Friday, December 25, 2015

2015...A year of death and destruction.

This is my first post since December 24th, 2014.

I usually start the new year with a little recap of our previous Christmas chaos but...
on January 3rd this happened....
My father passed away last night after a brief illness.
That's as far as I got with writing that post.
I couldn't bring myself to finish it.
I couldn't bring myself to post it.
And that set the tone for the rest of my year.
The rest of January was just ... there... I guess. I don't really remember it.

In the beginning of February I missed the last step at the bottom of my stairs.
And that set the tone for what can possibly be the rest of my life.
Looks innocent enough?
I went to a local urgent care center.
I was told I had a fractured left knee and a sprained left foot.
The rest of February was just ... there.
Like January. I don't really remember it.

In March I started physical therapy and by the end of April, after almost 2 months of constant, unbearable pain, it was discovered that my foot was actually fractured in 2 places.

At this time I was also diagnosed with RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome). A condition of the sympathetic nervous system (a.k.a. the fight or flight nerves).
Symptoms include but are not limited to...
Constant burning pain
Sensitivity to touch, sound, temperature, and vibrations,
Swelling, tingling (like your foot is asleep...constantly),
Bruised, mottled, shiny purple appearance,
Muscle spasms (lightning strikes that feel like you just stuck your wet toe in a light socket),
Insomnia, short term memory problems, confusion,
Bone loss (osteoporosis).
Visit RSD Hope for more info on this condition..

But wait....
There's more!!

In May, just a week after my father's funeral, I lost my balance in my driveway.
It was a beautiful day ... for a fractured left wrist.
No more crutches for me. Nope.
Wheelchair or bust.

Now for the, "Buy 2, get 1 free" deal!!

In August, I barely got the cast off my arm and was back to using crutches when I began having strange issues with my right foot.

RSD has a few more surprises up it's sleeve and one of them is called "Mirroring".
The symptoms of the injured/affected limb will mirror in the opposite limb.

So now all the pain, swelling, tingling, sensitivity, and spasms one person can handle are coming at me in stereo.

By the beginning of December (10 months into this journey from Hell) I was finally able to start walking (like a drunk toddler) without crutches.
And here I sit, on Christmas night, thinking how lucky I am that in this last week I've been able to stand long enough to get my holiday baking done, I've been able to walk just enough to get my very last minute Christmas gift shopping done, I was able to walk around my house enough to see my grand kids opening their presents.
I'm hurting, I'm exhausted, and I'm lucky.

The biggest casualty of this ordeal is what can't be seen.
RSD messes big time with emotions and irrational fears (crying is an everyday occurrence and sometimes for no reason... just because).
Loud, sudden, noises go straight through me ... painfully.
Isolation (because it's hard to socialize when you are distracted by pain and suffering).
The feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, .... It's nearly impossible to change the tone of the conversation you have with yourself.
One day I'm self-reliant, busy, and have a growing business. The next I found myself relying on others around me for everything and over the months I watched the life I led and the business I'd built slowly crumble.
There is no cure for RSD.
There is only symptom management.

Treatments are available.
Strong, nerve (and mind) altering drugs are available (and the awful side effects that come with them). I couldn't tolerate the side effects of these at all.
Spinal injections are available. I haven't been brave enough to go this route...long needles in the spine...paralyzing fear ya'll.

Although it's taken some time, I'm having success with a few less invasive routes.
My physical therapists (once they knew they were dealing with a fracture and RSD instead of a sprain) help with strength, balance, range of motion, and mobility.
 My chiropractor helps with skeletal alignment, mobility and range of motion.
My massage therapist helps with the sensitivity and swelling (which also helps with the discoloration, tingling, lightning strikes, and the burning). She has also helped me deal with my emotional dragons.

I have a few good friends who, by simply keeping in touch from time to time, have helped me get through some bad days.

My husband, kids, and my mother have been my biggest sources of support.
Helping me up and down stairs.
Helping with dishes, laundry, shopping, and walking the dog.
 Giving me rides to the endless number of doctor and therapy appointments.
I wouldn't have made it through these past months with out them.

My sanity...
 is in God's hands.
Yes, I'm lucky blessed here.

It's Christmas Day.
It was absolutely beautiful here today.
We were at 62 degrees here at noon.
Lovely green grass can be seen through the window.
Not a drop of snow in sight....gotta love it!
And here is my usual picture of my grand kids and nieces from our Christmas eve get together.

From left to right on the couch...
Niece Mackenzie holding Granddaughter Arabella,
Niece Isabella, Granddaughter Meah, Niece Jessica,
Granddaughter Morgan holding Granddaughter Savannah.
On floor...
Grandson Wyatt and Granddaughter Meredith.

Hope you all had a good year.

I am sooooo over 2015.

Bring on 2016.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

My grand kids and nieces.

Who do they think they are kidding?
They were just trying to amuse the paparazzi so we could get to opening presents.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dark wood stand transformed with CeCe Caldwell's Simply White

This is a project I actually worked on in the summer of 2012.
I'm just getting around to posting about it.
Never heard of it.

I bought this cute little stand at a garage sale.

I thought it was really interesting because it could do this...
Ya I know. 
Cool huh!

Now just so you know, I worked on this project long before I became a retailer for CeCe Caldwell's Paints. I was just a beginner and was doing a lot of things the hard way.
Like sanding.

Moving on...
After sanding, I dry brushed CeCe Caldwell's Simply White on the legs and around the base that holds the box top.

The top was also painted with Simply White and then "sanded" back. 
Then I worked in some CeCe Caldwell's Dark Aging Wax over the whole piece.

I wasn't sure I would like it with the two different techniques but it came out very interesting.

Not bad for a beginner.