Month: January 2011


Grandma has shingles. This is sort of a recycled chicken pox, and it’s weird. It only hits one side of the body, so you get rash in one or more places but only on the right or left side. Poor Grandma’s right chest, back and arm are just loaded with rash. The doctor put her on an antiviral, although he thinks it was too long after the virus got going and it won’t help much.

The good news is, we may be able to get her back on hospice. I called the other day and told them what was going on, but they still hadn’t shown up for an eval this a.m., so we called them again. Bless her heart, she’s pretty miserable.

Something else may be going on, too. The charge nurse said Grandma was combative this morning when the aide went to give her her meds and help her get dressed. She refused to take her pills (spit them out at the aide), refused a shower, refused to get dressed, refused to get up off the floor, and tried to hit the nurse. . . not like Grandma at all. She may have had a stroke; although I didn’t notice any symptoms when I saw her. Part of it may be side effects of the antiviral, but not all of it. She just about fell asleep while she was eating breakfast, too, and she didn’t finish her food.

So of course, the nurses are trying to do things to make Grandma better. I understand the impulse, I do; I much prefer making people better, too. But in this case, it makes no sense. Better for what? Pain for a longer time? Further mental deterioration? Further physical incapacity? If I can get hospice in there quickly, it’ll be OK. Keep yer fingers crossed.

By the way, somebody tell your dad that land is cheaper and the weather is much better down in southern Washington and along the Oregon coast.

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Who’d’a thunk it?

“You know, God never meant for you to actually walk on these.”                         — Dr. Aaron Olson

“Have you considered suing your parents for giving you these feet?”                    — Dr. Doug Gillis

“Boy, it’s gonna be a challenge to try to make you comfortable on these.”          — Dr. Richard Skudlarik

With rather memorable comments like these from each podiatrist-type person I’ve seen, it’s probably no wonder I have a bit of an inferiority complex about those appendages that pass for my feet. Perhaps I should think of it as a badge of honor: How many people can say they’ve nonplussed every single foot guy they’ve ever seen?

So, with my (ridiculously early) appointment with the most recent specialist this (7.45, for pete’s sake, not even dawn!) a.m., I didn’t have high hopes. I expected to get a memorable comment and some x-rays to see what was going on with the ankles, which still hurt, a little over three months after the initial injury. (Oh, did I say it was ridiculously early? As a new patient, I was told to arrive at 7.45 to fill out paperwork and the appointment would be at 8.15. Nobody even came in until 8, and I didn’t actually see anyone until 8.45. Right. Good scheduling.)

They took about 16 pickchers and sent me back upstairs. Young doc came in (yikes, like Bassmaster’s age!) and pulled the films up. Lo and behold, KrisDi gets diagnostic honors: There are fractures in both ankles. Yes, both. I’ve drawn them in (rather inaccurately) on this shot, as if I were facing you, right foot on the left:


Neither one is awful, which is why, without initial x-rays, it wasn’t possible to guess at a Fx until several weeks afterward. But both are enough to prevent healing in the time in which you’d expect the sprains I thought they were to have healed—and to cause problems after that.

Though the doctor wasn’t the one I tried to get an appointment with, he was good. Thorough, and willing to explain things and answer questions (which not all surgeons are!). He whistled when he saw my blog photos of the original bruising (which he asked to see). Checked out the orthotics I have now and the wear patterns on my shoes. And had me fitted for a pair of these babies,


which are a lot more complicated than they appear to be. You slide your foot into a net-like sleeve, lace it up tightly, trying to keep your foot in a neutral, roughly 90-degree angle to the leg, and then wrap two straps around and under the foot, pull them up, and anchor each on the opposite side. They’re supposed to provide stability while the ankles finish healing, and then whenever I’m out walking on uneven ground.

I’m getting quite the collection of stuff that, if their equivalents were used to hold a car together, would be characterized as “baling twine and hope.”

Probably another month or so before they’re fully healed, maybe a bit longer. Then I said: “You haven’t yet come up with a particularly memorable phrase, like the other foot guys did.”

He shrugged. “You’re not that special. Your feet have a lot of problems, but I see similar ones fairly frequently.”

Not that special! This is his memorable phrase? :whacks forehead with back of hand and swoons:

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Not with a bang, but a whimper

Thus ends not the world, but my “vacation,” during which I have accomplished not one bleedin’ thing I wanted to, and not for lack of trying. Nor did I get to visit as much as I wanted to, what with ankle issues and the aforedescribed cold. On the one hand, it’s taken about half as much time as usual to get to today’s point, cold-wise-speaking; on the other, “today’s point” is the Interminable Coughing Phase. Yes, I’m drinking enough fluids to sink Hawaii, thanks, and my lungs are producing enough ick to out-do six wards full of lungers. Dunno how they’re managing, but dang, I’ve been coughing so hard and incessantly that my diaphragm hurts from overuse!

Heresy rears its (insert adjective of choice) head

It has come to my attention that at some point, I must cross a walk and pick a path, or walk a pathcross, or somethin’ like that. While my available book space is limited (and truthfully, quite thoroughly filled up), my book habit is not. There are quite a few authors I’d still like to have complete collections of, not to mention new ones to check out, and no way do I have enough space to house them happily. And no one wants to have unhappy books from the genre that contains bazillions of murderous monsters!

Therefore, it appears that sooner or later, I may have to consider getting an e-book reader.

I know, I know, I said it was heretical! I’m probably one of the world’s foremost advocates for Real, Actual, Ink-scented, Paper-filled Things for Putting Stories On . . . and I’m actually starting to consider thinking about looking at e-readers?!? What is the world coming to?

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