The Circle of Life

It’s been an odd day.

It began when I went to my post op appointment following surgery last Thursday for plantar’s fasciitis.

Plantar’s fasciitis, as I understand it, is where the fascia (a band of fibers extending from your heel to your toes) becomes inflamed. Most people just experience heel pain. For me it extended throughout the bottoms of both feet. It burned and felt like pin pricks at the same time. It was miserable.

I’d been treating it with periodic cortisone shots and was at the doctor’s office a couple of weeks ago to get more shots. He mentioned “At some point you may want to consider surgery.”

I asked for more details. When I heard them I figured “Why not just do it now and avoid issues – and shots- later?” I have plans to travel a lot and a bout of plantar’s fasciitis can ruin you for walking. Or standing. It was always worse for me simply standing still.

This was my first “real” surgery – colonoscopies and oral surgery were all I had experienced. I’d never had general anesthesia before.

The surgery sounded quite simple. They go in arthroscopically, snip the fibers and if I do the aftercare well (don’t exceed more than 20 minutes on my feet for 6 weeks) there is a good chance plantar’s fasciitis will be cured.

The surgery went well. The whole thing was almost a pleasant experience. The people in the outpatient surgery center of our local hospital (Iredell Memorial) were all kind and knew what they were doing. My sister Deryn got to sit with me when they prepped me for surgery and I waited to go into the operating room. The atmosphere was relaxing – and I had had no drugs or coffee!

Because yeah – I’ll have them take pictures when I am prepped for surgery. I found the “Fall Risk” funny. I need one of those when I’m off the table!

They put the “memory block” drugs in the IV and I was soon out. I have no memory of being wheeled into surgery. Who knows who was in that room and what exactly went on? They should give you a video later. I’d like to see it.

Supposedly it only takes about six minutes per foot.

The nurse in recovery said I didn’t want to wake up. I suspect this had less to do with the anesthesia than my ability to nap in any situation – and never for a short period of time. I’m a very deep sleeper and it was good sleep.

But awake I did (with prompting) and they even brought me coffee even though it wasn’t on the menu. Good coffee. I dressed and was wheeled out to where my sister drove up to pick me up. I could walk fine. Well, other than the bandages and the boots. I was rather awkward.

There has been almost no pain. That shocked me. Aren’t you supposed to have some after surgery? The doctor told me this morning others have told him the same.

It did hurt a bit as bandages were removed. A bandaid was applied, and I was allowed to put on my regular shoes. I began to walk on it. Flip flops weren’t the best post op shoes, just so you know, even though my doctor admitted my flip flops were better than most. I did a shoe switch later and it was much better.

My weekend footwear. And I got to keep the boots and the ACE bandages.

As soon as I got home (thanks to my friend Jan who drove me), I got my first opportunity to test things out. I drove to my aunt’s funeral. Does driving count in my 20 minutes? I am saying no. I’ll try to remember to ask at my next visit.

Funerals are weird. Such a contrast of the sad and happy. Our circle gets smaller and there is a definite feeling of loss of the collective. The comfort of these people who you go through life with is powerful. My dad was one of 10 kids. We’ve attended too many funerals already.

At a funeral several years ago I hugged my cousin who had lost his parent amd he said “it’s the circle of life.” For some reason that resonated. It made it easier. I haven’t quite figured out why it comforts me so much. Probably because I am a believer in providence and God’s sense of order. Even if it seems like disorder from our perspective.

Looking at the video they made with amazing pictures of my aunt’s life was inspiring. Seeing pictures of her as a girl. My grandparents when they were young. Seeing my Aunt Kate with the love of her life, my Uncle Neal, and somehow believing they are now together. It brings peace.

My family is not perfect. I point that out every time I mention them because sometimes people forget your family doesn’t have to be perfect for you to love them dearly. They aren’t going to be. Love them anyway. That’s not to say to cozy up to family members who have been abusers or who wish harm for others. It’s best to avoid those.

Still, how fortunate I am to be able to go through life with this bunch. As a whole, we are loud and opinionated and sometimes drive each other crazy. We are stubborn. We know the value of a dollar and hard work. We laugh, sometimes (often?) inappropriately.

We also love big. Not demonstratively, for the most part. But I look at these people and I feel stronger. I feel happier. I feel more at peace. Having a bunch of McKinneys in your corner is a very good thing.

I probably was on my feet too much today, but not enough for me. I left before I wanted to. It was time to be a better patient, but I wanted to spend more time with my people.

There’s birth and death and that time in between. Why do we often not cherish that in-between time enough? Love your people when you have the chance and get over the petty.

And take care of your body. I never thought I would have surgery without being forced, but when something can make your life significantly better you rethink that stance. I want to live life fully and need to be in my best health to live my best life. Go to the doctor. Go to several if necessary. Do the hard stuff that will make you healthier. Don’t give up without a fight.

When it gets down to it, your tiny decisions make big differences in the life you live. Life is long until it becomes short. Sometimes with no warning. Hedge your bets and celebrate it every day.


  1. Happy to hear your surgery went well and that healing is going good.

    I understand what you mean about being with your people. I miss my dad and siblings so much. They live far from me. Being with family is something I miss. We were together for a month when my momma went into the hospital and after. (Get to see some of them next week though.)

    I love what you said about not perfect. There’s definitely a grace in accepting people however they are.

    Happy Birthday, late. Did your gift make it? Originally (though I didn’t know it was almost your birthday) it was supposed to make it there the day before…

    I agree about taking care of ourselves. Good point. 🙂 Hope you have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yayyyyy!!! I’m happy they made it!!
        I knew you liked hot air balloons. I didn’t know about glitter and shine!! Isn’t old jewelry the greatest?? Pieces of sparkle all mixed together. I got 5 new (old) necklaces today. Excited to make something.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have two bracelets made out of antique buttons. I had one, and it was my favorite, and ended up happening upon a shop that carried the same designer that was going out of business, so got another one. I’ve had them forever. I need to find them. I don’t wear bracelets too much, but they would be cute for fall.

        Liked by 1 person

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