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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 17 December 2007

Latest Update: Sunday, 23 December 2007 12:30 p.m.

Monday, 17 December 2007

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My surgery was scheduled for 9:30 this morning. At 8 they called and said they had a cancellation could I come on. We quickly dressed, let the dogs out, and drove on over. I was awake and watched the doctor do the entire procedure. They did a local block on the knee and inside the knee. Not only did he repair the tear but he also shaved some of the arthritis tissue and did an lateral clip of the inside muscle to help straighten the knee cap. I have always had a knee condition that causes my knee caps to bend to the side instead of straight.

It took about 45 minutes to do the procedure. He explained everything as he went along. Bob came back in the recovery area as soon as I went back. They sat me up, gave me a soda and some crackers while they monitored everything. I was dressed and out of there at 11:30. In addition to the dressings and a long foam brace I have a cryo pack ice machine wrapped on my knee. It looks like a large ice pack/knee brace with an hose attachment. Every hour and a half the water is drained back into a small cooler, shaken, lifted, and then refill the pack. I have to do this for the next 72 hours. I can walk on the leg as normal but no standing.

Because of the extra excavation work I will be down an extra day. I am sitting on the couch with books,etc. although most of this afternoon I have been sleeping. I took two pain pills and so far have not felt any pain at all.

Paul and Mary stopped over to look at Bob's lab last night then we went to dinner at the Mexican restaurant. It is still chilly but the winds have died down. There are a few folks in the area without power.


Tuesday, 18 December 2007

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I finished reading the J.A. Jance last night. Today I started another Martha's Vineyard. I slept off and on last night mainly because I do not sleep well on my back. I had to empty and refill the cool pack every hour and half all through the night. I am trying to take the least amount of the pain pills as possible.

This morning Bob helped me with my shower. During the years Bob's mom lived with us we accumulated a lot of medical equipment. Canes, walkers, etc. I had Bob bring up the shower chair which allowed me to comfortably sit in the shower and not have to worry about loosing my balance and falling.

I can start trying to bend the knee some today. We removed all the gauze dressings. I am wearing the long foam immobilizer when I get up but I can take it off whle I am sitting. The cold pack continues through tomorrow.  Bob is doing a great job taking care of me.


Wednesday, 19 December 2007

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Recovery continues. I am up walking around on my own today with just the attached ice cuff. I am working on bending the knee and doing the prescribed isometric exercises for the thigh and leg. No pain. The thigh muscle is very sore where he torqued the leg around. I can put most of my weight on the leg when I walk though walking around with this ice cuff adds some additional weight. Being able to get up by myself and move around will allow Bob to get some work done today.

I am reading a Deadly Vineyard Holiday. Very interesting. J.W. and Zee become quests of Cricket Callahan, daughter of the president of the US who is visiting on the island. Descriptions and hints make me think Craig is using Bill Clinton as his role model. I know he actually did visit the island especially to play one of the local golf courses there.

Secret Service has allowed Cricket to be a cousin to J.W.'s from Virginia along with Cricket's body guard Karen. Cricket is fed up with living as a caged animal with no freedom to enjoy doing things a normal teenager would be able to do.

A local hair dresser came to the house to give Cricket a makeover to allow her to move about freely downtown and on the beach. Cricket is befriended by two island teenage twins whose family are friends of J.W.'s and Zee. As the story moves along it is discovered one of J.W.'s cars are bugged as is the house. As a result of an international incident approved by the president, the head of security for the family believes there is an agent working for the bad guys to kidnap and harm Cricket.


Thursday, 20 December 2007

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Three days of laying around is about all I can stand. Even though I have had a chance to read several books, just sitting around does not work well for me. My body needs exercise and movement to be happy. Bob drove me out to get my hair cut yesterday afternoon. I did quit a bit of walking around the house yesterday.

This morning Bob and I did Costco run. I did well walking around for an hour or so. I took it nice and easy but the knee did not bother me at all. The outside of my thigh from the knee up is very stiff and sore from the procedure but the knee itself feels fine. Of course there is still a lot of swelling around the knee and in the thigh area. After lunch I drove the car out to Tim's to get the oil change in my Trooper.

Hopefully the Dr.'s office will fax back my work release this afternoon so I can go back to work tomorrow. I shall be very wise and spend this afternoon with the ice cuff on and the leg up after being on it for so long today.

It is a beautiful day. Lots of warm sunshine and mild temperatures. I am reading the most recent Jance, J.A. Beaumont.


Friday, 21 December 2007

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The reason the Dr. had not faxed my release to work as of yesterday afternoon is because he wrote me out until the Wednesday morning after Christmas, when I go back for my scheduled follow up appointment. I I had already decided not to go in today last night. I sort of had that scenario in the back of my mind last night. Work called about 10:30 let me know I cannot come back to work until I have a note from the doctor with any restrictions.

This morning I did some hand shots for Bob in the chemistry lab. After lunch I drove out to our friend Bonnie's new house they just bought. It sits on a very beautiful 9 acres of land way out in the country.  On the way home I bravely stopped off at Wal-Mart to pick up dog treats and a few things I could not get at Costco.  It was crowded but not so bad you could not shop. Finding a parking space and getting through the check out line was another story.

We had a little bit of rain overnight. It has turned cold, windy, and raw outside today after yesterday being so warm and pretty.


Saturday, 22 December 2007

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The knee continues to improve. I am still being cautious while at the same time working the soreness and stiffness out gradually. Bob is shooting lots of chem lab pictures today. I have yet to try the stairs down to the basement. Instead I go around via the front door and driveway.

I finished the J. B. Beaumont last night. I love Jance's Joanna Brady series but have found I like the Beaumont's even better. This most recent book was excellent. Jance brings the ending of the book, the last few chapters, to such a climax with lots of activity that I can't wait to see how it ends.

With the chem lab stuff I have to sit and wait while Bob sets up the next shot. I decided to take a break from mysteries not only because of the constant interruptions but also for a change of pace in reading. I started one of TBR shelf books, A Shepherd's Watch by David Kennard. This real life story, obviously about a sheep farm with Border Collies, covers Kennard's typical year of breeding and raising sheep in the wilds of the North Devon coast of England. Rugged conditions make living a challenge let along working sheep. While learning a great deal about that aspect of his life, I am also getting another excellent look into how Border Collies behave. If you remember the You Tube video I posted a link too a week or so ago, I mentioned how like my dogs those guys acted. While they do not work sheep they still behave with many of the instincts they were born with in everyday life. Kennard has five BC's ranging from 8 months to four years old. The 8 month old acts exactly like Malcom did at that age. His descriptions of the dogs working and interacting with each other describe exactly how our two act between themselves and with us.

As in the US and other parts of the world, making a living off the land has become difficult with families to support. Kennard has written several books and made a few films/DVD to supplement the family income. Not only do I enjoy reading about the life of folks who work on farms with or without BC's, I am also supporting them by purchasing their books. Wow, did that sound like it came from the wife of a hard working author?

It is another raw and nasty day with temperatures remaining the the low 40's and very breezy.


Sunday, 23 December 2007

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As Bob and I both mentioned several weeks ago, he had given me back the spare room he used as a tech room. I told him we would start cleaning that out when I do end of year house cleaning. During this past week while I have been recuperating I have been cleaning and reorganizing things in my head. When I told Bob what I was doing he said I was "brainwashing". Groan!

In addition to his tech room and office I want to do some cabinet organizing in the kitchen. My office and the living room bookshelves are getting full again which means moving some books around. At some point I need to go through the three boxes of books in the finished area of the basement to see what is in those. The downstairs book shelves need some organizing as well. And the unfinished area of the basement also needs a good cleaning.

Last year my winter project was painting. This year it will be clean up, throw out, and reorganize. Bob is working hard getting the chemistry book pictures and chapters finished up. Hopefully he will get most of that wrapped up between now and when I am fully back on my feet.

I finished the Border Collie book last night. Staying with non-fiction, I picked up an autobiography by Susan Klein of her years growing up on Martha's Vineyard which I picked up while on our trip. I will interesting to compare her real life stories to those of Craig's "fictional" life on the island since Craig used a lot of real places in his stories.

This morning I did some light house cleaning. It is a nasty day outside right now with pouring, wind driven rain. This system is supposed to move out this afternoon bringing clearing skies and cooler temperatures again. It is not drought reducing rain but will help a little. Most of the state is anywhere from 9 to 25 inches below normal. We are about 23 inches below normal for the year.


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