Friday, June 20, 2014

Surgery Scheduled! Yay!

 View from our door at South Forty RV Ranch in Tucson, AZ

Some of you who have been following my blog for a few years know I've had some knee problems.  

In 2011, I went out four-wheeling with some friends at the Monticello Box and felt a painful crunch in my left knee while getting out of the back seat of a Geo Tracker.  Afterwards, I had arthroscopic surgery to deal with the most immediately problems, but it didn't really solve the underlying issue of my knee being worn out.  

Then I was without insurance for several years, so I've been limping by (literally) just trying not to be in too much pain, and my activities have become fewer.  I mean, I still get out and have some fun, but I almost always pay for it, even if it's something as basic as going shopping at just one store.  I hurt worse afterwards.   It's very limiting.

One of a series of modern icons.  This one celebrates devotion to the family pet, and it's called Holy Cookie Puss.

Fortunately, as an Arizona resident, I was recently able to get onto AHCCCS, the state Medicaid program that was expanded to cover more people as part of the Affordable Health Care Act implementation.  So I was able to see a Physician's Assistant at my primary clinic, and she referred me to an orthopedic surgeon in Tucson.

Steve and I moved into Tucson a few weeks ago so I could pursue treatment here.  I saw my surgeon last week and he immediately scheduled me for a total knee replacement on July 28th.  

A handmade book that, when complete, will have some interactive and pop-up elements

I am really thrilled.  I had this same surgery on my right knee in 2008 and it was truly life-changing.  It restored my ability to walk long distances, hike, bike, etc.  In fact, once I started to feel better physically after the surgery, I was able to also take initiative to make my entire life more happy.  I attribute my becoming a full-time RVer (and happily divorced!) to that knee surgery a few years back.  And I'm hoping for really positive consequences again this time.  

Steve came into Tucson for a visit before we moved here and checked out a lot of RV parks.  The one that seemed to make the most sense for us is South Forty RV Ranch up in the NW part of Tucson.  It's more expensive than what we usually pay for an RV park, but, hey, it's in the city and it's temporary.  In late September or early October, I'll be recuperated enough to head back to New Mexico, where I'll have some more solo art shows this fall and winter.

South Forty has a pool and other nice amenities.  We've been swimming many nights just after dark, when the air is cooler.  Our daytime temps have been over 100, so that cool-down in the pool at night feels great.

 An altar about freedom from drudgery.  When it's complete, the guy on top will be holding a fishing pole with a key hanging down in front of the workers.  Did you notice her hair is on fire and so are his pants?
Now I have a little over five weeks until surgery, and I'm hoping to utilize that time to get a lot of artwork done for my art shows.  I'm working on all sorts of mixed-media these days...altered books, papier-mache, altars, and more two-dimensional mixed-media stuff such as pseudo-religious icons.  My December solo show, "Faces of God" at Rio Bravo Fine Arts Gallery in Truth or Consequences, is challenging me to explore new media, new ideas,  and skills that I am acquiring on the fly.  

We're also enjoying being in a city!  We went to see "Maleficent" at the cheap showing yesterday morning.  Steve went into the mall first and got a wheel chair, then came out and got me in the parking lot.  What a difference that made!  I would've been exhausted afterwards if I'd had to walk the several blocks from disabled parking to our seats in the theater.  We've been trying a few restaurants.  Steve has friends and relatives here, so we're doing more social things.  I'm gonna have fun right up until the anesthesiologist puts that mask on my face.

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