Monday, May 22, 2023

I'm Home

Apache Junction. High  92.  Low  56

My first cast - green.

Second cast - red (the black thing on my cast is a shoe to make it easier for me to walk on it when they finally allow me to put weight on it).

I spent 30 days in physical therapy rehab.  I cannot say enough good things about the physical therapists I worked with at the Apache Junction Healthcare Center. In fact, almost everyone there took really good care of me. From the nurses, to the activities people, to the food service people (food was just okay), to the cleaning person, they were all cheerful and accommodating even though they are understaffed like everyone seems to be these days. 

My room looked out at the torture (PT) area and the steps just taunted me because I had to learn to conquer them on one foot.

My friend, Tacey, brought me this chain to count down the days til I can get out of this cast and taste freedom again.  It looked like this to begin with.

 This is what it looks like now.


This was the sign I've been waiting for.

 After  my month at rehab, I had to face my biggest fear about going home. THE STEPS. There was no way I could "hop" up the steps on one foot. I called several medical transport companies and they wanted over $300 to get me up those five steps. $300 is a lot of incentive to figure out another way and my physical therapists came up with a fantastic idea. Use a shower bench. If you're interested, you can go to Youtube and watch videos on how to do it. (Most of them show younger, much more physically fit individuals doing it.)

My first attempt was a complete failure. I did not have the strength in my arms or right leg to pull myself up from the bench. The PTs started working with me to develop that strength.  Two weeks later I was ready to try again and I succeeded. I still had another week to practice and each time I was able to do it with less help. 


 However, I needed someone to move the bench for me at my house so Paul came to the rehab center and they showed him what he needed to do with the shower bench and how to support me if I needed it.  

 Time for me to get out of there and I was so ready to go sit in my recliner. Carol drove my car up to get me and Paul met us at the trailer. My neighbors, Mike and Patty, were also there to offer  help. Success!!! I am in my recliner.

I still could not put any weight on my cast so I had to hop wherever I needed to go. I truly am a failure at hopping. However, I only fell once. In the bathroom. I had my phone with me (always with me) and called 911. They have the nicest guys who came to my aid and got me back on my foot.  Rather embarrassing but life happens.

After that I called the doctor's office to see when I could put some weight on this cast. They checked to see how long it had been since surgery and determined that I could start putting some weight on it as long as it didn't hurt and I didn't overdue it. What a difference that made in my life. No more falls. 

Home Health came to visit and asked me about 500 questions. Took my vitals which are almost always great. Said she'd be back once a week for awhile to see how I'm doing. Then the PT guy showed up. He saw how good I was doing so he changed his plans and showed me some exercises that would help me transition back to being able to use my left leg and ankle again. He has discharged me but I continue to do the exercises along with the workouts I had at the rehab. 

The cast comes off this Thursday - May 25th. I will get a walking boot but I hope it isn't going to be a necessity for too long. I really feel good which makes me very impatient to get this thing off my leg.

The people in my world have been so amazing. Ginny, of course, did my bidding from my hospital room to the rehab center until she had to leave to go to Maine for the summer. She handed over the chore of watching over me to Carol and Paul. They have been amazing. Carol does all my running around for groceries and picking up prescriptions and taking my garbage out. Paul always brings lunch when he comes to visit. And I always have a list of chores for him. Tacey has been doing my laundry for me. And I know that if I need anything, anybody who is left in the park would do it for me. 

Paul putting a screw in my heat vent cover.

This really has been a humbling experience for me because I'm pretty independent and bullheaded. I was forced into accepting help which really makes you realize how many wonderful people are in your life. I couldn't have gone home without them. I am eternally grateful for their love and compassion.

Gotta have a couple of pictures of my gorgeous daughter-in-law with my precious grandson along with her first Mother's Day flowers. I think my son is totally smitten with his son. Sure do love and miss these three. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Ankle Update

We are getting our first almost 100 degree day in the next three days. Sure would be nice if Spring stayed around for awhile.

Last Saturday I ended up having surgery. Had an MRI which was definitely interesting. It will take 40 minutes and do not move. Sure was glad when that was done. After looking at the MRI the surgeon said the screws need to come out because they probably have infected the bone. Infected bones can cause you to lose a limb. 

I was on heavy duty antibiotics in an IV. The nurses had so much trouble getting an IV in. They all said I had tiny veins. After 7 failed attempts a guy came up with an ultrasound machine and was finally able to get it in. That lasted three days then slipped out of the vein. Several tries later we got the fourth one in and it stayed til I left the hospital.  

I had the surgery on Saturday afternoon. In order to get the screws out he had to cut the Achilles tendon in half. He cleaned out some pus and took tissue samples to send to the culture lab. The screws were sent to the pathology lab for testing. Wait for three days to get results. 

Got the results and very good news. No infection in the bone. Screws are out and I was in a splint til the swelling goes down. 

I was moved to Apache Junction Healthcare Center on April 4th. I have physical therapy twice a day trying to strengthen muscles that haven't been used in years so I can go home. 

I have a lovely green cast. It will come off on the 28th and a new cast will go on for another three weeks. These are totally non weight bearing casts. In other words they should not touch the ground.

No idea when I go home. I have five steps to get into the rv and haven't figured out how to get up them. My hopping ability is  extinct. 

Very few people left in the park. Most have left to head north for the summer.

Life can be complicated.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Weather, Teeth, Ankle and More


I am way behind in posting. Our weather has sort of warmed up a little. We are actually going to have a few dry days in a row which is sure nice. It's been a cold, wet winter here in AZ but at least I don't have to shovel it. 

Our Superstitions had snow on them for a brief time.


We have had so much rain our pit was filled with water on several occasions. Really messed up the horseshoe schedule and any cornhole playing with all the mud. But it did dry up enough to have the last campfire of the season.

Our park has been bringing in a food truck once a month for a couple of months now. The first one was a pizza truck that everyone said was delicious. I don't eat pizza (I don't eat cheese) so I'll take their word for it. We've also had a empanada truck and I had a chicken one and a pork one. I'd definitely do that again. The chicken was especially good. I think a BBQ truck is scheduled for April.

I'm still spending way too much time at the dentist's office. It looks like it is going to be another three weeks before I finally get my partial so I have bottom teeth again. I'm getting tired of smoothies. Sometimes you just want to be able to chew something.

Then to make my life really interesting, I've done something to my Achilles tendon. It started hurting a week ago Sunday and I thought it would just get better. But I ended up in urgent care Sunday morning. The doctor walked into the room, took one look at my heel and informed me that he couldn't help me and I needed to see an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible. He did give me a boot which makes it a lot less painful to walk. And I have an appointment for tomorrow with the orthopedic doc. I'll add the news after I find out what needs to be done.

(I know this is an icky picture, but I try to document things that might be important in the future.)


Back in 2008 as I was stepping out of our fifth wheel, I missed a step and ended up breaking my left ankle and rupturing my Achilles tendon. I spent several months in two different casts and a wheelchair because I can't do crutches. In fact when we started full time rving in 2009, I was still in a cast and a wheelchair. Jim took really good care of me but it did get really "interesting" at times.

This is my broken ankle. The piece that is sticking straight up on the left side of the x-ray is not supposed to be like that. The second x-ray is after it was repaired with two screws.

This juvenile dove sat on my railing for the longest time. I love the tuft on the top of his head.

Update. I'm in the hospital getting lots of antibiotics. I'll fill in the details in my next post.

Monday, March 20, 2023

The Touch of European Cafe


 Still in Glendale - nice weather but still too cold to sit outside on their patio


After wandering around Martin Auto Museum it was time for us to find someplace for lunch. I had checked out a few places and came across a place called A Touch of European Cafe that specialized in Polish dishes. Definitely a place we wanted to check out. Sure am glad we did.

I don't take a lot of pictures of food but I just have to share these with you. Paul had their special - chicken and pork meatloaf patties with green beans and mashed potatoes and gravy.



I had the kielbasa appetizer of polish sausage w/bacon and onions and served with ciabatta bread.

For dessert we took home walnut bread and blueberry pierogies.  What a feast. If we are ever back over that way, this would definitely be a place to return to.

 On our way back to my place, we saw this field of flowers. After all the rain we've had this winter, everything is blooming and turning green.


Friday, March 17, 2023

Martin Auto Museum

Glendale, AZ   Finally a beautiful day with no rain.


Paul and I decided that we needed a break from the mundane. So we headed west to Glendale to Martin Auto Museum. Mel Martin started this museum in 2005 but by 2022, he still had more cars in storage than he did in the museum. That's when they moved to their current location. There are over 160 cars on display so sit back and enjoy the pictures. (I did not post 160 pictures.)

There is a $10 entrance fee and I loved their "desk".


Paul checking out some of the cars.

1965 Studebaker Wagonaire - This car featured a distinctive rear roof that slid forward, expanding the cargo space. It also had a drop-down step on the rear tailgate.

1914 Dodge Bros. Great Race Car - 300 cars were built in the first year of Dodge. Dodge was the first mass produced car with all steel body. This car was driven by Jack Cassan from North Hollywood, CA to New York City in the 1985 Great American Race.

 1959 Edsel (Ford) F-350 Medium Duty Tow Truck

Arizona Diamondbacks Custom 1994 Harley Davidson Softail - this one-of-a-kind bike celebrates the Arizona Diamondbacks and the 2001World Series Manager Bob Brenly. The baseball features include a seat constructed from an authentic MLB base and a game-used catcher's mask. Hand painted by Jeff Needham to include AZ sights and colors, Louisville Slugger wood bats, snakeskin effects and team branding logos. 


Lots of neon.

The Library

1949 Ford Woody Wagon - classic wood sides and the legendary bullet nose.

Even a carousel for the young at heart.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette Cutaway - this car does not run or drive and likely never will. Chevrolet built a cutaway Corvette to introduce the 1963 split-window coupe. Marina Blue is one of the 10 colors available in 1967.

1931 Cadillac Fleetwood Convertible - Cadillac was the only car company to offer V-8, V-12, and V-16 models. This coupe was V-8 powered.

1936 Alvis Firebird Drophead Coupe - British touring car and only 449 were made. It has an aluminum body on an ash wood frame. This car is the only known right hand drive Firebird Drophead Coupe in the U. S.

1939 Crosley Convertible - powered by a 12 horsepower, two cylinder air cooled engine and weighing in at less than 1,000 pounds. You could buy one of these for $325 for a convertible coupe or $350 for a convertible sedan. They got 40 mpg and were sold through department stores in the appliance department.

2016 WaterCar Panther - an amphibious car manufactured by WaterCar out of California. The design is based on the Jeep Wrangler. It is constructed from lightweight steel for the chassis and fiberglass for the body. The "hull" is filled with 32 cubic feet of Styrofoam making it virtually unsinkable. Top speed is 85 mph on land and 45 mph on water. Driven by a V-6 Honda engine.


2010 Transformer Edition Chevrolet Camaro - General Motors offered a special edition appearance package for the Camaro. The car was designed to resemble the Bumblebee Camaro from the 2007 hit movie. The package included: autobot insignia fender badges and wheel caps; an embroidered Autobot insignia on the center console; gloss black rally stripes with Transformers logos and Transformers logo doorsill plates.

1964 Ford Thunderbird Convertible - this was the only car of this generation to have the word Thunderbird spelled out on the front hood instead of a chrome emblem.


Anybody need a riding lawn mower?

Or how about a mailbox?

For anyone who likes old cars, this museum needs to go on your to-do list. The volunteers who work here are extremely knowledgeable and are willing to answer an questions you have.