Monday, January 18, 2016

Post op | Round one

I had my post op appointment today. It's been 15 days since the accident. Overall it went really well.

First-Stitches are out! Hurt like hell, but it feels good to have them out!

Second-the Degloving injury looks awesome and no further surgery is needed as of right now. The doc was super happy with how it looked.

I have a good size blister on my knee that I need to air dry as much as I can at home. We need the skin to heal.

I'm back in the immobilizing brace to keep my knee from bending so the incision can continue to heal.

I go back in a week for another follow up.

Thanks for all the prayers, they are working!!

******picture below******












Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My word for 2016

Yesterday was by far my most challenging day emotionally. I started my day bawling and ended my day the same. We really weren't sure if it was the meds or just the entire situation. I could not get a grip on my emotions.

I literally sit in the same spot all day and night. Yeah I get up to go to the bathroom or fill my water jug for the 15th time, but that's it. If I try much more than that I'm left shaking and weak or light headed. I typically never.stop.moving. It's who I am and how I'm built. I'm super organized and can get an amazing amount of stuff done in a short amount of time. This whole ordeal has been a major reality check. I can't help but wonder if it's my "slow down" card.

I decided I just couldn't let today be the same. Sure it did actually feel good to cry, but it was also so confusing. So this morning at six, I got up and had Bear lead me down the steps so I could pick out my own clothes. Then I got myself in the shower and dressed. By the end of getting dressed I was sitting on the side of the tub with my head between my knees praying I wouldn't pass out. Bear got me to my chair and I was able to wrap my leg and get my brace back on. All.by.Myself (I feel like I need to call Mercer Mayer for that one). Bear just said, "there's my independent little momma." I was proud of myself for doing it and didn't feel so helpless for once. "Baby steps" and "one day at a time" are on repeat in my head

I'm in a challenge group for my oil business and we all had to choose one word for the year 2016.

My word for 2016 is strength

streNG(k)TH/
noun
1. the quality or state of being strong, in particular.
2. a good or beneficial quality or attribute of a person or thing.

I had tossed around a few other words like: balance, intentional and commitment. But the major trauma last Sunday has flipped my world upside down. I have strength, I always have and I think I always will, but the strength I need now is so very different.

I'm sassy and spunky and a fighter naturally for all things and people. I want to be the good in the world and trust that it's always going to exist. But more recently I've had to really look at just how strong I really am. I've accepted food and help from others, who are all too willing to help out, that is so not me. I'm not one for handouts. I'm always the one organizing this kind of stuff. I've had to have someone help me walk and shower. I'm a VERY independent woman and it's humbling to let them help me with the simplest of things.

These everyday, simple tasks are requiring a different level of strength from me. They are making me let go of myself and allowing me to find the strength from within to allow people to help. I've always been the person running all over for others...to have someone offer to help me and for me to accept it is a huge test of my strength. And I'm doing it. 

It's scary being vulnerable, but I have strength and will overcome any obstacle that life throws my way. For now I am taking this "unwelcomed" time off to take a hard look at where my weaknesses are in my business and life and where I need to strengthen them.

Thank you to all of you who are out there praying and thinking of me, for helping with meals, for the visits, for the flowers, for the goodie boxes, for everything...I won't ever forget it.

#iamstrong

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January 3, 2016 | a New Year with a bang

So I had a bit of an accident sledding at the golf course Sunday, January 3rd, around noon. I was in a sledding tube and hit a metal stake by the #9 green. The stake was holding the snow fence up. A bit of a "keep off" sort of thing.
We had a track down and we're aiming behind the gazebo. My second trip down the hill I hopped on the tube and spun backwards and off track. I veered to the left towards the green. By the time my tube spun around again the stake was right there. I naturally put my foot up to stop myself or kick off. That was my right foot...the foot I just had surgery on the end of August. The only thing I can think of is that I second guessed myself at the last minute and didn't want to re-injure that same foot. I must have tucked up my legs into a fetal type position and my right leg (shin/knee) hit the stake and then I skidded down the rest of the stake with the outside of my leg. The stake basically slid up my whole leg.
I remember screaming-the kind you can't stop coming out of your mouth-and nephew Nicker being right there holding my hands and getting me to breathe and calm down. My boys were watching it all but not really understanding it. Tammy, Scott, Derek and Nick got me up the hill and into a big orange sled. Tracey, Kurt and Shelby were just coming in to join us and helped haul all the gear out instead. Nicker got to pull me the mile long road back out to the car. Talk about a sweaty boy!! He helped me get in my car and Tammy drove me to the ER. 
There had been two ambulances before me so I waited and waited and waited. At this time we had no clue of the severity of my injuries. Obviously adrenaline and shock were getting me through the wait. Shaking, hot and cold flashes were my symptoms. And burning leg pain was the only thing I felt on my leg. 
Once I was in the room I had Bear take my new mukluks off-for fear they would cut them off! And once he got my snowpants down we saw the blood and the tissue through my pants and knew that I had a big injury. 
The doctors initial diagnosis was a fractured femur. The thigh injury looked like the ball of my femur protruding and the laceration looked like the bone fracture by my knee. 
I headed into the emergency room-where they assessed me more thoroughly. And then they proceeded to cut off my $100 yoga pants! (The nerve!) BUT the compression of the lulu lemon pants was actually helping keep everything tight and in place. (Score for yoga pants!) And I have awesome friends who already scored me a gift card for a new pair. 
Apparently I'm a rockstar and my pain threshold is very high. The nurses and doctors made sure to repeat that to Bear more than once. I probably won't let him forget it either.
I powered through as best I could. The anxiety and fear is what was sneaking in and getting the best of me. A few doses of some calming meds and we headed down the road.
About 6:30 we arrived in Duluth at St. Lukes via ambulance. I had an amazing crew in the ambulance--small world but Bear's cousin' son was the driver. He said he would be sure to hit every bump on the road-and he succeeded!
And then low and behold a friend and nurse from the Falls was my nurse in Duluth. Traci Wilke is to thank for the "before pics." The trauma surgeon (Dr. Watkins) met with us and explained the injury and the plan of action. He autographed my leg to be sure he operated on the correct one and we were off. Once we started rolling it was fast! Surgery was an hour and a half long and I was out about 11 pm. Surgery was performed on the Degloving of my thigh tissue and deep laceration around my knee that needed repairing. I have a small break on my fibula but it's a non-weight bearing bone so it'll heal on its own and that isn't really anything to worry about.
The trauma surgeon says everything looks good and they sewed up the leg wound perfectly. I'll have a badass scar! The hemo-vac (blood sucker) was placed at the top of my thigh to prevent the blood from pooling. When they took that baby out it was about 24" long! Bear, Mom and Dave couldn't believe the length of it and watched them just keep pulling it out hand over hand. It ran the length of my leg and was basically a tube with holes in it that a pump would suck the excess blood out from the wounds. 
Now we pray for the thigh tissue to get enough blood supply. The Degloving injury basically separated all of the tissue and slid it into a pile at the top of my thigh. The main concern is the skin won't get enough blood supply and it can die off and that would require another surgery with a skin graft. The laceration should heal just fine. Small concern that the blood supply won't heal it properly either but chances are not likely. It looked the worst but isn't necessarily the injury we are most worried about.

The good news is I'm complete, there is no muscle or bone damage, it's all soft tissue damage. I'm young, strong and healthy so they say I'll recover quickly. I realize it could have been so much worse...

The surgeon was just in and has cleared me for discharge. It'll be two weeks of recovery at home and then a return trip to Duluth for the stitches to come out. It'll be lots of weeks to see if the Degloving injury skin is surviving or dying off. The most I can do is keep the leg warm, no caffeine (vaso-constrictor), and no smoking. I'm good on the last one but the coffee withdrawals may totally suck. But this will give me maximum circulation and my best shot at keeping the tissue healthy. 
So gross but to give you an idea, the doc went in, with his hand, through the laceration under my knee and could reach his hand all the way up towards my hip-the thigh/quad area. Which is where he could see his glove through my skin...there is no soft tissue there, it was separated from the fascia, and that is what supplies blood to that area-so we need that to stay healthy. Amazingly my quads are all in tact and I can fire the muscles and get them to move.

Degloving is defined here a little better: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degloving

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Don't read farther if you don't want to see the icky pics. 
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This is the laceration below my knee. It's where I hit the metal stake. My snowpants and yoga pants were not cut through. We could not tell I was bleeding until we took the snowpants off. The leg injury/laceration was from the impact and it split my skin.
They literally just pulled the skin back together and stitched it up. It all matched up perfectly. It missed my knee cap and wraps around behind my knee and again missing that tendon back there. They said it's about 40 stitches:
This is the hemo-vac that drained the blood from my leg so it didn't pool in there. The ace wrap and compression immobilizer will help keep the swelling down and the stitches around my knee in place and not bending. I'm walking with crutches, tackled the hallway and a set of stairs (up and down like a two-year old) and am to put as much weight as tolerable on the leg. Oh and to stand up straight! Apparently my posture sucks.

That's all for now...I'll need patience and time but should make a full recovery. Lots of physical therapy in my future. Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes...and offers to clean, make meals and help with the boys...I've got an amazing support system helping me through this...love to you all.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Pioneer Woman | Butchering Chickens

This summer we had a super cool opportunity! We butchered our own chickens! I had been buying locally laid eggs from a co-worker for quite a few months. I finally asked him if we could get some meat too. The only stipulation was that we had to come help butcher! The deal was made! I made sure I brought the boys along too...every person should know where their meat comes from. They were all too excited to watch one run around with its head cut off.


Now Dave has the coolest plucker ever. He rigged this thing up to a drill so that when it was turned on it plucked a majority of the feathers off for us! The only major plucking we had to do was the pin feathers and a few random ones. By far made our job easier!
I thought I would be a little sad to see them alive and then butchering them right after but it really didn't bother me.
The boys didn't mind either. They had to imitate the chickens of course. Including loud clucking noises in the woods.
Now the boiling of the chicken was not the best smell, but we were in the wide open and no smell stayed too long.
Emmitt kept saying how heavy the chicken was. They were HUGE birds!
It took Parker a little longer to want to hold the chicken, but he wasn't about to let his little brother show him up.
Now this smell may have been the worst there was. Burn hair was all I could think of. But it was one of the very last steps in the process.


Farm girl Audrey had to see if she could remember the butchering process. It had been quite a few years but she got right back in there and it all came back to her.

The boys had a BLAST standing in the shooting lane of the flying feathers! All three of them were laughing pretty hard!
Total boy...covered in feathers and playing with a chicken foot.

The final stage of packaging chickens. We ended up with five really big birds!
And we promptly made beer-butt chicken for dinner that night. Talk about fresh!!