Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Door County, Wisconsin

I'll update more on how great Mom is doing soon. But I wanted to get this post up about our trip to Door County last weekend. Eric and I headed up there for my friend Becky's wedding. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding near the water. One of my IWU roommates, Michelle, and her husband Andy were there as well celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary! Somehow, we found ourselves in adjoining rooms completely unintentionally! It made the trip all the more fun to have them around to catch up with!

Michelle & Andy

A few old friends from high school! Kristen, Carrie, Katie & Shara!

Shara and I.

Self Portraits

Becky and her new husband, Tom.

Andy is a big time hunter/fisherman... and Eric has been wanting to get into fishing for quite awhile now... so Saturday we chartered a fishing boat and hit Lake Michigan up for some King Salmon!! I had no idea what we were in for... I myself have never been fishing... and what I pictured were a few 8 or 9 inch fishies flopping around inside the boat... Instead we got this:

14lb Salmon


Would you believe the guy let me steer?

Reeling it in!

Not bad for a bunch of amateurs!

Um. Gross. But it had to be done. This girl does not yank out fish guts!

Hanging out playing a game of Euchre and some really bad wine coolers! (Can you tell we woke up at 5am??)

"My Hot Fisherman"

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Note from Sondra...

Well --- now that the sanctity and privacy of recovery has been totally violated ' I decided you should have a word from the patient. I think my HIPPA rights have been violated, Meg....Just what everyone wants----- the whole world able to see you groggy and post surgical!

Since I have all this time on my hands, I thought it might be fun to share a few thoughts of my own...thoughts that may encourage, perhaps even amuse. I truly looked forward to these days of quiet and recovery away from the frenetic pace of Chicago. Many wondered at the choice to come to Indy for foot surgery. "Why on earth would you go to Zionsville, Indiana for surgery of any kind??? You live in Chicago, where they have some of the best medical care in the world! "

Well, there were several reasons. First, I found a wonderful doctor who approached the neuroma issue in a very unique way. He gained my trust from the first visit on . But, perhaps the biggest reason I agreed to this adventure so far away from home, was the willingness of Meg and Eric to open their home to me for the post surgical days. Not many newlyweds would want "the mother-in-law" hanging around their house for 7-10 days. And not too many 58 year old women would want to recoup from surgery in someone else's house-- away from their established comforts and routines....but I have loved every minute of this...truly feel like I am being treated like the Queen of Sheba! Meg and Eric have a great way of making you feel very comfortable and 'at home' even when I know that I am lounging on the couch they would be sitting on--- knowing I am crimping their style a bit. Eric is a wonderfully caring son-in-law who makes you feel very welcome and cared for. And Meg is absolutely wonderful at taking care of you, allowing you the freedom to establish your own pattern for the day, assisting and encouraging you to care for yourself, but providing complete assistance when needed. Someone said that Meg should be excellent at caring for feet.....my feet are each about the size of one of her typical patients!! Forgive the rambling....just had to let you know how special this time has been.

Max has also provided his own brand of care and concern. He is somehow fascinated by the bandages, and the shoe boots. Keeps Grandma company getting as close to my feet as I will allow.

Perhaps my biggest encouragement these past two days has been a picture that hangs right outside my bedroom door. During these first two days, it has been a source of encouragement and comfort as many times I have gotten out of bed feeling nauseous, dizzy and really queezy. With great effort I would insert my bandage bound feet into the velcro strapped boots. Just bending over often increased the sense of nausea. Then, tightening the velcro, I would begin my 'duck waddle' walking on my heels feeling various levels of discomfort in the feet. Truthfully, the nausea was more of a frustration than the pain.

The first thing my eyes fall on as I walk through my bedroom door is the picture of a little man who will always be my idol when it comes to courage in the midst of the pain. Little Man Ricky, the biggest, strongest, bravest little boy I ever have known. As I pass his picture on my way to the bathroom, I remember the endless tubes and tummy aches, the times of spitting up that I know were preceded by a sense of pain, the painful procedures that we saw him endure, the frantic looks as he glanced from one of us to the other in moments of fear during hospitalization.......What a trooper he was, right up and through the end of his young life. His courage gives me courage. Somehow, in the midst of my own recovery, my mind is filled with grateful thoughts of a gift our family received ....a little man who will forever warm our hearts. We love and miss you, Ricky!

Before & After

Well, Mom's surgery went great. The doctor said that instead of the typical pinky size neuroma that you saw in the pictures below, her right foot was about the size of his thumb! (Now, that was the doctor's thumb - which was about 3 times the size of mine!). He said she would be very happy with the results.

Recovery from the actual surgery has gone extremely well with very little pain in the feet at all... recovery from the anesthesia and the pain medication she's on has been another story. We're hoping she's out of the woods now. The nausea has subsided and she's up lifting weights on the couch. :)

Mom wants to write her first blog posting shortly so hopefully you'll get to hear from the patient herself soon. Until then... thanks so much for all your words of encouragement! She's loved reading them! Here's a few shots of the experience! Mom's thrilled I'm posting these of course!




It's easy to love everyone when you're all drugged out...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sondra's Neuromas

So... I have SEVERAL posts I'm anxious to blog, but I'm at work and don't have any way to get my pictures up along with the words. Therefore they will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime... I thought I'd let you all in on a little secret. My parents will be here later this afternoon. Tomorrow morning, my mom is going to be having some foot surgery done by a local Doctor here in Indy. Now, just to give you all a little background - my parents are the type of people who are always taking care of everyone else. If you're sick or in need of anything - big or small - you will find them helping in some way, guaranteed. Now on the flip-side... if they are sick, having car problems, surgery, or dirt poor due to wedding costs, most likely no one will every know. And that's the way they prefer it.

So since I can pretty much guarantee that no more than a handful of local friends and family know that my mom is about to have surgery done on both of her feet... which will leave her fairly immobile for quite some time... I'm going to assume that the well wishes, cards, and flowers will most likely never arrive. And rather than completely embarrass her by making phone call after phone call just to let people know... I thought I'd write a blog. This should be pretty painless for her... especially since she doesn't even know most of you. :) She hates talking about the problems with her feet... hates having people ask or worry about her feet... but I'm going behind her back anyway. (Still a rebel!)

Her surgery will be Wednesday morning at 8:30am and she'll be staying with us for somewhere between 7-10 days probably. I'll be doing my best to nurse her back to health, but I thought maybe you all could post a little encouraging word to her as well! I know that a quick return of mobility with her feet is on the top of her prayer requests. She has had both feet operated on before, only to have the problem return. (She has neuromas - basically swollen nerves in the feet)... so we are really hoping that this alternative surgery will fix things once and for all. So keep her in your prayers and post a "get-well" wish or something if you'd like!
And just because I have kind of a sick love of grossing people out with medical stuff... below are some pictures of an actual neuroma!! (Hope you havn't eaten!!)

That should make you want to pray! :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Eliot Mooney

Eliot Mooney is a little boy that was born with Trisomy 18. His parents were not sure that he would survive his birth, and once he did, they lived with the unknown of when God would choose to call him home. I have followed his parent's blog for quite awhile now. But today I felt led to share the video that they made about his life. I relate in so many ways... the greatest of which being the incredible experience of learning life's greatest lessons from the shortest lifetimes. Please take the time to watch the whole thing. You will be blessed... I promise.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Drop a Blog Note!

Hey Everyone...

So my best friend Susie and I go way back. WAY back... like to when we were both 6 months old and I moved into the house 2 doors down from her.

Anyway... she and her husband Bart finally got their own blog going and they are constantly posting super cute pictures and videos of their baby Kira. The tragedy is... we're not so sure many are dropping in to read and see all that they are sharing! Bart is concerned that the vast majority of their audience is of "older, wiser" group of individuals... who quite possibly are fortunate enough to know little more than how to turn ON their computer... let alone post a message.

They are losing hope and motivation... so I'm asking all of you to join me in giving them a little encouragement! Will you drop by the Saunders Blog and just let them know that the road is long... but the rewards are great!! :) I know they would LOVE to hear from just about anyone other than myself at this point!!! Thanks guys!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Reunion at Ivanhoes!!

So yesterday Eric and I enjoyed a little reunion with one of my IWU college roommate's, Michelle, and her family. They only live a little over an hour away from us but somehow life has done a good job of making the distance seem far greater! Michelle and her husband Andy came out to visit me in Reno a few years ago... but since then MUCH has changed! Isaac (now 3) was about 6 months old when I last saw them all... (I found he had grown a bit.)

Priority #1 was to visit one of our all-time favorite college hang-outs, Ivanhoes. They are known for their 100 different shake and sundae options!! It was fun to introduce Eric to the joint. He wanted to stop a SECOND time on our way home!!

With the ice cream out of the way... we figured it might be good for us all to get some dinner. :) Andy is an avid fisherman/hunter, so we went back to their place for a fish fry! I'm not much of a fish eater but that breaded Wall-Eye (how do you spell it?!) was fabulous! Turns out that just about anything tastes good fried!

I kicked myself the entire way home because I completely forgot to get some pictures of Michelle and I... as well as all of us. These are all I came away with.

Kaylin, Michelle, and Isaac
Kaylin loving those peanut butter crackers!

Mother's Day (Belated)

I meant to share a few photos from our Mother's Day celebration at Eric's mom's house a few weeks ago. Couldn't resist posting a few shots of our adorable neices!!

Eric, Eric's sister Julie, his Mom Joyce, Eric's sister Susie, Me & the girls!


Alyssa, Emma & Madison

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Max's O.D. scare

We never thought it could happen to us... proud parents of a beloved usually well behaved miniature schnauzer. But Meg came home from grocery shopping to find our dog Max in a frenzy, running sprints upstairs, yelping out of control, running into walls, and having his hind legs give out on him. On further inspection, Meg found that Max had gotten into her sleeping pills (useful when she works night shift). This particular class of drugs are also used as muscle relaxants thus explaining his legs giving out. What was not expected was his out of control energy bursts, as people who overdose on these drugs usually sleep it off for a few days. After a few calls to the vet and poison control our fears were alleviated. Eventually the effects of the drug wore off and Max made it through the O.D. scare. Needless to say we've enrolled Max into the Malibu rehab center where both Britney and LiLo have recently been treated... we just hope the outcome in his case is better. This should serve as a reminder to all thats it never to early to teach your young ones to just say no.