Sunday, June 28, 2009

A weekend spent out of doors

We've had a really awesome weekend. It's so nice to be out and about doing things again.

Yesterday I traveled to Greensboro for a joint birthday party for my oldest nephew and niece. I was worried for a couple of reasons. First, I was pretty sure I was going to have to drive all the way there and I haven't driven on the interstate since before the accident. I did indeed drive, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The traffic was really not so bad and there weren't too many crazy drivers out there. Second, I'm not used to the heat in the lower part of the state. My mountain has hardly seen 90 degrees yet this summer and I was not at all looking forward to being outside with all the extra heat and humidity. But, once again, my worries were for naught because it really wasn't all that awful. We picnicked in the shade and while I did sweat more than usual I wasn't miserable. So that was good.

The party was at Bur-Mil park and after the picnic the kids were going swimming at the pool there. I went prepared to swim with them, but my ankle was swollen pretty bad at that point and I was already exhausted. So some of us decided to call it a day and head home. The journey home wasn't too bad either, but by the time I got back up the mountain to our apartment I crashed. I took a lovely little nap while Andy went for a bike ride and then we went out for a late dinner.

I made these cupcakes for the party.
Butterflies for Veronica and trains for Jerem.
I got the idea from Hello Cupcake! which my
mother-in-law gave me.
The butterflies are in the book and the
trains were my own creation.
The cupcake recipe came out of it too.
Banana Chocolate and they were yummy!
The baby was passed out when she got there
Alex, chowing down on some chicken.
We had KFC and you can't go wrong with
KFC at a picnic.
Jerem had a blast!
I asked Veronica to pose and this is what she gave me.
She's going to regret this one day.

Today was much more low-key. After sleeping in a bit Andy got up and went for another bike ride and I watched a movie I had rented. Then we headed out to a local lake to have a picnic. The lake is small, but it has picnic shelters, a play area for kids and there is a beach area with a doc and lifeguard so people can swim. Today has been so nice out and we were definitely not the only ones enjoying the day. We didn't swim because we had some other things to get done today, but we spent a while laying on a blanked and people watching. People watching is one of my favorite things to do. I wouldn't mind if we made this a Sunday ritual.

Our view of the lake
Feet on the picnic blanket.
Andy says his feet look bad.
I guess that's why he's curling his toes under.
Watching the clouds
The "beach" and dock are on the other side of these trees

Friday, June 26, 2009

Photogenic Friday: The Milton Edition

Dear Milton,

I was going to do an interview with you like I did with Brunswick, but you don't sit still long enough so I decided to write you a letter instead.

This month you turn one year old. Two months from now marks the anniversary of when you became a member of our family. I'm sorry we called you Mabel for three weeks. When the lady at the pet shop told us you were a girl I was a little afraid that she didn't know what she was talking about and as it turned out I was right. But you let us know as soon as you could that you were not, in fact, a girl. Thanks for telling us. It certainly helped Daddy and I understand your strange behavior to your brother.

I'll also apologize for your birthday present. I guess it wasn't much of a present. For Brunswick's birthday we got him a bag of granola and we got you fixed for yours. I have to say I was a little worried about you and how you would handle the anesthesia. You've always had an extra sensitive system. It did seem to take you a long time to come out of your medicinal daze, but you're back to your sassy self now. In about two weeks you'll start to feel a lot different. I know it wasn't fun, but you're ok now and it was a necessary evil. I promise you don't have to do it again.

Daddy and I have really enjoyed having you around. You certainly always make things interesting. Brunswick likes having you around too - at least he does now. At first you guys didn't get along so well and you cost Mommy and Daddy a good bit of money on a tiny tube of ointment for your brother's eye. But that's alright, I forgive you and so does Brunswick.

Your energy is boundless and you never cease to amaze me with it. Just when I think you're down for the count you're off again, making laps around the living room, chasing your brother around, sniffing and marking my shoes. Because we all know what a tragedy it would be if every.single.thing in our apartment didn't smell like you.

I really enjoy watching you chase the broom around. I think I could play with you all day long, but I run out of energy way before you do. Recently you've come to love the game of "chase" where I follow you into a corner and then when I turn around you follow me back across the room. I also love it that you come out from your hidey hole just to say hi to Daddy and I.

You like to pretend that you're aloof and above needing affection, but I know you better than that. Nothing satisfies you more than getting a couple of pets and kisses from us. You're such a stinker and you get pretty jealous of your brother if you think he's getting more love than you. You've nibble holes in a couple of my favorite shirts because you wanted me to pay attention you you instead. I'd appreciate it if you'd find another way to get my attention.

I have to say that you put up with my shenanigans pretty well. A lot better than Brunswick, that's for sure. You don't complain too much when I dress you up or try to make you pose for the camera. But you're so curious of the camera I have a lot of close up pictures of your nose.

Daddy and I love you so much little fuzz ball. Don't ever change. And I promise that next year your birthday will be much better and it won't involve surgery.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Things that make me smile

  • Walking without a noticable limp
  • Eating spoonfuls of leftover cake icing
  • Sitting on a bench swing at the park and watching kids play in the creek
  • Pretty cupcakes
  • Shiny, colorful toenails
  • Sunny days with mild temperatures
  • Cream cheese burgers
  • Andy's laugh
  • Milton and Brunswick snuggled up in front of the screen door
  • Visiting with some old friends
  • Waking up surrounded by luscious, green mountains
  • Looking at our wedding album
  • A fresh box of crayons
  • Cook books
What makes you smile?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Happy, happy!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Photogenic Friday: Hard to look at

What I'm showing you today doesn't really need an explanation.

These photos of me were taken the day before I came home from the hospital.

I didn't see myself until a week after the accident, and I didn't look at these pictures for a few weeks after that. I'm told that this isn't the worst of it. After I got out of the ICU and went to a regular room the swelling in my face started going down considerably. My mom tells me that for the first twenty four hours I was unrecognizable. I'm ok not knowing what that looked like because I still have enough trouble looking at these. Some of the doctors took pictures for their records and as far as I'm concerned they can keep them to themselves.

Posting these isn't so much about the people that will see them. I'm not trying to be brave. It's helping me close a chapter on this whole process. These photos remind me how far I've come even though there is so much further to travel.

I'm still not quite ready to show a more recent picture of myself. I have them, but there aren't many and they aren't very good. In the past couple of weeks the swelling in my chin has finally gone down enough that I recognize my whole face. But there are still a few things not quite right and my vanity just won't allow me to show the world my crooked smile. I'll get there eventually.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Not my first time at the rodeo

Sorry for the dismal lack of blogging lately. My only excuse is an equally dismal lack of activity in my life. I really have nothing to share other than how much this whole recovery process continues to suck and how glad I'll be when it's all over and behind me.

As I have a very low tolerance for whiny people it isn't exactly fair for me to make my blog a whine fest either. So there you have it.

How is the recovery? Going well. I've kind of come to the end of the process where I make leaps and bounds towards being healthy. The process from here is going to be slow and tedious. I'm not a slow and tedious kind of person, so I'm not looking forward to the next six to twelve months. When there are updates to give I'll give them.

I'm getting around much better and driving again so I'd like to put the whole mess behind me. As much as I can anyway. Largely I'm to the point where I can get on with living my life. There are only a few things holding me back right now and as I said it's going to be a while before everything is back to normal. There isn't anything that I can't work around so I'm making preparations to return to the land of every day ho-hum life.

I just wanted to tell you one more thing before I stop waxing poetic about this accident and how it has thrown me for a loop. Something that has been on my mind lately.

You know the saying, "misery loves company"? It's so very true. For the last two months I can't tell you how many stories I've heard about other people's car crash experiences. Whose fault it was. How scary it was. What injuries they sustained. How scary and painful it all was for them.

Perfect strangers have confided in me their most horrific experiences. I guess it's their way of saying they know how I feel and that it'll get better. I don't mind really. I actually kind of welcome their confidences. It's nice to have someone to commiserate with.

What strikes me about all of this is how many of those people didn't just tell me about one accident they had. A lot of them were involved in multiple accidents. It has brought to mind my own car crash experiences.

I had a couple of fender bender accidents in my Jeep, but two months ago was the first time my car sustained any real damage. As you know it was serious damage.

The only other accident I've been in was twenty years ago when I was seven.

It was the summer of 1989 shortly before I was supposed to start second grade.

There are some uncanny similarities between my two crashes. First, they were both head on collisions where another car was on my side of the road. Second, in both accidents I sustained the worst injuries out of everyone involved. Third, my face took the brunt of the injuries.

Of course I wasn't driving twenty years ago. My mother was. I was in the back seat and my brother was in the front with my mom. This was before all of the seat belt laws. Seat belts were more of a suggestion than a rule, so my mother and I were sans seat belts. My brother, goody-two-shoes that he was, never got into the car without strapping in. He was ahead of his time I guess.

Anyway, I was in the back eating a sugar daddy. I didn't really like sugar daddy's then and I haven't eaten one since. But I was chowing down on my sugar daddy and all I remember is hearing my mom scream and then I blacked out. The next thing I remember is my mom hovering over me piling tissues on my face. She spread a blanket on the ground and pulled me out of the car to sit with me on the blanket. Then she sent my brother to get help.

The accident happened on a dirt road that was really only driven by people like us who lived on it. This was also pre-cell phone invasion so the only thing to do was go to the nearest neighbor's house.

My mom's head had hit the windshield and cracked it, but she hadn't cut her head and since I was bleeding pretty badly she was more worried about me than herself. The best anyone could figure is that upon impact I flew up and hit the back of the driver's seat cutting my eyelid.

I remember that my grandparents came and took me to the hospital in their old Gran Torino. My grandfather couldn't be bothered with things like checking in at the front desk so he pulled right into the ambulance entrance and made them take me strait back into the emergency department. This always made me laugh because what if there had been a real emergency that day? I guess to my grandfather my uncontrollable bleeding was an emergency, so oh well.

The nurse checked my vision first and I remember her asking me how many fingers she was holding up. Then they got me ready to get stitched up. Have you ever had a needle poked into your eye? I don't recommend it. I screamed really loud and my grandmother had to put her head between her legs so she wouldn't pass out.

Once I was all numbed up though it really wasn't bad and I calmed down. The doctor talked to me through the whole thing and I told him about my pink ballet costume I had worn in my recital. He told me he was color blind and didn't know what pink looked like but he was sure it was very pretty. I didn't even know color blindness existed and that little piece of news pretty much shattered my world. As far as I was concerned, at seven years old, this poor man must have been a shambles not to be able to see pink.

As a whole my first car crash experience was pleasant compared to my most recent.

I remember felling ugly and concerned what the other students would think of me when I returned to school. I still have a scar that is unnoticeable to anyone but me. For me it's an annoyance mostly because it lies right in my eyelid crease and can make even eyeshadow application difficult.

I hope soon my new injuries are unnoticeable. I pray that in another year it will be like it never happened and I'll be able to look back on it all and laugh. Well, I don't know if I'll ever laugh about it, but at least it will be a cautionary tale I can tell my children and grandchildren. I can tell them how lucky they are that they're alive because I am lucky and blessed to be here. I can warn them to be aware when they're driving; to be courteous to other people on the road because their actions don't just affect them.

If, in another twenty years, I'm involved in another car crash it will be too soon.

My family learned a valuable lesson from that crash on a hot summer day in 1989: always wear your seat belt. My brother came out completely unscathed.

My lesson learned this time? Well, I'm not sure I'm done learning from this one yet, but patience, positive thinking, and forgiveness are at the top of my list.

I could say I've learned my lesson about air bags, and in a way I have. Andy has forbidden me to buy a car without air bags and I've agreed, on one condition. I have a love for old Jeeps, as you well know, and my dream car is a fully restored Grand Wagoner. Those don't come with air bags. So, I'm allowed to buy one eventually as long as it doesn't serve as my primary mode of transportation. I can live with that.


My dismal lack of activity is about to end. Out of the next eight Saturdays I only have two free. Prepare yourselves for a barage of cute kid pictures and family shenanigans.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Photogenic Friday: Back to the beginning

This is a picture of the track where I started the C25K program almost a year ago. This evening Andy and I went for a walk around it.
The track is surrounded by mountains. It's also covered with rubber which is a big plus for anyone's joints, but especially right now for my newly mended ankle.

These are my feet on the track. My feet in flip flops, an ankle brace and freshly painted toenail. Why flip flops? Well, there a a couple of reasons. First, I haven't worn proper shoes yet and I didn't know how my foot and ankle would handle it. Also, I wasn't trying to win any races. I just wanted to make a lap or two. Plus, I had just painted my toenails. Have you seen the havoc socks can cause to new toenail paint? I wasn't going to risk it.

I walked a half mile tonight. I'm exhausted, but it's a good exhausted. My calf has a long way to go. I'm chomping at the bit to start running again. I plan on completely re-doing the C25K program. I don't have unrealistic expectations for my ankle. I know it's going to take time to get my pace back. I asked Andy tonight if he thought I'd be able to start C25K eleven days from now. June 23rd, when I started it before. He's a naysayer, but I'm going to do what I can to try and get to that point. If I have to alternate jogging 60 seconds with walking 90 for three weeks then that's just what I have to do.

But I won't give up.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Photogenic Friday: Cast art

**I think Photogenic Friday is going to be a new tradition around here. Input?**

When I got my cast in the hospital I didn't get a choice of what color it should be. You know how you see all these people out with brightly colored cast and you think how cool it is and if you ever have need for a cast you'd want a purple one? Well, maybe you wouldn't want purple, but I would.

Instead I got white because I was in the ICU and my doctor didn't think I'd care about trivial things like what color my cast was. Also, I'm twenty seven, not seven. So I guess he thought white would be better.

As I laid there in my hospital bed looking at my shiny white cast I couldn't help but think how boring it looked and I needed to fancy it up. I thought the same thing about my crutches.

So when I got home I kept my stash of permanent markers next to me and whenever I got a new visitor I had them add to my cast decoration. No one was allowed to just sign their name; they had to draw a picture. Anything was allowed as long as it wasn't obscene.

By the time I had my cast taken off it was completely decorated.

Every side had something on it.

Even the bottom.

I got the most compliments on this one. My friend Robert was the first person to draw on my cast. He was just going to draw a bike, but then he got carried away with all that blank space to fill. Robert is a professional level cyclists. He likes bikes. A lot.

But my favorite by far was this memorial to my Jeep drawn by Andy. People constantly mistook it for a fire truck. I think because it was a big red vehicle, but we didn't have a burgundy colored permanent marker, so he had to use red.

I knew what it was though, and I loved it. That's what matters. He wouldn't let me see what he was drawing until he was done and when I did see it I cried. I've cried a lot over my car.

I hope you all have a great weekend.



I went to the doctor to have the stints taken out of my nose today. It was so nice to get them out. I can breathe so much better now. It wasn't as painful as it was to take them out in the hospital, but it wasn't a pleasant experience either. Just to give you an idea, they are two inch long rubber tubes that run the length of your nasal canal. It's crazy to think that they actually fit all the way in there.

I still have a lot of drainage and a headache from that. It feels like a really bad sinus infection at this point. I'm hoping that will stop soon.

Next week I'm visiting the orthopedists to maybe get rid of my boot (fingers crossed) and I have more adventures with the orthodontist.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


When the accident happened I was on my way home from the post office. My birthday was almost two weeks before and my brother and his family had sent me a gift card to as a gift.

My package arrived the previous Saturday and I had rushed to the post office only to discover that it had closed 30 minutes before my arrival. I was crushed. Especially once I realized that it was a holiday weekend and they would likely be closed through Monday.

So I returned that fateful Tuesday afternoon to retrieve my much anticipated present. I had bought The Tales of Beedle the Bard, JK Rowling's newest installment, and a new CD by Mindy Gledhill. I was particularly excited about my CD. I had searched for it high and low in stores and finally gave up and ordered it with my gift card. I know CD's are quickly going out of style these days, but there is something I love about opening a new disc with all the packaging and listening to it in my player. Buying an album on itunes just doesn't give me the same thrill.

The title of the album is Feather in the Wind. That particular track is thrid on the album and it's the whole reason I bought the CD. It spoke volumes to me before. I think Mindy has such a beautiful voice and when you mix that with her lyrics and muscial style I'm transported, for a short time, to a whole other place. Far away from all my problems.

Music is such a magical thing, but it isn't often that I find and artist whose music touches my soul like this does.

The very moment my car was struck I was singing along with Feather in the Wind.

Isn't it wonderful?

Now, more than ever, the words to this song have a powerful meaning for me. I think for some it would become forever associated with "the accident", but for me it's the one that lifted me up during all the turmoil.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Back on the sofa

I'm sleeping on the sofa again so it's easier to stay upright. I've really come to hate our sofa. It's a beautiful piece of furniture, but it's been my home for nearly two months now. I'll be glad when my crap isn't strewn all over it and I'm not tethered to it by doctor's orders.

I ate my words. Not about the suppositories. I'm still refusing to take those. But I did throw up last night. I wasn't allowed to eat before my surgery and then after I felt so bad I didn't want to eat. This surgery causes a lot of drainage, both out of my nose and into my stomach and it isn't just sinus drainage, there is a lot of blood. That combination just isn't good for an empty stomach. I kind of new it was coming and I felt a lot better after so I ate a little something and I haven't been nauseated since.

I'll say this for Andy though; I wasn't fast enough to get to the bathroom with my bum ankle so I had to use the small trash can next to the couch and he didn't give away a single notion that he was grossed out by anything. He sat and watched me do it and then had to clean it up. Not once did he gag, or if he did he made sure he kept it from me. Bless him for that. He really is a wonderful nurse, but I know he'll be just as glad to have me back to normal as I will.

The pain in my nose comes and goes. It's like a constant burning that sometimes gets stronger. I also have a sinus headache like I've never experienced before, and I've had some major sinus infections in my life. Hopefully that will subside in a day or so.

Otherwise everything else seems fine. I feel kind of weak all over from the anestesia and pain medication, but since recovery is supposed to be a quick turnaround I shouldn't feel this way too long.

Friday I have to go for my post-op appointment and he'll take out the stints in my nose. I'm not looking forward to that. I had them when I was in the hospital and they were quite painful coming out. I'll let you know how that goes.

My mom is keeping me company today. She doesn't sit down much when she's here which stresses the bunnies out. Milton worries over her something awful. I wish you could see the look on his face. It's like he's saying, "Nana, why don't you give it a rest, so I can rest?!"

I think I'm going to make her sit and watch a movie with me later this afternoon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I got home this afternoon.

Everything went well except for the time. I was there longer than I was supposed to be because of the procedure before mine taking a little longer than expected.

Otherwise it all came off without a hitch and my nose is still the same, it just works a little better now. Or it will when it heals.

I'll post a bit later with details when I can.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I wasn't nervous...

Not until I got the call from my doctor's office today.

The woman who organizes surgical procedures for my doctor is a complete mess. At least her office is anyway. It looks like her filing cabinets exploded onto her desk and floor. I'm not sure the woman has filed a single piece of paper work the entire time she has worked there and from the looks of all the nick-nacks in her office that is a very long time.

She called me this afternoon to tell me what time to be at the hospital tomorrow. During our one minute and thirteen second conversation (I know, I checked my phone) she had to "double check" my file twice because she had incorrect information.

First she wanted to confirm my pain meds because apparently I'm allergic to codeine. I'm not. I noted that on my paperwork last week, but I told her again, just as a reminder you know. She checked my file, "Oh, no, you're not allergic to codeine." Yes, I know.

Second she made sure she was calling in to the correct pharmacy. She'd already called in two of my medications - to the wrong pharmacy. The thing is, I sat in her office and watched her write down the name of my pharmacy! In her own writing! While she spoke the name aloud!!

We got everything sorted out and she told me what pain medication she was calling in: lortab. I had taken it after my accident as prescribed by the doctor she works for, so that was no problem I told her.

I'll be there tomorrow. Thank you. Goodbye.

This afternoon I had a few things to do around town and swung by the pharmacy to pick up my medications for tomorrow. They were there, she had corrected that mistake at least.

I had three.

One was an antibiotic, something I expected, just a precautionary measure.

The next was a SUPPOSITORY for nausea and vomiting. A suppository? To go along with the two ORAL medications I will be taking? What the eff? I'm fairly certain my doctor didn't prescribe a suppository, not to me anyway.

I can promise you this; I will not be taking a suppository. I'd rather throw up than take a suppository. Also, considering that I haven't blown chunck since 2002, including during all the crazy from my accident, I don't plan on getting sick. Now watch me eat my words, at least on the throwing up part, not the suppository, I'm not backing down on that one.

So, guess what my pain medication was...

Not lortab.


Yes, that's right, vicodin. What the eff, again. I've never taken vicodin. Granted I've also never had any allergic and/or bad reaction to medication, but what happened to the lortab?

I'm a little concerned that there is a person scheduled for surgery tomorrow with a weak constitution and an allergy to codeine that is in big trouble. I wish them well.

I'm also a little concerned that I'm going to get there tomorrow and she is going to have screwed stuff up so bad that I'll wake up with a completely new nose.

Now, plastic surgery is something I've never seriously considered. If I had rhinoplasty would be low on my list. I like my nose the shape it is. I just need to be able to breath. That's all.

My game plan is to not allow them to put me to sleep until everyone knows what's being done to my face. I don't want any surprises. I've had enough of those for a while.

Also, I'm taking my meds with me to show to my doctor and confirm that they are all for me. Like I said, no surprises.

Please say a little prayer, meditate, send some ju-ju, stand on your head and think hard in my direction. Whatever it is you do. I'd appreciate it.