Friday, September 26, 2008

Boot and back pain

I had my stitches out and my lower leg and foot is now in a boot cast like pictured here at left. I am getting around the house with using only one crutch now and sometimes no crutch at all. But it's not easy and it's screwing up my back, which was one of my fears going into this.

I have been trying to be careful and have been doing my back therapy exercises that I have done off and on since my back operation in 2004, but they aren't working very well right now. I can only sit here at the computer for a very short time because I get terrible sciatica pain all through my rear end, down the back of my leg and into the ankle I had surgery on. It's agonizing when it gets going. Hence, why I haven't been writing as much lately.

I think it's from the bending over to strap this on and off. I can take it off when I am laying down or sitting with it elevated and iced. Well, the bending takes its toll on my lower back and now I think that the part of L5 disc that they left in is now blown or the one above or below it is bulging and hopefully not herniated. It's hard to walk with this thing too, it is pulling my back out of whack when I walk. I sort of walk like I have a stump. I can't flex the ankle so it's sort of like a Frankenstein walk.

Plus the crutches make my shoulder joints hurt and I now have bursitis in my right shoulder where I had it before. And the scabs on the incision are so sore and rub on the inside of the boot. I have gauze over it and soft post-surgical tape and a white sock and it still stings when I walk or move. :-E

okay, enough complaining and I need to get off of here. I can only sit for a few minutes at a time. Just wanted to let my readers know where I've been.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Reality television is mean

I have watched a bit of reality television before I was laid up, but now that I can't get around very well, I have been watching way too much of it. While I have always liked orograms like Top Model, America's Best Dance Crew, and fun programs like that, other shows like the Island are aweful in the way that people are so shitting to each other. This isn't how people should behave towards one another in the real world, and most people don't. But people are becoming increasingly stuck up and mean. Rude. I am afraid that the young people of today that are growing up watching this trash are getting the idea that this is how it really is in the world. It's not, or at least it shouldn't be.

Even Top Model is "de-evolving" in how one should treat another person. The girls on the show call each other bitches or worse. The program "I Love Money" is absolutely awful in how they connive and trick each other. Lying, cheating, doing whatever it takes to win money. Island and Survivor are the same thing. So far America's Best Dance Crew and Making the Band have showed great sportsmanship and respect for one another, but most of these reality shows do not promote respect or even civility towards other human beings.

If I had kids now I defnitely would not have cable.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beautiful blue

I found this on a Flickr blog and think it is one of the most beautiful photographs I have ever run across.

Long days

Before surgery I always complained how fast the days flew by and never seemed to have enough time to do the things I want to do. Now that I have been practically bedridden after the op on my ankle, I find that the days are crawling by and have time to watch television, write letters, read, blog, etc. So, that's the good part about all of this (other than hopefully getting a normal ankle out of all of this later).

I am also getting a work out, and the joints aren't liking it much.
Hubby went back to work yesterday and I really miss his help, especially at meal times. It's a challenge just to make breakfast and lunch. The crutches are bugging my wrist and hand joints and am getting bursitis back in the right shoulder. My ass hurts too from sitting all the time with my leg up. It has to be constantly elevated and iced.

Yesterday morning I hobbled into the bathroom to brush teeth and wash my face and go potty (which has me sweating from the effort), then went into the kitchen where Jon said he left me a bowl of cereal before he left for work to eliminate the need for me getting a bowl and figuring it out how to get it from the cabinet to the table while on crutches. Well, he poured me my son's Marshmallow Maties and I HATE wet marshmallows. Since J & W moved in with us (their kitchen is still not done yet) our cabinet is full of all kinds of cereal. I have a few different kinds I like...CoCo Krispies, Frosted Mini Wheats, Captain Crunchberries, Cheerios, and Golden Grahams. So, what does he zero in on? The one cereal of my son's that is way in the back. SO, I had to go dig out the cereal I wanted and the bag of Marshmallow Maties, and sit and put all that cereal back into the bag without messing up the zip lock thingy. Then poured my cereal in the bowl, hobbled over to the fridge and put the gallon of milk on the table that is pushed a couple feet away from the fridge so I can easily set stuff there. Then I scoot it to where I want it as I walk. Then when I am done I get up and put the chair in between the sink and the table and set the bowl on the chair, walk to the sink, then pick up the bowl to rinse it.

After I get done with that, I crutch it into the diningroom to wake up little Miller, my Beardie Dragon and then turn her light on and say howdy for a minute. Then I hobble back to the fridge and I figured out I can carry stuff around in plastic grocery bags hanging on my crutches like a bag lady does with a grocery cart. Not real easy to balance that way, but what am I going to do?
I then go to the freezer and get my ice pack and put it in the bag and go to the bathroom once more and come back and get settled sitting up in bed here with my ice pack and laptop that my son and DIL are letting me use.

I am learning all of the characters on these lame television shows that I vowed never to watch. The Hills, I Love Money, I Want to Work for Diddy, New York Goes To Hollywood, Gs to Gents, The Island, Making the Band, and also reruns of Sex and the City (which I have seen all of them about seven times now) and Two Men and Boy (whatever it's called), and one of my favorites, Will and Grace. I just started watching the new episodes of Top Model even though Tyra is getting to be more and more obnoxious. I am actually looking forward to ditzy Paris Hilton's show where she is trying to look for a new best friend.

I blog alot. I have done a lot of writing here and other sites I write for. I also write for an atheist blog elsewhere, and I comment on other blogs of different subjects. I read the news, search for information and learn stuff. But the laptop gets burning hot on my lap after awhile and I have to stop. I never realized how hot a computer gets. They really need to figure out that laptop problem. People could get seriously burned! I still have a red spot on my thumb from this one.

This morning I got up and did the bathroom routine and then went in to make my breakfast. This ankle is hurting real bad when I stand up now and I suspect it's because of the stitches...they are getting very tight and need to come out. It's been a week today since the operation. I don't go till Friday to get them out. Then will get a lovely new walking cast. But it has to be better than this plaster thingy. It's like walking around with a concrete block on my leg.

I went in to get my breakfast and no bowl on the table. So, had to inch it down the counter to the spot where I could scootch the chair to the midde again and put the bowl on it, hobble back to the table and hobble to the fridge, get the milk and put it on the table...scootch it down. Sit down and pour the cereal, pour the milk in...shit...don't have my spoon. Have to get up and go over to the drawer and get a spoon, hold it in my mouth hoping I don't fall and ram it down my throat. Then have breakfast. Hubby said to always keep my phone with me when he isn't home so I tucked my top into my jogging pants and stuck the phone into the front of my shirt. It works. What I really need is a fanny pack.

After breakfast I managed to do the bowl thing with the chair again, rinse the bowl, go wake up Miller and then got my plastic grocery bag again and put an ice pack in it, hobbled to my room, took two Vicodin and blogged and napped till lunch time.

Yesterday for lunch I had a couple of granola bars because I just didn't feel like dealing with making a sandwich and back and forth to the refrigerator and trying to get a plate and figure out how to carry this crap. So, it was Fanta and granola bars yesterday. But today I had a little dish of macaroni and cheese that hubby made yesterday with my guidance.

To go back a bit, last night Jon decided to make macaroni and cheese and discovered that I don't just dump Creamettes and cheese together. That's what he wanted to do, and I told him that would not turn out at all. So, had to tell him to melt a stick of butter and he said "a whole stick!?" and I told him if he wanted it like I make it then must follow the recipe. Then I said flour and he dumped in too much at once and didn't add the milk soon enough. It was a big lump. So, I had him slide a chair by the stove which I kneeled on and stirred and told him to put the milk in...he says "you need THAT much milk?" He is cheap and wants to stretch things out as far as he can, but can't skimp with macaroni and cheese or lasagna. Anyway, it turned out good.

And that is what I had for lunch today. I was able to carry the little container between two fingers while using the crutches at the same time. I am becoming talented. I zapped it and carrying it hot was a different story. So did the scooting on the chair thing again. Then after lunch I got my ice bag again and stayed put and waited for Jon to get home from work.

Tonight he made stir fry with chicken pieces, green peppers, tomatoes, red onion with Mrs Dash seasoning, and rice. He was just going to have the chicken stir fry stuff and I said you HAVE to have rice with stir fry. It was too much for him to put rice and water in a bowl and zap it as directed. So, I had to go in there and do it. Jeff came upstairs so I asked him to get me the bowl and cling wrap, etc. It was done in 15 minutes, no stirring, no bother.

It's like this whenever I have an operation. I get help the first few days and then he gets tired of it and he starts taking short cuts and not being as accomodating.
Three more days and I HOPE that this will not be as painful once they take the stitches out. I know from past surgeries that after stitches come out it sort of feels unsupported however, that pinching and stinging crap goes away almost instantly. I can't wait for Friday. And with a walking cast I hope I get, I can start putting some weight on it again and though will have to use crutches, it won't be so hard.

Got real nice card from the nursing staff at the hospital saying they hope I am feeling better . . . handwritten! I have never gotten that from a hospital before.

Time for Gs. They are down to the final four. ;-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It's been raining and raining and raining here. Streets are becoming flooded. I hope our sump pump holds up. It's 20 years old and I have never heard it run so often, nearly constant. In some towns, houses are filling up with water. Fortunately, it isn't that bad here because we aren't near any creeks or rivers. There is Hickory Creek that runs through the center of town along the Amtrak tracks, but they recently rebuilt the road and improved the drainage system, but this is the first major rain we have had since it has been built so I wonder how it's going to hold up.

With being in a leg cast I can't go anywhere anyway, but it would be nice to see the sun again. It would be easy to get depressed when it's so gray. So,I will write in cheery yellow and keep myself cheered up while watching clips of old movies and keep singing a happy tune in my head.

Here is a fitting clip for today...Gene Kelly and Singing in the Rain:

Beautiful commercial

I find this commercial starring the gorgeous Christina Aguilera to be absolutely beautiful:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Enchanted is a charming fantasy movie

We need less reality in entertainment and more imagination like this to give our brains a rest and a treat.

On the road to recovery...again

It's been some time since I have written. I was busy for awhile making arrangements for another operation. This time it wasn't as serious as in the past but something that needed to be done. I had a split peroneus brevis tendon in my foot and ankle. How it happened, who knows. I have sprained my ankle a couple times in the past, and could have gotten a little tear and then over time of the tendon rubbing and rubbing it tore more and more till it totally split. I have been having a hard time walking for any length of time, especially on store floors. And driving always made it hurt bad, even just driving up to town and back.

I have been complaining about this to doctors for a long, long time. I mentioned it to several doctors during my hospital ordeal in Aug./Sept. 2007. They said it was gout in my ankle. But from what I researched online, it didn't look anything like gout. I know from having several gout attacks what gout looks like. It's hot, red, swollen and the skin is shiny. And it hurts like nothing else. My ankle just ached a lot with use. Then when I didn't use it, it felt better. I showed it to several doctors since last year, including two rheumatologists, and my family doctor who also blew it off as gout ankle. Exhasperated with the ankle pain when walking or driving, I kept complaining to my current rheumatologist. She sent me for an MRI to check for RA degeneration in the foot and ankle. Well, while I do have some degeneration in the toe joints and some in the ankles, the MRI showed an obvious tear in the ligament that was causing all my ankle pain.

So, I went to a surgeon who specializes in foot and leg joints looked at the MRI films in the office and said it would have to be repaired. If I chose not to, it would never get better on its own. So, I said let's do this thing. He got in contact with my rheumatologist and family doctor and started planning for surgery.

Now, you would think that something so clear would be easy to set up and get it over with, wouldn't you? This was Thursday and they said they would call me on Tuesday after Labor Day with the schedule date. Well, he has a real ditz working in his office to schedule these things. First of all, she didn't read my medical history form before scheduling it the first time and scheduled it at a place where they do not have the experts to handle difficult intubation and patients who have problems. So, she had to reschedule.

SO, she called me back and said that it was then going to be scheduled at the same hospital we always go to. I thought, ok...this will work out then. They have my history on file, and we are familiar with them. It was all scheduled and then I get a call that says it is the same name as our hospital but the surgical center, which I thought was weird because it was a different address. They assured me they were part of the same hospital. I was planning for that date, Jon took his vacation for that week, and then a couple days before the surgery the surgical center called and told me "Just want to make sure you know what your portion of the bill will be" and told me it would be $2,000!! I asked why we had to pay that much when I have met my deductible for the year and she said that when we choose to go out of network, that is our cost! I told her why would I want to go out of network when we have perfectly good insurance??? I told her I could not believe I was going to have to reschedule AGAIN. I phoned the doctor's office and was quite upset. I told her I want to get this done so I can recover before the holidays and said I can't believe I would have to reschedule it again! So, she told me she would try to get me in to a hospital on our plan that was 25 miles away. Sheesh!

So, I checked with our insurance and did her job for her and made sure that this hospital was on the plan. They were. It was rush-scheduled for the day that had been planned at the other place. The anesthesia staff was great and they were very careful. I had the whole anesthesia team in there before the operation. They convinced me that a spinal anesthesia was safest for me even though I was afraid of problems since I have had terrible experience with spinals with my three c-sections and have had back surgery and back problems the past decade or so. But it went well this time. They have new methods and new equipment and the needle is very thin like a strand of hair.

I was taken into the operating room, and they gave me something to relax me, and my whole lower half of my body was totally numb. They turned me on my side, put an oxygen mask on me and then started an IV drip of something and I fell asleep. Didn't wake up till after they were done.

The thing about a spinal which is nice is that you don't feel any pain when you go to recovery and the pain of the operation comes on gradually as the anesthesia wears off. They give gradual amounts of pain medicine as the pain increases. It's much more manageable. It took a long time to wear off though. They had to move me to a regular room to wait, gave me dinner and then finally went home in time to go to bed. I woke up in the night in big pain though. The first night and the day after wasn't too fun, but things are getting better each day...though the stitches inside the cast are driving me nuts. And if I move my foot a certain way I go through the roof!

Hopping around on crutches is making my joints sore. But maybe I will get my muscles built up. I am a weakling.

I get the stitches out and this bigass cast off on the 19th, and then a walking cast. Will still have to use crutches again while I am getting used to walking on the foot again. I wonder what kind of therapy I will have to do. Hopefully stuff I can do at home. That would be great.

So...second year in a row I am laid up for my birthday. It was a year ago today that I came home from the hospital after my gallbladder/Lupus fiasco.

I say this after every operation..I hope there will be no more surgeries in the future and will try not to have anymore.