Saturday, January 28, 2012

what not to do

 Thursday I felt pretty good.  And so I did the inevitable -  I overdid.  The morning was my usual schedule - removing myself from the couch to get something to eat or use the necessary room.   I puttered around the house off and on, just to get some exercise.

"There's a lot of white ink in the lines." Rick informed me after lunch, as he referred to my digital garment printer in my workroom. "I'm concerned about it."

I had intentionally stayed away from that part of our house.  I knew the draw to stay in there would be too strong for me to resist. The thought of a problem with a piece of my business equipment was enough to lay my resolve aside and roll to my workroom.  Weeks earlier I had finished my final order minutes before I left for the hospital for the "Bye, Bye, Bunions" surgery.  Before I left I replaced the ink cartridges with cleaning fluid and flushed the lines.  I noticed there was a bit of white in the lines so I left it on for auto cleaning to finish the job.

When I was able I checked on it and noticed several cleaning fluid lines needed a refill.  I quickly replaced them and hurried back to my perch on the couch.  "That should keep the Diva in line until I am better" I thought to myself as I plopped in my permanent spot.

Anna, the Diva
Rick's concern about the Diva brought me back to reality.  I perched my bum leg on a chair as I began the process of a thorough cleaning.  After an hour of frustrated exploring I discovered the problem.  In my haste to refill the fluid I had grabbed the wrong thing, white ink!  So instead of cleaning, Anna, as I call my machine, had white ink pulsing every eight hours through her veins. I immediately put in the correct solution, and flushed the lines. It was a quick solution to an avoidable problem, but I had been up for over an hour and a half.

As soon as I was satisfied with Anna's condition, Rick and I left to attend a visitation at a funeral home.  By the time my exhausted bones melted into the plaid of the couch, the big hand had passed twelve on the clock four times.

The doctor's words of warning resonated in my mind, "One day you will feel well and you may go shopping or something.  You'll feel great while you are out and will be up too long.  Later your foot will swell and you will realize it was too much.  Don't do it."  Oh, Doc, I wished I would have listened!  Sleep was hard to get that night with a throbbing foot.  Words spoken during that appointment were tattooed in my memory.

Friday was spent in apology to Lucie.   I retreated  to the behavior I exhibited the first week after surgery, glued to the couch.  I dozed periodically through out the day in an effort to reclaim the lost sleep.   Ice packs became my closest friends once again. Late in the afternoon I propped my foot on a stack of pillows  positioned with care on the floor and charted the A-Z photo books on my 'to do' list.
Self worth returned again as I accomplished one thing on Friday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Guilty as charged

Wow!  Can't believe this blog has been silent since Sunday.  No excuses except for the fact that I discovered Pinterest on Monday!  Thanks to my darling DIL.

Monday was actually a very busy day.  We had a snowstorm that day, school was called off which meant only one thing - Grammie DAY for Kile, age 8 and Cavanaugh Anne, age 5.  Old age or maybe boredom invaded so I can't remember what we did.  I just know we were busy! 

Nook Book - got one, love it.  I downloaded "Heaven is for Real for Children" and we had an amazing discussion about heaven's possibilities.  My grandson blew me out of the water with his ideas.  Yes, Jesus loves the little children!  Their love is so pure.

I spent several days on the floor of my front room this week.  No, I didn't fall and not get up.  Instead I began hauling sewing items from my shop to a soft floor.  The list of things to complete has shortened a bit.  A crocheted family name doilie was blocked, mounted and framed.  Blue denim fabric was made ready for jeans with my old favorites used as the pattern.
I cut up a twin bedspread into pillow shams for our master bedroom.  Why?  I found two matching spreads on clearance, but no shams.  It is now re-purposed, and ready to sew.  Zebra print fleece pillows for the granddaughters now sport black blanket stitching.  The decoration also served as seams, and it kept my hands from becoming the devil's workshop.

 I continued to work on organizing photos for my website and decorations in the house.  I also enjoyed surfing for new ideas for infant and toddler clothing.  Pinterest saw me for too many hours. 
The foot continued to heal all week.  Lucie enjoy skinny dipping in the tub for the first time in three weeks.  Added to the daily routine is light foot tapping and the lotion massage.  I ran out of the wrap and Rick forgot to get it so I went to the web.  I found they make it in all sorts of fun colors.  Note to self - talk to Dr. C about this.  Beige is so boring!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just another day in paradise...

I'm taking a break today from talking about my bunions.  Not much new is happening with them.  For the next ten days the routine will remain the same.  Keep Lucie elevated 85% of the time.  Rick and I calculated 10 minutes per hour is the in allowed time to be an upright position.  But I took ten minutes each hour I am asleep and figured I had seventy or eighty minutes to be redistributed throughout the waking hours.  Bonus!

Yesterday was a busy afternoon.  I took the extra minutes per hour in the morning and fixed a pork roast with potatoes, carrots, and cabbage,  It felt so good to be cooking again.  Rick's brother and sister-in-law joined us for our noon meal.  I had just plopped on the couch with my feet up when the doorbell rang.  I felt like it took an hour to pry myself up, roll to the door and answer it.  It was my niece in the mood for a nice, long catchup session.  After several hours we both were spent and the door reopened.  In bounced Kile, age 8 and Cavanaugh, age 5.  Two weeks had passed since we were together and the hug meter was on empty for all of us.

Over the next several hours I was educated in the art of watching Phineas and Ferb.  I learned how to tell them apart, their pet's name, the good guys, and the evil ones. The more I learned the less educated I felt.

During the course of the afternoon, we also explored t-shirt ideas for both of them.  When I suggested Kile's next shirt must include a platypus he replied, "You sure know what I like." with a smile that engaged every part of his body.  Best Compliment Ever!

Rick and I finished off the day watching a romantic comedy, my favorite genre of flick to watch.
It was a great day, filled with people important to me.  More Saturdays like this - bring 'em on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Week Two: Bye, Bye Bunions!

I am no longer a gremlin.
Dr. Cervetti informed me at my two week post op check up that Lucie can wet. Gone are the days of no eating after midnight or never, ever get it wet.

Back to life as normal. Well not quite yet.  Weight has been restricted for an additional two weeks.  That will be a total of four weeks without walking like the majority of people.  But seriously, it has not been a royal pain.  It only sounded bad going in.

Nellie, formerly known as TLC, made this pretty painless and knocked the crutches out of the number one position.  All the years of operating the tractor and grain cart paid off.  Turn in tight spaces. Check.  Back up to get a forgotten item.  Check.  Turn on a dime. Check.  Hand brakes - wonderful for stabilizing while I mounted the mighty steed.  Left knee in position, right leg swung over into position for motion. If only Nellie had stirrups. "Whoa, Nellie!" As in any new ride, I experienced a wit bit of saddle soreness.  Soon my knee built up the necessary callous.  I noticed a new strength that developed in my right leg.  The move from the floor to the couch, from the couch to Nellie, or Nellie to the bathtub became less of a struggle.  Woot!  Woot!

This website is not a game show, or reality TV program.  But  the time has come for Big Feet: Extreme Makeover reveal.  Your imagination is required.  I didn't take a before photo of the left foot, but the right foot looks pretty much the same, only mirrored. 


Two weeks after the big slice.   

Yes, it's is still swollen, bruised and the scars show, all expected.  Bumps on either side are relegated to "I remember when..."
Dr. Ron Cervetti explained the procedure used for Bye, Bye Bunions.  He was gracious as I clicked away with my camera.  Basically the bones were cut, realigned and screws (small white areas) were inserted to keep the bones stable while they heal.
He also gave me step by step instructions on the proper way to wrap it, again!  I guess the nurse who took off the one I had applied tattled on me.  Epic failure!

I graduated to Week Two Post Op Instructions:
1.  Keep foot clean, dry and dressing intact, but can get it wet for short bursts.
2. Non-weight bearing. Heal may be used for balance only.
3.  Elevate 85% of the time, approximately all but 10 minutes per hour.  The first week this was easy - I didn't feel like it.  The past few days I banked my night hours and used the time to cook, work at my desk for an hour or so at a time.
4.  Ice pack the foot for one minute on, the one minute off for ten minutes twice a day.  I massage and lotion it before icing.  I finish up by wrapping it again as detailed in my photos.
5. Gentle toe tapping, only touching the floor lightly.

The bunny ears behind my foot belong to Dr. Cervetti. He made our visit productive and fun.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bye, Bye Bunions Day 14

Day 14 following bunion and tailor bunion surgery.
I decided to reflect on if this was a good idea.

1.  Less pain in Lucie (left foot) since surgery than I faced daily in the months leading up to the big change.  The last few weeks my left foot was aching by noon.  I was happy to sit at my desk and attend to the never ending paperwork. My toes felt like they were in a vice grip.  My gray and hot pink tennis shoes, the only shoes I could wear all day without sharp pain in the ball of my foot, were tiresome, at best.

2.  I have received lots of great attention.  Phone calls, visits, cards,and meals delivered have been great diversions.  I received loving care from 8 and 5 year old grandchildren, and panini sandwich from Eric and Trela. The Best Nephew Ever award goes Jordan.  He stopped several times last with his Mom and came bearing gifts of roast beef, potatoes, vegetables and homemade dinner rolls from their family.  And I can't forget to mention fresh cookies. Monday afternoon he came again and made lemon baked tilapia, warming ham (from Marlene & Dennis) for Rick, and cleaned the kitchen before heading home to do it all again.  Last night four of my BFF slid into our yard toting chili, vegetable soup, fresh whole grain rolls, vegetables with dip and cheese cake bites.  The best gift of all was their friendship and conversation.  Yes, I have been spoiled.  Love IS a verb.

3.  Sleep derivation left my body.  The first week is a bit of a blur, due to the amount of sleep I had.  Didn't know I had it in me.  I watched television and movies through my eyelids.  The dark circles have not disappeared, maybe I should sleep more.

4.  Time to write this blog.  I have not had time to put my thoughts on paper, or in cyberspace for years.  To spend part of my day in thought has been a blessing.  I also put Christmas/New Year/Valentine's day photo and letter in the mail.  As a result, I am getting more phone calls.

5.  Rick had the opportunity to hone his domestic skills.  He discovered he COULD manage meals, stack the dishwasher, and even empty it.  Granted, my kitchen has been rearranged somewhat, but no complaints have escaped my lips.  I am grateful.

6.  My laptop computer became my constant companions.  New techniques, skills and ideas have been absorbed by watching tutorials that were always too low on the totem pole of priorities.

7.  Create TV garnered a new viewer.  I enjoyed watching DIY programing.  New ideas found their way to embed my computer.

1.  Pain.  See number #1 under Pros.
2.  Center of attention.  See Number #2 as above.
3.  Exhaustion the first few days after surgery.  See Number #3.
4.  I have spent the last 14 days parked on the couch.  As you might guess, refer to # 4,6 and 7 under pros.
5.  Unable to do much housework.  Duh!  that's NOT a con.  See #5.

In addition I have learned some new exercises.  This doesn't come under Pro or Con.  Just under Life's Necessary Things.

1.  One  routine is stair climbing - on your bottom.  Going down a flight is a piece of cake.  Left leg held high (good for upper leg muscles)  right leg was strengthened when used a segment of the tripod, arms second and third legs. Huh?  Returning to ground floor was a challenge.  Again the three worked together to simultaneously raise body one step at a time.  Lesson learned - three repeats - too much for the first day.

2.  Sit ups.  In the bathtub is a different venue, but still effective.  Highlight was getting a nice shampoo.

I visit the doctor this afternoon.  I hope to see the x-rays and compare the before and after.  Opinions on pros and cons may change later today.

Monday, January 16, 2012

How to take a bath...

Sunday was a long day.  We had attended Mass on Saturday afternoon instead of our usual Sunday morning.  We were both up bright and early so Rick could head to Missouri to visit our daughter.  He had decided I am trustworthy and could leave me on my own.  I have really graduated to independence.

I had visitors late morning.  During the conversation we discussed bathing and the process for me. 
"Shall I blog about it?" I inquired with a smirk.
Her answer hit my ears in spite of her giggles, "Sure, why not?"
For those who are modest, you may wish to close your eyes.

Step 1.  Remove the inert object from the couch.  (That would be me.)  This involved putting the black boot on (to protect my delicate parts from any bumps), adding a shoe and sock to my 'good' foot (to prevent slipping),  and grabbing a crutch.  Why only one?  To grab TLC, renamed Nellie, and then to steady myself as I went from reclined to upright.  Nellie was in position, brake on and I saddle up.  Knee in place, hand brake released and I'm off to the bathroom.

Step 2.  Once Nellie and I are in the necessary room, I again apply the hand brake. "Whoa! Nellie." This keeps her in place while I dismount.  I resemble a flamingo as I steady myself with my boot resting on the bottom of the throne until I sit.  (Close you eyes).  I remove the boot first, so it is easier to remove the clothing on the left leg.  Once that is done, the boot goes back to it's appointed spot, my left foot.  I think I will name my left foot, Lucie, for ease and from now on, my right foot is Rosie. Once Lucie is covered, it is easier to take care of Rosie and everything else.  It's not long and I'm ready for the plunge.  But first I must prepare my environment.

Step 3:  With the heater keeping the bathroom toasty warm, I  assemble everything needed for this project to be a success:  Towels, bathmats, cleaning junk.  Now, depending on the size of the anatomy a towel, bathmat or washcloth is placed on the tub edge.  This is where I will sit before I can enter the tub.  I'm not telling which terry cloth item I use, it's best to leave it to your imagination.  This step is not necessary, but  let me tell you this:  Cast Iron Tubs Are Cold IF YOU DON"T.  Hang all towels within easy reach.

Step 4. 
The Plunge. First I turn on the water and then I place my right arm on the far edge of the tub, rotate my body until I am parallel with the super sized basin, still sitting on the side.  I swing Rosie and my leg follows and I place it in the tub.  Meanwhile, Lucie positions on the side as I lower the remaining body part into the mini waterfalls at my head.  I lay my back on the floor of the tub as the cascading water rinses my hair.  I do a sit up each time I need shampoo, conditioner or soap.  It actually works very well.  Once my hair has had it's final rinse, I shut off the running water and continue to bath as usual, with Lucie hanging outside the tub. 

Final Step.
When it's time I reverse the process.  Again, the right hand grasps the side, left hand on the opposite edge, stand on Rosie as I raise myself up, out and to the terrycloth still residing on the tub. (thought I was gonna let it slip which one I used, didn't you?)  Once I am steady, I grab the towels placed within reach.  First hand towel is placed on the toilet seat (the lid was closed first) and I move to the larger location.  This is where I am grateful for a small room.  Everything is so close together.  I am able to finish towel drying from my perch.  I remove the big black boot, hereby dubbed, BBB, to enable easy dressing, replace BBB and continue as normal.  It is not long before I apply the brake to Nellie, mount my trusty steed so I can go to the next project on my list.

Bath and Shampoo. Check.

And now you know.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekend: Bye, Bye Bunions

Wow!  These last few days I experienced lots of new things.  I have kept busy with TLC, the house and on my couch.

Friday, the 13th is a superstitious day for some people.  I barely noticed, and that was because news commentators informed me.  It was  a day of new independence for me.  So I consider that lucky!  I was allowed to take a bath all by myself.  No spectators, no interference, just me and warm vanilla sugar.  (My favorite Bath and Body Works scent.)  My excellent behavior convinced Rick I would not do anything stupid and I could keep my balance.  Actually, I think he really knew this all along, but wanted to enjoy the sight.

As the bathroom door shut behind me and I indulged myself in the peacefulness of the occasion, I couldn't help but revisit a time long ago.  In my child rearing days the bathroom was the only place I could have any type of privacy.  I remember my shower as my favorite time of day.  I usually tried to sneak it in between early morning feeding of the current infant and the pitter patter of the current toddler's feet as they made a dash to the kitchen table for breakfast.  Many days those precious few minutes were the only silent prayer time I eked out of my marathon day.  I recall more than once getting spiritual direction as I prayed and washed simultaneously.  You might say "I was washed clean."

These past few months Rick has taken on additional responsiblilities with his parents, their health and business.  When those are added to hisonw business, community and family obligations, it makes him one busy man.  So I spent most of Friday just being on the couch with minimal help.  I nearly completed the Christmas card mailing that morning.  My life long friend since 8th grade came and spent the afternoon.  She came to work, but I much preferred her company.  So we mostly chatted the afternoon away.  We did accomplish making up the guest room beds with the clean bedding that had waited for two weeks.  TLC was an immense help as I wheeled myself from the head to the foot of the beds.  The rooms looked finished once again.  Thanks, Joan!

Extreme Makeover: Home Addition.  A program that I have watched on occasion, so it was no effort on my part to spend Friday evening with my foot in the air for their series finale.  Pretty incredible the impact they have made in lives over the years.  The houses they built in Joplin, MO appeared to be appropriate.  Some of them in the past seemed over the top.  Blah, blah...

Saturday morning was greeted with a cup of coffee and a friend at the door.  She had come to clean the house for me.  But I noticed her leg was bandaged and she explained she had surgery earlier in the week.  That was the end of floor duty for this week.  Instead we sat and exchanged ideas and had an awesome 'girl to girl' conversation.  Mindy helped me get our laundry started so I could wheel myself to the utility room as loads completed their weekly 'now wearable in public' cycles.

The conversation with a former TLC rider gave me the notion to try skills at bulldozing, rider style.  I soon figured out the most efficient method of moving laundry baskets from room to room.  All those years of tractor/grain cart operations came in handy.  I can add laundry service back to my list of things I can do for myself.   In the last 10 days, every day chores have gone from almost impossible to manageable, but slower.  I can live with that.

Rick and I attended Mass in the afternoon.  The weather was nice and I enjoyed the snowmobiles and the excited enthusiasts  I saw along the drive.  Rick packed the TLC and I was able to make my way to the pew unassisted.   Our parish priest raised his eyebrows a bit as I rolled myself down the center aisle after the majority of the congregations had exited the church.  Wish we had a church calender, I think I could have made one of the month's pin up parishioners. :)

NO, I did not watch Miss America.  But am glad Miss Wisconsin won.  Way to represent the Midwest.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Progress continues bye, bye bunions

It seems I have initiated a new routine.  .  Thursday morning found me bright eyed and bushy tailed before five.  I wheeled to the kitchen and made my lazy latte.  Early morning is my favorite time of day.  After devotions,  I began reading a new book, Papa's Wife, copyright 1955.  (That was a great year!) My mom loaned me the series of three.  One of my goals during this recovery was to read more.

I found too much wheeling and dealing with TLC, gave me back spasms so I spent the majority of the day on my perch.  Rick, my favorite fix it man, adjusted the height on TLC and it helped some.  Thursday became one of the days before Christmas because I spent the majority of the day writing notes on our annual Christmas letter.

At noon I ventured to the kitchen.  Withdrawal had set it.  Out came my cast iron skillet, an onion, chef knife and cutting board.  It didn't take long to slice, dice and saute the onion.  Oh the smell that tickled  my sniffer as I stirred and smiled.  It felt so good!  I finished one of my favorite ways to fix spinach and popped the dish into the oven.

Rick ran business errands all morning and came in hungry for left over roast and vegetables, courtesy of sister-in-law, Sally. That was fine with me. "No problem, my spinach can be my supper."  The meal of roast beef, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage tasted as good as the first time around

I wheeled myself to my shop for a bit in the afternoon.  My booted foot rested on my desk as I answered the phone and caught up on a bit of paperwork.  Soon, the couch called my name and I was quite happy to answer it.

Thursday was a pretty quiet day.  The snow sprinkled whiteness all day and the wind was intent on spreading the love around.  It was a good day to stay inside and be glad I had no reason to go outside.

I enjoyed my evening meal of spinach casserole, followed my dessert of fresh apple dipped into my favorite fruit dip: low-fat vanilla yogurt blended with peanutbutter.  

I had a bit of pain in my left foot in the afternoon.  Probably because I spent more time in a vertical position than previous days and also I began my foot exercises.  Bend, rotate, repeat.  It wasn't enough discomfort to pop a pill, just enough to let me know to 'go slowly'.
After such an exhausting day, the sandman came for a visit shortly after eight.

Spinach Casserole:
15 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 onion, diced
1-12 oz carton low fat cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
Olive oil
Saute onion in small amount olive until softened and brown.  Add spinach and stir until it is wilted.
In a small bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese and shredded cheese.  Add spinach/onion mix and pour in an oiled casserole dish.  Bake for one hour in a 350 degree onion or until set.  Enjoy.

Fruit Dip:
Three Tablespoons LowFat/Sugar Free Vanilla Yogurt
1 heaping teaspoon natural peanutbutter.
Blend until well mixed.  Enjoy with fresh apple wedges, banana slices, or your favorite fresh fruit.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bye, Bye Bunions Day 7

Seven days ago I was at the hospital preparing for bunion, and tailor bunion surgery.  The last week has been much easier than I anticipated.  Pain level - little to none, certainly nothing to write about.  Treatment from my husband, Rick - A+.  He has done things around the house that are out of his comfort zone and I am grateful.  Dishes washed, floors swept, food prepared and my needs attended.  What more could I ask of him?

Wednesday morning was a big outing for me.  I had an appointment with my podiatrist to check the progress.  I felt like a rich babe with a chauffeur as I sat in the back seat and Rick drove me around town.    Rick had packed TLC, so I wheeled myself into the building.  Once my name was called, off I zipped, only to be told to slow down. Oops, sorry nurse.

The big black boot came off, along with the dressings and for the first time I saw my foot.  It actually looked better than I envisioned.  Parts were bruised, I expected that, but swelling was less than I had imagined.  The coolest thing - my foot was straight. This was a new experience for me - to look down at a pretty foot.  It doesn't look like my left foot belongs to me.

Dr. Cervetti came in, said everything looked good.  My foot held no surprises for him.  He explained in easy terms what he did.  Basically, he cut bones on both sides of my foot, realigned the bones, and screwed the bones back together.  I would have expected more pain than I experienced.  I must have chosen the best podiatrist in our area to fix me up. :)

After we exchanged jokes, and I gave him the address for this blog, he and Rick got into a discussion about Rick's feet!  Rick may be next...

Generally, I followed instructions for recovery well. If grades were awarded, I received a B+, maybe an A-.  What did she do wrong you must be asking yourself. 

I stayed off my foot, no weight on it, didn't bump it, iced it several times a day, took medicine if needed, used crutches or TLC, BUT I didn't take the big black boot off at all.  I thought I was supposed to leave it on for protection, support, etc.  Wrong!  I should have removed it several times a day so it didn't sweat.  The boot was damp.  Gotcha, Doc! 

My next adventure was Walmart.  Rick needed some things at Farm and Fleet, so I convinced him to let me get a few craft supplies and groceries.  TLC was great.  I wheeled myself to the craft department, sauntered through groceries and was checking out when he called to say he was finished.  Along the way I visited with a kind gentleman who stopped to inquire about my 'ride'.  I able to carry all the purchases in the  bicycle basket attached to TLC.  It felt good to be on my own, if even for a few minutes.  But I must admit, I was exhausted when I parked myself in the back seat and was grateful for the chance to just be still.

The rest of the day was spent resting with my foot up, boot off.  I worked on Christmas cards, looked on my Nook to find the next book to read, and took a nap.  Rick picked up Cavanaugh and Kile, my normal Wednesday afternoon routine.  He had a meeting in the evening, so I was on my own for my evening meal.  I reheated a bowl of California Vegetable soup, spread a homemade roll, from Sally, with peanut butter, and managed to make it back to my perch on the couch. 

Sleepy time came early for me on Day Number 7.  It was a big day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bye, Bye Bunions Day 5 & 6

The Good Fairy still exists!  She visited my home yesterday morning shortly before ten.  And she brought a gift!  It is a TLC, meaning Turning Leg Caddy, more commonly known as 'the leg scooter'.  Phyllis, you are a dear!  It is so generous of you to loan me the TLC.   It has made my life easier.  I  made Rick pretty nervous several times when I zipped around to get my coffee or use the necessary room.
"Be careful on that thing!"  he scolded, " you are going to run over your good foot."
"No problem," I retorted, "I'm having surgery later on that foot. Might as well get my money's worth."
In reality, I did run over my right toe a few times.  I have learned better control.  And crutches are no longer this gals best friend.  It is the TLC.
The pain level the last two days was quite bearable.  I had twinges every once in a while, but as long as my foot remains propped, it is far less pain than I experienced before surgery. I am not taking an pain medication today.
Why did I wait so long to have this done?
A.  I didn't have time before Christmas.
B.  I wanted to wait until the pain from my feet would be worse than the pain from my surgery.
C.  I wanted to wait until Rick was finished with fall field work so he could wait on me.
D.  All of the above.

If you picked letter 'D', you are correct.

I had a wonderful visit on Monday afternoon with my sister-in-law and nephew.  Before they left, supper was made and all Rick had to do was reheat.  We feasted on spaghetti, green beans and toasted garlic cheese bread.

Lest you think I am turning into a sloth I will share my goals for this recovery time.
1. write something every day.
2. mail my Christmas photo card and letter before January is over.
3.  Play around with my design software and learn more techniques.
4.  Scrapbook our trip to Zimbabwe.
5.  Read lots of books.
     Today I finished "Dare to Love Completely" by Janine Roberts.  It is a memoir of her journey to  Fairfield Childrens Home in Mutare, Zimbabwe.  I had the pleasure of meeting her and the seventy five plus orphaned children there.  You can read of her work at

Today I also learned about the papa bear syndrome.  I was quite familiar with the mama bear syndrome and not to mess with baby bear.  But I didn't realize how the papa bear can rear up on his hind quarters and roar when he thinks mama bear has endangered herself.  Interpretation:  Don't sneak into the bathroom and think you can take a bath by yourself without his approval.  Boy!  Did I hear the riot act.  In reality, his love for me shone brightly.  He was concerned that I might slip as I entered or exited the tub with only one leg for support.  "Mary gets to take a bath by herself!" fell on deaf ears.  So when I was finished I waited patiently for him to return and was very grateful he was there to assist.  I knew I should have lost 20 pounds before I did this.  Too much weight to maneuver.  And to think I used to be a fairly decent athletic.  Those were the days...

Back to the Christmas cards...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bye, Bye, Bunions! day 4

Sunday was an interesting day.  I awoke full of energy.  I imagine it was due to the great night's sleep.  I decided it was time to clean, my body, not my house.  Thursday until Sunday was too long to go without a bath or shower.  But I remembered the doctor's instruction on how to treat my foot - never, ever get it wet.  I guess I was still in the 'gremlin' instruction.  You know, no eating after midnight, no water.   So I postponed the ordeal until it was way past necessary. 
Of course, Rick volunteered for the job of helping.  When I mentioned that I could probably handle it myself, he seemed so disappointed, that I quickly changed my mind on my independence.
I hobbled into the bathroom while he ran water into the tub.  I found that laying with my leg dangling out of the tub, resting on the toilet, kept it away from the water.  I parked my head below the faucet so the incoming water acted as a miniature shower.  I washed and conditioned my hair in this manner, and the rest seemed like a piece of cake.  Soon I was ready to move to step two, finding clothes that fit over my boot.  In no time at all, I was ready to make the trek to Sunday Mass.  I wanted to arrive early, not to practice with the choir, but to be in the front pew before many people arrived.  Rick wheeled me up in the church's wheelchair and then returned it to the lobby in case anyone else needed it.
Attending Mass felt wonderful.  It is usually the highlight of my week, so I appreciated the chance to go.  However, about two thirds into the Mass, I began to loose steam.  Exhaustion set in and I was grateful for the wheelchair to get me back to our car.  The couch looked might good and I spent the afternoon sleeping. 
Pain medication was needed in the afternoon.  I guess I overdid taking a bath AND attending Mass in the same day.  (Sort of think I couldn't go to church unless I had done the bath thing first).  I took a pain medication two times yesterday, once in the afternoon, and a second tablet before bed.  I kept my foot elevated for the rest of the day, leaving my couch only to visit the necessary room.  At this time, my shop is NOT considered a necessary room.  That only leaves one other room.  You figure it out. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Saturday, Day 3 of 'Bye, Bye, Bunions!'

Saturday morning of this journey was delightful.  Rick brought two of our three grandchildren here to keep my company.  After many gentle snuggles from both of them, Cavanaugh helped Rick prepare my breakfast.  She did question Rick on why he couldn't do it by himself if I gave him the directions.  Anyway, she directed him as he measured one half cup frozen blueberries into a bowl and defrosted them for two minutes, forty-five seconds.  Meanwhile, walnuts were chopped to the precise size.   Yogurt, along with the walnuts, rolled oats and a teaspoon of cinnamon were added to the defrosted berries
'Here, Grammie, you can mix it yourself.',  my five year old granddaughter smiled with confidence as she handed me my breakfast bowl.  She skipped back to the kitchen to make her own 'special'  breakfast.

Pain level this morning was at a zero -one.  As long as I kept my left foot elevated above my hip, my appendage felt better than before the surgery.  Rick remembered he had a meeting with family, but was concerned about leaving me alone.  I assured him I would not be alone, I had the grandchildren as company.  He left with my blessings and the three of us settled in to watch "Happy Feet" as we consumed potato chips, raspberries, graham crackers, peanuts, pistachio nuts, and apples.  Empty tummies and 'Grammie's house' seemed to go hand in hand with those two.  By the time Eric and Trela, their parents,  arrived with all the fixins' for lunch, they were full.  I hadn't attempted to eat my way through the movie, so I thoroughly enjoyed the made to order panini sandwich.  After they cleaned the kitchen, I was left with my couch, pillows and blankets.  Even my Saturday afternoon sewing programs on public television could not keep my eyelids from shutting out the world.  I slept the afternoon away. 

Rick returned late afternoon and took over the next kitchen chore, our evening meal.  Sam's Club and Rick did a great job of baked tilapia and sweet potato fries for me, and chicken strips with regular fries for himself.  It was delicious.  It wasn't long until my need to watch television through my eyelids took over and I was soon asleep for the night.  Pain level was so low I forgot to take the two prescribed Celebrex before bedtime.

Recipe:  Breakfast Bowl (the Grammie Special)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt or low fat, low calorie yogurt
1/4 rolled oats, uncooked
.5 ounce chopped walnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon,  may also add 1 tsp ground flaxseed
Mix and enjoy.

Recipe:  Lazy Latte
1 cup skim milk, heat in microwave until hot.
3 squirts or 2 tablespoons sugar free coffee syrup
2 rounded teaspoons instant coffee
boiling water to fill the mug.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

MonaRottinghaus: Bye, Bye, Bunions! day 2

MonaRottinghaus: Bye, Bye, Bunions! day 2

Bye, Bye, Bunions! day 2

It has been approximately thirty-six hours since I had the surgery to correct both the bunion and the tailor bunion on the outside of my foot.  One thing I forgot to mention in my first post - the doctor did not operate on the right foot!  I was so relieved when I woke up and discovered this.  He was, in fact, doing exactly what was ordered, operating on my left foot first.

The first day and a half went extremely well.  I have been a  permanent fixture on our living room couch with both sides of the recliners engaged.  I rotated from a sitting or prone positions, with my stack of pillows following my foot.  I was told to keep my foot elevated at all times, and I took the direction to heart.  Yesterday I found the pain level ranged from 1 to 3, so in an effort to keep ahead of it, I started with two extra strength acetaminophen tablets, followed by one half tablet of the prescribed pain relief medication.  Later I took the second half of the tablet, which controlled any discomfort I experienced.   I took a full dose of the prescribed pain med before bedtime and had a restful night.  No pain medication so far today.

Rick, in spite of feeling poorly, did a great job of waiting on me.  I always had water, and a snack near by, along with reading material, and the television remotes.  I got complete control of them.  If I had known I could control the remotes, I might have done this sooner!

Excursions from the couch included, bathroom visits and one trip to my shop.  I propped my foot on a chair while I worked at my desk for a few minutes.  Crutches, not diamonds, have been this gal's best friend as I maneuver around the house.  It has given me a third speed.  Normally I operated in two gears - wide open and stopped.  I have added, slow as molasses last January.  Of course, it can't be this year with the temperature in the fifties.

The smell of coffee has always triggered headaches for Rick.   In spite of this fact, he made me my morning cup of joy this morning.  He left a few minutes ago for our son's home to bring our five year old granddaughter to make my 'Grammie Special' breakfast.  He called her for instructions and she immediately said, "Do you want me to come out?"  He just made that little girls day!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bye, Bye, Bunions!

It's a family genetic trait - bunions.  My mother has them, her mother had them, and I 'have 'enjoyed' them for as long as I can remember.  Lest you think they came from ill fitting shoes, or wearing ridiculously high heels, I live in blue jeans, and  flat shoes. If the issue is forced, I will put on a dress with two inch clunky heals.  So it must be genetic.

The last few years my feet have been letting me that I have the family 'heirlooms'.  This fall I decided it's time to do something about the fact I can wear only one pair of sneakers without spasms invading my foundation.  I looked rather silly wearing gray and hot pink tackies with a beautiful black dress at the wedding I attended in October.  After visiting with what I hoped was the best podiatrist in the area, I scheduled the first of two surgeries for January 5, 2012.  This blog will track the progress I make as I journey through surgery and recovery.  Sitting with my foot up and no weight bearing will be a challenge.

Prelude:  Begin the daily foot scrub.   Now a days, we get to be a member of the surgical team by washing the soon to be sliced body part with bentandine scrub for three days leading up to the procedure.  Each morning I opened the scrub brush and nail cleaner and lathered up my foot and leg.  I felt like I was Hawkeye Pierce on M.A.S.H. as I worked away removing the grime.  The night before I took two Celebrex tablets with my meal and then refrained from eating after midnight.  What?  Am I a gremlin? At least I could drink clear liquids until eight a.m. on the morning of January 5, which I took full advantage. My last glass of water was at seven fifty-nine a.m.  aaahhh.

January 5, 2012  The big day:
Up early, which is nothing new for me.  Four a.m found me enjoying a can of sprite.  After working for an hour, I took a nap, arising at six a.m.  Of course, I had to finish my last minute order, so at nine forty-five a.m. I shut machines off, hit the shower and left for the hospital shortly after ten.  We were to be checked in at ten forty-five a.m. for twelve- fifteen surgery.  Things were ahead of schedule for my doc, so I left cheerfully for the operating room at eleven forty-five.  I felt surprisingly calm.
The surgical team resembled a colony of ants as they each scurried to do their assigned task.  It wasn't long before the happy medicine had me asleep while the group did what the insurance company and I paid them to do.  I awoke as they were finishing up and soon was on my way back to the room, to my  husband.  It took around two hours to fix my bunion and the tailor bunion as well.
The doctor came into for a post surgery visit and I let him have a few of my choice zingers, "The only thing domestic about my husband is he lives in a house.", along with other choice one liners.  He left with a smile, and a promise to see me in his office in a week.  After a short nap, yummy cinnamon bread with hot tea, I was soon ready to head to my home.  These drive through surgeries are not so bad.  I had met with physical therapy earlier that day to learn to use my crutches, a new experience for me.  Pain level on the way home - ZERO !

My loving husband propped me up on our couch/recliner- my new home for the next two weeks.  The numbing medication in my foot had subdued any pain for the evening.  I took two more Celebrex and settled in for the night.  So far, so good.  Pain level- still at zero.