Monday, September 24, 2007


I'm still here, but not posting right now. Without being able to exercise, I feel totally YUCK. Fat, ugly, horrible. And with no end in sight until the pin is out in 2 or 3 weeks...which seems like an eternity. :-(

I'll be here if I have anything to really say other than that...otherwise, will read all of you, comment and be back here when Frankentoe is healed. :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Frankentoe Story

So the day after we got back from BM, I went in for surgery on my toe at 9 am. Overall, it has been a much better surgery experience than I had last year with my knee which is a good thing because I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to have my other knee done fairly soon and it's good to know a better place to have ortho surgery.

My anesthesiologist's name was Dr. Cabaret. I'm not kidding. That's fantastic enough. DB and I kept calling him Dr. Cabernet. Anesthesiologists are always soo cool. I'm sure it's because they can get legal drugs. ;-) Anyway, I told Dr. C about how I didn't like how I came out of anesthesia last time and he promised to try to help. Well, he did a great job. This time, even though the surgery was much longer and more extensive than last time, I came out quickly, no horrible shivers, etc. He gave me a nerve block on my lower leg so I suspect they didn't have to give me so much narcotic.

I also got great post-op instructions (last time I got virtually NONE) and really really good pain meds (even though I had to go through the morphine withdrawal, it was worth it because I only had one day of real -- but bearable with the meds -- pain).

When I woke up from the surgery I found that I had a pin sticking out the end of my toe. Yes, yucky. They had told me I wouldn't have to have that, but the damage was too severe when they got in there. :-( I also have three other smaller pins inside my toe. I could show you the X-rays, but I'm afraid it might gross you out. I also learned that I couldn't shower for TWO WEEKS after the surgery. This was less disturbing to me than it might have been since I had a bunch of no-rinse shampoo, conditioner and body wash left over from Burning Man. But, believe me, after two weeks, you want a REAL SHOWER.

So I have muddled through the past two weeks during which time we have had two days of movers (one for just moving stuff that was already here, one for moving stuff in from storage). All our possessions are now on premises -- I spent last weekend unpacking. Probably did too much since the doc today said my toe was a little swollen.

Oh yeah, today was the big post-op appt. with the doc. They took off the dressings -- YUCK -- I almost threw up when I saw the blood on the interior dressings and when I saw the actual Frankentoe?? I had to lie down. Oy, can't even think about it...yucky. Bottom line is that I have to have the pin in my toe for at least 3 more weeks, then maybe it will come out. This means no regular shoes (I'm in a post-op sandal) and no walking regularly. I can't walk the dog. I can't bike. I finally realized I can probably do floor pilates. Otherwise, my butt will continue to spread. I'm terrified to get on the scale...with vacation, surgery, move, etc. I have been very sucky with food. And, of course, NO exercise really with the Frankentoe.

OK, the GOOD news today? I get to shower!!!!!!! Had one tonight and it would have been bliss if it didn't take so long (I can't stand up other knee is totally swollen from over-compensating) and if I didn't have to be so careful not to get too much water on the Frankentoe. It's hurting tonight more than it has in a long time and so I'm not doing all the stuff I should do tonight and just heading for bed soon.

So that brings us pretty up-to-date. I'm so happy that you enjoyed the BM post and Lori even wants to come!!! My job here is done. ;-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Let's go back...WAY back

Time to catch up...let's start back with our Burning Man adventure:

My sister and her family left early in the morning on August 26 and DB and I drove out of Venice with our packed van a little before 10 am. We had a really good ride up to Reno -- took us less time than it ever has before as we had no problems or incidents on the way. This boded very well, of course! We got into our hotel room around 7:30, then went for dinner and had a final shower for the week (no real showers at Burning Man although we have a solar camp shower) before our final night of sleep in a real bed for the week. Got up very early the next morning, had room service breakfast and headed out toward the playa (dry lake bed where the event is held about 2 hours northeast of Reno). Here we are with our van in the parking lot of the hotel that morning:

We got out to the playa pretty early and DB got to work. I helped a teeny bit in unloading the van, but it was hard with the huge post-op boot I had on my foot to protest my toe from further injury pre-surgery. DB put up our dome (with the help of lots of our BM neighbors), our tent, solar panels, etc. and finished just in time for dark. I did girly stuff -- decorated the interior of the dome with our rugs, chairs, etc. and made our bed (this year we were so excited to have a double-high air bed -- luxury!). We had dinner and were headed to bed to sleep until the eclipse that night (we set an alarm to wake up), but then our campmates arrived so we had to have some drinks and celebrate seeing each other again. We headed out to the playa to see some lights and art and hit the hay about midnight for a quick nap before the eclipse. Here's a view of the city at night from high on the platform of the art piece called Crude Awakening (the second photo):

We got up and watched the eclipse which was totally amazing out there in the desert and headed back to bed by 2:30 (it was also COLD out there in the desert at night!). You may have seen news of what happened soon after that, but here's my account: I started to hear people outside the tent saying things like "holy shit, the Man is burning". This being Burning Man where people tend to joke about all kinds of things, I turned over to head back to sleep thinking people were just kidding. Nope. Soon after, a friend of ours came running into our camp to say that the Man was really on fire (for those of you who don't know, they usually burn him on Saturday night -- it's a huge ritual and he's a huge Man -- at least 6 stories high I'd estimate). And he was! We were close enough to see him burning and the huge fire hoses trying to put him out. Remember this is in the middle of NOWHERE. I guess I'm glad to know they have huge fire extinguishing capabilities! It was wild. The guy who did it said it was either a performance piece (a lot of that going on out there!) or a political statement or just anarchy. Who knows? We didn't have any real news about the incident until we got home (no internet and no cell phones out there). Anyway, we headed back to sleep when the Man was put out.

Tuesday we spent a lot of time helping our campmates set up their dome, tents, etc. Our friend Aaron even brought a compost toilet this year -- the ultimate in luxury not having to use the porta-potties all week! And he and his girlfriend brought another friend who is a fine-dining chef -- we ate well: duck, buffalo, salmon, shrimp. It was crazy how delish he could cook on a little propane camp stove! Here's our kitchen and our chef:

The week went from there. I did a really fun Greeters shift on Wednesday (Greeters welcome people "home" to the city at the gate -- usually wearing wacky clothes -- or no clothes! I wear my Minnie Mouse ears and a belly dance outfit). I learned to get around pretty well on my bike with the post-op boot, but by Friday had blown out my opposite knee from over-compensating. I spent a lot of time in camp, reading and hanging out. This wasn't too bad because people would come by and play music (DB is a drummer and had set up a whole music "stage" in one of our domes) and I got to do a lot of reading which I don't get to do too much anymore. Friday we had a huge duststorm and everyone in the neighborhood had to work to keep things from blowing away. After that, there was a little sprinkle of rain and then a huge double rainbow!! Wow. Here are some photos from the rest of the week:

By Friday I was SO ready to go -- it was really hard not being able to get around due to my knee and I sat in camp reading, drinking and EATING. Not good. But, having said that, we did have more fun before we left on Monday -- the Temple burn on Sunday night was really beautiful. More photos below:

We left early Monday morning (about 6:45 am) took us three hours to go less than 2 miles to the road. But that's why they call it Exodus. We got to our hotel in the Eastern Sierras about 3 in the afternoon...showered, took naps, looked at a lovely lake, gambled a little, then sleep by 9 pm. We drove home the next day...lovely drive down the Eastern Sierras.

And I had surgery the next day...more on that next time...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rehab? I know why she says "no no NO"

Today is morphine withdrawal day. Yes, you heard me right. They had me on morphine (and other stuff) after surgery. It's good stuff. I didn't really suffer with pain much at all. I stopped taking it on Saturday but today is the day where I'm really getting withdrawal symptoms -- sweats, nausea, dizziness, headache. YUCK. And, of course, today is my first day back at work. No wonder no one wants to go to rehab...

I'll write about Burning Man and the toe surgery as soon as I have photos that I can post in with the text (I'll warn you before posting any really grody toe photos -- yes, I have a pin sticking out the end of my toe, yuckie poo!). The short of it is that I had as much fun at BM as I could being pretty physically diminished and the toe surgery was pretty ouchy although much better than the knee surgery I had last year. I'm healing...and glad of it.

And we're ALMOST completely in to our new place...soon...

Thanks for all your good wishes...I've missed you. :-)