Saturday, January 19, 2019

My walk through life...mostly barefoot

***Fair warning!!  Bad foot pic attached.  Watch out!!***

When I taglined this blog, I thought that was the perfect way to describe my blog.  My blog that shares my walk through life and because I'm almost always barefoot, I do this walk pretty much always without shoes.  I love being barefoot.  I love the feeling of cold tile on my feet, beach sand between my toes, cool garden mud on the side of my foot, I love everything about NO SHOES.  I hardly ever wear them, even at family functions.  I'll kick my shoes off in a corner.  I've always been this way.

This nightmare with my foot has me worried.  I went back to the doctor yesterday and he told me he'd see me again in four weeks.  If this wound has not closed up by then, he's going to have to do a skin graft.  And take skin from my thigh.  This freakin' nightmare just keeps getting scarier and scarier.  I did not sign up for this!  I don't like this ride.  LET ME OFF.

This was my foot yesterday in Macon.  It's awful.  It's so very painful.  It's really, really trying on me, emotionally and physically.  I just cannot see it closing up.  So I am facing a THIRD surgery.

I don't think I'll ever be barefoot and free again.  I can't see past today and today, I just don't see my foot ever being the same.  Dear readers, whether you're someone who knows me personally or if you're a reader who has never commented and I don't know you, I would really appreciate your prayers over my foot.  God knows who we are, whether we know each other or not.  

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Surgery number two

We arrived at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital at 1:00 Thursday, January 3rd, went straight to the ER as we were directed, I was admitted and I was in surgery by 3:30.  I woke up in recovery to the sounds of nurses and techs talking about real estate and buying new houses this year.  I had bitten my bottom lip sometime while under anesthesia, really, really hard, and I could taste blood in my mouth.  I couldn't feel anything in my foot at all.  
After a while, they took me up to my room on the fourth floor, where Larry was waiting for me.  I was attached to a wound vac to begin this negative pressure wound therapy to try and get this thing to HEAL.  My bloodwork came back positive for staph so I was put on IV antibiotics for a day and a half.  The hole that had formed in my wound was actually one of the anchors coming loose that my doctor put in to secure that tendon in place.  He fixed that as well.

Larry stayed by my side, "sleeping" on a cot one of the nurses brought him.  I put that in quotations because he didn't sleep at all.  He had his own stress test and doctor's appointment on Monday so I sent him home Saturday to get some rest and see about our boys.

Here we are snuggled up in that tiny hospital bed, watching that tiny TV but we were home.

I joked on Instagram that here's me and Nikki in hospital beds at the same time!  I got to watch my story on that tiny little TV but not much else.  It only picked up 18 channels and the only "news" channel it picked up was the fakest news out there.  Oy.  I ended up watching a lot of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "King Of Queens", two of my very favorite old shows anyway.  Probably did me good to take a news break.

This was the view from my room Saturday afternoon.  There was only me and two other patients on the whole floor.  The food was delicious, the care excellent and the pain meds kept coming.  

And this was my nighttime view.  I always looked forward to those seven little lights glowing across the way.

I came home Monday, on two weeks of strong antibiotics and attached to this.  A portable Genadyne NPWT Pump.  I hate it.  I hate having to carry it around.  I hate the sound it makes when it's sucking fresh good blood up into my wound, I hate everything about it.  I have a home health nurse who comes twice a week to change the dressing and when she was here Thursday, the dad-blamed thing actually looked better to me.  

The treatment has gone 117 hours and 2 minutes so far.  I'm told three to four weeks should do the trick.  After the pump has done all it can for me, a less invasive bandage/dressing will finish it on up.

I'm excited for that.  For spring, for warm weather, for sun on my face and for days spent planting flowers.  Lots and lots of flowers.  Lantana, I think.  And sunflowers.

One thing I've learned through this whole nightmare is hard times show you who loves you.  My Larry has been phenomenal through the whole thing, taking such good care of me and Banjo, Tabbie Hoffman and Kismet.  Our housekeeper came while Larry was with me in Alabama and she fed the boys and let Banjo out to potty.  That sweet boy had NO accidents.  My friends from work call and check on me, text me and come see me, bringing tons of food and love.  My precious mama checks on me every day, even though she's going through her own private hell.  When I tightened my circle, I absolutely kept the right ones inside.  My friend, Debbie, came yesterday bringing coffee, sausage and egg croissants and maple doughnuts and we talked about doing our annual Peaches to the Beaches jaunt March 8th.  

Eight weeks.  Foot, get ready.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New year, same me...

...because I'm already fabulous!  Ha!  

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions.  I just try to do better than I did the previous year.  I can do that again with 2019.  No need to make weight loss promises to myself, no need to promise to be a better person, kinder and more forgiving.  I just will do what I need to do to feel good about ME, love on those around me, who stand with me and by me.  That's what I'll do.

I have pretty much cut some folks out of my life the last couple of years.  Toxic, abusive and controlling people that I love, still love, but can't tolerate anymore.  It's sad, really, but you gotta do what's good for YOU.  Decades of verbal abuse and just putting up with it, biting my tongue and not defending myself are over.  Completely over.  Apologies that I'll never get and closeness that I'll never feel again, those realizations have been hard but I got through it.  2019 is the year that I move on from it, not looking for apologies anymore and definitely not needing that closeness anymore.  

Oh well.  Life is like that sometimes.  The world continues to turn and life continues to fly by.  I still can't believe how fast 2018 went.  Most of it I spent in pain with my foot.  Oh, how I wish I could go back to that pain!  That pain was nothing compared to what I'm going through now.  The hematoma left my foot with a huge crater and no matter how carefully and lovingly Larry has cared for it, it is not healing.  The pain is unbelievable.  I cry all the time and nothing helps, not narcotics, which I have in abundance, not rest, not staying off it, nothing helps.  It is not healing like it should be so tomorrow, I'm having a second surgery, this one at their Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City, Alabama.  

Debridement.  Google it and cry with me.

Workers' Comp has assigned a nurse to come here to our home and take care of me.  She will come and change this sponge and drain thing that will be put on me tomorrow.  She'll come every 3 to 4 days, I'm told.  This whole experience has been nothing but a nightmare.  I just wanted my foot fixed.  I wanted the nerve pain to go away so that I could walk like a normal human being, go hiking with my husband, walk on the beach with him without hurting.  I had NO idea that this was in my future.  But it was and I know God has me wrapped in His loving arms.  I know that.  I know He's with me during the dark, dark nights that I sit in my recliner and cry.  I know He's with Larry, who feels completely helpless in this whole mess.  God has amazing healing powers and He will heal me, too!  This was part of my journey to get to the next phase in my life.  I know I will survive it and that I will come out on the other side smelling like the pink rose that I am and wearing real shoes again.

I appreciate your prayers and thoughts of us as we continue to fight this.  For better or for worse, in sickness and in health.  Larry has kept those vows like a champ.  I could not have made it without him.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Spirit of Christmas

So we were watching this Christmas movie on Netflix called "The Spirit of Christmas" the other night and I just fell in love with the story and with the angel that Daniel placed on top of their tree. I set out to try to find it. Since Daniel died 95 years ago, I just knew it had to be some kind of antique family heirloom thing. I still searched Google until I found it, using every word I thought would lead me to her.

I found her! On Amazon, of all places. Ain’t she beautiful??

I am right proud of myself for this.  I found this thing with NOTHING to go on except "vintage angel halo pointy".  Ha!  She's a Willow Tree Starlight Tree Topper and she's not 100+ years old after all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Da foot...Six weeks post-op

Y'all.  This foot.  I have pretty much been in constant pain since I woke up from surgery.  The incision hasn't been bad at all, from what I can tell.  Once I got the staples out, we discovered that it was completely healed.  

The hematoma, however, is a whole new portal of hell.  This blog is not going to be for the squeamish, so fair warning!  I'm posting the complete realness of my situation and what I'm going through.  You know, documenting my life, which is what this blog is supposed to be doing.  The good, the bad and the really, really ugly.

During my surgery, a blood vessel busted near the nerve my doctor was working on.  He cauterized it closed but when they were bandaging me up afterwards, it busted again and I bled pretty profusely, unbeknownst to us, my doctor or the hospital staff.  The blood didn't have anywhere to go so it settled underneath my skin, causing this massive hematoma.

I was in a soft cast for the first two weeks, then a hard cast for another two weeks.  After the first two weeks, the hematoma was discovered.  After the second two weeks, it looked like this.  This is after the staples came out.

After the second two weeks and in that hard cast, it looked like this:

This picture kinda scared my doctor and us, too.  He told me my foot was keeping him up at night.  Ha!  Yeah, me, too.  I have been sitting up in my recliner, crying and praying half the night and watching holiday baking shows for weeks.  WEEKS.  I have Percocet and OxyContin (the king daddy of pain meds!) and they don't even touch this thing.  It has been pure misery for me and for Larry, too, who feels completely helpless in this nightmare.

The hard cast came off and we were instructed to change the dressing every day and watch it very closely.  I was put on double antibiotics and we went back to the doctor last Friday.  He cut off that piece of dead skin on the top there and told us to continue the dressing and the antibiotics.  And to massage it a lot to keep Complex Regional Pain Syndrome from setting in.

So now it looks like this:

Lookin' like some straight outta The Walking Dead.  Y'all know that's my show but I sure don't want nothin' on my body looking like this.

It hurts like nothing I have ever felt.  I don't take the pain meds until I just can't bear it anymore because I am so afraid of addiction.  Addiction runs in my family and while I'm not sure if the tendency is hereditary, I will not allow myself to become addicted and lose everything I have to a damn pill.  I just will not.  Larry changes the dressing every night and sometimes I cry, sometimes I don't.  Most times I do.  I don't know what I would do without him.  He is my ROCK.  This is by far the worst thing I have ever been through in my fifty-one years of spinning around on this planet.

Doc says I'll be out of work until March.  I'm still trying to get workers' comp to pay me.  Our bank account is getting low!

Six weeks down.  I'm not sure how long this healing is going to take but I am sure that I will never have another surgery unless my life depends on it.  I would GLADLY take that nerve pain (which I still have, by the way) over this any day.  I can't go back, though.  None of us can, really.  All we can do is go forward, move forward, slowly and with lots of gumption.  

I can do that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Deck the halls (and the Schneiders!)

I love this picture of Larry with his mama and brother and sister. 
Even though my heart is just not in it yet, Larry and I finished the tree and decorated this past weekend.  

The tree is pretty much Kizzi proof, bedecked with soft, stuffed ornaments and things that won't break.  We're trying to teach him but he is SOOOOO enamored with that tree.  We've gone with a sort of vintage red truck Christmas for our "theme" this year and I like it.  I bought this tablecloth and a buffalo red and black check runner to use in the dining room and a couple of pillow covers for the living room.  There's also a red truck flag to go outside.  

The Super Fabulous Schneider Christmas Tree of 2018
(Wonky star on top courtesy of Kizzi)

Three weeks

Today is three weeks since my surgery and while the incision pain is better at times (but at night, OMG), I still don't feel much difference in the nerve pain.  My foot still burns and my toes still feel like they have electric current running through them (and they "crackle" when they are touched!  Ow!).  My toes also have a sharp biting pain at times, too, like something with really sharp teeth is biting them.  And it's not Kizzi!

I have bouts of sadness, tears and a general feeling of self-pity, and then sometimes I'm okay with it.  I wish I'd never had the surgery, that's a fact, Jack, but I did and I have to live with that decision.  This whole experience has been a nightmare, physically, emotionally and now financially, since Worker's Comp has not paid me yet.  They owe me $2,300!  

My doctor was not able to take out the staples last week because my foot was still badly swollen and there's a huge hematoma underneath the incision so he put me in a cast to wear for another two weeks.  Notice I said staples and not stitches.  I have 17 metal staples in my foot and it looks HORRIBLE.  

I chose pink for my cast color.  Of course I did.  I've been watching tons of holiday baking shows and Hallmark Christmas movies.  Sigh.

I'm halfway through the initial healing period so I'll just see what the next three weeks bring.  I'm going back to the doctor next week so hopefully I can get these staples out, get in a boot and in another two weeks, be able to walk around on it.  My knee scooter has been a Godsend as far as my mobility goes and I highly recommend them.  It makes getting around so much easier and helps me to be more independent.

But waaaaaah.  And stuff.