Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Doctor Gave me the Boot!

The pictures in this post have nothing to do with the "story." Except for the last few, they are images taken during our time in San Diego.

My beautiful daughter
Over the last year our daughter has lost over twenty pounds and is really looking great. Most of her weight loss can be attributed to taking long daily walks. She has also cut back a bit on treats, but is not really on a "diet."

Walking is one exercise I also enjoy, and I had looked forward to going out with her frequently this month.

But it was not to be. 

I first started experiencing some slight discomfort in my right foot while walking on the treadmill at Jojoba Hills. I knew I needed new walking shoes and assumed that was the problem. As the weeks went by it started to hurt more and more, even under normal walking situations.

On the first day of our visit, I went on a 3 1/2 mile walk with my daughter and had to ice it when we got back. I did not have on my good hiking boots, so that is what I blamed. 

This image is totally untouched! This IS what the sunset can look like from the roof deck of my daughter's home in Sunset Cliffs.

It's not that I didn't want to see a doctor about my problems, it is more that I think I know what is going on and how to treat myself! In this case I thought I might have a bit of tendonitis that would get better with rest and weight loss.


Craig helps with the cooking
As the days passed, I felt no improvement, and admitted I needed to see a podiatrist.  My AARP supplemental insurance plan lets me see any specialist who takes Medicare without a referral. So, on the 23rd I called the Scripps Foot Care center, and asked for an appointment for the following week. 
Since our upcoming plans include Mexico and  Quartzsite, neither of which would be an easy place to find a good foot doctor, I hoped I could get in before we leave the area on January 4. Much to my surprise I was offered an appointment the next day, Christmas Eve.

One evening our daughter and her son made homemade ravioli
Although we are not part of their HMO, Scripps is our medical home and where our regular doctor practices, which is why I looked there first. Their medical clinic buildings are quite extensive, and on every other visit have been bustling with activity. Normally the close parking lot cost $4. Not much if you are sick and don't want to walk. On Christmas Eve day the gate was open and there was no charge. Craig did drop me off at the door and found parking quite easily. Inside, the clinic was almost deserted. The waiting areas were empty, and although the pharmacy was open, there was no line.

I checked in at the Foot Care Center desk and was the only patient in the waiting area. A nurse quickly took me into a room and after hearing my story sent me across the hall for an x-ray. Again no wait. I think the x-ray tech was reading a book while waiting for a patient. Through the magic of digital imagery my x-rays were immediately available on the screen in the exam room, and I only
Teenagers after Thanksgiving Turkey
waited for a few minutes for the doctor to review them with me.

The x-ray showed my problem was not tendonitis. The doctor showed me three fractures in the bones of my foot. They are not large. He called them stress fractures, and showed me the bone shadows that indicated they were probably a few months old and that my body had tried to heal them, but with repeated walking the bone could not build up enough to stabilize.

Cause? Unknown. 

A few days before Christmas, almost full.

The injury might have occurred on our "race to the top" in Canyon De Chelly, or on the long walk along the river in Bullhead City. Weight and old shoes may have contributed, as might my thinning old bones. I had a bone density test some years ago, and it was fine, but perhaps I should get another done next time I'm in town or if I continue to have problems like this. My sister has osteoporosis.

In any event, the treatment is simple: the BOOT!

I will be wearing it for the next three weeks at all time except in bed or in the shower. When the bones are healed, I am to take it "easy" for a while and build up my walking distance and intensity slowly. 

The purpose of the boot is to stabilize the foot so the bones can knit together. It is really comfortable, and the foot no longer hurts at all.

I am standing up straight, my good foot cannot reach the floor
But, while wearing it my other foot cannot quite touch the ground. In fact there is a 1.5 inch difference. It turns out this causes me to have an almost instant, sharp pain in my back. Just standing at the sink to do dishes for a short time really hurts.

I used one of these at Target last spring 
when I had a sprained ankle

On Sunday, Craig tried to help me with this by taking a couple of trips to Walmart looking for shoes with a thick platform sole. After he brought home two different pair that didn't quite fit, I went back to the store with him. 

I think these shoes also look OK

We ended up at a Payless and found a pair of shoes that although not perfect, will allow me to walk for short distances without extreme pain in the back.

One final image from the days before Christmas:

On one evening our daughter made Summer Rolls, Thai Chicken Saté and Thai Beef Saté.  She is such a good cook!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Just Checking In, and Happy Birthday Craig

We are still at Mission Bay RV Park in San Diego. 

We spent five nights staying at our daughter's lovely home with our two grandsons while she and her husband took a quick trip to Switzerland for a conference. With all that has been going on in the world, I was not happy to see them flying to Europe, but all went well and their trip was safe and uneventful.

While they were gone, one of my "duties" was to take our younger grandson, age 12, to participate with his school team in the "First Lego Robotics" competition at Legoland. The team did well winning an award for "professionalism."

Unfortunately, I seemed to have picked up a nasty cold germ that day as well. All those children touching door handles and sneezing!  I like children, but it seems that whenever I get near large groups of small ones I get sick. I thought I was safe since my grands are 12 and 15, but Legoland is a breeding ground for child-borne germs!

Can you tell I'm really feeling lousy with this the first cold I've had in two years?

Today is Craig's birthday.

We are going shopping for a new phone and having dinner with our daughter and family.  

Hope I don't spread the cold. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I'm thinking of it as a Sabbatical

Hello out there, we are still alive and well, living happily in our Alfa motorhome!

After 25 days up at Jojoba Hills, we moved all of 80 miles south to the Mission Bay RV park in San Diego.

We will be in the San Diego area until after New Year's Day.

Although we will be doing some exploring on our own, most of our activities will be "family" stuff. You know, Christmas with the kids and grandkids. 

So don't wonder about us. We  will be back posting on this blog in January. First stop will be Mexico for some more dental work, followed by our first Quartzsite experience. 'Til then ... 

Happy Holidays!