I hope all of you enjoyed your summer and now our warm fall.
I did not attend this year's summer convention. I had bilateral knee surgery June 12th. At the time of the convention I was still in my recovery stage.
My co-director Bill Ruhland attended the convention on my behalf. We met several times during my recovery and discussed any and all concerns that we may have. I have the utmost confidence in Bill, he did a great job representing District 8 at our Board of Directors meeting, the General Meeting and also providing any other needs during the convention.
Congratulations to our newly elected MTA President - Jerry Larson!
I want to thank several Directors and Co-Directors who came to visit me during my recovery. Thank you to Jerry Larson and Mary, Denise and Leon Windschitl and Bill Ruhland. Also to those that have called me during my recovery time - Pete, Frank and Jon - Thank You! I also wanted to thank several District 8 members - Jim Blakely, Jon S, Brian Clausen and my mom and Denny. It was greatly appreciated and helped make my recovery time pass quickly. I do apologize greatly if I have forgotten to name someone that paid a visit or a phone call. I also want to thank my wife Kathy for being there for the first three weeks - I could not have done it without her. Also the many visits from our son John and his wife Heidi, granddaughters and our daughter Maddie. Our three-year-old granddaughter Kylie is so happy that I had my knee surgery. She told her daddy that "grandpa got his knees fixed so he can dance with her". Out of the mouths of babes. Both granddaughters Kylie (3) and Lexi (1) have been at our house many times during my recovery. When Kylie sees me, she stands with her hands on her hips and asks me "How are your knees - grandpa". It is a blessing to have these little ones in our lives. They have a magical way of taking some of the pain away.
We had our Fall District 8 Meeting on August 29th at Cumberland's Customer Appreciation Day. I was able to attend this and want to thank you all for your support and concerns. We had a great turnout of members at the meeting. The attending members voted both myself and Bill to continue to be Director and Co-Director. I want to give a huge THANK YOU to the Cumberland’s and their families for allowing us to have our meeting and putting on a wonderful meal. Also thank you for the donation of the door prize of the commemorative knife (winner - Josie McElmury) and for their donations to our drawings.
I did have a set back with my recovery. On September 26th I was out doing some damage control. After checking some traps on my way back out of the water and to my truck I began to not be able to catch my breath and lost vision. Luckily I had a friend with me and after about 45 minutes he was able to get me to my truck and drive me home. Kathy was home and helped get my hip boots off and drove me to St. Peter to the emergency room. I was not doing well at all and they told Kathy to call our kids. My blood pressure dropped to 60/36. They did a CT scan with dye and confirmed that I had two femoral embolisms and also a pulmonary embolism. They discussed my options, one was to "wait and see” which was not a good option and the other was to have them inject a "clot buster", which would immediately start to break up the clots. The risks of doing the clot buster is that 1 in 3 have a brain bleed. We opted to take the chance and did the injection. Once I was stable enough, they transferred me to Mankato Hospital. I was admitted to the ICU floor where they were conferring with doctors in Rochester as to my options. We could continue to watch and wait or put a filter in my leg to stop the clots in my legs from traveling to my lungs. The concerns with the filter was that it is a huge risk because my blood was being thinned and I would have a lot of bleeding to insert the filter. After some consultation and plus I began to cough up blood they immediately decided to transfer me to Rochester. I was in Rochester for six days - three in ICU and three in the critical care wing. Once they decided that my blood was thin enough they let me go home. I was home for another two weeks with many doctor appointments to follow. I lost mobility in my knees and had to do some additional therapy to get my range of motion back. I was approved to go back to work on October 19. It was determined the clots were provoked from my knee surgery, which we are extremely frustrated with because I had two doctor appointments prior to all of this complaining of fatigue and leg swelling and neither doctor suggested to do a INR blood test to see if I was clotting. The clots were so massive that they "shed" layer by layer and will take some time before they all are gone. My chest still feels tight, my legs still have swelling and I am still very tired. I am currently on blood thinners and monitored weekly and will continue to do so until March. In March they will decide if I am going to be on blood thinners for my life or what other choices I will have. I am very thankful to the EMT's in St. Peter. I really believe that they saved my life! They were very caring and every procedure and option was well explained and they acted with the urgency that was necessary. I was fortunate to see most of them a couple of weeks ago and it was very humbling to see them.
Brian Clausen - one of our district members sent me some pictures of his daughter Bell's first coyote-congratulations!!
Good luck to all with trapping this fall and winter. There seems to be a lot of fur to be had.