Every year I have a front row seat to the 4th of July parade which passes by my apartment. Sure, the street is closed off for hours, cars parked overnight start getting towed at 5 AM, no one can enter or leave my block by car from about 10 AM until noon. But, hey ... it's a parade. This year it didn't feature the marching band from Washington, DC which has been a part of the parade for more than a few years, but the local high school marching band, several floats, clowns, stepping groups, all of the local youth sport groups, rap groups, salsa, fire companies, reggae groups, police departments, Ronald McDonald and his NYMetro Ronald McDonald showmobile, church groups, scouts, and more joined in. My personal favorite each year is the black cowboys on dancing horses.
My knee wasn't quite up to standing through the entire parade this year and due to the elevator being out of commission because of an electrical storm the night before, I couldn't manage getting a chair down to the front lawn. I watched most of the parade from my recliner chair looking out the window. But I did go down long enough to snap some shots of the black cowboys and a clown or two. I live in a rather rough town in NJ, but this annual parade is always a celebration of family, children, and the diversity of folks who live here. To me, that's a big part of what being an American is all about.
- Groomer Has It - I actually missed having this show on my Saturday night schedule last night. When it was down to the final two last week (Jonathan and Artist), I was rooting for an Artist win even though I think Jonathan is technically a better dog groomer. I didn't think Artist had any chance to win but I adore his personality and how he seriously worked to improve each week. He has a good heart and sometimes chose the hard route intead of the easy win. On the other hand, I found Jonathan a bit too smug and arrogant. I was thrilled for Artist when he won the big prize. Yay!
- America's Got Talent - So far, i'm not overly thrilled with the talent. Sure, the sword swallowing guy was cool -- you don't see that every day anymore. I think my favorite so far was the guy who sang "Walking in Memphis" last week or the week before. One thing I enjoy about this show is seeing Jerry Springer out of his typical element. I don't watch his show, but I have to give the man kudos -- he's a very intelligent guy, ex-mayor of Cincinnati (I believe that was his city), and has turned trash TV into a personal fortune.
- A rerun of Crossing Jordan - On Thursdays I have to go for my blood draw for my weekly dosage levels of my warfarin (Coumadin). I've found that Crossing Jordan is on A&E at 8 AM weekdays and tend to watch it as I missed many of the episodes when they aired. This past Thursday, they had a mysterious case. Uh-oh, the guy was poisoned by (as they said it on the show), "Warfarin, rat poison!" Eep, I needed that reminder on my blood draw day, right?
- So You Think You Can Dance - I haven't been surprised by the people who have left each week, not yet anyway. I still favor Twitch as my sentimental favorite, but I'm enjoying Joshua more and more each week even though I think he's a bit chunky for a dancer. I find Thayne's smile increasingly annoying and wish he'd stop it. Gev's solo this week was amazing! As for the girls, I think Katee is my favorite. I'm not sure how Comfort slides by each week -- I don't think she put much effort in her solo at all this week.
- The Late Show with David Letterman - Grr, reruns all this week. Grr.
- Mad About You on TV Land - Argh, just when I discovered they show it, it seems the scheduling has been cut. It's now on in the middle of the night. Maybe the fact that I'm haunted by insomnia is a good thing. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this show before they ruined it by bringing in a baby.
- Third Watch - I never watched the show faithfully, but I have found it at 7 AM on A&E. I'm now remembering why I wasn't faithful. Oh my gosh, this show is just way too busy! I recall some years ago I was in Little Italy (Manhattan) and watched them filming the show. To this date, I've never seen that episode and still wonder if I might be in the background of some of the shots.
I still have eight visits left of my physical therapy to complete the twenty visits allowed by my insurance company. That translates to four weeks as I'm now going twice a week. I'm going to try to appeal for more but I'm not too optimistic about them allowing it. The extension (leg out straight) is perfect and that's actually more of an obstacle than the bend in this surgery. Many folks have problems with straightening the leg and that results in a limp. I have no problems with that.
My bend unaided is usually still around 115 with 120 being the goal and more bend possible. Technically, anything 90 degrees or more is considered successful. But the more bend, the more you can do. Despite the horrible condition before the surgery, my bend (range of motion) was good. So, it's expected that I should achieve higher than 120 degrees. That Baker's Cyst on the back of the knee seems to be what's holding back the bend -- I get to a certain point and it's agony. On the other hand, I'm doing well with the exercise bike and my strength is improving.
Although I'm walking most of the time unaided, I still bring along either one crutch or a cane when I expect to be on my feet a lot. When I walk, the knee isn't painful, per se. It's a bit unstable, wobbly, stiff, and weird. It's after I do a lot on it that it's painful. It's still bigger than my other knee, but it's not all that swollen anymore. I still have odd pains coming out of nowhere at times and the huge numb spot on the lateral side of the knee, The scar itself loves to change colors -- in the morning it's white and really looking good, by evening (or after exercise), it's reddish-purple and angry-looking.
Then there's the blood clot and rat poison er, ... Coumadin/warfarin issues. I still have pain in my left calf (the knee replacement is on the left, too) from the clot. They tell me that might last for my lifetime. I've had some adverse reactions to my dosage of warfarin and they're still jockeying it about each week. Although my return to work isn't expected anytime soon, I will have to be cleared by the vascular surgeon as well as the orthopedic surgeon. In the meantime, all I can do is watch the dietary restrictions, have my blood drawn weekly, follow the dosage, carry my medical alert card, try to avoid cuts, and let the doctor's office know if I exhibit odd symptoms. This is just about as much fun as a knee replacement!
So, there you go. I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend! The weather has been stormy here, but it held off for the parade on Friday.