A Birthday, the Flu, 2 Trips to the City, and good news…

Well once again it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted; however, only a few things have really happened. David had a birthday, I got the flu and we also went into the city for a doctors appointment and to the ER. Here are the details.

David’s Birthday and one trip to the city:

Last week was my wonderful husband’s birthday. He’s so wonderful that he spent the first part of his birthday at the doctors with me. We drove into Boston to go to the Vascular Anomalies Clinic (VAC) at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). We saw Dr. Spencer, my orthopedic surgeon, who we actually weren’t scheduled to see for a coupl
e of weeks, but she was there so she stopped in. She said everything looked great. The incision is almost healed, it only has about a 1/4″ left to heal. She said that we should be moving forward with physical therapy and getting my prosthetic, however we should be prepared for it to go slower than a normal amputee. Because of my condition it makes things inside heal much slower and I might experience more pain when using the prosthetic. We’ve been moving forward so quickly with everything it wasn’t exactly the best news we wanted to hear. We will be discussing things with our prosthetist on Wednesday. 

The next doctor was Dr. Fishman; he is the head of the VAC and has been one of my doctors since I was 16. He removed a very large venous malformation from my abdomen. At the time it was the largest venous malformation surgically removed from someone, however, Dr. Fishman has informed me this is no longer the case. The reason for this doctors appointment was to talk to him and the team about the future. Would my doctors continue to see me as I get older and older, especially because it is a children’s hospital. They informed me that they would follow me my whole life, which was a good thing to hear.

After my appointment we started celebrating David’s birthday! We grabbed some lunch and headed back to Plymouth. It was a sunny day, so we walked up and down the pier, checking out some of the small shops along the street. We went back home and David opened his presents. Later that night we went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Unfortunately, we did not realize it was the first weekend the restaurant was opened, and the wait ended up being an hour and a half. The food was pretty good, and David enjoyed it so that’s all that mattered!

The flu and trip number two:

Sunday, only a couple days after our first trip to Boston, we made another trip to Children’s hospital. This time it was because I had spike a high fever (104) and we drove into the ER to make sure nothing was wrong. I didn’t really want to go, but several people suggested I go, including the on call Ortho doc. There was no redness or any drainage at the incision site. The ER doctor looked at me like I was crazy, and then told me I had the flu and to go home and rest and drink lots of fluids. Thankfully it only lasted four or five days, although I’m still not quite feeling as good as I was prior to the flu. Its tricky having a rare condition, sometimes all your symptoms could point to something really wrong, or it could just be the flu. Its hard to know when to make a big deal about it, and when to stay home. During the flu when my fever would spike I would get severely cold and start tensing up and shaking. The tensing up of the muscles in my stump, that are trying to recover still from the surgery, hurt them and even now a week later I’m still in pain and unable to do as much as I was doing before. Hopefully soon I’ll be back to “normal.”

Unfortunately, the flu set me back a week in the process of getting my prosthetic. Last Wednesday I was supposed to have another test socket fitting, but we had to reschedule it for this Wednesday. Its not the end of the world, but David and I are both very ready to be back home in Idaho.

Good News

We have some good news! At the end of the month we get to fly home to Boise to be a part of our nephews adoption ceremony. My brother and his wife are adopting two of their foster children and we have been blessed to be able to be a part of it. We will only be home for a couple of days but we are extremely excited to see family and friends.

That all for now! Tomorrow is David and I’s One Year Anniversary!!! Can’t believe it’s been a whole year. I’ll do a post later in the week about our anniversary and the appointment we have this week.

What’s been going on…

I realized that I’m not updating the blog as much as I am posting things on my Facebook (@theadventuresofaoneleggedwoman) and I have followers out there who don’t check facebook as often as some others, so I thought I’d update everyone. We’ve been doing more things, especially since the weather’s been a little nicer. I’ve also started physical therapy and today we were able to go to church. Here’s an update…

Sister’s Visit

At the end of March my sister was able to come visit for part of her spring break. We made a few shopping trip together to spend some birthday money I received from family and friends, but mainly we hung out at home coloring and watching “Blue Bloods” (a TV show in CBS). On her last day here we drove from our home in Plymouth to the very tip of the cape, about a hour and a half drive. I had never been all the way to to end of the cape before and it was a nice day and a good drive.

 

Night at the Symphony (April 8th)

We were so blessed to get discounted Boston Pops tickets to celebrate David’s Birthday (a little early) and to do something fun in the city. When I was in college I took a class called “Going to the Symphony”. That semester I saw over 10 Boston Symphony Orchestra performances and it was one of my favorite classes and experiences when I was in college. It was so much fun to be able to share this experience with David and show him one Boston’s best things to do.


What made this even more special was that the Boston Pops were playing all pieces from the composer John Williams who wrote scores to movies like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Jaws and much much more. During some of the performances they played clips of movies that coincided with the music they were playing as well as had actress Karen Allen from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark host the night. It was a joyful, fun, wonderful night.

On top of just being a fun night together we experienced a blessing and miracle from God. To some people it might not seem like a miraculous thing to find a parking spot but when you’re in a wheelchair or have trouble walking finding a close parking spot is a wonderful thing. The night before we went to the performance I was looking at a map trying to figure out where the best place to park was. The closest garage was about a four minute walk and there were a few spots on the street right by the entrance that we had to use to get into Symphony Hall. I had little hope that we would actually get a spot on the street because of how busy that area is especially during a night with a performance. But David had hope and he prayed that night that God would provide a spot on the street close to the entrance. The next evening when we drove down the street I pointed to the area where there could be street parking but said “we’re not going to get a spot” but as we pulled closer there it was, a spot open about 50 feet away from the entrance and 10 feet away from five guys where we are going to eat dinner. Right in the middle of where we need it to be, right where God knew we needed. Praise God for little miracles, actually I consider this a big miracle and if you live in Boston you probably do too.


Physical Therapy 

April 10th was my first physical therapy appointment. The first one was a consult and evaluation to see where I’m at. Today (April 19) was my 4th appointment. I have been doing a lot of stretching and strengthening exercises. Mostly working on stretching my left hip flexor muscle and strengthening my core. We also do arm exercises and things to help with balance. Once I actually get my leg she will be teaching me to walk and use my leg properly. A couple of exciting thing have already happened at PT in the last two weeks.

First, the physical therapist gave me a test called the AMPnoPRO test, amputee mobility predictor with no prosthetic. The score of the test determines what prosthetic you are eligible for. I scored the highest ranking, which means I will be able to get a prosthetic that allows me to be very active. I’m so excited when I think about the future and the life that may be possible, the things I will be able to do, but at the same time it is going to take a lot of work to get to that point and honestly it’s a little scary.

Second exciting thing is that we found out that once I get my leg (probably around the end of May) I may be eligible to go to an inpatient rehab facility for two weeks in order to do a intensive training on my new leg. I guess you could call it a Boot Camp for Learning how to walk on your prosthetic. It would involve three hours a day of physical therapy and David and I would be staying the night at the facility similar to being in the hospital. The facility is on the Charles River in Boston and it is state of the art, with exercise equipment and a swimming pool that I could swim laps in. It’s both very exciting and a little bit scary. Three hours of rehab every a day seems exhausting, but I am looking forward to leaving there stronger and being able to walk better than I ever have before. I could come back to Idaho being a pro at using my prosthetic.

Please pray for the months ahead. For strength to do well in rehab and that I will be able to get into the program at the inpatient rehab center.

Warmer Days

Just what the doctor ordered, a warm day bright sunny day. With hope of a record-breaking hot day in Boston we packed a lunch and some games and headed to Boston to have a picnic at the Commons. Boston Commons is a park in the middle of the city that on most sunny days is filled with people playing frisbee, having picnics, walking their dogs and having a good time. David had not yet been to the commons so once again it was fun to show him another part of the city that I spent time in before we were together.

I worried again that we would not build a find parking and David again had hoped that we would and yes we did find parking right on the street close to where we needed to enter the park. We actually decided to find a bench in the Public Garden side, across the street from Boston Commons. The sun was bright and hot that day and we found a bench and ate some lunch. Unfortunately, it was a little bit too hot for me, not sure if it’s my medication but my body doesn’t handle the heat as well as it used to. However, we made the most of it and walked around the garden and found a bench with a little bit of shade to sit and play a game. It was a record breaking heat that day, 85 degrees in April. Hopefully we can make another trip into the city once the flowers are really blooming and David can see the beautiful Boston spring.

Sunny Drive

One of our favorite things to do since I have been out of the hospital recovering is take a drive somewhere. Sometimes its a short drive to Walmart to get groceries, or around the area in Plymouth that we live, just to get out of the house. We like to see the various house around the area, some of them are quite big, but mostly just like to get some fresh air and a change of scenery than just sitting on the couch. Sometimes, especially if we don’t have an appointment that day, we go a little farther and explore some of the beautiful things to see here in Massachusetts.

Today (April 13th), we head down to the south of the Cape. We’d been to the tip of the cape with Jen, which is kind of a east and then north drive. On that drive you cross over the Sagamore bridge, one of the two bridge crossing over the Cape Cod Canal, and connects Cape Cod to the rest of the state. The other bridge is the Bourne Bridge, and today we set out to cross it and go from
there. Sometimes we have a destination in mind, sometimes we just drive, and other than our goal to cross the Bourne Bridge we just drove and see where it took us.

Our drive ended up taking us all the way to Falmouth. Falmouth is one of the busiest little to towns in Massachusetts in the summer. Woods Hole and Falmouth Inner Harbor are two ferry ports that take vacationers to Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. Close to the Wood’s Hole Terminal, on the south tip of the Cape, there is a light house called Nobska Light House. The light house was built in the late 1800s and the house next to it has housed a lighthouse keeper until 1972. It is under restoration now and hopes to be opened to the public once the work has finished. For now it is a beautiful place to visit and to take pictures of the lighthouse, grounds, and the amazing views of the coastal waters.

Hotel Living

Last week (April 14-22) we lived in a hotel. Our home in Plymouth is usually rented out as a vacation rental. When I found it in December of last year, and arranged for David and I to live here until the end of May, the house was already rented for the week of spring break. We signed the lease knowing that we had to find somewhere else to live for this week. The church I attended when I lived in the Boston area prior to my move to Idaho gave us the gift of a week stay in a hotel in the area. The hotel was very nice, it was a one bedroom suite with a kitchenette and handicap accessible room and bathroom. We were so blessed to be able to stay there and it was closer to the church so we were able to go for Easter.

So that’s what’s been going on lately in my world. We are back in Plymouth now. Very grateful for a place to say for the last week, but very happy to be back in the house we have called “home” since January. God has done so many many miracles in the last 3 months, we are so grateful for his mercy, his protection, his love and goodness, his provisions and more. We are grateful for the love and support we have felt from friends and family from all over the world. I will try to write more often to let everyone know all that is going on during our time here and with my recovery from my amputation.

Casted

Today I got my leg casted. It is the first step in getting my prosthetic made. It is a very long process. We now wait 2 weeks for the socket to be made from the cast they made of my stump. Here is a video of the process. First they had me put on a mesh sock type thing to cover the stump. This allowed them to slide the cast off after it was dried. They they wrapped my stump in a wet fiberglass casting material. After the stump was fully covered she used her fingers to make indents in areas they need to mark. Pressure points where a lot of my weight would be carried. 

After it was hardened she then pulled it off. And that was it. 


After the casting was done we talked with the prosthetist about how long they thought realistically the process would take. Especially because we have our lease agreement till the end of May and need to make arrangements to stay longer if necessary. After talking with them, and then talking together, we have decided that we need to stay till the end of June. By then the leg should fit well and I will have had a little while to make adjustments if I need after I start using it. 

Today was a really hard day. But also encouraging. We have the ok from doctor Spencer to start physical therapy, which will be hard, but I am looking forward to it. 

We also have an appointment with the pain doctor tomorrow to possibly start weaning off some of the pain medication I have been on. Please pray for his mercy and grace on me. I don’t want to be addicted to any medicine but I also don’t want to be in pain. It has been a hard week and I’ve been more emotional and I’ve felt before that this doctor was not very sensitive. Please pray for a calm day tomorrow and that the sun will be out.