After babying a bad knee for several years, I decided to bite the bullet and get it replaced this summer. While there is a very good bone doctor nearby in David, the hospital in David does not have the greatest record regarding infections, and, importantly US Medicare does not pay for things done outside the US.
For us blocking out 3 months for the surgery and recovery, and planning for a month recovery in Seattle was a challenge. My daughter lives in Seattle, but in a spit-level home which wouldn’t work for my immediate recovery after surgery.
So … the deed is done and we are encamped in an apartment in Seattle, in Alki with a beautiful view of the Sound. The sunsets are absolutely amazing, and we’ve been able to schedule my rehab appointments at Virginia Mason Medical Center in downtown Seattle mostly to avoid rush hour traffic. Our friend Todd Crow is taking care of our house and dogs in Panama.
They keep reminding me that replacing a knee is major surgery and I have to be patient and follow the program. They tell me that the first couple of weeks are the most painful and I hope they are right. I’m backing off some of the drugs, walking around with a walker, and now with my cane. We’ve got a few weeks before we fly back to Panama on Copa. And then I’ve blocked out two months R&R before going back to work.
Nikki has been wonderful as care giver/nurse/wife and I couldn’t have managed this without her help and encouragement.
The Puget Sound area is beautiful, but unfortunately this isn’t the time for me to ride around in the car and explore new areas. It’s nice being close to our daughter and my terrific grandsons … water polo games today … although Seattle has been colder than usual. We miss the daily Panamanian sunshine, and yes, even in July in can be gloomy in Seattle. It’s great having the resources of a big hospital like Virginia Mason, having Trader Joe’s, and next-day Amazon delivery, but there are some things about the States that I don’t miss. Things like the traffic, the buy-buy-buy! consumer mentality, and the great political divide, and all the craziness of Washington.
And of course getting to see my boys … almost worth going through the surgery alone.
Todd sent us a couple videos of our dogs chasing each other through the coffee trees and the thing that stood out in the videos was the cacophony of the birds. Birds singing is the constant background of life on our little finca.
One of the things the hospital gave us prior to my surgery was a list of common questions, things like “When can I drive?” etc. One of the questions was “Can I play golf?” And the answer was “Yes!” So although I’ve never played golf before, I’m looking forward to being able to play golf with my new titanium leg.