Posted by: jackmck1955 | December 31, 2016

2016 Xmass and New Years

As noted in previous postings, the Kenmore Lanes Starbucks is the point of true beginning where all successful adventures commence.

kenmore-lanes

Kenmore Lanes, the Point of True Beginning

Here we see Heidi once again posing with the world-famous Kenmore Lanes sign which can only mean one thing: The Camp Dream Lake Travel Blog is live!

When we last left off, family members were bumbling about Seattle hospitals trying to find one another while Heidi underwent complex spinal neurosurgery on her lower back. I actually continued the story on Facebook as it was easier for most people who were interested. It all went well and Heidi is quite mobile and free of back braces, canes, fleaner appliances, micro shunts, cranial servos, voice actuators and voting credentials (“local control!”).  Of course, she never had most of these things, but still, good news, yes?

Day One – Christmas Eve

Our gift from Amy and John was tickets to the Seahawk game against Arizona which we enjoyed more than the Seahawks did. For historical notes, the Hawks got way behind, fought back to tie, missed an extra point to go ahead, (at this point the frozen 12’s were all thinking, “Oh no! Overtime!  And I’m already stage two hypothermia!”)  However, Arizona drove part of the field and kicked the winning field goal as time expired.

Christmas Eve evening found us on grandparent duty at the Weaver’s, helping Oly and Minna get totally wired for the morning.  Heidi and Minna practiced “fly baby” while I gave Oly the inverted barf spin.  We enjoyed crushing the excitement by giving the kids a Christmas Eve present which of course turned out to be new pajamas.

Day Two – Christmas Day

Morning

Massive flying wrapping paper, many expressions of gratitude, much construction of toys and technical analysis of how to make Stinky the Garbage Truck stand up on his back legs and beg for food. John just must do something about his dog allergy….

Minna got a Frozen castle that sings the first six bars of “Let it Go” every time the tiny door to Elsa’s room is opened – which is to say for two hours straight. This was the parental equivalent of an “own goal”.

Afternoon

Drove to Gig Harbor which is a suburb of Tacoma just across the Narrows Bridge.  There we were most heartily entertained by our friends Michael and Betsy formerly of San Juan Island.

wingren

At the entrance to Gig Harbor

They left the island as they were working 60 hour a week there and it was making them crazy.  The problem is that Michael and Betsy are entrepreneurs of the first order and their business here in Gig Harbor has just gone bonkers with growth and they are now working 70 hours a week.   Each.

Dec. 26 – Tacoma Day

Michael and Betsy took us on a tour of Gig Harbor and Tacoma.  Gig Harbor is a great little harbor full of quality sail boats and Friday Harborish businesses.  Tacoma, I’m pleased to announce, is no longer The Stinky City.  It is in fact a vibrant urban center with a fully functional university campus.

the-actual-site-of-the-smelter

The smelter site

We stood on the site of the old smelter which is now a swinging hot spot.  I don’t know where they put the contaminated dirt, but we did see some two headed dogs and something that looked suspiciously like a cat with wings.  Tacoma is the Northwest home of Big Art (Chihuly  and Bienveneu)   and has any number of niche restaurants.  We ate at the world-famous Amnesia Café.

As you can see we were the only ones there.  They told us we were their first customers, which I found hard to believe since they have been in business since I don’t remember exactly.

If you ever eat there, the trick is to order your food before you get the menus and it helps to have it written down ahead of time.  Otherwise, they just keep bringing you more menus.  Mind you the food you eventually get will not be the food you ordered, but it is good fare.  I asked Dag the GPS for the address to post here, but he could only suggest that it might be in Tukwila someplace.  That is of course nonsense as we were in some other city.  The best thing is that if you just stand up, they will try to seat you at another table and you just say, “I think we’ll try someplace else” and they show you the door. I don’t remember what I ate, but Heidi says whatever it was, it was bad for my health.  I know for a fact that she ate something with either chop sticks or very large wooden spoons. Probably.

We decided to go to the new Star Wars movie as they have a giant 32 screen theater complex in Gig Harbor, and the movie starts every fifteen minutes.  Too bad for us, they were ALL sold out!!!  So, we went back to Michel and Betsey’s place and talked late into the night about Unitarian Mysticism and polyunsaturated ghee.

Dec. 27 – SeaTac

Being old and wise, we have taken a motel room in SeaTac at either end of our Florida trip.  We chose to stay at the SeaTac Best Western Park ‘n’ Fly.  Except for the guy outside screaming into his cell phone (which was actually his left shoe) it was a quiet and restful night.

Once checked in, Heidi noticed that across the street was a bike shop she has been looking at on line that specializes in electrifying bikes.  At first, we thought the place was closed.  But, there were partially constructed bikes on the sidewalk with tools and parts strewn about, which seemed unlikely in a closed shop, so we tried the door.

angle-lake-cycles

Much neater than when we were there.

It was unlocked, but mostly blocked by empty and full card board boxes of bikes and parts intermixed with bikes and parts out of boxes.  The floor was not visible, and eventually a man swam toward us from the back.  This was Dale, the owner.  Looking about himself, he stammered, “Uh, we had quite a rush before Christmas.”  Heidi really knows the lingo, and soon they were deep in discussions about Ranns Recumbents and electric assist units.  Turns out that for only two and half boat units, Heidi’s recumbent can be changed into an electric bike that can go zero to sixty in 12.4 seconds.  And I already can’t keep up with her.  Greg dug around to try and find his new shipment of business cards, but it wasn’t happening.  He did trip and fall over a box that turned out to be the very unit Heidi will need for her bike.  We agreed to check back with him after the trip.

Since my heart problems some 8 months ago now, we have tried to get about four miles in every day. It was raining and cold, so after the bike shop we decided to go to South Center Mall for some brisk age appropriate urban hiking.  At this point, I must diverge.

Many of you will recall that Dag the Australian GPS through an unlikely course of events has come to reside in my cell phone where he serves adequately as my personal assistant.  If I remember that left and right are open to interpretation, he often gets me where I’m trying to go and he has learned how to interface with Google – in fact, I have become quite fond of him.  The problem is that Heidi has discovered that the GPS in her cell phone is the Mark IV Jane Fonda Feminist A.I.  There is, to put it mildly, some friction between Jane and Dag.  That does not become apparent until tomorrow’s entry, so we now return to the story in progress in South Center Mall.

Some few minutes into our brisk hike, Jane spoke up from Heidi’s neck pouch.

Jane: There is a theater nearby showing one of the films on your watch list. Would you like more information?”

Heidi: Yes please!

Jane: The Galaxy Theater in this mall is showing Elle Est Venue Sans Soutien-gorge. This French Art film is presented without subtitles. It is showing on Screen 36 on the fourth floor.

Thus it was that we found ourselves sitting on our butts instead of walking.

theatre

While popular with critics, Elle Est Venue Sans Soutien-gorge has been a disappointment at the box office.

But whatever.  I needed some time to catch up on SimCity Build-it on my cell phone. I took Spanish in high school, so the dialog was lost on me, but it was nice having Heidi point out all the restaurants she has eaten at in the background. Speaking of restaurants…

Try as we might to find a cool place to eat here in South Center, we always end up at Azteca which is well south of the mall.  The millennials crowd in and take all the seats at the hip places.  They remind me of seagulls on a log – with expensive drinks.

December 28 – Fly to Florida Day

Get up, go to the free breakfast, pull Heidi away from the automated espresso machine, go to the airport, be embarrassed because I’m the only one who doesn’t know we leave our shoes on now, and wait at gate C3 – WITH THE ENTIRE WSU WOMENS SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAM!!!  Now somehow, I’m already getting trolled for saying this even before I post it.  J.R. from Pullman writes:

I just checked the schedule and there are no WSU swim meets in Florida! You liberals are so full of it

Well J. R., that’s a fail! They are here in Florida for an intense week of training on the beach.

wsu

Here’s a picture of one of these stellar student athletes waiting for her checked bag.  So there!

Speaking of liberals, the Trump National Golf Course is just down the street here and this Maricopa County is the one that Republican D.C. staffers came to after the Gore Bush “election” and disrupted the recount.

tough-life

This spa is here too.

For a history buff like me, this is as cool as it gets.  Next I want to drive the route General Sherman took on his famous march to the sea as he burned the Confederacy to the ground.

We ran into a bit of a problem at the car rental place as they screwed up the reservation mightily.  They could not get their head around the fact that we had reserved the car for one day and then another car for one day a week later.

Heidi (on the phone to headquarters): I don’t want the car for a week. I want it for one day.  Twice. No, don’t cancel that one! We need to get back to the airport! Yes, I did say I’m at the airport. But I won’t always be here. I want a car now and then… I GAVE you the specific dates! No, I’m standing here at the counter, and they DO have cars available, and I’m not paying a thousand dollars for a month.  I need it December 28th, not January 28th!

At this point, the agent snatched the phone and tried talking to headquarters herself.  She ended up hanging up on them and said, “I’ll solve this.” She rented us a new Malibu which still had the plastic on it and the floor mats in the trunk for the quoted price of about fifty bucks.  So, thanks to the agent we will rent from them again.  This brings us to Dag and Jane.

Florida is always adding lanes and highways but doesn’t seem to solve its traffic problems.  So it is essential for people from far away to have accurate digital assistance in finding one’s way.  Since I was driving, Dag got the duty.  He got us out of the airport and heading north on US 95 even though I wanted to go south.  I get so confused, because here the sun goes down in the East.

sunset

The sun setting in the East

As we approached Jupiter, there was an issue.

Dag: In ten kilometers Take exit 43 to highway 706 then turn left.

Heidi: That’s not right. He’s taking us the long way.  I’ve been here before.

Jack: But I’m driving, and I checked his directions at the airport and they get us there.  So if it is not exit 43, what do you suggest?

Heidi:  I’m not sure, but I’ll recognize it when I see it.

Jack:  Well start recognizing, cuz we’re coming up on it.

Jane: An alternate route is available that will save you three minutes.

Heidi: See!

Dag:  There is an accident on the alternate route that has stopped traffic.  In one kilometer, take exit 43 to highway 706 then turn left.

At this point Dag and Jane started both loudly talking and I couldn’t make sense of either.

Jack: Will you please just turn one of them off?

Heidi:  Sure!

Jane: Take exit 43 to highway 706 then turn left.

Heidi: Oh hey!  This IS the way I remembered.  They must have changed the name!

This being a family blog, I will not relate further dialog.  However, in short order we arrived at Judy’s condo on Ocean Trail Way.

December 29

Our first full day in Florida included several interesting trips. A whole food store, a Starbucks, a visit to the Thrift Store where Judy volunteers, and a shoe store.  Judy’s thrift store is part of her church, which has a fairly large compound with lots of open space.  It is also quite old, so one can get a sense of what this place must have been like before the massive build up – beautiful.  The store its self is quite upscale with Waterford crystal, Armani suits, and teak furniture.  Sorry, no Disney pins, but I do always look for them.  The best good deed was to take Judy to the Bootery which interestingly has no boots for sale.  They do have lots of top end shoes.  Judy’s doctor has told her to dump all her shoes and replace them with something sensible.  Heidi is the queen of sensible shoes, so it was a successful effort.  Heidi made a delicious kale salad with beans which we ate to the last leaf.  Judy does not like kale, so we called it “greens ‘n’ beans”. With enough olive oil, kale can be tasty.  Not steak tasty,  or sausage pizza tasty, but palatable enough so that one does not starve.  And it gives me a chance to practice my Easter Bunny routine. (Dogs!  Gotta watch out for those dogs! They don’t see colors you know, so keep your eggs dyed with orange, and blue, and red and green and stripes, and tiny speckles, yes!  Heheh!)

December 30, 2016

Yesterday the sea was full of a truly amazing number of very large white boats roaring back and forth out front.  Over a hundred were visible at any given time.  Today, none.  Instead the kids have taken over, with small craft warnings and a large surf.

surf

There are a large number of kite surfers, wind surfers and surfer surfers out going very fast.  I on the other hand am getting to practice another of my routines: Old Zeek the Condo Maintenance Man.  Judy’s kitchen sink is in desperate need of a new faucet.  Remembering J.W.’s recent experience, I approached it with some trepidation.  Thank God for You-Tube!  “Now here’s how you get that fleaner bracket off without breaking the pipe behind the valve. “

stem-faucet

The new faucet.   Note electronics and batteries.

So the old faucet is off, Judy and Heidi have just returned with the new one, so it is back under the sink for me and I’m caught up on the blog.

 

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 31, 2015

6:30 PM

(The rest of Heidi’s post op journey was put on my Facebook feed)

Under an hour to go predicted and it’s time to think about the night. Cot or recliner? We’ve got earplugs this time too.

at sunrise the worst will be over.

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 31, 2015

12:25PM

Still waiting.

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 31, 2015

10:10

Lesson: Meet at the Starbucks is a lousy direction when in Seattle.

jack: where are you?

Mac: I’m at the Starbucks.

Jack: Me too.

Mac: I’m in the hall that goes to the pharmacy.

Jack: Me too.

Mac: I can see a patient TV monitor that looks like In an airport.

Jack: Me too.

mac either we are occupying the same space or I’m at the wrong hospital.

Still on hold.

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 31, 2015

Checked in

We are in the pre op holding pattern with all the other candidates. Mac is waiting downstairs.  May have been a screwup as there seems to be another chapman surgery patient here too.might be hours .

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 28, 2015

Countdown

Well, we are in the countdown mode where we get to start saying, “This is the last time we will be doing [behavior] before the surgery.”  Last compost pick up today, last breakfast omelet tomorrow, last walk with the dogs after that.

Heidi continues with her fitness program, and weighs less and is in her best condition since Kirkland days. We have a recovery chair, a special rack that changes her recumbent bike into an exercise bike, a stylish shower chair that doesn’t look like it was designed by someone who could only draw lines with a ruler, twenty pounds of BC sockeye in the freezer, a voice controlled Amazon Echo, Island medical team in place, house sitters set up and friends standing by for other duties as assigned.

Our timeline:

11:00 AM Thursday

Ferry to mainland

Amy’s house after errands

Dinner with Jesse, Mac, Mary, Amy and John.  And Minna and Oly too.

3:00 AM Friday

Rise and shine

Check in at Swedish

7:00 AM

Pre op procedures including preemptive analgesics.

7:30 AM

Surgery

Updates to Blog

12:30 PM

Surgery ends

Phone, text, and blog updates

Best case will be home on Sunday.  We have other options depending on Heidi’s ability to tolerate the ride home.

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 28, 2015

Pre surgery hypnosis

Jack: How did the session go?

Heidi: Cluck-Brrrrrrrrruck!

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 19, 2015

Modern Pain

Now let us examine the state of pain in the new century.  Actually it’s pretty much the same as pain in the last century.  It hurts. That is what it is for, after all.  Unlike sentient robots, humans cannot just turn off the pain circuit when we realize that a painful situation is for the best.  We can’t, but an anesthesiologist can.  That is what they are for, after all.  This blog is about pain, Heidi’s pain specifically, which she will endure post operatively for an indeterminate amount of time.  Kind of a bummer topic, so just to lighten it up a bit, here’s a recent picture of Mona, our famous island camel, up to her usual hijinks with the tourists.

IMG_0557

She can be quite annoying if she thinks there is an apple being hidden or if there is a roof she can rip shingles off. One time, Steve, her owner had to be restrained because he was going to shoot her. But that’s another story.  What?  No.  I really have to write this post about pain.  Mona can wait.

So here’s the deal.  Since Heidi’s last surgery some twenty two years ago there have been a lot of advances in our understanding of how the brain is structured and how it works.

Here’s the 1993 model of the brain:

Parts-Of-The-Brain-And-Their-Functions

Just compare that to the 2015 brain model!

quadrune-2b

Even though the 2015 version of the brain is so much more sophisticated, there is an important point about the 1993 model I need to emphasize. What was then called the medulla oblongata and what is now called the lizard brain has, among other things, the function of causing you to breathe and your heart to beat.  It is perfectly fascinated doing this, and seems to not need sleep.  This causes a problem for anesthesia during surgery, because if one sedates the lizard brain, it gets all like, “Dude! Look at those colors!” forgets to beat the heart and one dies. So, when you are under general anesthesia, your lizard brain must be specifically wide awake.

So, back in 1992, Heidi’s lizard brain experienced the surgery in the first person while the executive function team (possum, monkey and Duso) were off on a three martini lunch. The result was that during the surgery the autonomous nodes in the spinal cord were screaming for fight and flight, and the lizard brain concurred, but the rat, monkey and dolphin brains were in la-la land.  The lizard brain, incapable of abstraction or concepts like, “This is for your own good,” got a bit whacked.  I recall that post-op, Heidi’s legs were bouncing all over the place.  A year later we traveled to Colorado to meet with the top neurologist for post-op phantom pain. He told us those bouncing legs were Heidi’s lizard brain trying to get the hell out of Dodge.  He said we should have let the legs “run” until the lizard brain realized the threat was over.  Instead, we wrapped her tightly in warm blankets. Who knew we were “trapping” Heidi in the operating room… at least in the perception of the lizard brain. He suggested that it is important to let those legs run in order to desensitize the lizard brain.

Here’s what happens in a normal spinal cord with a pleasant stimulus.  A girl gives her poodle a reassuring hug.

izzyroyalbrownpoodlelove

In the dog’s spinal cord, the autonomous response centers release endorphins and send pleasant signals up the spinal cord to the lizard brain.

h1

The lizard brain delivers the message to the rest of the brain.

poodle kiss

However, Heidi’s entire cord and lizard brain has been powerfully programed to perceive pain from her first surgeries. So here is what happens to her.

A nice pat is interpreted as possibly the start of another surgery.

p3

The spinal cord, also expecting another surgery reacts and amplifies.

p4

And up the cord and through the lizard brain goes the signal.

p5.6

And the human part of the brain experiences this:

p2

So… after twenty two years, things have finally settled down, and Heidi’s incidents of pain flares have reduced to only one or two a year, down from one or two a month right after the surgery. But you can now understand why we are not excited about another surgery on Heidi’s spinal cord.  Heidi does not want to wake up her inner crazy poodle.

The good news is that there have been some advances in 22 years.  It seems obvious once you hear it, but the simple answer is to numb the part of the spinal cord getting the surgery.  Thus, the upper nodes on the cord and the lizard brain are unaware that anything is going on, and continue to beat and breathe happily.  The research has found this cuts recovery pain by half. So we are doing this.  It is called preemptive analgesia and it involves front loading meds before the surgery and deadening the nerves at the site of the surgery. We are just hoping that Heidi’s sensitive cord and lizard brain won’t figure out what’s happening.

Asleep

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 16, 2015

Adventures in Insurance

There follows a transcript of three phone calls to our insurance regarding what medical appliances would be covered under our policy.  It has been configured as a single call and a multiple choice test which you may take for your amusement.  Then post your answers to Facebook, and you will find out what piece of antique furniture you are. (I’m a wagon wheel chandelier with deer antlers!) Heidi has been prescribed a lumbar brace, a stationary recumbent bicycle, and a toilet riser with handles. To protect the guilty, I will refer to the insurance company as Egencyray.

Ring!  Ring!

E: Hello!

Heidi:  Hello, I’m Heidi McKenna and..

E: All of our customer service partners are helping other customers or on break getting high.  Your call will be answered in the order it was received.

Music:

When you’re the best of friends
Having so much fun together
You’re such a funny pair
You’re the best of friends

E: All of our customer service partners are helping other customers or on break getting high.  Your call will be answered in the order it was received.  Egencyra makes no guarantee as to the accuracy of answers you may receive from our customer service partners.  In fact, research shows you are better off guessing.

Life’s a happy game
You could clown around forever
Neither one of you sees
Your natural boundaries
Life’s one happy game

E: All of our customer service partners are helping other customers or on break getting high.  Your call will be answered in the order it was received.  Egencyra makes no guarantee as to the accuracy of answers you may receive from our customer service partners.  You may find even more obtuse answers at our website, www.egencyra.com/questionsyoudon’tcareabout.

 If only the world wouldn’t get in the way
If only people would just let you play
They say you’re both being fools
You’re breaking all the rules
They can’t understand
Your magic wonderland, hu-hu-hu

E: All of our customer service partners are helping other customers or on break getting high.  Your call will be answered in the order it was received.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get good customer service partners when you only pay minimum wage?  I mean really, these kids don’t even have a GED, and God knows, that’s one lame test.

When you’re the best of friends
Sharing all that you discover
When that moment has passed
Will that friendship last?
Who can say if there’s a way?

 E: All of our customer service partners are helping other customers or on break getting high.  Your call will be answered in the order it was received.  One of our new customer service partners got fired from the call center for a parking garage company.  Now that’s hard to do!  It’s her first day on this job, and we just didn’t have time to do any training, so good luck.

 Oh I hope, I hope it never ends
‘Cause you’re the best of friends

 E:  Hello, my name is… uh…

  1. What is the name of your customer service partner?
    1. Bonquesha
    2. Tulip
    3. Veda

How may I help you?

Heidi:  I will be having back surgery soon and my surgeon has prescribed some things I need to get ready and for rehab.  I want to know if they are covered.

E: What is the first item?

Heidi:  A lumbar brace.

  1. Which answer is best?
    1. Bonquesha: That is covered.
    2. Tulip: That will be covered at 85% of what we think the price should be.
    3. Veda: That will be covered at 85% of what we think the price should be but only if you need it before the surgery.  If you need it after the surgery we won’t cover it.

Heidi:  OK, the next item is a recumbent stationary bicycle.

  1. Which answer is best?
    1. Bonquesha: That is covered
    2. Tulip: We will cover it but only if you buy it from a preferred medical supply company which will cost about $3,000. Even at 85%, you will be money ahead buying it from Amazon.
    3. Veda: We don’t cover items that you could conceivably buy for non-medical reasons.

Heidi: The last item is a toilet riser.

  1. Which answer is best?
    1. Bonquesha: That is covered.
    2. Tulip: We will cover it at 85% of what we think the price should be, which is about $35. They actually cost at least twice that.
    3. Veda: We will cover it at 85%, but only if you need it after the surgery and not before.*

Heidi: Thank you for your time. By the way, do you know a good place for THC in a candy?  I’m going to need some for pain management.

  1. Which place is best?
    1. Bonquesha: It’s not covered, but we here all go to a place on 65th and Arora.
    2. Tulip: It’s not covered, but we here all go to The Green Goddess in Fremont – its organic!
    3. Veda: After back surgery? THC won’t cut it honey. Get some meth.

* Contending that a person could buy a toilet riser for non-medical reasons, Egencyra was not covering toilet risers. Then in court, they could not produce a single person who had ever purchased a toilet riser for non-medical reasons. Thus, they are now covered at 85% of what Egencyra thinks they should cost.

Posted by: jackmck1955 | July 12, 2015

A New Hope

As all who pay attention to such things know, the Central Pillar of the Earth is located at the Starbucks adjacent to the Kenmore Lanes Bowling Alley.  I add parenthetically that the OEE has determined definitively that the thing you roll your ball down toward the pins is an alley, not a lane. Thus the place of business mentioned would more properly be Kenmore Allies Bowling Allies.  Anyway, one assumes that long ago there must have been a mountain there which fell on bad times and devolved into a stinking swamp which in turn became Kenmore.  Still, as noted in previous travelogues, it is wise to start any adventure at the Central Pillar of the Earth, also known as The Point of True Beginning.  And it happens to be in Kenmore. Here is a picture of Heidi at just the right spot. Photo-0001A Note the Darth Vader torso armor.  Think of Mormon underwear made of plastic with Velcro cinching.  This is a medical appliance worn by candidates for lower back surgery so that post-op discomfort (“Ahh!  I feel like someone just cut my back open and reamed out my vertebrae with a burr drill!”) will pale by comparison.  Anyway, we are on our way.  Not to Madrid or Paris or Milano, but to the Cherry Hill Campus of the Swedish Medical Center. And not right away, but on July 31. Heidi has what is now recognized as “Tandem Disease” which is a degeneration of the lower spine caused by fusion of vertebrae in the neck.  You may recall that twenty years ago, Heidi was rear-ended on a miniature LA freeway inside Disneyland which caused a miniature disc rupture which required fusion at L2-3 and L3-4.  Tandem Disease makes sense.  Think about balancing a stack of blocks with ribs attached, and there is a wire down the middle that sets off a buzzer and a red nose light if it touches the block.  Of course, if you glue the top blocks together, the lower blocks will have to be set in a way for which they were not designed, causing wear and frequent need for new batteries.  That’s Tandem Disease.  The cure is to re design the lower blocks by enlarging the channels through which the nerves pass and doing a little aesthetic sculpting on the outer bone.  This allows patients a better life style by letting them to do things like walk, and breathe.

We are most fortunate to have a top Swedish surgeon and his team doing the work.  (mmm bork bork!) This trip we took a ride on the Insurance Jungle Ride to get the brace prescribed by the team and then purchased a recovery chair.  This is a recliner of Norwegian design covered with fine discontinued Corinthian leather which meant the price was half off – only 1.5 boat units, plus delivery.  The purpose of the recliner is so Heidi will not have to come to bed when she is done with watching the nightly episodes of the original Poldark series on DVD which we found at the Thrift House for 0.002 boat units.  What? You ask, will the author also be watching Poldark? “I was wrong, Demelza, you redeem me, and I love you.”

Unfortunately, the demands of keeping up this Blog will prevent me from enjoying the fine examples of square jaws and bodices galloping to and fro in romantically barren landscapes.  But that’s not to say we can’t be romantic too.

Jack:  I find it easier to face these things when I am the one going under the knife.

Heidi: I too would find it easier to face if you were the one.

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