Surgery Update

Saturday started off with a lot of frustration and anger. The pain was manageable with medications, but still sitting between 7 and 10. It would settle down to about 7 until Angela moved. Then the pain would jump to 10. The teams were making their rounds, and Dr Spencer stopped by. She came in strictly to take care of Angela. She looked at the MRI and consulted with all the rest of the teams. She explained what they saw on the MRI.

There was an infection in the bone and a puss filled abscess in her stump. Because of the unknowns, Dr. Spencer said they would enter through the amputation scar and take care of it. The abscess could be filled with viscous fluid or filled with more of a liquid puss. Spencer wanted to actually cut open the leg so that all the puss and infection could be removed and flushed. Without opening up the wound, there would be no way to be able to drain the abscess with a syringe if the puss isn’t liquid.

Angela started off the day with an INR count of 3.2. It went up to 4.5 by about 9 am. Another IV was put into Angela’s arm so that she would have a faster IV to give her vitamin k. She was also given 5 units of fresh frozen plasma to help bring her INR down to 2. Once it reached 2, the doctor wanted to go ahead with the surgery. He was hoping for around noon. She finally reached 1.5 at about 1:00 pm. It was time to get her moved to pre-op.

Down in pre-op, we waited for everyone to get ready. Dr. Spencer explained what her plan was, and showed us where the incision and procedure would be, and what would happen. They planned on taking multiple cultures throughout the surgery in the hopes that they can find an aggressive antibiotic for the infection. The whole operation was only supposed to be a couple of hours at the most. I prayed and with Angela, and we held each other. The anesthesiologist administered the initial relaxer, and we said our goodbyes. They wheeled Angela toward the operating room around 2:45 pm on Saturday.

After waiting for the 4Runner for over a half hour and another almost 2 hour drive back to the house in Plymouth, I finally got back to the house at around 5:15 pm. I quickly packed up some clothes, toiletries, Angela’s Kindle, and my computer. I left the house at about 5:30 to get back to the hospital so I could be there when Angela woke up. Dr. Spencer called me at about 5:50 pm to let me know that she was finished. She tried to explain what they found in the stump. There were small syringe-like bone growths that irritated the tissue, especially the masses. Any pressure would have caused very intense pain. There were also clots that Dr. Spencer removed. This is all that Dr. Spencer tried to explain to me over the phone. It wasn’t until about 6:45 pm when I was allowed back to be with Angela, and she slept for another hour and a half.

When she started waking up, the pain was excruciating. Dr. Spencer warned me that it would probably be bad until at least Monday, possibly later. She said the pain could actually be worse than the pain that brought us into the ER in the first place. It took nearly an hour after Angela was awake to get a small handle on the pain. Angela moved back to her room on the 6th floor. It took a while to get on top of the pain again, and was finally able to around 9 or 10. We learned that Angela was given 2 units of blood during the surgery, and to be on the safe side, the doctors wanted to give her some more units tonight. They decided to give Angela another 4 units of blood, being spread over about 5 hours. Starting around 11 pm on Saturday, the transfusions won’t be done until close to 4 am on Sunday.

The floor physician has come by several times, tonight. He explained to the best of his ability what his understanding of what happened during the surgery was. His understanding was that, during the surgery, there were several pools of blood where they puss was thought to have been. He said that Angela lost some “old” blood, and that’s why she had the transfusion. Something he was hesitant to go into too much elaboration on was a potential course of action depending on the severity and response of the infection in the bone. One possibility, if antibiotics don’t completely remove the bone infection is an additional amputation. That would involve trimming the bone a little more to remove the infected portion. I’m praying that this never happens. That God clears the infection in the bone and tissue and the infection dies without doing anymore damage.

I’m praying that the morning orthopedic doctors fully explain what was discovered during the surgery, what risks there are, and what treatment options are available. I feel like this is a huge mountain that we just couldn’t find until yesterday, and now that we’ve found it, we are able to finally get past it and all this pain, these setbacks, and uncertainties.

Thank you,

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! ❤️

Not doing great

So after almost 4 weeks of miraculous healing we got our first setback. I have an infection in the incision that was almost healed. 

It was very scary mostly because our surgeon was out of town. We saw a different orthopedic doctor yesterday (Tuesday) and he prescribed antibiotics. 

Last night was very difficult. The pain in the stump was worse than it’s been ever. This morning when I woke up it felt a little better but it definitely was still worse than the day before. So we called the orthopedic nurses and they spoke with the doctor I saw yesterday. The doctor looked at all the pictures that we sent from the morning and decided that he wanted to wait 24 to 48 hours to see if the anabiotics would work. The plan is to just wait and see if the antibiotics work. We’re supposed to let them know if I start feeling worse or if the infection gets worse. 

The thing that worried me the most was that Dr. Spencer was out of town and yesterday couldn’t be reached. I just wanted her to know what was going on, and make sure she was OK with the plan. And thankfully we heard this afternoon that she talk to the doctor  we saw yesterday and was in agreement with the plan. She said that if I started to feel worse or the infection got worse then we would come into Boston for IV antibiotics. 

So now we wait and pray for healing. So thankful for all the prayers and support and just asking for specific prayer now for healing of the infection.

Warm weather, to the beach!

We’ve been getting into a really bad habit of going to bed very late, and getting up very late each day, especially since we haven’t had much to do or had anything to get up early for. But it’s not a great habit to get into. They say the more sleep one gets before midnight, the better quality sleep it is. So last night (Saturday night) David and I shut the TV off at 10 PM and prayed together (this is a tradition we’ve been doing since we’ve gotten married, every night in bed we pray together, for each other, for other people, definitely thanking God for all he’s done for us). We set our alarm for 8 AM and tried our best to fall asleep. I read for a little and David tossed and turned but we finally fell asleep around 11pm.

We reluctantly got up at 8am, but we did. David made some coffee and got we situated on the couch to “go to church.” Since I’m not ready yet to attend a local church, we have decided to watch a sermon online from our church at home. Attending church here would be so nice, but not only is it physically hard for me to sit for long periods of time, it’s emotionally hard for me to be surrounded by people, who all mean well, but because of my natural introvertedness I get absolutely drained by all these people. trying to love on us.

After we finished the Stonehill sermon online, we got ready for the day. I’ve been able to take a shower a lot easier since David “MacGyver’d” the shower seat to fit better in the shower and Dr. Spencer gave me the ok to shower without covering the wound. I decided that I would wear “normal” clothes today. This was actually the first time I had worn something other than my pajamas. The main reason being pajamas are so much easier because of how wide in the thigh they are around my stump, especially men’s pajamas like I’ve been wearing. To make it able to wear “normal” clothes, I took a pair of my yoga pants and cut the left leg off. I was able to stretch out the remaining left pant leg so that it comfortably fit over my stump. And there you go, I was in yoga pants.


We had decided to head to the Cape Cod mall for two reasons. It was a beautiful day and the drive would be a nice 30 min drive, south of where we lived, which we had not explored yet. Also, the mall would be a great place to walk around, so David could get a little exercise. On the way we got some Dunkins, ’cause a sunny day is great with a Dunkin Iced coffee (3 sugars and milk).


We crossed over the Sagamore Bridge. If you’re from around here you know, there are, I think, two bridges to the Cape, and they get wicked backed up during the summer. I just remember hearing about Friday night or weekend traffic around the Sagamore Bridge.


After we were done at the mall, which it turns out Cape Cod mall is quite small, we decided to try and find the beach. And we did. We parked in the parking lot, which was right at the edge of the sand, and I decided I wanted to try and stick my foot in the sand. First time on crutches. It was difficult. I had to use my muscles to hold my leg up, because it still needs to be elevated at all times. However these are the same muscles I used to hold my leg up when my knee was frozen at a 90 angle before the surgery, so it was a little easier. However, it was strangely different crutching with just my stump than having my whole leg. 

I made it the one or two steps from the car to sitting on the curb. And there it was my foot was in the sand!!

The sun was nice and bright and if that was all we would have been very warm, but, unfortunately, the wind was cold and strong, so we only lasted 15 min or so. But it was so nice to see the water and put my foot in the sand, and snuggle up close to David.

We got back in the car and decided to head back home. We had a little bit of a drive to get back and I was already feeling tired and my leg was having a lot of phantom pain and pain in the stump.

It was a great day. 

Seems like those days come a cost though. I had a pretty bad night and even the next day it seemed like I was still recovering. We have learned that I can handle one thing at a time. A trip to the mall, a drive to the beach, but not both. But I do want to do something every once in a while. I’ll go crazy staying in this house all day, I just have to learn how to pace myself. But I am learning.

Today, Tuesday, we are headed to get a blood test and a quick stop at the store, but that’s it. Yesterday was pretty amazing. Two of my good friends came over and cleaned the bathroom and did the dishes for us; which was a great help for David, and a blessing for me, since I am unable to help David with household chores right now.

My Monday angels, Jenny was on dishes and Nicole cleaned the bathroom. Didn’t get a pic yesterday. This picture was of us two years ago when I was here to visit and Nicole was almost 9 months pregnant. Promise I’ll get a new picture next time ????????.

Going to go get ready to head out for my blood test! Oh and I’m also happy to report that we have successfully, for the last 3 nights, turned off the TV at 10pm and got up at 8am. We’re a little tired, but I think it might take more than 3 tries to change a long time bad habit. Ok, bye for now! ????

Friday Facebook Live

Today we did a live broadcast on Facebook. Actually we ended up doing two. The first one was in the early afternoon. I had just freshened up (makeup and all) and I was feeling pretty good. We talked about how things were going, update since the surgery, about the surgery itself, and I answered some questions from people who had joined in on the live Facebook broadcast. Then, after a lot of warning, we showed the wound (incision), how well it’s healing, and then David dressed the wound and we finished up any more questions. 

Not the best pic, screen shot of the live broadcast.

After the broadcast David and I went for a drive and to the store. The sun was beautiful, bright and warm (inside the car). David went into the store and I waited in the car. We were gone for a couple of hours. 
Sun, Starbucks and reading in the car, while I wait for David in the store.
The car ride was a little bit difficult.  I was having a lot of phantom pain. It feels like my leg that is no longer there is asleep, like when you wake up with a dead leg and you have to get up and walk around on your foot, even though it hurts, to wake it up. Like that but I can get up and walk around to “wake” it up. I was also having pain in my stump, mostly muscle pain and aching. But at the same time being out of the house and in the sun was good. When I got home I was very tired and in a lot of pain. I was talking to my mom, telling her how I was feeling and I said to her that I should do a live feed now so people could see what it’s like sometime. She said maybe I should. So when we got home and got positioned in my spot on the couch I did another short Facebook Live video to show how things usually are in the evening. 

Here’s the two video.