Friday, February 26, 2010

Re-post, Unexpected Gift

No, this is not the story about the times that I got "unexpected" Christmas presents. Those are stories for a different post.

This post has "mother-in-law" in the title, because the gifter, Rick's mom Alice, is now my MIL. She actually gave me this gift about two years ago. Long before Rick and I were engaged. I would like to thank her for this story. Thanks, Alice!

Oops, I need to start from the beginning. Here we go:

Rick loves to fly his mother out here to Seattle to visit with us and with my (conservative-ish) family. We love us some Alice, because she is generally a hoot.

Alice pulled me aside one day during her Summer 2008 visit. She was really excited that we had a moment alone (my mom had left the room to answer the phone), and waved me over to her purse.

"I have something for you, Beth. I got it at one of those parties that my friend had where you buy stuff for the bedroom."

Hooooooooh boy. Not a good setup.

This is what she pulled out of her purse:

"It's a lipgloss! You just put this on your lips before you get in bed with Rick, and watch out!!"


Alice spent the rest of her trip telling me to not forget to, "Put on that lipgloss," followed by a naughty *wink.*

In case you don't catch the meaning of this gift, allow me to show you the directions on the back:

The back spells it out for you:
"Basic Instinct combines PHEREMONES (nature's s*x attractant) with a rich blend of fragrant essential oils, to enhance romantic encounters and increase se*ual desire."

I'm afraid I never got to realize the full potential of Basic Instinct - not that I needed to, in Rick's defense. But I never got to realize the potential of this wonderful product because I couldn't bear putting it on my lips. I'm all about romance and fragrance, but I strongly suspect the "essential oil" they used in Basic Instinct was motor oil.

Have you ever gotten an embarrassing gift? Share please. If you do share, keep it clean - I don't want any smutty comments.

I have my mom's story covered:
One time my great-aunt forgot to tell my mother to open her present WITHOUT her four children present. It was a lovely negligee. ;-)

You're welcome, Mom.

Love, B

Checkup Week 6

I went to the dr on Thursday for my 6 week check. I had fallen last week and had a bump and an especially sore spot on the foot that I fell on. I mentioned this, so they x-rayed that foot and everything is fine! Yay!

6 week pictures **GROSS PICTURE WARNING**

I thought that was just dry skin at the base of my big toe in the next pic. Upon pulling it, I found out that it is part of the incision. Ow.

I know, gross. Here is a palate-cleanser:

I can stand easier than walk. But doing either for longer than a few minutes starts to hurt.

Here is a breakdown of activities, Easy and Not Easy, six weeks after my surgery:

Writing a blog: Easy

Walking: Not Easy

Standing to boil wax out of the candle glasses: Easy

Getting the wick out of the bottom of a Voluspa candle without breaking the glass in half:

Not Easy


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Week....4? Or 5. Something.

I have lost count of what week I am on. Oh, I am going on week 5. Because I just had my 4 week appointment.

I can now "walk," but I use that word loosely - my on-foot movement is reminiscent of a drunk old lady, and Frankenstein (picture me stooped over like an old lady, and arms stuck out every which way, trying to balance).

Why am I walking like this, you might ask? Because I still have to wear these:


It is hard to walk in these - I almost fell backwards a few times. Actually, I did fall backwards a few times, but thankfully, Rick the Saint was right there to catch me. If I were a total sap I could make some smushy comment here about how symbolic this is of our relationship. Not a sap.

It hurts to walk in these shoes - the part of my my feet that hurts is actually the outsides of my feet. I am trying to stay off my feet still, because it really isn't comfortable to walk. And also because I clumsily fell the other day, and my foot now hurts where the plate/screws are. Hope I didn't do any damage. Anyway, I am still wheeling around a lot because of that.

For those of you who are interested in what my feet look like at week 4, here is a picture:

The fuzzy things in the background are my dogs, of course.

So you might think that the feet don't look too swollen now. WRONG. Check out the side view, of a toe fold that is not normally there (BEWARE - UN-PEDICURED FOOT PICTURE):

That is not the regular crease under my big toe. It's a FOLD! It hurts to clean it out. Wah.

BTW, my foot/feet looked a LOT better after I GENTLY exfoliated off the top 80 layers of dead skin.

I am happy to report that my "fat" jeans are STILL my fat jeans, in spite of 4 weeks of almost no physical activity (if only Facebooking burned calories!). However, if Rick keeps buying Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, my fat jeans might not be as loose.

I go in for my 5-week checkup tomorrow.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

List of things I miss doing when I can't walk

1. Jumping.

For those of you who think jumping is not that great, please refer to the close-up of me in the picture below:

Yeah. That's pure joy.

2. Hiking. In this picture, it was Paris (the dog) who was gimpy from knee surgery, so I carried her on our hike.

3. Putting on evening gowns, going to bars with friends, and telling people in said bars that I just won the Miss Washington pageant. And having the more gullible ones believe me.

4. Stealing napkin dispensers from a restaurant because the self-important, 19 year-old manager got lippy with me and John Riley.

Yeah, your FACE is unsanitary, beeeyatch!!! And I stole all your napkins!

5. Standing around with draft horses.

Shut up. It's a lot more fun than it looks.

6. Riding mules.
Oh, hold up - I could totally do that right now!

If you need to reach me today, you know where I'll be...

...that's right, Party People! On a mother effin' mule!

Anyway, before I go take my mule ride I will finish this list:

7. Riding (stationary) snowmobiles with Alli.

8. Being a humanitarian- fighting for people's political rights, etc.

9. Sitting with my feet IN the hot tub.

10. Waving my hands in the air like I just don't care.
I wasn't necessarily doing that in this picture.

Oops, just kidding. I totally was.

Weeks 2 and 3 post-op

Well, not much really happened here. I still couldn't walk, I got a bandage change at the end of week 3 and my foot looked weird and swollen. I washed my foot because I could take my bandages off and wash it after 3 weeks and OH MY GAWSH GROSS!!!

Um, if you have ever had a cast on, you know what I mean when I say there was excessive skin sloughing going on. SICK! In my life I had never wanted a pedicure more than at that moment in the tub. At least I had beautiful, soft, new skin underneath the 70 layers of old stuff.

Oh, and it totally rocked to take a shower/bath without having to dangle my feet over the side of the tub.

And if you ever have this surgery, don't be surprised if after three weeks you still can't lower your foot below heart level without it throbbing. It just happens. Enjoy the downtime, I guess.

Or start a blog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Double Bunionectomy, week 1

Warning: this post has yucky images of my foot with stitches in it.

Another warning: this is a really long post.

So, I thought I would let you know how it felt to have a double bunionectomy: it hurt. That being said, it was not the excruciating pain that every one had told me it was. This is either 1. because everyone else was a TOTAL wuss, 2. I am tougher than the average bear, or 3. because I had a tonsillectomy last June.

That may not make sense to those of you who haven't had a tonsillectomy at age 26. I didn't believe my doctor when he told me it would be super painful because I am "older" (i.e. not 10 years old). He was right. OW. It hurt so badly, even on the strong pain killers, and a numbing prescription gargle that cost $50 per bottle!

I was miserable for three weeks, and in week 3 I was really cranky because I was just SO HUNGRY but eating meant HORRIBLE PAIN IN CAPITAL LETTERS. And then the scabs came off early and my throat bled for hours (how am I supposed to spit out blood coming from my throat, when I am supposed to keep my head elevated????). I had to have Rick The Saint take me to the ER at 1:00am. Worst experience of my life, but worth it to never have gargantuan tonsils ever again.

Anyway, back to the feet - maybe I should let you know what I had done, because there are a few types of bunion surgeries. For my surgery I have three incisions: one on the side of my big toe joint, one on the top of my foot in a straight line back from between my big toe and the next toe, and then one on the top of my foot directly above the bone that leads up to my big toe.

In the surgery, my doctor had to reposition my bone going up to the big toe (I think it's my first metatarsal), so he cut the bone at that bumpy part on the top of my foot and repositioned the bone to point more straight forward, instead of out from my foot. He kept this in place by putting a metal plate and two screws at this juncture. He shaved off a little bit of the bunion on my big toe joint.

And then, just for fun, he also had to detach and reattach the tendon that pulls on the inside of my big toe. This tendon was pulling my toe to the inside of the foot, since the bottom of my toe was being pointed toward the outside. He attached the tendon to a lower point on my big toe so that it would not be pulling my toe over after the surgery.

So my feet were definitely uncomfortable after the surgery. No. Wait. For the first 24 hours, they were TOTALLY fine. They obviously gave me some kind of magical numby thing for them after the surgery. So between that and my oxy, I was fine the first day and part of the day after. On a scale of 1 - 10 I rated it a 4 on my meds. Not bad.

The next day the magical pain drug wore off (the surgery was a Friday), and to my dismay, I could feel my feet. So my hubs and I though it might be a good idea if I took the strong pain meds. They are the strongest ones you can get in tablets.

Now, normally I read the entire drug information sheet when I get a new prescription. I was of course not in a reading mood, so I just took this strong pain pill. It worked great! Until it gave me a migraine.


Did you know that some painkillers have sulfites? Like the ones in some wines that give me migraines. Rats. And no, the migraine did not distract from foot pain. It made me feel like I maybe had foot surgery the day before, and like I DEFINITELY had a migraine. Not. Helpful.

So after reading the info sheet about the drug I had just taken, I switched back to my trusty oxy and I was fine.

One thing that bothered me more than the pain (from the foot and the migraine) was the knowledge that I had these screws in my feet. I was SO afraid of doing something bad to my foot that would make the screws crack the bone! So just thinking about that made me concentrate on the pain more. Yipes!

I kept getting foot twitches in - where else? - my big toes. Ow. Just random twitches while I am sitting quietly with my feet elevated above my heart. And then when I am trying to sleep, oh jeez! You know those dreams you have when you are just falling asleep, and you trip or fall in them and your legs twitch? Those REALLY hurt when you just had surgery on your foot!

One of the funnier occurrences of this was actually one morning when I had been fast asleep, and having kind of a scary dream. Some guy was trying to hurt me and I went all ninja on his a**! I was like, "Hi-YA!!!" and I did one of those double kicks where you jump up in the air and kick with both feet, but one foot at a time in the same jump.

Cool in the dream. Not cool in Reality when I wake up because I karate-kicked myself in the foot. :-|

So my feet definitely were at a 4 pain level for a few days, but I think I went off of my meds all the way after a week and a half. I love prescription pain medication when I need it, but I hate the side effects so I go off of them as soon as it's comfortable. It was comfortable when my feet were elevated, but when I took them off the pillows the pressure in my feet was enormous. So I only got up to go to the bathroom. Which I had to do every hour, which is super annoying. I was drinking a lot of tea to counteract the Evil Pain Med effects.

One effect of the constant bathroom breaks was waking up on Tuesday and feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Getting in and out of a wheelchair is hard! To go to the bathroom I have to get off the couch, into the wheelchair, wheel over to the bathroom door, get out of the chair onto the floor, scoot over to the toilet, lift myself onto the toilet, then off the toilet, across the floor to the chair, up into the chair, over to the couch, and back to the couch from the chair.

Now, I am a physically fit person, but this requires a lot from your body when you can't put any weight on the front of your foot. So.... I could barely move on Tuesday morning. It has gotten better from there, but I can still feel an active day in my abs and hip flexors. I will be a pilates star when I am done with this recovery!

I am so lucky to have a wonderful family - my husband was doing everything for me at home, and I felt so bad! Luckily my mom came over on a few occasions and did some cleaning and cooking for us, and my younger brother came over and hung out and unloaded our dishwasher. *Thanks Mom, thanks Nate!!

So I went for my one week post-op appointment, and here is where the gross picture is. My feet were all wrinkly and atrophied. They took off the HUGE bandages and took out my stitches, which looked like this:

Eeew, gross, right??? I know. Let's take a look at the before:

I do realize that with the stitches in, the before pictures look better. But you can tell the bunions are gone.

So when they took out the stitches I almost passed out. They had me sitting in my wheelchair, and the guy started in and I think he was maybe five sutures in, and I gave the first warning. I know when I am about to pass out because after having a horrible fainting seizure while getting allergy shots, I used to pass out every single time I got poked with a needle. For three years.

So I knew I was getting close, so I gave the first warning, and then about two seconds later I was like, "Yep, I'm gonna faint," and Justin (the guy working on my feet) and my husband sprung into action - Rick scooped me up and laid me down on the exam table and Justin gave me some cool water. It was one of those moments where I was SO glad to have a 6'5" strong husband (I am 5'10" and 130), and Justin was glad that I wasn't a 300 lb man. LOL. His words.

So I was fine after that. Justin took out all the stitches, Husband held my hand, and all was well. I got my foot re-wrapped and went home.

Oh, and I forgot to get stitchless photos. I'll get one tomorrow when I go in for my four week bandage change.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Excitement" aka online shopping

A few years ago, before Mr. PrettyThings was my husband, we were driving along in the car and I was going on about how much I get excited about shopping. I think I was talking about purchases that I had just made.. or wanted to make. Okay, maybe I was talking about both. That is the most likely scenario.

To be honest, it's a bit of a blur. What I DO recall very clearly is that Mr. PrettyThings told me I needed shopping therapy.

Now, ladies, isn't that just your dream to have your man tell you that you need to go quench your thirst for shopping? I was ELATED. Immediately I thought,"Oooh, I wonder if that means he is treating me to a shopping spree - How much money will he let me spend? Gaaaahhhhhhhhexcited!!!!"

So I asked, trying to mask my excitement, if he meant therapy as shopping.

Then Mr. PT brought me back down to earth (or lower) when he said,"No, I mean you need therapy. For a shopping addiction."

Oh. Letdown City.

Well, being married has been good for me, financially-speaking. I have been known to have a small (BIG) impulse-buying problem that involves anything pretty, plus a credit card. Husband has cracked down on my spending in a big way. Like, the way in where I don't want to spend money and feel the horrible feeling of letting him down.

But this week, people, I have an ALLOWANCE!!! Weeeeeeeeee!

Lest you think that I wheeled myself straight to the mall, well I will tell you that is not so. Being 5'10" makes it a bit hard to fit into regular sizes of clothing, so I have to shop in talls, which generally are found on the websites only (BOOOOOO, stores!!!).

In true Me-style, I have spent almost every penny at Worth it? I think so. I thought this shirt would look cute with... well, just about everything. I visualized my grey wool skinny pants or a grey wool pencil skirt:

It's hard to tell from this picture, but it is actually a ruffly tuxedo shirt. I wish I could have gotten every color, but when paired with this:

and this:

well, my allowance was just about tapped out. Rats!

*the three previous photos are from J. Crew's website.

I am super-excited about the blazer. I am a firm believer in everything that comes out of Stacy and Clinton's mouth on What Not To Wear, and blazers are great wardrobe staple according to the WNTW Gospel. I am also thrilled that it won't be as apparent when the jacket is covered with hair from these two:

I know. So cute. These two shed like crazy, so that black shirt will be grey the moment I walk in the door of my house.

I'm trying to get a little more creative with accessories, but stay somewhat traditional, so I thought the bejeweled/beribboned necklace was a good compromise. I am a little wary of faux-pearls and anything involving pave (I can't figure out how to do the accent on the "e") rhinestones, but I guess I'll have to go for a few fake pieces before I beef up my Real Deal collection. Anyhow, this style is likely to fall out of favor before the necklace falls apart.

I hope.

A strange place to start..

This is a strange topic to start on, but I think it's appropriate because this is the reason I started blogging. I just had bunion surgery. No, wait - DOUBLE bunion surgery. If your doctor truly doesn't want you to come back for additional surgeries, he will have you stay completely off of your feet for four weeks. So I am in a wheel chair now. Because my doctor cares.

I haven't left the house much since the surgery. When you are not equipped with a wheelchair-friendly home and car, it is kind of a pain to just get out the front door. One annoyance I have noticed in my short time confined to a wheelchair - there are not very many street spots marked Handicapped. Another thing - there are a lot of handicapped people in Seattle!! I was SO excited about having a temporary handi-placard, and here my friend had to drive all the way down to the 5th level of the parking garage at the movies last night before finding a handi-space! Lame.

Something that made me laugh right before surgery was that they asked me to initial my feet (you know, so they wouldn’t operate on the wrong one…because I was getting both done….???). So I took a picture using my handy dandy iPhone, which I love and I wish the camera and video were better on it, because I have not used my other camera for months. I document my life on the iPhone.

Anywhoodle, here is the picture of my pre-op feet.

So anyway, here I am after the surgery. I was only JUST coming out of anesthesia, but being me, I still had the presence of mind to tell the nurse that

1. now I would need new GREY Ugg boots because I wouldn't be able to wear regular shoes for a time, and

2. I needed my iPhone so I could take a picture.

Luckily my wunnerful hubs was there with my prized possession. Et voila:

Mmmm, how I wish I could have that blue heated blanket at home. No, my toenails are not yellow because of any gross fungus – it was the iodine that they put all over my feet. OH, and they put it on my legs, too! It looked like I was slowly turning into an Oompa Loompa from the feet up! But I don’t know what Willy Wonka would do with a 510 Oompa Loompa…

What's that? You are totally jealous because those post-op shoes look sooooo cute?? Oh yeah. Check these babies out:

It's okay. I probably could let you buy these off of me once I am no longer required to wear them. Oh, and you know how I mentioned that it is hard to get out when you are in a wheelchair? It is one hundred times harder when you have to wear these things. They are the ugliest foot....things ever. I can't bring myself to call them shoes - I feel like I would be offending an entire industry by doing so. If they WERE considered shoes, hypothetically, I would consider them the spawn of Crocs, Birkenstocks, Old-Person Shoes, and those Japanese shoes where the bottoms are elevated by two blocks of wood. They are truly an abomination.

Oh, and also - My feet are, in fact, NOT four inches thick! Shocking. Yes, that is just one lil foot (mine, of course) and a buttload of bandages.

Apparently, I need Mozilla for this blog to quit screwing with my editing. Just figured that out.

Well, I have three more weeks of catching up to do but for now I am going to bed. Good night, imaginary readers!

Love, B