Thursday, June 24, 2010

Frankenfoot Revisited

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my Frankenfoot injury.  And the death of Michael Jackson.  I was subjected to tortuous hours of coverage while I sat riddled with muscle spasms in the ER.  My foot gained a rather Quasimodo-like appearance the more the muscles contracted.  Ah, the memories.

It was a sweltering hot Wisconsin summer day.  The kind where the humidity hits you like a brick wall as soon as you open the door.  It's like trying to breathe through a down pillow in a steam room.  I had C in the car seat and scooted around the side of the house after M who had launched himself away from me.  His last home therapy session of the day had ended minutes before.  I was in full panic mode since we were already late for his Audio Integration Therapy appointment 40 minutes away.

It happened so quickly.  Down spout with tiny divot at the bottom.  A slightly sloped yard.  A kid running around the corner of the house.  A Mom trying desperately to catch him in her hot pink flip flops.  Left foot in the hole, she loses her balance, right foot goes down on the spout trying not to fall, right foot slipping off the down spout and going into the hole at just the right angle.  Me going down like a plank with a distinct POP.  I belly flopped.  HARD! The pain shot like lightning through me.  I couldn't make a noise or breathe.  For a moment the sky was pink.

And then I found my voice.  And I used it.  I think they heard me in Australia.  Big fat tears instantly ran down my sweaty face.  I couldn't get up.  I had no idea where M was.  C was in the car, strapped in, and chilling in the air conditioning.  I was alone.  By the time I got to my hands and knees, the muscle spasms had begun.  Imagine the worst Charlie Horse ever, over and over, over.  Now imagine it enveloping your entire foot.  Imagine it convulsing so hard that your foot becomes a lumpy mess, swells 3 times the size of your other foot, and your toes are pointing in all kinds of weird directions.  I was sure the bones were ready to poke through the skin.

I crawled through the driveway and into the garage.  With dirt and gravel imbedded in my knees, I reached up, opened the door, somehow got C out, somehow shut off the car, and crawled into the house to get my cell phone.  I still had no idea where M was.

I called my Mom.  Luckily, she was driving home from work so she was already in her car.  I hyperventilated into the phone that I hurt myself and she needed to come.  I couldn't even make complete sentences.  While I sat on the garage steps, M appeared.  Good, they were both alive and accounted for.  Next I called my Step-mother next door.  Mom stayed with the kids and she drove me to the hospital.  Every bump in the road sent searing pain up my leg and seemed to make the muscle spasms intensify.

I forgot to mention that I had been battling (and losing) against Poison Oak for two weeks.  The rash and hives had now spread to my face.  I was actually thinking that when Audio Integration therapy was over, I'd head over to urgent care to have it looked at.

Well, there I was.  Soaking with sweat and tears, dirt and gravel in my knees, unshaven legs, and covered head to toe in hives, one of which had swollen my left eye half shut.  And of course, the Frankenfoot.  I was so attractive.

Initial Xrays showed a bad sprain, nothing broken.  After one month of wearing a Cam walker boot and still not much improvement, Xrays were retaken and revealed that I had dislocated all 5 long bones from the cube-like bones that create the arch.

It's called Lis Franc dislocation.  Reserved for NFL players and people who fall out of buildings. Extremely rare and extremely severe.  A career ender.

 I am so talented.

So, 2 pins, 3 screws, 2 operations, 12 weeks on house arrest and wheelchair, and 8 weeks of physical therapy later, here I am.  I had to throw away 90% of my shoes because now my right foot is an entire size larger than my left.  I have pain every day, I limp, and probably another surgery in my future, but I am walking, working, and happy.

It was life changing for me.  The cause of my early mid-life crisis, so to speak.  I had plenty of time to reflect while on my 'house arrest'.  I have made many changes in my life as a result.

The photos do not really do it justice.  Such lovely shades of purple......

A map of my hardware installation.  Dr. A is quite the artist.  And a kick-ass surgeon BTW.  And fun.  He said "shit" once during conversation.  I like him.

Hey!  It's Wolverine!

Pinned, nailed, and screwed.  And not the good kind.
Ew!!  When I look at this, I remember how itchy those skewers got.  Especially the left one.  *Itching that spot right now*

E, K1, K2, and Mom pimped my cast.  I got lots of compliments!

Frankenfoot today.

Hope you are not totally grossed out.  That's me, Clutz Extraordinaire!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Harley Davidson Museum

Yesterday my two sisters and I embarked on a Father's Day Mission....  Take the Pops to the museum and out for lunch.  Pops is not a museum kinda guy.  Or a lunch kinda guy.  You can usually find him wielding his chainsaw in the woods or trashing something with his tractor.  Pops likes his grime and sweat.  Dirt is part of his uniform!  His wife, G,  battling cancer and starting the worse day of her post-chemo routine, simply begged, "Take him away."
So where to go with Pops?  We've never embarked on such a Father/Daughter mission.  At least, not one that didn't bore either him or us to the point where we want to pluck our eyebrows out strand by strand just for something stimulating to do.
K2 decided the Harley Davidson Museum and lunch would be the best bet.  She was right!  Pops has a  H-D, two in fact.  His 'rough' appearance would fit right in.  Off we went.
I had my reservations.  I like museums, hell, I think Harley-Davidson is the only thing we got in Wisconsin worth anything.  I mean, we are best known for beer, cheese, and well,  one of these....

But a motorcycle museum?  Not really my thing, but I'd be with my sisters and my Dad. Not so surprisingly, we all had a great time (!!!)
I've snapped some of my favorite parts to share with you.....

I loved the very industrial feel to the architecture.
K1 and my Pops.  I don't know why I started calling him Pops.  I think it happened when the he asked the kids to call him Papa.  And then one day he was Pops.

If anyone does not like shiny things..... you are clearly insane.

The Evel Knievel exhibit opens in July.  I look pretty striking in polyester!

Not your grandmother's bicycle, or is it?  Tee hee.

Original seats were designed after tractor seats.  Looks a lot more comfy to me than the sliver of a seat on my current bicycle- of which I refuse to ride because it hurts my lady parts.  Sorry for saying lady parts.
Early maketing geared toward the family.  Oh, how times have changed!  I imagine the conversation went something like this:  (In a proper English accent, if you will, although these are Americans.  I never said my hallucinatory imagination made sense)
"Oh, my dear Martha, let us travel on the motorbike and bring these flowers to my dear mother!"
"Good show, Hale, that's the spirit!"
"Oh, but Mummy and Daddy, can we stop for a soda water on the way home?  I do crave it so!"
"Why, of course, my love, anything for you!"    *giggle, giggle, snicker*

H-D even made bicycles at one time.  Here is a woman's model (note the extra cage atop the wheel so their dresses would not get caught in the wheel.  And part of the children's model.  The hope was to get women and children familiar with the H-D name.  GENIUS!  Marketing towards women and children in a time when they were considered second-class citizens!!  These guys were WAAAY ahead of their time.  Some current marketing executives could learn a few lessons from them.  I was totally impressed. GO HARLEY DAVIDSON!!

Early biker wear.  Tweed/wool herringbone jumpsuit, leather cap and sheepskin lined gauntlet gloves.  We've come a long way, baby!
And this one belongs to...... Elton John?  Liberace?  Elvis?  Sorry to disappoint.  This specimen was owned by Peg, who must have had a secret love affair with her Bedazzler.

This sexy little jewel is actually a close up of a bike kickstand.  Complete with fishnet stocking, siren-red toenails and a naughty little set of handcuffs used as an anklet.  Wow.  I think for the first time in my life, I am speechless.
Ok, The Buell.  Motorcycles are not really my thing but THIS one makes my bottom tingle. I want to own it, ride it, and then I want to lick it.  If only it were electric green and purple....... *sigh*  I just found my mid-life crisis purchase......

What museum tour would be complete without a simulation ride? K1 and K2 demonstrate with ferocity!
Pops cleans up pretty nicely, don't ya think?

The last stop of our tour. "Daddy, would you be so kind as to take us out for a soda water?"

Love you Pops, Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peas, Tomatoes, and Beans, OH MY!

A few posts back, I shared my Mother's Day Eco- Mission.  I'm pleased to announce that all the boxes have been planted and are doing fabulous!  We've had more rain that sunshine lately, so everything is going crazy.  Have a look and see for yourself!

One of 8  happy little tomato plants.  This one is an Early Girl variety.  I'm thinkin' fried green tomatoes (never tried that one before but it's  one of my all time fave movies, so it has to be good) and plenty for eating fresh or canning for homemade spaghetti sauce.  I cheat and use Wildtree spaghetti seasoning mix.  I just add a little mushroom and garlic ('borrowed' from Dad's garden) and VOILA.  Now I want spaghetti *sigh*.  The boys are chomping at the bit to pick 'em but I keep telling them we have to wait until they're red.  Three times today, M and C ran to the garden to see if they were red yet.  I hear ya', kiddos.  I use mulch made from leaves and grass clippings to help maintain moisture and keep weeds down.  Works like a charm and there's plenty of it.

Here's my bean pole thingy.  I got this as a gift from my Mom.

So, I 'm having some issues with my camera and I'm no photographer.   The flowers are a little blurry, but I get a kick out of those climbing vines.  They make the most unique little patterns.  These are the sugar snap peas

"M, if you eat one, you'll grow big and strong like Daddy"
"No, Mommy, I just want to be M"


*Watching, hoping, praying that he'll put one in his mouth*


*Carefully* "Are they good, honey?"

Sweet Mother of God, SUCCESS.  Lemme tell ya, a kid with sensory issues and a general dislike of food,  I'll take the small victories.  Maybe it's because he likes the garden so much.  Is there a way I can  grow hamburgers and lasagne in the garden??? *Thinking, tapping finger to head*

Um.  Where was I again?   Oh yeah.

Ye old tractor tire turned sandbox turned strawberry bed.  Shh, Don't tell but I found two ripe strawberries and I popped them into my mouth before the boys could see.  I swear they melted in my mouth like butter.  I LOVE THE GARDEN!!!  

Monday, June 14, 2010

True Blood S3 Premiere Party

'Tis a dangerous thing to get a bunch of women together who knew each other since high school.  'Tis even more dangerous to get them in a room full of booze, food, and the naughtiest show on TV.  Blood, gore, supernatural creatures, bad language, violence, sex, nudity...... and then there was the TV show.  Kidding!
Never really got into a TV show so much.  Obsessed would be a better word.  Now I'm a Truebie through and through, with the Tshirt, souvenirs, message boards, and fan pages.  Oh. Guilty Pleasure.  How I crave thee.  And I giggle at what I've become.  But it's alright.  We all need one.  If you say you don't have one, you're lying.   Glad I have a group of friends that I can get crazy-silly with.

BTW- sorry for saying 'tis' -  LOL.

Me, LD, and J  (not pictured, B)


Bite me

Fruit Salsa or Hunter's Souffle?  We'll never tell.  

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Charitable Life Begins

Last June, I had the privilege of donating my time for a great cause.  I recruited my Mom (thanks Mom!) to go with me.  We participated in a community building project called the Imagination Station.  A community-built universally accessible playground.  This project was awesome.  I happened to see the blueprints at a church rummage sale and I was hooked.
What was more inspiring to me was that this was a playground for all kids, of all abilities, and disabilities.  I  was stoked at the idea of playground that even the kids in the wheelchairs could enjoy.  And these blueprints were like a playground on crack.  It was going to have everything!  Since my kiddos and I are park regulars, this was the perfect project for me.

Once we were registered and name tagged, we donned our work gloves.

I made friends with the pick axe.  This was the bow of the boat.  The area I'm in became a sandbox and blue waves were painted on the skirt.  Wishing I had 'after' photos of this.

Showing off my souvenir T shirt.  C modeling in front of his picket.  Each picket cost $40.  They surround the playground, making only one entrance/exit for safety.  The money raised through sales of pickets was donated toward the project.  M has a picket, also, but I don't have a photo of him with it.

One year later, enjoying the finished product.

I have to say, though, we frequent this playground and I have a special connection to it now.  I have the great memories of being part of something big and lasting.  I build new memories each time we go.  My kids get a kick out of visiting their pickets.  Each time I play in the sand at the bow of that boat, a warm feeling fills my heart and a smile spreads across my face.  

I'm hooked on that feeling.