Sunday, January 31, 2016

01_18_2016 Dave Gets Shoulder Put Back Together

Dave has known that he needed some shoulder surgery since late 2015. We'd made our plans to head to MX and decided to wait until we returned. So, on the morning of Jan 18th, we got up and drove to Vail where the Steadman Clinic is located. The surgeon he selected is Tom Hackett - the shoulder expert. See:  He works on pro athletes, and is a climber himself so we were certain he'd understand the strains that a climber's shoulder is put under. The circled parts of the MRI indicate some trouble. :)

We arrived and they got Dave back and prepped right away. It was a great team. Then Dave was wheeled to the OR for the procedure. It would be his first time under general anesthesia and in his own words afterward, it was WAY different. Glad to have it, but it's tough.

After the 2-ish hour procedure, and he was waking up, I got to head back to see him. He was feeling as you'd expect someone to feel after such a major procedure - pretty wrecked. Happily there was no pain (by design).

Here is the damage that was repaired:

The supscapularis tendon was 90% torn. This was reattached to a nest of five bone mounted suture anchors.

The biceps head tendon was hanging by a thread as well as being severely flattened, frayed and thickened. That had to have two inches removed and reattached.

The shredded perimeter of the labrum cartilage was cleaned up after the biceps attachment was removed.

A minor tear in the supraspinatis was repaired and attached to the anchor nest as well.

The acromium and humeral tuberosity were shaved down to a normal shape to prevent impingement.

Various other soft tissue, bone spurs, and hemmoragic bursa were cleaned up.

The procedure was done as a hybrid arthroscopic and open case in order to get the strongest possible repairs to the torn tendons.

The hardest part for me was waiting, and trying to get a photo of Dave. I learned that even when drugged to the high heavens, if someone points a camera at him, he perks up and smiles. :)
We left the hospital about 15 after six and happily didn't have much traffic to contend with. It was snowing lightly which I could have done without, but still we got home pretty quickly (2.5-ish hours).

At home, he settled into the reclining sofa where he was shocked as how swollen his hand and arm were - plus that they were totally dead from the nerve blocks.
This is pretty much the view I had for the first week plus. Other than the first 30 hours, he slept well and slept a lot. He needed it.
As usual, Pente was doing her best to help. She kept trying to get on his shoulder, but couldn't figure out how.  She is still head-butting the hand in the sling wondering why it won't pet her back.
Here is what the aftermath looks like. A long incision in the front. 

The two arthroscopic puncture wounds on the side/back.
About 10 days later, we were back in Hackett's office for the post op...and removal of remaining bandages.

The waiting room of this particular office is filled with photos/memorabilia of climbers we know and other professional athletes!

Following the surgery, they used dissoluble internal sutures, and steri-strips on the outside.

Part of today's visit was to remove the strips!  The best part of this is that he can shower again!
Here is the big one. They had to trim some of the stitches that hadn't dissolved yet. (I imagine there may be some pulling of them later)
Voila!  Amazing how little bruising.
Dave approves.
The following day, I drove Dave to his first PT appt.  It was scary for both of us! Still, Jeff S. did a fab job. A little discomfort, but Dave said it actually felt good. He managed to get a fair amount of range of motion in this first visit. Dave will visit with Jeff twice a week to start with. He's been given the all-clear to drive (though he probably should drive far or often) so he can take himself in for PT.

Watch for the sequel in May when Dave gets the other shoulder put back together.  That is what 40 years of climbing HARD will do to a person. I know he'd not change a thing. If he did El Cap a few months ago with all this important stuff dettached, imagine what he'll be capable of when he's healed!

Friday, January 29, 2016

01_06 to 11_2016 Mexico!! Part II

A beautiful photo of the Botanical Gardens. (Yeah, these photos are out of order. Sue us!). :)
There is a restaurant area where one can sit and eat/drink and watch amazing birds
As one would expect, some beautiful plant life at the Gardens. 
We walked along the river for a while too.
and  a bit too late, we learned the Gardens are LOADED with noseeums. It is fully a month later and we are both still scratching and scarred from these, the world's tiniest incarnations of satan. 
Evening photo at the resort.
Fine dining experience. It really is awesome there!
View from our room in the afternoon.
Sad story. We went up to our room one afternoon to find this little bird on the ground. Our best guess is he/she is a window strike causality. The bird actually lived for a few hours, before passing due to his/her injuries. Pretty sad. Pretty little bird.
Up at Eden we enjoyed a nice time hiking around.
Does that bridge look safe? Well, I'd say it was about as safe as it looked. I think we both prepped for the plunge.
Hiking around Eden
We saw several Trogons as well as other birds here.
Dave dooking it out with the Predator. This is where the Predator (the movie) was filmed. :/
The fact that the film was filmed here is a tourist attraction. Really? I'd think the birds were a bigger draw, but instead, people come for the movie and a zip line. :/
Another OSHA approved bridge. We lived.
Dave enjoying his happy hour. He has become a connoisseur of the all-you can eat/drink resorts. :)
Ha! Taken on the local bus heading to Tuito!
From the town of Tuito, we walked a fair ways. It was slow because there were so many great birds distracting us and slowing us down!
A weird, and horrific site. We heard it first - hundreds of roosters crowing. We rounded the corner to see this, a fighting cock farm. Each little t-pee has a rooster chained to it. Sad.
Finally, our destination: Rancho Primavera. Why travel almost an hour by bus, then walk miles? This is a place that is bird friendly, and where Lilac Crown live in the wild. It is also near where Katherine Renton works as a faculty member. I have followed her work for decades - she studies Lilac Crowns!

It was hot - but we were tired of feeding the noseeums so we were dressed for a blizzard.
I (sadly) did not get to see Lilacs in a flock fly over the day we were at the ranch, but we did get to meet Jasmine - a wild Lilac Crowns. She lives outside, but would clearly move into the ranch at any opportunity. She was a DOLL!
We walked the grounds of the Ranch. One can rent a room or a house to hang here. It is a possibility for a future trip.
This is the terrain where my bird's ancestors lived/live. Cool.
Photo of the Rancho patio.
A photo taken on the bus ride back to Mismaloyo. Puppy sleeping in a purse!

Not sure we'll return to Barcelos next year. We will be somewhere though!  Right now we have plans to hit Panama in May - look for some awesome bird photos from that trip-of-a-lifetime trip!

01_06 to 11_2016 Mexico!! Part I

Like last year, Dave and I hopped a plane and flew to Puerto Vallarta. our destination was the Barcelos, a resort in the pueblo Mismaloyo about 20 miles south of PV.  After another semester of intense work, I was ready for some R&R. And after last year, we were more prepared for chasing birds. We'd bought some guides, studied destinations, and were ready to go!

This bird is a Green Jay. They are spectacular, and pretty secretive for Jays. We'd seen them last year after a long hike. This year they showed up for us at the Botanic Garden. The Gardens were our first destination after we arrived.
Another bird we saw a lot of, but it didn't diminish its appeal, was the Yellow-Winged Cacique.  These birds are absolutely comical with a crazy head dress (though this one doesn't have his crazy hair on).
White Throated Robin. In the United States, we have the "American Robin". There are many Robins in MX and we were treated to several. 
Another pretty Yellow-Winged Cacique
A San Blas Jay. What a beautiful bird - and a Jay that was more mellow than others. Gorgeous!
Another Green Jay. I doubt these birds ever get old.
Here is a terrific photo of a Green Jay's face. The blue around his face is actually lovely skin. Beautiful birds.
A big surprise as we were walking around (and being consumed by noseeums unbeknownst to us) was this Ferrigunous Pygmy Owl. This little owl is 5.5-6" tall! Tiny! A super treat to see him fly up and land right in front of me.
Another photo of the F.P Owl.
A Golden-Cheeked Woodpecker. These birds were pretty much everywhere we went, but that didn't take away from how stunning they are.  Check out his guy's tongue in the hummingbird feeder.
Here is a gorgeous bird - the Streaked Back Oriole. They look to be on fire when one sees them.
Another bird we did not anticipate seeing, but were lucky to get to see - a Squirrel Cuckoo. What an elegant and beautiful bird. The long tail was like a flowing streamer.
A great photo of a San Blas Jay showing his goods! Look at that beautiful head dress!

Here is a photo of our resort. Really lovely. Unlike last year, this year was marked with several rogue waves that wiped out the restaurant (bottom left) several days in a row. I think more time was spent cleaning it up, than there was using it for dining purposes. 
Tropical Kingbird. 
Social Flycatcher.
Stripe-Headed Sparrow
A bird I always thought as mythical - One I'd never see...a Groove Billed Ani! They are so sweet looking and remind me of Gabbie as a baby with his tiny bill. <3 p="">
Another fun bird. We saw these at the hotel, but saw them much better at Rancho Primavera - A Yellow Grosbeak. Gorgeous!
Cinnamon Hummingbird. A beautiful little bird that makes a Broad Tailed Hummingbird seem quiet! These guys are noisy - one usually hears them before you see them!
Waiting for the local bus to get to Rancho Primavera. This awesome place is on the outskirts of Tuito. I want to retire here as this is where Lilac Crowns are in the wild. Dave says he'll leave me so I suppose I can't retire here.
Another stop we made on the trip was to take a cab to "Eden" (yes, there is a pueblo named Eden...and it really is lovely!).  We drove up and walked back down. Saw many excellent birds on that trip.

I have to confess that I brought a lot of clothes on the trip, but clearly I wore only two items the entire time. :)

To be continued....