Friday, August 27, 2010

interesting dream

i generally have quite vivid dreams....but it's been awhile since i've had one i remembered so well and this one seemed worth sharing. any dream interpreters out there, feel free to share some insight....
most of the dream took place in some form of water. initially, i was at a lake with a lot of people. some i knew, but most i didn't know well. and the group of people i was with sort of gave me an uneasy i didn't quite trust them. later we were all at a pool and i was trying to help save people; but there were these "eel ladies" and i don't know who they were, but they were trying to pull people under...trying to pull me under, and i was fighting them...and they weren't really eels, just ladies, but they were in all black, so i call them eel ladies. and there was a guy i was trying to help - maybe dustin, but i can't say for sure - and i would dive down deep in the water to try to free him from the eel ladies (who apparently could hold their breath for a super long time). anyhow, i came up out of the water to get a breath, and i got out of the pool with an eel lady right behind me. and i went to put my foot back in the pool to try to save the guy again, and the eel lady started yelling, "she's not clean! she's not clean! and she's trying to get in the pool!" so i was frantic now....i didn't know how to "get clean" to try to save him. so i was running alongside the pool trying to figure out how to "get clean". and then i noticed the unassuming "savior". he had been "there" all along in my dream, but i didn't really SEE him until that moment. he was a very overweight guy, with tattoos all over his chest and back. and he was gentle and caring. and a long line of people were coming to him....and as soon as they touched him, they were clean and their clothes turned to a bright white. so i clung to his back with my arms around his neck....he was huge, so it was like it didn't phase him at all. he welcomed me. and as i clung to him and watched all the children (there were tons of kids coming to him) and others coming to him, i began to reach out and help them come into the water too. and because i was touching him, when i touched others, it made them white. and there was an older black woman who i helped into the pool and she gave me a necklace for some reason. and later as i was helping a child into the water, she pointed at the necklace around my was the only thing of color on me now...and it was just a pink and purple plastic gem necklace - like what a kid would make - on a string of fishing line. and she asked me why it still had color. and i didn't know. so i looked to the savior guy for an answer and he said it was given to me by someone who wanted to kill the second movie of the series. (so apparently i was an actor in a movie or something? and there's gonna be a sequel, i guess.)

what an interesting dream.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

living for something worth dying for

today is a sad day for many people who are grieving the death of cheryl beckett. cheryl worked as a humanitarian in afghanistan and was among the group of aid workers who were killed on friday. cheryl was the daughter of charles & mary beckett, who minister at woodlawn christian church where dustin and i used to attend. it's so unreal to think that i have talked to a true martyr for Christ. cheryl indeed lived to serve others and to point people to Jesus.

although i did not know cheryl on a personal level, i cannot stop thinking about her and her sweet family. tears flow easily as i think about her horrific death and the obvious pain and suffering her family is going through right now. i am sure her family is so incredibly proud of her and the beautiful, selfless life of service that she lived.

i also cannot stop thinking that she at least was living for something worth dying for. and it makes me ask the question, "am i living for something worth dying for?" am i doing all that i can to serve others and to point them to Jesus every day? or am i more concerned about myself....more concerned with being safe and comfortable....more concerned with the "injustices" done to me rather than standing up for the injustice of poor and hungry people all around me? i don't think Jesus died on the cross so that i can live a safe, comfortable "american dream" sort of life while thousands of people around the world deal with real oppression and suffering. it makes me angry at myself for getting caught up in the ridiculous culture of america. i want to live for something worth dying for. i want to have a heart that yearns for true justice and shalom. i want to serve others out of love and compassion, not out of guilt or obligation. God, give me a heart like Yours. God, give me a vision for what You want me to do to fight injustice and serve those in need.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


i had my appointment with dr. rappe' yesterday and i am thrilled to say that it could not have gone any better!! my x-rays looked really good....he showed them to us and you could only see a very faint line where the graft is. so it has healed perfectly (praise to God!) and i finally get to drive again and start adding weight to it!! it will be a 3-4 week process of gradually getting off the crutches. while i wish i could burn my crutches right now, i know i couldn't walk b/c my leg is too weak....but i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. although a "destroy my crutches" party sounds like a good idea....maybe i'll get to planning that.

it's been 8 weeks today since my life, it seems like it's been forever ago and yesterday all at the same time. overall, the process has been easier than i expected. but i'm so ready to be able to hold my precious girls and carry them again; serve my dear hubby instead of him serving me constantly; do laundry, carry a drink or plate, go grocery shopping w/o the battery operated cart that always dies in the middle of the trip; and, jump on the trampoline with my girls, go camping, play volleyball.....oh, i can't wait!! it's still gonna be a process, but i feel ready to tackle it all and i'm just excited about life.

thank you God for your grace and for the lessons i'm learning through this process.

Monday, June 14, 2010

making progress!!

i had a great therapy session today in the pool. i really felt like i made a lot of progress, so i'm pumped. i have been working with an atc from dustin's work, cherie, who really pushes me and challenges me.....i LOVE that. she really loosened my kneecap up last wednesday - it hurt like crazy, but it was worth it. today she worked it again, but it didn't take as much prying. :) and my little VMO (i don't really know what that stands for, but it's the quad muscle on the inside of your leg, right above the kneecap) started firing today like it should. and i could really tell a difference. when it worked, my kneecap wouldn't do the "catching" thing. and it hardly got "caught" at all today! FINALLY, my muscles are starting to wake up!! praise God! my poor little leg is absolutely pitiful.....i can touch my fingers when i put them around my quad. it's so sickening. i don't know if it will ever be the same size as my left leg - if it ever does get there, it will be a LONG time! but i feel encouraged over all. only 2 weeks from thursday til i can start (hopefully) bearing some weight. i'm SO looking forward to that!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

underwater treadmill!

well it's nice to be a girl who has cool friends who have cool jobs. one of my friends from growing up, carrie and her husband robb, are athletic trainers at the university of tennessee. carrie said i could come in to use their facilities, including an underwater treadmill. so i went in yesterday and it was awesome. they had me warm up my knee in the hot tub first and then i walked for about 15 minutes or so on the underwater treadmill. my knee didn't do the "catching" thing it had been doing....i think the warming up helped. and as i'm walking, robb says that dr. mathien is there - and then a few minutes later dr. mathien comes out and talks with me about my progress and i get to ask him questions and he can evaluate my gait (the treadmill has glass walls for watching stuff like that) cool is that??? i LOVE dr. mathien - he's so real and down to earth. and after walking, i go out to ice and dr. mathien comes by and asks when my next appointment is supposed to be - i told him friday, and he says "well why don't i just evaluate you here and save you a trip?" what?! so awesome!! so he checks my knee out and tells me that he'll make a notation of our "appointment" and i can call to reschedule friday's visit for 2 weeks later. here's the scoop on my progress: dr. mathien seemed pleased with my range of motion and the lack of swelling; he said my gait looked good as well; and he said the "catching" is normal and nothing to worry about - he said that i probably have some adhesions and i just need to work on patella mobs and scar mobs to get it lose; i asked him if i would be able to gradually add weight before 8 weeks, or if it would be after 8 weeks......and he said, "let's talk about the SIZE of your defect - this wasn't a little suzie Q defect, this was a BIG BERTHA defect - and we need to make sure to give it time to really graft in so that it doesn't collapse." my translation: you're crazy if you think you're adding weight before 8 weeks. and actually, he said initially they probably should have said 12 weeks NWB. ugh. but he said we'll x-ray it again in 2 weeks and see how it looks - he said it should look as close to normal as possible. if that looks good and i continue to improve my strength and ROM, then i MIGHT be able to start adding gradual weight with crutches at 8 weeks. so............i'm a little disappointed with that news. i'm completely sick of crutches and being helpless. although i have figured out how to do more with crutches and i'm able to do more around the house and just takes about 10X longer. i'm just ready to be on two feet again - but i understand the importance of staying off of it and will just have to suck it up. surely, by august i'll be totally crutch free. :) and until then, i will absolutely be using the facilities at UT again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

almost half way!

here's my knee...the scar looks pretty good. and i don't have any steri strips on any more.
the girls loving on each other at the campsite. precious.
playing with bubbles.
molly on her scooter....she flies on that thing!
adie....cheesin' it up!

well, we are almost half way through my 8 week non-weight bearing time! only 4 weeks, 2 days left until i can walk on two feet again (hopefully). really, the first half has gone by pretty quickly - i'm so thankful for that. i'm hoping the next 4 weeks go even faster.

i forgot, in my last update, to mention how great it was to have my father-in-law come down to help out for about 10 days. he was a super huge blessing to us all......he drove us places, helped with the girls, did odd jobs around the house and even learned how to do laundry! :) thanks so much, pappaw!! we love you!

i had my first therapy session in the pool today with my awesome therapist, julie. it felt really good to walk (the doc said as long as the water was up to my shoulders, i could walk) and to just feel normal again in the water. i'm having some issues with my knee "catching" sometimes when i bend it. julie thinks that since the surface of my joint is not completely smooth where my plugs are (although, she said, it's as smooth as they could get it- she watched my surgery-.....but even a millimeter difference is huge) and that the lateral side isn't quite "unlocking" like it should when i go from straight to bent. she thinks that, in time, as i continue to get stronger and add weight to it, that it will hopefully smooth out. so please pray that is, in deed, the case! after my pool session, julie measured me....i got to 0 degrees extension (with a little help); and 122 degrees flexion. last measurement was 4/118, so i was happy with that improvement. i'm already looking forward to my next pool session.

dustin continues to amaze me. i love him so much and i could not imagine my life without him. he is endlessly patient in his service to me and in his fathering of the girls. i look forward to being able to serve him more and better when i'm on two feet again!!!

on another note....our first camping trip was a success. it was a lot of fun - even though it would have been better without the crutches! the girls played and played, and it was just so fun to be together making memories. plus, we took jack along, and he is, without question, the BEST dog ever. love him. AND...molly has mastered riding her bike without training wheels. she's a better bike rider than i am....those of you who know me, know that i'm not a strong bike rider! but, when i'm off these crutches and we go on another camping trip, i WILL ride again! :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

5/23 update

sunday is my day to update, so here we go....
it's really doing well, i think. i had my 2 week follow-up appointment on friday. dr. mathien and dr. rappe' seemed to think that things looked perfect. they took x-rays and took my old dressing/steri strips off and took the sutures out. dr. rappe' reminded me that this recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. i'm much better at sprinting. i do enjoy seeing progress in my daily exercises that dustin has me doing. i can now do a straight leg raise without too much pain. that makes me happy b/c initially, i couldn't even raise my leg at all! and my extensions are coming along too. slowly but surely. i start "for real" physical therapy this week. and we are heading out for our first official camping trip in our camper this weekend with swartz and betsy. we're excited about that. and although i still have 5 weeks, 4 days left on crutches, i'm still looking forward to getting away with my precious family. how i love them.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

5/16 update

it's sunday evening and i figured i'd update on my progress since last sunday. so far so good. my recovery has been easier than i anticipated.....guess i had prepared myself for the very worst, and it hasn't been that bad. i stopped taking pain meds (for the most part) on thursday. every now and again it gets a little achy before bed so i end up taking something in order to sleep. i am trying to be on the "machine" (as i call it...actually, the CPM) for a few hours a day. it feels good to get my knee bending/straightening - especially if i haven't moved it too much. there really is little pain.....unless i really try to push it and bend it farther or straighten it farther. but, still, it's really not that painful. achy is more the word i would use to describe it, i think. and my ankle stays slightly swollen. so it's overall just uncomfortable, but not painful.
only 6 weeks, 4 days until i'm off crutches. i'm definitely already on the count-down. it's pretty hard having everyone else do things for me......simple things like getting a drink (that's next to impossible on crutches!) or a tissue or whatever. molly has either been completely wonderful or completely over it! she told me i hadn't been much fun since i'd been on crutches. :)! i don't feel like i'm much fun either. i keep telling her (and myself) that it will be worth it in the long run!! adie has quickly become a daddy's girl! she's just a "go with the flow" girl, so it hasn't phased her too much.
i'd covet your prayers over the next 6 weeks and 4 days!! i want to continually rest in Christ - let Him be my strength and my joy. and somehow share that with those around me, even though i can't do much of anything else!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

more pics

this is pretty much what i look like at all times these days.....completely tired, greasy and generally disgusting! :)
removing the dressing at the hospital since it had seeped through every layer!

and there it is!! the beastly one! :)


well, it's day 3 after's a recap since thursday:
*went in for surgery at saint mary's north at 7:00am
*took me back at 8am to get IV going and all the prep work
*began surgery at 9:30
*finished surgery at 12:00

everything went perfectly with the surgery. because of the location and shape of my defect, they had to do two plugs of bone instead of one big one. kind of like a snowman. this helped them shape it better to the contour of my bone. and they ended up nailing them in. i was admitted for a 23 hour stay, which i was happy about. saint mary's north is brand new and super nice. i got suite 3030 which someone said was peyton manning's suite. super nice and HUGE! and other than the nurses kind of being ding-dongs, the stay was really nice. and as long as they kept the demoral shots coming, i stayed pretty pain free and happy. they brought in a CPM unit (continuous passive motion) which i started's a contraption that you put your leg in and it bends/straightens your leg for you. the doctor wanted me to get to 0 degrees extension and 90 degrees flexion. and i'm already doing better than that, so i'm happy!

my first evening home (friday) was pretty rough. i got a little behind on my medicine (oxycontin and percocet) since we had to get the Rx filled....and until i got caught up, i was brought to tears a few times. hurt like the dickens. my knee felt like it was just gonna rip apart; and a lot of my pain was actually from my hip flexor - i am continually trying to compensate for my knee by using my hip and it gets super tired and sore. but i can't help but use it! bedtime friday night most of my pain was under control, and i had an ok night of sleep. and each day continues to get better. i'm still staying consistent with the pain meds - have been trying to space them out a bit more today. but i figure for the first week i'd better use them!

today on the CPM, i was at -5 extension and 100 flexion. pretty pumped about that. plus i was able to stretch my hip out really good.....and that felt SO good. it's just so tense all the time! been trying to do quad sets (just tightening my quads) and working on a leg lift. still can't do that. dustin assures me it's normal.

the girls have done really well so far. molly's been a good little helper and adie hasn't jumped on me, so i'd say that's pretty incredible. they've been troopers. and dustin has been wonderful. and my mom is pretty awesome too. i've got lots of help and tons of food. it's nice to be surrounded by such helpful and loving people. i'll try to keep updating on my progress!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

diary of a knee

so i figured i'd use my blog to keep track of my progress with my knee. here's a recap:
-8 years old, knee pain/giving out
-high school - diagnosed with osteochondritis dissecans; told to stop playing sports if i wanted it to stop hurting; did not stop playing didn't hurt THAT bad
-college to present - continued playing sports and just dealing with a bum knee
-january 25, 2010 - flat out tripped running full speed playing intramural basketball, landed right on my right knee; took myself out of the game and iced when i got home
-february 5, 2010 - woke up with a hugely swollen knee and figured i must have done something to it
-2/5-2/12 - went to physical therapy to try to get rid of swelling and figure out what was wrong
-2/19 - appt. with dr. winn at MOC; ordered MRI
-2/24 - MRI
-3/2 - appt. with dr. winn to review MRI....told me he didn't feel confident dealing with my problem, referred me to dr. mathien/dr. rappe' (now getting concerned that it's not just something minor)
-3/5 - appt. with dr. rappe'; showed me my MRI and told me i would need to have an osteoarticular allograft done (see pics); took all hope of anything minor and threw it out the window
-3/11 - appt. with dr. mathien/dr. rappe' to ask any/all questions about the procedure; i took 2 pages of questions with me; dr. mathien took a lot of time to explain everything and made me feel very confident that i was in good hands; now just waiting for a donor bone; insurance already approved procedure
-4/21 - received a call from KOC, donor bone has been received; scheduled surgery for may 6

will update after surgery on my progress....was told initially that i will be 2 months non-weight bearing/full range of motion; crutches and toned arms, here i come.

Friday, February 5, 2010

15 years ago today....

2/5/95 was the day i went on my very first date with dustin. 15 years ago. wow. he took me bowling....he had a broken right wrist....which was good for this competitive girl. and we went to wal-mart where he bought me fake flowers and sprayed them with vanilla air freshener. i think we also went to weigel's and got some cappuccinos.

that was the beginning of our story. and now, 15 years, 2 beautiful girls, and a great dog later, we are at 2/5/10. so much has happened in 15 years!! it seems like forever ago and yesterday all at the same time. i think about the words of the song my brother wrote for me for our wedding...."most of all i wish you change". honestly, i didn't really get what he meant at first. but now i think i do. when i married dustin, i thought i loved him. but as i think about how i love him now, i realize that i didn't have a clue then. with every year, with the birth of molly, the diagnosis of diabetes, the loss of baby #2, crossings, the birth of adelyn.....all of it has made me love and appreciate what a wonderful man dustin is. he is an incredible father - he loves our girls more than they will ever understand. he loves to be with us and always puts us first.....i love that he'd rather be with us than anywhere else in the world. he continues to grow in his love for Jesus - and he helps me to grow by challenging my thinking and helping me to be more generous and less self-focused. i love that he is handy and that he is such a hard worker. i love that he is a good friend to others. i love that he can always make me laugh. i love that he is my voice of reason when my emotions can get the best of me....he can always bring me back to reality. i love that he is supportive of me. i love that i love him so much - and i can't wait to see what i think in another 15 years! i hope i think i was as clueless now as i think i was 15 years ago. i hope i see a lot of change and growth in our love. i'm sure i will. dustin, i love you and i always will!!!!