My Osteoarthritis (Blog 4)

At the age of 5, I was hit by a car outside my home in Kaneohe Hawaii.  At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with trauma induced osteoarthritis and was told that by age 25 I would have to fuse the foot.  I pushed through (I am now 49) without having to do the fusion, by staying fit (somewhat) and semi regular chiropractic adjustments.

Cliff Notes on this story:

The accident happened while playing “chase master” (tag) with my friends, and I did not want to be “it”.  I ran into the road without looking both ways.  The car hit me head on and knocked me down, all I can remember is the silver chrome front fender.   My right foot was stuck under the tire as they slammed on the breaks, dragging my foot between the street and tire for about 10 feet. This left nothing but an attached achilles tendon, broken bones and severed tendons… My neighbor (Uncle Mike) ran outside and was able to perform CPR which started my heart back up and kept me going untll the ambulance came.  I am forever grateful for him saving my life.

My parents were sailing in between islands and unable to be in the hospital for the initial surgery.  They had to be called on a CB radio to give permission to operate, and it was crucial that the surgery was done quickly after the accident.  I must also add that the accident was a hit and run, although the driver eventually stopped a block away.  I was in the hospital for 3 months as they rebuilt my foot/ankle and taught me how to walk again.

I have been living with chronic pain for many years now.  This year as I am facing my 50th birthday, I am lucky to have the option to be pain free and have mobility once again.  I have dragged this foot along with me for 44 years and am thankful for what I have been able to do. I have the option now to get a new life by getting a new foot and I am going for it. One that will take away the pain (minus the ghost pain), enable me to walk where and how long I want to and even run.  I am looking forward to even the smallest things, like to be able to walk or maneuver around the house for menial chores without having to be drugged up at night to ease the pain that walking has caused.


I have done a lot of travelling and never complained.  This winter I will undergo a very serious but necessary surgery.  Below the knee amputation. It will not be easy.  It will be a long and hard recovery. There are chances of complications.  But… I am ready.  I have and am doing everything I can to get my body and mind ready for this adventure.

  • Working with a trainer to work specific muscles and body movements that will be required in my future.
  • Attending acupuncture appointments to keep body energy flowing.
  • Working with a Holistic Nutritionist (Jessie Deek RHN) to get in a healthy eating routine.
  • Working with a Naturopath (Dr. Guy) to ensure my body is naturally firing on all 4 cylinders before and after the surgery, including Vitamin IV treatments.
  • Working with a Life Coach (Catherine Hull) to ensure I have goals and plans to look forward to especially during the hard times.
  • Chosen the best Orthopedic surgeon in Canada 🙂 (Dr. Lalonde), head of the orthopedic department at the Ottawa General Hospital.
  • Met with Rehab specialist (Dr. Dudek) to ensure my body is a good candidate for the surgery and the prosthetic foot to come, and to let her know my goals so that she can plan the approperite rehabilitation physio program after the surgery and wound healing.
  • Reading and researching along with looking at the Pros and Cons.  My favourite blog to date is “Life Beyond 4 Limbs“.  Amazing story and attitude of the author.

So my story now restarts HERE!

What is Normal? (Blog 3)

I always felt I had to prove myself to everyone so I would be “normal”.  At age 7 and in a school with about…. 2 white people (yes I stood out for more than my skin color)  I limped and was teased on a regular basis.  I was not given the freedom to skip or play hop scotch without someone teasing me.  Ok, some of you may be laughing and say, “oh come on, suck it up that isn’t that bad”.  But for a kid who just wanted to fit in, it sucked.  Even my maiden name was the butt of peoples jokes (Losey: lousy, loosy, lazy).
(disclaimer… I know there are worse, much worse life stories out there, please, no disrespect meant.  I am just sharing my story)

I remember in grade 6 my teacher gave me permission to do a double hop instead of a skip in a school event, many kids were laughing and pointing. They never let me forget that I wasn’t “normal”.  I missed a year of school because of the accident which made me uncomfortable sitting in class and not understanding what was going on.  I stood out too much at this point, last thing I wanted to do was raise my hand to ask a question.

I look at the path I took sence the car accident.  I chose to skip school, and to be a pain in the ass to all authority.   I let the bullies tell me what to do, thinking that would help me fit in.  Did that make them like me?… no.  Grade 7 and 8 were no pic-nic either.  During those two years I took the city bus to school that said “around the island”… I often chose around the island instead of school, and instead of being teased.  I just realized I was like Rudolf, the kids wouldn’t let me play in their reindeer games.   haha.

As a kid, I could have brushed it off and went about my own business and just chose to be myself.  And be happy with my “limitations”.  But I chose the hard path, I was always trying to fit in and be normal.  I wasn’t normal.  I was Joan.  I am ok with my past.  It just took me a little longer to find out that I was special.  We are all special in our own ways.

Now High School was a different story.  I went to Kalaheo High School, which was in a whole different district from where I grew up.  No one knew me… I was able to “start over”.  I was just Joan, the new kid (or Joanzie, which was the nickname given to me 2nd year of H.S.).  In H.S. I began to discover my independence and gained some freedom from my past.  I also discovered that being “not normal” was a strength.  It helped me to stand out (which isn’t always what you want when trying to hide from the teachers).

Now here I sit.  I left the islands at age 20, married at 22, first kid at 23.  I am now 49 with 3 kids and a wonderful husband of 28 years.  Shit happens when you begin to find your strengths and let go of your weaknesses.  “Let that Shit Go”

Now to just find my way back to the islands.  This Winter thing sucks!

Growing up in Hawaii (Blog 2)

No rules.

No shoes.

No worries.

At least that is what I believed till I left the islands.  Sure there were hard times… like when Da Bus broke down on the North shore and we were sandy and salty and needed to get home to shower.  Or, when after the 1st month of grade 7 I realized I had shoes that I left in my class on day 1.  Or having to decide every day to get off the bus for school or go surfing, when the title of the bus said “Around the Island”…

Yes I missed a lot of school.  And yes i regret that.  But that is the only regret I have… Well also toilet papering my high school after the dance, that wasn’t bright.  Or sneaking into the ice machines to “borrow” large blocks of ice, to go ice blocking (down hill sliding, Hawaii style) at the golf course at 1:00 a.m. in the morning.

I did have a great childhood.  Grew up as a KYC brat (kid member at the Kaneohe Yacht Club).  Sailed to outer islands about once a year.  We took the boat for family camping at the sandbar in the middle of the bay for special holidays.   Riding my bike to the bowling alley with quarters in my pocket to play Pacman and Donkey Kong.

More to come, just trying to get my ideas here for now.

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“What more do you want to hear about?”

Hello world! (Blog 1)

Welcome to my Blog!

I have been designing custom fit Bikinis for over 18 years now.
That is what I do, but not who I am…  Which is why I am starting my blog.  Time to get back to who I am.

A BIG event is going to happen this year for me.  At the end of February I will be undergoing surgery to “rectify” a problem I have had with my foot for over 45 years now.  More to come on that.  But that means I will not be a able to work for a good 3 months and wondering if I want to go back to the grind stone of running my business.

I am also turning 50 in April and need to find another adventure to spend my time on. So here I blog.

Time is too short, there are mountains to climb, countries to visit, family to visit, restaurants to try, pigs to pet 🙂