Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More on the Knees and Surgery - Part 5

So far, so good. I've been having interpreters for my rehab in the mornings. It's been working out pretty well so far and the rehab center has been doing good on their part.

I've been making some progress here and there. It was difficult and painful enough trying to sit at the edge of this elevated mat to get the knee to bend properly, but it did at nearly a 90 degree angle. Another one was walking from the rehab room to my own room, something I wasn't able to do last week. I use a slider to help me in one of the exercises in bending the knee a bit more. The back of the knee is a bit tight.

The staples came out. It wasn't that painful, just looked it. The incision area looks pretty good, despite the knee immobilizer velcro strap rubbing a bit too much on one area. I'm using gauze pads to protect it. Sometimes I'll walk without the immobilizer. Now to see when I graduate from walker to cane.

My next worry is the steps at home since I'm in a split level. But of course, I can always butt-climb them. That's a rather easy way out, I know. Best thing to do is to go up and down the steps normally a few times a day.

According to the doctor, I go home about Monday or Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More on the Knees and Surgery - Part 4

The saga continues of getting interpreters. At last posting, I said I would be getting one on Monday. That was the rehab center's time to show that they were serious about getting interpreters for me.

Monday after rehab, no interpreter. I talked with the business office to see what was going on. They said Jamie was a good advocate. Then someone told me that the interpreters would be around on Tuesday from 10-12.

The next day, I had one. It helped out pretty nicely, as I was making progress here and there. At one point, I was to walk around this table. I wasn't sure if I could make it. Then I tried. Partway around, halfway around, back to the meeting spot.


I talked with my doctor and he said I'd be going home in a week or two. The staples will be coming out Monday rather than Friday or Saturday as I thought. He even joked about getting me to play for the Redskins.

Hmm... Play for the Redskins. Not quite.

To walk, perchance to bowl again.

It'll happen.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More on the Knees and Surgery - Part 3

Typing this real quick from a rehab facility computer, I'm doing pretty good. I had the bandages changed earlier and the nurse I measured things.

It was also during this time that we made some headway in the interpreter issue, having had none since I arrived. Apparently they didn't quite take us seriously or didn't believe us til Jamie showed them proof. Then the business office authorized payment. As it turns out, I'll get limited service starting about Monday when I have physical and occupational therapy and am talking with the doctor, one after another.

For some strange reason, I thought I had a 22 inch incision til later I checked with the nurse again. She thought it was pretty funny. "22 centimeters, not inches." We used a paper tape to check on things and I did a little measuring myself. 22 cm is about 8.5 inches. I've got *32* staples. I should have those removed about Friday.

Fortunately, the facility is near the local metro stop, just a few stops away from our home stop, also right off a major highway.

Rehab's going good, just recently I was doing some knee exercises and it looked together with the therapist that I had about a 5-10 degree range of movement. That could double when the staples come off. I'm currently using a knee immobilizer for a bit of time. The CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine will come later.

Someone mentioned that I'm giving myself a Christmas gift. Definitely sounds like it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More on the Knees and Surgery - Part 2

I had the surgery Friday morning. From my meeting with the surgeon, he's told me that my knee was in pretty bad shape. Remember I said it didn't have cartilage? Lemme put it this way...

Surgery time was 4 hours. The attendants in the operating room was shocked at how bad it was. He asked how I got into his office, and I told him I used the cane. It seems I should not have been able to walk like this, since my muscles weren't keeping up with things, meaning they were going downhill some the worse my knee got. The way he says it, within maybe 3 years, due to the scar tissue from the cartilage breakdown, it would cause the entire knee to become frozen.

I'm moving to a rehab facility real soon, and am cleared by another doctor to go.

It took Jamie Berke's help together with a little MishkaZena's in dealing with some interpreter issues as well as some other things. I'll let them tell more.

Total time for recovery from this knee will all be dependent on me. Apparently I got a number of people behind me who will prod me along to make sure I'm doing good. This most likely puts my classes and other things in limbo for a bit, but I will return.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sorenson Slammed by Congress

Sherlock Steve forwarded me an email related to Sorenson being slammed by Congress amid their refusal to be audited. The PDF file below is a long read.

Deception and Distrust (PDF file)

Some things hop out at me after a bit of reading the entire file.

"In addition to the issue of overcompensation, there are questions as to whether all of the minutes that TRS providers submit for compensation have actually been incurred by people with hearing or speech disabilities, and whether provider costs are accurate."

No kidding.

The Nigerian scams for one. Then there's the teens who abuse the system.

Didn't the operators just get the power or ability to cancel these kinds of calls without harm to their jobs? Just spend a day with a relay operator and they'll see the kind of calls they get, which are not always from those with "hearing or speech disabilities" as it puts it. Just talk with my interpreter coordinator friend at a local college who works on the side with Sorenson as operator. He's complained about teens who spend hours and hours just talking.

This report, if you can call it one, doesn't even begin to address these issues. But of course, it's just the beginning.

Then there's this memo on page 42, exhibit 3. There's this interesting part... Page 44, Part D(1) under 'Other issues that affect the size an integrity of the fund.' Read also D(2).

"Consumer advocates are strongly opposed to permitting the CAs to terminate suspected fraudulent calls because it would require them to step out of their role as an invisible conduit."

That's something here... Consumer advocates? Just who the hell are they kidding? Are they advocating their own pockets! Sometimes a CA has to step out of their role. In fact, I welcome that when the need arises.

But there may be some CAs who claim these illegitimate calls as legitimate. How is their pay system set up?

Exhibit 5, page 49. ooh... Classic frustration memo writing here. Check the final paragraph on page 53.

Exhibit 6, page 55. "Sorenson did not permit us access to their staff and the relevant systems to document and test the controls associated with accumulating and reporting the minutes." ouch... Next exhibit... Now how are they doing the billing?

Once they answer these basic questions, I'm sure they can find ways to improve the TRS services.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More on the Knees and Surgery

Those of you wondering about what went on after the snafu in my Doctors and the Relay posts back in June need not wonder any more of what's going on.

Friday December 12, 7:30am, I will be having total knee replacement on the left knee. I had a physical, CBC (blood cell count), BMP (Basic Metabolic Panel), EKG (heart rhythm test), and presurgery history. I had a class of sorts with a nurse and other patients who were going through knee or hip replacement to talk about what to expect.

Just tonight, I got the message that my surgery is a GO! Showtime!

I know it's going to be a bit of work on recovery from my research. I had an arthroscopy on both knees 15 years ago and only needed to use crutches. I have a walker someone gave me. I used a cheap plastic chair for showering back then, and found an adjustable height shower chair reduced price of $10! I can easily put one of our other plastic chairs downstairs in the shower stall.

I'll be in the hospital for 3-4 days. I'll post more. Interestingly enough, later in the day after surgery, I'll be able to stand on the new knee and walk around some. Then over the coming days, I'll be attempting to walk more and longer distances and have physical therapy.

For the steps, it seems I may climb them butt-wise, and then normal stepping up and down. Right now, I'm going down them backwards or sidestepping.

Let's see... I got a walker, wheelchair, crutches, two canes, and a shower chair... It's a rest home here, wouldn't you say?