Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 104-Rehab

Day 30: I am thankful for my family; whether they are blood, in Christ, or adoptees. I love them and could not do anything I have done without them.

One of life's great moments. The recognition of choice. The choice that you can continuously change until you have carved out the character you really want to be. We shouldn't be discouraged every time we have to change course. Instead be encouraged to be one choice closer to defining our life. Great choices don't always turn out right, but they always bring us closer to that character that we are becoming... -Justin Blevins

Today was my first day in rehab (not the Lindsey Lohan kind). They woke me up early, made me work hard, then left me alone. It was a long day that gave me perspective for the future.

So I started my morning off with a glorious shower that did not last near long enough. I got dressed, brushed my hair and teeth (with different brushes), and headed to the gym. I had three, count them THREE, hours of physical therapy and occupational therapy. This means I sat up in my chair for that whole time!! That's huge! Now I may pay for this severely tomorrow by being sore. We shall see.

So at one point today I had already called TWICE for someone to help me go potty (they like to supervise you). So just when I got to the point I was about to transfer out of bed by myself and figure it out, in walks my amazing PT!! I was so excited to see her! So she stood by while I transferred to the chair, went to the bathroom, transferred back to the chair, washed my hands (which I have SO missed), and transferred back to bed. ALL. BY. MYSELF. Well done, me!!! A little before that a nurse had helped me go to the potty and had left me in my wheel chair. So I took the arm off of the wheelchair and transferred myself to the bed. I know, I'm awesome!

Then I had a short nap. I was sooo tired!! Next thing I know, I get a huge amount if visitors. God knew I needed them... 3 of my best friends came by, my favorite nurse, my PT, and a beautiful young woman and her family (including her brother who is an amputee). They kind of came and went. I talk to my friends' brother and we compared stories of hospitals and amputations. It was awesome!! I really enjoyed every second of everyone's visits. Everyone was so sweet and nice. It truly was a Godsend.

Next my Daddy and sister came. Dad brought BBQ! We ate, then I needed another nap. After that we went for a joy ride around the hospital and outside. Right now l am laying in my bed with my Daddy (crying). I have missed this so much! We are such an affectionate family and I've missed that the most through this whole ordeal. He just holds me like his little girl again and he can kiss my boo boos and make them go away. My beautiful sister is sitting in the chair playing Christmas carols for us. I feel so at peace. I love my family soooo much and am the most blessed person ever.

Life is about doing the best you can with what you have.

And that's life...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 103- One of the fullest days of my life

Today I read the comments I received and cried for a good long while. I am always amazed and astounded how many people take the time to read my blog and then comment. It's inspiring. I am truly thankful. When I say "full" in my title, I mean my soul is swollen with love and shining with the light y'all fill me with. Again, thank you.

I started the day sick to my stomach. It was no fun. However, it quickly picked up. My doctor took one of the pieces of glass out of my hand; it's harder than it sounds. I know why he likes his patients asleep, we bugged the crap out of him and talked his ear off while he was "operating". By the way, the numbing stuff is worse than ANYTHING!!! Ouch! After that, things really started picking up steam.
My awesome PT saw me "ambulate" today!! I took some swivel steps while up on the walker. She also convinced me to get in my wheel chair. My PT's husband came by and met me today. He was so nice and personable. After that, we almost got discharged, but then someone messed up somewhere. Anyways... During one of my transfers, my immobilizer (super long cast to keep my knee straight) came off. I could see my stump (Stumpy McGee). Then it hit me, I don't have a leg. I haven't thought about it because of the immobilizer and the weird phantom sensations I get. However, today is was very real and very in my face.
Me, standing, with my beautiful, talented, and amazing PT!!

Me, sitting in the wheelchair for the first time in a while. (Immobilizer is on my right leg.)
A prosthetic limb maker, who contacted me via Facebook and a mutual friend, came to talk to me about his company and what they can do for me. I had my favorite nurse, my PT, Mommy, and Daddy with me to ask questions. He was so knowledgeable, passionate, and honest. He talked to me like a person, and told it to me straight. It was so informative and helpful to me. I am kind of excited and can't wait to get fitted!!

Throughout the day (and definitely the meeting), people kept coming in and saying goodbye. It was so heartwarming. I felt so much love. The nurses and techs even gave me a card!!! I cried. Duh. They are so sweet. I'm really going to miss them.

After the meeting, I was transported to my new rehab center! It's so nice and clean. I was a little sad, aka I cried, because I realized I didn't know anyone here. No nurses. No techs. No PTs. Just me. I have been in the hospital so long and know pretty much everyone on my floor (and a few on other floors). I started to panic a bit. I'm not a big fan of change... I started worrying about if I could do this. Then my favorite nurse showed up and wiped my tears and made it better. Mom and Dad moved in while we were laying in the bed. Ha! She stayed a while and everyone told me I would be ok. My sister stopped by to see my new place, too. I love that girl! They all helped me to adjust and I couldn't have done this without them. I am truly and deeply thankful they're in my life! Now Mom and I are relaxing and getting ready for bed.
My favorite nurse and I layin' in my bed.
 And that's life...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 102- **Warning: Gross pics**

I called both sets of grandparents today. We talked about how proud my grandparents were of their brave granddaughter. I missed talking to my grandfather, so he called me back. He said that he drove around last Friday, after I had made my decision to amputate, with his left foot only. He said if a 75 year old man can do it then so can I. It brought years to my eyes and joy to my heart. It was one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. I was also touched that he called me back to tell me that. It was just precious! A memory I will always cherish. 

I transferred to the potty 3 times today!! Twice with PT and once with my parents. I also stood up with the walker today! I was so scared and excited because it literally is the first step to actually walking; I cried and laughed the whole time. Mommy and Daddy washed my hair and I got a bath tonight. I'm so clean!!! One of the techs here brought me the movie I have been dying to see!! I'm so super excited!

I had quite a few visitors today. The amputee who initially talked to me came to check on me. My plastics doctor came by and discharged my JP drain (which the nurse took out with minimal pain). My infectious disease doctor discharged all of my antibiotics and took out my PICC line. My ortho ordered an X-ray of my elbow so I went there; they really hurt me, though. A lady from the hospital, who was sent via a mutual friend of my mom's, came to visit me and gave us awesome coupons for hospital stuff! She was so sweet, kind, and awesome. A really nice lady from the rehab center came and brought me information all about it. I think I will be going there before home. A real one this time, not a nursing home pretending to be rehab! Ha ha! I think that's all... A sweet family from church sent us turkey pot pie and mini pecan pies; so dinner was delish!
I'm going to post a picture of my leg. I have come to terms with it, and now you will, too. I have moved better with less pain today. I am proud of myself for how far I have already come, but expect I'll go MUCH further. I'm also going to post the pics of my JP drain and PICC line. 
This is my right leg unwrapped and wrapped. It is a stump. It's also very swollen.
My JP drain which was stitched into my leg. Where her fingers are is where the part that was inside my leg starts. The bulb was outside of course.
This is my PICC line. from the hand to the end was in my body and the other tiny part was outside.
I know it's kind of gross, but it's how my days go now. 

P.S. I'm going to try to sleep on my side tonight. I'll let you know how it goes!

And that's life...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 101

Today was way better for pain. I transferred to the potty and back twice!! Woot woot! I also did it without crying the first time. I can move my right leg and can hold it up for a few seconds. I'm still having phantom pains and sensations. I keep telling myself that I don't have those toes, ankles, calf, etc. It's difficult, but I'm learning.

I got X-rays taken tonight so my doctor can take the glass out of my hands and arms. He said he will numb me first. Ha! Then he will cut those places open and remove the glass in the worst places. That sounds so super exciting (sarcasm)!! I'll let you know how that goes.

So while moving today, I made my bandage slip off my leg a bit. I'm currently waiting for my doctor to get out of surgery to come fix it. The immobilizer rubs my stitches, so I can't just ignore it. It is now fixed. Awesome!

Daddy was off work and we just slept most of the day. We took "naps" every chance we got! Ha ha!! That's just like us. We also talked about rehab. We think it's a good option for me. I won't be going to the same place, but I will get the help I need. I had a couple of visitors today who brought me gifts; this always reminds me of my strength and what other people see of me. Now we are going to bed after an eventful, napping day.

And that's life...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 100

Day 27: I am thankful for love and support from people I expect it from, and those who surprise me. 
 It's day 100 and I'm still in the hospital. I have successfully pottied in the bed pan!! I sat up on the side of the bed today, although I cried the whole time.

Today my doctor (ortho) changed my bandage on my leg. I saw my leg for the first time. It was scary and still a bit of a shock. More crying. The rewrapping wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but the anxiety is always the worst part for me. It still hurts to move too much, but I've been assured it will go away. I took pictures of my leg, but Mommy and Daddy said it was inappropriate to post them...

A couple of friends and family members stopped by today. One of my real good friends brought  my mom and me Corner Bakery Cafe food; yummy!! I also got a lot of encouraging text messages. I kept falling asleep again all day, though. Ha! The pain meds make me hot and tired, plus I have to be on oxygen and a monitor to sleep. Such an odd sensation. Not as odd as feeling limbs that aren't there.

I kept waking up with excruciating pain in my ankle. I always tell myself I don't have an ankle. It's a hard reality. Today my favorite nurse stopped by and "touched" my foot like she used to; I swear I could feel it. It's so odd. I think seeing it unwrapped really helps me to know where the sensations "should" end. I'm working on accepting it still; also starting back at square one. Seeing it unwrapped was extremely scary for me. The harsh reality of part of my leg being gone hit me like a ton of bricks. I might have to go to rehab after this, but before home. I won't go to the same rehab, I'll go to a different one if I go.

And that's life...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 99

Sorry about being late, I fell asleep last night...

Today I had many visitors. I love visitors, but when they're here for a long time, I get super tired. I try to stay awake, but sometimes doze off. Usually I won't get visitors until 2 days after the surgery.

I'm still in quite a bit of pain. I feel like I'm having a Charlie horse all the time in my calf. Also, my toes feel like they're cramping. I keep telling/reminding myself I don't have toes. Going to the bathroom is still a challenge, but we're learning. My ortho doctor took out my drain in my half leg, but my other leg still has the JP drain in it. Ugh.

I woke up in excruciating pain a few times today. I would doze off then BAM wake up with some sort of right leg pain. I hope tomorrow will better. It usually takes me a couple of days to adjust to the pain. I'm on a couple of pain killers. I keep getting hot flashes as well. This recovery is already rough.

PT came today. I got up to the side of the bed with great pain. I cried the whole session I think. I also kept apologizing. Ha!

I'm trying to get better as fast as I can.

And that's life...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 98- Surgery # 21

Day 24: I am thankful for strength. Even when it seems like I can't make it, somehow I do.
Today I had what I hope to be the final surgery for this journey in my life. My leg was amputated this morning and hurts beyond belief tonight. It's all wrapped up so I can't see it. I keep thinking my ankle or toes hurt. I guess that's what "phantom pain" is all about. They have me in an immobilizer for a few days which makes pottying a bit of a challenge. I also have a drain that will come out tomorrow. We have talked about going home a couple of times; we might actually get to do it! Trying not to get too excited.

The surgery went well. The artery that would have been used for the other surgery (another muscle flap) was hard to find and very small. My ortho seems to think the muscle flap wouldn't have worked which puts me in the same situation I'm in currently, just a week or so from now. I know I made the right decision, but it's nice to have reassurance.

This morning, before surgery, my nurses looked up a list of ways to say "goodbye" in different languages. They wrote a few of them on my foot. It was really sweet of them. Next I got in my parade float (my bed) and told everyone goodbye while using my pageant wave. It was a rough, but great way to start out my day.

I had a bunch of visitors again today and one nurse called me to check on me. I enjoyed the company, but was a little overwhelmed. My ortho extended my brace today! That's always exciting because I'm one step closer to bare arms. My parents were fantastic today, as usual. They helped tremendously.

I am so thankful for my family and friends. I'm glad I can inspire others by telling my story. This journey is not near over, but I'm glad I can walk it (get it?) with those who love me the most.

I'm sorry it's so short, but I am fighting sleep to write this much. I love you all and will be praying for y'all.

And that's life...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 97- Procedure #20

I had so many wonderful visitors today and am so thankful for their love and support.

So today's procedure was simple and easy. Just a quick wound vac change. However, I told both of my doctors my decision. I have decided to have my leg amputated at 7:15 tomorrow (Nov. 24) morning. This is not a decision I made lightly. I weighed all of the pros and cons and have thought out each scenario. I'm going to write a letter to my leg.

Dear Leg,
We've had a good run (get it?), but it's time to let you go. I was hoping to save you, but it just didn't work out. I wanted you to look like the leg I had the morning of August 18th, and that would never be. So instead I will replace you with a prosthetic leg. We had some good times together like playing soccer, those brief stints in athletics and cheer leading, swimming, etc. It took me 24 years to grow you, but will only take an hour and a half or so to take you off (only 15 seconds to injure you). I am thankful for the time we had together, but look to the future with hope. I worked hard to keep you, but it wasn't meant to be. So we will forever be separated tomorrow morning. I will not pretend I won't miss you, but I truly believe my life will be better without you.
Much love,
My leg does not define me. I will still be the me everyone knows when this procedure is over and I am without the lower part of my right leg and foot. It will be a short procedure that should have a quick recovery. I will keep everyone updated on my recovery. From the beginning this was a terrible fracture and amputation was always in the background. Now I never let it be a option, but everything we did kept failing. As these things happen, I allowed myself to think about "the 'A' word". Maybe I needed to go thru all of the failures and be faced with a choice to make peace with the idea. I will not regret this decision, not that I can reverse it amyway. I am proud of me and my life so far, and I am proud of me for making the hard decision that I have made.

And that's life...

Day 96- Guest post from Daddy

Today I am letting my daddy have a guest post. Enjoy!

Well, where to begin? What a rollercoaster ride...only there is no fun on this one. It is true: parents never stop worrying about their kids. And in this case, I have had the do you call it when you sit by your child and watch her struggle to heal, watch her deal with every challenge with courage, grace, and dignity? That. I have stood by her, held her hand, calmed her fears, and wiped her tears. I have had to be strong, even when I wasn't strong. She needed me to be strong. I can tell you that SOMEONE has been praying for my strength, because I sure don't have it on my own. But by the grace of God, I get to be her daddy. I am so very proud to be called that.
Now, I have had to help her make that most difficult decision she has had to make. This  is the decision she mentioned previously. It absolutely crushes me to know my baby has this terrible decision to make. That doesn't change the facts, or the outcome. Nor does it change the fact that I feel guilty just feeling sorry for myself. It is her that was in the accident, her that has had 19 surgeries, her who is currently NPO for her next surgery, her that has had to make the tough call.
This all seems so surreal, like something you read in Reader's Digest True Stories. Surely I am not old enough or mature enough to help her make this decision. These big things were always the responsibility of the parent.......oh...I AM the parent. How the heck did THAT happen??? (but I digress)
By the way, where do parents go for answers? And the answer is God, of course.
So, we have gathered all the information we can find, consulted with as many doctors, nurses, PT's, family, and friends as would stop and listen, we have charted pros and cons to either decision, hashed it out, discussed it until we can't discuss any more. We have exhausted every question we can think to answer. Her doctors have been fabulous to answer all of them to our complete understanding, and then asked us for more questions. We have guessed, and then second guessed our guesses. But I think she has made her final decision. It is a decision that obviously came after weighing everything and looking into the future. It is a decision with no room for regrets.
It soothes my soul to see this woman, my baby girl, be strong enough to decide, yet vulnerable enough to need my comfort.
I love you, Jenny.  More than words could ever express,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 95- Girls Night

Day 21: I am thankful for girls night; may it always take me away from my problems, even if for a brief time. 
So true. I saw this just when I needed it.
 Today my preacher stopped by. She mentioned that she felt some responsibility for my accident. I had dismissed the idea of the retreat because I couldn't afford it, but she asked me if she paid would I want to go. Of course I did!! I'm so glad I went to the retreat. I met some of the most kind and compassionate people. I've made many friends because of the retreat and learned so much from the other people. I now have more people in my life to love. I forgive her and absolutely absolve her of any responsibility; I wouldn't change the opportunity I had for the world.

Speaking of opportunities, I have the option to choose my future. I have the choice to have another muscle flap surgery (that might or might not work) or to have my leg amputated. I know we don't talk about "the A word", but we are at that point. I feel like I have worked extremely hard and have fought as hard as I could. It wasn't enough to save my leg.

I am so sore today. I think it's from all of the emotions yesterday. It could also be from sitting in my wheelchair for an hour. Meh. All I know is every single muscle hurts. Ugh.
Today four lovely ladies stopped by for girls night. It was so nice to "get away" from my state of mind and to forget my problems. We played a game and watched a movie. It was awesome! I am so thankful for them and their distraction; I needed it. 

There are pros and cons to each choice I can make. I've been over and over everything in my head a million times. I just don't know what to do, but I do. It's such a hard decision to make. I'm scared to make the decision, but I'm really not. My doctor had an amputee CRNA come talk to me today. He told me he lost his leg at 16 and doesn't regret a second of it. He has a completely normal life; he bikes, hikes, runs, water skis, everything. He just sleeps with one foot on the floor (his words). Ha! Disability is all in your head. Your attitude is everything. My doctor will have a prosthesis expert come talk to me next. This is the hardest thing I have done and hopefully will ever have to do.

And that's life...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 94- Surgery #19

Day 20- I am thankful for amazing friends!!

I've thought a thousand ways on how to start this post and can't think of a good one. I'm usually never at a loss for words, but right now I am.

The surgery didn't go well. My muscle flap did not take and was removed. I currently have a wound vac and a very seriously tough decision to make. The doctor is coming to talk to me (along with a parade of other people, I'm sure) tomorrow about my options.

Surgery is always a gamble. Waking up from anesthesia is hard enough; waking up with bad news is worse. I was so worried about all those scars and it looks like that may not make a difference after all. I am at a complete and utter loss of what to do. If I had 4 million years I don't think I could make the decisions I need to.

I've worked SO hard for over 3 months to overcome this accident and the consequences from it, and it all seems like it was for nothing. Yes I learned lessons. Yes I touched people's lives. Blah. Blah. Blah. What did I get out of this? The horrible decision that will change my life and could end up at the same place if I choose either one. I. Just. Can't. Do. This.

I feel like I got screwed over (sorry for the language). I am so mad at God and my doctors and my ankle and everything!!! I just can't believe after all of this, I have to make an awful decision. Every time I look down at my ankle I just get so mad/sad. I don't know how to feel. I wasn't programmed for these emotions. I'm not equipped to make these decisions. Also, I shouldn't have to.

I think I am really close to hating the girl that hit me. I'm trying not to, but I'm here, suffering, because SHE hit ME. I know it probably wasn't her fault. I don't care. That scares me. Not using my logic is rarely a good thing. Meh.

One of my nurses (my absolute favorite one and friend) helped me escape the emotionally charged room and took me on a "date" to the garden. We talked about everything in life. She helped me clear my head and look at the situation in front of me from all directions. She said I needed to be 100% positive and have NO regrets going into it. I can't live with "what ifs". She's right.

And that's life...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 93

Day 19- I am thankful for physical therapy and physical therapists. Without them I would not be as mobile as I am. They help get me well with what they teach me. My personal PT is the best ever and has believed in me from the beginning while still pushing me as far as I can go. I love my other ones, too.

It's funny EVERY time!!! Hahahahaha!

Today I had a new nurse for the day shift. When she left my room at the end of her shift, she told me how amazed she was by me. She said I have such a good attitude and am so nice for someone who has been here as long as I have. She said she doubted she would be half as sweet. She also said she couldn't believe I was on no pain meds because most patients, by this time, are addicted to pain pills. I talked about hearing the right thing at the right thing before; this happened again today. It's awesome how that happens!!

So I'm having my exploratory surgery tomorrow. I'm a bit anxious about it, but it will bring good news. It will. I was busy today and didn't have much time to think about it. I had my "dive", my pastor visited, I missed a visitor, my sister and her boyfriend came, I had PT twice, I got some of the preparedness training online, and my floors got buffed. Like I said, busy day. It's almost time for bed.

Thank you for reading my blog and for your input and opinions. I really do read them and take them to heart. If you have any questions or nice comments, feel free to always share those.

And that's life...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 92- HUGS!!

Day 18: I am thankful for hugs. I hugged my dad with both arms tonight for the first time in over 3 months.
I finally got some sleep last night. I had my hyperbaric treatment today and watched part of the Dark Knight. My friend came to visit today and brought me some goodies! She's so sweet; I love her!! My mommy brought me Lucky Charms today. That's good enough in and of itself, but I asked my nurse for a bowl. milk. and spoon and she sent in my tech with all of that!! It was great; he didn't understand why we were laughing. Be careful what you ask for I guess. Ha! 

My plastics doctor actually stopped by today!! I didn't realize it was that cold outside... He said we will have exploratory surgery either tomorrow (doubtful) or Tuesday (more likely). He will "shave off" layers of the muscle flap to find the viable tissue (I refuse to think he won't find viable stuff). He will then have me on a wound vac for a few days, do another skin graft (OUCH) and then a couple days here with the wound vac. After that he will possibly send me home... Still not getting my hopes up.

He also said that I might have a hyperphilia disorder; I clot too much. I'm not sure that's the case, but that's what he said. He also said if he knew this before he probably wouldn't have done the surgery. I'm glad we didn't know. I think they sent my blood to the Mayo clinic for testing. If it is negative we will have it tested again, if it's positive it's for sure. I might have it tested again in a year. My wreck threw off my blood with the trauma and transfusions, so I'll check it again.

That's where we are. I'm going to eat my Lucky Charms now.

And that's life...

Day 91

Day 18: Today I am thankful for the Internet and my electronics.

Yep. Thinking too much always gets me into trouble. When you're alone all day and not distracted, you have too much time to think...

So I survived another hyperbaric chamber treatment today. Apparently I'll have to endure another 10. Great. Just what I wanted, 10 more sessions in the oxygen tank.

Today was fairly uneventful. I slept a lot, watched a movie, and watched some True Blood. I did spend all day with one or both parents! 

I have a nurse who was just starting out when I got here. Now she gets to work on her own and have her own patients. She's really nice and we relate quite well. It's so interesting to see her "grown up". I feel like I helped her in some regard because I was there when she first started out here. I feel like a proud mama. Ha!

There are really no changes. My plastics doctor gets back tomorrow and I bet he won't come see me until Monday if at all. My ortho came and talked to me for a while today. I think he feels bad that I'm stuck here waiting, waiting, waiting. I wonder what these doctors do for holidays? Thanksgiving is coming up; I wonder how they will spend it. I'll be here of course, but I feel like I should get them a plate or something.

So I think I've figured out my problem with the girl who hit me. I need to know if it was a true accident so I can let it go. I mean. I would let it go if she was texting or goofing off, but I think I just need to know; either way, I'm a control freak. I also want to write her and tell her what she's done. I don't think that will accomplish anything, though. Ugh. I just want to let it go, but I'm so mad that I'm stuck in the hospital. That someone has to touch my foot multiple times a day because it's soooo sensitive. That my shoulders always hurt. That tape pulls my skin off. That my bones are broken. That I can't take a shower. That I spend 95% of my day in a bed. That I can't put up my own hair. Pick one!! I have thousands more. I just can't believe my life has landed here, even momentarily. I guess we never see it coming.

And that's life...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 90-3 months

Day 17: Today I am thankful for tears for without them I could not release my emotions.
Today I have been fighting for my old life back for 90 days. That's 3 whole months. That's 1/4 (one quarter) of my year. I almost feel like the days have been stolen from me one by one, but then I don't because I've learned so much and have become so strong. I have made many friends and have touched many lives. I have prayed a thousand prayers. I have shed thousands of tears. I have had a lot of tests. I have had 18 surgeries. I have had about 7 blood transfusions. I've had 3 external fixators and a brace. I have had 4 plates and 30 screws put in my body and 2 plates and some odd screws removed. I have had over 100 stitches. I have had over 100 bottles of water to drink. I have had 4 nail color changes.Ha!

It has been a seriously rough ride which is not near over. I pray for a quick passage and easy roads from now on. I'm getting weary from the struggle. I tell myself to go on each step of the way. I battle with my emotions everyday. I struggle to keep my head above water. I work hard to be nice to people when I really don't want to be. It's not their fault I'm here. It's not my fault either. It happened and I need to move on. I have to be strong everyday; not for others, for me. I have to breathe hard and push myself during PT. I have to make myself move. I have to make myself go on. It's up to me and only me (and God) whether or not I get better and have some functioning muscles after this. It's up to me to make sure my well being is thought of. It's up to me to release the negative and poisonous thoughts and emotions so they don't get me and take control. I constantly strive for light in the dark world I feel like I live in. Every time the light at the end of the tunnel shows itself as just a pinprick, it's blocked by yet another obstacle. Therefore, I have to move said obstacle if possible and find the pinprick of light again.This is the hardest thing I've ever had to, and ever hope to do.

Today was like every other day. Except my ortho brought me Nerds. My favorite nurse and friend bought me some bamboo, which I have ALWAYS wanted, some chocolate, and a magazine with the sexiest man alive on the front cover. I love her!! My daddy and I watched the new Spider Man movie tonight; I thought it was great! These are the highlights of my day.

And that's life...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 89

Day 15: I am thankful for God sparing my life; now I just have to do something extraordinary with it.

My favorite nurse came in after a staff meeting (not on the clock or at work) and found a pulse on the OTHER side of where the pulse is supposed to be. So we found it above and below the muscle flap. I'm trying not to get too excited or hopeful, but I'm starting to hope too much that the "A" word doesn't come up again.I'm trying soooo hard to find the good in everything; it's tougher than it sounds.

I hate being here. I feel like I can't do this anymore. I know I have to and will just suck it up. I still get so sad when people leave. I just want everyone to stay here with me, selfishly. I will miss Thanksgiving; not sure if I've said that before, but I will. I hate waiting for doctors. I hate Lovenox shots. I HATE HYPERBARIC CHAMBER THERAPY. I didn't mean to make that caps, but that is how I feel...

I'm so scared about the exploratory surgery I will likely have next week. I don't want another 12 inch scar on my body. These doctors have no thoughts of the future. They will cut into you anywhere and just sew you back up with no regard to how you will look when it's all said and done. I will overcome this!!

I had a GREAT visitor today. We had a lot of fun talking about all sorts of stuff. My sister came to see me too. I just love her so much; my visitor too. My doctor fixed my brace (OUCH) and it fits better, although I feel like my circulation is cut off. Ha! My elbow kind of pops when I move it... It's weird.

And that's life...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 88

Day 14: I am thankful for nice people who make my day and stay easier here.
I'm going to give a run down of my day. I think people wonder what I do all day, other than wait on my parents to get here. So here goes:
5am- blood draw/antibiotic
6- antibiotics finished (beep, beep, BEEEEEEP)
6:30-7- report with nurse for the day/potty/mom leaves/doctor(s) come by
8ish- breakfast is delivered/blood pressure
9ish- medicine
8-9ish for 30 minutes- physical therapy
9:30ish- eat breakfast
10:30- potty
11:15-1:45- hyperbaric chamber prep and execution
2- potty/blood pressure/antibiotics/eat lunch
3- antibiotics finished
4ish for 30 minutes- physical therapy
5- antibiotics/ dinner is delivered
6-8ish- mom and dad come and we eat
10- dad leaves/ write blog
11- antibiotics
12- antibiotics finished
12-1- try to sleep
1-5- sleep

I've been asked many times if I could get something to help me sleep from nurses and others. I would love to take something, but I don't have time to sleep straight through. I try to nap when I can.

Today my daddy is sick. He stayed home and I didn't get to see him. Naturally I'm sad, but I pray that he feels better. I did facetime him earlier. I just love and miss him so much when he's not here (mom too), but I know he's tired and stressed. He needed the night off.

My granny came to see my mom and I tonight. She brought us a lovely and delicious Mexican food. YUM!! She shared her story of being in the hospital and how it impacted her life. As a matter of fact, so did my nurse. My nurse said that I am a beautiful and kind person; something I apparently needed to hear.

My doctors didn't have such cheery news... No one will give me an idea of what will happen except the worst. However, the "left over skin" did take to the place on my leg that needed it; that's super exciting!! Also, my foot is getting less sensitive. Go me!

 Ok, I'm going to try to sleep.

And that's life...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 87

Day 13: I am thankful for music; it can make you feel all sorts of emotions. Although I miss belting out lyrics, I enjoy my dad's and my time singing together.
Today I am mourning my life. Not the one that flows through my veins, the one I am officially missing out on. I am also mourning my looks. I will have many many scars when this is all said and done. I know you can get them corrected, but that costs money I don't have. I can't help but be sad about this.

I've noticed that the hospital kind of dehumanizes you. I don't feel like a human. I feel different. It's hard to describe. Also, I don't feel pretty. I have greasy hair most of the time. I don't feel clean when I get a sponge bath because they don't do it the way I would. You get a sponge bath every couple of days and a hair washing when the right tech is here and has the skills. It makes you feel like less than a human. People listen to you, but they don't hear you.This is not ALL people. As I've said before, I've met some AMAZING people here who I know I will connect with later.

Hyperbaric was uncomfortable today. I didn't start in a comfortable position, so the whole time I kept fidgeting. They did forget to keep my glasses so I could actually see! Ha ha ha! Apparently they are worried about my glasses scratching the acrylic; they are not a fire hazard. Who knew? I doubt they can do that if they're on my face... There were other people in the other tubes today; I prayed for their healing.

I did well in PT. We worked on my arm and did strength exercises for my legs. We took the dressing off of my skin graft donor site; it will scar, but it looks "good" for now. 3 friends came today bringing awesome stuff with them!!! PB&J, mac-and-cheese, and water. The things they brought were nice and much appreciated, but I was just happy to see them!! My grandparents also came to see me today; they're so sweet! They asked me if I wanted anything specific for thanksgiving and assured me I would get a plate.

And that's life...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 86- Take each day as it comes

Day 12: I am thankful for a God who is jealous for me.
This morning started out horribly. I won't go into it because it involves bathrooming, but trust me it was awful. After that, I got no PT. Of course I was not happy about this. After that it was off to the hyperbaric chamber.

My infectious disease doctor thinks that pulse we found is not a good one. I, however, am inclined to wait for my plastic surgeon to come home from out-of-town. This is really kind of devastating news, but I'm not going to let myself worry about it.

I think I'm finally letting all of my motions out that I've been keeping in. I think I thought this would be a shorter process. I thought I could keep my emotions in and worry about them later, but it looks like I'll have to deal with them now because of the length of this process. Which is waaaaaaay too long if you ask me! I just keep telling myself, "One more day, Jen. You can handle that." But it's NOT one more day, it's like a million!!! I feel like I can't do this, but keep going somehow. Ugh. I don't know.

I started to watch the Walking Dead today; season one episode one. I think I'm going to like it. We also watched a little bit of True Blood. It was awesome! Family bonding time, what can I say? I just combed my hair out and can make a decent wig out of the "fallouts"...

Well I'm going to try to take each day as it comes.

And that's life...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 85

Day 11: I am thankful for our veterans who fight for the freedom I enjoy.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Just what I needed to read. Thank you, friend.

Today was a quick day and marked a complete month of being in the hospital. I spent time in the hyperbaric chamber. Daddy set my new book on the glass and turned the pages for me. It wasn't as bad this time, but tomorrow I have to do it alone, and every day until at least Friday. That scares me a bit. Daddy assures me I can do it. I'm sure I have no choice...

Somehow my ortho found a pulse in my ankle when 3 plastic surgeons could not.We're not getting too excited about this, but that does mean good news most likely. I'm not trying to down play this, I just don't want to get too excited, then it mean nothing. Now part of the flap may still be alive and working like it's supposed to. We won't know anything for sure until yet ANOTHER surgery. Oh joy.

My hemaglobin levels are up which is a good thing. It means my blood levels are getting better.

My granny came to see me today. I love getting visitors most days (some days I can't help the tiredness and exhaustion I feel). I feel remembered and loved. 

My friend got married today. I'm so happy for her!! I'm sorry I couldn't be there, but I saw her and other friends briefly on Tango video chat. It was awesome!! I wish I could have gone to her wedding, but I couldn't have of course. I hope they have a full and happy life together and I wish them the very best!!!

And that's life...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 84

Day 10: I am thankful for flowers!! They're so pretty and smell good. Mommy brought me carnations in pretty colors!!

This blog is written throughout the day, so it's a first person account: So my pulse has been weak in my ankle. Today we didn't get one at all. A different plastic surgeon (mine is gone for a week) came and didn't get a pulse. I am freaking out because there's one step between me and the "A" word. Anyway, she said part of the top layer of the flap could be dead, but the bottom is still doing its job. It's like a big bandaid. I can't dangle my leg anymore.

My infectious disease doctor along with the lady plastics doctor are in communication with my plastic surgeon and decided I will go into the hyperbaric chamber. This will take two hours. I think I'm going to have a heart attack. I can't believe this is happening. I ask God haven't I been through enough? I mean seriously?! He can't possibly expect me to continue this. I definitely can't be an amputee. Come on, God!!! Cut me a freaking break!! My infectious disease doctor said it will take about 2 hours and will feel like being under 33 feet of water. I will have to pop my ears which I thought I couldn't do, but I did when she checked them. Well done, me! I'll let you know how the chamber feels... I have to be in a 100% cotton gown with no glasses (to see the tv) for 2 hours. The chamber is to pass 100% oxygen over my body and ankle in hopes to open up the vein. I am prone to blood clots, factor 5 Leiden, via my amazing dad (it's not his fault).

The chamber is circular and all plexi glass. You can't take anything with you; not even your glasses!! You have to change gowns and beds (which is real hard for someone with 2 limbs down...). You have to pop your ears in the chamber, and now mine hurt. I am so scared about all of this. I don't know how it's going to turn out. I have no control. I keep crying; I save all of my emotions all day for my parents apparently. That's not nice or fair, and it's super bad for me. What can I say? I hate people seeing me cry.

The guy putting me in the hyperbaric chamber.
All plexi glass all the time.
Me: Fake texting in the chamber.

Not too sure why I'm smiling so much... It's a tight fit.
 I keep praying, but I feel like I'm getting no answer. I don't feel like He's carrying me or anything... I know He is, but I don't feel it. This is the hardest thing I've ever done and ever hope to do. It's horrible. It's terrible. I hate it.

It sucks being mostly stuck in a hospital bed day in and day out; let's not forget nights, too. I can get up to potty and with PT twice a day. Hardly anyone touches me. I think that's another thing that I'm sad about. In my family we're very affectionate. I don't get that in my hospital bed. I told dad this and it's a little better, but it still sucks. I also miss laying on my side or stomach which is how I usually sleep. I have to sleep and be on my back 24/7. Ugh.

A new nurse friend of mine gave me a book I am excited to read! Maybe that will help me not worry so much. I now have added hyperbaric chamber sessions for at least 3 days to the things I do everyday. They upped Lovenox dose as well.

I'm going to miss the new Twilight movie I'm pretty sure. I'm so saaaaad!! I've seen everyone and read all the books. I want to see it!!

I am ending my night with the start of season 3-True Blood. It'll take my mind off things.

And that's life..

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 83

Some inspiration from Mama Laughlin- Life isn't fair. Injuries happen. It doesn't make you less awesome. You've already accomplished so much. There will always been another race. Take care of yourself first. Run if you can. Walk if you need. Crawl if you must. JUST KEEP GOING.

Day 9: I am thankful for laughter and joy; without it we would always be sad.

Today was tough. I'm feeling the strain of exhaustion. I was so independent and now I'm so dependent. This is bad because I can't go home until I'm semi-independent. My doctor (ortho) told me I could go home tomorrow. Although I'm excited about the prospect, I don't feel like I'm ready. I don't feel independent enough... yet. When I go home, no one will be there all day with me. I do believe our neighbor, who's a stay at home mom, said she would be willing to check on me. The home situation the first time was less than perfect. We just weren't ready for a handicap person to come home.I hope this next time will be better.

I got my brace today!! It's weird to see my arm. My ortho has it set to just move towards me and go out to bent. Does that make sense? Anyways, my arm was all gross so we had to scrub it down before we put the brace on.

As far out as I can go.

Mom just got a cot brought in. That thing is creeky! We'll see how the night goes... It's ridiculously loud and I know she moves A LOT!!

My muscle flap seems to be doing what it's supposed to be doing. We still have a pulse. I should be able to put it down tomorrow which will make transferring waaaaay easier!

My friend came to see me today and brought me Panera Bread- they have the BEST mac-n-cheese! We also did a mini class about small churches. It was awesome!! Of course she brought me a cookie.  My associate pastor also came to visit me. It was a good visit.

I have been fighting a headache for days.

Sorry it's so short.

And that's life...