Monday July 20-Wednesday July 22, 2015 Previous Post:
Charlottesville, Virginia The Newlyweds Come for a Visit
Today we move Winnona out of Big Meadows where we have been both before and after her surgery for a month. Loft Mountain campground is at 3050 elevation and according to Weather.com is cooler even than Big Meadows. We shall see.
The campground is up up up from the Skyline Drive. Things are not as walkable here. Also unlike Big Meadows, there is no visitor’s center and the Wayside is right on Skyline Drive at the foot of the campground road. The amphitheater is a pretty good walk from the campground as are the Camp Store and the showers. But walking is good for you and we are here to hike so it’s all good. A really big plus here is that there are many many fewer people and they are a quiet bunch.
The campground has nearly 200 sites and it appears that it was designed for tents. However these are pretty cadillac tent sites with pull through drives and secluded “yards”. There is an outer look around the campground, Loop A, which has some wonderful walk in sites. The other “loops” aren’t really loops but rather curving roads from one side of Loop A to the cross side. These curves go up and over the slopes so while most of the “yards” are flat for the tents, the driveways are not. Some are and those are the ones in high demand by the RVers. We can’t find a site that has both sun and a level drive and, I almost forgot, has your door not facing the road on these one way roads. This means your site must be on the right hand side. If you are a tenter of course you don’t care about your car doors. Seems most of the non shady sites are on the left.
Like Big Meadows, this is a largely wooded campground which I love but my solar has to have sun so only a few sites, like about 6 out of nearly 200, meet our requirements for mostly level, good sun, fairly distant neighbors. E 106 meets most of these although it is on a bit of a slope. We are able to get around that with our horse mats. Otherwise our tires would be off the ground.
Minor drawbacks, for most people, to the Loft Mountain campground are no hook ups and pay showers. The major drawback for us is the even more difficult than Big Meadows cell signal and internet. But at $15 a night ($7.50 with the Sr. Pass) we are giving it a try.
We get Winnona settled in and then lock her up and head down to Charlottesville. My eye surgery is on Tomorrow but at this point, the day before, I don’t know what time. How can that be you ask? Read on.
I’ve had a lot of difficulty getting the appointment time for the surgery. In the UVA Outpatient Surgery Center they call you two days before your surgery with the time. I, of course, am in a place where I can not receive phone calls. They call me, they have to leave a message saying to call them back. I go up to the highest point at Loft Mountain, listen to my phone messages and call them back. I get their answering machine and leave a message. They call me back and we repeat the process. They won’t leave the time without talking to me to tell me all the rules and regulations that are printed very clearly in the materials they gave me at the screening meeting where we set the date but not the time of the surgery.
SO finally, when we arrive in Charlottesville in mid afternoon today I call them and leave a message. They finally call me back and I am able to receive the call where I find out the surgery time is 2:30 and that I cannot eat anything after midnight which is way beyond my bed time. So I can have dinner at say 6:00 tonight night and nothing until after the surgery tomorrow which is 4:00 in the afternoon at the earliest. 22 hours. I am going to be one hungry patient by then. Plus I cannot have anything to drink after 10:30 in the morning tomorrow and must be at the surgery center at 12:30. Two hours before the surgery.
So by Tuesday morning I do know my time and it’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I’m either their last patient for the day or next to last. I suspect it’s because they could not confirm the time with me so they made me last. SIGH!
After all my trepidations and difficulty deciding what lenses to have put in my eyes after my cataracts are removed, today is the day and the decision is final and permanent. I’m going with monovision like I have had with contact lenses for nearly 25 years prior to the cataracts making it impossible for my vision to be corrected well enough with contacts. About 3 years ago I had to move to glasses for any distance needs. Inside my near sightedness made it possible for me to see everything I wanted in the coach, on the computer and reading with no lenses of any kind.
I’m still not totally sure about this permanent monovision. One one hand, having distance vision lenses in both eyes gives me 20/20 at distances which I haven’t had since I was a child. But it also means I have to wear glasses for both computer work and reading which I’ve never had to do in my life. But the decision has been made and we arrive at the surgery center right on time.
Today I’m the one with the arm band and David is the “next of kin”. Quite a change for us.
They are quick and efficient in getting me into a room and into a heated gown. Anyone who has ever been in a hospital knows that they keep the temperature about like want your refrigerator. Most people who work there wear long sleeves. One of the nurses tells me that the resident wears long underwear under his scrubs.
This heated gown is the bees knees. It has a warm air hose that you can see coming down over my pillow which connects at any of several points on the gown depending on where you’d like it and blows hot air into the gown’s liner. Really love it. I’d think the patent holder is making millions. And of course these are throw away gowns which I don’t love so much.
Here I am waving good bye to David with my fashionable hat on my head. I’m off to surgery. The removal of the lens and replacement with a new one takes Dr. Osakovsky all of 8 to 10 minutes I’m told. Since this is a teaching hospital she does have residents but none of them does the surgery on her patients. They watch and then they assist and ultimately they will do the surgery in their own clinics overseen by a faculty member. Having worked in this teaching hospital I knew enough to know that I don’t really want residents, from any hospital, “practicing” on me. So my criteria for choosing a doctor was not only reputation, recommendations and success rate but that s/he did her own surgery.
She does and here I am back already with my eye patch.
I’m out of the hospital and home by 5:00. Tomorrow I have a follow up with Dr. O where she will remove the patch and see how things are.
My follow up is this morning at 9:30 at Dr. O’s office. Her assistant removes the patch, the tape of which nearly pulls my face off. I do not understand why in the world they do not use the ‘doesn’t tear your skin’ tape which you can buy in any drugstore. I have to wear this patch to bed at night for a week and you can bet that’s what I’ll be using.
When the assistant says, well now you’ve got some bruising, I had no idea it was this bad. I didn’t really see it until I got home and looked in the mirror and this picture was taken late Thursday afternoon so it wasn’t quite as black as it had been. It’s definitely the worst bruising I’ve ever had in my life.
Back to my appointment. Dr. O checks my vision and says things are doing fine but that it will take several days for my vision to settle in. I’m released with two sets of eye drops to be put in my eye 3 times each day and an appointment to return next Monday afternoon to check and make sure everything is going OK before the second eye is done next Tuesday.
Since everything seems to be fine, we head back up to Winnona this afternoon and set up the screen tent and hammock in our “yard”. Perfect for my R&R! I am able to read in the hammock which shows me “so far, so good”.
Winnona from the path to our yard.
I’m eliminating the flies that came in while we were setting the screen up over the picnic table and putting the hammock inside.
Now this is more like it.
Maybe we’ll still be here by the time these wine berries along the edge of our site ripen. I think I’ll be back hiking by tomorrow