Monday through Sunday, April 3-30, 2023—Medical Appointments, Pickleball, and Photography

It appears that when you get our age, one’s life if filled with medical appointments: GP, pulmonologist, cardiologist, dentist, optometrist and ophthalmologist, orthopedic doctor and surgeon, and audiologist; I’m sure there are some “…ists” left out.

Kay quickly resumed her full social calendar along with golf and pickleball. My days have been filled with work on my paternal ancestry, some left-handed pickleball, a couple outings to take photos, printing, matting, and framing photos, and church work and meetings. I thought after a lengthy rest, the shoulder injury would get better, but it hasn’t! And, the results of various medical appointments reveal that it is in fact a torn rotator cuff; an MRI is scheduled May 8. It would sure be nice to be healthy again.

One of the accomplishments realized this month was the completion of a draft of my paternal ancestry. So many hours went into the research and writing, I feel as if I knew them personally. Regretfully, there was good, bad, and ugly ancestors!

Also, I managed to get out to the Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area a couple of times to photograph wildflowers and butterflies. It was almost too late for some of the usual flowers as many had already bloomed. A favorite, Fire Pink, was in the last stages of blooming, but offered a couple of photos. These photos are from an April 11 visit. Just click on a photo to enlarge it.

A few butterflies were flittering about as well.Again, just click on a photo to enlarge it.

On a personal note, I was diagnosed with a probable rotator cuff tear in the right shoulder by the orthopedic clinic on April 21, and have an MRI scheduled on May 8 to confirm the diagnosis. This shoulder has been hurting more or less for over 20 years, and movement has been somewhat restricted. It’s likely that I tore or finished the tear in December and January playing pickleball, golf, and water volleyball. Anyway, here’s the long and short of it.  I am learning to do as many things left handed as possible, e.g. pickleball. left handed.  The orthopedic (PA) spelled the process out for us.  She said she suspected his MRI would come back with a rotator cuff tear. If surgery is recommended, and it is highly likely, then it will be scheduled after the MRI.  The ortho surgeon is currently booked out 6-8 weeks, so we suspect the surgery will be after July 1 or later.  It will be done in Hot Springs at CHI as outpatient surgery.  The doc will check the labrum and repair if needed, as well as reposition the rotator cuff tendon and repair the tear.  I will be in a sling for 6 weeks with physical therapy, then physical therapy for stretching and movement for another 6 weeks, then physical therapy for strengthening for another 6 weeks, for a total of at least 18 weeks for recovery. Combined with periodic back pain from lumbar spinal stenosis, I have had better days. So, after surgery no big trips for us until possibly late fall. 

On the upside and in anticipation of a lengthy recovery, I upgraded the computer work station to gain a little speed processing photos—MacMini, new monitor, keyboard and mouse, and docking station. Time will tell if it is faster. And, bird feeders—seeds, suet, and hummingbird nectar—have been located in strategic spots. Next will be lots of flowers for nectaring butterflies and hummingbirds.

Dodging wind and rain most days, I returned to the Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area on April 28, almost missing the Larkspur and Blue Star blooms. Once again, just click on an image to enlarge it.

Blue Star

Even a Pileated Woodpecker made an appearance.

Pileated Woodpecker

And even a couple of butterflies survived the wind.

Friday through Sunday, March 31-April 2, 2023—Travelin’ Home

The winter season officially ended for us on Friday morning as we departed Palm Creek RV and Golf Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona. It was a bit of an uneventful winter with unusually wet, cool, and windy weather. Kay still managed to play lots of pickleball and golf  while I did very little in the way of outdoor activities. The likely rotator cuff tear really limited what I could do. Even taking photographs caused aches and pains. 

Nevertheless, we traveled from Casa Grande to Van Horn, Texas, a distance of just over 500 miles. With both of us taking turns driving, it was not a difficult day’s drive. After overnighting in Van Horn, the day saw us traveling to Santos, Texas, another almost 500 mile day. And, after overnighting in Santos, we finished the drive home, arriving mid-afternoon. Unpacking was more of a chore this time around, and we both were exhausted after the adrenaline stopped flowing. We were blessed in that there were no issues in the long trip home. Even the drive around Dallas-Fort Worth was not too bad.