Thursday, December 24, 2009

DH's knee replacement

DH had his left knee replaced on the 14th of December. He got to come home on the 17th after his physical therapy that morning (I got to be his physical therapy coach on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so I would know how to help him do his exercises at home).
He did really well at the hospital, but once we got home, the swelling and bruising in his leg got worse. This was despite the exercising and icing we did as recommended by the therapists at the hospital. He had physical therapy one day at the VA and they recommended that he go back to his surgeon to see about the swelling, that that should be checked out.
We saw the surgeon yesterday, and he ordered a sonogram to check for blood clots, and to see if the blood thinner he ordered was causing bleeding. No blood clots, no extra bleeding, but he did say to discontinue the blood thinner, start the low-dose aspirin, elevate, and ice for 20 minutes out of every hour until the swelling goes down (and keep wearing the compression socks). So we're doing that, and it seems to be helping some. Staples come out on the 28th (that's DH's birthday, good present for him).
He is walking really well, using the walker when we go out because, of course, it's Minnesota and winter is finally hitting us with a vengeance. He uses the cane around the house since our house just isn't walker-friendly (the bathroom door just isn't wide enough to get the walker through unless you go through sideways). And the stairs to our bedroom in the basement don't seem to bother him much either, so that's good.
The only time he seems to have a lot of pain is when he's doing his exercises, or after Marty has jumped on his leg (and he seems to want to do that when DH is laying down in bed, trying to go to sleep). At least he has pain pills to take before we start his exercises.
DH keeps apologizing to me because I have to haul everything in from the van, and help with his leg - getting the compression sock on, doing the exercises, getting in and out of the bathtub, etc. I also have to shovel the sidewalk to the driveway (thank Maude we have someone who plows the driveway for us, and another person who comes down and snowblows the city sidewalk that runs along one side of our property - the city doesn't cut you any slack when one person is disabled and the other is laid up, you still have to clear the sidewalk or they will, and they'll charge you an arm and a leg for doing it). Side note - I shoveled the short walk from the door to the drive today and when I came in, I had some snow on my shoes. Knocked it off on the mat by the door, and Marty had to check it out. Then he ate the snow.....LOL
Silly cat. I told DH that doing all that stuff is part of being married, that when he's laid up, I take care of him and do what needs to be done because I know he would do the same for me (and he's going to do that when I have my carpal tunnel surgery, so no biggie).

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Minivan (to me, anyway)

We went with the 2008 Kia Sedona minivan. It had the best remaining warranty (and we were able to upgrade that warranty so that we now have 5 years/58K miles).

I'm having to learn how not to drive with a lead foot - the Sedona has so much more acceleration and pick-up than any other vehicle I've ever driven, it's just too easy to hit the gas pedal from a complete stop and be doing 40 mph before you know it (and that's in town). It gets up to highway/freeway speeds faster than my Grand Caravan and Windstar ever did, so the cruise control will definitely get used a lot.

The only drawback to buying the Kia is that the seatbelt fit way too tightly and I needed an extender. Kia doesn't offer extenders, at all. Something about seat belt extenders haven't been tested for safety so Kia won't be responsible if the extender fails in an accident. Right, so the seat belt doesn't fit me, I can't buckle it, I'm in an accident - does that mean I can sue Kia because they refuse to put seat belts in their vehicles that will fit fat people? Not to mention that in MN, they passed the law where you can be stopped and ticketed just for not wearing your seat belt. So I've been cheating and driving with the seat belt buckled before I ever get in the seat and then I sit on it (looks like it's buckled and the harness is behind my back to anyone outside the vehicle). Just a stop-gap measure until I could go online and do a search for an extender that will fit the Kia (the ones I had for the Windstar wouldn't work). I finally found one on eBay (final cost with shipping was $38.98) that was 15" long, which is perfect, puts the shoulder harness right where it should be (between my breasts) so the damned thing doesn't decapitate me. Ordered it Monday afternoon and it got here in today's mail. Doesn't match the interior color of the Kia, but I don't care, safety is more important than a color-match, IMO.

I'll know in a couple of weeks how it does on gas mileage (in cold weather anyway). Vehicles always get better gas mileage in warm weather than they do in cold weather, so I know the mileage will get better when spring and summer get here (and it's finally getting really cold here in MN, it's actually 15 degrees F and snowing today, yuck).