Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Days 4, 5 & 6

Well, several days have passed now so I thought I would update on them.

Saturday, I was able to wash my hair! Instead of sitting on a stool in the shower I just sat in the wheel chair and my grandmother washed my hair in the wash tub instead. It was much easier that way.

After getting ready for the day my aunt took me to my sister's boyfriend's graduation open house. We went and had some good food. We didn't stay too long because my feet started to get sore. It sure was nice getting back in bed and being able to elevate my feet again!

By Sunday I spoke too soon. I woke up (if I even slept at all) distressed and irritable. My feet were very sore, my stomach felt upset and my back was getting achy from lying in bed. I wanted out of bed! The whole day I felt as if I had a fever, but every time I checked my temperature the thermometer said it was normal. Sunday just seemed to drag on.

That night I couldn't get any sleep. I tossed and turned in bed until 5:00 AM! I especially felt like I was going insane when Nacho Libre songs and quotes were uncontrollably playing in my mind. It was torture! I'm sure I really did look like a lunatic. Tossing, turning, moaning, groaning, groping at my head - it was awful. Finally I paged my grandmother around 5:00 to bring down a glass of water so I could take some pain meds. I took two Tylenol 3 and shortly after drifted into a deep sleep until 1:30 PM.

"Why," you ask, "didn't she take pain meds in the beginning?" You see, they cause some unpleasant side effects that I was trying to avoid...any further. And besides, by this time my feet weren't hurting too much during the day and I thought I could get away with not taking the medication at night. Anyways, it was the first decent sleep I got since the surgery.

Since waking up so late on Monday the day seemed incredibly short. After waking up I washed my hair and...had a sponge bath. After feeling quite refreshed and much better I decided to finally start my scrapbook. I completed one whole spread. I just can't wait until it's finished. Tentatively, there are 40 pages! It seemed by the time I completed the spread it was already evening. By the time I got ready for bed you think I would have learned my lesson from the previous night that meds are essential for sleep at this point in recovery. Well...I didn't. Again, I went to bed without taking anything and tossed and turned, resulting in little to no sleep.

Now it is Tuesday, exactly one week from the surgery. The pain has gone down significantly and I can move my feet much more freely. When walking, I can apply more pressure now to both feet without too much pain. For awhile I could only put pressure on my left foot. Now I can apply pressure to my right foot with less pain. I still can't wiggle my toes though. I will have to work on that and give another update in a weeks time.

It is now 10:51 AM and I think I will watch Pride and Prejudice until I feel sleepy. I do hope I can get some sleep today.

Until next time...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Days 2 & 3

It is late, but I will still blog.

Days two and three have now passed since my surgery and things are going well - 'well' as in things are not critical or life-threatening. Some mishaps come along but overall I'm doing just fine.

Yesterday, my foot was still in quite a bit of pain. I was in bed the whole day with a nauseous stomach. One of the medicines I took made me feel a little sick and I didn't eat much. My sustenance for the day consisted of a few bites of toast for breakfast, half of a tuna sandwich for lunch and a few bites of dry Oatmeal Squares for dinner. I ran a fever of 100 part of the day as well.

I dozed in and out of sleep (since I didn't get any the night before). Toward the end of the day I watched Nacho Libre for the first time. Now I can follow everyone who quotes that movie. "GET THAT CORN OUT OF MY FACE!"

Around 7:00 PM I was able to take a shower!!! That made me happy. I found that I was able to put pressure on my feet without losing my hearing or seeing black spots. That was good. It worked out quite nicely. I sat on a stool in the stall shower with my feet (wrapped in plastic bags) hanging outside of the curtain. The hose shower head made it even easier for me. I felt so refreshed! Afterward, however, my feet were screaming. By the time I got back in bed I noticed my right ankle was swollen and sore.

I was able to sleep a little better than the night before, but still didn't get more than 5 hours.

This morning, the third day, my grandmother and I went down to Muskegon to visit the doctor for my post-op. He redressed my feet with yellow, smiley-faced gauze and said everything looked just fine. I took a few pictures of my feet without the bandages and *gulp* they look disgusting! They are chubby, orange (from the iodine) and somewhat misshaped right now (because of the swelling). I said, "Grandma, my toes look like sausages!" I could, but WON'T, post them anywhere! I go back in two weeks to get the stitches taken out.

I got back home and it was such a beautiful day that I decided to sit outside on the porch. I got all situated in my wheel chair and of course with something major like foot surgery Murphey's Law has to kick in. The first accident to happen to my right foot (the one that has been in the most pain mind you) was having a bag of fireworks poppers spilled all over my "moon boot." Not a major deal. I was just afraid of the sawdust getting into my boot.

(Sorry dad, I gotta tell on you for these.) Next, my dad is trying to adjust the foot rest of the wheel chair to fit the length of my leg. My foot gets in the way and he absent-mindedly swats it away. (It really didn't hurt, but I teased him about it. Hehe!) Only minutes after that I was trying to get the foot rest in the most comfortable position and asked my dad to hold the bottom of it while I pulled the lever to let it go down. I thought he had grip on the bottom so I released the lever. He apparently wasn't ready yet and down dropped my foot. As it dropped my dad, trying to save my foot, pushed up on the bottom of the foot rest actually twisting my foot in a direction that was most UNcomfortable. It felt like my stitches split wide open. It only hurt for a few seconds, and I'm sure the stitches didn't bust, but I sure did tease my dad about that, too. Lol! That all happened to my poor right foot. =(

After that I just couldn't find a comfortable position, there were little kids everywhere and I was certain Murphey's Law would have its way, so I decided to head back down to my room...in the basement...where the sun doesn't shine.

Later, my aunt came over and we watched a few more episodes from the Christy series that we started a couple weeks ago, my sister and I looked up some old friends on MySpace and now I am sitting here typing this.

Now it's REALLY late and I need to get some rest. I look down at my feet and ponder the irony displayed on my bandages - yellow smiley-faces. My feet are not smiling right now. If anything they are grimacing in pain.

*As a public disclaimer, I do not really believe in Murphey's Law.*

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 1 After Surgery

Today is the first day after my surgery. For those of you who don't know I had surgery on both of my feet to have bunions removed. They are gone and now I have skinny feet...well, currently they are puffy and swollen, but after awhile the swelling will go down. The surgery went well and I was able to go home shortly after I woke up.

There are many awkwardnesses to having surgery for the first time. First, there's finding out that you have to wear a hospital gown...and ONLY the hospital gown. (That was a nice surprize.) Then there is being wheeled down the hall on a bed to the operating room passing people who just look and stare at you. After entering the operating room I had to scooch onto the operating table. While situating myself the nurse was pulling my gown out from underneath me making things even more awkward. After waking up in the recovery room all of my visitor's were in there while I was still somewhat doped up, my hair a mess and feeling very much like a bobble head. Luckily I wasn't given the general anesthetic (the gas) but had the IV stuff. The gas is what makes you loopy and nauseous. When I woke up I was still in my right mind but very dizzy. It felt as if everything in the room was moving and I couldn't focus on anything.

The doctor prescribed me Tylenol 3. I soon found out after the numbness wore off that the Tylenol did nothing for the pain. All evening and through the night I had very sore feet!

A few times I had to get up to use the bathroom. That was an adventure! I had to carefully swing my legs out of bed, walk a foot to the wheel chair, ride about 10 feet to the bathroom, stand up and use the walker to get to the toilet, turn myself around and sit. I am staying at my grandparents house, so my grandmother has been helping me get around. I said, "Grandma, do you lose your hearing right before you pass out?" I started to get very dizzy and heard ringing in my hears. I got back to the wheel chair just in time, coming so close to passing out.

Today my dad made me a makeshift toilet using a 5 gallon bucket and a toilet seat cover. It saves me an entire trip to the bathroom. It sits right next to my bed so I don't have to go so far. It works.

This morning I called my doctor and asked him to prescribe me some Vicodin. The Tylenol just wasn't cutting it. It works better but still doesn't keep the pain away for very long. I have an hour before I can take more.

That has pretty much been my day. I go back to the doctor on Friday and was told that by then the pain shouldn't be too bad. I just hope and pray! And now I am going to try and nap since I didn't get much sleep last night.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I just realized that I haven't cried since school got out. That was over a month ago! I usually cry to relieve stress. It seems all I've ever done this past year was cry. It's so nice to be stress-free for awhile!

That was completely random...

Anyways, the past couple of days I've been working on stripping paint off an antique cabinet we've had for years. I found it sitting under the deck, getting rained on and warped. So I decided to start a project that would keep me busy for a few days. Yesterday I got all of the paint off and started sanding it. Today I finished sanding and staining it. I restained it red mahogany. The cabinet is kind of like a nightstand. But it seems too tall to be a nightstand. It has one drawer and 3 shelves in it. It looks really nice! I forgot to take a before picture. But I'll post an after picture.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I picture bed!

There are so many pictures to sort through!!!

I've been sorting Ireland pictures for about 8-9 hours; a few hours earlier today and some tonight. I am preparing to do my scrapbook, but first I have to pick out the pictures I am going to use. I received discs of everyone's pictures, which is nice to have because whatever I didn't get pictures of somebody else most likely did. There are approximately 15G of pictures! I drew up the basic layout of my scrapbook page-by-page and started picking out pictures for each page. I have 40 pages to my scrapbook! Can't wait to get started!

Anyways, it's 3:15 AM. I think I'll finish this job up tomor-,I mean, later today.

...I'm going to bed.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I have so much to say I don't know where to begin. I'll begin by saying: Ireland was fabulous! The people were friendly, the food was good, the places were beautiful, the services were Spirit filled, traveling was fun...as everyone else has been saying, "It was a life-changing trip."

Not only did we get to see beautiful countryside and amazing places but we met some amazing people. My most favorite part of the whole trip was establishing relationships with the people. Most of the friendships are with people from Mark and Deanna Mander's church. But I also met many wonderful people in the churches we sang in.

One person in particular to mention would be Andy. Andy was our bus driver every day of the tour. He's originally from Scotland but moved back to Ireland, his wife's home country, about a year ago. Andy quickly became someone I would call family. Having his kind and loving spirit around made our trip all the more wonderful. It was such a pleasure to meet him and get to know him. The night we sang at his church he wore his kilt. It was the neatest thing to see him in his traditional attire. He told me that he usually only wears it for special occasions. It was humbling to think that the GBS choir singing at his church was a "special occasion."

Andy's son was another special person we all got to know and love. His name is Philip, he's 22 and he has down syndrome. He and his mother, Eileen, were fortunate to make it to more than one choir service. Philip loved us just as much as we loved him. Every service they went to he took the same choir program with him. We gave him some CDs and Eileen said that night Philip slept with them under his arms. Sunday evening we gave him a progrom that we all signed. He absolutely loves that program. Eileen told me that since then he carries that thing with him everywhere and shows it off to everyone. Andy has laminated it so that it won't become worn. What an honor it is to be used by God to make an impact in the life of even one person.

Here are the McLellans: Eileen, Andy and Philip

Another precious family we met are the Stewart's. Wesley Stewart was our sound man. He came to every service, set up his sound equipment and managed it for us. He was a joy to have around! He was always so cheerful and encouraging. His wife's name is Lorna, and they have two daughters named Rebekah and Hannah. They were also able to come to more than one service. It was so nice to see them sitting in the audience, smiling and enjoying the presence of God.

The Stewarts (clockwise from left): Lorna, Wesley, Rebekah and Hannah

A dear couple who helped us out a few days of the tour was Rev. Eric and Yvonne Stewart. They are actually Wesley's parents. Rev. Stewart is the former senior pastor of Coleraine Independent Methodist Church, the church where Mark Mander is now the senior pastor. Their love for Jesus shines from their faces. Simply glancing at them during our services would give me an extra boost of energy to continue singing.

The Stewarts: Rev. Eric and Yvonne

Overall, the people were wonderful. These are just a few of whom I was able to establish relationships with. As we passed through each church I was able to meet many more wonderful people. It was so encouraging to sing to people who were hungry for the Lord's presence. Everywhere we went we were greeted with anticipation; almost as if we carried the presence of God with us. It makes me sad to think that many we sang to have never experienced His presence like they did during the services. Our expression of worship was very new to them.

I must say that there is nothing special about the GBS choir. Everything we do, we do for the glory and honor of God. We are simply instruments used by Him. I hope that we were able to effectively carry out the message of the Gospel through our singing. And I also hope that the people know that we aren't the only ones who carry God's presence with us, but that they can too.