a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: March 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown Day...

SUMMARY: Info for March 28
Backfill: date

Global confirmed cases: 663,828; total deaths: 30,822; total recovered: 139,451 (JHU)

U.S. confirmed cases: 124,217; total deaths: 2,185; total recovered: 1,095 (JHU)

CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days, effective immediately

More than 2,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S., with the death toll doubling in just two days

Spain tightens lockdown, orders all non-essential workers to stay home for two weeks

FB info page

Thursday, March 26, 2020

COVID-19 (the virus formerly known as Novel Coronavirus) - March 13

SUMMARY: The world is a little nuts right now. Wrote on March 13... And I still haven't inserted the missing photos or info, so this just has to go up now.

Backfill: July 16, Added some photos. Couple of formatting things & a few words here and there.

(Following are some from my FB posts or comments between March 2 and 13)

We just don't know enough. And our lovely Prez, who disbanded the infectious disease/pandemic organization that Obama set up, and his lovely organizations, have been very much less than helpful.

The crises in Wuhan, in Italy, and in S. Korea are big klaxon warnings of what could go wrong here.  So far it hasn't, but cases are climbing daily (how much? Dunno? CDC and cronies are sitting on info and questioning tests...), and here in Santa Clara County, we're one of the lucky "hotbeds". With 45 people identified so far-- but there are limited test kits! And CDC (?) is refusing to deal with tests for people who are not exhibiting enough symptoms!

My theory--and I'm not the only one, and I'm talking about in the medical community--is that it's already very widespread, but because so many people are asymptomatic, and because it's Cold Season anyway so mild symptoms are likely treated like a cold anyway, it's already rife in the community.

Talking about it is EVERYwhere because the stock market is tanking (2 weeks ago I thought I was a few months away from retirement finally. Now--??  Who knows.), the economy is tanking, businesses are worried about going out of business, lives are completely disrupted, people are out of work...

I haven't tried to count how many posts in FB I've read in the last couple of days that deal with COVID-19 in one way or another. I've certainly contributed. But it has to be a very high percentage. Yesterday morning while reading the SJ Mercury News, I counted how many articles had some mentions or were entireley about it. Yesterday — yes, 33; no, 24.  Today — yes, 41; no, 19. No wonder it feels overwhelming.

TO DO:  >> Take photo of front page of SJ Merc and sports and business fronts...

And a lot of info is nonsense--and the more detailed and technical it gets, the more it seems to depend on which expert you're quoting. But there are very common and very ignorant posts that are viral:
  • Insisting that COVID-19 is "just the flu". Yep. Like measles is just the chickenpox. Nope, entirely different viruses. Flu vaccine doesn't work for COVID-19. But you all knew that already. And we have no idea really how this virus is going to progress, mutate, etc. (The 1918 Spanish Flu is a huge precautionary tale.)
  • If you think you've been exposed, drink a lot of water to wash the virus into your stomach where your stomach acid will kill it.  (Whaaaaa? Seriously? Avoid getting a virus by DRINKING it???)
  • If you think you've been exposed, take a slow deep breath; if it doesn't make you cough, you're good, otherwise your lungs are already infected with fibrosis.  (I can't even...  I mean...  )
Well, I mean, it *is* overwhelming. I went out into the yard to play with the dogs in the sunshine for a while. Go thou and do the same! As Dan Rather said in an eloquent post: Steady!

My county. March 1. Only two people here so far. But other places, spreading like wildfire
(and we Californians know too much about spreading wildfires.)
So, caution is good.  How much caution?  I cannot begin to tell you how much the world has been disrupted.  NBA cancelling the rest of their season (now that 2 players have tested positive with apparently mild symptoms). Arenas and theaters and schools and Disney parks (!!) closed, mostly "until the end of March, and then we'll reevaluate".  My photo club canceled our 2 march meetings (I was in favor of it, watching the situation in the overseas countries).  The Sunnyvale Historical Society cancelled a speaker I had been looking forward to hearing.

March 2 is when I really started thinking about The Risks Of Going Out:

Went out to dinner last night, after reading articles about how the prudent thing to do is to avoid touching things that others have touched, and to disinfect or wash your hands if you have to touch something. It's daunting: You either keep on living as you have been or you stay home, I suppose:
  • Door to restaurant, opens only by pulling.
  • Host does a quick wipe-down of our table before we sit--was that a fresh unused cloth?With disinfectant? 
  • Handed us menus: How many times have these been handled (and/or coughed on) by people in addition to the host? 
  • Given water glasses by bare hands.
  • Given bowls with chips and dip, bowls touched with bare hands.
  • The napkins and silverware placed on the table--bet it was pulled out of the dishwasher with bare hands, placed on the table with bare hands...
  • (Yes, apparently the virus can survive on fabric and paper.)
  • The little booklet containing the bill, containing a pen to sign the credit card bill....
  • And how is food prepared in a way to prevent the transmission from someone with a cough or drippy nose... or who has no symptoms but is shedding germs as they go?
  • A restaurant is not the place to be to avoid your hands or other objects touching YOUR MOUTH. 
    Well, I enjoyed the meal anyway and set those thoughts aside for now.
    (My county now has I think a dozen confirmed cases. Out of 2 million people. I'm still not super worried...)

    Lucky's TP supply, March 12.
    Before Santa Clara County(?) shelter-in place goes into effect...
    before it's even announced. My timing was good, because later that day,
    after the announcement, chaos and panic buying got even worse.
    People are insanely hoarding-- toilet paper of all things is being cleared from the shelves as soon as it goes out (although yesterday morning at Luckys: TP was sparse, but there was plenty available. Might depend on the time of day you go. As I understand it, there is plenty of toilet paper, it’s just that they don’t stock a lot of it because it takes up a lot of space at any given store, so they have to wait for the next shipment to come in, which might be each day (just ask).); same for hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

    (Fortunately I already had those things Just Because, but have a very limited quantity of wipes and would like to get more, because I am using them. But-- Was feeling smug. I *always* have little bottles of hand sanitizer in various places, so doesn't matter if the stores are out. In fact, had a cold last November and so I had them throughout the house.
    Before going out last night (March 2), I went to get one. And... spent half an hour looking, and couldn't find a single one! WTF? I have one in my car that I often use--nope, none there. I always have one in the bathrooms that guests use--nope, not there. Not by my desk (but someone rearranged things for me, so it could be anywhere random). Always one in my computer case for work--nope. I moved one out of the way constantly in my bedroom until not long ago-- nope. Where did they all GO? In what "safe, rational" place did I put them away until later? (did later find 2 bottles))

    My preciousessssss.......

    What about grocery shopping? I agree that avoiding hanging around other people, like standing in line, could be a risk, now that they've decided that it *can* be transmitted through the air. But I also have been thinking a lot about what to do if I have food delivered--wear gloves, disinfect each item as I take it out of the bag? That's a possibility certainly for cans, bottles, and boxes, but fresh veggies and fruit might be challenging.

    But then, I went shopping yesterday and when I got home, I thought, wow, the checker actually handled every single thing to ring it up, so I have the same problem there.
    (I did not sit there wiping everything down--I don't actually have 60%+ alcohol wipes, so it's a little challenging. I do have alcohol and an empty spray bottle... )

    This is all for 45 *known* cases out of 2 million people in Santa Clara County. But, last time we had reasonable data, the cases were increasing exponentially.  The  goal at this point everywhere is only partly containment--it's clear that it's a bit too late for that probably--but mitigation: Ensuring that the cases are spread out across the coming months instead of all hitting in a huge mass within a couple of weeks, swamping the health infrastructure and insuring that more people will die than necessary.

    Healthcare capacity could be a huge issue; that’s what people have been talking about mostly in the trenches. The simple graphic shows why.
    “The reason for trying to slow down the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.....
    "One week ago, Italy had 2,502 cases of the virus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19. At that point, doctors in the country’s hospitals could still perform the most lifesaving functions by artificially ventilating patients who experienced acute breathing difficulties.
    Today, Italy has 10,149 cases of the coronavirus. There are now simply too many patients for each one of them to receive adequate care. Doctors and nurses are unable to tend to everybody. They lack machines to ventilate all those gasping for air..." (March 11 article:)

    And I, finding myself in a higher-risk group (interestingly, young children seem to have only mild cases, no deaths so far), I'm happy at this point to be cautious everywhere.

    From CDC March 15. Not great to be over 85. Not good to be 65 or older.
    THESE are the numbers that particularly worry me.  (CDC as of March 15)


    TO DO: >> Insert photo of movie stub

    So HOW cautious should I be?  Last week I went to 3 movies over at Oakridge. Safe?

    • (1) To get into the theater, I do not have to touch anything if I'm careful: Doors into the mall are automatic; 
    • (2) if I'm careful on the escalator I don't need to touch the handrail; 
    • (3) I buy my tix ahead of time and so the ticket taker just scans my phone (dilemma: I collect those stubs that they hand back--do I take it?  He's wearing gloves, but what has he touched while wearing them?  I did take it, and didn't try to disinfect it. It's a tiny square of paper); 
    • (4) walking into the theater itself, as long as I don't arrive late, the door is open for me to walk in;
    • (5) again, if I'm careful going up and down the stairs, I can avoid the handrail. 
    • (6) before sitting, I wipe both armrests widely with sanitizing wipes, and the buttons that control the seat, and the tray table if I think I'm likely to touch it, but 
    • (7) I sadly have given up buying concessions for the moment, to avoid handling food containers (and food) handled by others.  
    • (8) I do my absolute best to avoid the restrooms, because, you know, faucets, toilet handles..
    • (9) Do my dangdest not to touch my face... Then, afterwards, 
    • (10) when I return to my car, I wipe down my hands anyway. And 
    • (11) when I return home, I wash my hands with soap & water and wipe down my car door handle and steering wheel.

    Nearly empty for a prime time of day. Maybe one person or couple per row, if that.
    (My images behind came out too dark--but you can kind of see rows of seat backs with no one in them.
    One blob towards the back, right of center (black/reddish) that is a person.)

    And it has been OK, because no one else seems to be going to the movies. (Well, not quite that bad last week--but people were buying seats farrrrrrr apart from each other, not crowding into the middle as usual.)

    So, basically, my point is, the world has become like a snowglobe that someone picked up and shook--everything's in flux and topsy turvy and you don't really know where it's all going to land.

    TO DO: >> Take some photos! Or post in a later post & point to it from here.

    ON THE UP SIDE,  I suppose: We (individuals, governments local and national) are learning a heck of a lot.

    Best advice from some travel sites: If you must travel, just go to a park and go hiking! Probably no risk there!  My knee isn't quite there yet, but I am trying to remind myself to get out of the house, just into the yard or walk around the block.

    And, yes, Go Thou And Do Likewise.

    Predicting that the US will blow up like Italy has (as of March 15):

    COVID Lockdown Day...

    SUMMARY: Data for March 25
    Backfill: date

    Global confirmed cases: 487,648; total deaths: 22,030; total recovered: 117,749 (JHU)

    U.S. confirmed cases: 69,197; total deaths: 1,046; total recovered: 619 (JHU)

    Record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

    Senate passes $2 trillion economic rescue package to aid businesses, workers and health care systems

    Italian doctor death toll reaches 37 as national cases top 70,000

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    COVID-19 Lockdown: Day... 9?

    SUMMARY: SUMMARY: March 25, 2020, data, more notes probably to be added later.
    Backfill: date

    Global confirmed cases: 454,398; total deaths: 20,550; total recovered: 113,045 (JHU)

    U.S. confirmed cases: 61,167; total deaths: 849; total recovered: 354 (JHU)

    More than 10,700 National Guard members now activated for U.S. coronavirus response

    Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, tests positive for coronavirus

    Congressional leaders, White House reach deal on $2 trillion coronavirus relief package

    Facebook COVID info page

    Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    COVID-19 Lockdown: Day 7 ?

    SUMMARY: March 24, 2020, data, more notes probably to be added later.
    Backfill: date

    Global confirmed cases: 409,014; total deaths: 18,246; total recovered: 106,593 (JHU

    U.S. confirmed cases: 50,206; total deaths: 600 (JHU)

    More than 40% of the U.S. population is now being asked to stay home

    India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces nationwide lockdown to stop spread of coronavirus

    Summer Olympics postponed about one year because of coronavirus, Japan's prime minister says

    (CA Shelter in place/lockdown started March 17 ?? I think that's late--when did county do this?)

    What kind of face is that, anyway?

    SUMMARY: Makeup
    Backfill: Typed this May 20, 2019...:oops, why didn't I post it?  --- MARCH 25: Added first-grade class photo.

    True story about me: When I was about 35, I went to a stylist who suggested that I try false eyelashes or at least mascara. I said no. But she talked me into finding a very pale mascara (light brown, I guess), which was hard to find, and it was OK, i suppose. Never used it much. But that's me--because my lashes are so short and straight, they needed a tiny bit of curling to show up even then. All too much of a pain for such tiny lashes. My newest cousin infant is lucky to have naturally long, curled-up eyelashes.

    Me, at eighteen. What I think is interesting about this is that my eyes have always been listed as blue. When I got my first license, I asked the clerk something about the color, and she agreed blue. They sure don't look blue here!

    Class photo, 1st grade -- they do look a bit blueish; I'll have to go find any photos at all from my youngest youth to see how blue they really looked.

    My eyes today. About the color they've always been, I think.  Sort of bluish greenish. The Colors person I went to (different from Stylist) suggests bright teal or BLUE as my most flattering colors ("Dramatic", as in, if I walk into a room and I want people to notice ME and I'd look great in them--based some on eye color but also on skin tone). But see what she  put for Eye Tones? Not blue!

    Me at 50. Depends on the light, too, I suppose.

    Me at 47.

    Added Oct 20, 2019:

    Me, now. (Cell phone selfie, hence not so sharp, but colors are ok.) Not really blue...?

    New Knee, Five-Day Diary (Was supposed to post Jan 24!)

    SUMMARY: Another adventure in artificial human parts.
    FYI Some of what follows might have been posted on Facebook first.

    Saturday Jan 18: I will be stuck upstairs in my house for probably a couple of weeks. That means: Bedroom, bathroom, hallway.  Then mostly to the house for another couple of weeks. Then slowly more activity outdoors.  On a walker for some number of weeks; then walking with a cane for more numbers of weeks.
    Morning before surgery. Standing on a ladder in the corner of my yard.
    To my left, Martial Cottle Park. To my right, looking up my yard to my house.
    That window below the chimney? That's where I'll be looking out for the next few weeks.
    No ladder climbing!

    So I need to make sure that my room is ready for me, that my house contains all that I'll need and that my stay-in caretakers will need (food? entertainment? Clean rooms? Clean linens? Etc.).
    Bedside table with the necessities;
    I'll use the large receptacle for constant ice water.
    I'll drink a lot. 
    Also Kindle is there; also styrofoam thingie on dresser for PT.

    I have 4 days to get it all ready: Go.

    P.S. I have already arranged with various relatives to stay with me to cover me 24-7 for 2 weeks, except for one night towards the end. TBD.

    Tuesday a.m.: I had decided that I wouldn't board the dogs for the first couple of nights like I did for my hip replacement last year. Turns out that worrying about that kept me up a good portion of last night--because it was very useful to have them out of the way while getting things figured out and recovering initially from the surgery.  Called my agility instructors, who also do boarding, and ask whether they could manage it at the last minute. Oh, and Chip needs eye ointment and pills.  They say, sure, if I can bring them up Wed. morning. I say, sure, 9:00, see you then.
    Partial list. VERY partial list.

    6 p.m.  I get home from shopping and errands and discover that Kaiser has rescheduled my arrival time for tomorrow to 9 AM instead of 11. I call boarding back and say, uh, how about this evening? They very generously agree, although it means they have to do some prep work in the dark.  And fortunately my morning ride to the hospital is able to manage the 2 hour change, also.

    Tuesday evening: Made a lot of progress on my list. I think it's sufficient. It's not ideal; never did sweep the stairs or kitchen or vacuum the guest room, for example.  Didn't help taking 2 hours out of the plan to take the dogs up to boarding.

    Wed. a.m.  Didn't sleep all that well again.  I'm fine with the surgery: Can't wait to have the new knee. It's everythng else...

    Arrive at 9 a.m.  There's a delay; surgeon had higher priority things come up, etc.

    They give me an epidural to numb my right leg--but it turns out to be a challenge. Because of my recently acquired extreme lower-back scoliosis, it appears to have twisted so that injecting into the right side numbs the left leg! After several attempts, the solution is to roll me onto my right side instead of left, and then although left leg numbs first, the numbing agent moves into my right side because of gravity.  Clever.

    I get an IV sedative.

    Wake up a while later with a new knee.
    Post-surgery. Tubes still attached to left arm (I think).
    There's this cool thing in the recovery room--every bed has a "skylight"
    with some photo looking up. Nice, because we're in the basement.

    Physical Therapist wheels in her own step for testing.
    (It folds down.) Tricky!
    With delays and everything, and with my right leg not wanting to come un-numb, it's not until nearly 6 that the physical therapist can check whether I can stand and walk (with a walker) and go up and down a step. I can. Off home.

    Sister #1, who took me to the place in the morning and stuck around nearby
    until they released me around 6 that evening.
    She came prepared with electronic gadgets for "working" (so she claims).

    Mr Fox No. 12 examines the knee brace and the foam elevating wedge
    while Human Mom consumes breakfast.
    Thurs. a.m. I have a very sturdy velcro brace wrapped around my knee and at least a foot above and below. Expecting to wear it for several days at least to support the knee.  When I took it off midday for a nap, discovered that my initial dressing over the surgery site had filled with blood and was leaking through. Instructions said to replace with sterile gauze if that happened. Taking it off, looked like it was old blood and not still oozing, so no worries.

    They sent me home with an ice machine, so I'm icing and elevating and taking pain meds and being subdued, dozy, generally happy.  Home  Physical Therapist calls to set up an appointment for  tomorrow and, wow, it's the same excellent one I had for my hip last year! Yay!

    This is the wrap that *I* use over the dressing.

    Therapist comes, goes through the first simple set of exercises with me. After the last one, she says, well, that was not just an exercise; it was a test. So your muscles are strong enough that you don't need to wear the brace! Yay!

    She replaces the dressing, and there was a small bit of oozing between yesterday and today, but not much. Lookin' good.
    Sister #2 and I investigate my emergency supply of tape and dressing.
    Apparently for some reason I kept this tape roll. Possible to remember Jake by--
    I've always played with my dogs with empty TP and paper towel cardboard tubes.
    Then Jake figured out that there were cardboard tubes EVERYwhere if one looked around!

    Knee Status 6 Weeks Out

    SUMMARY: The new one is very good. But the technology isn't perfect.
    From a Facebook post March 9.

    !!! TO DO: UPLOAD PHOTOS !!!

    Went in for my 6 1/2 week check-up today (March 9) with the surgery department. I'm happy happy happy with my new knee!

    Per them: X-rays look perfect. Surgery scar looks perfect. Pain is very minor today. 

    Side note: About 3 days ago, the knee started into constant low-level pain.
    Icing didn't help, even though it always did til now.
    (Multiple tries.) Acetaminophen and NSAID didn't help.
    After a day and a half, finally gave up after bedtime and took
    one remaining reserved heavy-duty pain pill. Knee has been pretty good since.
    That has been the first time in all these weeks that I've had a problem with pain.

    • Walk as much as I want, let pain be my guide. 
    • Don’t expect to ever do much running on it. (As in: dog agility..., hmm, we'll see... . Certainly not jogging. But I didn't anyway, so that's OK.)
    • Don’t expect to ever be getting down on my knee; maybe briefly if it’s absolutely necessary, but not on a regular basis and not for very long.
      (As in: Gardening. Pulling weeds. Laying brick pathways for which I  have bricks stored up. Getting under desk to where wiring for everything goes. Scrubbing textured kitchen/hallway floors. Cleaning spots on the carpet. Many varieties of household tasks (e.g., I replaced the slide-out drawer in a kitchen cabinet last year. HAD to be on my knees.) Cleaning dog vomit from the back of a large soft crate. So many things I'm used to doing on my knees!)
    • Expect that everything should be about as healed and healthy as it’s going to get after a year or so. (A *YEAR* or so?!)
    Front of knee. They replaced the ends of my bones with surfaces made of chrome, titanium, and something, cemented in place, then put a pad in between to replace the cartilage that hasn’t been there for a very long time.
    Some kind of plasticky stuff.

    Side: and, yes, that’s my original patella hanging out at the front of my knee.

    And I’m apparently in good hands: Team physicians of the San Jose Sharks? Here at this facility or at a different Kaiser? Those men take a beating, so if they can fix them, they can fix me, is the message.

    Monday, March 09, 2020

    Advice for Joint Replacement Surgery (Knee or Hip)

    SUMMARY: Now I've done both. Some of my tips.
    (Someone asked on Facebook, March 9)

    Learned a bunch from my total hip replacement (THR) aftermath a year ago, and was able to put it into play before my total knee replacement (TKR) this year--and learned more from that, too. So, off the top of my head, herewith a bunch of tips.

    Note: If you're living with someone, like a spouse or good friend as a roommate, etc., who's already familiar with the household and will be the one staying with you 24/7 for the first couple of weeks, some things don't apply. But I had to recruit friends & relatives to each stay for a few days/nights, so my list got pretty long.

    • The result feels great! So much better than the previous status.  Both for hip and knee! Such a relief! The down time is worth it.
    • Your recovery time may vary. Apparently I did pretty good both times, but also I might be younger and more active than many patients. And I've worked hard (well, struggled) to keep my weight down because of the effect that any extra pounds puts on my joints and back.  Another woman I know who also just had a new knee but is nearly 20 years older says, fuggid, exercises are too miserable, I'm just going to use a walker for the rest of my life. Makes me sad. 
    • You won't be driving for probably 4-6 weeks.
    • You won't be going up and down stairs for 2-3 weeks (except maybe a very few steps).
    • Try to have your room, or wherever you expect to be spending the most time, ready ahead of time: fresh linen on the bed, fresh towels in the bathroom, floor vacuumed, everything cleaned up & put away so you don't have to stare at unfinished tasks, piles of laundry, etc., while you're trying to relax and recover.
    • Set up a bedside table with room to put things that you might not normally put there: water to drink, miscellaneous supplies, list of exercises and pointers from  the hospital or physical therapist, etc.
    • Set up bedroom: And because for the first 2 weeks I'd be stuck upstairs (no TV, no popping into the kitchen, etc.) I also tried to make sure I had things in the bedroom for me to do (books, crosswords, paperwork to work on although that fell by the wayside). And I set up a chair and tray table so that I could sit up periodically, and have meals brought up to me there.
      AND an extra chair so my assistant and I could chat together when I was up to it and felt like sitting up.
    • I put the dogs in boarding so that when I got home from surgery, and for the first couple of days and nights, neither I nor anyone else had to worry about whether the dogs were causing me any problems. Mine sleep on my bed often, although I had been crating them at night for a couple of weeks before surgery, and ever since. But I don’t have anyone living with me; it was friends and relatives who are staying overnight, and I didn’t want them to have to bother with the dogs. BUT I had to arrange to have them brought home. Luckily the boarding places were willing to do so for an extra charge. 
    • Get a walker for each level of your house; you'll need it for probably the first 4 weeks. Some insurance covers a walker. BUT I asked on facebook and got offers from 5 or 6 friends for a free walker that they had stashed away.
    • Be prepared to carry things while using the walker: My cousin found nifty bags with pockets online that attach to the front of the walker; very handy. And a cup holder that attaches to one of the legs of the walker. Also used that a lot. Also handy to have: a bag with handles that will slip over your shoulder and preferably even across your neck (So that the bag hangs on the opposite side from your neck). And/or clothing with pockets.
    • Use leggings or long underpants: I don't usually wear PJs to bed. When I'm dressed, I usually wear jeans. For this, you'll want something that's gentler than jeans (leg will swell up, repeatedly; also, incision will have dressing or tape on it for a while). Can also just wear back to bed OR around the house with a nice top to greet people. AND can easily ice your knee through it.
    • And do the exercises! And do what the physical therapist tells you to do! 
    • And ask all the questions that you have; some people are hesitant to do that. I found that having a notepad and a pen at hand helped me to remember the questions; I also used a list on my phone for when I wasn’t near my pad. Because questions popped up all the time. And don't be afraid to call the designated number if you have questions that you feel can't wait for your next scheduled visit or appointment! It's your health and comfort!
    • Install raised toilet seat: If the bathroom that you'll mainly be using doesn't already have one, get one and install it beforehand! My friend had to do this for me *after* my surgery because I waffled for too long, and she  ended up making about 5 trips to 3 different places, and working very hard indeed to remove the existing seat,  put the riser in place, and put the seat back on--  because not every part is compatible with every other part! What a challenge! And that raised toilet seat has been SO WONDERFUL TO HAVE after the surgery--and wish actually I had installed it at least a couple of months before my hip surgery, because I had been in so much pain sitting and standing up.
    • Shop beforehand and get lots of cash. Because no one lives with me, and relatives & friends would be cycling through, I stocked up on groceries to hopefully last 2-4 weeks so no one would have to go shopping for me. I also took out $300 in cash and left it in the kitchen so if anyone did have to buy anything for me (ran out of milk, picked up a prescription, something broke & had to be replaced, etc.), they could just take the $ with them.
    • Icing the knee regularly & ice machine: I already had 4 good largish blue-ice packs (the soft ones) in the freezer. I have used them more and more over the last 6 weeks instead of the ice machine, because at least I can still move around. If they give you an ice machine, that's so excellent! And I didn't really *want* to move around much the first couple of weeks. Freeze 6-8 smaller water bottles and use them in water in the machine instead of trying to keep pouring out ice water and replacing with fresh ice.  And you can always use the ice in the ice machine--but trying to keep a good supply of ice in the house is tough. The first day, my sister bought a couple of large bags and we put it into a cooler, but it had melted within 2 days, long befoer we could use it. If they DON'T send you home with an ice machine, find out where you can rent or borrow one (last time I had work on my knee, a friend loaned me hers).
    • Make ice: But I also like my drinks cold, so I made as much ice as my ice keeper could hold ahead of time, so I could have ice water by my bed (I have an insulated large cup with a lid and a straw) all the time, and I drank a lot! 
    MORE TO COME  I think...  will make a note here if/when I add.

    April 26, 2021:  And, here is more!   How Much Help Will I Need After My Joint Replacement Surgery?

    Sunday, March 08, 2020

    Alllll the T-shirts

    SUMMARY: All of them.

    Updates Aug 8 '20: Small corrections and rearrangements, not marked. 

    This list will be out of date at any time because I've already ordered another one. But, here goes.

    (And, BTW, there are some photos here:The T-shirt Project)

    (Note: I have other themed shirts that are polo, not t-shirts, so aren't included here)

    (Note 2: I did not type this all in today. It's all in my inventory database. For here, I just invented some categories and moved shirts under each.)

    Disney related:
    • Dead Men Tell No Tales-black-Disney Designs 100% cott
    • Disneyland castle and characters-navy and blue tie-dye-Disneyland-100% cotton
    • Disneyland castle-embroidered grey- Disney Originals 100% cott
    • Disneyland dragon/Mickey Ears Disneyland-gray-Disneyland 90% cott/poly
    • Disneyland Mickey & Donald postcard/photo selfie-blue-Disneyland 100% cotton
    • Disneyland w/Tigger-teal-embroidered Disneyland 100% cotton
    • Haunted Mansion-black-glow-in-dark Disneyland 100% cotton
    • Pirates of the Carribbean-black-Disneyland 100% cotton <<missing purch cost; 10% off>>
    • Space Mountain-black-Disneyland 100% cotton
    • Tomorrowland-green-Mickey Inc. 100% cotton
    • Walt Disney World 2017 Mickey Mouse Wizard-blue tie dye-Disney Parks 100% cott
    • Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom with tickets-green-

    Dragon related:
    • dragon Celtic gold stone-look-black-United Design Soft Goods 100% cott
    • dragon green/gold/brown Celtic circle-black-JT's Classics 100% cott
    • dragon-purple Maleficent dragon-black-Disney Designs 100% cotton
    • dragon w/red eyes on black tie dye-The Mountain 100% cott
    • dragon-blue/green tie-dye, black/purple dragon-Fruit of the Loom 100% cotton
    • dragon-w/purple handpainted dragon-black w/glitter-D.G. Riddle
    • Dragoncon 96-black-Fruit of the Loom 100% cotton [need price]
    • DragonCon-white-w/William Stout water dragon-Touch of Gold 100% cott
    • dragons purple w/gold interlace-black-Jt s Classic 100% cott
    • dragons-ivory-sunlight-activated color-Del Sol 100% cotton
    • Easily Distracted By Dragons & Books-black-Fruit of the Loom HD Cotton 100%cott
    • gray w/dragon embroidered-xhileration 90%cott/poly
    • navy tie dye-dragon w/wizard-The Mountain 100% cott

    Dog clubs:
    • Bay Team golden gate bridge-blue (light)-Hanes Beefy-T 100% cotton
    • Bay Team golden gate bridge-peacock blue-Hanes Beefy T 100% [date info est]
    • Bay Team logo-black-Hanes Beefy-T 100% cotton <<need price>>
    • Bay Team logo-teal-Hanes HeavyWeight 100% cotton
    • High Sierra Summer Classic (NADAC trial)-gray heather-CPort & Co 99% cotton
    • I Want You for the Bay Team- blue-Gildan Heavy Cotton 100% cott women s L
    • Mixed Breed Dog Club-teal-Fruit of the Loom 100% cotton [date info est]
    • VAST logo-lt blue-Hanes Beefy T 100% cott

    Dog training, including camp:
    • Clean Run/Power Paws Camp Taking Agility... -gray heather-Gildan Activewear Ultra Cotton Heavyweight-99% cott/poly
    • Dogs Dig Camp-brown-Port&Co 100% cotton
    • Clean Run/Power Paws Camp-purple-Gildan Ultra Cotton 100%
    • fetch sam! embroidered logo-purple-Live And Tell 40% poly/60% cott Ladies XL
    • Power Paws Camp 2002-gray (lt. heather)-Gildan Ultra Cotton Heavyweight 100% cott
    • Power Paws Camp-olive drab-Fruit of the Loom Heavy 90%cott/poly
    • Power Paws-gray heather-Hanes BeefyT 100% cott [no purch info--est--at least a couple of yrs before 8/02]
    • Power Paws-teal-Hanes BeefyT 100% cott [no purch info--est--at least a couple of yrs before 8/02]

    Dog agility nationals & some regionals:
    • Bay Team USDAA 2014 Western Regional-blue-District Made 100% cott
    • Bay Team USDAA 2015 Western Regional-navy-Fruit of the Loom Heavy HD 100% cott
    • Bay Team USDAA 2019 Western Regional-denim blue-Anvil Lightweight 65% poly/35% cott Ladies XL
    • Bay Team Western Regional 2018 - gray- Anvil lightweight 100% cotton
    • CPE Nationals 2004 embroidered-teal-Gildan ActiveWear Ultra Cotton 100% cotton
    • CPE Nationals 2006 Haute Dawgs-teal-Jerzees Heavywt 50% cott/poly
    • Cynosport Rocks 2008-orange tie dye-Hanes Heavyweight 100%cott
    • Cynosport World Games 2006-white-tiedyed by Wendy Bruce
    • FCI 2011-gray heather-B+C Collection 99% cott 1% viscosa [don t know actual date rec d]
    • My Dog and I... Cynosport World Games 2007-navy-Jerzees Heavyweight 50% cott/poly
    • USDAA Cynosport-lilac-Hanes Tagless 100% cott
    • USDAA Grand Prix 01-gray-Fruit of the Loom Best 50% cott/poly
    • USDAA Volunteer-green-Gildan Dry Blend 50 poly/cott
    • West East Titlemania 2018 - lt. gray heather - Port & Company Essential T 98% cotton/2 poly
    • Western Regional 2013-mustard-Port & Company 100% cott [INFO?]
    • World Cynosport Games 2004 USDAA nationals-brick red-Anvil 100% cott
    • World Cynosport Games-lt blue-Gildan Activewear Ultra Cotton 100%cott

    Dogs misc:
    • agility-- cave dogs -blue-green-Gildan Ultra Cotton Heavyweight 100% cott
    • Doggone Good-teal-Anvil 100% cotton
    • Honored Member 0-pt Snooker-blue-Anvil 100% cotton
    • My dog and I...agility humor-bluegreen tie-dye - Hanes Heavyweight 100% cotton
    • Nike Animal Rescue (NARF) Walk 2016-navy-Gildan Heavy Cotton 100% cott
    • Peace Love Dog-blue tie dye-Hanes Heavyweight 100% cott
    • Tortola BVI dog pirate-green-Comfort Colors 100% cott
    Personal (made for me specifically w/maybe a few friends:
    • BAG Ladies-gray-design by Laura Hartwick for our dog agility team (Boost Ariel Gustavo) [need shirt info Aug 10]
    • HD (handling Distortion) 2008 for our DAM team-purple-Hanes BeefyT 100% cott [where s price info?]
    • Monta Vista Debate-gold-Champion 100%cott
    • [there will be more if I ever decide to add polo shirts, too]

    Writing related:
    • Clarion West-blue denim-Hanes Beefy-T 100% cott
    • RTFM Softpro-grey-Oneita Power-T 100% cotton
    • Zombie Tea Mummies-purple-(custom-made) Hanes Beefy-T 100%cott

    Photography related:
    • Believe In Your Selfie-gray-LOL Vintage 95% rayon/spandex
    • Main Street Photo Shoppe-blue-Twenty Eight And Man 65%poly/cott (ALSO DISNEY-related)
    • Smugmug-gray-American Apparel 50/50

    Companies that don't fit neatly into other categories:
    • Adobe-blue teal-Bella 100% cott
    • white-Adobe Primetime-Hanes Comfortsoft 100% cott
    • Adventure Boot Camp-black-Hanes Tagless 100%cott
    • CRI Sensational Relationals baseball-blue-Whang 50%poly/cott
    • Netboost-tie dyed-Hanes Beefy T 100% [date info est]
    • Relate To Me-blue-50%poly/cott
    • Wombatnet-tan-Hanes Beefy-T 100% cotton

    Travel/tourist/parks/like that:
    • Adirondack Mountain Club -purple (light) - Vapor Apparel American Backcountry Moisture Wicking 93%poly, 7spandex
    • Alaska State Parks-blue-Jerzees 100% cotton
    • Aloha-denim blue-embroidered H.L. Miller Gold 80%cott/poly
    • Bryce Canyon-black-Oneita Power-T 100% cott
    • Butchart Gardens-purple Hanes Beefy T 100%cotton
    • Canyon de Chelly-green-E.M.I. 100% cotton
    • Fort Verde-gray heather-Hanes Beefy T 99% [date info est]
    • Grand Canyon embroidered w/condor- cactus green-[NEED INFO]
    • Grand Canyon w/petroglyphs-blue-Fred Harvey 100% cotton
    • Hermit s Rest Grand Canyon-blue-Gilden Ultra 100% cotton
    • Island Life-Hawaii-blue w/gold & silkscreen-Crazy Shirt 100% cott
    • tie dye-blue/purple-Madonna Inn-Janis style 1182
    • Martial Cottle Park-gray-Gildan Ultra Cotton 90% cott/poly
    • Monterey Bay Aquarium jellies-black glow-in-the-dark-Harborside Graphics 100% cotton
    • Petrified Forest-tan-Screenworks 100% cotton
    • Santa Clara County Parks Trail Watch-dk green-Gildan Heavy Cotton 100% (BELONGS to SCC PARKS) [ date est.]
    • Take a Hike Point Arena Lighthouse-red-Comfort Colors 100% cott
    • Timberline Lodge-tan-embroidered Suttons Sportswear 100% cott
    • Victoria w/indian eagle-green (forest)-Wilson Sport 100% cotton
    • Yellowstone baseball style-black-Sportswear 50%poly/38cott/12 rayon

    Science Fiction conventions:
    • Baycon 98-blue-Hanes Beefy T 100%
    • ConFrancisco-white w/SF full-color silkscreen; Fruit of Loom 100% cotton
    • ConJose World Sci Fi Convention-gray heather-Delta Pro Weight 99% cotton

    Volunteer activities:
    • Christmas in April 98-dark green-Oneita 100% cotton
    • Christmas in April 99-dark greenFruit of the Loom Heavy 100% cott
    • San Jose Composts-natural-50% fortrel 50% recycled cotton
    • VEP Volunteer-yellow-Port & Co. 100% cott

    About, by, or for friends:
    • Briar s Patch sled dogs (from Liz Parrish in Iditarod)-green (dk)-Gildan Ultra Cotton
    • Slave Labor (for Mike/Ginny moving)-black-Belton Tough Tee 100% cotton
    • Vicon 5-0-black-Hanes Tagless 100% cott [NEED INFO]
    • Vicon No Pirates-black-Mervyns 100% cotton custom-made
    • In the Beginning (Mark Saunders)-white

    Humor (others may be included in other categories)
    • Billy Jean King/Bobby Riggs-white-Stallion 50% poly/cott (purchase date est.)
    • California Raisin Grape New Year-white
    • In the Beginning (Mac humor - Mark Saunders)-white
    • May the Forest Be With You Darth Vader-navy-California Classics 100% cott
    • black (Midnight) w/The One Sure Thing About Luck & coyote, Laura Hartwick design, Bella 65% poly, 35 viscose
    • When I Am Old, I Will Wear Purple-purple-Hanes 50-50

    • cross celtic picture -black-Fruit of the Loom 100% cotton
    • flamingos Xmas -white cotton/poly
    • Great Quake-Loma Prieta Quake-white
    • I Heart Ada-navy-Stedman 50%poly/cott
    • rhinestones purple & turquoise-peacock blue
    • Shakespeare Santa Cruz Much Ado-oceana-Hanes Beefy-T 100% cott
    • Sojourner Truth-black-Hanes Beefy-T 100% cott
    • Team Shakespeare-teal-Hanes Beefy T 100% [date info est]
    • tie dye-blue w/red & yellow at neck- by Wendy Bruce-Hanes BeefyT 100% cott
    • tie dye-brown/purple/blue/teal - by Wendy Bruce-Hanes BeefyT 100% cott
    • tie-dye-blue/purple spiral
    • tie dye-blue/purple w/circle on left chest-Anvil 100% cott
    • tie dye-blue/purple-Lait Sportswear 100% cotton
    • wolves picture-grey-San Segal 99% cotton [need price]

    Tuesday, March 03, 2020

    Gotcha Days and Birthdays

    SUMMARY: Excuses for taco dinners
    Started in an email discussion with an acquaintance today

    I don't recall when I first heard about Gotcha Days.  I tend to celebrate my dogs' birthday milestones (even if they're just guesses) rather than the Gotchas, because that's what my family has always done. Might feel differently if I had been adopted!

    BUT sometimes I do celebrate them.  And there are lots of opportunities coming up for something other than the normal kibble.

    For their normal kibble, if I give them significant food other than that, I mostly eyeball it to reduce how much kibble they get that day. That has worked fine for Chip but Zorro for a while, but  “suddenly" Zorro put on 3 lbs (that’s 10% weight gain!) over the last year or so and so now I’m futzing with what kibble he gets to try to reduce that. If only he weren’t self-supplementing with the occasional lizard, rat, or squirrel. That’s hard to account for, since I likely don’t see him do it most of the time, and he won't write it down in his food log.

    If I had been healthier and he had been more cooperative, I’d have just taken him for longer walks and thrown a frisbee for him more times a day. But, oh, well. I don't think he's ever even seen a frisbee being thrown. And he'll fetch a toy in the yard only a few times before he quits. That's on me, for not being more persistent and interacting with him more over the years. It's just been my persistent lack of motivation.

    BUT -- that aside,  they do still get occasional special dinners!

    Zorro's Gotcha Day (his 5th) isn’t until early June; Chip’s is at the end of this month (his 6th). Then they have birthdays in May and June, too. Lots of imminent occasions for tacos for dinner. Or whatever. And no kibble for dinner that day.

    Sometimes it's MacD, and I order a hamburger with no sauce or ketchup, no onions. But I like crunchy tacos from Taco Bell, so that's what we do most often.  I can hardly wait!

    From Christmas 2015

    Once when Tika and Boost got hamburgers
    ... well, can't find other posts that I thought I had. You're welcome to search my blog yourself for whatever terms you want! (Hamburger, taco...)

    Monday, March 02, 2020

    Tika the Very Naughty Nose Wizard

    SUMMARY: She loved food. Even on the agility course.

    This is expanded version of a Facebook post Mar 2, 2020.

    P.S. Food is not allowed on the agility course in most cases!

    Tika was an absolute food hog. We were competing at the Masters level in USDAA--already had Silver Championship and Platinum Tournament Master--and one day, we were flying around a course with her way ahead of me as usual, when she suddenly skidded to a halt, veered off in an entirely different direction, completely ignored my attempts to get her attention, trotted about 40 feet away from where we had been to the edge of the ring, and nosed a tiny piece of some kind of food out of the grass! Then turned, blasted back to me, and continued full speed with what we had been doing. Seriously, how can a dog detect that tiny a piece of food, at that distance, at that speed, doing something that you'd think requires a lot of attention to avoid killing yourself??

    But she wouldn’t eat bananas.**

    (BTW: It was Steeplechase. Qualified and came in 2nd. Crazy dog; how she managed with all that wasted time, who knows!)


    ** By contrast, Jake would tear things apart and escape from his crate to get a banana.

    Terminology for non-agilityers--

    • Qualifying (Q): Meeting the requirements for the class/run (time and faults or points) to earn a "leg" towards eventual titles.
    • Silver Championship: Earning enough Qs to achieve multiple championships.
    • Tournament Platinum:  Means she was really good at qualifying (had earned many Qs) for the often-challenging three classes that are eventually featured at the national championships. At the time, that was the highest title you could earn for collecting Tournament Qs.
    • Steeplechase: Designed to be very fast. It's often the hardest of the Tournament classes to earn Qs in, because so many dogs are so very fast and, to Q,  you must be in the top 15% of the dogs running that course. (This is a simplification, but close enough.)
    Photo by Sarah Hitzeman