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!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The life of a caregiver is never easy.  You have to watch over this person who is very needy and helpless and wants you ALL THE TIME for something.  You don't get cards in the mail.  Nobody sends you flowers.  You are expected to be happy, and caring, and loving--without ever a word of complaint.  You just keep taking care of this person who was dumb enough to climb up on a ladder without help.  And somehow, because of their stupidity--you are stuck cleaning bed pans, making lunches, and taking on the jobs of two people.  

Understanding that my Douglas (my caregiver) has been absolutely amazing, I have sat by and listened to a story he has been repeating since I came home on Thursday.  Mind you, the last few days have been a bit of a blur.  Sleeping a lot.  Taking pain meds. Moving my ankle a little.  Using the bed pan (highly over-rated).  But I keep hearing this story.  Over and over.  The same story.  So I will share it with you now . . .

You will have to have Doug tell it to you to get the full effect . . . something about me thinking that I could walk a mile the minute I got home from the hospital.  That he saw my knees begin to buckle when I tried to "walk" to the bathroom and that he caught me from behind.  That I kept telling him I was fine--and then I would suddenly go limp again.  That he dragged me to the toilet, only to have me throw my head back and start making a deep, guttural sound (he will gladly reenact it for you).  He will also show you how my eyes rolled back in my head and that I turned the color of a banana peel.  He yelled and yelled at me, but I wouldn't answer.  I kept looking worse and making fewer noises.  Then he says that he tried to hold me on the toilet while trying to dial 9-1-1 but mistakenly dialed 9-1-1-1 so the call wouldn't go through.  And just when he was ready to say good bye to me for good--to thank the Lord for the 15 wonderful years we have had together--I jerked my head up and said, "What in the world are you calling 911 for?!?!?  There is nothing wrong with me!!!!"

I think it was at that point that he decided to quit his job as my caregiver.

Say a prayer for Douglas tonight that he will not have heart problems by the time my ankle has healed.

Love to you all!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mom brought me to Jackson South this morning for my surgery.  Everything went extremely well.  Dr. Carbonell was able to remove the fixator, remove a little hardware, and cover the wound.  He also manipulated my foot out of the 90 degree angle-position that it has been in for the last 8 weeks.  He says that in order to do that, he tore apart a lot of scar tissue--painful--but good.  The best news was that the talus bone looks like it is alive.  Thanks be to God.

I have been feeling good the last few days--zipping around on my scooter and visiting school. So, I think I kind of had it in my head that I was going to have my surgery and continue improving.  WRONG!  I can see that I am now almost back at the beginning.  LOTS of pain. Very painful movement.  Strong spasms.  We found that I can't even get up to go to the bathroom 
without blanking out from the pain so we are back to using the bed pan.  Fun!  

I called Dr. Carbonell about it and he let me know that I will be experiencing some pretty extreme pain for the next few days because of the ankle manipulation during the surgery. However, hopefully the pain will begin to subside so I can start to take on physical therapy next week.  Time will tell.

I am encouraged.  This is all part of the process.  My spirits are good.  My family is amazing.  My friends are incredibly supportive.  

Love you all so much!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As I sit here, I can hear Doug talking to Annika.  She is trying to settle down for bed but is heartbroken about my surgery tomorrow.  She is so worried about ankle fusions, infection, bone death, amputation--things a kid really would never know about unless they were planning a future in podiatry.  I hate to hear her cry--wondering why this had to happen to me.  I hate to think that I have caused her such deep angst.  She is trying so hard to let it go--but it is eating her up.  

In reality--tomorrow will be wonderful.  It will be amazing to get this fixator off of my leg--I think my leg might fly up in the air the minute they take it off.  I am also thrilled at the idea of covering up my ugly wound (actually--it has gotten pretty darn good looking if I do say so myself).  I also just might be pretty close to getting off the antibiotics because I have now managed to live through eight weeks of treatment!!

I mentioned before that this surgery will most likely be the beginning of a new chapter of my story.  I now know that to be true.  On Monday--I will begin my first day of physical therapy to see what my poor ankle can do.  But it will also be when we get to look at the new x-rays to see if the shattered pieces of bone were able to stay alive.  If the talus bone was just too damaged for the blood to return to the bone, it will be dead.  I'd like to think that I have my very own Easter miracle going on in my foot right now and that the bone is alive!  Whatever the case will be--I am up for it.  Who cares.  It all makes life interesting--right???

Please be praying for Doug, Annika, and Elise as they each handle their concern for me in their own way.  They have been so brave throughout this whole deal.  I love them so much.

Love you, too!


P.S. A wonderful artist and author, Jim Arnosky, came to talk to our students today at school so I went to hear him.  So great to see him at work--but also to see my students.  They all tell me that they have been praying for me every night and that they are so proud of me.  What amazing kids.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good Morning!  Today is a big day because I am going to all my doctors to prepare for my surgery which is now on THURSDAY at noon.  

Remember when I wrote you that I was perfectly happy staying in bed all day sleeping?  Well, my body must be doing better because I am DESPERATE to get out of the house.  I went to school yesterday and was delighted to see so many of my students--it really fed my spirit.  So many people have mentioned that it is common to go through a time of depression/anxiety when going through something like this.  Well, I have really been fighting it a little during the last week and it has been wonderful to combat it with PRAYER, PEOPLE, SUNSHINE, AND OUTINGS!  

Praise be to God for the dear people who have encouraged me--sometimes without even realizing it.  One friend brought me a toe ring to put on my foot.  She told me that every time I look at it, I can remember that God loves me.  A sweet student at school yesterday gave me a note and ended it with, "For I will restore your health to you and heal you of your wounds," says the Lord (Jeremiah 30:17a).  The wounds feel both physical and emotional this week--so I am taking that one to heart.  So many have continued to remember and encourage us in such amazing ways--we are so blessed.

Love to you all!