13 Lessons I Learned From My Broken Ankle

Twelve very long weeks ago, I was walking my dog Annie around town, taking advantage of a warmer winter day. About two blocks from home, after three miles of treading very carefully to avoid any icy hazards, I slipped on a patch of invisible ice in the grass while I was walking around an icy sidewalk. I heard my bones snap, saw my foot twisted way too far to the side, and experienced the worst pain of my life. I laid on the sidewalk hoping someone would stop to help me. Almost immediately, a variety of strangersΒ  stopped their cars and ran out of houses to help. An ambulance was called, my neighbor was able to rush over to take Annie, and I was whisked away to the hospital. The x-ray confirmed multiple broken bones and the doctor put me to sleep for a few minutes to reset the dislocation before sending me home in a splint with instructions to see a surgeon as soon as possible.

The next day I saw an orthopedic surgeon and the following day I was scheduled for surgery to put in a large plate and multiple screws. Those first few days and the weeks that followed were some of the hardest days of my life. Physically, the pain was nearly unbearable. Mentally, I was challenged beyond belief. Today, after 12 long weeks, I was able to switch back to shoes. I never thought I’d see this day come. But after a lot of hard work and way too many emotional breakdowns to count, I’ve made it this far. (And have much farther to go!) But I wanted to share the most important lessons I’ve learned through this journey in hopes that it might help someone else in the future.

1. A support system is crucial. (i.e. My husband is the best guy in the world!)

I don’t know how I ever would have gotten through any of this without Greg at my side. I texted him immediately after I fell and he rushed the 50 minutes home from work to meet me in the ER about the same time I managed to get there. (I had a big hold up in the ambulance because they couldn’t find a vein to shoot me some pain meds.) He stayed home with me for the next three weeks taking over everything. He stayed home many days after that so he could drive me to physical therapy and keep helping out with the boys. He took over all of my household and parenting duties with zero complaint. He handled all of my emotional meltdowns with patience and understanding. He never made me feel guilty for all of the things I suddenly could not do. Or for how expensive this all turned out to be. He’d help me with every embarrassing personal issue that comes when you suddenly can’t move or barely do anything for yourself. He’d run out for medications or food immediately upon realizing I needed something. He started taking Annie for potty breaks, walks, and dog park visits – something he’s never done in the past, but also never complained about once it became his responsibility, even though he’s not a dog person. He massages my ankle and foot and rubs oil into my scars every single night. He has never made me feel bad or less than for anything I have struggled with in the last three months. Basically, he’s been incredible. I realize not everyone is so lucky to have that when faced with a sudden injury or illness. But it’s definitely made me appreciate him so much more. I think it’s also given each of us a better understanding of how much the other person does for our family as a whole. We respect each other more and have come out of this as more of a team than ever.

2. Food is a lifesaver.

When you are the sole grocery shopper, meal planner, and food maker of the family and suddenly can’t do any of that – getting meals from people is the most helpful thing in the entire world. I can’t stress enough how thankful I am for the friends and family that stepped up on those first few days and weeks, dropping off already made meals and snacks. Medical crisis or not, all four of us need to eat multiple times a day. Having food that was already or almost ready to eat every night was essential to our survival! On the day that I had surgery, we came home to a meal and a big pan of banana bread from one of my friends. I have never been so thankful to eat a piece of banana bread in my life. It was the perfect comfort food for someone who needed to eat something after a day in the hospital, but didn’t have enough of an appetite for a meal. The boys felt the same. We had meals given to us every day that first week and it was such a lifesaver. One of my friends dropped off a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies about the exact time I was starting to be hungry for something beyond what would just nourish my body. On one of my first days home alone, my mom went to get me chicken tenders from Culver’s which felt like the most indulgent treat of all time. Our neighbor brought over a whole slew of food, right around the time we were out of everything other people gave us. Her marinated chicken fajitas that Greg was able to cook on the stove was one of the best things I’d ever tasted. Anyway, all four of us are really SO appreciative of the people who gave us food. It really gave me a new perspective on how helpful I want to be in the future when my own friends or family are faced with similar situations. It’s really the greatest gift we were given in those first couple of weeks.

3. Buy all the accessories.

I was really fortunate in the first day or two after breaking my ankle, to have stumbled across a facebook group called Broken Ankle/Foot/Leg Recovery – On a Quest for Normal! I should probably put this as a separate point, but it was essential in getting advice, encouragement, and support through any random or confusing thing that came up in the last few months. But its most helpful purpose to me was finding accessories to make me more comfortable through the healing process. I strongly believe that buying the things that will make you actually feel better and make your life easier, are 100% worth the expense. Here are a few things that I found to be the most useful:

  • Elevating leg rest pillow – When your ankle is broken, it needs to be elevated ALL THE TIME. And not just elevated, but elevated above your heart. You will quickly realize just how annoying and difficult that can be with a stack of pillows. Having just one pillow, with such a large surface area, was amazing. I slept with my legs up on this the first month and spent a huge amount of time during the day with my leg up on it the first two months. It’s essential.
  • Aircast socks – I was put in a walking boot from the day I left the hospital. At first my ankle was also in a splint which helped cushion things, but once that splint was removed I realized just how painful and irritating the boot was on my raw incisions. These socks were amazing in helping cushion between my skin and the boot. It also just helps the smell not having your skin touching the boot! I wore them consistently the first two months and kept up with them on days I was wearing shorts and still wanted the layer between for comfort.
  • Knee Scooter – I would have fallen into a pretty deep depression if I didn’t have a knee scooter. Crutches were incredibly painful and difficult to use in the early days. It was also a constant point of frustration that when you’re using crutches you don’t have any hands free for anything. Meal prep, carrying things from point A to point B, even just bringing your coffee or lunch to the table. All impossible to do when you’re non weight bearing and have to use crutches. We looked into renting a knee scooter through insurance, but it ended up being cheaper just to buy one. After a ton of research, this is the exact one I bought and was very happy with. I could carry things one handed while steering the scooter. I could actually get to the bathroom in a speedy manner. I could go to stores. It wasn’t a pain free option, because it did really make my knee hurt! But it was better than feeling trapped all the time.
  • Shower Bag – I’m really lucky that my mom had one of these and brought it over to me the day I broke my ankle. So from that very first night (I hadn’t showered before that treacherous walk and felt SO gross by the end of the day), I was able to take a shower without getting my leg wet. I’m the kind of person that feels like the most disgusting person on earth if I don’t get a shower every day, so this was an absolute lifesaver.
  • Shower Chair or Stool – This is another thing my mom lent me that was absolutely essential. Twelve weeks in, I’m still using it in the shower. I think I might feel comfortable enough by now to stand and shower, but it still makes me nervous thinking about shaving and trying to balance on my bad leg for that length of time. I’m guessing I’ll still be using this at least on shaving days for the next couple of months.
  • Shower Hose – If you already have a hose in your shower – you will need it! If you don’t, and don’t want to buy an entirely new shower head, this was a pretty great alternative. I just so happened to get it for Christmas to better bathe Annie. It was SO worth the money!! I’ve used it every day. The boys use it during all their showers too because they think it’s fun. I haven’t actually used it to give Annie a bath yet, but I know it’ll work great for its intended purpose. πŸ™‚
  • Ice Packs – You’ll need to use an ice pack daily, for a very, very long time. I didn’t have this specific ankle wrap pack, but I’m still thinking of buying one as my ankle swells the more I walk every day. I’ve been using two flexible packs from a chiropractor years ago. They work fine, but I like the idea of one that could move around with your foot, at least once the incisions are healed.
  • Vitamin E Oil – This was the facebook group’s oil of choice for rubbing into your scars after the incisions have healed. I guess I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it seemed to work well! And it definitely helps with the nightly ankle massages to have a liquid of some sort, otherwise it feels too irritating.
  • EvenUp Shoe Balancer – Once you transition to partial and full weight bearing, you’ll realize how much higher your boot is from your regular shoe. I only went a day or two like this and immediately felt the effects in my hip and back. It felt like too expensive an indulgence for basically a piece of foam with some rubber straps, but it was worth it not to have extreme hip or back or knee pain these last six weeks.
  • Help and Hope While You’re Healing – I’m not even sure how I came across this book, but it was so worth the read. It’s short and to the point, but it really helped me to reframe the hardest weeks of recovery. It puts things into perspective and helps you understand that you can make the most out of all the waiting periods.

4. Meltdowns are going to happen often.

I’m a pretty emotional person to begin with. Breaking my ankle really brought out the worst in that personality trait. I felt SO useless. Worthless. I felt like such a burden to Greg who had to take over all of my responsibilities. I was extremely upset about how much money we had to pay, and have to keep paying, for the surgery. I cried at the drop of a hat, multiple times a day. Often it was over food. Not being able to shop for what I wanted, not being able to make meals for my family, not knowing what to quickly and easily be able to make for myself at breakfast and lunch. The physical stuff was hard as heck. The emotional stuff was one of the biggest challenges of my life. I was extremely upset that I couldn’t do anything for Annie who was used to depending on me for everything, and nobody else seemed to understand how important that was. I got angry about how hard it was to stand up and do anything. Basically, the tiniest thing could set me off at any given moment. I was definitely depressed that first month. It was so hard. And that was normal. The important thing is remembering this is temporary. Trust me, it’s VERY hard to remember that in the moment. But it IS temporary. And it’s okay to be upset about things. But don’t wallow in it forever. Try not to take your anger out on anyone else. Just have your cry, give yourself a pep talk, and get back to healing.

5. Get out of the house.Β 

It’s really easy to get depressed and frustrated and sad and angry when you feel completely trapped in your house. It was at least a month until I left the house for anything other than a doctor’s appointment. I was really reaching the point of all out depression by then. You feel so powerless when you can’t drive and your partner is too busy taking care of all parenting and household duties that he doesn’t have time to take you anywhere either. I think our first outing was to a movie. I was pretty uncomfortable, but it was worth it. We celebrated with froyo afterward. Around six or seven weeks, I had a friend take me out for coffee and another time to dinner and a trip around Walmart. I was on my scooter, I was in pain, but it was SO WORTH IT to get out of the house, have a conversation with another adult, and actually feel human again. My mom took me twice on shopping days to my favorite stores. The whole family had a shopping trip at Costco once. A couple of times, Greg brought me to the dog park to just sit on the bench and watch Annie play for an hour. The sunshine, the fresh air – it was so healing for my soul. It’s hard to feel like a burden by asking someone to take you somewhere – anywhere – but it’s vitally important.

6. Ask for help, accept help.

This might be the hardest of things I had to deal with. I HATE asking people for help. I hate feeling like a burden. I sucked it up and asked for food from people in the first few weeks because the whole family was depending on it. But it was really hard to ask things of people beyond that. But eventually, it got easier, and I realized it was important. Like I said above – I greatly appreciated my mom and friend taking me out shopping. And I’m super thankful for the two friends that consistently took Annie to the dog park for me again and again. I also have neighbors I had to call on a few times to run over and take Annie for an emergency potty break. I still don’t like accepting help. But I’m glad I took advantage of it.

7. Grocery pick up is pretty great.Β 

I LOVE to grocery shop, so this was a hard one for me. But it came obvious pretty quickly how desperately we needed to keep food and pet supplies and household items stocked. I became an expert at online shopping (well, I was already an expert at that!), and doing store pick ups. Multiple times I took advantage of Target and Woodman’s – doing all the shopping online and then it was ready at the door for Greg to swing by and pick up on his way home from work. Once I realized I had a bit more freedom to pick out the foods I actually wanted in the house, especially when I started cooking again – I was so much happier. I also realized just how much of a privilege it is to cook for my family. It’s something I complained about often in the past, having all food related things on me, 365 days a year. But I missed it, desperately.

8. Ease back into working.

I’m very fortunate that I work for myself and my family doesn’t count on my income to survive. I work at home, I do as little or as much as I want at any given time. I usually work pretty hard, though, and it was difficult staying away from it for such a long time. But once I felt ready, I started with just an hour or two a day. And maybe took multiple days off in between. I gave myself a lot of grace as I eased back into working my full time. If I were going back to a desk job, I don’t think I would have been ready until at least eight weeks. If I were going back to a job on my feet, I still don’t think I’d be ready. It’s exhausting. And I imagine it’s extremely hard if your family IS counting on your income for survival. But healing has to be the highest priority. You need to let yourself get better so you can have the rest of your life as a whole and able-bodied human being. It also just takes a huge emotional toll on you, getting back in the swing of things.

9. Go to physical therapy.

I hate going to appointments of any kind. But knowing that it would launch me in the right direction, I tried to suck up my anxiety and make the most of it. I started going after three weeks and just did range of motion exercises. Now every week is different with a wide variety of exercises and assignments to build up my strength and mobility. It’s not always fun, but it’s been the tough love push I needed to move forward every time I got too complacent with the knee scooter, the crutches, the single crutch. I’ve really enjoyed seeing how much better I get week after week. I’m still going to be thrilled to be done, but it was really worth going.

10. Celebrate achievements, big and small.

I’ve always liked celebrating the small things, and I think it was important for me to continue doing that on my healing journey. We picked up lunch from a restaurant on the day I had my first physical therapy and today, when I got my boot off. On my first trip to Target with my mom, I got myself a traveling coffee mug that was much easier for me to carry around the house without spilling and I think about how far I’ve come every time I use it. The first day I went to a grocery store by myself, I bought these flowers. The first time, just the other day, I did a full errand run on my own, I took myself to Chipotle. Obviously I like to reward myself with food and tangible things. But I’ve also rewarded myself with candlelit baths to soak my legs, a night off from everything to read a great book, and most importantly – long afternoons off to read, rest, and nap, after a long morning of working hard. Life is short. Recovery is hard. Celebrate everything.

11. Your relationships will change.Β 

Some for the good, and some for the bad. I think my marriage has gotten stronger. But there were also moments, especially about a month in when I desperately wanted to be more useful and still couldn’t, that I wasn’t sure we’d ever survive this. My relationships with my kids have changed because they suddenly had to be more self sufficient. Shepard finally had to learn how to wipe himself. They had to start walking to and from school by themselves. They’ve become bigger helps around the house. And they don’t need me as much, which is bittersweet. My relationship with Annie has changed because she realized pretty quickly I can’t take her outside or to the dog park anymore. Her loyalties have switched, even though I’m still the one that spends all of my time with her. The biggest relationship changes have been with friends. Maybe because their involvement with my life is completely voluntary. And I think with most of them, it’s been an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing. I definitely understand that everyone has very busy lives, and I’ve failed on many occasions to help out my own friends when they probably could have used me. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the people that have stuck around, though. The ones that have helped me with Annie, and given me rides, and come to the craft nights I’ve started organizing. And while I try not to take it personally, I’ve been hurt by the friends I thought I was close to, yet couldn’t be bothered to remember I even exist. I’m choosing to think about the good, though, and be happy I came out of this stronger with the ones that stayed by my side.

12. Everyone’s recovery is different.

This has been one of the harder parts of being in that facebook recovery support group. You realize pretty quickly that everyone has a very different recovery timetable. Until this, my only limited experience with broken ankles is when my sister-in-law broke hers late last year. She was in a boot and after five weeks she was almost good as new. When I first saw the physician’s assistant at the surgeon’s office, he told me that I would be healed in 4-6 weeks with the surgery, vs. 6-8 if I opted out. Well, it’s been 12 weeks and I think I still have a very long ways to go. I’ve tried not to focus too strongly on how long everything takes, but it’s hard not to internalize all the “where you should be” goals. When I saw the surgeon at 6 weeks, he told me I should be full weight bearing with no issues at 8-10 weeks max. I had this stuck in my mind and was extremely hard on myself as they days flew by and I wasn’t getting where I “needed” to be. I didn’t start walking around the house without a crutch until 11 weeks. I didn’t start walking out of the house without a crutch until today. And now that I’m in shoes, I feel like I went back two or three weeks in my walking abilities. I don’t have it yet, but I also had to order an ankle brace that I have to wear almost all of the time, for the REST OF THE YEAR. I went into my appointment today thinking this was it. I had no idea I’d be facing seven more months of having something extra on my ankle. The point is just that everyone is different and you can’t get hung up on the actual dates. You can’t compare yourself to the fast recovery of others because you’ll be miserable. You also can’t listen to the horror stories of others and let it get you down. When I had my first post op x-rays, the technician told me she had a very similar break and it took her five years to walk without a limp. That really bothered me for a long time. I need to keep reminding myself that my progress is my own and that’s all I have to worry about.

13. Just keep going.

There have been many, many times during the last 12 weeks that I just wanted to give in to my misery and give up on getting better. I was SO sure I’d never reach the next step, even though I kept progressing. I’d have two really great days and then one day with so much pain I could barely move. The first few weeks were actually surprising in how much the rest of my body ached compared to my actual broken limb. I’ve been disappointed in myself, angry at my circumstances, and felt hopeless so many times. But every day, I just kept going. When my physical therapist said I absolutely needed to ditch the scooter, I stopped using it. When I knew that time was up on getting to full weight bearing, I stopped letting myself use both crutches. When I was a week away from today’s appointment, I stopped letting myself use crutches in the house at all. Every time I did something hard, it hurt. But it was the right thing to do. It pushed me. It made me stronger. And the important thing is that you start to SEE that strength. You feel the improvements. It will probably take a lot longer than you expect it to. But it WILL come. You just need to keep on going.

Mother’s Day, Greg’s Birthday, and Weekend Reflections and Intentions 05.20.2018

Happy Mother’s Day, one week late! I kept meaning to write a post immediately after the big day, but I never had the chance. It was a busy week! Really busy. I feel like I’m back to doing about 80% of the things I used to do before my broken ankle. And that last 20% are all the things I did to take care of Annie out of the house. Day by day, things continue to get better. It’s hard to see that after a really rough and pain filled day, but honestly – compared to how much pain I was in walking around the antique mall last week to how easily and pain free I was doing a ton of stuff around the house yesterday, just a week later? It’s a pretty significant difference. So I’m getting there. Tomorrow marks 12 weeks since that dreaded day.

Anyway, Mother’s Day turned out to be a pretty great day! I’m the kind of person who always has a lot of expectations for important events and inevitably is disappointed. But I can genuinely say this year that it was fantastic! The boys were in good moods all day, no ridiculous fights arose, the weather was decent albeit a bit chilly, and everyone was just happy!

I woke up early because I’m back to doing that on a regular basis. I took a shower and then went back to bed to laze around for a few hours. The boys brought my breakfast in bed – the morning bun I bought at the farmer’s market the day before. So delish!

I opened my presents next. I love presents! I got this beautiful “diamond” bracelet. I had one when I was a kid that my grandma gave me and thought was the best bracelet in the world. I’ve been wanting one as an adult for awhile now. Love it!

Always one for practical gift giving, I also got a PopSocket for my phone, accompanying mount to use it in the car, and a drain cover for baths. I’m not much of a bath person, but it does really help when my legs are super achy, so I’m trying to get more into it.

A new water bottle.

And a bird bath! We put it out in the front yard the next day, in the middle of this random patch of hostas we have next to the driveway. I’ll have to try and take a picture of it soon, to see it outside. I really like it! And Greg picked this one because it’s my favorite color and looks antiqued.

I got ready and then we went for our annual mother sons photo shoot outside. I can’t believe how horrible my hair looks in these pictures, after just curling it. Greg takes the least flattering photos of me ever. πŸ˜› At least the boys were smiling, even though they were being silly!

Shepard kept running away from me to do this…

Caught him!

I ventured into the backyard to see my Mother’s Day gift from Annie! It’s in the far back of our property, but it’s the only shrub I can see from the house and I love the pop of color! Hopefully it survives. We haven’t had a lot of luck with anything we plant back there.

Next we dropped Annie off at my parents’ and then went to Greg’s parents’ for their big Mother’s Day party. Shepard gave me another gift that he made at their house. I love the little ladybug!

It was little colder than we would have liked, but most of us spent the day outside. The boys were having the greatest time with their second (or whatever the technical term is) cousins.

Shepard and Jeremiah were having a blast playing with this toad they found.

A little too much fun. They weren’t very happy with me when I insisted they had to put the toad back and leave the poor thing alone! We went to a store later and when we came back the toad was in a box in the house, so you see how well they listened to that!

Annual photo of all the moms in attendance.

Cindy gave me some presents too! I’ve been wanting some new sheets forever and it’s hard to justify ever spending money on them yourself. Both of these devotionals also came out recently and look great!

Trying to get a nice Grandma and grandson photo, but they just wanted to stick their butts out for the picture. Always so cooperative!

Most of the women and girl children went to one of our favorite stores, Twisted Sister to check out what’s in stock. Then we came back home to say our goodbyes. Had to get a quick mother son photo.

Next, we headed back over to my parents’ house. This is one of the gifts we gave her. I love it!

Getting a mother daughter pic in right away so we didn’t have to worry about it later. πŸ™‚

We spent a lot of time just hanging around and then we had a big dinner. My mom had steak and mushrooms, which is what she requested. I had this spicy chicken and sweet potatoes. They were so delicious!! Everything is always delicious over there.

Trying to get a nice photo and it went about the same way as the rest of the day. At least Gracie was looking at the camera!

More presents. The boys made each Grandma a fill in the blank book about why they love them. Some of their answers are pretty hilarious.

At the end of the night, we started transitioning into Greg’s birthday so he was able to open some presents too.

He got a couple of cords and stuff that nobody really knew what it was, except it was on his wish list. And some desperately needed new sandals.

Annie was so tired after spending the day running around Grandma’s yard! I was pretty exhausted too. But it was a really fun day!

Moving on to Monday! Greg’s 34th birthday. He went into work, so it was just a regular day at home for me. We had a mountain of laundry, so I decided it was about time I get back to doing that. I’ve been putting loads in here and there the last few weeks, but I haven’t folded or put clothes away since the BA (broken ankle). It took me FOUR HOURS to get everything folded. Obviously there were a few breaks in between waiting for loads to finish, but it basically took me the majority of my day. I was proud of myself for doing it. But also really discouraged with just how slow I am in general. Everything takes me so long.

Greg came home and it was time for birthday fun!

Of course we immediately opened presents. His main gift was a new toaster oven. It’s like his favorite cooking appliance and he uses it for literally everything, and our old one was not in the best shape. (It was a birthday gift he gave me years ago, so I decided I’d give him a nice practical kitchen appliance right on back!)

Most gifts were practical this year because he kept saying he didn’t want anything and I knew he couldn’t complain about something useful. But I did get him one thing from his list I knew he really wanted.

It’s a print from his favorite book. Don’t ask me what book, because I have no idea.

Jumbo beef jerky from Annie. We also gave me a set of pans that fit the toaster oven, a chainmail type thing that cleans cast iron pans, an instant temperature reader, a gutter scooper, a box of Buffalo Wild Wing Sauces, and some fancy dark chocolate.

Birthday picture!

He requested Day One Pizza for his birthday dinner. Easy for me!

We had peanut butter bars for dessert. After dinner we went for a short walk and set up the bird bath and front porch plants outside.

They played Minecraft the rest of the evening. (Isn’t Annie cute?!) It wasn’t anything fancy or spectacular, but I think Greg had a pretty good birthday.

Tuesday was another personal success day for me. I decided to attempt Woodman’s (a huge grocery store) by myself! It’s the first time I’ve been there at all since the BA. And I did it! I was quite proud of myself. I didn’t even feel like I was dying by the end. I celebrated by going to Barnes and Noble next and spending over an hour browsing the entire store. I think I might have even been able to handle a third errand, but knew I needed to conserve energy for carrying all the groceries in and putting them away. That was probably the most difficult task. After I got home, did all that, and ate lunch, I took a nap. There went day two of the week of not doing any actual sewing work. I was starting to get a bit frustrated by that point. I know that moving around and getting back into the swing of my regular life is what’s going to make my ankle heal the fastest. I’m not going to get stronger if I’m just sitting at my work table all day. So it’s great I’m getting better and stronger and more capable every day. But it stinks that I’m getting very little actual WORK done.

Wednesday I forced myself to sit down and work all day. And then in the evening we went out for a birthday dinner with Greg’s parents. He picked Mod Pizza (and Caden always gets a sub at Potbelly next door because he still refuses to eat cheese). We went to Culver’s for ice cream next. And then the school greenhouse to get some plants. Then back home to open presents.

It was a nice night, but I was getting pretty crabby by the end of it. Just so frustrated with myself, irritated with the boys, stressed about school about to end and not feeling ready for summer. I’ve been pushing myself so hard with very little actual breaks. I don’t feel mentally capable of dealing with my kids all day every day. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to feel physically ready to whisk them away on long day trips – the only thing that makes summer fun to me. I didn’t make nearly enough dolls this spring to justify slowing down in summer, the way I usually do. I don’t know if I should use these very few remaining days of school to bask in the silence of being home alone – or trying to hit up as many of my favorite stores and places as possible since I haven’t been able to do that for months and it’ll be really hard (and not any fun) to do them with kids. I’m also just lamenting that our anniversary vacation this year is a whopping day and a half long and I wish we could do more. I also kind of wish we could have a family vacation just the four of us since it’s been years, but I’m not sure that can happen either. Anyway, my brain was just blowing up and I NEEDED a break. So I actually did the responsible thing and bowed out of tv time, went to my room, lit a candle, and spent two blessed hours just reading before going to bed. I need to learn how to do that more often.

Thursday morning I had PT. Worked on a lot of balancing exercises. She still thinks I’m on track with everything. We cancelled my next appointment, so the next time I come I will hopefully be in shoes!

Thursday was another work day, but I also spent a lot of time cleaning. I had my second craft night in the evening. Three people came this month! It was a lot of fun! I’m not sure my work table could really handle more than four people with spread out projects, so that was a good number. It was really great to catch up with a few friends, plus get a whole lot of work done in the process.

On Friday morning, Greg and I went to a big church garage sale. I’m glad he offered to drive me because I definitely ended up getting more than I could carry. All this, plus a bookcase! I put it under my favorite book shelves, right next to where we hope to someday have a big cozy chair. My book situation is a bit out of control and I always want more, so now I have more space to put them all. πŸ™‚

The rest of Friday was spent working. I finished up my first batch of patriotic dolls. I meant to make a lot of progress on my next batch, but….slow. I’m so slow.

Saturday was a pretty lazy day too. I didn’t do a whole lot and then in the evening Greg took the boys to a birthday party at the skating rink. They had a BLAST. Way more fun than any of the times I’ve ever taken them! It was nice to see how many pictures caught them with full smiles. I planned on having sort of a pampering evening to myself, but ended up sitting at my computer working on updating Goodreads and trying to organize my kindle. It’s a bit of a massive project I’ve been working on for a few weeks. It’ll be so awesome once everything is up to date and better organized, though.

And that bring us to this week! Sunday intentions. I guess my biggest goal is to just chill out and enjoy life as it comes. I actually think I’ve been doing a pretty great job of that – until this last week when I started letting myself get stressed out again. I just want to be happy with who I am, what I do during the day, and not feel any regret. I want to LIVE my life, and not just be down on myself for not doing everything on my lists. I gave myself a lot of necessary leeway these last few months, and it’s hard to still keep that perspective when I know I can be doing more.

The biggest thing on the calendar this week is my 12 week post op appointment on Wednesday. This is the big one because he tells me if I can ditch my boot! Something I’m equally excited about and terrified of. I hate wearing the boot. I also hate having to wear a shoe on my other foot at all times so I don’t destroy my back. Technically, I’m not supposed to ever be walking without it, though the last few weeks I kind of go barefoot, with a crutch, every night and morning. And in the last few days, barefoot without a crutch across rooms, occasionally. And I’m so unsteady. I’m scared to death I’m going to break it again. My goal these last few days have been to never use the crutch in the house (except when barefoot) and I’ve been doing great with it. But I went outside yesterday to try and plant some peppers and was just frozen in fear. There are tripping hazards in every direction. Wood chips, rocks, uneven surfaces, kid toys, slippery patches. Everything has the power to knock me down and start this process all over again. It’s really so scary!

I’m also just worried about what life will look like after the boot is gone. It feels so much like come Wednesday, my time is up. I’m supposed to be better. I will no longer have that very visual reminder to anyone who sees me that I have a bit of a handicap right now. I have no more excuses for not doing certain things. And I’m not ready. I’m SO not ready. If I’m scared to death to walk outside in my boot without a crutch, how am I going to be able to do it in shoes?! All of these hazards aren’t going to disappear in four days. How long will it still be before I can take Annie out to go to the bathroom every day? How long until I can take her to the dog park? Will I be able to walk my kids to and/or from school before the school year is up? Will I be able to do it by the time summer school starts in a few weeks? The only thing I’m confident and super excited about is being able to get in my car, drive, and get out – without all the annoying boot to shoe to boot changes! That’s really the main thing that’s stopped me from running a whole lot of errands this week. But once I’m just in shoes – watch out, world!

Anyway, that’s the main thing this week. It’s still pretty busy with working and end of school year things. Caden has another therapy appointment, I have another PT. The boys have big field trips planned. We have tentative plans for Saturday morning and a dinner and movie double date night planned for Saturday evening with Timmy and Brittany. And our anniversary trip is coming up on Memorial Day. I’m sure the week will just fly by! Hopefully I’ll be back before next Saturday to give you an update on the boot. πŸ™‚

Have a good week!

Saturday Reflections 05.12.2018

Hello! I’m going to try and keep this relatively brief tonight (ha!) because I really pushed my physical limitations today and am dead tired and super sore. But – worth it.

It’s been an okay week. To be honest, it’s been a bit of a letdown after how excited I was with my improvements last week. This week my body hasn’t shown me much progress. I’ve been sore, exhausted, and back to almost daily meltdowns over something or other. This whole recovery process is so long and so trying. It’s hard to stay positive when my legs are screaming in pain. But on the bright side, I realized about an hour ago that I had been FWB around the house the entire afternoon and didn’t even notice or remember where I had left my crutch. My goal is to consistently be walking without my crutch by my next PT on Thursday. I’m not super optimistic about reaching that goal, but I’m going to try.

Anyway! Last Sunday was actually a really fun family day. If you’ll remember, we were having basement water issues on Friday and Saturday and I was a little bummed I couldn’t ask to do any of the outings I was hoping for. But we made up for it on Sunday. First stop was a local greenhouse to pick out a few flowers and herbs. We took down our real garden this year and I’m just planning to keep a few pots of my favorites. We also stopped at Shopko to look at the gardening center. Then we swung by Burger King to get a ton of super cheap nuggets for a silly lunch.

After a rest (for me), we went to the dog park and then swung by Culver’s to use some free ice cream tokens to get custard for dinner. We were super healthy that day. πŸ™‚ But hey, it was memorable and it was fun! And everyone was happy! That NEVER happens on weekends.

On Monday, I decided I needed to start giving myself some daily driving and outing challenges. I started with going to Pick n Save for a couple of groceries. I survived! And was quite proud of myself! I was feeling pretty great that day, actually. I had a late afternoon PT session and expected to be so exhausted, but I was really powering through it. My therapist decided I was doing so well I didn’t need to come back for another ten days. Of course that’s with the implication I’d keep doing all my exercises at home, which I’m not so great about following through on…

On Tuesday, there was a last minute cancellation with a therapist we wanted to try out with Caden, so we rushed over there. It was mostly just an information intake session, but it felt really promising. At least a lot more promising than the last therapist we tried and I couldn’t stand. I won’t go into all the details, but things have been rough with him lately. More so than ever. We’re hoping finding him a therapist that he can relate to might start helping him manage all of his really big emotions in a healthier way. None of us want to continue on the way things have been lately.

My physical challenge for Tuesday was going to a thrift store. Again, I survived! I’m so sure one of these times I’m at least going to trip over something and hurt myself, but so far so good!

I feel like work has been more of a footnote in my life again, which maybe isn’t such a bad thing. I’m certainly keeping very busy with everything else. But fitting in sewing here and there and wherever I can. I actually made quite a few dolls this week, but they were all custom orders, my giveaway winner doll, and these dolls I made for the boys’ teachers. I’m getting pretty antsy to start on patriotic dolls, but I just didn’t have time to start them yet. Next week.

I was in a ton of pain on Wednesday and feeling hopeless about a full recovery ever happening. But I gave myself a pep talk and decided that pain filled or not, I AM going to keep doing what I want to do. I WILL get through it. So on Thursday I stuck with my original plan of going to Target all by myself! That was my first time driving out of Columbus, though it ended up being fine. Highway driving is much easier on my ankle than all the starting and stopping in town. I felt like I was going at a turtle’s pace through Target, but it felt so liberating to finally run errands by myself again. I was hoping to get to Barnes and Noble, but Target didn’t have some of the ingredients I needed for today’s desserts, so I had to go to a grocery store instead. I never would have survived three stores in that trip, but maybe I can go next week. Anyway, I rewarded myself with some pretty flowers. And a Dairy Queen blizzard. πŸ™‚

Thursday night we had an at home date night. We went to the dog park. And ate leftovers. But it was a really nice night of just being together. I think in some ways breaking my ankle has been a bit of a blessing. Our family has spent so much more time together. I appreciate them more. I hide from the chaos of family life less. Greg understands all the random little things I’m responsible for that maybe went unnoticed until I couldn’t do them anymore. We’re a much more equal and understanding team now.

On Friday, Laura came over for a coffee date and we got to catch up. I deeply appreciate her efforts to keep our friendship alive despite my inability to leave the house much the last three months. I think most people have forgotten about me. Or, they certainly would if I wasn’t constantly posting instagram photos of my life. πŸ™‚

Friday night was the school carnival, which was actually rather enjoyable!

All of my walking exercises this week were to lead up to successfully going to the farmer’s market this morning. And we did it! The Dane County farmer’s market is one of my all time favorite things to do. It makes me so happy. And last year I started occasionally taking a kid with me and they loved it too. Even Caden! It’s been killing me that the markets started back up a month ago and I haven’t been physically capable of going yet. But I was bound and determined to make it happen today. We were all up by six and got there around seven. It was pretty chilly, keeping the crowds at bay. I didn’t get run over, trip over anybody, or need to stop and take a rest. I was sore by the end, but it was super worth it!

Greg and Shepard got gigantic cinnamon rolls for their breakfast treat. And Caden is just always fixated on getting spicy beef sticks. I’m always on the lookout for whatever strikes my fancy, but tend to gravitate toward morning buns. They’re just so dang delicious.

I had no intention of going to Gotham Bagels since I’m still irritated with how they treated me on multiple occasions last year. But Greg parked the car near there and offered to run ahead and stand in line to get me a bagel. As usual, it was DELICIOUS. But the wait for him to get two bagels with cream cheese was still ridiculously long. Like half an hour. Ridic.

We had to swing by a grocery store for Greg to run in for a few last minute things, and then we went through the Starbucks drive thru to get me a frappuccino. I’m all about the treats this weekend. It’s Mother’s Day! πŸ™‚

Realized when we got home that we didn’t buy a single item of produce. Not that there’s much of a selection at this time of year, but still. We got some tasty treats! I’m not sure how often we’d ever all go as a family again (Greg likes his sleeping in days too much!), but I genuinely had a good time. We all did. I didn’t even miss not having the ability to go by myself, the way I usually do the day before Mother’s Day.

The rest of the day has been jam packed with things to do. Wrapping gifts, cleaning up, and lots of baking! I made this strawberry cream pie for the in-law’s big party tomorrow. I usually make it every Easter, but wasn’t up for baking anything this year. It’s super easy, though, and soooo delicious.

I also made this chocolate raspberry cake that I’ve been desperately wanting to make for about a month now. This is the cake I wanted to make for my five year doll anniversary last week, but decided would be too much work. And it definitely was a lot of work. Not HARD, just time consuming. I think it’ll taste great, though. I can’t wait until tomorrow! I also still need to make a butterscotch sauce to go with a bread pudding my mom is making for dessert at their house. I’m pretty sure I won’t be making it until morning. So tired.

One last thing I really wanted to do this week was walk around the antique mall. So even though I was still really sore from the farmer’s market, I asked Greg to drop me off there for awhile. He and the boys and Annie went to the park while I shopped. I’m not sure how long I was there, but I managed to get through the whole first floor (biggest antique mall in WI – so that’s a lot of area to walk!). I didn’t trip on any of the uneven floors or knock any glassware down with my crutch or basket. Came close many times! πŸ™‚ I wasn’t even sure I’d make it through without my legs giving out. But I did it! And found all kinds of great treasures. Sometimes I go there and can’t find a thing. This time I got lucky.

Back at home I took a nap to try and recover enough to finish up the desserts. Greg got Chinese food for dinner so I didn’t have to worry about making anything extra. And now I’m going to end the night with a bath! The week wasn’t the best overall, but today was great. I’m really excited for Mother’s Day tomorrow! And Greg’s birthday on Monday. Lots of fun days ahead!

Weekend Reflections and Intentions 05.06.2018

It has been quite a week! I’ve made so many strides toward full recovery and it’s been awesome! It’s also been a very pain filled week, but at least that pain is the result of getting better. My days of laying around in frustration and self pity are over!

Monday was my only plan free day, so I tried to get as much work done as possible. Annie got to go to the dog park with Harris again. The weather finally started warming up and we could open some windows! The cats are just as desperate for fresh air coming in as Annie. They shared the window for about five seconds and then Jack full on attacked Annie for getting too close.

Monday afternoon I took a two hour nap! It was crazy, but I woke up feeling SO rested. Sleep, especially at night, has been pretty rough the last few weeks. I don’t feel like it’s pain related, but it’s sure different from how it used to be. Greg wakes me up unintentionally every night when he comes to bed, and then it takes me forever to fall back to sleep. Then I usually wake up for good around four and have to try and lay in bed as long as my bladder will let me, because it’s basically guaranteed I’m going to at least wake Greg and Shepard up the minute I start making my way out of my room. I’ve taken to just crawling in the mornings since it makes less noise, but those dang creaky wooden floor boards always give me away!

On Tuesday, I finished up another batch of dolls to be released on my big sale day. More from my own pattern – I just love them so much! I should really start making more patterns ASAP. It’s pretty validating to create dolls ENTIRELY from my own inspirations, not even using another person’s pattern.

Tuesday I also had a physical therapy session filled with a lot of tough love. First my therapist questioned me on why I wasn’t driving yet because I really should be. I told her that I was waiting until I was FWB (full weight bearing) like the doctor said. She said that I basically was and I need to get out there and drive. Then we did all the usual stuff, pushing me to exhaustion. When she realized I was still using my knee scooter for a good portion of the day, she said I absolutely need to hide it away and never rely on it again. I also walked – FWB – for the first time while I was there! Only back and forth between the hand rails for maybe 60 feet. But I did it! It hurt like heck, but I did it. I really never thought this day would come. I left that day feeling proud of myself, but also very wary about the days ahead. But I was determined to follow her rules and stopped with the scooter cold turkey (at home) the rest of the day.

I did still use the scooter on Wednesday for the shopping day with my mom. There was no way I was ready at that point to walk through one store on my crutches, let alone three. But after that trip out, I haven’t used my scooter since! For the last three days, I’ve actually only used one crutch! And I’ve gone without crutches basically every time I’m in the kitchen or walking around my sewing room gathering supplies. I have a massive limp when I go without, which is wreaking havoc on my hip and back. But I’m getting pretty proficient with just the one! I haven’t tried leaving the house with only one crutch yet, but I think I could do it. That push from my therapist was really what I needed to force myself into a quicker recovery. It kind of amazes me how much progress I’ve made in just the last five days.

Back to the shopping day – it was so fun! We went to Hobby Lobby, Marshall’s, HyVee, and Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. There were some random things I needed to get at each place and of course it’s been the first time at any of those stores in months. I’m very grateful to my mom for driving me around and lugging my scooter in and out of the car so many times!

Wednesday was a big night – I DROVE!!!!! It was one of our at home date nights. I really wanted to celebrate my doll making anniversary, but I was still too full from lunch. So I asked Greg to supervise me trying to drive again. We went to the school parking lot and I drove around a bunch of times. It was okay! A bit sore to switch pedals at first, but it got better. Once I was comfortable in the parking lot, I drove to the hospital, back home to get Annie, and then we drove to the dog park. I was quite proud of myself! It’s such a HUGE relief not to need to rely on anyone to take me to PT anymore. I can’t stand being a burden to people and asking for help like that. I think it’ll still be at least a few weeks before I can actually run errands and stuff on my own, but at least I now have this freedom, which is amazing. The only annoying thing is that I have to wear a shoe while I’m driving and put my boot back on to get out of the car. There aren’t going to be any quick running in and out of places for at least 2.5 more weeks when I hopefully get the okay to ditch the boot.

Case in point, it was raining on Thursday and the boys expected me to drive them to school since I can drive again. I said nope, here are some umbrellas! Way too much work, plus my boot would have been soaked, which is not good. If all goes well, by their last week or two of school I might finally be able to walk with them again.

Thursday was a really fun day! It was my five year anniversary of doll making, and I was bound and determined to make the day as special as possible for myself. I know some people might dismiss my career of choice as just a bizarre hobby with no real value. But I work extremely hard at it and am very proud of how far I’ve come in the last five years. No, it will never bring me the full time income that an actual job-job would. But it gives me so much freedom. It’s allowed me to find purpose in my life, while still being able to stay home with the boys. It lets me be creative every day, something I desperately need to be happy. And it’s fun! It’s so fun. πŸ™‚ I deserved a day of celebration!

To start the day off, I drew the giveaway winners and then created a 15% off coupon for that day only. I listed the 14 new dolls I’d been saving up and waited to see what would happen. I sold almost every single new doll that day! It was awesome! There’s nothing quite like the ca-ching my phone makes every time I make a sale! I had a PT appointment at 11 and drove myself there for the first time. Then I celebrated my anniversary and my ability to drive, by picking up lunch at Burger King on my way home. That’s when I had my first real predicament – trying to figure out how to get my cup of root beer up the stairs and into the house when I still need two crutches to get up stairs! But I managed. πŸ™‚ I just relaxed the rest of the day, started packing up all the orders which took forever, and then had a nice dinner followed by this little cake I picked up the day before. It was a really great day!

Friday was my catch up day. I basically spent the entire day at my computer working on all kinds of odds and ends. I needed to order more shippings supplies, including more business cards. Which then turned into hours redesigning my logo, business cards, etc. I had a Craft Night scheduled, but I ended up cancelling. I was just so physically beat and did not feel like sewing all night. It turned out to be a good night to cancel because we had yet another basement emergency. This time the back room was flooded. We never get water in the back room. Greg thinks it was the result of the gutters being full, so all the rain we got last week was coming down right next to the house and flooded the room. He spent hours and hours and hours Friday night and Saturday working on getting it cleaned up. Not fun for anybody.

Saturday was more of the same. There were a few things I wanted to do, but when the driver of the house is preoccupied with a bunch of his own projects, I have to go with the flow. I worked on my next batch of dolls and read a lot. Nothing terribly exciting.

It was such a beautiful day, so after dinner we took the cats outside for the first time in almost two years! Annie was out first and was going CRAZY, so we had to put her back in for awhile. The cats were having the time of their lives! Rory was pretty content to just lounge in the grass, though when nobody was looking he slipped his harness. Fortunately our neighbor was there and she grabbed him before he ran away. He had to go back in after that. Meanwhile, Jack walked Greg around the entire yard! He was loving his adventure. πŸ™‚ We all sat out on the porch with the neighbors and kids running around for the rest of the evening. Small town living at its best!

And that was the week! I’m feeling pretty great about my walking progress. I’m so excited about being able to drive again. The second place I’d really love to be able to drive to is the dog park. But Annie is so crazy excited when we get there, I don’t think I’m stable enough to hold on to her yet. πŸ™ Maybe next week.

Sunday Intentions

Looking ahead to this next week – things are starting to get busy! I have PT on Monday and Thursday. There’s a school carnival on Friday. I have a coffee date on Friday. It’s teacher appreciation week. I donated money instead of contributing food this year, but I still need to make the boys’ teachers some thank you dolls. I need to get Mother’s Day gifts organized too. Greg’s birthday is the day after, but I’m pretty set with him, just need to wrap a few more things. Every week this month gets progressively busier, so I really need to focus on getting better and better with walking. I hate that I broke my ankle, but I really broke it with like the most perfect timing. I was out for the two months of the year that seem to be the least busy. I’m starting to walk again just as life becomes exciting and crazy again.

My highest priority for the week is my own physical progress. My absolute favorite thing to do on Mother’s Day weekend is go to the farmer’s market and stock up on fun treats for breakfast. I don’t trust myself to go alone yet, mostly because I’m not going to be able to carry anything. But I think we’re all going to go – family farmer’s market trip for the first time ever. I want to really build up my stamina this week so I can make it around the square without feeling like I’m dying. That’s my biggest goal.

Otherwise, just work! I really want to get this current batch I’m working on done asap, so I can get back to dolls that will bring me in more money! I got a lot of new facebook likes last week and want to maintain that level of attention. Must stay focused!

And that’s about it! It looks like another beautiful day today, so I’m hoping we can get out of the house for a bit, bearing no future house disasters. Have a great week!

What I Read April 2018

April was not the greatest reading month for me. I started working again with all my effort and had a lot less downtime for books. I also had a really hard time finding anything to keep my interest. I’m currently in the middle of at least five or six nonfiction books that I’m not sure I’ll ever finish because they just don’t draw me in the way I always expect them to. Fiction has been disappointing me too. I think I’ve started and stopped four books in April. That’s a ton for me! Nothing really felt right for what I needed emotionally. The frustration will never stop me from reading all together, but it was definitely a lighter month.

Good Luck Charm by Kellie McAllen
Rating: 3 stars

This is the second book in the Holiday High series. I read the first one,Β My Fake Valentine, last month and gave it 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book for what it was – a very light, cliche, somewhat quirky YA romance novel. The story revolves around Kerri O’Connor who believes she has the worst luck in the world and needs a good luck charm with her at all times to make things go her way. She meets a boy named Connor who she claims is her perfect good luck charm. Connor’s character is fairly pathetic about the first third of the book, which was a turn off. But they develop a friendship that’s sweet to witness. Nothing earth shattering or wonderful about this book, but the characters were cute.

Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Rating: 2 stars

For supposedly being one of the year’s most anticipated books, I just could not get into this one. It’s somewhat of a romance between Polly, who is hiding from her abusive past, and Adam, who is a private investigator secretly trying to figure her out. They both keep secrets from each other until the end. I didn’t find either characters to be particularly likeable and thought Adam could have used a lot more depth. The plot was slightly intriguing and it was a very fast read, I just didn’t like it.

Not That I Could TellΒ by Jessica Strawser
Rating: 3 stars

This book is described as being very similar toΒ Big Little Lies, which is why I picked it up. The general storyline is certainly similar, but it lacks a lot of the intensity and intrigue thatΒ Big Little Lies brought to the table, making it feel like a poor copycat. While I enjoyed and was even envious of the friendships that formed between all the neighborhood women, I found myself pretty bored by the book as a whole. The ending felt fairly cliche without any big surprises. I just couldn’t get into it.

Educated by Tara Westover
Rating: 4 stars

This memoir has been getting so much buzz all over the place that I had to move it to the top of my reading list. It did not disappoint! I find that I really love memoirs from people whose biggest accomplishment is surviving their childhood and thriving as an adult. This book is the story of Tara, the youngest of seven siblings who grew up with survivalists parents in Idaho. It was a captivating look at her family relationships and both the love and challenges that living in that kind of situation brought to her. I liked that Tara kept journals throughout her childhood which could verify many of her memories, especially as her father tried to brainwash his kids with his viewpoints. One thing that did bother me is that certain siblings – including the one closest in age to her that she mentioned in the beginning as spending the most time with – were almost never talked about, as if they didn’t even exist. Same with her only sister. It just seemed odd to me when other siblings got so much content, but maybe that’s just a little pet peeve! The book lost me a bit as Tara became an adult and got educated at higher institutions of learning. She pulled it all together, I just wasn’t as interested in the later years. Overall, a very interesting memoir.

This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter
Rating: 4.5 stars

This is an emotional look at a teenage girl who is a heart transplant recipient. The donor happens to be the twin brother of her long time crush. After the transplant, Leah starts to have dreams about being chased through the woods. With his twin sense still in tact, Matt also has dreams about his brother Eric’s last hours alive. Together they set out to prove he did not commit suicide – he was murdered. This book definitely has an overlying layer of sadness that never goes away. Matt not only loses his brother, but it happened only a year after losing his dad. Leah struggles with her right to live at the expense of another. The characters are very well written, however, and I enjoyed the tender love story that developed between them.

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
Rating: 4 stars

I needed something light after my last few books, and this one fit the bill. I was slightly turned off because the book appeared like it was going to start the way most typical romances do – jumping right into the physical stuff with basically no lead up. But it surprised me and I actually found most of the book to be delightful. This is the first in a long series of six bearded brothers who each have their own women to find. It’s the first book I’ve ready by Reid and I really liked it! It was a well written and fun romantic comedy. I’m going to spread them up, but I’m really excited and interested to learn more about the five remaining Winston brothers.

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Rating: 3.5 stars

Last year Bennett’sΒ Alex, Approximately was one of my favorite books of the year, so I had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite deliver. This book begins with Zorie and Lennon, two former best friends with an experimental short lived romantic past, who currently hate each other. After a very long and fairly uninteresting lead up, they end up stranded by their friends in the woods together. They spend a few days camping and hiking and surviving a few life or death situations. What bothered me about this book is that they already had most of their firsts together – before the time of the book, and it was just vaguely brought up again and again. I would have loved this book so much more if their falling out had been about something else and just now realized and acted on their deepest feelings for each other. At any rate, I liked how it played out in the end. I just wish there hadn’t been so many boring parts at the beginning.

The Sea of TranquilityΒ by Katja Millay
Rating: 5 stars

One of the most frustrating things to me when reading is when the character’s past is constantly referenced in vague and confusing terms, and I have no idea what happened. I’m impatient when backstory takes an entire book to unfold. If you have similar issues when reading – this book might not be for you. But, I’d say it was worth following through on because this was my one five star rating of the month. It’s the story of Nastya, a teenage girl who is mute by choice after a devastating thing that happened to her. She meets Josh, an emancipated teenager who has lived through the untimely deaths of everyone in his family and refuses to get close to anyone again in case he loses them too. Between them there’s also Drew, Josh’s best friend and the incessant flirt turned best friend to Nastya as well. I loved how beautifully all the friendships in this book played out. The characters are never quite what you expect them to be. They fight their attraction with all their might and continue to push each other away to battle their own fears. It ultimately ends with an amazing display of how family is who you choose and that love trumps over all. This one is definitely worth your time!

Weekend Reflections and Intentions 04.29.2018

Hello! It has been quite the busy week now that I’m back to working full time. Basically every spare minute has been spent preparing for my five year doll making anniversary this upcoming Thursday. It’s exciting, but also exhausting! I keep thinking about writing, but haven’t had any time to spare. I’m trying to fit it in now before the weekend is gone!

Monday was a big day. I had an 8am physical therapy session. It was a bit of a challenge getting everyone ready to leave the house so early. It takes me forever to get myself ready these days. But we made it! My friend dropped me off at the hospital and I had a very intense session. No slacking allowed with that therapist! She gave me additional exercises (which I’ve been very bad about doing) and made me repeat all the exercises over and over and over again. I was so wiped out by the end! In somewhat exciting news, I started walking with just one crutch. But only very small distances. Some days I can go back and forth across the house a couple of times and feel pretty much fine. Some days I can’t even make it across my (very small) kitchen. I hate how up and down it all is. If I’m better, shouldn’t I be better all the time?! I just want to walk on my own. I want to ditch my dumb crutches. Today my arms are so sore that I literally can’t even lift my right arm up without it snapping back down. I’m still relying on the scooter quite a bit because I NEED MY HANDS. But I’m trying to take a lot more small walks throughout the day with the crutches. It’s not fun.

Anyway! My mom picked me up from PT and took me shopping! It was my first time in Target in over two months! I’ve been ordering from target.com every week or two for some essentials and snacks, but it was great being there in person. I splurged a bit on this travel coffee mug that has been AWESOME. I use it every day because I can actually carry my coffee around on my scooter without spilling it. I can also lay down on the couch and read with my coffee just leaning against me on the cushion. It’s amazing. πŸ™‚

We also went to Costco and had lunch at KFC. I was pretty tired by the time we got back home, but it was definitely worth it. I miss shopping so much. I miss browsing stores without an intense agenda.

Tuesday I had to get back to work! But I also remembered to have Greg hook up a dog chain in the front yard so I can take Annie outside on my own now! It was quite the circus act that first time, though. Just getting in and out of a door with crutches is quite the challenge. But I also had all three pets trying to get out at once. When I was ready to come in, Rory snuck out. I dropped to the ground and tackled him, shoving him back inside. About three more times one or both cats tried their absolute hardest to get outside while I tried to get Annie in. It’s seriously a miracle I didn’t get hurt or a lose a pet in that whole fiasco. But it all felt very liberating to finally have the ability to take my dog outside again. It definitely helped that the weather got so much better this week too! The only downside is that now Annie knows I have a way to let her out and she’s been a hypermaniac for the rest of the week, begging to go out all day.

We went to the dog park Tuesday night since the weather was so great. Only my second time there since the broken ankle.

Wednesday was a lot more work. I had PT in the afternoon. We had an at home date night and Greg picked up a pizza for dinner. And the exciting news – I rebooked my flight to DC! I’m going in October now. I really hope I’m a much more proficient walker by then! I’m excited to officially have it on the calendar. I have a sold goal to work toward now.

Thursday was my power day! I finally finished up a batch of 16 dolls I was working on, including a couple for Mother’s Day and teacher gifts. I also removed all the couch cushions and cleaned them, did a load of laundry, and reorganized all the charging cords that are always a giant mess.

Unfortunately, Annie refused to go to the bathroom on Thursday. She doesn’t like to go for Caden anymore – ever. And if Greg takes her out before work, it’s usually too early and she’s not ready yet. I let her out twice that morning, but because I was working so much I hadn’t showered or brought my crutches downstairs yet and was still in my pajamas, so I couldn’t go out with her. And because I wasn’t out there she refused to leave the porch! I couldn’t decide if she thought I was trying to get rid of her and she was refusing to leave. Or if she thought she was being a good girl by not leaving the porch when I wasn’t with her. I finally gave up and went up to take a late shower and try to squeeze in a much needed nap. She woke me up when I was sleeping, freaking out, but I ignored her. I came downstairs to this. And proceeded to have a little pity party. I had just gotten my boot on to practice walking for the first time all day – at 3pm. When I’m supposed to be walking as much as possible during the day. But I couldn’t clean up the floor with my crutches. So I got back on my scooter, but there wasn’t a wide enough path for me to get through without driving through pee. So I had to wait until the boys got home and beg Caden to clean it up for me. It’s just frustrating. So, so many frustrating moments every single day.

On Friday morning we had a date to see the new Avengers movie. Greg bought the tickets the day they were available a few months ago. It was a really good movie! I really enjoyed it – plus it was just great to get out of the house for something besides physical therapy. I was in a lot of pain on Friday, though. Definitely overdid it on Thursday.

Greg went to the funeral for his great-aunt on Friday afternoon. I was planning to go, but decided I just physically wasn’t up for it. I’m usually in pretty rough shape by evenings. The boys and I had a very low key night at home.

Saturday we actually had a pretty nice family day! It was a lot chillier, but we finally went to the Madison dog park that I wanted to go to during spring break (before the BA). It was such a nice park! Annie ran full speed into the water. Fortunately she only got about half wet and was dried out by the time we left. We had a picnic packed and ended up just eating in the park. Then we stopped at Woodman’s for a pick up order – in desperate need of real food again. And the guys ran into Costco for a few things. Everyone was actually in a good mood and happy for the majority of the day. That never happens on weekends!

Today I finished up two dolls I was working on over the weekend – my own pattern! I made this one for myself to celebrate 5 years of doll making.

And I made this one for a giveaway! I LOVE how they turned out.

And the rest of the day was busy, busy with odds and ends. We had dinner at Greg’s parents’ and hung out for awhile. I love this picture I got of Caden with a genuine smile.

Sunday Intentions

On to the week ahead! It’s just about May! When life gets insane. I swear that school sends home info about new events or things we need to sign or pay for pretty much every single day. It’s so overwhelming. But lots of fun and exciting things too!

The biggest thing for me personally this week is celebrating my 5 year anniversary of doing Heartstring Annie. Due to a way too busy schedule last year and getting ready to move the year before, I haven’t been able to celebrate this the last two years. So I’m going all out this year! Well, as much as I’ve been able to. I have the giveaway doll and I have some surprise dolls I’ve been storing up the last few weeks to release on Thursday. I might have a sale…except I don’t like to have sales the same time I release new dolls, so that might be problematic. We’ll see. πŸ™‚ I was REALLY hoping I’d be able to drive by Thursday so I could bring myself to PT and take myself out to lunch afterward. But I don’t think I’ll be ready yet. Hopefully I can muster up some energy to at least make myself a special dinner or dessert. I’ve worked really hard to keep this business a success and I want to celebrate the accomplishment.

I have PT on Tuesday and Thursday. A science night at school on Tuesday. My mom is going to take me shopping again on Wednesday. And I have another craft night on Friday. Though I’m thinking by the time I finish my celebrations on Thursday, I’m not going to be much in the mood for crafting late on a Friday night. Maybe I’ll drop the Friday craft nights and just do it once a month, if it seems successful.

I suppose that technically, my highest priority this week should be working on my WALKING. It’s hard to see that as a priority when I’m back to doing as much of the stuff as I physically can that I did before the broken ankle. I’m definitely back to working as hard. And making most meals, packing lunches, doing pet care during the day, etc. Walking practice feels like a nuisance. But it’s extremely important and I need to remember that! I’ve been way too lax with my PT at home exercises too. My therapist is not going to be too happy with me on Tuesday. I just want to magically be better without all the hard work. πŸ™‚

Otherwise, I just want to have a fun week! Things are starting to look up!

Saturday Reflections 04.21.2018

I’ve been putting off writing today because I don’t feel like it’s been a particularly exciting week. I’ve been trying to write honestly about this whole broken ankle experience, but I think it’s getting tiresome for some people to read. I’m never going to be one to gloss over the hard things and pretend my life is perfect. And I think I try to always collect and write about the good things as well. But some days, especially these last two months, are just plain tough. And like it or not, I’m going to keep being honest about it. Because if I can’t be myself on my own blog that nobody is forced to read if they don’t want to, then what is the point?

I’m also a little irritated with myself and how this blog has basically just become weekend journal entries. I used to have a lot more to say! And some days that inspiration does strike, but for one reason or another I don’t feel as comfortable as I used to about freely speaking my mind. My kids are getting older and they know how to google things, so I’m never quite sure how much I should share about them anymore. I want to protect their privacy, especially when talking about our family challenges. And some weeks, those challenges are so overwhelming, but I don’t want to be the kind of person that just complains about how completely HARD parenting is. So I say nothing. But even all the fun posts – books, podcasts, tv, etc. It’s all fallen to the wayside! I want to be better. I love writing these posts every weekend. But it’s probably super boring to not have anything to discuss in between weekends – ever! Hopefully the coming months might hold a little more variety in my posts.

On Monday I woke up with a horrendous headache that never let up the entire day. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a headache that bad. To top it off – I didn’t have the alone day I was hoping for because it was a SNOW DAY. In the middle of April. So we were all home and we all got to go to my physical therapy appointment together. Fun times!

Side note – I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately. And some cooking. I’ve pretty much taken over dinner making again. It’s a big accomplishment for me every day, but I’m finding myself resentful off and on about it again. It’s just such an exhausting endeavor. If I had a sous chef to gather all my ingredients and utensils for me it would be a million times easier! But that’s not often the case. It does make me feel good to make delicious food again, though.

Tuesday was a normal day – FINALLY. Annie got to go to the dog park with Harris again, which she was super excited about! I put her leash on early and she immediately sat down and stared unblinking at the door waiting to see who would come.

Tuesday and Wednesday were big work days. I’ve basically gone back to full time this week. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing because I’m having a really hard time forcing myself to stop to do my exercises, eat real meals, rest, etc. I get so focused when I create and never want to stop. I’m not sure my body was ready for that yet, but I’m forging ahead.

Wednesday was also a scheduled late start. Greg was planning on going into work, but there was a big storm rolling in, he wasn’t feeling very well, AND our basement was flooded. He had to take me to physical therapy and that’s when the rain/sleet/snow started up again. The weather this spring has just been awful! We were supposed to have a date night that included a trip to Woodman’s I was super excited about. But that didn’t happen. I can’t even tell you how desperate I am to grocery shop on my own again. I tried to appease my disappointment by scheduling a Woodman’s grocery pick up for Greg after work on Thursday. Not the same as being able to do it myself, but close enough, I guess. πŸ™

Oh, and the plumber had to come and snake our pipes. Tree roots were the cause this time. It’s always something! At least it wasn’t our fault.

The snow was so ridiculous that Thursday was yet another late start. We are having way too much family time lately. Seriously. It’s kind of freaking me out that school ends in like six weeks? I’ll probably just be gaining my full independence back by then and it will swiftly be taken away as I’m back to full time parenting for three months. Honestly, it makes me want to cry. I value these school year months SO much. I’m not ready for summer. I’m not ready for listening to NONSTOP bickering and arguing and negotiating and whining. I’m definitely not ready for it after three months of not being able to go anywhere or do anything on my own. I’ve barely even had any days at home on my own since I broke my ankle! Greg is usually home half the week to take me to PT. And they never, ever leave the house on weekends. It’s too much for my desperately introverted needs.

Anyway. Thursday was also my first Craft Night I wrote about last week. My friend Carrie came and we had a great time catching up while we worked on our independent projects. Shepard enjoyed hanging out to interrogate her on what she was doing. Not really in the plans, but it was fine. I was dead tired by the time I went to bed, but it was worth it.

Friday was finally a normal day. Or abnormal, because Greg went into work, which he normally never does on Fridays. So I had some alone time! I worked a lot. Took a nap. And then got ready for a little date night.

We dropped the boys off with Grandma and finally ate at that restaurant I tried to go to with Laura last week, but it was closed. I wouldn’t really call it a nice place to go on a date, but the food was decent. I really liked the spicy pork taco. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get ice cream and watched tv the rest of the night.

Today’s been kind of a catch up day. I worked for a few hours this morning, and then spent a really long time reading and trying to rest. I made three marinades, cut up a ton of chicken, and got those future meals in the freezer. I made a salted caramel sauce to eat with my ice cream. I made lunch earlier. And the big thing – I walked around the block!! Now that the snow is cleared from the sidewalks with the warming temperatures (finally!), I’d like to take at least one small walk every day. It definitely beats walking in circles around the house the way I have been doing! I’ve actually been pretty lax in my PT exercises these last few days. I know they’re vitally important to my recovery, but….they hurt. They’re a lot of work. And they take up so much time I could be using for something that FEELS more important. Starting tomorrow I’ll really begin upping my game. I need to power through the pain and get walking! I NEED my independence back.

And that’s been the week! It was pretty discouraging with all the snow and continued terrible weather, but I’m hoping the future will be brighter now that spring is maybe, possibly, here to stay! I’m excited about taking some short walks outside, even though it already was annoying my kids to have to walk so slow. But I got to be out with Annie! And once the dog park gets less muddy, maybe I can start tagging along there too. It’s getting better. I’ll get through it. πŸ™‚

Sunday Intentions 04.15.2018

Is it just me, or do weekend days seem to last ten times longer than weekdays? It never ceases to amaze me how long Saturdays and Sundays feel compared to the zipping by of school days. It’s not always a bad thing – I somehow get so much more done on weekends, despite all the distractions and chaos. But I’m always pretty happy when Sunday night rolls around and I can start gearing up for another week!

As a side note, I made these bagels for lunch today. Besides allowing for time to rise, they were super easy! The only thing I did differently was use a premade Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning instead of mixing up the one in the recipe. Bagels always feel like they might be the hardest thing ever to make, but they turned out perfectly! I whipped up a jalapeno cream cheese to go with them (cream cheese, jalapenos, garlic, salt, pepper).

So, this week! It’s not quite as busy as last week, which I’m thankful for. I have physical therapy on Monday and Wednesday. The pain with walking has become even worse today, so I haven’t done a whole lot. I decided it was better to wait and ask the therapist tomorrow if this is normal before pushing myself harder. I guess on the positive side, my ROM exercises seem to be going better. It almost feels good to be stretching my ankle around. I know it’ll get better as time goes on, but it’s as much of an emotional battle as it is physical. I’ll get there. Maybe I’ll be much more excited about walking when I can go outside and be distracted by fresh air and the real world. Stupid inches of ice and slush and snow ruined those plans for now!

The only other big thing happening this week is that I’m starting a Craft Night of sorts. I’m hoping it’ll be a social yet productive bi-weekly occurrence with a group of friends who like to be creative. I really struggle to write about friendships on here because the majority of people who read this are people I know in real life. But friendship is something I think about and agonize over ALL THE TIME. The short summary of those thoughts is that I wish I had better friendships. I wish I could be myself with people, be accepted, and grow closer to people. I wish my friends felt the same way as me and I didn’t end up feeling guilty or shamed every time I ask them to share some of their limited free time with me. Planning this craft night was a huge step of faith that maybe I can grow some of those friendships. Nobody has to come every time, nobody needs to commit to anything major. Just a few hours of talking and laughing while we work independently on our own arts or crafts projects. As of right now, none of the people I invited have said they plan to come. But…I’m going to go through with it anyway. At least for a few months and see what happens. Maybe it’ll be a bust. But maybe it won’t be. We’ll see… (If I didn’t send you an initial invite and we’re friends and you’re interested in coming, let me know! πŸ™‚ )

I suppose my highest priority for the week should be working on my walking skills! Which I’m not terribly excited about. But it needs to happen if I’m ever going to get better. It’s hard to still feel like healing is my most important job when I’m mentally feeling so much better and want to do everything. So I need to remember to focus on my ROM exercises, focus on walking, take naps and rests when I need them – no matter what feels more pressing at the time.

Second priority is work! I couldn’t settle on what to make next, so I’m making a whole slew of dolls. Which is never a good idea because I get overwhelmed and stressed out, instead of enjoying the creative process. But…I’m so antsy to catch up with everything I’ve missed these last two months! Especially now that I decided to have that big five year celebration on May 3rd. The next 2-3 weeks are going to be packed with sewing hours.

Basically, I just want to start getting my life back in order this week. Today I took out my bullet journal and set it up again. I loved doing it so much those first three months of the year, but it was impossible to keep up with after my ankle break. I want to get back into it. To do lists, meal planning, tracking of every sort. It makes me happy, so it’s going to happen.

Meal Plans (vaguely)

Monday – Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Potatoes and Jalapeno Cheddar Bread (I’m feeling ambitious)

Tuesday – Clean the freezer day?

Wednesday – Grilled Cheese (at home date night)

Thursday – Something crock pot made…soup?

Friday – BBQ Pizza

Have a good week!!

Saturday Reflections 04.14.2018

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Another week down on this rotten emotional rollercoaster. It’s gotten old, folks. Just when I feel like things are getting better, I get knocked right back down again. This week was supposed to bring me a lot of hope and optimism. And I did get good news with the surgeon. But I’m ending the week feeling overwhelmingly discouraged.

Monday was a pretty good day. I’m one of those people that LOVES Mondays. Getting back into a routine (i.e. sending everyone back to school and work!), jumping back into my projects, and basically just enjoying some silence after what is always an inevitably long and stressful weekend. I spent the day working and the evening out with my friend Laura. We were going to check out a new restaurant, but I stupidly read the website wrong and it turned out being closed. πŸ™ We ended up at a different Mexican restaurant which was delicious too, but I’m anxious to get back to the originally planned place – when it’s open!

I begged Laura to take me to Walmart after we ate. I was so desperate to get to a store without Greg and kids following me around. We spent a really long time strolling all the aisles while I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to pick out food that impulsively sounded good to me. It was great to get out, but it also really whet my appetite for shopping on my own again. I miss it SO MUCH. It’s so hard even to find a time to shop with Greg. We’re so busy during the week, and the stores feel too busy to tackle on the weekend with kids and a scooter. I miss Target. I miss Woodman’s. I miss thrift stores and antique malls and crafty stores. But Walmart was nice. πŸ™‚ I truly appreciate her understanding my need to get out of the house and talk to someone other than my family for a night!

Tuesday was fairly uneventful. I had another physical therapy session that just involved an incision/foot/leg massage and some stretching. I worked the rest of the day. We had an at home date night and I made another batch of curry.

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Wednesday was the big day! Six week post op with the surgeon. As we saw on my x-ray, the bones are healing very well. You can just faintly see the lines where the breaks were. The third break was on the other side, but they didn’t put in any kind of hardware for that fix. The doctor also pointed out that little sliver of bone between the ankle and foot bones is a chip from one of the breaks that they failed to remove. It shouldn’t cause any problems, though. Anyway – the good news is that the bones are healed. Now I just need to recover from the sprain. I got the go ahead to start weight bearing. He wasn’t specific about percentages or a timeline, but expects that within 2-4 weeks I should be able to walk without the crutches. That felt really soon! So great news that I SHOULD be able to do it. I just failed to realize at that moment how HARD it’s going to be to get there.

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Greg had to go into work after my appointment, so I spent the day with my furry babes. It was National Pet Day, so I stalked them until I could get a cute picture of each of them. I love my pets so much! They all have such different and distinct personalities. Annie is my best companion, Rory is my snuggliest cuddler, and Jack is the one who wants to be by me, but only if I don’t show him too much attention. They all make me so happy.

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On Wednesday night, Shepard finally won a battle that involved him buying his own hand saw and leather gloves… Caden’s friend a few houses down recently got his own saw. I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, but apparently it’s quite large and double bladed. Shepard has been DESPERATE to get one for himself. I didn’t realize “we” were seriously contemplating letting a seven year old own a saw, but Greg took him to the hardware store and they came home with this. Apparently this is the wood blade and it comes with a second that will cut through metal… Shepard was quite proud of himself, though I’m hoping the novelty wears off pretty quickly! He can only use it with an adult present and it’s hiding from him the rest of the time. But still. Danger danger!

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Thursday was perhaps the biggest of days because I had my first weight bearing physical therapy appointment. Greg had a work event, so my mom brought me and sneakily took a photo. I’m glad I was wearing something nice since I posted this picture all over the place!! πŸ˜€ I wasn’t really sure what to expect at my session, but it ended up being pretty intense. I had a different therapist (and the one I’ll see the most often) and she seems much more hardcore than the lady I’ve had the last three times. The first thing she asked me was why I was on my scooter. I was trying to explain that I hadn’t done ANY weight bearing yet, but she didn’t seem to really understand. It was very clear she expected me to be on my crutches at all times. Does she realize how far it is from the door of the hospital all the way back to the physical therapy area?! Anyway, I guess it went fairly well. I did some sort of pedal machine and then was told to just start walking with these handrails. I was putting most of the weight on my wrists when stepping down with my bad foot (which I was also scolded for), but I went back and forth a bunch and then up and down a hallway on my crutches. I learned more ROM exercises and got a brief incision massage. It was rough! I didn’t feel like I was dying, but it really wore me out. And creeped me out to see how much I was swelling before my eyes as she twisted my ankle in every direction at the end. I’m sure having a tough therapist will be good for me in the end. But it was a bit of a shock this first time. I was not prepared.

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The boys had an open house and ten year anniversary celebration at their school Thursday night. We met the grandparents at Burger King for a quick dinner and then headed over to school. Caden was excited to show us the sign he made.

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Caden at his desk. He’s so good at smiling.

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Shepard at his desk. They were both so excited to show everything off to us.

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It was a really nice event! I’m so happy that we chose to take the path of this charter school. It ended up fitting the personalities and interests of our kids so perfectly. I’m really sad that in less than two months Caden will be moving on to middle school. (Yes, middle school in fourth grade.) We’ve had nothing but good experiences with DCS.

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Friday was a big work day. I finished up these three Mother’s Day dolls and three secret dolls. I decided to have a big of a grand re-opening in tandem with my five year anniversary of doing Heartstring Annie at the beginning of May. My goal is to have quite a stack of new and unique dolls to list on the actual anniversary, May 3rd. But I also want to consistently be putting out pertinent Mother’s Day and teacher gift dolls before that, keeping interest up and sales coming in. I think the next few weeks are going to be jam packed with extra work hours, trying to fit it all in. But I think I’m up for it.

And finally, Friday night and all of today have kind of been back to meltdown city. We’re having our never ending struggles with behavioral issues in a certain child. I’m pretty resolved to the fact that this is just our lives and it’s never, ever going to change. Nine straight years of it is a pretty good indicator this is who he is and the older, stronger, and more vocal he becomes, the worse it’s going to be. I thought we had a bit of a breakthrough last night with actually talking some things out, and then it was a thousand times worse in the morning, as if last night never even happened. It’s so discouraging. And it’s SO hard to deal with on top of everything else going on right now. Child number two has had many extremely difficult days since I broke my ankle too. Though I’m pretty sure that’s a direct correlation to the change in our family dynamic with me not being able to do as much. So hopefully those problems will soon come to the end. The other stuff, though… It feels hopeless.

The promise of being able to walk within 2-4 weeks also feels hopeless. I probably only spent 5-10 minutes actually walkingΒ  with my crutches yesterday and it hurt SO BAD ALL DAY. I don’t feel like it hurt that much when I was at therapy on Thursday, but maybe because I had an audience and wasn’t as in tune to the pain? Yesterday was awful, though. And I can’t decide if this is normal and I need to push through it, or if I genuinely should not be putting weight on yet. I’m pretty sure the therapist thought I should be using the crutches to partial weight bear at all times now. Which I’m definitely not doing. I couldn’t even work up the energy to try a simple walk until after 11 today. It feels too hard. I don’t think I can do it. I genuinely feel like I’m never going to be able to walk again. And that’s terrifying. I don’t know if I have it in me to do this.

There’s also just this constant frustration with always needing things that are too far away. I need to be wearing my boot if I’m on my crutches – absolutely no weight on it yet without the boot. But I need my boot off multiple times a day to do my ROM exercises. Plus my whole leg is just so much more comfortable without the boot on. I need the crutches whenever I go upstairs, but I can’t carry the crutches with me when I crawl up (and I’m not ready to attempt going up a full flight upright yet). I’m allowed to sleep without my boot, but then when I wake up in the morning and need to go to the bathroom, I can’t put my boot on because the velcro is so loud and will wake everyone up. So I try to quietly hop to the bathroom, but nothing about using crutches or hopping is quiet. I should probably be wearing a shoe to even up my hips a little better when I am walking, but I hate wearing a shoe in the house as much as I hate wearing a boot. And I need to wear a sock with a shoe, but I can’t wear a sock around the house on its own because the floors are too slippery and I risk falling. Meanwhile my knee is rubbed completely raw and shredded from using the scooter and crawling up stairs (and sometimes around the second floor when my crutches aren’t up there). Which is painful, but is also super itchy. But you can’t scratch at already shredded skin. And the biggest obstacle – if I’m on my crutches, I’m still putting most of the weight on my wrists – so I definitely don’t even have a spare finger to try and carry anything. Everything I do on the second floor of the house is on my crutches. Gathering my clothes, trying to put things away, just bringing my phone to my room is a nearly impossible feat. And my wrist pain! I have been prone to severe wrist pain ever since I was a teenager and this is doing nothing to help those problems. It’s all just this CONSTANT string of problems and complications and obstacles and it feels like TOO MUCH. I hate this. All of it!

Anyway, to top all of that off – the weather is horrendous right now. Freezing rain, sleet, awful winds. If I could at least practice my weight bearing on a walk around the block, it would be so much better! But there’s no way I’m risking slipping and breaking another ankle right now! Also, Greg and the boys were supposed to spend the day at Great America tomorrow, but that’s definitely not happening with a high of 36 and snow in the forecast. When is spring going to come?! This is absolutely miserable. I’m so tired of being cold and trapped.

Well, that was my week. Sorry about the big vent at the end. I was just really expecting this to be easier once I could start walking a bit. It’s not. And I don’t know when it will be. But life goes on. I’ll dig deep and get the motivation I need to get through this. Somehow. πŸ™‚

Sunday Intentions 04.08.2018

It’s a big week! The busiest week I’ve had in a very long time. I’m a little nervous about everything, but it should hopefully be a good week! It will also hopefully bring some good news!

Monday is (I think) the only day I’ll be home alone, and I am SO looking forward to a day of quiet. Weekends seem to last forever and both of my kids have become experts at screeching and whining every waking minute and I am so ready for some peace! I started some dolls tonight, so I’m hoping to have a big work day tomorrow. After my leprechaun sales on Friday I’m feeling a lot more motivated to keep up the pace.

I’m super excited about tomorrow night because I’m going out to a new restaurant I’ve been wanting to try with my friend Laura. I begged her to take me to Walmart afterward so I can actually do a little shopping “on my own.” I’ve only been to three stores since I broke my ankle and all of those trips had my family with me and it was a wee bit chaotic. I’m looking forward to friend time, but also a chance to impulsively pick out food I actually want to eat. Breakfasts and lunches have been pretty rough since I’ve been back on my own these last few weeks. Greg was really good at constantly giving me healthy food when he was taking care of me and now I basically live on grilled cheese and popcorn.

On Tuesday I have my next physical therapy appointment, but I’m pretty certain I’ll just be getting my incisions massaged again. And we have an at home date night while the boys go to Grandma’s for the evening. I’ll have to think of something tasty to make for dinner. (Much of my life now revolves around food.)

Wednesday is the big day! Six weeks post ORIF surgery. I have an x-ray and then an appointment with the surgeon. Hopefully my healing will look great and I can move on to partial weight bearing.Β I am cautiously optimistic that my physical limitations might improve after I see him. Though I’ve been thinking about it and my limitations might actually get worse because I’ll need to use my crutches all the time, instead of relying on the scooter. I’m not entirely sure what “partial weight bearing” means, but I assume I’ll need both arms on my crutches for all my practice walking. Which means no hands free for anything again… But it’s obviously a huge step in the right direction and will hopefully only be for a couple of weeks. If we find out that I haven’t healed properly or I have to wait any longer, I’m probably going to be devastated. I am SO anxious to move on with my real life again.

Thursday will be my first REAL physical therapy appointment where I can hopefully start putting weight on my leg! I’ll need to spend however long learning how to walk again, and eventually start doing strength training to build up my muscles. It’s crazy how much of your muscle disappears when you don’t use it for six weeks. My leg looks freaky. I have twice a week therapy scheduled through the end of May, for now.

Thursday night is a big open house and ten year celebration for the school the boys go to. I’m excited to actually head into public again. The public filled with people I actually know. I’ve felt so crazy disconnected from all things school related since I broke my ankle. Greg packs lunches and snacks, Greg checks homework, Greg fills out field trip slips, Greg occasionally walks them to or from school when he’s around. The only aspect of school I take care of is sitting on the couch and repeatedly reminding the boys to put everything in their backpacks every morning. In some ways it’s been kind of nice not to be so immersed in it all. But it also makes me feel like a major slacker parent. It’ll be good to get to school and see what they’ve been working on.

Everything quiets down after that. Friday I’ll probably be taking a nap! It’s a busy week. Leaving the house four days in a row – and twice on Thursday! – makes me a bit nervous. But it’ll be good. I need to start working up stamina for getting out again.

So, no real priorities for my week. I want to be rested enough to enjoy all of my outings and therapy. I’d like to sew when I have the chance. Having a batch of dolls to work on really gives me a focus I think I’m starting to desperately need again. When I don’t have anything pressing demanding my attention I start to feel restless and depressed and frustrated. I need to remember the things I CAN do and actually do them. It makes me a much happier person.

Have a great week! I’ll try to write an update on Wednesday, hopefully with good news!!