Getting on the good foot, eventually

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photo 1photo 11photo 10 I awoke Sunday morning with the remembrance of a dream.

Have you ever done that? Had a dream that surprises or stirs you?

I’ve dreamt many strange things. Just before the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia, I dreamt it just a few days before. I stood in horror watching it on tv and told the Hubs that I had those exact images in my sleep just a few days before.

But on Sunday, I dreamt of something ordinary. Something I miss and that must have spilled into my subconscious.

I dreamt of wearing TWO shoes. One on the left foot and get this,

the other on the right – (did that image just give you chills???)

Though I’m certain many of my previous dreams have included me in footwear, I overlooked their significance until today.

Weird how the mind works. Fascinating how things once commonplace become important when they are gone even if it’s only temporarily.

I had foot surgery the day after Christmas. For many years, orthopedic screws in my right foot have caused me problems. It was a more complicated surgery than expected because one of the screws was deeply lodged in my foot and the doctor had to bore two deep holes in my foot to extricate it. Interestingly, one of the screws was loose which probably only proves the theory that many have held for a long time.

And then I developed a shin splint which further impeded my ability to move forward.  Why I was downright churlish when the doctor had the gall to insist on further restricting my mobility!

My tendency is to hurry out of a place of waiting but crud muffins, that’s my reality. Am I the only one who just wants to be over and done with a struggle? Of course not!

Here are the doctor’s orders.

SLOW DOWN! – I’m not used to being still. I’m a busy girl, things to do, people to see, places to go. Forced to move at almost a snail’s pace is challenging. Possibly this is a message for me even after I’m healed.

STAY OFF YOUR FOOT! – If I am foolish enough to walk on my foot without protection, I could break my foot and make matters worse. I might need to ease back into normal activity. I’m wondering if God wants me to do less and abide more.

IT’S GOING TO TAKE TIME! – I’m still learning that healing of the mind, heart and hoof require patience and perseverance. I can’t rush through the recovery but I can do a lot to impede it.

photo 12I know that I will be back in two shoes, Lord willing, by mid-February. I will savor that thrilling return of a simple pleasure. Driving a car, riding a bike, going on a walk, oh how I will cherish those moments!

What lessons have you learned in times of suffering? What have you taken for granted in terms of your health that you now appreciate more than ever? I’ve got about four more weeks of recovery, I’d love to hear! When you easily stroll from one place to the other, give thanks, friends!

Getting back to me

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There’s nothing that gets me more in the writing mood than sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for a person who’s having a colonoscopy! Not sure what about this experience is inspiring me but to hear my fingers tapping away on the keyboard feels good. The chair I’m sitting in is ridiculously uncomfortable so I need something to get my mind off of the 90 minutes I’ll be here. I mean, there’s only so much tv I can watch and I’ve read the entire paper. I’ve checked facebook too many times already, so I thought I’d do something productive.

Since my last post, I have debated whether to write much about what I’ve been doing. I haven’t wanted my blog to be medical or pitiful but I have been struggling with health issues lately. One has been fibromyalgia (a new diagnosis), the other is depression (a recurrent battle). Not sure which one came first but after dealing with ongoing pain and feeling utterly hopeless, I dragged my sad self to the rheumatologist and started crying. I was at the point of terrible despair and when I left her office, I felt like I had a chance at a normal (whatever that is) life. I began some medication, made critical lifestyle changes and those things have helped me tremendously.

During this time, I asked the Hubs to pray for me. I know he has. He has asked others to pray for me and I’m sure he’s felt clueless on how to help me. When I wasn’t sure how much lower I could go and spent wayyyyyy too much time on the couch, I started to feel afraid that I was going to break my foot again. I felt unstable on my feet and envisioned another injury. I would hang onto a chair railing or the Hubs for fear of falling. Literally, I have found myself leaning on the Hubs. He, along with the Lord, have been my strength. He has made me laugh, supported me in every way, I love him dearly.

It’s been about three weeks since my doctor appointment and I was overjoyed when recently, I found myself bounding effortlessly up the stairs. Part of “me” has been coming back. I am walking without fear emotionally and physically!

And I have been exercising. I learned that it is absolutely critical for me to stay physically active. My doctor recommended this DVD and I began doing it immediately. Although it is a little cheesy, I have been faithfully using it and noticing the results. If you are looking for an exercise program that is adaptable and encouraging, I think these are great! Exercising in the comfort and privacy of my own home has been a better choice for me than the gym at least for right now.

Recently I was talking to my oldest OS and in previous conversations, I shared with him that I had really been struggling. Since he’s a young, busy man with his own life, I wasn’t sure if he recognized his mama’s plight.

But I was wrong.

We were talking on the phone recently and I said, “Nathan, I have something to tell you…” My OS made a dry-witted, West Point tough comment and I interrupted him, “Seriously, Nathan, listen to me. I want you to hear this. I am feeling better.” Then I heard words I wasn’t expecting.

“That’s great, Mom. I’ve been praying for you.” Oh, dear friends, I nearly dropped to the ground with thankfulness. He said something else to me also. “I’ve had some of my buddies praying for you too.”

The only thing sweeter to me than the thought of a group of Soldiers/Cadets praying for me is the image of my precious OS sitting around with his buddies and caring enough to ask for his friends to do so.

About the same time that I had seen the doctor and began implementing changes, my boy was lifting his struggling mama up to the Lord. I’m sure the things I have improved in my health but I also know that God’s Word is true.

Matthew 18:19-21 (New International Version)


 19“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”



The colonoscopy is over, things went well. I need to go walk a couple of miles in my bedroom but it feels good to be back and sharing. More later on Nate’s television “appearance” and other life events. 

My Nasty Broken Foot

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I love being an American and love living in my country but today I wish I was in Korea.
I have a friend whose husband has been deployed to Korea and if I could scoot on over to see her, I’d do it. Yeah, my leg would be tired but it would be worth it. Why? Korea has nibble fish

Nibble fish are tropical fish that can feed themselves on the dead cells on the human body. It’s been five weeks since I broke my foot and over a month that I have been wearing a fiberglass cast on my left foot. Without completely grossing you out, let me just say that if I could plunge this foot into a pool of nibble fish, they could absolutely gorge themselves. We’re talking a serious feast! 
 
For most of my readers, you exfoliate freely. Your feet slough all the dead skin effortlessly. Technically you don’t need nibble fish. I trust in the Lord and His Word tells me to be content in all circumstances but my left foot is devoid of such luxury and you can’t even imagine how badly I would love me some nibble fish. My friend Gigi has been to one of these magic “fish spas” although it sounds pretty funky, the whole idea intrigues me.

My youngest nephew, Josiah turned one a few weeks ago and now I’m officially the only one in my entire family who can’t walk. There’s nothing worse than a baby show-off! I’m ready to get back on my feet, seriously!

Today I was wearing a pair of jeans that slightly flair on the bottom. I had just finished having lunch with a friend. We were enjoying our conversation when suddenly my pants get caught on one of the front wheels of my scooter. I bumbled forward, trying to catch my balance. It was a slow motion spectacle as I reached for the brick wall hoping not to go over my handle bars and onto the cement sidewalk. With only one good foot to use, I feared the worse. The woman I was with was a few paces ahead of me. She heard something and turned around for quite a sight. Poor Maria saw me biffing all over the place and she let our an expletive while trying to rescue me. By some miracle, I didn’t crash to the ground but I was very embarrassed. If I would have seen this happen to someone, I probably would have laughed so hard, my sweet tea would have been coming out of my nose.

I go to the doctor on Wednesday and I’m not sure what he’s going to say about the status of my foot. All I know is that the day this cast is removed, I’m going to do some serious celebrating. Nibble fish, my American foot needs you!

Scooter @ West Point

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There wasn’t a happier mama with a broken foot on a scooter in New York on Saturday, August 23rd. That’s the day I got to see my boy who graduated from lowly new cadet status to plebe at the United States Military Academy.  I, along with my DH, mom and two younger OS saw Nate along with over 1200 of his fellow new cadets join the rest of the cadre in a memorable ceremony. It was a sight to behold. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. 

Saturday morning, my Soldier marched by me and it nearly took my breath away to see him in his uniform and white hat. My chiseled chin, steely eyed son marched by me and I was so pleased to recognize him in the sea of white and gray. “There he is! There he is!” I cried to my family. Like a badge of honor, I was thrilled that I, Nate’s mom, saw him first. Thanks to my 
handicap, we didn’t sit in the bleachers and caught a closer look at him as he walked on by. Also, thanks to my handicap, we got a sweet parking spot so I had that going for me. HA! 

June 30th is the day that I will always remember as one of the toughest days of my life. Saying goodbye was so intense. But August 23rd was one of the proudest because my son accomplished something most people will never understand. Surviving Cadet Basic Training aka Beast is very significant, I wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes. But my boy did it, praise the Lord!

When I saw my Soldier walking toward us after the ceremony, I wish I had had wings instead of a scooter because I couldn’t get there fast enough. I was peddling on my good foot as fast as I could. Good thing no one was in the way because I would have run them over. After six and a half weeks, having my son’s arms around me, hugging him tightly, kissing those cheeks, I was proud and overjoyed. At long last, I could see him, touch him, spend time with my beloved child. 


We took him back to the hotel where Nate put on some civies (regular people clothes) and then fell asleep. There is a lot of stress as a plebe and I think he needed some downtime, a chance to decompress. When you are a plebe, feeling like a human being is a luxury. 


There is so much more to share and I’m savoring the memories hundreds of miles away. Stay tuned. 

How to Tell if Your Husband Loves You

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This post is for you married ladies. Between us girls, sometimes we wonder if our husbands really care. Can we tawlk? Let me give you a fairly easy litmus test. Trust me, ladies, I’ve done this and now I know. You deserve to know how he really feels! 

Directions: 


1. Break your foot. Right or left, it doesn’t matter. Break it good so that you will need a cast. 
2. Decide that you want your cast to be special, that you want to make a “statement.”
3. Think of a snappy motto that you want to display. I have provided a helpful and patriotic example. 

4. Ask your husband/suitor to draw or write this motto on the cast. If he says, “ok,” then he has shown you a certain degree of affection.
5. Do not stop there, girls!

6. Decide that your cast is not special enough. Go to a nearby craft store and purchase Aleene’s decoupage paste.
7. Give your sweetheart a paintbrush and ask him to decorate your cast on places you yourself cannot reach. If he says, “ok,” then he has shown you that he is a keeper, however…
8. Do not stop there, girls!
9. Look at your toenails. You’ll notice that your toenails on said broken foot are blah. 
10. Get a bottle of nail polish and with your cutest facial expression, ask your DH if he’ll paint your nails.
11. Give him time. By this point, you might notice a slight discomfort in your man. Push past this girls. Allow him a moment. Continue to make the most pitiful face imaginable. Note: you may need to do this up to a full minute but do not give up! If your guy takes the nail polish bottle, albeit reluctantly, congratulations! You know your husband loves you madly!

I have tried other techniques but after nearly 21 years of marriage, I can say that this method is fool-proof! Let me know how it goes or any other suggestions you have. I’m always here to help.

Signed,

Scooter
 

I can’t wait!

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The first concert I ever went to was to see Elton John. I wore a multi-colored striped t-shirt that I had made just to look extra hot and brought my camera with fresh flash bulbs because I had to capture the moment. 

When Elton John came on-stage with his fancy glasses and strutted up to the piano, I seriously thought I was going to cry. I couldn’t believe I was at an Elton John concert and well on my way to being a full-fledged, independent woman at around 14 years old.

I also thought I was going to cry at an MC Hammer concert and not because of the guy’s funny pants. I happened to like MC Hammer at that time, thank you very much and I was a mother of two kids at the time and needed a night out with my husband. Let’s just blame that one on hormones. 

Moments, events, concerts, parades move me. I get carried away and overwhelmed. There is an energy and excitement; it’s like something big is going to take place and I’m getting to be a part of it even if it’s as a dorky teenager or a mom. I can’t help myself. 

Next week something very major is going to take place. 
I’m going to see my son. 
My Soldier. 
My boy. 

Sure, I’m going on a scooter with a broken foot and that wasn’t exactly what I anticipated but I’m going to see my son. 
My Soldier. 
My boy.


I haven’t seen my oldest OS since June 30th at West Point. Oh what an emotional day that was for me and thousands of other parents and well-wishers. I even have trouble recalling that day because of its intensity. 
Even though I was completely ambulatory at that time, I confess it was nearly impossible to walk away from the place. I left part of my heart at the United States Military Academy. 

Since June 30th, we’ve only talked with our son for a total of one hour in 6 1/2 weeks. We have received precious letters like manna from heaven but only 60 minutes total of slightly normal conversation. Not complaining but just saying, we have missed him dearly. Just the thought of seeing my child, hugging him, hearing his voice face to face beats any concert or performance I shall ever attend. Just the thought of connecting with Nathan again makes me want to weep with joy. I have ever experienced separation from any of my children for this long. 

But in a week I get to see my son. 
My Soldier. 
My boy…

Like a very wonderful and talented singer once sang (and I was there so I should know), “can’t touch this!” Hammer time next Saturday! 

Foot Claustrophobia and Anxiety

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It’s been over three decades since I have had a cast. As a young girl I broke my arm while trying to tie my shoes on a bike. If that doesn’t make any sense, I totally understand. I’m still confused about how it happened “back in the day.” 


But today I got the second cast in my lifetime. As an adult, having a limb encased in fiberglass is awkward. And for me, it’s slightly anxiety producing. My foot feels like I’m wearing a shoe that’s too tight. The problem is I can’t take the shoe off for at least another five weeks. 

And that produces nervousness inside me. Seriously I’m having to breathe through my nose and try some deep breathing techniques to get over the wave of anxiety which grabs hold of me.

A few nights ago we had family devotions and read Philippians 4:6-7.  As I have contemplated these verses, I am personalizing them. “Do not be anxious about anything (Cindy, that means even when your foot can’t move and is sore), but in everything, by prayer and petition, (Lord, help me get through this and give me a proper perspective) with thanksgiving, (thanks Lord for my scooter and my family and friends) present your requests to God. (Father, help me as I travel to and around West Point next week). And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  
   
I confess sometimes Scripture is hard to live out personally.  I have to focus on something beside my circumstance and just know the feelings will subside. If I take this small trial a little bit at a time, I can handle this. 

Here’s proof. Today I went to Trader Joe’s by myself. Based on the comments and the looks I get, either I am astonishingly beautiful or an oddity. Most people aren’t sure what I’m doing, it’s only when observing the back of me (not my butt but my foot) that you realize there is a reason I am whizzing around on a scooter. 

Picture this: A 40ish woman with a broken foot in a scooter and a cast pushing a grocery cart. Eight wheels, one foot. It’s not that easy pushing a cart full of food while simultaneously moving on a scooter. Making turns was interesting but I did it. Definitely not as graceful as a gazelle but I got the job done. 


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, including going to the grocery store independently with one good leg.