Thursday, November 8, 2012

Yesterday’s news

It was a long day for me yesterday as ‘Jack-in-the-Box’ took me on the scenic route to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.  It was a pleasant drive, but did little to calm my nerves about this appointment.  As usual, I was there with plenty of time to spare. 


                                                         A splash of fall colors on the refuge.

After an hour’s worth of paper work, I was still an hour early for my x-ray appointment.  I twiddled my thumbs for a while before getting into excruciating positions for the x-ray tech.  Smile with tongue out


                                                     An Eastern phoebe with its dragonfly dinner.

Then it was another two hour wait to meet with Dr. Mark Brodersen, orthopedic surgeon, to find out the verdict.  This is pretty normal, in my experience, at a Mayo Clinic location.  The Mayo campus here in Jacksonville is reminiscent of Mayo’s home in Rochester, MN.  There aren’t any tunnels underground or above ground walkways here to my knowledge, but the art work and pleasant waiting areas are very similar.  Instead of someone playing a grand piano in one of the waiting areas, a young woman was singing soothing music.  Mayo aims to keep their patients calm and comfortable.  I just wasn’t in any mood to take pictures on this visit.

IMG_0682                                                   A very late pitcher plant bloom on the refuge.

To make a long story a little shorter, when I met with Dr. Brodersen I found him to be very personable, and I was quite comfortable with him.  He has been an orthopedic surgeon for 30 years, and I know Mayo doesn’t employ quacks.  He answered all my questions, showed me my x-rays, and explained his prognosis in great detail including all pros and cons.  As I understand it, the good old disease of arthritis has attacked my right hip and eliminated the cartilage between my hip bone and leg bone.  That means I have bone grinding on bone every time I move that leg and hip.

71 Okefenokee NWR 2012-138

                          A red-shouldered hawk collage.  This bird had just caught a snake for dinner.

It’s not life threatening, and he suggested that when I couldn’t stand the pain and changes to my lifestyle, that I should consider a full hip replacement surgery.  Can you guess my response?  I’m ready now!  Enough of this pain and hobbling around without being able to walk more than a short distance.  Dang, sign me up!


                                            Another pileated woodpecker in the long leafed pines.

Of course, there are several complications involved that I endeavored to deal with today.  One of them may be the fact that I might have to leave the refuge since I won’t be working during my recovery.  I have to admit that I thought that maybe with close to 5000 volunteer hours with the Fish and Wildlife Service in the last six years that I might be able to remain here during my recuperation, and continue to serve once I was able.  That’s up in the air.  It may depend on how fast I think I can recuperate. 

As it stands right now, the earliest that I could have the surgery will be some time in December.  So I’ll be here for at least the rest of the month…hobbling along.  Confused smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy