Category Archives: Injury

Dear Tom, You don’t prop a woman on Coumadin up against a cement post…

and hope she’ll stay put, not when she’s reportedly feeling weak and lightheaded and has no motor control. I’ve been a hospice nurse for over 20 years. Prior to that I was an ICCU/CCU charge nurse. I’m married to a doctor.

Hillary Clinton is a sick woman. This election is causing people who are normally clear-headed and reasonable to dismiss things that should be of major concern. The mainstream media is contorting itself, squeezing into clown cars, burying their collective heads in the sand, trying to ignore the evidence staring them in the face.

This is sexist? It’s a conspiracy? She stumbled? She tripped?

Are you effin’ blind???

As an RN and a human being, watching that video made me sick to my stomach. I was horrified! The poor woman! What is wrong with all of you???

Coumadin is a blood thinner. The biggest rule about Coumadin? No, it’s not avoid leafy greens. It’s don’t fall. If you fall on your head you can suffer, in layman’s terms, a brain bleed. If you are on Coumadin and you fall on your head, you can die.

It’s obvious to me that Mrs. Clinton’s handlers (and likely Mrs. Clinton) are way too concerned with appearances. There is too little concern for her well-being. She should have been in a wheelchair, or they should have laid her down on the ground, and above all, she should have been taken to a hospital.


For crying out loud, press people! Use your brains! You are supposed to be intelligent. You are supposed to ask questions. Ask what medications she’s taking prn- as needed. Where are today’s Woodward and Bernstein???

Mrs. Clinton and her handlers were so worried about not calling attention to the situation that they put her in danger. *Mrs. Clinton had no ability to protect herself.* She was propped against a cement pillar and had one woman holding her arm. She could easily have collapsed, broken her arm or her hip, hit her head and died.

Unbelievable. Unbelievable.


Dear Tom, et. al, An Update.

Still recovering from knee surgery. Unfortunately in addition to nerve damage my body is reacting to the metal and cement used in the knee with resulting severe inflammation and swelling. Sets my recovery back months, as in I am now, at nearly 9 weeks, where I should have been at 3-4 weeks.

On the bright side I was cleared to drive this week. Yay! No longer trapped in my house so I’m a little less stir crazy. You really don’t want to know how stir crazy I had become!

On the less bright side walking around a grocery store is about my limit for the day. So sad!

It’s a good thing I’ve had the Olympics to watch, despite NBC’s pathetic (and I do mean pathetic) coverage.

I’m also watching Fearless on Netflix. I decided to download free Netflix for 30 days so I can watch Fearless and Stranger Things. Fearless is an 8-part documentary about the PBR (bull riding) and Stranger Things is unusual horror, as in I can handle it horror- thoughtful horror- as opposed to creepy nightmarish uncanny valley horror.

So, it’s back to icing, elevating, and… oh… Jake taught himself to fetch my cane! Such a cutie pie!

XOXO! Julia

Dear Tom, I’m a changed woman postop.

Texas Woman Wakes From Surgery With A British Accent

No, she’s not me. But I woke from surgery a different person.

I’m scared, Tom.

I no longer like chocolate. Can’t stand the sight of it nor the smell of it.


This is serious.

Do you understand what this means?

This means that after a life-long love affair with chocolate, as in chocolate has been the only sweet thing I like– I. Now. Hate. Chocolate.

You know what’s even scarier???

I’m craving vanilla ice cream. I’ve despised (yes, despised) ice cream in every way, shape or form, my entire life. I’ve refused to eat it. I’ve hated the taste, the texture, the creaminess, the sweetness…I was the only child I knew who hated ice cream. I’m the only adult I know who hates ice cream.

But that’s no longer true. Just this past week I ate my first ice cream sandwich – vanilla ice cream between two oatmeal cookies – and it was amazing! I mean, it was astounding.

I woke from surgery with a vision of an oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich, a gourmet confection I’d once glimpsed in the freezer section at the neighborhood market. An ice cream sandwich that previously held zero interest for me. As soon as I got home I begged my husband to go buy one.

Bi rite ice cream sandwich

This is it.

Wait… here’s the conversation:

“Please please please go to the market and buy me an ice cream sandwich, the gourmet kind in a single-pack, wrapped in cellophane– vanilla ice cream between two oatmeal cookies.”

Oscar, staring at me: “You don’t eat ice cream.”

Me: “I know, but I want one.”

Oscar, still staring at me: “But you hate ice cream.”

Me: “I know but I really really really want one of these ice cream sandwiches.” I showed him the picture.

Oscar, skeptical: “Where does a store keep ice cream?”

Me, trying not to laugh: “Honey, think for a minute. Where would a store keep ice cream?”

Oscar: “Uh, where it’s cold?”
Me: “Yes. Now where would it be cold in a grocery store?”

Oscar: “I don’t know.”

Oh Tom… You have no idea what I’m dealing with here.

Me: “Honey, when you get to the store, ask someone.”

Oscar made a halfhearted attempt to find the ice cream sandwich I wanted but he failed because he refused to ask for help. Instead he bought a box of It’s-It which I couldn’t eat because It’s-It is covered in chocolate.

It's it

So I sent my best friend on a mission to seek out the perfect ice cream sandwich. She found one. And it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I want more!!!

This is so bloody weird! Even weirder? My lactose intolerance seems to be a non-issue.

I’ve lived my entire life with lactose intolerance. Even as a baby I couldn’t tolerate dairy-based formula. My parents had to start me on solid food at three months of age because every formula that went in came back out within a minute or two. (My mom wasn’t the type to nurse a kid.)

Out of the blue I’m eating yogurt, ice cream, and drinking milk.

Holy crap, Tom! What in the world is going on???

Oh, and by the way~

Happy Independence Day! Yay America!


For the first time in my life I’m eating ice cream on the Fourth of July! XOXO! Julia


Dear Tom, life interrupted…

Oscar is sick with the flu, as in influenza. Thus Julia, oh she of the 25 pound leg cast, must don two plastic bags and a cast boot and hobble along with the dog in rainmaggedon. Twice a day in rainmaggedon. (Pay no attention to the doomsayers, those who insist the drought is not over. (Bull cookies.)

I’m on my third cast- keep getting them wet. I ordered a special camo walking bag- the bottom is tacky. Supposedly it will hold up. Well, I do hope so because plastic garbage bags break and leak, even if they are inside the cast boot. This special walking cast cover was supposed to arrive last Wednesday. Well I say-

It’s like Job or the ten plagues or something. No. Wait. Obviously those two examples are way worse than what I’m experiencing. Give me a dark comedy analogy and I’ll make it fit the circumstances. At least I have him!


My embarrassed assistant.

XOXO! Julia

Dear Tom, I miss you!

I heard from Ishbel the other day. She’s been on my mind, although I know she’s all right. She was married to you, after all, so I know just how tough she is!

But I know your family misses you. I miss you.

Here’s all the news that’s fit to print~

I’m still pretty much a mess. But there are worse things than broken things. As you well know. I did take Jake to the beach last week. The surf was so high we couldn’t do much beach combing.


Also a woman wearing a pashmina tried to hit Jake with a ball thrower. Seriously. She was at the far end wearing her blue pashmina (I hate pashmina’s because they are so pretentious) and white slacks. She was using her ball thrower to dig a hole in the sand with her golden retriever who was, as this is an off-leash beach, off-leash.

Jake bounded up to them, all happy, his entire body wiggling like a puppy and a look on his face that said, “Hey, wassup? What y’all doing over here?”

Her dog just looked at Jake, but the woman started swinging that ball thrower at him. So I yelled, “Hey, lady, knock it off! Don’t you dare hit my dog!” I called Jake back to me. He came right away, with a look that said, “Is she crazy or what?”

She’s lucky he didn’t bite her or grab her ball thrower and run off with it.

So I yelled to her, “If you’re going to have your dog off leash you can’t be swinging your ball thrower at other dogs when they approach.”

Two other dog walkers witnessed the incident and turned around, walked the other way, as did Jake and I. This is only a spit of a beach on the best day. The surf was so high there wasn’t much walking to be had. Unfortunate. But a beach is still a beach!

Fortunately for Jake, we discovered a new park in Napa. It’s off the beaten path. There are no cars, and he can be off leash. He made a new friend, one whose owner did not swing his fishing pole at Jake.

My Vionics – shoes to help plantar fasciitis. I think they are super cute although since it seems I have a stress fracture of my left heel as opposed to plantar fasciitis they really aren’t helping a bit. Gotta see a man today about a cast…


Oh… And you’ll be both pleased and disconcerted to note that my youngest (in the center) went skydiving for her birthday. She is now certified. Whatever that means. I’m trying not to look. Seriously. Can’t look.


Her instructor is Israeli which makes me feel better. Nevertheless…

Okay. I’m done. Gotta go swimming before I get a cast. Oh I so don’t want another cast…

XOXO! Love you, Tom! Julia




Dear Tom, I am loving my birdies!

I get so much pleasure from watching and feeding my birds, hours and hours – despite the occasional hawk. But of course I love hawks as well and want to be one in my next life- not anywhere near a wind farm though. Wind farms are deadly to raptors.

Here’s the list of birds in my backyard:


Spotted Towhees.


White Crowned Sparrows.

Golden Crowned Sparrows.

Savannah Sparrows.

Fox Sparrows.

Hooded Junkos.

Dark-eyed Junkos.

Western Scrub Jays.

Blue Birds.


Cassin’s Finches.

House Finches.

White-breasted Nuthatches.


Bewick’s Wrens.

Cedar Waxwings.

Olive-sided Flycatchers.

Red-eyed Vireos.

Warbling Vireos.

Mourning Doves.

Bullock’s Orioles.

Anna’s Hummingbirds.

Black Phoebes.

Oak Titmouses (Titmice?).

Evening Grosbeak.

Mountain Chickadees.

Chestnut-backed Chickadees.

It’s so much fun because they know me and they know Jake and we are both allowed to get very close to them. In fact, they love having Jake about because the redtail hawk won’t bother them when he’s outside.

Things are a bit better. As I await surgery to repair my hip– gotta get that repaired before I can get the knee surgery– I joined a health club, and I’ve been swimming and rowing every day. I’ve had to decrease my hiking to two miles a day, four days a week. That’s about as much as I can do and I’m still pretty slow. Tomorrow I hope to visit a sports medicine physical therapist. If there is a way to avoid hip surgery I’d just as soon find it, but a torn labrum does not heal. It can only be sort of fixed. Regardless, I did get two batches of lemon curd made yesterday. Yay! Already gave most of it away. And I’ve frozen the juice for two more batches. Of course the tree is still loaded with lemons. Want to come help me harvest? 🙂

Perhaps I’ll get around to photos one of these days.

Needless to say, 2016 isn’t looking quite as bleak as it was just a week ago. Of course don’t ask the poor hubby – he’s the one responsible for insane Jake’s exercise now! He might have a different opinion of 2016, especially since his team, the Minnesota Vikings, lost today. He’s a Minnesota native.

(I’ll whisper this secret down a deep well at midnight- While I found Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to be marginally entertaining, I also found it to be pretty much a disappointment. My son and I had a long discussion about it today. Sometimes a discussion can make a less interesting movie more interesting. He liked the movie, but then he’s been a big Star Wars fan since he was a baby. Me? I expected better, although when one considers the three horrendous prequels, The Force Awakens was genius.)

Oh! The PBR is back! Gotta love those bulls! I’ll give you a little taste. I know most of you aren’t as blood thirsty as I am. (Big Airtime fan here):

Love you, Tom. Miss you! XOXO! Julia



Dear Tom… A Perfect Storm, or as we say round these parts- bitch fest two!

I’m only gonna talk about it in this one post. Then I’ll shut up. There are way worse problems in this world. My little issues don’t amount to a hill of beans. But there are reasons why productivity (mine) may be limited in 2016.

I feel like my own grandmother!

You may recall the jumping over the side of a steep trail to avoid a falling oak branch two years ago in February wherein I tore my meniscus (right knee) all the way to the bone on both sides of the knee requiring an emergency arthroscopic repair whereupon my amazing lovely highly skilled surgeon said to me upon my awakening, and I quote,

“I don’t know if I’ve managed to save the knee.” No addendum.

To be quite honest, my knee has not really worked well since. I’ve managed, but it’s challenging when the left knee contains a whole lot of hardware and has since I crushed the knee in a sledding accident at the age of fourteen. (Multiple surgeries- the last by above-mentioned boy genius in 2007 which allowed me to hike across Costa Rica, Scotland and Wales.) Therefore my work horse right knee was my saving grace.

So that’s Perfect Storm #1.

Perfect Storm #2. (Stop chortling, Tom! I can hear you from this side of the grave.) (Remember, I see dead people.)

A little over a year ago, the coiled garden hose fell onto my leg, causing me to twist my right foot which resulted in a Lisfranc (sucky) injury for which I cannot wear a cast (hurts that right knee) and which has gotten worse with continued exercise so that the pain is, like, well, as we say in the nursing world- on a scale of 1-10 it’s pretty much a constant solid 7. And there’s nothing to do for it but a fusion which I’ve been avoiding because of the above-mentioned (Did I mention it?) right knee.

Lisfranc injury

But other foot…

Perfect Storm #3. (Shut up, Tom. I heard that!)

Because I’ve had to be cautious with the right foot I’ve been pounding on the left and I’ve developed the worst case of plantar faciitis I’ve ever had. Ever. And I’ve had it plenty-o-times. Stepping on that left heel first thing in the morning makes me scream- in addition to the fact that I already need a walker just to get out of bed due to the right knee and the right foot. (Did I mention that?) No shit. A walker just like gramma Jennie. You should see me sticking my left foot into a vat of ice water after I hike. No, seriously, a vat of ice water. Practically gives me a seizure. I can’t imagine how professional athletes actually manage to sit in ice water. Maybe because they are getting paid a bajillion dollars to do it?

On second thought, I’m sure you see me with my foot in ice water and you laugh your ass off!

ice water

Again, other foot…

But wait, there’s more! When I was in Montana for Christmas, and this was against my better judgement, mind you– I got talked into hiking through deep powder up to a tall ridge for sledding and snow boarding because I am indeed an idiot. You know, fun trumps all pain and suffering!

And so we come to Perfect Storm #4.

We took turns on the snowboard belonging to older daughter. I did not get injured snowboarding- just so’s ya know. It was hauling my older daughter out of a snow hole where she’d just done a face plant and couldn’t get her 5’7″ 135 pounds plus snowboard plus another 30 pounds of snow and ice-encrusted coveralls (so stiff they could stand up on their own- and this I know because I was the one who carried them back into the house) upright. And I didn’t want her to suffocate. In the process of rescuing my daughter from six feet of snow I managed to tear the labrum in my left hip. Now I’m gramma Jennie for sure!

kinda like this

Kinda like this.


The Real Deal – before the fall!

I swear- belated Christmas/Hanukah present– a walker.

Took me two hours to walk the dog two miles last night. I am so bloody slow I annoy the hell outta myself.

Oh, wait, did I mention I am scheduled for knee-replacement surgery on March 24th? Yeah. I am.

Guess I’ll be heading back to my surgeon’s office (he’s 100 miles away) to deal with my hip first.

Seriously. I mean, seriously. It’s like that Passover song- Dayenu – Enough! It would have been enough!



I think I was a bad person in a past life. Although… When I was in college a Vietnamese face reader told me I would experience significant musculoskeletal issues in my fifties. Emphasis on the ‘significant.’ His, not mine. He also said I would get past them. Finger’s crossed, dear Tom!

But anyway, the point of this post is to let you all know why I’m struggling to get work done. Besides, I’m busy exercising (rowing machine/swimming, trying to hike- poor Jake!) so I’ll have an easier time rehabbing from the knee and possibly hip surgery.

But as we all know, it could always be worse!

It could

(Reminds me of my horseback riding accident in high school- didn’t walk for an entire year.) Le’ sigh…

XOXO Love ya, Tom! (Quit laughing at me!)