Friday, September 8, 2017

Find me at Hourglass Park this weekend!

I'll be selling my jewelry at the Senior Classic Women's soccer tournament this weekend in Mira Mesa. This year I won't be playing since my legs/aerobic capacity aren't quite ready for a tournament. I'll be watching my team play and selling. Fortunately my wonderful mom will be helping out and, thankfully, the weather has cooled down!
We'll be at Hourglass Field in Mira Mesa (just south of Miramar College). You can park in the Miramar College parking lot or in the field parking lot (back near the pool). We'll be there from 8-3 on Saturday and 8-2'ish on Sunday. Here's a mapquest link if you need it: Hourglass Field. Hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

6.5 months after my foot surgery, a hike, an eclipse and new jewelry designs!

It was a long recovery from my foot surgery and I'm not back to 100% yet - but I am back to playing soccer!  And I don't have the achilles pain after playing anymore so the surgery was a success!  Before surgery I was limping after the first half of play.   I even did my first HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class and Orange Theory class.  In both of those classes the lack of strength in my legs was very obvious- LOL!  So I still have more work to do increasing the strength in my legs and flexibility in my achilles - but my surgery foot isn't keeping me from doing too many things.  About 2 weeks ago I went on a hike with my bro and one of his friends from La Jolla up to Mt. Soledad.  I didn't make it to the top since the last part of the hike was a REAL steep incline on city streets and my achilles told me to head back downhill after it got a serious workout as we hiked through the very steep La Jolla nature park and on the uphill trek to get to the last climb for Mt. Soledad. 
View from the top of the La Jolla nature park
The sun appeared over the ocean as I headed down and turned the water a glorious blue color!

And I didn't even post on the day of the eclipse - but I did get a picture of the eclipse through the leaves of our wisteria - with Max, our Westie, keeping an eye on things.  :)

And, since I know you are just dying to see my new jewelry designs!, here are a few :)

purple artisan lampwork earrings and sterling silver
Purple Rose Earrings - Artisan lampwork and sterling silver
Aqua Grass - artisan lampwork, chrysoprase, artisan polymer dangles, crystals, brass and gold filled
In Orbit Earrings - fused argentium sterling silver wings, artisan lampwork

Friday, June 2, 2017

The foot at week 15 and the jewelry

A lot has happened since my last blog post!  I'm walking and, as of today, I can rise up on my toes!  Yep I celebrate the simpler things in life as I'm able to do them now.  I spent 6 weeks without putting any weight on my right foot (scootering around on my knee scooter) and then started to transition from walking in the boot to walking in shoes with lifts and now I'm transitioning to shoes with no lifts and barefeet!  Each transition takes some time for the muscles and tendons to get used to the new position.  Once I can walk with no pain and a decent distance with no lifts I can start gentle jogging for small amounts of time each day.  That's a little way in the distance.  I did want to share a before and after picture.  The bone spur (bulge) was pretty big before surgery!

As my foot has healed I've gotten back to making jewelry.  It is taking me a while to get back in the groove.  My creative stints are not as frequent, yet, as before surgery.  Here are some of my recent creations.  They haven't yet made it into my Etsy shop so if you're interested just go to my cserpentDesigns Facebook page and send me a message.

The Purple and The Green - amethyst, peridot and sterling silver

Purple Rose - Artisan lampwork and sterling silver
Palette on Black - Artisan lampwork, my own enameled on copper drops, aquamarine, Swarovski crystals, Czech glass and sterling silver
I'm working on new designs with some of the Mexican Purple Opal drops I got in Tucson in February!  Can't wait to share those with you!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In the Boot!

I think the cast dept at Kaiser is tired of seeing me - LOL! They knew I would probably be back in on Friday for another cast redo so between them and the nurse I saw on Monday they convinced my doc to get me into the boot today. We got a call this AM to see if we could come in to get booted. So here it is.

And my complaints about how little sleep I’m getting were also heard. They gave me this boot for night time use. I sure hope I can sleep with this one.

And I got to wash my foot for the first time in 2.5 weeks! The bottom part of my incision is quite scabby and is much more tender than the top for some reason so all I could do was blot it with a soapy wash rag and then rinse it with running water. I used one of my hubbys socks so I could get it on without bending my foot. Here is my washed, socked and booted foot. This boot feels so good since there is nothing hard pressing on my heel and lots of soft foam surrounding it.

 Nothing exciting will be happening for a while regarding my foot.  I'm non-weight bearing for another 3 weeks.  I'll see the doc next week and he'll show me how to start massaging my scar in order to start breaking up the scar tissue.  I sure wouldn't be able to do it this week since the lower part of the incision is really tender.  In April I'll start partial weight bearing so that should be fun!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2 weeks postop - sutures are out!

Ok - went in, got the sutures removed and there was some confusion about what was supposed to happen next.  Unfortunately my doc was unable to make the appointment and wasn't answering text messages so no one could confirm that what he told me for my recovery timeline is what was going to happen.  The only information they had was that my next appointment would be at 6 weeks postop.  This did NOT jive with the recovery plan the doctor outlined.  They put on another plaster cast - but the tech made it MUCH lighter by using less plaster since I had so many problems with all of the casts I had previously and had almost completely cut off the previous plaster cast in order to fix something that was starting to rub my foot raw.  Needless to say I emailed my doc the next day and told the gal who called to make the 6 week appointment that I wanted to talk with him this week.  She scheduled a phone call before the doc responded to my email.  Sure enough he wanted me to follow the recovery plan so I go in next week to get a boot instead of a cast.  This will allow me to start massaging the scar and will alleviate my numb big toe from the pressure of the cast on the top of my foot.

Here's the foot with sutures out and another cast put on.

I may be back in on Friday for another cast since this one is already starting to get loose.

Monday, March 6, 2017

What's happening - I'm laying around in bed all day!

LOL!  Yep that's exactly what I've been doing since 2/17.  I've had a bone spur/growth (Haglund's deformity) under my achilles since at least 2004.  That's the earliest date I can find for when I went to Vegas for a soccer tournament.  I "discovered" this growth after my first tournament when I was hobbling around in pain.  Went to see a doc about it and was told about the bone growth under the achilles.  Went through PT, ... and continued to do the exercises off/on from that point on since they told me both my achilles were REALLY tight and might snap if I didn't keep working to keep them flexible.  I suspect my small feet (size 6.5 women) and height 5' 8" may have something to do with the creation of this too.  I have these growths on both heels but my right foot is much worse.

Anyway - fast forward to 2007 when I saw another doctor about it because my achilles was continually annoyed and more so when I played soccer - which I do 3-4 times a week.  He gave me the run down to fix it - surgery followed by 3-4 weeks in bed with elevation 90% of the time and no weight, 3-4 weeks 50% elevation and no weight (aka NWB), then start doing weight bearing in a boot and PT and hopefully in 9-12 months back to normal.  This doctor was very blase about whether I could play soccer again.  Since that is a requirement and he was so non-commital I passed on the surgery, put more pads in my soccer shoes, wore clogs/crocs most of the time and started using a silicone gel pad slip on when I put any closed back shoes on my right foot.

Here's my foot before surgery - isn't that a lovely protrusion?  The dotted line is sort of the bone area that will be removed

Well fast forward even more to 2017 and the annoyance is more and is more debilitating.  I was also starting to get random shooting pains when I'm just sitting so things are getting worse.  I also tried a new surgeon and he was much more enthused about making sure I can play at least as much soccer after healing as I do now.  He couldn't promise anything but if things go normally then I'll be back on the pitch maybe in September.  Also hubby and I are both consulting so he can be at home when I'm in non-weight bearing mode and so I had the surgery on 2/17. 

Here is the foot the day after surgery on the pillows, raised above my heart.

Before the surgery my doc kept warning me that this was going to be very painful and, honestly, he definitely had me a bit scared.  I have never had any surgery before.  Well, fortunately, I never really experienced any pain.  I did take percocet for 3 days at the full dosage, then knocked it down to 1/2 dosage for 2 more days when I had my first post-op appointment.  I didn't know what would happen there and wanted to be ahead of any pain.  That appointment was pretty non-eventful.  My elevation kept the swelling down so the only visible swelling was due to the surgery and the incision area looked good.  They rewrapped it and sent me on my way.  I'm sure being able to keep it elevated most of the day and night helped a lot in not having any noticeable pain.  Unfortunately I'm in the "Princess and the Pea" camp when it comes to sleeping so once I was off the percocet sleep has been hard to come by.  I usually sleep 2 hours wake up, move around, try to get comfy, repeat.  I'm getting maybe 4-5 hours of sleep if I'm lucky and not all in one shot.  The wrap/cast/splint on my foot and having to keep it elevated REALLY bugs me when I'm trying to sleep.  Can't even get naps in!  Ah well a full nights sleep will be that much better when I finally have a foot that is free of casts/boots.

Anyway here is the foot at the first post-op appointment - Franken-heel at its best!  And notice that my ankles aren't too visible at this point.

And here is the knee scooter I'm using.  This is wonderful since I found out, the hard way, that crutches and I are not good friends.

I went in for several redos of the wrap/cast/splint since the cotton padding would compress after about 2 days and then the splint going over my heel would really start to annoy it - yes I'm Ms. Princess and the Pea.  The last time (last Wed) they put me in a plaster cast which is much worse than a fiber glass splint so I'm going to nix that idea if they are still splinting me today instead of putting me in a boot of some sort.  I'll just have them send me home with some padding so when things start pushing on my heel I can take off the ace bandage, add more padding and wrap it back up myself.  Here is my foot last Wednesday.  I have ankles, tendons and bones visible!  And the heel is so stylishly shaped - LOL! - no big bulge!

And the incision (this is 12 days after surgery).

Of course I mustn't forget to show you my steady companion on the bed - Gino!  He was quite perky when he wanted me to share the dried apricots and almond snacks I had.  When I was taking the percocet I ate ginger snaps to help with the nausea, apricots to help with keeping things regular and was quite surprised both the dogs loved the ginger snaps!

 And here is my regular visitor - Max.  He's not into just hanging so he comes upstairs several times during the day to check on Gino and I.  He may bring a toy up and if he does I'll get on the floor and play with him for a bit.  If he REALLY wants to play he'll jump up on the bed with the toy. No mean feat for a little guy like him since we have to put a hassock next to the bed for him to use to get up on it.

And, finally, the soccer blanket that keeps half of me warm all night when my right half is outside the blankets so the foot can be elevated on pillows.  I bought this years ago from a soccer pals sister who makes these blankets.

In about 2 hours, we leave for another appointment and, hopefully, suture removal!  Yay!   Time for me to bump my way down the stairs and make some lunch.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tucson Days 6 & 7

Yesterday we started off at the Sonoran Glass Show.  I mainly went to see Patty Lakinsmith but we did see some beautiful glass creations!  Of course I forgot to take a picture with Patty!  LOL!  But here are the pretties I got from her.

Next up was 22nd street.  We said hi to David Otteson and wandered around to see the sights.  This is another show with wonderful fossils and crystals.  I saw some gorgeous labradorite with purple flash and had to buy some cabs.  These were from Rockpick Legend Co.  I haven't seen purple flash labradorite too often so I just had to have them.  Of course now I need to make settings for them! And I can't forget the Rick Dlarymple - the seller!

I also got some sunstone gems from Dust Devil Mining Co.  Here's a picture of the little pretties (6x8mm) and of Don Buford and his mining partner (totally forgot his name - of course!).

And here are some pictures of the many and varied things you'll see for sale at this show. A petrified dinosaur bone - yes it is longer than the long fold up tables -and  those nodules to the right are petrified dinosaur eggs.  And there I am next to a huge chunk of rose quartz.

And here are lamps and bowls made from various gemstones - beautiful and functional!

And here is a cool witches hat covered with various gemstones!  It is so cool.  And a big petrified wood tree trunk and pieces. 

We headed out to lunch and then went to the Kino Gem show. There I found another of my favorite vendors World Bead Mine (formerly Royal Quality Gems).  I should have taken a picture of Jennifer Ho (who took over the business so her dad could retire - but her mom is still there helping her out!) but I forgot.  Here are some of the pretties I got - man made quartz in a beautiful aqua blue, rutilated quartz rondelles (various types of rutilation) and jade and pyrite leaves.

Our final stop was back to JGM to meet up with Toyo Feng and go to Grimaldi's for dinner.  As I waited for his customers to finish shopping I found a few more pretties for my hoard.  :)  Some aquamarine tubes, amazonite wavy drops, muscovite ovals, green quartz beads and some luscious lapis for a friend in Australia.


And here we are at Grimaldi's!  Their pizza is good and the Oreo cheesecake are TDF!

Today (Thursday) we hit 3 shows - the Pueblo Show, JOGS and Intergem.  What used to be the wholesale tent at Pueblo is no longer a wholesale tent and is almost entirely jewelry.  Magic Mountain gems is still there (yay!) as is Yau Shing Gems.   We did a quick scan at Magic Mountain but I don't need any cabs so we headed to Yau Shing where I went in search of more half drilled drops.  Their selection seemed to be a bit reduced but I did manage to find some pretties.

We had lunch at Pueblo (I like their BBQ hamburgers!) and then headed to Starbucks and then JOGS.  I checked out the booths of some of my favorite vendors but didn't find anything that got my heart pounding - LOL - so I checked out some new vendors.  I found this beautiful Brazil kyanite and laguna lace agate at The Perfect Gem.

And I stopped by Best in Gems (4th booth of theirs - LOL!) and found more beautiful earring pairs - I'm such a sucker for gorgeous gemstones!

And, as we went looking for the door we came in we ran across these monster crystals.  I'm standing next to one so you can see how big it is.  The amethyst geode is probably 5' across!  Mother Nature is truly amazing!

Next stop was a brief one at Intergem to get some sterling and copper findings from SII Findings.  No pictures here since I was tired and sterling beads aren't all that exciting :)

We head for home tomorrow but not until late at night so we'll get in another full day of gem shows!
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