Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why hello there, shoulder

Hello, friends! The good news is that my main reason for starting this blog, my journey with my ankle surgeries, has largely come to a resolution at least on the medical side. My flexibility has returned, and I am slowly continuing to build up strength.

On the other hand, I have still been struggling with constant migraines. In late September, however, I was finally able to pinpoint with what I felt was a fair amount of accuracy the cause. Following this summer's excitement with a round of vertigo, I had a follow-up appointment with an ENT specialist.

I went into her office and was blown away by how thorough and holistic this doctor's approach was. Although my ear, nose, and throat checked out fine, she put her hands on my neck and shoulders and said, almost casually, "Say, you've never had any trauma to your left shoulder or neck, have you?" Because you've got a tremendous amount of tension here and that might be what is causing these constant migraines."

Those of you readers who don't know me in real life might not be aware, but I have had chronic pain in my left shoulder since 2008 when I slipped on some ice in my parents' driveway and fell onto my back. It took us nearly 4 years to figure out that when I fell I had detached the muscles along my scapula, and in 2012 I flew down to the Shoulder Center at the Lexington Clinic in Kentucky where I had surgery to reattach those muscles. As far as I am aware, these guys are still the only ones actually doing the procedure.

Here's what it looks like:

This surgery took me from missing a year of grad school and a 6-8/10 on a pain scale to a 2-5/10. It literally gave me my entire life back and made my shoulder something I barely noticed, to the point that when the migraines started up again in January, it wasn't until that ENT doctor mentioned my shoulder that it all clicked into place. 

Of course it is my stupid shoulder. On one hand, thank goodness I'm not adding another weird medical thing to my list of weird medical things. But, I'm really not thrilled that after all this time this stupid thing is still an issue. I made an appointment with my neurologist. When I got in to see (not the neuro, but one of his PA's) I explained what I had discovered to date, then said that I was interested in exploring physical therapy as an option. She said "I'd like to see you back in three months, and let's explore physical therapy then. First, I want you to try taking this additional prescription which is good for tension-type headaches." 

So, I walked out of that office and called my primary care physician, got in to see her PA the next day, and got them to write me a script for physical therapy. Low and behold, my near-daily migraines cut down to weekly.

And, when I got into a minor car accident that gave me whiplash in my left neck and shoulder (of course)? They jumped right back up to daily migraines. 

The good news is I have another appointment with the neurologists the second week of January. I'm going to take all of this information in with me, and if they don't listen, time for a new neurologist. Again. But, all of this is about being your own best advocate. And the best news is that I have an amazing physical therapist who is a dream to work with, and has really been a great part of my care team, through both my ankle and my migraine journey.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Modified Brostrom - See Ya Later, Alligator

Two weeks ago, I had my four-month follow-up appointment with my ankle surgeon after my third surgery on the left ankle.


I am completely released from my ankle surgeon's care.

We're DONE!!!

Granted, the ankle is still a thing, and it'll never be 100%. Case in point, that following Saturday I went to a wedding and danced like an idiot, then this weekend had a big event at work and so now it is a little grumpy, but nothing some ice, aleve, and my wrap brace can't handle.

But I can't tell you how relieved I am after four years and three surgeries to finally be done with this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Today was my six-week follow-up appointment after getting the stitches out after my Modified Brostrom surgery. The appointment itself was a pretty quick, he checked the flexibility of my ankle (a little stiff) and we discussed the knee swelling (shouldn't be an issue now that I'm out of the boot) and the game plan for the next six weeks. Here's how it looks:

  • Heavy-duty brace (seen in photo) all the time for the next four weeks
  • After the first four weeks, transition out of the brace, the wear it when on grass and rough terrain for the foreseeable future
  • Physical therapy on my own, unless I feel like I'm not improving
I've been in physical therapy more often than not over the last four years, and "you know the drill at this point. No point in wasting your money on co-pays when they're not going to tell you anything you don't know, and I don't see the need for any physical manipulation at this point." His recommendations were using a theraband to do 12/6s, 9/3s (although not pushing the 9:00 side, as that's where the repair is), as well as doing calf raises, towel toe scrunches, and building up from there. All the stuff I'm used to doing. I will keep you updated!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Keep On Keeping On

Hello Friends,

I'm sorry I haven't given much of an update but at this point, there hasn't really been a whole lot to report. The last month has been one of the more difficult ones I've dealt with in awhile. While I'm still dealing with the headaches and migraines, the most difficult part has been coming to terms with the fact that my family lost my beautiful, vibrant cousin Sarah in a car accident earlier this month. Needless to say, it has not been an easy few weeks, and traveling out to Oregon in a walking boot while using a cane was a bit of an adventure, but it was good to get to spend some time with my family, even if it was for a very sad reason.

On the ankle front, things feel like they're stuck in a holding pattern. I don't have my follow up with the ankle surgeon until the 5th, so at this point am just sort of waiting, clomping around in the walking boot until that point. Hopefully, when I do go back in, I'll be able to gradually start weaning out of the boot, as well as being able to get into physical therapy. I'm pretty frustrated that I haven't been allowed to start that at all this time around, but I understand the need for patience. Sort of.

Over the last week, one of the problems I have encountered as a result of using the walking boot has been swelling and pain in my left knee, the same side as the boot. I know what this is, as it is the same problem I had while using the boot after the first surgery. It is a result of an uneven gait for too long, so I've started using a cane again. It is 100% the last thing I want to do, but it really does help. One recommendation? Be careful how many waterfalls you agree to hike up. Granted, I only went two viewing points above the bridge, but it definitely left me hurting a bit this week. Hard to resist the view, though.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Modified Brostrom Surgery - Return of the Frenemy

I apologize for being a bit slow to update you with my progress following this latest surgery. Unfortunately, I'm still battling this darn migraine on top of the ankle, so  I've been limiting my time on the computer, which seems to aggravate everything. Sorry, but thanks for sticking with me!

On the plus side, the ankle recovery seems to be going smoothly. The first few days immediately post-op were a little rough. I was a little surprised by the initial pain levels, but that was purely my own fault for expecting this to be more in line with the hardware removal, rather than an actual surgical procedure. Silly Jenna. Added to that my stomach's usual disagreement with pain medications and it was a slow start, but once we got a prescription filled to help that out everything settled down quickly.

I spent a very long two weeks and two days stuck on our couch, keeping my ankle elevated and being entertained by the kitty cats. I did a full read-through of my favorite book series (Percy Jackson), watched a few movies, had some great friends stop by and say hello, and took a lot of naps. I'm not a good sit and wait person, so honestly I'm so glad to be back at work and back in the swing of things.

Last Wednesday, I had my first post-surgical follow-up appointment. I didn't see the surgeon himself but saw his PA who I've seen before and like quite a bit. I also met with a student that studying with them for the year, and a nurse who was there to remove my stitches.

After the stitches were out, the student physician and the PA took a look over everything. They were quite happy with the lack of swelling and redness around my incision, but apparently during the surgery, both the anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ligaments were exceptionally thin. Although they were still able to do the surgery as planned, that did change their post-op a bit. Initially, they thought I'd be in the boot for 2-4 weeks after the splint/cast, but now I get a full six weeks at least. Woohoo.

I'm a little frustrated by that, but after three separate surgeries on this ankle, I'm trying to remind myself that it is better to move slowly and do this correctly than to rush this and risk injuring everything all over again. I'm bummed I won't even be able to touch physical therapy until July, but I guess this is a good opportunity to practice being patient.

Initially, when the student physician came in and talked to me, he said that a lot of people who have had this procedure go into a half boot at this stage, rather than the full walking boot. But upon looking at my surgical notes and the thinness of the ligaments, plus hearing the demands of my job (outdoor historic site, chasing after 4th graders, giving walking tours that cover uneven grounds) they put me back into my old friend/enemy/frenemy, the walking boot. Check out my first, painful little baby steps below. By day two back in the boot my calf had stretched back out enough that I was walking comfortably again, but that first day or so was not super comfortable.

The next morning following my appointment was my first day back to work. And of course, it was an insane chaotic day where we had one 4th grader pass out from heat stroke (because why wouldn't it be 90 degrees in May) and had to deal with a volunteer being exceptionally rude to my new intern (wheeeee), plus just the general chaos that comes with trying to shepherd 75 ten-year-olds around a historic site. According to my Jawbone Up Move activity tracker, I went from taking about 300 steps on Wednesday to taking almost 4,000 on Thursday and 5,200 on Friday.

So, from here, it is really just trying to be patient with myself, not pushing too hard at work, and doing what I can to keep the rest of my body healthy while I wait until July 5th, which is my next appointment. My stamina levels are slowly returning, so after another few days of work I'm going to try heading back to the gym and will start doing some upper body weights. Gotta start somewhere!

This post contains Amazon Associate links. If you purchase any of the items found in these links, there is no additional cost to you, but it does provide a small source of income for me that helps fund my reading and Disney habits!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bathing with a Leg Cast


One of my dear friends (and I know occasional readers, hello Debbie!) has also dealt with some unfortunate ankle issues, and the other day asked me about the realities of keeping my cast dry while bathing. I was more than happy to answer her, but if she has questions maybe some of you do as well so today I thought we'd get up close and personal. Obviously everyone's experiences are going to be a little different, and as always I am not a healthcare professional, but here is my reality of bathing with a cast after three ankle surgeries.

Supply list:
Dry shampoo
Cleansing wipes
Cast protector
Shower bench
Handheld shower head
Relaxing bubble scent of choice
An extra towel, hand towel sized
Whatever other regular bathing supplies you use (my favorite shampoo & conditioner, FYI)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hello from the other side

I won't write much now as I'm on some pretty serious pain meds and quite exhausted to boot, but today's surgery was very successful. The ligament was very thin, but the doctor was pleasantly surprised by how little scar tissue was in the area. Just goes to show why sticking with a PT who does a lot of hands-on manipulation is a good thing!

Friday, April 29, 2016

April 2016 Stitch Fix

Alice Blue Simona Henley Blouse
In light of scheduling my third (and please, final) ankle surgery, I decided to sign up for my first Stitch Fix. I'd actually registered for an account like two years ago, but had never pulled the trigger, but really needed an emotional boost and hoped that some cute new clothes would help.

Here's how Stitch Fix works. At its most basic, you pay a $20 styling fee, get matched with a stylist, let them know your style, and they send you five pieces whenever you request a fix based on your profile. If you buy any of those pieces, your styling fee gets refunded. Pretty simple, right?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Modified Brostrom Ankle Surgery

I got the paperwork for my pre-operative physical, and I now officially know that the name of my surgery next month is a Modified Brostrom surgery. I tried very hard to find all of you some nice anatomical photos so you could see what exactly the surgery is but to no avail. This is the best one I could find.

Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery

As you can see there are different versions of the actual repair itself. I'm not 100% positive which version we will be doing. I will be calling the surgical center tomorrow to try to schedule a time to chat with the anesthesiologist about my migraines, and I will also be asking them for a few more details about this. My surgeon did say he would be borrowing tissue from a neighboring ligament, so perhaps it will be a graft?

In the meantime, I did find a very interesting slide presentation about the Modified Brostrom procedure. If you're not okay with seeing surgical photographs, even fairly mild ones which I would say these are, this link is not for you. But, if that doesn't bother you, it is pretty interesting to see at least one version of this surgery.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Chronic Ankle Sprain Surgical Repair

Well, there went my New Year's Resolution. I bet you didn't make it nearly this far with yours, did you! My resolution for 2016 was to make it through the year without any major surgeries, but alas it appears that I will not make it. On Monday, May 9, I will be having a "modified brostrum" surgery to reinforce the anterior talofibular ligament on the left ankle.

The good news here, because this is actually good news, is that the diagnosis is a lot less severe than we thought. Officially, a chronic sprain requiring surgical intervention. Rather surprisingly, the MRI showed no major tears in the ligament, which is really great. So, rather than having to do a major repair, we are reinforcing the anterior talofibular ligament using local tissue, going in through the same incision we used during the December 2014 All-American Surgery. He'll also clean out any scar tissue that is certainly not helping with the inflammation that has been building up in there.

I will be in a cast for about two weeks, in a walking boot for 2-4 weeks, and will get to head into physical therapy at 8 weeks post-op. The trick, of course, is that we aren't really sure right now on how quickly I'll be able to return to work. Hopefully no more than two weeks out, but my job in the summer requires a lot of mobility so I will just have to be careful with that.

The one downside, but honestly the thing that was no different before this whole chronic sprain, was that my ankle function will never be 100%. With this procedure, we're hoping to get it up to 75-90% functionality. He did say the two things we'll need to watch out for will be any future injuries (so we'll invest in a bubble, maybe?) and arthritis, but that is a bridge that we will cross when we get to it. As my mom said, time to get on taking those omega-3 supplements. I wonder if they make a chewable version...

There are, of course, a couple of upsides. One, we now live in a house instead of on the top floor of a three-story apartment. Huzzah for not having to climb three flights of stairs! Two, I get to pull my old peg-leg buddy the iWalk 2.0 back out of the basement and make small children think I am missing a limb! Three, I am an old hat at outpatient surgeries at this point, so I am really not too stressed at this point. not to say that I won't be stressed right before, but it won't be three weeks of stress, just a few days.

I'll try to post a couple of times about my process for getting ready for surgeries, which hopefully some of you find helpful! Plus, some post-surgical downtime on the couch should give me a chance to catch up on the rest of my Disney trip reviews!

Monday, April 11, 2016

MRI Follow-Up & My Pre-Surgical Questions

Well gang, we'll see what tomorrow brings. Two weeks ago I had (another) MRI of the left ankle, and tomorrow afternoon is my follow-up appointment with the ankle doc. In our last appointment, he was fairly certain I had a tear in my anterior talofibular ligament. At this point, it is really a question of to what degree. I've pretty much resigned myself to this being a surgical fix, which means that if tomorrow he says it isn't, I will be very pleasantly surprised.

Before any big doctor's appointment, it is a good idea to come up with a list of questions to ask your doctor to make sure that you have a good understanding of exactly what is going happen. If possible, it is also a great idea to bring along a buddy to your appointment. Tomorrow my hubby is actually coming with me. He wasn't able to come with me for the appointment before my last surgeries, but I had a dear friend who did, and she was a great advocate. Hubby will be perfect for this because while I get very emotional which sometimes makes it hard for me to listen, he is very analytical and can stay calm in stressful situations, which this will be for me.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ligaments & Bone Chips & Migraines, Oh My!

In my last post I apologized for not having written for awhile, and while I wish in this one I could give you some answers as to exactly why that is, unfortunately, I am still waiting on those myself. Life has sort of given me a one-two punch lately of both a significant return of my ankle problems with what is, to date, a 22-day long headache with no known trigger.

Monday, March 14, 2016


I just want to apologize for the lack of posting lately. I am unfortunately dealing with some major issues both with the ankle (will have more to report on the 22nd) as well as severe migraines (seeing a neurologist on the 2nd). I will work on some Disney related posts soon, but just wanted to let any readers know that I am still here and still plan to continue writing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Flame Tree BBQ Lunch Review

Oh, Animal Kingdom. I love you but you have a long way to go. I will be really interested to see what Avatar Land does. Hopefully brings more air conditioning. We managed to land at the park on a day when it was a balmy 95 degrees with a heat index that got up to 105.9 degrees. We wandered a bit trying to decide on our best lunch option and finally settled on Flame Tree Barbecue.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Decorating Our Disney Magic Bands

I have to be honest, I was a little anxious about decorating our MagicBands but I really wanted to give it a try. For our trip back in August, I ordered vinyl stickers from the company Magic Your Band, and while these worked alright, they weren't quite as durable as I liked. Plus, I like to pretend I'm crafty. I'm not really, I don't have the patience for it, but I think if I did have patience I could do well with lots of fun little crafts. My parents' MagicBands were delivered straight to their house, so I only had four out of six of our bands to play with.

Before starting with each band, I attached them to an empty soda bottle, as you'll see in some of the photos. First, I've got way too many of those lying around, and second, it allowed me to set them down easily without messing up one side. I heard many warnings about painting the bands while they were laid flat, so I wanted to make sure we could avoid that problem.

Band #1 - Toy Story
One of the movies I most associate with my little (6'2", 23-year-old) brother is Toy Story. He sort of came of age with those films and I know they mean a lot to him. For his band, which started orange, I went over it twice with a brown nail polish. FYI, solid brown, non-sparkly nail polish is very hard to find, at least where I'm at. It took one Target and three different CVS's before I finally found one I liked! Anyway, once I went over his enough you couldn't see the orange peeping through, I used a black sharpie to write Andy's name. My initial thought had been to smear and smudge it, ala Woody's boot after he has been well-loved, but it seemed to hold firm after I wrote it. Maybe if he wore it long enough :)

As you can see in the photo, I still had some cleaning up to do. I went back in with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol and wiped down the gray edges and managed to clean up most of the overreach from the brown polish.

Band #2 - Winnie the Pooh
I asked my brother what his girlfriend's favorite Disney character was, and he mentioned that she really likes Winnie the Pooh. This design was actually one that I had seen on Pinterest before and thought was really cute. Her band was originally red, so I had to go over it with several layers of yellow polish before I felt like it looked good. In future, I'll definitely plan out what designs I'm going to do in advance so I can better match colors. Once I'd done the yellow, I went over with a black pen and did Mickey's head and the bee bodies then finished off with a white pen.

Her design was the only one I had that wrapped all the way around the band, so I took a quick little video so you can see all of the different angles.

Band #3 - Star Wars
My husband is not big on overt display's of Disney, so I wanted to do something subtle for his. I found a beigy-gray polish in my reserves, went over the central circle a few times, then drew over it with my paint pen. I debated redoing this one with a darker gray color, but he immediately recognized it as the Death Star so I left it as is. This one was by far the simplest of the designs, but that was just the way he liked it. His, surprisingly enough, was actually the only one I heard any comments about

Band #4 - Kim Possible
Mine was by far the toughest, and in fact, I completely scrapped the whole thing at one point and started over. Growing up one of my favorite shows was Kim Possible, so, of course, my band needed to be the Kimmunicator. My band started green, and in the end, it took three coats of the teal to cover it completely. In my first design, I had the lighter mint color all the way around the "screen" area and actually laid that down as a layer before going over it with my black paint pen. The texture got really gummy and gross and resulted in my redo. The second time around I put down the black first, then put two strips of the mint using carefully applied tape as a guide. If you do use tape for straight lines, be very careful that everything is VERY dry or you'll make a huge mess. Voice of experience here.

After taking this photo I actually went in over theMickey head with yellow and green, trying to replicate the Kim Possible logo. It looked awful, and I went back over the whole thing again with black.

When I finally decided that my designs were good enough (after all, art is never finished, just abandoned) I sealed them with Modge Podge Arcylic Sealer. I chose the matte version, as I didn't want them to be too shiny. I sprayed the entire surface, including the gray outside part as I wasn't sure how to avoid that. All-in-all, it worked out very well. There was some slight cracking of the bands by the end of the trip, but really nothing that I felt disrupted how they looked.

I hope this helps anyone thinking about decorating their own bands. I would love to see pictures or details of how you personalized them!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Home Sweet Home

We've officially returned from our trip to Walt Disney World. I'm exhausted but happy and don't plan to tackle my suitcase for at least another two or three days. I'll get around to posting recaps and reviews (promise!) but I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite photos from our trip.

Day One - Magic Kingdom

Mmm...dole whip, and when its 55 degrees no line!
Best Day Ever!

Day Two - The Big Question & California Grill!
My brother and his now fiancee :)
The view from our dinner table at California Grill
Day Three - Dad's 60th Birthday
Dad opening his "1990's" era gift, one for each decade!

We got to meet Baymax. We fist bumped, because we're awesome.
Day Four - Hoggy Hoggy Hogwarts
Loved the Hogwarts Express "ride"

My amazing hubby who won all of the points after pushing me in a wheelchair the whole day
Day Five - Animal Kingdom
Absolutely fantastic ASL interpreters during the Finding Nemo musical

How my family spent most of its day: staring at the Tree of Life
Day Six - Star Wars Day (aka Hollywood Studios)
Tiny Jedi, one of whom had Rey hair. Squee!

AMAZING new fireworks, "Symphony in the Stars"
Day Seven - Back Home :(
Early morning in Epcot, one of my favorite times of day

Got actual kitty cat cuddles upon our return. A Disney miracle!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Disney: January 2016 Edition

We're heading back to Walt Disney World on Tuesday (eek!) and once again I did my best to put together fun outfits based off of some of my favorite characters for each of our days in the park. The weather, as is usual in Florida in January, is going to range quite a bit. With the exception of Tuesday we're looking at anywhere from low 60's to mid 70's for the high, and at night, it is getting down into the 40's.

Here's what I'm packing:
Tuesday: Travel & Magic Kingdom
My whole family all together in Walt Disney World? Talk about BEST DAY EVER! I absolutely adore this t-shirt, which I got from the Etsy shop Happily Ever Tees. The shirt itself is super comfortable, plus I think it is the perfect fit for our first day in the park. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Walt Disney World Boardwalk Inn & Resort Review

During our Walt Disney World trip in August 2015, we had the pleasure of staying at the Boardwalk Inn & Villas Resort. This was my first time staying there, and it was a big upgrade from Caribbean Beach. Not to knock the latter, it always served my family well, but you really can't beat the convenience of the Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk at large, which includes the resort as well as a number of restaurants, shops, kiosks, and  portrays the elegance and grandeur that combined with the carnival atmosphere to create the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the early 1900s. One thing that can be said about the Disney Boardwalk? It is absolutely beautiful. The main lobby is really stunning and is full of tons of intricate details. Some of my favorites were the working miniature carousel (ya'll know I love a good carousel), the hippocampus electrolier light fixture, and, of course, the creepy nanny chairs. As always with Disney, make sure you look up.

My husband and I took the Magic Express from the airport and got to the resort a little earlier than my in-laws (who were driving in). We went up and let them know we had arrived, and were told that our room wasn't quite ready yet. This was no problem, as our bags would be placed in our room once it was ready.

Since we were there and had some time to kill, I asked about linking our credit cards to our separate Magic Bands. There was a young gentleman on his second day at the job, and with some guidance from his mentor, we got everything all set up. We wandered around, browsed a bit in some of the shops, and nabbed my first Mickey Mouse Premium Bar of the trip.

We wandered down by the swimming pool, where I was very impressed to find a sign for the "New Balance Running Trail," an eighth-of-a-mile loop that takes you along the Boardwalk, past the Yacht & Beach Clubs. You could also increase the distance by crossing over to the Swan & Dolphin and head over towards Hollywood Studios. How cool is that?

For four people (two couples), we rented two rooms. My mother-in-law asked when she booked if we could get adjoining suites. They told her they would try but couldn't make any promises, but we ended up having adjacent rooms with the little door between. Also, check out the cute Ferris wheel themed carpet in the hallways. Super adorable, right?

The only blip in service that we had was with our luggage. My husband and I came in from the airport via Magic Express, and our bags were delivered to our room no problem. My in-laws drove in themselves, and my mother-in-law left her bags with the bellhop. It took a VERY long time for them to come up to the room, to the point where we were waiting around for them instead of going to the park. Eventually, she called down and they were brought right up, but it does knock the service rating down a bit. To correct it back a little, my husband was having some minor allergies to something in the air, and when the hotel's little gift shop didn't carry anything other than very expensive large quantities of otc allergy meds, the woman called down to one of the gift shops along the boardwalk and found out exactly who had something less expensive so I didn't have to run around a bunch.

To be honest, the rooms themselves are never a big factor when I stay in a hotel, especially in Disney. Is it clean and does it have a bed? Then I am good to go hang out in the parks and really only sleep and get dressed in the room. We had two double beds, plus a little fridge, and were just down the hall from the ice dispenser which is handy when you have a malfunctioning ankle. That said, our rooms had a beautiful view looking out towards Hollywood Studios and the Swan & Dolphin, and the beds were very comfortable.

The biggest upside of the Boardwalk is its convenience to Epcot. We were an adult only group and completed our goal of having one drink in every country spread out over the course of our trip. That meant that, even after a day in another park, we'd take the bus back to our resort, relax for a few minutes, then head into the World Showcase. It worked out perfectly, and I think in the future I will definitely look hard at all of the Epcot resorts because of this. Plus, you can either walk back along the Boardwalk or, as we often did with my ankle getting grumpy by the end of the trip, take the Friendships back and forth from the hotel to Epcot. Plus, it is pretty hard to beat that view.

TLDR Breakdown
Room Rating: B+
Atmosphere Rating: A
Service Rating: A
Convenience Rating: A+
Service Rating: A-
Overall Rating: A
Bottom Line: I would 100% stay here again, and on future trips will likely do so unless given a really good reason not to or outvoted.