Physical and Occupational Therapy/ Surgery Update
The last few weeks have been packed with appointments, preparing for surgery and trying to get our dog Wesley better from an ear infection so I haven’t had a chance to blog.
Physical and occupational therapy is at a minimal right now. I did manage to get some short walks in before surgery, and for OT, I’m trying to use my wrists as I would have before the accident as much as I can on a daily basis. I have been writing almost daily, other than the day of surgery and for a few days after. More on that later. Before surgery, I was doing most of the basic chores around the house again without much support with some accommodations for my left wrist. I was also doing physical therapy stretches throughout the day.
I had surgery this past week to fix some of the internal damage caused in the accident. Going in for another surgery was scary. It was my 7th this year, and I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I’m glad it’s behind me now.
My liver and colon were both herniated when my abdominal wall was severely damaged. This all needed to be fixed. The surgery went well overall and they were able to do it laparoscopically. However, once they began the procedure, they discovered one of the hernias was much larger than expected, and my gall bladder was effected as well. The surgery took longer than planned, and I had a really hard time coming out of anesthesia once surgery was over with. I spent a night in the hospital. I came home on Wednesday.
The next few days after that were pretty rough. I have a high pain tolerance and don’t think about taking pain meds until I’m really hurting a lot. I also react poorly to a lot of meds, and they leaving me feeling worse with them than without unless my pain gets too high. Adding to that, I had really tight muscles in my back from all the trauma, and in addition to that, they filled my body with gas for the surgery and after surgery, you have to move to get that out. It’s been a balance between remembering to take pain meds regularly even if I don’t feel like I need them right then, trying to relax the muscles in my back, and trying to make sure I’m up and moving around as much as possible.
Today (Sunday) we’ve gotten the muscles to relax some with heat and muscle relaxers. As long as I keep the meds in my system for the majority of the day, I limit my walking, and frequently change how I’m sitting, the pain isn’t too bad. The pain from the surgery itself is minimal compared to the back pain. It’s uncomfortable to walk, but unbearable, and hurts when I cough, hiccup, or sneeze. I’ve been able to do a little more each day, but this surgery has definitely shown just how much I was relying on my right side to overcompensate for the left side.
I wasn’t able to get many photos during my hospital stay, but I did have a nice view and got a snapshot of the sunset the night I was there. I’ve also shared a couple of photos of our dogs. Chewbaca has been very worried about me, but Wesley doesn’t like change and has been annoyed that I’m not keeping up his regular schedule right now. If they could talk, Chewy be the one cheering me on, and Wesley would be the one telling me I needed to get up and get moving so he can get what he wants (which is usually food.) They are both sweet dogs, just different and one is way more empathetic than the other.
Snow Belt Living
Living in the snow belt, we often get snow when others don’t. In the first part of November, we got quite a bit of snow (almost a foot!). I had several appointments before surgery, and wore my winter boots due to the snow.
I had to drive through some of the worst of the storm, passed the exact spot where the accident happened. I was terrified, and yet I knew I had to do it. I quoted Philippines 4:13 a lot, as well as a C.S. Lewis quote I’ll share in the quote section.
Throughout my appointments, people would comment on my snow boots; how they were overkill and it was too early for them. Driving out of the snowbelt, I would find green/brown grass and if any snow at all, only a dusting. The snowbelt is basically it’s own microclimate and life here can be drastically different when it comes to weather than even 15 minutes away.
I was able to get some cool photos, both when we had almost a foot, and when it had melted some. We are getting more snow this weekend. Winter starts early here and leaves later than many other places. I know many people don’t like winter, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Songs On Repeat:
Help is On The Way (Maybe Midnight) TobyMac
Giants In the Land- Grover Levy
Good God All Mighty- Crowder
Scripture and Quotes:
This Road We Take:
The past (almost) eleven months have been quite a journey for both Ben and I. Along this path, I’ve heard over and over again what a miracle I am and that most people don’t survive this. I’ve had medical staff tell me that God guided the doctor’s hands as they fought to save my life, and that He must have great plans for my life. People tell me I am strong, that I am a warrior. But the truth is my own strength was gone a long time ago.
This road has not been an easy one. It isn’t over with yet, and likely won’t be for awhile. Yet Ben and I have never walked this journey alone. God has always been with us. We’ve had friends and family with us every step of the way, and strangers who became friends. Even as long and as hard of a journey this has been, we’ve seen God move and impact many along this journey.
Sometimes we’ll face fear on our journey. I know I’ve had a lot of that lately. But facing your fear head on helps move the journey forward. And what would an adventure be without a little fear and danger along the way? All good stories have elements of fear and danger. In the end, it’s how we face it that matters.
Our journey may not be finished yet, but even when this part of life’s journey is over with, our lives will never be the same. How could it be, after so much has happened and so much has changed? Yet our faith has grown stronger through all of this.
I don’t know where this journey will take us next. But what I do know is I serve a God I can trust. A Good Father, a personable Savior, who looks after His children. And I know that His plan is greater than any I could ever possibly attempt. Come what may, I know I’ve never been alone on this road, and I never will be. None of us are. He waits for those who do not know Him, like a shepherd looking for his lost sheep, and walks with us, no matter how long and perilous the road may be. One day, He will call me home, but for now, we’ll keeping walking down this road called life.
Until next time,