The Kwick Journal will take on a new atmosphere dealing with age issues, keeping
             dogs in shape, duck/goose hunting, our 50+ year marriage and most of all raising a
             beautiful little child with special needs. With respect to the dogs it must become
             simply "Maintenance Mode".
 
              
     May 21 the basic plan is to train every other day - blinds, marking & skill drills with an
                 emphasis to maintain conditioning
                       note: dogs' day off, trimmed pine trees, "weeded" yard, removed/cut small
                                weed trees, mowed back yard, gave Asian pear trees a major pruning,
                                did the daily swimming therapy and worked out in swimming pool
                       note: van repair completed - new brakes on front & rear, packed wheel
                                bearings front end                                               

             many places to train - Riverside Park, Winnebago County DTA, Rockton Road DTA,
             Square Pond DTA, Duck/Fish Camp (Mississippi R.) Madison Retrieve Club "W",
             Stoughton, Gallagher & Hook Lake properties, Bong Recreational Area (WI),
             RockCut State Park DTA, Kelly-Meyer DTA, Rock River Retention Pond


             Waterfowl season will have a new "approach" the second weekend in September
             with the addition of the new Four Rivers Migrator marsh boat.

                               

                              Maintenance Mode Archives May-June 2013 (Link)
                              Maintenance Mode  Archives July 2013 (Link)
                              Maintenance Mode Archives August 2013 (Link)
                              Maintenance Mode Archives September 2013 (Link)
 
 
       Oct 1  dogs' day off
     Oct 2 trained at Riverside Park DTA - five singles as per the Sept 26 setup except in a
              different area with more cover 75-200 yards with Daisy, Kooly & Gunny...Taffey
            
 came out after the young dogs and ran five short, easy marks in easy cover...
              everyone marked really well and are getting in better shape for the final 6 weeks
              of duck season
     Oct 3-4 dogs' days off - scattered thunderstorms for the next four days - "fit" training
                 sessions in between up-to-date radar reports
     Oct 5 morning Autism Seminar - rain in the afternoon - no training
                  note: Minn-Kota trolling motor for the Migrator arrived and bought an
                           Interstate SRM 27 class deep cycle battery
     Oct 6 didn't train (no rain in the forecast next four days)
     Oct 7 trained at Riverside Park DTA - Daisy & Gunny ran six singles with Kooly running
              seven - easy "Ya-Ha" singles in short cover = exercise, Taffey ran three, short
              walking singles away from the van and one long back to the van
                  note: Daisy seemed "gassed" with others not so much
     Oct 8 train - trained in a section of the taller cover at Riverside Park DTA, ran Daisy,
             Gunny
& Kooly on six walking singles with send backs as an alternating trio (75 -
             200+ yards), used the tree stumps and brush piles as factors....on the fifth single
             each dog was cast back to the line from behind a long fallen
tree that had been
             carried up in to this high flood plain (they had to jump over it), the next and last
             single was thrown to fall 40 yards past the tree with it being directly in line, Daisy
           
 flared to the right and Kooly flared to the left, each corrected to the fall & picked
             up the mark, Gunny however, took a good line and jumped over the log with some
             flash (pleasant surprise!!!) to end a good training/conditioning session.....Taffey
           
 came out and ran four short walking singles away from the original line and then
             one last, long single back to the van
                  note: maybe I can take her on an easy duck hunt in a week or two to pick up
                           her last wild bird 
                  note: mowed and bagged leaves in the front & airing yard
    Oct 9 finished lawn - mowing & bagging
    Oct 10 trained at Riverside Park - Daisy, Gunny & Kooly ran eight, long "Ya-Ha" singles
               (in tandem) with remote line and alternating "send-backs" for no pressure
               conditioning, Taffey came out afterwards and ran five short, walking singles
                  note: spent the balance of the day packing for duck camp - 2nd Iowa opener
                           on the Mississippi River - Pool 13 
     Oct 11-13 wrote a short story for the entry

The second split of the Iowa Openers is hectic. Most everyone is out early and many camp overnight on a shorelines or even in their boat blinds. After scouting the day before, we left at 2 am and soon discovered the spot I wanted was already taken.

The wind would have been in my face so I was not all that disappointed. After thinking over the possibility of a long run north, I decided to hunt the north end of the same island. There is an ideal "pile of logs" to snuggle the Migrator into. It was an easier hunt, too. The shallow, sandy point vs. the deep mud on the other end was a plus.

After unloading the Migrator from the tender, Daisy and I rested a bit. It was not cold and the wind had not picked up (yet). The decoys were kind of tossed out in roughly the position they would work best and we both settled into the bottom of the big rig for a snooze. An hour before shooting time, I moved the big boat about 300 yards up the shore and then walked back down the sandy beach to finalize the decoy setup. There were seven green wing teal, three blue wing, three Dakota hen mallards and five flocked coots.

opening day there are many nave, young birds and spinners are the general rule. I had one teal and two remote mallards off in the distance. No ducks dropped in before shooting time which is very unusual. Even more so for any day on the river, the first shot fired was five minutes AFTER shooting time. Then it was like a war for about an hour (and mostly to the south).

Daisy and I were well hidden and soon our action began. The ducks that came in were “hot” and were probably more aware that something was different this morning. The blue wings were using their speed as protection. With my bad left shoulder and shooting from a layout position, I was a bit concerned beforehand. The ducks were not exactly decoying giving no time to think. It was "up and shoot" or just watch. Just reacting is an advantage for my style of shooting. Generally, teal are easier than mallards.

Not having anytime to think much about it, I have never shot any better (ever). Four blue wing teal and a drake mallard were dropped with three on single shots and the other two on the second follow up shot. Daisy made quick work and was flawless with her retrieving (she had been prepped on the use of the hide on my Migrator).

Then I made the fatal mistake. My mind said, "Geez, I only need one more (for a limit)!” Things slowed down dramatically and I totally fanned on two separate mallards that buzzed the decoys. What a great morning for an old, solo hunter and his dog.

Sunday, I decided early on to go back to the same place with Gunny, it was an easy place to hunt and Gunny hasn't had any training on the use of the Migrator. However, he is very familiar with a dog hide.

Early on there was a complication. While preparing for the departure it quickly became apparent neither of my spotlights were working. This is a big deal on the Mississippi. I needed to make it down to a specific cut between two small islands, cross the main channel while avoiding a collision with a channel marker and find a specific island out of many on the Iowa side....in the dark.

The stars were out and I could see the outlines of mostly familiar islands. I was almost positive my flashlight would enable me to avoid running into any channel marker buoy. I went slowly....probing the darkness. After missing the Cable Crossing islands (normal path to the main channel), I recognized another island that would get me there if I went slowly on the north side.

Heading straight west toward the Iowa bank (a dark outline), I kept a close look for any buoys and turned south on the Iowa side. Looking east (to to my left) I was sure the island with our point was the next target. I turned east and it was a good guess. We came in “dead on” yesterday's logs.

There was an instant sense of relief. Then I became kind of smug with my good fortune and rationalized that skill had something to do with it. The day before (when the sun was out), the layout of the trip back was noted. In reality, after several years of scouting pool 13 on the Mississippi (and recovering from mistakes), this area is not as baffling as it once was.

One rule of thumb in the dark is don't ever turn around without noticing where you are in that moment. It only takes a split second to loose orientation. Another point to make is don't spend a large amount of time using a spotlight. Look at what you are doing in the dark as it really is......it looks very different and the spotlight tends to become a crutch.

After this “interesting” event, I will not press my luck again. I could very easily have spent some time sitting beside some island waiting for the sun to come up. On a final note, there now will always be a backup third spotlight at duck camp.

Gunny and I had a great morning. He did everything I asked him to. We had a lot fun in spite of the fact that not a single duck was shot at. At 9 am, I called it a morning and unloaded my gun in the bright sunlight. In the moment right as I clicked the empty receiver shut......two teal buzzed the decoys. I muttered a brief expletive and then laughed out loud. Geez! I love duck hunting. Even when things don't just play out the way you'd expect.....it's almost always fun!

These kinds of hunts keep me feeling young.

 
 
                                                                                   (left click on thumbnail)
          
                natural hiding
       
         Migrator "tucked"
    
          "close-up"
 
  "disappearance"

          
              "down river"
             

       
       decoy placement

    
     
      three mallards
        (three boats)
 
   different angle   
          
                 
"Daisy"
           
          today's ducks     
   
    

     "Where Waldo"
       (nearest blind)
 
       200 yards?
          
                 "unlikely pair"
          
         second day sun  
    
   the marsh boat is a
   great pick-up "sled"  
 
        "Gunny"
 
 
       Oct 14 home & all slept in.....afternoon sorted out "stuff" for the next hunt
       Oct 15 scouted local Illinois goose patterns, knot moving much & no picking yet
       Oct 16 the tomatoes are about finished & ready to pick the last "greenies" trained
                 dogs this morning - similar setup as on Oct 8, did eight long singles int
o cover,
                 good exercised with little pressure & best of all, it doesn't take much time to do
       Oct 17 left for duck camp early in the morning and scouted most of the day with Kooly,
                  Illinois opener is Saturday
       Oct 18 Friday morning hunted on the Iowa side with Daisy, the spot was a small
                  shallow area just off the main channel that is difficult to hunt, deep mud right
                  off a hard, sandy peninsula....the Migrator was perfect for setting out decoys
                  and the big boat was park up the shore out of sight, a wood duck circled the
                  decoys once (up high) and left with much shooting behind me, not a single
                  duck offered the rest of the morning, a barge went by going upstream and
                  the pressure wave moved my decoys 10 yards to the left after leaving the water
                  moved quickly in the opposite direction and most of the decoys ended up back
                  were they started from.......interesting
 
                        note: after picking up the decoys, towing the Migrator back to camp was
                                 attempted and went well, when underway I held my Canon Rebel
                                 camera in one hand while steering the ProDrive with my left and
                                 snapped several pictures hoping to have a few with the correct
                                 orientation - see the Oct 19 entry for the "winning" photo - process
                                 of towing was rather easy once figuring how to prevent the tow rope
                                  from getting into the short shaft prop of my ProDrive
                                                           (left click on thumbnail)
                         
                          "layout 'n lotus" 
 
   "close visitor" 
      
       "another view"
       Oct 19 today's hunting entry is another short story.    

Just when you think "there's not much new", another duck jumps up.

Saturday was the Illinois opener and it was cold. The water level had changed (again) on the Mississippi. Gunny and I bounced to three different spots that were previously scouted. The wind was in the wrong direction at the first, the second was too shallow to even get close and the third looked so different in the dark, I couldn't find the narrow channel to the spot. After unscrewing my boat off several stumps and using my prop way too much in shallow water, we ended up back at the first......which didn't look nearly as bad....now.

Early on we had a few ducks sweep over the setup before shooting time. Soon, "guns were booming" often to the north. Finally, I fanned on a single teal and then there was nothing but the cold, unrelenting wind. Eventually, I began fighting off frostbite on both hands and especially my shooting hand. Then (of course) nature called. Taking off my jacket was easy and lowering the chest high waders went quickly. The problem was my left shoulder (scheduled for surgery in a couple of weeks) would not allow me to put the tight hunting coat back on. After a huge struggle involving con-torsions and silent swearing, I settled back into my marsh boat.

Now I am really cold and not much good had happened so far. In addition, it was paramount to "find" my fingers again. Off came both gloves and my hands were plunged down into my neckline. Relief was painful, but what was next?

Here they came. Four blue wings in an undulating, breath taking formation riding the wind high over my decoys. They were obviously not going to decoy. As they sailed by and headed for Iowa I swung on the third one (because the first two were impossible to catch up to) and let my instincts take over. It's kind of neat to realize not thinking about something (like shooting a duck) is often times more effective. Back, high over my right shoulder one shot rang out and a beautiful, little duck folded falling in a huge arc between my marsh boat and the distant Iowa horizon (probably a lot close to the boat).

I mentally patted myself on the back and then shouted, "Gunny!" He was the “dog of the day” in his hide on the shoreline next to me. Did I mention he is a great "watcher" and marks really well? Gunny fired straight out of his hide and right into the decoys. However, the fall of my teal was off to the right way out in the water toward Iowa.

I remember, thinking What the........? but I never finished it. A teal jumped up and flew out of our decoys. Gunny was just doing what I told him to do....."Get the duck!" I have no idea how long Gunny had been staring down that teal in our spread. I never saw it plop down.

Kind of sheepishly, I said "No here" to Gunny and set him up to run a blind on the "real" teal. Without a moment's hesitation, Gunny fired on the sound of "back". I was sort of sure where our small duck had fallen, but the waves kept the exact location obscured. Gunny swam straight out toward Iowa and with the west wind in his face, I soon saw his strokes become more forceful. Gunny's nose had it before his eyes did. Efficiently, the one duck we needed to round out the day was soon in hand. Gunny's day had come full circle and momentarily I forgot how cold it was.


After hurriedly picking up the decoys and walking north along the shoreline to retrieve my "big" boat, there was very little energy left in the tank. The expression "gassed"” pretty much described it. The cold west wind was winning the battle of attrition. Putting the Migrator back on my "tender" rig had me looking for a way out. With some trepidation for the next decision, it was time to test the advertised
towing capabilities of this boat.......when you really need it.

Yesterday's hunt on the Iowa side was the only practice run. The technique and apparatus for towing were in place, but I had only done it once.....when the conditions were ideal. Today, I was cold and tired plus the west winds were not my friend. In the moment, there just wasn't any easy choice. My mind and body were locked on "easier".

I felt elated when underway and the scary thought of “rope in my prop"” was not allowed to surface. The instant on/off button on my ProDrive was a comfort. The Migrator rides perfectly on the second wake and looks really cool behind my Phowler. Is it still OK for a 73 year old to look cool doing anything?

Not every hunt is a gem in terms of ducks, but this was another unforgettable Illinois opening day for the journal. When I get older and can't recollect anything anymore, the plan is to be able to read about the past and say to myself....."Ah yes!........that was a cool time (in more ways than one)."

                                                               (click on thumbnail)
                                                                                  
       Oct 20 watched Lylah & football all day Sunday after coming home late yesterday
       Oct 21 day off for all....scouted for local geese and rested up for the next Mississippi trip
                         note: geese on the pond
       Oct 22 Daisy & I were setup for a goose hunt by 7:45 am, 8 showed up about 8:45 am
                  "shoulda" had two after they circled five times and decided to come in, but they
                  made a choice to land "long" on the "run way" and I waited too long ......but
                  one is good! stayed another hour, four geese made one, high pass, but were
                  not very interested
                         note: eight mallards were already on the pond when we showed up, it
                                  could have been interesting to have been setup at sunrise
                                                                                     (click on thumbnail)
                                   
                                 
                                  
      Oct 23 day off for all
      Oct 24-25 went to duck camp around noon, hunted with Daisy til sunset, there were
                 hunters actually camped (against refuge rules) in the spot I wanted to hunt,
                 moved up river and tried a point, heavy hunter traffic and other campsites
                 were evident, nothing was flying in range or decoying, heavy pressure on
                 this spot was evident, scouted a bit on the way back to camp, next morning
                 was cold (freezing temps), skimmed ice locked out the spot & moved until
                 fifteen yards of open water along shoreline.......didn't see a single duck,
                 decided to move to Iowa side, campers still in the same spot on the Illinois
                 side and a huge boat blind was sitting in the small, shallow bay I wanted to
                 hunt on the Iowa side, moved downstream to another favorite spot, parked
                 boat south of point and carried "stuff" around point to hunt a shallow area
                 next to a huge log.....flushed up a dozen big drake mallards......not my day
                 I guess....setup anyway and didn't see a single duck in the air except for
                 two huge wads of divers way up high heading south....wind began picking
                 up, headed back to camp, used the compressor to blow out the water lines
                 in the trailer and headed back to base camp........home...next week looks
                 warmer and certainly couldn't be any worse...no ducks for Daisy or Gunny,
                 but they were a pleasure to work with both days        
        Oct 26-7 day off for all - scouted for geese - they are there
      
 Oct 30 left for duck camp with my son - raining and got setup
        Oct 31 put boat in at launch and hunted the bay - very little flying, fairly steady
                   rain moved closer to refuge and Greg soon found out what the results of
                   shooting at passing ducks out of range meant - "ringnecks" everywhere but
                   not close, did shoot four coots for Daisy, finally called it a morning and
                   at dusk tried the far side of the bay for some pass shooting of ducks as
                   they dropped down to get out the wind - no shots as nothing was flying
                          note: the day was a very good day to introduce Greg to the routines
                                   of a duck hunt on the Mississippi.....up early in the dark, loading
                                   gear, navigating the backwaters. setting up and reversing the
                                   process.....most of all being "out there" and having a good day
                                   together.........it's been too long
        Nov 1 colder and decided to take Greg on a longer trip through some backwater
                  cuts, turns and then a tour of the main channel, no ducks to speak off again
                  but the morning was a lot of fun, Greg drove the boat back camp and it was
                  his first time getting to drive a mud motor, went back a different route which
                  included moving down the main channel.....left camp in the early afternoon
                          note: we had a great time 
        Nov 2 rested up and scouted geese, being 73 and having type 2 diabetes has started
                  to become a hassle....skin infections do not heal fast and occur more often,
                  miserable day dealing with several infections              
        Nov 3 day off & things are worse, scouted for geese to keep my mind off the pain
        Nov 4 Gunny and I went goose hunting early hoping a few mallards would show
                  up at sunrise - no mallards, but got two geese......not a perfect morning,
                  after dropping the first goose - when the second dropped another trailer
                  went down crippled in the pond, swam around fine but did not leave with
                  the rest.....decided to leave..........the issue of two being a limit created an
                  ethical problem........can't afford a fine....so decided to come back later and
                  see if the goose flew off with the rest of the late comers that evening....he
                  was still there.....tomorrow morning I will clean up "my mess"
                           note: skin issues have become much worse, regular Dr. was out for a
                                    couple of days, so Prompt Care was necessary ---- pain getting to
                                    me, two different "meds" prescribed and many hot compresses
        Nov 5 not feeling much better this morning....but it isn't worse, went to the pond to
                  take care of "the problem", Kooly went along and as we snuck up on the
                  goose, I noticed a mallard decoy up in the grass, I hadn't placed one there
                  and soon realized it was not a decoy, a hen and drake were too focused on
                  the swimming goose before I had crept into range, a drake was dropped as
                  they swung out over the south corn field...back to the goose...two shots didn't
                  seem to have any "impact" and he was up and out.....running into the north
                  corn field.....the rows curve toward a county highway.....speed was critical,
                  he wasn't fast enough...Kooly was on him in a flash, the "issue" was taken
                  care of and the bonus mallard was soon retrieved...still not too pleased with
                  the choice....on the plus side....it's been awhile since Kooly picked "dog of
                  the day"...he was perfect for the job...speed to burn, a great nose, responsive
                  and very eager
 
                           note: feeling a little better now, but duck camp this week is out of the
                                   picture.....skin issues are tenuous at best, next week will be the
                                   last trip, my duck trailer will be put up for the winter as shoulder
                                   surgery is Nov 19th.....the next cold months are not going to be
                                   much fun with one arm in a sling
                          note: Getting old is becoming a challenging test and the questions are
                                    increasing exponentially.
 
        Nov 6 forecast - cold rain
                          note: flipped open the boat blind to dry...when ready to remove and
                                   store all grass will removed
        Nov 7 something new - had my grandson "do" leaves in the yard for me, big job
                 which will continue for at least anther three weeks (lots of oak trees) 
        Nov 8 cold morning - finally getting the winter storage of decoy & hunting gear
                  organized........lots of "junk" going to the dump - (definition) anything that I
                  have not used in two years and/or no one would want for free
 
                         note: the two pronged antibiotic multiple infections treatment has
                                  finally produced a slight change for the better (six days left of
                                  meds and got a good night's sleep)
                         note: Taffey's last hunt has been delayed --- update too late with
                                  the recent cold weather.......not a big deal
        Nov 9-10 dormant mode for all - two days of "my turn" with Lylah as kind of a
                      make-up for some of the time my wife childsat 24/7 while I was on
                      duck hunting trips 
 
                                 note: caring for an almost 4 year old, very active, autistic child with
                                  zero verbal skills is not exactly a "walk in the park", on  the
                                  positive side incremental, some progress is taking place
 
                         note: with freezing, nasty weather soon arriving, Saturday is the last
                                  nice day for awhile, drove to duck camp with grandson and he
                                  helped put the trailer in storage (early close to duck season with
                                  surgery eminent)
                         note: scouted goose pond one last time because it will freeze up solid
                                  Monday night 
        Nov 11 took Daisy to the "goose pond" for one last hunt, dropping temperatures,
                   rain and finally snow ended the hunt around 10:30 am - what a strange hunt

                                              
The Last Hunt - 2013 Essay

This hunting season was more challenging than usual. In late May, my bifocals fooled me into thinking there was only one more step down the tri-level staircase. Next thing I know shock is taking over after a full force shoulder "plant" . Luckily I didn't pass out and managed to get my feet up on the sofa. Twenty minutes later I was not nearly as "shocky" but wringing wet from the cold sweat. The short of it was I couldn't lift my left arm above my waist. My first thought was "Well, this should be OK by hunting season."

A late summer MRI led to stalling surgery until the week before Thanksgiving. Two weeks before opening teal I could just barely mount my gun. A trip to the trap range was sketchy at best, but I "broke" enough to give it a go.

Hunting pool 13 on the Mississippi can be interesting at times when you're 73, but even more so with a bum shoulder. However, I had a few outstanding hunts and at times never shot any better (plus a few that will not be discussed).

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I really needed to get one last hunt for my 13 year old, but it just didn't happen. Her hearing, eyes and lack of strength just made it too risky. Last week, I sadly parked my duck camp trailer for the winter. Getting ready for surgery was more complicated than I realized. However, there were a few days left where I could work a local pond five minutes from my house. The X doesn't move.

The last hunt of the season found me sitting tucked into a shoreline wearing a Ghillie suit and riding a low slung turkey chair. Daisy was "dog of the day" and in her hide under a pine tree line on the other side of the pond. It was overcast and cold with rain and snow predicted at about 10 am.

I had two Dakota goose floaters with couple of mallards off to the side. Up on the east bank were two full body Dakota decoys. At about 9 o'clock five geese came right in without even circling. They dropped into the west end of the pond 90 yards away. OK, I'm thinking live decoys are good.....except for the distance.

The next hour plus was exciting and frustrating at the same time. The leader (of the first five) held his head high, stared east down the pond toward my decoys and were just treading water...they were very cautious. Every five to ten minutes another small flock of geese would fly in. They kept landing in the west "end zone" (live decoys are cool....to a point). However, I began to savor the show as the numbers mounted.

The limited space pushed the near edge closer and the initial lead goose retained his position as "looker". Their movements were synchronized. Ever so slowly he swam toward me as the swelling flock neared about 75 geese. I found myself breathing deeply and carefully moving only my eyes. All the time this is going on, I am thinking about how this is going to play out. It was an exciting and agonizing process. Eventually, the distance closed to about 35 yards and I started settling on "the plan". I've never had a waterfowl hunt where "the shot" could be totally over analyzed......until now. 


The event was beginning to top out at about an hour...and I'm thinking 1) this is fascinating "stuff", 2) they still don't have a clue about where I'm hidden, 3) it's the last hunt of the year (freeze-up plus surgery) so educating the "masses" is not an issue and 4) when they are in range it will be an easy flush and two shot.

Suddenly as if attached to a single rope every goose pivoted to the right. At first, I was surprised.....then out of the corner of my eye I saw a little yellow dog stroking straight for the lead goose. For almost an hour my absolutely "steady as a rock" Daisy had been watching from her hide. Group after group had piled in with almost continuous honking and Daisy finally just "lost it" . She was going to "take on" the entire flock. They were a bit confused by her approach as I'm sure this was a first for them, too.

Now shooting a duck (or goose) for a breaking dog is a "no brainer".....and it may be a long winter second guessing my decision.....then again given the timing and uniqueness of the hunt.....maybe not. As they jumped, I dropped the lead goose.


Soon the rain began....followed by snow. We left cold and wet with a unique memory added to many. The season was over..........time to plan for next year.
 

                                                   

              Nov 12....This morning it is 15º F with a crusty snow cover on everything and the
                             goose pond is "iced in". Hibernation mode is kicking into gear. 
              Nov 15  last doctor's appointment before surgery next Tuesday, it's going to be
                           more than I expected....arm in a sling for 4-6 weeks, the biggest
                           problem is who is going to clean up the airing yard twice a day for 4
                           dogs over the next 5--6 weeks - my wife says she will.....little does she
                           know how much fun that is during the winter 
              Nov 16 decided to wear the immobilization sling for the next three days (once
                          in awhile) to practice and find out what I can do (and not), at least these
                          practice sessions will be without any pain - number one will be I can't
                          wear my regular clothes (XX large t-shirts vs. medium), no blue jeans,
                          sleeping in bed is out (recliner is in), picking up the airing yard for my
                          four dogs is doable (wife will be happy about this) and I can't change
                          diapers on our Granddaughter (wife won't be happy about this),,,..the
                          biggest problems are we'll have to contract out snow removal on our
                          driveway and taking showers....it is going to be a very long 4-6 weeks.
                          and that is ONLY the immobilization process     
                                  note: today is repair a "few springs in the recliners day"
 
               Nov 17 more "practice" getting use to the sling

               Nov 18 do leaves in front yard and final "preps" for surgery
               Nov 19-23 surgery, pain pills, a recliner, the TV remote, an "ice machine" and
                          my wife have kept things focused on being distracted.....started picking
                          up the airing yard for my four dogs........it was strange to realize how
                          little the cold seems to bother me when pain is more of a focus......the
                          situation has not been that bad when put in perspective, "everything"
                          was awkward at first, but "just deal with it" seems to be working, therapy
                          starts next week...in retrospect none of this is much fun and time is not
                          "flying by"
 
 
              Nov 24 took "ice machine pad" off......much lighter weight on shoulder sling,
                          surgery pain becoming less of an issue and not even close to the pain
                          experienced during the initial injury
                              note: dogs are not going to be very active......hibernation mode
                              note: finally removed bandages & applied waterproof "Tech Pads"
                                       very clean, healed incisions with four "scars", pain not much
                                       an issue 
               Nov 25 1st "post op" Dr's appointment - find out what was actual done
                              note: four incisions, removed bone spurs, shave/smoothed joint          
                                       surfaces, cleaned up debris tissues and re-attached big tear,
                                       34 glossy photos taken during surgery...technology is cool
                              note: the huge tear repair/diagram photos are below 
           (click on thumbnail)  
                                       before
                              

                                        after
               before     
      

                 after
        before
  
           after

                Nov 26 early morning analysis six days after surgery.....the "process"
                            could not be going ant better
                                 note:  this afternoon is the first "official" physical therapy
                                           appointment, there were "easy" forearm movements
                                           directed by the surgeon within a few days after "repair"
                                  note: timing is everything - with winter always being a time
                                           of near hibernation.....this shoulder problem has been
                                           down-sized to a doable nuisance
                                  note: having "hydro-therapy" available every day will make a
                                           huge difference in rehabilitation
                                                  
              

         

        Nov 27-29 the routine of therapy twice a day is going well - "no pain...no gain"
                   has to be measured carefully....need to avoid thinking about the months it
                   is going to take......having never had any lengthy health issue before, it has
                   taken awhile to recognize the time factor element....adjusting and accepting
                   has finally taken over.....no choice.

                   It's good to be retired and have a loving wife that takes this all in stride. The
                   only positive about this inconvenience is it's during the winter.....not much
                   going on anyway.

        Nov 30 up early (6 am), did shoulder therapy exercises sans pain pills, never thought
                    taking a shower & getting dressed would be a half hour of aerobic exercises,
                    new post surgery 1st, I can now scratch my nose with the left hand.
 
                    won't be "stepping over" Lylah's security gates anymore, hooked foot and
                    fell on left knee and right elbow right in front of my wife, scared both of us,
                    left shoulder protected by instinctive effort to roll away from "crash", in a
                    few of hours the "stingers" were gone....it's going to be a long winter

        

 

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