Sunday, March 4, 2012

Six Weeks and Three Days Later...

It has officially been six weeks and three days since my surgery.  I have lots to update you about since my last post.

#1 - I am getting around just fine!  Whoop! Whoop!  My mother-in-law works in a nursing home and has helped me out by bringing an electric wheelchair to me at school.  It has made my life so much easier there.  I still have trouble getting around a few places at school, but for the most part, I am motor scootin' just fine. :) She also let me borrow a regular wheelchair for the house.  It is so much easier than the office chair.

#2 - My foot is feeling better every day.  The incision on the inside of my foot has been healing beautifully.  The scabs are about all gone and all that is left is a scar.  The incision on the outside of my foot is healing also, just not as fast as the other one.  It is still scabbed up and sometimes looks horrible because of my foot sweating inside the sock and boot I wear all day.  I can tell that it is healing though, so that is good.  The pin in my foot bothers me from time to time because I can now feel it.  If I remember to take my medicine it helps tremendously.

#3 - I go back to see Dr. Witt on Friday, March 9th at 8:20 a.m.  He said he would take x-rays at that time and would most likely be pulling the pin out of my foot.  I am so anxious to get the pin out.  I can feel it from time to time throughout the day and it really bothers me.  My kids at school have asked numerous times to show them pictures of my foot.  I really am not comfortable with that.  I totally would do it if I thought parents would be okay with it, but there is always one parent that wouldn't be, and I don't want to offend them.  So, as a compromise, I told the kids that when they take the pin out of my foot I would ask to keep the pin and show them.

#4 - In the past 2-3 weeks I have been getting incredibly frustrated with my lack of independence.  I think my family is too.  They don't understand that I just can't "crutch my way" places.  First of all, it wears me out.  Secondly, and most importantly, I am scared of falling and having to start this whole ordeal over again.  I am so tired of having to ask for help with things.  I am tired of not being able to just get up and do the things I want/need to do.  It absolutely SUCKS...  Until you have your ability to walk taken away you have no idea how much we take it for granted.  While I have always respected people who are permanently in my situation, I have a new found respect for them.  It is incredibly difficult to get around in a world that is meant for walking people.  While there are accommodations at some places, there are little to none other places.  It sucks...

For now, I'll just suck it up and hang in there.  In less than a week I'll hopefully be closer to being on the home bound stretch of this journey.  Keep your fingers crossed and pray for me!

It's official...I have a teenager...

As of Friday, March 2, 2012, at 6:12 a.m. I am the mother of a teenager.  OMG! I can't believe it has been 13 years since Allison was born.  It just doesn't seem possible.  She was such a tiny little girl when she was born, weighing just 6 pounds 12 ounces and 19 inches long.  She had a TON of dark dark hair.  It was so dark it was almost black, and she had so much hair that she was able to wear ponytails from the day she was born.  (And, she never lost any of her hair like most babies do.)  She had a beautiful little, round, rosy cheeked face and blue eyes.  She was immediately "momma's girl".                                                                                                                                         

We wrapped her up like a burrito a couple days after she was born and headed home with her.  Little did we know how much more we'd fall in love with her and all the joy she'd bring us over the next 13 years.  (A little frustration too, but that is to be expected with any kiddo. )                                                                                                                               

When Allison Layne was a tiny baby she didn't like sleeping in her crib.  She preferred sleeping in her swing.  Momma always slept close by in an oversized chair to keep an eye on her ever moving swing and we BOTH slept great.  Daddy, however, really didn't like that Momma would leave Ally in the swing all night.  He thought she should sleep in her bed.  I had to remind him a few times that he needed to remember that she and I both actually got some sleep this way.  lol

As Allison got older she became very independent and strong-willed.  Some days there were lots of struggles to get her to cooperate. (Still are sometimes)  But, there were also days that she just wanted to be Momma's "mini me".  Her favorite color was purple, she loved the ice cream truck, drawing and coloring were fun to her, and she really liked "fixing" her hair with about 10 different ponytails at one time.  She won an art contest and had her picture, "Americows" hanging in the George Bush Presidential Museum and Library when she was in kindergarten.  She learned to play soccer and loved it.  

As she entered her preteen years Allison started maturing a bit.  She really loved Hannah Montana and the Disney Channel.  SpongeBob Squarepants also became a favorite of hers.  It was during this time that Allison started learning how to swim competitively.  She was like a fish in water and once she learned how to compete, gave her competitors a run for their money.  It was so fun to watch her swim.  

Now that she is, gulp, a teenager, Allison is really maturing.  She doesn't spend as much time watching the Disney Channel as before.  She does, however, still love to watch SpongeBob...  She has taken a break from competitve swimming and is now playing soccer.  She is taller than me measuring in at about 5'7" and is doing math at school that really makes me think.  (Pretty soon, it will be over my head.  lol)  She has also earned 1st chair playing flute in the band, taking after me, I guess.  :) She's still incredibly headstrong and stubborn, but she wouldn't be my Ally otherwise.  

Happy 13th birthday Ally!  I hope your 13th year is amazing! I love you more than chocolate and to the moon and back!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Eleven Days Later...

It has been ELEVEN days since my surgery.  I can't believe how quickly the time has passed.  Last week I found out that it was NOT recommended that I go back to work with my foot still in the splint.  So, another week off until I get into the boot.  I go back on Friday and I should be in the boot at that point.  

Before all of this started, I had some major concerns.  I think I can safely say I have tackled these head on and they aren't as bad as I thought they were.  I've pasted them below, in blue.  

#1 -- It's going to be incredibly difficult to get around. At school, the nurse has told me that I can use the wheelchair we have in her office.  That will be good, I guess. 

Getting around is still a bit of a challenge sometimes.  If I have to go too far on the crutches, it still wears me out, but I have to say I am definitely getting better at it.  I actually took my first trip out on Saturday.  My nephew had his birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's and we went.  It was a complete mad house!  It made me nervous to crutch around in there and it absolutely wore me out.  But it was nice to get out of the house -- cabin fever was setting in! 

Last week I did have a grand idea about how to get around.  The picture below is my simple yet effective solution to getting around.  I can roll myself anywhere I want to go, but my family has been great about rolling me around.  Actually, I think my girls kind of like it.  lol  So very grateful for this rolling office chair.  :)

#2 -- I'm also a bit worried about bathing.  I know I can throw my leg over the side of the tub.  I'm really not worried about getting in the tub.  It's the getting out that has me stumped.  I can't get my foot wet or put weight on it.  It will be a challenge figuring that out, and I am SO GLAD that I won't have an audience watching the circus of me getting out of the tub.  (Please get that picture out of your head...I'm getting embarrassed...  hehe) 

Bathing has gotten increasingly easier and faster.  I have a system all figured out, and it works really well for me.  All I need help with at this point is wrapping my leg from the knee down so it doesn't get wet.  Yay me!

#3 -- When I FINALLY get to drive again, it might be interesting getting in and out of my Expedition.  It is not super high, but there's a running board to step on before you step into the truck.  I'm kind of wondering how that's going to work out...  Allison said she'd help me get in.  That might be interesting too.  lol  I don't think getting out will be a problem.  I'll just slide out and land on my good foot.  :)

Well, I'm not driving yet, but I have been a passenger.  I can easily put my "bad foot" knee on the edge of the floor board and then step up into my Expedition.  Works like and charm and doesn't affect my foot one bit.  :)  As far as getting out of the vehicle, the sliding out strategy seems to be working well.

#4 -- How bad is the surgery going to hurt?  Is it going to hurt so bad that I am going to want to throw up.  I hate throwing up.  And I'm really not fond of pain.  I hope they give me some hellacious pain meds.  I have a feeling I'll need them...

Well, I didn't throw up from the pain.  Thank goodness.  I was on pain meds from Thursday until early Tuesday morning.  Then, after I didn't really need anything other than Advil or Alleve.  The past 2-3 days I haven't really hurt much at all.  Mostly, I just get uncomfortable.  I guess I didn't need the pain meds as badly as I thought I would need them.  

All in all, this has been harder than I thought it would be, but only because it takes a while to get to feeling good again after surgery.  I sure didn't count on that.  Now that I am feeling better I am trying to stay busy...sort of...  I'm doing a lot of reading and LOTS of tv watching.  I now have some new favorite shows.  :)  Dr. appointment on Friday.  I'll be back later to update everyone on my progress!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Week Later...

Let me first start by saying that this has been A LOT HARDER than I ever thought it would be.  We really take for granted what we can do independently until we can no longer do those things.  Lucky for me, I have a wonderful family and amazing friends.  Mike has been wonderful to me.  He has made sure I am comfortable and helps me do a lot of things.  The girls have been helpful as well.  It's nice to know that I have them here.  My friends really overwhelmed me as well.  I could not believe what they did for me.  Not only did they collect money for us to use for meals, but some of them also brought over dinners so that Mike wouldn't have to worry about cooking.  You never realize how incredibly helpful that is until you are on the receiving end.  I have felt completely loved this past week.  I count myself as very blessed in the family and friends department.  :)  To my family and friends... thank you and I love you!
Right after surgery

The day after surgery

Well, it has been a full week since my surgery.  The first coule of days I don't remember much.  Pain pills have a way of knocking me out and making me loopy.  By about Saturday, I started to become a little  more lucid...I think.  I don't really know.  Ask my family.  lol

I think the pain meds were messing up my stomach and making me feel bad.  I took my last pain pill Tuesday morning at 4:30.  After that one, I decided that I was done with those.  I'd stick to Advil or Alleve.  So far those have been working for me. It took until Wednesday before I started feeling better. I got up Wednesday morning and still didn't feel too great, but I had to get ready for my first post-op doctor's appointment.  

We left the house in the pouring rain.  I was worried about getting drenched but somehow I managed to stay pretty dry.  Mike was able to borrow a wheelchair from the doc's office to wheel me around.  That was pretty cool.  It made my life quite a bit easier.  lol 

After cutting the bandages off my foot this is what I saw.  I was completely unaware that I had a pin sticking out of the side of my foot.  It kind of freaked me out, but then again, it was kind of cool.  So, I took pics.  In this picture, my foot looks like it is crooked.  That was a concern to me, but my doctor assured me that it wasn't crooked.  Apparently, that's just the way it hangs naturally.    

This next picture shows the incision for the tendon that has caused me trouble.  I was lucky that it wasn't torn or anything.  Actually, he said the membrane surrounding my tendon was full of fluid and needed to be emptied.  I'm not exactly sure what all the purple markings are above my incision.  Part of the reason for this surgery was that I no longer had an arch.  If you notice in this's back!  Yay!!!  That was nice to see.  

This picture is the "gross" picture.  When Lori, my doc's nurse was removing the bandages, she covered this side up when I said something about it.  I guess people get weirded out about this kind of stuff sometimes.  It doesn't really bother me.  I thought it was kind of cool.  This is pretty swollen in the picture.  The middle purple mark is actually the incision.  This is the side where the bone graft was added.  The pin is in my foot to help hold the bone graft in place until it heals.  This is the side of my foot that actually hurts.  I should be getting the pin out in week 4 of this after surgery ordeal.  That means it'll come out around Valentine's Day. That would be a lovely Valentine's Day gift from my doctor.  :)  

Beginning last night I started getting some feeling back in my foot, and it has continued today.  It is nice to get the feeling back, but at the same time, it is a little weird.  Parts of my foot are still numb.  Half of my pinky toe is numb and the top of my foot is numb towards the outer side.  (pin side)  

You can probably see in these pictures that parts of my foot and toes are a little on the orange side.  That's from the iodine wash they use to sterilize the surgery site.  I was looking at my toes today.  I need to get one of the girls, probably Allison, to clean my toenails off for me tonight.  (I can't turn my foot to reach my toes too easily.)  I thought the orange stuff would wear off, but it hasn't.  I am tired of my toes looking like I've been eating Cheetoh's with my feet.   

I'll keep updating my blog with the progress I am making in my journey to a "normal" foot.  Until then, I need to get my dowel stick and do a little scratching.  This leg is starting to get itchy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Case of the Butterflies...

I wanted to blog last night, but I couldn't quite get the words down right.  Don't know if I will tonight.  However, I want to say that I am NERVOUS as HELL about my surgery tomorrow.

I've had surgery before, but honestly, I don't remember much about it.  It was when I got really sick with my gall bladder and they put me in the hospital for 9 days.  I was pretty much drugged up for a couple days before surgery so I don't remember it.

This is different.  I've been "preparing" for this for 2 weeks.  And, thus, getting nervous for the past two weeks.  This surgery is outpatient surgery.  However, my doctor said it was a "big surgery".  Yay...  Still, it's surgery.

At my pre-op appointment, they showed me the list of the procedures that my doc will do.  He is basically doing four different procedures on my foot.  I can't even begin to tell you what they all are -  they weren't written in normal people terms.  Long story short, they are basically rebuilding the arch in my foot.  I am glad about that, but so WAY nervous about the recovery part.  I'll survive though.  It will just take some getting use to.

So, nervous stomach ache and all, I think I am ready for this.  I have lots of help lined up and I know I am in good hands.  And, I've decided I'll just give it all to God.  That's the easiest and smartest thing to do.  Wish me luck and say a little prayer tomorrow at 10:15!