This morning I’m listening to Jim Brickman play the piano.

It is overcast outside. We need rain.

I did go to Barnes & Noble yesterday and picked up a few gardening magazines. That is my treat for the weekend.

I stopped buying magazines for a time. But now that I can’t get around as much, I’m trying to appease my desire to get up and do things I shouldn’t by having magazines to look at and read.

The night before last, I woke up at 4 a.m. The pain awakened me. Both my right ankle and hip were throbbing. So I lay there, thinking about the fact that I haven’t had a painless day in a long time.

It’s nearly time to plant a garden of some sort.

My Love Of Gardening:

Gardening is a great joy in my life. I can’t imagine not having some type of garden every year.

The Jim Brickman CD I'm listening to

My physical therapist explained what’s going on in my ankle that’s causing so much pain. She got out her anatomy book and pointed out the parts of the ankle that are affecting me now.

When I had one of the ankle surgeries (there have been two), as I healed, something fused and now limits my foot motion.

So imagine you’re putting your car brake on in your car. That foot motion allows you to press down on the brake so you can stop the car. My motion there is quite limited.

This anomaly affects the rest of my foot and has caused problems with the tendons. So a tendon has flattened.

They couldn’t tell for sure from the MRI, but they think it is possible the tendon has begun to tear.

How I've decorated my mantel

We’re trying to calm this down with physical therapy and wearing the walking boot.

My chiropractor said I should not sit long. But when I stand up and walk, I have so much pain in my ankle, and now my hip.

Not Wearing The Walking Boot Today:

I have chosen today not to wear the walking boot. As always, I am wearing a compression sock. I want to see if not wearing the heavy walking boot will ease the pain in my hip.

I am now taking the Meloxicam daily. I have ordered Nature’s Bounty Glucosamine Chondroitin, and I will start taking that too.

Two ironstone pitchers on the fireplace mantel

Today I was supposed to go see Kendra’s newly installed cabinets in the house she’s moving into soon.

But I don’t think there is a chair in the empty house. And without a chair, I can only stand for a couple of minutes before the pain is overwhelming.

So today I will look through the gardening magazines and plant gardens in my mind. And hope I can bring those ideas to fruition.

Bathtub Chair:

My next-door neighbor, the one whose wife died right after I moved in, gave me his late wife’s chair she used in the bathtub.

We came across each other when I was coming home and he was outside the other day.

I told him the night before I didn’t think I was going to be able to get out of the tub after taking a bath. I very rarely take baths. But sometimes I’m hurting so much I can’t stand up long enough to shower.

I thought a bath might help ease the pain in my hip.

When you get up from the bathtub, you must use the joint where your foot meets your leg to get up. I have two shower pull-up grab bars, thank goodness. But the pain of trying to get up was keeping me from standing up.

I said I was probably going to order a chair for the bathtub that evening.

Bathtub chair

He told me that his wife had one of those bathtub chairs and he had planned to take it to Goodwill. So, he told me, I might as well have it because he didn’t need it. It looks like the one above.

The first night I resisted using it.

But last night I put the chair in the tub and showered.

You learn that you just do what you have to do.

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47 Comments

  1. I hope you find a solution for the pain. I just love curling up with magazines and getting lost in their inspiring articles.

  2. Brenda, I don’t know if you are aware of the possible side effects of Meloxicam. My son-in-law, age 51, had a sudden life-threatening bleeding ulcer after using the drug for a few weeks. The doctors determined it was from the drug. It’s not common, but it is one very bad possible side effect.

  3. Brenda, you should search Amazon for the “walker with seat and wheels.” The prices seem reasonable.
    My daughter uses one because of her back and chronic pain issues but I don’t know what kind she has. I know it has been a great relief for her.
    I see them being used a lot more when I go out now.
    Sadly as we get older arthritis adds to our ailments. Arthritis alone is painful enough without.
    Glad your neighbor was kind enough to offer the chair. We recently got one and I wish we had gotten one sooner. I can’t believe what a difference it has made!
    Thanks for your music recommendations. I have been looking them up as you name them and adding them to my list.
    Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures.
    Vicki,
    Follower since Texas.

  4. Brenda, I do love having a chair in my shower. We have a shower-head with a cord that can be hand-held. When I don’t feel well, it is very soothing to take a hot shower, to sit down, and to feel the water streaming over you. I say, “It’s back to the womb.” Do you have a bar to hold onto when you leave your bath/shower? That might be nice as a safety measure.

    1. I recently had the Can-Do man put in one of those handheld shower nozzles. Yes, there are 2 grab bars on the shower stall walls. I like what you wrote, “Back to the womb.” Very apt.

  5. So sorry you are still in such a fix with your ankle!! We have had a rectangular shower bench for a long time…and it has helped us stay independent…tho’ it is only Hubby who uses it at this time. Daughter installed an extra long hose for the shower head so it can reach anywhere in the shower which has also been so helpful!! It also has about 6 different water flow settings. We are now in the age we must buy equipment in order to stay on our own. We have a walker with seat, a wheelchair, another walker without seat, and a cane for Hubby…plus we just bought a special handle to stick under the mattress that helps you rise…here is that link in case it might be useful to you too, Brenda: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081QRPD5C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The Occupational Therapist gave us a similar one to use and try out a few days and it helped…so we ordered this one to arrive tomorrow.

  6. Hi Brenda,
    Hope that the pain subsides. It’s horrible to have that every single day. I hope the PT starts helping really soon. Happy weekend to you and the kitties.

  7. Brenda, my mother had similar issues. A foot and ankle Dr. authorized a orthotic custom built boot that supports the foot/ ankle area. This enabled her to remain mobile and reduced pain and avoid additional overcompensation issues in hip and knee. Perhaps this is an option that could prove helpful.

    1. He had one custom built for me in 2014. I hated it. It was uncomfortable and you had to lace it up. Then you had to attempt to get a shoe over it, which was a feat within itself.

  8. Oh how I envy you. The nearest Barnes & Noble for me is an hour & a half away. I am also coveting
    your cream/white tea pots (also your pitchers)! Getting older and having issues with chronic pain can really alter our lives for sure. So much that I have had to scale down with gardening and doing things in the house. All we can do is to keep on doing the best we can. I was able to get out to two
    stores and have lunch with a neighbor. I am already “paying the fiddler” this evening with joint pain. Rolling out of bed ( I mean literally, rolling out of bed) in the morning will be quite the challenge. But
    mentally, I am feeling great as found some things I have been wanting, got out of the house and enjoyed my friends company. Glad you have a shower chair now, – safety first! Enjoy those magazines and planning your garden,

    1. It’s a possibility. But we’re trying not to go there. All he’d be able to do, unless the tendon completely tears, is clean up whatever he could in there. But I fear something else would fuse during healing.

  9. I signed up at the local library. They have an incredible selection of audio books as well as books that you can read on your computer, phone or ipad. I have save thousand of dollars at this point and if one Really strikes my fancy, Then I think about buying it for my downsized library.

  10. Brenda, I’m so sorry about all the pain you are having to endure. Aging can surely be a mixed blessing, can’t it? And I find it hard to admit that I need certain things that might help me keep going. Vanity, I guess, or as you say, stubbornness. But a certain amount of those things are what keep us from giving up, I think, so they aren’t all bad. Just have to know when to let go of them and accept the help we need.

    I hope you can somehow get the pain resolved. That would help so, so much. Go easy on yourself and be open to whatever might make life easier for you. And keep believing that you WILL be able to do some gardening this Spring.

    1. I’m not vain about looks or anything. But I guess I resist these devices because my goal was to be able to walk 10 years ago after the double-break. I have been able to do well at times. But at least once or twice a year I find myself back in PT with lots of pain. Number 1: I’ve got to stop trying to get so much done so quickly. It’s just hard to break this habit. Poor Kendra takes after her mom. That girl cannot sit still at all.

  11. I remember your post when you first broke your ankle. It’s very disheartening to realize that your ankle has never healed properly. I still wonder if those screws are behind some of your complications.

  12. One thing to be aware of is that topicals like Voltaren can be absorbed through the cats’ skin too and is very dangerous to them as it can really harm kidney function.

  13. Take the cortisone shot! It will be painful and the site will be sore but it might just give you enough relief that you can enjoy your hobbies ( garden and decorating) for a little while until it wears off.
    They can also use a Medrol tapered dose,starts off with 4 pills,going down gradually till they’re gone.
    I get shots in my knee,which is a mess and my hip,which is bone on bone and it does help for a bit.
    You can get them every 3 months.
    I wonder if the walker would also have another benefit,I’m always nervous the kitties are going to trip me and the walker would give you some stability,heaven forbid.
    Ain’t the ” golden years” grand?😿
    Stay safe.

  14. I feel your pain in growing old. I now have a cane, rollator with a seat and one that converts to a wheelchair, and a shower chair like yours except mine also has a back on it. Without these adaptive equipment I wouldn’t be able to get around except for chair or bed to bathroom or kitchen. I’m so thankful I’m in this little house now. So easy for me to get around. It is so much better being able to sit down after showering to sit and dry off before getting out of the shower. I also have a big walk in shower. I put a hand towel on the seat so I don’t slide around and fall off. I have enough problems without that happening. I love your new apartment and your decorating techniques. I hope you get some answers for pain relief. Oh, almost forgot, I recently got a chair with arms, almost like the shower one with adjustable legs for in my kitchen to sit on while cooking and needing to rest. Very comfortable with padded seat and back. Take care.

    1. I didn’t know there was one that converts to a wheelchair. So much to learn. I’d never heard of a rollator till recently either.

  15. You have been very active setting up your new home and your body is reacting to overuse. But not being active creates problems, too. It is very difficult to find the answers! My mom has almost lost use of an arm due to shoulder arthritis but the severe daily pain has been mitigated by using Aspercreme then applying Volteran. If you want to look into Volteran, which used to be RX only, here is a link to FAQs: https://www.voltarengel.com/faqs.html#accordion-content-1801960639-2

    Those garden magazines look wonderful! You may want to buy a couple of wood or wrought iron plant stands and fill with smaller pots this spring (check out Wayfair). You could plant something vining in a couple of larger pots and use trellises in those. Which is all to suggest going with easier to maintain containers. I grew hyacinth bean in a hanging basket just using the hanger as a trellis, which worked surprisingly well! It doesn’t have to hang. I put mine on a short plant stand. This plant did well in a small pot on the ground growing up a shepherd’s hook, as well. I find bunching a few small pots together with staggered heights is very pleasing. And less work! There are Dollar Store hacks online re: plant stands. One I used was turning tiny white metal mesh trash cans upside down as plant stands (easy to spray paint). And the metal table stands at Family Dollar & Dollar General are cheap and lightweight. Plus you can spray paint them to go with any garden theme.

    I guess you could call me the “frugal gardener”! I had to get creative with really cheap stuff last year! You have such an eye for color and composition, you can have a lot of fun with smaller containers.
    Another thought: maybe your apartment community has an online or physical “board” for selling & giving away stuff? Someone might have a walker with a seat you could try out for cheap to figure out what you like and don’t like before buying a full price one. And Facebook Marketplace surprises me with what’s on offer.

    1. I know this year I won’t have all the pretty perennials that I spent 8 years planting and tending to. That makes me a little sad, but I will figure out how to have a garden, whatever its size.

  16. I am saddened to hear you are having such continued pain with your ankle. My daughter is having problems with her ankle, leg and knee pain due to a fall awhile back. Her doctor is sending her to a podiatrist to at least start somewhere to find an answer. Like you she is in a great deal of pain regardless of sitting or standing.

    I am finally getting my house painted. So then I can do some planting on the side of the house. When l saw your magazines I realized I don’t even know where there is a good bookstore any more. I think I’d have to go to Home Depot to find gardening magazines.

    1. I’ve found that most stores that used to carry magazines either don’t carry them anymore, or have a very limited selection. I go to Barnes & Noble, which is just a mile or so down the road from me now, and they have the best selection. I take them and sit and scroll through them to see which ones are worth buying.

  17. Buying the gardening magazines, accepting the shower chair from your neighbor, knowing when you simply have to sit is what I refer to as self care. We have to listen to our mental, physical and emotional thoughts and accept what we need to do.
    Enjoy your day(s), Brenda.

    1. I know. I just want to get things fixed up for myself and to show you all. When I was young I could put a whole house together and have all the wall decor up in less than a week. Aging is hard, especially when there’s chronic pain. I know I push the limit though. My chiropractor tells me not to sit very long, and then the ankle doctor tells me to be careful and take it easy. Which one do I do? I try to do both I guess.

  18. Is there a special attachment you can get for your car brake that will help relieve the pressure you have to put on your ankle when you drive and need to brake? I still recommend that you try Lidocaine patches to relieve the pain in your hip. My mom suffered from Stage 4 kidney failure for years and would experience extreme pain in her back at times. The Lidocaine patches knocked that pain away and she was able to walk and function normally, otherwise she would be laid up writhing in pain in bed. As far as I am aware, you do not need a prescription to get them at pharmacies.

  19. Brenda, it’s true as we age we have to do any and everything possible to “keep on keeping on”. But equally as important, we have to do our best to curtail activities that cause us discomfort. I try to remember “if I dance I will have to pay the fiddler”. Granted I don’t always heed my own advice but as time goes on I’m getting better about it.

    1. You kind of don’t have a choice. When the pain gets bad you pay the fiddler and have to get off your feet. But I want to decorate things so bad!

      1. But don’t you see you have? Remember just weeks back, sitting in the bad apartment, surrounded by boxes and trying to imagine coming out on the other side. Here you are!!! So much is done already. Relish the process. My husband built me a spa like shower bench. I ask myself why I stood for showers all my life. Lol. I too have a kitchen chair for cooking and dishes. My aging goal is to simply not feel any more uncomfortable than needed. Shame be damned. I even use the scooters when shopping. I stay longer, buy more, and am happier!!!! Love you B.

  20. I suffer with osteoarthritis in my hip and my knees have started to bother me now and also my hands. I checked out the glucosamine and chondroitin tablets and I think I will buy them. My doctor is going to give me a cortisone shot in my hip when I go to see her in a couple of weeks. It was very nice of your neighbor to give you the shower chair!

  21. I’m still hoping you will buy one of the Drive Walkers so you can go where you want without so much effort and when you get there you will have a chair to sit in when you need. Because it is so handy indoors too I think you will be surprised at how much it would help you. Your continued resistance to using these products, i.e. shower chair, is just harming you and seems to senseless to me. But I know you are only going to do what you are going to do.

    1. I want to buy one of those. I’m stubborn and want to walk. But I need to come to terms with this because it probably is never going away. And after awhile you have to look at quality of life. When I sat on that shower chair last night, I didn’t have to shower so fast. And that was a relief. I’ll take a look at them online. I have no idea which ones are the best to buy.

      1. I looked at them online and read reviews. I have trouble most of all standing. Standing is worse than walking. I’m not sure how a rollator would help though. I’d still have to walk.

    2. So sorry Brenda for all the pain you’re in. I had hip pain so bad I could hardly walk; had an mri and was told it was arthritis in the bursa. First a shot in the hip itself that lasted for a day and then one in the bursa and it was so much better. Then my foot was hurting so bad I was out in a boot and after walking in that my other hip hurt. They said your other foot is lower and that’s why the hip pain. Had to go to PT a for both things and it still hurts different times. Still,do,the hip exercises every day twice a day like they told me. Some days it’s so hard but hang in there and don’t give up. Use what you need to. I had to get a cane and when my foot was bad (hairline fracture and arthritis of course) I almost got a walker because I was hold onto the wall with one hand and the cane was in the other hand. Love your apartment and how you decorate it. Take care!

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