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On the Other Side

  • Surgery is over

  • Recovery is going well

  • Static but keeping busy in Richmond, VA

  • Planning for more travels

  • The future is bright

It's so good to be back at it after 2+ months!


Pam's back surgery was on February 6 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. It was difficult, extensive, and lasted about 7 hours. After an overnight stay in the intensive care unit, she spent 4 more days in the hospital. She had some weakness in her left foot before surgery, and the strength came back immediately post op. Everyone was thrilled for that success. However, there was significant numbness in both legs and feet which made walking difficult. Pam needed the extra time in the hospital with PT and OT. The doctors seem to feel confident that the numbness will fade and probably disappear in time.

When Pam was discharged, we spent a week at our dear friends' home in Annapolis. Dave and Amy were such great hosts, and an incredible support for us both. Our friends in the area rallied around us. Those early days were rough - sciatica (aka "hot lava running down my leg," as Pam put it) appeared and we were trying to manage the pain. We got through it, though, and were able to make the 2 hour drive to Richmond where Trip's mom has a home that she was generous enough to let us use while she was living in Florida. The main level bedroom was key for Pam's recovery.

Currently, Pam is about 8 weeks out from surgery and is doing exceptionally well (although the pace of recovery is not fast enough for her!) Numbness is about 50% gone and is continuing to improve. She has no more back or hip pain, and keeps saying that she didn't realize how much pain she was in prior to the surgery, now that it's gone. We are walking most days, and we take longer walks a couple of times a week, about 3 miles. Physical Therapy puts her through her paces twice a week. We now feel we are on the other side of this and coming out of the tunnel. The skies are bright and sunny, and we feel ready to go!

Not yet, though, as Pam's doctor wants to see her again at the end of April - until then, we will continue to stay the course and enjoy all that Richmond has to offer.


We are enjoying our extended stay in Richmond. Trip's brother, Erich, lives nearby, and we have loved getting together with him and our niece, Brynn (Riley and Owen, we miss you!) Erich has shown us the beautiful city, and pointed us towards the "must-see" places.

Richmond is beautiful, and we have enjoyed many walks along the James River. We have had plenty of visitors during our recovery, which have been a wonderful distraction. The highlight was a visit from Susan, Dan, and Alden who flew in from Atlanta. Everyone drove in to see the sweet baby boy (and his mom and dad too!).

Trip has walked many miles on the roads in the neighborhood to get exercise everyday. Unfortunately, has has also been sitting more than usual as well, as he has done quite a bit of writing. His low back started to act up - maybe some sympathetic back symptoms for Pam? Anyway, he decided to try a bit of yoga. Twenty minutes every morning has done wonders to help ease his pain. He follows the yoga sessions with meditation, and the combination of the two practices has been rejuvenating. Pam has started to join him, and she too, is feeling much better. See Trip's Deep Dive #14 here.

Well, that's all for now - we wanted to send an update to all who have asked. We are doing well, and so very grateful that we are both healthy and on the other side of this surgery.

What's next? We will finally be heading out west to do some exploring in the national parks. But first, a stop at Harmonica Camp for Trip! That falls under the category of "things you can do when you're retired." We'll have lots of pictures from that - and maybe a video or two, so stay tuned.


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