Category: happenings


so, if anything I am consistent about this blog…it’s been 7 months since my last entry. I suppose that it really isn’t all that important how often I write, pretty sure I can count on one hand how many hits my posts get. but, honestly, considering how bad my memory is these days, it helps me to keep track of this whole crazy journey these last two and a half years has taken us. so it’s mostly for me. 🙂

as for Larry – he’s hanging in there as much as can be expected. he actually has good days where he can get around with a lower level of pain and ease but probably more days where he struggles just to get up out of a chair.

we had anticipated having his last, or what we hope to be his last surgery sometime late summer but things didn’t go as planned. he has recovered of course from his surgery from the beginning of the year but in a nutshell, he just has so much scar tissue and his leg has been cut or otherwise damaged so much that when we went in to see the surgeon about his next step…they told him that his leg just wasn’t ready. it was a huge disappointment but we totally understood. so, he went back to physical therapy and the goal was to work on the skin on his leg to make it more pliable so that it could be cut again. between bottles of vitamin E oil, a really good therapist and a lot of effort…things improved enough that the doctor scheduled him for surgery. and of course, more anticipation because the soonest date that they could give him is late December!

this next surgery is to replace the knee but as we were told by the doctor – “this isn’t your grandma’s knee surgery!” there will be a plastic surgeon involved as well since they will have to be extra careful with how they cut the leg and there is a possibility that they will need to do another skin graph just to close things up! he will have a longer surgery, a longer hospital stay and a longer recovery but if all goes well it should help his mobility a lot and ease up on the knee pain. of course, there are risks for infection and so we’ve been given fair warning that it will either go really well or not so much! as you can imagine, Larry is a cross between excited and nervous and truly isn’t looking forward to any of it. I personally just want it over with but I completely understand why he is a little ambivalent about it all. it seems that lately, he has more pain and trouble with his foot and ankle that I am a little worried about what’s going on there and hoping that it will get better on it’s own.

other than that, we have had to file our second appeal for his disability…go figure and literally if something could go wrong or break down – it has. I kinda have to laugh because it’s really normal for us these days. plus, I’ve been so busy that I feel out of touch with everyone and too exhausted some days to do anything more than what I have to do to get through the day. I just tell myself that this too shall pass…

I guess that’s all really – I could ramble about other trivial things but I am actually tired of hearing myself “talk” so I’ll just end this here. 😉

500 miles…

As usual, I am way behind in blogging so this may drag on for a while.

the last time that I posted was in december prior to his most recent surgery the first week of february. that was the longest stay in the hospital since the accident and made for a pretty interesting recovery. we even got to watch the superbowl from his hospital room – pizza and all…well, no beer, but the pizza was pretty good. 😉

the ortho surgeon worked along with a plastic surgeon to transfer a calf muscle from the back of his leg and move it to the front, right below the knee. the reason, in a nutshell – with so much damage and scar tissue on his leg, specifically in the area around the knee, they were concerned that there would not be sufficient blood flow for the upcoming knee surgery. so, the transferred calf muscle will provide it for him. it was by far the strangest thing to see – even more so I think than when he had the external hardware holding his leg together!! =O needless to say, recovery was rough, very messy and seemed to drag on f o r e v er.

we were under the impression, mostly wishful thinking…that he would be able to have his knee surgery late march/early april, but at the second follow up appointment with the plastic surgeon they really wanted to push it out a lot further. basically, to give the muscle more time to transition to its new location and because they wanted to be cautious as the next surgery will cut right into that area. so, we are a bit disappointed in the delay but completely understood their reasoning and so we wait…

he has his next follow up appointment at the end of may, so hoping to know more after that.

other than that, just trying to keep my head above water…for the first time ever, I had to file an extension on our taxes and still trying to get those done. social security denied his disability because they are stupid…he’s obviously disabled!! and so filing an appeal on that and well, I could go on and on but it’s all pretty boring and only bothersome for me.

super busy summer with lots of graduates in the family…three this year!! both moms coming to town, trying hard to get some things done on the house and desperate to do something to beautify my yard, which I affectionately call “ground zero”!! apparently, before the accident, larry used to do a lot in the yard. the boys are great, but they just do the necessary…cut the grass!! logan doesn’t mind so much, he basically drives the deere around the yard – sometimes in circles, but whatever!! 😉

anyway, I sat down the other night and thought about how very difficult this whole thing has been for us, obviously for larry the most, but really, it has changed our everyday lives. some days I just want to scream and cry – and sometimes I do cry – major ugly cry, usually somewhere random, like in the middle of a store or at my desk. logan gets pretty frustrated with his dad – he seems to call for help from him the most, and he does it, but it has worn him down too. tanner helps and never complains, even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t. we just celebrated our 24th anniversary, and by celebrate – I bought a cake (Ukrop’s Bakery of course) and that was really it. we are not the mushy type and thank goodness for that because I would hate it, but I do think that next year we should really CELEBRATE. it will be 25 years, not always easy years, but through the good, the bad and the ugly, there has been an awful lot of good – which far surpasses the challenges and heartache that we’ve been though. I told him the other day, as he was apologizing for needing me so much that I’d walk 500 miles for him…it’s a song that we love from back in the late 80’s…and he laughed and that’s all I really needed.

 

sleeping with my eyes open…

seriously, if I could figure out how to do that I would totally would do it! it would be almost redundant for me to say how hard this past year and a half has been. honestly, it seems more like three!

I kind of hate the phrase “new normal” it’s so overused, but it absolutely is, in so many ways. since I last wrote, Larry’s leg has really not gotten any better. he actually stopped going to physical therapy because it hurt too much to go and while getting out of the house may have been nice for his cabin fever, it more often than not made him hurt even more for the next couple of days, so he decided not to go anymore.

he has also lost his job because it was just hurting him physically to continue to try to go every day…just too much time on his feet and more walking than he could handle. so, he is officially on disability. talk about a kick in the guts! while it is good for him not to be struggling to work, he is home every single day while I am at work and the guys are at school and he hates it. not only that, trying to figure out how to pay more bills than we’ve ever had, with more to come…with half of his income. it’s scary and though we try not to let it make us anxious, because somehow things eventually always work out…it currently sucks! blunt but it’s the truth.

our routine has changed somewhat, and I do and take care of a lot of things that I never thought I’d be doing but we are making it work. the guys are awesome, though still need to be reminded to do their laundry! =O but they help out a lot and I don’t know what I’d do without them.

anyway, he heads to charlottesville next week for appointments with a plastic surgeon, his ortho doctor and another ortho who specializes in knee replacement. their hope is to replace the knee but before they can, they have to go into his leg and make sure that there is enough blood flow for that kind of surgery. he had to wean off of some of his medicine that he takes for his rheumatoid, so he’s dealing with the aching and swelling that comes with that and just anxious to get it done.

because of the type of injury that he had, infection is always a concern, so they’ve been watching him for symptoms of that and have done quite a bit of lab work to make sure that all will go well.

of course, there is a risk…but one he is willing to take and it’s his decision, not mine, or anyone else’s. in the event that the surgery is not successful, then he has already been told the next step would be amputation. it is what it is…and until we have to cross that bridge…we are going to focus on the next surgery and hope and pray for the best.

in the meantime, trying to be cheerful, on a major decluttering mission and trying to work on a busted budget and smiling…because I’d rather laugh than cry!!

OoXx

I sang that song as I wrote this title…just love it…a classic, it shall never get old!

anywho, guess what?! guess who is the world’s worst blogger?

that would be me…over here, trying to open up a second window to double check when it actually was that I blogged last so that I can make some sort of reference to it!! =O

yep, it’s been awhile – again – but it’s my blog so seriously, it doesn’t matter – pretty sure I am the only one who reads it and that’s mostly to check for spelling errors and make sure that my grammar is up to my liking as I know that my constant run-on sentences and overuse of the ellipsis or … drives the true grammar nazi completely nuts. I mean even my phone now understands me when I say “dot dot dot” when I text talk…and that is super cool.

anyway, not sure if things have really changed too much – seems like Larry has made some progress in some ways and not at all in others, but honestly, I am so close to the situation that it could be like wondering when your kid got 1 foot taller!! I mean, they used to look up at me…and now I am the shortest…again. 😉

last post was not too long after the last surgery to help straighten out the leg. it’s straighter, for sure, the foot has more movement and is somewhat easier to move, but the pain level is still an issue. he walks only with the help of a leg brace, almost like a removable cast. he tries to walk without it, but the strength is just not there, and it ends up being too painful for him to even try. physical therapy started again this past week as we had to wait for his wound to completely heal before he could go…and let me tell you…it took f.o.r.e.v.e.r!!! once again, it shall be noted that I would have never been a good nurse…the ick factor is just more than I can bear. I am a little proud of my wound care and leg wrapping abilities but still not a fan of open wounds and all the yuck that comes with it!!

needless to say, it has been the longest year ever…11 months actually today since the accident and it feels like it’s been two years! tired is not nearly sufficient enough to describe how I feel but this too shall pass.

we truly don’t know how to even gauge how much more Larry will progress. part of me worries that this is it and that concerns me because I know he struggles every single minute just to get around. there are so many things that we take for granted, just sitting or laying comfortably, running to the mail box or up and down the stairs…all not an option for him at the moment.

so, I spend every single day trying to think of something positive and encouraging to say, most of the time I am quoting a scripture or something that I read in our daily text. thankful for my faith in Jehovah God and his promises, thankful for the gift of prayer and the bible, thankful for friends and family that are there if I need them, that pray in our behalf, and encourage us constantly. so these are the blessings that come when trials and tribulations hit you like a freight train!!!

seriously, I am a girl who just loves to laugh so going through this has been hard at times…I’ve sobbed quietly in the shower and sitting in my car on my lunch break. I’ve cried standing in aisle at the drug store and even sitting at my desk at work. I’ve become so fragile that it scares me at times. I’ve always been a softie…you know, the person who cries over the Hallmark commericial or when someone does something especially sweet or thoughtful. I cry when I am mad…which I hate…but I can’t seem to help it. but these days, I wonder if I should have bought stock in Kleenex!!

things will get better, they always do…so, if you happen to see me crying, don’t feel bad, my off button seems to be broken right now and it’s okay.

until then, everything else is as good as can be expected…

same as it ever was 😉

hope guides me…

“it’s what gets me through the day…” probably one of my favorite lines from a movie and lately it rings more true than ever.

about a week ago – as I “thought about” getting caught up in this blog (laughing out loud now) I had a different title in mind – it was something like “caught somewhere between a circus and a train wreck” but honestly, as much as I do feel that way at times, I really have to say that the whole saying “it could be worse” is constantly in my thoughts.

each and every day that goes by – I read about or see the news and there is so much “bad”!! it certainly puts things into perspective and sort of steps on my toes a bit. while our life has not been easy for the last 9 months – I would not trade my problems with that of pretty much anyone else that I know. I have friends fighting for their lives…I have friends fighting for their children’s lives and it literally breaks my heart to know how hard that must be to go through for them and their families.

don’t get me wrong, I am overwhelmed – I am tired…beyond it actually – I have medical bills that I will be making payments on for many years!! I often feel like no one understands and that most don’t realize how bad things really were/are/could’ve been – even though I am positive that I said it, wrote it, posted it. I actually get tired of hearing myself talk about it and just want things to get good enough to be able to COMPLETELY move on. and so, here goes to trying to do just that – but first, an update…

it would seem that I left off sometime in february when Larry started “land therapy” as he likes to call it!! bahahhaaha

needless to say, he went a few afternoons a week and then cut back to two afternoons a week to save money…sad, but true and this blog is where I just say it like it is…

he went back to work – not quite full-time but almost – as a manager, he is able to do his job for the most part, though navigating around the place that he works is very hard on his leg because it requires a lot of walking. his company agreed to give him on-site parking and he has a shiny new handicap tag for this truck and he uses a cane to get around – with plenty of stops to rest as needed. (probably not nearly as much as he needs because he is stubborn and impatient and so desperately wants to be back to normal but…you know what I mean)

and like last time, there have been numerous trips to Charlottesville and back – the drive seems to get shorter and we have our own routine for the most part – and a new tradition of stopping for a chocolate dipped cone on the way home just because we like it! 😉

he had his 4th surgery a week ago today – it was sort of 2 in 1 – the doctor had to remove a lot of scar tissue from behind his knee and work on the tendons there, so that he could extend his leg more. since the last surgery, there was a significant bend in his leg which made it very difficult to walk without looking a bit like a neanderthal =O and while they had hoped that physical therapy would have eliminated that between the scar tissue and the tendons being so tight – surgery became necessary. the part 2 of the surgery was to cut the achilles tendon – so that he would be able to keep his foot up. the nerve damage, which is more than likely permanent, caused him to have “drop foot” – so, even if his leg had been straight, walking with his foot that way, would be hard for him – as he’d have to bring his leg up higher with each step just to avoid from tripping over his own foot. he currently has a hard cast on his foot up to below his knee but the ultimate goal is for his leg to be straight and his foot to be straight. we have 5 more weeks in the cast – so fingers are crossed!!!

they did perform another nerve study since the last time that I posted and there was some “very slight” activity in the top of his foot – which is great news!!! and nothing at all happening in his shin – so, we don’t really expect that to come back, but nerves can take up to two years to regenerate, so not giving up “hope”!

I think the hardest part of this whole saga is the fact that we were not prepared – and that more times than not we simply felt helpless. if it were not for my faith and hope in Jehovah and for the friends and family that have been so supportive and understanding – I am pretty sure I would be that “train wreck” that I mentioned earlier.

yesterday I heard an experience about a butterfly flying with 70% of their wings damaged and gone – it’s mind boggling when you think about it – but it hit me, and it hit Larry too. we can be damaged, hurt, broken or whatever, but it is up to us to keep flying.

with hope…

so, yeah…

I really don’t know why I think I can keep up with blogging with all of the millions of things that I have on my “to-do list” but I suppose I will just keep trying. Needless to say, I have to back track all the way to October to update here – for the most part, it’s all on the facebook page, but for my handful of friends that don’t go there…this is the easiest way to update everyone all in one punch! so to speak 😉

so, I guess I left off about the time that Larry started hydrotherapy for his leg – he went 3 times a week for about 6 weeks for therapy in the pool – which more than anything just felt good. it’s low impact, and water is so therapeutic – and he took advantage of the whirlpool after each session.  I think that was his favorite part 🙂 so much so, that he keeps trying to figure out how to get a hot tub for the house!

he graduated to what he calls “land therapy” lol – and continues to go 3 times a week – usually in the afternoon after work. it’s been a struggle, we honestly have not seen any real improvement since then, though he is walking with a cane, but with a very obvious limp and it hurts. there are times when he tries to get away with walking without the cane, but he shouldn’t – he’s almost fallen several times and his gait is so off balance, it not only looks painful, but I know that it feels pretty bad too. he’s just so determined to walk “normal” again and is having a really hard time waiting for things to progress naturally. we’ve been to Charlottesville so many times that I have lost count, but truly cannot say enough good things about the doctor, his staff and all of the other folks working in the UVA health system. they truly embody what good customer service should be!!

let’s see, he’s been to his ortho doctor several times, has been seen by the neurologist, the spine specialist, has had an MRI, lots of x-rays, and an EMG – which is a nerve conduction study, which led to more appointments including one for an epidural steroid injection. the EMG indicated several degenerative discs in his spine, which is not that uncommon, especially with his rheumatoid arthritis and his height and frame. it was really just one more thing to put on the list of “health problems”.

we are still trying to get his pain managed, which is very frustrating because you cannot take narcotics on a regular basis and
the regular pain meds just don’t do enough to help most days. he also still has not regained any feeling in his leg below the knee to his toes on the front side, and has absolutely no control over his foot. in addition to that, his leg is still not 100% straight, so, between the lack of control of his foot and the bend in his leg, when he does walk…it is with more swag than you could possibly imagine and while some days he laughs about it and “works it” – other days, it depresses him very much.

needless to say, life as we know it has totally changed. when we are around friends, we try really hard to keep it light and not make too much of it, though I know we are not always succeeding. it is hard…plain and simple. I posted not long ago on facebook how he is literally grieving the loss of being able to do so many things that he was used to doing, things we take for granted. I hurt for him, I struggle with the loss of some of my “me time” because my days start earlier now, and has more crammed in it – just so I can help make his days easier. it’s just going to take time for us to really adjust to this “new normal” and in the process, we try not to let it consume us – and that in itself is the biggest challenge of all.

in the meantime, he has switched to a different physical therapist, one that he feels will be able to help him more. and we have more appointments ahead of us … possibly surgery on his foot … just trying to eliminate all other options first. trying to manage the pain and the depression and keep moving forward.

anyway, that’s all for now…I am weeks behind in editing…which overwhelms me like you cannot imagine – and I keep telling myself that it could be worse, because I know for a fact that it could!! I don’t need anyone to remind me to count my blessings, because every day that our eyes open and our feet hit the ground I am grateful.

and that is all…

for now. 🙂

so I am terribly behind on updating this blog, in fact, I am pretty much a terrible blogger. though, having said that, I have managed to keep the facebook page updated almost weekly since Larry’s accident. thanks to my sister for creating it so that I would have a place to let as many as possible know how things are going all at once.

needless to say, the last post took place a few weeks after “the accident” and so much has happened since then…

I doubt I can roll it all into a nutshell, but I will try…trust, me, try is about all I do these days

so here goes:

the good should come first, but technically the bad did…so I am rolling with that – don’t sue me, it’s my blog, I can do what I want.

so then, the bad – as of the last time I posted here, we were waiting for an appointment to see the surgeon at MCV and had such high hopes that he would be able to help us out. afterall, he was “the guy”, “the best” and we could not wait to see him. I have never been so excited to go to the doctor, ever, except for maybe when I was getting the test results on my pregnancies. anyway, we go, traffic bites, major traffic jam on the interstate and gridlock trying to get into the parking lot, but we did it, I gave us a cushion of time just in case, and we needed it … but made it to the desk right on time to check in for his appointment. everyone was pleasant, took him back to x-ray and then wheeled him into the cast room to wait to see the doctor. mind you, I had been in communication with his nurse for almost 3 weeks and the surgeon in Roanoke also communicated with them, so there shouldn’t have been any surprises.

but there was…

so, an attending physician comes in, super nice, checked out the leg, which still had the external fixator on it and was quite interested in what happened and what may come next. then the doctor comes in…like I said, he was supposed to be “the guy” and I can’t even remember if he even shook our hand, he basically introduced himself and then said, without any forethought or feeling, that he cannot do anything for us. it was more like, “there is nothing I can do for you” – blank face, seriously

that was it – you would have thought someone had slapped us, we both just sat there and were speechless and I think Larry asked him to say it again. I immediately started tearing up, the stress from the previous three weeks had been all consuming and I just could not believe what I was hearing.

then he said it again…so plain and simple, as if we were supposed to understand. then, he asked another “guy” to clean and re-dress the wound and said that he could recommend us to a surgeon at UVA…that he’d have his nurse call their nurse, yada yada yada…not sure what else he said because I was still trying to pick my mouth up off of the floor.

needless to say, we saw him one more time…for wound care and haven’t seen him since!!!

the good – UVA…all the way, totally a fan now for life!! the one good thing that came from the “bad” was the referral to Dr. Weiss. when I say the difference was night and day between the two – it’s not a cliche’ – truly miles apart, in demeanor, bedside manner, knowledge, ability and personality. we were anxious prior to this visit, mostly because of the trauma from the MCV bit – but, that was alleviated seconds after meeting the doctor and his team. hands on, pleasant, explained the injury, the procedure to repair it, the possibilities, and he not only shook our hands, he actually touched “the leg” – checking for movement, numbness, etc., – I am sure there are medical terms for the exam, but suffice it to say, we were exactly where we needed to be and he was exactly who we needed to help us. Larry actually hugged him…he was so grateful.

so, surgery was scheduled for the following week, we made reservations in a hotel close by so that I would not have to drive back and forth every day and there was not an option to stay with him this time, no private rooms. plus, to be completely honest, I needed somewhere to retreat and a comfortable bed to sleep in. thankfully, my sisters had set up a fundme account, so it afforded us to be able to do that and has been very beneficial in helping cover the unexpected expenses from this whole thing, including all of the traveling, medical supplies, and so on.

anyway, surgery day was long and grueling…not by the fault of anyone, an emergency came in that needed to be taken care of first, so we actually had to wait several hours before Larry could go back and get prepped for surgery. ordinarily, I would not catergorize a long wait as good, but that’s how happy we are with the doctor, so I simply just refuse to complain about it now.

surgery took several hours, I was literally the very last person in the lobby (as we got kicked out of the waiting room hours earlier) and around 1:00 am, Dr. Weiss came out to talk to me, very happy and content with what they managed to get done. he did explain to me that there may be some permanent damage to the peroneal nerve in his leg, but in most cases, it can take up to two years to really know that. I have honestly never met a nicer more humble doctor in my life.

Larry spent most of the week at the hospital, and while he was in a lot of pain and out of it, he was just thrilled to see his leg still attached, the metal bars (fixator) removed and looked forward to recovery.

the ugly – I don’t really know what to say here, other than, one – I was not cut out to be a nurse – I lack the patience, and even after 3 months of this, it hasn’t gotten better…so you can blow that theory out of the water! it didn’t teach me patience…it did teach me to bite my tongue, which I did a lot! it taught me to take more deep breaths before responding so that my voice doesn’t sound “mad” 😉 and maybe it taught me that out of the two boys, Tanner will most likely be the one to take care of us, because Logan had had just about enough about two months ago!! Being a caretaker is exhausting, taking care of wounds, and icky stuff…yep, not for me…but I did it, and I did get better at it; but I hope I never have to do it again. I’ve been getting up an hour or so earlier than normal every day to take care of medicine and breakfast and other necessary duties before I get ready to go to work. I go home every day on my lunch break – medicine & lunch…and home every night, trying to muster up the energy to make dinner, when all I really feel like doing is nothing. sad to say, my grocery and food budget busted open weeks ago, but it is easier on my mental health to order take out than it is to think of something to cook, cook it and do dishes. on top of that, I am out of leave time at work until January, so every time I take off to go to the doctor is without pay…so, that bites too. seriously, I put this all under ugly because it is…complaining is so ugly…it really is but this is the real world people, and there it is. I am tired…possibly a little grumpy…and at this particular moment, I don’t care if it bothers anyone.

back to the good  

mind you, there are more good things that happened than bad. for those first few weeks of chaos while Larry was in the hospital, my sister arranged for different ones to bring meals so that the boys would not go hungry. my niece went out of her way to go to our house and stay with them while we were in Roanoke for two weeks and again for the week we spent in Charlottesville. my other sister finished painting the room I had left half done when the accident happened and got the laundry nightmare under control. and my other sister set up a fund to help us out financially, because, well, we needed it. not to mention, the friends that helped, that sent cards and were so supportive. including our very close friends, who helped with transporting Larry home from the hospital, both times and for building steps so that he could get into the house safely.

what did I learn…that I really do love the big guy…that I have never been so scared or so worried in my life. that my guys mean the world to me. that people really do care. and some people really don’t. that life goes on, that we shall survive, and things will get better.

we still have a long way to go – he just started hydrotherapy this week and hopefully in a couple more weeks will be able to put weight on his leg. but it literally is one step at a time. the goal…to be walking before winter…one way or another. 🙂

that’s it, that’s all

stuff happens…

I seriously am so tired that I cannot come up with a better title right now…

It was supposed to be a fun day…the guys had plans to ride trails and then go swimming and we were all going to meet up later and cook out with our friends. Bikes were loaded onto the trailer the night before, cooler filled with drinks and ice and we can’t forget the beef jerky and the sunflower seeds! I had my day planned out…I was going to finish painting the den, bake something for the cookout later and turn up the music and get caught up on the laundry – just me, all alone…well, Tess too…but she pretty much snoozes all day, so mostly all by myself.

Around 9:30 that morning, still in the t-shirt I slept in the night before, a serious case of bedhead and ingredients all out and ready to bake and I get a phone call from Tanner, my oldest son. He tells me that “Dad broke his leg” and my first thought was just a simple broken leg…and was ready to be mad at him thinking he was doing something to show off. But, then one of the guys that went with them grabbed the phone and at that point EVERYTHING changed. All I heard was “I’m not going to lie, it’s bad – you need to meet us at the hospital as soon as you can…it’s very serious.” I stood there…stunned, hands started shaking and I didn’t even know what to do first – I needed a shower, I had a HUGE mess in the kitchen, the den was completely upside down and I had laundry e v e r y w h e r e!!

I zombied my way through the next half hour or so…literally just covered up the stuff I had out in the kitchen, and my phone rings again…one of the guys had called his wife, who in turn called my oldest sister Lisa, who called me and asked “do you need me?” I can’t remember if I cried…I was still not sure what was going on and did not know how serious the accident or injury was at that point. I told her “yes” and showered as fast as I ever have in my life…grabbed a change of clothes for me and Larry and a few necessities and then ran my house key over to Neighbor (our neighbor’s actual nickname given to him by Tanner when we moved in 16 years ago) and asked him to keep an eye on Tess and that I’d probably have to spend the night. Somewhere in the midst of all of this, my brother, who was there with them called me…told me to contact one of the brother’s from our congregation to let them know what was going on and updated me on which hospital they were taking Larry. I have to interject for those who do not personally know me, our congregation is like family to us…as Jehovah’s Witnesses, I could go anywhere on the earth and have immediate friends and support from the local brothers and sisters. Plans are already in place for emergencies and once I made that call to one of my congregation brothers…he made calls to the local brothers in Roanoke so that they could be there to assist and support us. It’s an amazing arrangement.

The ride there was long…three hours, and seriously, I still had no idea what the gravity of the situation was or how bad it was going to be. I didn’t call anyone else, had a few conversations with my brother, who at this time, had my boys with him and just tried to keep me calm. Lisa was calm, kept the conversation going about random things and whether or not she knew things were worse than I thought, she didn’t say. Then, after the world’s longest ride ever, we made it to the hospital – found our way to the emergency room and there were my boys, my brother, Larry’s friend Rich and two of our spiritual brothers from the local congregation. I was still kind of numb, just wanted to see him and they had stabilized him enough for me to get there before they took him into surgery. It was pretty scary seeing him in that hospital bed and I leaned over so that he could see me and he just kind of shook his head and said he was sorry. I told him that accident’s happen and that it would be okay and that I loved him. I kissed him on the forehead and the boys went to see him real quick and then the next 3 1/2 hours he was in surgery.

Those 3 1/2 hours were just as long as the ride there…

I will tell you that all sorts of things went through my mind…we had just lost a life long friend a few months back on the operating table – she had a broken leg too. 😦

Once surgery was over, a nurse came out to tell us what room he would be in and the surgeon called my on my cell to explain what they did. I really don’t remember the conversation at all. But basically, that initial surgery was to clean the wound – they call it an “excisional debridement” and the medical term for his actual injury was a “left open tibial plateau fracture” in addition to most of the knee being shattered. They put a few screws in the leg and an external fixator on his leg to hold things together.

I have to backtrack here for a minute … the place the boys went to go riding is a campground and park with 39 miles of riding trails. They had just gotten there that morning, in fact, not everyone had arrived yet. They were just piddling around on the little hills at the beginning of the trail and after several versions of the accident, here is what actually happened: As he went up this little 3 ft hill for about the third time, the bike he was on popped up a little too fast, so in an effort to keep himself from crashing onto his back on the bike, he let go of it, with the intent of running down the hill after it and jumping back on…the bike went…but as he started to run down the hill to catch up with it, his left riding boot got hung up/caught on a tree root and his leg literally snapped at the knee! The momentum of his body was just too strong and something had to give…he said he heard a loud “pop” and the pain was worse than any of us could possibly imagine. He looked down and when he saw his leg, his first thought was that he’d never be using it again! It was a complete open fracture, the knee was shattered, it was literally hanging on by the calf muscle! His friends thought quickly, grabbed one of the straps for the bikes and applied a tourniquet. From what the boys say, everyone was running to get help and within 30 minutes – a guy and his wife pull up on a four-wheeler. This guy just happened to be the Captain of a local rescue squad unit and his wife is a nurse…they immediately took over the scene, called for an ambulance and a helicopter. I have more to say about this…but, later…

Once they got Larry in the helicopter…they were able to give him something to numb the pain…no one understands how in the world he did not lose consciousness from the extreme pain or the blood loss and trauma…but he didn’t – he said he was focused on keeping his leg attached! We sort of joke about the next part being like an episode of ER…arriving on the roof of the hospital, being wheeled in with people looking down at him and down at his leg, eyes wide and busy talking about if it can be saved or not. The term they used was “a catastrophic break” and after all is said and done, he was lucky! Lucky to be alive, lucky the leg is still attached, lucky that he did not damage the arteries or tendons and though he still has some numbness in his toes…they still have color and the hope is that they will heal as the leg heals.

That first night was rough…on ALL of us! They had a really difficult time managing his pain…but his amazing nurse and the staff at 10 Mountain at Roanoke Memorial did everything they could to take care of him. By the end of the second day, he started to get some relief…at least with the right cocktail of pain meds and muscle relaxers.

He spent a week at the hospital, as did I…in the chair in his room … so, no sleep really – but who could sleep?

The second week, he was transferred to an Inpatient Rehab Facility for some intense physical therapy and for occupational therapy. Three hard hours a day…so he mostly slept and did therapy. By the end of the week, he was able to come home with a fancy new wheelchair, a walker and a few other items…and at this point, we are waiting for his next appointment with the surgeon at MCV. I should take this time to say, that all of the above happened out of town…three hours from home!! And as hard as we tried, it was just not possible to move him in the beginning, first, it was too serious, and then second, no available bed in Richmond. It was frustrating and overwhelming and exhausting, but we survived. The support from the friends in Roanoke and my sisters and family and friends at home…was much needed and very appreciated. I will never be able to thank everyone enough for all that they have done so far to help us.

Back to the guy from the campground…the EMT…he called Larry the next day at the hospital…told him that he doesn’t usually follow up on people he works on, but that there was something about Larry that he could not get off of his mind. He told him that that morning, he wasn’t planning on taking his bag or radio to the campground…they were going just to hang out and ride, but at the very last minute – he asked his wife to grab his bag and radio…just in case…and less than 30 minutes later…he was using it on Larry. Between his friends knowing to put the tourniquet on him and the skill of the EMT and being able to get him medflighted to the trauma center so quickly…they saved his life! How in the world do you thank someone for that!??!

Anyway, I will try and update more later…but I had a lot of friends who are not on facebook that wanted to know what happened…and it is just easier to write it all down in one place rather than trying to recant the story over and over again.

Needless to say, we are grateful…and we are tired…but we are mostly grateful.

OoXx ~ Dianna

 

and so it goes….

I think for some reason I have used this expression before…however, it seems to fit at the moment, so I am using it again.

Been way to sick and way to busy for my own good and honestly, all I really want to do is find a way to be consistent at something…anything!

The treadmill that was sitting in the garage for the longest time is now sitting in my kitchen…because I had this great idea that if I could see it everyday, I would use it everyday!           awkward pause           HA! I think I may have used it twice and now, it has become something of a coat hanger for the people in my house. I call them people, because they have this impression that they can just throw their coats up there as if they belong. This is not something that I taught them…nor do I approve. In fact, it is driving me just a little bit crazy at the moment.

We are in the midst of some major home improvement…that is part of the reason why the treadmill is even being allowed in the kitchen at the moment. We have a very quaint house that was built about 60 or 70 years ago. Honestly, I know I have seen the paperwork on it, but my mind stays cloudy these days, so suffice it to say, it is an older home. It isn’t that big and when we bought it, it was enough for a family of three. Now, mostly based on the economy and the fact that I moved about 8 times in the course of a 3 year period, we have resigned ourselves to staying put at least until our oldest child graduates from high school.

So, having said that, the boys were growing out of their rooms and we needed more space. It would seem that at one time the original homeowner had intended to put an upstairs in our house…from the outside, you would have thought one was already there. But for some reason they didn’t and the only evidence we have that they did want to are the closed out window panes that were up in the attic.

We decided to go up and that’s what we are currently working on. So I lost my office to the stairs and we now have the beginnings of a master suite! It is a project that I like to say will be happening in phases, mostly based on funds available and those are dwindling down to nothing! Suffice it to say, we are probably on phase 2 or maybe 3. We have stairs, unfinished but they get you from the bottom floor to the top. We have the room framed and the drywall hung and most of it mudded (yeah, I know that is not grammatically correct) and the bedroom is primed and ready for trim work and paint. I even scored a walk-in closet which makes me very happy.

It will take a while for us to finish this but it is exciting to see it come together. My boys will be able to have their own rooms as soon as we can move in upstairs and I think they are looking forward to it even more than we are.

And since I am the only girl in this house besides the dog, who doesn’t count 🙂 I have already told my husband that I intend on “girling” this room up since it is the only one in the house that I can call my own. He isn’t excited about the color that I have chosen nor the fact that I want to put roses and white linens everywhere, but he simply smiles and said “that’s fine”. I am going to have to figure out where to put a TV though as it is the one allowance I am giving him since he is doing a lot more work on this room than I am.

And so for the better part of the last 6 months, our house has been torn apart with things in places where they do not belong. With treadmills in the kitchen and laundry in my bedroom. I have to say it has cured me a bit of my OCD but it still drives me crazy every single day that my house is in such a state of disorder. I can’t wait to get through the next phase of our project and find a permanent home for the treadmill and get my kitchen back!

That is why I say – and so it goes…

one sock, two socks…

I am certain that I am not alone in this….in fact, I know that it is a phenomenon in practically every home. At any given time we are missing at least a dozen socks…no kidding! I must wash at least two loads of laundry every day and they are always the last thing that I fold. I have some sort of system….first the towels and wash cloths…then jeans, t-shirts, undies and last but not least….SOCKS! They are not hard to fold, but frustrating because we are always…and I mean always missing some. I have often thought about throwing away the single’s (my word for the poor things missing their match) but I know that the second I do…..their partner will inevitably show up. I sometimes actually feel sorry for the ones that have been there a long time….figuring their feelings must be hurt, that I don’t like them anymore. I pick them up to make sure they know that I am thinking about them and lay all the single’s out in a row to see if maybe…just maybe one of them might match, especially since I am adding to the pile on a regular basis. This past weekend the clean sock pile had gotten so large that I made the boys go through it and sort them. Still there was a nice pile left for me….so, I took them….grabbed the pile of single’s and started folding.

It was a good day……I successfully got three socks back together with their match and while there are still at least 8 sitting in the laundry room on top of the dryer all alone…they were given a little attention today. Who knows, maybe their match will show up tomorrow…washing laundry as we speak!