Monday, July 28, 2014

Achilles and Post Tibial Tendon Lengthening Surgery

My nephews and I
Just have to share this: My sister-in-law, Brittany, told my mom that my three-year-old nephew, Mason, asked the people at Bible school to "pray for Aun-ie". He knows I have had surgery, but I haven't said anything to him about praying for me.

The next night, he asked to pray for my mom, who we call Gram.

I had surgery on my right foot to lengthen the right Achilles tendon and post tibial tendon on July 18th. I just haven't felt like writing, mostly sleeping. No one but my mom knows how hard these past few days have been.  My right foot had gotten so bad that it turned all the way over anytime I tried to get up, including getting in the car. During the last month, both knees would swell up after a short car ride If you are new here, you can read about the surgery and recovery of my left foot here, herehere, and here.

This surgery didn't fuse any bones, so this recovery hasn't been as intense as far as post-surgical pain goes. But, the transferring has been much, much harder. After my last surgery, I could rely on my right foot to bear weight while I transferred. With this one, I can't bear any weight on the right side because it has to heal. I could bear weight on my left side, but that is pretty much impossible because it is not as strong as it needs to be. So, I am using my arms and upper body A LOT. Talk about sore. I feel like a monkey in a jungle. The first few nights of constantly having to get up to go the bathroom were brutal for my mom and I. I also told her I felt like the tin man with no oil because my shoulders, fingers, and back were popping.

Some other funny things that have happened:
On Saturday night, I had to go to the bathroom. The conversation went like this:

Mason: I got her arm. I'm gonna help her up.
Gram: Okay, c'mon
Me: I think you need to help Gram hold my leg up.
Mason: I got du arm. Pulls and says, "C'mon, girl! Ugh!" Pulls really hard
Me: (laughing) Go help Gram hold my leg.
Gram: Yeah, Auntie has to have her arm to get up
Mason comes to hold my leg up
Mason: Okay, one, two, three! He's heard Gram say this to me.

I had a little trouble getting up.
So, Mason encouraged me saying, C'mon, girl!

Then, I got in the wheelchair, ready to go to my bedside commode,
Mason to Gram: Hold my choc choc(this is what he calls chocolate milk)
Mason to me: I will push you
Me: Okay!
Mason: Dere (There) du (you) doe!
Me: Thank you, darlin'!

Hope all of you are doing well. This Georgia heat is something else!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Webucator Asks: Most Marketable Skill is Communication

People Series © ilker via

When asked in an email from the community manager of a website called Webucator what I feel is the most marketable skill, the answer was an easy one.

Communication is the most marketable skill. Employers are actively searching for people who can explain things orally and written. I see my peers struggle to form a coherent thought, often talking like they text or worse.

I majored in Communication in college learning the reasons for it, how to do it, and practiced it. I had papers, projects, discussion posts, and speeches that tested my ability to think critically about something and then effectively communicate that to my audience. 

I had to take an entire course on Multimedia Communication, which taught me to integrate technology and powerpoint seamlessly into speeches.

But I didn't just learn this skill in the classroom. I did two internships while in college. One was with a magazine and the other was at a publishing company. Both jobs required me to use the communication skills I had been taught. 

I also honed my communication skills when working in teams at my church. Working with others will reveal how good you are at communicating, for sure!

Communication is so valuable and necessary in the workforce because you have to be able to communicate or you won't succeed at any job. You can be armed with knowledge about teaching, photography, math, or social work. But if you can't work together with those around you - yes, even those with hot-headed tempers- you are in trouble. The ability to communicate is sorely lacking in today's society, which is why I think everyone should take an introductory communication course.

Communication teaches you how to best reach audiences of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities with ease. In my opinion, it is the most marketable skill because it gives you the tools to succeed in any environment. You might be doubting me, but if you can communicate, you won't have a problem finding a job. 

As a side note, Webucator is offering continual self-paced courses on Microsoft Word 2013. Go to this link.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review: Set Free by Stephen Owens

My mom bought a book at the grocery store called Set Free several months ago. Of all the topics it could have been about, it was about forgiveness – specifically a son’s journey to forgive his mother for hiring someone to kill his dad. His mother was the ideal mother, providing for her kids and making sure they were in church. So what on earth motivated her to go to such drastic measures? This is a true story told from the son's perspective detailing all of the highs and lows of what it took to forgive his mother. 

I guess the biggest reason I decided to pick it back up is because my mom got another awesome book, entitled Unthinkable. I knew I couldn't read that book until I finished this one because I really don’t like to start a lot of books at once. I prefer to finish one and move onto another. I had to stop because Owen’s words were pricking my heart, causing tears to fall so I could no longer read. The phrase “Guilty, but forgiven” really resonated with me. I couldn't get away from it. Now, deeply enthralled in the story and interested to see how Owens wrote his mother, what he said in the letters, and how he realized that he had to forgive himself if he truly wanted to forgive his mother and escape his own emotional prison. I kept reading. 

I am not going to give away any surprises, but I highly recommend it everyone reading this blog. Because it we were all honest with ourselves, we struggle with forgiveness in some area of our lives. This book will be one of the most important steps you'll take in becoming set free. Seriously, stop what you're doing and buy this book. The author doesn't know me, and I didn't receive anything in return for this review. It was just so powerful, inspiring, and challenging me on the deepest levels. I am still processing everything I read and absorbed, even months after finishing it. I have even written eight pages worth of thoughts that have come up since reading this book. I've read other books on forgiveness, but this one is at the TOP of my list!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Day I Decided to do Something

After times of pain and fatigue, I've retreated to one place I love. That is writing. As I was talking with God this morning, I knew I needed to write. 

Even on days that I stay in bed much more than I would like, I have decided I won't quit. I won't give in and let circumstances or a medical diagnosis dictate my attitude. Mind you, it hasn't and isn't always this way. There are days I get angry that I can't wear shoes right now. Frustrated that time isn't moving faster. I get weary in watching the clock, wondering if I can wait just a little bit longer to take my medicine. 

But today isn't one of those days. Even though I had to take a pain pill at 11:30 last night to help me sleep, and then wake up for around a hour while having to do something, only to roll over and sleep until 1:05 p.m., I am sitting up typing these words. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but usually I do all of my writing from bed. 

I decided today I am going to write and sit up in my living room for at least 30 to 45 minutes, no matter what I feel like. Why?

Because a wise man once said, "God can't do something with nothing." While not grammatically correct, it is true. I decided today to do SOMETHING.

That something required getting out of my room and coming into the living room where the sunshine is streaming through the windows and birds are chirping. Anything to take my mind off of pain is a good thing. As I was talking to God, I said, "I will never know what it's like to be spat on just for being who I am. I will never know what it's like to have a crown of thorns placed upon my head. I will never know the agony and grief you felt in the days, weeks, and months leading up to - and the day of the crucifixion. I'll never know what it's like to be beaten beyond recognition."

And I am SO grateful that I don't. God has faithfully kept His promise to me that says, "I'll never leave or forsake you."

I'm so glad I can cling to verses like Jeremiah 29:11.

In our conversation, I also said, "In ALL of my years, nothing I have experienced compares to what You went through."

If Jesus can endure, so can I. If He didn't quit, I won't either. Today is one of those days when I am neither high nor low. I'm in between. This morning I was a bit groggy from the pain medicine, but I am hanging in there. 

Friends, I don't know what you are going through today. But I want to encourage you to hang in there. Tomorrow is a new day full of promises. I rest in the fact that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And you can, too. 

You may not know it, but He is right there in the when your kid is throwing a temper tantrum. 

He is right there when your boss didn't give you the raise you were hoping for. 

He's right there when you just want to throw back the covers and hide from the rest of the world.

Do something today that you have quit doing. Little steps add up to big victories!