Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Not for the Faint at Heart (or Foot)

Plain old cast
There are going to be some rather graphic photos at the end of this post.  You will have to click to get there, but I wanted to warn you.  If you don't want to see them, don't click!

My neighbor is so funny.  She seems to be the one who has to take me to really important doctor visits.  She was the one who took me to have the staples taken out of my knee 3 years ago.  That was kind of cool.  She said she didn't mind.

This time, I had to call on her again.  She took me to my post op visit yesterday.  I honestly didn't know they were going to take some staples out.  I thought they were just going to take the splint off, xray the sucker and put on a new cast.

Trying to keep busy.
Well, they did take off the cast/splint.  And for some reason, I didn't think about what would be underneath.  I have to say that I am fascinated by stuff like that.  I always watch any procedures that are done to me (where I am conscious anyway).  Lucky for me, Neighbor Ann is kind of the same way.

I was pretty surprised to see 3 pretty big incisions.  Holy scars, Batman!  No wonder they don't want me walking on this thing for 6 weeks.  I may never walk on it again.  I look like Dr. Frankenstein's first attempt at a leg transplant.  Seriously.  It was pretty cool though.
Finally felt like painting!

After some xrays we had a nice lesson about something called Haglund's Deformity (or Pump Bump, look it up). Wanna know what was really awesome?  You could see the staples on the xray.  They were just hanging there in space.

Then the best thing:  I got to pick my cast color!  I chose: Glow in the Dark!  My own personal night light.

There will be painting on the cast.  It will be removed next Friday, but a girl has to have some fun.  I will need help because I can't get all the way around it since, unlike The Boot, I can't take it off to paint it.

So far, my biggest post op complaint is that I am getting blisters on my hands.  Oh, and this thing makes me heat up fast!  And I visit Arizona in July.  You know it's gotta be bad!

Okay.  This is my foot.  It is actually swollen, but not too badly.  Just super puffy.  A balloon foot, if you will.

Okay.  Only click the Read More link if you want to see more pictures.  You have been warned.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Meet Betty Sue

Pedi is intact!
I haven't said anything about this except to family and a few friends, but I just had surgery.  I know, but I had to fit it in somewhere between helping my sister move and helping Swim Girl move again.  Besides, I have a date on Broadway this summer with Computer Boy!

That pesky ankle that I blogged about late last summer (remember The Boot?) finally got to the point where I couldn't take it any more and so I went and had it fixed the other day.  I know they did about 5 different things to it, but they all have big words to describe them and I didn't write it down.  So let's just say they fixed it.

Of course, prior to this surgery, they made me go off of Ibuprofen for a week.  It seems that Ibuprofen is a blood thinner. It was also the only thing keeping me walking.  By the time the surgery date rolled around, you could have stuck a fork in me.  I was done!  And to add insult to injury, I got a major caffeine headache that day.  The nurses did feel bad about that one.  They said that is probably the biggest complaint that they hear.

Luckily for me, this time it was an outpatient deal so I only had to spend a few hours at the surgery center. My husband said the doctor came in and told him they did everything.  I only have his word for it.  I was sleeping.

The very technical process of laying in bed and turning off my light.
They did give me a nifty little block from the knee down.  It made my leg all tingly and kept the pain away for a solid 24 hours.  By then I had my good drugs going, so all was well.

Since this isn't my first time at the rodeo (so to speak) I worked hard to prepare for this gig.  I am living on the first floor in Swim Girl's old room.  There are clothes in the drawers and closet and I have everything set up.  Technology center on the left; drugs, snacks and drinks on the right.  Art supplies dead ahead.

I have to stay off of the leg for 6 weeks. At least that is what they keep telling me.  I keep asking hoping that I will get a different answer like, say, 2 weeks.  So far, the answer has been the same.

Of course, this means crutches and...Betty Sue.

I don't know why I call her Betty Sue, but I do.  She looks like a Betty Sue.  She isn't mine to keep, but she is mine for the time being.  She has a hand brake and a basket.  I only need one of those bells, but Grocery Boy said no way (quite emphatically in fact).  I will decorate Betty Sue.  It won't be permanent, but I think I will paint a name card for her.  Maybe thread some ribbons in her basket.

Now I am getting tired.  It's time to turn off the lights with my crutch and take a nap.  I can't wait to ride Betty Sue.

Betty Sue!  Isn't she beautiful?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's Snowing...Sort of

Damn but I love that stupid little guy.

Except when he sheds.

They say a picture says a 1000 words so I will let them speak.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Getting My Hands Dirty and Getting Pissed Off

I spent the better part of the end of last week and most of the weekend gardening and planting my favorite annuals.  I went out and bought all of the plants and any supplies I needed.  Believe it or not, that only took me one trip.  I did try and find my favorite mulch and two stores were out, so my
husband rescued me by checking out a third store and voila - mulch.

I love working outside.  However, I really only like it when it is warm out which is why I had waited so long to start at all.  Plus, the absolute earliest you can plant around here is Mother's Day weekend. If you fall for Mother Nature's tricks and plant earlier, you will find yourself replacing everything.

By Saturday afternoon I was all finished except for the placement of a few more bags of mulch and that will happen this week.  I have a hard deadline and I was very excited that I had completed this chore.  My deck looked beautiful and I was sure that in a couple of weeks it would look even better.

Fast forward to Monday.  I went out to eat on my lovely deck after I got home from work and to my horror, every single pot had been dug up and there was dirt all over the place. Pots were on their sides and tender little plants were gasping for life in the hot sun.

There is not a single doubt in my mind who was behind this.  Those smarmy little chipmunks.  They make Rach crazy.  We should have let him have take care of them last summer.

I swear to you that Sherman on his march through Georgia to the sea was not more thorough in his destruction than those stupid little chipmunks.  They put huge holes in all of my carefully planted pots and just plundered the lot.  And here's the kicker - they didn't even eat the damn plants.  They just had their way with them and moved on to the next one.  I bet they thought that they had arrived at the Six Flags of the Deck.

I was able to rescue everything in short order.  Heaven only knows if I got them in time.  I think that I did.  At least it is the beginning of the season and I should be able to replace things if it comes down to it.

In an effort to keep those damn critters at bay I got out the best weapon I have - blood meal.   I dare them to return to the scene of the crime.  If worse comes to worse, there is always fox urine.

And if that doesn't work, I have the big gun coming in tomorrow. That's right.  Rach is staying here for a few days.  Maybe we will take the skirting off of the deck and let him have at 'em.  I will gleefully participate.

Now, I need to go and watch Caddy Shack so that I can get some good ideas.  I was so upset, I couldn't even take pictures.

Update:  It rained an inch yesterday evening, so I had to go out and sprinkle some garlic powder on my plants this morning.  My deck smells like the Olive Garden, but no critters.  My back up plan arrives this evening.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Over a Cliff

Young people are amazing.  They are wonderful and they give us hope for the future.  I work with children nearly every day.  I just love watching them and in my mind I call them 'my kids'.  I have 3 children of my own as you all know since I write about them on this blog.  I miss my 3 and love them very much.  I am blessed to have kids everywhere in my life.

Unfortunately, sometimes, life pretty much runs off a damn cliff and you are in free
fall.  In the past few weeks, three young people have died.  One, I did not know personally.  One, I met briefly and one...well, one was one of 'my kids'.

Death is a part of life.  Yeah right.  How easily that rolls off of our tongues, until it happens to you and someone you have treasured and nurtured is gone.  Then it just feels like the ultimate smack down.  It stops you in your tracks and causes your world to blur out while still revolving around you. You know that there are people out there going about their daily routines, but you cannot.  You have had this unspeakable moment hit your life.  A child that you loved, admired and honored is gone from your physical presence.  And you will never be the same again.

It does not matter in the least how these young people died.  They have gone.  They have made their marks on our hearts and now there will be no freshly made marks.  Folks, that is as tragic as it gets.

Because I am older, I relate to the death of any child from a parent's point of view.  I agonize over what the parents are going through and how they are coping.  I am touched by their simple messages or words.  I wonder how that parent is remembering their child.  As the skinny little kid with the scratched up knees?  As the rebellious teenager with a heart of gold?  As the cuddlebug?

It is difficult to know what to say to families at these times.  Almost anything I can think of seems trite and small.  So, like most of us, I just hold those people in my arms both physically and spiritually and offer what little comfort that I can when what I really want to do is wave a magic wand and make it all go back to the way it was.

I called my children this week.  I told each of them how much I loved them.  They told me that they knew that.  I told them that I don't say it often enough.  I tried to cradle them in my arms through the phone.  I looked through pictures.  I thought about all of the classes of 'my kids' and how much each of them touched me during the precious few months that I was allowed to be in their lives.

And in my heart, I grieved.

(If you would like to read the blog/website of someone that I admire who really hits the nail on the head when it comes to living your life, may I suggest that you go to Dirty Footprints Studio  You will certainly find something to take away with you from her thoughts.)