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A New Set of Wheels for Auburnchick

Time flies when you’re having fun, or so the saying goes, eh?

Well, let me tell you that the days since my surgery have dragged by.  When you can’t do the things you normally do, that’s kind of how it is.

Not so this weekend.

I had a rough time Friday evening as we were getting ready to go to sleep.  I didn’t want to sleep in the recliner again.  I’d tried to sleep on the couch a couple of nights last week, but my back started hurting midway through, which made for some long hours.

I started crying in frustration and told the Mr. that I wanted to sleep in a regular bed, but I didn’t want to be by myself across the house.

The Mr. was too afraid to let me sleep in the master bedroom because he didn’t want to hit my leg in the middle of the night, but my tears softened his resolve, and he set me up on his side of the bed…the right side…so that my ankle would be farther away from him.

Y’all, I sank into that bed with such satisfaction in my heart that I started crying from joy, which made the Mr. go crazy because all I’ve seemed to do lately is cry.  I tried to tell him that I was crying because FINALLY, I felt normal.

I slept so much better that night.  I’m not sure that the Mr. did, but as I’ve mentioned a time or two lately, he’s a good man.

Waking up refreshed, I was ready to take on the world…and not be left behind while the Mr. ran his weekly Saturday errands.

He helped me get dressed in warmup pants and a long-sleeve workout shirt and reluctantly helped me in the car.

We headed over to Walmart, where he secured some new wheels for me…

Oh goodness, but do you see that smile?

Yeah.  it didn’t leave my face all morning.

I propped my leg up because I needed to keep it elevated.  I was careful not to run into anything.

After we finished at Walmart, we headed over to Dunkin’ Donuts so the Mr. could get his coffee.  We don’t own a coffee pot.  We went through the drive-thru.

Next on his list was Publix.

It was still fairly early so there were numerous motorized chairs available.  I eased myself onto one, and off we went.

Now, I’ll admit that prior to my injury, grocery shopping hadn’t been high on my list of favorite things to do.  That’s why the Mr. had taken over this task and, might I add, gotten quite good at it.

It’s amazing how much your perspective changes when stuff like triple ankle fractures happen.

I was surprised at how much food we packed into that little basket too!

The Mr. tried to tell me how much I was slowing him down, but between you and me, I think he actually enjoyed having me around.  We had a few laughs, including when he picked this out so he can clean the bathtub.  He said he doesn’t to want to bend over to do it.  Poor guy.

Next, we headed over to Starbucks because I really wanted a Soy Peppermint Hot Chocolate and the Mr. was all about letting me enjoy my morning, bless him.

Then, we went home to watch football the rest of the day.

I was happy though.

That evening, I did get the Mr. to pull out another set of wheels…

Ignore the ugly picture in the background.  War Eagle!

A friend (a fellow teacher) had secured it for me from one of her former students.  He had taken it to school my first day back, but I hadn’t been ready to use it yet.  My leg had still been too sore to prop up there.

I practiced with it around the house Saturday evening, and we tinkered with the seat and handlebar heights until they were just right.

I was nervous but oh goodness…the freedom…the stability.

Sigh.  Happiness.

The first big test was yesterday morning at church.  The hubby loaded it in the back of the car, and off we went.

I quickly learned that I had to keep a close eye on the ground to watch for rocks or other things that might get in the way.

I cannot afford to fall; my fracture still has a lot of healing to do.

I got in without any problems and was able to actually keep up with the Mr. as he walked into the sanctuary.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

I even managed to get myself to the restroom, where I quickly learned that I’m going to have to use the handicapped stall for awhile.

I was grateful to be back.  I’d missed church for the last three weeks.

After church, we went out to eat where I did hit a rock in the parking lot when I wasn’t paying attention.  Scared me a little.  The Mr. was not pleased either.  It was a good lesson.

After a quick trip home, we ran to the mall to hunt for mother-of-the-groom shoes for me.

Did you catch that?  I was shopping…something I don’t enjoy much but was so thankful to be doing again.

I’d bought a pair before I broke my ankle but wasn’t sure if the small heel would be safe.

I wound up deciding to keep the shoes because I was much more stable on them than I’d expected given the scooter.  I will definitely not be using crutches the day of the wedding.

I also bought a cute clutch to go with my fancy dress.  It was even on sale.  Go, Me!

After a quick text to my seamstress, who’s still working on my dress, we ran over there for another fitting.  She re-pinned the hem and will have to redo it to shorten it a little.  We are trying to ensure that I won’t trip on the dress.  She also gave me pointers on how to gracefully kneel on the scooter and wheel myself around.

We all know that grace isn’t my middle name, but God performs miracles daily, so there is hope.

The Mr. and I were tired after that, so he headed home.

He snapped this photo of me before we went inside…

See that smile there?

That is the look of pure joy.

When you experience an injury like the one I have, it’s hard to remember what it’s like to feel independent.  It’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel as well.

This weekend gave me hope, and it gave me a taste of the freedom that I’d taken for granted.

If you hear the song, “They see me rollin’, they hatin’,” that will be me, carefully making my way through the crowd…or maybe not a crowd because a crowd might hit my ankle.  It will be me, with my Mr. keeping watch, enjoying life a little bit more as each day brings me closer to complete healing.

“I Don’t Do 6am”

There’s nothing like being laid up…having to depend on your spouse for everything…to force you to deal with one another’s idiosyncrasies.

Y’all, this experience is marriage counseling on steroids.

Let me list the things that I depend on the Mr. for:

  • Getting me to the restroom when I wake up and am groggy.
  • Selecting my clothes each day (one of my students told me I looked “snappy” yesterday.
  • Getting a chair out so I can put makeup on each morning in front of the bathroom mirror
  • Getting my breakfast and cleaning up after me
  • Getting my vitamins
  • Fixing my lunchbox
  • Getting my stuff to the car each morning
  • Driving me to work
  • Escorting me to my classroom.
  • Pushing my wheelchair to the numerous before-school parent conferences that have coincided with my return to school.  He makes sure I’m set up for the day before he leaves for his own job.
  • Picking me up from school (friends are helping too)
  • Keeping the house clean
  • Taking care of our dogs
  • Fixing my dinner
  • Icing my ankle
  • Helping me get bathed and into my pajamas
  • Washing my clothes
  • Decorating for Christmas, shopping, and wrapping presents
  • All other duties as required

This man, though.

He has rarely complained…except at 6am.

This guy, on my first day back to work on Wednesday, had a hard time dealing with an early wake-up call.

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

There I sat, proud as could be, of the fact that I’d straightened my hair and put on makeup, and he was like, “I’m not going to tell you, ‘Good job.’  I don’t do 6am.”

Ahem.

For a gal who has done 4:30-6:00am for the last 26 years, this was a little funny to hear.

He’s not a morning guy.

He’s a 9am, I-can-function-now, kind of man.

Even on the way to school yesterday, he grumbled.  I jokingly said, “It’s because you don’t do 6am.”

He nodded in agreement.

Now, let him fuss a bit at 6pm, as he did yesterday on the way out to eat dinner, and he was all good.

Because while he doesn’t do “am,” he is very good at doing “pm.”

Ha!

Despite the many adjustments to our routine that this injury has forced upon us, there is still so much good.

When we get frustrated with each other, we talk it out.

I’m learning that I have to be careful how I comment about things that need to be done so that he doesn’t think I’m ordering him around.  Merely commenting on something is sometimes too much for his already overburdened mind.

He’s tired.  He’s functioning as two people right now.  I get that.

I am recognizing his need to decompress between work and our night ritual.  I respect that.  He needs a bit of time just for him without running after me.  Though he’s ready to jump up and do what I need, I’m letting him be for that time so he can recharge a little.

He’s learning that I’m going through some fears right now.  Although I’ve always been pretty strong emotionally, this fracture did a bit of a number on my psyche.  He’s being very tender toward me to help ease me through some things.  He’s making accommodations for those fears to keep me placated, and he’s doing this in a very patient manner.

There’s a lot more give without fussing, because ain’t nobody got time (or tears) for that.

We are figuring out what is important and starting to ignore, or quickly let go of, what’s not.

I’d like to think that this process is cultivating an appreciation for one another’s roles in our marriage.  I think that the Mr. realizes all of the extra things I did before, and I’m seeing what a tender heart lies under that crusty exterior.

“Thank you” is going a long way in our home.  Mutual respect, which time had eroded, has returned.

He may not do 6am, but he’s my knight in shining armor, nonetheless.

#findingjoyinthejourney is alive and well in Chez Auburnchick.

 

The Down and Dirty of It

As mentioned in my previous post, I went to my first post-op appointment on Tuesday.

I’d been emailing a nurse earlier that day with various questions, and she moved my Thursday post-op appointment to Tuesday afternoon.  The Mr. got off of work quickly, and we drove the two hours to Bigger City, Florida, where we stopped at his parents’ house first and then went to my appointment.

The first order of business was removing the splint that I’d woken up from surgery with.

Oh, the feeling of relief when the nurse pulled that thing off of me.  It was like the loosening of a vice grip.  Things had to be tight to keep my recently pinned and plated bones in place.

Now, if you’re squeamish, I’ll go ahead and advise you to stop reading.  Some of the pictures are pretty ugly.

I had been curious what my leg would look like.  It’s a good thing I’d looked up this injury on Google, because I was a bit prepared.  Still though…

It looks a little like Frankenstein, eh?  Those are staples running down my incision, which the nurse was pleased to see.

Here’s a view of the other side of the ankle…

The next picture is a shot of the top of my foot.

See the red splotches?  I didn’t get those from the break.  I got those from the splint that my local emergency room put on after they fixed the dislocation in my ankle (the one thing they did right).  They put my splint on TOO TIGHT, which is why I was in so much pain the first night after I broke it.  Of course, I thought the pain was from the fracture, so I didn’t know better.  On our way to my surgeon’s office the next day, I cried nearly every mile, which made for a long hour and a half drive.  The pain was a real thing.  I kept telling the Mr. that it felt like someone was holding my foot in the sun.  When they took off the splint at the doctor, they discovered a severe burn from where it had rubbed my foot raw.

It was appalling.  And…the ER gave me a Tier 1 pain medication, which did nothing to dull the pain…another thing my surgeon immediately corrected.

So, the red splotches are a bit of tissue damage…not too deep but still there.

Sigh.

Before the nurse removed my staples, I had to get my ankle x-rayed.  I sat in a chair in the hall and snapped a couple more pictures.

Being able to wiggle my toes felt so good.  The x-ray technician likened it to allowing my foot to breathe.  Indeed!

Seeing that my leg was still there did much for my psyche.

I didn’t care about the bruising, and the yellow Betadine didn’t bother me either.  My leg was in one piece.  That’s all that mattered.

After my x-ray, my nurse escorted the Mr. and me to an examination room.  She began removing the staples.

It didn’t really hurt except for a few times, but even then, the pain was minor.  It was more like pulling hair out of a sensitive spot.  Besides that, I’d been through so much pain already, that this paled in comparison.

The incisions looked so much better without the extra hardware!

Then, my nurse began to gently clean my leg.

She used alcohol wipes which, at first, felt good because they were cool but then began stinging like fire as my skin soaked in the alcohol.

That discomfort quickly dissipated, though, and I was able to simply enjoy the tender care that she was giving me.

See how much better it looked after she finished?!

The PA came in to look at the x-ray and answer questions, which I had a lot of, much to the Mr.’s chagrin.

I learned that I’d be going into a cast, which I already knew and dreaded like the plague.  However, the PA gave me good news by telling me that I’d be in it for three weeks before going into a removable boot.

Y’all, I had already been emailing my nurse that morning, and she had told me I’d be in a cast for four weeks.  I’d already looked at my calendar and figured out exactly when I could go back in to get it off…the week after Christmas.

The PA explained that they counted the week after surgery, with me in a splint, as one of those four weeks.

Praise the Lord.

He knew I’d been struggling.  This was His answer to soothe my soul.

I’ll be wearing the boot for six weeks.

I will not be able to put weight on my foot while I wear the cast, which is fine with me.  I know that my body hasn’t healed enough yet.

While I wear the boot, I’ll be “progressively weight bearing,” which I think means that I’ll still be using crutches and a scooter until my ankle finishes healing and gradually adding some of my body weight as the weeks progress.

Physical therapy will begin at that point.  I don’t know how long I will be in physical therapy.

One step at a time, literally.

Another question I asked the PA involved my return to lifting weights.

Oh yes I did.

I really want to get back to upper body workouts, which I feel like I can do if someone helps me with the weights.  I don’t want to undo all of my hard work from the past year.

She told me that they preferred that I refrain from working out until towards the end of my boot time because they want my body to use all of its energy to heal my broken bones.

I know that working out involves the tearing down and rebuilding of muscle, so that made sense to me.

But y’all…I cannot even do ab workouts.

Sigh.

At least balancing on one leg on my crutches is its own core workout program.

Wonder if I could market that.

Ha!

I inquired about a smaller cast because of some of my anxiety.  She agreed that I could get one in which my toes were left more open, but how far up it would go would be standard.

Sigh.

She did at first mention possibly putting me in a boot straight off, but it would be a good option.  I told her not to worry about it…I’d be fine with God’s help.

She was super sweet.  She was the second PA I’d seen…my surgeon has two.  She did not make me feel rushed, and she even went back with me to the cast room, my next stop.

The cast room was one big room…very spacious…with lots and lots of patient tables.

This practice is huge and very popular in this town.  Its doctors are excellent; many are specialists for certain parts of the body.  It’s definitely the place to go, even if you’re from out of town.

I just did not want the cast.

Sigh.

At least I got an assortment of cast colors to choose from…

I had planned on letting my students help me decide what to get, but since I had not returned to work yet, I had to decide on my own.

I thought about my dress for Rooster’s wedding and what would go with it, even though it’s floor length.

I wound up going with pink for the bottom…

The way it works is that you get a sock like thing first.  I guess it’s to protect the skin and the incisions.

Then, the technician who puts on the cast wraps the leg with protective gauze and padding.  He put extra on top of my foot where I’d acquired the tissue damage from the ER splint.  He also added extra around my ankle bones and heel…the areas I had broken.

Next came the top layer, which was, essentially some sort of wrap that he wet and that hardened after it was applied.

I went with blue to contrast with the pink.

The cast was much slimmer than the splint I’d had from my surgery.

I will tell you a quick story about what they had to do before they finished, though.

A mild form of torture.

The technician had to get my foot as close to a 90-degree angle as possible to help prevent problems with my Achilles tendon after I get the cast removed.

Y’all, my foot would not go down.  The tendon was very tight.  No matter how much I tried, I could not make it go down.

So the technician called in for reinforcements.  They had me lay on my belly on the table.

Y’all, I almost started crying as I begged them not to hurt me any more.  It was horrible.  I was so scared.

I had to hold my right leg up with my foot in the air while one guy pushed down on the bottom of my foot to get it to that angle.

It was mostly a lot of pressure and didn’t hurt until one time when it felt like they twisted my ankle a tad.  I hollered out at that.  Before I knew it, they were done.

Thankfully.

Meanwhile, a teenager and her mom had come into the room.  The girl, I learned, was a cheerleader (a flyer) who’d broken her ankle, but not bad enough for surgery.

She wasn’t an overachiever like I was.  She also probably didn’t have brittle bones.

Oh to be young again.

Anyhoo, I told her that it hadn’t hurt.  Her mom told me that I’d looked scared.

Um, you think?

So, hat’s the down and dirty of it.  I’m less than 21 days away from Cast Removal Day, which also happens to be the last day of school before Christmas vacation.  I’ve already arranged for a sub and requested another day of sick leave.

Please continue praying for the healing of my bones.  How I wish I could thank you all personally for the prayers you’ve already offered on my behalf.

I still have a long way to go, but I am on my way and am better than I was even just a few days ago.  #findingjoyinthejourney is still my hashtag, because that’s what it’s all about.

Love to all of you!

 

Back to Work, Post-Op

Yesterday was a big day for me.

It was my first day back to work, post-op!

I had stayed home Monday and Tuesday, unsure about if I was allowed to go back to work.  After going back and forth with the doctor’s office on Monday (they were slammed from the holiday weekend), I had enough information to decide to stay home that Tuesday.  I wanted to make sure my pain medication was out of my system.

Monday afternoon, I wrote out lesson plans for a sub and emailed them to my friend, Megan, who is also my department head at school.

She was so efficient that she had the copies made and instructions laid out before the end of the day.  She’s a girl after my own heart!❤

This extra day off turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I was able to go in for my first post-op appointment, which had been changed from Thursday to Tuesday.  I’ll give you more details on that tomorrow.

When we got home, I began revamping my lesson plans.  Fortunately, I was picking up where I’d left off two weeks prior, so all that was required was copying and pasting into my template and redoing my Smartboard file.  It took a few hours, but when I finished, I had enough to work with for a week and a half.  My plan will be to completely write my lesson plans through the first week of January.

Overachieving is just in my nature, y’all!

I did manage to relax by watching one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time…

I slept fitfully, as I’m prone to do nowadays.  I cannot wait to get back into my bed, but that is still a number of weeks away.  I don’t know if I was nervous about school or what, but I just could not get comfortable.

I woke up on my own at 5am and dozed until about 5:30 before I gave up and sat up to read my First5 devotion.

The poor Mr.  He’s not an early-morning person, but he had set his alarm for 6am, and he groggily got up, let the dogs out to potty, and helped me to the bathroom.  He set out a dining room chair so I could fix my makeup and hair while sitting down.

The Mr. fixed me a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice and a rice cake with almond butter.  I’m not a huge fan of the almond butter, even if I don’t mind it in desserts, but because it has a lot of calcium, I’m trying my best just to eat it and not complain.

I munched on breakfast while I got my face ready to face the public.

It felt good to straighten my hair.  I was pleased with what I saw in the mirror.

Then, he helped me get dressed, although he grumbled as I added jewelry.

He doesn’t do mornings well…or so I told you.

He fixed my lunchbox and got it, my school bag (every teacher has quite a few of these), and my purse out to the car.

His new responsibility…well, one of them…is taking me to school each day.  Because I’ll be relying on the generosity of others to take me home many days, he’s trying to do what he can to offset that.

First, though, I made him take a picture.

I did put on a flip flop when we got to the garage.

I’m desperate to find the black flip flop I’d worn on and off since surgery, but it’s gone missing.  Could you say a prayer that I’ll find it?  This is driving me a little nuts.

Anyhoo, we got to the car, and off we went.

We have not ridden to work together in a long time.  It was nice to be with him a few minutes before the crazy day that I was about to embark on.

As he helped me into school, I saw one of the administrators, and boy, was she unhappy.  She was more than a little upset that I was returning to school.  I must have looked pitiful.  The Mr. echoed her sentiments.  He had wanted me to stay home as well.  We just weren’t sure how this was going to work.

Another gal, Cindy, rounded me up a wheelchair, and off we went to my classroom.  I wish I’d gotten a picture of that, but I think that would have pushed the Mr. over the edge.

He and another teacher got my stuff into my room, and oh my gosh, can I just tell you that walking into that room was an experience somewhat like what I imagine Martha Stuart would have walking into my house.

All I could do was notice how messy it was!

Chairs from the previous day had not been stacked, as I’d taught my 7th period class to do.

Three Chromebooks were missing (we did find them), and magazines and books were scattered.

My heart.

I got so stressed, that I thought I felt my leg throbbing.

It was so bad, and I was beside myself.

I talked myself down and made some plans in my head.

Meanwhile, the Mr. was nervous as he helped me set up what I needed for the day…my chair, my pillow, and my crutches.

He did leave, eventually, and I felt like a new teacher on the first day of my career.

It was overwhelming.

But, I didn’t have long to wallow.  A fellow teacher came into my room with a heartfelt welcome back announcement, and we chatted.

He was followed by two other teachers, one of whom came over and gave me the biggest hug.

Other people stopped by, and boy, did they make me feel like I was home.

Before classes started, I attempted to wheel myself to the bathroom.

Can we talk about wheelchairs?

They are not easy to navigate!  I have a newfound appreciation for the skills of disabled people who play competitive sports in wheelchairs.  What coordination!  Coordination that I discovered I was lacking.

Ahem.

I saw my friend, LeAnne, in the hallway.  She was wheeling a scooter to me.  Perfect timing!  She took over pushing my chair and got me to the bathroom.

Folks, the sign of a good friend is one who will go in the bathroom with you and flush after you go.

I kid you not.

That sweet lady then pushed me back to my room, and we chatted.  She came by during planning period (we have the same one) and got me back to the restroom again.  Love her!

Meanwhile, class was about to begin.

My first period class…can I say how much I love them?  They came in kind of slowly, and we had a chat…how I’d broken my ankle…what I would and wouldn’t be able to do (pretty much nothing but facilitate class)…how I needed them more now than ever.

They stepped up to the plate!  We spent about fifteen minutes cleaning my room.  I was the maestro who conducted their movements.

Then, we got down to the business of education, and they cooperated fully.

I had planning next, so I got to pee and re-group, thank heavens. I snapped this selfie…

Next was my first of two groups of ninth graders.  They are a sweet group…eager to learn.  After giving my story, I let them read silently, and we did class.  What a relief!

Then was lunch, and I’ve gotta tell you that I was hurting and tired by then.  I tried to keep my leg up as much as possible, but it can get really hard.  I had gotten up on my crutches once or twice but had sat down as quickly as I could.  I know that I have to keep the swelling down for healing to happen.

Honestly, though, if I could have gone home at this point, I think I would have.  I heard my recliner calling out its siren song to me.

But I didn’t.

I sucked it up.

During lunch, I went to the restroom on my own.

No.  Easy.  Task.

Opening my heavy classroom door was a nightmare.  I saw one of my students in the hallway and asked her to help me, which she did.  Thank heavens.

Fifth period came in after class, and it was during this class period that I decided that I do not like to teach sitting down.  It’s not who I am.  I am expressive.  I move around a lot.  I get in people’s spaces.  I can see people when I stand and see if they are paying attention.

I am doing the best I can, though.

Then, the class that I knew would be the hardest came in.

I’d been told that they were noisy while I was gone.

Yeah, they came in that way.

They tried to sit in other seats too.

Let’s just say that our beginning chat wasn’t as gracious.  I asked them to not stress me out because I needed to focus on healing my bones, not my stress levels.

The first part of class went o-k-a-y.  Not perfect, by any means. It was challenging, and I was using every bit of patience I could dig up.

By 7th period, I’d had enough of their rude chatter and fussed at them pretty hard.  They were being rude, and I didn’t have time for that.

I reminded them that I was still in charge, even if I was sitting in a chair, and that I was putting their needs above my own.

That settled them a little, and they got a little quiet while they read during silent reading time.

I did get them to put their chairs up and, for the most part, they left my classroom in better shape than what I’d walked into.

The Mr. was able to pick me up after work, and I could have thrown myself into his arms if I hadn’t had the bum ankle and if I thought he would have caught me.

He got me and all of my stuff back to his car, and we proceeded home with me telling him about my day.

I teared up a bit.  I was so tired.

As soon as I could, I climbed into my recliner for a nap.

Rooster called on his way home from work to check on me, and we have a wonderful conversation.  He’s doing well with his training, yay!  He listened patiently to me, and I just enjoyed the sound of his voice.  He’ll be home soon for his wedding.  I cannot wait to hug his sweet neck.

After we hung up, I snuggled into my pillow and got about two hours of a nap in.  I slept better than I had in days.

I woke up to the Mr. coming home from work.

We Face-timed our Rooster’s girl.  It was her birthday.  Such a sweet thing.  We enjoyed seeing her face and Rooster’s as he popped onto the screen. ❤

Chicky called while the Mr. was getting ready to head out to grab some dinner for us.  She, too, was checking on my first day back.  Gotta love my kids.  They made me feel so special and loved.

Then, I did my thing…ate dinner, got a bath, and caught up on social media.

What can I ultimately say about my day?

It was so much harder to go back than I’d thought.

Thinking about how to do things sitting down was very challenging.  Not being able to run my classroom standing up was frustrating.

Going back did help my day go by faster.  Seeing my students again…most of them…made me happy.  Especially the girl who said she had three questions:

1)  Not a question…just a hug❤❤ <3)
2) Could she sign my cast (no, because I’m keeping it clean for the wedding)
3)  Was I allergic to any foods because she had made a fabulous German Chocolate cake with vanilla icing that kind of fell apart but still tasted delicious.  I hated to tell her that I couldn’t have it because it had eggs and other stuff in it, but I suggested that she Google vegan cakes.  If she made one, I’d eat that.  I don’t know if she’ll follow through, but I loved her for all of her “questions.” ❤

Each day will present its own challenges.

I think my biggest takeaway from the first day was that I need to take care of ME.  Simply being there and having a plan will be enough for the kids…so much better than a revolving door of substitutes who, though well-meaning, are not me…not trained for my kids’ specific needs…have not built the relationships with them that I have already this year.

Thank you for your words of encouragement and your prayers.  I covet them more now than ever.  I mainly ask for prayers for healing for my bones.  That is my number one priority right now.  Bone health, too, is a concern as I look to supplement my diet with calcium-absorbent foods that I actually like to eat or can tolerate enough to choke down.   Ahem.

Thank you all!!

 

Post-Thanksgiving Hodgepodge

Well, we survived Thanksgiving around these parts.  It was the quietest one we’ve ever had…our first without any family around.  I was sick the entire day…the effects of my surgery doing their full-on-ugly thing.  The Mr. did his best to keep me going while even managing to get some of the house decorated.  Dare I say that he’s learning how to multi-task like a woman.

Anyhoo, it’s time for the Hodgepodge.  Link up with Joyce after you post your own answers on your blog.  Thanks for visiting!

1.  Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving). 

Puking
Napping
Surviving

Ok.  Those sort of rhymed.  They all ended in “ing.”  Ahem.

2.  When did you last say, ‘the more the merrier’? Did you mean it?

We are planning our son’s rehearsal dinner and have sort of given up on worrying too much about numbers.  Hubby has been generous that way, so yes, the more the merrier (and the more expensive).

3.  What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who is your same age?

Don’t walk through a dark house.  Turn on the lights so you don’t break an ankle.  Broken limbs at this age are no fun.

4.  You’re ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?

As a vegan, I love veggie plates.  I’d order cauliflower, broccoli, carrot sticks, and celery, with hummus for dipping please.

5.  Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?

Back in the day, the Mr. and I shopped until we dropped.  I am not, however, one who really enjoys shopping.  I’ve done a bit of online shopping since Thanksgiving, and I am hoping that the Mr. will be agreeable enough to take me to the mall on Sunday so we can buy a second pair of wedding shoes (my original ones won’t do now that I’m sporting a cast) as well as a present for Super Sis.  I can’t do too much shopping because 1) I cannot drive anywhere until my ankle heals fully (another downside of breaking the right ankle…no driving) and 2) I have many other things to do between now and then, such as returning back to work and coming home to elevate my ankle.  So, the Mr. will do most of our shopping.  Sigh.

6.  What’s your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?

My blue recliner is my favorite, and dare I say only “real” chair in the house.  Because it reclines, I have a comfortable place to take a nap (lots of naps), read, or knit.  I’ve spent hours in this chair recently.  I am even sleeping in it right now until I feel secure enough to get back in bed…sans dogs for awhile.

7.  Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.

I mainly just remember spending my late childhood attending the small Baptist church in town…three times a week…twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday.  This church also hosted VBS each year.  What fun!  I imagine that all of the churches in the small towns near mine took turns hosting VBS.  Basically, we kids spent most of the summer attending each church’s programs.  I know that the time spent there began instilling in me a faith that now runs deeply.  I am grateful for the service of all who gave their time so that we kids could have fun and learn about God’s Word.

8.  My Random Thought

Today, I returned to my classroom after being out a week and a half (the week before Thanksgiving break and Monday and Tuesday of this week).  In fact, as you’re reading this, I’m probably shedding a tear or two as I greet my precious high schoolers.  Although I’d be okay with staying home and sleeping in, if we could afford for me to be a stay-at-home wife, this just isn’t my lot.  God is using me in my daily interactions with my students; I have seen the many blessings that have come from my time in the classroom.

I’ll be glad for the distractions that always accompany the management of over 80 students.  I’ll be happy to resume where we left off before our routine was interrupted.  They’ll be happy, I think, to have some consistency.

Going back will help the next three weeks go by quickly.  I am excited about a looming visit and the wedding of my already-married son and his wife (this will be the wedding for friends and family who couldn’t attend the very small ceremony a few months ago).  My Chicky will be here for over a week, so catching up with her will lift my spirits as well.

I humbly ask that you will be praying that my ankle will continue healing.  The break was so bad and is complicated by my doctor’s discovery of me having brittle bones.  I am incredibly eager to be back on my feet, no longer reliant on others for so much; patience has been hard for me.

Thank you all!

Two Weeks Later…What I’ve Learned

Today marks two weeks since I fell and broke three bones in my ankle in what is known as a trimalleolar fracture.

Today also marks one week since I had surgery to fix this fracture.  I am now sporting twelve pins (that we can count in the x-rays) and one plate in my ankle.  At this time, I don’t know if the pins will come out.  We think they might because there was a patient next to me during pre-op who was having his pins removed by the same surgeon who was doing my surgery, so it’s possible.

I’ve learned a lot during this time…time I’ve spent mostly off my feet.

I have learned that my husband is an angel in disguise.

No kidding.  He really is.

He has a grumpy exterior, but inside, he’s a mush-ball.  He gets upset when I cry.  Except for Saturday, when he told me to stop having a pity party, but it was GameDay Saturday, so I forgave him for that.

I stayed home today while the Mr. returned to work. he left me enough to eat and drink until he could return at lunch to feed me again.

I stayed home today while the Mr. returned to work. he left me enough to eat and drink until he could return at lunch to feed me again.

I have learned that though my faith is strong, it has some growing to do.

I haven’t questioned the “why” of this, but I have questioned the “how long” of it.  I don’t like the wait-and-see mentality, but that’s just how it is with this kind of injury.  It’s a longgggg wait-and-see.

Who has time for that?

Apparently, I do.

I’ve learned that the Lord shows up in a powerful way when I call on him, as I’ve had to do frequently but especially in the middle some of my darker moments…times that come unexpectedly but pack a solid punch to my psyche.

It is during these times when I have been thankful for my years of walking with God; His Word comes to my mind, and I recite verses to call Him close.  He’s there, I know, but He feels more present when I call.

My injury has forced me to slow down and pay attention to the things around me.  It’s a lesson I’ve needed to learn for a long time but have been too busy to make time for.

Oh, the irony of it.

I literally have to watch where I walk right now.  I have to choose my steps carefully.  In doing so, I’m noticing the smallest things.  It’s an awareness that I am seeing carried into other areas.  I find myself increasingly grateful for the littlest things.  It’s amazing how much I really see now that I’ve slowed down.

I’m learning the power that a bath and freshly washed hair can have on a person’s mental health.

The Mr. helped me wash my hair…with the detachable shower nozzle. We got through the experience without him wanting to strangle me with it. Go us!

 

I dried my hair all by myself, while sitting on the toilet lid!!! Go me!!

I dried my hair all by myself, while sitting on the toilet lid!!! Go me!!

I’ve learned that perspective is everything.  I’m trying really hard not to sweat the small stuff.  It doesn’t matter.  It really doesn’t.  Which is why I asked for (and received after asking for this for two days) a cup of Peppermint Hot Chocolate (with soy and without whipped cream).  It was my first in two years.  It didn’t blow up my daily goal in MyFitnessPal, although at over 300 calories, I will not be splurging often.

It tasted divine.

Perspective.

I’m learning that, just as new bruises are beginning to make their appearance, I’ll have unexpected bumps in the road, but God is gracious, and He will provide me with the means to overcome them.

Physically, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.  Emotionally, it’s certainly challenging, but in a different way from other things I’ve experienced in my life.

I am a work in progress; this is part of the molding process.

It’s not always fun, and it’s certainly not always pretty (check out my greasy, pre-washed/eight-day-old hair)…

No comments about my team loyalty, please. We could do with a bit of an overhaul as well. Just sayin'.

No comments about my team loyalty, please. We could do with a bit of an overhaul as well. Just sayin’.

Still, I am #findingjoyinthejourney, hills, curves, and bumps included.

Rhythms of Grace

When I woke up this morning and began looking at my various social media feeds, I saw this…

It had been posted by the Proverbs 31 ministry.

I loved the accompanying verse:

Psalm 37:23-26New International Version (NIV)

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be a blessing.[a]

How these words spoke to my soul as I read them.

My pace has slowed to a crawl.

Literally.

You should have seen the Mr. last Monday as we made our way from the car in the parking lot to my surgeon’s office.  This was before my surgery (I got wheeled out afterward).

I took baby steps on my crutches.

I was terrified of hitting a crack in the sidewalk and falling.

He patiently escorted me, ready to catch me if I lost my balance.

I frequently apologized for going so slow.

He told me that he was glad I wasn’t going faster.

If you know me personally, you have seen me walk and heard me talk.

I do everything QUICKLY.

Even in my classroom.

I can be across the room faster than a student can turn his head.

My fitness watch / step counter loves me.

I’ve struggled with so many different aspects of my injury…physical pain, emotional distress, and frustration.

Slowing down has been a huge adjustment.

Yesterday, I had a pity party.  Actually the party moved after the Mr. wouldn’t indulge me.  I began texting back and forth with my friend, Barb.  She doesn’t do pity parties, let me tell you.  She gives you a minute (for me, she’s allowing two since I’m on crutches) before she tells you to pick yourself up and get on with business.

She listened, though, in the text-chat kind of way.

She told me, “You will have your life back – just a bump in the road.  Sometimes we need [to] get nudged from above to sit…”

This comes from a woman who doesn’t know how to sit.

She reminded me that this is another blessing in disguise.

It’s kind of hard to argue with God about being still when That’s. All. You. Can. Do.

The Bible verse that followed the illustration hit me too.

It is God who makes firm our steps.

He is the one who will determine when my ankle is strong again.

As a person who is used to being in control, this is difficult to come to terms with.

Beyond what I am doing…elevating my leg nearly 24/7…eating right…sleeping as much as I can…heeding all other directives given to me…I.  Can.  Do.  Nothing.

Nada.

To speed my healing along…to get back into my rush-rush life.

And so I am trying to deal with this with as much grace as I can.

I am thankful for this time, mind you, even as I fight my feelings of letting others down.

Just as God is directing my pace, so is He directing that of others.

It’s as if life is one long song, the rhythm of which changes according to the tempo of each stanza.

Although I am not currently dancing a fast jig, I will do so one day, once my healing is complete.

Just as the Mr. followed closely behind me on our way to the doctor’s office on Monday, God is standing in the gap, strong arms ready to steady me should I start to topple over, as I’m wont to do.

Until this current refrain of my lifesong is over, I remain focused on #findingjoyinthejourney.

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