Today you'll hear about the sausage living on my leg, my jello-y toes, the beauty of friendship and the smell of my husband + more.
My "free flap" - which is the big "sausage" looking transplanted tissue from my thigh to my lower leg - is alive and doing well. This means that (if it continues to do well) I will keep my foot and not have to amputate and get a prosthetic. The free flap still looks grotesque but it was never supposed to be a beauty addition so I just have to be pleased it's performing - pig snout and all.
I have a total of three compound fractures in my lower leg and I'm waiting for them to heal enough for me to put pressure on my leg (at least another 7 weeks they say). The orthopedic doctor says that I should be able to walk but the manner in which I will walk is still up in the air as it depends on if my foot will come back alive or not. Right now it's a flat, swollen limp piece of flesh with bones in it. I touch my toes and they just hang there like useless branches on a dead tree. But considering my foot was pretty much severed from my leg, I am finding the patience (most of the time) to lovingly accept that it needs time to try to reconnect to the rest of me. At night it gives me fits by aching - almost like a phantom foot would do I imagine?
I'm happy to report my mood has been much more level. I think the expectations of coming home were so high, but then fear of the future set in and I didn't handle it well. I've seen a counselor a few times and she tells me to focus on the present as I can not predict the future . She tells me that when panic sets in I should breathe in on the count of ten, hold my breath for ten counts and breathe out on the count of ten. Also I am to have the mantra of "I am safe" when I feel scared. Usually I get panicky when I'm in bed (insomnia is a beast!!) but I curl up next to sleeping Ty, smell the warmth from him (yes I literally sniff his back!) and most of the time this gives me a sense of safety. The last two nights I've not slept though and I seriously medicate to no avail. But insomnia is not a new troll for me to fight - it's been a constant unwelcome companion since my college days (a hundred years ago...)
My days are filled with phone calls and paperwork. The bills are pouring in like a broken faucet that can not be turned off. Some places are willing to work with me and the hospital bill here in Oxford that started out at $5,000 is now $1,000. Others like my free flap surgeon is $28,000 and growing and that is one I have to deal with because he is the one who will hopefully perform future surgeries on me in about 6 months (aka pig snout removal!!!)
I have amazing friends. Period. Beyond the moon . First I had a bouquet of them travel here for New Years. Then my sweet Nicole came for 4 days. My Swedish friend Jenny just flew in from Maryland and she is currently whirling around our Happy Lane home with vacuum cleaner, Swiffer duster, while at the same time attempting to get me to eat healthy proteins and drink lots of water (the Norwegian chocolate I received for Christmas often wins out.)
In our spare time Ty and I would travel to nearby cities to soak in their flavor - Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans etc. Today we're going on a new adventure. We're attempting a trip to the grocery store - wheelchair in hand and Jenny as co-assistant. Should be interesting.
I had a super lady who grew up with Ty's mother come paint with me. It was very calming and I've started making thank you cards. I have close to two hundred people (at least!!) to thank so we will see how this goes.
All in all I feel fairly grounded and I'm learning to be patient because now I'm pretty much in a holding tank until I can put pressure on my foot.
With much love & gratitude, Siri
PS: I keep growing as people still bring us food which has been INCREDIBLY helpful (more than you will ever realize!) It has been absolutely tremendous!