Staying the Course: Romantic Month of June, 2021 Edition

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Superbob

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Greetings, fellow Coursers! The experiment with putting up a starter post for each month (and then just letting discussions run freely) seemed to work just fine with May. So we proceed with June, the sixth month of the year and the month that brings us everything from weddings to Wimbledon.

Especially weddings of course. The month is named for Juno, the goddess of spring and growth. Since Juno also came to be known as the goddess of marriage, some consider it good luck to be wed in June. It is the month that also brings us the longest day of the year (the 21st or 22nd, the summer solstice) and a great number of special days to celebrate, such as National Rocky Road Day (for a flavor, not the fortunes we Coursers may think of), National Hug Your Cat Day (good luck with that!), and my favorite, National Donut Day.

June 9 will bring National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, and also in 2021, I hope, a successful surgery to repair the ventral incisional hernia about which I have been fretting since it first appeared as a small mass just below the breastbone at cardiac rehab 16 months ago. It is considerably larger now, and although I could try to just live with it for a while longer, I have concluded that it is better to be proactive than to wait for an emergency to arise, especially since local surgeons lack a track record of dealing with this unusual kind of hernia. I have done a lot of research and gotten a lot of advice and have picked out a hernia surgeon 250 miles away who is nationally renowned and who has done many of these successfully. So if it all works out, and he puts Humpty-Dumpty me back together nicely, I will lobby to have the 9th proclaimed National Fix-Your-Damn-Hernia Day. And then proceed to eat some strawberry rhubarb pie.

Thanks for your kind thoughts, dornole, about my loyal walking dog Ellie. She is struggling with a bad cough and with heavy panting at times even in a cool place. I am taking her in to see the vet again Thursday. I am worried she might be going into heart failure. Through it all, she still begs to be walked every day, sweet thing. But she turns us around to head back home when she knows she can't stay our longer courses.

Okay June is about love and lovely things -- such as fresh veggies and lobster, which also have their special days. So enjoy life, you stalwart Coursers, and let us know how you are doing. And Superman please do keep those beautiful photographs coming!

Cheers,
Superbob
🦸‍♂️
 
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Superman

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Thanks for the starter and the updates,SB. Lots of good June trivia. Might have to take care of the kids on National Donut Day. Hope your surgery goes well and resolved things for you. Also having you and Ellie in my thoughts. A loyal companion to be sure and never easy to see a loved one struggling. Of course prayers for a return to health, but at the very least, comfort.

Thank you also for kind words on the images. Really looking forward to Utah in August. Should come back with some gems there. Nearing the end of another school year, so that’s our early June focus. Probably will have more to add later in the month.
 

skeptic49

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June: weddings and rhubarb! We've already enjoyed some rhubarb, sweetened with sugar substitute, cooked and served topped with cinnamon, so a low calorie treat. Superbob, I hope that your procedure goes well. In late May I took a flight to Miami and then on by car to Key Largo for three days of scuba. I registered for a course to upgrade my certification. Unfortunately, high winds scuttled the entire program as boats were kept in port during the three days I was there. So, I'll have to complete my training somewhere/sometime else. I did get to make two dives at an unusual location in Key Largo: Jule's Underwater Resort. Located in sort of a lagoon, there is a protected dive site used by divers for training. There is also an underwater hotel where guests can peer out at divers and marine life through portholes. I took some photos of the fish that hang out on the roof of the underwater hotel.

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Paleowoman

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Hi SB - wishing you well for your surgery ! And I hope the vet can help Ellie.

Nothing much going on here, it's pouring with rain outside at the moment, that after a few very hot days.
 

dornole

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Minnesota, US
Having fun here exploring a new hobby of backpacking. First trial hike worth the loaded pack today. 101 degrees that is a real
Challenge for this Minnesota girl! But it went fine and was fun. Looking forward to first trial overnight in a couple weeks to have fun with all the new gear.
 

Duffey

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Very cool pictures, @skeptic49! Good luck with your surgery, @Superbob. If you can find some rhubarb pie post-surgery, please eat a piece for me. Today marks my 16th anniversary of AVR. I had forgotten all about it, but when I remembered I decided that I should make mention of it here. My bovine valve has served me well, and I hope my good fortune reassures those awaiting their own valve replacement.
 

Superbob

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Happy Mid-June, hearty and merry Coursers! Just wanted to let you know that I made it through my incisional ventral hernia operation (up high in abdomen, scarily close to the aortic region) in evidently good shape and now am one week into recovery. My grown-up daughter, an IT specialist, drove me the 250 miles from the beach to upstate South Carolina -- and back -- for the rather complicated surgery, and insisted that I use the walker they provided and not lift anything heavier than a feather. She was really protective of me. I appreciated it.

We went upstate after a local physician who has perhaps done more hernia surgeries than anyone else in South Carolina the past 30 years told me he had done very few like mine, and was uncomfortable taking it on. I greatly appreciated his honesty. He went further, highly recommending Dr. Alfredo Maximiliano Carbonell of Prisma Health in Greenville, a past president of a national society of hernia specialists. Dr. C and his team lived up to the billing. I won't go into all the surgical details now, but it was a 2-hour operation in which he found an unusually large (6x8 cm) opening into which part of the colon had plopped --an opening approximately half the diameter of a basketball, he told my daughter -- and he got everything back in place and sealed it with a large piece of Medtronic mesh. And he closed with an incisional line, beautifully stitched, that is nearly as long as the one from my 9/19 aneurysm surgery. And it looks to be more precisely stitched, to be honest about it. Maybe I'll get brave and post a pix.

His team worked hard the next two days to minimize my pain, and I experienced amazingly little. My daughter and I had adjoining rooms at a nice hotel where we stayed five days in order to be close to the hospital in case of a glitch needing attention.

So it was a good experience with the hernia team. I recommend checking them out if you have such a problem arise after OHS. Separately, I did have one harrowing experience with the business office that maybe bears mentioning and might be a cautionary alert. While I was still under the influence of anesthesia early evening after the surgery, a biz rep came in my room seeking my signature on a two-page document that evidently was Medicare-related. Basically, the paper asked me to agree that I was there for "observation" not as a surgical in-patient and Medicare reimburses less for that. Such a crock! But I could not comprehend that initially in my drugged-up state. I woke up in the middle of the night asking myself what the hay I had signed, read the document over and over, and let everybody know early that morning that I was not a happy camper. I invoked patient's rights and demanded the statement be rescinded. Dr. C's associate understood and immediately got on his tablet and corrected the record to state that I was an in-patient from the get-go. Yes, and one long planned and prepped for that, one who'd just had a complicated surgery. Hopefully it all ends there, but I swear if I encounter any bureaucratic bs in the aftermath I will appeal to the max, even seek legal help if need be.

The lesson is to be careful what you sign in a hospital, and especially when you are in no condition to understand it. And how many warnings have you read, in medical documents for gosh sakes, that you should make no consequential decisions in the 24 hours after going under anesthesia?

Anyway, the doctor and his team were great, the bureaucrats not so much.

Cheerio,
Superbob
🦸‍♂️
 
Last edited:

Paleowoman

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Oh Superbob - so happy to read about the success of your operation ! You had great care from the surgical team, and your daughter.

What a fortunate outcome with that pesky form - lucky you thought to look at it later and got it all sorted.

Make sure you continue not to lift anything heavier than a feather !
 

Superbob

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Great news Superbob! Glad everything turned out OK. I'd be pi**ed off at that biz rep!
I was -- at the biz office though, not the poor soul assigned to bring in to drugged-up me in my hospital bed. In retrospect I could see she was upset herself at bringing it in. I called the biz higher-ups to come back and talk to me directly and personally but they just called and said the Doc's changing my status to inpatient took care of things. We'll see if that is so.
 

Seaton

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Fantastic to read the surgery went well, Superbob. Good news indeed. ☀

And excellent that you challenged the bureaucrat’s “observation” agreement! Very sneaky to wave a wordy document at you so soon after being anaesthetised. Hopefully no further repercussions.

Happy healing … and please be gentle with the feather.
 

Superman

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Tis the bureaucracy that continues to drive the cost of healthcare higher. And yet all leadership can do is argue about who gets to pay for it and how. Your wife should have snuck in there with her shopping list at that time. 😂

Glad to hear your procedure went well and hope you have a speedy recovery and are out walking again soon. Too much healthcare stuff. You deserve a break.
 

charlottekaye

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Apr 4, 2012
Messages
59
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georgia
Happy Mid-June, hearty and merry Coursers! Just wanted to let you know that I made it through my incisional ventral hernia operation (up high in abdomen, scarily close to the aortic region) in evidently good shape and now am one week into recovery. My grown-up daughter, an IT specialist, drove me the 250 miles from the beach to upstate South Carolina -- and back -- for the rather complicated surgery, and insisted that I use the walker they provided and not lift anything heavier than a feather. She was really protective of me. I appreciated it.

We went upstate after a local physician who has perhaps done more hernia surgeries than anyone else in South Carolina the past 30 years told me he had done very few like mine, and was uncomfortable taking it on. I greatly appreciated his honesty. He went further, highly recommending Dr. Alfredo Maximiliano Carbonell of Prisma Health in Greenville, a past president of a national society of hernia specialists. Dr. C and his team lived up to the billing. I won't go into all the surgical details now, but it was a 2-hour operation in which he found an unusually large (6x8 cm) opening into which part of the colon had plopped --an opening approximately half the diameter of a basketball, he told my daughter -- and he got everything back in place and sealed it with a large piece of Medtronic mesh. And he closed with an incisional line, beautifully stitched, that is nearly as long as the one from my 9/19 aneurysm surgery. And it looks to be more precisely stitched, to be honest about it. Maybe I'll get brave and post a pix.

His team worked hard the next two days to minimize my pain, and I experienced amazingly little. My daughter and I had adjoining rooms at a nice hotel where we stayed five days in order to be close to the hospital in case of a glitch needing attention.

So it was a good experience with the hernia team. I recommend checking them out if you have such a problem arise after OHS. Separately, I did have one harrowing experience with the business office that maybe bears mentioning and might be a cautionary alert. While I was still under the influence of anesthesia early evening after the surgery, a biz rep came in my room seeking my signature on a two-page document that evidently was Medicare-related. Basically, the paper asked me to agree that I was there for "observation" not as a surgical in-patient and Medicare reimburses less for that. Such a crock! But I could not comprehend that initially in my drugged-up state. I woke up in the middle of the night asking myself what the hay I had signed, read the document over and over, and let everybody know early that morning that I was not a happy camper. I invoked patient's rights and demanded the statement be rescinded. Dr. C's associate understood and immediately got on his tablet and corrected the record to state that I was an in-patient from the get-go. Yes, and one long planned and prepped for that, one who'd just had a complicated surgery. Hopefully it all ends there, but I swear if I encounter any bureaucratic bs in the aftermath I will appeal to the max, even seek legal help if need be.

The lesson is to be careful what you sign in a hospital, and especially when you are in no condition to understand it. And how many warnings have you read, in medical documents for gosh sakes, that you should make no consequential decisions in the 24 hours after going under anesthesia?

Anyway, the doctor and his team were great, the bureaucrats not so much.

Cheerio,
Superbob
🦸‍♂️
Great post, Superbob! Thank you so much for sharing, and I am glad to hear you are on the mend.
 

Superman

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Oct 3, 2009
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Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Finally went in for my first cardio checkup since well before the pandemic. It was a convenient excuse to put it off. It’s been a couple years now. I feel good, I exercise regularly, I just haven’t been worried about it. The way they do deductibles now as well, when I feel fine, I don’t want to pay out of pocket for an echo. So much for the idea of preventative medicine keeping costs down.

Anyway. Appointment went well. New cardiologist as my old one moved away. Echo looks good. Keep on keeping on. Good with me taking another two year break. Wearing a 24 hour monitor just to check on rhythm stuff. Did a 45 minute spin bike workout wearing it so they could see how I respond. Started sweating the leads off about halfway through. Oops. Most of them held until the last five minutes or so. I dried off and reattached as fast as I could so they can see what post workout looks like. When I’m done, I just drop it in the mail. Easy peasy.
 

Superbob

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Finally went in for my first cardio checkup since well before the pandemic. It was a convenient excuse to put it off. It’s been a couple years now. I feel good, I exercise regularly, I just haven’t been worried about it. The way they do deductibles now as well, when I feel fine, I don’t want to pay out of pocket for an echo. So much for the idea of preventative medicine keeping costs down.

Anyway. Appointment went well. New cardiologist as my old one moved away. Echo looks good. Keep on keeping on. Good with me taking another two year break. Wearing a 24 hour monitor just to check on rhythm stuff. Did a 45 minute spin bike workout wearing it so they could see how I respond. Started sweating the leads off about halfway through. Oops. Most of them held until the last five minutes or so. I dried off and reattached as fast as I could so they can see what post workout looks like. When I’m done, I just drop it in the mail. Easy peasy.
Sounds good (except maybe the deductibles). Meanwhile, several clanks up the age and down the fitness ladder, I had my first session with a home PT today. He had me doing some back-and-forth, sideways, and backwards walking, which I managed to do without falling down, and then some knee-bend and flexing exercises using the walker they sent home with me. Never thought of it as an exercise tool but it serves some purpose for that. PT said he would introduce exercise bands next session and we will be increasing exertion levels into August. He said he intends to get me in "tip-tip shape" so I can return to my great senior fitness class this fall. Yay! -- 'cause I miss that class so much!
 

Superbob

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Being a fellow super and having steely resolve, I believe you’ll be back there. Hope your favorite instructor is still leading the charge!
Yep, my favorite fitness instructor of all time -- Sarah -- is still there. We are good fitness buddies and getting back to her class will be a big boost for morale.
 
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