Sunday, March 21, 2021



Yesterday, I had written about my expectation to hike today. Why am I not hiking, but writing, instead? “Any excuse is a good excuse.”

My Excuses

First, the recent rain, as I know, still has the usual muddy areas. My last three hikes involved mud. I decided to skip another muddy hike, being the “coward” that I am.

Second, the weather is too warm. If I had started early this morning, the temperature was cooler. That's my fault. There's nothing like a too hot and muddy afternoon hike, even on a clear and sunny day! (That's a joke, folks.) Today would have been another one of those hikes, when I wear and hike in one T-shirt then change into the other T-shirt, after the hike. Never let them see you sweat!

Finally, my “bionics” decided to indicate that they are still present, more so that usual today. Every now and then, I get an electrical shock, as I call them, in my right foot. The shocks are indications that the still recovering nerve trauma is improving – ever so slowly. My right foot was shocking this morning. It hasn't yet shocked me while hiking. I did not want today to be the first time, especially on one of the several steep and dangerous enough areas.

Have I ever posted some of the X-rays that I have, of my “bionic” joints? I do not think that I have. If you have a weak stomach, please stop reading now. Remember that I warned you!

I have a total of 25 surgically installed metal items (i.e., rods, pins, screws) in my left shoulder, right knee, and right foot. Let's start from the top and work down, shall we? Each X-ray was taken on 6/27/2016. They are the last X-rays taken. The surgeon stated, as he examined his work and my recovery, that I would not have arthritis – due to the trauma, his surgery, and my healing. To this date, I do not have arthritis in the three repaired joints. That, at least, has been a very good result. Okay, I'll stop talking and will show three X-rays now. I warned you!


Can you count the ten metal items (nine screws on one rod), in my left shoulder? They are still there. I know it every day. Over the almost five years (since 3/29/2016), the left shoulder has come along well enough. The soft tissue (i.e., muscle, ligaments, etc.) has been the work in progress these last several years. I had started out by being barely able to make a small circle, with my left hand placed on a table. I can now almost lift the little 15 pound weight straight up, as easily with my left arm as I can with my “weaker” right arm. I'm left handed. My left side has always been stronger. I'm still working on it.


That's one view of my right knee. I have another X-ray that shows the screws more clearly. There are four screws and the metal mesh and wires. (I do not count the mesh and wires.) The mesh replaced my knee cap. The wires secured the mesh to the screws that held it all in place. I took my first “baby” steps, on 6/16/2016. (I have written about it.) At first, I could not hold weight on my right leg. The muscles had shrunk. My right leg looked like a toothpick. I could not bend my knee at first. Now, I can kick my backside with my right foot, as I can with my left foot. The knee regained all the motion. The interior left side of my right knee is still the work in progress (i.e., muscle, ligaments, etc.), as it connects to my right foot. (I have learned to study my recovery holistically. Every joint, muscle, etc., is related to the whole.) The last two times, as I hiked down House Mountain, my right knee did not “talk to me” much at all. I'm still working on it.


That's one view of my right foot. Another view shows what I call the “piece of bicycle chain,” which I count as once piece. The “piece of bicycle chain” is not as visible in the one above. There are ten screws that secured the “piece of bicycle chain.” All that reconstructed my shattered heel (or calcaneus). The bone to my big toe broke. It healed fine, without metal. The nerve damage is not visible. The nerve damage causes my electric shocks, such as earlier today. I've felt the shocks while driving. No danger. I endure them. I would rather not, however, have an electric shock, while on a relatively dangerous spot on House Mountain. I still cannot move my right foot in a forward position equal to my left foot. I can't move my toes down, without helping them, as I can for my left toes. I still have a spot on the back of my heel that is healing. I still have red dot between my big toe and the next one to it. The red dot goes away at times. It is smaller and more pink than red now. (No, I did NOT say that I wear pink on my foot! Real men do NOT wear pink. It's God's law!)


Am I counting correctly? Let's see. Ten metal items in left shoulder, plus four metal items in right knee (not counting the mesh and wires), plus eleven metal items in right foot equals twenty five total. I still recount at times, to see if I am still correct. It could be twenty six or twenty seven, depending on how you count the mesh and wires in my right knee, which I do not count.

I started calling it sympathetic reaction, before I learned that the medical term is crossover reaction. The body is a complex set of levers and pulleys, as it relates to the joints and muscle. (Do not tell me that we evolved that way. Anyone with any sense knows better.) Damage to areas (called “multi-trauma”) reacts into the opposite areas (i.e., sympathetic reaction or crossover reaction). I feel sympathetic reaction in my left knee, left side and hip, both elbows, right neck, etc. It has improved much over these almost five years. I'm still working on it.

Well, as I had stated earlier, “any excuse is a good excuse.” I could have hiked, if I had not been such a “weakling” today.

No comments: