Thursday, May 29, 2008

on the lighter side...

I'm feeling much better (i.e., I'm taking my meds regularly) and not feeling so sorry for myself today, so I thought I'd share some funny stories related to my injury...

Yesterday I had a CT Scan of my chest to be sure I didn't have any blood clots following my surgery. This was a concern since I was having some difficulty breathing the day before. As I was on the table laying with my arms above my head, ready to start the scan the nurse was giving me instructions on what I would be feeling at the IV (for a contrast scan) site. She said you're going to get a warm sensation over your entire body, then a metallic taste, then you're going to have the sensation like your uriniating in your pants. WHAT??? I had to stay still, of course, so when I was done the first thing I asked the nurse was "okay, so does that mean that I..... ???" She assured me that I didn't and everyone asks (and checks themselves), but it was the weirdest feeling. It made me think about Christina and her current task of potty training Emma.

Another cute story is Thursday last week, Andrew fell at recess and twisted his ankle. He was still able to ride his bike home, but because the boy has no tolerance to pain whatsoever, he was limping and complaining of pain. (Of course, this is not the funny part, keep reading...). Anyway, if you have been to the hospital or dr's office lately, you may be familiar with the "pain chart" so you can communicate the level of pain you're in.

I decided to ask Andrew to tell me on a scale of a 1-10 how much pain was he in, and he told me a 10. That meant we had to give him some extra TLC and let him lay in bed with an ice pack on his ankle. The next day I let him stay home with me to stay off his foot and so he could be my "helper". I told him I was unable to do much for him, and he said, "that's okay, my pain level is now down to a 7". Too cute! He's all better now, it only hurts when we remind him of it. Praise God for protecting my babies!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Step Forward, then Back...

Some of you may know that the doc here had a concern that part of my surgery would have to be corrected, he wasn't happy with the x-ray and how part of my ankle was set. He sent me for a CT scan, which, turned out, couldn't be read due to an error on the hospital's part. What he DID find was that I was getting a nasty infection in the surgical site on the left part of my ankle. It was pretty nasty - I will spare the details, but I've got pics for those morbidly curious ones out there. I was admitted into the Sugar Land Surgical Hospital on Friday for surgery that day. The doc re-opened the wound and removed some infected tissue and put me on some powerful IV antibiotics over the weekend. I was discharged Monday, late morning and am now on some oral antibiotics for the next few weeks. Today I go back to the doc so he can change the dressing and check on the progress.

Needless to say, the progress I had made on managing my pain and getting around is back near square one. It's not as bad as week one, but it's definitely harder than week 2. The antibiotics are causing extreme nausea and lightheadedness so I'm very limited in my mobility.

The GREAT news is during surgery on Friday he used a Fluoroscan on the initial area of concern and he said it does NOT appear that he will have to correct that surgery. What a praise! I currently have one metal plate with a total of 9 screws holding together what's left of my left ankle. No doubt I'll have a pretty nasty scar when it's all healed, but I'm grateful for this good news.

Please continue praying for healing so I can continue getting back to "normal" - whatever that may be.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Independence and Humility

The past week has given me the opportunity for much reflection. I have always kinda prided myself on being independent and strong. I think I've always had a high tolerance to pain, but, my word - this is unbelievable. I'm also upset that I did something that could have been avoided and hate that it not only affects me but others around me. My family is being great. Jeff is being so sweet and doing everything for me possible and is watching out to be sure I don't push myself too much. Christina has been a huge blessing in letting people know and arranging meals - we had no idea what a help and blessing that would be! I've had some sweet friends bring a meal or stop in to make sure I'm not all alone all day while Jeff's working.

One perspective this has given me is that while MY life has halted to a stop and is now rotating around this injury, life for everyone else continues. This has really showed me how I should have or can be a better friend to others, or to call and visit those I say I will and not let time pass by so quickly. This really isn't just about me, but as a body of Believers, when we say we care about or love someone, what are we doing to exhibit that to that person? It could be something as small as an email or phone call to let someone know you're thinking about or praying for them. I have been far too guilty in getting busy and caught up in life to be there when others needed me.

I plan on using this time wisely with the Lord's direction. I hope you all see each day as an opportunity to call that friend or family member who needs you, whether you think so or not. Ask God to put these people on your heart and make yourself available to hear Him.

A friend recently included Proverbs 3:5-6 in a card. Although I was familiar with the passage:
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

I was not as familiar with verse 8 which reads: 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.

What a wonderful Word! I needed that and hope you find comfort in His promises today. Have a wonderful God Blessed Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Home Run!

These past few days have been interesting to say the least...I was away at a staff retreat at a private ranch about 3 hours north of Houston and had made arrangements so Jeff can get all his finals and experiments done but still be available for the kids since I would be out all week.

The retreat was amazing as usual - my Apartment Life family is incredible, it's hard to explain the amount of love you feel when we're together in fellowship and prayer. Our second day started out with a devotion time and some quiet time, then we were instructed to change into clothes that we wouldn't mind getting dirty (hmmm...wonder why?). It had been raining off and on, so we knew things could get messy. We were all separated into teams with 6 in each group. We were instructed to designate a team captain, so we assigned Mike, an AD from Atlanta as our leader. We were the "red" team and chose the name "Hell, Fire and Brimstone" or HFB for short. The game was "the Amazing Race", modeled after the tv show. I don't think I've ever watched the show, but we were given very specific instructions on how to complete the 12 challenges. The 12th challenge was wiffle ball, where 2 players played, instructed to hit a home run and slide into home. I pitched for Mike, then it was my turn... I hit a "home run" on my first try and started running around the bases. It was fun, everyone was cheering me on, then came the sliding into home base part... wasn't sure how to do it since I don't usually play baseball or are very athletic... as soon as my left foot hit the ground everyone heard a loud "snap" and we knew something was wrong. I tried lifting my leg, but my foot flopped over, so we knew I was in trouble. One group on a golf cart immediately headed to the house (1/2 a mile away) to call an ambulance and my team stayed behind to pray for me. It hurt, but it wasn't unbearable. As we were waiting, I told the team that I wanted to finish since we were so close. In order to finish, we all as a team needed to go back thru the front door of the house. So Mike picked me up and carried me to the golf cart, and carried me into the house and onto the couch until the ambulance arrived. Everyone was so concerned and tried to help as much a possible. Richard had some others lay hands on me and pray for healing - I had such a sense of peace during this time. The ambulance came and took me to the East Texas Medical Center in Athens, TX. The ER was pretty busy, but they gave me good care. Wes & Tammi stayed with me until I got settled into my own room, and they made sure I wasn't alone while in the hospital. I was given the option of being transported to Houston so I would be close to my family and have surgery here, but it didn't make sense since I could probaly get it taken care of quicker in Athens. Plus, my mom-in-law was planning to come to visit anyway that weekend, so we arranged it so she could pick me up and bring me home so Jeff would not have to come up to Athens.

The x-rays confirmed that this was a bad break that would require surgery. I had displaced Trimalleolar Fractures and would have surgery first thing the next morning (Thursday). The surgery went well, and was told that I could be discharged once PT assessed me and okay'd me to go. After some pretty painful dressing changes and practice steps, I was READY to come home. Praise God that I had NO PAIN on the drive home - Karen had me sitting in the back seat with my leg extended and propped up. My family was waiting for our arrival and have been so helpful and sweet.

I will know more when I find a doctor for follow up this week - I'm in a walking boot with an air cast and will require daily exercises to help the healing process. It's still awkward and we're working on the logistics of how I can comfortably get around with minimal help.

Oh yeah - the Red Team won! Now, my first reaction was, "yeah, right" and I thought they were just taking pity on me. But even though we were the 2nd to the last team to physically finish the game, we had the most points because we followed the instructions well. The prize for the winning team was a $25 gift card to each of the 6 players and a floating trophy for us to share. When the winning team was announced after the tallying of the points, each of my red team members handed their card back so I can have it. From what I understand, it was an emotional moment. Tina & Stan brought me the home plate with everyone's get well wishes on it. There's also a photo of me sliding into home from what I understand, so we can make a nice mounted display so I won't ever forget what happened, even though the steel plate and screws in my ankle will be enough to remember this forever.

I just wanted you all to know that I love you guys and couldn't ask for a better team to be a part of! And I mean the entire Apartment Life family when I say that! This year we all celebrated the 5th year in a row for winning the "Best Christian Workplace" in the Parachurch/Missions category. Thank you for letting me part of your team!