spoke Spanish I could watch half the channels, but…

story_1

 

I’m working on a drawing, it’s taking along time which I have plenty of. Too bad I’m not a good artist or I would put out something really cool with all this time I have. But I am being picky about things. I look online for a good scanner, mine makes my stuff look completely different. Photos are more accurate but leave out the details.

 

I’m typing this as I go, if there’s mistakes that’s ok. I’ll look back in a few months and remember how I thought and was feeling at the time. Most of it’s a blur now. I’m not sure what day it is sometimes. I wake up at 3:30 am a lot and start my day then go back to bed at noon. I’m not use to no structured living but it is kind of fun. Soon I’ll have to get back to reality.

 

 

picture story

 

I was really looking forward to going back to work next Monday. But according to my visit with the neurologist today that’s not in my future for a while. They must think I’m made of money. I want to go back to normal, a normal sleep habit, normal conversations, normal daily destinations. I tell them I feel great, I can go in and do light duty at work!

I miss the people I use to call my job but in reality they are my friends. They make me laugh, they make me feel useful, they like me for me. I was part of their life. I never accepted that until now. I use to hate hearing my name yelled out every time I walked down a hallway. Now I would welcome it. The only time I hear my name now is a nurse calling me back because it’s my turn. What I notice about the healthcare workers is they treat me like I’ve treated the people where I work. I’m just a part of their daily routine. They will talk to me just for their information and move on to the next person waiting to be seen. I use to try to be myself around them but the most Istory_2 would get was a courtesy response. That little forced laugh or a generic answer. Now I just answer their questions. My humor, my intelligence, they mean nothing now. I miss the few conversations I use to have even though it was something I loathed.

I think a lot sitting here. Nothing important. I think of old friends and wonder what they’re up to even though I really don’t give a shit. I’ll remember something we’d done back when life was fun and future-less. Or I’ll hear a song from back in the day and remember what was going on the first time I heard it. For some reason 70’s pop music makes me happy. It wasn’t anything I cared for, maybe it was a collection of subconscious ambiance reminding me how great life was before I had to live it.  Maybe…