Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You Just Never Know...

Things can change in a minute. 

Today was the day! The day I was going to get my cast off. I woke up excited. I went through each class period excited.

3:30 could not come soon enough....

I knew I had a rough road ahead. I knew I wasn't going to be walking out of the doctor's office. I knew I'd be going to physical therapy. I knew it would be hard.

I was ready. I was ready to take a shower, ready to wiggle my toes fully, ready to get rid of this super funny feeling in my foot...

I giggled while the guy took my cast off (it does feel super funny), and I was anxious to see my foot.

It was finally off.

And my foot....looked....different. The colors were off. It was swollen. Ok, so it's been in a cast for a month. No big deal, right?

Doc comes in--not mine, but another one (mine would pop in later)--and starts looking at my foot, and touching in, and running his fingers across my foot and leg, and poking certain parts of my foot and leg.

His face looked off.

He said he was really concerned.

It was so cold in the room--I was freezing, and freaked, and I couldn't stop shaking. He wanted to get Dr. Z in the room before he was certain of what he was seeing, but he thought it was CRPS...

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Doc made me swear not to google it. If you choose to, please don't say anything to me about it).

He left. We waited. I shook.

My doc came in, looked down, and exclaimed, "No, no, no, no, no, no!" No joke. Those are never words you want to hear out of your doctor's mouth. Ever.

He explained that it can happen with trauma (and a surgery is a trauma), but he was baffled--the surgery went so well, everything seemed fine, but something triggered it.

The nervous system went into some sort of shock and freaked out and messed stuff up (that's all technically medical of course).

I just sat and held back tears and tried my hardest to listen. He kept saying--we will fix this, we will get ahead of this, this won't get the best of you! Apparently this is a really big deal...

What now?

Physical therapy stat. Pain management center stat for a nerve block in my back of some sort (that sure made those welling tears start to fall...). 

Keep working so that I'll be distracted and not be thinking about the pain. Keep focused. Don't let me pain get ahead of me. 

Is this really happening? 

They wanted me to get into one of those places this afternoon, but neither office answered. Doc told me they'd keep calling and get me in ASAP--obviously the sooner the better.

I have my physical therapist's cell number, so I shot a text out and told her what was going on. And guess what? She wrote her doctoral thesis on this very thing. :::Sigh of relief::: God is good. He's putting me in good hands...

I trust that He will carry me through this. I trust that He can work a miracle.

I feel somewhat validated for being in so much pain--I guess it's not just because I'm weaksauce. 

You just never know. Things can change in a minute. I knew I'd have a long road ahead--I just never imagined it'd take this turn.

So I'll keep letting God drive, even though it's not easy. I have to lean on Him, because I (literally) don't have strength of my own. I'll let him work a miracle and heal me if He wills.

I'll hang on. Pray for me? Thanks. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quite Like, Rather Dislike: Back to School Edition

Quite Like:

* Seeing my cutie pies from last year--they love to run in and say "hi" during passing period or lunch. 

* Being with some of the greatest coworkers on the face of the planet! 

* 8th grade!!! I work with the most amazing women. I dearly love and respect each one of them!

* Bella! (our dog--yes, she's "ours" Trudy, not just yours!) :) 

* My new nickname-- Scooter--I wonder why?

* Getting to know some new "darlings" (I have a kid who thinks he's a vampire. No joke.)

* Looking out into my classroom and seeing some familiar faces. 

Rather Dislike: 

* My cast.

* My scooter.

* Not being able to easily hop up and grab something from across the room.

* Waking up early.

* Bringing grading home. Lamesauce.

* Not being able to drive and get places when and where I want (but Sauni and Mom have been amazing drivers!)

* Having to make my lunch and figure out what to wear (well, Mom's been helping--thanks!)

* Looking out into my classroom and seeing some familiar faces. :) 

I'm sure there will be many more stories to come!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"How To" Tutorial

This is a tutorial to walk you through the ways to pass the time while stuck in a cast on hot summer days:

1. Help your mother with her school projects.

2. Watch ALL of the Olympics (if you're fortunate enough to be in cast during such a time).

3. Play some iPhone games (such as Words with Friends and FLOW).

4. Make an AWESOMELY cute seat crate to rest your cast on when you have to go back to work. 

5. Fix up your scooter: Add stuffing so that your knee can stop killing you as you roll around, and add some fabric to the top so you don't keep sweating all over the place in the hot summer weather. 

6. Read A LOT on your awesome Kindle Fire!

7. Watch some (or all of) Downton Abbey for free (if you have Amazon Prime)! Love!

8. Build up your endurance by doing laps around Target (simply because it's far too hot to do such rehab outdoors). 

9. Doodle on your cast--it'll bring you much joy. 

10. Entertain visitors! 

(A picture of your visitors goes here!)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any additional steps you'd like to suggest, please comment below!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Twice Upon a Time...

...I had a couple bad feet--malformed muscle entrapping a nerve orsomethinglikethat.

Then two years ago, doc cut the left one open and fixed it. It. Was. Slightly. Traumatizing. 

Doc said I'd have to have the other one done eventually, but I quickly put that out of my mind. No way was I letting him get near my other foot...


...the nerve started acting up. I knew if I didn't have it done, I'd eventually have irreparable nerve damage and lose function of my foot. We just didn't know when eventually would come.

Well, a week or so before our East Coast Adventure, eventually knocked on my door (or my foot).

It was time. Doc said it was now or never. I cried, but I knew it had to be done.

So, I put on my brave face. I went to the vampire place all by myself and let them take my blood (and I didn't even shed a tear thankyouverymuch).

I picked up my Rx at the pharmacy. I cleaned out my bathroom, bedroom, and spare bedroom. I arranged anything I might need or want so that it was easily accessible. I got my classroom (physically) ready.

I was ready-ish. D-day was last Thursday. My grandparents came down to help take care of me because my mom has to be in and out of work, so they and my madre drove me to the surgery center.

I was quite nervous about the IV--with good reason apparently! The lady did not rip the tape before sticking the needle in my hand. Seriously? So she bounced it around up and down in my hand while she tried to rip tape one and a half handed. Ouch. 

But then doc came out and put me at ease. I asked him to make sure that my scars matched up. He said he'd do his best. Deep sigh of relief...

This foot please. 

Eventually I sauntered on back to the OR, climbed my little self onto the table, got some burning stuff shoved into my arm, and fell faaaaaast asleep.

The next thing I knew I was waking up to two ladies (or maybe there was one and I was seeing double) putting the cast on my leg--yippy! NOT!

I couldn't feel anything in my foot, but I knew I was thirsty and my throat was burning. 

I drank and drank and drank--eventually got dressed,  and was wheeled out to the car and driven home. 

Thursday was actually easy-ish. The foot was still numb--only the throat hurt--but the anesthesia hadn't completely worn off. I assumed my position and set out on the road to recovery. 

It helps that I have the Olympics to keep me company. 

Thursday night I slept pretty well, only waking up a few times to adjust or take more meds. 

Friday, however, was not so great. I woke up with a burning throat and a foot that felt like it had been smashed into a million pieces. Mom called the surgery center to ask about my throat. They said a lot of people from Thursday had complained--perhaps it was the tubes they used that day--awesome. So, I drank a ton and pretty much kept the Halls going all day long. 

We kept icing the foot, but it's tough to get any relief through that much of a cast. (Like the decor in the background, Nicole)? 

I spent a bit of Friday evening just crying it out and praying for some relief. My brother surprised me and came home, which was a great distraction, and I hoped that sleeping would help even more. 

Guess what? It didn't! I believe I spent about two hours actually asleep on Friday night, with the remainder of the time shaking, crying, and rolling around in bed. I eventually called Mom in the next room and she brought some ice in (at least it would distract from the pain for a while). I was eventually able to calm down enough to relax (although I still didn't really sleep much).

Saturday morning Mom emailed the doc straightaway--things were getting a bit ridiculous. His advice was the same as last time (yes, I have been through all of this before): cut the cast open (it's a hard cast expect for a semi-soft strip down the middle to allow cutting if necessary) to relieve some pressure and get ice in closer to the incision, and double up on the pain med. Sure thing, doc!

Sweet relief. We didn't cut it all the way open as we could have (it makes me too nervous), but it helped to get ice down that far. 

I spent most of Saturday in and out of consciousness-ish (the mix of almost no sleep and an added dose of pain meds really does a number on you). But, the moments that I was awake, I really enjoyed hanging out with the family. We looked at pictures from our various trips this summer, watched the Olympics, and ate (and ate and ate).

Needless to say, I slept much better Saturday night. :)

Now, here we are on Monday. I'm still in my usual spot on the couch watching the Olympics (and reading and coloring and going on Pinterest and trying not to be too super bored). I haven't made it out of the house yet, but that'll come soon enough. My hair is grateful for the break from the hair dryer and straightener (it sits in a messy bun on the top of my head because it's the most out of the way there), and I'm sure my face is grateful for a break from makeup (no need sitting here all day!).

I'm pretty sure that the worst of this part is over (hopefully). I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm able to better manage the pain and the swelling (and the nausea and the showering and the boredom).

This Thursday I'll get a real cast--color suggestions anyone?--and I should have that on for another two weeks. Then the challenge of starting school and trying to walk again arises, but let's not borrow trouble, ok? Scary!

I'd like to extend a thank-you-shout-out to everyone who has come to visit me, made us food, brought me treats, called, texted, facebooked, etc. It really means SO much!

I hope you enjoyed reading about the first part of my journey. There's much more story to come--stay tuned--and thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement along the way! I truly am a blessed girl!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oh the foot...

A familiar scene will appear again tomorrow.

This one.

Except on the other foot. Dumb nerve problems.

So not looking forward to it.

You know when they ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10? That last time it was about an 11. Having the exact same surgery done, I don't expect anything different.

I'm not sure if it's better knowing what to expect going into it? Or better going into it blind?

I do know a few things--I'm not looking forward to the IV, coming out of anesthesia, having a cast (worst claustrophobia I have ever felt), and the long recovery (especially going back to work so soon after).

I just have to hold onto the fact that God is in control, and He will carry me through it. He is good all the time.

Thanks for all of the prayers and support. It truly means so much. I'll keep you posted (as soon as I come out of the drug fog that is).