Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's Terrible Getting Old

I've been having pain in the joint of my left big toe above the ball of my foot since the beginning of the year. I stopped wearing heels about that time because it was just too uncomfortable, and it's been getting worse ever since, especially when I exercise. Mountain climbers were out, and ever tried to do a one-legged plank? NOT easy. (Of course that's one of the ab exercises we do: plank while taking turns lifting up each limb in succession.)

I called for an appointment with Orthopaedics in February and got right in last Thursday. Not impressed with UIHC on that point, but I don't think I'm going to owe much on the whole thing so yay! insurance! Diagnostic was pretty straight-forward, as even I could see it on the x-ray: I have a bone spur in the joint.

Apparently this is some sort of arthritis where the bone has been rubbing together so the bone forms some extra callus made of bone to help cushion it from the rubbing together. This seems like a stupid evolutionary reaction, since it is obviously quite painful. If my body were smart, it would form something a little more cushion-y than BONE for a cushion. Re-form some cartilege or plastic or rubber or something.

Anyway, they gave me a carbon fiber shoe insert to take some pressure off the joint and boy has that helped. The swelling has gone down quite a bit in the week or so since I've been wearing it, and the pain of walking has lessened as well, although living so long with the pain has made me a bit wary of certain movements and I'm still doing strange things with my body to compensate that I don't think my chiropractor would approve of at all.

I also met with a physical therapist for some exercises to help loosen up my ligaments. She measured my degree of flexibility, and I'm not too far below normal, but any little bit helps in this case, I suppose. It's supposedly a cause of bone spurs, as well as ill-fitting shoes, and old age. The shoes may have been a factor as I know at least one pair of exercise shoes I've had in the past were half a size too small, but that can't have been all of it.

If those things don't work, then they'll talk about surgery, but I'm really not interested in surgery right now. Once a year for that crap is plenty.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trying to End the Nightmares

I have nightmares about my house being a shack. Like, holes in the floor, wind blowing through the walls, dirt falling through the foundation walls shack. I think it stems from the basement and the problems I've been having over the past several years with water coming in. I mentioned, way back before I abandoned the blog for two years, that I had accepted a bid to put a swale in the backyard to help direct water away from the house, and that has helped *immensely*. Unfortunately, I did it too late, and there was water damage to the foundation walls, especially the west wall adjacent to the back yard, which is bulging in by an inch and a half up and down, and probably more than that parallel to the floor.

We're starting out fixing this by putting in a sump pump system. We currently have nothing of the sort, but some kind of half-ass dam system that one of our estimators told me doesn't even access all the holes in the cinder block, so it's only draining half the water. Maybe half. Anyway, these guys are going to come in and remove the floor all the way around the perimeter of the basement, put in a drainage system and then cover it all back up. Voila! Water mitigation!

Then, Joe is pretty confident he can install wall anchors in the basement walls to pull them back into alignment. This is pretty much a trust exercise for me, because NIGHTMARES, but I figure if I can trust him with my heart, I can trust him with my basement walls.

All this is leading up to finishing the basement. If we end up having a kid, we will need ROOM. Right now, the spare bedroom, always a repository for things I didn't quite know what to do with all of a sudden got ten times worse when Joe moved in. Plus the majority of the stuff in the basement, because I swear there was pretty much nothing down there before I got married. Opinions will vary on that point. But if we have to clean out the spare room to make room for a nursury, there has to be a place for that stuff too, and it would be really nice to have some storage space. Apparently, closets were not a valued commodity in the 1940's.

We've got a pile of items to get rid of; we're planning on having a garage sale sometime soon. Lots of the mound of stuff in the middle of the basement is garage sale things, so that makes me feel a little bit better about the enormity of the task of organizing.

The plan is to have a living room, laundry room, storage and an extra bathroom in the basement, and turn the current living room into a dining room, and have a smaller table in the kitchen for quick eating. Basically, we will almost double our living space. We won't take over the second floor until we have a second kid - the apartment income is designated for Joe's student loans, and we've got a ways to go before those are paid off.

Exciting plans!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Societal Norms

I am a firm believer that everyone grieves in their own way and there is no right or wrong way to do it. But the one thing that I can't get over is how we treat early pregnancy and miscarriage. It's the "norm" not to announce your pregnancy until after the first trimester. Having done both, it was not any more difficult to tell people about the miscarriage when they had known about the pregnancy than those who hadn't known. I can't say that I went out of my way to tell people, but I didn't really keep it a secret, either. By this time, though, it's been long enough that is kind of awkward to bring it up. I fully intended to tell my cousins at our girls' night last month, but I just couldn't find an appropriate time to bring it up. "Hey, guess what?" Yeah, not quite.

And it was hard at first, so I fully understand why people don't tell. There's not exactly a funeral to arrange to prompt us. But I was surprised by the number of women who came out of the woodwork to tell me that they had had a miscarriage too, and offer their comfort. My nurse at the hospital told me her first was a miscarriage and went on to have two healthy children. When I got back to work, a co-worker who asked if I was feeling better after a week out knew exactly what the stricken look that was my response was all about. She later apologized and almost teared up mentioned she had been through it twenty years before.

I had no idea miscarriages were so common. I don't know whether I would have been more prepared if I had known. Most likely not. But now I feel an urge to educate, *because* no one talks about it.

I've been frequenting an online support group for women who have miscarried, and there are so many threads asking for advice on how to deal with insensitive people. Sometimes, they are truly insensitive people, but most of the time, it's people who mean well, but they just don't have the framework to work in. You know what to say to people who have lost the elderly, or someone who was sick, but the loss of the unborn? People are more comfortable talking about abortion.

I lost my baby at two months. It doesn't seem long, but it was enough time to start dreaming, to start hoping, to start wondering about the person my child was going to be. The loss of the potential hit me harder than anything. I keep thinking about where I would be about now, what milestones I'm missing...August 15th (my due date) will be a very hard day for me. It doesn't matter if I will be pregnant again or not. It's THIS baby I will be missing.

I don't have a point to end this with. I can't say that there's something wrong with the societal norm, but I can't say that it's helped me, either.