Herrens Veje, Borgen, ‘rising stones,’ and life’s issues

Overall, there are no annoyances with the rehab. Yes, it is tiring, even from my standpoint. Frustrating? Yes and no. It is truly hard to be frustrated when you see progress on a daily basis and you get closer and closer to the point where normalcy is reached.

Television is amazing right now. We had watched a Danish show that we fell in love with, Herrens Veje, about a Danish vicar of all things. It is probably the best TV ever. In any case, when we were in Canada, our host David, told us of Borgen, a show also created and written by Adam Price, the Director of Herrens Veje. We found it on iTunes and purchased the first season. It is equally wonderful, although this time it is politics as a focus, about a woman who is the head of the Moderate Party in Denmark and comes to power in a political power shift. It details talent, morals, values, and goals. It shows how despite our strong desires to do good, that there are roadblocks and no matter what, if we are to achieve change, we must roll with the punches and sometimes compromise our values. This occurs not only in politics, but in life. Birgitte Nyborg, played by Sidse Babett Knudsen, is a seriously wonderful human being, but her personal and political lives are smooth and rocky at the same time as she tries to do her best.

I remember years ago reading about how when farmers till the soil, that they remove stones and rocks, obviously, to make it easier to do their work. Afterwards, despite having removed almost all of the stones, they keep seeming to ‘float to the surface.’ In our DMZ area, once inhabited by what I viewed as nasty white marble stones that turn brown, I finally cleaned them out. It has been well over a year and I am still constantly picking out stones as I weed. It is as if they are floating up and it never seems to end. It is amazing how these annoying ‘rising stones’ are like life’s issues, occurring in both life and politics.

This is Wednesday, a week and a day since surgery. Everything is moving along smoothly and MK has done major work at working on the swelling and at getting more range of movement. We are expecting the visiting nurse today and also the physical therapist. MK can stand with relative ease, can walk pretty well, and is good at the steps. One day at a time. Needless to say, this is proceeding quite quickly.

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One day at a time

Comfort food: Oven baked breaded pork chop, noodle kugel, salad, watermelon, and a bit of baguette.

As I write, I am paying slight attention to the TV. It is AcornTV and the show is one that takes place in James Herriot’s home town. James Herriot and his animal tales are well known on PBS and in our family via the book ‘Just One Woof’ about a litter of Border collies. It is a vet show called ‘The Yorkshire Vet.’ It is quite the pleasant show. MK is lying down with her new knee leg on top of two pillows. Pam the PT person mentioned that it would be a good idea to get the swelling down. Although we didn’t think much of the swelling at first, Pam thought it would be good to get it down further. MK is hoping to do it five times today. I therefore actually turned on the TV so that she could do something while lying down in a position that makes reading somewhat impossible.

Today, a full week after surgery, a Tuesday, MK has graduated to walking with a cane from the couch to the bathroom and also to walk around under my supervision. Yesterday, she had over 2000 steps on her Apple Watch. I was approaching around 8,000, what with playing Nurse Ricky.

I went to the store this morning before the storm hit and picked up some milk and sweet cherries. I made a batch of yogurt the day before as I think that given MK’s huge intake of all kinds of medication, perhaps it might help.

I have some cooking to do this afternoon, comfort food: baked, breaded pork chops and noodle kugel (cooked egg noodles baked in a sauce of sour cream, eggs, milk, a bit of salt, and butter). I have salad fixings and a nice fresh baguette, I only wish I had been able to get to ‘That Little French Guy. ‘

Stewie is sitting next to me as it drizzles lightly outside.

Another day of rehab and recovery…

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Walker Days are almost over

The ‘ice machine.’

It has been almost a week since the knee replacement surgery and the walker seems to be on its final legs. MK hates walkers and canes with a passion and uses that hatred to do her exercises with a vengeance, hoping to knock that walker and cane right out of the picture.

From what I am seeing, she is doing a fine job of displacing the walking devices. She is taking her twice a day regimen and doing more than what is required. We do the exercises in the morning and late afternoon. In the morning, we wake up and I take care of what I need to do, brushing my teeth, setting up the coffee, setting up the amazing ice machine, and then going back upstairs to monitor the exercises and then help MK get ready for the day.

Each day is easier than the preceding.

We have about eight different exercises to do, the last one being the most difficult and requiring one to sit on a chair with arms. One holds on to the arms and does a pendulum sort of exercise of back and forth with the affected leg. Then one pulls it back on the floor as far as possible while scooching the hips forward, forcing a real bend backwards of the joint. After that, shower time, makeup, and descending two flights of bi-level steps to take a position on the family room couch. That difficult exercise has since been replaced with one where she takes her ‘bad’ leg and puts it up on the second step and bends toward the steps while bending that leg. Excruciating, but working toward better movement.

Icing with the magnificent ice machine is amazing. We had never heard of this machine or at least I had not. We did find out that our youngest son, when he had broken his ankle, had access to one. Mind you, this was over twenty years ago! The machine looks like a little cooler for a six pack of beer or pop. It has a rubber foam covered set of two tubes linked together that are about six feet long and end up being attached to a pad that goes around the knee. The cold water flows through this pad. As it happens, you can purchase other attachments so that you can ice a shoulder or whatever. The cooler is filled with ice to a certain level and then water to almost the top. At the hospital, the nurse told us that to make it easier, we should freeze little bottles of drinking water and immerse them in water inside the ‘cooler.’ I bought a bunch of water bottles and thus I have one set in the ‘cooler’ while another is in the freezer.

The visiting nurse, Emile, is here and making sure all is well, The physical therapist is due later. As it turned out, she showed up 2:00 PM or so and MK’s ability to bend her knee is almost 100 degrees. Amazing!

One day at a time.

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Knee progress, peanut butter, and refrigerators

Three kinds of peanut butter and fresh yogurt that I made while MK convalesces.

As we are in the full throes of post-operative knee replacement and the scenarios it delivers to us whether we want them or not, there are many funny things that Hausherr become Infirmier (note the switch from German to French, househusband to nurse) gets involved in.

As I have been responsible for getting meals on the table, and I am totally thwarted by a medically driven lack of desire for food on the part of my patient, thank you Norco, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time opening and closing the refrigerator door. The refrigerator has been under organizational changes on a weekly basis, normally, it is pretty much MK with a dabble or two of me, but for a recent week, Mikey and company were here and did some maintenance cleaning and organizing. I heavily hit the organization, something that is dangerous for MK because we have two different sets of logic here and they can clash as my logic is not always hers. So I open it up, see an area that needs attention and I pull everything out, wipe it down, dry it off, and reorganize and return the contents. Somehow, crazy me finds that process cathartic.

In doing so this morning, I noticed that we have three different types of peanut butter, two of which are my favorites. As a treat mainly for myself, I bought freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter. I also bought regular freshly ground peanut butter. I also made sure we had Smuckers’ Natural Peanut Butter since MK doesn’t really care all that much for the freshly ground. I still like the Smuckers but I must say that I prefer freshly ground because of the texture and because it tastes even more like peanuts than Smuckers. All this silliness is coming from me, a Peter Pan peanut butter lover from way back in my youth. I left that love in my twenties, if I am not correct, falling in love with simple peanut butter with no additives.

Meanwhile, back at the knee therapy locale, MK is chomping at the bit with the walker and although she knows she should use it exclusively for the time being, she is truly interested in furthering the cane experience. Not that she likes canes, because it almost killed her to have me buy her one, but she is hell bent on moving into the totally ambulatory zone.

Meanwhile, painkillers are on the decline as she weans herself off of them.

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Knee care and weeds

One day at a time.It has been a busy week, what with a little knee replacement time and all for my better half. I don’t mean to make light of the surgery, but she is doing amazingly well and progressing quite fast. We are already cutting down on the pain pills and the walking seems to be getting easier and easier. She has even walked a few steps on her own.

I am totally into my caretaker status and I think after several days, I am down to a routine. I am easily getting between 8,000 and 9,000 steps per day. I am annoyed at my Apple Watch, however because our thirteen steps, that I go up and down all day long, hardly register as any amount of stairs whatsoever.

On another note, I just cannot help myself when I encounter a weed.

I have been eyeing the saplings that started growing in the mulch by the pond. Every so often, when I go outside for a moment, since I am spending so much time inside, I have been spying the little trees, cottonwoods, and some other variety. The maples are pretty much done sprouting. I pull them all out.

I have gotten to the point of taking about ninety seconds to get everything that is within my current view. So each time I go out, I hit a new location. Granted, it is slightly crazy, but little by little it takes care of my weed problem.

In the house I have been dealing with things on a face to face basis. If I am in the proximity, I deal with whatever it is. So if I am in the laundry room or passing through, if there is some laundry to deal with, I do it. Little by little I get everything done.

I am a bit bummed though with my Apple watch. It does not recognize steps in a bi-level. I am constantly going up and down the steps and rarely do they register. From the family room, there are six steps to the main level. I think there are about seven from the main level to the upper level. I cannot tell you how many times I go up and down them. As it now stands, according to my watch, I have done one set. I think maybe I have done at least four, when you factor in that there are fewer steps than in a major set of steps.

Meanwhile, all is currently quiet and MK is reading, dozing, and recovering, and trying to figure out her next set of exercises.

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