Saturday, May 29, 2010

Judy is officially retired

Yes, I know it is before June 4th, her original 'last day.'  But her boss was kind enough to tell her to go home and don't come back on Thursday, May 27th.  Not only did he send her packing a week early, he made a nice little goodbye speech and presented her with yet another token of appreciation, a very nice check for a job well done and wish for a wonderful future. 

The timing was perfect too because we had friends from New Orleans arriving later in the evening.

And wouldn't you know it, by 10:00 the next morning she wanted to go to the Social Security office to make sure her application for Social Security was completed properly.  The nice lady explained a few things we didn't know, corrected a couple of things in the application and promised a check deposit in our account in Mid September.  Good idea to visit with them.

So my Sweetie and Soul Mate is now mine and only mine forever.

And what has she done since Friday, her official first day of retirement?  Rearranged the kitchen, organized the maze of computer wires in our office, and planned a whole slew of projects for us.  I think I'm in trouble.  But I'm going to love doing it because my Sweetie is by my side all day, every day.

Ain't life grand?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Knee Replacement Surgery

This is one of those stories that started long ago.  In fact, it could possibly be traced back to my childhood because my knees have always seemed to hurt more than any other party of my body.  But for the past ten or so years the knee pain has continued to grow worse each year.

About seven years ago I was treated orthoscopically for a torn meniscus in my left knee.  The surgeon actually made a video of the interior of my knee as he repaired the damages.  In the video he was talking to me as if I was awake, casually pointing out the various steps he was taking.  Then he showed me some arthritis and commented that one day that was going to be a problem and that I would be back.

Here's the video they made while inside my knee:

Seven years later I told him, "I'm back."

Naturally, they took x-rays of my knees and it took only one glance for me to see what the problem was.  The inside of both knees had no cushioning whatsoever between the upper and lower joints.  It was clearly bone-on-bone with considerable 'spurs' indicating extensive wear.  No wonder my knees hurt.

The doctor said my only recourse now was to have both knees replaced with artificial knees.  He also pointed out that I needed to do it soon because at my age and medical history I could incur yet another medical condition that might disqualify me from ever having knee surgery.  I would most likely be wheel chair bound within a few years.  Meanwhile, I would continue to incur increased pain and loss of mobility.

It didn't take long for me to say, "Let's do it then."

This is what it will involve:

Because Judy's retirement was already set for June 4th, we selected the following week after her retirement for the surgery.  That way she could help in my recovery which could take as much as three months.

There were a number of medical steps to take first, including watching a video, getting clearances from my primary care and cardio doctors, more x-rays, blood tests, donating two units of blood for use in surgery if needed, arranging for walkers and braces and follow-up therapy and the endless paperwork so that it could be covered by Medicare and my supplemental insurance.

The surgery will be performed at Tops Surgery Center on June 9th and will only address the left knee.  The right knee will be done sometime in the near future.

Needless to say, our plans for travel this year came to a halt.  Now we will just wing it.  If I can move about and travel well we still might get in an Eggfest or two, or perhaps a trip to see family.

I am amazed at how many people have undergone this same surgery and every one of of them say it was the best thing they could have done for themselves.  Most claim it only takes a few weeks before they are able to get around quite easily, even playing golf after three weeks.  That's a good sign.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Judy's Retirement Party

Judy's retirement date, June 4th, is fast approaching and she's counting down the days.  Meanwhile, her boss, Denny and his wife, Kathy, hosted a retirement party on May 8th for her at their home in Tomball.  Only employees of the company, Highlander Financial, and a few relatives and friends were there to offer their best wishes for an enjoyable retirement.

The 'Retirement Cake' above reflects our plans to visit Eggfests around the country in years to come.  Each balloon represents an Eggfest. We're both 'Eggheads' and love getting together with other Eggheads to cook on the Egg.  Pretty creative idea for a cake huh?  A friend of Jennifer's made it.  Jennifer worked at the company for many years until she had triplets.

Another former employee, George and his wife Verla, drove in from Jacksonville, Florida for the party.  It was another big but wonderful surprise as they walked into the room.

May 8th was also Judy's sister, Joyce's, birthday and she and husband Allen, from Metairie, Louisiana flew into town to celebrate.  It just happens to be my birthday as well, so Joyce and Judy's brother, Curtis (Skipper), from Kerrville, Texas was also in town with his wife Sandra.  Our good friends and next door neighbors, Pam and Tom, were also there, another nice surprise.  It was like a triple celebration.

Not only were there some very nice and sometimes fun gifts for Judy, but the word was secretly put out to a number of the company's clients and associates weeks before that if they wanted to offer retirement wishes they could send their cards directly to Kathy.  Great idea!  So I also let it be known to our Egghead friends what was going on.  The result was an avalanche of cards dumped on Judy as she sat totally unaware of what was happening.  It was fun watching her look at the pile of envelopes then but even more fun watching her read the cards in a quiet moment at home.  She was truly touched by the outpouring of best wishes.

Needless to say, there was plenty to eat and drink to celebrate the occasion.  Everything turned out perfect.  It was one of those very memorable parties that lasts only a few hours but produces smiles for a lifetime.

Here are some photos that I thought reflected the spirit of the moment.  Just click on 'Slideshow' and sit back for a few minutes.