Tag Archives: Friend

Breasts

17 May

I am no Angelina fan.  I can’t get over that weird stage she went through with Billy Bob Thornton.  Creepy.  However, she is brave and I am impressed with her sharing her masectomy story.  How many women do you know that are so defined by or attached to their breasts that they are mortified with the thought of losing them?  You know, when the breast cancer topic comes up over a few glasses of wine?  We’ve all been there and each woman’s feelings are understandable.  But, cancer is nothing to f…around with.  And this gene Angelina has is a doozy.

Maybe she will do more than raise awareness.  Maybe she will raise acceptance and help dispell the fear or denial that can be associated with the possibility of carrying this gene.  Maybe, loosing a breast or two will not seem so defeminizing and instead will seem more empowering.  Breasts are great, but they are not great enough to hold onto if it is a risk to your life.

One of my dearest friends has the BRCA1 gene and so did her mother and so does her sister.  This is scary stuff.  My friend fought breast cancer the hard way…a year of chemo, surgeries, radiation and more.  Not fun.  Scary.  She kicks ass and is tougher than nails, but it definitely sucked and sucked hard.

She is encouraging her sister to take Angelina’s route so she doesn’t have to go through chemo and radiation in addition to surgeries.  This is tough, but the whole point of all our modern technology and information is to help people, to prevent suffering, to be one step ahead of disease.  This is a good step and Angelina is ballsy for doing it and ballsy for sharing.  And since I am sure she still looks amazing and gorgeous, maybe more ladies will fear less about the vanity portion of a mastectomy and think about getting it done before it is no longer a choice.

Sick

7 Mar

One of my dearest friends, Msthrowspotsalot, has been dealing with sick kids for weeks now.  All of us mamas can sigh with true empathy.  A sick kid at any age creates chaos and worry even in the most stalwart of households.  Poor Msthrowspotsalot tended to a teen with the flu for the week of finals (great for freshman grades), then a week of a healthy household, then same teen had the flu last week with a fever and Tamaflu when Msthrowspotsalot was supposed to be in the Mexican Riviera with MrCalgary.  MrCalgary went, Msthrowspotsalot was stuck in her house tending to her sickie instead of lying on the beach in the tropics.  We have all been there, housebound, worried, trying to keep our patience and empathy even when our sick child is whiny and miserable…add to that the fact that her husband was relaxing without her…ugh.

Earlier this week, Msthrowspotsalot texted me her freshman was finally going back to school.  Horray!  But, the time for celebration came to a screeching hault after school yesterday when she texted me her son now had the stomach flu.  Holy cow.   We all agree a barfing child ranks up there with having your toenails pulled out or having an piece of food caught in your gum.  I am particularly barfaphobic.  So, my first question to a friend whose child is puking is:  “Did he make it to the toilet?”  This simple act transforms the stomach flu into a more manageable ordeal for the mother and the child.  Not performing this act requires great feats and concentration.  “How the heck am I going to get this pile of puke off the comforter?”  or “How do you pull a t-shirt covered in barf over a child’s head?”  These are questions that should be answered in parenting books.  Prepare us for the nitty gritty.  That time-out nonsense was not helpful anyway. Give us the hardcore, meaty stuff we can actually use.

Msthrowspotsalot responded, “No, of course not.”  Ewww.  She had already thrown away a rug and some towels.  This is a big child we are talking about which means big barf.  And, don’t you think after about age seven or eight they can make it to the toilet already?  Geez.  Last year on my birthday, Princelightningbolt was sick in his room.  In my sweet, motherly way, I was yelling at him to get up and get to the bathroom.  Literally hollering.  So sympathetic.  Once in the bathroom, he stood above the toilet.  You understand splatter, right?  Standing over the toilet is not helpful when you are over six feet tall.  So, I dug deep for my maternal sweetness and shouted, “On your knees.  On your knees, right now!”  Mother turned drill sargeant.

In an attempt to commiserate with Msthrowspotsalot, I told her this story and she said her son had been doing the same standing over the toilet action.  Duh!  She started  screaming my same command.  I feel so vindicated now. Maybe our boys can split the cost and share the same therapist when they are grown.

Foot Freedom

21 Feb

It is hard to describe the liberating feeling of wearing a small (albeit ugly) sandal instead of Das Boot.  I  feel light and like I can do anything.  Seriously.  With the doc’s OK to be up as much as I can tolerate (thank the holy lands I have a high pain tolerance…), I have been to the gym with my sandal every day, cleaned and cooked, walked one dog, hit TJs and the market, shopped for a friend just for fun…taking my time wandering around the store without checking my watch to make sure I haven’t gone over my allotted minutes.

I can even sleep without the sandal.  Ah, so nice to wiggle my toes in the covers, to roll over without creating an earthquake in my bed (Not that kind!  Get your minds out of the gutter.  I am talking about feet.)

And…drum roll…I showered without a trash bag and tape!  I have to balance on my heel, but wow.  Wow. Wow.  What a difference to be able to stand under the water, to wash my hair without having to duck my head down while sticking my boot out of the spray and washing my locks upside down.  I can shave both legs.  My sandal fits through the hole of underwear, my swim suit and boot leg jeans, so I can change without having to undo velcro, redo velcro, tuck in pants, etc. All these positives are enough to overlook the ungodly sight of the sandal.

The clincher is that I only have two more days with this sexy sandal.  I bought new running shoes today.  I feel like my comfort zone is not too far away.  Is this the light at the end of the tunnel?  I have survived 5 weeks tomorrow.  I have 3 weeks until new orthotics  are casted and 2 weeks after that until they are ready.  So, 5 more weeks of easy, but not sitting on my ass.  I can handle that.

Moving…on

10 Feb

A dear friend of mine is moving.  This doesn’t sound terrible, but where we live, not many people move away.  Our community is tight knit and we all know each other.  A lot of us now have teens and some in college.  We’ve been here a while and the roots are starting to grow deep. In fact, I cannot remember the last time a friend of mine moved away.

Sirskatesalot and I landed here by sheer luck.  We had only 48 hours to buy a house, not a ton of dough and we wanted our kids in good neighborhood schools.  This was the only house that met our requirements and boy, it was not pretty.  In fact, I sat on the porch and cried when the movers were moving our stuff in.  I could not believe we had bought such a heap and I was overwhelmed with the freeways, the noise, police helicopters…I hated it.

We have now been here a decade.  Wow, that is a long time.  Most of our kids’ lives. This is all they know.  We have dear friends.  We are entrenched, in a good way.  Our house is not so much a heap anymore, the freeways are not intimidating, and the beach is a stone’s throw away.  Did I mention we have dear friends?  We are a community.  We take care of each other.  We eek out time to have fun.  It’s actually surprising how much fun you can have when you are middle aged and boring.

We laugh at memories and current realities.  We know each other’s quirks, we suffer through most of them and we embrace a lot of them.  We even embrace our friends’ children’s quirks most of the time (ahem, this puts us up there with Mother Teresa if you know what I mean).  Our friend who is moving away will be sorely missed.  She is a riot.  There will be a hole here without her.  She is so awesome, though, that her new home will embrace her and she will become entrenched, but she’ll also gain an accent, big hair and a lot more make-up.  Any guesses where she is going to land? I can only utter a weak, “Yeehaw” because I want her to stay.

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Foot Surgery is Like Pregnancy

28 Jan

Ah, you sneer, “Foot surgery is NOTHING like pregnancy!”  I understand your initial defensiveness.  I have been pregnant two times and I thought it compared to nothing else in this world.  However, now that I am a Peg Leg, I have found a glaring similarity.  Random people I encounter with my Peg Leg, and some close friends as well, want to share with me every injury or trauma they have had involving anything from their leg south.  These thrilling topics include injuries to all of these and more: fibia, tibia, a torn calf muscle, hamstring, mcl, acl, plantar fasciitis and plantar warts (gross!).

This is where I am taken back to the feelings I had being pregnant.  My huge belly seemed to be a welcome sign for complete strangers to share with me the horrors of pregnancy, delivery, babies and motherhood.  My Peg Leg elicits similarly negative stories about feet and legs. I get it, people want to relate.  But, remember,  I am now only up to 20 minutes of standing time per hour.  These stories generally use up all my minutes, the buzzer goes off, I have accomplished nothing and I have to go sit down.  So far, I have missed my daughter dancing, had to leave the grocery store without actually buying anything and ditched out at World Market when I had a bitchin 49% off coupon.  I am depressed just typing this.

How do you stop someone mid-sentence when they are sharing their traumatic plantar wart story with you? Honestly, I would prefer to limp past everyone and go about my business.  I don’t want to talk about my Peg Leg.  I don’t want to explain my confusing surgery nor how long I will be a Peg Leg.  Not interesting to me in the least. And while I feel empathy for you, I don’t really want to live through your traumatic foot or leg experience when I am still in the throws of my own.

Talk to me about the beach, sunsets, dinners out at nice restaurants, long bike rides, runs in the mountains.  Share with me about living the life I used to live and I miss so much.  Share with me all day long and I will live vicariously through you, but keep your inquiring minds and your broken bones, ligaments and cartilage to yourself…Unless I am on my 40 minutes of sitting and I have a chair.  Then, I am bound to be bored to death and happy to have some free entertainment.

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Up and down, up and down

26 Jan

Sorry to disappoint, but no trash bag was needed (although I did pack one in my purse).   The rain let up for both our entrance…more on this in a minute…and our exit from the doctor.  In fact, upon exiting, my pal spotted a little trolley they drive around, like at Disneyland only without any Mickey Mouse stickers, to help old, disabled people get to their cars and my friend actually wanted us to get on it!!  We did qualify with my boot, but I  have some standards.

After parking in a disabled spot with my flashy red placard, we ambled up to the medical building with the same numbers I found on Google for the doctor’s office.  Up we went in the elevator to the fifth floor in search of suite  502.  But, there is no suite 502 in the building.  Seriously.  501, 503, 511, 500, you get the idea.  No 502.  After calling the office, we find out that the office is in the adjacent building.  Down we go, out to the sidewalk, into the next lobby (I am now over my allotted 15 minutes up on my peg leg), into the elevator and up to the fifth floor.  There is no suite 502.  This is not a joke and I am now late for my appointment and my poor friend, who is NOT a morning person, is looking at me with complete and utter disbelief.

I call the office again to find out we are now in the correct building but the suite number is 350.  We get on the elevator to go down to the third floor, relieved we are not crazy and this office does actually exist, laughing at how ridiculous this has been. Then the elevator goes up not down, but up. Yep, up again. To the sixth floor.  Finally, we head down  to the  third floor.  Office located.  Don’t ever trust Google and know for a fact that suite 502 does not exist in Orange County in any medical building.  It does not exist.

Peg Leg Jenn

25 Jan

Peg Leg Jenn

A friend of mine told me to start a blog while I recoup from foot surgery.  I guess because I am antsy and she knows that my doctor-mandated only 15 minutes of standing per hour will drive me to the brink of insanity.  She is trying to keep me busy and out of her hair.  I baulked at first.  “No one would want to read about me.  I’m boring.”  She assured me, “My sister has a blog and some days like 100 stalkers follow her!”  That clenched the deal.  What could be more rewarding than 100 stalkers???Image
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