Sunday, July 08, 2018

travelling with boot

It's OK.

Before the trip, I mostly hung out at home and barely wore the boot at all.  What I'm finding now is that it's really exhausting to wear the thing for more than a few hours, but overall, it's OK. I think if I had to do a lot of walking, I'd get blisters, because no matter how tightly I wrap the velcro straps, my foot slips around a bit when I'm walking.  Fortunately I don't have to do a lot of walking!

I'm so grateful!  The flights were uneventful, but stumping through the airports wasn't much fun -- still, the toe itself doesn't hurt, and having the boot on ensures that nothing's going to make it worse. We got to CT, and headed to Mystic the next day, and even though there were some thunder showers, we managed.

I would prefer, of course, to wear normal sandals and not have to even think about it, but the reality is, it's OK.  One upside: extra suitcase room, since I didn't have to pack all the shoes I usually bring!

Sunday, July 01, 2018


Yes, that's exactly how it feels.  Of course I'm not locked up anywhere, I could go out every day if I wanted to, but I don't.  It only helps a little that I'm the one who imposed the house arrest.

To recap: a little more than 3 weeks ago I broke my right big toe (in 2 places!) in an unfortunate furniture moving accident. Luckily, I'm off for the summer, so I can sit around all day with my foot up, periodically icing it and praying for it to heal quickly.  (I have a long and distinguished record of healing very slowly. )

So, home, and cabin fever is setting in. I went out three times this past week. Last Sunday being out for a while became very painful, but by the end of the week, I could tolerate standing for much longer periods of time.  The toe doesn't look very swollen when it's elevated, but when I stand on it for any length of time, it swells up again. This is a bummer because the chief indicator of healing is that the swelling has gone down.  I have been so good about staying off of it and keeping it elevated. Why isn't it better? Ah, yes, that long and distinguished history of mine -- plus the reality that broken toes take 6-8 weeks to heal, and it has only been three.

We're heading to the east coast soon, and I am dreading the travel.  Practically everything we do back east involves walking around. I'm trying to imagine walking on sand (as in, going to the beach) and all I can think is, Ow nope nope nope not gonna happen, and that thought makes me sad.

I'm trying somewhat successfully not to ruminate on how bad it's going to be and what I won't be able to do, and thus avoid being simultaneously full of both self-pity and self-loathing.  I am achieving this partial success by distracting myself with reading and watching things (indie movie The Endless was cool, just started The Hollow Crown series of Shakespeare's political plays).  The reading, of course, leads me to still be up at 4:30AM because I no longer have any kind of a regular sleep schedule, and I'm going a bit crazy being stuck here as I am.

Would I be doing different things if I hadn't broken the toe? There are a few things, yes, but the reality is, probably not much different.  Most of the time I don't even have a car at my disposal, since we have three cars and three working people in the house now.  If my toe weren't broken I would be chauffeuring someone back and forth to work, so I could have a car.  As it is, I'm spared the hassle, and dealing with the heat, which has cranked up to its usual AZ horrors.  I'm certainly spending less money than I would be if I were out and about as I usually would be, so there's another upside.

Seeing the doctor Monday morning, we'll see what she says.  Sleep is hard to come by in my current state, but I'll give it a try.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

what to do when you can't do anything

* Sit on the couch with foot elevated.  Ice different parts of the foot/leg many times a day.  (Did you know you're not supposed to ice the injured area directly?  I was told to ice the top of the foot, and behind my knee, for the standard 20 minutes per hour, no ice directly touching the skin.)

* Watch all of The Crown.  (loved it).  Read all of Tom and Lorenzo's coverage of The Crown

* Watch all of Downton Abbey (loved it, but not as much as The Crown -- too many anachronistically happy endings for the 'liberated' female characters.) Read all of Tom and Lorenzo's coverage of Downton Abbey.

* Read the first four of Brandon Sanderson's six Mistborn books.  (So much fun!)

* Fail to keep hips aligned despite best efforts.  Deal with resulting piriformis syndrome as effectively as possible while not being able to stand for any length of time.

* Deal with at least 90 minutes of not-sleeping every night because of the impossibility of finding a comfortable way to lie down with the foot still elevated.  Grind teeth over the tinnitus that attacks during this, and only this, time: it is impossible to fall asleep when you're listening to your own pulse shush-shush-shushing.  It's just loud.

* Sleep ridiculously late because hey, there's no reason I should get up. Feel exhausted all the time, because doing nothing is exhausting.

* Watch all 6 episodes of Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country because DS1 had just started it when I finally wandered downstairs on his day off.  (Highly recommended; a totally bizarre little chapter in recent American history, and it left me uncomfortable that some First Amendment rights [among others] were trampled. It wasn't that black-and-white, although the successful poisoning of a small town's population prior to important vote was way beyond the pale.)

* Think about taking up knitting again.  Look at approximately 1000 knitting patterns without coming to any kind of decision one way or another.  I think I have some yarn somewhere I should use up...

* Recreational online shopping at all the usual haunts, since literally everyone is having huge summer sales.  Seriously, they're giving stuff away -- if you can't get a least 50% off, you're not even trying.  Look at approximately 2000 pieces of clothing, most hideous, all of it overpriced.   Don't buy anything.

* Eventually supervise offspring in restoring order to the house, laying out the new rugs and replacing furniture, etc. It looks lovely!

* Diet: intermittent fasting + very few carbs + limited alcohol = -12 lbs over the last few months.  Last school year I managed not to gain, unlike the previous four years.  There's something to be said about working for a place where you actually fit in, and where the workload is reasonable.  Truth be told, there's some crazy part of me that would like to take off another 10 pounds, but I'll be happy if I can just stay where I am now.  It's easy not to eat when all you do is sit around.  I don't get hungry, and I've been great with drinking all that water we're all supposed to drink.  I have, once again (or is it still?), the sense of recovering from a long illness. Perhaps this is why I'm not inclined to buy any new clothes, since all the old ones fit better now.

* Reframe:  This isn't wasted time just because I'm not using it the way I originally thought I would.

Friday, June 08, 2018


Morning: I may have broken my right big toe.  It's possible it's just badly bruised, but I won't find out until later when I go to the doctor to get it checked out.

Foot injuries are the worst.

Night: Yeah, its' broken.

 What happened? Basically, late hour + a few glasses of wine + bare feet + moving furniture = bad idea.  But I bet you knew that already.

We're updating the flooring in the remaining downstairs room to match what we put everywhere else last summer, and the guys came to start the installation came today -- so that meant moving all the stuff out of those spaces: guest room, closet, family room.  There's stuff stacked everywhere, and I'd moved just about everything except the last few big pieces from the family room because DD and I wanted to finish watching the Pride and Prejudice mini-series after dinner. 

No big deal, just should've left the wine in the kitchen... anyway, DD and I were moving one of the desks and our communication wasn't the best, she was pushing and I was pulling... it had kind of sunk into the area rug and didn't want to move, until it did, right into my right big toe.  It hurt quite a bit, but I limped around on it and helped finish up with the room. 

So then the pain wakes me up at 5:30, and it's this lovely purple color.   I call the BCBS nurse on call for an opinion, and she says, you don't need the ER, but do see your doctor.  So I got an appointment with my doctor after lunch, and he sends me for an x-ray, "stat" reading ordered.  That was actually pretty cool, because about 20 minutes after I got home they called me to tell me, yes, it's broken, and please stay off it ("Do you have crutches?") and refer me to a podiatrist.

So then the afternoon was calling around to those doctors to see if anyone could work me in, but of course not, because it's FRIDAY and they all close early.  Specialists! I decided not to go to urgent care mostly because I'm too cheap (the copay is like $250!) and I'll get in to see a doctor on Monday.

I'm not dying, but it isn't any fun, that's for sure.  The real bummer is that I was planning on going to Boston tomorrow to hang out with my sisters and my Massachusetts friends whom I have not seen in like 3 years... canceled.  The thought of being in an airport with this injury is frankly terrifying.  I picked DS1 up at work this evening and just driving there and back -- about 30 minutes total -- wiped me out.  Then again, having been up since 5:30AM probably contributed to the exhaustion.  Driving is... interesting. Possible, and not painful if I pay attention, but I'm also kind of scared of moving my foot the wrong way.  So, kind of like torture.

Other bummer things: I'll be fairly useless in putting the house back together when the floors are done (with any luck they will finish tomorrow).   Grocery shopping? Hmmm not the best idea.   I don't know how long it will take to feel better, but it will probably be at least a few weeks... and I'm hoping I'll be better by the time we head to Connecticut, because it would be a bummer if I can't hike while we are there.  We also wanted to take at least one day trip to Mt. Lemmon this summer, but that's going to have to wait, as well.  I'm hoping I can still tackle my next summer project without too much bother: painting DS2's room. 

I'm not on crutches and won't be if I have anything to say about it.  The vast majority of the foot is fine, so I can walk without hurting the toe.  I just have to be careful about it, so I'm slow, but that's not so bad.  And I need to mostly keep it up, and not stand around or walk too much, but so far that's do-able.   I usually heal really slowly, but thankfully it's summer so I can take it easy, and perhaps that will help with a speedy recovery.

Foot injuries really are the worst.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

truly summer

Started Thursday.  No grad school classes, no job search, just... time off.

So of course I'm bouncing around at loose ends, more or less, getting things done that I've been putting off, and enjoying sleeping a little bit later.  Somehow I'm still awake by 7:30 most mornings!  I know that's not early for a lot of people, but when you literally have no reason to get out of bed, it seems kind of silly.

So my job for the summer is feeding my family, and arranging (if not providing) transportation for all the offspring.  DS2 has a senior thesis summer camp the next two weeks, and DS1 is starting his first-ever job.  DD?  She has a job for the summer at one of the big box home improvement stores and is loving every minute.  She likes having something to do, and the income. 

Last week, I fixed the laser printer that we haven't been able to use for months and... not much else.   Well, I had work on Tuesday (I gave a presentation on the new science standards to my colleagues), and Wednesday (fantastic session on Theology of the Body).  So I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself for not accomplishing much. 

But I am dedicated to having very good food at home this summer, because eating out has become so very expensive, and, well, we can almost always do just as well if not better at home.  OK, not for sushi... DD and I went to the farmer's market today and came home with an intoxicating collection of fresh produce for this week's menu. 

I have medical appointments on Monday, but then after that, I'll get started on painting DS2's room (at least the taping).  Plus, scheduling the final flooring installation... those are the 2 big projects for the summer, but who knows what mischief I could get into, if I find myself at loose ends?

Monday, April 30, 2018

I read a book.

Well, a PDF of a book. It's not that shocking, really.  I did the same thing a few weeks ago, reading 1984 over a day and a half, because DS2 had recently read it and may be using it in his senior thesis.  That book is even more grim than I remembered, and not exactly a fun read.

Yesterday, I read Treasure Island, somewhat unbelievably, given my wide reading habits, for the first time.  This was occasioned by our 8th grade being on a multi-day trip to Washington D.C., their teachers being gone with them -- and me teaching language arts to the 7th graders while they're gone.  They're just finishing up TI, so I thought I should read it so I could, you know, actually answer some of their questions.

Anyway: I loved it, as unlikely as it was.  It's the kind of story you just go with, because it all happens at such a breathless pace in gorgeous old-fashioned prose.   Perhaps the thing I loved the best is the clear lineage from TI to Pirates of the Caribbean.  I maintain that the PotC The Curse of the Black Pearl is one of the most perfect adventure movies ever made, and I still enjoy it when I catch it from time to time.

By way of giving the substitute language arts teacher a break, the students have been watching the old Disney movie version of TI and I am 100% sure that Geoffrey Rush, who played Capt. Barbossa in PotC, based his performance on Robert Newton's Long John Silver.  His voice is uncannily similar.  Of course, the whole Capt. Sparrow as "pirate, and a good man" conundrum has its origin in the character of Long John Silver, who is clearly a pirate, but also, when possible, and sometimes even when it's not very convenient -- a good man.

I only saw half the movie, since I'm switching off classes with the other 7th grade homeroom teacher, and so today taught social studies (the Kansas-Nebraska Act!).  I may just borrow the DVD later this week to watch the rest of movie, just to see how they treated the material.  Huge chunks of dialog come straight from the book, the film's Jim Hawkins (Bobby Driscoll) looks entirely too young and soft to pull off even half of Jim's exploits from the novel.  Skimming the plot summary just now, though -- I don't think I'll bother.  Silver making off with the treasure in a skiff?  Bah.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

there, and back!

I'm exhausted and sun burnt, but very happy with how things went.

Mt. Lemmon is absolutely gorgeous! In my jeans and hiking boots, with my layered shirts and sweatshirt, traipsing about in Nature at 9000 feet elevation, I was in my happy place. I almost feel as if I've missed my calling...

Not my photo -- I didn't have time to take any of decent quality -- this is just part of the mountain road, near Hoodoo Vista [elevation ~6600 feet], an absolute stunning array of geology in action.  The woods were just as spectacular. (Also not my photo, but we did walk through forest like this at Middle Bear, elevation ~5000(?) feet, and again at the summit, ~9000 feet.)

The students were great, the chaperones super helpful, the staff wonderfully knowledgeable, kind, and enthusiastic.  The bus driver was heroic (would you want to drive a tour bus up there?!).  The only slight disappointment were the cloud cover and extreme winds last night, but we still got a telescope demonstration which was very cool. 

Perhaps the only significant downside to all this is that I didn't sleep well at all, and am thoroughly exhausted now even more than usual.  Post-hike exhaustion is very  similar to the excellently-tired feeling I get after being at the beach all day, maybe that's just the sun burn.  The only real down side now is that I don't want to go back to work tomorrow!