Hi there. I last said “hi” to you 19 January 2020, when I gave you a New Year’s update on my lack of travels. Remember in 2018 I was slowing down? So I bought a new right hip in December 2018, and got back out in 2019 running hard, including two great adventures posted as COAST TO COAST TO COAST BY TRAIN, and LAKES, LOCKS and LONG RIVER. But as the year progressed, walking again became a problem. I thought it was time to replace my left hip to solve the exhaustion walking.
Segue — I like to give you some images to tempt you to read further. So here is an image to entice you to the end for the details. This image was taken by local naturalist, Eric Merklein, of a looming local problem at the mill pond just down the road from me.
During my one year hip surgery follow-up in December I asked my surgeon for a new left hip. “Sorry, Ray, it is not time yet, you still have some cartilage there,“ he told me, “but looking at your x-rays, and checking your motion and symptoms I see your spine has closed up again pinching off nerves and their signals, thus impacting on your walking.”
Fast tracking ahead, on 25 February 2020 I had my second back surgery to fuse additional vertebra in my spine. You will be pleased to know that my back surgeon, when looking at my x-rays, said, “Ray, you have some screws loose.” It was great to get that professional opinion of what you have known for years. Actually, the screws of my original lumbar fusion had opened up (my bone problem, not his work), so now I have new metal bridging that earlier area, and now moving north up my spine. My excuse for setting off alarms is increasing. I wonder if I can get certification on my driver’s license or passport to that effect?
Back surgery can lead to three to four days in the hospital. My first back surgery in May 2016, was eight hospital days followed by ten days in rehab. You see, my body reacts to general anesthesia, and my bowels shut down. Not good resulting in tubes down to your stomach, and lots of invasive activity at the other end. Warning everyone of that problem going into this surgery, aggressive actions were taken, and my three day stay was only eight, and I got to come home then on 4 March. But while I was at Dartmouth-Hitchcock the first New Hampshire COVID-19 case broke out there – a hospital staff member, who had just returned from Italy. Life began to change for everyone.
I have always entertained myself and kept busy. I have so many hobbies, interests, things to learn, and one thing leads to another. I am fortunate to be comfortable while now somewhat isolated. You may be aware that I publish a monthly community newspaper – The Walpole Clarion – and I spend a good part of the month (off and on) preparing it for the community. I just finished up the April issue, and it went to the printer, and I posted it early on-line since there is much COVID-19 information to share. I invite you to read that information:
And, this is the April issue, and we sometimes have some fun with it along with the more serious stories. You may wish to read the issue and find a few things to chuckle over during this serious time while the world, as we have known it, is changing. Eric’s story of the new local threat is on page 10. Let me know what you think, and feel free to comment on this post.
Thank you for “listening.” Please stay safe, wash your hands, if you must go out practice “social distancing,” and with luck BLUE BELLE, BLACK BEAUTY, and LADY RAB and I will be out again soon to bring adventures to you. Love, RAY
Please all, stay home to stop the spread of the bad bugs
so it will be safe for us to get out.
We are waiting for you Ray