Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Free at last

I am cast free.  I have a huge boot that is on for 6 weeks during the day and a much lighter weight splint at night that I absolutley am not allowed to put even a touch of weight on.  With the boot I can wean down to walking without it.  I can do that in my apartment but I need the crutches for stairs, uneven surfaces, and any long distance.  It feels very strange and off-balance but that's improving and I bet I'll be off crutches in 2 weeks or so.  I am starting PT on Tuesday.

The skin was disgusting.  Michal I kept thinking about Kyle's pedicure.  I couldn't do that because my incision isn't completely closed but I made my own variation at home.  It took an hour or more to soak off most of the nasty skin and hack off the hair on my leg.  I am not a very hairy person; I can't imagine what it would be like if I were.  This is really gross so be forewarned but the feeling I'd been having of something sticking to me, well, it wasn't steri-strips.  There was a huge ball of dead skin loose in my cast and when it got sticky from wound drainage it was sticking to my skin.  In the arch my skin had gotten so tough that it feel like something was there and it was really just layers of dead skin.  But all of that is gone, more or less, and my steri-strips are gone.  It is healing well and my doctor is pleased with the amount of swelling/bruising.  The swelling is decreasing daily now that I am moving it a little.  And I have more movement than I expected.  Not enough to be functional but enough to see it move.  And it moves without deviating from the path it should take until the muscles get tired and even then it isn't nearly as bad as it was before.

I am so excited to start PT.  I actually am really looking forward to having to stretched.  It will hurt badly but it feels like it needs to be stretched. I don't know how to explain that aside from the feeling your back needs stretched so you reach way up.  I am very leery of the day that I put weight on it without the boot but I doubt that happens immediately. 

After 6 weeks of boot and PT I go back and will start transitioning to a shoe.  I will be at 16 weeks then.  So by 6 months I should be pretty functional.  It's mostly hard right now to believe that it is able to hold and that I'm not going to immediately sprain it if I put weight on it in the boot (which I am learning to trust because it is so sturdy) or that I can EVER wear a shoe and not have it give out constantly.  But that exact thing should be my Christmas present.

Anyway time to try to sleep.  Geraldine's birthday party is tomorrow so I have to get up early and so hopefully I'll get some sleep.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I finally was free to soak my leg tonight to get the dead skin off and shave the inch long hair.  I am now in a boot for 6 weeks, will wean off crutches as the boot stops feeling scary, get to wear a splint at night instead of the huge boot (thank God, I'd never sleep in that thing) and I'm starting PT on Tuesday.  The steri-strips are off and my incision looks fabulous.  I'm sure things will change with the steri-strips off but it looks like I'm not going to have much of a scar because they were on so long.  Of course by the time I looked in the mirror at the incision my leg was really swollen and purple so it may look worse than I think.  It's still not closed 100% because the cast kept it so moist and I opened it up a little while I was soaking my leg (draped it over the side of the tub while I sat outside the tub on the shower chair) but nothing that I can't handle.  I'm really enjoying moving my toes freely and I'm supposed to do plantar flexion/dorsiflexion several times daily.  I have more inversion/eversion than I thought I would; it's minimal but it is there.  4 weeks ago I didn't have much more than a hint when the doctor asked me to move it so that's good.  And I'm very excited because I went into this knowing that I might need further surgery on my Achilles later.  It was torn as well as everything else and had scarred into a nodule that rubbed and really hurt.  With all the time of immobilzation the nodule is completely gone.  It could come back but if I do massage and watch and have the PT do ultrasound on it if I starts to return I think it is possible to break it up and have it go away.  Even if it does return with the ankle moving normally it might not be a problem.  And my ankle does move normally.  It is fascinating to watch it move and not be pulled in by unbalanced ligaments.  It moves like it is supposed to and that is a very exciting thing.

It was a long day and I'm really tired from it (walking with the boot is really hard and I'm very wobbly and so walking is a lot of work) but it was worth it to feel like I've hit a point that it is time for the work part of healing to start.  From here on healing isn't just about how well I sit around, it's about actually doing something to help myself and that is extremely exciting.

And with that I'm going to get something to eat.  I have the best cantaloupe ever right now.  It was enormous when my mom bought it for me (the size of a small watermelon) and it is so sweet and delicious I can't stop eating it, especially knowing that melons won't be fresh for much longer.  It's so weird to have summer be ending when I've spent so much of it waiting to get to this point.

Next up is a couple days at home and then Geraldine's 1st birthday party is this weekend.  I met her exactly one year ago today.  She's changed so much from the pale baby that was having trouble managing her secretions to the almost-toddler (she totally can walk but doesn't want to because she crawls faster than anyone can walk) who loves to label everything.  She sees me and she says "Jen, Jen, Jen" a few times and then won't call me by name again.  Sometimes there's an aunt on it but usually just Jen, said very quietly.  I'm special though; she calls both her parents and my mom the same nonsense syllables that my sister thinks mean "one who takes care of me".  Her sister has an approximation of her name and that's used a lot.  She also tells you Dawwgggg, Bawwwlllll, baaby, and various other labels.  She just hasn't decided that she is all that worried about talking too much, probably because her sister says everything she needs to communicate anyway.

I am so itchy tonight.  It's a little disturbing, like I'm allergic to something but I don't have a rash.  Who knows?  I have seasonal allergies in the early fall so that's probably the cause. 

And I really need to put the boot on, get some food and work on my mom's birthday present.

Monday, August 18, 2014


I'm puzzled by a lot this evening actually.  Why I am having migraines all of a sudden is a good one and why they keep happening when my triptan is not a good idea is another.  (I have to get up in the morning for a dental appointment and if I take the triptan it will make me sleep a few hours and then I'll be awake for hours in the night and that's no good if I have to wake up.  So, lesser meds it is).

I also can't remember what I told Dr. Mind I'd think about.  I remember the question I want to ask him next time because it hadn't occurred to me until today that he would have to have some kind of an answer to this question (it's about the mess with my brother and since I'm not blogging the details of that right now I can't be more specific, so sorry for being mysterious instead).

I do have something very much stuck in my head though.  As we talked today about my brother and how I'm struggling with reconciling the person I know, a person who certainly irritated me at times and who wasn't my best friend ever but who I thought I at least sort of knew, with the person who is going to prison and how hard it is for me that he will be there for a substantial part of his life so that everything will change and it may never change back again (if he gets a long sentence in the scope of the very difficult to comprehend sentencing guidelines my mom may very well not be here when he is released and he may not even live long enough to serve a long sentence out) we talked a bit about how some of the conflict between my mother and I is that I can picture what happened and I have a different sense of its' wrongness than my mother does.  And as we've discussed many times before in the context of different parts of my life he pointed out that in Appalachia some things are more culturally accepted than in the rest of the country.  And for the first time I think it really clicked that I am in Appalachia but no longer really of it.  I said without even thinking "I walked away from that culture".  And for the next 10 minutes I cried and laughed at the same time while we talked about that. 

I knew that I had done this.  I made a very deliberate decision to do so when I was 18; I left for college and planned to never go back home.  And aside from short breaks I never did again.  I can go to my hometown and I am treated as a complete outsider because I did this.  And not only did I do that but I did the really unthinkable and I moved even farther away after college instead of coming back and re-integrating into my hometown.  That's not very forgiveable where I grew up.  I think people think I think I'm better than they are.  I don't.  But I talk differently (although I can lapse back into Appalachia-speak if I hear it; I was in and out all the time with patients when I did home health), I have a professional degree and had a pretty lucrative career as a single woman and I've never had a baby, much less had a baby when I was a teenager like most of the women I grew up with.  I don't think single women who live independently are viewed very well in my culture.  And so I am experiencing this in 2 different worlds.  I really did not understand that until today.  Mostly when we've discussed this in the past it has been about things I experienced while living in Appalachia growing up and so the Appalachian way was in my thought patterns.  For this I developed my thoughts after I left and they are decidedly different.

I also hadn't thought about how I really stepped out of my family's culture as well.  My mother and sister both have earned PhDs, so both have violated one cultural norm.  But neither have ever lived outside of Appalachia.  Well, my sister lived just barely outside it in a place as similar as it could have been for about a year.  Otherwise they have never lived where things were different.

I don't know why I hadn't realized this.  I certainly was aware that there were cultural differences during the years I lived in Michigan.  In fact I worked hard in those years to drop my native accent.  It didn't really work, I just wound up hard for anyone to clearly understand because I wound up with 2 accents mushed together.  My mom and sister both have the same speech characteristics that I and many professionals have in that Appalachian can be turned on and off at will.  I have a friend who is able to do this so well that he can write in Appalachian.  I am not nearly as aware of it as that.  I don't usually notice that I've drifted one way or the other with speech unless I'm trying to be formal.  It used to be that when I wanted to be formal that was when the soft Appalachia-speak was most likely to come out.  I could keep verb tenses and pronouns correct but I would lose the "g" sound at the end of words with "ing" and various other soft parts of the accent emerged.  By the end of grad school that was gone.  I'm sure Dr. Mind hears it come and go a lot because I imagine when I am upset or when I talk about being a kid that the accent probably slips out more than usual.

So what I learned today is that not only is this entire situation very difficult to understand and to live with and it is hard because my family has all approached it differently, it is also that cultural reference point that causes some of the conflict among my family members and in myself.  And my leaving the culture I grew up in (even though I've returned it's kind of not the same ever again when you make that leap) has led to the doubts about why am I reacting differently than my family, beyond personal differences.

I don't really know what to do with this.  But it was an interesting change in thinking.  I'll not remember what I was told to think about but I'll substitute this instead. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The last week

I just have so little to say.  It's been a quiet week mostly.  I saw my doctor a week ago for a check-up and he asked me what nobody ever dares to ask:  Do I miss work?  That question was so kind and his response was so kind (and I didn't cry!) that it has been a happy thing to think about ever since.  I can't recall the last time someone asked that, probably because everyone (including Dr Body) knows that it may cause me to cry uncontrollably.  That question set the week apart.

I've also thought a lot about Robin Williams.  I happened to catch an early headline about his death and it didn't say more than he was dead.  I added "of suicide".  I might have gone along without thinking as much about it but there was a lot of facebook controversy over with an extended family member about whether suicide is a choice.  (You can search and find the offending blog post that led to the discussion; I'm not going to link to it and help the person who wrote it get more clicks and more ad revenue).  It was respectful but my comments made me clarify my thinking a lot. 

And then my mom told me something about this video with Robin Williams and Koko, the gorilla who knows over 1000 signs.  I am something of a sucker for Koko because I had to learn sign language when I was a camp counselor and I know how very difficult it is.  The 3rd year I was proficient enough to communicate well enough to get through 2 weeks with difficulty as opposed to SEVERE and moderate difficulty the first 2 years but even though I was conversant for a short while I have lost most of it.  It's not easy.  And so I watched the video and then read that Koko's smile is the first she had made since her companion of 27 years had died 6 months before.  I also saw pictures of Koko mourning her friend.  And so the gorilla made me think a lot more.  So this a variation of what I posted on Facebook:

I think that this is what we most need to think of.....how this man was amazing, and how he did things that go so far beyond the usual human experience, despite his extreme pain and suffering in life and despite the horrible tragedy of his ultimate death. He made a mourning gorilla smile and from all account this is how he interacted with the world. What happened to him in the end does speak volumes about what suffering mental illness causes. But how he lived speaks volumes about the strength that overcomes mental illness in the daily lives of so many who suffer from it.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Still boring

One thing about spending a summer healing from major surgery, you don't feel like you are whining on your blog.  I just have so little to talk about.  My ankle is mostly boring although I got the cast boot caught on something in the car the other day and tried out some rotational force which wasn't really ideal.  I'm pretty sure it is fine and just a little bit scared that it isn't because I'm so used to my ankle not holding up to stress.  It's been pretty swollen which in turn leads to crazy nerve symptoms but I haven't been elevating 24/7 since I did it because my nieces were here.  So I've elevate a lot but not like it was my career.  Tomorrow will involve nothing but elevating and if there are any symptoms after that I'll deal with Nurse Rachet on Monday.  It's not worth going up and having my cast removed, a quick check and a new cast which is all they can do.  There aren't big exams of my ankle yet because I don't think the surgeon wants to have any big movements happen yet at all and when they start probably it won't be because he is pushing on it.  He did have me move it a tiny bit last time and he moved it a tiny bit but that's it.  I can move some within the cast and that is safe movement and so I'm assuming that the turning was safe movement even though it didn't feel good.  But nothing obviously tore which is great after the last few years and which I'll have to get used to over time.

In other news Dr. Mind seemed even less interested in leaving when I spoke to him last.  I think that it is possible that this won't happen although I'm still preparing for it to occur.  Right now I feel like I need to run after everyone I know yelling "don't leave me!" because I know that I'm going to lose my brother sometime soon and my cat won't be here for a very long time either and those two losses are enough for me to even think about, much less survive.  I already have a mental note made that Dr. Mind needs to make sure that the person who I see if there's an emergency when he is out of town knows about my brother because he is on vacation fairly soon and if things happen with my brother I will need help.

My nieces were here the last few days.  Anna was as attached to me as she used to be and I have missed that SO, SO much.  She says we are "best buddies".  We spent hours and hours reading and doing her "homework" (coloring).  She now loves books that I have always loved and so we have that in common and it seems to be a great bond.  I love watching her as a big sister.  The baby (who is going to turn one next week!!!!) adores her and it is so much fun to see them interact, although Anne can be too much at times.  I hope they are always so close.

My anxiety level finally has gone down but for whatever reason I cannot seem to get total control. For a while it was panic attacks and then those ended but it was still just very high anxiety and then that improved but I'm having nightmares.  What is worse is that they are often my September 11 nightmare and that is one I could do without.  Because I worked that morning in a basement with no tv, radio or cell service we were limited to the information we got from briefly catching a minute of news while transporting patients.  I saw Tower One fall while writing an order at a nurses' station so I knew the towers were both gone.  It was many hours before the ramifications of that were clear.  But there were many rumors that day that made the news and were then corrected and those were the worst.  I remember entering the PT room knowing that the color had totally left my face to announce that the Capitol parking garage had been bombed.  I didn't know that wasn't true for many, many hours.  It was a day of confusion for everyone but our piecemeal news was very traumatic.  In light of this after the Pentagon was hit (I think) they decided to have us treat patients quickly and go home as they felt this was time to be with family.  I had to work a little later than others because I ad a home health eval that had to be done that day.  So it was even more hours for me before I started to understand or even knew some of what had happened (I don't think I knew about Flight 93 until I finally got home and later was horrified to realize it had flown directly over my head in the first minutes of the hijacking.  I don't know why that bothered me but it always has.  I think it made me extra aware of what the passengers did in bringing the plane down where they did rather than over the several cities they flew over or would have flown over on the way to DC.)  Anyway, at some point all of it meshed into a nightmare where fact and rumors are one and the world is ending because of those events and we are watching the nuclear warheads exploding in the sky.  Those dreams have haunted me from time to time in the last 13 years and they are back right now.  It's probably related to things feeling very out of control.  My brother, Dr. Mind, my ankle......I so wish that I knew what the PLAN was for the ankle.  I know that he varies things according to need but I'd just like to know little things like he told my mom after surgery that it would be 12 weeks before I was full weight bearing.  I'm partial now and doing great with it.  In the plan at 5 days I wasn't going to be weight bearing until 8 weeks when I'd get a boot.  Instead I got the walking cast at 6 weeks with partial weight bearing and I'm supposed to get a boot at 10 weeks.  So I'm assuming that means boot and crutches for 2 weeks then weaning to boot alone and then eventually into a shoe which takes a while from what I've read.  But I really don't know and that annoys me.  I am really hoping that I won't be told not to remove the boot for showers; the idea of a hot shower and lots of lotion is keeping me going right now.  In fact I may just try to sneak a little money from my budget to get some good lotion with a great smell, just for this.  I want the clean that smelly foot and leg so badly and to get all the nasty skin off.  I think I am supposed to get 2 weeks of ROM on my own before PT but again, subject to change.  He seems to see the 12 week mark as a big deal so my guess is that he doesn't want the scar tissue disturbed until then but I'm trying mind-reading so what do I know?

And that's my life.  My good, sweet kidney cat is curled up with me, her defensive move against getting her routine anti-nausea medication.  It's been about 3 weeks since I gave up on most cat foods for her and she's really doing well as long as I hold to my principles (high quality food only).  I had read that cheaper food that was meat in the initial ingredients was as good as top brand food.  We painfully learned that is NOT true as she threw up and threw up and as so very, very sick one day this week.  Her stomach is so fragile that she only has to vomit a couple of times and it will be blood-tinged and this time she clearly felt AWFUL so I felt TERRIBLE.  (The blood no longer scares me, it just makes me sad, especially when I created it).  But now she's back to her usual weird diet of expensive foods, raw eggs, ice water, and tuna in oil and she seems to be feeling better.  I guess I'm learning to navigate this terminal illness thing but I certainly handle dying people better than dying animals.

Sorry this was depressing.  I don't even know how to change it and I guess that just says how I am really feeling right now.

Sunday, August 03, 2014


So a long time ago, probably 8 or 9 years ago, there was a blog that I read every day.  I didn't really believe everything the woman wrote and I thought that she was more than a little bit of a drama queen and also that she was exceptionally willing to ask for and accept things from her readers, but I thought that this was a choice her readers made and whatever. 

And then she hurt me  As I recall she made a very inappropriate joke about disabilities.  I sent her an email that just said "hey, that's really not funny and from the perspective of someone with a disability here is my little story of why".  She answered and seemed nice enough; I responded to that with a "thanks for being understanding".  Her reply was "well, I won't post THIS one on my blog, hahahaha".  So I went to the blog and she had taken my email, edited it and taken things out of context and even out of the order I had written them, made me look like I was being aggressive and immature, and posted them under a title about what trolls say or something like that.  It definitely contained the word troll.  An when modified and twisted it didn't sound nice.  What I sent WAS nice but it turns out you can edit the most non-confrontational thing into something awful if you want to try.  So I quit reading and then months later became aware that something had happened in her marriage that was bad.  End of story.

Except that the other day I was reminded of her somehow.  I had actually looked for her once before when another blog had an ad for a blog by a totally different name than I knew her by and a commenter had posted something about did you know this was a scam blog, it was written by someone who had pulled off a scam and was known by __________ at that time.  So I was shocked to hear that name but there wasn't anything that I could find so I just forget again.  Until this week and this time I found her.  I also found a place where she was accused of the same kind of things, asking for money for rather strange reasons, exaggerating, etc. 

For whatever reason I decided to read what this person who was so mean to me years ago was writing.  And I've been surprised that she more or less seems normal now.  Still has personality traits that I might not want in my best friend and I have noticed her writing style very often mimics other bloggers (she uses phrases or stylistic patterns that I know are from these other writers because they consistently use them and she just does sometimes, but at least she isn't stealing content, just a favorite word or a phrase here or there.). 

So I've been really surprised that she isn't who I remembered at all.  I still don't trust her, I still wouldn't ever comment, I still question some of what she does but for the most part I think she just writes about her life.  And I somehow had forgotten that people change because I was so afraid of her meanness after she came after me all those years ago. 

Just another reminder that the internet is a weird place.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Who is the grumpiest person in the neighborhood?


The good news is that Dr. Mind is not leaving until at least December if at all and he sounds uncertain that he would take the job that may be an issue in December.  I am making myself believe that he is leaving for sure but I think that the reality is that it is not all that likely.  It's just easier to be prepared and wrong that not prepared and wrong.  It's so hard to think about him being gone.  I've worked incredibly hard to learn to trust him and then to even like him and respect him and I can't imagine life without him.  I have only 2 people in my life who aren't family who I've had longer relationships with.  And I know that it bothers him to leave me when he knows how hard it is to consider.  He's never treated anyone as long as he has treated me and so the relationship is unique.  I'll just be glad when things are settled which should be in the next 2-3 months I think.

Otherwise I'm grouchy.  We talked a lot last week about my need to set boundaries with my family getting even more important with my brother potentially moving here to stay with my mother.  That too is now delayed until about December but about then it will become absolutely necessary if he hasn't been arrested.  Which is a crappy way to say it since it sounds like the arrested is a positive alternative and it's not.  Even my mother finally understands and admits that he is going to be in jail for years.  I'm glad that she has accepted this but it still sucks because it is painful regardless of what you believe and the reality is even more difficult.

So I have proceeded to stand up to my sister this week which was appropriate but somehow didn't feel quite right and I've been frustrated whenever I didn't succeed at getting people to listen to me.  We went to the fair yesterday and rented a wheelchair.  I requested that it have legrests that elevate so my leg could be straight out instead of hanging down.  When they loaded it I didn't thing the legrests were right and I kept trying to say "are those elevating legrests?" and my mother kept talking over me saying they were legrests and they were fine and she wouldn't let me finish asking the person loading it and she wouldn't listen herself so I gave up and assumed she'd seen the things and verified they were what I was asking for. So we got to the fair and of course they were not the kind I needed. Which made me really mad and I didn't show that but it just turned into grouchiness whenever  got frustrated, like when I said "oh, I want to eat that" and thn 5 minutes later when we were far from the stand my mom said "so do you know what you want to eat?" to all of us and my sister and I were both saying "uh, Jen said what she wanted".  I then said "You are REALLY NOT LISTENING today" and she didn't like that much.  But it turned out that while the fair was so much fun and spending time with my nieces was great there was a lot that I couldn't see or do and that was frustrating.  At one point Anne wanted to try an activity and had 20 minutes in line for the 20 minute activity.  I couldn't push my wheelchair anywhere so I had 20 minutes sitting on a bench watching the baby nap, a few minutes of pushing my wheelchair and then 20 plus minutes of waiting while she did her activity, part of that time completely alone because my mom took the baby to a bench far from where I was sitting so she could watch.  So I sat and stared at absolutely nothing since I couldn't see anything but the backs of 2 men on the bench in front of me.  I woudn't have cared if I could have done something during that time, like push the sleeping baby to an exhibit but I couldn't and my mom was too tired and so we sat.  I wound up feeling like I had fun in some parts of the day but that it would have been much easier without me and my mom would have had more fun if she weren't too tired from pushing a wheelchair around to take the sleeping baby to some exhibit.

There are other examples but it all comes down to I've been really anxious for several weeks and that's making waiting to heal much more difficult.  It's great to have the walking cast and that's greatly improved the quality of my life but it also has meant that my mom doesn't feel like helping until things are really bad, so the few things I still can't do pile up.  I have to go downstairs every time I need clean clothes because I can't carry the laundry up and she hasn't responded to the request to bring them up.  I need clean sheets but she hasn't helped with them and I can't do that yet.  Today she wasn't feeling good so that's one thing but she is complaining constantly of fatigue and pain that I think is either somatizied depression or fibromyalgia and she refuses to see the doctor or get treatment.  So instead she is just complaining and making me feel guilty that I need any help and I wind up making do without help and then I feel guilty for complaining.  It's a mess.  I know this summer has been chaotic for her.  I've done my best to reduce that.  But I can't stand the guilt and it is increasing my anxiety immensely and then the grouchiness.

So things are about the same here.  I am trying to be patient and heal and the longer that everything is such a huge deal to have help with the more I want to rip the cast off and start screaming that I can do it myself and I'm sorry for ever needing anything.  Which isn't helping anyone.

And now I must hike down to the dryer for pajamas.  This I think 4 days of having to go down there twice a day for clothes.  And while I can do stairs it is hard work and doesn't feel extremely secure yet. (I have a boot over my cast to let me walk.  It has a rocker bottom so I can't stand flat-footed and secure, ever and when it is swollen like today it is less safe feeling.)

I am so hot and tired. I am going to have to turn the air conditioner on.  Hate that but it's now officially inevitable.  I liked the cool spell in July. We don't get those often.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


So I've made it 6 weeks into this ankle reconstruction journey.  I had my cast removed on Wednesday, x-rays taken and a walking cast put on.  I am allowed to walk with crutches as much as I want to.  It has been somewhat uncomfortable to adjust to weight-bearing at the same time that my ankle was pushed into a new position in the cast but the pain is improving.  It is SO GOOD to walk, especially since I've been pretty agitated lately.  I can also drive now and do a lot of things that have required help since my operation.  It is a lot easier to cope now.  I will admit that the longer I am casted the more frustrating the itching is.  Nearly all of it is my toes which are inside the cast but can be reached.  I keep trying to get the dead skin off but without being able to use water (or alcohol, which they gave me at the clinic to get the majority of the peeling skin off my leg) it's kind of hopeless.  So I just try to not scratch them in public.  I'm fairly sure I should leave them alone since I don't think I have full sensation in them yet but the itching is pretty compelling and I make it worse by rubbing my toes on the cast liner a lot.

The rest of life moves on, even when it seems it isn't.  I got a nasty reminder of that this week when I saw Dr. Mind and talked about a nightmare where he left.  And so I got more information than I was prepared for about that.  He has been kind of iffy about the other position he was being considered for.  Another has come up that I don't think he will not take if it is offered---and the place is rather desperate to hire.  So good-bye is coming pretty soon.  I may be able to continue working with him via Skype which is good to know but I'd prefer he stay.  It's hard because I want him to be happy and to do what he has been dreaming of doing forever.  I just wish that it would be a bit closer.  I think I'd convinced myself that all was going to be well there and so it was shocking to find out otherwise.

This has led to one monster panic attack that lasted for many hours and which didn't respond to anything and several smaller ones plus the feeling that I'm on the verge of panic at all times.  I want so badly to be able to walk until the feeling goes away but that isn't possible.  Last night I walked many laps around my tiny living room/kitchen.  It didn't help. Today I went for a longer walk at the park which made my leg ache so that is completely not happening tonight.  I took part of a pain pill so I'm hoping that makes me tired finally.  If nothing else I talk to Dr Mind more Monday and that's tomorrow now.  It hadn't occurred to me that I may have to go through losing my brother to jail and Dr. Mind to life at the same time, potentially while I am still recovering from surgery.  Now that I have realized this it is too scary.

My brother was here again today.  I got a reminder that I needed that his Asperger's makes him socially bizarre but also kind of annoying at times.  It is good to feel normal about him, at least in one area. There is a chance he will be living here for a while and that's just one more thing to cope with that I'm not sure how to handle.  My mom has let me say no about this and I can't because I don't want to be the reason he is homeless.  And there is the pesky certainty that I am supposed to maintain a relationship with him, something I have decided is the absolute hardest thing God has ever asked of me because I feel so ill-equipped.  The stress is causing more panic and disturbingy diarrhea which is not a good thing when it takes crutches to get to the bathroom.  I don't wear the walking boot in bed and when I have to move fast I'm hopping on the crutches.  Last week my stomach was upset for several days after he was here; this time it is starting while he's here.  I'm doing my best to do what God has led me to do but it is so incredibly hard.  Dr. Mind reminds me that God will equip me with what I need to do this but when I find it nearly impossible to sleep while he's here I think I need more blatant help. 

I know I'll be ok.  There's just too much change happening.  After seeing Dr. Brain on Saturdays for the last 12.5 years I have to set up appointments for her main office during the week.  Dr. Mind may become a person on a computer screen.  I have no idea how that would work but i know I want to try.  I'm feeling like I'm being forced to be resigned to so much that I don't like at the moment.  And I have too much time to think.

I got a reprieve from this during the worst of the recovery time.  I can at least get out now and am not glued to bed.  But I just want to get past this part of my life.  In 6 months everything will be different and I am scared of how that will be.

All I can do is keep going through.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oh so rough

My mom's friend has had some complications (nothing terrible but very difficult for him) with his surgery and so she's been gone more.  Yesterday she wound up staying at the hospital all night and so my brother came down.  I spent hours with him and while it was ok I'm not so ok now.  It was so uncomfortable because there are so many things that feel like they should never be mentioned, yet how do you not mention normal things? 

I had to cancel Dr. Mind and of course now I'm crumbling like toast.  So I'm wavering on trying a phone session, something that is generally not that helpful.  I want to just be able to drive but I can't yet have my leg down that long.  All kinds of feelings about my brother came out and so I couldn't sleep last night.  When I did get a nap this afternoon I dreamed that Dr. Mind was leaving in a few months and that I was regretting "wasting" these last months that I know I'll have him.  And the truth is that I have no idea if that is true; I didn't understand what he told me about the decision being postponed and I just was glad to accept that a few months ago.  Now I am back to needing to know and yet I don't think that's a phone call kind of discussion.  So I don't know what to do, try to wait a week or try to call in.  I guess I'll decide based on what happens with sleep.

Dr. Brain gave me a med adjustment but it hasn't worked out to do it yet.  It potentially involves being really sedated and that has to happen when I don't need to be anywhere, am not feeling totally uncomfortable b/c my bother is here or am going to be very much on my own.  So I've not tried it but it seems like I shouldn't complain until I do.

I'm anxious about my dr appointment Wednesday because I am afraid that he will brush off my foot pain in my good foot which is limiting my mobility significantly.  I also am afraid that the boot I get this week will cause more pain because it is even more awkward than a cast.  It's also a very long day and I don't feel like it right now.  I have decided that once that boot is on I'm going to start driving if it is at all possible.  I am so tired of being dependent and I need to get to Dr. Mind when I need to do that.

Some of this is just because I've spent 5 1/2 weeks in bed or on the couch, some is because of the cancer diagnosis with the friend who is part of our family, part is seeing my brother, part is not enough sessions with Dr. Mind lately , part is that I am struggling with seeing my old cat get sicker, some is that i thought I'd lost weight but apparently I haven't, I just have a more toned abdomen and wasn't getting an accurate reading on the scale, part is my nightmare of Dr. Mind leaving, but I'm just tired of everything and everything feels stressful.  i don't even think it's my mood, I think it's just entirely LIFE.

I am just so tired and so very ready to do things myself again.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I realized I haven't said anything here in a long time.  That's because I've spent 36 days in bed.  I get out to see Dr. Mind or for doctor appointments.  I went to Walmart this week briefly and I've gone for a ride or two.  I went to Anne's 4th birthday party last week.  And that's it.  Otherwise I pretty much sit right here with my leg propped on 4 pillows and I read or play on the computer.  I watch Netflix a good bit.  I get a shower a few times a week and take sponge baths in between.  I've learned to wash my hair at the kitchen sink standing on one leg so I can do that when I feel gross.  Showering is really hard work and requires my mom to be here for longer than usual so we limit it.  I have safety equipment and know how to be safe but it just isn't the safest maneuver.

I go to the ortho Wednesday.  They'll take my cast partially off and then send me to xray.  When that's done I'll see the ortho and if I'm healing well I'll move into a boot so I can start to do ROM.  Frankly I DREAD the boot.  They are heavy and my recollection is that they are also hot and itchy.  The cast is slightly itchy although usually it is my incisions that itch or dead skin that is around the top of the cast.  It really isn't bad with that and it is light and not overly hot.  I hate sleeping with it but I'll hate sleeping with the boot more.  So I am not excited about this part.  Maybe I'll be more excited about it in a few more weeks when the boot means I can start putting weight down.  I keep hoping he'll say I can do that now but he said 8 weeks and yesterday was 5 so I think I probably have some time left.

In some ways it feels like forever and in some ways it has gone fast (mostly the part where I was on more pain meds went fast and the last 10 days have been slower.).  I'm well enough now to really, really want to do everything myself and most especially to just take a shower and have that be easy and independent but just cooking scrambled eggs yesterday was actually quite difficult.  Just getting in the fridge is quite tricky.  So I just have to wait and know those things will come.  Some of the things I want to do are so simple, like seeing Dr. Mind in HIS office instead of the first floor not as nice, not the safe place I'm used to, office where we have been meeting.  I can do stairs on the crutches now but his are steep and I have no idea what my skills will be like when the boot goes on so we wait. 

I have trouble believing it's time to start therapy.  I am still so tired.  Not that this will be physically taxing at first but it seems like more energy will be needed soon.  I guess I'll be getting that back soon since I'm sure I'll have more when I use more.  I hear that being tired into the 4th month is pretty normal and since I still have at least 3 weeks of elevation/bed sitting I'm sure that is true.  I do excercise as I can but it is limited.  I have gotten incredible balance skills and can clean up messes on the floor without falling now.  I'm sure doing that on one foot will serve me well in the future.????.

Today I have some kind of stomach bug.  I've been really glad for zofran to control nausea and very thankful for not vomiting.  The bathroom isn't too many hops away but it is not close enough to get there fast (the other side of the room is about the only place that is possible) and vomiting would be a nightmare.  So I'm just praying that the nausea stays controlled.

There just isn't much to say.  It's been cool here nearly all week and the fresh air has been wonderful.  It's hard to be stuck inside all the time for weeks on end.

So more from boringtown eventually.