Saturday, May 24, 2008

Torn meniscus

After recovering from rotator cuff surgery in January, I now discover that my right knee has a torn meniscus.

From "Medically speaking, the 'cartilage' is actually known as the meniscus. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of fibrocartilage which is located at the peripheral aspect of the joint. The majority of the meniscus has no blood supply. For that reason, when damaged, the meniscus is unable to undergo the normal healing process that occurs in most of the rest of the body. In addition, with age, the meniscus begins to deteriorate, often developing degenerative tears. Typically, when the meniscus is damaged, the torn piece begins to move in an abnormal fashion inside the joint.
Because the space between the bones of the joint is very small, as the abnormally mobile piece of meniscal tissue (meniscal fragment) moves, it may become caught between the bones of the joint (femur and tibia). When this happens, the knee becomes painful, swollen, and difficult to move."
That explains why I've been experiencing pain in my knee upon putting any weight on it, such as when climbing stairs. The good news is that this surgery is done arthoscopically and is very minor as surgeries go. After 48 hours on crutches, I should be able to return to my normal activities.
It's a major relief to finally find out what's wrong and that it is so simple to repair it.
My surgery is set for Thursday, June 5, after which I'll stay home from work until the following Monday, when I should be okay to return to work.
And then sometime later in the summer I should be able to mow my own lawn and eventually return to Jazzercise.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Old B&W pix

Here I am trying to look as cool as possible at age 13.

My Aunt Mildred, mom, mom's mother, sister Mary and me posed in our Easter outfits in the front yard. In the background is the 1962 Cadillac that I got to drive when my mom didn't need it.

Here I am again looking uncool with my sister Mary. The vacant lot behind us has long ago been built on.

Dad, sister Mary, mom & grandmother (mom's mother) on a snowy day. The greenhouse dad built to house his azalea cuttings can be seen in the background.

Here are my dad, mom and sister in the living room.

I am looking as uncool as possible in my bow tie.

This is one of the saddest pictures if you understand the background. This is my grandfather, holding my daughter. He had traveled from Nebraska to attend the funeral of his son, my father, who had died of a heart attack while shaking my hand goodbye on my 25th birthday at age 57 .

Friday, May 09, 2008

Antique farm implements

Prairie Bluestem recently posted a picture of a horse-drawn hay rake, which prompted me to dig back into my own photo archives. In June 2003 I attended a reunion of the O'Rourkes, to whom I am related through my father's mother. Her grandparents immigrated from Ireland to Wisconsin in the mid 1800s, and her parents homesteaded in the sandhill region of northwestern Nebraska in the late 1800s. The reunion was held at RuJoDen, a family ranch south of Chadron, NE where my cousins Jim and Lora O'Rourke maintain a huge collection of horse-drawn farm machinery.