Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Reading

I haven't been feeling well this week, so reading is my outlet. I finished Embers of Love, a loan from booklending.com. It is about a logging family in Texas in the late 1800s. Things were much different then than now.

Special thanks to my Aunt Jan who sent money to help with my medications. That is by far our biggest monthly expense and we certainly appreciate the help. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have been able to hold on to my faith for a long time through this ordeal, but I am having a day of wondering why. Am I being punished for sins from the past? Have I displeased God so much that I must suffer?

I am using an ointment that my sister-in-law made for me to try and heal my bone faster. She mixed comfrey in jojoba butter. I will try anything to get better faster. Mary Ann's mom used comfrey and healed a broken bone very quickly.

My mom got Lowcountry Summer from Audible.com for me. It is not my favorite Dorthea Benton Frank book but it was good. Her books make me long for Charleston. The main character is a little too snooty for my taste. I never really liked her.

I read a Kindle book also. Nora's Ribbon of Memories is another Stephanie Grace Whitson novel about Nebraska settlers. This one was not as good as the past 2 I have read but was still good. It started a little slow. You can also borrow this book from booklending.com to read on a Kindle or Kindle app on an iPhone or iPod touch. There is also a Kindle app available for PC. I like ebooks. They don't take up space in the house.

I got a letter from my long term disability insurance that my denial is being reviewed. I have had no good news from Social Security. Everyone at these organizations seem to think I am able to work when I can't even bathe myself, cook for myself, or even walk around the outside of my house. I can't drive so I  have no way to get to a job if I was able to get ready to go. I am so frustrated. I know it is all part of the game to try and get you to give up, but I still am so angry. I don't know how we are supposed to survive without the funds from long term disability since it was taking that check to pay for my medications. I am planning on trying to taper off some of them and see what happens.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I'm thankful that I have a good leg to stand on, and 2 good arms. I am thankful for my parents who take such good care of me, and my wonderful husband who has gone way beyond in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer. I am so thankful for my beautiful daughters, grandson and son-in-law. It is so good to have a kind, honest man be married to my daughter.

I am thankful for my friends, my extended family including my brother and sister-in-law who also do so much, my nieces, great-nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and the whole crew. I am very grateful for my father-in-law and mother-in-law who have been so very kind.

My friend Kay sent me this book several weeks ago. I read the first chapter and laid it aside. I picked it back up this week and it was a page turner. I am also thankful for Peggy Poe Stern who gives me so many hours of entertainment. Better Off Dead is a real thriller about a female assassin who is sent to Newland, NC on an assignment. I finished the book in less than 24 hours even with naps. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel.

My nephrology appointment wasn't very enlightening. I did have many blood and urine tests ordered. Dr. Kfoury says she cannot tell me much until my parathyroid scan and these lab results are back. My body was not cooperative today and I ended up with 11 needle sticks to get the required blood. I had been on a roll of getting everything with 1 stick but that seems to have ended.

Scott is hard at work injecting and rubbing the turkey for tomorrow. We have deep fried turkey every year and it is delicious. I am looking forward to a decadent meal.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Warning: disturbing pictures

I wanted to warn those who might be bothered before posting pictures of my leg. I will start with my post-op splint. It is a benign photo.
This was put on in the operating room. I wore this from 11-1 - 11-16.

I got a boot similar to the one I wore with all my stress fractures in my feet but it is a souped up model when they took this cast off. Casey took these photos when we took the boot off to wash my leg on 11-18. This one shows some of the bruising and swelling along with the incision sites at my ankle and knee. About halfway up my leg you see a large lump. That is the area where the fracture occurred.

This photo shows the necrotic area on my heel.
As usual for me, we are fighting with insurance to approve the parathyroid scan, and we are still waiting to hear from the wound care clinic. I have sent in appeal letters to BCBS for the forst night of my hospital stay and for my long term disability insurance.

The incision at my ankle is draining still, and I had to apply some heavy tape to both incisions at my knee because the wounds were starting to pull open.

Lots of prayer still needed as we continue on this journey of God's will.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Bad News

I had 2 doctor's appointments today. There is very little optimism in this post.

My immunologist ordered some tests last week and we have found that I now have hyperparathyroidism. The parathyroid glands control calcium levels in the body. Mine is secreating too much hormone which is causing calcium to be pulled out of my bones. The problem may be caused by my renal failure or it might be a problem on it's own. I will be having a scan to get more information about what is going on.

My orthopedic appointment came next. The x-ray of my leg showed very little healing of my bone and my incisions are not completely healed. We also discovered a Stage IV decubitus ulcer (bed sore) on my heel. Stage IV is when the tissue has turned black. The skin has died. I am going to be going to the wound care clinic to have it treated. The problem with ulcers at this stage is that sometimes when they trim out the dead area it can go all the way to the bone. Please pray that this is not the case with me. My diabetes and the steroids make it hard for me to heal.

I got a removable splint on my leg so I can wash! This is a plus. :). I also was able to use a real toilet today at the orthopedic office instead of a potty. You can't imagine what a treat it is to be able to flush. LOL

Things could always be worse so I am thankful for what I have.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Great Ice Packs

My Physical Therapy Assistant made me the coolest ice pack. She put corn syrup in a gallon size ziplock bag, then put that inside another gallon size ziplock for extra security. When you freeze it, it remains flexible so you can mold it to your body. Thanks Joellen. Joellen and Tom, my PT,  have been so great to me. They are kind, patient and super nice in addition to having helped me so much.

My big problem is with my long term disability insurance. I have been cut off because their consultant does not agree with my doctor's that I am unable to work. They don't think my problems prevent me from working. It makes me feel like they think I am a lazy bum. I am asking for a review of my claim. Hopefully a new reviewer will see things differently. Please pray for this situation.

I have been spending my time trying to concentrate on anything but my problems. I am listening to books, reading, and watching TV. I am knitting a little but shaking so much that I can't really do much with that. Scott moved my desktop downstairs today so that when I get in my wheelchair I can go over and get online. It also gives me access to the printer, which is very useful when writing appeal letters to disability.

Overall, I am angry and hurt. I shouldn't let things get to me but they do. I have faith that God will take care of me but it is human to wonder how it will happen and to worry. Letting go has never been easy for me. I was always a control freak but have learned to let go of lots of things in the past year and a half.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I received some really bad news today. I don't want to share it yet, but am asking you to pray for resolution to the problem and I am trusting God to care for myself and Scott. After the storm has passed I will share with you all the details.

While I was in the hospital my cousin Pam sent me a gift of a Kindle book, Karyn's Memory Box by Stephanie Grace Whitson. She is a new favorite author. This is a book about a pioneer woman who came to America from Germany and traveled to Nebraska by train to marry a man she had never met. It was inspiring and just plain good entertainment. There is nothing like a good book to keep your mind off your troubles. I appreciate your thinking of me so much Pam.

The other thing that works on me like a tonic is my little grandson. He visited yesterday, and is coming back tomorrow. I love watching him roll over and get so angry when his little body doesn't do what he wants. I can relate to that so well now as I struggle to build strength in my arms to keep weight off my leg, learn to transfer myself from chair to chair and learn to drive my wheelchair. I always say things can always be worse and I never have to look far to see someone in much worse shape than me.

Here is a Bentley picture to enjoy...

Amazingly Bentley looks like himself. He is a complete mixture of Jeremiah and Casey. Some days you will think he looks like one or the other, but he really looks like Bentley. I know all grandparents think that their grandchild is the bomb, but isn't my little Bentley special?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank You Blue Ridge ENT!

I received a sizable check (at least to me) today in the mail from the employees at Blue Ridge Ear, Nose and Throat. They had a fundraiser Tupperware order for me.

I am so amazed that they still think of me, and that they think so highly of me. I cried when I got the check and the note.

Thanks to all for remembering me and loving me, and especially to Amy AKA Slick for heading up the order.

You guys still amaze me. I miss you so much!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Long Hard Journey

Lots has happened since I have blogged. Louann and I went to the beach. The weather was perfect. We ate good food, laughed and enjoyed the time by the ocean. I had one anaphylaxis but we dealt with it and were in control. All was well until the trip home.

We stopped to eat lunch and when I was getting back in the van, my foot slipped off the running board and hit the pavement. I was being careful and did not fall but felt my leg snap. Louann helped me get the rest of the way in the van and we went to an emergency room. We were in Columbia, SC; still about 4 hours from home.

I got checked in and got some pain medications and x-rays to confirm that my right tibia was broken (shin bone). The doctor gave me enough pain medication to get me loaded back in the van (thanks to Louann and a very nice nurse). Louann got my leg stabilized in the back seat and away she drove. We stopped on the way and got my pain medications filled and she got me home in record time, even though she was coming down with a severe respiratory infection and was losing her voice and coughing.

When we got back to my house my family was here to help get me inside. It was a very scary and painful process but we did it. We got me bedded down on the couch and I stayed there until Monday when I got loaded in the truck to go to orthopedics. Scott was a trouper pulling bed pan duty and doing total care. Louann loaned us her wheelchair which saved us.

The loading and unloading at orthopedics was also a trial. My leg was splinted but I could feel the bones move. The doctor decided to admit me and do surgery on Tuesday, November 1, since I was in pain, my stress level was so high and could cause me to go in to  anaphylaxis, and since it was over a 1 hour drive home. BCBS has determined that they will not pay since it was not medically necessary. I wish they could have lived in my body during the loading and unloading to see if it was necessary, or in the body of my husband and father trying to move my morbidly obese body. Since I have broken a major bone, my diagnosis has been downgraded from osteopenia to true osteoporosis.

On Tuesday I had surgery to place a rod inside my tibia to stabilize and strengthen the bone. All went very well. I came home on Friday. I am not allowed to put any weight on my right leg, so I am wheelchair bound for 6-8 weeks. I am having physical therapy at home, doing exercises, and am basically at the mercy of those around me. Thankfully I am well cared for even if I am unworthy of the love I receive.

I am truly amazed once again at the kindness and generosity of those around me. The care my husband and family gives me is the most amazing gift. In all my years of nursing I have rarely witnessed love like I have. My best friend has grieved thinking she could have prevented my accident while I grieve wishing I could have prevented her illness. My neighbors have provided food. Nurses and internal medicine residents gave me so much encouragement and support. Engineering helped think up ways to make my life easier. Physical therapy is teaching me independence and helping me overcome my fear. I was given a gift of a wheelchair. My husband has worked day and night building ramps and platforms to make our house more accessible by wheelchair. I could go on and on...

I may be confined to a chair and in pain, but I am one of the luckiest people I know. I always have said my illness is for a purpose, and good will come from it, but I didn't know that part of this accident would be to show me how much I am loved and that there are good and kind people in this world. We were  never promised a pain free, easy life. Our journeys are going to have bumps because this is not heaven. Some bumps are hard to handle, but I will overcome this. It could have been much worse, and I am still able to use my arms and left leg.

Physical therapy thinks boredom may become an issue for me. I have my knitting and spinning when I am able, and I have books. I have finished 2 since I have been home from the hospital. Sarah's Patchwork really hit home for me. It has issues of dealing with physical disabilities and how those issues can be blessings in disguise. It is also a western pioneer woman book - one of my favorite genres at the moment. There is a  touch of romance but it is mainly inspirational. I read this on my Kindle app on my iPod touch.

The second book I finished was The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. I am usually a huge fan of his but was disappointed with this book. I count on a certain type of ending in his books and this one was a surprise. I only rate this a 3 star. I listened to this one from Audible. I imagine most Nicholas Sparks fans would enjoy this one.

I finished a pair of socks before we left for the beach and have not completed any other knitting projects. It is hard to knit while taking pain medications. I tend to nod off easily too.

I do ask for prayers for strength and for pain relief. As always, I ask for God's will in my life. God will heal me in his time and in his way. He is still working on me, and we all know I need lots of work.