So Here’s the Thing About Walking…

Slide1If you ever happen to be strolling down a walking path in Maine and come across a limping, weeping, zombie Darth Vader, don’t be alarmed — it’s just me.

It all started a few years ago when my podiatrist pointed to the tiny stress fracture on my X-ray and said, “See this? When your foot comes down on the pavement, it cracks, just like a pretzel.”

“Okay. I guess that’s not good?” I asked.

“No.”

“But I was only walking.”

“Yeah.”

“So what you’re saying is…I can’t walk anymore?”

“Oh, no. You can walk. But…well, pretend my fingers are your toes,” she pressed her hand onto the table and made a loud cracking noise.

I blinked.

“Tell you what,” she peered over her glasses at me. “Just keep walking using this orthotic insert and we’ll see what happens.”

“What will happen?”

“Oh, nothing, if it doesn’t work, we’ll just cut open your ankle here…” she tapped her finger on my ankle and made a zipping noise, “…yank your tendon up…”  she blew a raspberry, “insert it through the opening in your bones here…”  she made a series of popping noises, “and wrap it around there so it’s tighter and more stable,” she clicked her tongue. “No biggie!”

So my loose tendon and I went for a long walk to mull over the doc’s advice.

I walk five days a week for about 30 minutes. Funny thing about walking, I’ve been doing it all my life. Unfortunately, I’ve been cursed with one leg that’s a good few inches shorter than the other. When people ask me how tall I am, I tell them it depends on which leg I’m leaning on: 5′ 5″ on my right, 5′ 3″ on my left.

But I’m not too keen on the ankle-cutting thing, even with the cool sound effects. So I decided to take my chances, maybe stand mostly on my right foot. At least then I’d be taller and in less pain. Win-win.

So my orthopedic insert and I went for another long walk today. The local bike path is a busy place, lots of runners, joggers, bikers, sloggers.

I was the slogger.

Aside from the limping, I also tend to breathe heavily when I exercise. As I slogged beside a huge field of dandelions, the only sounds I heard were the sweet chirps of chickadees mixed with my ear-rattling breathing. Very unnerving. I imagined I was on a mission to destroy the Death Star and Darth Vader was chasing after me in hot pursuit. Helped quickened my step, anyway.

The force of the pretzel-foot is not strong in you, Padawan.
The force of the pretzel-foot is not strong in you, Padawan.

And damn it all, it was also a breezy, sunny day. A blazing sun to someone with pale blue eyes is akin to having lasers beamed directly into the retinas. So as I walked, I cried, tears spilling down my cheeks. I was in a great mood, honest. In spite of my exercising.

I came upon my first fellow walker. She was a tiny dot in the distance, winding her way up the path toward me.  As we approached each other,  I tried in vain to wipe my Tammy Faye Bakker tears away and quiet my breathing. And the zombie dragging of my bad pretzel-foot only got worse.

So here’s the thing about walking: I hate when I pass someone on a path. The pressure of acceptable social interaction is too much.  I panic and questions flood my oxygen-deprived mind: How do I not appear crazy? Why, oh why didn’t I use waterproof mascara that day? What should I say or do?

  • “Hi!”
  • “Hey!”
  • “Nice day, huh?”
  • “So you too, huh? Exercise! Pfft! Ever have the sudden urge to go lie down in that field over there and pass out from the pain? No? Just me?”
  • simply nod and grin through tears
  • do nothing, no eye contact, pretend to stare intently at a distant tree

I should have gone with the last option.

As the silent power-walker woman and I approached each other, the only sounds were my Darth Vader breathing and the gentle slapping of my loose tendon. And those damned chirpy, happy birds, mocking me in my time of need.

Shut. It.
Shut. It.

We made brief eye contact and she nodded, so I made the first move.

“Good!” I blurted while limping and wiping away tears, “Morning! Good morning!” I repeated with a ghastly gasp as we passed each other.  “Nice….” my voice trailed off as I took a nasty step to the side, my ankle twisting.  Searing pain shot up from my cursed pretzel-bones. “Ah! Gah!” I seethed, wincing at the Power Walker, my face twisted into a grotesque mascara-coated mask of agony.

My foot decided that was a good time to break free from my tendon and roll violently to the side, so I let out a strained cry of “Oof! Ahhhhh! Shit! Good god!” and stumbled off the path. “I’m okay, I’m fine, just fine,”  I continued to babble to myself to further add to my looking like a complete lunatic.

By then it was too late, our precious moment of Walker Solidarity over, culminating in the woman giving me nothing more than a few startled glares in return as she hurried on her way.

I suppose I was lucky she didn’t have mace.

Maybe it’s time to get that tendon tied up in a pretty little bow after all.

But only if the surgeon does those cool sound effects.

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Do you exercise? Is your body slowly falling apart like mine? If you saw me lying down on a walking path, would you help me up or run away in horror?

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This is the first post in a new series I’m writing about the mundane stuff in my wackadoodle life and how I inevitably screw it up by just being myself.

So Here’s the Thing About…

Next up:

Driving

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151 thoughts on “So Here’s the Thing About Walking…

  1. OneHotMess says:

    Yes. Yes it is, and I truly dislike it a lot. As an aside, surgeons rarely make cute sound effects. I was once married to one. 😉

    1. That is good to know. Now I will be sure to never have the surgery.

      When you say “yes” are you referring to your body slowly falling apart or that you would actually help me up on the path?

  2. I walk with a partner who practically runs so I have to pull on her elbow to bring her back beside me, cause we walk in town and it is embarassing to be half a block behind her. When I walk I have to look down, cause I am super graceful and stumble a lot and also people do not clean up after their dogs–hey, I feel a post coming on–thanks for the idea and so sorry about your possible surgery–but personally, I would ask for no sound effects-Also because we walk in town we have to be supersocial and people recognize me cause I have written a column for the local paper for 15 years (with the same pic from 1998) but they still recognize me–anyway I will go on in my own blog rather than take up room in yours–as always you are so entertaining–

    1. Oh god, I look down at the ground when I walk, too! I have to, otherwise, I’d just tip over. I suppose it doesn’t help I’m the opposite of graceful, either. So to sum up: I really shouldn’t be allowed to walk in public.

  3. You know what? There aren’t that many posts out there that really make me laugh. This really made me laugh!! I used to exercise like a mad man, I was pretty fit and you could almost (I emphasize almost) see that I had some abs in there somewhere. A few years ago I quit… just flat out quit… cold turkey!!! Hey it just occured to me, that was around,the same time my blog started… hmmmmm. Anyhow, now I’m probably 30 lbs heavier than I should be so recently I’ve started trying to get back into it by walking. But damn, everything hurts, my back, my knees… my psyche! I don’t know, I hear it gets better… we’ll see, I guess.

    1. Ha! Well, I hear you. I used to have abs, I’m sure of it. Also, I’m about 30 pounds heavier than where I ‘should’ be. And at our age, everything DOES hurt. My ankle just happens to hurt the most at any given time is all. Right now I’m sitting here typing this comment to you and my neck, hip, knee and ankle all hurt. All I’m doing is SITTING. What the hell?

  4. Reblogged this on Christopher De Voss and commented:
    It’s Thursday…there must be a reblog on the horizon…Now the fact that this post starts out with two out of three of my favorite things…zombies and Star Wars…may lead you to believe as to way this post made the cut today. You would be correct. Anyway, take a quick walk with this Maineiac (groan) and her foot doctor and see why putting one slightly shorter leg in front of the other might make you chuckle.

      1. I’m a chef and have been in the food industry for half my life, and my feet carry this hard working body. Although I don’t have the same condition, I have a couple other ones so I know how scary it can be to go under the knife for a surgery that has a potential long recovery time.

        1. Standing on your feet all day at work is incredibly hard on the body. I used to work in retail for years and my feet were always killing me.

          Although she claimed this was a quick and easy little procedure (that apparently involves blowing raspberries) I’m still not convinced I want to voluntarily have my ankle cut open. I’m not good with surgeries (I’ve had several major abdominal surgeries in the past and not one of them had good recoveries)

  5. Holy crap, yes. Everything is falling apart. If I SIT too long in my comfy chair, I ache when I get up and start limping to the kitchen (for a snack). I’ve recently started to try to walk around my neighborhood to get my fat ass moving (and shrinking . . . so far to no effect). I’m thinking I’m pretty much only a few years away from the wheelchair, and then my kids can just PUSH me around the neighborhood.

    1. But see, the way I figure it, having a bigger ass comes in handy for those times I have to fall down, provides a nice softer landing. I’m thinking of having one of those chair lifts installed on our stairs. I’m afraid in a few years, I won’t see the second floor to our house ever again at this rate.

      1. Well, the bright side is someone ELSE will have to clean it. And, I’m just assuming here, but aren’t the bedrooms up there? Yeah, the kids will have to put away their OWN laundry. Told you it was a bright side! 😉

  6. Oooo…so awkward. I want to apologize for laughing at your pain. It’s really not funny (except when it is.) I do hope you get that fixed, sound effects and all! That sounds fun…I mean painful. 😦

    1. Y’know, I’m not really big on pain, so as much as I know this surgery will suck, at least it’ll be over and my foot MIGHT be better. Or I could wait it out another year and keep scaring people on the walking path.

  7. You are a true ORIGINAL, D! Loved this post and this new series. So excited to read more.

    I also feel like I’m falling apart. My entire left side crunches and creeks when I run, then aches afterward – from hip to knee to foot. The other day I was running outside and my shorts kept falling down – I guess that’s what happens when one wears pajama shorts while exercising in public.

    1. Haha! Oh, Rachel. So you have that problem too? I used to jog a few years ago (that’s what started this whole mess) and I kept thinking “how in the hell do joggers keep their shorts from falling down??” Or riding up. no, no, no…jogging ain’t my thang, dude. Too complicated. Just walking is too complicated for me now.

  8. I DON’T Like, even though I pressed the Like Button. Having feet problems of my own, I literally feel your pain!!! I too cry often when walking and have mascara dripping down my cheeks. My son pushed me on my wheelchair I use sometimes while on a bike path and he wasn’t paying attention and was too close to the edge and I ended up rolling over onto the side of the path. Needless to say, even the snakes (as the slithered around me), felt bad for me and gave my poor son dirty looks! Happy to talk surgeries with you if you need. 🙂

    1. SNAKES??!! Where are you exercising? (gasp!) Well, I am sorry you know what it’s like to have these problems. What’s really weird (now that we’re talking about feet) my left foot has the highest arch in the history of the world. That is what my neurologist informed me a few years ago. He said it’s a wonder I can walk on it at all. That combined with my legs being different heights means I will need to take up swimming very soon.

  9. Even though you’re actually listening to the damn chirpy birds mocking you in your time of need, you can pretend you’re listening to your ipod when you come upon another walker. Pretend like you wouldn’t be able to hear them anyway and just smile and wave in their general direction. Or just go “Luke. I am your father.”

    Sunday night I “ran” for the first time in several months. There was much walking and wheezing involved. Then I woke early and drove back home from where I had offloaded my oldest kid in Indiana. Yep, got in a car by myself for fourteen hours. I would have been sore from the “run” under normal circumstances, but this…this was exceptional. I was bent into the shape of the car seat until yesterday afternoon.

  10. My body is falling apart for sure, but I’m still able to pull a 5k out of my ass every now and then. I’d probably help you up if it gave me an excuse to stop jogging. It’d depend on how sweaty you were I guess, and maybe what you were wearing. Whatever that means. Lol.

    1. I’d probably be wearing an ugly velour tracksuit and an ankle cast. I was working up to a 5k years ago and managed to jog about 3 miles a few times a week. But that was what started this whole mess with the stress fracture. My podiatrist finally told me to stop jogging altogether and I have to say it wasn’t hard to give up.

  11. There’s just no way to discuss pulling and tying and re-routing tendons and making it sounds like “no biggie.” It’s always going to sound like a very big biggie, even if it probably isn’t.

    And if I saw you gasping on the side of the road I would happily stop and shout inspirational/shaming slogans at you.

  12. What I really took from this story is a newfound respect that you wear mascara while exercising.

    I lost it at, “…the gentle slapping of my loose tendon.” I hope they get that all tied up and squared away soon, DP. In the meantime, thank you for the laughs at your expense.

    What kills me about my body / exercise is that you can be rocking and rolling for YEARS, and then slack off for like, a week, and it’s like you’re back at square one! Walking up a hill like a chain smoker.

    1. Holla! I’ve been mixing it up at the Y, skipping it to go walk outside or just, you know, skipping it. After 5 days without weights, I’ve got to drop it back 5 pounds or my arms are shaking and straining like a little girlie-man.

    2. Oh, yeah. I wear mascara. I thought it might help deflect the sun’s rays. Or the raccoon-eyes would distract people from my zombie limping.

      What’s sad is at my age, anything you do feels like you’re walking uphill like a chain-smoker.

  13. I am sidelined from tennis which is my favorite way to exercise. The ball bounces and I am tricked into running after it. Walking is so slow and boring. I am so unmotivated to do it. The last time I was sidelined for a Achilles tear, i ran the Bolder Boulder 2 months later! I wonder what I’ll do this time. This is way more frustrating.
    I would be waaaay more entertained if we could walk together!

    1. you are a force to be reckoned with, Susie! An Achilles tear would be it for me. Walking is just about the only thing left for me to do now. I tried treadmill, elliptical….just too much strain on my stupid ankle.

  14. I can’t believe your fellow-walker didn’t stop and help you, but left you at the side of the path like so much roadkill! Jeez!

    I’m sorry to be laughing at your pain, but it’s your own fault for making tragedy so damn funny. What a great idea for a series – can’t wait to read more!

    1. Yeah, that woman was so heartless. And she was power walking like a pro to further rub the salt into my wound.

      I was wracking my brain for a new series of posts and figured I’d hit bloggy gold when I realize I could just write about all the stupid things I’ve done in my life. Endless material!

  15. I used to “slog” too, but I had to stop–my chronically fatigued body couldn’t take it. Then I had a disc blow in my lower back: L-4. Nerve damage resulted in a permanent “foot flop.” So now I walk every day, but when I get tired, the foot flop gets more pronounced. It’s worse when I wear flip-flops–no joke! 😉

  16. If I saw you lying on the ground, I would first poke you with a stick. If you didn’t respond, I would keep on keep on walking. If you did respond, I would help you in any way I could.
    A bit of unsolicited advice: if you have not tried yoga yet, do so. You may see some amazing results regarding your tendon and your shorter leg.

  17. I stopped exercising seven years ago, when I had my first child. I used to be an avid runner and haven’t hit the pavement since. My husband even bought me a treadmill to get back ‘on track.’ Sadly, the only time I use it is to hang his ties and my bath robes.

  18. I’ll be in Maine next weekend, so I’ll keep an eye out for you. I promise I will help you If I see you lying on the path, but if the tendon is showing too much, I might get dizzy and a little throw-uppy, so it’s likely that I’ll end up lying down next to you on the path. Then we’ll both need rescuing. But at least we can then heckle and trip all the runners together. I’ll bring an extra pair of sunglasses, too. Between your blue eyes and my green eyes, we’ll need them.

      1. Same here. It’s been raining pretty steadily since Tuesday night. Supposed to get sunny and 60s on Sunday and Monday. 60s are good. Even 70s are okay, especially near the ocean. Mmmmm, ocean.

  19. oy! Fun with the human body – so amazing and so fragile. I wish my podiatrist was so multi-talented – she reminds me of the airline pilot who played us a song on his harmonica before we took off – I do appreciate well-rounded people.

    My current exercise plan includes walking my 15 lb 5 month old in the bjorn – but the fire that starts in my shoulders after about 30 minutes is not pleasant, and I have to wonder what the longterm effects will be on my posture. I also prop him up in the bumbo chair and do yoga – I turn it into more and more of a Broadway musical the more fidgety he gets. It hasn’t exactly been good for my breathing/mediation/spiritual centered-ness but my waistline and flexibility are on the rebound 🙂

    1. There was nothing better than the workout of carrying a heavy baby around in a sling/backpack etc. My son was a monster baby, very heavy and chubby. It felt like I was carrying around a bowling ball.

  20. Oh Darla, I feel your pain. Only different — I have trouble walking because my butt hurts. Don’t walk on your butt? Try walking with a sore one. Trust me, it’s part of the two step.

    Get a second opinion before having surgery. Always. Always.

    XX

    1. Come to think of it, my butt is probably the ONLY thing that doesn’t hurt in my body.

      I will get a second opinion from an orthopedic doctor. I’ve have been seeing this doctor for years, she’s one of the best in Maine. We’ve tried pretty much everything we could try (I had an air cast on for six months…then a steel-plated insert in my sneaker for another six months) So I trust her feeling that surgery might be the only option left.

  21. OMG! I’ll be 40 this year and I feel like everything hurts, ankles, knees, hips, back, elbows. I’d totally help you up if I saw you laying on the path. Or at least ask if you were okay. Although I couldn’t scooch down to you because then I’d be on the ground with you popping my knee back in to place.

    1. I’ve found that turning 40 really is the point of no return for my body in general. And you’re right, don’t try to help me up because then we’d both be trapped on the ground.

  22. Ever since forever, I’ve had flat feet. No arches in my feet. Period. It hurts like no end to stand all day, and my ankle will just occasionally roll because I have over-pronation due to my lack of arch. Boo…feet suck. 😦 I hope you get your foot problem fixed, and I found it interesting that you have a leg shorter than the other. The chiropractor told me my left leg is a 1/4″ shorter than the right and tried to make me wear something in my shoe for it. I always forgot it though. Oops.

    1. It was my chiropractor who told me about my legs, too. Must be the thing they tell people? But he said mine really were a few inches different in length. It basically throws off my entire body. I have super high arches, so it’s a different problem but with the same results–pain. Sigh.

  23. Crazy_Lady says:

    I love your sense of humor. We all need to find humor in our daily problems or we would never get through them. I enjoyed your post, a big thanks to Chris for sharing this.

  24. First off, I like you more knowing that I’m not the only person who still uses the word “whackadoodle.”

    And second, my decline into less than pleasing health is really annoying. I had to move an office chair to the kitchen table because I was having so much back and neck pain sitting down to write. I seem to be growing what I will start calling my own marsupial pouch underneath my belly button now. And my best WTF Health Story is that playing badminton gave me tendonitis. ??!!

    1. Oh god, I can’t even go into all the problems I’ve had with tendons in general. I’ve had carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow tendonitis…now it’s in my foot. I think it’s the universe’s way of telling me my body is wearing out. It’s a wackadoodle life for sure.

  25. You made me laugh! I love walking, but never alone though. A friend and I are walking a 200 km walkingtrail but we do one ‘leg’ per year. that keeps it friendly. But I have to say I have to train for it. This year I’m training in Wales and it’s beautiful out here 🙂
    So my advice is, walk slow (for various reasons such as no mascara accidents and tippling over) and somewhere nice (which could easily be on a treadmill in front of a tv) or to somewhere for a purpose (supermarket, school, doctor or friend’s house). It may take the stress of exercising away!
    Hope the tendon situation will be solved with or without the sound effects.

    1. Training in Wales? I would totally do that!

      right now, I walk on a very pretty bike path right next to the kids’ school. So I walk 30 minutes past some cow pastures, then go pick them up every day. It’s lovely, but I could do without the birds and cows mocking me every step of the way.

  26. Thanks for the warning. I’ll keep an eye out for you when I’m out on my runs. Hope that foot heals soon. I hurt my calf, so I’ve been hobbling along on my runs…I’m starting to think my body doesn’t want to be healthy!

    1. Yeah, why do our bodies fight being healthy so much? And I’ve pretty much tried everything with this damned foot of mine. I give up. But if I didn’t exercise, I’d be unhealthy, unhappy so it’s a damned if I do, damned if I don’t thing.

      1. I hate running, but I’ve gotten into a groove, so I’m upset I hurt my leg and can’t run. I took the week off to rest it, and intend to go out tomorrow. How bad is the rain your way? I’m collecting animals two by two down here…

  27. Yes, my body is falling apart, but it’s turned into something exciting as in…what organ will go next! Squee!!! I feel you, dawg (Just imagine I’m Randy Jackson right now). You should follow your heart and not sing so pitchy. Or what I mean to say, you probably should get that foot shit taken care of.

  28. I realize Maine is sparsely populated, and you that may find your podiatrist to be intelligent and entertaining in a Michael Winslow sort of way, but if I were in your shoes I’d seek out an orthopaedic surgeon. This would be a prudent move, even if you had to travel over to catch the train at Cfrabtree Cove up to that new medical center where Drucker’s Store used to be. Tendon transfer surgery aint no parlor game.

    1. Absolutely. She mentioned referring me to a good orthopedic surgeon that works in the same building–he’s very good at yanking and twisting and tying up tendons apparently. She said it was a ‘common’ procedure. I love how they always say that, “Oh, it’s common!” Doesn’t make me feel any better.

  29. Oh no, Darla. I can identify unfortunately. Broke a bone in my foot while on the treadmill – just walking – uphill really fast. Thumped around in a boot for weeks and then had to get one of those specially moulded inserts to redistribute movement due to high arches. It is hard as a rock and I despise it. I’d rather just not exercise. High heels feel wonderful if draped seductively off the arm of the sofa.

    1. Yes, I had that hard carbon steel insert in my shoe for about 6 months. Along with a horribly uncomfortable air cast on my ankle for 6 months during the summer.

      My stress fracture healed (it was in the fifth metatarsal bone, (little toe) and apparently this is the hardest to heal due to lack of blood flow. So she said if it was fractured yet again after all this, we’d have to do the zippy-raspberry-blowing surgery. My tendon is so swollen and the muscle in my ankle is like three times normal size. I give up. All I’m doing is walking. It’s not like I’m running.

  30. Ow ow ow ow ow! I mostly work out on an exercise bike at home, so I don’t have to risk anyone else seeing me. My body has its ups and downs — I’ve had some knee injuries, and surgery and physical therapy, and for a while everything was perfect, and now I’ve got this weird thing going on with my ankle that I keep telling myself isn’t a problem and will just go away by itself.

    1. God, what is with the ankles? They all just seem to give out at a certain point in life. And it’s not like I’m doing anything really stressful, other than walking slowly on it. I also have an exercise bike but I hate it because I’ll be on it for 40 minutes, sweating up a storm, then I look down and I’ve only burned 70 calories.

  31. Oh poor thing. Well, I hope that Dr. Can fix your ankle…you need to keep walking because that will keep you from falling apert :). Can totally relate to the walker small talk… I would certainly say hi or good morning or whatever… I force myself to.. even when I can see others would rather you not do that. Just feels like the right thing to do since I’m from Vt and its supposed to be a friendly place…

    1. I really have to keep walking, it’s all I’ve got at this point. It’s not like I can just stop exercising. And Maine isn’t as friendly as Vermont, so I’m probably safe in just staring at a tree when I pass someone.

  32. Talking to my friends in their 40s or coming up to their 40s it seems it’s going to be an ‘interesting’ decade. So far in the five years we’ve known each other, this particular group of friends have developed arthritic feet, tinnitus, needed hearing aids, needed pelvic floor repair, had thyroid problems and two have been checked out for breast cancer. So yep it seems like we all start falling apart. I’m keeping on running while I still can…… Good luck with the surgery if you have it! Doctors. They do have a way with words…

    1. See, this is exactly why I want to keep on walking and exercising…so I can hold off on my body falling apart. Sometimes at my age, it seems like I have to choose between pain or pain. I just gotta be happy I can still exercise at all.

  33. Oh, I would probably lay down beside you until my Darth Vader breathing stopped and then ask you if you were interested in getting up. My vote is just to lay there and look at the clouds for awhile.
    You have described almost to a “T” what my daily walking is like…except for the mascara, I gave up on even trying to keep makeup on when I am hobbling/walking as I was starting to scare young children.

    1. Now THAT is a great idea! Just lay there and gaze at the clouds….I have to admit, I don’t normally wear mascara, I was just wearing some earlier that day for some bizarre reason and forgot and went on my merry way on the path. I guess I wanted to look like a zombie-raccoon Darth Vader?

  34. I don’t regularly exercise, but I get enough of a workout keeping this cranky old house from falling apart. And yes, I’m falling apart as well, so I’m there with you. Sort of. 😉
    You need to adopt my style of personal interaction control. Wherever you go, whether there are people in sight or not, talk to yourself. Not just like you’re reading out loud, but have a real, two-sided conversation. Or better yet, an animated debate. NOTHING clears you a path through a crowd like proclaiming “That argument makes no sense! Yes it does, you’re just too stupid to understand it! Well, if you could get a coherent thought out, it would at least help a little!”
    To this day, I have never, EVER been stopped by a crowd. Just the occasional policeman, ambulance man, and dude with a spare long-sleeved jacket and a butterfly net…. 😀

    1. John, I am well on my way to having spirited convos with myself. As it is, whenever I’m home alone, I find myself giving play-by-plays on what I’m doing at any given moment. For example: “Okay, now I guess I should do the damn dishes. Hm…now who the hell put this disgusting food in the drain again! God! Do I have to do everything around here?” etc etc etc. I’m very good at grumbling aloud. I used to talk to my cat but with no pets, I am all I’ve got now. The kids and hubby certainly have tuned me out in general.

      1. Pity they’ve tuned you out, they’ve robbed you of one of my favourite comebacks. Somebody asks “Why are you talking to yourself?”. Simple answer: “Because it’s the only way I can have an intelligent conversation around here!”.
        I have actually said that in public, and have actually left people standing there, trying to puzzle the answer out……

  35. I work for a Podiatrist who does this surgery all the time…especially in the new year and Spring when people decide to start “getting healthy.” I’m dying at the Tammy Fay look…hahahaha….I sadly returned home sporting that look on more than one occasion. Hope you feel better soon!

    1. Thanks so much, Life. My podiatrist passes this surgery off on the orthopedic surgeon next door to her office, apparently she’s up to her eyeballs in foot problems. Must be a booming business.

  36. I have a funky leg, too. Cocked at odd angles, my foot doctor said. Love walking, too. Could do without bits flapping and seizing. Just think, though, if you have this surgery you’ll have endless blog material.

    1. If there’s any reason for me to finally bite the bullet and go ahead with this surgery, it’s the endless blog material. I could write a whole series on my new tendon, it’d be riveting.

  37. You think the 40s are tough … just wait for the 50s. I’d stop and make sure you were OK if I passed you on the walk path. I’d probably take a rest with you, just to insure your well being (and mine).
    I’ve had knee surgery and PT for the ‘favored the other side too long” pain. It’s coming back in my hip and lower back again. Guess it’s time to start yoga or get a trainer to build up strength without making things worse.
    It sucks when your body stops cooperating with you!

    1. That’s the thing, when your body is misaligned and out of whack, all sorts of crap starts breaking down. My lower back is a mess, always have pain there. My hip hurts, my ankle hurts….about the only thing that doesn’t hurt is my knee and I’m certain by the time I’m 50 that will decide to give out as well. I’m seriously thinking of taking up swimming but I can’t really swim (aside from the doggy paddle).

  38. So, still another thing we have in common, Darla – uneven leg lengths. I would not have raced off as if you were a rabid raccoon. I would have stopped and offered to help.

    While it sucks to get old, it does beat the alternative. 🙂

    1. Apparently, having uneven legs is pretty common (according to my chiropractor, too). And you’re right, considering the alternative, I’ll just suck it up and continue on my loose-tendon merry way…

  39. iSergioC says:

    Oh dear, it sounds terrible, but you just make it sound so hilarious! This is brilliant.

    Also, I hope you get better!

    1. It’s probably not as terrible as I make it sound for dramatic purposes of this story. During the surgery, instead of a raspberry, I’m sure it’d be more of a loud snort. Thanks for the well-wishes. I’m sure me and my pretzel-foot will survive this setback.

  40. First, I would have stopped to make certain you were okay. I would have helped you up if you required it. Then I would have carried on.

    Next, my ankles make those sounds. It is a regular concert series. Then my thighs start to tingle sometimes falling entirely asleep and then sending shooting pain up my legs and through my gluteous maximus until I stop walking. It is a sign.

    Am I falling apart? Oh yeah and my body has worked out all on its own how to stop me dead in its tracks when it has had enough of my silliness. But I just carry on.

    Surgery is sometimes a great solution, many are worthwhile. Find a surgeon you can talk to who will make good sounds prior to the surgery and afterwards. Someone who uses pictures to describe what they are going to do.

    1. Val, reading about your various ankle sounds etc. reminds me that I forgot to add my ankle actually ‘clicks’ when I walk. It’s very unnerving. I’ll walk across the kitchen and all you can hear is this loud snapping noise. My husband is like, “Um, that can’t be good.” Oh, joy! Getting older is sooo much fun!

      And I just went for an extra-long walk and afterward I sat down in my car for the drive home, suddenly I felt these tingly nerve-twitches all over every bit of my legs/butt. It’s like my muscles are in shock and freaking out. What the hell?? They’re saying to me “what are you doing to us?!”

      I love a surgeon who draws pictures! My last surgery, (hysterectomy) she came in afterward and showed me several drawings of what they found (it was supposed to be 45 minutes but lasted nearly 4 hours) And I was fascinated with her squiggly lines and arrows.

  41. Thank you so much for making me feel like I’m not alone! I can completely understand and would definitely stop and help…or just lie down near you, gasping in solidarity, moaning and groaning as my wicked right foot screams in agony after a short… okay, you really don’t need to know about MY foot problems. I feel your pain (literally and figuratively) and love that I’m not the only Darth Vader walker.

    1. Well, with your right foot hurting and my left foot being nothing but a horrible twisted pretzel, we could definitely do a great job of lying down in the gutter next to the bike path!

  42. Great new series, BUT, that was painful to read. Not as painful as what you went through, of course, but I grimaced through the whole thing! Eww, Eww, and more Eww on the noises and slappy tendon. The heavy breathing? I kind of liked that part.

    1. Slappy tendons are so overrated. I am in even more pain today as I stupidly played soccer with my son and put my bad ankle right into a divot in the front lawn where a shrub used to be and twisted it even more if that’s possible. Now I do heavy breathing just sitting on the couch.

  43. Oh honey, I feel your pain. I do not look or sound healthy when I exercise. I have rosacea so my face gets red IMMEDIATELY upon exercising, which makes people assume that a) I’ve been drinking while working out; and/or b) that I’m about to have a heart attack. And I don’t feel really winded but I sound like I’m going to croak any minute. It’s not pretty.

    1. That’s just it, I may sound like I’m near death but I really feel fine when exercising. And sure, I may LOOK like death, but I really do look like death when I’m exercising. You and I are kindred spirits.

  44. My body keeps aging but my mind is still stuck somewhere in my 20s or teens or just anywhere in my youth. Sort of a shame. I would most certainly try to help you up and most certainly end up falling down next to you.

  45. Yikes! Ouchies!

    I have problems with my left foot. I walked a ton last year, but this year I haven’t been able to walk much because of the problems in my foot. I need to see a podiatrist!

      1. thanks! I have a healthy fear of going to the doctor’s so I’m afraid it’ll be some time before I get up the nerve to get this done. I should get it done this summer but I don’t want to be limping in the heat.

  46. My left leg is also shorter than my right. Maybe it’s a freaky Maine thing. And I’d help you up, but any and all small talk during said helping would be awkward and weird. Oh, and my kids would probably ask me all sorts of embarrassing questions about you, loud enough for everyone in the county to hear. Like, “Mommy, why is she walking like that?” “What’s that black stuff on her face?” “She breathes weird. Is she dying?”

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