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.  

Snow day…

Today we got some snow, not as much as the blizzard the news said we would get but they sure do like the drama. 

Just wanted to give another update after yesterday’s appointment. They did some blood work and ruled out any infections, which I didn’t really think it was. I also had an ultrasound to rule out blood clot’s, which came back negative, so that’s good.

The orthopedic surgeon that saw me, along with Dr. Spencer’s nurse practitioner, feel that it may just be muscle spasms because my leg’s muscles have been moved around a little bit and are learning to do their job again in a different way, I guess you could say.

The doctor recommended heat, ice, and deep massage on the muscle that hurts, as well as, the areas around the muscle to stimulate the nerves. Heat seems to be working. However, I am still having pain and it is still difficult to move my stump as freely as I was moving it a week ago. 

I’ll be honest, I’m a little bit discouraged. So far the healing process before this last week has been miraculous, amazing and easy. The pain I have experienced this week has been very hard and seems like a setback in the recovery process. 

Please pray that the pain will go away and I will be back to moving around as easily as I was before this last week. Please pray that there are no further complications. And please pray that in April there will be no delays or postponements in getting the prosthetic and learning to walk, because of this pain issue. 

Thank you everyone for your support and prayers. We could not do this without you. 

Lots of pain

Unfortunately the last four days , off and on, I have been experiencing very severe pain in my stump, as well as, in my phantom leg. I do have moments of relief and thankfully I have been able to sleep some nights, however, this is been the hardest part of my recovery so far.

I am writing this blog to ask for your extra prayers. I would like the pain to just stop altogether, but if not I will ask for prayer for the strength to endure it and prayer for the wisdom for the doctors to figure out what’s going on.

Tomorrow (Monday), David and I are going into Boston. I already had needed to go to pick up a prescription and get a blood test at the hospital so we are going to hopefully get an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor as well. Unfortunately, my surgeon is out of town, I heard from her via email today. If I can’t I get an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor then I will probably be going to the emergency room at children’s hospital.

Please pray (if you see this tonight) that I can sleep. Please pray that the car ride, which takes at least an hour, is not unbearably painful. And please pray that everything is ok with my stump, that there are no major problems and that the pain subsides and we can continue on with the recovery. 

Thank you all for your prayers and support. I know God is with me, but I will be honest that this has been a hard week. I want to be honest because I know there are a lot of people out there who are going through their own struggles, who may feel like they’re doing something wrong because they are having a hard time dealing with what God has brought into their lives. 

I have said this before, and I’m going to say it again, I believe that God is big enough and filled with enough grace and mercy to let me have days where I struggle, days where I am angry, days where I’m sad. But I also believe that this God is always with me and is faithful to work even my angry, sad, mad, doubtful days into something beautiful for my good. And maybe because the pain right now has subsided a little I can say that I know that there is joy even in this hard time, but I don’t necessarily say that when I’m screaming in pain. And I think that God is ok with that. I don’t know why he lets the pain happen, that’s a whole other blog post and debate, but when I focus on what I do know (after the pain subsides and I can focus) then I can find the joy. So what do I know? Besides how much pain I’m in. ???? Well, I know that it is God’s nature to be good, loving, kind, merciful, full of grace, etc. I know that I have support from my husband (which also backs up all the stuff about God cause God brought him to me at just the right time) and I know that God is with me through all of this, I am his child and I know that I might not be able to do everything, but I can “through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). 

I know there are a lot of people out there who are going through a lot of different “pains” in their life. Maybe right now what you’re going through is emotional, or maybe it is physical, or maybe it’s both. Maybe it’s the pain of losing someone, or maybe it’s the challenge of a life change you weren’t expecting, or maybe it’s a daily struggle with pain and depression. First, like I said before I think there are times when we just scream and cry. And I think that God is big enough to handle that, and not surprised by it. You’re screaming and crying might be completely different than mine, it might even not be an audible screaming and crying, but we all have times when we just are in immense pain. I just want to encourage you if you’re there that if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ He is there with you. And like I said before He is big enough to give you the grace to get mad, sad, angry, swear, yell, scream. But when you have a moment, where you can focus a little bit, here’s a word of encouragement. And please don’t take this as just someone preaching to you, who has no idea what it’s like. Hear this from someone who did a lot of swearing and screaming of her own this week. Take a moment and try to focus on the things that you do know about God. 

If you don’t know a lot about God, ask him who he is. And get a bible and read about who he is. Sometimes I even just google something like “verses on God’s goodness” or “verses on God’s mercy“. The Bible I believe is God’s words to us so what better way to find out who he is than to read His words. 

Hear is something cool that I have learned at some point in my journey with God. There’s a scripture in Philippians where he actually gives us a great encouragement for how to find joy. In Philippians 4 Paul starts out by saying “always be full of joy” (verse 4). Sometimes I get mad at Paul for what he says because he is a little blunt, but I do believe it is God’s inspired word and I do believe that God wants our lives to be full of joy. All right, so Paul how do we be full of joy? Then Paul says “do not worry about anything” and goes on by saying that we should ask God for what we need and thank him for what he’s done. But then after that Paul say something that is often missed. He says we should “fix our thoughts…” or like what I’ve been saying try and focus. Focus on what you know to be true about God and what is good about your life, even though there is pain. 


OK so I guess what I thought would be a short post turned out to be a lot longer. And I’m actually getting very tired. But thankfully God allowed me to have the strength and time without pain in order to write this post. I encourage you to write down some of the things that you know to be true about God. Things that are honorable and true and right about your situation. Write down scripture you find where God promises things like “he will never leave us or forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:6) so that the times where you need to focus on what is true…, you have somewhere to easily reference, especially when you’re not feeling good.

Just so you know this blog post has been more of a reminder for me than anything, but I hope it will encourage someone out there too. 

Always with love, Angela #oneleggedwoman

Stiches are OUT!

Thank you guys for praying for no pain! Besides the seconds of pain when she tugged and cut the stiches, it really wasn’t that bad. It went very quickly and now that we’re done there is no extra pain. 

Dr. Spencer said the infection looks good and everything is healing very well. Right now we are sitting in the NOPCO waiting area, waiting to get a new, smaller, shrinkers. The shrinker is the thing I have to wear around my stump to shape and compress the stump. It is made of an elastic sweatpants type material. 

Now we are in the car headed home. When we picked up the new shrinkers we were able to meet the prosthetists and talk with her about a lot of things. Everything from the casting of the stump, to how the knee works, and all the different types of prosthetics there are available. I am so excited, I feel like my life is going to be so much more amazing than it was even before a year ago when my knee froze up. I haven’t been able to walk normally probably since I was a child and I am so pumped to be able to do so much that I haven’t been able to do for so long. I know there still a long road ahead but it just seems so close and I’m just so excited, so encouraged and very grateful to God that he has brought me to this place in my life. 

Thank you again everyone for praying, God is good and very merciful and I am feeling better than I ever thought I would have felt. 

Now time to go home and rest. ❤️

Maybe some stitches out today…

Hey everyone this is going to be a short post because I need to go get ready to leave for the doctor. Not sure how many will read it before 11am EST but that is when my doctors appointment is today. It is most likely that some and maybe all my stiches are going to be coming out today. I was going to discribe the difficulty of it but for those of you with weak stomachs just know it’s not going to be a fun time. 

Please pray for the least amount of pain possible, or no pain, no pain would be nice. ????

The infection looks a lot better and I’m almost done with my antibiotics. We’ll see how Dr. Spencer feels about it and what she says and I’ll be updating everyone after. Praise God and thank you all for praying, it could have been so much worse and we are very thankful for God’s healing and that the oral antibiotics cleared it up. 

I will update everyone after the appointment. No promises of a long blog post right after, it maybe the next day when I feel like typing a lot, but you can get short updates on my Facebook page @theadventuresofaoneleggedwoman

Thank you for your prayers and support! ❤️

Doing better

God is answering lots of prayers and the antibiotics seem to be working. The redness is retreating from the line we made on Wednesday. As long as it continues to get better our next appointment will be Thursday with the surgeon Dr Spencer. But please keep praying that the infection goes completely away, there are still red spots and spots that have some ooze ????. Thank you for your prayers, please don’t stop ????. 

So today (Friday) it is 70 degrees at 2pm and sunny. Crazy Massachusetts spring, one day it will be 70, the next it will be snowing, and then some 40s with rain then more 70s. This will go on till around May, when one day it will be 80 and summer. We never get a real spring. So on days like today you gratefully soak in the warm sunny weather. 

Today we decided to drive into the town center, which is about 10 min from us, to sit on a bench right by the water, and enjoy the wonderfull view of Plymouth harbor and the bay. 

David taking a picture, which make my view even better ????

David made us sandwiches and packed a lunch and we had a nice picnic. After lunch we spent a few min walking around the pier and taking some pictures of the water and small shops along the road. 


We’re back home now and it’s time for a nap. Thanks again for all your prayers. Praise God for his healing and mercy. We feel so loved by all the support and prayers of everyone; people all over the country, the world, some we are close with, others we’ve never met. It’s pretty crazy, we are so grateful! 

Love you all! ❤️