Monday, April 28, 2008



I am actually home tonight and it feels really strange. No more rehearsals, no more hours and hours at the theater. I'm a bit herxy today, so it's nice to be sitting here in my pajamas, watching it rain outside, and taking it easy.

Opening weekend went GREAT! I had so much fun and wasn't nervous at all. In fact, I couldn't wait to get on stage and make people laugh. My six lines and one minute of glory went by too fast, and then I was done. I need a bigger role next time.

What I had never experienced before was the camaraderie of the actors. Everyone supporting everyone else, forgiving minor mistakes and dropped lines, giving encouragement backstage. Making me feel important even with my wee six lines. And then when the curtain closed after our bows when the show was over, everyone started hugging each other with joy and doing little happy dances. I felt like such a part of a team. I loved it!


My theater readers will recognize the little spunky redhead in these photos, a daughter of two of the members. I was asked to photograph her after her first communion last Saturday. It was a gorgeous spring day with everything in bloom, and the sun came out after a rather overcast morning.


So as promised, here is another installment in Lisa's Wacky Medical Needs. Over the course of three appointments (two last week and one today) I've had 12 "suspicious" moles removed from my moley self, mostly on my back and arms. Nothing serious, just moles that were odd colors or shapes and could potentially lead to more dangerous things. It was not fun. The Mole Remover Dude numbed the area, then injected me with this stuff to make the mole pop up, then he razored it off. It leaves a fun little wound you have to take care of.

Bath time is annoying, because when I get out, I have 12 places to squirt antibiotic cream and cover with a band-aid. The ones of my back are especially challenging - living alone, and with the poms not so helpful in that area, I'm left to squirm and wiggle and twist myself around to get the band-aids on. All I can say is that I hope they heal quickly.


Ahhhhh. I am home. Did I mention that? I AM HOME. Did I also mention I'm in my pajamas? I'm off to eat fresh pineapple, sit on the couch, and watch Dancing With the Stars.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

sunday shenanigans


Who is that ravishing creature? Why, it's ME, just before our first dress rehearsal this afternoon. We open this Friday. I play a pushy, loud, and vibrantly-dressed reporter/photographer. My hair will be much bigger on opening night.

After I got home, my cute little 18 month old neighbor came by to play with Sophie and Sadie. She's obsessed with dogs right now.


Of course, the poms were ALL OVER her, wanting to lick her hands and play with her.




She even got to see my neighbor's dog, Polaris. When she saw her, she said "Oooo! BIG doggie!" She's just adorable. She couldn't say "Sophie", but she called Sadie "Day-ie".

My Lyme appointment is tomorrow. I'm going in armed with the protocol I researched and wrote out for myself, taken from the book Healing Lyme by Stephen Harrod Buhner. I hope my doctor is on board with my plan. If not . . . well, I'll deal with that if it happens. Wish me luck. Regardless, this is the plan I intend to follow. It feels right to me.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

my left foot

The first tulips to bloom this year.

I've had three doctor's appointments this week for various parts of my body. I'll start from the bottom up, and explain everything in upcoming blogs. Don't worry, one of those appointments was not the gynecologist! :)

I went to the podiatrist this morning so he could take a look at my horrifically painful toe and equally as painful heel (both on my left foot). It turns out (like I don't have enough ailments) I have two separate issues:
plantar fasciitis and hallux rigidus. (WARNING: before you click on the hallux rigidus site, be aware that there are surgery photos at the bottom. They're not horrible, but if you're queasy . . . well, you've been warned! Just don't scroll all the way down).

The plantar fasciitis (an inflammation and tearing of the plantar fascia tissue on the heel) will go away with arch inserts, stretching exercises, and rest (no workouts on the treadmill for awhile). But the hallux rigidus won't. I need surgery.

This is not my X-ray; it's from the website that you may or may not have clicked on. My X-ray looked almost exactly like this. This is a hereditary condition, where the long bone (blue arrow) that attaches to the big toe joint is higher than the rest of the long foot bones. Over time, it pushes against the joint and a bone spur occurs (red arrow). This compresses the joint and wears away your cartilage until you have bone-to-bone friction. At that point, you need a joint replacement or a fusion.

Luckily, my cartilage appears to still be all right, although he won't know until he gets in there. I still have a gap between my joints on the X-ray, which is a good sign. My surgery will be less drastic - a cheilectomy, where the bone spur is removed, and then the long bone is broken and reset to the proper alignment with the other long foot bones. Oh, and a screw is put in at some point of the surgery. I'll be in a hard, removable, full weight bearing cast for 4 weeks. I'll need 5 days resting at home and maybe another week off work. My mom had this exact surgery a few years ago (and I thanked her profusely for genetically passing it on to me!).

I'll probably have the surgery in July, when the hard yard work of spring is over; all my flowers will be planted and the rate that the lawn grows will slow down in the heat. Also, there's no theater, no ice and snow to deal with, and I can lounge in the back yard with my foot up for two weeks in the sunshine.

I'm actually pretty excited, and think of this as a positive thing: my pain will be gone. GONE. No more limping, no more pain at tap dance class (which I really shouldn't be doing but love too much to give up - and there's only a few more sessions), no more wearing big clunky hiking shoes everywhere because they're the only shoes that are stiff enough to give me support and protection.

So after all that information, the doctor proceeded to give me two cortisone shots, one in the plantar fascia tissue over my heel bone, and another in my toe joint. The heel one stung, but it wasn't horrible. But the toe one took much longer and felt like an odd, painful, cold deep pressure. I kept breathing and repeating compared to Lyme, this is no big deal . . . I was glad when it was over.

When I got home and the numbness wore off, the joint was so painful from the injection and very swollen (he said this is normal and will go away in a day or two). I wrapped it in a frozen gel bag thing and laid on the couch watching Juno (which was FANTASTIC) and waiting for my Alleve to kick in.

Later in the day, I took the poms outside to hang out in the yard. I was able to hobble around and rake the leaves out of the tiny strip of garden along the driveway and get those bagged up.



When I try to pick up Sadie and she doesn't want to go in the house, she goes limp, collapses, rolls over on her back, closes her eyes, and plays dead. It cracks me up. She's even got her tongue hanging out in this one!

Sadie playing dead

Sunday, April 13, 2008

can't cough no mo'

My lunch: breaded, baked fish with dill; sauteed zucchini in olive oil, minced garlic, and red pepper.

One of the great things about living alone is that when you get sick, you can hack and cough and make all sorts of disgusting sounds without grossing anyone out. You can walk around in your pajamas for days on end. You can take a three hour nap. You can watch the entire Deadliest Catch marathon, muting it only to sleep. You can stop cleaning your house. No one cares.

I have bronchitis, that joyous virus that makes your chest burst into flames with every breath, the kind that makes you double over in coughing fits and leaves you gasping for breath, ribcage screaming. Good times. After my three week herx from hell in February, followed by a depression "flare-up" through March and into April, and now this, I have to say I'm pretty run down.

Having a cold is awful, but it's not the same as soul-crushing Lyme disease, where you can feel the sickness permeating the deepest parts of you. A cold or flu is like an annoying little brother, poking and jabbing at you to make you miserable. It doesn't really mean any great harm, it just wears a joker hat and screws with you. But Lyme means it. It's sinister and deadly and tries to destroy you from the inside out, finding all your weak spots and setting up an evil camp. It wants you to give up.

So I'm am jabbing right back at the virus, doing everything I can to get better: hot epsom or Himalayan salt jacuzzi baths, vitamins, green juice, tons of water, and some light bouncing on the rebounder to get the lymph system to flush out the bad stuff. And lots of sleep, which I feel is the most healing thing of all.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

pressing down


My brother's new dog, Bailey.

Depression has hit me again. I've been struggling with it in some form since I was twelve years old. Usually it's pretty much under control, but the past month or so it's taken me over again. The air feels thick and heavy. Everything is hard to do and get through. I'm tired. I ache. The universe is pressing down on me, this dark cloud that follows me everywhere. My brain is bogged down with self-deprecating thoughts, feelings of hopelessness, aching loneliness, and a sense that every day is exactly the same. I want to scream.

Today I slept all afternoon, and when I woke up, I had to fight to stay awake. I could have rolled over and slept more. I made myself get up and clean the kitchen, run the vacuum, and sort through some bills. And then I sat on the couch, looked at the clock, and counted how many hours until I could reasonably go to bed. And this is a SATURDAY, people. I was invited out with friends and I didn't go, mainly because the thought of taking a shower and making myself presentable was overwhelming. As was driving, making conversation, and being out in the world. A night on the couch watching the Food network was more in order.

And now I'm in my pajamas, it's 11:30, and officially, I am going to bed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

domo arigato

Some days you wake up tired, grumpy, and depressed. You feel your life has no meaning and that you are a failure. You want to curl up on your lawn and be rained on.

But then.

On your way to work you hear the song "Mr. Roboto". You sing along. You remember that in 1983 you owned the 45 and played it over and over in your room. You roller skated to it. And now you realize that it's one of the worst songs ever made. Ever. But it makes you happy, and soon you are smiling and bobbing your head to the beeps and blips and chimes.

Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto, for helping me escape, just when I needed to. Thank you.

Who can finish the rest of the song? Who will admit that they can?!