Things I want to do in two-oh-one-two


Although I avoid the word resolution, I usually do try to find things to do that will — hopefully — make life a bit better for me and mine.  It’s not so much because it’s the new year; it’s primarily because Christmas break is the longest stretch of down time that I have.  Since I’m home more, there is more time to consider routines and habits.  Time with people shows me which relationships I need to work on, and taking a step back from work allows me to be more objective about what needs to happen there. 

So without further adieu, here’s my list of things I want to do in two-oh-one-two.

  • I want to write more.  As this blog indicates, I’ve lapsed terribly in writing, whether for myself or for others.  I want to send encouraging notes.  I want to resume using a prayer journal.  I want to keep track of what I’m reading and knitting.
  • Speaking of reading and knitting . . .
    • I want to finish all of my current knitting projects.  Then, I want to do one project at a time, start to finish.
    • Are you sitting down?  I want to not spend any money on books this year.  That’s right.  One of my goals is to not buy any books and to read from my own shelves.  Or — here’s a novel idea — check books out from the library.  Ha!
  •  We need to eat at home more.  During the semester, it’s way too easy to eat out.  Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but a little bit of planning could help cut out a lot of it. Taking my lunch more than I do could cut out even more.  
  • My body needs to move more.  Understandably, this year has involved a lot of sitting and waiting, but it’s time to move again.  Yoga.  I miss yoga.  I miss yoga and Just Dance and I’m going to give Zumba a whirl too.  Moving should be fun and should help the soul as much as the body.  

I think that’s enough.  Really, I’m just saying that I want to be more me and less caught up in out there.

In the end, it will all be OK. If it isn’t OK, then it isn’t the end.

Between wrapping up the semester and getting ready for Christmas, I hadn’t looked at my blog. I didn’t realize that my last post was my despondent one, written on one of the most difficult post-bone graft days that we had.  The following Tuesday, we got good news at Emily’s check up and since then, her pain level has returned to occasional rather than continual.  And that is good.

The good news?  The ortho docs gave Emily permission to use her scooter again and to start walking with crutches in physical therapy.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her as happy as she was the first day that she took steps with both feet.   

I can finally believe this really will end some day.” — Emily Burley, on the occasion of her first steps. 

So for now, Em has a walking cast on one leg, a walking boot on the other, uses her scooter for big distances, and is learning to use crutches.  It is a beginning.  In PT, her therapist also lets her walk without crutches as long as someone is in front of her with a walker and behind her for extra precaution.  Balance is returning.  Strength is being gained.   Hopefully, she’ll be strong and stable enough on crutches that she can use them when she goes back to school next week.
Back to school.  Next week.  One more step in  recovery.

Of course we don’t know when it will be, but at some point, she’ll make the transition to not having a walking boot or walking cast.  Her feet will touch the floor again and she will learn to walk on her own.  Her next appointment is January 10th, and that may be the beginning of that transition. 

I have some videos to post and some pictures to add when I’m back on my own computer.  Be sure to check next week. 

Thank you again for being faithful friends and for praying for Emily throughout this process. 

Back to square . . something

I couldn’t call this square one, but it isn’t where we were.

The bone graft was Monday.  It went well.  Bone was removed from Emily’s hip and placed into the break in her lower leg that wasn’t healing.  Three and half months post-wreck, her right foot was evaluated and deemed healed enough to bear weight as tolerated.  That’s good, right?  I guess both of these things are progress.

But from a practical standpoint, this means that chronic pain is part of Emily’s life again.  Not occasional pain when she does too much or the weather is changing.  Chronic pain that narcotics will dull but not end.  That intensifies when she moves any part of her body in any direction. 

Mobility is an issue again.  No more scooter for a while.  Her recently-operated-on left leg can’t tolerate the weight and pressure that putting it on the scooter would generate, and her right foot isn’t strong enough or pain-free enough to do the work of propelling her forward.  So if you see us the next few weeks, you’ll see a wheelchair again.

So this isn’t square one, but it’s not where we were.  And it feels like square one.

When is enough, enough?  Or too much?  When does my sweet girl who has kept such a good attitude through all of this get a break?  In the middle of all of this, do you know what she wants for Christmas?  To be able to go to Children’s Hospital and take gifts to the kids who are in the hospital on Christmas day. 

I’m trying to keep my long range focus and remember that suffering produces character and character produces hope and that hope does not disappoint us.  I’m trying to remember that this world is just a broken and crazy place and that the challenge is in finding God in the midst of the crazy brokenness.  That broken craziness doesn’t mean that God is not present.

The middle child in me wants some fairness, here and now.  Not waiting.  Not big picture.  Not down the road.  Here.  Now.  Fairness.  Ease.  Maybe not even “easy,” but not so many hard things at once and for so long. 

Right now, I’m missing the idea of going to my Grandmother’s house.  Of being cared for and nourished and away from my every day life.  Of a slower pace, a calmer environment, and very little responsibility beyond my own personal needs. I often wonder what words of wisdom she would be able to give me in the middle of all of this.

But here and now, I am getting up and going into the kitchen and making pancakes.  Because I can.  I have the ingredients and the ability and so I will.  There are 100+ things in my life that I can’t do anything about, but I can make pancakes.  And so I will.

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