Take My Hip-Please! Day 5

Standard

Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s fifth post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!
A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

DAY FIVE

 

IMG950085

Chief Hand-Holder, Susan

The truth is that Susan has the wrong title. Officially, she is known as a “Surgery Scheduler.” It sounds simple enough and self-explanatory. But, let’s examine that more closely. The next time you are provided service, ask how you felt as it was being delivered: worse, the same or better?

 

 Every time I spoke with Susan, I absolutely felt better. I noticed others in the hospital and doctor’s offices provided me with a similar level of experience. A few, however, left a distinctly negative impression. As a result, I left the interaction in a hostile mood thinking about how I might avoid this person or situation in the future. When the procedure to be performed itself produces anxiety, positive interactions ahead of it become very important.

 When I shared these observations with Susan, she understood that her job was more than that of a surgery scheduler. More than anything else, Susan is a “chief hand holder” – a title she takes just as seriously as her official one. Her personality, seriousness of purpose and understanding of human nature helped me gain a sense of comfort that I had chosen both the right hospital and doctor.

 “Lots of people are anxious about surgery,” she said. “My job is to help them deal with it.”

 The connection established with Susan gave me context for the experience I felt during my first visit with the surgeon. It was a day when many patients were meeting him for the first time, and other post-op patients were returning to be released from restrictions on driving and other normal daily activities. For the latter group, it was like a family reunion – people who had previously not known one another celebrating that the experience was over and had been as easy as everyone had promised, very much worth the inconvenience and anxiety.

 Those of us still facing surgery looked on this scene, wondering if our experience would duplicate what we were now watching. Would it? We shall see.

That’s all for Day Five: More emotions, struggles and decisions coming Day Six.

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

college-to-career-catalyst_logo__tag_small - Copy at 900

 

New! El Despertar del Sueño Dorado

Standard

“Awakening from the Golden Sleep” in Spanish!

Arriving July 6, 2017! My short story, “Awakening from the Golden Sleep,” was recently translated into Spanish by Emilio Bernal-Zubieta of Monterrey, Mexico. The story describes the childhood of Ana Valdez, who grew up in Mazatlán, Mexico in the 1980’s and who, as an adult, became the President of Mexico in my novel, The Z Redemption. Intelligent, beautiful and mischievous, Ana is a protagonist you will never forget!

 
Beautiful latin girlLLegando el 6 de julio, 2017! Mi historia corta, “El Despertar del Sueño Dorado,” fue traducida al español por Emilio Bernal-Zubieta de Monterrey, México. El cuento describe la niñez de Ana Valdez, quien creció en Mazatlán, México en los años 80s y que de adulta se convirtió en la presidenta de México en mi novela, The Z Redemption. Inteligente, hermosa y traviesa, Ana es una protagonista que nunca olvidarás.

Para más información, visita www.danielwetta.com por más detalles de este cuento y las historias de The Z Redemption.

For more information, visit www.danielwetta.com for additional details about this story and the stories of The Z Redemption.

Take My Hip-Please! Day 4

Standard

Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. His series of 8 or so posts is excellent, and I will share them here. So, here is Bill’s fourth post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!

IMG950083A decision on replacing the left side of my ass! #hipreplacementsurgery

I found out today that my wish to be the first surgery of the day has been granted. No, it is not that they are doing me special favors. It’s that diabetics have more complications during surgery, and there are only two of the eight scheduled that day with the affliction. So, there was a 50/50 chance I would be scheduled first, anyway. My request simply pushed the odds in my direction.

But why first? I have heard, but have not confirmed, that my surgeon does at least eight in a single day. I want the guy to be fresh and ready to go. Who knows how tired he gets replacing joints?

The other unconfirmed rumor is that he alternates between hip and knee in successive operations. I haven’t asked and have no idea if these things are true. It is true, however, that my guy looks like a 35-year-old hippie-and-fitness freak. The women all think he is great. The men don’t care. They only care that he is respected all over as one of the best in the business and that he offers a relatively new implant called a “Jiffy Hip.” He’s my guy!

The procedure has a much smaller incision running front to the side, and the muscles are separated without being severed. That’s why you are up and walking the same day of surgery, and recovery time is reputedly shorter. Our friend Alissa just had her hip replaced, and she is already off to Europe on a cruise.

I have received a lot of reactions from friends. Those who have gone through the operation claim that it’s easy. But they are saying this after the fact. Those who have not needed a hip replacement offer prayers for me. Those who are still in the contemplation stage simply do not know. I think these are people who need to know about “Jiffy Hip.”

Maybe you could help me help those contemplating this surgery by posting this series of articles I am writing in your social media accounts. Together, we can inform and encourage confidence for people who undoubtedly would need it!

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

college-to-career-catalyst_logo__tag_small - Copy at 900

Take My Hip – Please! Day 3

Standard

Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s third post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!
A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

 

 

 

Bill Holland 2 at 33 percentMore thoughts from the Colonial Capital, being helped by my friend Thomas Jefferson above: I have gone from feeling as if surgery is down the path a way to realizing that it is just around the corner. Am I nervous? Or have I calmed to the point of thinking this too shall pass and everything will be okay? Neither! To be honest, I’m a little scared. Not as scared as I am on a bumpy flight, but scared nonetheless.

 It’s to the point that I wished I had paid more attention to the instructions which the hospital gave me about exercising to get in better shape. They sell this approach on the promise that recovery will go much better if you follow their instructions.

 The truth is I have done what they told me. Kind of. It’s not my fault that those “daily” exercises I have faithfully completed are supposed to be done three times a day. Wow! I had better get going!

 Of course, both you and I know what’s wrong with this approach. It’s like the person who plays golf 3 or 4 times a year and really wants to play well at the company outing next week. The best she can do now is to get to the driving range an hour or so before tee time to get her swing down. It’s not going to work. I wonder if I am destined for a similar fate?

I have now made a firm commitment to doing those exercises at least three times a day and even more if my joints can take it.

 At this point, my instincts are to keep on writing about what’s on my mind. But to do so without focusing on the reader is a major violation of what is said about some of the best advice I have received about writing: “Always write with your audience in mind.”

 As such, I now share with you some of my upcoming topics. I am writing about these things from your viewpoint; i.e., that of the patient, which is what I am! Here is what I am thinking about:

 Why I want to be the first operation of the day.

Is it true that some on the surgeon’s team members have the wrong title?

My care-giver at home also needs care. (Are you in this position?)

Pain control!

How long do I have to stay?

Will my newly acquired mobility post-surgery be as successful as I hope?

How will my life change?

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

college-to-career-catalyst_logo__tag_small - Copy at 900

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take My Hip-Please! Day 2

Standard

Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s second post, and in the words of Bill:
 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!
A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

DAY TWO

 Surgical Attendant immediately before surgery: “Now Mr. Holland, which hip are you having replaced?”

Me: “The right one.”

That’s the way it was several years ago when I had my right hip replaced. But once the general public became aware of the almost daily incidences of operational errors ranging from amputating the wrong limb to performing double mastectomies on the wrong women (and worse), extra precautions have been added to make sure the correct operation is performed on the right person.

Today, the question about “which hip” is asked and recorded with nearly every pre-surgery encounter. It sticks out like a sore thumb whenever a wrong answer is recorded.

And more things have changed: The chances of surgically related infections have been greatly reduced by having the patient enter the hospital as clean as possible. That means special bathing each day for three days prior to procedure with a sterilizing cleanser and sponge; a change to clean sheets and pajamas each night; and instruction to make sure all hospital staff wear gloves when attending your incision.

If I had to guess, however, the worse patients are the ones who, like myself, have gone through this before. My arrogance started with the boastful admission that my last surgery was a breeze (That’s a lie – just not a big one.) So, I reasoned this time that there was no reason I couldn’t also carry forward with plans to sell our home and move to California!

House 1 at 33 percentThat’s right, a little more than a week before the hip is to be replaced, we are in the midst of showing our house and attending to the many details that putting a house on the market requires. “A stupid move,” you say? Now you tell me! Where were you when I needed advice?

It’s too late now. We will put things on hold for a few weeks while mending takes place.

I share this with you as the rationale for not attending to more immediate matters. For example, I got a call from the hospital today asking me to log into my “online patient program” and pay more attention to some important instructions they were sending. That’s right, each patient and their care-giver are given special, personalized instructions about daily activities associated with the upcoming surgery. The surgical planners know when you are not complying and are quick to follow up.

Though my house has been taken off the market, I wonder if I have waited too long to take this “hip procedure” as seriously as I should. I hope not.

From here on, I am out to redeem myself and have as good a recovery as possible.

I anticipate that my emotions will still race forward and I will continue to describe my fears as “mild anxiety.” But, having let you in on my little secret, you know better. I need to get busy!

That’s all for DAY TWO: More emotions, struggles and decisions coming DAY THREE.

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

college-to-career-catalyst_logo__tag_small - Copy at 900

 

 

Take My Hip, Please!

Standard

Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s first post, and in the words of Bill:

 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!

A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

DAY ONE

Any one old enough to remember the Hinny Youngman line, “Now take my wife—please,” shouldn’t be considering hip replacement surgery. But here I am, a 74-year-old diabetic about ready to have it done.

The other day my wife of nearly 50 years asked if I were scared? I immediately transposed the question to one of asking about my general state of “nervousness.” Do men, let alone fathers and grandfathers, really get scared? It happens to me all the time, but it is not something I often admit to. So if you don’t mind….

Scared and nervous aren’t quite the right words. Let’s call it a mild form of “anxiety.” There, that’s better. My man hood is intact, and I am no more of a phony than I was before.

The truth is that I am more afraid than I would like others to know. That’s why when I had my right hip replaced about 10 years ago, I opted for an epidural rather than more general anesthesia. I still remember the doctors asking, “Did you feel that?”

The idea of losing blood (I lost a lot of it during that surgery) and responding to questions half-awake no longer appeals. So this time, it’s the full Monte.

It is now T-minus-7 days. From now until then many thoughts and emotions will go through my mind. My thought is to share them with you, mainly because it helps me. But a side benefit might be that you may decide to get a new hip or knee in the near future. It will be helpful to know that you are not alone in the emotions encountered. You might also learn how to be of more comfort to others as they are forced to make similar decisions.

The actual decision to replace the other side of my ass happened quite some time ago. But now is a good time to share. It seems as if everyone I speak to either has had a joint replacement; thinking of doing it or knows someone who has already. Exactly how does that work? How does one decide to go under the knife?

Here is how it happens (and it is as universal a truth as I have found): Nearly all patients want the surgeon to make the decision for them. And doctors steadfastly refuse. Here is how the conversation goes:

Patient: “Say, Doc, is this something you think I should do? And if so, when is the best time to have it done?”

Surgeon: “You will tell me. I won’t have to tell you.”

Every medical professional has the same answer. The pain the patient feels eventually overcomes the anxiety and inconvenience of the surgery. The first time around, it happened to me while on a cruise to Alaska with my immediate family and father-in-law. When we returned, I called the doctors office and left a message about my willingness to move forward with surgery—immediately!

This time, I got out in front of the pain and made the decision about a month before I had to use a walking cane to get around.

That’s all for DAY ONE: More emotions, struggles and decisions coming DAY TWO and beyond.

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

Bill Holland and books at 25percent

 

Book Review: The Obsession

Standard

The Obsession by Dawn Brotherton

When you begin Dawn Brotherton’s first novel, The Obsession, in the Jackie Austin mystery series, there is a refreshing and interesting main character who leads you into the increasingly complicated labyrinth of plot twists and surprises that you expect in a good mystery novel: Jackie is a 23-year-old missilier in the Air Force at Whiteman Air Force Base Missouri in the early 1990s.

A what? 

She might have a job description that we would all like to read. As a missilier, she goes underground for days at a time and is trained to launch ten Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missiles should that become necessary. In the novel, we learn that Jackie was the first female missilier. Author Dawn Brotherton can write about this authentically. Retired as a colonel in the United States Air Force, the author did Jackie’s job!

Written in third person limited point of view, the novel begins with a grisly murder in the first chapter. The second chapter then introduces us to Jackie, who is young, competent and handy. She buys an ivy-covered fixer-upper house in Warrensburg, Missouri, near the airbase. Because her job requires her to be away from home two or three days at a time, there is perfect opportunity for a stalker to do weird things inside her home while she is away. As the plot develops, the reader learns more and more about serial killings that are occurring in the area. The hope, of course, is that Jackie’s stalker is not the killer.

Brotherton builds suspense in perfect pitch with the development of the characters as the story progresses. As with any excellent mystery, clues are there to point possible culpability to several characters, all of whom are close to Jackie Austin. The pace is fast, the characters interesting, the main character has flaws but is good and likeable, and the reader early on empathizes with Jackie. You don’t want to see her get hurt, even though she seems like a woman who can take care of herself and others. On top of this, there are love attractions. Could one be with the stalker or killer?

This debut mystery novel reads as if written by a very experienced writer. Brotherton also writes in the young adult genre. She knows her craft, and, more importantly, she is a born story teller. Not that star ratings matter that much, but I was trying to decide between four and five stars to go with this review. Suddenly, I realized that the author had achieved with me something that few writers do: I couldn’t stop reading the book. I did it in a day and a half while also tending to my busy life. That made my decision easy – five stars!

Seriously, this novel is great competition for any binge watching on Netflix and has the added benefit of exercising your mind. On top of that, the background story to the main character as a missilier is something informative and unusual. Read this book and treat yourself to a fun and suspenseful story. It’s a good mystery. See if you can figure out who and how!

The Obsession by Dawn Brotherton, Blue Dragon Publishing, Copyright 2010, 2016

In print and e-book. On Amazon: 

Click here for Amazon purchase information