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Thu, Feb. 11th, 2016, 12:33 am

Hospital time allows me TV time. AMC and TCM have been showing lots of great stuff. Jurassic Park trilogy, Lawrence of Arabia, The Great Escape, A Few Good Men, most recently...

Some are shown multiple times. And I often join them in progress.

Since I don't have a TV guide -- seriously, the online sites suck and TV Guide has always pissed me off -- I am often surprised.

Tonight I hit a movie in the opening credits. Guessed the movie. And was right. I settled back and enjoyed an uncut movie with no commercial interruptions. An old friend I haven't seen in years.

Bullitt (1968)
Turner Classic Movies 11pm

Y'all know this film for two reasons. Steve McQueen. The Car Chase. Or perhaps your pair is Mustang Fastback versus Dodge Charger. But the rest of the cast is superb. Robert Vaughn as the oily Senator. Don Gordon as the jaded Sergeant Delgetti. And don't forget Jacqueline Bissett. Water velocities of six inch pipes... grin.

The Chase runs about ten minutes. The cat and mouse resulting in the Mustang coming over the hill in the rear view mirror. The bad guys buckling their seatbelts before they take off. Yeah there are some continuity issues -- who cares? Wikipedia notes the Charger loses five hubcaps...

There long scenes of nothing or something unfolding -- a taxi going through a car wash, before Steve gets to the cab driver. Wait, is he a young Robert Duvall? Why Yes.

And technology. 1960s style. Pay phones. Rotating drum facsimile machines over phone modems. Nurses still in white hats.

Terrific jazz flute score. And tension building strings in the airport scene. Sirens that go on and on. What a great cinematic masterpiece!

That sure looks like a real surgical team in the OR. I didn't realize they had ABD pads then. At one point, the surgeon asks for a Kelly. Huh. They asked for a Kelly on tonight's Code Black on CBS. Might be a real thing. That's the thing with Bullitt -- stylish and taciturn, it feels far more real than other cop dramas. Lots of waiting.

And is there anything lovelier than an intercontinental blue, white and silver Pan Am 707? But the interiors were of a real plane -- all narrow. Too many movies and TV shows make more spacious sets.

Very, very satisfying movie. This is what cinema should be...


Dr. Phil

Wed, Feb. 10th, 2016, 01:13 am

So I ended up in the wheelchair from about 11am to 7pm -- probably the longest stretch in forever, certainly this hospital stay. Normally I've taken a nap after lunch and gotten up for dinner. But the care conference was at 2:30 and lasted to about 4, then Mrs. Dr. Phil and I talked for a bit.

Which brings us to the amusement of peeing. Gentler readers may choose to avert their eyes and leave now.

Some time ago we did a proof of concept test that indicated I could get up from the wheelchair and sit at the edge of the bed and fit a hand urinal under there. Tuesday would be the functional test.

Everything went according to plan, except I couldn't pee! The pressure was there, just no release.

It finally occurred to me that perhaps there was a reason that toilet seats have holes. That perhaps pressure of sitting underneath was constricting the prostate or some other damned body part.

Plan B was to try to stand at the walker. Alas, with my stomach, this proved difficult and so we abandoned the effort. TMI -- I haven't peed standing up in years.

So I had to lie back on the bed and do it horizontally, some 550 mL. Ah, relief...

But this is a disappointment.

Truly it points to being crutch ready in order to be able to go home. For even if I have a prosthetic, it isn't likely to be in place in the middle of the night.


Dr. Phil

Tue, Feb. 9th, 2016, 08:24 pm
Well I'm Fucked

So we had a care meeting today -- lo and behold there was someone from the insurance company. Hallelujah. First real contact with someone who had some answers.

So there'd been a few things mentioned before -- therapy has mentioned going to an assisted living place or renting an ADA apartment, etc. while waiting for the stump to be ready for a leg. Cutting back on OT already happened, without RT in place.

Now they want to cut back PT, because I'm not making fast enough progress on crutches. Huh? Excuse me, I have to have some way to maneuver without a leg in order to be able to go home. Because you can't wear an artificial leg all the time.

Renting an apartment? Filling it with what? Outpatient PT? Not sure what sounds worse -- that or a lower grade facility. I like this place. I like these people.

But insurance wants to go along with therapy and discharge me tomorrow... Now their meaning of discharge isn't the same as mine. Doesn't mean I'm on the sidewalk in the morning.

No, it means private pay for room and board -- $280/day. Or go elsewhere...

I am still using hand urinals and bedpans. Meds to make sure things go through. But that's not a medical treatment.

I will probably be home one way or another in a few weeks. Whether it's going to be... Well, I have no idea.

Look, I don't know what's going on yet. But I can tell you I hate uncertainty...

Dr. Phil

Mon, Feb. 8th, 2016, 07:14 pm

So, Monday. Still only PT scheduled. OT was stopped on Thursday, without warning, and before RT could be scheduled to replace it. Maybe there'll be a scheduling decision tomorrow. Maybe I'll even hear about it.

I've been using my gloves to wheel around a bit. At least that part of OT exercise is covered.

In PT, I asked to be put in the parallel bars. Hopping is one thing, but it's a violent way to get around. Turns out that now I'm strong enough to roll my foot from heel to toe. So I was today more able to move my hands forward, get on my toes and do more of a swing than a hop. Still not the free swinging step back and forth I've seen others do on crutches, but still smoother and longer.

So... rather than try to transfer this to crutches, I proposed we use the hall railing on the left side and the crutch on the right. See if we could reproduce the lean forward and swing from a more stable position than two crutches.

It worked. Well, enough to get two good hops forward, a short one and a stubby attempt. (grin)

But hey, this is the first movement forward on any crutch.

Why at this pace I'll be home by the weekend. Well, heh-heh, not really. Not really.


While reading after dinner, I missed some sort of commotion on the floor. But of course the staff can't talk about it. I kind of got the impression one of the patients threw a hissy fit.

As for the Stupor Bowl commercials, I'd seen there was one with wiener dogs with buns running in the fields. Saw part of it on the CBS news this morning. Heinz ketchup commercial. Guess it was highly rated, too. But as I said, I was mainly on Food Network and only blipped in and out of the game. That way I wouldn't jinx the Jaguars. Alas, didn't work.

Winter is coming. Snow over the next few days. Highs in the teens by the weekend. We'll see.


Dr. Phil

Sun, Feb. 7th, 2016, 11:22 pm

There was a time when the Super Bowl was held at the end of January. It's February 7th...

There was a charm to the Super Bowls being enumerated with Roman numerals. I guess L was too complicated, so it's Super Bowl 50...

CBS has been hyping this for weeks, with lots of TV stars transformed with golden clothes. The tag line has been -- This is the most important event in broadcast history.

Most important? Really?

Sorry, CBS. I'd go with the first moon landing long before I'd make it down to SB50.

So, what about the commercials, you ask?

Hulk versus Antman for a Coke mini.
Seal redoing Kiss of a Rose for Super Bowl babies. NFL hype.
Sheep singing Queen. Ridgeline pickup truck with bed speakers.
All were cute.

The hard edge Budweiser ad threatening that you might not be able their beer -- fine. Fuck you, too. Big mistake after This Buds For You.

Halftime show? Damn, Beyonce has LEGS.

Eerie that so many residents had the game on, that when I would switch to CBS, there was this Sensuround effect.

There were a number of Call ins -- staff who couldn't make 2nd or 3rd shift. Way higher than Christmas or New Year's or ice storms. Weird that a lot of the guys are here. So a lot of people doing double shifts. My nurse and our aide, are doing doubles.

Time to get my aide to go into the closet and pull out the half a bag of miniature candy bars -- Snickers and 3 Musketeers and things -- after 9:40 -- the shift change starts at 10pm. The staff had a potluck, too. And ice cream. But I thought chocolate would revive them tonight. (grin)


Oh, the game? I watched it on and off. A lot of punts and sacks on both sides. It was within a touchdown for a long time. Alas, the result was:

Carolina Panthers - 10
Denver Broncos - 24

Dr. Phil

Sat, Feb. 6th, 2016, 12:53 am

Later Saturday morning than now, I should have my bandage undone from Monday's surgery. We'll see.

Tuesday was a light day of therapy. Wednesday was my fall, but before that there was yet another discussion about insurance coverage. They are worried that I'll burn through the covered days before I get the prosthetic. I don't think they quite understand I have a good plan, as opposed to Medicaid. Also we're trying to talk to insurance.

Still, the OT supervisor feels that we're at an impasse with occupational therapy until I'm stronger and further along with PT. So the wanted to switch OT to RT -- Reconstructive Therapy. Can do the same things we're doing in OT at the moment, but RT isn't billable.

Naturally they implemented this suggestion immediately. As in no OT on Thursday and Friday, even though RT can't start until at least Monday.


I did stand on crutches the last two days. And I cut out the Norco Friday morning. So far no pain from the surgery. Norco is like Tylenol and oxycodone -- I certainly felt a little lightheaded when standing and I don't need that right now. So good riddance to the drugs if I don't need them.

The room has been cooler lately. First time I wore a sheet in bed since I got here. 69-70°F.


Dr. Phil

Wed, Feb. 3rd, 2016, 11:50 pm
__ 0 __ Days Since Last Accident

Well, I fell in the hallway during PT today. I was doing a left hand transfer to a crutch and missed it -- and no left leg to support me. Dammit.

I think the kiwi brace hit the floor, but since the bottom is curved, it slid. I ended up on hands and knees. And I panicked. But they had enough people to get me up into the wheelchair. And I was able to shift myself. Do a wheelchair push up to straighten out the rolled up towel in the gap between the cushion and the chair. And a stand up to the walker, so I could straighten the shorts.

They checked the bandage from Monday's surgery -- seemed fine. Then went to the dining room and read until lunch. Ooh, Mac and cheese today. Comfort food.

General consensus is everyone falls with crutches -- better here.

I was working on a longer piece, but Dreamwidth ate it.

So, I'm okay. Will be a little stiff in the morning. But...


Dr. Phil

Sun, Jan. 31st, 2016, 11:28 pm

Channel 3 said it hit 50°F in K-zoo on Sunday -- snow later in the week. Was murky in the afternoon here.

At midnight no more food. Water til like 9:45. Pick up at 11am. Surgery... sometime Monday.

Weird things can happen in the hospital. Some of third shift is rock steady. Some of the floaters... Wednesday I had two people put me on a bedpan backwards. Thursday a third. All third shift.

Who does that? (grin)


Since when has the Pro Bowl been a schoolyard pick and not by conference? The Pro Bowl has always seemed a lackluster flag football version of football. Going to sandlot rules seems to accentuate that thought... Flipping channels I saw the score was 42-21 in the third quarter, but teams Irwin and Rice are meaningless for an all-star type game. You know, the one without the top two teams, who play next week...

Dr. Phil

Thu, Jan. 28th, 2016, 01:39 pm
Nip and Tuck

So Wednesday was my latest visit to see the surgeon.

There's one area still slow to stop seeping and the inboard dog ear is taking it's sweet time... So it'll be trimmed off on Monday. And as long as he's in there again, he's going to trim the other one -- it's just skin -- and trim and suture the not fully healed part.

I've been worrying about this sort of a revision, as the surgeon kept saying, because that sounded like cutting. And wouldn't cutting be a setback?

Actually, Dr. Fras isn't upset or worried, this happens all the time. The bonus is that this will shorten the time to a leg, not lengthen it. Okay, fine -- I'm on board. Also the surgery may reset some clocks with the insurance, giving us the time I need.

Everybody does things differently. I kept telling nurses not to put tape on my skin, but some of them kept insisting it would keep the dressing from shifting. Well, I've got a line of little blisters from my irritated skin from pulling that damned tape off. We've got a light dressing and a telfa pad on the area now.

Good thing this is still a stretcher visit, because they wrapped it up with a longer Ace bandage -- and the bulkier wrapping wouldn't fit back into the #3 Kiwi. Back here I had them put on the #2 Kiwi for dinner. Alas, this arrangement came off during OT Thursday morning, pulling the bandage with it. Made a decision to have the nurse do a new dressing from the wheelchair, rather than get into bed. Awkward procedure. Downstairs PT got the #3 Kiwi, now that we had the normal Ace bandage, pulled up better and it survived hopping and other workouts.

So, surgery sometime Monday. Back here probably that night. Arranged for therapy both Saturday and Sunday, so I don't lose a day. Light workout Tuesday. Should be able to continue therapy with the Kiwi, since it isn't a question of load bearing yet. And I have three sizes of Kiwis, depending on the surgical bandage...


Dr. Phil

Wed, Jan. 27th, 2016, 12:24 am

After last Monday's fiasco regarding an unannounced bed change, I was in no mood for Tuesday's unannounced change.

My CNA came to the dining room and said they had told her to move me and my roommate across the hall.

I said No.

I said I wanted to talk to the supervisors.

They never did come.

They also backed down on the change.

Look, I'm happy here. I have my window. I'm a little mole person -- the other room gets the sun. And the heat. It's all I have right now.

I have no intention of being miserable. It's against my well-being and my recovery.

And I have no interest in being railroaded without explanation again.

I'm still waiting for an official explanation for the bed change. And an apology.


Riddick on cable...


Ooh, decided that the heavy, clingy, thick pads on the arm pits of the crutches had to go. Much easier. Also hopped forward down the parallel bars, then hopped most of the way back on the same stand. Pivot transfers on the bars twice in each direction.


Dr. Phil

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