Aging Well in the Gorge July 20th 2022


When you reach a certain age of “maturity” your body may need more than just maintenance. You may need orthopedic surgery to replace or repair that knee, hip, or shoulder that’s causing a real pain in the … well, knee, hip, or shoulder. But orthopedic surgery shouldn’t be taken lightly. Because there are risks, surgery is recommended only when it interferes with your lifestyle.

Knowing what to expect is crucial to a healthy recovery. To help you prepare, many hospitals and surgery centers educate patients and caregivers on what to expect before, during and after an operation. (Before her surgery, my wife and I attended MCMC’s Joint Camp.) So what should you know when considering orthopedic surgery?

On the website Next Avenue, I recently read “What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor Before Orthopedic Surgery?” by Sheryl Stillman. She poses questions to ask yourself and your doctor so you and your doctor can make the best decision.

To make an accurate diagnosis the doctor will need to understand the pain you are experiencing. Ask yourself, when did the pain start? Where is the pain? What makes it worse, better and what have you tried that has been effective and what hasn’t been? This information is critical

Once the diagnosis is determined to decide on the next step you’ll want to know if there is anything you can do to prevent the pain from getting worse. Are there any non-surgical options such as physical therapy or medications? What are the surgical options? What is the expected outcome? What, if any, are the risks? What can happen if I wait?

If you then decide to proceed with surgery, you should know what to expect after surgery and particularly during the first couple of days.

How long is the procedure? How long will I be in the hospital? What medications, including painkillers, will be prescribed? What type of post-surgery care will I require (wound care, medications, bathing, etc.)? What resources, including skilled nursing facilities or caregivers, are available to me? Will a nurse and physical therapist come to my home? How long until a full recovery? When can I expect to drive again?

When considering orthopedic surgery, there is plenty to understand. Asking your doctor and care providers the right questions is the first step to making informed decisions and a healthy recovery.

But what leads to many orthopedic surgeries besides that old nemesis arthritis? Falls. One program that improves your strength and prevents falls is OSU Extension’s StrongPeople (formerly known as StrongWomen.) Through the Gorge, there are currently 10 programs, and it is hoped more will start this fall with newly trained leaders!

If you are interested in becoming a leader there is a training scheduled on Tuesday, August 2nd from 8:30am-5pm at the FISH Food Bank in Hood River located at 1130 Tucker Road. To register contact Lauren Kraemer at 541-386-3343 x38258 or 541-296-5494 or by email at For more information about StrongPeople go to

Brain Tease. After last week’s brain tease this one should be easier.

What is the next letter in this sequence: J F M A M J?

The diluted chemical compound commonly used as a mild antiseptic but also as an inexpensive hair dye was hydrogen peroxide. I received correct answers from Rose Schulz, Donna Mollett, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Pat Evenson Brady who from her days clerking in a drugstore tells me that hydrogen peroxide doesn’t dye your hair but actually bleaches it and you may need several bleachings to get that “peroxide blonde” look.

During the summer of 1971, the classified study “The History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on Vietnam,” was released by Daniel Ellsberg, a U.S. military analyst. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was this study commonly called? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with a copy of the front page of the June 13th, 1971 edition of the New York Times.

Well, it has been another week, waiting for the bread to rise. Until we meet again, don’t let a piece of good advice stand in your way.

“I really don’t mind getting old, but my body is having a major fit.” Anonymous

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