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!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Howdy! I just got back from hearing Annika sing in her school Christmas concert tonight. I missed her Spring concert last year because I was in the hospital so I really wanted to try and make it. After struggling to assemble the dumb wheelchair in the parking lot, Doug and I managed to get me to the auditorium. She said we embarrassed her because we were smiling so big in the front row (handicapped seating). So sweet.

Speaking of sweet--some wonderful people in our church felt badly that we all missed out on a "normal" Thanksgiving day. So, they all pitched in and made awesome food for us. I'm telling you--I think we are going to milk this ankle injury thing for all it's worth!

Well, I went to Dr. C yesterday and am now armed with all my X-rays. Ready to pretend that you are a radiologist??

First, I want to introduce you to my new bionic foot (insert cool Bionic Man music here).

I wasn't quite catching the angle of the screws from the side shot, so I made up this one from the front:

Next, I wanted to see how my ankle slowly went downhill, so I made up this slide:

It is so amazing that even though my talus was shattered at the beginning (in the first picture), look at that awesome space of cartilage above the talus! That just slowly gets smaller and smaller as it dies over the following months. Sad to me.

Finally, I was looking at my X-rays and thought I was just seeing things . . . was that my fibula cut off like a dagger in my leg??? So, I called Dr. Carbonell just to see if I was going crazy. Yep--it's gone. He cut the dumb thing off.

I almost feel like I should have kept it and given it a burial or something. Turns out, your fibula is a non-weight bearing bone. It is designed to help your foot/ankle manipulate uneven surfaces. Now that my ankle is fused I don't need it anymore. Best of all--everyone always suspected that the fibula might be harboring some bacteria because it had that metal plate on it for so long. No fibula--(hopefully) no infection.

Looking over all these images just makes me so sure of what I need to pray for . . . UNION. I would covet your prayers that the cadaver bone, and my smooshed up leftover talus, and shaved off tibia all grow together in a healthy chunk of ankle. If they don't, I am seriously looking at amputation.

Pray for union.
Pray for union.
Pray for union (or for more patience to endure what else might come next).

OK--now that all of you are ready to head the radiology department of a hospital near you, I am going to bed.

Love to you all!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hello, I'm home! Mom and I left the hospital around 7:00 pm on Monday night and finally got home. The house was neat, Doug was working on spelling words with Elise, and Annika was getting her stuff ready for school. Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Since then, I really haven't left my bed other than to go to the bathroom and sit in the living room to look at our Christmas lights (no ladders were used in the hanging of the lights this year). I just want to be still and rest. I don't want to do anything to mess up the outcome of this surgery.

One of Dr. Carbonell's residents, Mai, came by to see me on Monday and took all of the bandages off (Click on "Great Fall Wound Pics" to see them). The stitches look awesome. There is a large incision site on the right side of my ankle, and then two smaller sites on the left side and under my heel. These are all the places where the screws would have been put through the bone. I can't wait to see copies of the X-rays to see what is in there.

Lord willing--I really think these will heal up in a few weeks like normal wounds (not like ones that take 10 months to heal).

I make a ton of noise with my walker at night (the four trips to the bathroom, getting my antibiotics loaded into my PICC line, taking meds, etc.) so Doug is sleeping in Elise's room. Besides juggling all the responsibilities with the house, kids, etc.--he is getting back to school, and dealing with a lot of sadness. I want for him to get as much sleep as he can and let my night nurses take care of me.

So, Annika slept with me last night. We cuddled, read, and talked about her trip to Michigan. It was so nice to be with her. She suddenly seems so much older to me.

Tonight, Elise and I did some homework and then watched a movie of the Nutcracker (starring none other than a very young Macaulay Culkin as the Young Prince). She is going to see it in real life tomorrow on a field trip with her class. As my night nurse tonight (here she is on duty), she made me promise that she could put the flush and heparin in my PICC line tomorrow morning.

I have to mention that Shannon, my dear niece back in Michigan, colored in this beautiful poster for me as a get well card. It is now next to my bed making me feel better. I, too, will someday be a Beach Princess (or at least be able to get my foot wet with salt water!). Thanks, Shannon!

I should be going to see Dr. Carbonell soon so I will let you know what is going on then.

Love to you all, my friends--


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dear Lisa and the Carpers came by to visit today. I promised them that the trip up to my room would be worth the view. The view of the outside of the elevator shaft--that is. Gorgeous, isn't it? If I hobble over to the far side of the room, I can look at parked cars. Very inspiring. They say that patients heal much faster if they can see something from nature outside their hospital room window --a tree, growing grass, flowering plants, etc. I am drawing my healing power from painted stucco. It must work on some level because I am feeling pretty good today. I am now on Percocet (no delaudid anymore) and am feeling like my mind, body, and spirit are in balance. Thank goodness. God is good.

And now for the best thing ever . . . my babies are back. Mom picked them up from the airport this afternoon and drove them straight to the hospital. My cell phone was ringing before they even got here. Annika was feeling a little stressed that she didn't feel prepared for school tomorrow--wondered what homework she should be doing--what outfit would be clean and nice for her first day back, etc. etc. Meanwhile, I hear Elise screaming in the background about every imaginable detail of their time in Michigan. I don't think it had even occurred to her that there was a school in Miami--let alone a school that SHE was going to have to be at tomorrow. Hilarious. Yes, my two little girls do march to the beat of different drummers. :)

After visiting with my sweet family, there are a few things that can be said with certainty . . .
1) My girls LOVE their cousins.
2) They wish they could live by their cousins.
3) They are excited for Christmas to come.
4) Seeing me in a hospital gown isn't as scary as it used to be.
5) They are ready and willing to help me recuperate from the surgery--such troopers.
6) My Douglas is very sad that he doesn't have a Dad anymore. You can tell that he literally feels sick in his heart.

It felt so good to see them again. The girls looked so much older to me--so grown up. And Doug just looked plain handsome. I loved being able to feel them again.

I hope that this Christmas season can be a time of both physical and emotional healing for us all.

Love to you all--