Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Incredible inventions

If you've been reading here, you know I'm currently laid up after ankle surgery.  I thought it might be fun to share a few items that have been helping me cope with the limited mobility I'm experiencing.

The Body Pillow
I've never owned one, never saw a need to but am so thankful I do now!
This has made a world of difference in how I sit and lay as it levels out my whole leg while elevating my foot without having to use extra pillows and doesn't leave my knee dangling in mid-air.  So comfortable!

The Lap Desk
What a great dual purpose tool!  It allows me to use a computer on my lap without my legs getting overheated and when covered with a towel it makes a fine lunch tray.  Computer and food - does anyone really need anything else?? 

The Knee Walker
I was able to borrow this from a friend who had foot surgery a year ago and let me tell you this thing has liberated my life!  It is so much less tiring than crutches or a walker and I can go much faster.  Those that know me well know that faster is extremely important to me. LOL  I still use a walker to get in and out of the shower and for a few other things but I haven't picked up the crutches since I've been home.  This thing scoots around my house amazingly well.  I also hung a small bag on the front of it so I can transport things easily from room to room.  What an incredible invention!

The Cast Cover
Oh my goodness.  Let me tell you if I had to take only sponge baths for these 6 weeks, I would be pretty cranky by now and I'm only half way through the time.  I found these cast covers on Amazon.  It pulls on easily over the cast and has a vinyl grommet at the top that once in place seals any water out which in turn allows me to take a shower which in turn makes me feel like a human being!  Bliss, I tell ya', pure bliss!  We have an oversized walk-in shower in which we've placed a plastic lawn chair that I can sit and use a handheld shower head.  This has worked out so amazingly well.  What a huge blessing it's been to be able to feel truly clean.

And last but certainly not least, I have to show one more thing my DH came up with.  

The Honda Civic Adaptation

I have to keep my foot elevated almost all of the time.  This makes it incredibly hard to ride in a vehicle.  Not to mention that my doctor is 1 hour and 45 minutes away which is waaaayyy too long to leave my foot down.  I think it might swell right out of my cast should I try that.  
I didn't quite fit sitting sideways in the back seat...a 35" inseam and a Honda Civic doesn't measure out correctly.  
Ingenius DH got the bright idea to take out the front passenger seat allowing me to sit in the back seat and prop my leg up on stools and a cushion in front of me.  

What a God send this has been!  It made the long trip back to the doctor so much more bearable and we are able to go out for a ride in comfort as well.  Yeah, I think I'll keep him.

If I could find the creators of these wonderful inventions, I think I'd give them a huge kiss!  Well, at least the one who lives with me.  :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day happenings

Years back when our children were young, Memorial Day weekend was always the start of camping season for us.  It was typically our family and two other families.  We would pack up our tents, sleeping bags, coolers full of food, bicycles, the kids friends and head out.  

Many Memorial Day weekends here in the Midwest seem to be rainy; part of if not all of it.  We camped many of those rainy weekends or even worse those cold and rainy weekends.  One year in particular I remember it getting down to 34 degrees at night.  Brrrr.  It never failed, the years we couldn't go for some reason, it would be a beautiful weekend.  In fact we used to joke that the reason it was beautiful was because we weren't camping.

This year was no exception.  It was a beautiful weekend (because we weren't camping). It was a little rainy on Monday but not enough to be concerned about.

We don't camp much anymore and certainly weren't this year with the ol' bum foot.  To be honest, I was a little sad going into the weekend thinking about being cooped up in the house and missing and remembering all those old camping trips.

However, I had some visitors and was able to get out a few times.  On Friday afternoon, daughter-in-law Heidi and little Miss E stopped by for a few minutes, then my friend, Lisa came and kidnapped me to take me for ice cream.  Seriously, it was a kidnapping, I swear.  Of course, I went willingly kicking and screaming. ;)

I was able to get outside a bit on my knee walker and make a round or two.  We made it to church Sunday morning and DH made a wonderful Sunday dinner of smoked chicken, green beans, sweet potatoes and salad with fresh blueberries.

We have been abundantly blessed with family and friends bringing meals for us so DH doesn't have to since I can't be up cooking.  This was really only the second time since surgery that DH needed to prepare a meal and he did an amazing job!  Ya, I think I'll keep him. :)

Sunday night we were invited to my cousin's home for a bonfire.  Nothing fancy just come and sit around the fire type of thing.  We rigged up my lawnchair and used my scooter to prop my foot up so I was able to enjoy life outside of these four walls.  Such a nice relaxing evening. I totally spaced taking any pictures of the evening.

Yesterday, our son and daughter-in-law, Joe & Kristen came for breakfast.  They live 2 hours from us so we don't seem very often and is nice when we can.  They are expecting their first child late August so it was doubly nice to see K's baby belly which we hadn't seen yet.

And last night to finish off the weekend, our neighbors called and invited us to come sit on the deck by their pond and enjoy a glass of wine.  Such a peaceful spot, listening to the frogs croak and the owls hoot. I was very content to sit, relax and listen to nature (note the purple cast at the bottom of the picture).

All in all, the weekend turned out much better than I had expected.  Isn't that usually how it goes?Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Quilt for Miss E

When grandchild #3, Miss E, was born, for a variety of reasons, this Grandma didn't make a quilt for her.  Never mind that I was knitting her a blanket instead which shall we say is [ahem] still in the knitting bag unfinished. :(

With two more grandchildren expected late summer this year, it just didn't seem right that they got a quilt when Miss E hadn't received one yet.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for her and looked high and low for a pattern but was never totally satisfied with anything I saw.  Well, lo and behold, earlier this year while I was sitting in a staff meeting at work, an idea took over my brain and I started sketching.  One can sketch out a quilt design and continue to pay attention in a staff meeting can't they?  Quite honestly, at that point it didn't matter and I didn't care.  Inspiration had finally struck!  By the time the meeting was over, I had a design complete with measurements!

I frantically worked to get it completed by her 3rd  birthday in mid-April but couldn't quite make that deadline.  I was however able to get it pieced and off to my long arm quilter friend before my surgery a couple of weeks ago.  My friend was even kind enough to sew the binding on so when she returned it to me while I'm off my foot, I could hand stitch it down.  

I sent it home with her Daddy today.  What do you think?  I think she likes it!

The only thing not on it as I haven't been able to sit at my machine is a label.  Maybe she can bring it along to Grandma's house one day and I can add it. :)  

Just out of curiosity...Do you label your quilts?  Do you just sign them? or do you create a special label for the backs?

Also this is the first quilt I've used minkee for the backing and I love how it turned out.  I mostly use flannel when I back a quilt.  I like something soft on the back.  Do you have a tried and true fabric type you typically use?

All in all, I'm so glad she likes it. :)  Love this kiddo!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Proverbs 31 - You're Stronger Than You Think

I'm not trying to beat the whole "pride thing" to pieces but God just keeps bringing it to the forefront.  I receive Proverbs 31 daily devotions in my email and today's spoke to me yet again...

Proverbs 31 - You're Stronger Than You Think by Glynnis Whitwer

Sunday, May 18, 2014

What I'm learning...

As my surgery date was approaching, my boss, the Pastor of our church asked me in his very pastoral way, "What do you think God is teaching you through all of this?"  I had been praying that God wouldn't waste this trial and that good things would come out of it but quite frankly, at that particular moment, I'm extremely glad the filter over my mouth was working (it doesn't always) because it stopped me from spitting out what was currently racing through my mind which would not have been edifying to anyone. 

Later, as I reflected on my Pastor's question, I thought about the many times in which I've learned lessons through trial and hardships and how those lessons have tended to stick better than what I've learned in other ways.  

For instance, I'm an extremely self-reliant independent person.  I tend to do things myself rather than ask for help.  I tell myself it's easier that way, I know how to do it, yada, yada....but ultimately it comes down to being too proud to ask for help. I've not considered myself a prideful person as in haughty, self-important or superior but pride is also what being overly independent boils down to.   I've had to adjust that thinking in a hurry; partially out of necessity and somewhat out of desperation and frustration.  

DH has taken over all household chores.  Not sure where you've lived but that's just not how I was brought up.  Not that it's wrong to share those chores but for him to be doing it all just hasn't felt right.  He's cooked some but fortunately we have been overwhelmingly blessed by an outpouring of meals from family and friends which means yet another swallow of my pride-full self.  In the past, I've been the one taking meals to others and now I am the one in need.   DH also has to help me get in and out of the shower.  That's a humbling experience if there ever was one. :(    

Yesterday a couple of "quilty" friends came and cut out fabric for two quilts for me so in a couple of weeks when I can get up for a few minutes at a time, I can sit at my sewing machine and sew and not have to stand for a couple of hours to cut first.  That was an extremely tough one to accept since it's not a necessity.  But these two ladies knew how much it would mean to me to have that done.   

And then they vacuumed for me afterwards too yet! Yikes, someone else was cleaning my house!  That's another tough one.

When all is said and done and I am back on my feet, my prayer is that none of this hurt was wasted and that I'll continually remember what I've learned and how I've grown realizing the love of my Savior and who He has placed in our paths as our family and friends and truly "get it" and understand the blessings they are to our lives as well as paving the way to a less self-reliant Lori in the future. 

Tractor or make-up mirror? You decide....

I was whining stating the other day how nice it would be to be able to put on make-up and do my hair which has been mostly out of the question since I can't stand at the mirror long enough to complete the task on one foot. The things you take for granted. :(   

After our conversation, my genius husband disappeared into the garage and came back with  a a side tractor mirror that wasn't needed anymore.  It lays across my lap desk perfectly for a makeup mirror! 

I even have an outlet strip nearby that I can plug my blow dryer into!  Bliss!  As much as I may have complained in the past about "having" to do my hair and makeup, I sure did miss it when I couldn't do it. :(  It's amazing the sense of normalcy it has lended and how much more human it has made me feel. 

Yea, I think I'll keep him. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Laid Up

 I had good intentions with the A-Z challenge but shortly after the last post, I learned I would be having ankle surgery on May 8 and would in turn be laid up for quite some time so my world went into overdrive of so many things I wanted to have done before those days hit.  I was able to check most of the items off of my list at home and at work so I've considered those days successful but not beneficial for blogging.

So, last Thursday, May 8, I went to University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin for  ankle reconstruction surgery brought on by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.  I've had trouble with that foot for a couple of years and it came to a head last fall.  I saw our local podiatrist at that time and we started wrapping it with an ace wrap.  After our trip to New Orleans in January it became apparent that the ace wrap wasn't cutting it.  After checking around for a good orthopedic doc, I ended up with an appointment at UW in February.  She immobilized me in a walking boot for almost 8 weeks and tried physical therapy and ultrasound.  It became apparent fairly quickly that neither was helping to correct the problem and surgery was scheduled.

Now, I am in a 'no weight bearing' cast for 6 - 8 weeks, then a 'weight bearing' cast for another 6 - 8 weeks, and a boot or brace after that for a total of a 4-6 month process...."how I spent my summer" huh?  I think things will get much easier once I can put weight on it but for now I am spending much time like this...
Since this photo was taken the grands have been here decorating.

DH has raised our furniture to make it easier for me to get in and out.

It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing but it sure is functional. :)

And he has overall served me very well.  Love that guy!

More updates to follow I'm sure.....