Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I'm Not Ok With Only Having One Foot

When I was twenty one I had reached a point where I was spending more time in a cast healing from a broken bone, then out of one. Years of dance and running had caused so many overlapping injuries that I kept breaking the same bones and tearing the same tendons over and over again.


When I would finally get the cast off, I would be filled with hope that *this* time I really was healed and I could move past the pain and the struggles and finally get to do the things I had been waiting to do.

It never worked out that way though, inevitably several weeks out of a cast and I would be right back in one again, stuck in a cycle that I couldn't get out of. I was forever putting my dreams on hold and the injuries were stealing away my ability to do the things that I loved.


I look back on those days now and I know that just like so many other things in my life, I was trying to go about my days as if everything was ok. "If I can just get through this, it will be ok. If I can just make it through another healing, the rest of it will be smooth sailing." In reality though, everything was not ok. I was struggling; struggling to keep up with the people around me and struggling to attain a level of normalcy that was getting exhausting.



Eventually my doctor gave me the reality check that I needed; "This is not going to get better. This is only going to get worse unless you deal with it now. This is not going to be pleasant, but you either deal with the unpleasantness now or you let the inevitable chase you for the rest of your life until you finally do deal with it."

I decided that it was time to deal with it. I underwent some pretty drastic surgeries that to this day leave any pain that I have ever felt unrivaled. To be honest, neither my doctor nor I were quite prepared for the fallout of the surgery. What had already started out as a pretty big surgery on one foot (the other to follow in six months time), turned into a surgery that went six hours over the three hour estimated surgery time. When I woke up, I was in for the shock of my life. Through my haze I remember the doctor telling me "it was a lot worse than we were expecting. We couldn't save much of the "original structure," we didn't have much to work with, we don't know how this is going to heal."

In layman's terms, what did that mean? It meant that in a surgery to stabilize my ankle, I woke up with my Achilles tendon (the big tendon that runs from your heel up the back of your leg) not only lengthened, but surgically stapled back my my ankle joint. A major foot joint was now fused with screws. The tendons over the top of my foot? Transplanted with organ donor parts, stitched to mine, and then stapled to the bones. Since my foot was straighter than it had been before the stabilization, they had to saw my heel off, move it over, and screw it back on to get the right alignment.

I will only gross you out with one picture, but I can assure you I had just as many stitches on the other side of this foot and running up the back of my ankle as well

How did it heal? Not well; I almost lost my foot. Nerves had been cut, circulation was poor, I spent quite a bit of time in the hospital, and I was sent home with a "I really hope this works out" prognosis from the doctor.

Do you see that large crack in my heel bone where it was sawed off from my foot? Notice the screws through the joint on the top of my foot? See the staples at the back of my ankle? Also, please note that the heel screw was not completely in the bone, so it always felt like I was stepping on....A SCREW.

My biggest issue was that it wasn't healing. So many of my blood vessels had been cut that I wasn't getting the circulation that I needed to heal the bones, so my doctor enrolled me in a clinical trial. Four times a day for thirty minutes I had to wear a "bone stimulator" machine that would bring blood flow to the bones and hopefully heal them. It burned. It also sucked. Above all though, it worked.

I look back now and am amazed at how swollen my entire leg, foot, and toes were!

When the bones were healed enough to consider the surgery a success, I had some of the hardware removed and a scar revision surgery. By the time I was healed enough to start physical therapy, I had almost no muscle mass left.




I threw myself into therapy, determined to get my life back, determined to get the results that I was aiming for when I started this process. Despite the fact that I was getting beaten by my ex more than ever at home, despite the fact that I was in pain everyday, I wasn't about to give up what I had set out to do. I had come too far and fought too hard to give up now. I knew what my goal was when I started this and I intended to end up at the destination that I was aiming for.

When I was finally to a point where I was considered healed, I got the heinous joyous experience of going back to the operating room and doing the entire process over again on the other foot. You know what? It sucked just as much as the first time did. No, actually, it sucked more. I didn't care though. I was not about to stop halfway through. One good leg was not going to help me. It was not going to give me the life that I had been dreaming of when I had started the journey.


I was having so many surgeries that I had a constant bruise where they would tie the tourniquet around my leg to halt blood flow during surgery

I had weighed the risks, I had looked at the possible outcomes, and I had consciously chosen to go under the knife again in order to complete the mission that I had started.

I didn't want half of my mobility. Half way was not going to land me at the final destination that I desired. Not only would stopping halfway through have wasted all the work that I had already done, but it was forever going to hold me back from the life that I was aiming to have; so I went for it. I threw all my cards in and thankfully I played them right.

Looking back now, I can't believe how far I have come. I went from watching my life slip away as one by one I lost the ability to do the things that I enjoyed, to taking a leap of faith that almost caused me to lose a limb, and gaining an outcome that I couldn't have even dreamt of.

I had wanted a normal life. I had wanted to be able to walk without crutches and shower without one casted leg hanging out of the bathtub. What I got was a rekindle to my dance career, miles upon miles of running, absolutely no residual pain, and robot ankles that set off the metal detectors at the airport (yet surprisingly not at the courthouse).


I willingly walked into a very scary surgery in the hope's that I would gain the ability to have the life that I wanted. What I gained was the ability to live a life that I could not have even dreamt of.

I have court on Monday. It will be the first time since my Order of Protection hearing that I will be in the courthouse for one of my cases. If my ex shows up, it will be the first time that I will be seeing him since I was raped in October.

I am absolutely terrified.

Actually, terror doesn't even begin to describe what I'm feeling. To be honest, I'm not even sure that I will be able to convince myself to show up (I'm counting on the fact that Mr. Attorney Man tends to run a bit behind on the blogs and won't be seeing this until after Monday)

The thing is, I can't only fix one foot. I got divorced and kept my children, but that was only half the battle. I can't stop with only one foot done or I will never fully gain the life that I want, the life that I want for my children, and the life that we deserve. I need to go to court on Monday and follow through with some of the things that my ex isn't following through on; things that are vastly affecting the quality of life that my kids and I have.

I'm not looking forward to Monday, not in the least, but the foundation of my life is not stable with only one foot done. I need two feet. I need two solid feet and I won't stop until I get them.

I just hope that I can convince the literal two feet that I have to walk me into that building on Monday morning. The journey of my life, of my kids lives, is going to need two figurative feet in order to get us to the top. If I have to climb this mountain with the kids on my back, fighting off mountain lions and crazy ex's, I'm going to do it because I won't stop until we get to the top.

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that the destination on the other side is worth the painful walk to get there. Life isn't always an easy stroll, but the harder you work, the greater the outcome. If the mountain were that easy to climb the entire world would have lost appreciation for it's view.

Only the dedicated make it to the top while the rest simply fall along the wayside.

You can make it to the top, you just have to be willing to conquer the rough spots in the middle and not give up when the going gets tough.

No one wants to brag that they climbed half a mountain.

Be the one who see's the view.





Photo Credits
Mountain 

58 comments:

  1. You are such a strong woman Eden. Good luck on Monday!

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  2. Awesome way to re-frame things, Eden. Just remember....Everything you've gone through has given you tools and ways to deal with what you're facing now. All the little tests have been strengthening you to face this challenge, just as facing this challenge will strengthen you for the next one. *hugs*

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    1. Thanks hun :) I saw something a few months ago that said "if what doesn't kill you makes you stronger than I should be able to bench press a buick."

      hehe :)

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    2. Oh, I want a t-shirt! :)

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  3. You will certainly be in my thoughts with this upcoming court date (and in general). You are incredibly strong and brave, and you will be Ok no matter what. I mean, look what you have already survived! And without losing your sense of self!

    I would warn you, though (you probably already know this), that abusive men tend to become more aggressive and violent when things like this court date are approaching. Do you have friends that can trade off overnight duties at your house? I think it would be good to have another adult with you before and after this hearing, if you can.

    Big hugs!!!

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    1. Yes, I'm unfortunately well aware of the statistics of violence around times like this and its FREAKING ME OUT!!!! :(

      I should have waited until after court to break up with Secret Agent Man.... ugh, hindsight....

      Thanks for your sweet thoughts

      *hugs*

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  4. Damn girl, look at those legs!! Id watch you walk anywhere!!

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    1. Hopefully it's not in a dark alley somewhere... ;)

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  5. The Man In Black set called, they want their dog back.

    Good luck monday.

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    1. I <3 pugs :)

      Tell them to get a different dog and then hang up.

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  6. What do the scars look like now? Does it hurt to wear heels?

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    1. The scars are barely visible. I had a scar revision surgery with a plastic surgeon and now it looks like the size of a papercut, where you can even see them.

      I had most of the hardware removed thankfully, no way was I going to walk around with a screw poking me in the heel all the time! To be honest I'm not exactly sure what is left in there. I know there is something, staples or a screw or something on the outside of my ankle bone because I can feel them and if I bump it into something, OH MY GOSH the pain sears into the center of my bone.

      I *think* with the exception of a few random staples most of the other screws have been removed.

      Actually, I there might be one in the joint. Eh, I have no idea. It doesnt hurt so I don't care!

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    2. Either you had really good doctors or it was because you were young, but do you know how lucky you are that you don't have any residual pain (to speak of)? I had knee surgery several years ago, and to this day I can tell you when it's going to rain (with my built-in knee barometer, ha ha!) Plus (and on the same leg, I sure didn't plan well!) I suffered a recent fractured ankle, complete with Darth Vader metal strappy shoe cast "Frankenfoot" thingie for ages, and even though it's "better now" (a YEAR later!) if I do too much (and I always forget until AFTER I've done it) it reminds me "hey, remember you fractured this ankle a while ago?" (And neither of those were anything near as drastic/dramatic as your surgeries! Ack!) So you are really really lucky to be able to do all the impressive physical efforts that you can and do DO, considering the history with your feet/ankles/legs. (Random remaining hardware included!)

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    3. I agree, I really can't believe that it doesn't hurt. I'm not kidding when I say it doesn't hurt AT ALL. Like....ever. For a couple years they would swell if I was on my feet a lot, but that was it. I signed away the rights to my medical records in return for not having to pay the bill and now my surgical photo's are part of some presentation they give the medical students.

      Because I am a freak I had the doctor put the surgery photo's on a CD for me. They are pretty wicked lol.

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    4. P.S. I think it's funny, after my surgeries until the scar revision I called my feet "Frankenfeet" because they were stitched all over and full of other people's body parts.

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    5. And also, I'm sorry that you still have pain :( I worked at a physical therapy clinic for several years and it is much more common than not to have long lasting pain with injuries. I hope it goes away for you soon!!

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    6. Can you write a post about all the different job you've had?

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    7. Lol, gosh, that would be a flashback!

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  7. Beautiful analogies Eden! I am continually amazed at how strong you are. What really keeps you going? Is it a relationahip with God?

    Mr. Attorney Man should use these blogs to help your case. They'd win over everybody's hearts.

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    1. :) Thank you hun!

      Haha, I'll let him know ;)

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  8. First, I love this post thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big!

    I'm sorry you're scared, and it's easy to see why you'd be nervous about court. But before I even got to that part, I couldn't stop thinking about how amazing it is that you just keep going no matter how hard everything is. You're like that guy from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" who gets all his limbs cut off and he's like "TIS BUT A SCRATCH" and he keeps trying to fight, except you're even braver than that dude! After all of the crap that's happened to you, whether it's family, ex-husband, or a bad leg, you never let anything hold you back from the end goal. That's some hard stuff, lady, but you keep

    It's probably gonna be hard to walk into that courthouse. You might be shaking like a leaf on the inside, but you're gonna get in there, stand up tall next to Mr. Attorney Man, and kick serious legal butt. And when you get out, con Mr. Attorney Man into buying you a milkshake and some nachos- you deserve 'em <3 :)

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    1. Haha!! "tis just a flesh wound!" I love that analogy, how funny!!!

      I will most definitely be shaking like a leaf! Yes, Mr. Attorney Man should buy me a milkshake. I've bought him dinner, coffee, and more coffee. Oh yea, but I probably owe him like thousands of dollars anyways. But in terms of ACTUAL food, I'm totally winning in that catagory.

      His boss did offer me coffee creamer once.

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  9. Are you going to court over the fact that your ex husband shot your house? Or is it because of the many crimes he has done? How did the authorities locate your ex husband? Sorry for being nosy. How did you meet your Native American ex husband?

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    1. Ha! No, I'm not going to court over any of those actually! The shooting came after he found out that I had filed court paperwork. I'm not entirely sure the police did locate him. We had a few addresses on file, sent the paperwork several places, some of it came back, I personally don't know if he even knows exactly when court is. I know he knows that we have court because I had sent him an email saying that I hadn't heard from him about the issues in over a year and I had filed court paperwork, but I didn't tell him when or where it was. It's his job to let the courts know where he is living, not mine. I personally do not know where he is living. I have a few idea's, but nothing concrete.

      He was my boss at the petstore I used to work at, that is how we met.

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    2. Petstore? O.k., let's have some petstore stories! !!!???!!! :)

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    3. http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/never-buy-dogs-puppies-from-pet-stores

      There is one that I wrote for Dogster

      I think I also told a story about it in the post "just in case you were starting to think I was normal" about how I refused to kill the mice for snake food. Blech...

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    4. The good family pet store or the bad chain pet store?

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    5. Did his family own the petstore?

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  10. Have to get the OMG PUG!!! SQUEAL!!! out of the way. I love pugs. :D

    Okay. Got it out of my system. Moving on.

    If I were in your position, I'd be scared of going to court, too. Especially considering recent events. Do you think that super awesome cop could cruise around your neighborhood/house a bit? Is it on his route? I know my mother was dealing with her psycho ex-husband (my stepfather, not my father - it's debatable who would rank higher on the psychotic scale). He got violent with her a couple of times and she kicked him out, but he would park his car on our street and just stay there for HOURS. He'd show up at the store while she was there, at the Wal-Mart, at the convenience store, etc. It's a small town so he was always able to argue coincidence. But my mom had a good relationship with the cop and when she told him that her ex kept showing up, and was frequently parked outside the house, the cop expanded his route to drive past our house every few hours.

    Maybe your new awesome cop can do the same. Do you have anyone else you can let know, maybe not necessarily what all is going on, but maybe something like you might need to call them or have them call you at certain times?

    I'll definitely be thinking about you on Monday and sending you good thoughts and vibes. I really, really hope everything goes okay.

    *hugs*

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    1. That's not a bad idea to call that cop guy, I actually hadn't thought of that. I almost called him the other day when I got home and my front door was wide open and the alarm was going off. First I had a heart attack, and then I remembered how quietly I had shut it while the kids were napping and realized it had blown open during a storm that had rolled through. Then I got to clean 32 gallons of rain water off the floor.

      Anyways...back to point. Yes, I am keeping his card handy!!

      Pugs rock!!!!

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    2. I second this remark. He knows your situation, and I bet he'd be happy to cruise through your 'hood when he's not busy on other stuff. Around here, we call it "extra patrol." Citizens can call the station and request it....I imagine you have something similar there.

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    3. Mr. Attorney Man and I went to the police station after a particularly frightening incident and filled out some forms for special patrol. They came one night and then I never saw them again. They said they were understaffed and too busy :(

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    4. Ugh, that's horrible. Even if they were busy and understaffed, the least they could do is check up on you. :(

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  11. hey eden
    just curious... how much money in donations do you get nowadays? I except it's more since your blog is growing, but I want you to know that I sincerely want to help out if you are only getting a few dollars once in a while. your family needs basic nourishment.

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    1. My instincts are telling me that your intentions for asking that are not all than pure, considering the backlash she is gotten from the trolls for even having a donation button, a donation button that we as her readers pestered her into putting up there

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    2. I think more people would donate if they knew how much money Eden doesn't receive.

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    3. Ah, money. I hate talking about the donation button because it seems to be very inflammatory for people. When I first put it up there, when the readers asked me to in the post "on my way to homelessness" I recieved enough to cover my mortgage payment that month and a little bit for the next month. As per the window post I had a few sweet donors who helped me cover a little more than half of the window cost. In between that, I have a few dear readers who dontate sporadically $50 or less. By no means am I raking in the dough over here. The donation button does not show up on the mobile version of this blog and it doesn't show up in the emailed posts (most of my readers are email subscribed), so I think it goes unnoticed quite a bit, which is fine with me. This blog was never about money and it never will be. You won't see me pointing out the button or talking about it in a blog, I want everyone to come and heal, laugh, or whatever they need. This was never meant to be a profitable endeavor. :)

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    4. Eden, you are always so sweet, even to the unkind posters!

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  12. Wow. These trolls are really pathetic.

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    1. They must have some kind of script running to post/reply whenever the word "husband" and "left" (or some variation) is written on a blog. Because really, if any of them spent two seconds reading your posts, they'd realize that what they're promoting is the exact opposite of what you want.

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    2. I bet you are right!! It is always those posts that get all those spam voodoo lover posts.

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  13. There's a difference between a troll, and spam. This, this is spam.

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    1. Yea I don't know what happened, usually my spam filter catches most of those, I'm not sure why they all came through this time!

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  14. They came through because the posters used blogger accounts, I think.

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  15. Has your leg tottaly healed?Hope you feel better and dont have any pain.

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    1. It has completely healed, no pain at all anymore! Thanks :)

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  16. mmmmmmm, wow nice collor from your plastercast and i like your cute sexy toes xoxo.

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  17. mmmmmmm, you have sexy cute feets and toes xoxo.

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