Wednesday, April 10, 2013


No, not multiple vitamins... appointments this week. Yesterday was physical therapy. Today I have a doctor's appointment. Thursday I see my prosthetist for some adjustments requested by my physical therapist. Friday I have PT again. Every day, Stella has health-related issues for which she needs my genuine support.

If I'm scarce here this week, you'll know why. Thanks for your patience.


  1. Weird that doctors can't understand that visiting them is not fun, kinda boring, and you'd rather be somewhere else.

    Hang in there, Steve. ... There are no other options.

    Gentle hugs to Stella.

  2. Actually, ellroon, these docs are rather the exception to that rule.

    PT is fascinating, and physical therapists go out of their way to make it so... they have shelves full of games and a gym full of phys-ed equipment most of which I've never seen before, and the things they teach you to do may seem, in isolation, rather pointless. But then they put you in a situation in which you integrate the motions you learned into a purposeful activity, and suddenly you have, e.g., a walk with a more even gait, or the ability to keep your balance when you stretch to reach for something, or more strength or endurance for day-to-day use. Believe me, if you've ever been deprived for a time of the ability to walk, you'll understand when I say that walking IS indeed fun, when you regain the ability.

    A prosthetist's studio is a room full of interesting devices intended to substitute for limbs, and a space for trying out newly built ones... newly built especially for YOU, to allow you to walk, stand or sit, grasp and pick up things, etc. The first time I ever saw a runner's prosthetic foot with ankle was, not on the evening news after paralympics champion Oscar Pistorius allegedly murdered his girlfriend a few weeks ago, but in my prosthetist's studio, where he was, I assume, fitting a real (and presumably less sociopathic) local athlete,

    The doc who is my rehab case manager may not have an examining room full of interesting gadgets, but she never wastes my time or her own, and I usually come away with a sense that we've accomplished something to my benefit... e.g., progress on my obtaining a better wheelchair (the one I rent from the hospital is useless, clumsy and too heavy for Stella to lift into the car; we're working on getting a lighter, more agile one much more suitable for excursions, e.g., to concerts or city parks), medication for the kinds of problems associated with wearing a prosthesis in a hot climate, etc., etc.

    Not boring... just tiring. I'm physically exhausted after each appointment, but I come away with an optimism that can't be bought from a catalog. If (good Dog forbid) you ever end up disabled, you could do worse than go to TIRR/Memorial Hermann for your rehab.

    Stella welcomes your gentle hugs. I've been dispensing those frequently lately. Stella is a determinedly independent gal, and really dislikes it when anything interferes with that independence, which means that medical issues vex her. She'll recover, I'm confident, but the road may be a rocky one.

  3. Love to you both. Boy do I ever empathize you you. I simpley had enough and canceled all doc appointments this month. peace, Michael

    1. karmanot, thanks. I know you must be going through the same thing. I never expected life to be... hectic... in my old age, but that's the right word for it.

      And now I must go (thanks, neighbor George) to get some prescribed nonprescription medication from the nearest pharmacy...

  4. As the designated driver for a number of people when it comes to medical visits, the visits you describe have almost nothing in common with what I see, like a half-hour appointment that lasts three hours and involves my having to swap out an oxygen tank because the individual I took ran out after two hours.

    How about a doctor's office that isn't really wheelchair accessible.

    Don't even get me started about the local Emergency Room, which is the default for all of the local doctors if you don't have an appointment. What is the point of bothering to have a primary physician if they send you to the emergency room all the time?

    1. Bryan, that sounds altogether awful.

      My docs now (except my PCP) are all in one way or another affiliated with TIRR; my appointments are at one or the other of the TIRR locations. TIRR has a reputation of something like 40 years, and they don't rest on their laurels... all the docs and other staff (therapists, nurses, even the social worker) are pro's of the highest order. And the place runs like a clockwork: if my therapy appointment is listed as being from 10:00am to 11:00am, my therapist meets me in the waiting area at 10:00am, leads me to the gym, and we're at our business until 11:00am, plus or minus about a minute. The therapists are prepared, and in my experience they remember where in the sequence of things I am, individually; the only time wasted is scanning the shelves for the right prop or "toy" or stick. It's a tight ship, and as best I remember, it always has been, since my youth and the days I worked for Baylor... the first time, starting two years after I graduated from college.



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