Thursday, November 30, 2017

Random California

A few little adventures in between recent "normal" life activities...

One way to spend an evening when you have a relative who works at Google - giant Scrabble!

Magnetic tiles, comfy chairs, and everyone can see the board rightside-up.  Very cool.

Happened to notice the name of one of the Google conference rooms - memories from last summer:

Kip pointed out one of the new Street View cars with upgraded cameras for improved images:

Marcy on the roof!  I've done a couple volunteer builds with Grid Alternatives, fun and great for learning more about solar:

Salt ponds in the east bay, a view from Coyote Hills:

John's second hill training outing, this one on a windy and slightly chilly day:

Roaming up and down the little Coyote Hills:

At the top!  We didn't linger...

Oodles of turkeys ambling across the hillside:

Hill day #3 at San Bruno park:

We always enjoy this trail up to the ridge:

Especially for the views from the top:

500 feet up, and the new hip is doing well:

Kip gave us a tour of the new building where he'll soon be working, and we happened to notice this whiteboard next to the gym:

In case you can't read it...

"If you are in need of life advice, don't get it from a gym whiteboard"
"I'm not taking your advice then"
"It's a paradox!  By not doing it, you're doing it!"
"The opposite is also a paradox"
"Your face is a paradox"

And because that made us giggle, we've started using the retort "Your face is a _____" for any possible non sequitur.  Try it, it's fun  :)

Next weekend, next hill climb - exploring Alum Rock Park for the first time:

Kip asked if I was going to take a picture of the giant bird for my blog - only if y'all would help with a goofy pose, I replied.  Challenge accepted!

A lovely view of the San Jose valley.  Oh, and we saw a bobcat!  It was gone before I could snap a photo.  That was neat.

Checking out the view:

A pretty creek through the next valley:

Testing out our new expedition pack:

There's some lovely foliage around here right now:

An outside cave - ?

Yay for more hill training with Kip and John!

Next up - a special guest visits us in California!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hip Hip Hooray!

John was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his right hip earlier this year (after several years of incorrect diagnoses including maybe he has a hernia - nope - or a groin pull - nope again).  We finally got the right help in Austin.  Then we were told that he should get a hip replacement but hold off as long as possible (and just take pain killers for the next 10 years?)  Long story and lots of research, but eventually we decided that it would be better to fix it now, we wanted to try a resurfacing procedure instead of the full-blown replacement, and we finally found a doctor in our network who would do it.

So it was scheduled for the end of the summer, after all our travels and race excitement.  Back to Texas for some hip work and then rest/recuperation.

Ready to go at the Texas Health Clearfork hospital in Fort Worth - and by the way, we were very impressed with this place.

John's pre-surgery X-ray showing very little space for movement in his hip socket:

Modeling the gown and lovely non-slip socks:

Hmm, how did they know?  He promised not to climb a ladder for at least a couple days...

So... that first morning, John's all gowned up and ready to go, and then they find out that the AC was off in the operating room.  Way too hot and they didn't yet know why.  So they sent us home...  OK, so that part didn't impress us so much, but everything else was great.

Back for try #2, two days later!  The air conditioner had been fixed, go for surgery:

John is even more risky this time:

Everything went great with the surgery.  The doctor said that John clearly had limited hip mobility when they got in there, his femoral head size was fine (it can't be too small or they won't do a resurfacing), and the procedure went like clockwork.

Not long later, I got to see him in recovery.  He doesn't remember this part (and he seemed quite confused about how the surgery could be finished already), but I knew he was fine when he started goofing around:

Post-op X-ray of his bionic hip:

Soon he was moved to the room where we'd stay overnight.  John doesn't remember the initial bit of time here, but he was doing great.  Tip to anyone with a loved one that goes through major surgery - don't give them their phone for the first little while afterward.  John made a phone call and sent a text message, neither of which he remembers doing.  Most of what he said was true, although I heard him say we were in the hotel room for the night so that struck me as funny.  His parents came in to make sure everything was going fine before they headed back home.  Yep, doing good!

His brain and appetite are getting back to normal - time for lunch!

John had a mostly uneventful afternoon, with the main challenge being that his heart rate kept setting off the machine alarm for being too low (his resting HR is around 40 bpm).  We learned how to adjust the bed (downloading the manual on my phone).  I also got the manual for the monitor machine but we decided I probably shouldn't touch it and just deal with the stupid alarm.

Later that evening, after the numbness wore off in his legs, he stood up with the help of the nice PT woman.  She offered that he could just go sit in the chair or he could walk in the hallway if he felt like it.  Hallway, of course!  One lap, moving quite well, and he was declared the star patient of the evening.  Go John!  OK, go lie down again.

The good news was that the walk stimulated something in John's system so his heart rate bumped up enough to stop triggering the alarm.  And it stayed that way overnight, yay sleep!

Dutifully using his breathing apparatus to work on lung capacity:

Is this how these things go together?

Everything went great and they were OK releasing John before lunch the next day (less than 24 hours after surgery) - impressive!  They offered that we could stay longer if we wanted, but John was ready for the car ride home.

Love this "wheelchair" that they used to transport John to the exit.  This is the only driving John would be doing for the next 4 weeks:

Hey, it's a Tesla in the parking lot!  Love the license plate too:

John did a lot of resting, sleeping, watching TV, and short walks over the next couple weeks.  People kept saying that now was the best time to challenge him to a race.  So I couldn't resist taking him to the track for this photo op:

One lap (in 10+ minutes) and he was tuckered out.  And spent the next 2 days sleeping.  I guess we overdid it a little.  Our nurse had told us his body would let him know if he did too much; she said she took one look at John and knew she needed to mention this to us.  Yep, we're "that kind of patient."

John did take that to heart and took it easier for a while.  Since then he stopped using the cane and got off the painkillers pretty quickly, used an ice pack machine for several weeks, he has been walking longer and longer, basically recovering well.  We had an easy flight back to California four weeks after surgery.

And now he's back behind the wheel :)

We've decided to do some hill training (walking only, no running).  So we started last weekend, with the small 100-foot hill on the Google campus.  Let's go, up there!

Kip's coming along for the weekly hill walks, hi Kip!

Vista Slope, not even really a hill, gotta start somewhere:

The last little rise:

We made it!

So that's our hip surgery story, yay for getting that fixed!  I'll keep y'all updated on his progress over the next year.

And in slightly less important news, I'm finally caught back up on blogging  :)