First day post-op and I get to come home, well to our temporary home. They gave me a lot of fun medicine and ice packs and sent me on my way. I didn’t have any adverse reactions to the surgery so I was free to go on my way.
This is what looked like 1 day post op, I needed ice packs and lots of them to keep the swelling down. Heidi 2 was needed to hold the ice packs in place so they didn’t fall. Today was soup through syringes which isn’t as yummy but it still did the job.
We were up and at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. for the surgery. Once again they lost my paperwork. Luckily I am friends on Facebook with one of my drs and she saw me posting from pre-op and she knew I was in the hospital when no one else could find me. So she sent a crew down to pre-op to get me and bring me up.
Surgery was a success! The Drs were all fantastic and I would like to thank each and every one of them. Dr. Grunwald said I was one of the easiest FOP patients that he had put under. Dr. Crowe was there next to me the entire time he was working on me. Dr Crowe has been there whenever I called and she is an awesome FOP dentist. The oral surgeon was Dr. Diecidue and his crew. There were so many awesome Drs in the room, I can’t even begin to name them all.
They kept me in the hospital overnight and my fantastic wife Lori stayed with me and took care of me all night long. She barely slept a wink because they were constantly coming in and out. I don’t trust regular people to understand how to take care of an FOP patient because they aren’t exposed to them and they don’t know how easy we are to injure.
Best thing is they saved 6 teeth and I made it through with flying colors!
Last day before surgery and we went to meet with Dr. Zvi Grunwald the anesthesiologist. He has worked on the most FOP patients over any other dr. If you ever need to have surgery and need to go under anesthesia he is the man, he knows how to do it better than anyone. He is on of the main reasons we drive to Philadelphia to have my surgery.
Then since I didn’t know when I would be able to eat steak I decided I wanted to have steak one last time. So we went to the Longhorn Steakhouse, yes we came all the way to Philadelphia and we ate at a Texas stye steakhouse. It was out of the city, so we knew I wouldn’t have too much of a problem getting into the restaurant. A typical problem in the city is that most places have a small step in the front, which is impossible for me to get in, or there is a ramp but it is in the back.
There is an neat looking ship in the port next to the restaurant. It is the SS United States. It is a luxury liner built in 1952 and was one of the fastest passenger ships made at the time.
We headed back to the apartment for the final night before surgery, dum, dum, dum…
This is what happens when the crazy Mahler kids try to lighten the mood and relieve a little bit of pre-surgery stress. We play hide the Nick. These sheets were pretty good camoflauge.
Today was a pretty laid back day while I prepared for surgery. My wife had to work so that limited what we could do, we didn’t want to leave her out of the fun. So we watched TV and I worked on my website to get everything prepared for the few days I wouldn’t feel very well and wouldn’t be able to do much. We ordered dinner for pickup from a great place called Marathon on the Square, my sister walked down the street to pick it up. Great place for both burgers and breakfast, they serve it at all hours. While she was out she took a good picture of the condo where we were staying.
One great thing about staying in this location is that there are so many things to do and so many places to pick up a meal. A lot of the residents of this area pick up food and either dine on their outside patio or take it to eat in the park. The park has tons of benches and seating. Plus this area is centrally located, you can get to so many places with just a short walk or cab ride.
Today is the day my wife joined us. We got to see the lovely Philadelphia airport. We also made a stop at the grocery store to stock up on groceries and buy food I would get to eat for the first days after my surgery. We stocked up on Jello and pudding and soup. 🙂
Before we picked up my wife we drove around City Hall because it was on our way. It is one of the largest city buildings in the country and world.
First full day in Philadelphia and time for some preop testing. We went to Thomas Jefferson Testing center so they could do all the test and labs required before I could have my surgery. I have to say the valet people were excellent, they were very helpful and made sure my sister had help getting me in and out and treated our car well. We were at the testing center for over four hours, they lost me. We heard them in the hallway discussing how they had lost the paperwork, good thing was some of their rooms had recliners so I was able to sit down the entire time.
Then we went out and explored the city a little bit, it was dark so we didn’t see too much but we got to know the city a little bit.
Today we left Pittsburgh, we wanted to try and see a little bit more of the Pennsylvania countryside and Gettysburg. My sister has a love of history and our grandmother was born on Lincoln’s birthday so we grew up surrounded by him and his legacy and the war. Gramma is a Daughter of the American Revolution member.
We didn’t get to spend much time at the battlefield but we did stop by the visitor center.
We also wanted to visit with Mr. Lincoln. He didn’t have too much to say!
And of course we had to stop in the gift shop to add to our souvenir collection.
After all this excitement we headed on to Philadephia to meet up with the lovely host and her husband who were helping us with our extended stay. Hosts for Hospitals was a lifesaver for this long trip. We made it in to Philadelphia and after finding the place and unpacking our massive amount of baggage started to settle in. We attempted to head to a popular local pizza place right off Rittenhouse square which is where we stayed. But after trying to cross the street we decided my scooter was not going to be be to traverse the sidewalks of Philadelphia so we called for delivery and stayed in for the evening and relaxed after 3 days of driving.
This was a fun driving day, we drove from Nashville with the possibly desination of Harrisonburg, Va. However, the evening before we had been deciding whether to go the way we did last year or to try different route. I have a good friend that lives in Pittsburg that I had never met before and wanted to meet. So we decided to go that route even though it added a little bit of time on to the trip.
To make a quicker route and to save time we always use the app Waze on our journeys. Although sometimes it does leave you astray, but it has saved us hours in travel delays . This time it took up some cool countryside in Tennessee and Kentucky. We actually had to stop once to let chickens cross the road. Of course we took pictures because well, we take pictures of everything.
The hotel was a stupid one that we will be writing about on our handirate blog, they said even if you reserve a handicapped room you can’t be promised one.
But all that enjoyment side I got to meet up with my good friend Billy.
We left out of Wylie early (well early for us) around 7:30 a.m. We were on our way to Nashvill for the first evening. We planned stop in Memphis for dinner at the Blues City Cafe since it is our favorite place to eat there. Well, when we stopped in Memphis there was a Grizzlies playoff game going on and Beale street was just so busy you couldn’t even get to it. We would have had to park several miles away. Since my scooter doesn’t handle the uneven sidewalks and rough streets very well we decided not to attempt it. So we drove on the Nashville to stop for the night. Day 1 was very uneventful just straight driving.