Saturday, June 29, 2013

Teamwork in classes and on the job - Part 1

We know that teamwork is probably the most important thing on the job. The old cliche of "there is no I in team" is pretty much true. It's multiple people working together. In classes, it's even more important.

When doing a class project, it's how well the entire team does. If one person does badly, the entire team suffers. I had this one team project and I kept telling the other two teammates that I didn't want to wait til the last minute. I had given them my contact info and class schedule a few times, and even then only one of the two gave me her text number. The other girl I never heard from until 10 hours before due time.

Apparently these two waited til the absolute last minute while I had my part already in the report with instructor's specs and questions to answer for them. My "don't wait til the last minute" was a common theme for the next three weeks before the due date. I told them I could make the report a good one but not if it was at the last minute. Come the due date, we had our presentation, and I was thinking it looked OK, though could have used some improvements. But the actual report I never saw til later.

What got me was that they kept claiming that I didn't say anything. Really? Like my many times of saying "no last minute" wasn't saying anything? That plus "we were aggressively working on project in classroom." If that were true, we'd have finished this long ago. Hardly "aggressive." And I was right there in the classroom and in the Commuter Lounge if they needed me.

Next - Part 2

Monday, June 24, 2013

Surgery and the Hips - Part 2

Physical therapy started the next day for me, twice a day. I was barely able to make a circuit around the nurses station, going only 1/4 of the way around with the help of a walker. Next day, I made a full circuit before heading into the physical therapy room. Then the day before I was to leave, in two physical therapy sessions, did the equivalent of two circuits. I even scared the physical therapist and may have given her more gray hair showing how I use the walker to go up and down steps, doing it in the fire exit stairwell.

One of the things I had to do post-surgery that day was to sit on the edge of the bed. Just doing that beforehand would have been painful. In this case, it wasn't. But I wasn't able to stand due to my having low blood pressure and the concern I could pass out.

Before heading home, I had to ask questions of the surgeon, his fellow (he learns from the surgeon), the physical therapist, and others. I couldn't resist when one thing that came to mind was on roller coasters. I asked if I could ride them, maybe at least a year after surgeries are done. The answer I got was that I could. Personally, I'd see how the ride was built and go from there, knowing how fast and bumpy they can be. I've got almost no driving limitations except that I not be under influence of the pain medications. The way I am now, probably won't be for a bit.

Most important was the restrictions. Seems I have almost none. Only thing I need to be careful of is that I not have extreme ranges of movement. The fellow said I'd also know if I dislocated the hip and to call 911 to take me to thoe hospital for getting it back in place.  It's also around this time I find that there's not two approaches to hip surgery, but three. Anterior, posterior, and lateral. Seems lateral is approximately between anterior and posterior. Another webpage shows more approaches. I also found out earlier that my incision was closed by stitches under the skin, but the skin is closed via not stitches nor staples, but something called Dermabond.

As usual, I used humor here and there when the time was right.

Other than all that, the second surgery should go just as well as this one. I've got the same people from a home health care agency coming in for nursing support and physical therapy from when I had the knee surgeries.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Surgery and the Hips - Part 1

Finally, I got the call saying that my surgery time was 11:30am and I had to be there by 9:30am. Going through Registration, I find that there's been some changes in the way ASL interpreter requests are handled. According to the Registration person and interpreter, there was a case in 2010 that was settled in 2011.

Hospital fined for failure to accommodate
Inova Health System settles with Justice Department

Definitely an improvement there. I had interpreters the entire time I was there, even at night. One nurse I talked with briefly mentioned what they went through in the training classes related to this. I half expected him to show one of his test papers, after talking with him about how the classes went.

Going through prep, it was painful enough having someone lift my left leg onto the wheelchair footrest and prep bed. One of the people I talked with was the anesthesiologist. He tried learning some sign and got everyone in the room laughing a bit when he got a couple signs wrong, then right. We talked about what he was going to give me and so on. The surgeon came in briefly and we wrote in the area where the incision was to be. Other people came in as well. I also had an epidural, or spinal block, right before heading into the operating room.

Going into the operating room, I wasn't able to make note of the room number like last time. I was awake just long enough to take a quick look around the room before going under. What made things different here was the fact that I was requested to leave my hearing aids on as they were going to talk with me some before the actual surgery started. Only thing is that they said I wouldn't remember it and they were right. I didn't wake up in the recovery room, rather, in the operating room. My arms were out on my sides and there was a sheet blocking my view from the stomach down. All that was taken down just before going to the recovery room where I spent about an hour. Total time going through both was about 4 hours.

Then my bed was wheeled to where I would be for the next few days. Interestingly enough, it was room 404. You may recognize 404 as being a "not found" error on a website.

Next - Part 2

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Researching My Hip Surgery

Like I said in my Researching Your Knee Replacement (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), it helps to research and ask questions. I started like I did with the knees, looking on YouTube and other webpages. But of course, I went back over to Booktoots' Healing blog, but if she had something on that, I may have missed it. However, Robin's site had some info.

After much research, I knew that there were two approaches to this procedure, the anterior and the posterior. What sealed it for me in getting the anterior approach over the posterior was an article in the Washington Post. As it turns out, it was one of the referrals my rheumatologist gave me, and was also mentioned in the article. I made an appointment with one doctor there. Then when I saw him, we talked about the surgery and I asked him if he does the anterior approach. He didn't, but he passed me along that same day to another doctor who did, and from there I had my surgery date.

About three weeks before the surgery date, I went to the hospital for presurgical testing and met up with a case manager and a physical therapist. I was cleared for surgery. Later that evening, I had a "joint class," meaning they cover what I'm to expect before and after surgery. I was the only person in the class.

It was difficult enough after the first knee surgery when the surgeon had to cut the muscle due to the muscle contractures I had, but after seeing the laundry list of restrictions in effect for 6 weeks...

The surgeon who did the knees does the posterior approach. My surgery date with him was cancelled and went with the current surgeon.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Graduation... Finally...

I haven't been posting much in the last year, and for good reason. I went back to school. The knees were repaired and I was ready to head back to classes. After much looking around of where to go, I found I had three more years of classes with GMU. I wanted a place that would allow me to graduate in less time than that, maybe two years. Gallaudet University had their Adult Degree Program. One of the requirements was that I have 120 credits, and I had 151 transferrable credits. My classes would be on campus and online. I declared my major of Info Tech and started my first semester with two classes while I went through the approval process.

The approval process was more of an up and down argument process among the dean and other people. I was accepted for various reasons and a technicality, that the Undergraduate Catalog wasn't clear on what kind of classes I would take, in terms of online, on campus, etc. Finally I was accepted about 3 weeks before the end of the semester. That next semester had me enrolled in five classes, two online 8 week classes and three normal classes on campus.

But what a crazy final year it's been...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hip Surgeries (was Post-surgery knees)

Awhile ago, I came back from the doctor awhile ago and it's just as I figured. I need a left total hip replacement. It's getting more and more difficult to get around. I had to go from cane to walker around the house and wheelchair when I'm out and about.

...and if that ain't bad enough, I need it on the RIGHT hip also...

The good thing is that I graduated from college and will have surgery without interfering with classes. Surgery date is June 17 in the morning. In this case, it's a different doctor than who did the knees. Next posting will have more on the research I did.