Tag Archives: hernia surgery

Mr. Chicken Little bites his nails as he picks flooring …


As the three of us spend less and less time on the phone with each other, our typical very short calls are largely for items that are mostly quick updates (“I arrive at the Minneapolis airport at 4:30. Goodbye.”). We’re just not chatters and FaceTimers so the letters step in to partially fill informational voids.


December 5, 2017

Ellen/Reid: Now’s the time for a bit of nail biting as the buyers have until Dec. 15 to pull the plug. To be able to keep their $2,500 won’t be of much solace should the deal head south. My Realtor tried to keep Mister Chicken-Little-The-Sky-Is-Falling calm yesterday; he cautioned that there’s always a ‘list.’ The only bugaboos to me are the water heater and a periodic small drip from the freezer, which I have already disclosed. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

All it’s done is solidify the desire to relocate in Brevard. You know the reasons. There is also something about reinvention of self with a little adventure and the unknown tossed in for good measure. What I do know is that picking flooring is not my cup of tea. Ellen, the lighter shade just seemed right so I’m sorry to have vetoed your choice. The hardwood goes down this week. You will have more opportunity to serve as my decorator; what would you think about plantation shutters? Those are what’s in the current home and I like them very much.

The final nail in the Head West coffin was poking along at seven miles an hour yesterday on I-77. One hour to drive the final seven miles to home. That’s just a deal killer. Three lanes of white lights and red taillights for as far as the eye can see. That’s no way to live, no way to drive. I’m going to do better. Already, I’m Googling things to do in Brevard and Asheville and Hendersonville.

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The kitchen is in the final stages of completion. I’m finding the hard way that decor and interior design is not necessarily my cup of tea.

To reiterate, the reason for three bedrooms is so that you and friends from Charlotte and Iowa have a place to stay on the doorstep of the mountains. There will be a definite open door policy for those sorts of visitors. And be sure to tell Tim, Ellen, that I will hold him to his oath for you four to spend next Thanksgiving at my new pad. Reid, you and Liz are welcome, too, although your T-Days seem locked in at St. Paul.

It was a good decision at the last possible moment to head early a.m. to Charleston. The fishing was unbelievable for species I seldom catch, trout and sheepshead. I mean, for a long time it was nice fish after nice fish. Bang. Bang. Bang. It didn’t appear that way at first. The tide was by far the highest I’d ever seen it owning to the Super Moon effect. It pulled the water almost to the top of the docks. It was cold and windy, too. The thought was ‘Here we go again – no fish’. Reid, I tried a new Z-Man plastic lure slipped over a jig that has a big ‘eye’ where the lead weight usually is. The trout went bonkers over it. As per usual, a black man who fishes from the dock at the put in point was the beneficiary of my good fortune. He got a hefty 18 inch black drum and a nice 20 inch trout. After all the gear was stowed at home and the fish cleaned, I dropped some off to my friends Jill and Troy. Nice to share the bounty with folks who will know what to do with it. Troy is one helluva chef. I was wrong, too, about Bowens Island as only marginally further from Brevard. It will add about 60 miles each way. Perhaps it’s time to junk the down-and-back mentality and just stay overnight and fish for two days rather than one.

As for the new hernia, jeez. The doctor cautioned me against too-harsh floor workouts which he attributed, in part, to the new bulge. But since there are no restrictions between now and the surgery date (which has yet to be set) then all will be good in terms of preparation for the move. Ideally, it would be nice to stave it off until after all is said and done with the new house in Brevard. Ellen, let Tim know I appreciate his offer to fly down and help with the packing (and heavy lifting). I may well take him up on it. Reid, I don’t know your schedule beyond Sri Lanka but don’t feel by any means that your presence here is required.

So keep your fingers crossed that the 15th will yield a set-in-stone contract. Toes crossed, too.

Love, Dad

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Sit down, stand down, pipe down …


Ellen and Reid have met a few of my friends in person. So they know some of the ‘personalities’ I have to deal with. Those they don’t know, they hear about.

But it’s those sort of folks that make my life bearable – especially in the post-operative world. Thank God for their kindness (even if I have to endure the occasional zinger).


April 17, 2017

Ellen/Reid: Well, your old man is sitting around in loose, non-binding clothing this morning as this double hernia recovery begins in full. Knock-on-wood, but there have yet to be any setbacks and barring doing anything goofy or outright stupid, there won’t be. But already I’m going stir crazy. This sitting around stuff doesn’t do much for me. I’d better get used to it: there’s at least another 4 – 6 weeks (and maybe more depending on what the surgeon recommends) of nothingness ahead. I see him in about two weeks and hope to get more of a handle on when I can return to full activity. That’s in the context of getting in shape for Wyoming. I told Tom Bohr I’d be in ready and I damned well better be in relatively good condition.

The surgery in itself was remarkable. It was done robotically. The surgeon sits at a screen perhaps 10 feet away from the patient and manipulates two robotic arms as if he’s playing a high-stakes video game. Apparently, they bloat you with gas so the metal arms have room to roam unfettered around your innards. At least that’s what I think they do. He sews in a patch of plastic mesh that seals off the intestine from protruding any further. The upshot of the robotic surgery is, according to what I read, a faster recovery. We shall see. Before I went under I asked one of the nurses about the particulars of the robotic surgery and she said I didn’t want to know. So I looked at the video on YouTube and she was right. I didn’t want to know. There was strict hell to pay the first 24 hours in terms of sitting or rolling over in bed. I thought I’d torn the internal stitches at one point just trying to get out of bed. I’m moving much better now and am in no pain. If anything it’s mild discomfort. I put the 30 pill hydrocodone prescriptions through the shredder. No way would that stuff make it into the house, let alone my system.

This is when you know how your good friends step up. Sondra and Jody brought over a full Easter dinner yesterday. My mistake was thinking they’d stop at the grocery store for a roasted chicken and some deli food, but no, she would hear none of that. She told me to sit down, stand down and pipe down. There’s was no fighting that sort of directive. She commandeered the kitchen and had everything pre-cooked or she cooked it here.

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It’s these sort of friends – plus many others not shown – that make life in the Carolinas livable. From left to right: Lynn, me, Luke, Jody and Sondra.

So much for the high-fiber diet that was supposed to be the norm for the first week or 10 days. We ate, and (d)rank wine, like there was no tomorrow. Our buddy Luke came over, too, and it was just a lot of fun. We decided what was said here table around the dining room table would stay here. The headache I awoke to this morning took my mind off the other sort of medicinal-related discomfort.

Reid, I finally made a reconnection with my mentor, Don. You two were babies when you met him, but he was a guiding light for me early on. I wish I’d of stayed in touch with Ferg through the years but I completely dropped the ball on that. Make sure you touch base with Tom and Gene. Those guys are ready and will to help. Both have business smarts and Gene has connections as you know full well.

Ellen, Easter must’ve been a blast at your new place. Georgia coming off her birthday, and Emma in high gear just because she’s Emma. If the physician gives me a green light to travel, I hope to snag a late, cheap fare to make it in time for your graduation and Emma’s fifth b-day. She’s five already? That doesn’t seem possible. It really doesn’t.

The post-op literature advises patients to get off their duffs and walk as much as possible. In that vein I’ll grab my coffee in my Emma-Georgia mug and mosey – slowly – toward the mailbox to see if there’s any mail of non-junk interest. Don’t be strangers.

Love, Dad

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