2022 – WHEW!!!
Needless to say, my writing has been paused for the past several months. The following is an update on my journey in 2022. Before I get into the specifics, I want to thank the people who have inquired about my whereabouts and welfare. Your inquiries are deeply appreciated.
Throughout 2021, several health challenges became more acute for me. Jacki and I made a decision in January 2022 that it was time to address them. Here is a list of the health issues that we addressed:
Broken Left Ankle – I fell off a ladder in early March 2022 at our home. The ankle was unusually swollen and painful – a swelling and pain that persisted. In mid-March 2022, I traveled to Orange County, CA for a series of appointments with numerous healthcare professionals, I saw a podiatrist in March 2022, After X-Rays, they discovered I had fractured the Talus bone in my left ankle. Thus, a walking boot for 5 weeks. Dr. Michael Coyer MD at Orange County Podiatry in Irvine, CA. I highly recommend Dr. Coyer. Great guy.
Cataract Removal Surgery – Completed in early April 2022 in Irvine, CA. No problem. Now, cataracts have been repaired in both eyes and I now have prescription reading glasses. I am very pleased. Dr. Efraim Duzman of Lakeside Vision Center in Irvine, CA completed this surgery. Again, I highly recommend Dr. Duzman and his amazing staff.
Total Knee Replacement (TKR) – As my right knee has been bone-on-bone for several years, with increasing pain and decreasing mobility, I elected to have this procedure. I chose Orthopedic Specialty Institute at Hoag in Irvine, CA. Dr. Jay Patel was my surgeon. Please Note: This is considered a “major” surgery. I now understand why it is labeled as such. This was the unequivocally the most painful experience of my life. No doubt about it. The rehab is very difficult. I had this surgery on April 20th 2022. It is only after 5 months of rehab and recovery that the pain is behind me and my new knee is fantastic. However, if you, friends or family are contemplating this surgery, please understand how painful and debilitating it really is. Physical therapy is a must! It is not a surgery that should be completed without the assistance of others, post-op.
COVID-19 – Of course, I contracted Covid-19 in July 2022. It took a solid week to recover from the virus and test negative.
Neck and Spine – While investigating the source of the pain and loss of function in my left arm, Dr. Grumet (my shoulder surgeon) decided he wanted me to have additional nerve tests, and a consult with a neck & spine surgeon. I did so. Another MRI and several office visits.
Neurologist – My Primary Care Physician (PCP) also recommended I see a neurologist. I did so. Another MRI and several office visits. Good news: no brain anomalies.
Left Shoulder Surgery – I was losing strength in my left arm as well as functionality. After x-rays and MRI’s, I was advised by shoulder surgery specialist Dr. Robert Grumet at Orthopedic Specialty Institute at Hoag in Irvine, CA that I had a cyst pressing on a nerve in my shoulder and also had rotator cuff tears. I completed this surgery on August 9th 2022. Again, more physical therapy post-op. Total recovery time from this surgery is one year. Dr. Grumet is simply fantastic (along with his staff – and PA Linda).
Car Accident – Tustin, CA – I was involved in a car accident while driving a friend’s vehicle in Orange County, CA. The vehicle I was driving was totaled. No injuries.
So, I was in Orange County, CA from the beginning of March through May 5th. Then, we returned to Orange County in July 2022 where I prepared for the shoulder surgery. All in all, I was in southern California for healthcare requirements in excess of 3 months in 2022. To give you an idea of how challenging the above were for me, her are the Medical appointments/procedures I completed:
Appointments with PCP – 4 (includes required pre-op clearance).
Blood panels – 4
Covid Tests – 1 (pre-op – knee replacement)
X-rays – approximately 16
MRI’s – 4 – (I lost count, honestly)
Nerve Tests – L. Arm – 3
Cataract surgery – 3 appointments + procedure.
Left Knee Replacement – 3 appointments + procedure.
Left Shoulder Surgery – 3 appointments + procedure.
Neck and Spine Surgeon – 2 appointments + MRI
Neurologist – 2 appointments + MRI
Physical Therapy – knee – 20 post-op sessions.
Physical Therapy – Shoulder – ongoing
Podiatrist – 3 appointments
Pharmacy Visits – too many to count.
As indicated by the above, addressing healthcare requirements is time consuming, yet essential. The recovery from both the knee replacement and shoulder surgeries is necessary, painful and debilitating.
My wife, our family, and friends (they know who they are) were central in assisting me in this process. Without their encouragement and care, I would have been even more miserable.
I was flabbergasted by the consistent, absolutely superb quality of care. The healthcare professionals at Orthopaedic Speciality Institute/Hoag Hospital in Irvine, CA (and Orange) who cared for me were world class professionals. With all the complaints one hears about healthcare in the U.S., I cannot honestly imagine receiving better healthcare services. The staff and surgeons at Orthopaedic Specialty Institute were fantastic!
Needless to say, my writing took a backseat to healthcare priorities in 2022. I remain focused on completing a non-fiction book before the fall of 2023. Yes, I intend to continue my monthly articles for several media outlets – but not until January 2023. I am worn out yet, still recovering from the left shoulder surgery.
Enjoy Q-4 in 2022. I intend to.