4 Days Post Surgery Update

Hi everyone. My daughter had surgery on her foot Wednesday, and today is Saturday and I’m finally starting to freak out.

I think I never freaked-out before because there was so much activity going on to distract me – multiple dr appts and multiple tests to juggle around her school and my work. And right now, there’s nothing else to do but rest and wait. She literally just lays around all day… napping, facetime’ing with her friends, watching tv. Which is fine, that’s exactly what she’s supposed to do.

She’s not supposed to put any weight at all on her foot, so she needs help to go to the bathroom and I’ll help her. I can’t go anywhere because she needs help for everything – to adjust her icepack, to re-charge her phone, to get more water, to go to the bathroom, bring her a snack, to change her position… it’s alot. I don’t mind doing it, it’s just alot. It wears me out (mostly mentally) to see her like this.

Her attitude seems to be ok, and I’m thankful about that.

But all this downtime is making my mind go to dark places. I’m starting to scare myself that maybe this surgery will make her foot issue WORSE. What if we complete this whole recovery process and her foot pain is even worse that it was before, and she unable to do even more activities than she was before. I mean, we literally took a God-given bone out of her body (even though it’s technically an extra bone that most people don’t have) and I’m starting to freak out about that. What if the tendon doesn’t re-attach like it’s supposed to? What if her foot NEEDED that bone? What if her surgery gets infected and she loses her whole entire foot? What if… ?

I’m really starting to scare myself now. 🙁

Surgery Update

Hi everyone! So… My daughter had surgery on her left foot yesterday. Her PCR covid test from Tuesday was NEGATIVE! So we got the green light to proceed with surgery. Gosh, that whole sitch created so much drama for us.

Surgery seems to have gone well, as far as I know. They basically removed an extra bone in her foot and reattached the tendon down there. Now we just wait for recovery.

My daughter’s been a good sport about this so far. Her spirits are relatively good but she’s in alot of pain right now and her foot is swollen. She can’t put any weight on it for 6-8 weeks either so she’s quite immobile too. Poor thing. I hope her positive attitude keeps up.

And once this foot is healed, we get do this process all over again with her other foot!

Thank you for all the well wishes and positive vibes for this. I can feel the collective energy and it does make a difference. I love you all for being my friends.

Last-Minute Pre-Surgery Drama

Holy smokes, the last 2 days have been crazy. Mostly doing prep-work for my daughter’s foot surgery scheduled for tomorrow.

On Monday yesterday, we picked-up her scooter and crutches to help her get around afterwards. We also did her covid rapid test (a requirement for the surgery) and it came back POSITIVE! WHAT?! I was shocked! She’s had 12+ covid tests in the last few months with all her appointments and ER visits and procedures and tests and had always been negative. This was just crazy. I was starting to freak out because when I asked, the next availability for my daughter’s surgery would be Feb 16th – and I cannot wait another month!

I spoke to the surgery center and her surgeon and they said that she can do a PCR covid test and if that comes back negative, then they can proceed with the surgery because she has no symptoms and no known exposures. They said it is possible that the rapid test is a false positive, and this PCR test is considered more accurate.

Let me just say, it was ridiculous trying to get a PCR test at all. No place around had anything available until THURSDAY. I told them all that my daughter has surgery scheduled for WEDNESDAY and nobody cared. Ugh.

I told this to the surgery center and they recommended one very specific testing site for me, saying they can get the results FASTEST from there because they are plugged into the same system. They said that IF I can get the test done by 10am this morning, then they **should** have the results in time for surgery tomorrow morning.

So I hyper-focused on that one place and they still wouldn’t help me. The lady on the phone said they only do appointments online, but their online service wouldn’t let me book anything before Thursday. I told the lady on the phone that my daughter has surgery on Wednesday and it didn’t make a difference with her. She told me online was the only way.

Then I got desperate. I put my daughter into the car and I drove down there to their covid testing site. When I got there around 9:30am, I lied and told them I had an appointment. I told them the surgery center arranged it for me so that’s why I don’t have a confirmation number.

Just to be clear, I’m not recommending lying in any way shape or form. But it worked! My daughter got the PCR test and they said they would escalate it to get the results as soon as possible. Oh my gosh. I made the time deadline!

So now we wait.

The surgery center and surgeon said we might not get the results until tomorrow morning. So they told us to be at the hospital ready for surgery anyway, tomorrow morning at 6:30am. Unless they tell us otherwise in the meantime, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

I’m so stressed out about this. I’m so scared about the surgery, and I’m also scared about it getting cancelled because of these test results! Either way, I’m scared!!! I’m kinda freaking out about it. I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight… It’s much more difficult not even knowing if it’s ON or OFF.

Dubai Travel Destination

Dubai Desert Safari

My daughter has been asking me to take her to Dubai during summer break. We probably won’t go this year, as I’m waiting for the pandemic-stuff to settle down more, and I also am not going to book any Dubai travel during the summer – that’s just crazy! I would melt.

But she did get me thinking about my previous trips there so I wanted to post a simple summary of some of the activities available there for others who visit.

Desert Safari Life

I would definitely recommend spending at least a full day in the desert there. So many activities are available to choose from. There are thrilling dune rides where they race over the hills and make you feel like you’re about to tumble over but you don’t, there are camel rides, there are quad/4-wheeler rides, there is music/dancing entertainment, and authentic local meals. This is a do-not-miss experience.

Dubai Desert Safari / Image Source: Pepper Valentine
Dubai Desert Safari / Image Source: Pepper Valentine

Relaxation Life

For some relaxation, a day at the beach would be enjoyable as well. Jumeirah Beach is where I stayed and they had a popular boardwalk for shopping and dining, as well as beachfront to frolick-in if you felt like sunbathing or getting wet.

Dubai Jumeira Beach / Image Source: Pepper Valentine
Dubai Jumeira Beach / Image Source: Pepper Valentine.

For a different type of relaxation activity, you can visit the Miracle Gardens. This is the world’s largest natural flower garden and exhibits over 150 million flowers in full-bloom. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.

Dubai Miracle Gardens / Photo Source: Pepper Valentine

The Luxury Life and the Burj Khalifa

Of course Dubai is famous for its luxury reputation, so you don’t have far to go to experience any of that here. You’ll actually run into luxury at their very own airport even! And once you leave the airport, it’s still not difficult to find. Just head towards their mall or follow that incredibly tall building that you can see from every direction – the Burj Khalifa.

The Burj Khalifa is an incredible sight. It is twice as tall as the Empire State building and it’s top floor is 154. There’s an observation deck at the top too, but I could not do that as I’m terribly scared of heights. But if you can handle the height, definitely don’t miss that view! Supposedly it is so high, that you are looking DOWN at the airplanes flying.

And don’t miss checking it out at night! They do an amazing light show on the building at night. And there’s even a fountain show to music out front as well.

Mall of the Emirates / Photo Source: Pepper Valentine
Burj Khalifa / Image Source: Pepper Valentine
Burj Khalifa / Image Source: Pepper Valentine

Snow Life

Believe it or not, if you need a break from the desert heat, you can hit the slopes and go snow skiing too! There is an indoor ski resort that has 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty, including a black diamond run! The height of this indoor mountain is the equivalent of a 25-story building.

I didn’t go skiing on any of my visits, I just observed the play area for awhile. I wouldn’t enjoy snow skiing by myself anyway. But I intend to take my daughter here to spend an entire day in the snow. She’ll love it!

Ski Dubai / Image Source: Pepper Valentine

Local Life

I personally enjoy interacting with the local energy and the residents. I like getting away from the tourist-traps and getting away from the richer target audience so I can get a better perspective on how the “normal” people live.

A good place to do that in Dubai is their Souk Markets, where the local vendors setup their small shops and you can find some handmade and unique pieces that you’d never see with a brand-name.

Dubai Souk Markets / Image Source: Pepper Valentine
Dubai Souk Markets / Image Source: Pepper Valentine

Night Life

And there is also a vibrant dance club scene at night at Dubai, if that’s your thing. It’s actually quite the party city! But there are very strict rules here about drinking and being drunk and being debauched in public however, so if you cannot behave in this particular scenario, then I advise you to avoid it. You can thank me later for that advice!

So that’s a quick summary of just a FEW of the activities that can be pursued in Dubai. There are MANY more, of course. And I plan to hit even more of them when I take my daughter here in the future.

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Travel Bucket Lists

Hi everyone! I was thinking about my travel bucket list today because my daughter is starting to ask me to take her places for summer break. The places my daughter is asking me to take her for summer break is:

  • England
  • France
  • Dubai

She knows about these places because all her favorite YouTubers always visit there.

But I don’t know if I’ll book anything just yet because covid, and all the covid rules, are evolving so much that I’m worried my plans will get ruined. I like to have alot more confidence in my plans when I make them, so I’ll wait a bit longer for stuff to settle down. The last thing I want to do is take vacation days off work and spend $$$ only to arrive at my destination and find out that I have to quarantine the whole entire time.

But her to-go list isn’t necessarily the same as my to-go list. I’ve already been to England and Dubai so those would be repeats for me, but I’d love to go back someday so I can take my daughter with me.

My travel bucket list would look more like:

  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Russia

And I’m just sticking to the top 3 because my ACTUAL list is more like, 100 places long.

How about you all? What are your top 3 destinations in your travel bucket list?

Health Updates and Surgery Next Week

Hi everyone!

Remember when I was really upset in November because my 10yr old daughter was severely sick and I was getting really frustrated by not having any answers despite visiting multiple doctors, specialists, hospitals, and even the Emergency Room?

Well… we MAY have an answer now so I wanted to post about it here so I’m not leaving all of you hanging.

My daughter started having serious dizzy spells that would last several days. The dizzy spells were so severe that she couldn’t sit up or stand up and she couldn’t attend school. The first time this happened was in August and we took her to the doctor and all they did was test her for Covid and when she had a negative result, they told us it was probably just another weird virus and she should rest it off.

It did go away by itself in about 3-4 days. So we figured it probably WAS a weird virus. Even though she never had a fever and I always thought viruses came with fevers. Hm…

Then it happened to her again in September. We took her back to the doctor and again, all they did was test her for Covid and when she had a negative result, they told us it was probably just that weird virus acting up again, that it probably never went fully away out of her system and it was just flaring-up again.

And it did go away by itself in about 3-4 days. So… we figured their explanation was plausible, but we were starting to doubt it.

Then it happened to her again in November. And this is when I started to freak out because there was no way I was believing this was a virus anymore. And she was completely non-functional during these bouts of dizziness, all she could do was lay around non-stop, and just broken-down by it all. Unable to do anything else. It was terrible to see your child like that.

We took her to the doctor again, and this time they referred her to a cardiologist specialist since they found that her blood pressures were dropping too low when she was sitting-up or standing-up. But the earliest appt I could get for the cardiologist was a month away! But who can wait that long when your child is seriously impaired and in distress?!

And this time she didn’t get better after 3-4 days. On day 7 with no improvement, I took her to an Urgent Care and the doctors there sent her to the Emergency Room.

Not much happened at the Emergency Room, except that they ran a bunch of tests and confirmed that she needed to see several specialists. They couldn’t get us a sooner appointment with a cardiologist, which ticked me off. But they did get me some sooner appointments with neurologists and ENTs to help rule-out other issues.

We had our appointments with the neurologists and the ENTs, and the best theories they had was that she may be experiencing migraines that present as dizzyness, or she might be having inner-ear issues. But none of those theories really made sense to me when I looked at her symptoms (kinda like the original “weird virus” didn’t make sense either).

And this time she was sick for a whopping 14 days in a row! So her issue was getting WORSE, not better.


And just because it is necessary context, I’ll interrupt here with some background info you need to know.

My daughter was also previously a very successful athlete. She started gymnastics at 2 years old, and she started soccer at 3 years old. The last full year before Covid, she was on the #1 ranked competitive soccer team in our State for her age group. She was physically-active on a competitive level every single day of her life. Covid didn’t slow that down very much, because we live in a State that didn’t experience the strict lockdowns and her coaches were strict about the team’s performance.

But she started having serious pain in her feet in January 2021, which was being aggravated by the wear-and-tear of the competitive sports. By June last year, the pain in her feet was intolerable and she had to quit both gymnastics and soccer, per doctor’s orders. She’s been seeing a specialist for this as well, and they’ve found that she has an extra bone in both feet which is crowding out everything as it grows. It’s called the “accessory navicular” and they’ve tried everything to reduce the pain but at this point, there’s nothing left to try except surgical removal of the extra bone.

THEN, she started getting these dizzy-spells in August and we put all her foot-issue-stuff on hold.


So we finally made it to her cardiologist appointment and here’s where we started to get some answers. He seemed pretty confident about this, and, his theory is also making alot of sense. He thinks she has a type of Dysautonomia, which is an issue with the autonomous nervous system and it’s affecting her blood pressure from being regulated correctly, especially when sitting-up or standing. It’s really scary to look-up online, so I don’t recommend it. But this doctor is doing a good job at keeping us pretty calm about it.

He thinks it’s been triggered by her sudden de-conditioning when she quit all her sports. And his treatment plan is to get her doing high-intensity exercise everyday again. She can’t physically do that right now with the pain in her feet, so we’ve resumed proceeding with her foot-surgery to get her up and running again. And, her first surgery is on Wednesday next week! They have to do one foot at a time unfortunately, to keep her out of a wheelchair during rehabilitation.

In the meantime, her cardiologist has her on some medication to help regulate her blood pressure until she can exercise again. But once she’s 100% active again, she should be able to stop the medication, which makes me really happy. I’m definitely adverse to her being on meds for the rest of her life, if we can prevent it.

So that’s the situation we’re in right now. I’m nervous about the surgery, but I see it as the light at the end of the tunnel. And I hope it does fix her pain in her feet!

How Old Do I Feel?

Happy Friday everyone! This post was inspired by a tag on How Old Do I Feel? by Bill at the blog A Silly Place. Thanks for the tag Bill! 🙂

Image Source: Link Here

I found the image above when I did a Google Search and I think it describes how I feel quite well!

I think Covid had the biggest impact on how old I feel. I am currently 43 years old (eeek!), but until the pandemic changed my lifestyle I didn’t feel my age at all. So I do believe that a person’s lifestyle has a huge impact on how they feel.

For example, prior to Covid, I was extremely active – always had events to attend for myself, friends to socialize with, events to attend for my daughter, always going to the office, commuting, and interacting with coworkers. Overall, just very busy and social. Rarely any downtime at all. I never thought of my age very much then, nor the fact that I was getting older. My recollection of these times is that I felt energetic enough to handle everything and I probably felt young enough to handle it all quite well.

But the pandemic pretty much ended all of that for me.

And with the fact that I suddenly had nowhere to go, nor people to hang out with, I had become very sedentary in my life. As sedentary as possible, actually. This new sedentary lifestyle had many negative effects on my life: I am now more tired, less energetic, more depressed, and even though my diet hadn’t changed at all, it was impacting my body differently than it did before and I’ve found myself gaining 20 pounds in 2 years.

On top of all that, I’m now experiencing pain that I never did before. I have a chronic pain in the back of my head that is omni-present now, the only variable is how severe it is. It is very distracting and contributes to me being more tired, depressed, and less active. I also have an omni-present pain in my hips now that I didn’t have before. It’s most painful when I’m finally getting-up from my normal seated position during the day, or from laying down.

So honestly, now I feel like I’m in my 70s+ due to my inactivity, chronic pain, and depressed state of mind.

I know that to turn this all around, I would need to counter-act everything and become more active and introduce constant exercise in my life. This is in the forefront of my mind everyday now, but I do get easily discouraged from it due to all my new pain sources that I never had before.

So, I know that I need to change the trajectory that I am currently on. But it’s much easier to say than to do…

How about you all? How old do you feel?