17 September 2007

Gathering of Eagles-- Operation Eagle Justice

“Eagles don’t flock. You have to find them one at a time.” ~Ross Perot~

Two groups of vastly differing character met in DC, Saturday. One was a boiling cesspool of all that I would wish my children never to encounter. A disjointed collection of hateful people, who could agree on little but the poisonous epithets they spewed, and the hapless numbers they ensnared and infected with their lewd vitriol. Claiming to be a “peace” rally or an “anti-war” demonstration, several of the most notorious organizations in the country (with their notoriously deep pockets) gathered in front of the White House, and then wandered down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol building (two-and-a-half hours late). As the scummiest portions of society tend to do, they collected groups of mere children to join them, clueless as to the purposes of hatred at work in the groups with whom they stood. Most of the junior high, high school, and college students were receiving some sort of class credit for their presence. Many of them were there without the knowledge or approval of their parents. Most of them errantly believed that they were there for “peace”, but when questioned individually, they were unaware of the affiliations of the groups that had sucked them in. They were unaware of the bent toward communism, the desire to so demoralize our troops that they become ineffectual, the blood money passed under the table to terrorists to kill our soldiers, the lies, the fear-mongering, and the true goal: the defeat of America, her soldiers, her values, and her existence. They were unaware that the blood that purchased the first amendment right for them to stand with traitors was on their hands and heads. One may hope, though, that they were NOT unaware of the fact that the colors of our democratic republic were not represented in their midst, but among the group that stood in opposition to their vile language, their flippant disregard of true character, their debasement of the flag, their dishonorable and illegal use of the names, images and memories of our heroes, and their ignorance of the realities of this issue. I have one thing to say to these horribly misguided people. You cannot claim to support our troops if you’re marching with the organizations which are paying for their deaths.

And then there were the veterans, the blue star and gold star families, the patriots. The difference between the two gatherings was striking. This group was characterized by unity, by respect, and by a fervency of demeanor borne of true character. Each of these knew why they attended. They shared the same cause, and they bore the colors of the country. The flags waved luminously, and the unified cries were bursts of patriotic songs or chants of “USA, USA, USA.” The very air crackled with the certainty that the only right place to stand was in support of those men and women who choose to stand and fight. It would have been more festive, had there not been the somber note of having to stand in opposition to those who desire nothing less than the defeat of our nation.

For there are some who have seen the horror that is war, and those who have been made wiser by it do not welcome it, nor do they embrace it’s squalor. However, while not desiring it, they value its necessity. They are aware that while mankind lives, there will be times when war is inevitable, and they do not fear its teeth. Those who have faced the beast see it with eagles’ eyes. They have been in its jaws, and yet escaped, though not unscathed, and they are able to see it for what it is. They are able to look down upon it with a grander view, and they are able to see the path ahead, beyond the monster. For this reason alone, they are willing to risk the lives of their young heroes, knowing that the ravages of war will be bitter from the loss, though slightly sweetened by the deepening of character, hard-won in strife.

They do not take these sacrifices lightly. With each, they recall the grief they carry from days gone by. They feel the wounds afresh, and they bleed again, with the young warriors. These, the eagles, will continue, year after year, to carry these men and women of character through each ordeal, until they, too, gain the vision to see beyond the beast. And the Eagles welcome all who would join their ranks. They support one another and draw others up to soar the heights, and they carry those who are finding their wings. These will not rest, will not nest down and fold their wings, because they see the ones on the ground who are in the fight. They have stared down death, and they will hearten those who still must. While the battle rages, the eagles fly.

Much Love,

14 September 2007

What WILL they think of next?

I have a dear friend who works as a security guard in the facility where I work. He helped me move, he shows a genuine interest in my life, he's very kind-hearted, and I count myself blessed to know him. He's a good man. Anyway, when he saw me come into the building with my brand-new white cast and my tricked-out crutches, he began to talk to me about these "scooter" things that someone in the other building uses, since she, too, is in a cast. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently, this is a somewhat popular crutch-alternative that is made by several medical equipment companies. He suggested that it might not be as exhausting as the crutches.

At some point, shortly thereafter, he spoke with the young lady with the scooter, and she sent me an email. Her email said that she had gotten the device through her insurance company because she's in a hard cast (non-weight-bearing) for fourteen weeks as she recovers from ankle surgery. (Eek!) She said that the one they sent her didn't fit her properly, as it was slightly too tall for her, even on its lowest setting, so she had them send her another, smaller one. She said that I was welcome to use the first one, since she didn't have any use for it, for as long as I need to. She brought it to me the following afternoon. (It was pretty funny, because she was on her crutches, and her co-worker was wrangling the scooter, and I went to open the door for them on my crutches. We were a circus. haha)

She and I are about the same height, but she said that she was able to use it just fine, that it was just less comfortable than the new one. I have been using it to putter around the unit, since it frees up my hands to carry paperwork, etc. I brought it home for the weekend, because I haven't decided whether it is a better option than the crutches, and I thought it deserved further experimentation.

One of the benefits of using it to get around is that when I sit, I can use it to put my foot up, or I can sit on the little seat, if necessary. In truth, I'm not sure that it's the best choice for me, because when I put weight on my leg on it, it mashes the cast into my shin, which becomes uncomfortable, and with the atrophy in my injured leg, I'm finding it exhausting to use those muscles again! (Yes, it's true. Atrophy begins in the first few days that you stop using a muscle, and already there's a visible difference between my left and right legs' muscles.) Beyond that, if I need to go up a step, get on a bus, or remain stationary on an incline, I don't feel particularly stable. While it does have a brake (cute, eh? How fast do they think I'm gonna be going??), it doesn't have steering capacity. I can go in a straight line REALLY WELL, but I gotta stop and pick up the front of the thing and re-position it in order to change directions.

So, I brought it home for the weekend. You should have seen me coming home with crutches and the scooter. I'm sure I was quite the sight. I was thankful for the help and sympathy of both bus drivers (one of whom actually parked the bus, came over, and helped me onto the bus and situated, and took my fare card to scan so I didn't have to get up.) and a couple of kind-hearted passengers. I did make it home in one piece. :D Wish me luck in my experimentation!

Much love.

P.S. Yes, the picture was taken on the diagonal to get the whole thing in the picture. If you just cock your head to the left, it'll make more sense... :D

Hit-and-Run Salvation

One day this week, I was standing at a bus stop, waiting to go home for the day, when I was approached by a gentleman who began a conversation with "God BLESS you..." He spoke with a very strong African accent, and did not enunciate very well, so I only caught every third or fourth word or phrase. After several sentences regarding my being blessed by the Creator and His capacity to heal my injury, the gentleman's healing from being wheelchair-bound earlier in his life, several random Scripture verses thrown in for good measure, etc., he got to the point of asking me directions to a hotel. While I was familiar with the fact that this hotel did indeed exist nearby, I didn't remember where it was located, and so was unable to provide directions. The gentleman then embarked on another spate of blessings over me and my injury, and he asked if he might pray for me by name, as he was a minister. Never being one to turn down a blessing or a prayer, I told him my first name, and he told me his (which I didn't quite catch), and then he began to pray for me. From what I could tell, the first couple of sentences were in another language, and then he got right down to the praying in English. At this point, he did something that vaguely perplexed me. Without inquiring as to the state of my soul, he asked me to repeat a prayer after him which seemed to be a version of the "sinner's" prayer. Essentially, it was admitting that I'm a sinner and knowing that Jesus died for me and asking for forgiveness from my sins and praying the blood of Christ over me. After I somewhat mumbled along (being caught off-guard), he proceeded to pray a Scripture-heavy prayer for me (Lexie), my injury, my soul, and the blessing of my life and ministry as a new Christian. He invited me to come to some sort of gathering that he would be attending that night, but he wasn't sure what time it was or where, and then, with much blessing, he said his farewell and left me standing, quite speechlessly at this point, for my bus. Interesting approach. Well, may God BLESS him, wherever and whoever he is.
Much love,

08 September 2007

Blackened Piggies

OK, so I really wish I didn't have a cast on. My little piggies are turning black, as the bruising creeps down them, and I'm sure that my foot, ankle, and lower leg are a wonder in technicolor right about now. I would SO love to see what my foot's doing under there. It was beginning to be black along the ankle, and there was a horizontal stripe along the side of my foot, and the rest of my foot and ankle were beginning to be grayish, when they put the cast on. I'm sure that by now, it's really interesting, and I'M MISSING IT!!! I know it's still swollen, because the cast still fits like a glove. The doctor said that once the swelling went down I'd have to come back in for a new cast that fits.

ANYWAY, I'm thoroughly curious and doomed to disappointment. (I thought about cutting the cast off and then hauling my cookies back to the doc for a new one, just to see my pretty colors, but that seemed like too much work.) So here's the picture of my current condition, blackening piggies, and cast with a star on it. I'm gonna have to start getting some decorations on my cast, or I'm going to feel unloved, soon. :D

Much love,

06 September 2007

Rub-a-dub-dub-- DON'T GET THAT CAST WET!

I have no pictures for this one. You'll thank me for that here in a bit. I am not allowed to take showers. I get to take baths, while in the cast. The gentleman who put the cast on me in the doctor's office told me that if I get the cast wet, the chemicals in it will eat my skin, so he doesn't recommend getting it wet. Then he said that sometimes people try to dry the cast with a hair dryer, after getting it wet, and they wind up with 3rd degree burns from the heat of the hair dryer, so he doesn't recommend that, either. All in all, it's best to not get it wet. Showers are bad, because the water will run down my leg and into the cast. Baths are really the only way to go, for me, for the next few weeks. Here's a thought for you.

How would you get into a tub without putting your feet in?

I'll let you ponder that for a few minutes. Go ahead. I'll wait. I'll just hum quietly to myself, for a moment. Don't mind me.

OK. Do you have an answer? Well, here's what I came up with. Sit on the edge of the tub, and tilt backward until you fall in. Simple. Easy. To get out, just repeat the process in reverse (which is much harder than it sounds).

So, last evening, when I got home (FINALLY!) from work, I decided to take a bath and get my hair washed so I could be clean. I had gotten overly-warm hauling myself around on my crutches, taking the wrong bus (another story for another blog entry), etc., and I thought it would be nice to get out of those clothes and take a nice bath. Once I was in, it was nice, to lie in the bathtub with my cast (in a trash bag, of course) propped up against the wall... until I decided that I actually needed to get clean, shave my legs, wash my hair, etc. None of that was as simple as you'd think it might be. Try doing any of those things with one leg sticking straight up in the air, without drowning. Good luck. I didn't drown, no. I did keep the one leg straight up in the air, yes. I also managed, at one point, to get stuck perpendicular to the length of the tub while trying to spin around so that I could rinse the shampoo out of my hair. That was fun. I was actually glad that I live alone, because no one heard me giggling about being stuck with my legs sticking out and my head under the soap dish.

It has been suggested to me that, perhaps, I should do sponge baths during the week, so that I don't endanger myself in a slick tub any more often than necessary. I've discovered that it would be a very simple matter to break something ELSE trying to protect my wounded wing.

I'm quite tempted to go to the salon downstairs to have the nice beautician lady wash my hair for me on Saturday, as I seem to have not quite gotten all of the conditioner out of one little section of my hair, while trying to rinse my hair without sliding back so far that the faucet would run directly on my face.

The fun of bathing aside, the toughest thing about being on crutches is all the stuff you normally do with your hands that you don't even think about until you don't have them available anymore. Since it takes both hands/arms and my good leg to get me around, I don't have my hands available for things like opening doors, carrying things, moving things, etc. For instance: drop something. While standing on one foot and trying to control 2 crutches with one hand, squat down on that one foot (without using your other foot/leg-- no cheating!) and reach down with the "free" hand to pick up the thing that is 2" farther than you can reach, because you misjudged the distance because you forgot that you can't use that leg. Then try to scoot or hop, without standing all the way up again, because heaven forfend that you have to do TWO squats, or lean without tipping over, to reach the item. Success! You picked it up! Now stand back up with your one leg (remember one-legged squats in gym class/aerobics/tae bo?) Now what are you going to do? You need that hand, in which is the item you so precariously grasped, to use the crutches, and that item is still a room away from where it needs to be. Depending on the size/shape of the item and the size/shape of your bra/shirt or waistband or pocket, you may just tuck it between your boobies, under your waistband, or into your pocket and lurch over to where it goes, on your crutches. Now think about trying to figure out how to get a glass of water into the next room without any hands. Right.

My diet has been reduced to whatever is in the fridge that I can pick up and eat without having to move it anywhere. If it requires heat, you can forget it. If it requires a utensil, nope. But, if i can balance on one leg in front of the open fridge and put it in my mouth, that's what I'm having for dinner. Lunch today is the last of the left-over bacon from Tuesday's breakfast (which my wonderful mother made) and some almonds. I have become a scavenger. haha. I'm going to have to break down and order pizza or chinese or something. Of course, when they deliver it, they'll have to carry it over to the table and stand there and wait for me to eat and then throw the trash away for me and put the leftovers in the fridge. I wonder if they charge extra for that...

This may be a gift, straight from the hand of God, though, in that it will force me to bless others by allowing them to help me. I am not able to take care of myself. That much I know. This is when I have to start making those pride-swallowing calls. "Hi, friend. I need help. Could you please come?"

Much love.

04 September 2007

Day 4

This picture accomplishes several things.
1) It shows you that I am in a cast.
2) It shows the cast in it's purest state-- unsullied and unsigned.
3) It shows you what color I painted the wall of my bedroom.


Much love.

03 September 2007

"Pimp my ride"-- What in the...?!?

Have you ever experienced crutches? I don't mean just being on crutches while walking, but actually being on crutches and not being allowed to use a leg. Have you done that? Yeah, it's kinda fun for the first little bit, and then it's completely exhausting. It's also not particularly comfortable. Once the insides of my arms and the sides of my ribcage started bruising, and my hands were sore from carrying my weight on them half the time, I started hopping around the apartment on one foot to save the wear and tear on the rest of me. Yes, the jolts of hopping were quite painful to my injured ankle, but I just couldn't stand being bruised up anymore.

We met a very nice lady at church on Sunday (Day 2 of my ankle saga), who suggested that I might get some sheepskin to wrap the tops of the crutches so that they'd be softer. Off we went (my mother and I) to the fabric store, and we found this BEAUTIFUL piece of fabric that I *HAD* to have, and I used a very small portion of it to "pimp out" my crutches. First I wrapped the armrests in cotton batting, then I made the little sleeves to go over the batting, and I sewed them on. Then I decided that I wanted the hand grips to match, so I made little covers for those, too. I'm actually really pleased with how they turned out. :)

I don't believe I got into this in my earlier post, but here's the story of what I did to my ankle.

Mom and I got up Saturday morning and decided to go for a walk before it got too hot outside. We hopped in the car and drove over to a beautiful trail that I use (have used) often, and we decided to walk about 4 miles. At one point we decided we should jog a little, toward the end, on the way back to the car, so we did. And then we walked some more, and then we decided to actually run for a little bit. Well we took off, and I was a little faster than mom, so I stopped after a bit and waited for her. We walked a little more, then we decided to do one more run before we reached the car and the end of the walk. I was staying with mom, this time, and I was exaggerating my movements a little, to get to run while going slowly enough to stay with her-- yes, I was clowning around-- and I quite firmly planted my right foot just off the edge of the pavement. The inside of my foot caught the pavement, and the outside of my foot crumpled downward. I heard an audible *CRACK*, and I folded. Fortunately, we were within about 100 yds. of the car, so mom helped me to the end of the path and pulled the car up, I excruciatingly fell into the car, and she drove me to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital, it was beginning to swell, but I didn't want to take my shoe off until I got there, because I knew I wouldn't get it back on, and it was keeping some of the swelling down. The ankle swelled over the top of my shoe, and it looked like I had a baseball glued inside my skin, by the time they took my shoe off me. By the evening, my foot was beginning to swell, too, and it was kinda funny looking, with a dimple below the ankle. (See the picture in the previous post.) The next day, Sunday, it swelled MUCH more, and it began to discolor. Today, it looks like a fat sausage with 5 little sausages (with blue toenails) sticking out of it (which I can't think of as toes, but they're cute, so I'm calling them my "piggies"). I didn't take any pain medication, yesterday, but last night, it was waking me, and this morning it was ratcheting back up to the excruciating level, so I did break down and take one, today.

I will be going to the Orthopedic Surgeon, tomorrow morning, to have it re-evaluated. They took a bunch of x-rays at the hospital, but there wasn't a visible fracture on them. The PA said that it certainly looked and acted like a break, though, so she was unwilling to call it a sprain, especially since I heard it crack. She told me that I needed to get in "first thing Tuesday morning" to the specialist for re-evaluation. I bent down to pick something up this morning, and accidentally put some weight on it (which is verboten) and it crackled, which wasn't pleasant. I'm doing my best to stay off it (believe me, I want to stay off it), but it certainly gets old, lying still with it elevated and putting ice on it. I have almost no motion in the ankle, and my toes are so swollen, at this point, that they're difficult to move, as well, though not painful.

So, that's the story. I'll post something once the other doctor has seen me, and I'll let you know how it's going. What should be most interesting is the getting mom to the airport and me to work thing, tomorrow. I walk a fair distance from my bus stop to my office, and that might prove difficult, for the time being.

Much love.

02 September 2007


I broke my ankle. On doctor's orders, I am to stay completely off it. I have crutches and a brace, and I have to go see a specialist on Tuesday. Crutches aren't much fun, so I've taken to hopping around the apartment on my "good" foot (which is quickly wearying of the ordeal), which makes my mother (who leaves on Tuesday) call me "Hopalong" or "Hopalong Cassidy" while she laughs at me. She has been a tremendous help, though. She's been waiting on me hand and foot and driving me around, since it's my right/"driving" foot... I'm not much looking forward to either her departure or my return to work.

More updates as I find out more.

Much love.