Wow, the middle of the week or “mitvolk” as David calls it, is here.  We’ve been meeting ourselves coming and going preparing for his joint replacement surgery next week. This will be joint replacement surgery number three for the old goat.

We’re both surprised he received approval for the surgery as he’s now 86 and we expected Medicare and/or the insurance company would say “no, you’re too old.” At his time of life, he could die anytime, so we thought the insurance or CMS might think the expense frivolous. (He’s outlived most of his high school graduate class, several of whom died during WWII or Korea.)  Dr Abbas told us their oldest patient had been 99, however, so apparently, you can keep on kicking as long as your heart can take the surgery.

David passed muster with the pre-op medical so he’s almost good to go.  We have three more tasks this week:

1/ return a  call to the surgeon’s office about benefits…whatever that means; Perhaps a reference to the immediate in-home nursing care and physical therapy he will receive the first two weeks. (I’ve already set up the PT and medical appointments for after the two-week period at home.)

2/ speak with the pre-op nurse today about his meds, and other stuff the medical staff need to know and confirm;

3/ more blood work on Friday..this in case he needs a transfusion. Also he will receive the sterile wipes and other material he will use the morning of the surgery.

Yesterday, we purchased another toilet frame that he can use to lift and lower himself after surgery and he dug out the shower stool.  He has finally acknowledged he needs these items.

This surgery is different from the first two where he had to go to a nursing home for two weeks.  Apparently, the medical establishment (ACA) has decided this is no longer necessary.  Okay with me, as long as he can help himself and we have in-home help if necessary.

My friend BJ used her long-term care benefits to cover some of her care after her second joint replacement surgery resulted in an infection requiring additional surgery.  You see LTC isn’t just for the eventual nursing home most of us women will probably need.  It covers other things as well.


Brother Dunstan returns from  Europe today.  Brother Isaiah will retrieve him from Dulles this afternoon.  Before they return to the priory in D.C., Dunstan will stop by Kathy’s house. This past week, she lost her cat, Elf, and has been grieving.

Poor Kathy, four years ago, she adopted three brother kittens and named them Elf, Wisp, and Imp. Two have died, apparently from a congenital defect, and she is distraught. Dunstan was going to stop by here to see David, but I told Kathy we may be on the phone with the pre-op nurse, so I don’t know if that will happen.

Dunstan is writing a book on the history of the church and has been digging through various archives. We exchanged emails while he traveled, and he returned photos of himself eating in various priories (which he also photographed) as he traveled around Germany, Italy and France.  It was neat to hear from him as he rode the same train I took when I traveled from Geneva to Paris in the late 1990s.

The last time I traveled in Europe, I lugged a big old clunky laptop from work, and had difficulty finding places to connect the wires as most phones in Europe in the 1990s were hardwired and not ‘plug-in’ jacks…especially in the quaint little places I stayed. Today, planes, trains and even the priories are “wired” for the Internet.

A view from the train, Geneva, 1999

A view from the train platform, Geneva, 1999

20 thoughts on “Mitvolk

  1. It’s 6 days since you wrote this so maybe the surgery is over. I hope it is and that it all went well. I have three friends in their late 80’s who have done the same thing …all with good results. It’s a new world, that’s for sure.


    • Yes, thanks Ginnie. The surgery was yesterday. I am exhausted from too much time spent at the hospital. Thankfully, daughters and friends have helped us with visits, etc. David is not the oldest person in the unit. Two others in their nineties are also there. It is a brave new world indeed.


  2. Good luck with David’s doctoring appointments and ops. It never ends, does it? But when you think of the alternative, it’s just as well that there’s help around even in one’s eighties.

    Are you sure David doesn’t say ‘Mittwoch’? i.e. Wednesday or the middle of the week. He may, of course, have his own take on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luck to you both. Your prior experience in these matters should help you get through this situation, although every new medical situation seems to present a few new challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck to David (and to you). As you already know, the care-giver tires out as fast (or faster) than the rehabilitant.

    We’re going to Europe next year. Last trip was 2009, but with the speed with which technology changes, I need to study up on what to expect with the phone and other devices.


  5. Best wishes to David (and to you) for a successful operation and speedy recovery. I don’t think there should ever be an age limit on surgery, as long as a successful outcome will improve quality of life.

    We sure saw a lot of changes in communication during our RV traveling days. At first people would line up at the RV resort pay phone booths to call home … No cell phones. Now you never see a phone booth of course. We had a heavy old computer that we’d have to carry to the RV park office or rec room to get our email etc … Then wifi started to come in, and laptops, and now smartphones and tablets … And Skype …. Lots and lots of changes in the past dozen years! We are living in interesting times (and not just electronically).


  6. Sending positive thoughts for you both for David’s surgery and aftercare; that’s no small task. Glad he’s accepted the use of some aids for himself especially if it keeps him from falling. Take care of yourself as well.

    Dunstan’s research travel sounds fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Believe it or not, I have driven every back road in VA at one time or another for various reasons. Especially if those roads lead south. Also used to know eastern WVA and MD fairly well. Went to school and worked in the latter.

      Don’t forget, I worked for the Bell System and we knew the highways and byways like the back of our hand. Mapped every square inch at one time.


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