Knee Slappers and other horrors.

Rod Duggan is a good friend of mine who I have never met in person. We got to know each other through recovering from knee replacement surgery, which, for those of you who have never had a pain in the knee let alone someone sawing it in half, drilling holes in to it, hammering spikes into it,  after ripping all your tendons in half, and stapling the thing back up the size of a sleeping bag zipper, you have no idea what real pain is. And I have given birth several times so I can say that.

Just don’t tell us to “walk it off”. This surgery takes a year to recover from, if you have no complications. It’s not funny, which is why we strive to  be.


We “met” on a Facebook page dedicated to those who were going in for or coming out from TKR or total knee replacement surgery. Our group is the underbelly of the knee support Facebook groups, kind of like the Hell’s Angels of the titanium knee community, and we all wholeheartedly agree that laughter is the best medicine and judging by the penis in the X-Ray of our cover page, we are all a little immature.


Now we do warn the slight of heart thinking of joining us limping delinquents that we are who we are by the introduction: Clinical and Non Clinical Rude Crude and at times socially unacceptable way of taking your mind off the knee replacement without worrying about having a good time and sharing jokes. Of course we still care and want to answer questions about the TKR but just enjoy having fun along the way. Please, if you find a post not to your tastes, just move along to another post and ignore the offending one.
There are lots of laughs, an excess of raunchy humor and a lot of TKR information and experiences by caring people with a taste for a bit off the wall and risqué brand of humor. If thats not what your looking for, this may not be the page to join, seek another and good luck.
Now, did ya hear the one about the TKR replacement that…………………….

Rod Duggan is a funny guy. Hilarious in fact. He has made my laugh take over my sobs on many days when I was ready to self amputate my leg because it hurt so much (and go bang it over the head of my orthopaedic surgeon since the voodoo doll didn’t appear to be working). With his permission, I am going to share a couple of his stories, in his words, about his recovery from this satanic, evil, tortuous medical procedure known as TKR under conscious sedation.

Heeeeerrrrrrreeeee’s Duggan….

After spending the night in “Day Surgery” they shoved me into the hallway in the ortho ward so that was a plus. It was crazy busy but I was headed in the right direction. I could not see the man but there was a guy talking loudly on his cell phone using language that would not make his mom proud. He was loud and obnoxious and after 15 minutes of F this, screw that and various terms that showed he was adept at foul language I had had enough and yelled down the hall “Hey buddy, do we all have to listen to that language? Go outside”

Every able body on the floor started clapping and he just left. Many thank you’s were shouted down the hallway and the nurses thanked me. I have no problem with swearing, but those around you don’t need to hear it!.

I suspect this helped my room assignment as I ended up in the ward right by a window and it opened for fresh air! I could see the ocean and sky. Now that is a treat.

In the room were 3 other people.

Fritz, a 91 year old German guy with a hip replacement that seemed very “old world strict”


Mike, a late 50s guy that seemed as crazy and fun loving as me


Agnes, an 86 year old German lady that spoke no English and was suffering from dementia who had a knee replacement.


This poor lady was not doing well. I had seen her on my various travels in the hospital for Xray etc. She was chanting and wailing in German. Any time a nurse came by she would yell in German Nein Nein! This was a 24/7 thing.
Many of us here have our troubles but could you imagine the shear terror of not understanding mentally or verbally what was happening? This was torture to this poor lady. Only one person came for a visit and it was a worker from her home. No family or friends at all. It was all very sad. It turns out she was also restrained to the bed by her families orders. Why would you even consider a TKR for this poor lady?

Around 3 AM she had a huge episode of loud German chanting, it was quite the show. Well it woke up Fritz and he started yelling at her in two languages, Mike woke up and asked if I was enjoying the show. I figured with the two Germans having a war I would aid the situation by singing Jewish folk songs! (I have no idea why I know Jewish folk songs).


So now you have a room of four people, one German senior female chanting, a senior German male yelling in two languages, a late 40s Canadian guy singing Jewish folk songs and another guy just laughing his butt off. About 30 minutes after it started we all settled down and fell asleep.

The next morning Mike was told he could go home as long as his bowels worked. All he had to do was pass wind and he could go home. Game on!


Around 9 AM the chanting started up again and Mike was doing what he could do to complete his exit requirements. Mike needed a witness to his impending fart so asked me to verify it. I was putting together a cheer for him, he started to fart, I congratulated him, he did it again, so I cheered and passed wind myself. Well right about this time Agnes had a moment of comprehension and started yelling “He’s Schwein, a SCHWEIN” and just went on and on at the top of her lungs. Mike was laughing and farting, I was laughing and farting, Agnes was freaking out and poor Fritz was just wondering what planet he was on. The poor nurse rushed in, quickly assessed the situation and told Mike he was discharged and left.


I was able to go to my hotel that day and then came home a couple of days later.

All in all it was an adventure, the food sucked but people watching was at an all time high. I wish Agnes the best in her recovery.


Ok since I am grumbling about pain I will just put on my big girl panties and deal with it!

Here is another episode from my original hospital stay that lead to my TKR. Like many great stories (Star Wars) I started in the middle, so here is part of Episode 1.

After being abruptly transferred from my semi private room with a great room mate into a ward with 3 other guys I was settling into my new routine. I had been waiting 3 days in the hospital for surgery as everybody else was hurt worse than me. I was promised the next spot. The doctor walked in and said I could go next but…. Could I wait 1 more day as a man was injured badly. He had crashed on his mountain bike and managed to shred the skin off of his, well, hmm, how shall I say this? Ok he got his “johnson” shoved into the handlebar and peeled the skin off it like a banana. (Delete mental image).


I gladly gave up my surgery spot for that one!

Now in my ward was a dude that puked every 15 minutes like clockwork. Every time he did this I made noises like a kookoo clock. I tend to be sick if somebody else is so I had to take my mind off of the real noise. It was the the halloween version of Westminster chimes It turns that I had shared a 1.5 hour ambulance ride with him. That was fun….


Another older gent that was very nice and he did not say much.

Then.. there as dementia dude. Why do I always end up in a ward with a crazy person? Birds of a feather perhaps.

During the day this guy was ok, very loud and lots of very loud visitors but I just hit my happy button for more drugs and zoned out to some vintage Pink Floyd. The 60s all over again!

Now night time would come about and this guy would get a tad weird. He would wake up yelling that he needed a phone. He would just keep yelling about a phone until the nurses would come in and settle him down. Then he would start doing the same thing but he would need to know which way North was. ( maybe he needed to contact the mother ship?). They would settle him down again.

Then the real entertainment would start! He would decide to make a break for it and run out of the room. Well, try to run out of the room. As he escaped he would rip out all his tubes and monitors run to the end of my bed and do this strange spin and fall down, gown open and his old man butt hanging out right at the end of my bed.


Now this would happen 3-4 times per night. Each time the grand finale would be a spin at the end of my bed with his naked butt looking up at me.


Very Circ de Soleil inspired.


I had to figure this out.

So it happened that I was awake and reading during his first episode of the evening. I grabbed my glasses so I could see the show from my front row seat. The opening scene of ripping out his tubes had begun. He jumped up and hit his stride and trailing along behind him was his urinary catheter hose. He reached the end of the hose and physics took over. The hose tightened up as it was well attached at both ends! And he would spin around due to the sudden tug on his…. and then fall down! Ouch bloody ouch! I don’t know if they attached it with duct tape or Gorilla glue but it was attached well. Every time he ran away his catheter jolted him to a stop. Kind of like a leash on a dog! I can’t imagine the feeling of such a thing.


Well at least I knew what was going on and could just lay there waiting for surgery.

And yes there is a story from the surgery. Lets just say some doctors need to work on right and left a bit more. It makes a difference.


After my original accident I had to grow enough bone to accept a joint replacement. The doctors and physios were intent on saving my knee so I had so much physio it was crazy. One of them was hydro physio at the pool. This is an incident that happened during a trip to the locker room at the pool.

Our town has an excellent pool and our population is about 6000 people many of them are seniors. The local lions club had donated a swimsuit dryer to the pool and it was installed the week before. I was in the locker room along with about 8 other men most of them over 70 years old. A service technician came in and started repairing the dryer as it was not working properly. He was laying on his back looking up into the machine which hangs on the wall. Now remember, this is a locker room, did I mention the old guys were post swim and naked?

This was a great opportunity for the old guys to offer assistance so they all gathered around the poor service tech, no towels or shorts, just letting it all hang out. Now the service tech looked up from the machine only to be staring up at a half dozen totally naked seniors that had no compunction to cover up, I am sure this was the stuff of nightmares to him as they were all asking questions and offering advice while closing in around him.

Just imagine the view from his angle and this being your first job of the day. I doubt that tequila could get him to unsee this job!


Thanks Rod. Until next time, keep eating cookies.

Sian Erith Thomson

Near Death Experiences

I have had a couple of real near death experiences. One when I was in the ICU I actually crashed and my daughter was looking over me as my eyes drifted to the ceiling. What she didn’t know was that I was looking at my parents, who looked the same as they did when they passed, wearing the same embarrassing outfits that always made me walk ten paces ahead of them when we were out (funny how teen age angst is carried over 30 years) and traveling inside the eye of an elephant (you can’t make this up and NO I was not dying from an LSD overdose!) It was like a capsule and I was trying to get in and pretty annoyed that they would not open the door. The next thing I knew I was “back” with a central line in my chest and several people fussing over me, feeling like crap. I often think about that experience and since then have had a new found appreciation for the elephant. In art (see Gregory Colbert’s collection called “Ashes and Snow”) and tell me you are not moved by the talent and the beauty, and in folklore, as apparently, funny enough, elephants are a symbol of overcoming death.
The next near death experience I had was last night. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. from a sound sleep with Criminal Minds re-runs playing on the TV I forgot to turn off, having an asthma attack. There is nothing worse than having one of these sneak up on you in a dead sleep because you go from open mouthed drooling slumber (or so I have been told from some insolent bedfellows) to feeling like you are being strangled and drowned all at the same time. You cannot breath in, you cannot breath out, its like somebody has popped a wine cork down your trachea . Where are visions of elephants when you need them? I was sure this was “it” this time although I have suffered from this before. Only now it was lasting well into a minute and my lips were turning blue and I was starting to panic. It’s the panic that will kill and asthma sufferer faster than lack of oxygen will. Panic because you think the next time you try to inhale you will get a bit of air in and you don’t. The panic that you realize you decided to sleep naked and now your kids are going to find you dead and rigored in most likely an unladylike position on the floor after the dogs have given you a good sniff over. The panic because now you’re pissed off at yourself for worrying about all those things you worried about that day, that really don’t matter at all when you are about to hitch a ride on that elephant!
Obviously I lived to tell about it but not without spending the rest of the night awake because I was afraid to go to sleep again and have that happen. Sometimes larygospasms come in twos. So I got on facebook and talked to my friend who was having lunch in Budapest, checked my online bank balance and only got a  little short of breath, and put on a nighshirt just in case.
Morale of the story is: Don’t sleep naked and hope that if you see the elephant he won’t let you on his back.

Don’t ask Don’t Tell!!

My mother babysits for me during the day when I am at work. This morning she called to tell me she was going to be late because she had lost her dentures. She said she doesn’t take them out when she sleeps (for the same reason I no longer sleep naked!) but they must have popped out while she was in the land of nod. She sleeps with her husband who is almost 80 years old and a temper to match Genghis Khan.
My mother loses a lot of things in bed. (OK that didn’t quite sound right.) When she was first dating Vlad the Impaler ( I enjoy sticking cute little nicknames on curmudgeonly Cliff) she was much younger and on hormone replacement therapy. For those of you not familiar with the medication involved, it comes in sticky patches that are applied to your abdomen or bottom. They produce estrogen through your skin. She woke up one morning to see the patch stuck to Vlad, and momentarily wondered if it might make him nicer, you know, all those women’s hormones, but in the end decided to rip it off along with some thigh hair she hadn’t counted on, waking him up with a start. My mother did what any sane woman would do. Collapsed onto her pillow and pretended to be asleep the whole time while maintaining a death grip on the feminine product. Mr. Tough, the Man of all Men, the one whose testosterone defines who he is and what his mood is going to be like, was probably only concerned that it had looked like he was trying to shave his upper leg. He would have kept that to himself. Along with a few millograms of estrogen therapy.In the end my mother showed up to the house to babysit, teeth in place, no mention of where she found them. Since they both sleep au natural, it cannot be good.

Roses or Thorns?

Thorns   Crocs full of thorns to the crimes of fashion being committed in our community. Now I realize we are not Paris or London and we don’t expect Shoppers Row to be navigated with Gucci stilettos or men in Armani, but seriously Campbell Riverites, one of you almost caused a car accident the other day when your skirt blew up in the wind and your lack of underwear took my mind away from the road. Just what would I have told ICBC? Swerved for full moon? Rear ender caused by rear end? Now this skirt flipping might work for Marilyn Monroe but she doesn’t live here! We don’t need to see suspender leggings, underwear worn as outerwear, skinny jeans when you are not, sweat pants with writing on the bottom (note to wearer, letters disappear!) and t-shirts with rudery written on them. (Although the “drunk chicks think I’m hot” was probably an honest reflection.) We don’t want to see pants that would make a plumber blush, pajamas in the grocery store, flip flops with dirty feet flip flopping, boxers impersonating Bermuda shorts paired with a white t-shirt that makes you look like you are walking down the hall at 3 a.m. to get a glass of milk rather than shopping at a public market. Where is your wife? Keep your tailbone tattoos for family viewing, and speedos for a funny Halloween prank. Men please do not go commando with grey sweats despite how comfortable that might be for YOU, and women don’t cut off your jean skirts any further. Finally, please, please PLEASE if you have a belly wear a t-shirt long enough to keep it from peaking out at us. We might be the Salmon Capital of the World but we should refrain from baiting the fashion police with your wiggly bits! Arrests are imminent!

Comfy Pants – Uncomfortable in life.

So it appears I disgruntled a loose waisted wedgie-ridden wiggly bitted reader in response to the thorns distributed by the Fashion Police last week in the Courier-Islander.

He wrote:”Dear Ms. Fashion Police for June 17th. Your poor attempt at humour lost most readers. You are right we are not Paris. Never will be. Where do get off telling who to wear what? This town of Campbell River is a laid  back town of country living. I think people wear what they choose out of comfort. I feel sorry that your life is just one big dress rehearsal. For many of us it is not. We use our money to support and raise families. Not on over prices clothing for your viewing pleasure. Vanity is a sin.”

Signed Comfy pants in Comfy River

Well now! He told me! Being one who cannot back away when “stercus accidit” I have sent roses to this chunky monkey.

To comfy pants

I think the fashion police were trying to ask people to have more respect for themselves and others and no where did I read that they told you what to wear, but what NOT to wear. I too have witnessed embarrassing attempts by people to be “comfy” and it can be horrifying. The latest was a person using their bum cleavage to hold a cell phone. I don’t think it takes the over priced clothing you assumed it would to be decent and respectable and I think your assessment that the humor of the rant was lost on most people is about as wrong as probably your comfy pants are. I think you need some roses to mellow out and not be so defensive. While you use your money to support and raise your family the fashion police just want some proper fitting clothing and the use of underwear to be included in your budget. Vanity might be a sin but so is indecent exposure.

Back up to the Fashion Police

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?? I read the Roses and Thorns weekly and more and more it is becoming not just an arena for the discontents but a slippery slope into meanness, spitefulness and maliciousness. Aside from the nice roses of thanks to people for doing the right thing (becaus these days we have to praise that as being unusual and unexpected) people are thorning grieving pet owners and turning their tragedy into a rant about leashes and dog poo and training cats to come when they are called!  As for Mister Comfy Pants, go find your horn rimmed glasses (you are probably sitting on them) and re read the initial submission from the Fashion Police, you got in wrong on all counts. You  now have the right to remain silent. Please do!

Operation Weasel Removal: AKA the ferret, the sledgehammer and my kitchen

Sunday is a day of rest, right? I like to think of it as such, especially with my life as I am lucky to rest, alone with my thoughts, free of demands made of my mother status, even whilst on the toilet. In fact, going there must send out a red alert to the previously occupied children that it is time to have a big fight with each other, make the dog yelp, break a window, or tell the Jehovah’s witness at the door that “mom is going poo, she will be there in a second.”

I have to plan my sleep-in days like a military operation. It requires a great deal of intelligence on “the enemy” (aka my children and pets and even my mother who, as an old person, goes to bed at like 7 pm, is up bright and early at 6 am and likes to call!) When her husband does this it is even worse because he sounds really really cheerful.

I am telling you, it is a war out there! A war against the most basic of human rights…..SLEEP!

That’s me third from the right ..marching like a warrior.

Reconnaissance,  counter-insurgency, target acquisition, perhaps a convoy to ensure my peace and quiet in restful, mouth-open slumber for just a couple more hours.

Ya’ think????????????

Today is a perfect example of a planned Sunday morning sleep in. The insurgents??? Three teenagers, a ferret, and a sledge hammer and my dogs.

This is how it went down.

Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Phone rings. My son is calling me from the soon-to-be-vacant house I am putting up for sale and currently working on FIXING IT UP A  LITTLE!!

“Hi mom? Can I tear the kitchen apart?”

Me, thinking he is looking for something to eat, “No there is no food there anymore.”

Him, irritated, like I am supposed to know exactly why he needs to “tear my kitchen apart”, “My ferret stuck her head in a hole by the dishwasher, well, sort of a hole. We have to take it apart, we have a sledge hammer.”

Me…silence as I try to wake up a little from my intended noon sleep in mission.

“What hole?” I ask.

Capital letters now because he is annoyed and talking to me like I am a deaf dense old lady. |”IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN, WE JUST HAVE TO CHOP OUT SOME STUFF AND TAKE THE CUPBOARD APART.”

Me…”Well I guess if yo have to do this to save the ferret’s life, ok, but……”

Him, “That’s all we needed to know.”


Then I hear my cell phone beep and since I have one eye open anyway, I reach over and look.

Here is the photo he sent me.

(please note all kitchen cupboard doors had been ON yesterday when I was there CLEANING up the kitchen!) And I think that’s a drill on the counter next to someone’s shoes!!!

And this is NOT my ferret….I don’t care for ferrets…they make me stand on a chair when I see one… is not even supposed to be at the house.

So Operation Ferret Recovery was completed with the ferret being alive and well and drinking alot (as I am right now) with, sadly, the cupboard doors “accidentally” splitting in half (I suspect the sledge hammer combined with teenage panic) and the bottom shelf of the under-the-sink cupboard suffering grave injuries.  Not to mention to carved hole in the corner to the left of the ferrets head….I am sure this will all make for glorious selling features!!

My son said that he and his friend would “look for” some wood clue today and try to glue the cupboard back to a whole from two halves.

So, I hung up the phone, rolled over and went back to sleep, hoping to survive the “War on Slumber.” Problem is my dogs were determined not to wave the white flag.

My daughter Emma who got into bed to sleep with me suddenly asked ” What’s that smell?”
I guess one, or five of the dogs decided to drop some “biological” weapons because they had been kept contained too long. Dammit.

So I gave up. And not quietly. I kind of had a tantrum. I threw the covers back dramatically mumbling a profane run-on-sentence that certainly lacked decorum, stomped out of bed and right onto an improvised “land mine” left by one of my loose-boweled canines.

This was not my finest hour.

Until next time, remember, hiding under the covers can be fabulous.
Sian Erith Thomson

Queen for a Day.

queen elizabeth
I could have been someone young, thin, sexy, hot, a talented singer, dancer, entertainer, just like the people sitting next to me on stage at the Tidemark Theater last Friday night. The world was my oyster. My mind was free to be whoever I chose. In public, on stage and raising money for any cause I could think of.

Tina Turner was up there raising money for people with red roofs. Michael Buble was raising money for the Clothes for Dogs society, PINK was raising money for the fitness of cats, and I am pretty sure it was  Beyonce raising money for the Checkers for Children Foundation.  I didn’t pick up what Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s mother was raising money for but I can well imagine.
I was sitting next to Jennifer Aniston who spoke passionately about her cause: The ducks, the ducks in central park. They are dying you know, it’s the mud. They need a new irrigation system to put air inside the mud so the ducks can live.
I have been short and fat all my life. Smart? Yes. Loyal? Yes. A figurehead in my family? Yes, I think so. Charitable? The first to go to bat for a worthy charity? Absolutely. I even have some nice jewelry and happen to look good in hats. But what the hell was I thinking?  In my deep state of hypnosis, with my imagination on crack apparently, I announced to the entire theatre that I was Queen Elizabeth, in a perfectly crisp upper class British accent, and I was raising money for the men in the British Parliament to be able to have ladies undergarments to wear under their suits (because you know, according to Elizabeth Windsor, they are all cross dressers and terribly mortified to go into  Marks and Spencer’s and buy their own brassieres.)

Why was I not Angelina Jolie (beautifully sculptured cheek bones, not an ounce of fat on her and gets to sleep with Brad Pitt – dammit) No. I am an 82 year old short plump slightly bad tempered monarch who gets to sleep with Prince Philip every second Thursday and one Saturday a month……come on!!!!

Now my excuse is I don’t remember any of this. Well, I sort of do now that the fog of hypnosis is wearing off, and of course everywhere I have gone in the three days since has generated giggles, smirks, whispers, and in Walmart, one man in the cucumber section asking me if I was still “her majesty”. An older lady held the door open in the bank today and I thought that wasn’t right so I said so. She just bowed and said “Your majesty”.  Of course going to work this morning was not helpful. I gather the Queen of England was not above copping a feel when the hypnotist, Wayne Lee, suggested to me that when the music started he would appear to be the hottest, sexiest man alive and I was going to dance with him. There was nothing prim and proper about it. We slow danced.  I grabbed his buttocks. Twice.
Then it got out I guess that Wayne Lee told certain people on stage that whenever he turned his back to us we would believe he was butt naked. My boss decided to try this today at work. Several times. Let’s just say he’s no Wayne Lee!
I learned later that if I was to ever play in a famous orchestra, I would be the drummer. Somewhere in between Keith Moon and someone with Parkinsons whose meds haven’t kicked in yet. I also learned that I suck at being a butterfly and am fairly certain I exacerbated my Carpel Tunnel syndrome while fluttering on stage showing my ‘best moves’.
The only reason I was there was because I had written an article about the event for my newspaper, where I am a small town reporter (often reminded of this when angry people phone up because they don’t like what I wrote.) So I got two free tickets. I invited Jennifer Aniston aka Jacquie from sales to go with me from the office. Neither of us thought for a second we would “go under” and almost didn’t go up on stage until the hypnotist said “you will feel like you have had the best sleep ever”. Simultaneously we looked at each other and said ‘we’re in’. How can you tell we have kids at home.
‘Jennifer’ was worried she was going to take her clothes off. She asked me time and time again leading up to the night, as if I KNEW, “I am not gonna take my clothes off am I?” She didn’t, but she did run her fingers suggestively through the hypnotist’s hair after the Queen of England was finished fondling his ass.
We remained in character for the entire intermission with the audience being instructed to not let any of us leave the building. Our job was to go out into the lobby and get donations for our cause. We were also asked for autographs. When word got out that the Queen was raising money for transvestites, well, let’s just say I had a line up of subjects waiting to toss me a quarter if I would just repeat – again– what I was raising money for. Reportedly my accent stayed intact. I was stoic, slightly pompous, and refused to sign somebody’s arm because, according to her majesty, it was ‘impertinent.”
When we returned to the stage, Wayne Lee collected the money and said he was donating it to Hospice. A great cause. Especially because I have felt like dying ever since the morning after because I cannot go anywhere without someone referencing my royal heritage. This town is not big enough for me and Liz.
I couldn’t sleep that night when I got home because, yes, it’s true, I already felt I had put a good night’s sleep in. I went to the follow-up seminar the next day with the sole intent of writing about it, but instead I was drawn into the philosophy and spirit behind the concept of the power of suggestion, exploring the unlimited potential of the human mind which is obviously capable of leading us anywhere.
I have had a tough couple of years. Stress. Grief. Disappointment. Fear. Did I already list stress?This guy’s sole mission is to help people get from where they are to where they want to be. and achieve that with gusto. I am usually too tired for gusto.
But if it takes the Queen of England banging on a drum and saving all the members of parliament from Victoria’s Secret, if it takes her majesty to get to the bottom of things and do so with the voice of my beloved (deceased) mum, then so be it.
I’m in.
Until next time, strive for fabulous (with some Crown jewels thrown in)
Sian Erith Thomson