Quick Check In

June 4th, 2016


I decided it was time to check in with my blog readers regarding my new knee. The surgery went very well and I came home the next day. Coming home was a bit daunting. I had such an incredible nursing team at Kaiser. Mr C has been doing a fantastic job helping me through this time. My daughter, Stephanie, brought us enough food for a few days – quiche, chicken pot pies and soup. I have been doing very well in physical therapy and have exceeded the goals that were set for me so far. Next week, I start working in the Kaiser Total Knee gym. Right now I am allowed to only bend my knee to 90°. Next week I will increase that and will be able to use the bicycle in the gym. These are my helpers, the walker and the icing machine that circulates ice water around my knee.


I have to stay on my back at night and I am having some weird pains in my thigh as the numbness dissipates. So, my biggest problem is being a bit tired and low on energy during the day. I do a set of exercises 3 times a day followed by elevation and ice. Here I am doing one of the more passive exercises: passive extension.


Next week I can start using a cane when I am in the condo, but still have to use the walker when I leave.

So all in all, my experience has been very good. The staff at the hospital said I was the poster child for knee replacement!!

Up at the top is the postcard for the SAQA Oregon show at the Rogue Gallery in Medford. I always love to have my work on the publicity!!

Wordless Wednesday

May 18th, 2016


Wordless Wednesday

May 11th, 2016


Good News All Around

May 10th, 2016

gerrie congdon cover copy

Several years ago, I was honored to be a featured artist on The Textile Blog by John Hopper. I was a fairly new fiber artist and it gave me a measure of confidence about my work. He profiled several artists over the years. Click Here to read the original post. John has recently started publishing online magazines featuring fiber and textile art, titled Inspirational. In the most recent issue, he asked those artists to send him photos of recent work and to write something about our current artistic life. I am happy to once again appear in a publication of his. Above is the cover of my section. Click Here for a link to the online magazine.


The other good news is that I got a call this morning to reschedule my knee replacement surgery. It will two weeks from today on  May 24th. Whew!! So, I continue to prepare for the surgery, the pain, the physical therapy and the recovery. Thank you to every one who reached out to me. I really appreciate your good wishes.

Trying to Cope

May 9th, 2016


I finished all the hand-stitching on this. I need some more hand work cause I am stuck sitting around here waiting.

Today was the day when I was supposed to get a new knee. Due to a miscommunication amongst my medical team, it did not happen. It has not been rescheduled and I am not very happy.

Let me back up and explain what happened. When I went for my pre-surgery check up, the Dr. I saw thought I should be evaluated for sleep apnea. This was a surprise to me because I have never had what I thought were the symptoms. I don’t fall asleep during the day and usually can keep going late into the evening. I got set up for the home sleep test. I failed it. It was recommended that I go to the overnight sleep lab for a CPAP titration. My team bent over backwards to get all my appointments done so that I could make today’s surgery date. I went to the pulmonary lab and did all sorts of breathing stuff in a glass box and I had blood drawn from an artery in my wrist.

The called me last week-end and said they had a cancellation in the sleep center and could I come in. Which I did. Here is the lovely backdrop to my room that night.


I was fitted with a CPAP mask and took an ambien and went to sleep. They said I did very well and got lots of rem sleep. I moved on, meeting with my new sleep/respiration doctor and we talked about why I needed the CPAP at the hospital when I would be knocked out with opiate drugs for pain. She said my pulmonary breathing tests were great. Next day I met with my surgeon. We went over last minute things. I continued to do things to prepare for surgery like getting a manicure.


And, then, I got a call from the surgery scheduler telling me my surgery was canceled. I was a mess. I cried and I think I might have screamed at her. I am not sure. It was a blur. I couldn’t understand what happened. With Kaiser, you can email your dr so I emailed my surgeon and asked for more clarification. He called me and said that my respiratory dr had suggested it be canceled because I had not had time to complete all the sleep apnea things. I said that I had. He said it was out of his hands at that point. I then emailed my sleep/respiratory dr. She said she had not done that. Well, it turns out that I had another dr, who I never saw, who was responsible for deciding what I needed to have done. He did not know that every thing had been rushed through for me. By the time, my dr talked to him, it was too late to get back on the surgery schedule.

On a positive not, the CPAP and I are getting along really well. It is very high tech with a modem and blue tooth. It sends data to the sleep center and I can download the data to an app on my iPhone so I can see how well I am doing. I used to get up 3 or 4 times during the night. Last night, I slept until 6:30- woo hoo. I think I am beginning to feel different when I wake up. I have less over all muscle pain. My only problem is lower back spasms from my sedentary life.

I am waiting for a call for my new date. I think they are trying to figure out how they can fit me in sooner than the normal 5  week wait. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I had a nice mother’s day yesterday. I made brunch for Stephanie and her family. She brought me these beautiful poppies.


Lisa and Clay were not here because they are in New York for book signing gigs for Lisa’s new book The Joy of Swimming. She has interviewed swimmers and done her typical illustration of all things swimming. If you are a swimmer or know one, you should check it out.