Welcome to Anne's blog!

If you are new to the blog, you probably want to start at the beginning of the whole sad story. To get there, use the "Blog Archive" tool in the right column of the blog and click on "2009," and then "January 25." From there you can continue to click on each week to see the weekly entries.

I would love to hear from you! If you would like to leave a message, you can reach me at aheetderks@wcsmiami.org!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There have been so many times in my life when I have been at a loss for words (shocking--but true). Standing in front of a Mom who has a son in the hospital with cancer, or a young girl who is sad about her parents' upcoming divorce--I can listen and sympathize--but I really can't fully understand what they are going through because I have never experienced those things myself.

This Christmas, I have been thinking a lot about Doug's Mom and my dear Aunt Jan. Both of them lost their husbands suddenly and unexpectedly during the last year, and will be facing their first Christmas without them. My prayer would be that there are some women out there who can come alongside them with understanding that comes only from experience.

I know that I have the same thing with my ankle. When I share with someone some of the tentative reports coming back from my doctors and my peace with possibly facing an amputation, the simple response of, "Well, you just have to stay positive," can sometimes feel like a judgement. Although I know that their words have good intentions, I still feel like I have to defend myself saying, "Well, I am being positive--it's just that having been at this for a year, I kind of know the warning signs and need to be realistic, blah, blah, blah." On the other hand, when Sarah (my email friend who fell of her roof and is recovering from horrific injuries) emailed me after my last blog entry and said, "Anne--you just have to stay positive," it kept me going for the next week. Weird how that is, huh?

I guess it just makes me realize that the personal struggles we have each encountered in our lives make us unique agents of love and comfort. Our pain and how we got through it can be transformed into one of the most valuable gifts that we can give to others. Cool how that works.

Anyway--when you sleep all day and then can't fall asleep until 3 a.m.--these are the things one thinks about. :)

As for my silly ankle, my infectious disease doctor has been encouraged by the gradual decrease in drainage. In fact, when I changed my dressing this morning, there was actually a scab forming on the spot that is always stubborn to heal. Ask Elise--the girl is so excited about my scab (Mom--last time it took almost 7 months to heal and this time it has only been four weeks!!!).

I have been a good little patient and stay still with my foot up--only going out for doctor's appointments and church. Dr. Carbonell spelled things out really simply. Basically, over the next three months, if my bone begins to grow into the cadaver bone, then I might possibly be on my way to starting physical therapy! The success rate for this is about 60% so that is why he put the bone growth stimulator inside of my foot. The process of the capillaries and other tissue beginning to grow inside the porous cadaver bone is extremely delicate--therefore it is very important that I not move my foot unnecessarily. And then, of course--if there is any kind of infection, the fusion may never happen at all.

If my bone does not grow into the cadaver bone, then I will have another big surgery around May-ish. They will basically do this fusion surgery again, but this time use bone harvested from my pelvis to increase the chances of the bones growing together. The harvesting process is apparently very painful--therefore they always start with the cadaver bone.

Blah, blah, blah . . .

Doug has been amazing at taking care of all of the household stuff, kid stuff, cooking stuff, as well as all of the preparations for Christmas. If ever there was a man who deserved to be pampered on an island somewhere--it's Doug. He and the girls have been incredibly patient. I just pray they won't still be serving me breakfast in bed by this time next year.

My parents' neighbor is a postman who works with a man who grows out his beard each year to be "Santa." Every year, Raffi and his wife host a big party outside their house and arrange for Santa to show up on a big red firetruck, red hotrod, etc. Very sweet.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for today. I love and appreciate all of you so much.

Pray for union.

With much love,


P.S. I put a link to the "Carol of the Chins" on the side bar just to give you a stupid laugh. It reminds me of the skits we used to do for our church youth group fundraisers. An oldie but a goodie. Just type in the name of any Christmas song and they will sing it for you. If they don't know it--they will let you know (12 days of Christmas always cracks me up).

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