Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Reunion of Sorts

Mary and I decided that I needed to get out of the house this morning. I'm getting anxious to hear from my doctor next Monday on my possible 'partial' weight bearing status so I'm sure I'm driving Mary crazy! I made a call to John, a friend since grade school and my first call for the right seat when it's open. John visited the house earlier this week to do some computer work; adding a read write drive since mine took a dirt nap and he got both our laptops back online so we could print on the one printer hooked to the desk top computer here in the office/temporary cockpit (Thank God for MSFS).
The plan today was to pop the top cowl and remove the oil cooler winter plate. I crutched around hugging 679er, peeking in her fuel tanks, performing a visual pre-flight and looking under the cover into the cockpit like a first time love struck teen. I think I slobbered on the side of the plane. John soon arrived and we opened the cowl. I balanced on one leg with a crutch under each arm while helping lift and John took full control making sure the cowl was clear of the prop and placed safely on the ground. After that it was five minutes to remove the two screws and nuts and re-secure them on the plate as it was tucked away in our storage box in the baggage compartment. It will be easier to find this winter if it's intact in the same location every year.
I looked around for bird nests, there were none and no oil leaks on our girl. We buttoned 679er up locked the baggage door, secured the cover and I said my goodbyes. We gave John a quick lift out to his car and then we headed home. John had to make a stop in Wilmington for a part for his home air conditioner and we went to look at a sprinkler installation.
A short stay at the airport today but I did get to see one Cessna Citation X arrive and one Dassault Falcon 2000 depart on runway one. Its been seven weeks since I last flew, I miss it. One note I should add is that the club added a fourth pilot. The new guy is multi, commercial and instrument rated and a new flight instructor. He is getting time in type this week and has 679er scheduled for a trip to Ocracoke June 5th. It's good to have her flying and I hope the new guy works out. Maybe I'll get to meet him when I get back in the left seat.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

WINGS Fly B Q 2009

Finally Something aviation related!!

Mary and I got on the road around 10:45 making a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts for a bagel and cold drink. I needed to take my pain meds and they required something in the tummy. I-95 was moving along at a good clip and the Blue Route, I-476 even better. I was the navigator for this run, a different experience for me, normally the left seater. Mary parked the SUV in front of the KLOM - Wings Terminal and handed me my crutches so I could climb out. I am able to get out ok if I take it slow but I still need some help getting in the truck. Maybe I could climb in better if I was on the "drivers" side....The Bride just gives me the look, enough said.

METAR KLOM 161540Z AUTO 00000KT 2 1/2SM OVC003 20/20 A3008
METAR KLOM 161600Z AUTO 16007KT 3SM BKN005 OVC010 21/20 A3006
METAR KLOM 161620Z AUTO 16007KT 5SM OVC009 22/20 A3005
METAR KLOM 161640Z AUTO 15006KT 5SM OVC011 22/20 A3004
METAR KLOM 161700Z AUTO 19007KT 7SM SCT013 BKN020 BKN024 23/20 A3003

The 5th annual Wings Fly B Q was scheduled for today and despite some low overcast conditions pilots and spouses trickled in starting around noon and numbered around 40. Adam Z organized another great event and with the help of the usual suspects put together another fun filled shindig. Gary S coordinated efforts while Andrew S had the smoker grills doing their thing. Rob S was loaded for bear as he clicked off pictures and had a backpack full of photo goodies, this years unofficial, official photographer along with Matt teller.

Hmmmm...the smell of smokin' charcoal and BBQ was in the air! This was the first year we attended but didn't help, it felt odd. Despite the crutches I was in heaven, plenty of airplanes, good friends and good food. Gary S and I sat and chatted, such a nice man. Mary and I both agreed he kept an extra eye on my whereabouts making sure I was safe and comfortable, it did not go unnoticed. Thanks Gary, your concern provided Mary an extra comfort factor for the day and I appreciate that.

As always it was great to catch up with the rest of the Wings bunch. Time flew by as I sat and chatted with Rob, Bob and Mackenzie, Shane and Beth, Dave, Ted and Andrew, when he returned from picking up Missa in Williamsport (KIPT). I finally got to meet Teller (Matt) from the POA forum and it was great to catch up with Adam and Marisol, Kent, Ed (and his recent Comanche purchase), Grant and Leslie, Tony, Lee and the list goes on. The original plan was to only stay for an hour or two at the most but we managed to hang out until 4pm. It's not easy dragging the little boy away from the airport or the airplanes!

Smithfield, once again, provided all the meat one could eat and with Andy at the controls it was cooked to perfection. There was pulled pork, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies, coleslaw, sodas and water to feed the group. Prizes were handed out for the furthest traveled by General Aviation (Grant & Leslie), furthest traveled commercial (Tony C) with a long layover in Atlanta. Ed won an award too, but I didn't hear it since we were still laughing about the most recent grass cutting joke award......that would have went to Missa.

All in all a great day! Mary and I got to see our friends and we both realize just how much we both really miss flying. Once the wx lifted some of the group was giving rides. If only they could have got me into one of those planes, oh well, I'll be back flying soon, I hope. Rob fired up the Diamond and had a few passengers and Ted had the Mooney doing laps around the pattern, Ed gave rides in his Comanche also. I can't forget to mention that Wings discounted fuel for the event and were gracious hosts for the annual gathering.

Mary and I already have next years Fly B Q penciled in on the calendar, third weekend in May. A fun event with the chance to catch up with friends from across the country. Did I mention how much I love this flying stuff?

Pictures provided by Rob Schaffer. The guy in the shades!

Additional Photos by Matt Teller Photo Albumn

Monday, May 11, 2009

PIREP Looks Good

I had a 10am doctors appointment today for my surgery follow up. Initial exam and x-rays went well with good range of motion although trying to extend and hold my leg straight out still needs a lot of work. The healing process continues and all the replaced and new parts are holding position very nice. The eight braided ties are looking good and the bone grafts along the femur that are acting as splints look secure. The three screws added to hold the new socket in place also look very good.

As per the doctors orders I will be remaining non-weight bearing for 4 more weeks, giving the leg more time to heal. I scheduled my next visit for three weeks, close enough to four and it gives me a head start. Following my next visit/x-rays I should be moving to partial weight bearing status,new exercises and moving to a local PT facility a few times a week. Of course I asked when I could drive, go dancing and return to work......His look was priceless but the answer was as I expected. First he laughed "at" me, then said once your full weight bearing we'll revist those topics. Until then follow orders, don't torture your wife and keep up the good work.

So for now it's exercise reps to rebuild the quad muscle and continue to increase my function around the house. The hospital bed is leaving along with the wheel chair tomorrow afternoon. Why is this important you ask........because it says I am trying to return my life to some type of normalcy. I finally was able to make all the stairs and sleep in my own bed and.......the biggie.... take a shower this week, it's the simple things in life we take for granted.

Thanks for all the visits, calls and well wishes. I will see most of my fellow pilots at the Wings Fly B Q this Saturday.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Never Say Never

Ahhhhhh....a good nights sleep in my bed!! I did have to relearn the Rudder pup that my side of the bed was still my side and his few weeks of sleeping with Mom carried no weight in the sleeping arrangement. I may be gimpy but I'm still the alpha male, sounds good anyway.

I guess we rolled out of bed around 8am and decided we were going to go out for breakfast. that's right, no more sweats or shorts, it was time for jeans and sneakers. I did the sponge bath routine while all the while looking at my time corner shower good time. I crutched back to the room and got on a pair of jeans, a belt and my outter banks T-shirt that has "The beatings will continue until the morale improves" with pirate logos. My "tools" were downstairs so Mary helped me get squared away so I didn't look like a dork. I did the stairs, we locked up the dogs and we were off to Angels for breakfast. No handicap parking permit yet so I had a short way to go across the parking lot. I knew it would be worth the work. Mary ordered two eggs and toast, I had creamed chipped beef with home fries with cheese and onions and we split a scrapple. I had a very small portion of the creamed chip beef, wiped out those home fries and enjoyed the scrapple. I was feeling like a human again, out in public, dressed in real clothes and functioning.

Mary bought breakfast and we made our way back out to the SUV. With all the therapy my leg is starting to get some range of motion back and it gets easier for me to get in and out. Mary packed away the walker and we headed for home. We both skipped lunch and will have dinner when I finish this post. Mary's Mom made us lasagna and let me tell you, she can cook!

A few days ago I was feeling pretty low, the body was hurting, I was sick and tired of being in the house and I was just dang tired of the walker, my crutches the wheel chair and anything else that I had to use to get around. I told Mary that I am never going through this again no matter what, I would sit my butt in a wheel chair and motor around before I went through a day of this crap again. My Bride just listened, gave me a hug and told me we will get through this together, the hard part was over.

When I looked in the mirror last night I didn't like the guy I saw, besides the usual scary face, I didn't like the guy who was on the fence giving in because it hurt and it wasn't easy to do the things I needed to do, I wanted to just play Sally and quit. What was I thinking? I wasn't raised that way, I'm hard headed, prideful and to stop me ya' may as well kill me. I sometimes suffer from that tunnel vision, I get the site picture locked in and it's all I see. Well, getting better and shedding the tools that help me motor around is my goal. Time to Buckle up butter cup, screw the hat down tight and take care of business.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Support From Friends

I was feeling pretty good today with hopes of knocking out all the stairs when the PT nurse eventually arrives, it doesn't take much to get me pumped up these days. Around lunch time Rob (Rob's Flying Adventure) called and asked if it was ok to stop in for a visit. We had all planned for a get together on Sunday, Brides included, but I was really feeling under the wx, heck, Saturday wasn't much better. I even kept family away I felt so rotten.

Rob logged our "ATC" communications on his web page as he made good use of the new GPS Jade approach. We spent some time hangar flying while he ate lunch and I waited to see what Mary was going to make when she got home. It was great to talk some shop, design and the construction end of it all, it keeps the brain working. We watched the wx on the tube, what else would two pilots want to watch? Rob's is scheduled to fly safety pilot for Lee on Wednesday evening which should be a blast. It's always a learning experience to watch another pilot and if they are shooting approaches it's even better. Rob finished up his Wawa Italian Hoagie, it smelled good. I had tuna salad and some ice tea, I'm working on shedding some weight. I got on the scale last Thursday at the PCP's office and I was down seven pounds, it's a start.

Unfortunately Rob had to head back to work and I had to deal with the PT nurse. If it wasn't for the fact that I was going to do all the stairs and practice getting in and out of my bed I may have tried to stow away. It was a great visit and Rob had me laughing. The pilots Mary and I met have been so supportive. Rob and his Bride Becky have offered so much support, it's truly appreciated, and we can only pass along a heart felt thank you for being there, for the both of us. Bob and Mackenzie came by for a visit, I've received emails of well wishes, pm's for updates and requests for our Wings Fly B Q status on May 16th. The flying community is a great bunch of people that we are lucky to be involved with.

How did the Physical Torture go? I made all the steps, completed all the exercises, some how wiggled in and out of bed and made my way down all the stairs back to the family room. I will say that my blood Pressure was really good prior to my PT 118/70 and heart rate was 86 or 88. After I finished all the work out my heart rate was 109 or 119, I was to pooped to ask again. I was tired but I knew I had to make the circuit one more time, I was going to sleep in my bed tonight no matter what.