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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

cheese shop candy

What do dogs, health food and beer have in common?

A day in the outside world with son and youngest grandgirl.   (Two more grandgirls are also  expected here this week).

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Knowing how much Bill and I wish for a four-legged friend, our son and grandgirl took us on a dog search at PetSmart in Waynesboro, Virginia.  Every Saturday from 10AM to 2:00PM various foster people bring available rescue dogs there for open air viewing and visitations.

How exciting and sometimes sad it was to meet and greet all the homeless canines available.  Many were being adopted quickly and of course I fell in love with one.

“Paddy” is a big dog in a 20 pound body – an Aussie/Sheltie mix with the most intelligent adorable face.  He seemed as calm as could be in the face of maniacal barking all around him and sat by my feet allowing me to stroke his sweet head.

Even so, I was advised that Australian Shepherds are extremely high energy and difficult and I took the handler at her word. The message was that Paddy needs a young family to take him home and of course he was snatched up immediately.

I still have regrets and miss Paddy even though I only knew him for a few minutes.  I hope he is happy in his new digs.

Healthy Eating?

Next Stop:  The Cheese Shop in Stuart’s Draft, Virginia.  This is where you can get old fashioned candies (healthy?), magnificent cheeses, and all sorts of nuts, jams, jellies, and spices!

The Cheese Shop has been on my favorites list for over 20 years and it just keeps getting better as well as more and more expensive than it was way back then.  We wound up with peanut butter pretzel pillows, several varieties of candies like caramel creams, chocolate covered coffee beans, elderberry jam, beef sticks, muenster and farmer cheese, and more!

Bound for Beer

Next was the Devil’s Backbone Outpost for dinner.

It’s a brewery just north of Lexington, Virginia that has recently opened a “kitchen” in addition to their well established beer bar/tap room.  A great big dining area was bustling when we arrived and there was even musical entertainment brought in from Lynchburg, Virginia.

We wound up sitting outside with a stellar view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a cool, delicious evening of beer tasting, happy talk and uniquely tasty grub.

It was a grand day.

And even though we returned home with no dog to cuddle, I am grateful for a grand family, good times, and all that candy on my “no/no” list.

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New Foot

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Faraway Doctoring

I connected this week with my Long Distance Doctor about the last MRI test for BigFoot.  That makes 5 MRI’s in about 3 years!

I am in rural Virginia and the doc is in Big City Baltimore so it is an adventure story of sorts.  She recommended “Serial MRI’s” for comparison purposes.

Anyway, Dr. C called to review the last MRI which showed positive changes.  And there will be no more MRI’s unless BigFoot decides to act up again.  Hurrah!

Now I keep looking at my beautiful ultra-thin foot.  And guess what?  It matches the other one.

ankles (1)On Foot Preening

Feet are definitely not the most glamorous parts of the human body.  In fact, I think they are generally pretty ugly.  But they do a major job in carrying us around and I do admire a foot that maintains its shape and shows a prominent ankle bone.

Is it no wonder that visible feet beneath ladies’ long skirts in the olden days was considered ultra sexy and risque?

Some folks preen before a mirror.  I suppose they admire their faces.

But a mirror is not necessary for foot preening.   I can simply recline in my recliner to scrutinize lovely skinny toes and the spaces between them, a slim ankle and visible ankle bone, and rare puffiness even after a full day of activity.  I would be an enormous hit in the olden days right?

So yes, at any given moment you may see me in a reclining stupor admiring my own sockless feet.

P.T.

PT is short for Physical Therapy.  Don’t you just hate all this “Initial” talking?

To celebrate SkinnyFoot’s new possibilities I attended a PT session with a therapist here in Virginia (not Baltimore thank goodness) who worked “hands on” for a full hour!

This meant manipulated muscles and things that have never been manipulated before.  !

I told Anne-Marie, the fantastic therapist, “My ultimate goal is to wear matching shoes and be able to traverse (on foot) the local Walmart with no electric cart!”

And she said, “That is absolutely do-able.” 

Really?!  I am so happy and hopeful but realize there is weakness due to nearly three years of immobility.   Good results will take time.

Then Came The-Day-After P.T.

  • UhOh!
  • Stabbing pains in SkinnyFoot.
  • Aching thighs.
  • Back twinges.
  • Fear
  • Worry.
  • And a mad grab for an Ibuprofen.
  • Arrrrgh!

Was this a case of after-therapy muscle aches and pains or something worse?

Should I quit after only one session?

Or should I soldier on?

The Day After the Day After P.T.

Only one stabbing pain all day.

Walmart, here I come!

Wish me luck my blogger friends –  I am off and running – well, not exactly running really.  But I have two appointments for P.T. next week.

Now don’t laugh.  You never know where this will go.

Even elderly ladies like me can bounce back to teenage agility levels.  I don’t expect to run marathons or jitterbug but like I said, “You never know.”

Meanwhile, it’s back to preening and personal foot admiration.

And I trust you will join me and gaze mesmerized at the Before and After foot photos above.

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegetables

“What is your vegetable of the day?” we asked.  And our waitress answered, “A Melody of vegetables.”  ~ Dor

Our Day 3 Rule is not working!

That is a rule in our house whereby I cook for 2 days but on Day 3 we eat out.

To reinforce this, my meal planning and end results go like this:

  1. Day 1 – A fairly delicious healthy meal with protein, vegetables (a melody), a starch, and a fresh salad.
  2. Day 2 – Still almost passable.
  3. Day 3 – A no longer attractively displayed meal with a slightly unappetizing aroma, and no taste.  I don’t do this on purpose either.  It just happens.

And Bill knows we have to eat out!  Today is Day #3 but I think he has forgotten.

Saturday I went for MRI #5.

Good thing I handle the claustrophobia and loud banging noises well.  I always ask them to play DooWop music but they don’t really know what that is so they get “Oldies” which are never quite old enough.

Ah well.  But I am anxious for the results of this one because BigFoot is no longer Big!  Can this be a happy omen?  The swelling is waaaay down to an almost SkinnyFoot!

The trip for the MRI was also kind of fun since we found our way to a Roanoke, Virginia shopping center and had lunch at the Wild Flour Café.  Isn’t it nice that this old couple can still enjoy good food (not cooked by me!) and good conversation away from home?

Other happiness:

“Sleep perchance to dream.” from William Shakespeare’ s play, Hamlet.

Two weeks ago I had a Sleep Apnea Test (which they prefer to call a “study”).  I must say it was a tortuous experience but they called today to announce that “You do not have Sleep Apnea and your oxygen levels are fine.”  Ha! I have passed the Study! Hurrah!

I do understand why the dr. ordered it though.  He kept saying my tongue was too big for my throat or the throat was too small.

So we started with a finger test at home that didn’t look good but perhaps the finger was too small or the test thing was too big because they think it accidentally slipped off during the night.  No matter.  I sleep like a log – always have – and no snoring either.

The quote above about the Melody of Vegetables is true!  And isn’t this a grand and happy Melody of Meanderings?

 

 

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aunty acid sleep

My compliments to the Virginia hospital sleep clinic  and kudos to the technician who conducted the study.  The attendant was efficient and kindly and I had a clean room with a double bed, a television and my own bathroom.

HOWEVER………

Following is an accurate account of the night I spent entrapped by wires that are designed to detect oxygen deprivation and other sundry unidentified maladies.

But, of course, if I could do it, you can too!  And this post, although accurate, is actually an attempt to make you laugh – not to scare you off.

And so it all began.  Arrival time: 9 PM

Firstly I expressed doubt about sleeping the requisite time.  That resulted in a bedtime story about why people do not sleep well in strange paces. 

Picture this:  It is the caveman days and humans are nomadic.  Every time they arrive at a new cave they are compelled to stay awake.  Who knows what predators are waiting to eat them?  So, staying wide-eyed when we find ourselves in new digs (even today) is a trait passed down through our DNA.  A perfectly understandable tale though not particularly comforting.

Bedtime story aside, it was not yet time to bed down because we had to do the real prep work!

 It took 40 minutes to attach 40,000 wires glued to head, face, neck, chest and legs, and another contraption attached to a finger (Well, maybe not 40,000 really but a huge mass)!

After hookups, some test runs, checks and rechecks I was tucked in and then visually monitored to record sleep positions!

I could not go to the bathroom without announcing the need out loud.  Then the technician would magically appear and unplug the wires.  That meant carrying 40,000 wires in a glob strapped over my shoulder and taking the glob into the bathroom.

While trying to wash one wireless globless hand, I got a glimpse of my face in the mirror.  Perfect reflection of a science fiction monster!

O.K., Blessed sleep time.  And there I lay for another hour or two, eyes wide open, hands in fists, and muscles tensed (primitive posture to deter an ancient mammoth attack).

The Turning Over Challenge.  Try rolling around and dragging 40,000 wires!  Barely making it to one side I stayed stiff for an hour or so until the body insisted on turning to the other side.

Oh, I forgot to mention they put a belt around my waist and another belt around my chest.

I prefer sleeping in the dark but the room was not dark even after the technician turned off the lamp and the overheads.  Didn’t she know killer bears can see into a lit room?

Praying for oblivion, I finally did fall into a dreamless sleep (on one of the stiff sides) that lasted 4 hours.

And finally, at 6 AM a cheery “Good Morning!” sounded over the speaker.

All the hookups were removed with instructions on how to wash off the goo.  My hair was all stuck to my head with gel stuff.

Did I look bad with all the wires attached?

That was nothing compared to the final unplugged version.

Thankfully I returned home, showered, removed goo, and slept on and off all day in a recliner.

My body was shaky and in screaming revolt.

 It may still be revolting, if not screaming.

But the test was meant to determine if I stop breathing during sleep.  A lack of oxygen to the organs is dangerous, and especially dangerous to the heart.  I trust my doctor.

So again, please don’t let this blog post deter you from doing a Sleep Study too.  Ha!

But, it you do go, please don’t tell me if you breeze right through the whole thing.  It would be too embarrassing to discover I am a colossal wimp!

 

 

 

 

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Although I think these stories are to be considered “PRIVATE,” the fact is that  age brings a certain loss of privacy.

THE MIGHTY LEAP AND GRAB

Story #1 began with Dor’s BigFoot. 

Due to a lack of exercise maybe, or the fact that I toted  around an extra 4 or 5 pounds of knee high boot for many months, getting up and down in the bathroom became a challenge.

If you are brave, please Picture This:

We could not mount railings in our bathrooms because we have stand-alone thrones.

door-knobs

Therefore, I was forced to make a mighty leap forward to grab a door knob and then hoist to get up.  Fortunately the doorknobs held and maybe you could consider mighty leaps as good exercise, but the very idea inspired a a search for a remedy.

Our local Virginia plumber solved the whole thing!

“Everybody’s got ‘em now,” said he.  “They are the right height even for the young but very helpful for the aging too, and a whole lot of folks are replacing the old 14inchers with 16inchers.”

And so we did just that.

I almost wrote a blog post about it because it was our excitement for the year – waiting to try on “right height toilets.”

There, I have actually said the not-so-private word at last – TOILETS! 

Comfort level toilets are wondrous things and if you haven’t got one, I highly recommend going for it!

TO SLEEP OR NOT TO SLEEP

polysomnogram

Story #2 is my upcoming Sleep Test.

I am a wreck preparing for an “in-lab sleepover” at our local hospital.  That is where they test you to see if you stop breathing too much during the night.

Evidently I am under suspicion for “sleep apnea” even though I do not snore, have no problem falling asleep and no problem sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night.

It’s supposedly a private room with its own bathroom but I understand I will be observed all night via a little camera at the nurse’s station.  And if I have to “go” I must holler out and wait for an attendant to come and unhook all the electrodes and wires.

I am packing for this overnight stay as if taking a trip to Australia! Bringing my own pillow, a book, my Kindle reader, several types of sleepwear, cookies maybe, and more.

I do hope they have a Right Height Toilet though!

 

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D n B Wedding Day 6-12-59

Dor and Bill Wed – Father not happy in background

Always on a search for the perfect blog subject, it sometimes occurs to me that little life experiences can also be exciting.

Like how about the excruciating tension on June 7th at our house here in rural Virginia?  It was the Washington Capitals playoff ice hockey game for the Stanley Cup! And they won! Our family have been avid ice hockey fans for 44 years; ever since they began.  And they never won until now!  You can’t imagine the excitement.  Bill actually went to Washington, DC for the parade and met our son there!  And they are still talking about it!

B n C at Caps Parade

I did not go to the parade but almost as an afterthought, I noticed BigFoot is not so big anymore and I am walking a little more gracefully!

It has been close to three years now with a knee-high boot, a lot of staggering, a cane, crutches, and a scooter, but the real bad time began in November 2017 with frightening swelling and pain.  There is light ahead!  Yeah!

A sojourn to Roanoke, Virginia was great fun!  A friend had to  visit the Social Security Office (not so much fun).  But idle chatter made the time go by.  Then lunch at the Wildflower Cafe, and exploring a discount store called Tuesday Morning (even though it was a Monday).

Happy Days!

And to top things off, Bill came home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our 59th Anniversary!  Even I find this difficult to believe…. I mean not the flowers but the length of time.

Well, it does seem like we are a good match even though my Dad predicted we would be divorced in a year.  Next year will be 60!  Maybe we should throw a party?

 

 

 

 

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Baltimore, MD -The View from our room.

I am home from a Big City-BigFoot adventure and happy to be alive and well.

Baltimore is a beautiful old Maryland city, with more than enough to do if you are young, agile, and don’t mind horrific traffic in the inner city.

Strike “young.”

Strike “agile.”

As for the traffic?

A nightmare!

But we somehow got where we were going in spite of white knuckle rides and hysterical screaming at our GPS lady and maybe one or two jabs at each other (to say nothing of unacceptable language).

For solace, we turned to food.

Have you ever had Maryland crab cakes?  They are the best and of course I had to have crab at Phillips’ famous seafood restaurant.  It was just around the block from the hotel, but may as well have been on Mars.

445 Crab Cake Plattercrp1

I am back to driving challenges again!  Sigh.

 

But of course, the original purpose of our visit to Baltimore was for an appointment with an expert orthopedic doctor at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy.

And a wonderful doctor did spend a whole hour with us, discussing, analyzing, offering advice and answering many questions.

In a nutshell, this Gimpy Gal (me, Big Foot) simply (or maybe not) has an injured “talus” bone that may take a long time to heal.

So it was back to frolicking in Baltimore!

We frolicked over to the Whole Foods place and actually started to get lost in the garage.  But we somehow frolickedstumbled into the place and found the six loaves of decadent bread I wanted so badly!

We would surely not starve with all that in the car right?

At breakfast next morning we managed some exciting sight seeing by looking out the window next to our table (no driving required).

There was a mysterious tent-covered barge-like THING with a giant water wheel and it was parked and floating in the harbor basin, and the big water wheel seemed to turn of its own accord when and if it wanted to.

We took turns guessing what the mysterious barge might be.

And I wondered why technology wouldn’t let me take a picture and ask Google to please identify the unidentified object.  Why couldn’t I just say, “Hey Google, What is this?”

Whatever it was though,  it made for great conversation over pancakes!

Can YOU guess what it really is?

This is the unidentified floating object.

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To be continued….

 

 

 

 

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