Thursday, September 8, 2016

19 Years!

Today is a special day for my husband and me! 19 years ago, today, at 10:20 a.m., Greg and I were married and sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple!

It's amazing for me to think back on our life together. From our precious time dating, to our endless waiting while he was a missionary in Japan, to our thrilling engagement, and finally our sacred marriage and eternal sealing, my heart is overwhelmed with happiness! Has life been perfect for Greg and me? No, absolutely not. Yet because we have each other, we are perfectly happy together!

This morning as I walked awkwardly down the stairs in my big boot with a laundry basket, Greg was standing at the bottom of the stairs with a big smile on his handsome face. :) His combed, shiny black hair and glasses totally reminded me of Clark Kent! He was wearing his black and white "H" shirt in honor of his Harvard distance class that he'll be participating in tonight.

Smiling Greg took my laundry basket, smiled even brighter, got down on one knee, pulled a little, tan, textured box out of his pocket, opened it, presented it to me and said, "Will you marry me again? Because I would marry you again and again and again!" I excitedly said, "YES! I will marry you a million times!" Then I hugged and kissed and hugged him! Greg pushed the ring box toward me and said, "Well?! Aren't you going to put it on?! You've been so patient!"

Oh, my darling Gregor knows me so well! He knows how much I love beautiful jewelry, and indeed how difficult it was for me to wait so patiently for my amazing Jose Hess ring! You see, I've been eyeing this designer ring for just over two years! Yet it was just never the right time for us to buy this ring because it was too pricey for our family's budget.

So when I randomly stumbled across "my" ring during an internet search (Remember, I've had a lot of down time due to Fankle!) and saw that it was 55% off, well, I just had to have it! I totally love that I "conveniently" found out about my ring right before our 19th wedding anniversary! Yes, I have a delightful shopping angel for sure! Ha ha.

Here is a collage of my happiest ring:



I took three of the photos from JTV, and obviously, my copyright doesn't apply to those. :)

The reasons I love my new ring so much are:

  1. It's sterling silver. From the research I've done, sterling silver is the best metal for your skin—it's the least toxic.
  2. It has cubic zirconia stones. Even though diamonds are the traditional stone for anniversary bands, and they're much harder, I have issues with the way diamonds have messed up the lives and economies of the people and countries who mine them. Plus, cubic zirconia stones are only one-and-a-half steps down from diamonds on the Mohs Hardness Scale; they're also only a half-step away from rubies, sapphires and emeralds!
  3. It's in the shape of a braid. I've done research in the past to see the history of wedding rings. Apparently back in the day (thousands of years ago), couples in love exchanged rings made out of braided or woven rushes/grasses to show their love and commitment to each other. I like that this ring reminds me of the longevity of the wonderful institution of traditional marriage—I love feeling connected to the past love stories of our world! :)
  4. I've always had a thing for long, beautiful, leafy vines—this ring reminds me of the kind I used to doodle as a teenager. :)
  5. I love the fact that I waited just over two years for my ring, which is the exact amount of time I had to wait for Greg to return from his mission in Japan!
  6. It reminds me of a laurel wreath which represents victory. Yes, Greg and I have absolutely been victorious in our marriage for the past 19 years! :)
  7. My darling, wonderful, sweet, and oh-so-charismatic husband presented it to me in the best way possible! I never imagined he would do something so romantic! Be still my heart! :)
Now, maybe some of you are thinking, "Well, the way Greg presented the ring to her wasn't that romantic...", and you might be right. But for meAdrie Peterson, eternal wife of Gregory Peterson—the way I was presented my lovely anniversary ring was exactly perfect and utterly romantic to the max!

You see, when a married couple has been through as much as Greg and I have (especially recently), our happiest little encounter at the bottom of our stairs this morning couldn't have been more perfect! Heart sigh. :) Besides, time was of the essence: Greg had to get on a business call and I had many loads of laundry to fold—still do! Ha ha.

Yes, romantic moments can be fully had when we least expect them. Romance comes in all sorts of ways—we just need to be ready and willing to participate when those moments are available! And we shouldn't ever try to force romance into a box (pardon the pun!), for there isn't just one right way to be romantic! We must forever cherish whatever romantic moments we're given—with our whole hearts and souls!

I'm so grateful for the smiles Greg has given to me for the past 22 years! (I'm including the time since we met each other.) No amount of money or possessions will ever compare to the spiritual connection, physical love, and eternal dedication that Greg and I share. When all is said and done in this crazy world, there will still be Greg and Adrie for eternity!

P.S. This is exactly how I feel about my Gregor! :)


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fanklebaby

(This is my fourth post in My Fankle Journey.)

I pretty much laid in bed the entire first day of my Fankle surgery recovery. My foot—which I'll refer to as Fanklebaby for the next little while because of the immense amount of time and energy I've spent caring for it(!)—was tingly and numb from the nerve block I received just before surgery.

The nerve block seemed to wear off in stages/sections of my foot. The crazy/scary thing was that my foot was still partially numb at 10:00 that night! At that point, I was nervous and wondered if maybe my podiatrist had nicked a nerve in my foot?? Thankfully, the last part of Fanklebaby—my right pinky toe—regained feeling around 12:00 that night, er, morning. Even though I felt pain when the nerve block wore off, I was extremely relieved that my entire foot had full feeling again! I have no idea how people deal with permanent nerve damage on a daily basis!

So, the oxycodone-acetaminophen pills I was prescribed made me feel totally wacky! I felt as if everything around me was in slower motion, or maybe I was in slow-motion. Whatever it was, I felt sort of jiggly inside—like my mind and body weren't fully connected. I know that sounds weird and I can't accurately describe it, but I'm not a fan of that partial-narcotic! I ended up taking my OC-AC pills (Clever nickname, huh?!) for only two full days because I couldn't tolerate the side effects any longer! Plus, the scariest thing happened to me on day two:

I was very tired because of tossing and turning all night long—Fanklebaby did a great job of keeping me up! Grrr... So I napped for the majority of day two. I took my OC-AC right on schedule and it helped a little. Yet while I napped on and off, I distinctly remember feeling like I was forgetting to breathe. I remember having to remind myself, "Breathe, Adrie!" multiple times! Then I would take a really deep breath and keep breathing...until I forgot to breathe again! So yeah, after I took my afternoon dose, I decided I wouldn't take anymore of those scary pills that made me forget to breathe! Seriously, partial-narcotics are nuts! They are nothing to mess around with!

I shudder to think of those precious souls who accidentally overdose. After my experience with oxycodone-acetaminophen, I can see how easily a person could quit breathing if they took too many pills, and that would simply be the end of them. Again, please don't take any prescription painkillers unless you absolutely have to!

My family was blessed to have dinner provided by four wonderful women in our ward (church congregation) on the first and second days of my Fankle recovery. Our dinners were unbelievably yummy and we even had leftovers! Yay! I'm so grateful for their service and help, they made my life so much easier during those first two days!

Also, my darling little sister brought me the most beautiful flowers and a chocolate-peanut-butter milkshake! Her gifts were to-die-for and perfectly hit my soul's happy spot! But what I loved the most is that my sister took time out of her unbelievably busy full-time-employment and mama-of-two schedule to drive 30 minutes to my house, talk with me while eating her lunch, and drive 30 minutes back to work. Her sweet sacrifice was so appreciated and will never be forgotten!


Friday, day three of my recovery, was a rough pain day for me because I took only ibuprofen. Yet I knew that my pain level would also worsen because I'd decided not to take any kind of pain medication after Friday.

You see, I'd recently read that ibuprofen is somewhat controversial in terms of tendon healing. Based on all of the research studies I read, ibuprofen possibly interferes with the healing/rebuilding process; it possibly slows down a person's entire tendon recovery; and it possibly causes tendons to not be as strong when they're completely healed. Thus, instead of taking more pain medication, I managed my pain on my own through rest, elevation, ice therapy and sleep, i.e., multiple mini-naps each day!

As a side note, I've also read recently that after week four of tendon surgery, ibuprofen can possibly help prevent the formation of adhesions (internal scar tissue caused by surgery) while healing. Thus, I've taken one or two ibuprofen pills now and then when my Fankle is feeling achy/tender.

By Friday night, I finally ventured into our pink bathtub! Yes, our Disco Dandy 70s house still has its original pink tub! Oh man, was my bath time awkward and frustrating! I hung my calf/foot on the edge of the tub on a folded towel so my wrapped incision wouldn't get wet. I washed my hair using the tub faucet, but I felt more like a pretzel than a happy bath goer! Ha ha. I think my bath took an astonishing 40 minutes to complete, and I wasn't at all relaxed afterward! That said, I was unbelievably happy to be so squeaky clean!! Yes, that deserves two exclamation points!

Saturday, day four of my recovery, was probably my most frustrating day because I hadn't slept well since two nights before my surgery. #Fanklebaby! My problem with sleeping was three-fold: pain; awkward body positions; and an uncomfortable foot position inside my boot. I had to stuff my boot with a washcloth and a small kitchen hand towel in order to get the right support and angle for Fanklebaby. Yet even then, if I moved my boot the wrong way, it was unbelievably painful!

I remember feeling such annoyance and a slight depression with my situation that Saturday because I realized I wouldn't be off my crutches anytime soon. I thought back to my MRI-followup appointment when my podiatrist explained to me that I'd be back to driving a week after my surgery. In my hurting state, I thought, "What was he thinking?! There's NO way I can drive in four days! I can't even move my foot a smidgen without wanting to cry out in pain!" The thought of me driving my minivan at that point of my recovery was akin to summiting K2! Yeah, not gonna happen!

While I enjoyed laying in bed for a smidgen of my recovery—because it felt so nice to not have to do anything for once in my life(!)—after laying in bed for four whole days, I was completely over it. I wanted out of my situation! 

I wanted to be able to walk from my bed to the bathroom without using crutches or hopping on one foot! I wanted to be able to sleep without my foot in a huge, uncomfortable robotic boot! I wanted to sleep under the covers with my Gregor instead of using a mountain of pillows and a separate sheet to cover me! I wanted to shower normally and not worry about my incision! I wanted to move my foot normally without gasping in pain if my foot accidentally jerked the wrong way! I wanted to serve my family! I wanted to be able to drive! I wanted to be able to put my foot below my heart without desiring to cut it off (because of pain)! Ha ha.
I wanted,
I wanted,
I wanted...

By Sunday, day five of my recovery, I awoke feeling much better! :) I thoroughly enjoyed our special Sabbath by watching BYU Devotionals, reading my scriptures, napping, and watching the Olympics. I also finally felt true hope because I knew my post-op appointment was only one day away! Hip hop hooray! I couldn't wait for my podiatrist to give me some sort of good news!

Speaking of the Olympics, I will be forever grateful that I had my Fanklestein recovery during the 2016 Summer Games! The Olympics were so much fun to watch from my Fankle bed! They gave me something to enjoy with our world as it happened! I was truly happy to connect with our amazing athletes on Instagram, as well as watching them on NBC.

Michael Phelps was probably my favorite Olympic athlete. I loved cheering him on! I mean, how often do we get to witness history in the making?! Of course, the other athletes were sooo talented and fun to watch, and I truly enjoyed so many events, but I guess I latched on to Michael because of his story. He was an amazing athlete as a young man; then he struggled for many years; but then he made the biggest comeback ever! Not to mention, he has a beautiful family now! I truly appreciated his dedication, grit, determination, and follow through. He was an absolute inspiration!

Blessed Monday morning, day six of my recovery, finally arrived! I had taken a bath the night before and put my hair in French braids so I could easily get ready for my post-op appointment. The morning passed more slowly than I had hoped, but suddenly it was time to leave and I didn't want to be late! Ha ha. Isn't that always how it is?! As Greg drove us to my appointment, I relished how amazing it felt to finally get out of the house! Oh, I was such a sad little shut-in! Ha ha.

We checked in with the receptionist and barely waited two minutes when the nurse called me back to see the podiatrist. I was grateful she told me I could put my leg up on their stool because I couldn't fathom just letting my foot hang down with all the blood pooling in Fanklestein, causing me more pain!

Dr. _____ came in shortly and cut off my bandage—I was fascinated to see how much gauze was underneath! I was also extremely relieved to see him pull surgical tape off with the gauze as well. You see, whenever I moved a certain way, the tape pulled my skin and I envisioned the worst: that my sutures (stitches) were tearing, or something horrible like that! I was legitimately worried that I had undone something important that was created during my surgery, thus I didn't sleep very well—ever. After my tape revelation, I laughed at my very vivid imagination!

My sutures looked creepy (see my Fanklestein post for the photo), but I was so happy to actually see them instead of relying on my wild ideas of what might be lurking underneath my bandage! Ha ha. I was so relieved when Dr. _____ told me that my wound looked really good. Yay! He was so pleased with my progress! Double yay! His kind words meant so much because I had worked so hard at laying down, icing Fanklebaby and keeping it above my heart. And using crutches without falling down felt like a pretty awesome feat in itself! Ha ha.

I wanted to shout for joy when Dr. _____ told me I was cleared for taking a shower! He said to make sure I didn't soak my incision—that I could only let the shower water run over it, and wash it with soapy water. He also suggested that we purchase a shower chair for my comfort and safety. I was shocked I hadn't thought of that before! The Fankle dollar signs just kept adding up! Boo to the hoo. :(

Then my podiatrist told me the bad news: I needed to get my foot flat in my boot at a 90° angle no later than that upcoming Friday. He showed me—by pushing my forefoot up—just how much I would have to flex my foot to get it flat in my boot. I nearly screamed with pain at his actions and wanted to kick him in the head! Ha ha. Yet I know he only did that to show me it was safe to stretch Fanklebaby, despite my searing discomfort.

Dr. _____ then explained how my recovery would proceed. He said once I got my foot flatly into my boot, I could start putting minor pressure on it walking with two crutches. Once that felt okay, I could taper off to one crutch. He then took one of my crutches and demonstrated how to walk! I thought it was nice of him to show me so I wouldn't accidentally put too much pressure on Fanklebaby. Lastly, he instructed me to schedule my next appointment—suture removal(!)—for just over two weeks away.

As I think back on my first five days after posterior tibial tendon surgery (six if you include my surgery day), I'm reminded of how much service my husband provided for me. Greg continually checked on me and asked what he could do for me. He did everything possible to help me in any way I needed. I literally could not have had my ankle surgery without him! I have no idea how people handle surgery when they don't have family members to help them! My children helped me in many ways, as well. I consider myself mighty blessed!

Here is just one example of many sweet things my husband did for me while I spent all of my energy caring for Fanklebaby: After Greg brought me my blue ice pack (that's covering my foot, pictured below), he surprised me with this delicious treat plate! I nearly cried because not only did the fruit taste so delicious with all that whipped cream, but I loved seeing how much my wonderful husband continuously loves and cares for me!


That's it for now, but get ready for more Fankle because I'm not finished yet! :)