Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good News and Scary News

Tonight Jim and I finally bought a second car. Ever since Kaitlin moved and took her car, we've struggled to get me to work, get Jim and Ammon to doctors and other meetings and appointments. Jim has been taking me to work early in the morning when he needs the car. We get Ammon up at 6:00 a.m. on those mornings to drag him along. Jim does what he has to do (sometimes doctor appointments in Provo in the middle of the day) and then has to go back to Provo to pick me up again. It has been a real struggle.

Jim was able to work out a great deal with the bank to attach this loan on our existing loan for our van which is almost paid off. They lowered the interest rate to about 3.5% from 5.3% and it dropped our monthly car payment by $10.00. So we will have two cars, one payment less than it was yesterday. That's a pretty good deal and the only way we could have done this. This is a Toyota Corolla and it's in really good shape. The only problem with this car is that it is a stick shift and the clutch is pretty tight. That means that it hurts my knees like the devil to use that clutch. Hopefully after surgery the knees won't mind. I will be driving this to work and Jim will use the van to haul Ammon, pigeons and other junk around.

That's the good news. The scary news is that I finally scheduled knee surgery for Nov. 15. I will only have the left one done this time. I could do both at once but the doctor is worried about my cholesterol count and the constant leg cramps I get at night. He had me set up an appointment to see a vascular surgeon to make sure there is no blockage in either leg which could possibly cause

the night cramps. He also had me get a blood sample to check on my electrolytes. If those are low, then the leg cramps will be an easy fix. It's possible that the knee surgery will be postponed if there are other problems with the blood vessles and arteries. I won't know that until my appointment in August. But for now, the holiday season will be spent recovering. I chose that date because I will need all the extra holiday hours at work to help me get through until I can go back to work, hopefully by January 2nd. I will have a total knee replacement on both knees. The left one this year and the right one after I have enough sick and vacation time built up to get that one done.

I'm pretty horrified about this whole thing but I always feel very unsteady on my legs now and it's a good possiblity that the knees could just give out and I'll fall. It needs to be done. Dr. Wallentine said, "You must be a really tough person because I've never had a patient like you before." I asked him what he meant and he said, "I have never had a patient come in for the first time when the knees are completely gone and bad. They usually come in as it begins to deteriorate. I didn't even see you until they were really bad. And they are both really bad." That statement gives me a little courage that I will be tough enough to battle through this.

Of course, I will always have Ammon to sit beside me and give me his bit of courage. That will go a long way. He is my hero. If he can go through what he has so many times in his life, I can go through this. I'll feel like a spring chicken when it's all over.


GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

Let me just tell you that you are strong enough!! You can do this. I have had 2 knee surgeries both on the same knee. I did NOT have total knee replacement, so it will not be the same. I can tell you that having the surgery was the best thing I ever did. Being able to walk, run and play with my young kids made it worth every second. Not to say those first few weeks when I had a 10 month old (and a 2 year old) that wanted mommy to carry her and I couldn't. Then the second time when I had 3 young child..... it was still difficult, but definitely worth it.

I also have several family members that have had the total knee, and they also agree that it is the best choice. Plus I met a friend during my PT that had both done. She was able to run by the end (she was about 60+), but she could run.

I will be praying that there are no further complications, and that you recover quickly :)

GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

Sorry my comment was so long... Another question for you... you are in the salt lake/ provo area? My family members both had their knees done in Provo if you need a referral to a great doctor please let me know. He is the ortho for BYU.

Jess and Jen said...

Mom, the car looks great. Hope you can handle the clutch until you get "fixed." -Jess

The Duke said...

To Grumpy -- My doctor is Jeffrey Wallentine. He has done work on Jim's shoulders, Kaitlin's ankles and Gillian's knees and ankles. We love him and I'm glad to have him on board. I trust his advice. I think he is in the same group as Dr. Kimball who does the work for BYU.

Jason said...

That's a nice looking car. We also own a Corolla. We really like it and it has been very reliable. We either need to spend a couple thousand to get our van fixed or just get another one. I am inclined to get it fixed because I am tired of car payments.

Good luck with the knee. I'm sure all will go well and I know you will feel 100% better.

chelsey said...

Glad you were able to get a second car! That should make your scheduling easier.

Be sure to let us know us know what you need once you have the surgery. We'll help out and try to make it easier for ya!

Kaitlin said...

Mom, Wallentine didn't do my ankles. That was Ollerton. He did Gillian's ankle as well. And I will be using this car this weekend. HA! Clutch! I miss it. Very much.