Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

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Thursday, January 2, 2020

What a Whirlwind !!!

Oh my doesn't seem possible that its been since July that I wrote a blog!!  I think I got so down about the turn of events that I just couldn't write....nope not a word!!  Maybe I was speechless...yeah, speechless!!!!

Mike did so well with his spinal fusion!!  He healed and physical therapy went really well.  It went so well that the physical therapist noticed something not right with Mike's left shoulder.  She worked with this shoulder and finally told us she didn't think the pain was related with the surgery at all.   We had just thought it was painful from the cervical stenosis and the subsequent surgery and perhaps just slow in healing.   So we headed to the neurosurgeon for a follow up and to discuss this new information from the physical therapist.

The neurosurgeon confirmed what the physical therapist suspected and sent us to an orthopedic surgeon since this didn't fall under the area of a neurosurgeon.   The appointment with the orthopedic surgeon went very well.  He examined Mike's left shoulder, took an x-ray and told us what he suspected but wanted an MRI to confirm.  Fast forward...the MRI confirmed that Mike had a rotator cuff tear (completely pulled off the bone), torn labrum, arthritis, bicep tear and bone spurs.  He told us not to wait much longer than two months to have this surgery.  It was pretty bad.

Surgery was November 12th!!  This orthopedic surgeon, who we've been told is one of the best in the nation, requires a CPM chair ( continuous progressive movement) as well as a recliner to sleep in for six weeks.   As many of you already know, we travel in an Oliver Legacy Elite II which isn't going to quite have the space for a recliner and a CPM chair so we had no choice but to move out of the Oliver and into an apartment.   You just can't make this up!!!
So off our Ollie goes to storage and off we go to live in an apartment....for recovery.

We weren't sure how long we'd be in an apartment or if we'd ever move back into the Oliver.  The apartment is nice and comfortable...chairs, sofa, tables, king size lift bed and a huge TV with cable BUT it's not the Oliver!!  We know we have to be here for rehab but we really miss the Ollie!!
Post-op week 1

Post-op week 6

We've visited a local preserve, Kreher Preserve, and enjoyed walking in nature.  We've visited Chewacla State Park and enjoyed walking a few of their trails and it felt so good to be among the trees and hear the leaves crunch under our feet and the smell....oh the smell that only the woods can give.
Kreher Preserve

Trail at Chewacla State Park

Trails at Chewacla State Park
So a few Sundays ago we drove to where the Oliver was in storage and set him free!!!  Mike can't drive so I had to hook up the Oliver with Mike coaching me on what and when to do different things.  

I managed to line up the hitch and ball (yay me) and pulled him out of his storage spot and headed to a wonderful woodsy site at Chewacla State Park, about a 45 minute drive!!  A site that we have camped on many times and love....nestled back in the woods!!   
Our site at Chewacla State Park

I am so proud that I managed to hook up the Oliver, tow him 45 miles and arrive safely at our site.....however, I am not good at backing up. This is where Mike took over, shhhhhhhhh don't tell anyone, he used his good arm and backed the Ollie right into that site with no problem.  Wow!!  I am jealous!!!   Now we can enjoy the Oliver and one day soon sleep there again.
Lake at Chewacla
So we are still in the apartment doing rehab.  The CPM chair is part of physical therapy and Mike does this three times per day plus other exercises.  The CPM part of PT will be over Jan 10th.  We see the doctor Jan. 10th and phase II begins.  This phase takes Mike out of passive movement and into strength training which will begin using his muscle for movement.  The rehab for shoulder surgery is quite long but as he is getting better we can begin to return to our RV life albeit slowly!   The physical therapist told us we could travel some in February for a couple weeks!!!!!   We both about cried when she said that!!!  Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!
So that's where we are at this point.  It's been a long journey but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are very grateful that the shoulder is healing and Mike will be good again very soon.

Thanks for stopping by and catching up with us!!  We will be doing the same with you all as well.  It's just been so time consuming but it's now getting better!!

Wishing all our RV friends a very Happy healthy New Year!!!  Safe travels!!!!


  1. The hard part is behind you now so breathe deeply and relax. Mike is a trooper and will pull through this with flying colours.
    Wishing you both a Safe, Happy and Health New Year.

    It's about time.

  2. What a deal to be able to look forward returning to the life you enjoy so much. It's been a tough road but the One who looks after you has walked it with you both.

  3. What great news. So glad Mike is on the mend. I know it's been a long and somewhat disappointing 2019 for him. I had to look up what a CPM chair does. Fascinating, the things that help recovery, nowadays. Also glad you got the Oliver hooked up, and out to a favorite spot at the state park. February will be here before you know it, and soon after that you can be on the road again, to wherever you would like to be...jc

  4. You have certainly had your share over the past year or so. Wishing you better health and travel in 2020!

  5. Oh my! You folks have had a rough stretch. I pray that better days are ahead and you can be out and about doing those things you so much enjoy.

  6. Happy New Year Guys.......2019 was quite a year for you folks.....It seems all is moving in the right direction for a full recovery and back to the "adventure lifestyle". Great to see a post from you, take care and keep us posted . Horst

  7. Glad you had a good therapist to get a good diagnosis on the shoulder. Almost good as new.

  8. Wow. I didn't really understand your situation until now. I didn't know your were living in the Ollie and had to find an apartment while he recovered from the shoulder surgery. You did wonderful getting the Ollie out camping again! It's been a hard few months for you, but hopefully coming to an end.


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