Post Surgery Life

Well, after the epidural injection did not work, surgery was in my near future. I have about had it with doctor office staff. It seems whenever I am in dire straits, the staffers seem to “only” have appointments way far off in the distance. My surgeon could only get me on the table on 2/28, so I had a whole month of intense pain to endure in the meantime. I did get a scrip for muscle relaxants and pain (Percocet!) to hold me over to surgery. For the uninitiated, Percocet is a heavy opioid that leads you to Wonderland in a big way. I took half doses to keep from going to Zombieland and that worked pretty well, left me somewhat functional.

To kill some of the wait time I got an appointment with Freightliner in Sacramento to try to resolve my Gremlins problem in my dashboard emergency warning lights and buzzers. They were good to get me in and out, but again they were not sure of the cause. This time they changed out the whole warning gauges module and said that should do it. I got to drive the bus back to Atascadero and by golly no issues for that 200+ mile drive.

We spent another week with our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, Chad, Crissy, and Miss Hailey while staying at the Atascadero Elks Lodge. It is so much nicer being able to stay in Atascadero than to do the daily driving from Paso Robles in to visit.

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Miss Hailey playing with her stickers we picked up for her at Mrs. Grossman’s in Petaluma. Haily loves her stickers.

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Hailey and Oma playing in Hailey’s play room.

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Gotta teach them kids early…babies go in the car seat when driving to the grocery store.

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More tragedy. Chad’s family pet Lucy had some serious spastic episodes while we were there. To the vet’s, they thought maybe a brain tumor, not good prognosis. Lucy returned home and March 15 Chad informed us he had to have her euthanized that morning. More crappy news for a generally crappy month. RIP Lucy!

We got hit with terribly sad news while in Atascadero – a very close family friend and one of my former co-workers/partners at the Sheriff’s Dept., Jon Watson, lost his battle with throat cancer and passed on to a much better life. We were heartbroken  that we were unable to attend his memorial service, it was just after I got released post surgery. Rest in peace, my friend!

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Jon Watson, with his partner “Koogan”. RIP, my friend.

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Jon and Koogan, doing what they did best!

So we returned to Petaluma counting down until surgery. Murphy, again, reared his ugly head with his screwed up list of “laws”. The day of my pre-surgery appointment with the sawbones (about 6 days out), I got the pleasure of developing a case of gout, something that I tend to do from time to time. Usually, past practice I would pop a Colchecine for 2-3 days and bingo, no more gout. Unfortunately, sawbones said I cannot take any anti-inflammatories or blood thinners this close to surgery and in any case not for about 6 months after surgery. He said it interferes with the fusion process. Great. So, back to full strength Percocet. He also gave me the good news – this surgery tends to exacerbate gout kinda big time. Great. Surgery day came and Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa actually did a good job for me. Dr. Athanassious from Santa Rosa Orthopedics (aka: The Bone Palace) also did an excellent job as my sawbones. Once I came out of Wonderland I noticed relief from the neck pain right away. But Mr. Gout was still with me. He was not just “with” me, he decided he needed to invite the whole Gout family with him. Normally I only get it in one foot or the other. Now, out of my cloud of anesthesia, I could feel gout in both feet. Doc was right, I felt the exacerbation almost immediately. Great.

It was just an overnighter for me at the hospital, thankfully. Problem was after I returned to the motorhome, the double-barreled gout intensified to the point I absolutely could not stand, walk, or even allow a simple bedsheet to rest on either foot. I’ve seen a lot of pain in varying degrees in my 58 years and was pretty proud of the amount I could take. But holy cow! This round broke me down to a sniveling simp. No neck/spine pain, oh, OK, I guess these Percocets will handle the gout. Yippee, oh boy, flying without an FAA license! (Made me pretty useless for a few weeks, anyway.) My savior was an appointment to establish a primary care physician here in Santa Rosa. She scripted me with a 5 day Prednisone regiment and AAAAAAAAHHH! Immediate relief! I just finished my 5th day and time will now tell if it will take. Now to cross fingers and hope no gout for the next 6 months. To top it all off, Miss Hailey received Little Sister Ellie Grace a little earlier than expected, on the very day of my surgery. Chad and Crissy now the proud parents of two daughters!

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Early on in my attack of gout. I was lucky I could stand then…

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Yeah, I survived the knife!

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This is what a few Percocets can do for you…

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Proud Daddy Chad with Little Miss Ellie. We were with you in spirit, son…

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New momma Crissy with their second bundle of joy, Miss Ellie.

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This is what relief from gout can look like. See, I can even put socks on the affected feet…

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I no longer have a titanium deficiency!

While convalescing and with the gout relief, we eased back into a little more normal activity. We had the opportunity to meet up with my cousin Cheryl, whom I have not seen in, ahem, 40-some years. We had a very nice time catching up and telling stories. Luckily, she was only evacuated from her home near Annadel Park in Santa Rosa during this past fire storm in October. Her home survived the fires.

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Thanks for the visit, cousin Cheryl. We enjoyed the catch up!

During the recovery period the weather has been less than optimal here in Petaluma. Lots of rain and cold. But we did find a clear day to load Jenn and Max up and head out to check out the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The day was beautiful, but cool and windy. And we all survived the daunting 330 steps (one-way) to the lighthouse. They call it the equivalent of a 30 story building. A plus was we got to see several of the whales spouting on their yearly tour north up the coast after birthing down south.

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Jenn taking a selfie with Jeanne and I, trying not to get blown over by the wind.

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The Point Reyes Lighthouse.

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The Point Reyes Lighthouse from a closer vantage point.

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After climbing down those 330 steps, it is time for a rest with snacks.

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Maximus the Gladiator doing a coast watch. “Hey, Max, the whales are out in the ocean, look that way!”

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With the heavy wind, critters like the red tailed hawks could remain stationary in the air while in their “attack mode” looking for Hawk snacks.

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There were lots of coastal deer, chowing down on grass while whale watching with the humans. The problem was I could not be fast enough to catch the small whale spouts on camera, so hence, no photos. Sorry…

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The Gladiator, tree bound.

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A shot north toward South Beach and Drake’s Beach. It was a beautiful day on the Marin County coast.

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Max thinking we are crazy to embark on this descent.

That about catches us up. We still have a bit of California time to burn to finish up medical issues, babysitting issues, and maybe take in a couple of the Gladiator’s Little League games, then look to head north for a change of scenery. Until next post…

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
This entry was posted in California, Petaluma, CA, Santa Rosa, CA and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Post Surgery Life

  1. Gary Martin says:

    Charlie, I’m so glad you have relief and are on the “road” to recovery, which is a small town somewhere in the Smokey Mountains, or is it Colorado or maybe…well you’ll find it just keep truck’n. My grandfather had gout and I know what it was like for him. Anyway, we have fought the bad guys before and always prevailed. Remember two words that always seems to work… “Positive Attitude” and I know you do.

  2. Tami Soler says:

    Wow! Impressed you were able to make those 330 steps down to the lighthouse and back up, so soon after surgery.
    I have yet to see whales along our coast. In fact a few months ago when we went to Point Reyes the stairs down to the lighthouse were closed off. We weren’t even able to walk down. You were fortunate.
    Congratulations on your 3rd grand child. Enjoy!

  3. Mom says:

    Wow! Great writing and the picture are outstanding. Love Hailey and Ellie pictures so nice to hear your pain free.

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