Sunday, September 28, 2014
I'm so happy this morning after opening my Facebook feed and seeing the news from last night's American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. The winner is Susie, a remarkable dog with an amazing story. Susie was the winner in the therapy dog category and one of eight finalists to compete for the main title of 2014 American Hero Dog.
Both Susie and her mommy, Donna, are my personal heroes. They live in Guilford County in North Carolina (bordering the county I live in). For those not familiar with their story, in 2009 Donna suffered a vicious attack by a pit bull. For those of you who have a pit bull, I am not being critical of the breed, but rather the way so many are raised. My son and daughter-in-law have one and Heinlein, who was raised in a loving home, is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever been around. He loves all people and other animals, even cats! The dog that attacked Donna was left chained to a tree, hungry and thirsty and abandoned by his owners.
Shortly after surviving her attack, Donna and a friend found a tiny puppy in a park in Greensboro that had been badly beaten, set on fire and left for dead. Even though a vet at the Guilford County Animal Shelter recommended putting the puppy down (because of the estimated bills of $17,000.00 to save her), Donna felt that the puppy deserved a chance to live and her treatments began.
Susie is a pit bull mix and Donna and her husband ended up adopting the puppy. Donna saved this sweet dog and helped her learn to trust people again and Susie helped Donna learn to trust dogs again.
At that time an animal cruelty conviction in North Carolina was only punishable by probation, but Donna and Susie worked hard to change that. Their hard work and effort resulted in the passing of "Susie's Law" which made animal cruelty a Class H felony here in North Carolina and punishable by a prison term.
A movie called "Susie's Hope" was made about their story. For more information on them and the work they continue to do, you can visit the following website.
Congratulations to both Susie and Donna. All of the finalists are amazing dogs, and I'm so glad I wasn't responsible for choosing one. Susie and Donna, North Carolina is proud of you!
Monday, September 22, 2014
So here I am, off work, it's my birthday, but I won't be spending it hiking or biking (like I usually do). Still, it's a good day. The weather is cool, my cast came off my leg last week and I am off work today. I plan to get outside on my porch with a glass of wine while enjoying the cooler temps and sunshine.
I was so excited about getting my cast off last week. Not sure what I was expecting to happen that day, but whatever it was it didn't go as planned. I suppose I have been overly eager to return to my normal life, but it's going to take some time. It was actually great having that hard cast removed, but after eight weeks of not using my leg at all, the muscles are weak, my leg is sore and my foot and ankle still swells a lot when I'm up and about. The cast was replaced with a HUGE walking boot, but I was told that I still need to use crutches and only put about 50% of my weight on it for a few weeks. It is almost impossible to carry anything when you're holding two crutches (at least for me) so I occasionally find myself using my wheelchair at home when I need to carry something. Still, I keep reminding myself that I'm making progress. The best part is that I can take the boot off to shower and to sleep.
I have physical therapy tomorrow morning so I'm hoping that will help increase the range of motion in my ankle and that soon I'll be able to get rid of the crutches.
My huge walking boot. It's twice as big as the cast, but it is more comfortable.
I ordered myself a stability ball for my birthday and received it last week, but I guess it'll be a few more weeks before I can actually use it. For the time being, it's in the corner of my room acting as an irritant to the dogs. Sahara stands a few feet away and barks at it. Heinlein, the "vicious" pit is terrified of it. If anyone moves it, he runs through the house and gets in his crate to hide. He's such a huge baby!!
My favorite birthday gift that I asked for and received is a silver Phoenix pendant. Although it is seldom seen today, the phoenix is a very ancient Christian symbol, and was one of the first to be used regularly as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ. Although it is used by many cultures to symbolize different things, it is also often used to symbolize a rebuilding of one's life (rising from the ashes), much like I am doing now. With all the changes that have occurred in my life in the last few years, I feel like everything fell apart around me and now I am working to rebuild a new life, something I don't think I would have the strength to do without my faith. So for me, this symbolizes my Christian faith and my determination to rebuild my life.
I hope wherever you are that you are having wonderful fall weather and that you can get outdoors and enjoy it. Keep working toward your goals, but remember to love yourself as you are and enjoy life today!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Nothing makes you appreciate the little things in life more than suddenly being without them. I'm determined that this is NOT going to be a whiny blog. Instead, my mood is beginning to improve a little now that I'm three weeks post-op. I'm still stuck at home with my wheelchair, but I go back to my doctor tomorrow and I'm hoping he'll release me to go back to work. At least I'd be able to get out of this house on a regular basis and that would be a good thing.
I've always heard that everything happens for a reason. I've spent the last month struggling to understand what could possibly be the reason for this injury? Maybe one day I'll figure it out for sure, or maybe I already have. Maybe I'm learning to appreciate the positive things in my life instead of dwelling on the negative.
We go through our every day lives and most of us never stop to think about how blessed we truly are. When I had my elective surgery in February I was only on crutches three weeks before I was allowed to walk on my heel. My broken leg will now keep me off of it completely for six to eight weeks. I find myself in a wheelchair rolling around my house, trying to figure out how to reach things in my kitchen (I've gotten pretty good at locking my chair and standing on one leg), rolling into my laundry room and doing laundry, bathing in an entirely different way, and knowing I can't jump in my car and go anywhere I want. Some days I get extremely frustrated, but one thing is for sure, I am learning to appreciate the little things in life more than I ever have.
When it comes to my ability to walk around with ease, I don't think I'll ever again take that for granted. I've always been thankful for the things I did have in my life, but now I wake up every morning and I thank God for those blessings. I thank Him for my family and friends who are here for me. My boys would do anything I asked to help me out, but the truth is I need to be useful. I actually found myself vacuuming yesterday from my wheelchair. It was interesting and it took a lot longer than usual, but I did it. It makes me feel better when I can accomplish something, anything, each day.
One thing I do miss right now that I can't yet do anything about is my grand-dog. My son and his wife have a pit bull. He is a big baby who truly loves everyone, but he is also 65 pounds of muscle. When he sees me (or anyone) he gets so excited, so they're afraid that in his excitement he might jump on me and my leg and possibly hurt it more. I have only seen him once since my accident, and that was when they held him on the other side of a baby gate so I could wheel up to it and pet him. It was great because I got lots of kisses from him. Sahara is also missing him terribly because she adores him and loves playing with him. I really look forward to the day when I can take the two of them back outside and play with them.
Heinlein and Sahara on my couch. No, neither of them are supposed to be on the furniture, but they had played so hard that day and were both exhausted. I couldn't bring myself to wake them up and make them get down.
Bottom line is, try not to take the little things for granted. Every day, when you open your eyes in the morning, try to appreciate what you do have and be thankful for another day. I now feel so much more blessed in my life.
Friday, August 08, 2014
First, I want to thank everyone for all the nice notes, comments and goodies you've sent my way. It's been ten days since my surgery, and I had my first post-op appointment this morning. I was really pretty pumped up hoping they would let me return to work with my wheelchair. After all, you can only watch so many hours of TV before you begin to go numb. Unfortunately, my return to work has been postponed until at least my next follow-up on August 20th. Oh no, another 12 days of Netflix!!!!!!
I spent the first few days after surgery mostly sleeping. After that I had to stop taking the pain meds because that's what was making me sleep. Once awake, there has been nothing to do except watch TV. Can you overdose on television? If so, I think I already have. By the way, if anyone has a ROKU device and wants to know what shows are on it, just let me know. I've become quite the expert!
I'm not usually a depressed type of person, but I have to admit that the last ten days have been pretty bad. I'm usually a pretty independent person, so being stuck at home, unable to drive, and completely dependent on everyone else is really driving me nuts. My boys are really doing all they can to help, but it's just me. I hate not being able to do for myself. Cliff came home from work yesterday and caught me in the kitchen (got there in my wheelchair) standing on one leg trying to unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher. He promptly took over the job which, quite frankly, made me a little angry, but I know he meant well. I'm trying really hard to keep a positive attitude, but the longer I'm stuck at home, the harder it is.
Anyway, enough whining. Had surgery on the 29th and according to my doctor (Cliff spoke to him after surgery) all went well. He did, however, find a small fourth fracture which required a longer incision than he originally planned. I am now the proud owner of a lot of very expensive hardware. One of my good friends calls it my bionic leg and foot! For your viewing pleasure, here is a picture from one of the x-rays they took this morning to make sure everything has stayed in place. As you can see in the pic, I have a long plate and 12 screws in my leg. Yep, I'll never make it through airport security again without a strip search!
Poor little Sahara doesn't understand why I won't get up and play with her, but she is a patient little girl and lays beside me most of the time. I owe her lots of walks when I am back on both feet.
For now, all I can do is try to be patient and wait. Hopefully I'll be able to return to work after my next appointment.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Saturday, July 26, 2014
I remember now how much I started hating my bedroom, the television, sleeping . . . when I had my surgery back in February. Now I feel like I'm in an episode of the Twilight Zone as I sit here, once again, staring at a black TV screen with just the word ROKU moving randomly around the screen. Every now and then I go back and find something else to watch on Netflix or Hulu or one of the other channels on there. Heck, I've even watched a few Twilight Zone episodes! I have DIRECTV, but there sure isn't anything on there I want to watch. I really don't even like TV that much, but my entertainment options are pretty limited right now. Guess I need to have someone dig out some books that I haven't had the time to read.
I went to see my orthopedic surgeon yesterday. Of course it had to be the same surgeon that operated on me in February. He walked into the examining room, looked at me and said, "You know, you really didn't have to go break a bunch of bones to come back and see me." Yea, at least he made me laugh. That was just before he commented on what a heck of job I did at breaking these bones. He says I need a plate and screws to stabilize one of them. I already knew that was coming from talking to the ER personnel at the hospital, but I still didn't want to hear it. Surgery is now scheduled for Thursday.
After that, I suppose I will become much better at using this ROKU that my son put on my TV months ago. Besides some movies and old TV shows I've watched, I've also found one good series that I've started watching. It's not a replacement for kayaking, hiking or biking, but those are not options right now. I'll settle for what I have.
Thankfully I have a great bunch of co-workers who are being very understanding. I hate to leave them short-staffed, so hopefully he'll let me go back to work in just a few weeks with a wheelchair. I'd actually rather be there than stuck in my house unable to drive or go anywhere.
Enough whining for now. I hope you're all having a great weekend. If you get outside, enjoy some sunshine for me.
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