The Light at the End of the Tunnel - Rise Again! - CycleBlaze

October 31, 2018

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

There was an early appointment with the knee surgeon today.  I was up some hours before, but not because of any apprehension about what the surgeon would say. We already know that everything is fine. In fact,  Dodie could have cycled the 17 km to the office if necessary. Still, I found myself re-reading this blog, and reflecting on just how hard the past four months have been for her. It's been a very up and down story.

Putting aside all the details about the narcotic drugs, ice packs, walkers, different physios, and all that, the big picture seems pretty good. Here we are a little over two months on, and we are saying Dodie could cycle up that highway, to that doctor's office by the hospital.

What the doctor actually said was that the CRP test came back at 2. That's a better reading than even before the operation. 

Dodie took care to point out that the left knee, the one that was supposed to be the star of the show before the right failed, was getting increasingly unstable. Ok, was the answer, we'll shoot for fixing that early in the new year. In fact, they went so far as to float "January".  That sent us into a flurry of counting months on our fingers.

An early January operation could be followed by two months of struggle and then, in March?, we could be outta here!

The fingers also told us that there could be time to go cycle in Mexico, like right now! That was only a brief thought, though. We had to admit that 15 or 30 km on a flat highway near home was not quite equal to double or triple that distance on a lonely road in another country.  Realistically, another month of rehab is still needed.  But hey, talk about light at the end of what has felt like an awfully long tunnel!

On the road today - but how does it compare to the long and dusty Hwy 307 near Playa!
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Steve Miller/GrampiesThanks Bill.

We need to get out and find more stuff for you to identify. Actually, the rains are bringing many mushrooms in our forest. There were hundreds of some kind the other day. Do you know the book "All That the Rain Promises and More", by David Arora?
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3 years ago
Scott AndersonYippee!! I heard from Keith last night that you two biked over to visit with them. Very encouraging!
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3 years ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Steve Miller/GrampiesWell, I know enough about fungi to leave most of them alone. Some like Morels and puffballs are on my list of edibles. When I was in Germany '76-'78, one of the guys I worked with taught me about many edible ones there, and we collected and ate lots of them but that was Germany, and that was a few days back...

There are some decent ID sites on line, but fungi are so incredibly variable, I would not want to venture positive ID on most, even with them in-hand.

That said, the challenge would really be interesting! I know your area is a "hot spot" for fungi, so I am looking forward to the pictures!
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3 years ago
Sue PriceOh! We wish you could go to Mexico! It would be so much fun to cycle with you two there! Happy to know things are moving along!
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3 years ago
John SaxbyHi Steve and Dodie, Just taking a breaking from winterizing chores and browsing Cyleblaze, and your title from Stan's song caught my eye. What a story from Dodie's crash in the Netherlands last year! Thanks so much for chronicling it all, Steve, and what can I say about your courage and resilience, Dodie?--you're an inspiration. The progress you've made since August is remarkable, especially with the time you've been down and discouraged. I'm sure you'll continue, and the tours will resume after #2 is sorted.

You did the right thing is choosing Stan's song as your leitmotif, BTW. You probably know this story, but just in case: I heard this on the CBC, must have been some time in the '90s, after we returned to Canada from many years abroad, hence a decade after Stan's death. There was an interview with a Nova Scotia fisherman whose boat had sunk in a gale, and he had survived--what?--eleven hours in his flotation suit, if memory serves. The interview asked him how he had kept his spirits us. He said he'd sung "The Mary Ellen Carter" to himself. What better tribute could a singer have?

Cheers, John
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3 years ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyAmazing how the body can heal itself after all that hammering, sawing, and pounding! Hope the other knee goes well. At least this time you have an inkling of what to expect.Janet
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3 years ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Janet Anspach-RickeyYes, the way healing happens is very encouraging. We are hoping the next one will also go better. We hope to better manage the drugs and physio, and be ready for cycle touring in good time.
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3 years ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo John SaxbyDodie also used this song to get her up hills in Spain. I think it also figured maybe at Stan's funeral or maybe at some Stan tribute. But then it would share space with Barrett's Privateers, Northwest Passage, Forty Five Years, etc. etc.

Thanks for your comment. I'm glad we are not the only ones who remember this wonderful singer.

By the way, there is a Petro Canada ad out right now that uses Stompin Tom's "My Stompin Grounds". A key line from that song is "Wherever you find a heart that's kind, you're in a part of my stompin grounds." But now, I'm wandering off topic! You might still like it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzV-gN5IveA
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3 years ago
John SaxbyThanks, Steve. We could go on a looong tangent here, but instead, let me give you both an encouraging anecdote about knees: A decade ago, I joined a senior men's recreational hockey group. I was in my early 60's at the time. I knew some of the guys in the group, but one fellow, whom I didn't know, was on another level from the rest of us. He was in his late 60's, I guessed, and was smooth, fast and absurdly skillful. I asked one of my mates who he was. "Oh," he said, "Dan used to play minor-league pro hockey. It wrecked his knees, but here's the thing -- he's playing with artificial knees in both legs."

So, Dodie, you don't have to be smooth, fast and skillful on the ice. (I never was, even with two healthy knees!) But I hope it helps to know it can be done.

Best, John
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3 years ago
Ardell Siegel so glad to hear the update I have been checking every day ... I just returned from two weeks of riding in Kentucky and Ohio with my regular group. I took the Pedego and thoroughly enjoyed it ...all paved trails and I did not have to worry about navigation😊 I am not tough like a Grampie but it sure is fun anyway. I hope all goes well for the second knee and I will look forward to a Grampie journal in the spring. ardell
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3 years ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Ardell SiegelThanks Ardell. It's good to learn that you are enjoying riding with the Pedego.

Dodie is continuing to increase her distances, but very gently. As the blog mentions, we did decide not to push it, by heading off to Mexico with the unassisted Fridays. For a few hours, though, it was fun beginning to think about how fast we could gather the gear and leave. Now we are just thinking that if the doctors can schedule the operation promptly in January and if Dodie can rehab fast we would be in Austria by March.

Watch this space for news of when the operation happens and how the rehab goes.
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3 years ago