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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Plans

As some of you know, my plans for the rest of the winter have been in flux. I previously scheduled shoulder surgery, and I had to cancel it. Now, I've cleared all the hurdles to be ready for surgery again. It turns out that the sudden and dramatic atrophy around my shoulder is a rare "complication" of a cortisone injection. It's not reversible but it doesn't preclude surgery. I'm not happy about the atrophy, since I believe it could have been avoided, but there's nothing I can do to change it now.

Sometimes, it's best just to accept things and move on. Deal with what I can change rather than fume over things that are not changeable.
The other issue was that I didn't feel that my original surgeon was a good fit for me. At first, I tried to convince myself that she was a technician who would "fix" my shoulder, kind of like a car mechanic "fixes" cars, and that I didn't have to like her. However, I gradually realized that I didn't completely trust her - and that was part of why my intuition was setting off alarm bells.

So, I found a new surgeon - who agreed with the first one that surgery is imperative and explained the reasons very clearly. I feel a million times better about her as my surgeon. So does Shyla.
So, on Monday, I'll be having shoulder surgery. Compared to some of the really tough surgeries I've been through in my life, it should be relatively easy if everything goes as planned.
I'm planning for my "recovery" time, so that I have things to look forward to.
- I want to do daily sunrise hikes with Shyla (starting whenever my body is ready after surgery).
- I want to do some animal tracking in unvisited nearby places and find some new trail camera sites.
- I want to teach both dogs new tricks (I'm making lists for each of them).
- I'd love to try some new photographic techniques - but this list is getting long.
I also plan to try to keep my lower back happy, mainly by spinning daily on my indoor exercise bike. My lumbar spine has a multi-level surgical fusion and cycling is the best way to keep it from being too painful.
Hmm, as I write it all down, it sounds like I'm going to be busy! I guess that "rest" ought to be on the list too. Yes, I do plan to rest... but that's the aspect of recovery that I'm not good at!

I know the pain is going to be tough at first because the surgeon will be cutting bone, and I am not looking forward to that. I probably won't really start on my "list" until I get over the acute part of the recovery. My "list" isn't a way of denying the hard parts of the recovery. Rather, it's a way of trying to stay upbeat through it all. It's a strategy that has worked well for me in the past!


  1. from what i've learned about you, you are a 'doer'. having a list is a great way to keep looking forward.

    shyla is SUCH a beauty! love your shots of her!

  2. I think having a list of things to look forward to is great! Taffy has her paws crossed that your surgery will go easier than expected and you won't be in too much pain. We will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos with us!

  3. I think I'd be doing the same thing, trying to find what I still can do during recovery that I perhaps don't do when I'm being more active. If nothing else, I'd be stocking up on books to read or videos to watch on the photography techniques I'd like to try.

    I'll be thinking about you and sending good vibes up over the mountains. I'm glad you found a surgeon you're more comfortable with!

  4. You are a tough lady and I know you will do great!!! I hope that your pain is minimal and I know those doggies will take great care of you!!!! I'll be anxious to hear how it all went!!! Sending good thoughts!!!


  5. The list is a wonderful way of staying upbeat. I'm glad you have a surgeon in whom you have complete confidence. And I will be thinking positive thoughts as you go through this ordeal. Take care of yourself and don't push things too much.

  6. We haven't been around much lately and we are sorry for that. But we think of you often and so appreciate your visits. We hope only the very best for your surgery and it is a good thing to go into it feeling good about your surgeon. Hugs and prayers coming your way.

  7. I thinking having a list to look forward to is a great thing! Good luck with your surgery! Nola and I will keep our fingers and paws crossed for you. :)

  8. Glad you went with your gut and changed surgeons. Even if it delayed things a bit, it is important you feel comfortable. As part of your rest, we suggest either on Netflicks or DVD - watching a TV series you have been interested in.

  9. I'm glad you found someone to work with that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Knowing you, you will be on the mend before most of us expect it. You'll be in my thoughts on Monday and while you're recovering!

  10. Mom's doctor was just telling her about this danger from cortisone a few days ago. We will cross our paws for your surgery. We know how hard it will be for recovery to not be able to use your arm. We HOPE it is your non-dominate arm. But what must be done must be done. Good luck and take care!!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  11. I so agree with your strategy. It's hard enough that you have to go through this; dealing with the blow that this didn't have to happen has to be incredibly hard. To schedule recovery activities you love and look forward to will help you keep your attitude high, which is required for healing and coping. And you do have some terrific "nurses" to keep you company!

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. Good luck to you. Your gut is never wrong. Thanks for listening to it.

    Love Shyla covered in snow. Beautiful.

  13. It's always best to trust your intuition. I didn't get my dental implant done for years because I couldn't find an oral surgeon I trusted and liked. I'm so glad I waited because the oral surgeon that did my dental implant did a phenomenal job.

    It sounds like rest should be the number one thing on your to do list, but I'm sure you'll get plenty of that while you get through the first few days of your surgery.

    Hoping all goes well! I bet the pups will make great caretakers while you're recovering. By caretakers, I mean bed warmers :)

  14. Good for you! Maybe you won't get to your list right away, but having something to look forward to is so important. I love your posts --- bless you for writing them!

  15. Glad to see that Shyla is giving your new surgeon, and your plans, a paws up! And your post-op plans sound excellent!

  16. The right surgeon makes all the difference in the world - that's what our dad says. Our paws will be crossed for you, KB!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  17. This all sounds GREAT! So relieved that it feels "right" this time, even though it won't be easy.

  18. Lots of wisdom in those plans. Staying positive and ACTIVE is so important, got to keep it balanced with rest too. Best wishes on surgery day KB, and keep us posted. The best doctors take time to explain and care. I'm glad you found a good one!

  19. At least you feel better about it all now. The positive attitude will help tons. And that's a good busy list too.

  20. Hope you have a very speedy recovery!

  21. Ph gosh just the thought! Sending you lots of good thoughts. It's better to just get it over with

  22. We'll be praying for you! It's always smart to trust your gut instinct. Glad you switched surgeons and have one who you trust now!

  23. Just be gentle with yourself if you can't keep up with as much activity post-surgery as you'd hoped to. Having just had a multi-level lumbar fusion myself at the end of October, I discovered it was a full two months before I even *wanted* to do most of the things I'd hoped to do during my down time -- by which time most of the down time was over and it was time to get active with things like work again!

    But it's pretty clear you listen well to your body, so I know you'll have as successful a recovery as anyone could hope for. And good for changing surgeons! I trusted my surgeon implicitly, and I believe that if I hadn't, my surgery wouldn't have gone so well. It's important to really *believe* that your surgeon is your #1 supporter in your recovery. It sounds like you've got that now.

  24. KB, I will be thinking of you on Monday. I hope your surgery goes perfectly, and that you heal quickly and with minimal pain. I've been catching up on all your news and wonderful photos. The mountain lion antics video made me smile. Many tears shed here after I read you post, "The Spirit that Guides Me." Sending a hug and best wishes.

    Susan and Wrigs

  25. Wishing for you to have a successful surgery and speedy recovery!

    And definitely do rest! I completely understand how hard it is! Just yesterday I over-did it with my knee, and this morning the physical therapist could feel the resulting inflammation when she was manipulating my kneecap. You have to balance wanting to get things back to normal, with the speed at which your body can heal. But I am sure you have had way more than your share of rest/healing so you know exactly how to get through this. Good Luck. I'll be thinking about you!

  26. This is our second attempt at commenting. Last night, Blogger was flashing all around and being a pain.

    You have to have faith in your surgeon. Hope everything goes well.

    XXXOOO Daisy, bella & Roxy

  27. KB
    Were so happy to hear that you waited until all the puzzle pieces fit together perfectly- concerning your health and finding the right surgeon for you.
    We have never left your side. We knew you were searching and waiting,,, and now we are still here.
    We are feeling strong that everything will go well. You will recoop and it will all be okay.
    We will not leave your side.
    tweedes and moms

  28. Hi Y'all,

    Please know that my Humans' prayers are with you Monday.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog


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