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 10, 2009

OK--don't worry--I'm not standing on the railing of a bridge somewhere. I woke up on Monday morning--ready to face my fears. I called the insurance company and found out that they were just making a courtesy call (would have been nice if they could have indicated that along with the scary message they left on my answering machine). I went to Dr. Carbonell and he felt pretty confident that my drainage/bleeding issues were unusual but normal. I was able to clear up some questions about how much I was allowed to move my foot, keep it elevated, etc. So, since then, we have been doing book reports, taking Christmas card pictures, and sleeping (I do a lot of that).

So, just when things were seeming dandy, I went to see my infectious disease doctor today. Not good. Turns out that the pathology reports coming back on the bone taken from my ankle show that the bone is infected. Furthermore, the drainage that is coming out like gang-busters from my incision site is a scary sign that there is still infection inside. Dr. Jacobsen's gut tells him that the bone is not going to fuse because there is still debris inside the wound. Dr. J and Dr. C spoke on the phone today, and Dr. C indicated that there are still small pieces of metal lodged inside the bone. However, for him to remove it all, he will have to destroy all of the bone that we need to fuse. I don't know exactly what it all means--but it doesn't sound good to me.

I actually had the courage to buy a pair of rocker-bottom shoes online the other day. I thought--I just might be wearing these things by summer. Today, I am finding myself googling "lower leg amputation" instead.

Don't worry--I'm not giving up. I want this baby to fuse. But the writing on the wall is looking all too familiar.

We haven't let on that anything is up to the girls because they are really hoping and praying that this fusion surgery might be a sign that this ankle ordeal is almost over. I don't want to freak them out.

When I was doing a little research about amputation, I had to laugh at this little cartoon included in the take-home instructions following an amputation. Doesn't that look like the happiest little amputee you have ever seen? I can't tell if he is in pajamas or just so excited to get back to work that he is wearing a suit everywhere he goes. Gave me a laugh.

So, today I am praying that we can beat the odds and get these bones to fuse. I pray that God will give my doctors wisdom to work with each other for the best outcome possible. I just don't want to still be talking about ankles next year, you know?

Love to all of you, my dear friends . . .


P.S. OK--I was done. But I just got this email. The memo read, "Funniest Christmas Picture Ever!!" Oh yea, I am just CRACKING up.

The caption under the picture reads, "Good news is that I truly outdid myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after two days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever. Great stories. But two things made me take it down. First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by. Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder and almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize that it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of the many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

It's all funny until it happens to you . . . :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I had one of those downer days today. Just not feeling very hopeful. I know, I know . . . think positive. I am. I just had a few setbacks (pain, bleeding, insurance hangups) this weekend that made me feel down.

Which brings me to an email I received last week. I get this email from "Sarah" who somehow found my blog on the internet. She, too, fell while dealing with blasted Christmas lights. However, this amazing woman is in her early twenties and has been at this for two years now.

She wrote, "My own journey began when I fell off our two story roof on November 30, 2007. My left leg and foot took the worst of it, I shattered my calcaneus, talus, and the lower part of my tibia and fibula. I had spiral fractures running the length of my tibia, followed my a tibial plateau fracture. My knee cap was dislocated, and tore my ACL, MCL, PCL, patellar tendon, medial, and lateral meniscus. My right ankle sustained a trimalleolar fracture, which has healed wonderfully, leaving me with very little or no pain at all. I had a total of three separate pelvic fractures, which required the use of an external fixator to hold it together while healing. Then moving upward I fractured my L1, and L2 vertebrae, which thankfully didn't cause any spinal cord damage. Followed by a broken left wrist and elbow, which required surgery as well."

Bless her heart, she has recovered from the majority of her injuries--except for her left ankle. She had almost the same surgery I just had last February, but the bones did not join. She is now struggling to decide whether to amputate her leg or to spend more time in an external fixator.

We could share that idea of feeling like life is passing you by as you wait for your body to heal. Sarah tells me that she thinks I am so strong--when it is SHE that has inspired me.

I had a down day, yes. But if Sarah can still have dreams of getting back to college, starting a business, and getting back into life--than so can I. Good grief--I am just dealing with an ankle.

So for today, I would love it if you could pray for my new friend, Sarah. She doesn't like people feeling sorry for her (I can relate). But she really needs to decide how to move forward with her treatment. As for me, I pray that a few financial details can get worked out tomorrow and that my doctor can give me some encouraging words on my healing so far.

Love to you all--