Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back in crutches

If you haven't seen me around lately, which is no surprise, you'd know that I'm wearing a boot and using crutches again. Ya, it's no fun. Last Wednesday I went in to have surgery on a bone spur on the end of my middle left toe. Basically, it's when the bone on the end of your toe decides to grow straight up on it's own. It usually starts after some kind of injury. So I probably stubbed my toe super hard and injured the bone, which made the stupid thing decide to jack up my toe and make it look ugly. Needless to say, I won't be doing any feet modeling any time soon. I guess I'll just have to get by on my rapier wit and dashing good looks from the ankles up.

I have had this procedure before though. When I was in high school, I had the surgery, which involved two doctors numbing my toe, slicing it open, and clipping off the protrusion of bone. It honestly didn't seem that difficult. I walked in, sat down, popped in my headphones, and let the doctors do their thing. Apparently it didn't work though, because it grew back. So I had to have the surgery again. Well, I didn't have to. The bone doesn't cause me any discomfort outside of stubbing that toe. That's actually extremely painful since the bone is so close to the surface of the skin. Other than that, it didn't bug me at all.

So I went in this past Wednesday. I must've been at the hospital for something like 3-4 hours. No fun. This time, the process was a little more elaborate. I got hooked up to an IV and drugged and all that. They were going to put me under completely, but I had a bottle of water before hand, so that was out of the question. I opted for local anesthesia though since the last time lasted something like 15-20 minutes. Not so easy this time around. I got wheeled in to a full on operating room with staff on hand to keep an eye on the monitors and to assist in the procedure. It was actually pretty hardcore. I never experienced anything like that to my recollection. Apparently I have received a spinal tap before though, but I think that was so traumatic that I forgot completely. Not sure I'd like to remember that anyway.

The procedure must've lasted an hour. I had to get strapped down, and numbed up, and monitored. That took a while to set up. The staff was pretty nice. They said they'd chat me up to make sure I didn't pass out, but they did a terrible job of that. They mostly talked about their personal lives to each other, and I got to chime in occasionally, but they could barely hear me from the other side of the screen they had erected to separate my upper half from the "sterile zone." At one point, they were talking about being a mom and dealing with kids, and I told them I had one too. (who doesn't have a mom, right?) They assumed I was married and had children then, to their shock and horror. I had to explain to them then that I had a mom. How unusual, right? The conversation waned after that.

The procedure was actually pretty intense. The doctor informed me that she would have to remove the whole toe nail in order to get at the bone. She said she would remove extra bone in order to decrease the chance of the spur growing back again. Good riddance. I got stitched up and bandaged and sent on my way. Due to the nature of the procedure, I was ordered to stay off my feet as much as possible and to keep my foot elevated at all times to prevent my foot from swelling up. For some reason they decided not to give me crutches though. They said I could walk around by putting all my weight on my heel. Stupidest thing I've ever heard. I do that to get around short distances, but that's extremely painful. Luckily, I had the foresight to pull my old set of crutches down from the attic before I went to the hospital.

In any case, I've been spending most of my time sitting on the couch with my foot up in the air, propped up by a tower of pillows. It's really boring. At least I've been able to spend my time watching some good shows on netflix. The problem is our internet has been so crappy lately that my shows start and stop at least ten times before they finish.

I have been able to go out on the occasion for a short time. I got to visit church on Sunday and explain ten thousand times the details of my procedure. People have found it hard to understand though. Things I've heard include: "Wow, that's the worst ingrown toe nail I've heard of.", "they numbed you. did it hurt?", "so you'll never walk again?", and my personal favorite: "So you're like missing a toe now? that sucks!" I responded to that one by saying I still had my normal 11 toes. They, being the gifted individual they are, thought that I need correcting. Apparently I've never counted my fingers or toes before. I decided to convince them I had an extra toe on my left foot, which is bandaged up, and that it was actually pretty common. No big deal.

In any case, crutches have been my main mode of transportation for the past week. I actually got a bit of a work out one day from it. Not too much since I get carried away by the freak gust of wind. You do take for granted the ability to walk and function normally though. Being attached to the couch (not by choice) has really kept me from doing the things I want to do. I can't even drive any where. It's really no fun, and I'm going to be a very happy camper when I'm allowed to walk and run again. May be I'll start hitting the track again. Who's in?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nerd project time: The Scabbard.

My blog has been rotting away for a while. It's time to put a stop to that! I'm back, baby, with a project series!

It's September, which means October is a month away. That means now is the time to get on top of all of those elaborate Halloween costume projects I have rattling around in my brain. Last year I told myself I would go all out this year, so I'm going to do just that. I also said I was going to make it way nerdier than ever. Probably the nerdiest ever!

This year, I decided I would dress up as one of my all time favorite video game characters, and arguably one of the greatest heroes of our time: Link. I grew up playing the original Legend of Zelda for the NES, so Link is like the first hero I ever got to know.

This isn't the first Nerdy, Zelda project I've done though. Actually, it's the 3rd. Before this, I made my good buddy Paddy his own Master Sword and Shield. (pics later.)

I plan to put way more time into this project though. Not to make a mockery of my other work, but because I have nothing better to do.

Here's the first Master Sword I started working on. I really didn't like how this one was coming out, so I bought a new one and painted that one, which I gave to Kevin. Depending on how this project turns out, I may have to redo Kevin's. For now, I'll be working with this failed attempt here.

I didn't feel like painting tonight, so I decided I'd make the scabbard. I need to carry the Master Sword in style, right? so here's what I did.

First I outlined my Sword's blade on some cheap cardboard generously donated to me by a school teacher friend.

I cut out two of those and lined them up.

Next I attached them via some painter's tape.

From here it's tricky because I had to figure out how tight I wanted the fit, then I had to wrap the ends. In retrospect, I didn't really need to cut out two halves, I could've just rolled it up in one sheet. The benefit to the two halves though, was it wasn't as difficult in forming the tip of the scabbard, so I guess it worked out.

Not as easy as I thought. In any case, I decided I ought to make another scabbard for the other Master Sword.

I'm happy with them so far, but I'm not done. I plan on experimenting with Paper mache to smooth them out so they don't get that ugly texture. That'd just look dumb, and I'd rather be a respectable looking geek on Halloween night.