Tagged: bunion

Dec 02

Musings on Friendship, Love & Family

I’m having one of those days where I feel like I should just crawl into my bed and pull the blankets over my head and just stay there and be all by myself. I’m safer there. Protected. If I don’t let anyone in, nobody will be able to hurt me.

I’ve had lots of time to think lately while I’ve been recuperating. It was interesting for me to be in a position where I suddenly needed other people. Asking for help is not one of my greatest strengths, but I never even needed to. I was completely blown away by the love, support and friendship that surrounded me. There are some truly amazing people in my life and I am so grateful and appreciative for all of them.

This was also a very enlightening experience. I came to some pretty profound realizations about a few of my relationships. Needing other people can shine a very bright light on how much they value you. In some cases I was shocked to find that I had always been in the dark, in others the light showed me exactly what I had always known was there. Some of these epiphanies hurt me more than I can express, but others were wonderful surprises.

Thanksgiving this year was really fun for me. My cousin and her family came from Texas. She’s never lived here, she grew up in Texas and doesn’t really know much of the expansive family here in Michigan. We celebrated Thanksgiving at another cousin’s place, and most of the family was there – around 75 aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers, children, grandchildren and more. I had a really great time. I chatted with family members that I rarely see unless there’s a funeral, and I realized that my cousin from Texas and I aren’t that different. She was separated by distance, but I don’t even have that excuse.

My mom loves to talk about how when she was a kid, all of her aunts and uncles and cousins were so close and they all spent tons of time together. Things are just different now. I hardly know these people. One of my cousins died a couple of years ago. He was very close to my age and he died very suddenly. I knew him when we were kids, but as adults, I hadn’t seen him in years. He only lived 30 minutes away, but I barely knew him. When he died I was wracked with guilt because I hadn’t made an effort to know him and see him and spend time with him. But the truth is, he hadn’t reached out to me either. That doesn’t make it right or make me feel better about it, but it’s the truth.

I guess I don’t even know what my point here is, or if I ever had one to begin with. I’ve just had these things on my mind lately. From this surgery and forced downtime I’ve certainly learned that no matter how much I care about someone else, they may or may not reciprocate. Relationships are so complicated and exhausting and you may never get what you want or expect from them. And even blood doesn’t guarantee anything. You have to work hard and fight to keep those relationships strong and healthy. At the same time, no matter how hard you try and how much you want it, the other person has to do their part, too.

Maybe it IS just easier to hide under the covers.

One of my cousins had copies of this photo printed for the entire family at Thanksgiving. This is my great grandparents, Jack & Sarah (seated), surrounded by all 9 of their children.

Family

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Nov 21

Thankful & Blessed

Hello lovelies! Happy Friday! I’m particularly stoked today because I get to start WALKING tomorrow!! 4 more days on crutches or so and I’ll be actually walking on both feet again. Surreal. I actually managed to scoot down the stairs on my butt last night and I went into my lair for the first time since surgery. It was really really nice to have a change of scenery.

I’m so thankful for all of the visits, home cooked meals, well wishes, and everything else. My friends are pretty flipping amazing and I’m a lucky girl. I feel incredibly blessed and I sincerely appreciate every single one of you.

It’s Friday Five time, too! Here are my answers to this week’s holiday themed questions. Enjoy!

1. Do you make for special arrangements for Thanksgiving, aside from the usual shopping and decorating? I’m going to say no. I don’t decorate for Thanksgiving at all, and my involvement in the meal is usually just bringing a side dish or an appetizer, so that’s not a big deal. This year, my cousin Kassie will be coming to stay with me along with her husband and 2 kids, which I’m really excited about. They’re driving here all the way from Texas! But even still, we’re having Thanksgiving at another cousins house, and it’ll be huge – probably around 75 people or so. I’m supposed to bring a dish to pass, but since I can barely walk, I’m hoping I can get my cuz to cover for me.

2. What is the one food that says the holidays to you? My mother in law makes this incredible cranberry salad that I love. I could literally eat buckets of it. It’s just the right amount of tart and sweet. She only ever makes it at Thanksgiving, so the holiday isn’t complete for me without it. Sadly, she will be out of town for the holiday this year, but hopefully we can have a mini Thanksgiving makeup. 🙂

3. Is there something that is always served that no one eats, but it always still there? I guess you haven’t met my family. We’re kind of super professional eaters, so there’s no way we’d waste precious table space on something nobody likes.

4. What is your favorite after holiday dinner tradition? Dessert. Duh. But I hate pie, so it has to be cake or cheesecake or something. I love the day after Thanksgiving because that’s when I get to put my Christmas up. I’m 85% sure we’ll be doing the chintzy tree this year which is my favorite.

5. Have you ever gone out to a restaurant for your holiday dinner? I remember going out to a restaurant once with my mom and my grandma and my uncle, but I was just a kid, and I don’t remember the circumstances as to why we were out.  I do remember the food being a disappointment, though. Even as a child I had a very discerning palate.

I hope that your Thanksgiving is spectacular, and filled with love and happiness. And let’s not forget great food. 🙂

XOXO

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Nov 16

The Game is Afoot

I had surgery on Tuesday and it went very well. I didn’t have a general anesthetic, and apparently I kept waking up and asking questions, but I only vaguely remember it. I do remember at the end as I was coming around, I kept saying “My foot is hot. Why is my foot so hot?” They would explain that it was the plaster they were putting on and then 3 seconds later I’d ask the same questions again. 🙂

I’m pleased to report that I had almost no pain at all, in fact I only took Tylenol once, and nothing any stronger. I had X-rays on Friday and everything looks perfect, plus I got a real cast. I can’t put any weight on my foot until this next Saturday, but overall things are good. I’m pretty bored and sick of sitting around, but I’ve been really spoiled by The Best Husband Ever and some really really great friends. I’ve also been doing lots of drawing, which has been fun. Here are a few doodles from my daily journal.

Frankenfoot

Bandaged

Tens

I guess that’s it for now. Back to drawing and watching all of Netflix. I started watching Scandal – it’s really quite good. XOXO

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Nov 06

A Bunion Ain’t One

One year ago today, I had surgery on my foot to correct a bunion. Of course, I drew pictures of my experience. 🙂

 Surgery Day

Surgery Day! Damn, I made that gown look good.

 Crazy Driver

I went to Target and rocked a Smart Cart with Mike & Clovis.

 Foot Jail

I had to keep my foot elevated at night, which I HATED because I’m a side sleeper. I called it foot jail. Buffy usually sleeps by my feet, but with foot jail all up in her bidness, she started sleeping on my torso.

All in all, the foot surgery was a great experience. My foot still hurts on occasion, but it’s really mild. The trade off is that I can wear normal shoes without pain every single day. My feet are still flat so I do have 99 problems, but a bunion ain’t one.

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Jun 26

Chariots of Fire

I’ve been working on being healthier since the start of the year. I quit smoking in March of 2012, and then I gained about 25 pounds during the rest of last year. In January, I decided to try to do better and be better. I wanted to lose weight, but I wanted to be a healthier person more. I knew that they went hand in hand anyway, so I decided to focus on being healthy – eating better, smaller portions, more fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, etc. My sister had already lost 50 pounds (YAY!) using a site/app called MyFitnessPal, so I decided to try it. I got Mike on board too, which has made a HUGE difference.

Fast forward to today – I’ve lost a total of 29 pounds as of this week. 29 pounds in 6 months!

Has it been easy? No. Some days are tough. I’m an emotional eater, so when I get stressed out or sad, I have to really fight with myself not to eat frosting or peanut butter right out of the jar. I’ve had to learn new coping skills!! Now I hit the elliptical instead or go for a long walk. But those days are so few and far between. 90% of the time, this is easy. It’s all about budgeting, planning ahead, and getting the exercise in. I still eat cheeseburgers, I still drink beer, I still eat cake and cookies and brownies and candy. I just enjoy those things in moderation, and balance them with healthy foods and exercise. Could I lose more weight and faster if I didn’t eat those things at all? Maybe. Actually, probably is more like it. But I don’t mind. I’ve lost 29 pounds in 6 months eating foods I love, so you won’t hear me complain very often.

As far as exercise, Mike & I are super lucky to be members at an amazing gym that has LITERALLY everything. Here’s something I know about myself – exercise has to be somewhat fun or I’m not going to do it. Not for the long term anyway. To fix this, I mix things up A LOT. I do all kinds of different things!! I have an elliptical and a rebounder at home, but those are honestly my last resorts and I use them when I’m super pressed for time, or in the winter if the weather is crap and I don’t want to go to the gym. I also walk, jog (!), swim, play racquetball & basketball, stair climb, row, stationary bike, jump rope, and whatever else I can come up with that sounds fun.

Did I say jog???? Yep, I sure did. Are you picturing me running with the Chariots of Fire music playing? I hope so, because that’s totes what it looks like. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to jog! If you know me or you’ve been lurking here for a while you know I have some messed up footsies. I had my bunion surgically corrected last November, but my feet are flat and I also have some issues with Plantar Fasciitis. I really wanted to give running a try, so I started the C25k training program this past February. My foot just wasn’t ready after the bunion surgery only 3 months before, so I decided to hold off. I decided to try it again at the start of last week, and it’s going great so far. I’m in my second week now, although I’m still doing the week 1 workout because I want to make this as gentle as possible for my feet. I’m enjoying it for now! I did invest in really good running shoes that address the flat foot problem, and they’ve been a huge help.

Besides that, I try to make better choices at restaurants, and eat out less in general. We also bought a 1/2 share from a CSA this year, so we are eating lots more veggies, and that’s been really great. So that’s it. Just eating better and generally being more active. Here’s a progress pic, and the newer picture was actually a few weeks ago, so I’ve probably lost about 3 pounds since then. I guess it’s really a 26 pound progress pic. Also, am I the geekiest person in the history of geeky people or what?? The first 2 pics I came up with are me with Darth Vader and me with Brent Spiner. Go figure. 🙂

 29 pounds lost!

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Jan 25

Cherries in a Bucket

This week was Mike’s birthday, so we got together with some friends last weekend to celebrate. Mike rarely drinks, and when he does, he is a champion sipper – he can nurse a drink for a good long time. The birthday party was a 90’s theme, and Mike decided to party like it was 1999! He bought a mason jar full of some sort of cherry flavored moonshine. It even had a ton of cherries floating around at the bottom. It smelled like rubbing alcohol, but apparently, Mike reeeallly liked it. He spent the entire evening drinking moonshine straight out of the jar, and occasionally switching off to mixed vodka drinks in a red solo cup that he had named Bocephus. There were some Goldschlager shots in there somewhere too (this was a 90s party after all). Mike had a great time at the party! Predictably, he paid the price for that fun later in the night, but I don’t think he has any regrets. Here’s my interpretation of the evening, from my journal:

 FUN FUN FUNThe Price of Fun

In other news, I decided that the C25K plan isn’t right for me at the moment. I just don’t think my foot is ready for it – it was hurting it pretty badly. I wasn’t in love with the running anyway, but I think I could have stuck it out longer and given it more of a chance if my foot had been less painful. I definitely want to give this a try again. Maybe in the spring when I could actually run outside. I just need more time. It’s only been 10 weeks since the bunion surgery after all.

In addition to the attempts at running, Mike & I are trying really hard to eat better and exercise regularly. He is still doing the C25K, and actually enjoying it, so GO MIKEY! I’m back to doing my regular workouts – elliptical, arc trainer, racquetball, swimming, and more. I like variety – it keeps me interested. So far, I’ve lost 6.5 pounds, so things are going well. Since I quit smoking last March, I put on 25 pounds! I’m trying to shed that weight plus quite a bit more. It’s so much easier with Mikey on board, I can’t even tell you.

Happy Birthday to Mikey, Johnny V, my little neice Renea, and my sister Kassie this week! XOXO

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Nov 27

Curse You, Foot Jail!

Some stuff from my journal. I hope you like it!

 Foot Jail

While I recover from foot surgery, I have to sleep with my foot propped up on this foam wedge. I hate it! I call it foot jail. See my sad face?

 Crazy Driver

When I finally got to go out of the house, I went to Target so I could cruise around in the little golf cart. It was less fun that I expected. People do not treat you nicely when you drive the cart. People actually glared and rolled their eyes and such. I was very excited to be out & about, but the mean people totally ruined my fun. 🙁

 Sleepy Time!

While Mike was in Chicago doing some training, he went to the Sanrio store and got me this super cute Chococat sleep mask. 🙂

 Stag

We saw Skyfall over the weekend. It was quite good. I really enjoyed it and I like Daniel Craig – he’s a great James Bond.

So that’s it. Things are starting to get crazy around here with the holiday season in full swing. I hope whatever holiday you’re into is rad. Merry & bright and all that. Cheers!

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Nov 16

Cut Open

Just a quickie to share this drawing from my journal on surgery day. I hope you like it! This was made with ink, markers and colored pencils.

 Surgery Day

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Nov 12

Frankenfoot

The foot surgery I had last week went really well – everything went off without a hitch, and I’m recooperating nicely. After sugery the doctor sent me home with what’s called a TENS unit. Man, that thing is sweet! It’s basically a little black box that was taped to my ankle with leads that went on both sides of my ankle. It sent little tiny electric pulses to my nerves, scrambling them all up so that I didn’t feel any pain. It worked – I never took any meds whatsoever. The doctor gave me a prescription for meds, but I never even took a single one. I’ve ended up taking Motrin the last couple of days, but only because my hands are so sore from using a walker and now crutches. I’ve honestly had almost no pain at all. The TENS Unit was removed on Friday, so I don’t even have it anymore and I still feel great.

The most frustrating part is just the sitting around all the time. It got pretty boring fast. I drew a lot, and I watched a LOT of tv. I’m back at work as of today, although I still have to keep my foot elevated and I’m still using crutches. Overall, this has really been a breeze. It’s inconvenient more than anything else – I hate having to sit around and have everyone else do things for me! I get my stitches out a week from today – I’m pretty excited about that.

Here’s a couple of photos. First, Mummyfoot, this was about an hour or so after surgery. You can see the TENS unit there, too. Then, the big reveal – taken on Friday when the bandages came off at the doctor’s office.

 Mummy FootFrankenfoot!

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Feb 05

Barking Dogs

I went to see a podiatrist for the first time ever on Friday. It was a long time coming, because I have pretty messed up hooves. My feet are moderately flat, and I’ve also had some issues in the past with plantar fasciitis, although for the most part it’s under control. My left foot has a bunion that is mostly annoying, but occasionally painful. The worst problem by far is the bunion, because it’s painful on occasion, although it’s pretty rare. The reason I wanted to see a podiatrist now is really to find out if the bunion will get worse over time, and if there is anything I can do now to slow down or prevent it from worsening.

The first thing they did was take Xrays. When you look at my left foot, you can notice the bunion, but it doesn’t look that bad. When you see the bones inside via Xray, holy cow, it’s a whole new ballgame! Take a look:

Foot Xray

Even without a podiatry degree, you can see that wicked bunion!! The doctor told me I am definitely a candidate for corrective surgery. Notice the longest bone in the big toe – see those 2 knobby areas at the top? Apparently, those are supposed to be UNDERNEATH the bone at the bottom of the foot. My bone is twisted. He said that they classify this type of twist on a scale from 1-7, with 1 being no twist. He said I am definitely a 7. He also watched me walk and told me that I’m knock-kneed which isn’t helping my case any either.

So, in a nutshell, I’m a candidate for corrective surgery. It’s outpatient, but the recovery is pretty intense – 2 weeks with no weight bearing whatsoever, then a boot for 6 weeks. He told me if the pain isn’t too much, I can wait, but to get Xrays at least once per year so it doesn’t get so bad that they can’t fix it at all. He also gave me some inserts *eyeroll* to wear to give my flat feet more support.

So, the inserts. I can’t wear them with my Crocs, and since that’s literally the only kind of shoes I have, I went to Payless. I grabbed a couple of pairs of cute, inexpensive shoes so that I could give the inserts a whirl. Here’s the thing – the inserts are FINE. I have ZERO problems wearing them. However, wearing regular shoes is killing my bunion! After wearing them on Friday night and all day yesterday, my bunion is super sore and all bruised. So I just can’t win here. Crocs are comfortable for the bunion, but are bad for my flat feet, but regular shoes with inserts hurt the bunion and are good for my flat feet.  So I’m screwed. Kobiyashi Maru.

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