Saturday, February 2, 2013

A New Year

Hello 2013!
The AdventureFamily wrapped up 2012 with a Christmas at home, which was lovely, although tinged with a lot of worry as Grandpa ended up in the ICU following emergency cholecystectomy, renal failure, and pancreatitis on Christmas Eve.  Nana had a short stay in the room right next door with a bowel torsion as well, so it made for a bit of a cliff-hanger.  Thankfully Grandpa is well into his recovery now, Nana is working her way slowly and painfully toward medical management of some motility issues, and life at the Grandparent's is slowly reaching an even keel.  Whew!  It made me realize that this is the first time that I can recall Grandpa ever having been hospitalized, ever.  Pretty good for a guy who is turning 75 in a few days!  It was also the first time that I have truly feared for his life, which is not a nice feeling.  Similar to when Nana was diagnosed with breast cancer, it really made me reflect on my relationship with my parents and brother, and how close we all are as a scattered but loving family.  We are certainly not ready for anyone to go, and with this behind us, it should be a good long time before we have to face "any of that".
One bright side of the tumultuous holidays is that Grandma Honey has once again joined our family for a prolonged stay.  She made an expedited trip out here to pinch-hit for me if I needed to make a rush trip to be with Nana and Grandpa, and agreed to stay to help me through the recovery for my knee surgery.  That means that we celebrated New Year's Day with Grandma Honey, as well as a wonderful visit from AdventureDad's brother Michael and his family.
So we in the AdventureFamily have also had a medically active New Year.  AdventureDad found out early in January that he needed several crowns and some other dental repair work.  He HATES having dental work done, and unfortunately for him, a lot of it has been done in foreign countries or in temporary circumstances that became permanent, so now it is time to fix it up for good.  Of course in the military system, why do in one trip what you can do in three?  so the frequent visits to the dentist began.  He showed up expecting a crown, and left without a tooth after it disintegrated while they were exploring.  After a really rough extraction due to all the pieces embedded in his jaw (thank goodness he was sedated), he was sent home to recover, looking like he came out on the wrong end of a boxing match.  After the site heals, it is back again, and again, and again (I think we totaled at least 6 visits coming up) for the other crowns (hopefully no further extractions), a post and implant, and filling repairs.  Poor guy!  Oh yeah, and they still haven't done  his cleaning!
The AdventureGirls both caught a nasty cold a week ago, which then spread to myself and Grandma Honey (GH from now on).  GH and O are on antibiotics now, while M and myself seem to be recovering.  Thankfully AdventureDad was spared, because he has been working extra hard during my recovery.  That leads to me and my knee.  I ended up getting my ACL reconstructed using a piece of my hamstring tendon on Tues.  This is a very common and straight-forward repair involving drilling a hole in the femur (above the knee) and the tibia (below the knee), then threading a piece of harvested tendon through the holes and securing it there with a button on top and a screw below.  They are able to pull and tunnel the hamstring tendon out through one of the drill incisions when they harvest it, so there is a minimal number of cuts in the skin.  They also removed some bony scar tissue developing on my patella.  The good news is that the meniscus looked great, which made me happy I did the surgery now, since it risks tearing every time my knee goes out.  So, now I am four days post-op (I won't even talk about the first two, which were pretty awful), hobbling around when I need to and elevating/icing the rest of the time.  I start physical therapy on Monday, and I am looking forward to the day when my knee is a bit more recognizable and a lot more functional!
Of course dispersed through all of the medical mayhem, we have been making progress on Nine Trees.  We met early in January with the owner of the company that we chose for our house construction and staked out the house with him.  Now THAT felt like progress!  It was our first visit to the farm that time of year, and was only possible because our wonderful neighbors had cleared the road of the three-foot drifts that had piled up.  Life is certainly going to be a lot more "elemental" when we live on the mountain!  We also got conditionally approved for our construction loan, which, while not yet a sure thing, is a huge step in the right direction!
We also added two new horses to our herd, while losing one.  A dear friend has been in the horse rescue field for a long time, and had built up quite a herd of both rescue and owned horses.  With the poor economy she has been unable to do enough work to support them all, and was faced with rehoming as many as possible before her hay ran out.  Lisbonne and Seville were two babies born last spring, that are half arab, half mustang (my dream mix!).  They are still a few years away from rideable, which is perfect for me and the ages of the girls, and in the meantime I can do all of the groundwork and gentling and have them ready to ride when the time comes.  So, the little ones (which are hard to find homes for because they can't be ridden right away) came to me, and Apple went back to Aunt Jess's.  (Jess was the one who initially enabled my getting Apple all those years ago, talk about a full circle!).  Apple is a stubborn girl, and not kid-horse material, and she will stand a much better chance of finding a good working home in that part of the country.

I am sure I have missed oodles of things, but that is the major-item summary of the year so far.  Happily for us, things are unlikely to slow down as progress on the house picks up in preparation for construction this Spring.  AdventureDad has an important job interview coming up in February, so keep your fingers crossed and I will hopefully have something to report on that next blog!
O and Lisbonne meeting for the first time

Left is Lisbonne, 6-month filly,  Right is Seville, 8 month colt

Meeting Apollo

Fuzzy winter coats.  This is a heat-wave for them!

The monster that ate my knee