Archive for the ‘Pieces of my Mind’ Category

Knee surgery

Sunday, November 12th, 2023

It is time to document my latest ordeal with my health issues.

On October 18, 2023, I underwent surgery for a total knee replacement. My knee has become progressively painful in the last few years, to the point that walking any distance further than into a store was unbearable. I was faced with the option of becoming a “couch potato” for the rest of my life or doing something to fix the problem.

I weighed two scenarios that were basically cons, and one that was most important for a happy lifestyle. Any surgery at my age is a risk. A young body will heal faster and recovery is a lot easier. The second drawback I faced is a steel rod that was inserted 35 years ago into my tibia and needed to be removed to allow room for the prosthetic knee parts. The rod in my leg bone was the scariest part of the operation and could cause severe damage trying to remove it. I weighed the negative aspects against the one positive outcome of the surgery- walking and hiking without pain – and decided the risk of the complications did not outweigh the hope of a better lifestyle.

I’m three weeks past my surgery now and so far everything is going good. My surgeon found that he could place the artificial knee parts without removing the rod. I was in terrible pain for a few days and had to rely on pain pills for a couple weeks. I used a walker for a week, then a cane for a few more days, and now I’m walking unaided and increasing the distance each week.

I’ve had a couple setbacks. I still have a hard time sleeping and I wake often, all tangled up in the bed covers like I was wrestling with and intruder, until I realize that my knee is hurting from placing it somewhere it doesn’t like. I had some sore muscles and joints that I blame on a zealous Physical Therapist that doesn’t realize I have not used those muscles very much in the last couple years. And sometimes I just don’t feel well for no particular reason.

All information I research shows that I am way above the curve in recovery. I’ll try to update my progress in a later post. The one thing I want to say is that none of this would have been possible without the aid of my sister Donna. She opened her home, provided me transportation, fed me meals, and nursed me back to health. I so much appreciate the care she so generously provides me to this day.

Driving the Centerline!

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Imagine a 50mph crosswind!

Imagine a 50mph crosswind!

I forgot to tell you about the drive across route 50 from Ely, NV to Delta, UT. It was one of those terrible windy, gusty days. Minnie didn’t like the wind trying to blow her off the road so she suggested I drive more towards the middle of the road to give her more margin from the shoulder. I checked traffic front and back and there was no one for as far as I could see. In fact, we met nary another vehicle for many miles along that desolate section.

Driving in the middle of the road is an unnatural thing to do. It goes against everything we have been taught. It’s like sitting at a stoplight in the middle of the night when you can see nothing coming for a mile each way. But driving in the middle of the road actually helped keep Minnie from being blown towards the edge of the pavement and getting punished by that annoying vibration of the edge rumble-strip. In the center the crown of the road helped Minnie lean into the wind some and straddling the center warning rumble-strip was easier that trying to stay away from it. I must have driven 20 miles down the center of the road until I started to hit some hills that blocked a little of the wind.

Does it seem like I’m talking about Minnie and Honda like they were real beings? Some said I talked to Wilson while I was hiking the AT, too. But I’m not going to admit to it! Maybe I’ve been out-land by myself for too long.

Note: I don’t recommend or ever try to drive in bad weather at all. I thought the wind would be out of the west and helping me along. Every time I have tried that theory it never works – the wind is always a crosswind!

New Post

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

It has been one month since Mom passed away. I often think of her and wonder how her passing will affect my future. She was the tie that bound all of us in the family to come together in the suburbs of Phoenix from time to time. Family was Mom’s greatest legacy, and I hope we all remember to carry on her memory by keeping in touch with one another.

So often when children and grandchildren scatter across the country and become busy with there own lives, it becomes increasingly hard to get together as a group and enjoy the memories and affection we have as a family. I know that my plans take me on a new path that I was reluctant to commit to when Mom’s health was such an issue. The gift I received from her will allow me more freedom to travel this summer, and I know she would have wanted me to do that.

Imperial Dam LTVA

Imperial Dam LTVA

I’m still staying at the Imperial Dam LTVA with Richard and Dianna. We have been working on several projects while parked here and found time to do some amazing fun things as well. We installed a new lithium battery system in R & D’s trailer and worked on some air leaks in his truck. Installing the battery system was a lot of fun beside a lot of work. Lithium ion batteries are expensive but way better, way better technology for the future of off-grid RV living. He hasn’t had to run his generator at all since switching to the new batteries, and his solar panels have supplied all the charging the system needs. The price for lithium ion batteries is coming down all the time and maybe by next year I can make the switch.

I have purchased a few things for Minnie: New rubber on the front, new inverter, and a few small household items for the inside. It has also been time to change oil on Honda, Minnie, and Minnie’s generator. You can never anticipate everything that will need repair when on a trip but I hope I can stay ahead of any major breakdown.

Ghost Town

Ghost Town

Yesterday, we all went to visit Castle Dome Mining and Ghost Town. It was a fun day walking through the restored buildings, seeing how the old miners and their families lived, and learning about the history of the town and its people. It cost $10 per person but well worth the price for a fun filled day.

I have a dentist appointment next week in Los Algodones to take care of a problem tooth. Then on the following weekend we are all planning on driving to El Centro for the air show. The Blue Angels train in El Centro and always have their first show of the year there. Richard and I have always been into aviation all our lives and we really enjoy the displays of planes and aerobatics.

By then it will be well into March and probably time to think about moving north. R & D have their summer planned to be back up on the Rim in the Coconino National Forest, volunteering at the ranger station. I will migrate with the weather, trying to guess what Mother Nature will do before I get there. I have been fooled by her before.

Goodbye Mom

Friday, February 3rd, 2017


Family Photo

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

L-R Don, Dale, Donna, Daryl, Richard

L-R Don, Dale, Donna, Daryl, Richard

It’s not often that we are all in one place all at the same time. A great holiday gift of all five siblings visiting with Mom.