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Week 24

In about five hours, I will hit the 24-week . . . aka 6 months . . . mark after breaking my ankle on November 13th.

There’s just something very wild about being able to say that.

Six.  Months.

If you’ve been following my journey, did you just take in your breath sharply and think, “Has it been that long already?”

Yeah.  Some days, I cannot believe it either.

Last Friday, after my last class of the day had finished its work, I allowed them to relax a little, and they began asking me questions about how I actually broke it.  When I went back to work a couple of weeks after my injury, we were so focused on getting back into a routine, that I didn’t allow them time to ask too much.  Plus, recounting the experience was extremely difficult because of the pain I was still going through.

It still seems so surreal that one moment I was walking through my house, happy as could be . . . preparing for a new week ahead of me, and then in the blink of an eye, I was laying on the floor, unable to move my foot, certain that something very bad had happened.

Sheesh, but I am tearing up just typing that.

That last class of mine has been such a challenge all year, and empathy has not been their strong suit; however, on Friday, one young man sincerely said, “I don’t know how you did it.  You must have been in the worst pain ever.”  He was kind when he said it too.

Yeah, I was.

That drive to the ER was horrendous; I’d never cried like I did that night.  I felt every bump in the road, every instance the Mr. hit the brakes, and, I think, about every breath that came out of my lungs.

That’s why, when I think about the months that have passed since then, I am completely in awe of how far God has brought me.

This past week was a good one for me.  I am grateful for that after the bad week I’d had before it.

I had taken it easy last weekend and was rewarded by my now-normal amount of pain, which is bearable, to say the least.

I am still not pain-free.  Sometimes the bones ache; other times it’s the scar on the inside of my ankle.  My ankle freezes up on me if I sit too long, so I limp when I get up.

Still, I am happy.

Monday, I dressed up.  It’s amazing how easy it is to look nice when the pain is at a minimum.

I had physical therapy after school.

I have been balancing on a Bosu ball for a month or two, and after my first one-minute round, I knew I needed to change things up, so I asked my therapist if he could make it more challenging.

He put a little gel disk on the floor and told me to balance on that.

I laughed.  I figured I’d nail it easily.

Y’all . . . I could not even let go of the bars.

I had tears in my eyes from frustration.

I did not cry though.

One of the other therapists told me that my first goal was to stop white-knuckling the bars.  She said to hold on but not so tight.  She suggested that the next visit, we could work on me holding on by my fingertips.

My other therapist just chuckled.  He said, “You told me to make it harder.”  Yep.  I did.  It took me back to our first conversation my very first visit.  I had told him that I would work hard and that I wanted him to push me.  He has kept his promise to do just that.

I’m finding myself able to do my cone work at physical therapy a little bit easier.  It’s still the toughest exercise I’m doing there because of the balancing I have to do; my ankle is usually pretty sore afterward.

Thank heavens for the icing down and electric therapy at the end of each session.

Last week, I continued with my Piyo workouts.

Oh my golly, but Buns was a tough day.  It was good for my legs but oy vey!

I did a tough routine on Sunday . . . Strength Intervals.  I had to do a lot of the modifications because I cannot move laterally yet, per my physical therapist’s instructions.  I also cannot jump or jog, so I walked with my knees up at those sections.  I did one-handed burpees, more like lunges with one hand on the floor with absolutely no jumping at all.  It was a good workout for me, though, because I worked on a lot of lower body strength, which is what we are focusing on in physical therapy.

I am thankful that I can work out again.  One of the things that frustrated me so much when I was laid up was feeling like all of the hard work I’d done to get back in shape was going by the wayside.  I am deriving much satisfaction in burning calories again and gaining flexibility.

On Saturday, I decided to try to go for another walk.  I figured that I had given myself last weekend off, so maybe I would be okay.

The Mr. said, as I was leaving, “Are you sure about this?”  Yeah.  I was.

I walked a total of 3.28 miles, finally completing my Run Now Gobble Later 5k, a Gone for a Run virtual race I’d originally planned on running the week of Thanksgiving with my friend, Rebecca.  Of course, that’s when I had my little “mishap,” so I wasn’t able to do it.

I slowed my pace down a lot from the last time I’d walked in an attempt to prevent residual pain.  I did start hurting when I hit the 1.5 mile mark.  I’m going to ask my PT where the malleolar bone is.  I think it’s the back one .  . . one of the three I broke.  That’s where I hurt a lot when I walk.  I’m wondering if it’s just going to take longer to fully heal.

Still, I pushed through, iced down when I got home, and binged on Netflix the rest of the day.

Waking up this morning . . . knowing that I’d hit this big milestone . . . was especially poignant.  I still keenly remember googling “Trimalleolar Fracture” back in the ER that fateful night and reading that it would take between 18-24 months to recover.  That’s one bitter pill to swallow.

And now I’m between 1/4 and 1/3 of the way through.

Amazing.

This morning, when I walked into church, one of the guys the Mr. and I have become friends with commented, “You’re not limping!”

I wasn’t?

I hadn’t noticed.

I was having a good morning.

Perspective . . . time . . . God’s healing . . . there’s just something incredible about this journey, wouldn’t you say?

Hodgepodging in the Rain

Hey y’all!  I’m back after a two-week hiatus.  Joyce has some fun, Spring-y questions for us today, so I couldn’t resist joining in!  Thanks for visiting!  I’ll try to pay you back in kind when I get home after physical therapy.

1.  April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 

We have had a few showers around these parts.  I’ve always got an umbrella, or two, or three.  I might be a little obsessed…with not messing up my hair, that is.  Ha!  I need to cover up because I cannot make a run for it because my ankle hasn’t healed enough for that.  As it is, I have to walk extremely slowly when the ground is wet so I don’t slip and injure myself again.

What else has filled the month?  Testing.  Lots of it.  Because I’m a teacher in this great U.S. of A., where those in ivory towers think we should test our kids to death.

I’ve also been rehabbing my ankle.  Every week.  I love that part of my month, though, because I am getting a little better…most weeks, anyway.

2.  What’s something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment’s notice and with zero preparation?

I could give a 30-minute presentation on how to foster a love of reading in teenagers.  It’s what I do very well, thanks to great mentors who taught me everything they know.  My students cannot wait for silent reading time.  They love the library I’ve built up over the years and the fact that I’ve read a lot of the books myself.  We have wonderful discussions.  I love sharing my passion and ideas with other teachers.

3.  Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

I remember lazy weekend afternoons when my step-dad would grill out.  I loved sitting on the porch, smelling that wonderful aroma that means summer is full-on.  We used to plate up the steaks with fresh tomatoes and baked potatoes.  Although I haven’t eaten meat since 2010, I still fondly remember those days.

4.  What’s a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

I am drawing a complete blank.  I don’t think I really messed up the lyrics of songs.  Now the actual tone…if I tried to sing…well, you know.  We can’t all be Carrie Underwood.

5.  According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you’ve visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

I have been to Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) and Epcot.  I did feel like a tourist at Niagara Falls.  I was a kid and don’t think I cared one bit that I was a visitor.  I have never felt like a tourist at Epcot.  I mean, I’ve lived in Florida for nearly my entire marriage.  Epcot feels like home.

Las Vegas is a total tourist trap from the moment you get off the plane.  We went there a number of years ago for one of Chicky’s tournaments.  In fact, it’s the first time that Rebecca commented on my blog.  Do you remember that, Rebecca?  A friendship was born!

I remember that she told me to just have fun.  I was mortified at how commercial it was.   I wouldn’t mind going back now that I’m an empty-nester.  I might enjoy it a little more since I wouldn’t have to worry about people shoving girlie cards into the hands of my sweet son (which is what happened the last time we went).

6.  Your signature clothing item?

I am a summer dress girl.  I love my sundresses, paired with cardigans to keep things professional, and live for the warm weather when I can wear them.  I love dressing up for school, and my students seem to appreciate the effort.  A few years ago, I wore dresses every day for over a month.  The day I finally wore a pair of pants, one of my students said, “Thank heavens!  You’re finally wearing something different!”  Ha!

7.  What’s an experience you’ve had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

Well, it’s certainly not breaking an ankle.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, even with the blessings that have been showered on me since it happened.

I think that an experience everyone should have is attending a basic training graduation.

You might remember that last Memorial Day, I got to attend my sweet Rooster’s graduation in San Antonio.

I got to hear over 700 new Airmen recite the Airman’s Creed, professing their loyalty to the United States.

It was awe-inspiring.

The entire weekend was incredible.  Seeing people stop my son at the mall…at Riverwalk…wherever we went…thanking him for his service and then watching him humbly offer thanks in return filled my heart with pride.

There has been so much negativity since the election.  I think people are starting to forget what a privilege it is to live in this country.  They’ve taken for granted the freedom that others fought to establish and continue to fight to protect.

You can’t walk away from a graduation without a renewed sense of patriotism.

Shout out to my sweet boy for what he does…what he sacrifices…because he wants to make a real difference.

8.  My Random Thought

We have five and a half weeks of school left.  But who’s counting.  Ahem.

I’ve been busy writing lesson plans through the rest of the school year, getting copies made, and straightening up my room one area at a time.

After the bad week I had (last week) with my ankle, I am eager to have the time off…time when I can put my foot up if it’s not doing well…try new recipes…read to my heart’s content…and rest from the hard year I’ve had.

Six Mondays, y’all.

I’m determined to finish strong before I hibernate for the summer.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

So, a couple of weeks ago, I jumped on the Thirteen Reasons Why bandwagon.

I’d read the YA book a few years ago and kept a couple of copies in my classroom.  The books are always being read by students.

I didn’t know about the Netflix series until a student told me about it.

Of course, I had to watch the first episode, and let me just say WOW.

It was powerful.

The book tells the story of a girl, Hannah Baker, who leaves a set of tapes for people to listen to after she commits suicide.  Each side of each tape is addressed to a specific person.  The catch is that every person must listen to all of the tapes or else a second copy, hidden away with another person, will release it to the public.

The tapes detail little and big things that led to Hannah’s suicide.

The book is told from Clay Jensen’s perspective after he receives the tapes.  He doesn’t know where on the list he falls, but it’s clear that he cared about Hannah.

The Netflix series, directed by Selena Gomez, takes a lot of creative license, and the story doesn’t follow the book exactly.

For a purist like me, it’s bothersome.

The series was also graphic in parts.  The foul language really bothered me (yes, it’s realistic, though…I do teach in a high school).  The drinking and drugs also bothered me a lot.  The sexual stuff…yeah, I didn’t feel comfortable watching that even by myself!!!

The message, bullying, hit home though.

My students are all watching the series.  Many have binged on it, much like I did.  It took me two weekends to watch all thirteen episodes.

I stayed up until nearly 2am last Friday night watching and only stopped when I hit Clay’s tape.

That episode wrecked me.

It’s so powerful…so gut-wrenching.

I decided, because I couldn’t put my hands on the copies I already owned, to purchase a couple more.

I kept one to re-read and put the other one in my room.

Yeah, it’s already been snatched up.  The kids cannot get enough of it.  I’m encouraging them to note the differences between the book and the series.

I am so glad that Netflix made this series.  It’s a story that needs to be told.

Over.

And over.

And over again.

Y’all, kids are really hurting these days.  It’s hard for many of them to see how one small comment can have devastating effects on another person.

This series is opening the door for real talk in my classroom.  I love that.

Hearing kids discuss it warms my heart.  I even heard some kids at my neighborhood pool talking about it last weekend.

Have you read the book or seen the series?  What are your thoughts?

Weeks 22 and 23

Oh goodness, but two weeks just flew by, didn’t it?!

I wanted to write last Sunday, but I was so tired that I couldn’t even make myself pull out my laptop.

So, I didn’t.

I want to update you on how my ankle is progressing.

During Week 22, I had to help administer the FSA (Florida’s state reading assessment).  Proctoring duties were staggered, so I didn’t have test duty that Monday and Tuesday.  Instead, I had long planning periods and didn’t see students until 1pm.  It was heavenly!  I got a lot done!

Wednesday and Thursday, I proctored two test sessions each day, which made for a LOT of standing.  There were two other teachers testing with me, and they were great about getting me to sit down as much as I could to rest my ankle.  Still, I had to walk some because just sitting makes my ankle freeze up.

Wednesday afternoon, my ankle was shot, and I struggled in physical therapy.

Strangely enough, I started back, in earnest, with my Piyo workouts.  My surgeon had advised me to work hard on the stretching so I can get back my full range of motion.  So, I started getting up at the crack of dawn to fit in my workouts.

I’m doing modifications where I need to…hence the chair.  I can’t quite do the Warrior 3 position on my right foot.  My ankle isn’t strong enough yet.

We had Good Friday off, so I got out and walked.  I had signed up for another Hogwarts Running Club race, the Unmasked 10-Mile Run For Your Life.  I knew I’d have to break the race into bite-sized portions.

That Friday, I completed the second of what would turn out to be four segments, 2.5 miles each, of walking that race.  I finished it on Easter Sunday before church.

Each day I walked that weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), I improved my pace.

I did have some ankle pain while I walked and made mental notes of where I was hurting so I could keep my physical therapist apprised.

Meanwhile, I was still following my Piyo calendar.

Y’all…that Warrior position…I feel so strong when I do it.

So Week 22 ended, and I kind of felt like I was turning another corner.

And then…

Week 23.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

It was the week of hell for my ankle.

By the time I got to physical therapy on Monday, my ankle was extremely swollen.  Even the gal who wraps it in ice after each session noticed.

The pain didn’t hit full-force until Tuesday.  I could hardly walk into school that morning without a lot of pain…bone pain.

Tuesday was probably the worst day I’d had since February.  I felt like I’d literally taken huge steps backward in my recovery process.

By Wednesday, the pain had eased off a little, but it was still present, and it made me slow down even more.  It was a day that called for a stop at Chick-fil-A on my way to physical therapy…because waffle fries make everything a little better (even at 500 calories).

My physical therapist was a bit at a loss as to why I was hurting so badly.  We discussed what I had been doing, and honestly, it didn’t seem as though I’d done much.

The best I can think of is that my weekend of walking and pushing my pace lower each day had probably put a lot of pressure on my ankle.

As the Mr. reminded me, I’m only five and a half months out from breaking it.

Because of the bad week, which just didn’t seem to get a lot better overall, I decided to take it super easy on Saturday.  I’d planned on going to the pool, but in the end, I stayed inside, sitting on my recliner, catching up on shows I’d recorded.

I had a mini-meltdown at the end of the day, much to the hubby’s chagrin.

I felt useless.

I felt like it was November all over again, when my only course of action was sitting.

It was incredibly frustrating, so I let myself have a pity party.

For a minute or two.

The Mr. told me that most people would not have gone back to work two weeks after breaking their ankle, nor would they be doing half of what I was currently trying to do.

Ahem.

He told me that I was pushing myself too hard and expecting too much too soon.

He’s right.

So, I extended a bit of grace to myself, dried my tears, and kept watching TV.

This morning, I woke up feeling a lot better, got a workout in (no walking though), and took turns sitting in my chair and getting up and cooking for short amounts of time.

Bone pain has to be one of the worst pains there is, and I do not want to make myself have more of it by making poor choices for myself.

This journey of recovery continues to teach me so much.

I have to stop feeling guilty for taking care of myself.

I have to be okay with resting.

I have to continue to be patient during this process.

I might have mentioned, a time or two, that I am a slow learner sometimes.

Ahem.

21 Weeks

Today marks five months and one week since I broke my ankle and just about twenty weeks since I had surgery.  Last week, I finished week eleven of physical therapy.  It was a BIG week for me, but more on that later!

You might recall that the previous week, my physical therapist added a new exercise…the Star Excursion Balance Test.

Well, on Monday, he added another, new-for-me, mat exercise…

For this exercise, I had to balance on my bad foot…the right one, while reaching with my left hand to touch the cone on the furthest right.  Then, I had to stand up straight, bend over again, and reach with my left hand to touch the second cone on the right.  Next, I had to stand up straight, bend over, and reach down with my right hand to touch the middle left cone.  I had to repeat the process, with the right hand, and touch the last cone on the left.

Then, I got to do this nine more times.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

First of all, I felt so awkward.  My PT is young and coordinated, so when he demonstrated, it looked easy.

Not so for me.

I am most definitely not young and 1,000% not coordinated (which is how I got into this whole mess to begin with).

This exercise was incredibly difficult.

It was also painful when I reached with my right hand across my body to touch those left cones.  The burden of balancing myself fell to the outside of my ankle, and that’s currently where I have the least amount of strength.  It’s also the side of my leg that houses the most hardware…the plate and nine pins.

I am always telling my therapists to push me, though…a promise they made me during my first visit.

But still…did I mention that it was HARD???

Another big thing was that I got to change the color of the band I use for my various flexion exercises.

Yep.  I went from blue to black.  The black band is much tighter and tougher to work with.  It only took me a couple of months, but hey, who’s counting (except for me)??  Progress is progress!

I didn’t have therapy on Tuesday, so I ran to Sam’s and Publix.  Although I had not been sore at school, by the time I hit Sam’s, my ankle was starting to hate life.  I got an associate to push my buggy to my car and load it with the heavy bag of dog food and cases of water I’d purchased.

Publix was a mini-nightmare for me.  My ankle was completely shot by then; the mere act of walking back and forth across the store was a form of torture.

I was able to get most of the groceries put away at home, but then I had to rest.  The Mr. kindly took us out to eat that night, because there was no way I was cooking.  Not only was my ankle sore, but it was pretty swollen.  I figured it was the effect of the new exercises.

In all honestly, I think it might have been the looming bad weather that we were getting.  The forecast was so bad that my district canceled school the next day.

I think I might have had enough energy to do the happy dance.  Just sayin’.

Because the weather wasn’t going to be coming in until the next afternoon, I went ahead and got up early Wednesday morning, called my PT’s office, and asked if I could go first thing rather than my normal time, which would be when the worst of the storms would be passing through.  They gave me the green light, and away I went.

That’s when I asked my therapists about my ankle pain.  We all agreed that it was probably a combination of the new exercises and the weather.

I did get to warm up on the treadmill that day…at a whopping speed of 2.0 mph.  Y’all better start training for your races, cause I’m coming for you!  Ha!

Wednesday was a repeat of Monday, and then I went on my merry way.

Thursday, though, was a BIG day for me.

After teaching my first two classes, I greeted my substitute.  She would be filling in for the rest of the day.  Then, I got on the road…a bit of a drive ahead of me.  At least the weather was gorgeous!

I listened to a podcast that Rebecca told me about…

My destination?

Well, first if was Shoe Station…

Ok, first let’s be clear.  This was NOT why I’d gotten a sub.  It just so happened that I had enough time before I needed to be where I was going to stop in.

Funny how things like that work out, eh?

I found a pair of sandals that I instantly fell in love with.  I waited to get them until after I was done with my original reason for my travel because I had to find a discount code (the cashier upgraded it from 15% to 20%).

Aren’t they just adorable?  Yes, they are Vionic.  I’d been missing “regular” looking sandals.  These fit the bill.

Ok…back to the point of this part of my post!

So, I went to Bigger City, USA, for more than shoe shopping.  I actually had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon who had fixed my ankle way back in November.  Yes, the actual surgeon…no PA this time.

I love this practice.  So much.  They are timely and professional.  They are, quite simply, exactly what you’d expect a doctor’s office to be…and then some.

I had to get an x-ray.  This didn’t surprise me because I’ve had to get one every time I’ve gone.  I took a picture of it when the nurse put it on the screen in my room…

See…I wasn’t lying about the hardware.

I was so happy when the doctor came in.  The last time I’d seen him, I was about to go under the knife, and he was drawing a smiley face on the big toe of my right foot.  I never saw him afterward since I was in recovery.

He seemed pleased with my progress and noted that everything was going according to the normal time table.

He checked the flexibility in my right foot, comparing it to my left.  I told him that the physical therapist had told me that I probably wouldn’t get back all of my range of motion because of the hardware.  He surprised me by telling me that the hardware would not impede me at all.

Wow.

What he told me to do was get even more aggressive with my physical therapy.  He showed me the exercise that I need to do more often…stretching my calf…the exercise I absolutely loathe because it hurts so much.

He also reminded me how important it is to continue therapy at home on the days I’m not in the PT’s office.

Honestly, I’d been slacking a bit in this area because I’d been allowing my ankle to rest on those days.  After being on my feet all day teaching, my ankle is usually shot.

I guess this is a classic example of “no pain, no gain.”  I am still a little confused, though.  My therapists keep telling me that I could regress if I push myself too hard.

Sigh.

I asked the doctor about possibly having some of the pins removed at a later date.  The ones that protrude the most on the inside and outside of my ankle bones hurt a lot when I rub something against them.  He told me to wait until my one year mark, and then we could revisit that.  He also told me that my brittle bones will not impact the removal of the pins.

Yay!  I am praying that scar tissue forms over the pins, thus acting as a cushion, so I won’t need to go through another surgery.  We’ll see.

I also asked about pain I’m having on the inside of my ankle around the scar.  He began to rub the scar quite hard and cross-ways and told me that this is what I needed to do…that there was scar tissue underneath that needed to be rubbed out.  Ouch!

One other question I asked was about the amount of bone pain I’m still having and how long I could expect to continue having it.  It’s not that it’s terrible.  It’s just always present at varying levels depending on the day.  He said to expect it to level off around the one-year mark.  That’s exactly what one of my physical therapists had told me.

He told me that unless I have any further issues with my ankle, he didn’t see the need for me to return.

That was another wonderful moment!  I’d been back and forth to this office a total of six times in the past five months.  I would have gone as long as I needed to, but not having to drive five hours every few weeks certainly was something to cheer about!

I drove home tired but happy.

And so I sit here at 21 weeks.  The things I couldn’t do last week are still an issue…no going down stairs without great discomfort…my knee bending is still an issue (I forgot to ask my surgeon about this)…etc.  So, a week didn’t necessarily make a difference.

But…I did go walking two days this weekend.

On Saturday, I walked the last two miles of my 10k and S.P.E.W. Hogwarts Running Club race.

I also started on the next race’s distance, a ten miler, by walking 2.5 miles today.

Yes, there was pain both days, but there was also progress.  I increased my pace both days!

I also did a Piyo workout each day this weekend.  The lower body was tough when it came to doing Warrior 3 on my right leg.  I couldn’t do it without holding onto a chair.

As always, I cannot keep my mind parked on the things I cannot do.  Instead, I try to focus more on what I can do.  My doctor commented, after asking me how I was doing, that I was much better than a month ago.

That was definitely an understatement!

I am still so amazed every time I walk across the house barefoot.  I remember when I couldn’t do that…when it hurt to put weight on my foot…when my heel hurt so badly that I cried…when my foot got so swollen that I could hardly distinguish one toe from another.

I am still so grateful for God’s healing touch and for the love and prayers of family, friends, and complete strangers.

A Green Thumb Hodgepodge

It’s a stormy day around these here parts, so school got canceled.  I cannot say that I am unhappy about that!  With the unexpected day to myself, I’m puttering around the house…hence the later-than-usual Hodgepodge post.  Join in with Joyce to play along!

1.  April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

I’d say that my yard is probably at a 4 or a 5 right now.  Both of my lawn mowers are currently out of commission.  The Mr. ordered a self-propel cable so I can fix the push mower.  We are going to need to call someone about the riding mower.  I’m not comfortable testing out the battery on my own.  There are also weeds in my front flower beds, but I’m not able to squat down to pull them, and I refuse to call that physical therapy.  Ha!

2.  Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

Oh wow.  This is kind of deep.  Let’s see.  I may be totally off base, but I’m thinking that maybe it means that our choices provide the foundation for the fruit we produce in our lives.  Hence, what we may originally intend to produce may not actually grow if we aren’t careful.  On the other hand, there may be unexpected beauty that develops because we are obedient to the Great Gardener himself.

3.  What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Provision.

I have been so humbled by the way that God has provided for me in recent months.  He is healing my body and that of my Mr.  Every time I’ve run up against something challenging, He has provided an answer.  God loves me, and He’s taking care of me.

4.  If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

This is tough for me to answer because I don’t know what it’s like to be the person talking to me.  I guess I probably play with my hair a little.  I have no idea!

5.  Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I like yellow, although I can only wear it in small doses…not an entire piece of clothing.  I don’t have it anywhere in my home either, although I wouldn’t be opposed to it showing up one day.  The thing that is favorite from Joyce’s list is definitely the sunflower.  The exude brightness and joy.

6.  Flip flops or bare feet?

I am a country girl.  I’ll go barefoot any day.  Just today, when I walked across the physical therapy room barefooted, I told my therapist how I remembered not being able to do this just a short time ago…another small sign of progress.

7.  Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

I do not have any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions I’ll carry out this month except to attend church that Sunday.  Because the Mr. and I attend most weeks, this doesn’t seem like a true “tradition.”  I sure do miss the days of dyeing eggs with my kiddos when they were little…watching them come downstairs to look at their baskets…taking them to Easter egg hunts at the church.

Sigh.

8.  My Random Thought

This was everything to me last night…

Did any of you watch Prison Break back in the day?

I remember how heartbroken I was when the series ended, and I’ve watched it a few times on Netflix since then.

My heart rejoiced when I saw that it would be returning.

During the premier, I tweeted and retweeted more than I think I ever have at one time!  I had so much fun!

I can’t put my finger on only one specific thing that I love about this show.

It has always pulled at my heartstrings.

Its themes of brotherly love…friendship…beating the odds…they just resonate with me.  I have also always loved Michael’s cleverness.  I’m a puzzle type of gal, and he’s all about that, with each part of his plan fitting perfectly together…until it didn’t.

So yeah.  I’m a pretty happy girl right now.

20 Weeks

Oh my goodness, but can you believe that tonight marks FIVE months since I broke my ankle?

Truth be told, I can believe it.

In some ways, it feels like it happened a long time ago.  Other times, it feels like it was just yesterday…the memories are that fresh.

Monday marked the start of my tenth week of physical therapy.  It was also my first day back to school after Spring Break.  I don’t remember that we did anything new that day.  The therapist was going to talk to my main therapist after he returned from his honeymoon.  He’d be back when I returned on Thursday for my next appointment.

Meanwhile, I plodded through the week.

I wore my regular shoes three or four days last week; my slippers and sneakers were in my teacher bag just in case my ankle started hurting too badly.

On Wednesday, I got a text from a former student who now works at my therapist’s office.  There was a problem with my insurance, and she wanted me to call.

My heart fell, y’all.  It turned out that I’d been through the 21 allotted visits per six month period.  I wouldn’t be eligible for coverage again until June 23rd.  She told me I could go in and talk to my main therapist…that he had options to discuss with me.

The Mr. had gone back to Jacksonville to meet with his doctors.  I wound up not being able to go because our dog sitter had to work some crazy hours, so I didn’t have a car.  I’d gotten a ride to school from one friend, and my other other friend had agreed to pick me up.  She did one better and took me to my PT’s office that afternoon.

My heart was in my throat, y’all.  I’d spent part of the day in tears.  I did not want to stop therapy.  I was afraid it would be too expensive to continue.  My ankle wasn’t ready.  It won’t be ready for a long time still.  I’d even made a list of the things I’d noticed that I still couldn’t do.  I didn’t want to be pushed out the door.

Fortunately, I have an AMAZING PT office.  My therapist told me I could do exercises at home and consult with him over the phone once a week, or that I could do a special payment plan and continue as I was as a patient in the office.

I ran the numbers and discovered that this was do-able because I’d only have to spend $20 more that what I’d been paying with my co-payments.  I will continue to use this payment option until my insurance kicks back in.  My therapist agreed that I needed to stay in the office to work on my ankle…that I wasn’t nearly ready to be released.  Boy, was I glad that we were on the same page!  We discussed small goals and my BIG goal…to run again.  These will happen, in time.

The most important thing was that God had provided, just as He had been doing ever since I broke my ankle.  I don’t know why in the world I ever doubted.

With that load off of my shoulders, I left…or should I say floated…to the parking lot and my waiting friend.  She had gone and bought me a bottle of wine because I’d been so stressed.

She’s solid, let me tell you.

I returned to therapy for a regular appointment on Thursday, and my therapist had a couple of new exercises for me.

But first…the stretch.  This board is pure evil to me, but I need it so much.  I’ve considered buying one for home, but they are expensive!  I need to use it regularly to stretch my calf and work on flexibility.

Then, the fun began.

Yep.  It’s the leg press machine!

I have not used one of these in a longgggg time!  I started out with twenty pounds, but it was too easy, so we bumped it up to 40.  I had to do 30 reps.  By the time I hit seventeen, my legs were crying.

Ugh.

I am so weak right now.

I pushed through happily, though.

Then, J, my therapist, showed me a new exercise.  It’s based on the Star Excursion Balance Test, which is used to test the stability of ankles after injuries.

Even though my therapist modeled how to do it, boy, was I awkward.  I didn’t know where to put my hands (I watched a video after, so now I know to put them on my hips), and I didn’t know if I should bend my knee.  My therapist said no, but I’m not so sure.

It was sooooo hard…especially the move where I put my left foot behind and to the side of my right (my bum) ankle.

I think I did three of them before I had to rest.

It was also painful, which either indicates muscle weakness or healing that still needs to occur.

I’m tough, though, and did as much as I could.  Then, I proceeded with my regular exercises.

I really, really love my therapy.  I feel like I am making progress when I’m there, and the therapists are so encouraging.

On Saturday, I pushed myself a bit and first did a Piyo workout.  I’d decided that because I’m lacking in strength and flexibility, I could probably do a round of this program.  It was the first Beach Body program I completed a year and a half ago.  I did the upper body workout.

I want to keep my arms defined.  I worked too hard to lose that muscle too!  I’ve already lost so much in my legs.

I also noticed that I still cannot put my right knee on the floor when I cross my legs.  This is not good.  I’ve always been flexible, but that knee hurts something terrible if I try to bend it too far.  I suspect this is happened because I was restricted for nine solid weeks and then had to learn how to walk again.  Talk about frustrating!

After I finished, I went for a walk.  I’d signed up for the 10k and S.P.E.W. Challenge, a virtual race hosted by the Hogwarts Running Club.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to do six miles at a pop.  I aimed for three but completed four by the time I’d finished my route.

I was so pleased!  The walking wasn’t nearly as difficult as the last time I’d attempted it…back on February 11th.  I increased my pace about six minutes per mile!

I did have some ankle pain that radiated from the inside of my ankle around the back to my other side.  My heel also hurt a little.  I think that’s a sign of my Achilles tendon or calf muscle being a little tight.  I’m going to have to mention that to my PT on Monday.

I spent the rest of the day pampering myself at the pool.

That’s when I was reminded, again, that I still have a ways to go with my ankle.  It froze up on me while I was laying out, and I limped to the steps to the pool.  I had to grab tightly to the rail and ease myself down the steps.  I still cannot walk down steps without pain.

Note to self…remind the therapists about this.

Sigh.

Today (Sunday), I’d planned to finish the last two miles of my 10k, but as we were leaving a restaurant after church, I had some pain in my ankle, and I noticed that it was more swollen than usual.

Sigh.

No walking for me.  I decided to rest up by the pool.

Darn.

Looking at that picture, I think my right leg is smaller than my left…probably the result of my injury.

Oh well.

Every week comes with its own set of lessons for me.  This week, it was about trust.  First, I had to trust God to provide, even when I didn’t see a way.  Second, it was about reaching out for help, which I did…twice…when I needed rides to school, to physical therapy, and back home.  Third, it was about recognizing my limits and not pushing myself too hard.  That third lesson is one that I’m not learning very well, I’m afraid.  I am trying, though.

As always, I am so grateful for a God who loves me and sees me in the midst of every need.

I am thankful for family and friends who pray…who fill in the gap when I feel like I’m stepping into an abyss.

There is so much #joyinthejourney, even when the path is rocky (boy, this week sure was) and the way is sprinkled with pitfalls.

 

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