Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along


Herd Master
Aug 22, 2010
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East Texas
I talked to @Ridgetop last night. She was her usual happy self. She had just got home, and said her leg is straight now. She was a little loopy from the pain meds, but she’s loopy anyway, so not much difference. LOL LOL

She was all about my new sheep and when they are coming to Texas, them moving, and plans for the future. Now she will have a good leg to stand on! She was dreading the knee replacement surgery but now is relieved that it is done. She will soon start therapy, she thinks for 3 months.

Her family is around her, I heard a discussion about getting her a bell to ring when she needs something. It better be a big cow bell because her DH can’t half hear. LOL

Surgery went well, she is home and looking forward to getting back on her feet and doing the things she loves to do. She mentioned getting her Walker and going to to check on her sheep……. Can’t keep a good shepherd down!


Herd Master
Aug 16, 2016
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Shenandoah Valley Virginia
Glad to hear that it went well and lucky to be home. It helps when there are others to help. I had such a good experience with the ankle replacement, and when I came home I was quite mobile... the knees as you all know was something else... but they are getting along and I am still not sorry that I did them both since they no longer hurt to stand on... just the tightness in the right with the tendons. But I think they are stretching out more... whether they like it or not !!!!!Getting up and getting going is a great thing for her...I know I was happier when I was up and walking more.


Herd Master
Mar 13, 2015
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Shadow Hills, CA
Thanks for everyone's kind wishes. :hugsSo nice to hear from everyone. Just read the messages today.

Yes! I need an airhorn! DH said to just call him on his cell phone when I need him but he "accidently" leaves it in the bedroom with me. :\ It's the thought that counts and maybe that is why I am now able to get in and out of bed on my own, clump to the kitchen on my walker :old and scrounge for food, etc. Apparently the attention span of husbands caring for bedridden wives is ONE week and no more. Note to self: No more surgeries requiring more than 7 day recovery. While nursing homes may not be ideal, at least they feed you 3X daily, and eventually the nurse comes after you push the buzzer 50 times or so. LOL I am still on my walker. I would try walking with my cane, but can't find it. DH cleaned out the car and truck and said it was not in either vehicle. :hu I am sure I will find it in month or so. LOL But OMG!!! This surgery is horrible. Mainly the PT to bring back the motion. Oxycodone handles the pain part fine until you start the PT. Ice helps the swelling too. Speaking of those good drugs, I am only taking them when I do the PT exercises.

FARMERJAN SHOULD GET MULTIPLE PURPLE HEARTS, MEDALS OF VALOR, AND ANY OTHER MEDALS AVAILABLE!!! How she managed doing both knees at the same time is incredible. She is my hero!!! I am a wuss and really do need to “suck it up”!

Here is my story:
Thursday, May 19 Knee Replacement Surgery day. My agreeable show up time of 11:30 am, with surgery scheduled for 1:30 was abruptly rescheduled the Wednesday afternoon for THE CRACK OF DAWN aka 7:15 am check-in in at UCLA Hospital in Santa Monica. :( Since the drive is around 1.5 hours in morning traffic, we left at 6:00 am. Arriving at the hospital we went to Admissions where I signed multiple forms absolving the hospital and doctors of all liability ranging from loss of life to an ingrown toenail. I was then tagged and sent to the orthopedic wing in a wheelchair. DH was allowed to accompany me, probably to prevent me from changing my mind and making a break for freedom.

Once arrived at the ortho surgical unit, I was taken back to get into a hospital gown. Again, probably figuring the sooner they had me in a backless gown and hooked up to tubing I was less likely to escape. Once immobilized by the IV, cardio wires, oxygen finger monitor, etc., DH was allowed to stay with me while I whined that "this surgery might be a BIG mistake". DH kept telling me that the knee surgery was necessary if I wanted to be able to walk. I countered that argument by pointing out that I was fine as long as I stayed laying down. :lol:

I interspersed his pep talk with instructions as to who was to inherit my jewelry, personal items, and family heirlooms. As to my funeral, I wanted Amazing Grace sung, my sons, sons-in-law, and grandsons to carry the casket, red roses and if my children wanted to hurl themselves into the grave on top of my casket that would be a nice touch. I did not appreciate DH laughing openly at my concerns.

The anesthesiologist came in to discuss the procedure. He assured me with a grin that they would be doing the procedure under A LOCAL SPINAL BLOCK! WHAT!!! :ep Until then he had seemed a pleasant young man, now I noticed the slightly deranged look in his eyes. There was also talk of a needle being inserted into a nerve that would block pain, some sort of tube in the knee after the surgery, etc. Finally, getting a word in edgewise, I told the anesthetist and nurses that I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks and had a prescription for Ativan. They then assured me that they would give me “something to relax” me before I went in to get the needle in my spine. I told them the sooner the better and regretted not taking a double dose of Ativan before leaving the house.

Finally, the dreaded moment arrived. DH pried my fingers from his hand and they wheeled me into the white room.

Bereft of DH, I resigned myself to the care of the masked attendants. (You know they wear masks to avoid later identification.) Transferring me from the gurney to the operating table they proceeded to sit me up and drape me over some form of equipment in order to inject me with painkillers in the back. First a shot of Novocain type deadener before the hugely painful spinal shot. I had warned the anesthetist that I had prior spinal surgery which can cause a problem for a spinal anesthetic. The anesthesiologist and his assistant (possibly named Igor) proceeded to stab me in the back about 20 or more times. (I know it was at least 20 times because I had DH count the scabbed over holes when I got home.) Each time he poked the needle in he asked if I could still feel the needle. Each time I said “Oh Yes!” Finally in tones of deep regret the anesthesiologist informed me that they would have to use a general anesthesia and knock me out. As I sank into oblivion I muttered thankfully, “There is a God and he loves me”. Bliss!

Coming to, DH informed me that I now had a marvelous new knee. Lucky for him I was deeply sedated with Morphine and other pain killers and he was out of reach. Sometime later the physical therapist arrived to get me up onto my feet. I was told that I could stand up but my good knee didn’t hear that and promptly collapsed. I dimly remember being seized by several pairs of hands before I hit the floor and encouraged to try again. Several tries later the nurses, DH, and the doctors agreed that I should stay overnight in the hospital. No rooms were available, so I spent the night and next morning in Out Patient Recovery. Very peaceful. Every so often I was given delightful drugs to banish the pain.

Next morning the general anesthetic gradually wore off and by lunchtime the PT folks were able to get me up in the walker. I was instructed to do a series of stretching exercises 3X daily and to go to PT immediately on my release. The PT/Nursing Coordinator removed the Ace bandage that was keeping my leg from falling off. DH and I were happy to see that the surgeon had been able to straighten my leg. Innumerable prescriptions and medications were handed over. Instructions both oral and in written form were handed over along with written and pictorial exercise instructions. DH helped me into my clothes, which is when I realized I should have worn a loose dress instead of the loose pants I had thought would be easy to put on. Wrong, since apparently you can’t bend your knee after this surgery. I was also handicapped by the needle in the nerve in my upper thigh which was attached by tubing to some sort of mechanical pain killer pump. There was also a larger drainage tube in the incision which was also attached to some sort of mechanical something. I was directed to leave the needle in place until Sunday evening at which time it could be pulled out. Oh Yay! The drainage tubing had to stay in for a week at which time it had to be removed. Luckily that large tube was only attached through the dressing, not actually into the wound. Later we found that both of these devices, along with their tethering tubes, had to be carried with me whenever I got out of bed. One last dose of blessed pain killer was administered, the IVs removed, the wheelchair appeared, and we were off home with our goody bag of instructions and medications.

Arriving home, I found that my darling sons had retrieved DH’s wheelchair, and set up the ramps into the house. I was placed in the chair and rolled to my bed where I found that not only could I not bend my leg, but I also couldn’t lift it onto the bed either! DH obligingly lifted my leg for me, and I happily retreated into slumber for another 36 hours.

When I woke up I tried calling the PT to set my appointments. No answer. I left a message for them to call me. I later found out that I was a day off and while I thought it was Monday it was Sunday. Monday, I received a call from PT that I had missed my 9:00 am appointment. ??? Apparently, UCLA had badgered them into setting this appointment but no one thought it necessary to notify ME about it! After a ridiculous 3 days of calls, rescheduling, etc. I found out that the appointments were set for a PT facility 30 minutes away by freeway instead of in Burbank which was 15 minutes away surface streets. Another round of rescheduling since where you have your original assessment is where you have to continue for therapy. Oy Vey!

June 1 I have retreated from pain killers every 4 hours round the clock to just a couple daily. I am able to get into and out of bed alone and am able to maneuver around on my walker. I am doing the exercises every day but they are horribly painful. DH times them for me but thinks it is helpful not to count the number of times I do them correctly. I have to count for myself, or I end up doing several sets more, or feel bad that I can’t do the full number. Bad DH, no biscuit. Actually, since he has done this twice already, having him to cheer me on and encourage me is good. I must elevate my leg at least 8 hours daily “toes above the nose” and use ice packs to control the swelling and pain after exercises, per hospital instructions.

June 5 Saw the surgeon Friday and he was pleased with the range of motion I had. First actual PT session will be Monday. Missed a week due to holiday weekend but had my assessment a week after the surgery so they have some Range of Motion figures to compare.

June 6 First PT session today. Got a few more different exercises today. Knee is very swollen and discovered that I have been doing too many knee bending exercises and too hard. I guess I have to cut back degree of bend I have been pushing for.

So all going well with the knee now. On to other things - I will be catching up on everyone's journals.

Had a ewe lamb born the day of my knee surgery and a second ewe lamb born a week later. t's possible that the last 2 on my chart didn't settle. No matter. This morning DS1 harnessed Smalley Ram and sorted out 6 ewes to go in with him. There are another 6 or 8 but they pushed past the gate at the bottom of the sorting pen and escaped onto the field. He will sort and move them down in the breeding pen tomorrow.

Can't wait until we are in Texas. We are planning to sort the sheep into breeding flocks and will just move the chosen ram into that field when they are ready to be bred. So much easier to bring one ram than move a dozen ewes. It will also make it easier to flush the ewes to be bred before introducing the ram. Now when flushing we end up graining the entire flock.

We ended up with 5 registerable ewe lambs this lambing cycle. One additional ewe lamb has black rings around her eyes and it is too much black coloring to be registered. I will hold on to her though since she has good bloodlines for meat and will keep her as a commercial.

The dogs are shedding their undercoats badly and look like the Dorpers with their left over tufts of wool. Both the dogs and the sheep look like they are suffering bad cases of mange! :mad: About one third of the adults are completely clean shed though so that is good. The rest range from a narrow mohawk to a wide mohawk while a few are carrying too much wool down the sides. Eventually those carrying more wool will be culled out in favor of slick shedders.

Anyway, not too much else going on here since I am not terribly mobile at the moment. Time to start catching up on what everyone else has been up to.