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About VeryScared

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  • Birthday 11/13/1952

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    So. California

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  1. VeryScared

    Seeking expereices from Any amps

    Cynthia, Forgive me for sticking in my 2 cents that are not completely related. I am not an amp, but have had a TKR. Lizzie is in a better position to address your specific situation. I will tell you that having the total means that there will be no further deterioration of the joint if that is the reason for the replacement. Ask your doctor whether (s)he feels that the recovery is less with a partial. You will need to learn to walk a little differently, and rebuild muscle strength. There is a lot of work and commitment in the recovery, and you will need to be patient and follow your doctor's orders and do your rehab. You can't fake your way through the PT. But you don't need to kill yourself either. But I can also tell you that the first time you move without pain it is worth the effort. Although I cannot address the issues surrounding being an amp, I would be glad to share my experiences with you as well. PM or email me. Maryl
  2. VeryScared

    Just Saying Hello Again

    Hello good people, It has been a very long time since I last visited this marvelous community. Good to see the old faces and new names that keep the conversation going. Although I have had some email contact with a few of you, let me just say hello and wish you all well. Life has been interesting, to say the least, as it has been for all of us. At Thanksgiving I remarked that none of us present could say we were in the same place we were last year, and would certainly be in a different place next year. Here in the U.S. of course we have a whole new government coming in, regardless of one's particular feelings about it. We are finding that the world is smaller and much more interconnected than ever. I am still on disability after almost 2 years, but am close to returning to work, if I can find it. My bionic knee is working wonderfully and the screwed-up (literally - there is hardware in there) foot is still painful but I just live with it. There are still some other health issues and I just deal with them. Enough was enough. There has been upheaval and recovery, information and resolution, and another year comes to a close. All in all, it was indeed a breakthrough year. Maybe next year will be the settling in. Regardless, it has been a heck of a ride! I wish you all a good holiday season, with good health and contentment, fulfillment and prosperity of body and soul. Cheryl: Continue healing! Cat: Congrats on becoming a parent-in-law Roz: WRITE TO ME! Mick: Remember the first rule of the back country: We are all bear food, a-holes and nice people alike. Jerry: Keep on pickin'! And to those I have yet to meet: Be well. Blessed be, -m-
  3. VeryScared

    I Know It Gets Better, But When?

    OK, it's time for me to snivel again. This whole blinking odyssey has been going on for what seems like forever. It was becoming increasingly painful to walk over the past several years. I had already given up backpacking and was becoming more and more sedentary because I couldn't get around. The doctors said it was arthritis. I had my left knee scoped a few years ago, and the doctor told me things looked "pretty crappy" in there. All of the joints in both feet are affected. A year ago I had joints fused in my right foot, and you all helped me through that ordeal. 10 weeks in a cast, 6 weeks in a wheelchair, but we got through it together. Then last August I had my left knee replaced, and again you wonderful people helped me through it. Well, I have finished rehab on the knee, and I still don't walk right. The right foot is still as messed up as it was a year ago. A second doctor has told me that the arthrodesis was "beautiful," has healed perfectly, and is not the cause of the pain. Physical therapy has not helped. My foot hurts, which causes me to walk wrong and make my knee hurt, and I am still using crutches on bad days, still cannot get through the day without serious doses of ibuprofen, and have now rotted out my insides from the NSAIDs. PHOOEY! To top things off, the pain is spreading to my hands, and in the morning I cannot bend several of my fingers, nor can I do small tasks like removing a twist off cap. As the day goes on, the pain lessens, but it is always there. Using my crutches is sometimes hard to do. It all came to a head today when I went outside on a beautiful day to work in my garden, and physically couldn't. The inability to kneel, to use my hands or even navigate uneven terrain just overwhelmed me. After only a few minutes I couldn't use the shears to cut back the roses, or grasp the weeds to pull them. I kept wondering why I went through 2 orthopedic surgeries last year just to end up where I started. Again, I feel like I am imposing by whining about all this. So many of you on this forum are heroes to me. Yet I also know that if anyone would understand, you guys are the ones. Thanks for letting me write this down. I know it will be OK. I just wish it would happen soon. Maryl
  4. VeryScared

    Treatment in U.S airports

    I had a recent metal detector incident at the Federal Building in Los Angeles. I have a metal knee and titanium screws in my foot, so the bells were clanging. While the marshal did not want to make my privates public, he also did not accept my spiffy ID card that identifies me as someone who has had a knee replacement. Nor did he accept the spiffy 6" scar that backs up the ID card, not to mention a foot that looks like Frankenstein's monster before morning coffee. So it was hand wand time. I am grateful that the person doing the secondary check realized that the metallic points were right where I told him they would be, otherwise I would have gotten very friendly with a very large and intimidating U.S. marshal. Whether I would have threatened to punch people out is another matter. Besides, I was in a hurry and didn't have time to cold cock anyone. (I wonder how many real live terrorists have been stopped at security check points. I guess if the answer is anything greater than zero that might be enough.) -m- By the way, Ali, on this site Ali, on this site http://www.immihelp.com/travel/carry-baggage-travel-usa.html], they state that prosthetic devices are not counted toward the baggage allowance, but it appears that ultimately the policy is set by each airline. A quick scan seems to show that the airlines are pretty standardized in the practice, but there is probably one unenlightened carrier out there that bucks the trend., they state that prosthetic devices are not counted toward the baggage allowance, but the policy is set by each airline. A quick scan seems to show that the airlines are pretty standardized in the practice, but there is probably one unenlightened carrier out there that bucks the trend.
  5. I came across the brochure for this company at my doctor's office today. I apologize if this has been mentioned before. It might obviate the need for special rental cars. Portable Left Foot Accelerator (PFLA) Hope it helps. -m-
  6. VeryScared

    Alternative Fairytale

    the giant earring
  7. VeryScared

    Time for a Game!

    The music from the LATIN QUINTET in the bar drew me in like a MAGNET :P BASS (the fish) BASS (the instrument) GLASS The bass played the bass after downing a glass -- of Bass Ale, of course!. (Pain in the #$$, but I'll pass.) wound (past tense of wind) wound (as in a boo boo) hound
  8. VeryScared

    TKR: Notes From the Trenches

    While this is not related to amputation, at the urging of a couple of members, I am posting my experiences with a total knee replacement (TKR). Everyone has different experiences, to be sure. Before the surgery I heard stories of people who were back to work in 3 weeks and others who were finally walking many months after replacement. My experience has been fairly middle of the road, from what I can tell. I have severe arthritis in my feet and knees. In order to have the TKR I had to undergo arthrodesis in my right foot, but that is a whole other story. I chose to have the procedure for a number of reasons, and the decision process is a personal one for each patient. The surgery was on August 15. It is a pretty straightforward piece of work. The knee joint is replaced with components made of either stainless steel or porcelain. Mine is a metal prosthesis, so I need to carry a card with me to show to airport screeners when I set off metal detectors. The first thing one should know about this surgery is that it hurts. Yes, I know that ultimately the new knee will give me a pain free life that I could not have with the old one. But be prepared for things to be very unpleasant at first. I have a very high pain tolerance so was surprised at this part of the whole thing. My doctor is very aggressive about rehabilitation. Because of some complications from anemia, I was not up and about until 2 days after surgery. Otherwise I would have been up the next day. It is important to move the knee as much as possible to keep the formation of scar tissue to a minimum. There are several ways to do this. I had a passive movement machine that flexed and extended the leg for me. The monsters from physical therapy had me up with a walker. That first shuffle down the hall almost killed me, but, blast it, I was going to take those steps! Some doctors, like mine, will use an epidural during surgery and leave it in place for a day. This makes things bearable. There is a time where the pain will come. The trick is to manage it. I worry about using pain medication, but worried more about the discomfort, so I trusted that my doctor would do the right thing for me. Three days post-op I was up and about with a walker. I managed to use the bathroom and just took the medicines. The PT monsters were still pushing things, but I had no problem telling them when I had reached my limit. Their stance seemed to be to let me go as far as I could. I came home 4 days post op. I walked up my stairs and got into bed. The next day the home physical therapist came. The trick with this op is DO THE EXERCISES and DO THE THERAPY! I had no preset expectations as to where I "should be" only what my progress was from day to day. What can I do today that I couldn't do yesterday? I was walking without a walker or crutches after 2 weeks. Standing still was awful. The pain from this procedure is not a dull ache that progresses; it comes on full strength all at once. I found that doing my exercises helped the pain. After 3 weeks I started driving and was able to start outpatient physical therapy. I am pleased to report that I no longer hate my therapist. Yes, it takes some work, and yes, it hurts. The key is to do what I can, and be honest about what that is. I will push it only so much, but not wimp out either. For example, the first time they put me on an exercise bike, I couldn't do a full revolution on the pedals. I still could not flex the knee that much. So I pushed as much as I could, then went backwards. Keep moving the joint. The next time I was on the bike, I did a full revolution after about 5 minutes of pedaling. It hurt, so I did not push it too much. The third time I got on the bike I was pedaling normally. I worried about the amount of pain meds I was taking. No matter what I did or how I tried to scale back, the pain was too rough. I did substitute Advil for vicodin during the day as much as I could. Then one morning I woke up and the knee had stopped hurting. The exercise and therapy was paying off big time! I am now six and a half weeks post op. My pain medication is Advil, with half a vicodin before physical therapy. If I need something stronger I will take it. I can flex to about 112 degrees, with the goal being 120. I can extend straight. Sometimes I stiffen up, so need to remember to keep on doing the stretches, and I am vigilant about doing the home exercises. There are a couple I really hate, but I see the payoff, so I do them. My next goal is mastering stairs. For the first time in over a year and a half, I walked up my stairs without having to put both feet on each step. Yes, it hurt a little, and I need to work on it, as well as downstairs, but I did it. The measure of success is from day to day. Bless those souls who were driving trucks after 3 weeks. I am not one of them. And bless those who took months to walk unaided. We all heal differently. My scar is still pretty yucky and another patient who had her knee done a week before mine shows almost no trace of hers. It will all be OK. Before surgery, people kept telling me "Anything will be better than the pain you are experiencing now." That may well be. The first few weeks/months are rough, and we have to be aware of that. But I can't put the old knee back in, so I might as well make the best of what I have now. Would I recommend that anyone go through this? Ask me in six months. But I can tell you that I already notice the difference. Sorry to be so long winded. Thanks for letting me put all this down. Maryl
  9. VeryScared

    Time for a Game!

    The tapestry was ruined when my rambunctious bloodhound pulled it into the chocolate souffle. Artichoke Pelican Zamboni
  10. source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071001/ap_on_...ENizQ1te2cR.3QA By LAURAN NEERGARD, AP Medical WriterMon Oct 1, 2:58 PM ET A stubbed toe can lead to having your foot amputated? It can if you're a longtime diabetic. And it can happen fast. "Tuesday in the office, they're fine. Friday, they're in the emergency room with gangrene in a toe," says Dr. Peter Sheehan, diabetes chief at New York's Cabrini Medical Center. It's a little-known statistic: Foot problems — wounds that won't heal, infections, warping bones — are the most common reason diabetics are hospitalized. And many of the 80,000-plus amputations of toes, feet and lower legs that Americans diabetics undergo each year are preventable, say specialists who brought more than 900 health providers to a meeting last week to figure out how to do just that. One recommendation: For hospitals to create diabetes limb-salvage teams. It sounds simple. But it involves pairing specialists who seldom work side-by-side — like podiatrists and vascular surgeons — to shave weeks off the time it can take to get proper care for a festering foot. "It gets them everything they need right away, without months of waiting (between doctor appointments) while the wound is going downhill," says Dr. John Steinberg, a podiatrist with Georgetown University Hospital's limb-salvage team. Some 21 million Americans have diabetes, meaning their bodies cannot properly regulate blood sugar, or glucose. Over years, high glucose levels seriously damage blood vessels and nerves, eventually leading to kidney failure, heart disease and other complications. Among them is a vicious trio: Foot ulcers that strike about 600,000 diabetics annually; loss of sensation in the feet called neuropathy that makes sufferers slow to notice they have a wound; and poor blood flow in the lower legs that makes the ulcers slow to heal. Amputation may end the grueling cycle of unhealing wounds and infection on one limb. But those patients still face grim odds. About half will develop ulcers and infections in the remaining foot, and undergo more amputations. And within five years, more than 40 percent are dead. Infection is the chief reason for amputating. But there are no firm guidelines on when a limb is beyond salvaging — and a 2001 study of Medicare-covered diabetics found large differences in amputation rates in different parts of the country. Until recently, most research into diabetic wounds has focused on methods to clean them out and spur new skin growth. The newer message: Check blood pressure in a diabetic's ankle before rushing to foot surgery. One in three diabetics over age 50 has a condition called peripheral arterial disease or PAD, where leg arteries become too clogged to get enough blood to the feet. That's one reason that last week's meeting urged a team approach to saving diabetics' limbs: Whatever foot surgeons apply to heal a nasty ulcer won't work unless a vascular surgeon has first cleared clogged leg arteries. "We are hostage to the blood flow," is how Dr. David G. Armstrong, a podiatrist at Chicago's Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, puts it. Minimally invasive leg-clearing therapy — propping open clogged arteries with balloons and stents, or rooting out the sludge with tiny razors and lasers — is on the rise. But Dr. Richard Neville, Georgetown's vascular surgery chief, says many diabetics have such severe blockages that they need blood rerouted, using one of their own clog-free veins or artificial blood vessels. Then can come what Armstrong calls the variety of "goops and gadgets" to apply straight to the ulcer. What works best? Studies are under way to try to determine that, but Armstrong and Steinberg recommend old-fashioned debridement — scraping away dead tissue every few days — and a vacuum-sealing device that helps keep the wound moist. Certain dressings can provide a scaffolding for healthy cell growth from the inside-out. Between those vascular and ulcer-patching surgeries, patients see a lot of other doctors. Endocrinologists get blood sugar controlled enough to allow surgery. Infectious disease specialists find the right antibiotic cocktail. Orthotists design casts and special shoes to keep pressure off the foot's weak spots. Treating a simple diabetic foot ulcer can cost $8,000; an infected one, $17,000. The main message for the average diabetic: Take off your socks and shoes at every visit to the doctor and ask that he or she examine your feet. Many doctors follow this government guideline, but almost half of diabetics don't get a simple foot check that could spot brewing problems in time to avoid a limb-threatening ulcer. And ask about the ankle blood pressure test, called an ankle brachial index. New York's Sheehan says the simple test is a leading predictor of which diabetics will be hospitalized for foot ulcers, and the American Diabetes Association recommends that every diabetic over 50 get checked. ___ EDITOR's NOTE — Lauran Neergaard covers health and medical issues for The Associated Press in Washington.
  11. VeryScared


    There is a Yiddish term, mensch , which literally means a human being. It is a very high compliment, meaning someone who is decent, down-to-earth, kind, and real. My friend Gil Davis was a real mensch. I will miss him. Maryl
  12. VeryScared

    New York Triathlon

    Gwen, Are you running to raise funds too, or is this strictly a personal effort? If you are also running for charity, please let us know if we can help. In any case, it is more than awesome, and I wish you great success. I can't even drive 40 km without collapsing, let alone bike it. With both legs, yet! Keep us posted. Maryl
  13. VeryScared

    The Question Game

    Joe has, once again, hit the issue squarely between the eyes. Teaching right from wrong, and how to feel at least a little comfortable in one's own skin, are about all we can do. Adolescents are not comfortable with themselves usually. But if they have a foundation on which to rest they have a chance. Yes, good kids go bad. Yes, kids from awful backgrounds turn out OK. I am not a drinker, other than wine for blessings. My daughter knows that alcohol exists and I neither promote nor quarantine the liquor cabinet. I am sure she will try one too many one time. My job is to promote her well being by teaching her about safety, establishing a contract that I will always come and fetch her if she is impaired. No questions, at least at that time. We'll talk about it later and earlier. The conversation about drugs and alcohol, as well as the conversation about sex, began early and are an ongoing dialog. Open and (even if it is uncomfortable) honest conversation is what I share. My mother always said that we do the best we can, teach them the best we know how, and pray. But I don't think sharing a blunt or a cosmo with my teen aged kid is appropriate. I am her mother, her mentor, perhaps even her confidante and friend, but I am not her peer, nor her competitor. When she is old enough to buy me a drink I will share a glass of wine with her socially. Until then, as Joe says, I lead by example, not sample. My question: why are people so obsessed with Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie? Am I missing something?
  14. VeryScared

    Double Birthday Today

    Happy birthday, Lynne (dumbarton) and Gil. Special day for special people. Enjoy! -m-
  15. VeryScared

    The Loss of my Dad

    Dear Sue, I remember when you first told us about your Dad's illness. Although you knew this was coming, it is still hard when it happens. Memories bring us pain in the short term and comfort in the long run. I hope your sweet memories of your father soon heal your grieving heart. Maryl