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, April 11, 2009

I have been thinking all night about some pictures that I found on Doug's iphone last night.  No--nothing that would break up a marriage . . . Rather, they were pictures that gave me insight into what Doug has been going through since my fall.  

So many people who have been through similar hardships have warned us about the emotional toll a long recovery can take on the primary caregiver.  While the one who is hurt (me) will often get a big "I am going to beat this thing" rush of adrenalin that will carry them through some dark times--the caregiver (my dear Douglas) is left to keep the family's "normal" life moving forward.  They usually have to stuff their feelings of worry and fear down pretty deep just to keep their heads above water.  

When I look at Doug's pictures, I see that he has spent many, many hours taking care of me when things weren't looking too good.  He has probably heard a lot of scary words from doctors that he has or hasn't passed on to me. He has had to encourage our kids to believe that I will get better.  AND he has had to do this while going to soccer games, being the lone parent at school
 musicals, teaching weekly lessons to his 450 students, caring for a cranky new bird, making meals, cleaning the house, and much, much more.  All of this is very stressful.

These pictures make me more aware than ever that he has been so faithful to me and to our kids.  The fact that he is feeling a little wear and tear from this experience makes all the sense in the world.  

My healing is nowhere close to being over. My biggest prayer is that we can roll with the bumps that will come along the way and remember that we are in God's hands.  There is nothing that we have to "freak" out about, or see as a sign of impending doom.  These pictures show me that God has been with us through some very dark times, and he will continue to be with us to the very end.


Friday night, April 10, 2009

Well, hello!  It has been so long since I have checked in with all of you!  We had a wonderful time relaxing, reading, talking, playing games, watching movies, laying out in the sun, swimming, and taking lots of naps!  Although I never made it out to the beach (too difficult to figure out how I would travel on the sand), Doug and the kids enjoyed collecting shells, jumping waves, and taking long walks at sunset.  Annika was thrilled to have her good friend, Quinn, join us for a few days (to celebrate her 10th birthday), and Elise was just happy to have a new bucket of Easter playdough to play with on the balcony.

Marco Island is filled with very tan, active, and friendly senior citizens.  I was getting a little tired of looking into the faces of fit and beautiful 70 year old women (with tennis racquets in hand) as they asked me questions about my fall with unbelievable pity.  Everyone wanted to know where I had gotten my cool scooter, or how long I had been on antibiotics, or when my doctor thought I might walk again.  But even though they were all very polite, they were the ones heading off to the courts to hit their tennis balls back and forth, while I was the one fitting tennis balls onto the legs of my walker.  

My doctors all worked together to make it possible for me to be away for one, entire week.  I don't know what I was thinking when we made these plans.  For the past three months, I have seen a doctor every other day . . . how did I think I would be away for 7 days without seeing a doctor??  So . . . my infectious disease doctors taught me how to mix antibiotics the old fashioned way instead of using their cool refrigerated antibiotic balloons (they only last 3 days).  This meant using a tall IV stand and priming a lot of fancy tubing before each infusion--made me feel like I had already graduated from medical school.  

Dr. Carbonell wanted me to continue to have the dressings on my wound changed every other day (which is usually done by my home health care nurse).  This was especially important because of the new horse heart bioimplant on my wound.  So . . . the nurses taught me how to do my own VAC/wound care and I did it on my own in Marco!  

Everything went great until Wednesday night when I changed my dressing and thought things looked a little funny.  Without giving too many gross details, I will just say that there was a lot of slimy gook and an odd odor coming from my wound.  Even though we were planning to stay until Friday night (right now), I did not want to be responsible for my wound getting infected while on vacation.  So, my Mom, Elise, and I headed back to Miami on Thursday morning to see Dr. Carbonell.  Turned out that everything was fine (whew!) and he even wrote me a prescription for a walker with 4 wheels and a fold-down seat (the seniors in Marco will really be jealous, now!!).

Although our vacation ended a little abruptly (Doug and Annika came back this morning), it was wonderful to get away and even make an awkward attempt to swim in a pool!

Life is good.


Friday morning, April 10, 2009

Hello!  So many of you have written to me about my Dad.  

Most of you who know him are 
a) in agreement that he is an incredibly giving and caring man,
b) amazed that he would divert from his regularly scheduled shaving routine,
c) thrilled that he is doing something for himself,
d) insisting that he will look great no matter what he does with his facial hair!!

Turns out that he agreed with most of you and decided to shave his hair in the "Van Dyke" style. Cute, huh?