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This has been a frustrating week. I guess we were probably due for one, as things had been going quite well.

I had planned to start back at work on Tuesday. But, late on Sunday I noted a red area on the inside of my right ankle. This area was larger on Monday morning, and there was a small bright red, quite tender area in the middle of it. I didn’t like the look of it at all, so I called the office of my orthopaedic surgeon. They told me to see my family doctor ASAP, which I did Monday afternoon. The doc was quite concerned, and diagnosed it as the skin starting to break down from poor circulation. The area in question is right on the bump of the ankle, where the bone is just under the surface, which doesn’t leave much room for blood vessels to supply the skin. I’ve got a whole bunch of stainless steel hardware in that area, which further screws up things. The return circulation is quite poor below the injury, due to all the soft tissue damage. And, to cap things off, I’ve been having pretty much constant swelling whenever I’m not flat in bed, which stretches the skin.

The return to work plans got cancelled. I spent the rest of Monday, most of Tuesday, and Wednesday morning with the leg elevated, with the ankle and foot tightly wrapped in an elastic bandage to reduce the swelling. I could see continual improvement, so I was relieved that we had caught the problem in time. If the skin had opened up, there is a very good chance I would have gotten an infection, plus we would have had the hassle of trying to get it to heal.

I got measured for a compression stocking on Tuesday morning, and it arrived on Wednesday. These things are a bear to get on, and not that comfortable to wear. But they control the swelling fairly well, so I’ve been gradually moving from a horizontal to a more vertical existence. Monday afternoon I’ll probably try a half day at work. If the ankle handles that OK, I’ll probably do half days for the rest of the week. If that goes well, I’ll try a few full days the following week. I now realize that I need to slow down the return to normal life just a bit, to not get ahead of the healing process.

The ankle definitely works better now that the swelling is not so bad. It is very stiff first thing in the morning, and somewhat stiff if I’ve been sitting for awhile. But once I get it limbered up I move along fairly well, albeit slowly. The ankle will get a lot more exercise once I’m back to work.

I’ve hit a bit of a plateau in at least one axis of movement in each of my ankle, wrist and shoulder. This tells me I need to spend even more time doing the various exercises the physiotherapist gave me. The wrist and shoulder are both quite functional, but they hit the stops a bit before they should. The ankle has a long way to go yet.

I’ve got an appointment with my aviation doctor on Wednesday morning. Hopefully he’ll sign off my aviation medical. I’m negotiating with our simulator staff to get a short session in our C550 simulator ASAP too, so I can confirm the various recovering body parts are ready to control an aircraft again. I’ll do a few hours in various TC aircraft before I have a go at the RV-8. I’d rather work the kinks out in someone else’s aircraft.

I got the third Kitplanes article finished and submitted this week. The first one I wrote is in the August issue, which is on the news stands now. “Finding TAS from GPS data” covers the right and wrong ways to determine true airspeed using data from your GPS. The next two articles are a two part series on determining static system position error starting with TAS determined from GPS data, using flight test data from my RV-8 as an example. The articles are a completely reworked and fleshed out version of a web article I wrote several years ago. Mind you, Kitplanes hasn’t actually confirmed they will print those articles yet, but they haven’t rejected them either. I’ve got several other articles in the queue, but I want to use flight test data to illustrate them, and I’ve realized that I need to collect more data to highlight various aspects in each of the planned articles. So, they are on hold for a few months.

Terry didn’t have a great week either. While she did have several excellent days, she also had a couple of quite rough nights, when she hardly slept due to pain from pinched nerves in her neck. We had thought that this problem was slowly improving, but now we aren’t so sure. She needs to talk to her doctor about this.

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