Dry Camping, Mexico, and Another Surgery

We’ve been home for about a month and are already longing to be back out on the road. The freedom we feel traveling is like nothing else, and we’ll be back on the road soon (with new blog posts, of course). In the meantime we have been busy and thought we’d share a few updates.

Once we arrived home to Prescott after 81 days on the road we set out to clean and fix up the trailer. We washed, we polished, and we added a few decorations. Thanks to my dear friend, Dr. Michelle May, for hand-painting two pictures inspired by our photos of North Cascades National Park. They are now framed and proudly hang over our bed in the rig.

We also did a dry camping experiment. In our almost three months on the road this summer we never went more than a day or two without electric, water, and/or sewer hookups. We wanted to see how we’d fare without utilities, so we headed to a dispersed camping area south of Flagstaff and survived four days without the luxuries! It was a beautiful spot, nice weather, and a good place to just hang out. We probably could have gone another day or so, but we figured four days was good enough!

We also made a trip down to our condo in Puerto Pe√Īasco, Mexico. With our dear friends Sam, Nancy, Tom, Rick, and Mary, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner out at our favorite restaurant, Regina’s. After being closed for six months for the pandemic, the restaurant was as warm and welcoming as ever.

We also enjoyed a nice dinner on the patio of Pane y Vino with sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez.

It was great to catch up with friends while taking care of some business for our rental. Beach time and sunset happy hours on the patio were also on the agenda, as usual.

On the way home we ran into a protest being conducted about 1/8th of a mile north of the Mexican border. A group aligned with the local tribe has been protesting the construction of the border wall and its encroachment on sacred lands and water sources. Luckily it was only a short delay and we were on our way.

Next up is another surgery on my left foot. Tomorrow I’ll go in for another procedure to hopefully alleviate the still nagging pain in the ball of my foot. My previous Lapiplasty surgery didn’t seem to do the trick. This time the doctor will be focusing on the nerves between my third and fourth toes, which are separating after numerous, ineffective coritisone shots.

They say this surgery will be easier than the last one. After four+ years of dealing with pain I’m hoping this is the end of this journey. I’ll post an update as soon as possible.

Six Weeks Already?

Tomorrow I’ll visit my doctor for my 6-week check up and hopefully be cleared to begin transitioning out of the boot. I can’t believe it’s already been six weeks since my lapiplasty surgery!

So how’s it been going? I think the best way to describe it is…slow. While the six weeks have seemed to fly by, the days have sometimes been long and difficult. Little by little, however, my incision has turned into a pretty good looking scar and the bruising on my toes has faded. All good signs, right?

In the past few weeks I’ve focused on going to physical therapy twice a week and doing my exercises faithfully. We’ve been working on range of motion and strengthening of my foot while being careful not to interfere with the healing process. Some days I have quite a bit of pain on the top of my foot near the incision, but hopefully that’s normal nerve pain that will eventually disappear. There’s still some numbness here and there but it seems to be lessening with time. All of these sensations and daily variations have been fascinating and encourage me to follow the doctor’s orders to remain non-weight bearing and focus on PT, elevation, and ice. And, I’m trying to pace myself and not run around too much, which is a real challenge! Oh, and I got a pedicure (which makes everything better ūüôā )

We also took in a new family member during this “down time.” My sister Mickie had been keeping my father’s two dogs since Dad passed away last year. Sadly, last month she had to put down Bebe which left her with Bobby. We had lost our Nica last year and were looking to add to our little family. Gratefully Mickie allowed us to take Bobby into our home. We are happy to once again be a family of four. Bobby seems to be settling in and is a real hit around our dog-centric neighborhood. Even Mia is getting used to him!

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We also celebrated my birthday with a family dinner. Having Mickie and Jay over was a real treat and the red velvet cake, decorated lovingly by my sister, was a nice touch.

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With lots of time on the couch while healing we’ve had time to dream about our next adventures. And, if you know us, you know we don’t dream too much without action. During this time of isolation and recuperation we began to assess our needs for a bigger RV for our future explorations. After a number of stops to “just look” at our local RV dealer we’ve settled on a new home on wheels! Here’s a sneak peak.

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If the doctor approves my transition out of the boot and the stars align with the delivery of the new unit, we should be back on the road by next week. We are searching for remote areas, which will allow us to enjoy the great outdoors while social distancing. Our larger rig will also allow us to be even more fully self-contained, meaning we won’t need to use public restrooms or restaurants along the way. ¬†Stay tuned for the big reveal and a complete look at the new RV in the coming days!

Nine Days Post Op

Note: This post includes photos that some might find a little gory. ¬†You’ve been warned.

I’ve had a number of people check in to see how yesterday’s doctor appointment went so I guess that means a new blog post is in order. ¬†Let’s step back just a bit…

Nine days ago I underwent Lapiplasty surgery on my left foot to correct the alignment of my toes. It’s basically the newest approach to fixing bunions, which in my case, were causing pain in the ball of my foot and in my toes. ¬†I described the process in this post.

Yesterday we drove to Scottsdale to see Dr. McAlister for the first follow up appointment. I was so relieved when Yenzie, the medical assistant, immediately took me back and proceeded to cut off the splint I’d been in for the past week. ¬†Underneath the exterior wrap, my entire lower leg was wrapped in gauze. That’s when I first saw the blood stains. Immediately I asked her if that was normal, and she assured me that it was. Okay, keep breathing…

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Once she got the splint off and removed the bandages I could see the incision and sutures. ¬†While it’s a bit repulsive for me to look at, I snapped a few shots and was immediately amazed that it wasn’t more bruised and swollen. It looks pretty awful, but I guess I was expecting much worse.

Dr. McAlister seemed pleased with the progress and said I need one more week before the stitches can come out.  The x-rays showed that the toes are now in alignment and my new, shiny hardware is in place.  It will be 6-8 weeks before the bones are fully fused if everything goes as planned. Until then I will be in a boot.

Over the next week I’ve got to be careful not to put much weight on it, wear my boot when up on my feet, and continue to use my pretty pink scooter. ¬†My primary job right now is to continue to elevate and ice my foot. The great news is that it’s easier to sleep with my newly wrapped foot and I’m off the pain meds. Even though it’s a challenge to get around, it feels like great progress.IMG_7960

Steve continues to be an excellent nurse. He brings me ice, food, water, and treats. He’s been shopping, cleaning, doing laundry, and all the other things that I can’t get up to do. I’m certainly lucky to have him as my wing man. And soon we’ll be ready to hit the road again in the RV. ¬†Until then, it’s all about the boot and the pink scooter.