Thanks for the good wishes and tips, folks. The phys. therapy angle is dead on. I'll get an intensive, pretty much 8 hrs a day rehab the first 2-3 weeks following the surgery and another couple weeks with 3 hrs a day as an outpatient.
I'm really, really looking forward to hiking again. There's a lovely castle ruin atop a ridgeline near here, Weisenstein. Our favorite path up to it is about a kilometer up a goat trail-ish path that zigs and zags and requires the occasional all-fours scramble. Atop the ridgeline, the ruin give a good chance to cath breath and rest a bit before taking one of several trails in the forest.
About 4 km from the castle ruin is a lookout point with a tall observation platform, allegedly the highest point in the Oberpfalz. Beautiful if the weather's clear.
Yeshi: Thanks for the good thoughts and the prayers. I'll be getting sliced up on the 18th. Don't know the exact time, but it'll be sometime after 8 am and before noon.
Airports: HW says I have to wear a kilt when flying from now on, so when they question me about the metal thing, I can flash 'em.
Had my pre-op exam yesterday. Blood work (six freaking vials! I felt like I ought to have felt dizzy from blood loss), EKG and stress test because of a minor (and ultimately) harmless anomaly, pulmonary function test, etc.
All normal to high-normal. Surgery is a 'go' at this station.
Discussion with the family doc (great guy with a wicked sense of humor -- he instructed me to watch Fred Astaire's "Singing in the Rain" when I came back to see him post-op, so we could dance) about the surgery. Very reassuring and supportive of HW.
Also started a little more aggressive 'pre-hab' fitness training Monday. While HW taught the sword class, I spent 15 min each on a couple of cardio-trainers in the gym. I'm not getting on the mat again until after the operation and rehab, so she and our student Miguel are handling the beginners an working with each other on the intermediate stuff.
We're hoping to put together a mini-seminar in Regensburg in October, featuring a good friend and fellow sword-swinger (and long-time judoka) who'll be visiting form the US. I should be mostly functional at that time for sword work, but the matwork will probably have to wait a bit still.
Ah well, gotta get ready for work, although I'd prefer a longer lazy morning with breakfast on the patio with HW, but I still have to go to work this week.