Saturday, January 25, 2014

A non-running post . . . Protecting your home!

Protecting your home and family . . .

Today a friend of mine called me and wanted to talk about what I thought he should do to protect his home and family.  He had just seen a news report on TV where a man called 911 to report a robbery in progress and it took the police 33 minutes to arrive!!

(DON"T get me wrong here . . . I'm not knocking our police!  With reduced budgets comes reduced police coverage . . . and even in the best of times response time cannot be quick!  When seconds count . .  help is minutes away!  Any policeman will tell you this same thing!)

So as a result, my friend said he was thinking about purchasing a weapon for home defense though he has never shot a gun in his life.  He asked me what weapon I thought he should get and told me he was thinking about a shotgun. 

He had heard a shotgun would be perfect . . . just point the shotgun in the general direction of the "bad guy" and pull the trigger . . . the pellets would just spread out and almost cover the wall!!!  No need to be a good shot or even have to practice!!  I mean . . . my good buddy Joe Bidden even suggested it to every American!!!  (Hahahaha . . I hope you all know me well enough to read my sarcasm into that last sentence!!!)

Well . . . let me start of by saying two things I said to him.  1) I am not an expert.  I know a little about guns and have grown up shooting them but I am not a well-qualified expert in home defense . . .  but I do have opinions, and 2) ANY weapon is better than no weapon when someone is invading your home and may harm you and your family.  But here is no one "perfect" solution.  I live alone in a very small house in a rural area so what might be best for me might not be best for you.

Then I told him a shotgun IS a great option but should be considered beside other choices.  There are many excellent options for protecting your home and loved ones.  Rifles like the AR-15 or the AK-47 are two of the best rifle options.  Pistols are another excellent choice.

But each choice has strengths and weaknesses. And none is perfect!

So after we talked, I went to my range and shot this from about 8 yards (24 feet) . . . about as far a you might usually be inside your house I figured.  I used a 12 gauge shotgun with an improved cylinder choke.

As  you can see . . . the pellets spread out a maximum of 4 1/4 inches!  This is NOT a really wide spread!  You would have to aim if you were shooting at someone!!  Now honestly, if you did hit someone it would totally ruin their day!  The effect would be devastating!  Huge stopping power if the bad guy was coming at you.  And even if you missed it would scare him or her almost to death!!

So a shotgun is an excellent weapon for home defense but anyone that might be shooting it needs training AND practice.  Everyone that MAY be protecting others needs to have taken a course in gun safety as a MINIMUM!.  And they need to have shot their weapon enough times that they are comfortable with it, it's workings and how to be safe.   They need to understand what THEIR gun can do and what it cannot do.  And if there are children in the house, guns must be protected!!  Period.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Time to start thinking of a new career.

Had a 4 week post-op check-up yesterday and things are looking good according to my doctor!  That's nice to hear but I was a little distracted looking at my toes!  I'm guessing his definition of "looking good" is a little different than mine!

All my dreams of becoming a world famous "foot model" are now gone . . . for good!  Unless I want to try had have cosmetic foot surgery!  Steven Jacobson pointed out the obvious "fit" in me filming a Franzia commercial . . . in a vat . . . stomping grapes with my feet!!  I'm sure they would have paid me big bucks!  I'm mean having a "well-know" Franzia drinker with sexy toes stomping grapes to make more wine!!  A match made in heaven.

But alas . . . looking at my right foot now it's clear that my life will need to take a different direction.  A direction that won't invole making a living with women lusting after my feet!!

But as far as the surgery went . . . things ARE looking good!!

My doctor is telling me that the bone is healing nicely but I have to give it another 2-3 weeks minimum (x-ray showed the bone on #4 still has healing to go).  So I have to continue to keep my weight on my heal but can slowly start transitioning a little more weight to my forefoot after another week or two . . . depending on how it feels when I try it.  If it hurts . . . don't don't do it!

But bandaging is gone, I can get my foot wet now, and my cane and surgical shoe are now HISTORY!!  See 'ya!!

I'm sporting some super cushioned flip-flops to allow for swelling and some odd kind of foot splint that keeps my toes pointing down!!  lol  Whatever!

Here are two pictures . . . one the day before my second surgery and one taken this morning!  (Don't get all freaked out about how red my foot is now . . . it just finish getting a really hard scrubbing!!!  I'm betting tomorrow it won't be nearly as red!!)  A little swollen but not bad at all!
Day before 2nd Surgery

4 weeks after 2nd surgery

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What a scary dream . . .

Night before last I had a REALLY scary dream!  I know I dream a lot but I rarely remember any of my dreams.  But this dream I had two nights ago really got me!!

I was in my doctors office and my doctor's nurse, Heather, was taking the bandages off my foot.  In my dream I remembered that 2 weeks ago when they took my cast off, removed my stitches and re-bandaged everything I got to see my foot and I was really pleased how straight my toes now were.  So, in this dream I didn't watch as Heather took my bandaging off.  But then . . . she said something like "Oh no!" . . . so I looked down at my foot!

All I can say is that it was hideous!!

My little toe was sticking out to the side at 90° . . . and the 4th toe was all twisted and pointing to the right!!!  It was all discolored and swollen.  I freaked out!

I asked Heather what the hell happened and she said she had no idea!!  "It looked fine before.  I have no idea what happened, Frank!  But I'm pretty sure Dr. Purvis is going to want to take these toes off now!!" 

And I was just going crazy thinking about ANOTHER foot surgery!

I woke myself up and knew it was only a dream . . . but every time I went back to sleep this same dream played again!!  Like a freakin' movie!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

At least one more week

I had really hoped that my doctor would cut me a break!

Okay . . . I really don't want to try and do too much too fast.  That is a recipe for long-term disaster.  But part of what my doctor has me doing just plain doesn't make good sense to me.

See . . .After two weeks he took my stitches out and I got to see everything.  But then he re-wrapped my foot in bandages and put me in a surgical shoe, telling me to be absolutely 100% certain I kept 100% of my weight on my heel and to not bends my toes AT ALL!  Plus, I can't get my foot and bandages wet!  Sounds simple until you actually try and do this.  I can only take 1/2 steps with this foot and keeping all my weight on my heel has caused a weird thing to happen with every step . . . there is some tendon at my heel that sort of "clicks" to the side with every freakin' step!  Doesn't really HURT . . . but it just feels GROSS!!!  Real GROSS!

I bought a gel heel pad to put in the surgical shoe, and it does help some.  But the key word here is "some!"

So I asked my doctor if I could take off the bandages and start wearing flop-flops if I promised to still keep my weight on my heel.  I have a pair of super cushioned flip-flops and some awesome tabi fleece socks to keep my feet toasty!! 

I just can't imagine why the bandaging is still important . . . the freakin' stitches are all gone!  The skin has to be healed so why the bandages?  And why can't I shower normally???  And honestly . . . the surgical shoe seems to do NOTHING!  I have to concentrate to keep all my weight on my heel.  Why can't I do that in flip-flops too?

Well . . . doctor says "No!"  So I'll do what he says.  I'm a VERY good patient!!  Hahahaha!  Next appointment is this coming Monday . . . so maybe . . . just maybe . . . I can ditch the shoe and bandages!!  We'll see!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's been awhile!

Today is like international race day or something!  I have so many friends running races today . . . the Pistol 100 (I had been registered for this one!), Frosty 50k, Neusiok 50k, Harbison 50k and a bunch more! 

Temperature here is about 17° without any wind . . . chilly but not terrible!  The sky is a bluebird sky and its suppose warm up into the mid to upper 40s!!  All in all . . . awesome conditions!

I'm sitting here in "my chair."  This chair and I have become quite close friends this last year!!  From mid April until August I pretty much just sat around in this "baby" all the time!  From mid June until mid July I even slept every night here!!  Same with December . . .  my chair was my bed!!  He are I have become way too close!

Anyway . . . today I'm filled with mixed emotions!!

First . . . I know the excitement my friends are feeling and I am excited for them!  Got a few friend running their first ultra and this is always special . . . coming over to the dark side of running!  Of course those of us that are here know how different and how special this dark world is . . . and how awesome the dark side people really are!!  Hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it . . . but ultra races are so much more satisfying than "normal" races!  Don't get me wrong . . . all races are fun and can be fulfilling!!  5ks, 10ks, Half-marathons and marathons . . . all are fun and can be a blast!!  But the ultra people are just . . .  well . . . different!

So I'm missing being out there with them!!

But honestly . . . it the race isn't a loop course I'm not with them at all except for the start of the race!!!  I may struggle to hand with some folks for a mile or two . . . but then usually I'll lag back and be by myself the rest of the way.  That's one of the main reasons why I like 24 hour races so much . . . I get to be with folks all day long!  Just way more social for me these days!!

But there is another part of me that is sort of sad that I can't be out there with everyone!

But I'm so lucky!!!  First, I have been able to address the issues caused by my ladder accident!  With the help of my health insurance, I have been able to financially deal with two surgeries and numerous doctor visits, PT sessions, etc.  Many people are not so lucky! 

And I'm lucky that all this has come at a time when I have been retired!  It would have been almost impossible for me to work all that much for so many of the weeks of 2013!  Being retired . . . all have have to deal with is the boredom of being alone . . . and I have Luke and Mama Dog to help me with that!!

And I'm lucky that it is looking good for a virtual 100% recovery!!  Fingers crossed on this one!!

Being alone so much is both a positive and a negative!  I've learned how to deal with so much all by myself!  Things like washing clothes with the washer and drier in the basement at the bottom of stairs constructed by an idiot!  If you are less than 5 feet tall . . . you can walk down them fine.  But I'm 6' 2" and you wouldn't believe how much I have to bend over to go up or down them!  And they are steep with narrow treads!  So getting up and down them on crutches . . . . with laundry . . . is totally comical!!!

Getting groceries, running errands . . . all just are way more complicated!  But I can do them all!!  And only one more week!!!!!!  I'm so excited though I wish this phase was over already!!  LOL!

But being alone so much does tend to draw me more and more into introversion . . . a somewhat natural state for me!  The more I'm alone, the more in withdrawal into myself.  It's not a "dark" sort of withdrawal . . . it just becomes harder for me to be around people again.

Another emotion I'm having is excitement . . . a slow burning excitement!  It's like a building excitement to start another comeback!!  Seems like for the last few years I've dealt with a number of injuries (three knee operations, one hip operation and now two foot operations!).  I getting good at coming back.  And honestly it's like these down times simply recharge my batteries!!  I'm really ready to start training hard and get back into real ultra shape . . . it's been awhile!

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.