pain · random stuff · stuff

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Shoes

Saw the doctors this morning, receiving both good and bad news.

The good news: I have been given a much smaller brace/splint for my hand, making many activities much easier. I can hold a spoon and use the computer mouse. I may even be able to write! Next week I go back for more x-rays, to be sure there isn’t a small break that couldn’t be seen, but for now, I’m happy.

The bad news: I am going to need surgery on my ankle, which has, among other things, a chronic torn ligament, and some severe tendon damage. Before that I’ll be fitted for a custom set of orthotics – my insurance will not cover. “We give a reduced rate to Medicare clients, so it’ll only be $350” said the doc. ONLY $350. Add to that, with these orthotics I can only wear lace-up shoes. He says “Lifestyle changes.”

I am not a big fan of lace-up shoes. Give me a nice slip-on shoe, a zip-up boot, a pull-on ankle boot, or even a buckled sandle, but don’t make me have to tie my shoes every single time I put them on. Yes, I’m lazy. But I am also tired of being in pain, so I’ll adjust. There are a lot of comfortable and fashionable choices these days in laced shoes, I’m sure…so they tell me. I know that if I can get my hands on (my feet on?) a pair of Doc Martens, I’ll wear those and be happy. At least when the weather gets a bit cooler. In the heat, well, do Keds count? As long as I don’t have to wear Forrest Gump’s shoes, I’ll be happy.

random stuff · stuff

Brace Yourself.


Sunday night Brandon and I went out for a while. I dressed up, even wearing my one and only pair of heels for most of the night. We both looked pretty snazzy, if I do say so, myself. I managed to get through the night out in my heels without falling even once, which is a big deal for me. I fell later, wearing flats.

I fell on the way home, when we stopped at the gas station to pick up the ice cream I wanted (and the nicotine B was craving). Tripped on the curb, and SPLAT! I was sprawled on the sidewalk. Scraped both knees. Twisted my right wrist and hand. And smacked my head on the concrete , too. This “curbed” my apetite for ice cream – at least temporarily! By the time we got home my hand was swollen and I realized I could barely move my pinkie and ring fingers.

I spent the rest of the night with ice packs on both my face (in hopes I wouldn’t develop a huge black eye) and my hand. When the pain had not decreased by the next morning, we headed over to Urgent Care. I was pretty sure that at least part of my hand was broken – my pinkie was splayed way out from the rest of my hand, and to move either finger just made me want to cry!

After a little poking and prodding, a set of x-rays, and a series of questions (“No, I didn’t have a seizure.” “No, I hadn’t been drinking.” “No, nobody is hurting me.” ), it was determined that nothing was broken. My hand is severly sprained. They gave me a bulky brace “for comfort and healing” which I have to wear for three weeks. By the way, it is in NO WAY comfortable!

I can’t hold a pen, or a spoon. I cannot type (thank you, voice-to-text) or use the mouse correctly. Ugh.


Confusion and Magnetic Imaging

Today I visited The Oregon Clinic in Portland. I’ve been having a lot of pain in my left foot & ankle, especially after standing or walking for very long; I saw a podiatrist, who sent me for an MRI.

First, I must say that the actual process, the MRI itself, and the technicians who administered it, was fabulous, without any problems. Being strapped to a table is not my favorite thing in the world, especially when surrounded by a large, very noisy medical machine, but the lovely technicians tuned the big ol’ headphones into the 80’s station on Pandora, and I grooved to the tunes of my youth, and was able to relax. So much that I think I even fell asleep while they scanned my foot & ankle!

However, for several reasons I’m annoyed by the administrative folks at The Oregon Clinic. I was told my MRI appointment was for 1 o’clock, and that I needed to check in 30 minutes early. So, I arrived at noon, only to be told “You are really early! Your appoinment is at one; we told you to be here at 12:30 so you’d get that 30 minutes for check in.” Then I was handed a stack of papers which I was told were just vaivers – they turned out to be exact replicas of the online check-in I spent 30 minutes doing yesterday. (The whole point of those is so you do not have to do paperwork at the office, right?) Third, after handing back my insurance cards, the receptionist casually stated to me “They told you we don’t take your Washington insurance, right? Because we’re The Oregon Clinic, right, in Portland.” Which I was not told. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that Medicare will pay for the entire thing. Ugh.

I don’t know the results yet. I’m hoping it can easily be fixed, without surgery or having to wear ugly “good-for-Jonna” shoes all the time. As a wise man once said, it is better to look good than to feel good.



This morning, I watched a couple of episodes of a Roku original series called ‘Dishmantled,’ because it stars Tituss Burgess. He was the highlight of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,’ with his outrageous style and bizarre songs, so I thought I’d give this show a gander. ‘Dishmantled’ is a very odd game show that places two cooks, dressed in hazmat suits, in a clear tube, then shoots an unknown dish at them from a cannon. They then taste, feel and smell (their eyes are covered) what has been splattered across them like paint on a Jackson Pollock canvas, and try to figure out, then cook it. Whoever gets closest to the actual dish wins $5000.

I couldn’t decide if it was cool or disgusting.

Apparently the universe thought it was nifty enough to recreate on a smaller scale in my own kitchen just a few hours later, when I didn’t get the lid to my Blender Bottle shut all the way, and ended up with strawberry smoothie splattered all over my face. And shirt. And in my hair. And on the floor. And wall. Bright red splashes everywhere- it looked like a crime scene! It was gross. My shirt was soaked- I had to take it off in the kitchen so I could clean up. And there I was, topless, with a mop in my hand, when the maintenance man knocked on the front door.

I grabbed my robe & answered the door. He’d been doing repairs in the apartment next door, and heard me holler, he said. Wanted to make sure everything was okay. The bright red splotches across my face & up into my hair alarmed him….until I told him the whole story. And then he laughed so hard he cried.

random stuff

Shut the Leaf Up.

I was happy to groove along to the random tunes that pop up on Spotify while I unpack & organize the new apartment, but my dance & clean party was interrupted by the horrid growling of a leaf blower — from across the street! The cement & brick apartment complex across the way, the one with no plant-life whatever, is being blown – by the loudest lawn & garden implement I’ve ever witnessed! Seriously. This is some big-ass noise, my friends. We live next to the freeway entrance, and traffic is heavy this afternoon, but that leaf blower has blocked the cars out, too. The sounds of construction going on three blocks over? Can’t hear it anymore.

I hate leaf blowers. Hate them. Can someone explain to me why there is a need for such noisy damn tools? What’s wrong with a rake or a broom? Somebody told me once that the folks who do landscaping prefer leaf blowers – something to do with how much time it takes to get things done. Which in a way makes sense, but also, doesn’t. Because wouldn’t you want to be doing things in the slower way if you’re getting paid by the hour? I know I would!


Breaking A Bad Habit

Today I’m celebrating a victory, small to some people, but a rather big deal for me, and I’m thrilled.

Let me explain: from the time I had teeth I bit my nails. Yeah, I know, what a disgusting habit! Eww gross! After all those years of gnawing & chewing on my digits, my poor nails were weak and flimsy, and refused to grow. It was pathetic. So, while I was in college, I began wearing acrylic tips, to cover up the nastiness. I found that I didn’t bite the fake nails, and so my hands looked better. I’ve been wearing some form of fake nail ever since, and the nails underneath have suffered for it.

Over the years I’ve tried half a dozen times to stop, and let my natural nails grow out, but I never made it more than I couple of days before either chewing a nail or deciding my hands looked to icky to leave them bare and putting a new set on. This year I tried again as a New Year’s project, but failed quickly. Then, around my birthday, at the end of March, I decided that for once and all, I was going to take those nail tips off and leave them off for good! All the handwashing due to Covid-19 was wreaking havoc on the fakes I was wearing, causing the glue to loosen and a nail fell off every day. (This is what happens when you wear cheap DIY nails, not the quality salon tips.) This was a deciding factor.

On Friday, March 27, I took off the artificial nails, and began growing my natural nails out. I’ve been using a nail strengthening-cream called Hard as Hoof, and a growth serum top coat. It’s now been THIRTY DAYS and I’ve kept my nails un-faked, and haven’t bitten them. My nails are still very short, but most of the broken areas have grown out, and what’s there looks & feels healthy and strong.

I’m so proud of myself that I’ve broken this lifetime bad habit, and am doing something I’ve wanted to do for years. This is why I’m celebrating.