Bad Tent News and Good Knee News

I have bad news for everyone who’s ever hung out with us since we’ve been on the road: we lost the tent. Not like we can’t find it, but it’s kaput.

Winds really did gust at 53 mph here, and they broke a strut that then tore a hole, and yadda yadda irreparable damage was done. So, basically, we lost our living room.

Now, to our defense, this is the third winter we’ve spent in the southwest where winds get ridiculous (above was on Mars, aka southwestern Arizona). But, this time we didn’t have all six posts tethered to the ground; we had the tent partially on concrete behind the trailer, with five posts tethered. That sixth one was facing the wind, which was the weakest link.

I can’t express enough how we’ve used that tent, day in and day out all these four years. Here we’re in the Keys drying out laundry and kayaking gear on it.

This terrible photo may be the only piece of evidence from the many nights we played our Firefly board game spread out in the tent, which is the only way we can really play it because it’s so big. Sob.

It was our living room in the cold, with our portable propane firepit in the middle.

It was our living room in the warm with the screens keeping the mosquitos out.


So, we have no plans on getting another because we’ve already made a warranty claim on this sucker once; it’s actually Tent Jr. that died. Tent III (let’s call him Trey Tent) we’d have to pay for, and he’d be yet another expense on top of the knee, and right now we’re just focused on that knee.

So, bye bye nights under the lights, with music on the speaker and friends sitting inside. At least for now.

Knee News

The knee news is good news. But, read only if you’re into knee news, naturally.

I knew I’d done harm to it by wearing that immobilizing cast the guy in Urgent Care had put on me, plus walking with crutches and not knowing how I should be protecting it all these weeks. The surgeon said that because of that lost time, my muscles had atrophied too much for surgery now, and all surrounding (intact) ligaments were too tight. He would have recommended I do PT for a long while and postpone surgery, but he must’ve seen me about to cry (j/k, not) and went ahead and scheduled it anyway.

The good news is that I found a fabulously competent physical therapist just three miles from me in Brownsville who did a bit of manipulation today and declared me in better shape than the surgeon thought. I certainly have been working my knee off (so to speak) since I spoke with the surgeon. And now, with Adam (my new savior)’s help, I’ll be working it even harder to ensure recovery is as efficient as possible. (I’ve changed his name because I haven’t asked him if I could use it.)

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Adam made time in his schedule for me, because he is now my knee point person, which my psyche needed even more than my knee.

In one session he fixed how I walk with the crutches (I’m getting a polka dot cane!), he showed me how to get in and out of the truck both now and post-surgery, and he gave me advice on when we should drive back to Brownsville. I could tell right away that this guys knows where it’s at. Thank the good knee gods.

He also confirmed that the hospital where I’m having surgery is stellar. I mean, that’s why I picked it, but for him to say he’s practiced in several Texas cities and recommends this place in particular, I’m vindicated, once more, in my decision to go all the way to Houston. He said something interesting in general about healthcare in Texas: the farther north you go, the better the care. Which is a funny thing to hear coming from a healthcare provider in the southernmost point. I’m guessing this is where he’s from and that’s why he came back.

I will find out: I’ve got six appointments with him in the next two weeks before surgery, so I think we’re going to get to know each other. He’s already familiar with my knee and the back seat of our truck as he got on it to help figure out my post-surgery trip. Thank you, Adam, and thank you everyone who’s encouraged me.

7 thoughts to “Bad Tent News and Good Knee News”

  1. Adam is my new favourite person! He sounds like a gem. I’ve generally been very grateful for all my physios, they really do make our lives better.

    RIP tent

    1. I’ve met a few who simply saw the diagnosis and prescribed exercises and that was it. I’m so glad he’s another caliber! (And I changed his name since you commented, just to be polite, I guess. I did kind of quote him.)

  2. You know I’m following your knee woes. Frustrating that the lack of attention you got early after your fall left you having to fight back to be ready for surgery, but so glad you’ve got a therapist who understands what needs to happen to get you back there. My PT, Bryan, has been my lifesaver. I’ve learned a lot from him, including understanding the anatomy of the knee, and that PT stands for Pain and Torture. But it’s good pain, the kind that brings you to where you need to be. I can recognize the exercises I go through with him and his team, and the ones they give me to do at home, for the strength-building goals as well as the specific tasks they are designed to address – climbing stairs or sitting/standing. Plus having someone who listens to your story and understands your goals is so invaluable. Good luck.

    1. I once had a magician for a PT so I know the difference it makes, for sure. Pain and Torture here I come!

    1. That brand of tent started out making ice fishing tents, so they know what they’re doing! We miss it already.