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Archive for July, 2010

Holding on to Hope

Oh, Friends…I’ve been so out of the loop the last couple of weeks.  So far out that I can’t even see the loop, but I’m finally starting to search for it, at least.  I’m sorry if I’ve left you hanging, but if you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen my statuses and know a little bit.  I do want to start posting some recipes again, but I’m not making any big promises.  It hurts to stand up and walk on this crazy foot for long periods of time.  I’ve just not had a big desire to do any baking or cooking.  I was able to make some Snickerdoodles, per my oldest babies’ request; and some of my Oatmeal Bars for a service project for Mike, and Pasta Salad (for me!).  We’ve been eating a whole lot of sandwhiches lately….lol And I’ve been really enjoying these little tomatoes from my “garden“.

I had my appointment with Dr Fan and the prognosis was hopeful. He gave me scripts for amitriptyline (an antidepressant to help me sleep) and oxycodone to help with the pain during the day. He also had me get blood work done to check my vitamin D levels and ordered physical therapy. He predicts I’ll be walking without a limp in a month! Yeah!!! I’ve been limping for 3 months now and I actually had a dream a few weeks ago about walking without pain. Sad but true.

The amitriptyline knocked me out cold.  For like, an entire day.  Actually, two days because I thought the first night was just a fluke, so I took it another night and I was out again most of the next day. Not so great since I’m a stay at home mommy….ugh.   I’ve since then, cut the pills in half and have had a lot better luck with sleeping at night (and getting up the next day…lol)

The oxycodone is wonderful…kinda.    It keeps the pain down, but makes me drowsy.  I’m looking forward to the day when I can stop taking them (I hope!!)

My vitamin D levels came back really low.  The nurse told me that normal range for vitamin D levels are anywhere between 32 and 100.  Mine was 20.  I just take one pill a week, so it’s hard to tell at this point how much it’s helping.  Again…holding on to hope.

I started Physical Therapy last week, and I’m not gonna lie:  it was a tough week.  It hurts.  a lot.  And last Friday and yesterday (Saturday) were the worst.  I had terrible stabbing pain…and I cried.  a lot.

I cried because it hurt.

I cried because I feel bad for my husband. (He wants to do something and there’s nothing to do)

I cried because I feel bad for my kiddos. (They’ve lost most of their summer to a sick mommy)

I cried because I wished I was a little girl again so my momma could make it all better with a hug and a kiss.

But then I’d finally give up and take the oxycodone and feel a little normal again.

This RSD journey I’m on is a tough one.  Man, is it tough….

But I know that God has a purpose in all of it and I’m hanging on to His Hope.

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It’s been a long week already.  Mike left for Discovery Camp (camp for Jr/Sr High students) on Sunday and won’t be back until Friday.  I’m sorry I haven’t blogged as often this week.  Honestly, all I can think about is my new diagnosis of RSD/CRPS.  It’s all I feel all day long.  I just don’t want people to feel sorry for me.  I don’t want to be a whiner about it (though there are moments that it’s all I can do to not cry).  Dr. David Paine was able to get me an appointment to see a world-reknown pain management specialist that has his practice here in Hutchison.  His name is Dr. Fan and he’s from China.  My appointment is tomorrow morning.  I’m a little nervous but hopeful.  Mike thought it would be a good idea to write down all the symptoms I’m having and maybe some questions I’ll have for Dr. Fan tomorrow.  Here’s the list of the symptoms I came up with:

  • overall aching pain in foot and up my shin/calf
  • tingling in foot and shin/calf
  • burning sensation in foot
  • twitching/spasms
  • tightness in muscles
  • limited mobility in toes
  • temperature of foot is ice-cold
  • small amount of swelling
  • occasionally my foot turns red
  • can only handle the feeling of soft blanket or pillow.  Shoes or pants or shoes or rough material is irritating and sometimes painful.
  • water from the shower stings

As you can see…it’s strange and painful.  I don’t have any options for pain management besides lortab at this point.  I hate having to take it because I end up falling asleep…not so great with 3 kiddos at home.  But because of dealing with this, I haven’t had a whole lot of creativity as far as cooking and baking.  I was able to make some chocolate chip cookies, Toasted Deli MeltsPizza, and Pioneer Woman‘s Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes this week.  I’ve also made a ton, A TON, of scrambled eggs with cheese….lol

I’ve looked all over Ree Drummond’s (The Pioneer Woman) website for this recipe (it’s in her cookbook, if you have it) and haven’t found it, so I’ll go ahead and post it on here.  Just know it didn’t come from me 😀  Reagan told me these were the best pancakes she’d ever eaten!

Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes

  • 1 c sour cream
  • 7 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • favorite pancake toppings

Heat your skillet to medium-high heat.  In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla.  Add to sour cream mixture and stir gently.  Butter your skillet (or spray with cooking spray).  Pour about 1/4 c batter for each pancake.  Cook for about one minute or until bubbles start to form on top.  Flip over and cook for another 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat process until all batter is gone.  Top with your favorite toppings.

Disclaimer:  **This is not my picture**  We ate all of the pancakes before I could take a picture 😀

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It’s sinking in

I’ve been dealing with this pain for the last 3 months, thinking the whole time that there was going to be an easy solution just around the corner, an answer after the x-ray, a relatively quick fix after the MRI.  And I didn’t get any of that.  I got an answer that has really thrown me.  An answer that there is no cure…only pain management.  I’m too young for this, right?!  I’m only 33.  This is the kind of stuff “older” people deal with.

chronic pain

complex regional pain syndrome

I am now labeled with a disease…

and I’m struggling with it.

I hate bringing attention to myself.  I like that I’m a “wallflower”.  I prefer to stand in the corner out of the way of the spotlight.  Now, walking with a limp…for who knows how long…is going to bring attention.  People will ask questions and then I’ll have to try to explain CRPS when I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it.

It all hurts…not just my foot but also my heart and my mind.

Please understand that I may be in “hiding” for awhile.  I’m just trying to understand it and staying close to my family and my God.

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Taco Salad

This is the perfect salad for using up leftovers!  And it’s easily adjusted to your tastes.  If you like your salad meatier, by all means, add more hamburger meat.  If you like more cheese or dressing or any of the other ingredients, then add them!!

Taco Salad

  • 1 bag of mixed salad greens
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 c cooked taco seasoned hamburger meat
  • 2/3 c shredded colby cheese
  • 2/3 c Cowboy Caviar (I didn’t get enough of this stuff when I made it a couple of weeks ago, so I made it up again today)
  • 1/3 c Catalina salad dressing
  • coarsely broken up tortilla chips or corn chips

Dump all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well, making sure the dressing covers all the salad.  Top with crushed chips.

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Well…..

I went to see 2 doctors today.  Our family doctor and the podiatrist.  They both gave me the results of the MRI.

I don’t have any fractures.  I don’t have any torn ligaments or muscles.

I have nerve damage.

And here’s the short of the long of it:

I have what is called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

I don’t even really know how to describe it except that it’s extensive nerve damage as an indirect result of spraining my toe three months ago.

It’s chronic and there is no cure.

Only pain management.

And insult to injury, this often leads to depression.

NOT what I wanted to hear today.

Uh, hello?!  I already deal with depression!

Needless to say it’s been a rough day…emotionally and physically.

If you want to try to figure it out you can go to this site: RSD/CRPS

For those of you that know Dr. David Paine…this is what he deals with, too.  And he’s already seeing what he can do to help me in this journey.

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Natalie Karen

Wow…what a day.  It all started with getting a call from my bro-in-law, Austin, at 4:30 this morning.

“It’s time,” he said calmly.

I jumped up (as much as a gimp foot will let me jump…lol) and gathered a few things, woke up Reagan and we were on our way to Medicine Lodge by 5:15am.

One of Katrina’s first requests?  Bacon Bread

How can I not make this for a woman who is about to give birth at home…with no drugs?!

It was yummy, as usual, and enjoyed by everyone present (Katrina, Austin, their 2 lil’ girls, Reagan, Missy (Katrina’s best friend), Missy’s lil one, the 2 mid-wives, my momma, and myself).  It’s the one thing Katrina kept snacking on throughout the labor process…lol.  Well, the bacon bread and these 😀

It’s hard to describe my feelings from today.  Wow.  It’s the word “wow” that keeps coming up.  I can. not. believe. the strength that my baby sister has….

A home birth.

No drugs.

Did I mention this already?!  I mean she barely even moaned!  She is amazing…so strong…so in control.  It was beautiful.  Not only did I shed tears because of seeing my new lil’ niece for the first time, but I shed even more that my baby sister wanted me to be there with her…holding her hand through the last final moments.  I don’t know that I was the one who deserved that position…that right.  But I was there and it was….it was…amazing.

Here’s a few pics from today (and keep in mind that these were taken with my phone):

When we went to Pizza Hut to give the girls something to do while we were waiting.  Ella fell asleep on Nana’s lap.

Here is Miss Addie…Missy’s lil’ one

Not just cousins…FRIENDS! (Savanna & Reagan)

Look at those precious little feet!

Midwife is trying to guess her weight…they guessed 6lbs 11oz but she was 7lbs 3oz!

Getting her little feet printed..and not that happy about it.

Big Sister getting to hold baby sister

Momma Katrina telling Savanna that it’s okay if the baby cries

Katrina and her bestie: Missy (they’ve been friends since they were 5!) Please take note of the Bacon Bread on the plate….LOL

Katrina & Nana & Natalie

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Lemon Squares

It’s been pretty busy around here lately.  We are all hurrying up to wait for my new baby niece to arrive (she was due last Saturday).  My sis, Katrina, and my mom and Katrina’s best friend, Missy, came into Hutch yesterday and we just about had a full day of activities.  Our day started out with an ortho appointment for Cade and then we met up with the rest of the clan (there were 4 of  ladies and 6 lil’ ones!) at Dillards so that the last minute newborn sleeper could be bought 😀  Then we headed over to Freddy’s for an early lunch.  After our yummy burgers and fries (and frozen custard…mmmm) we went to check out Smith’s Market, Apron Strings, and then Glenn’s Bulk foods…all places that I’ve grown to love, places that I’ve got my mom hooked on, and now my sister and her bestie have been lured in to them as well.  It was fun!

I’ve made a couple of changes to some of the recipes I’ve posted:  I forgot about the cocoa in the frosting for the Texas Sheet Cake and found a better way to cook corn on the cob :D.

Foot Update:  I had my MRI this morning and I’ll get my results when I meet with the doctors on Thursday.

And on a completely different note…..Lemon Squares.  Reagan has been asking me to make these for several days now, and today was the first day I’ve been home long enough to get them made.  These are buttery and lemony and very yummy!!

Lemon Squares

  • 1 cup butter (no substitutes), melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar

Topping:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/3 c lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 drops of yellow food coloring

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to  350 degrees.  Line a 9×13 pan (for a thicker bar) or a 10×15 baking sheet (for a thinner bar) with foil.  Spray with butter flavored cooking spray or brush with melted butter.  In a medium bowl, combine butter, flour and powdered sugar.  Stir well with a fork and dump dough into greased pan.  Spread out with your fingers.  Bake for 20 minutes or just until slightly browned around the edges.

For Topping: In your mixing bowl, beat eggs with whisk attachment for about 1 minute using medium speed.  Increase speed to medium-high and whisk for another 2 minutes, gradually adding sugar.  The mixture should be light in color and slightly thick.  Add lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, and food color.  Beat for 1 more minute.  Pour over the top of the HOT crust.  Bake for another 25 minutes (or longer…the top should be browned and firm to the touch).  Let cool for 3-4 hours before cutting.  Remove entire bar from pan by pulling up the foil.  Place on cutting board and flatten down the sides of the foil.  Cut into desired size of squares.  Remove from foil and let air-dry for an hour or more.  Dust with powdered sugar.

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