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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 30 March 2009

Latest Update: Sunday 5 April 2009 1:520 p.m.

Monday, 30 March 2009

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As I mentioned before Duncan's left hip is getting pretty bad. He has good days and bad days and really bad days. Bob did some research on the web and discovered aspirin, the wonder drug for humans, works equally well in dogs. While we were out Saturday running errands before we picked up Paul and Mary for dinner we stopped at the pet store. All human aspirin products are now coated. Dogs need buffered but not coated. We want to see how he does on aspirin compared to the Previcox. At this point I just want to make sure he is happy and comfortable getting round as best he can on that bad hip.

They sold dog aspirin in two sizes, one for small and one for large dogs; the large dog being 300 mg. Saturday night we started him on the aspirin. His body weight calls for one a day. Naturally they make them liver flavored and chewable but that does not work for Duncan. Chewable or capsule I have to open his mouth and force him to swallow them. I was using ham but he started spitting out the pill and eating the ham. Same thing with cheese, hot dogs, etc. He doesn't like peanut butter.

Bob fooled him the first time making him think he was getting a treat. Next time he tried it Duncan took the pill, took the treat, spit out the pill, ate the treat. You can fool some  of the people all the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, you can only fool a Border Collie one time.

Warm and sunny today. The red bud, cherry, and Bradford Pear tress are all budding as is the forsythia bushes. My grape hyacinths and large ones are up along with my daffodils. I'll wait a few more weeks to get my bedding plants for the bed I am redoing. We can still get cold/frost/freeze type weather until mid to late April.


Tuesday, 31 March 2009

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I left work at 4pm to be able to drop in at a retirement party for one of the library staff. I work about three blocks from the downtown library but I prefer to use my neighborhood branch for picking up reserves, etc. It was fun to talk with some of the staff who are still there and to those who had left or retired.  The reception ran from 2 to 5.

I got home about usual time. While I changed and headed out to mow the lawn Bob fixed a casserole to go in the oven. Rain coming in tonight for tomorrow. The grass was higher in spots than others but the high spots would have been way too high by this weekend. The next week or so I will most likely have to start mowing about every 5 days until the early spring growth slows down.

Tonight I should finish the Dalziel and Pascoe I started the end of last week. His books take a little longer for me to read than some of the other authors. Beyond the Wood ties in a current animal rights group attack on an animal research facility,  the hit and run murder of one of the members, and Pascoe's great great grandfather's WWII military action. When the animal rights group storms the research facility one the members stumbles upon some old bones on the grounds. The question is whose are they and how old are they. The research facility was used as a hospital during the war. Lots of loose ends to tie up as I get near the end.


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

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Last night I started reading a new Rhys Bowen from her Molly Murphy series, In a Gilded Gage that was on reserve at the library. I have a couple more reserves to get through before I can get to my TBR shelf as I mentioned I wanted to several weeks ago. So many books, so little time.

Gym tonight. We had the remaining leftovers from last nights casserole. We have been watching Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days. I love to read travel books and watch well made documentaries. We watched some of this series a long time ago.


Thursday, 2 April 2009

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I left work today at 2:30 for the doctor's office to have my new brace fitted. The ones on the web site are "off the shelf" models. According to Mike, who fit me, he said those are only about $500 cheaper than having them measured to fit and work twice as well.  I linked to the one that looks most like mine. I cannot tell from the picture but mine has six straps which must be fastened in order 1 - 6. The main function of the brace is off-loading the pressure on my knee. The dial on the side puts pressure toward the inside of the knee where I do not have a meniscus due to the arthritis. By wearing the brace I will prolong the inside of the knee by actually separating the two bones and keep them from grinding on one another.

It comes with a cotton sleeve much like a legging to wear under the brace for three weeks or until my skin gets used to the pressure points of the brace. I start out wearing it two hours with a thirty minute rest gradually adding half hours until I can wear in 8 hours. During this break in period I will be teaching my leg and knee to walk differently with the new brace. Right now, as Mike told, I will have to learn to trust the brace. I still want to walk with a limp to alleviate the pain and from fear of the knee not holding my full weight.

I took a pair of shorts with me for the fitting and wore the brace home. It comes with its own gym style bag for storage and/or transport. All the parts can be taken off and washed as can the metal frame itself. I had to change into sweats when I got home for the cool, rainy weather we are still having. I need to wear it to work and when I will be up on my feet working in the yard, playing golf, etc.

Hopefully the brace and I will become friends allowing me to put off the knee replace for a few years.


Friday 3 April 2009

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Sunny but windy especially this morning. It was like trying to walk in a NASCAR wind tunnel. I am not a light weight person. Several times during my walk up the hill I was actually stopped in my tracks even though I was bent at the waist with my head almost in my chest. It was really rough. By the time I went across the street at lunch it was still windy but not as bad. Gusts were to be over 40 mph during the day and into tonight.

I did very well with the brace today. I am sure the two hours on then rest schedule was for someone on their feet all day. I did take it off for half an hour once this morning but wore it without a break this afternoon.  I took it off again when I got home until we walked the dogs after dinner The longer time periods I can wear it the faster I will adjust. I hate the cotton sleeve. Even though it is 90 percent cotton it makes me hot clinging to my leg.

I made a quick stop at the library and grocery store to pick up a few items we cannot get at Costco. We need to make a run sometime this weekend to restock what we lost from last weeks freezer meltdown.

Speaking of dogs, Malcolm has been more maniacal then usual the last few weeks. With Duncan walking so slow he is not getting enough exercise during the day. You would think at 9 1/2 he would be slowing down but shows no signs of that. Once I get fully adjusted to the brace I am going to start walking him around the block after dinner. It will do us both some good.


Saturday, 4 April 2009

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This morning I brushed the dogs and did the weekly house cleaning chores. I had the dogs out playing for awhile then came in to rest and eat lunch.

After lunch more outside playtime before I started on the yard. I edged for the first time. Getting the trench for the blade to cut into makes for hard going with the ground still wet and the sappy grass.  Other than a little windy it is a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the high 60's.

After a somewhat full days activity wearing the brace I am much less tired than I would have been otherwise. The limping wore me down as well as the pain. I will give the knee a rest from the brace this afternoon then wearing until bedtime.

Golf this afternoon, NCAA semi-final games tonight.

Last night I started reading the first book in a series by Diana Killian, aka Diane Brown. Bob had read her Poetic Death Series several years ago. Two years ago when Marcia and I attended Malice we had the pleasure of sitting at her table at the banquet. And, in case you did not know, she and her sisters have an awesome Celtic music group. I have all their CD's. I felt like picking up something new and different with her first book High Rhymes and Misdemeanors. I read about 100 pages last night and really enjoyed it. Her character, American Grace Hollister, goes to the Lake District to visit the places of her favorite romantic poets. When she saves Peter Fox's life she gets involved in a kinds of trouble including murder.


Sunday, 5 April 2009

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A lovely spring morning. Dad and I played nine holes early this morning teeing off around 8:30. It was a little chilly, high 40's to 50's until the sun got up high enough to start warming things up. No wind at least. Lunch and visit before heading back home.

We had planned a Costco run for this afternoon but Paul and Mary could not go at the last minute. We did not really need anything urgent so we said we would wait until next weekend. I sat up until almost mid-night last night watching Carolina tromp Villanova. Even though I went to bed late I could not go to sleep right away. I tossed and turned dosing while Duncan did much the same. He would kick either the wall or the bed in trying to get up or get under Bob's night stand and scrabble his front paws on the floor. I was up and down about every half hour.

Bob sometimes likes to sleep out on the den floor. He started out there staying up with me while I watched the game. He came back about 3 am because he could not go to sleep either. At one point Duncan has managed to get up and go down the hall where I thought he might settle on one of the foyer rugs. Just about the time we both got to sleep he started again. I got Duncan a pain pill, Tremedol, while Bob lead him back to bed. He finally settle around 4. I think I finally when to sleep sometime around 4:30 or 5am but was back up at 7 am.

We've had several of these up and down nights where Duncan does not settle. I hope he is not in pain but is just restless.


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