Healing and Pacing

Pacing – not pacing in my study, like Dumbledore does (a lot, if the Weasley twins are to be believed) – but pacing myself. Healing. Letting myself go slowly. It’s harder than it sounds, folks.

Surgery #1 was healing well until I tripped, stumbled, bumped, stubbed the partially healed toes. That led to surgery #2.

Surgery #2 was a mixed bag. The bone healed well, but the soft tissue supporting the bone did not heal. Frankly, it was a mess. That mess led to surgery #3.

Surgery #3 was more intense. Healing involved no weight on the toes for at least two weeks, which meant using a scooter. That was tough, folks. We moved the scatter rugs out of the kitchen and bought a cup holder for the handlebars. That way, I could still get my coffee without putting pressure on Chuck, and I could get around the house without stumbling or knocking over my scooter.

Doctor Footloose warned me that many people who have similar surgeries to #3 wear the surgical boot for 8 to 12 weeks – minimum. She knows I detest the boot, but I will wear it as long as needed. Growl. Whine. Blankety blank boot.

Boot on one foot plus shoe on the other means I’m uneven, not level. Too much time at this kind of position leads to backaches. I’m healing from one of those now. PT style exercises on the floor (oh, yeah, getting down on the floor while wearing a big boot is a big bother); ice and heat alternating, and whatever pain medicine seems appropriate. This equation leads to feeling better – slowly. Very slowly.

That slow speed is why pacing is so important. Last night I made and canned chicken broth. Cooking the broth took two days in two large crockpots. One step at a time, I strained the broth, then took a break. Next, I set up the pressure cooker. The I took another break. Finally, I filled the jars, put the lids on, and  got all ten jars into the pressure cooker. That process didn’t require as many breaks because I could monitor the pressure cooker while sitting on the stepstool in the kitchen.

If this post seems dull, it’s because healing and pacing is low on excitement. I’ve loaded up on reading material for my Kindle and through Paperback swap, and explored involvement in the growing local historical society. I may be able to apply my grant writing skills to help them expand and open their new building. Meanwhile, the foot will heal. Slowly. Very slowly.

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Collecting Crocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Limey the lime tree on the right. Limey has spent the winter indoors next to a very sunny window. We’ll move Limey outside for the summer as soon as we’re sure the temperatures will stay well above freezing. In addition, I believe Limey needs a bigger pot. I have a 6 gallon crock in the garage that will allow room for drainage (broken crockery, big sticks, whatever I have around the yard) and still give Limey room to grow.

The other 5 gallon crock has drainage in the base (broken dishes pulled from my rock garden) and potting soil. This crock will house cherry tomatoes or jalapeno peppers.

I have a third 5 gallon crock that I’ll prep later today – after the Brewers send Craig Counsell a clear message that hey, Milwaukee is still the best place for baseball. If you haven’t guessed, Brewers and Cubs are starting a three game weekend series in the Windy City.

Foot status: I can handle small amounts of yard work like filling the crocks, but I’m still not very strong. I’ll build up what strength I can between now and the next surgery, and I’ll get as much of the garden planted as possible, too. Coping, it’s all about coping.

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The Agony of the Feet

To be clear, it’s the right foot again. In February, I had a somewhat routine fix – a bunion and preventive procedure for two tiny hammertoes. In March, I tripped. Big time. Stubbed the toes badly enough to need the surgery redone and the ligaments surrounding the big toe sewn up.

Now it’s April (Cue deep sigh of self pity here). Bone healed well; soft tissue did not. The ligaments are pulling the toe out of position (again) and causing pain. I dug through my closet and found exactly one pair of shoes that I can wear with minimal pain, and I’m wearing them for yard work. Again, minimal. The next surgery, a joint fusion, will happen in mid May.

Ugh. And double Ugh. I’m doing what I can while I can and getting the tomato and pepper seedlings ready to plant. The re-landscaping of the front yard may fall on Chuck. We’ve been planning since last fall, and we picked up containers (big ones!) for that project. I’ll help prep the containers and plant if we can do it before my surgery. I’m even setting up containers on our deck so I can maintain them without going up or down stairs. Getting my hands in the dirt is emotionally healing, so having plants around is a priority.

Unfortunately, this surgery will require absolutely no weight bearing for two weeks. I’ve reserved a knee scooter and I’ve been adding to my Kindle. Recommendations and books are welcome (I’m looking at you, Green Girl!). I’ve contacted a local candidate I support and offered to volunteer from my home (my couch) and I might help a local organization with their grant writing. All those factors should help keep me busy enough to prevent excessive self-pity.

Readers, this is a lousy situation, but it could be worse.

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Starting Over Again

I’m starting over and looking at six weeks of healing for the right foot. Lots of resting and elevating, reading books, icing once every hour (at least for a few days) and just general bump on a log activity. Like, no activity.

Back story: on February 1, I had surgery to repair a bunion and two tiny hammertoes on my right foot. The second and third toes, tiny as they are, healed beautifully. Getting the pins pulled out wasn’t pretty, but neither was it awful. Those toes look great now.

The big toe, however, encountered a problem. I tripped. I wasn’t wearing my boot, and I stubbed my toe. Stubbed it hard. Yes, folks, it hurt, enough so that I may have let loose a few four letter words. I was loud enough that Chuck came running across the house to ask, “Are you okay? What happened?” I sniffled and told him I’d bumped my toe. Sniff. Sob.

Move the calendar ahead a few days to my follow-up appointment and the removal of the pins. The doctor came in the room, took one look at the big toe, and almost shouted, “What happened?! This toe was perfectly straight the last time I saw you!” I sheepishly explained what had happened as she examined the crooked toe that by now was at a 45 degree angle from the foot. She immediately scheduled me for repair surgery.

I told you she scheduled me immediately, right? I saw her in the office on Monday, and I found myself in the surgical center three days later, on Thursday. Surgeon (let’s call her Dr. Toes) put the bone back in place and repaired the soft tissue, ligaments and tendons, around the toe.

And here I am, once again, sitting on the couch. There’s a basket on the end table with almost anything I could need: hearing aid batteries, lip balm, lotion, my medicines, hair scrunchies, and more. I’m watching a marathon of Homestead Rescue and reading a book on my Kindle. I have the Harry Potter series next to me, too, ready for a reread.

Readers, do you have any recommendations? Books I should read while I’m resting and healing? I’ll find them on Paperback Swap or download them to my Kindle. Thanks for your help during this long healing process!

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The Fairies are Back!

Have you wondered what happened to the Fabled Fairies of Thanksgiving? They made an appearance several years ago, along with a Butterball turkey. Covid19 put a stop to family gatherings for a while, but now it’s time for the Fabled Fairies of Thanksgiving to come out of hiding and help us again!

 Thanksgiving Dinner? No problem! I’ll call in the fairies. They’ll do everything.

The laundry fairy washes, dries, and presses the table linens, including the cloth napkins. If she’s feeling generous, the sheets and towels might get folded, too.
The turkey fairy will practice her specialty and make sure the bird is cooked and carved just in time for dinner. White meat and dark, it’ll all be juicy and savory and leave just enough leftovers for sandwiches and a turkey noodle soup.
The baker fairy will take care of pies, pumpkin and otherwise. He’s an expert on flaky crust, selected spices, and the perfect portion of whipped cream. Don’t let that Simple Simon guy get in the way; the kitchen’s too small for anyone who begs to taste the wares.
The brownie — the cunning little house elf — will clean the home thoroughly, put the leaf in the big table, and get the extra chairs out of the basement.
I wouldn’t dream of neglecting the wine fairy: the sommelier so tiny she only recommends, never lifts, a bottle. Her taste is impeccable. Now if we could stop her before she over-imbibes and falls asleep on top of the piano…
Did I mention the decorator fairy? She’ll fix the fireplace mantel with something tasteful and seasonal before she makes sure the couch and rocker are properly arranged for the annual holiday gladiator contests known as NFL football.
The ambiance fairy keeps the wood fire crackling in the fireplace, the aromas wafting deliciously through the home, and the family discussions neutral and apolitical.
The kitchen fairies: really, there must be a whole crew of these talented sprites. One to do the shopping early and avoid the crowds, another to make sure the cranberries are perfect (and local, of course), and a magical maestro with the potato masher. Then we’ll need a feisty fairy, one with attitude — yes, you, Tinkerbell, you can make the coffees.

Mom, you can send the fairies over to my house now that we’re hosting the annual family Thanksgiving dinner. Let them know that I’ll have their room ready and their favorite cookies baked. If they arrive on Sunday there should be enough time to get everything done.

Wait. What do you mean…they’re…not….real?

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Distraction and Harmony

I arrived at the clinic a wee bit nervous for my third ultrasound guided knee injection. Don’t look it up; you’ll shudder. The first was fine, the second a week later more painful, and I imagined the third injection would increase the pain factor.

Well, Expert Doctor asked me how my weekend had been. I told the doc and nurse all about our weekend in the Minnie Apple for barbershop chorus competition. Amigo’s chorus gets better every year. Two of the quartets associated with our chorus came away with trophies, too. Add to that the simple pleasure of being surrounded by vocal music at a high competitive level all weekend long and–

The shot was finished before I knew it started.

On the medical side: I’m walking much better than I was six weeks ago when I could barely cross a room without tears. The set of three injections made a major impact.

On the musical side, the weekend was wonderful. Next up: Veteran’s Day program and Christmas concerts.

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Guerrilla Gardening, Chipmunk Style

 

Rogue Sunflowers

I planted cherry tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and banana peppers in pots on the deck this gardening season. The chipmunks, however, had other ideas.

Indeed, that’s a sunflower – three sunflowers, actually, in with the cherry tomatoes. I didn’t pull them out because, well, sunflowers! I have no idea where the seeds came from. The closest sunflowers I know of are about half a block away. Those chippies sure get around.

Readers, did you get any interesting volunteer plants this year? Any rogue anything?

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Eating the Opponent – The Tradition Continues

The New Orleans Saints were beating the Packers 17-0 when Chuck’s cousin in Texas posted “Did y’all forget to eat the opponent? What happened to the Packers?”

No, we didn’t forget. We had rice and beans with Andouille sausage (yum!) for supper, and we’d ordered Cajun specialties at a nearby pub for lunch on Friday. The Packers just weren’t showing up – yet.

Those of you who follow the NFL know the rest. Jordan Love led the Packers in a dramatic comeback win, 18-17.

This week, we’re working on Detroit. The Lions look good this year (wow), so I hope the Packers show up for all four quarters. We did our part with pasties (good Yooper main dish from the Upper Peninsula) followed by Coney Dogs the next day, with Vernor’s Ginger Ale (first served in Detroit) to drink.

Milwaukee Brewers are playoff bound. It’s early in the season for the Packers, but it’s never too early to start winning. Go! Pack! Go!

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Problem Solving – It’s What I Do.

I ordered a number of books for my Kindle – nothing unusual here. When I’d finished reading one and went to download the next, I discovered something unfortunate: my Kindle did not play nice with the house wifi. Everything else in the house worked just fine with our network, so I knew I didn’t need to reboot the router, yada yada yada, or anything like that. I went for my backup: establish a mobile hotspot with my phone.

Nope. We made some adjustments in our plan recently to save a few bucks, and one of those changes meant that I needed to pay to set up a mobile hot spot. Damn. This would not work.

Last time I had this problem, I stuck my Kindle in my purse when I went to Petunia’s apartment. Her wifi and my Kindle were fast friends. Success! But I can’t impose on Petunia every time I need to download a book. Think. Think. Think. Where can I find free wifi for a few minutes to update my Kindle library?  Coffeehouse, maybe. Local fast food joint. Doc’s office? Convenience store?

We ended up in the parking lot at our credit union. Logged in easily, and then watched the downloads commence. Chatted a little, planned our evening, and when all the books I needed (five – don’t judge me, I read a lot) had finished, we headed home.

Thanks, credit union. If you notice me in the parking lot and I don’t come in, I’ll be downloading Kindle books. Nothing to see here, folks, just a reader who needed a creative solution.

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Football Season Begins! Again!

The NFL season begins as usual at the O.K. Chorale. We get together on Thursday nights to do our picks for the week. The menu for Eating the Opponent comes up for discussion, and we’re set for the weekend. Mostly.

With the routines in place, we gathered the ingredients to Eat Chicago with a home made deep dish pizza. Thick crust from my breadmaker, Italian sausage, peppers, onions, olives, pepperoni, home grown oregano, fresh tomato sauce from garden tomatoes – are you hungry yet? It was delicious and filling. We’ll have leftovers for lunch for a few days, too.

I’m drafting this post midday Sunday (That’s 3:35 in the NFL world), and Amigo is in the lead so far with picks. He has 7, I have 4, and Chuck and the visiting bunny are tied with 3 each. I keep repeating my script “it’s a good thing I don’t do this for money!”

Meanwhile, our Milwaukee Brewers are in the 11th inning of a cliffhanger with a score on 1-0 over the New York Yankees. Any minute now we’ll hear an update on whether they held the Bronx Bombers to a shutout and swept the series  – or not.

Now it’s time to put the computer down and enjoy the Packers competing with their arch-nemesis, Da Bears. Go! Pack! Go!

 

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