Wednesday, April 25, 2012

immobile [ih-moh-buhl]

incapable of moving or being moved.
Synonyms include: motionless, fixed, anchored, immovable

It felt like huge needles were implanted in my right foot, and every time I tried to stand on it, it stabbed me from the inside, making a 10-foot walk to the bathroom sink an excruciatingly painful task. It made everything, an excruciatingly painful task. I could barely sleep the last few days. The pain was throbbing even while I lay there in bed, unable to toss and turn because any movement hurt. Uuugghhh, I’m such a baby, right? I hate when I can’t do the simplest of things, like walk downstairs to get a glass of water.

At least this isn’t the first time this has happened. That’s a previously injured anterior tibial tendon for ya’. Once a bad tendon, always a bad tendon, I suppose. After my last post-surgery therapy session two years ago, Dr. Blaine told me, “If your foot starts to hurt again, you know the drill – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, ibufrofen, TENS unit and if hurts for more than a week, come see me.”

Well, it lasted a week and then some, so I went to go see a podiatrist who works with Dr. Blaine. Dr. Randhawa, who is two years younger than me, took a look at my foot, had me turn my foot every which way, and recommended an MRI. She wrapped my foot up into a tight right angle that actually really helped….until I had to take it off to take a shower. Then the pain, you know, shot straight back into my poor, no-arch-support feet.

I’ve been reading up on this injury, which is really common, especially in people who have tiny, flat feet and wear tiny, unsupportive shoes. Sue me, I love flats.

So yesterday I had an MRI for the very first time. It was an interesting experience; not at all what I expected, based solely on what I’ve seen on House or ER, of course. On TV, MRI machines don’t make all this noise that require the patient to wear earplugs. There were sounds that resembled metal banging against each other, or laser-shooting guns from Star Wars. As I lay there on the sliding table, I thought Han Solo and Luke Skywalker would come crashing through the door and carry me back to the Millennium Falcon. And when the technician said it would take 30-40 minutes, I thought he was kidding, but nope, I lay there, trying desperately not to move, for 30-40 minutes. I kept nodding off, wishing I’d brought a book or something to keep me occupied, which probably isn’t allowed since I’m not supposed to move.

I’ve been working from home the last three days, literally icing the area of concern every half hour, and trying not to want to pop another pair of Advils in my mouth. My podiatrist thinks I may need another cortisone shot, but she won’t know for sure until she sees my MRI results.

Until then, I’ll have to brave the discomfort a little longer. I’m starting to feel some soreness on my left foot, probably because I’ve been hopping on it the last few days. I hope it doesn’t result in tendonitis. If it does, just call me a tendon-killer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

service [sur-vis]

an act of helpful activity; help; aid 
Synonyms include: assistance, favor, utility, courtesy 

You need a water pump…and a new alternator. 

Yes, sure, whatever – just do it. I’ve decided, for my own sanity, to wave the white flag when it comes to car repairs. I’ve spent many years huffing and puffing about how expensive it is to own a car, how my long commute is the root of all this vehicular evil and how every time I have enough money saved to buy something major that I’ve been wanting, I need to have some service done. 

There are always things that soften the blow, though. I may spend a lot of time and money at Glendale Toyota, but hey, they know us there. There are service agents who greet me by name when I drive into the lot. One valet (shout-out to my homie, Ramon) has seen me so many times that when it’s time to pick up my car, he doesn’t even ask to check the receipt to know what car to look for. He sees me, I wave hello, and then he gives me a signal that says, “I’ll go get your car.” He drives up, shakes my hand, holds the door open and then, as I’m putting on my seatbelt, he closes my door and gives me a wave good-bye. Just like that, my car service experience is bookended with nothing but kindness and familiarity. 

Today I had to go with Dad to pick up my car. Before we left, Paul (the service agent who took care of my car this week), opened up the hood to show us exactly what they did. My car was making a rattling noise and it was, as Dad had suspected, my water pump; the same water pump I’ve had since I bought the car 192,000 miles ago. When they replaced the water pump, they heard another rattling sound that was masked by the old water pump’s noise. They basically had to undo what they had done to install the new alternator. “I hate having to add on more service,” Paul told me, so apologetically. “I know how you feel,” he said. So because we’ve been such loyal customers, they didn’t even charge us for the labor required to uninstall the water pump, install the alternator and then re-install the pump again. All that labor would’ve cost more than the parts, and though the price I paid for the service was a little heartbreaking, I couldn’t help but feel more blessed than frustrated. 

Blessed that even though he doesn’t drive my car, Dad knows when something’s wrong with it. Blessed that I have the means to pay for the basic necessities in life, like car maintenance. Blessed that the people at Toyota are always so kind to me, and that loyalty means something to them. 

My little Rav4 that could is comprised of thousands of parts and I can’t expect any of it to stay preserved. It’s not made of fruitcake. And as long as she needs me to take care of her, I will. She’s serviced my needs. How could I not service hers? [Yes, my car is a she.]

Monday, April 02, 2012

productive [pruh-duhk-tiv]

having the power of producing; generative
Synonyms include: creative, constructive, effective, prolific, fruitful

I swore, absolutely swore, that I would fold those four baskets of clothes this week after last weekend’s laundry extravaganza. But on Monday after work I was just too tired, on Tuesday there was a game, on Wednesday I went to see Mamma Mia and then on Thursday there was a game. So, see? I really did have my reasons for keeping those four baskets of laundry sitting in the living room for a week =)

It was an unbelievably long week. The weeks are starting to get longer and the weekends have been so eventful that, as much as I prefer otherwise, simple chores like folding laundry (or DOING laundry to begin with) fall by the wayside. I thought I’d be too lazy to do anything when I got home on Friday night, but I decided that very morning that I wouldn’t spend the weekend lying around the house.

I drove straight to Glendale Toyota after work to drop off my car for her regular service (major service this time, plus a few replacements, oy). When I got home, I had dinner then went straight to foldin’…and foldin’…and foldin’ some more. Goodness, how many people did I do laundry for?! By the time I put everything away, it was 9:40. I thought it was past 11. Too tired from the work week and all that folding, I was in bed by 10:30. Sad times, old lady, sad times.

The next day, I was up and at ‘em by 9 am. I ate breakfast, picked up my car from Toyota and, since they so kindly gave her an exterior car wash, I came home and cleaned the inside. And by “clean,” I mean vacuumed every inch under the seats and the trunk, tossed every valet parking stub, receipt and other random pieces of paper. I even sprayed a little GAP Heaven in there. Nothing’s too good for my 190,000+ mile Rav4.

After a quick shower and lunch (pizza with Mom at the kitchen counter), I watched Kobe Bryant go 3-21 against the New Orleans Hornets and STILL hit a game-winning shot; I wrote the post-game report, finished editing through a shoot and next thing I knew, it was 8 pm and Tin was home from her conference in San Diego, and I was listening to her recount her fun weekend.

I can’t remember the last time I checked off that many tasks in a span of 24 hours. I have to say I’m kinda proud of myself. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, and I must sound like such a dork loser for appreciating a weekend filled with seemingly nothing but chores. I enjoy small victories, what can I say? =)