You know, snow, knee, cough, gasp, etc.

April 18, 2013 | My Jottings

Fair warning to all you deep thinkers and lovers of beauty and inspiration: this post may not be up your alley. It will be all about snow, snow and more snow, my poor meniscus-less right knee, and how I think I have pneumonia but can’t be sure because I don’t really want to brave the LATE APRIL HEAVY SNOWSTORM that’s happening this very second to go to the new young doctor we’ve only met once because our old doctor of 28 years is mysteriously no longer practicing at our clinic and since I’m having an MRI in a couple of weeks to prepare for knee surgery I figure I have enough radiation exposure scheduled for my body so why add a chest xray especially when I now have an iPhone I wish I didn’t have which supplies a goodly amount of radiation and besides even if I did have pneumonia what would they do aside from what they always do and prescribe antibiotics which I’m loathe to take unless it’s a life and death situation?

Yes, it’s snowing again. And it’s supposed to snow all night and tomorrow, and they’re saying we could get up to a foot.

The flakes are beautiful though, and our furnace is working. Thank you Lord.

On June 10, if all goes as planned, one of these contraptions you see below will be surgically implanted in my right knee. I met my surgeon this week in Stillwater, MN, and since he has done thousands of the minimally invasive knee surgeries (MIS) I have decided to have him do mine.

My friend Su has needed a knee replacement for a long time, and she decided to look into this surgeon and this procedure too. We drove down together, went out to lunch in downtown Stillwater, which is a quaint town on the St. Croix River in Southern Minnesota, and went to each others’ appointments.


It looks as if Su and I will be driving down together with our husbands in June, and while her Danny and my Michael stay in a hotel, she and I will check into the hospital and don our cute little backless hospital gowns and have our right knees replaced on the same day. By the same doctor. And then will drive home with our husbands the next day.

I will have a Smith and Nephew Verilast female right knee implant “installed.” It’s a 30-year implant, as opposed to the 15-20 year implants used most often right now. The surgeon thought my delicate youth called for the 30-year model. How it differs from other typical fake knees is that the Oxinium (a supposedly very “bio-compatible” metal) is processed in such a way that the surface turns to ceramic, and the ceramic is so smooth and durable it can last up to 30 years. Or until I’m 85 years old, but I truly have no intention or even desire to live that long. I have sincerely prayed that the Lord would take me home before I reach 80. I’m counting on Him answering that prayer in the affirmative.

If you would like to see a picture of what this Smith and Nephew model looks like in a real person’s knee after all the sawing and gluing has been done but before it’s closed up from the surgery, you can click here. But don’t do it if you’re squeamish.

Because this is a minimally invasive surgery, the quadriceps muscle and tendons are not cut. The recovery time is said to be less painful and about half as long. That sounds very good to me. Thank you Lord. (I’m thanking Him ahead of time.)

Because one degree could make a difference in the fitting and placement of the new knee, an MRI is required so they’ll know exactly how to tilt and insert and drill and fasten things. And wouldn’t you know it, our local MRI places don’t have the same templates needed for this kind of imaging, so Su and I must return to Stillwater very soon to have our scans done. We’ve decided to make it a nice trip with our husbands and spend two nights. Stillwater has a lot of beautiful Bed and Breakfast Inns and here’s the one we’ll stay in:


I’m even thinking the yard might look like this when we drive down, which will be a visual delight after we dig out of this LATE APRIL HEAVY SNOWSTORM we’re having this very second.

So to round out this endearing blog post, I have been sick now for ten days. It started as a cold and cough, then progressed to a cough and a cough, then to a my lungs are full and I can’t easily breathe kind of cough and cough, to a fever and a cough, to a cough and a cough and a cough. Last night at 2:45 a.m. I woke from a deep sleep needing to cough, and when I did I couldn’t get my breath. Sort of like the scary childhood croup without the seal-like barking sound. I belted from our bedroom in my red plaid nightgown, coughed and trotted and gasped my way down the hall into the dining room where I opened the door and stood outside on our front deck, gasping for air while my bare feet melted the snow beneath them and the falling flakes coated my hair and shoulders. I drank in deep breaths, hoping that cold damp air would shrink my airways. And I coughed. And coughed. But I could breathe better. I had an unkind thought about the neighbors who live across the street who left us that note about how we should keep our Schnauzers quiet, and I wondered if my non-stop coughing and gasping for air was waking them up from a long winter’s nap. I don’t think I’d have been a bit surprised if I had seen a curtain in their window part just a little bit, and if it had I might have coughed and barked, “Sorry I don’t cough cough cough have a bark collar cough cough cough for humans cough cough! But I’ll see cough cough if amazon has one in just a few cough cough cough cough minutes!”


So that’s about it for today. Now I’m off to warm up some delicious leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup for dinner. My friend Carey had this virus before me and this morning she told me it lasted thirteen days. So I’m hoping my coughing (and subsequently my gasping for air) will subside by this weekend.

Just in time to scan the skies for the next approaching blizzard.

I hope there are flowers and grass and good health in your life right now,


  1. Jessica says:


    I’ll spare you my comments on going to get the blasted antibiotics and instead ask you why you wish you didn’t have an IPhone?????????

  2. Just Julie says:

    Hi Jessica…I hope you’re warm and tucked away in this weather we’re having! If I didn’t have a standard 2 year contract I would happily go back to my other cell, and probably will when my contract is up…because the iPhone is an addictive time waster for me. I hate that I’m reading less, and playing Words With Friends and checking out the latest news more. What is it the Bible says about self-control?…….. xo

  3. Shari C. says:

    Awww…hope you feel much better real soon, Julie! So sorry! In light of your serious condition, I tried not to laugh as I read your post…but realizing laughter is good medicine, I thought a chuckle here and there might be appropriately ok? Hope Spring will soon send your long- staying-winter packing!
    I pray your lungs heal…do you have “Breath Easy” tea? It’s helped us out in similar situations.
    Also I pray your new knee surgery will be a wonderful success!
    And long ago…Bruce and I were in Stillwater in 1982 🙂 I remember standing by their river and thinking that the trees all around were very pretty…

  4. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for your prayers Shari. And it makes me happy that you found something to chuckle over in my post. 🙂 xo

  5. Kay says:

    Oh Julie…I pray you feel better soon. I’m thinking you are on day 11 or so?
    Also, I love that Su is getting a knee at the same time as you. One more shared experience for the two of you.
    And finally…I agree about the iPhone…a huge time vaccuum for one so lacking in attention retention as I 🙂
    Love and Hugs

  6. Just Julie says:

    It’s nice to find someone who understands about the iPhone, Kay. Thank you for your love and prayers, my friend. xo

  7. Ember says:

    :0( I do hope you feel better soon. It does sound like pneumonia. I think the doctor might be a good idea. Thinking of you. xxx

  8. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Ember. I have an appointment next week. Bleh. 🙂 xo

  9. Ganeida says:

    I think you are brave. The girl & I do not like doctors & I had to take her to one yesterday. More antibiotics for a facial infection we left & left because the girl & I do not like doctors ~ & he wants a blood test too. The girl nearly fainted but bravely announced I did not have to come because she did not want to have to scrape me up off the floor. Knowing she needs her hand held we will offer mutual support.

    You may keep the snow. Cold, wet, nasty stuff.

    The B&B looks lovely. So picturesque. 🙂

  10. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for your comments, Ganeida. I hope everyone’s feeling better there. And your opinion on snow seems to be the general consensus around here! Sunday’s coming….or in your case, it’s almost already there!? xo

  11. Helen in Switzerland says:

    Oh no, not more snow… !
    I’m away staying with friends and just heard from my husband that there was 10cm new snow overnight…I’m so glad I wasn’t there to see it. Just 3 days ago I was gardening in shorts and a vest and it was 25 degrees…..when will this winter ever end?
    Glad you’re getting your knee done – I’m sure it will make a huge difference!

  12. Just Julie says:

    I hope a real spring is on your doorstep very soon, Helen. We just learned we have more snow in our forecast, which is becoming sort of laughable now. 🙂 xo

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.