• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 143 other followers

  • “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers” — Isaac Asimov

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 167,803 hits

This and That

Wow.  I just looked at my Flickr photos (the ones I haven’t used yet) and at my calendar, and I realized that it’s been nearly two weeks since I last posted.

How does that happen?

Ahem.

Let’s see if I can do a bit of catching up.

It’s been three weeks since my last physical therapy appointment.  I can hardly believe it.

I thought, at first, that I’d be a little lost in the afternoons, but I haven’t been.  In fact, it’s as if I never had a break in my pre-ankle-injury routine.

I’m doing physical therapy exercises at home two or three mornings a week.  I take advantage of my leg and rest days in my workout routine and do my PT then.

Gambit loves when I do my Triple Flexion exercises because they put me down on his level . . .

Some days, I still have a lot of swelling, though.

Is it any wonder that I hurt so much?  I spend a lot of time on my feet on Fridays because I can’t resist attending my school’s football games . . .

I am beyond ready for my December surgery to get my pins removed.

School has been crazy-busy.

Of course, the hard stuff sometimes starts when I’m getting ready and can’t figure out if I’m matchy-matchy.  I sent Chicky the following picture one morning . . .

Her response . . .

My rebuttal twenty minutes later . . .

I made emergency lesson plans and copied class sets.  I remember that I reluctantly did this task last year . . . maybe with a bit of rebellion in my heart . . . only to have to call upon the use of those plans when I unexpectedly needed them when I broke my ankle.  You better believe that I didn’t complain about doing this task this year.

Perspective, y’all.

My students had been doing well, but then we hit a rough couple of weeks with quite a few behavior issues.  Who knew that juniors and seniors could still make poor decisions?

I attended a few contract negotiations meetings.  I did this a few years ago; we had salary and insurance issues to stress over this year.  Our union negotiators did a good job hammering out some things, although I will say that the raise is a bit insulting considering what we teachers do on a daily basis.

This was me, getting to school super early the day after the negotiations were finished.  We had a PLC (professional learning community) day, so the kids were out.

I’ve been prepping my students for the December ACT . . .

If the kids make a 19 or higher on the reading section, they are allowed to have a schedule change and, more importantly, they satisfy the state of Florida’s reading requirement.

Bragging Moment:  Thirteen of my students made the concordant score for the SAT when they took the test this month.  Y’all, that’s THIRTEEN juniors who don’t have to stress out about this test!

These kiddos are the best motivation for the students who are still in my classes.

We’ll be switching back to SAT prep after Christmas.  I attended training last Monday for the KHAN Academy’s SAT website, and y’all, it’s fabulous!  I can’t wait to get my kids started on it!

We had another exciting thing happen here in Podunk, USA.

We got a Lucky’s Market . . .

I took one look at the baking aisle and all of the types of flour I’ve read about in recipes and nearly swooned . . .

The Mr. has been to the store two or three times and keeps missing the honey section . . .

I only bought a few things – the kombucha was a recommendation from my physical therapist.

This is me, trying the Spiced Apple . . .

I downloaded a rewards app and got $5 off of $25 the next time I shopped.  I love that this store donates to local charities.  I make sure to take in my own bags so I can get the wooden coins to drop in the donation box.  $.10 is donated for every wooden coin.

I’ve also been busy getting to know my essential oils a little better.  I order some each month and actually went a little overboard in October . . .

I got the Cinnamon Bark for free because I’d ordered so much . . .

I love that oil!  I put a little on before class today, and one of my girls told me that she smelled chewing gum.  Ha!

I guess that’s enough catching up for right now.

If y’all wouldn’t mind praying for the Mr., we’d appreciate it.  He’s back in Jacksonville for a few tests to make sure that his body is healing from all of the craziness that happened with his Crohn’s in January.

Thanks!!

And Then There Was This

I’ve never really liked roller coasters.  The sudden twists and turns and feeling like I’m going to fall out of my seat at any time have always left me unsettled and a bit unnerved.

Well, y’all, teaching can sometimes feel just like this!

Yesterday was one of those days filled with ups and downs.  Just when you think you’re making inroads with a student, another comes along and bumps into your happy.

I’d started the day off by getting to wear a brand new Hogwarts Running Club sweatshirt from a recent race . . .

I’d gotten all in my teacher feelings of working together as one with the saying on the back . . .

But alas, teenagers have their own agendas, and they most certainly do not align with mine all that often.

To give you an idea of the silly stuff I get to deal with on almost a daily basis, take a look at the following picture . . .

That, my friends, is one of my kids who had asked for a pass to the restroom.  When he returned, he was trying to hide a bag of food inside his JROTC uniform jacket.

Another student ratted him out, and boy did I rip him a new one.  I also sent his ROTC instructors an email with the picture attached inquiring as to if this was a new part of the uniform.

Ahem.

I later found out that he’d never gone to the restroom but was across campus talking to another GIRL when his GIRLFRIEND caught him.  She has first lunch, but he has to wait until second lunch to eat.  I guess he decided to move the clock up.

I didn’t write him up for skipping.  I figured that getting busted by the girlfriend was punishment enough.

He also won’t be getting any more passes from me for a very, very long time.

Ahem.

Y’all, this is my weekday life!  I’m finding it a bit ironic that my morning’s Snapchat filter was this . . .

Someone, somewhere is laughing right now.

😀

Is it any wonder why I was exhausted by the time I got home?  I settled in for a bit of self indulgence – chips, salsa, and a 30-minute nap . . .

I got into my pajamas as a migraine etched its way across my forehead and settled in for the night (the headache, I mean) . . .

Then, I heard the familiar sound notifying me that I had an email.

I was surprised to find this waiting for me . . .

A former student sent it to me.  I’d taught him a few years ago.  He was one of those kiddos who actually spent two years in my classroom . . . ninety minutes a day, mind you.  His class had been one of my all-time favorites, and it was an honor to watch this young man mature over the years.  He graduated two or three years ago, so I rarely bump into him these days.

His message, prompted by God, I’m sure, was just what I needed.

No, it didn’t take away my migraine, unfortunately, but it did lift my spirits.

In fact, it energized me to the point where I was able to tweak my seating arrangements (always a tough job), write sub lesson plans for an upcoming TDY day, and outline lesson plans to take me all the way through December 8th (because I’m an overachiever like that).

My to-do list seems endless, but as I’ve often said, this is so much more than a job to me.

It’s a true passion.

I second-guess myself all the time . . . a fact that I don’t think my students would believe because I have to act all confident in front of them (would you trust a leader if that person didn’t exude confidence?).

The truth is that I hear my kiddos complain – a lot.  I sometimes take it personally.  I wonder if I could be doing things better.

Sometimes, the answer is yes.

Sometimes, I’d have to say no.  Still, the kids’ comments can leave doubts in my mind and feed into my insecurities.

And then there are messages from God, disguised as emails or visits from students . . . reminders that He sees me when I’m feeling low and though I may not trust my work in the now, He’s using me to lay the groundwork for the later.

I’m so in awe that God knows me personally and loves me enough to reach down, pat me on the back, and encourage me to keep trusting Him.

School Days

Technically, I’m in my eighth year of teaching; however, I feel as though the picture on the right side is pretty accurate despite the caption of it being a third-year teacher . . .

Y’all, teaching is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure!

I know that I haven’t been very consistent with the blogging, but can you blame me?

This year, I am teaching six classes . . . forty-seven minutes of fun, most times (sometimes, I’ll admit, not so much).

To date, I have about 150 students.  This is down from the 180 I started out with.

Go ahead and gasp.  I did when I saw my rosters before school started in August.

This year, I am tasked with helping juniors and seniors pass either the FSA (Florida Standards Assessment) or the reading portion of the SAT or ACT.

It’s been a bit stressful, getting the hang of a new prep; however, I work with another teacher who’s been prepping students for these tests for a few years now.

There’s lots of copying . . .

Thank heavens for paraprofessionals!  These test prep packets are thick; many trees were harmed in the printing of this classwork.

Ahem.

There’s a lot of Smartboard work . . .

I recently discovered that the Florida standards are loaded with the Smart Notebook software! #win

Is it any wonder that Friday afternoons find me like this . . .

I usually come home for a couple of hours, rest up, and then head back out for another three hours so I can cheer on my guys as they hit the gridiron . . .

After spending over sixteen hours on my feet, my ankle looks like this . . .

It’s all I can do to crawl into my recliner, apply STEM treatment, and ice down . . .

Although it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m really not.

I’m pretty happy thus far this year.  Most of my students (especially my juniors) are extremely motivated and pretty cooperative.  If they pass one of the tests I listed above, they have been promised schedule changes.  More importantly, they can check another box off of the list of graduation requirements.

As proof that my kids are working . . .

That’s my cell phone holder which, at the beginning of the year, was filled with pencils.  I ordered more from Amazon, and do you know that I already have several pencils missing.  This is not cool.

I have quite a few of the same students I taught last year, which has, for the most part, been a good thing.  The time I spent cultivating relationships has already yielded some positives.

Take, for instance, one of my assertive young ladies.  She grew to love reading last year, and it didn’t take her long this year to start checking books out of my classroom library.  Today, I watched as she added a book to a list she keeps in a notebook.  I only allow one book to be checked out at a time.  It’s too easy to lose track of them otherwise.  She didn’t want to forget the title, so she wrote it down . . . just as she did last year.

Oh my heart!

Although I’m extremely tough on things like tardies and dress code, I believe that my consistency is paying off.  Students in my largest classes are rarely tardy any more.  They know they’ll be held accountable, because Mrs. Auburnchick does not play.

So, if you wonder what I’m doing in between my blogging gaps, just know that I’m probably cat napping . . . in my recliner . . . with my Harry Potter blanket covering me . . . dreaming of, well, nothing much because I’m just too exhausted to do even that.

Ok . . . so maybe I’m playing with the fun filters on Snapchat . . . right before dropping off into a brief nap or two.

Ahem.

Is it Christmas vacation yet?

Week 47 (Plus One Day)

Are you tired of reading these update posts?  I hope not!  Even if you are, I hope you’ll stick with me through this one.

Spoiler Alert:  Naw . . . either read so you won’t spoil the ending or scroll on down.  Ha!

Let’s talk about Week 47 in my recovery from the trimalleolar fracture I suffered from on November 13 of last year.

I knew, going into last week, that it was going to be a tough one.  My students were about to take the second part of their FSA Reading Retakes, and I would be proctoring both days . . . full days . . . standing on my feet in a computer lab.

I went to physical therapy on Tuesday and made this little video of the back room . . .

I remember the first few months of my therapy.  I’d see people go to the back room and wondered what kind of work they were doing back there.  It seemed way beyond what I was doing out in the main room.

By July, I had advanced far enough that this room became my primary training spot.  It’s where I completed the monster walks, toe touches, step ups, and lunges (and other exercises) that my therapist added to my routine.

I don’t remember exactly what we did last Tuesday; all I know is that J, my therapist, probably increased something in difficulty.  I’d been progressing pretty rapidly, so she liked to challenge me a little more each time I was at therapy.

I was more than ready for my ice down at the end.  Between proctoring and my PT, my ankle was screaming for relief.

Wednesday, I drove across town to the Chick fil A that was open (the one closest to my school has been closed since a water main broke).  I needed sweet tea to get me through Day 2 of testing . . .

By Thursday, I was physically and mentally done.  I went in with plans to show my students a SAT prep video because most of them were taking it on Saturday.

The teaching gods laughed at me.  This Snapchat filter captured my mood perfectly at the end of day . . .

I went from school to physical therapy.  Thursday was a BIG day for me.  I got to do walking lunges for the first time since I broke my ankle!

We’d been slowly working on lunges.  That’s the neat thing about my therapist.  She’s amazing at building up to big moves by having patients master itsy bitsy pieces of the moves until they all come together for the big moves she ultimately wants patients to be able to do.

So, walking lunges were huge for me.

I also got to practice walking up and down a step.  She taught me to lean forward when I’m stepping down to help with my balance.  I still have trouble going down steps, so this was important.

I also got to do calf stretches on the stairs for the first time since June.

This is a move that I was doing before my setback in July when we had to reset me back to the basics.

My ankle was, as usual, done for by the end.

In case you’re wondering how my ankles compare after all of this time, take a look at this . . .

So much of that swelling on my right ankle is from the hardware . . . those three extra long pins.  I am so eager for my December surgery, when my surgeon will remove them.

Friday morning, I was back at it . . .

Even though I had taken the day off, I wanted to get my workout done.

I don’t want to spoil my next post, but I will say that the Mr. and I went out of town.  My ankle didn’t fare so well Friday afternoon, but it did okay the rest of the weekend.

I did get some PT work in though . . .

Sunday technically ended Week 47, but I really want to talk about today, Monday, the first day of Week 48.

Because it was Columbus Day, I didn’t have to work.  My district gives us this day off every year, and I was so glad for it!

I made an early physical therapy appointment.

It was a special one.

So y’all, it was my LAST physical therapy appointment!

To thank the therapists for everything they’d done for me, I brought them some baked goods . . .

Those are called Perfect Vegan Snickerdoodles, and they really are perfect.  One of the gals ate one immediately and RAVED over it.

Technically, I’ve used all of the visits that my insurance allows in a six-month period.

Am I 100% better yet?  Nope.  I’m probably around 75% there.  The problems are two-fold:  the hardware in my ankle that is limiting my movement and causing pain and time that is needed for more healing.

When I signed in this morning, the gal at the desk said, “Happy Graduation!”

Y’all, I got a lump in my throat!

What a bittersweet morning!

I had to fill out a questionnaire about my ability to perform various activities like getting out of the tub, running (I’m not doing this yet), etc.

Then, I walked back to the PT room and sat at the bicycle to warm up.

My therapist walked over with a smile on her face and told me that I was glowing today.

Y’all, the tears came, unbidden, then.  She didn’t see them right away, but when she returned, she asked if I was okay.

Dang, but I was a little embarrassed.

I told her that I was emotional, but for good reasons.  This group of caregivers had become like family over the past seven and a half months.

I know about their children; I know how they spend their weekends.  There’s a lot of bonding that happens as you move from one exercise to another . . . a lot of time to chat while you’re putting bands on your legs or trying to balance on one leg.

These people had celebrated every single milestone, from my being able to set aside my crutches to the day I was no longer limping.

They dried my tears the day I couldn’t stand on one foot; and they prayed for me when the hubby was so sick that I didn’t know if he was going to be okay.

ALL of those memories and the emotions that went along with them were running through my head as my therapist and I chatted.

She even noticed the wad of Kleenex I’d stuck in the pocket of my sweater.  They were actually for the runny nose I was still suffering from – remnants of the cold I got a week and a half ago.

Ha!

Once I got that initial burst of tears out, I was good to go . . .

I moved through my round of exercises, with J adding a few new ones in.

She checked my form when I was doing walking lunges and made a small correction.

I’ll forever hear her voice every time I work out (“make sure the knee is over the ankle” and “sit into the squat . . . don’t lean over it”).

She had me walk up and down the flight of stairs that’s in the main workout room . . . numerous times to get my form right.  Who knew that you needed to push your knees out to help with balance?  I felt so awkward, but as always, she was the patient teacher.

She created a home exercise plan for me to follow with progressive exercises to challenge me when the old exercises get too easy.  She knows that I’ll push myself too far too quickly if I’m not careful.

We went over the plan, and she worked with me on form.

I got to practice jumping (I’m soooooo scared of this) and an exercise that will eventually lead up to running.  I practiced what wound up being a warrior stretch (hello Piyo . . . thanks for prepping me for this).

It was her way of sending me off armed with what I’d need even when she’s not there, coaching me through each movement.

I’d burned a LOT of calories during my workout . . .

Then, I sat and iced down one last time . .

Sorry, but I love Snapchat.  This animation fit perfectly.  I felt as though I’d been given the key that would unlock the door to the rest of my recovery.

Then, it was time to go.

I gave a tight hug to J and told her that she was a miracle worker.  She really was.  I had such a rough July and couldn’t envision myself being out of the pain that I was in that month.  Plus, my main PT had changed offices, and the new one I’d been assigned quit working less than two weeks after I started back.  I had felt a little abandoned.  J took incredible care of me and managed my recovery process perfectly.  To be as young as she is (the same age as Chicky), her expertise is top-notch.

I hugged the other two gals that I’d been with from Day 1 as well.  They are special ladies.  They’d seen me when I crutched in that first day.  They’d watched the entire process and knew just how far I’d come.  I mean, heck, I couldn’t even rotate my foot – at all – when I started.

They have the amazing privilege of watching people get their functionality back, and I’ve just been in awe of that.  Plus, they do so with great tenderness and positivity.

I hollered out a final goodbye, thanked the insurance gal in the office, and walked out . . .

I may be back in January if I wind up needing more physical therapy after my December surgery.

For now, I’m taking many lessons with me.

I’ve learned how to pace myself regarding my recovery.

I’ve accepted that it’s okay to take things slowly.

I’ve grown to recognize the voice in my head (aka God’s prompting) when my body has had enough.

I’ve discovered that it’s okay to not be an overachiever in everything I do . . . meaning that I don’t have to do all the things to be what I consider “accomplished.”

I’ve learned how to roll with the punches.  Having things changed up on me has always been difficult; however, this entire process has been a series of things changing, whether it’s the therapist I’m working with, new moves being added to the mix (or old ones being taken out), or new days of the week to attend therapy.  I am not getting bent out of shape with unexpected changes to my routine, and that is a very good thing.

So, while I still have a ways to go in my recovery, and I know I’ll have a small setback in December when I have my surgery, I continue to trust that God will get me through each phase and that, in His time, I’ll recover.

One thing I’m slowly coming to terms with is that my ankle may never be the same as it was (or as good as the left ankle), and that’s hard for me.  Still, I choose to trust, and I continue my mantra of #findingjoyinthejourney no matter how easy or how hard things are.

What a blessing this injury has been.

Oh, sure, I’d rather that it had not happened; however, it did, and I can’t change that.  All I can do is look for God’s hand in allowing this.  I thank Him for getting me through each week . . . or rather each day of each week.

I won’t be posting regular updates from this point forward.  I think my updates will just come incidentally as part of my regular posts.  I’ll probably do a big One Year Anniversary post.

I hope that these posts have been encouraging to anyone going through something similar.  I pray that one day, I can read back through them without crying.  For now, I’m still living through the experience, so I can’t go there yet, despite my first PT’s suggestion that I do.

Please continue praying as the healing continues.  Thank you so much for being here for me each step of the way!

Time to Make the Donuts

Y’all, I am constantly on the lookout for yummy things to make.  I’m just about willing to try anything vegan related.

Last week, the Mr. and I talked about how much we missed Krispy Kreme donuts.  Neither one of us can have them due to our special dietary needs.

Well, I did what I do best and googled.  My search proved fruitful when I hit upon this Vegan Glazed Donut recipe.  I headed out to the store on Saturday to pick up the ingredients I needed.  Then, I got busy.

It’s been a long time since I worked with yeast, so I was a little nervous.  I used aquafaba, the liquid leftover in a can of chickpeas, as an egg substitute.  I wish I’d saved the photo of my dough rising.  It was pretty though.  I love when magic happens.

Then, I rolled out my dough.  I didn’t have a lot of space because there were a ton of dirty dishes on the counter.  Since I had not been feeling well the past two days, I wasn’t up to washing them by hand, and the dishwasher was full, so there was that little problem.

I had a bit of an issue when I realized that I’d forgotten to purchase a donut cutter when I’d been at the store earlier.  I googled what to do, but I still didn’t have what I needed.

I found a round cookie cutter among my baking items and used that first.  Still, I needed something to cut out the centers, and after thinking and thinking about it, I went back to my cabinet where I found a cupcake center removal thing – the tool you use to take part of the cupcake out so you can add filling to it.  I’ve never actually done this before, but I had anticipated a time when I would, hence the item in my kitchen.

It worked perfectly.

I had to let the donuts rise a second time.

They weren’t the prettiest, and some were thicker than others.  Since I didn’t have much space on the counter, I couldn’t roll them out evenly.  It’s okay.  It was my first time, so I was still in the experimental phase.

I didn’t waste anything and even let the donut holes rise.

The thicker ones got HUGE after an hour of resting . . .

I’ve never seen Krispy Kreme donuts that thick before, but whatever.

Then, I fried them in canola oil.

Oh my heavens.  I should have downloaded the Instagram story I did on it.

They took about 45 seconds to cook on each side and came out amazingly well!

The icing was a piece of cake to whip up, and I gave each donut a quick bath before setting it on a rack to cool off.

These donuts are so delicious!  Because mine were kind of small, I was able to get make almost 36 out of the dough.

I’ll be sharing these with friends at work to prevent me from eating all of them and, thus, keeping my cold, which is a result of too much sugar and stress in my life of late.

But y’all, I freaking made donuts!!!

The Mr. is a bit jealous and said that he wished I’d enjoyed cooking like this before he’d been forced to change his diet.  Poor dear.  I’m going to be on the hunt for something he can have.  It won’t be a Krispy Kreme donut, but maybe it will be an acceptable alternative.

 

Weeks 45 and 46

Here we go again . . . a lapse in posting ankle updates last Sunday has led to the need to catch up this week.

Hello fatigue.  It sure didn’t take long for us to get reacquainted this school year.

Let’s talk!

*Disclaimer #1 – This is a LONG post.  I’m sorry!  Bear with me though?  I’ve got some interesting news down toward the end.*

**Disclaimer #2 – I apologize for any grammar mistakes.  I got lazy by the end of this longgggggggg post and didn’t feel like going back to proofread.  If you find something amiss, will you comment or email me so I can fix it?  Thanks!!**

Week 45

I started the week off as I usually do . . . with an early-morning workout . . .

I had physical therapy that afternoon.

I was pleasantly surprised when my therapist gave me this . . .

She’d gone to visit a friend in California during her “escape” from Hurricane Irma.  While there, she went to an antique store and found that stone you see there.  She had me on her mind and brought it to me, along with instructions to keep it in the freezer and use it to roll under the arch of my foot when it hurts (which is nearly daily).  It’s the perfect size and very helpful for working out the kinks that I still get with my tendinosis.

My therapist worked me pretty hard by increasing the number of reps I had to do for each exercise.  I burned a crazy amount of calories . . .

For the record, I don’t recommend breaking your ankle and then doing PT as a formal type of exercise program.

Just sayin’.

Tuesday evening, my ankle was shot, and I found myself trying to make my ankle pop late into the night . . .

Of course, I had gone to the grocery store after work to pick up ingredients for a Creamy Pasta Marinara recipe I’d seen on this site.  The picture does not do it justice.  It was absolutely divine!  The homemade cashew cream made all the difference in the world!

I didn’t let my sore ankle stop me from working out on Wednesday morning (not much stops me, truth be told) . . .

I discovered an issue later that morning (or maybe it was that afternoon) when I went to grab something from my pantry, leaned forward with my right leg bent behind me, and experienced a sharp pain that stopped me in my tracks . . .

See the way I’m leaning forward into that right knee?  My tendon is so tight that it balks, loudly, when I hit an invisible wall and can’t go any further.  It doesn’t happen with my left ankle.

I showed this picture to my therapist the next day, and she imitated the move to understand what I was talking about.  She told me that I needed to train myself to lean down the way she’s been teaching me during my sessions . . . going down fully on my knee rather than angling myself awkwardly like this.

I’m completely awkward though.  It’s hard to retrain a 47 year old on how NOT to be awkward.  I mean, this is probably one HUGE reason why I broke my ankle to begin with.

Sigh.

During Thursday’s PT session, I got to do my step ups with a new variation – raising my knee up when I stepped up . . .

It might not sound like much of a challenge; however, it really was.  Every time we make things more difficult, my balance is affected.  This variation also works on my core, which I need to be strong as well to help me overall.  I absolutely love that I’m making progress, one raised knee at a time.

PT that day was pretty good, but I was sore as crap from the week.

That didn’t stop me from walking four (yes, I said FOUR) miles on Saturday . . .

It was such a beautiful day, as you can see in the picture.  My ankle was sore from the get-go.  I had shin pain on the inside of my ankle, and it never got better, but I pushed on and managed a decent pace (for me) of 15:30.

I was pleased as punch and felt quite accomplished when I finished.

My ankle began hating life immediately, however.  I had to give it a good stretch when I went inside.

Y’all, I really MUST learn to listen to my ankle.  One would think I’d have sat down after starting off my day like that, but NOOOOOOOO, I decided that I needed to make all the things . . .

There was Roasted Red Pepper Hummus to be prepared.  It was divine, by the way.

There were Fudgy Vegan Beet Cupcakes to bake (a recipe I’d had my eye on for a week or two) . . .

I didn’t let any batter go to waste – hence the baby cupcake . . .

I bought the cupcake pans here.  I am in LOVE with them!  Look how easy it was to get these babies out . . .

These are some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever made!  The texture was spot-on.  They are moist and chock-full of flavor!  I’d never heard of beet puree before, and the recipe did suggest applesauce as an alternative; however, I wanted to challenge myself to try something new and attribute the consistency of the cupcakes to the puree.  I took a few cupcakes to school to share with a couple of teacher friends.  A couple of students were also gifted cupcakes.  Everyone LOVED them and couldn’t believe they were vegan.

I also made the Mr. his donuts so he could have something fun to eat over the weekend.

My ankle was so angry when I finished and finally sat down to watch football on TV.  I spent the rest of the day in a lot of pain.

Y’all, it’s so hard for me to sit still sometimes.  This ankle injury has kept me down for so long that I get extremely frustrated and rebellious.

Like the next day when I decided to bake AGAIN because I had puree that I didn’t want to go to waste.

I had at least three more recipes planned out.  I made another batch of cupcakes . . .

I also made Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes . . .

I had donuts on my mind as well . . . 30-Minute Chocolate Vegan Donuts . . .

As a side note, the donuts wound up not being my favorite.  I don’t know if it’s because I cooked them a little too long or what, but they were dry.  Everyone who tried them said the same thing.  I doubt I’ll make these again.

One thing I did learn from the weekend of cooking was that Aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas) is AMAZING!  Quite a few recipes have started asking for it as an egg substitute.  It’s so much better than flax or chia eggs!  I loved working with it!

While things were baking in the oven, I had Broccoli Detox Soup going on the stove . . .

After all of that baking, I was in desperate need of these . . .

That combination works wonders on the swelling and pain in my ankle when I’ve overdone myself.

Week 46

So, it’s not surprising that I started off last week behind the eight ball.  After being on my feet all weekend plus walking those four miles, I was done for.  This was going to be one heck of a week, let me tell you.

That didn’t stop me from working out in the wee hours of Monday morning . . .

Monday, I had to administer the FSA Writing Retakes to fifty juniors and seniors . . . all kiddos who are trying to pass this state assessment to graduate.  I was on my feet ALL DAY.

I had physical therapy after school, and boy did I get a workout!  Look how fast my heart was beating after I finished doing three sets of monster walks / squats combinations . . .

I also got to do FULL lunges!!!!!

Do you know how happy I was to be doing something close to what I’d been doing BEFORE I broke my ankle nearly a year ago?

Do be sure, they were tough, tough, tough.  I am constantly surprised by how weak I still am despite months of working out.  The injury really set me back, and each new exercise (or variation) makes me realize how much farther I need to go.  However, I’m also amazed at how far God has brought me.

One funny moment about the picture you see above:  A fellow patient who’s there the same days I am commented that it looked like I was ready to play Twister (the colored mat).  I had a good laugh at that.  You’ve got to find humor in the little things, eh?

One fun thing I got to do was bounce on a mini trampoline . . .

I’d asked my therapist when I will be able to jump again.  She pulled out the trampoline and had me bounce without jumping in the air.  That felt okay.  This was something I couldn’t do a few months ago, so I was excited.  Then, she had me go from side to side, without jumping, to see how that felt.  It too felt fine.  Next, she let me put a tiny bit of air between each foot and the trampoline as I moved from side to side.

Y’all, it almost felt as through I was jogging.  It felt incredible.  I told her that I wish I could have a moving trampoline that traveled down the sidewalk as I jogged to soften my landing.  She chuckled.

Oh, and to make Monday harder, after my physical therapy appointment, I went back to my school for Open House!  I was absolutely exhausted when I got home around 7:30 after being gone from the house for over twelve hours.  It had been a very, very long day!

Despite the hard workout Monday afternoon, I still got up on Tuesday and did my physical therapy exercises.  I make it a point to do them on the days I’m “resting” or only doing abs from my Body Beast program . . .

I used my fireplace hearth to do my step ups.  See how clever I am?!

That afternoon, I made up a batch of One Pot Vegan Minestrone Soup and Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Biscuits (thus putting more pressure on my ankle).  The soup turned out so well!  I ate on it all week for lunch.

Oh my yum!  My ankle may have been dying, but my stomach was quite the happy camper.  Can you say comfort food?

I went to physical therapy on Wednesday because I had a doctor appointment on Thursday.

One of the last exercises I do every PT session is balancing.  On Wednesday, I got moved up to the blue disc.  It’s extremely difficult to stand on one leg and balance for 45 seconds.  I had gotten to where I could do it fairly well by June, but when I had my bad month of July, I regressed.  That’s why we’ve been working so slowly to get me back up to par.  My therapist always puts this balancing exercise at the end of my workouts specifically because it’s more difficult after I’ve exhausted my muscles during the other strengthening moves.

I spent all of this past week sore, sore, sore.  My therapist and I had discussed the “why” of it all, and she explained that I’m going through a building process right now.  Any time we change up the routine by either adding more reps or going up in a move with a harder variation of it, I’m in a transitional phase.  She said that this is when the tearing and rebuilding of muscle occurs, and it can take a week or two for my body to adjust.  Hence, the extra pain.  It’s necessary, though, to get better.

I’m cool with that.

Needless to say, I was mighty glad for the ice and STEM that followed . . .

On Thursday, I drove two hours to visit my ankle surgeon . . .

I was so tired from the week, and I was feeling a cold coming on, but I wasn’t about to let those things deter me.

My doctor’s office is always so gracious about scheduling late appointments to accommodate my work schedule and the time needed to get there.  I arrived early and waited . . .

Someone from the office had called me that morning to ask if I could go in early – that they’d had some cancellations.  I got there at 5:30 but still had to wait a bit.  I didn’t mind though.  This doctor is amazing at what he does.

I did sit back on the examination table and doze off though, but only after I snapped a photo of the x-ray I’d had done in June . . .

A quick explanation.  The right side of the x-ray, with the three long pins, is actually the inside of my ankle.  The side with nine pins and the plate is the outside.  The inside of my ankle is what slammed directly onto the floor when I fell last November.  The plate on the outside was placed there because I broke that side pretty high up my leg.  I also broke a third part of my ankle, but it didn’t require pins.

Crazy stuff.

I’m not sure that the doctor was aware why I was there since I’d been corresponding with his nurse through email.  She wasn’t there that day (ironically, she’d had surgery and was out for a week).

I think that he assumed it was a regular visit.

He asked about my tendonosis.  I told him that it was getting better but wasn’t 100% yet, and that I had to “pop” my ankle frequently when pressure built up.  I told him about my new therapist who’s a miracle worker but had to reset me back in July because of the problems I’d been experiencing.

I told him about the pins that had been bothering me, which was the reason for my visit.

He manipulated my foot around, made me push against his hand and hold it sturdy while he pushed and pulled on it.

At first, he sounded like he wanted to wait to do the surgery I was inquiring about (the removal of three pins on the very edges of both sides of my ankle).  However, once we began talking at length, and when he took a closer look at my ankle, he changed his mind.

He told me, “You’re an unusual case.”

Ha.  I think that’s the understatement of the year.

He said that they aren’t used to seeing people of my stature (i.e., so petite).  Basically, because I’m so small, I can feel every bit of hardware he put in there to stabilize my ankle.  Because of that, I’m in a lot of pain.

He also commented on the swelling in my ankle.

Thank heavens!  I seem to be the only person who’s been concerned about it for months.  He attributed it to the hardware.  Later, when the Mr. and I were discussing this and we looked at my x-ray again, we could see that the long pins on the inside of my ankle are located exactly where the swelling is.  It finally made sense!  It’s no wonder that I’m in a lot of pain and still have limitations.  I literally cannot move fully because I have pins holding me back.

Duh!

My doctor was so nice though.  He said, “I’m going to take ALL of the hardware out.”

My jaw dropped.

I told him, “I’m not trying to be greedy.  I actually like having the other stuff there.  It makes me feel more secure.”

Nope, he said.  If he’s going in there, he’s taking it all out.  He said that this will make the swelling on my ankle go away once everything is healed.

Yay!

I’ll have to wear a boot for four weeks after the surgery, but I’ll be weight-bearing immediately.  I was shocked.  I said, “So, I’ll be walking out after surgery?”

He laughed and said, “Not exactly.  You’ll be woozy from the surgery.”

“So, I’ll be holding onto my husband as I wobble out?” was my response.  He laughed.

He told the PA who was with him to schedule surgery.  That’s when I told him that his nurse had already tentatively put me on the schedule for December 21.  He seemed surprised.  Y’all, I like to have all of my ducks in a row!  Plus, I had been afraid that he’d get booked up, so I went ahead and had the nurse take care of this for me.

Ha!

We have a half day at school on December 20th, which will give me time to mentally prepare for surgery the next day.  By doing it during the break, I’ll have two weeks to get stronger before school resumes in January.

The doctor assured me that recovery will be much easier this time around.  Of that, I’m positive.  I don’t know that anything will ever compare to breaking an ankle and the pain involved with that.  Everything else pales in comparison.

So that was big news . . . a bit surprising and a teensy bit unnerving.  As I said, I actually like having some of the hardware, although going through metal detectors at airports will be a lot easier now!

I then began the drive home, exhausted but satisfied.

Of course, I thought of a number of questions after I got home . . .

I’ll run through these when my doctor visits me before he performs surgery.  He’s always incredibly patient when answering questions.

Y’all, the week wasn’t over though!  I still had Friday to get through!  Oh my!  This past week was Homecoming, so things were even crazier at school with kids getting ready for the dance, themed dress-up days, presentations of candidates and a parade, and the game on Friday.  Plus, I’d been coming down with a cold, so there was that.  Still, I was determined not to let those things stop me from attending the game . . .

It was a humid evening; I’m so glad I didn’t bother to straighten my hair!

The Homecoming queen wound up being a young lady I taught two years ago.  She was dressed up so fancy that I didn’t even recognize her!  I wanted to hug her after the game but couldn’t find her.  I’ll catch her at school.  I’m so happy for her!

We lost the game in a nail-biter than came down to a final field goal by the other team with five seconds left in the game.  Our boys were crying after it was over.  I tried my best to cheer them up as I hugged them and gave them high fives afterward.  I love them so.

Saturday, I got up early and walked three miles.

My ankle felt a lot better than it had the week before.  I know the shorter distance helped a lot.

I did feel pretty yucky from the cold, which had led me to sleep poorly Friday night.  I pulled out my essential oils and kept them going all day . . .

I did some baking, which I think I’ll talk about in a different post since this one could be a book on its own.

Then, I watched college football the rest of the day.

I wound up staying home from church today (Sunday).  I’m still not 100%; the severity of the cold is a bit muted, but it’s still annoying as all get out.

That’s basically it for these past two weeks.

Though I’m progressing, I continue to learn more about myself while making stupid mistakes (like walking too far or cooking for too many hours in a row).

If you would begin praying for the surgery I’ll be having in a scant 81 days, I’d sure appreciate it.  While I don’t relish the idea of having both sides of my ankle cut into again, I am looking forward to hitting the next phase of recovery so that, at some point, I can finally put this part of my life behind me.

%d bloggers like this: