Monday, May 31, 2010

Collections and Returns

A definite sign of progress is when you start collecting all the health care aids and returning them to their owners. I've borrowed wheelchairs, crutches, bath chair and cane and today I will visit the owners of said items and offer my profuse thanks for lending them to me. I'm ready to let go of all these things that have been my companions for the past two years. It's time and I'm due!

A progress report/update on the foot and knee.
I am almost 3 months post op on the Achilles heel surgery and oh my, how time has flown by. It only flew by after I was allowed to walk and even then the first 3 weeks of walking remained very uncomfortable. I do notice that it has improved greatly since that first few steps. I still have a bit of a problem with extenstion of the knee which causes a slight limp and I'm still very slow. I'm happy to be at this point; being in a wheelchair and on crutches makes one appreciate steps when they can be taken.

I'm heading out for a morning walk which I hope will become a new habit for me.

The daughter remains smoke free for her seventh day. Here's hoping it's a "forever quit".

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hot, Humid and Waiting

Yeah, it's hot but so what? It's summer and of course it's hot. I don't have to like it and I don't. Give me some good ole Louisiana winter, a pair of slacks and a sweater and I'm good.
I'm sitting here listening to the siren sound from the television as a weather alert crawl does just that across the top of the screen. That crawl screams out that there will be severe storm, damaging hail, lightning and all matter of creatures falling from the sky. I could have exaggerated on that part about the creatures. Maybe my family attending the fair might not be a good idea today. Atop the Ferris wheel with lightning looking for a rod to the ground might light up your life...or end it. I'm hoping they stay home and postpone that trip to tomorrow. By that time Carrie will be home and I will go along to chaperon her while everybody else rides the "big rides".
I should have, but didn't, get my hair cut today. I drove by the shop and it was displaying a big "OPEN" sign but I slid on by. I had some shopping to do and getting my hair shortened wasn't on my list of things to get done today.
I did manage to get home and get all comfy on the big sofa and drift off to nap land while the television burped forth some television show that apparently didn't hold my interest enough to prevent me from falling asleep. These naps aren't something I've recently discovered. I have to admit, I have always enjoyed an afternoon nap. Getting up early, usually before dawn, causes me to need that nap.
I'm going to sit on the front porch with my fresh brewed cup of coffee and watch this storm come in. The clouds are whirling, their colour darkening to a deep smoke grey and the thunder is rattling around in the distance. I'm going to enjoy the show until the flashes of light get too close for comfort.
I enjoy a good storm.

Happy Birthday Ted

I suppose at 17 yrs old you would prefer to be called Ted instead of Teddy. (Note to Teddy: you will ALWAYS be Teddy to me)

Today you will spend the day at the Cajun Heartland State Fair as you do every year. Your mom will be with you, Carrie won't. She is spending today with her dad in Lydia,La. I'm sure your day will be perfect and later today I will join you guys for some birthday cake. Here's hoping this is the best birthday yet.
Happy Birthday my big boy!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I have some awesome news. I can walk and without difficulty. Each day it gets a little easier and I'm so excited. When I first put my foot to the ground, the discomfort made me quickly withdraw and remove my weight off that foot. With time and increased walking, I was finally able to go from two crutches to one and then to the cane and now finally I can move without assist. Oh, granted, i won't break any speed limits but that doesn't bother me. I can walk. Until today, I had a limp to go with my steps but the more I walk the more extension I am again gaining on that knee so the limp is barely noticeable.
This coming week will be devoted to visiting the doctors. The podiatrist/surgeon will see me on Wednesday and I'm expecting to be released from his care, then the GYN doctor on Thursday and I'll see the dentist this week as my permanent crown is in and will be fitted.
All I can say to all this is, 'it's about time'. I'm going to start a walking program around my neighborhood to build up the quads and hamstrings and improve my endurance. Having not really walked any distances for the past two years have sapped my ability to stay moving for long periods of time. I want to remedy this soon and hopefully be in shape for a vacation that requires lots of walking.
It's a wonderful 93 degrees here today and I have been on my feet most of the day going from store to store and I'm done for a while. The bottoms of my feet burn.
I'm on the sofa for a few hours for a nap.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My girl thinks she is a model and at other times she thinks she is a photographer. She grabs the camera and runs from person to person to take their picture. I try to shoo her away when she comes around me but sometimes that little girl is just too quick for me.
She is spending the weekend with her dad but she did stay overnight with me last night. She grabbed a book and climbed into bed with me for a bedtime story. Though she tried to talk me into more then one story, I switched off the light and kissed her goodnight and that it was. I was exhausted.
As hard as this may be for you to believe, I did dinner tonight. My menu was a roast pork loin, mashed potatoes, candied fresh carrots and biscuits. I have to say, I think I torpedoed my diet but it was worth it. Twas some yummy food and was thoroughly enjoyed.
I'm taking myself out of here and to the sofa to watch some television. It's too hot to spend time outdoors. Have I mentioned how I dislike the summer temperatures here? It rained this afternoon so now we have some lovely hair curling humidity to go along with the soggy lawn.
I'm done!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Booms and Blasts

We made a drive to the end of the earth today. We visited Grand Isle and on the way passed through Port Fouchon. The road to the beach in Port Fouchon was blockaded by the police and the National Guard was busily loading sand from a tall pile and taking it to the beach for cleanup.

We had lunch in Port Fouchon where we ordered oyster poboys. This might be my last chance to have a fresh oyster sandwich. The parking lot of the sandwich shop was full of cars and trucks and television trucks with their satellites that were beaming toward the skies. Inside the shop, the television was tuned to CNN where everyone's attention was focused on the oil well disaster updates.
We left Port Fouchon after lunch and finished our drive to Grand Isle. The beach in Grande Isle was posted with "Beach Closed" signs but were unguarded so we parked the truck and walked up on the levy walls where we could see the beach and the Gulf. Rigs on the horizon and boats skimming the waves were seen while on the beach more television crews were set up for broadcast, a small crew of men in white coveralls were working in the sand and helicopters were flown above our heads with more television crews surveying the area.

We were surprised that we didn't see more cleanup crews around and as we drove through this part of the wetlands, the egrets were busily feasting on whatever they eat from the grass and water. We watched and thought about the time approaching when they wouldn't be able to stand in the marshes and find food. It's very sad to think about it.
Shrimp boats with their blue nets hanging from the masts were wet docked but a few were seen heading down the bayou. Party barges, supply boats, and crew boats were lining the bayou, docked as if waiting for the oil to arrive. Along the roadside were businesses advertising raw seafood for sale.
Booms could be seen floating in the Gulf, their bright yellow or red strings floating off the marsh areas.
T. Boone Pickens was on CNN last night and through all this disaster and tolerating all the talking heads that have made an appearance on various news channels, a real oil man was interviewed. This man made more sense then anyone I've heard interviewed.
The camera crews on the beach in Grand Isle must have been bored. Very few people could be found wandering around in this resort town. The beach was barren of people but only because of the signs posted "beach closed". The waters looked clear, at least for now.
Reports are filtering in to me on the oil industries that are in a holding pattern and jobs are being reported lost. The cut backs are being noticed already. Things are grinding to a halt in the oil field; the offshore oil fields.
We are all watching and waiting.

Another Quitter

Four days ago at midnight nicotine was denied it's blast to the brain to start a dopamine release. The following morning a teary eyed and jittery woman began her journey to a nicotine free life. A rocky day it was for her. Between crying and bouts of short temper she completed day 1.
Day 2 was a little better though she commented often on the desire to smoke a cigarette. The crying was left behind on day 1 but the desire was still there.
Day 3 and hours would pass before the brain summoned her to deliver some nicotine. She would hang on for a few minutes until the urge passed and she did say it was becoming much better then Day 1. I didn't say anything to her in reply to that comment but silently I was thinking about all the tears on Day 1.
Day 4 has come and gone and now it's a matter of time. Time to get past the habit. "20 days to break a habit" and that is her next goal point. The nicotine should be out of her body at the end of those first 3 days. She did say her tongue felt as though there were cracks in it and she had to grab a mirror and check it out but that is something I warned her about when the nicotine was leached out of her tongue.
I'm her biggest cheerleader right now and I'm relieved that she has decided to be a "quitter". She said "hey, if you could quit, anybody can!" You know it was bad when my "quit" is an inspiration and offers hope to another wanna be quitter.
I was a heavy smoker and friends and family thought I would never be a "quitter".
I guess I showed them huh? I never take it for granted and I never want to go through quitting again. I think of all the positives about being a quitter and revel in all the freedom I have acquired by being a "quitter".
I smell better too. ;-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pumpin Mud

We are all watching closely the killing of that oil flow in the Gulf. The pumping of the mud started an hour ago and we're keeping our fingers crossed that this accomplishes their goal of stopping the oil.

I'm afraid it might be too little too late in regards to our fishermen, shrimpers and tour boats for that area. We were going to drive to Venice and get a first hand view of the area but the husband is waiting on a call to go back out so we nixed that idea.

And nothing to do at all about oil, I heard a clatter and a tick and swiveled my head to the sound which was the front door. A metal wire basket hangs on the outside of that door and intertwined in that lattice work metal basket is a fall foliage bit of decoration. Perched atop that wire basket was a fat bird. That's all the description I can give you as I know not one bird from another. Inside that wire basket another bird was huddled and in her beak was some nest building material and that's exactly what she was doing. As usual, her husband was perched on the rim watching his lovely wife build her next for the eggs she planned on laying and nurturing.
I had to break up their little party. A bird nest being built on a door that gets heavy use will never fly. Did I say "fly"? Ok, maybe that was a bad choice of words, but you get my drift. Discouraging those birds didn't take much work or effort. I moved her little gathered nest building material and she was hasn't returned. I'm hoping she wasn't devastated by being evacuated from her home, or should I say, evicted? It wasn't really a home yet and her labor was minimal at the time I intervened.
I had to make another visit to the dentist to have the temporary tooth reattached and hopefully this will be the last time to have that done. The permanent tooth should be in this week or next and the permanent glue will be used to hold it on the metal implanted spike. Fun huh? Yeah, well, when the daughter saw me smile with that tooth missing, she muttered something about hillbilly and every time she has texted me today, she has used that word to address me.
I'm off to have some dinner. I can hear the husband chopping and grating and stirring something in the kitchen and my stomach and I are really interested right now in his activities.
I'm done!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A typical Sunday sorta. I put on a big pot of Gumbo around 1000 and let it simmer most of the day. The daughter and family appeared later with potato salad to go with the gumbo.
My goal yesterday was to stay off my feet as much as possible. I think I overdid it the day before with too much walking and my heel and ankle were swollen double size and no amount of elevating and icing it caused it to shrink. Swelling hampers the blood flow to the area which hampers healing. If blood doesn't circulate well, the Achilles Tendon won't heal and I would surely hate to think about tissue grafting and all the other horrors that go along with it. Taking the Ibuprofen to mask the pain so I could walk was not a wise idea.
Rain, rain and more rain? The sun is peeking through early this morning though the weather channel is predicting more rain. We could use the moisture. It has been a dry spring and I have to remember to water the pepper plants on the patio.
I'm watching the news on the well blowout in the Gulf and it might be too early to hope, but it looks as though they (BP) might be making some progress on capturing that oil. I don't comment on this much. We are all holding our breaths here and expecting major governmental intervention because of this blowout. Too many people and companies that took too many shortcuts and I'm sure payoffs to overlook some of the required restraints on well requirements. Sad.
Carrie spent the night and allowed me a thin sliver of the mattress to claim as mine. Every time I moved, she would wake up and gasp "no Nana!" and I would reassure her that I wasn't going anywhere. She has this little talk with me right before she goes to sleep "you know Nana, sometimes people get out of bed and leave me and I wake up and YOU'RE gone. I think nobody should do that, don't you?"
I've had my coffee and bathroom stop and maybe I should sneak back into bed and be there when she wakes up? Wouldn't she be surprised, although staying in bed until 0900 or 1000 o'clock might drive me stir crazy.
The husband should return today if all went well on his job. He thought they were finishing up yesterday and everytime he gets home from a well site, I sign in relief. Scary, that rig stuff.
Shower time!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Promises Made

Carrie, Ted and I were up and about early in the morning yesterday. Breakfast served and Ted was out the door to knock some dirt off the cars. Soapy brush and a bucket of water and the water hose and he was ready to do some damage. I think most of the damage was done to Carrie. She slipped into her bathing suit and decided to help her brother. For a while I could hear squeals and laughing that soon turned into anger and yelling. I walked to the door to see if we were playing nice to find Carrie covered in soap suds and her brother using the long handle brush to do some scrubbing on her. It must have been fun when first started but soon developed into a game Carrie wasn't interested in playing. Refereeing is a big part of parenting. If it weren't for being a referee, I might be able to start and finish what I started quickly.
Within an hour the rain that was predicted made it's appearance along with the thunder and lightning. We put the car washing on hold and I loaded everyone into the car; it's break time for me. I'll let their mother referee for a while.
Days ago I had promised Carrie that we would go to the fountain downtown and Carrie never forgets a promise of fun. She might forget to put her cup in the sink, pick up her clothes or make her bed but a fun promise, no way! I didn't even try to dodge that bullet but gave in and took her downtown. The sky's were heavy dark grey swirling masses that threatened more rain but we went anyway.
Metal benches surround the fountain that alternates spouting water and turning itself off for a while then gradually building up to spouts of water that graze the sky. There were 5 children there and most of them were in shorts and t shirts. Carrie came prepared in bathing suit and beach towels. This wasn't our first rodeo. I videoed and took pictures while she ran, crawled and danced through the spouts and amid the light sprinkling of rain that would fall. She giggled and squealed and danced as only a 4yr old without a shred of self consciousness can do. She had a blast and getting her to leave took a bit of coaxing. Promise kept but other promises made to do it again with no specific date so I'll be clear for a while.
To the right of me just beyond the perimeter of the fountain, benches and tiled water area stood a group of about 10 men, neatly dressed and all in the age range of 45 to late 50's and some even beyond. I noted their presence and occasionally would glance their direction. One walked over to the bench next to mine, smiled and sat quietly watching the children. He was also neatly dressed, greying hair that was clean and rolled in waves down his back to just below shoulder length. All of them kept their distance, stayed together and quietly interacted with each other. I looked again and noted the paper bag covered drinks; tall cans of beer concealed in a crumpled brown paper bag. A lady in her mid thirties, moving around on crutches with one leg walked into the fountain and back out and I crossed my fingers that she wouldn't slip in the water and hurt herself. I had to think about what I was seeing before it registered that I was seeing the homeless.
The shelter is in the general area and the ones that were lucky enough to find a bed there were required to leave early in the morning and not return until a set time in the afternoon. This, I think, is done to encourage them to do some job seeking. I want to clarify one thing here; not all of them were drinking beer. Some had sodas and water. I don't know what their stories are on how they came to be where they are so I just observe and hold judgement. I'm sure some were passing through this stage of life related to drugs and alcohol and some might be people that would be served better if they were back on their medications. This economy has added a few more to the homeless rosters. I watch and wonder.
Time passed and so did Carrie and I. It was time to leave and the last child there that she had been playing with was leaving so she didn't put forth an argument. I took her home and traded her for Ted who is spending the night.
Ted began surfing the TV channels and was checking out the "On Demand" of the HBO movies that can be selected at will instead of at HBO's schedule to watch. He came across a movie entitled "O" and insisted that I sit and watch it. He had watched it in his Speech II class at school. We watched it together and I was thinking the whole time "why haven't I heard of this movie before this?"
I highly recommend watching it if you have the chance. I would also be interested in joining Ted in high school. We didn't get to watch movies every class period for Speech.
The movie ended and we sneaked off to Sonic for a Butterfinger Blizzard for Ted. I decided that no where on my diet list was listed this treat so I abstained. Can I have a pat on the head now?
Again, I'm awake early but this morning the booms of thunder and the flashes of lightning drew me up from my sleep. We were promised lots of rain this weekend and the skies are keeping that promise.
Again the promises?

Saturday, May 15, 2010


At Least They're Poppin

I still have conjestion from that cold or allergy or whatever decided to attack my lungs, head and eustachian tubes. I feel as though I have my fingers stuffed in my ears while talking. Thankfully they have started popping a little so maybe they are going to clear up without a visit to an ENT specialist. Ever notice how going to see a doctor is always a specialist? Whatever happened to the GP? Remember him? He took care of you from head to toe and charged a mere pittance in comparison to today's doctors/specialist.
Carrie and Ted are up and about early this morning and what that means is there is no "me" time for a while. Ted has been offered pay to wash the cars so of course he is washing them. I think I'll charge him for breakfast, lunch, dinner and laundry not to mention gas and maintenance for transporting him all over the place. Ah, kids. Everyone needs 4 or 5 of the little beasts.
It poured down the rain a few hours ago and that is forecast for all weekend. I must go now as Carrie is beating on the front door and calling my name.
Apparently she can't get the door open. It's kid time here at my house. I'm done...for a while.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mud Bugs and Birthdays

Today was Lance's birthday. Lance and Carol are a couple that April has known for years and to celebrate Lance's birthday, a crawfish boil was planned. The water was heated in the pot atop the propane burner, spices and potatoes, carrots, onions, sausage and corn on the cob was set to cooking. Sometime later, the tender vegetables were removed and the live crawfish were dropped into the pot. Newspapers were spread on the picnic table and the feast began. To watch the natives pop the heads away from the tails and dig out the yellow fat embedded in the head, dip them in sauce and eat them in one fluid motion. No time is wasted and they can go through a couple of pounds each in a few minutes.

This is the first crawfish boil of the season for me. The price of crawfish has skyrocketed and everyone bemoans that fact. The restaurants have a long line and extra help is hard to find to serve. It's crawfish season in southwest Louisiana.
Carrie and Ted are spending the night and as I type this, Carrie is asleep and snoring loudly. I had to wait till she fell asleep before I swallowed my Ambien. If I go to sleep before she does, she crawls out of bed to find her Poppy or whoever else may be here for her to do some socializing.
Tomorrow Ted will be busy washing the cars while Carrie and I plant some flowers and water the ones that are already in the ground and blooming. The poor cucumber an pepper plants suffer major neglect when the husband leaves town. They are on the patio and when it's hot I seldom venture out there so I forget about them for days at a time. They are on my list for tomorrow's watering.
I'm ready for some sleep and it's time to elevate the foot. I'm done!

Tap Lightly at First, Then Pound Soundly

I thought a nice thing to do yesterday would be to collect Ted from his school instead of him having to take the bus. It's a short bus ride of about 25 minutes but still, it's nice to bypass all those stops the bus makes and go direct to the house. Since I was in the neighborhood of his school, I texted him and told him I was close and it was minutes until he would be released and did he want me to pick him up at the door. Of course he texted right back with "Cool" and taking "cool" to mean "yes" and not a weather report, I texted again to tell him I would be there.
My new cell phone has a big screen, is a smart phone, and requires that I pay an EXTRA fee to either have internet access OR unlimited texting and since the unlimited texting was the cheaper of the two options, I opted for it. Now I text. I don't do it a lot but if you want your children to not ignore your phone call, try texting them. They love to text and will jump at the opportunity to slide open their phones to their QWERTY keyboards and tap away. I know you must wonder where I am going with this,; trust me. I'm getting there.
I hated texting with my old Razor as it didn't really have a keyboard but numbers with small letters attached to each number, screen small so that the message was unreadable unless I found my glasses to read them. Too much trouble to get some information or contact with them. I informed my family to NOT text me and I wouldn't be texting them. Enter my new smart phone with the slide down QWERTY keyboard and I'm in business! I still don't text a lot but at least this big screen and large letters was a blessing.
Yesterday the texting was going swimmingly. Suddenly I notice the text has decreased in size. It had shrunk. Shrunk so much that I couldn't read it at all. Oh, no! I'm back to having to find my damn glasses. Meanwhile I'm getting these text messages from the daughter that a magnifying glass would stress to render them readable. Ted and I went through the whole phone's management folders trying to find a place to enlarge the text. He took the cd that came with it holding the owners manual and loaded it onto the desktop computer and read through it looking for that elusive hidden information. None to be found. More hours passed and occasionally we would pick that phone up and try something new that had suddenly occurred to us. Nope, I'm stuck on small. Still stuck on small for most of the evening.
I would text Ted and have him send me a test text and during one of these times, I accidentally hit the volume control on the side of the phone and the text leaped to Paul Bunyon size. I hope all the pounding I did on that little phone didn't damage it's innerds. Ted kept telling me that wouldn't help but when in doubt, pound on it a little huh? No where in the literature did Samsung share this information. Found by accident and now I won't have to take that phone back to AT&T this morning for some help. I now have to replan my day and where I will go.
I did mention to Carrie last night that we could put our suits on and go down to the fountain in the middle of town and cavort around in it as though we had lost our minds. She was all for playing like a little child. I may just watch. I hate the thought of being arrested.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Phone Pal

Tomorrow my friend sheds her home life for a week at the beach with a couple of her friends and minus all family. She has grand plans involving walks on the beach, using the indoor pool on rainy days and eating sinfully usually unallowed foods.
They will stroll through T-shirt shops, junque stores and taste the seafoods fresh from the Atlantic waters. She will stay up late and sleep in and totally ignore clocks and schedules. In short, she will be on vacation.

Have fun my friend. Remember what I said about the poolboy. Two words, "Hook up " and two more words "tell all". You go out there and let those that couldn't make this trip live vicariously through your actions.

I'm going to miss our daily phone calls but I'm going to be thrilled that you are having a good time which you truly deserved.

Don't forget the pool boy.

Craving Oysters

For the past few weeks my cravings for Oysters have nudged me more times then that cigarette of bygone days. I relate this to the greasy Gulf and the slippery slick spreading across the waters.
Seafood here was plentiful and cheap. Fresh fish could be spotted alongside the oysters and shrimp spread on ice chips in glass fronted coolers. If that wasn't fresh enough for you, you might want to drive to Delchambre. Delchambre is a shrimper town about 15 minutes from here. Shrimp boats in various states of repair or refueling are lined up at the docks. 50 lbs of shrimp? No problem. You can buy the grade you want from the small salad shrimp to the medium size for stews and gumbos to the large hand sized ones that are not my particular favorite.
How long will they be able to supply fresh cheap shrimp? $2.85/lb to 3.00/lb heads on and weighted out for you right at the dock was how we did it. Is that a thing of the past?
I'm going somewhere today for a oyster po'boy or just a plate of oysters while the getting is good.
That's my plans but that doesn't mean I'm stickin to em.
Ted and I made the rounds yesterday. We went to McDonalds, Burger King, Sonic and Fresh Pickins and picked up applications. Ted is searching for summer employment and after school hours. His goal is to get that job, save enough money for auto insurance and get his liscense. He has to have six months paid on his insurance before he will be allowed to drive his truck. Goals are a good think don't ya think?
He spent the night and now it's time to make sure his alarm roused him out of bed and get him to school. I enjoy him staying with me. Sometimes the bedtime hour becomes a hassle. We differ in opinion on how many hours of sleep he needs. I usually win. I'm bigger and older and I hold the truck keys.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Barney and Friends

Ted spent the night and I was up and in the kitchen early this morning whipping up some scrambled eggs and bacon for him. He protested that he didn't have time to eat, his bus would be here soon. "Not to worry", I told him. I'll take you to school so sit down and have breakfast."
After dropping him off at school, I headed to Walmart to pick up a few things then back to the house where I have remained all day. Carrie managed to convince me that she needed to be with me so she is hanging out here until her mother gets back from her errands. It's all about Sesame Street and Barney right now.
I had to tell her there would be no swimming for the next few days. My skin can't handle any more sun. I looked like I have been parboiled now. I had sun screen in my beach bag but neglected to use it. Carrie fared much better then me. She had been playing out in the sun before our pool excursion.
No changes in the foot. I can get around very slowly without the cane but sometimes I resort to using it so I can move faster. I could use a nap right now but I don't think I could convince Carrie that she needs one.
I'll be watching Sesame Street for a while. We are learning to whistle. I'm done.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sun, Pool and Lobsters

It's official. Two days in a row and this foot has been less painful and easier to use as a foot should be used. I'm walking without a crutch or a cane or at least I did today. Progress and healing. I'm convinced that I'm on the recovery road and I'm very excited.

Today, Carrie and I packed a cooler of drinks, some food and our beach towels and dressed in our swim suits, we headed to Peg's house and some pool fun.

Carrie donned a yellow float device around her chest and Peg spent some time giving her swimming lessons. Carrie is anxious to learn and follows Peg's instructions in earnest. She worked and she played and the sun beating down caused her cheeks to glow. That glow extended to my cheeks, chest and arms and I have taken on that lovely lobster color from today's fun.

Around 1600 hrs we toweled off and headed for home. Carrie was hungry and I was in a hurry to get out of my wet suit. I parked her at the kitchen counter with some chicken nuggets and headed for the shower. Glancing in the mirror, I noted the lobster look was increasing as my body cooled off. I'm afraid layers of skin will be peeling off in the next week and that always makes for such an attractive look.

Carrie was delivered back to her home and it wasn't long before her mother texted me to say that she had passed out early. That swimmin is sure tough on a little girl. A tired little girl will sleep soundly tonight and I think this tired old girl will do the same. Goodnight.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Foot Update

Is it possible? Is there an improvement or is it just wishful thinking? My foot is swollen but it's because I have been walking a lot today. The upside of this is the pain in the medial side of my knee has lessened. The back of the heel still feels hot and tight although the previous pain from the spur has disappeared. I'm hoping the feelings in this foot are part of the healing process from the surgical wound site and the repairs that were done.
If it feels the same or better tomorrow I will declare this as progress. I'm heading into the 8th week post op and the second week of weight bearing. I'm still using the cane to walk. As the pain decreases so will use of the cane. Tomorrow will be a better indicator of improvement. I figure if I feel less pain two days consecutively, I can claim this as steady improvement. I have to say, there have been times recently as there were with the knee surgery, that I have wondered if this was as good as it was going to get. Friends help me over this hump when negativity overwhelms me.
The daughter and Carrie spent most of the afternoon with me. We went to the Board of Education to get an application for Pre K for Carrie. 2600 applicants and 800 openings. What's the chances?
I was hoping she could get into kindergarten though she misses the cutoff date by a week or two. It seems now that Pre K might not be an option either. Wait and see we were told.
By late afternoon I was ready to return home and elevate the foot. More walking tomorrow and though it's a bit painful, I'm counting it as rehab on strengthening the leg and foot. The carrot at the end of the stick is a "vacation". I was promised and I aim to collect on that promise.

Monday Morn

Thanks to Ambien, I enjoyed an uninterrupted sleep but I still awoke before 0500. I feel rested and that's the most important reason to sleep. I don't have a plan today to get anything done or do a thing. A trip to Peggy's pool might happen although I'm ambivalent about that too. I know that I need to not over work this foot and though the rest of me might feel like hiking a mountain, the foot doesn't.

After a few hours of walking, the swelling commences and the pain level increases. Burning pain is noted in the ankle which gives me notice to sit down.

Hikers in Iran jailed? Let me ask this. Isn't there safer places to hike in this world then close to the Iran border where you just might not know exactly where the border is and expose yourself to being detained there? How important is hiking in that area. Now we must spend time trying to get them out. Why? I say, "leave em". Maybe more of them would get the message. It's unsafe. Go somewhere else!

I'm watching the disaster in the Gulf. My question is, what was Plan B for British Petroleum just in case the BOP failed? Wouldn't you think a company with this many engineers and money would have an alternate plan of action just in case a rig took a kick and the blow out preventer (BOP) failed while at a depth that would prohibit divers to address the problem?

I'm leaving now to await some signal on where this day will take me. Hopefully it won't be back to bed!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Food Smackdown

Last night we were watching Bobby Flay, a chef that travels around the USA challenging restaurant owners to cook their specialty and compare it to his version of the same thing. Last night it was baby back ribs in N.C. This made me wish for a trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama and to Dreamland Barbecue for some of the best ribs I've ever eaten. The Crimson Tide team favors this place. The walls are covered with signed celebrity pictures attesting to the popularity of this place.
Tonight the BBQ pit is fired up and the baby back ribs are cooking sloooooooooow and loooooooooooooong. My chef, better known as "the husband" has rubbed those ribs with spices and the mouth watering aromas are wafting through the air.
Fresh corn on the cob and baked beans and grilled sausages are also on the menu. The weather is awesome. Humidity has disappeared along with the heat and the 80 degree temperatures here are much appreciated. A cool breeze lifts the edges of the roll of paper towels sitting on the patio table and wraps itself around our bodies. I'm sitting here with the computer across my lap, my foot propped on a pillow that sits on top of the table and the TV tuned to CNN where I watch the news crawl at the bottom of the screen while the I Pod hooked to speakers plays tunes of blues, jazz and bluegrass mixed in with some of the local artists. A perfect day here in Southwest Louisiana.
The daughter appeared this morning bearing breakfast and a gift certificate for a pedicure. My favorite gift is that gift certificate to have my feet pampered. Hopefully this afternoon, Carrie will be back in town and spend the evening with us. I might even have her spend the night. Her Poppy leaves town tomorrow and she won't get to see him for a week or two.
I'll be flying solo again and solo wouldn't be a bad thing if I could but walk as much as I would like to. Time. Three months from now I should be......................
I have to project forward to another time and what that time will entail. I'm waiting once again.


I miss you Mom. Today we would have talked on the phone and your phone would have been ringing from all your children calling. Those that couldn't be with you would have wanted to talk to you.
It's been 11 years that you have been gone and the first 3 years here without you were difficult. Occasionally I would reach for the phone to call to tell you something then realize you were gone. Tears for those first 3 years were plentiful. To this day when I want to know something from our history together, I mourn the fact that you aren't around to answer my questions.
Mom, you were the glue that held the family together. Yours was the house where everyone met for reunions, for family get togethers and as information central.
You were always ready to go where ever the road took you. Travel was one of your great loves. Happy Mother's Day. Your seven children miss you. It's evident by the number of times your name comes up in memories relived.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday, Spring Saturday

The pizza was delicious. Though the sinuses make it difficult to get the full effect from the taste buds, I could still detect sausage, pepperoni and cheese. We ate light today as we planned on going to Buffalo Wild Wings this evening. The outdoor dining area was full of alfresco diners and the weather was perfect. It has cooled down here today and more so as soon as the sun went down so eating outside was very pleasant. While there, a herd of motorcycles of the Harley kind came roaring through the parking lot and swung their bikes into a parking space. Motorcycles and convertibles are cruising around in this spring weather. Soon it will be too hot to be comfortable under the direct rays of sun.

Today was a day to do very little. The husband has caught up on the yard work and the vehicles have been cleaned so he had a day of relaxation too. He leaves again on Monday back to a rig site in Texas. I won't be making the trip as he will be staying on location. I want him to request a job in the Rockies. It was this time last year that we were headed to Colorado on a job. The husband doesn't miss the mountains as I do. He may not push for a trip to the Rockies.

A foot update; in two little words, IT HURTS! I can manage to walk on it for a few hours then I have to sit down and elevate it because of the swelling. From what I have read on the web from others that have had this surgery, this is not abnormal. I may have another month or two of this discomfort.

It's time to prop up my foot and find something interesting on the tube. Though I'm anxious to get moving again, I don't think it will happen in the next few weeks. I'm done.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ears To You

Getting up early has it benefits. It means I can get to Walmart and get the best handicapped parking space. Who woulda thought that I would get to a point in my life where the favored handicap parking spot would be something I would get out of bed early to get.

The Eustachian tubes appear to be clogged in my head and now everything I hear sounds muffled and when I speak, it feels as though I'm speaking from deep in a barrel. Off to Walmart for nasal sprays, a netti pot and some Sudafed. The Sudafed is now kept behind the counter and the pharmacist has to get it and have you sign for it which I did. Darn those meth cookers! I had some antibiotics here and as soon as I got home and ate some food to protect my stomach, I took one. Hopefully in a few days I'll have my hearing back.

I'm still trying to make it around using only the cane. As each day passes, I notice a much improved walk and my style is improving. Heel, toe and heel, toe I mutter as I walk. Patience and time and I will be as good as new. If I don't follow the husband on his next job, I plan on signing up at Red Lerille's and using that facility for some exercise.

They have an indoor air conditioned track along with pools, saunas and exercise rooms. I'm going to take a tour of the place before deciding if I want to join. I've never like getting exercise that way. I much prefer to be engaged in a sport. Impact sports are definitely out of the question with this knee. I may have to switch gears and hit the track for some walking and the exercise machines now.

Home made pizza is on the menu tonight. The husband is cooking but then that's how we do it around here. He cooks and I clean up the kitchen. I like this arrangement. I'm off here to await some hot cheezy pizza.

And you Thought You were in SHAPE?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dr. Dentist

I made it to the dentist's office and it never gets any easier to make that trip. My imagination works overtime as soon as I climb into that chair. Tilted back in the ugliest aquamarine colored dental chair, I am faced with a television tuned to country music. The sound isn't muted off but it is tuned very low. I spot the remote control across the room on the counter but to get to it, I would have to rescue my crutch from the other side of the room and it's just not worth it so I recline back and watch the tube. Soon the doctor/dentist appears with what looks like forceps and asks me to open wide. Yeah, right doc. Hold on a minute. Just what is the plan here? I'm one of those girls that likes to have it all spelled out in detail; I want to know what is happening.
The last time he had to glue in this temporary, he used a more powerful glue because the previous gluings didn't hold for even a week. I'm now worried that he will have to use maximum force to remove the temporary so he can take an impression for the permanent tooth. He assures me he isn't going to yank hard on it but will only latch on and wiggle till it comes loose. Deep breath and GO!
Ok, so I was all hyped up for nothing. It really wasn't so traumatic getting it out and soon a tray filled with goopy blue stuff was inserted into my mouth and I was instructed to bite down. Then the real pain. I had to stop by the receptionist desk and pay 1010.00 for the tooth. I seem to be on a roll here lately. The mail box offers up statements with requests for payment on the foot and though I must pay, I still remain grateful that my insurance covered a large portion of that bill as it did with the knee replacement. Maybe there is an end in site for medical attention for the remainder of this year. Just give me a year or two of good health.
The husband picked up some steaks from Earl's and as usual they were fork tender and juicy. A ribeye and a baked potato and that was supper. He leaves this weekend for another job in Texas. I don't know yet if I will be accompanying him as he doesn't know if he will be staying on site or in a motel. I can pack quickly. If it means a trip, I can pack in 20 minutes and be ready to go.
I don't have to see a doctor for 5 weeks and that is to be checked before he releases me from his care on this foot.
I stopped by Pat's today to look at her printer and give her a lesson in the skills of printing. She is learning and I know she feels overwhelmed with that computer at times although I constantly assure her that she is learning and it's a thing that takes time to learn. We learn something new when she wants to do something new on it. A lesson as needed; PRN lessons.
Day 8 of walking and most of today I used a cane. The foot has much improved for walking until it begins to swell. I have to elevate and ice as soon as I feel the pain from the swelling. This is to be expected for where I am in the healing process.
I may even venture into a shopping trip tomorrow. Granted, it will be a short slow trip, but something I haven't done for the past two months. I'm heading for the shower, some pajamas and some sofa time. I'm done.

Yet Another Visit

At 7:30 this morning I will be sitting in the dentist's chair to get an impression made for the implant that was started 4 months ago. Be forewarned. If you ever decide to have an implant, know this. Tooth extraction, implanted spike with -multiple followups and X-rays to determine that the spike is healing in place, maintain a temporary tooth attached to the spike and this goes on for the next 4 months. That's where I am right now. Time for the impression to be done so the permanent tooth can be attached to that implanted spike. I won't have that tooth for another month? maybe. I suppose the lab will manufacture and the dentist's office will call me again for another appointment.

I'm sitting here after a night of interrupted sleep knowing I have to be in that chair in a couple of more hours. What was I thinking when I agreed to a 0730 appointment? I'll rethink this when it's time for the next appointment.

The receptionist tried to get me to schedule a deep scaling cleaning this morning and to that I said an emphatic "no". She questioned my reasons for refusing and to that I replied "I've had enough of stress and sitting in that chair while that hygienist digs beneath my gums is more then I want to endure right now.
We did make a trip to the casino yesterday afternoon and had a large platter of shrimp that was boiled in a spicy brew along with the sausages, corn on the cob, new potatoes and cornmeal muffins with jalapenos and it was awesome. I sampled a little of each item and did a "to go" with the majority of the shrimp which I'll enjoy later with some cocktail sauce. I prefer boiled shrimp cold anyway.
I'm alternating between a cane and a crutch and today is 8 days that I have been allowed to weight bear on this foot. The last 8 days have zoomed by. Not being banished to the sofa has alleviated the boredom suffered the previous six weeks and for that I'm grateful.
I'm waiting to find out where the husband's next job takes him and he should know something by this weekend. If it's some place that he can rent a room with a pool I plan on tagging along. A week lounging by a pool with a good book to read sounds like a good time to me. A weight room along side that pool, a jacuzzi and a good book, even better. Another few months and the weight gain from not smoking will hopefully be a loss. I continue to watch portion sizes and snacks have become a thing of the past. That hand to mouth action with food instead of a cigarette was just another habit/addiction that had to be given up but healing from the cigarettes had to be dealt with first. During all this time, not being able to be active didn't help the situation. I'm getting there, slowly, ever so slowly it seems to me.
I'm outta here to get dressed and to that appointment. I'm done.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One Down, One To Go

I've shucked one crutch and I'm making it along using that lone crutch on the left side. I need to report on the heel healing so that I may look back to this to assist my memory.

Post op 7 weeks/bone spur removal/achilles tendon attachement:
I do know the pain has decreased in the bottom of my foot; not entirely gone but it feels much better. I have full range of motion now where in the beginning it felt tight in the ankle when I tried to rock forward on the ball and toes of my foot. Progress eh? The swelling is on the negative side when I first get up in the morning but as the hours pass and I spend time doing chores or errands or just walking around, it begins to swell and the burning starts near the incision site and that's when I retire to the sofa with an ice pack and elevate it for the remainder of the day.

I do believe it is improving and this Friday will be 7 wks. post op and 1 week that I was given permission to weight bear on it. I started out doing partial weight bearing using one crutch which wasn't enough so I commenced using two until the foot got less sensitive. Next week, maybe a cane?

In other news of which is sparse here, Carrie spent the night. She stayed because her mother is laying flooring and replacing kitchen cabinets so the house is a wreck and entertaining Carrie would have been a burden so here she stayed. I don't like to keep her while I'm in pain as pain leaves me impatient with dealing with all Carrie's requests and especially her demands. When did she start demanding? I have to remind her to "ask nicely and say "please'".

The husband mentioned last night that we could take a trip to the Casino tomorrow and enjoy some boiled Gulf shrimp which may not be a bad idea since seafood may be in short supply here. We are all watching the Gulf coast reports along with the rest of the nation on the oil spill.
I want to be up and about and doing things that I like to do. I want to be busy. It has been so long since I was busy. Sitting still for long was never in my plans. A desk job or a mill job or anything repetitive would never have been my choice of a job. I need to move. Restless. I always thought that meant a desire to move and that would have been how I would have described my life. On the move and on the go. I've been grounded for far too long and hopefully when this foot heals and the leg muscles get stronger, I will again embrace restlessness. It's not a bad thing!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kahllil Gibran's The Prophet and Porn

Today Carrie came to visit for a few hours. We played, watched National Geographics on the tube and then did the tub. She played in the bubbles, and played "stay away from Nana, she wants to wash my hair" but thankfully the tub is small and my reach was long enough. I left her to soak while I elevated the foot for a while.

I looked up to see her walking down the hall draped in a beach towel, the "train" of it following along a good 2 ft. behind her. We towel dried her hair, dressed her in fresh clothes and she headed for the bookcase. This is the second time she has selected Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet". Does she have exquisite taste or what? Ok, after thinking about this for a moment, I realize she can't read yet so why does she select this book. She sits close beside me and opens the book while I have my eyes focused on the TV. Soon she jiggles my elbow and says "Nana, look." and I do. The sketches in this book are of nudes and she has the page open to a nubile female. She flips the pages forward to a few more single female sketches and then on to a male and female in an embrace.

4 yrs old and Gibran's book and her interests are colliding? I don't think Gibran's book was intended as a study in nudes. Ah, I'm gonna have to keep an eye on this child!

Her mother just came to collect her and now I'm going to take my stuffed up sinuses and a couple of benadyrls and go to sleep.

Miss Ya

Gus is 12 yrs old here and his muzzle is starting to turn white.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Duck, Duck, Bread

We fed the ducks. It was a promise made and kept to take Carrie to the park. A spattering of rain before we left, made me warn Carrie that our park visit might be short if the rains came back. I should have known she would ask "back from where"? "Never mind little girl, get in the car and don't forget the bread."

The park is but a short distance away so not much time was wasted in getting there.

There wasn't a duck in sight. They must have been hanging at the pond over the hill. We waited at the picnic table with a slice of bed ready to be shared with them. One duck approached from the rise of land in the distance. I encouraged Carrie to toss a piece of bread high in the air and that's all it took. That beady, sharp eyed fowl saw that bread fly up and his waddle escalated. Did you ever see a duck run? They don't but they do waddle fast. He flung out his wings as he waddled toward us and I assume that was done as a balance factor as a high wire walker carries a long pole to balance himself on the wire.

His buddies must have noted his absence because soon another one crested the top of the hill and went pell mell into a waddle run like move. Then another and another until they were coming from all directions. Antenna? Radar? or maybe they have satellite positioning on each other. In the air we noted movement; a white duck was sailing through the air to make a two point landing beyond us a bit. The duck overshot his landing but as soon as he touched down he reversed directions and headed for the bread line. All in all, it was a good duck day and that's all one can ask for.

A Series of Events

March 3rd: Surgery to remove retrocalcaneal bone spur after detaching the
Achilles Tendon to make it accessible. Removed bone spur,and
reattached tendon with screws.
Splint worn for the next three weeks.
Weekly visits for 3 weeks to the surgeon/podiatrist to check
wound site. Splint removed and replaced after each visit.
Week 3 another night splint (300.00 for a splint I could have ordered online for 56.00). The straps and could be removed for exercises and bathing.
Instructions per doctor was to do plantar flexion and extension
while foot was out of the splint WITHOUT RESISTANCE.
Splint to be worn while sleeping and not

At week 6 another visit to the surgeon, X Rays to check the
Achilles tendon attachment and a walking boot approved.

THIS IS NOT A CAM WALKER but a black solid plastic boot

that does NOT FLEX at the ankle, and had a continuous thick
sole. Instructions were to wear it while walking and to remove
it often to do plantar flexion and extension WITH
One day later I pitched the boot in favor of a pair of Reeboks and this is why.
If the surgeon had put me in a hard cast for weeks following surgery, and some surgeons do, the ankle would have been positioned to have the foot point downward at a slight angle to avoid pulling on the reattached Achilles tendon. After healing, a CAM BOOT (seen here) with an hinged ankle adjustment would have been required to gradually bring that ankle back to a 90 degree angle. This would have taken weeks to accomplish by setting the dial on that boot slightly up each week. A couple of heel wedges would have been placed and removed gradually.
Since the cast after surgery wasn't the course my surgeon chose, I lost no range of motion in this ankle. The boot I was instructed to wear would have been no benefit to my healing and recuperation of ankle movement. I had full ankle movement. This 500.00 boot is for patients with a fractured ankle.
99 percent of the patients seeing a doctor do not question what he says to do. They accept it and have their insurance companies pay the 500.00 for a boot that would have no benefit except to boost the surgeons income since he bought this boot for 120.00 and sold it for 500.00. It took me days of researching to assure myself that my Reeboks were not going to be detrimental to my healing process. My friends questioned my choice to refuse to wear this boot so I had to do a lot of reading to make myself comfortable with my decision and I am that now.
As I've mentioned before, I'm happy with the results of the surgery. There is no more pain at the back of the heel. Erroneously I had visions of being able to walk pain free when I was allowed to walk and initially I thought the pain could be attributed to the boot. Not so. I found that most people have to go to partial weight bearing ( I should have been informed of this in the doctors office) and gradually over weeks get to the point where they can do full weight bearing and that's where I am right now. PWB or partial weight bearing. I have to take frequent rest breaks with it because being up on it for any extended amount of time causes extreme pain in the BOTTOM of my foot. Tendons need re stretched and that is what walking a little every day will accomplish.
Money and greed. That's all I have to say about this. If I were a medicare patient, this would have been charged to medicare. These overpriced and sometimes unneeded expenditures charged to our insurance companies or to medicare distresses me. We are quick to talk about how medicare is government run and going broke. How it didn't work. Greed is why it won't ever be solvent. My neighbors mother who is on medicare has 3 of these boots at her home. Why wasn't she told to reuse instead of having medicare charged again and again? Money and greed. Shame on the medical field for this.
Let me get down off this soapbox. My knee and my foot are hurting from all this standing up here. I'm done.
Oh, one other thing before I go. This post was to record the series of steps it took and the time frame to get to the point where I was allowed to weight bear on this foot and along with all the bitchin and complaining, that's what I have done. Now, I'm DONE!
This video shows a guy that had the cast post op..and THE CAM BOOT with hinge.
and another blog site from a guy that details his surgery and recovery: