Our Frugal Summer Beach Trip (and What We Foraged) and an Update on My Arm

My daughter, Rose, enjoying herself at the beach
I'm sorry I didn't post recently, or update on what's going on in my life...

From this past Monday until yesterday, Sunday, my family and I went on a trip to a beach town, a (long) bus ride away from where we lived. It is an annual tradition by now, and we've figured out how to do it frugally.

We stay at an apartment belonging to a relative and within a few minute's walk from the beach, and try to hit up the beach as often as we can- frugal entertainment at its finest.

In addition to the beach, we try to take the kids to the splash pad, also a short walk away from where we stay, not to mention free and fun.

While I had to run an errand one day, my husband took the kids to Ikea, where they window shopped, and he bought them super cheap ice cream.

We looked at the city's municipality's website and heard about a free clown festival happening one of the evenings we were there, so we took our kids and got to enjoy so many different performances, all sorts of different clowns, some jugglers, some mimes, some tightrope walkers, and some comedians. The kids and I all enjoyed ourselves. Even better was the fact that a good friend was vacationing in the same place and we got our families together at the clown festival, in addition to my getting together with her another evening.

I also enjoyed a walk on the beach and the promenade with yet another friend in the area- along the walk we foraged some plants together, and identified some others.

Lots of amaranth growing all around.

We nibbled on the salty anise flavored samphire growing in large patches.

We just looked at but didn't pick these hibiscus...

The ice plants, whose fruit are called hottentot figs, weren't currently fruiting, so nothing to forage there...

We picked a few lantana berries- only ripe- the rest are poisonous....

We had a hard time finding fully ripe large num nums, but the few that we found, we ate hungrily (my kids devoured whatever they could find, but understood that they could only eat the fully ripe ones)...

The yucca plants weren't at the stage where you could do any foraging- the edible flowers come out earlier in the summer...

We nibbled on some asiatic dayflower leaves and stems...

And we saw and foraged a large amount of purslane- and even brought some home with us yesterday.

In addition to what we foraged, we still needed to buy groceries. Fortunately we have been coming here so often that I've got the shopping part down pat- I know where the nearest frugal grocery store is, and how to get there by bus. I discovered another frugal grocery store right near the first, and hit up the sales in each place to keep down costs. Because I knew I wouldn't be able to buy gluten free bread cheaply while there, I stocked up at a local cheap store, and brought them with us on the trip.
We didn't eat out at all while away, and for treats used things I bought from the cheap grocery store instead of at the outrageously overpriced corner grocery store that gouges the tourists that come...

And now we're home, and the kids and Mike and I all had a great time, and frugally! Sorry no more beach pics- we were too busy having fun to snap photos!

As for my arm... no, it's still not better. I don't know yet what the story with it is though. Nearly two weeks ago Wednesday, the urgent care place put my arm in a cast after I fell and hit my elbow really hard, but said they couldn't see a fracture, but it might take a few days to show up, and get a repeat x ray with an orthopedist in a few days. On Sunday I went to an orthopedist who was horrible, dismissive, didn't pay attention, refused to listen to me and refused to do anything to follow up, refused to give referral for x rays (when I told him what urgent care said, he said "I'm the expert here, they're not", just took off the cast, said to take pain killers (I already was taking strong ones), and move it as much as I could without pain (I couldn't). It was so bad, I left there crying and in such pain. My mom, who is a physical therapist plus does some more alternative muscle related therapies, not sure exactly what each one's name is, came to my house and treated me, and after her care, I was marginally better- able to move slightly more than I was beforehand. And she showed me how to protect my arm- we used padding that I had in my house left from reupholstering my dining room chairs together with the thin ace bandage the orthopedist put on, and it gave me a little more stability and protection (anything that touches my elbow really hurts, especially kids banging into it and grabbing onto me)...

Over this past week, my arm has had improvement in some areas, not in others. At first when I would move my arm and use it (not even the elbow, just the upper arm), after a little bit of moving it, my arm would ache so bad that I couldn't move it for the rest of the day. Gradually that has gotten better, and as long as I don't do anything intense, I can move my arm (though the muscles in my upper arm are still quite sore).
My elbow though is exactly the same. I have the same exact range of movement that I had 8 days ago when the orthopedist took off my cast. Bending my arm to anything less than 75 degrees leaves me in such searing pain that I scream. Making pony tails in my hair is pretty impossible for me. Putting on a backpack and accidentally doing something makes me cry from pain. This morning I woke up in searing pain because I accidentally bent my elbow in my sleep. And some movements, even if not bending the elbow that much, also really hurt me a lot. Grabbing something with a firm grip with my left hand is also really painful.
In short, it's bad enough and for long enough and not seeing improvement in my elbow that I refuse to take what the orthopedist said as a final word, because it's not normal that there isn't more improvement by now.
I went to my general practitioner today who completely agreed with me that the orthopedist was horrible and less than useless, and said it definitely sounds like it could be broken based on my current symptoms, previous symptoms, and how I hurt myself. He gave me a referral to a follow up x ray, plus an ultrasound of my elbow joint (something else I'd asked the orthopedist for, but he refused), so tomorrow I'm getting the x ray and Thursday I have an appointment for the joint ultrasound, and hopefully I'll get some answers then. He also was going to give me a referral to a physical therapist, but I told him that isn't necessary because my mom treats me...

It is really, really hard to not have full use of my arms.
But at least I'm able to type normally again...

So that's what's going on with me.

Are you doing anything fun this summer? What are you doing to have fun frugally?
Ever have a similar experience with an injury? What did the follow up examinations uncover, and what was the treatment like?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Glad you could enjoy your vacation in spite of the pain. I can't imagine why the doctor would treat you so shabbily. Hope you get it figured out soon.

  2. The vacation sounds lovely, the orthopedist sounds negligent. I'm glad you're listening to your body - still not having range of motion and such extreme pain after over a week has passed is a good sign all is not well with your arm. I hope the next doctor gives you more respect and attention and they're able to figure out what's going on.

  3. You can lodge a complaint against the orthopedist. Won't help your elbow, but might help others in the future

  4. healing thoughts & prayers going your way all the best

  5. defenitely file a complaint against the orthopedist. horrible what he did. hope you will feel better soon! rochel.

  6. If it's broken, that's 6 weeks where you really shouldn't' be moving it much. Hubby hairline fractured his and the pain level is no where near yours. I hope your doctor visits prove useful. Get well soon.

  7. What an awful doctor! I wonder why such a person chose a career where his job is supposed to be helping people. I'm glad you're not just taking his word for it.

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