fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)May 10, 2006

Ouch, indeed. I'm going in for surgery later this month for bunions. Aren't only old ladies supposed to get bunions? I'm only 33!!! Anyway, apparently it's this huge deal, and incredibly painful - so painful, in fact, that they're going to insert a tube behind my knee so that I can pump in local anesthetic whenever I need to. ugg. A six week recuperation period, the only upside of which will be the massive doses of Tylenol 3 I'll be forced to take in the first week or so, and then I get to do it all over again in September on the other foot.

I can't believe how quickly this bunion business has progressed. It seems like just yesterday, I was sashaying around in 3 or 4 inch heels. Of course, that's probably one of the reasons why I need surgery now :)

At least by next summer, I'll be able to wear any old shoes I want! Ah... shoes... :) Although you can bet that I won't be putting on any super-heels for a while.

Have any of you had this surgery before? What's the recuperation like? Tell me it's a piece of cake (or a walk in the park! ha! Get it? "walk"?)


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jujubee(z7 central NJ)

Hey Shelly,

Is that when the bones in your toe shift? If so my doc said I'm headed for some good ones in about 10yrs. I'm 31 now. He said they are hereditary. Anyone else have them in your family?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 9:43AM
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I think you should plan on needing some help for a few days. You won't be able to get around very well is what I have heard. Do you live alone?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 3:52PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Oh Shelly,

I'm sorry - it hurts to be chic, right?

I remember my tender ankles after trying to wear platform shoes in the (gasp!) late 70's.

Healing thoughts sent your way.

But on the bright side, you can finally get to work on the epic 'Cactus and Christianity and the Thorny Issues Surrounding Post-Modern Thought on the Semi-Divine Succulent Ennui' or that other subject you were considering - 'Native Aloes of Ottawa'.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 6:16PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Hey guys, footloose and fancyfree. What does that mean, anyway? Free of fancy? That's just weird.

Anyway, Jeff, as always, I laughed so hard I scared the cat. Of course, she's jittery to begin with, but I still think that it's testament to your funnyicity.

Jujubee, it is indeed when your big toe shifts around. Apparently the tendency to develop bunions is hereditary, but it's not something that you're more or less guaranteed to inherit. My grandmother on my bio-mom's side had bunions - big, nasty, ugly, old-lady things - and so I am prone to them, and I've known this since I was an adolescent. But in the end, I got them because I treated my feet like crap, stuffing those size ten honkers into kicky heels and such, and dancing the night away. I also found out that people who have bunions also tend to get arthritis (ANOTHER old-lady thing!) in their feet, AND psoriasis! All I can say about that is dear God, no. This is a nasty piece of business, let me tell you, and I'm just making sure that I take care of my dear bodily self until I get these monstrosities taken off my darling tootsies.

And speaking of tootsies... Toots, I do live alone. And it's funny how cute boys somehow vanish whenever a gal finds herself unable to shower, shave, or put on makeup. Not that there have been many cute boys of late, but STILL! I do have some good friends who are going to come in and check up on me... to help me do things like pick up groceries, go to the library, and stuff. I also have fabulous landlords who live right upstairs, so I'm not too worried about falling down and not being able to get up or anything like that. I'm going to load up on the dvd boxsets, plunk myself down on the couch for a good week, and numb my mind with about a hundred kazillion seasons of Sex and the City. All that shoe-talk should give me some incentive to heal quickly, I figure. Plus, I'll be too drugged out to do much work. Expect to see some pretty weird posts here in the last week of May.

I just keep picturing all those fabulous shoes that I haven't been able to wear this year because my feet have been bad. (Bad, bad feet!) Fancy shoes make the whole process worthwhile...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 6:56PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Shelly,

Well, to accompany your impending SITC viewing orgy, may I offer you a little, how shall I say, hair of the dog?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 7:05PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

I gave up heals after my second son when I landed on my ankle funny and couldn't feel my pinky toe for a week. I now only wear flip flops, but here in CA you can pretty much wear them all year round, and they come on cute styles too. No hurt toes ever again for me :) Might I suggest open toe heals?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 8:38PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

Oh, dear, Shelly! I started getting bunions in the seventh grade when I had a pair of (low-heeled!) shoes I dearly loved and insisted fit fine until they were about two sizes too small (really! two sizes! dumb, dumb, dumb!) And I loved to parade around in the highest heels I could find--still love the memory of that Italian pair with the carved gold-inlaid heels and toe caps) I have funny feet that are hard to fit in anything flat, but not nearly so hard in heels. I had 'em both fixed at once when they quite suddenly got so painful I couldn't walk across the room without understanding the rack. We went for our year in Romania soon enough after I had them done that I got to take out the last batch of stitches after I got there--I may be indicating how weird I am when I say I liked the idea. It was a bit of a handicap, tho'--hard to get around in airports and stuff. Most places I could get a wheelchair, which my husband thought was convenient for him too, but Frankfort was not helpful, or convenient, or anything else. Seemed to take pleasure in sending us in the wrong direction. I don't ever want to go to Frankfurt again! Geez--I just looked down at the bottom of the page and there are four bunion surgery ads! Is everyone getting those? Hope your surgery goes as well as mine did!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 11:35PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Well, I got all chopped up and put back together yesterday. And let me tell you, folks, fancy shoes are the furthest thing from my mind.

I HATE HATE HATE convalescing. It's only day 2, and I'm already so sick of my living room futon that I can barely breath in there.

I'm pretty resourceful, though :) Turned my dining room chair into a sliding move-stuff-around-the-apartment cart. I managed to get my coffee from the kitchen to the office in under fifteen minutes!!!

My friends are almost all gone to conferences - being all smart and effective. And here I am, stuck in the city, still going nowhere. The friends that are in town, though (and not dealing with newborns!), have been really helpful.

The surgery itself was pretty painless, because I was gone away into my head. And they put a "block" in the back of my knee, which is a little tube that runs freezing-stuff into my leg, so I don't feel a thing. The magic freezing stuff runs out tomorrow morning, though, so we'll see how I feel after that. And tomorrow, I start on the oral pain medication. Ha! I warn you now, my posts will likely be a little wonky :)

Pre-surgery was the worst part. They wouldn't let me have any coffee!!! I was so nervous, I cried and laughed the whole time the anesthesiologist was talking to me. Then I got all hopped up on the "funny gas" while they inserted the block, and I started talking to the nurse about how The DaVinci Code was great, 'cause fer it would likely secure me a job once I graduate, as everyone and their dog now wants to know about Mary Magdalene and Jesus. Then I think I went on a bit about Arizona, and the gun laws there, and somehow that was related to the Davinci Code... as was my kokopelli tattoo. I have no idea what I said. But I think it must have been pretty entertaining, because after surgery, the nurses kept saying stuff to me about The DaVinci Code and giggling.

Now I'm stuck in this cast for six weeks. And let me tell you, I'm not the most graceful person on crutches. Trying to get down those steps into my apt yesterday was a nightmare. I don't think I'll be going outside for a while. Which makes this Day Two Non-smoking. Such fun. But it's not as bad as I thought it would be, for all that. So I guess I'm lucky :)


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:36AM
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Sorry to hear about the frustration, but I'm glad the surgery itself went well and that you're on the mend.
Here's to a quick recovery!
At least there's surgery they can do, eh? I wonder how many women in Victorian times had to lace their crippled feet into pointy little shoes with no hope of improvement...modified foot binding. But then, we still do that to some degree. I heard that the average North American woman has a C width foot, and the "normal" sized shoes marketed here for women are a standard B width.
What in the heck do you suppose is the deal with associating tiny feet with femininity or big feet with masculinity (or endowment)?? It seems to be, or have been, a big deal in a lot of cultures.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 11:14AM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

You know what they say... Big feet, Big boots.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 2:04PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

That applies to women as well?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 2:07PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Guuuyyyys (she whined)... I'm home, and stuck in a chair, and hopped up on the painkiller goofballs. I need entertainment, and my friends have all gone away.

Does anyone know a good joke?


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 7:50PM
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Shoot-I erase all the jokes I get before reading them.

I hope time zooms by for you. Sounds like things have gone pretty smoothly so far. Hope your bed is comfy, your internet stays up and running and you have lot's of movies to watch.

Don't forget to drink lots of water and eat plenty of fruits, veges and protein.

How was your prom party?


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 11:25PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

Good luck with your recovery, You'll be dancing again in no time :)

I've found more and more wide shoes lately, maybe they have started to cater to larger women? I'm one who appreciates the extra room.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 10:38AM
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I buy boy's athletic shoes for day to day wear. My feet aren't that big (women's 6 1/2) but they're wide in the front and narrow in the heel. (I've said before-- my dad used to say I had duck feet...though I don't have webbed toes ;) Boys' shoes fit me perfectly if they have padded heel backs to take up the space & keep them from rubbing. It's just darned hard to find a nice pair of boys' stilleto-heels, though. I could probably find mens' sizes online, but they'd be too big.
I'm always barefoot at home.

So how's it going today, Shelly? I couldn't think of any jokes appropriate for the forum.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 12:53PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear OooJen,

I can lend you a pair, but you'd have to be (1) the sole of discretion and (2) use some padding in the shoes.

I've got this particular pair of stiletto laceups that you'd be at home in among the succulent plants and also on the dance floor, swaying to Shelley's favorite rendition of 'Hallow Aloe'

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 4:11PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Is there an ABBA connection there, Jeff? I'm sure there must be. Or some kind of other connection. But what is it?

So. I'm still at home. I'm going INSANE. It's gorgeous out, and I can't navigate my apt stairs. My cacti are sitting out there, alone, in the sunshine, probably burning. And I can't save them.

I'm slowly weaning off the pain meds. This healing is going quicker than I thought it would... thankfully. Thursday night I was in so much pain that I popped two of the fast-acting pain pills, about five minutes apart. The first one kicked in, and it hit me really strong. Some of you know that I don't do drugs at all anymore, since I started getting panic attacks about six years ago. For someone who rarely drinks, and never does drugs, this stuff is STRONG stuff. I was just getting used to the wooziness of pill #1 when the second pill kicked in, and I thought I was OD-ing. Patty at Poison Control was very nice, though :) She told me I was likely just having a panic attack, and you know, she was right. Within half an hour I was sleeping like a little baby Shelly.

Since then, life's been pretty uneventful. I washed my hair and took a sponge bath yesterday! That was an adventure. It was kind of fun.

I might have to cancel my Prom Party, or at least postpone it. I'd scheduled it for Canada Day (July 1st), but I'll still be in a cast and on crutches, and while I'd probably be able to attend a party at that time, I don't think I'll be able to organize one. It also depends on how much cash I have left over after this nightmare is done and I'm back on both feet. It's expensive being an invalid! I had no idea. I'm so lucky that this is temporary, and that I'm young, and that my income doesn't depend on me making it to an office or warehouse or whatever every day. I can't imagine how some people do it, especially older people without many resources.

So... guys... what shoes are you wearing? Anything fun? I'm shoeless, but will be painting my tootsie nails irridescent purple today... to go with my purplish-green toes :) Come on, you all - talk to me about your shoes. I gotta get my fix.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 9:52AM
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Sorry-- I'm barefoot as usual (not pregnant, thankfully. Ignorant is up for debate :)
Sorry about the panic attack stuff. That must suck big time. Is it triggered by fear of loss of control? I could relate to that.
I think it's a good idea to postpone the party. Even if you could manage it while on crutches, it'd be awfully stressful. Better to spend your energy on healing.
I hope the cacti are ok. I semi-fried an Echeveria yesterday, and it was in an eastern exposure with some vines overhead-- only got sun until about 10:30 AM, and it has been out for weeks. Boy, when that sun starts strutting it's stuff, it can come on strong. A couple weeks ago we had lows in the 30's, and today it's supposed to get up into the 90's :( I guess I blinked and missed spring. Icky-icky hot weather always makes me miss living up north.
So, how long will you have to wear your cast? I hope you have cool enough weather to make it tolerable. How long before you expect to be able to get out and buy groceries or see a movie or something?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 11:02AM
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I forgot something---
Thank you Jeff! I'll keep it in mind for my next boogie-based soirée!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 11:06AM
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Mentha(9 CA)

My son had a cast when he had his club foot operated on. He was two at the time. We made the mistake of getting it damp, and it smelled for weeks! So keep that cast dry or you'll end up smelling like the bog of eternal stench for sure!

As for shoes, I'm in my sky blue fuzzy flip flops, which I'll be in flip flops in one form or another until about November when it starts to get cold. Then it's Ugg type fuzzy slippers everywhere.

I lost some really nice Rhipsalis, some Schlumbergeras, some Philos, and a few rooted Epiphyllum cuttings to the sun. My Aeoneum Zwartzkopf doesn't look too good either.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 5:58PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Barefoot? Flip flops?

Come on guys.... There must be someone out there with a kicky little pair of heels on! I'm shoe-deprived here, folks.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 7:48PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

If it helps, my flip flops have heals, but to make you feel better, I put on my black strappy 3 in wedge heals with silver buckles and 1/4 in wide rhinestone straps. I even put on my silver bell anklet. My husband is looking at me funny because I'm wearing my normal shorts and Tee shirt with braided hair.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 8:57PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

Can I take them off now? 210 lb do not do heals very well, especially since I hurt my leg a few weeks ago.

I can help with your cactus fix though....
She bloomed two days ago :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Melon Whip

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 9:05PM
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Garden clogs for me. I was in my pond yesterday-with the clogs on then tried to garden in them. It was a squeaky muddy mess.

I tried to take a picture of the the only pair of heals that I own. But my toenails are muddy and my varicose veins make it very unattractive-yuck...too much information!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 7:48AM
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I love this bunch! We may not be a glamorous lot, but we certainly aren't pretentious, either!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 10:36AM
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Mentha(9 CA)

The most glamorous I get is a little lip gloss and a box of Miss Clarol in a medium honey blonde.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 12:47AM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

GUESS WHAT? I went outside this evening! First time in seven days. I managed to hobble up the stairs on my crutches, then hopped outside! Getting in was a challenge - there's a slight step up to my threshold, with no railings for balance, so I ended up having to sit on my butt, and slide/squirm in and back down the stairs again. I also had a bit of a panic attack while I was out there, but it passed pretty quickly. And I got to see the sunset!!! I'm totally doing this again tomorrow! And next time, I'm bringing books and settling in for a day of reading :)

Yippee skippee!!!

PS - very pretty bloom, Mentha :) That's even better than kicky heels.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 8:49PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

I'm glad you made it out to see the sunset. That was my first epi bloom since my first E. oxy bit the dust. I even got a bloom on a cutting I just planted a couple weeks ago, stay tuned until tomorrow, I'll post pics of 'Valse Brilliant' and a couple opuntias I found blooming in the neighborhood. There is even a pic of a huge echeveria? I found about the size of one of those big bouncy balls with the handles you ride on.

PS don't forget your sunscrean tomorrow, I got burned walking around the block today, and boy does it hurt. A good cheap sunburn remedy is the old-fashioned white desitin or other generic zinc based butt-feel-better medicine, it's cheaper than zinca and the same stuff only white. One application usually has the burn gone the next day.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 12:45AM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Post 'em up!! I've only ever had one cactus bloom ever (well, except for CCs). Cactus blooms never fail to amaze me. I especially like Opuntia - don't know why...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 9:54AM
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Masochism, maybe?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 10:05AM
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Mentha(9 CA)

Ewww!!!! I had to look that word up, real eye opener there. yuck!

I went to wally world today to put all the pictures on a CD, now I don't have enough memory to run the program, ugh! I can't get the photo disk to work otherwise so I'll be playing with it tomorrow on the other computer, but I promise cholla and a yellow opuntia bloom (maybe) tomorrow, the op has peach buds which makes it really striking. I also have two epies to share. so stay tuned, if not tomorrow, friday when I go into town and play on mom's computer.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 12:41AM
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Mentha(9 CA)

ok I got some pics for Shelly :)

our first is a nice opuntia.


Valse Brilliant Epiphyllum


a beautiful NOID epi at the local nursery. this plant does not get fed and hardly watered.


a close up of bloom and bud


another opuntia on the other end of the neighborhood, the house burned down, but the op's still there.

this guy is huge. The small guy in the lower left side is about the size of a man's hand.


The pic of the cholla is in the camera, which I forgot at home along with my wallet! oops

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 12:42PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Gotta love those opuntias. The pink epi's nice, too, though. Did you take it home, or is it still orphaned?

Thanks for the pretty blooms :) They make my imprisonment... er, convalescence more bearable.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 8:50PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

It doesn't necessarily have to be as, um, dramatic as what I imagine you found in your google search.

Certainly not if it involves opuntias. I mean, there's loving cacti, and then there's loving cacti.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 8:55PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

The pink epi they aren't selling, but I've bought cuttings off of it a few times, this is the first time I've been there with camera for blooms though. She's going to call me next time she decides to prune it. I printed off a couple pics and matted them then gave them to the nursery to thank them.

The agave I'm going to ask for a small guy, one of these days. I just have to muster enough courage to because I kinda sorta went out with their son in high school. He had a car, and my friend and I didn't so he'd chaufeur us around.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 2:22PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)


I just met a cute firefighter who came to check my smoke alarm.

You know what he and I talked about, me and this cute, buff man in uniform? We talked about his grandmother's bunion surgery. I have GOT to find a way to disguise this cast. I do not want cute firefighters thinking of me when they think of Grandma's bunions.

Stupid foot.

Needless to say, I didn't ask him to be my prom date.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 8:31PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

Poor Shelly,
I'd hate to talk bunions with anyone. I've had similar experiences, but at the moment surprisingly I can't come up with one. Or at least any I can tell without being sent to Disney permantly.
I did have an interesting moment with a neighbor this week, I stopped to ask her if I could buy an agave from her yard. Her's are well over basketball size. Turns out her son was there and at one time my friend and I hung out with him, boy was that an embarassment. I did get promised an agave anyway when she thins them out this fall, so the red face was worth it!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 2:12PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Mentha - I don't get why you were embarrassed to run into an old friend. Was it that you were asking about agaves?

I went to a departmental garden party this past week, and everyone was asking me what had happened to my foot. I kept trying to brush it off - "oh, just surgery" :) But, no luck. So I told the story of the firefighter to justify why I don't like to use the word "bunion" when referring to my situation. Of course, that didn't stop anyone else from using the word "bunion," but at least it's a good story.

Hey! Listen to this! I walked up the hill to the mailbox this afternoon. Woo hoo! Look at me, all mobile and walking places and being all Miss Self-Sufficiency.

Only 17 more days, and I am outta this cast!

I am going to buy myself the fanciest, most bejewelled pair of comfy flip-flops ever known to man or woman.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 1:12PM
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