Monday, June 29, 2015

Last time I wrote, I had my right knee replaced.  All went well and I felt better than I had in decades.  I no longer cried in pain while I was asleep and was able to exercise and became more active.  I was so happy with the results, I decided to get my left knee replaced.  The left knee replacement has not been a positive experience, but many friends have encouraged me to write about it to help me through this rough time and to help others which may be going through a similar experience.

My knee problems started when I was in a very bad skiing accident when I was a teenager, resulting in extensive knee surgery in 1975.  While my right knee caused me the most pain, my left knee was structurally much worse than the right.  So I opted for the left  knee replacement, surgery was performed on 12/4/14 at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, CA.

While the surgery went well, it was more complicated than anticipated.  Due to the extensive damage to both my soft tissue and bones, reconstruction was involved.  Bone had to be removed and extension placed on my fibia to accommodate the prosthesis.  Ligaments had been stapled to the bone and had to be repaired.  Other than that, the surgery was uneventful.  I was able to walk the day after the surgery and was doing so well that this time I did not need to go to rehab.  Good news, or so one would think.  Not so.

While I was a lot stronger than after my first knee replacement, I was in much more pain.  The strength I attribute to all the exercise I was doing prior to the surgery.  Riding an exercise bike 5 times a week and working out with a personal trainer.  I thought the pain was due to the extensive nature of the surgery, but later found out that trouble was brewing in knee-land.

The Infection Starts

On 12/27/2015, I noticed that the bottom part of my incision (which I thought had closed) was seeping.  This is never a good sign, and it wasn't.  I called the surgeon's office and spoke with the Physician's Assistant on call who advised that I should go to Urgent Care, which I did.  The doctor there told me it looked like an infection, prescribed Clindamycin, did not take a culture, and told me to call my doc after the holiday weekend. I don't have any photos from that exact time, but this is how it looked a few days later.  They put new steri strips over the incision, but they really did not serve any purpose.

When I saw my doctor, they recommended wet to dry dressing.  Basically, this involved cleaning the wound with saline, soaking a gauze with hydrogen peroxide, squeezing the excess and packing the wound with it.  I changed the dressing twice daily.  Not very pleasant, but I hoped this would help me heal.  Little did I know that I would have a very long haul to healing ahead of me.

Friday, August 22, 2014

one knee, two knee, red knee, black and blue knee....

Presently, I am recovering from total knee replacement surgery and I have wanted to chronicle it.  But at 5 weeks out from surgery I have not gotten around to it.  So here goes.

It started way back in 1975 when I was in a very bad skiing accident and pulled apart (yes, literally pulled apart) both of my knees.  After reconstruction surgery, 2 weeks in the hospital, 3 months in full casts on both of my legs, a year in leg braces, I was finally able to walk on my own.  For a while it was touch and go, the surgeons were not sure if I would be able to walk again, but due to my preserverance it became a reality.  Due to the extent of damage to my knees (the surgeon's report cited "general knee derangment), I sustained nerve damage to my lower legs, which is a whole other story.

Time passed, I went back to school (couldn't go while I was recovering) and life happened.  I always knew there would be surgery in my future, just not when I would happen. Surgery, and medicine in general, was not the same in the 70's as it is today and the thought of going under the knife again frightened me.

Over the past 15 or so years, my knees became more arthritic and the range of motion dwindled down to 70 degrees.  I worked hard and got it back up to about 88 degrees.  With limited range of motion it is hard to climb stairs, ride a bicycle, stand from a sitting position, etc.  Things that most people take for granted.

Ten plus years ago, when I was still a patient at Kaiser, I was told I needed knee replacement but they wanted me to wait until I was in my 60's.  As I was still in my 40's this seemed crazy, I wanted quality of life sooner, rather than later.  Finally, I escaped from Kaiser with my life (don't get me going on stories regarding the poor quality of treatment from Kaiser).

After several years of shots in my knees, cortisone, HLA, etc, which were helpful to some degree I decided to take the plunge.  I visited Muir Orthopedic and discussed the possibility of TKR (total knee replacement) and was told everything that  could go wrong.  It took me 6 more months to gather up the courage to have the surgery and then an additional 4 months on my doctor's waiting list. Then on July 17, 2014 I had total knee replacement to my right knee.

My  surgery was scheduled in the afternoon at John Muir Hospital.  My mother always told me to have surgery in the morning, but the afternoon was what was available.  This way the doctor got to practice on others before my surgery.

As prep leading up to the day of surgery, I exercised.  I rode the stationary bike to the best of my ability, did leg lifts, presses, etc. I tried to build strength.  My first bit of advise is to do as much prep exercise as possible.  This surgery is tough and the better shape that you are in, the easier it would be.  My first lesson, also it would have been easier if I had lost weight!

Stay tuned for my next entry when I explain the prep and hospital stay.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wondering why....

Sunshine dressed to party
...wondering why I have a blog, I never write in it and I don't think anyone reads it.  I have good intentions, but it never gets past the intention stage.  My knit group, otherwise known as my friends, family, etc.  encourage me.  We have plans to blog and podcast.  Again, we have the intention to write about our adventures, antics and knitting/spinning projects, but I guess we are all busy doing and don't have the time to write about it.

The summer has flown by, can't believe SOAR is starting tomorrow.  I am only going to the retreat part, so I will be up there Thursday through Sunday.  New adventure for me and I am excited.  I am going by myself, which is something I have never done before.  I have been alone on business trips, but have never gone away on an adventure like this all by myself.  I don't know anyone who is going so I will have a room mate that I have never met before.  If I do say myself, this is brave, maybe crazy.  I called the hotel and was told that at this time my room mate is named Alice and she is from Iowa.  Hmm, the home office of the company I work for is in Iowa and I have been there a few times.  Not New York or California, but I have met many nice people in Iowa so I am excited.  Brief communication with Alice from Iowa on Ravelry, should be fun.

Thanks to my wonderful friends, I have plenty of knit goods to wear; shawls, hats, mitts.  It's not that I don't knit, I just rather spin.  I am not a prolific, or talented knitter like most of my friends. Just like a knitter I will wear lots of knit items that don't necessarily match.  I am taking several interesting classes and will have plenty to report on, that is if I take the time to write about them.  I also need some photos, but my photos have a way of just staying in my phone or camera and never going any where,  like my photos of the rainbow colored sheep at Lambtown.  That will be another blog entry.....

I am soaking yarn to dye, so that is what I will do next (hope the sun doesn't go down before I start.  And then there are all the apples that I asked my husband to pick and I promised to do something with, although letting them rot in bowls on the kitchen counter was not what he had in mind!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Twisting at the CNCH

silk hankies
We were at CNCH, here are some comments from friends of Sunshine: Its funny how we all run in the same crowds. I saw so many familiar faces...the same faces that I see at every fiber event. I love, love, love listening to everyone's stories and adventures. We met Dana, who unfortunately lost everything in a house fire...she caught our attention when she said she lost both of her spinning wheels! She happened to run across an estate sale in the paper....fiber & wheels!! She got 2 wheels and pounds of roving and only spent $112 dollars! My friends and I have a blast at CNCH, spinning, knitting, eating and shopping. If you are coming tomorrow, stop by our booth or our food table. We have tons of yummy snacks. Booth 513, next to Carolina homespun. I love seeing our fellow fiber artists. Love color and yummy fiber. Hope see you at our next show. I had a ton of fun at cnch at Twisted Sunshine booth I think she has a very great eye in color combination. Got inspire with all the colors and fibers and trying to figure out my next new project. The most interesting person was a woman with a very unique outfit that she must have made for herself, as I am sure it could not be purchased anywhere. For lack of a better description we call her the pirate. The outfit made the woman look like she was Captain Jack Sparrow's grandma. She is on my video but I don't know if I can post here. There was a large upright velvet hat, and a highly embellished skirt and jacket. Her husband's outfit was not as embellished but more colorful.

Speaking of color, check out the dyed silk hankies, perfect for spinning, felting embellishment, you can even knit or crochet directly from the hankie.
core spun yarns

 batts for spinning and felting

                             plenty of sparkle

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Show time is coming

This coming Friday is the opening of the 3 day Conference for Northern California Handweavers (CNCH).  It will be held this year at the Oakland Convention Center at the Oakland Marriott at Broadway.  Just take BART to the 12 Street station and you are right there.  Twisted Sunshine will be there at booth 513, with our signature 50/50 merino silk rovings, textured batts and many different fibers for your spinning fantasies!  Come visit, say hello and meet up with like minded fiber enthusiasts!
Follow this link for details and a discount coupon
Dyeing is finished, now to finish braiding. labeling and batt making.  Pictures will be posted shortly.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Here we go again...

Well, I got frustrated that I could not add photos to the blog from my iPad while I was in Spain so I just stopped writing, easily frustrated I am.  The trip was great but the yarn was a big let down.  In Madrid I went to the el gato negro which was a yarn shop that was recommended.  all the yarns were acrylic and mostly novelty type yarns.  The way yarns are shopped for is quite different than in the states, they have samples hanging and then you have to wait for a sales person to help you and get out the yarn you want.  You are not allowed to touch anything on your own.  Usually you would tell the sales person what you want to make and they will pick out, or help you pick out the yarn and the pattern.  There was an old guy there  who was like a watchdog.  He wouldn't take his eyes off me and my sister, it appeared that he thought we were going to steal something.  You got it, I would just grab a handful of lovely acrylic yarn and run down the street .... like that would ever happen!  It was an interesting experience but needless to say I didn't buy anything there.  But Madrid was wonderful and I had a great time there.  Not my favorite place in Spain.  I really loved Sevilla and Ronda, and our visits to each of these towns has it's own special story..... More to follow, time to start up the blog again...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bienvenidos a Madrd!

Saturday to Sunday What a long day it has been. Leaving  for SFO at 6 am, the fight to JFK was absolutely packed, as was the flight to Madrid.  Shari had no problem finding me at JFK. We upgraded our seats to economy plus, a great move. They reclined nicely and had a lot of leg room. Made for a nice relaxing trip. I was able to sleep most of the trip. We should be in Madrid in 1/2 hour. I am looking forward to wash up and change my underwear........ Made it to Madrid and our Hotel, the Hotel Preciados near Plaza Calleo. We had full day. After freshening up we hit the streets. First we got used the local ATM for some cash and starte walking to find the El Raestro flea market, not knowing quite where we were going. tried to ask directions on the streed but no one could understand us, so with help of our map we meandered and finally found ourselves Plaza Mayor, went to the TI office for some tourist info and to find our way to El Raestro. Just a few blocks out of the gates of the Plaza we found the market. The streets were packed, the sight and the sounds of the crowd were amazing, it had an energy all it's own.