Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm going to do better about updating...

I have resolved to do better about updating this blog. I mean, I have nothing much else to do right?

I'm doing a little better than yesterday. The kids did well at school and I did well for my first day "alone" since surgery. I go to the doctor on Monday to get an update on my progress. I really can't wait to see what my x-rays look like. I'm going to try and get a copy to show everyone my hardware.

My brother, Scott, is coming in from Waco to visit this weekend and I'm excited about seeing him. The distraction will be nice. Oh, and I love my brother. I'll try to take lots of pictures of us doing various things (mostly hanging out around the house) and post them. I just really need to figure out all the picture settings and such on my new laptop. Hey, that's a good job for Scott this weekend...

Oh and thanks no one for posting comments. I love you all! :)- (that's a smiley face with it's tongue stuck out or something like that)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Attempt to Catch Up

Today is the kids first day back at school since being out two weeks due to Ike. I thought I would attempt to catch everyone up on this blog since, well, I can't do much else. This may be a little long.

As far as hurricane recovery, everything is trying to get back to normal, but it will take a while. Not all schools, even in our district, were able to go back today. A lot of people still don't have power (I feel for those poor souls) and even worse, a lot of people don't have homes. My dear friend, Dawn, took a huge hit and I am constantly thinking of her, her hubby, and their five children. I want to help them so badly, I just have to figure out how.

As far as Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (that's the clinical name and my attempt at humor), it's going. Everyone who has seen me says "You're so much further than I thought you would be at this point!" To me, it feels so slow. I guess I'll back up a little. Surgery itself went well. There were a couple of problems with my low blood pressure and that had to be treated in the operating room, but other than that I did well. I came out with a seven inch incision directly on my spine, an epidural, and three drains coming from the area. I had some difficulty with vomiting for the first day, but after that I did great. Ike was looming out in the Gulf so after some begging, my doctor decided to release me one day early to be home for the storm. I really did not want to have to be downtown in a hospital, as safe as it is, without my husband and children during a hurricane. The hurricane itself was scary. They always are, but we made it through with very minimal damage (I'll post pictures of all sorts of stuff at some point). Since I've been home, I am to wear my brace (which is actually a body molded cast that can come off for things like showering and sleeping) anytime I'm up. It's hot (especially when there was no A/C) and bulky. I don't like it. I can walk, but I'm incredibly slow. So slow that I feel like a burden and hindrance to anyone around me. I can sit, but it is SO difficult to get up and down, it's pretty much not worth it. I have a very specific routine I am to use to get in and out of bed so as not to twist my spine at all. It's difficult and exhausting. I can lay on my back, which is comfortable for a little while, or my sides, which really aren't comfortable because of the pain from the bone graft from my pelvis so, I'm having trouble sleeping. I can't do pretty much anything around the house since I can't bend or twist in any way, but I can't really reach forward very far either. Just washing my hands stretches my limits. I'm incredibly emotional. I sobbed Sunday (in front of a lot of people) over milk. Not even spilt milk, actual contained gallons of milk that were brought to us by our Pastor's wife. We needed milk, she responded as so many people in our church have with various things. Our church rocks and I am so humbled by the way people are willing to help us! I knew all these things would be "things", but one thing I've learned is that it's impossible to prepare yourself for being physically disabled in any way for any amount of time. I want to clean my house, I can't. I want to shave my legs, I can't. I want to take a shower alone, I can't. I want a long, hot bath, I can't. I want to do a lot of things, simple things, that I just can't. I know these things will come and there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, it's just hard right now. It's only been two weeks and I am so tired of feeling like a burden to those I love. Just 5 1/2 months longer, at least. Not sure how I'm going to do it, but I am sure that my God will get me through it. I'm clinging to that...

*If you visit, please leave me a comment. I have no idea who looks at this and I think I'd write it even if it was just for me to "vent", but I would like to know that someone other than me is reading and notes of encouragement really do help!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back UP!!!

Our electricity came back up at approximately 4:00pm today! Our 10, count 'em 10, days of misery have come to an end! It was absolutely surreal to see light bulbs light up and fans come on. I am so happy. Now, I can focus on recovery and healing.

P.S. Don't stop praying for those who lost so much, many of them I know and love. Hurricanes=bad

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not Yet

Still no power and the school cancellation has now been extended to next Thursday. It's getting hot again and I'm having some trouble with my incision, but waiting on a call from the doctor to find out what to do. Surviving, for now.

Did I mention that I'm addicted to Spider Solitaire?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 6 (or something like that) without power

That's right, still no electricity. We're hearing rumors that it could be two more weeks! School has been canceled through Monday with "an update to follow" so, that doesn't look too promising for power. I'm really trying to focus on the good things: we have a home, we have family here who are doing more than any human should be asked to do for us, we have friends, the weather has been nice, and mostly, we have our health (thank goodness for pain medicine!). We also have a generator to help out at night (we're not running it all the time because it's costly and difficult to get gas). This is just so hard for me. I really need electricity to "lighten" my mood, pardon the pun. It would help. When we're up and running, I'm going to go back and journal this last week since surgery. It's just too much right now especially only being able to use the laptop when the generator's running.

One thing I do want to address right now, I've heard/read people who don't live in this area wondering what's so bad about being without electricity or "what did they do before electricity?" To try and be polite, that's ignorance. If you really don't see what the "big deal" is, try it. And I don't mean turn off your air conditioner for a day when the weather's nice. I mean no a/c, no lights (even at night!), no oven or microwave (we have a gas stovetop so, I'll let you use that), no toaster, no cellphones, no hairdryer or flat iron (thank God for a gas hot water heater), etc. And right now, NO ONE in our area has power so it's not like we can go have a break at someone else's house or at a store- not possible. Plus, there is a two to three hour wait to get gas ANYWHERE, if you can even get it so, it would be irresponsible to just drive around. The stores are open for limited hours and they let in like ten people at a time, cash only (hope you got cash before hand, because there are no banks or ATMs). They limit what you can buy like one gallon of milk and one loaf of bread. A lot of people have just gone ahead and left town, but that's not an option for us right now either. We take all these things for granted on a daily basis, but right now, in the midst of it, I really don't want to hear people belittle our situation. Walk even a day in our shoes and then we can talk! *Notice I'm not even mentioning having back surgery a week ago because I'm not looking for sympathy, just understanding* Now, I will say that the one good thing that has come from this is fellowship. People are taking care of each other and our neighbor across the street came over to talk yesterday for the first time in more than two years! I love that, but I'd love it even more with electricity :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Latest...

I just wanted to post a quick update to let you all know that we're here. A lot of you have tried to check in on us and I really appreciate it. We are "hunkered" down still, without power. Thank God we were able to get a generator so we can at least cool off at night. I was released from the hospital a little early just so I could be home in time for the hurricane. We were unable to evacuate since I have a 20 mile limit, as far as traveling. We have no idea how long it will be until our power is up and since we can't leave, we're just hoping we don't run out of gas. I am so thankful for Brandon's parents who came here straight from suffering Gustav to help us. I don't know what we would have done without them. I know there are a lot of people who are suffering and we have so much to be thankful for: our lives and very minor property damage. It's just very difficult trying to recover from major surgery without power (and pretty depressing). Keep us in your prayers! Our cell phone towers have been taken over by FEMA apparently so, no phone service for us. I will try to check email and myspace a couple of times a day if anyone needs us (or you can comment here and our home phone is hit or miss). I'm off to cry now...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Quick Update...

just to let everyone know that I'm alive. Surgery is over and I'm recovering. I'll be in the hospital until Friday, at the least. If you need anything, you can email or comment me here. I'll be checking in periodically on my laptop, it's just very hard to type with an IV and oxygen monitor on one hand.

Thanks to everyone for the prayers! Don't stop :) I need Ike to stay away now (among other things)! More to come...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Countdown has Begun!

We have had evacuees for the past three days. My mom, Cole, and Maw Maw fled Hurricane Gustav and hung out with us. They were able to head home today and thankfully, everything is good back "home". Brandon's family didn't fair so well in Baton Rouge, but it's only property damage. They are without electricity for no one knows how long, so I feel for them. That is absolutely miserable! Now, we're hoping that the roads will be clear enough for his parents to make it here on Monday.

The countdown to surgery has officially begun. One week from today, I'll be in recovery. I am SO ready to be done with this! People keeping asking me if I am nervous. I am, but the hope of being well far outweighs the fear at this point. So, in honor of that, here's a list of things that I am unable to do right now (and for the past several weeks) and am looking forward to being able to do again:

  • Walk further than my bed or couch to the kitchen or bathroom without pain.

  • Stand for any period of time (more than a couple of minutes).

  • Bend over- AT ALL

  • Put on socks.

  • Wear shoes that aren't slip-ons.

  • Roll over in bed without help.

  • Get in bed without help.

  • Dry off the bottom half of my body after a shower or bath.

  • Get in the car and lift my non-leading leg in without having to pick it up with my hands and put it in.

  • Do anything without grunting and groaning!

So, here's to one more week until recovery begins!