meldewdesigns – Paper Craft Central!

A little 'bout my Etsy site and a little 'bout my life!

LOOOOOOOOONG time, no see!! February 20, 2009

Hello all!!

Wanted to make a quick check-in post.  Life has been so super-crazy busy for me lately that I don’t even check my email but once or twice a week.  My workload at my “REAL” job has been severely increased and I am walking like you wouldn’t believe. 

I’ ve been through many a cast, walking casts,  a contraption, splints, two wheelchairs, a walker, crutches, and a cane – all in about two years’ time.  I am currently in a walking boot and am about to transition into a brace.  While for now it has been stated that I will wear the brace for “lifetime”, I am also in physical therapy to try to gain some strength in my weak little leg, as well as increase motion and flexibility in my foot/ankle.  I have hopes that I can get even better.  If so, I’ll be able to lose the brace even!!

I don’t get down too easily.  I mean, come on – I was told by THREE (count them, three) doctors that I should amputate from the knee down.  Did I listen? 


LOL  Imagine if I had!!!!  Have I struggled?  You bet, but I am better now and better for it! 

So that is THAT update!!!  LOL


About Etsy….as of now, I still am maintaining my shop in Vacation Mode.  Once things at work slow down and I am having to attensd physical therapy less, I will be back.  AND I WILL BE BACK….I definitely miss it!!! 

Please feel free to leave comments.  I miss everyone and would love to hear from you!!  🙂


Leg Update!! December 4, 2008

Filed under: What's Going On With Me.... — meldewdesigns @ 7:41 pm
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Tah-dah!!!  I am now in a WALKING cast (note that the key work is WALKING).   🙂   I’m taking it easy this time for sure though.  Still going to use my wheelchair at work most of the time for a while and just take a few steps as needed.  I’ve walked on it a bit today and while it’s felt absoluely DELICIOUS, I will admit that it aches a bit and is sore – I guess mostly from it being so weak.  I don’t want to be back to a point where my ONLY option is a wheelchair or walker, so for now (and for a while now), it’s better safe than sorry for this little lady.  🙂

Thanks to all of you that have thought or prayed about me.  I really appreciate it all because the prayers (and all the positive energy mixed in with a LOT of patience) have really worked.  God is good!!  🙂


My life is like a soap opera…. October 3, 2008

No really…I know a lot of people probably say this, but it’s really true…  🙂  I’ll give you a brief, cliff’s notes version of the last 15 months or so of my life:

  • June 2007:  Had my fifth open heart surgery (as a result of a birth defect) which came along with some complications, like the need for leg surgery.  If you have a LOT of time and absolutely NOTHING to do, my hubby and I kept a ongoing blog about that time here if you just really want to check it out.  LOL 
  •  June 2007-August 2008:  Could only walk on one foot for over a year.  Used a wheelchair and a walker because my foot was angled down like a horse’s foot.  Was told by three different doctors that amputation from the knee down was the only answer for me.  Refusing to believe that was the ONLY answer, I was referred to a doctor in Dallas who told me that amputation was the farthest thing from his mind and he COULD help me.  So, since June of this year, I have been in an Illizarov (the contraption, as we called it) for two months, a splint for two weeks, two different casts for about three weeks, and then finally a walking boot for 2-3 weeks.


  • I finally have been to the point where I felt some normalcy in my life again.  I was walking again without the help of any equipment (walker or wheelchair); I could take a shower again and be able to get my leg wet (not hanging out of the tub because of a cast, splint or hunk of metal on it); I could walk side-by-side with my husband again and hold his hand (kind of hard to do that when you have to hold on to a walker or roll yourself along in a wheelchair); I could go up and down the stairs normally (not hopping down on one foot or crawling up the stairs like before); I had started back to work part-time and was slowly working towards working longer hours and more days; the list goes on and on….
  • Fast forward now to Friday, September 26th (one week ago).  I was out with some friends and introducing our new little dog, Bean to some people who hadn’t met him yet.  My BFF Kara and I were headed back to my house.  It was around 9:00 pm or so and I had Bean on a leash.  As I was getting out of her car and trying to manage Bean, my cell phone starts ringing, and I’m trying to carefully walk around in the grass to get to the sidewalk.  Kara’s dog, Kandi, was still in the backseat and I didn’t notice Bean trying to run back towards the car.  I tripped right over his leash and landed right on my bad leg!!!  I just laid there and cried for a moment and then tried to get up.  Kara took Bean’s leash as I tried to get up to my feet.  I knew the moment that I put weight on my leg that something was wrong.  I managed (somehow) to get up to my front door.  I took my boot off to see if I could see anything wrong, but couldn’t.  Lance then came home and I told him that I thought I needed to go to the ER to get an x-ray of my leg.  The pain was excruciating!!!
  • Off we went to the ER.  After several x-rays were taken, they came back in and told me that I fractured my tibia (the weight-bearing bone in your leg) and couldn’t walk on it for 8-9 weeks.  😦    So, Wednesday, October 1st, I went to see my orthopedic doctor about what he thought I should do.  He put me in a cast (a red one this time) and told me that while my bone was fractured all the way through, it had not separated.  If it separates, I will have to have surgery in order to place a pin between the bones to hold them together.  So, my week has pretty much been spent laying around the house with my leg elevated and doped up on pain medicine.  While I am still in pain, it’s not as bad as it was before I got the cast. 

Can you believe it?  When I watch my soap opera on TV, I think, “How can all of these things happen to ONE character?”  While I don’t have buildings coming down on me, attempted to be killed by five different people, or attempted marriage with my husband for the third time (to the same man); I do feel like everything I have been through this past year or so sounds like it’s taken right out of a soap opera plot!!  LOL

So, if you haven’t had communication from me during the past week, now you know why…While I have been sitting around not doing much, the pain pills that I have been taking make me sleepy, so I have been doing a LOT of sleeping.  LOL…How pathetic is that???!!!


My news September 26, 2008

Well, I mentioned in my last post that a lot happened that I needed to tell about, so here goes.. ..


First and foremost, Lance and I got a puppy!!  🙂  We named him Bean and he is sooooooo cute!!  Check him out here or you can see more at .  We just love him so much and are so glad that we found him in need of a home at our local SPCA.  🙂  He really is a sweetie and a cuddlebug, but he is all puppy and ALL boy!!!   Plus, he has many cat-like qualities (check out the pic of him sitting in my studio window). 

When we went to the SPCA to look for a dog to take home, we were originally looking for a small dog (Bean is more of a medium-sized dog), but as we were looking around, I felt a little cold nose brush against my arm.  I turned around and this sweet little dog was in a corral area and he was standing on his hind paws.  I slowly stuck out my hand for him to smell, and he put one of his paws in the palm of my hand.  I was a goner!!  LOL…I called Lance over to look at this little cutie and he too stuck his hand out for him to smell.  Get this!!  The dog put his other paw in Lance’s palm too.  So we’re standing there with this dog and he holding hands with Lance and me together!!  HE PICKED US!!!  LOL…We played with him alone in a room and found out that his name was Tom.  After adopting him, we called him Tom and Tommie, but he just never responded to it.  One day I started calling him “my little Bean” and he started answering to it.  It kind of stuck and the rest is history.  Lance calls him “Beano” because that was how he “introduced” himself to us on the way home.  LOL  Other favorite names are “Beanie Baby” and “Beaners”.  Can you tell we’re in love??  🙂


Okay, so that’s about the dog!!  So the last thing I mentioned about my leg was that I had started walking and was in a walking cast.  Some good things (and one maybe not so good thing) have happened since I last posted about my leg.  Since we, of course, have a dog, I noticed one day that I had a brown stain on the back of my purple cast.  I thought, “Awww, Man!!  I must have stepped in some doggy poopy!”  Since I was to wear the cast for two weeks after this little observation, I was not too happy about it.  LOL…Later the next day, I noticed that as I took a few steps, the stain was kind of foaming…Ugh!!  I thought that since I had tried to wipe off the poopy stain with a wet washcloth that maybe I had put too much water on the cloth.  The next morning though, it was doing it more frequently and I noticed the stain was also now on the bottom of the cast. 


I should say now that I don’t have any feeling in my foot.  With all of the surgeries I have had on my leg and ankle, I have had some nerve damage and just don’t have full feeling in my foot.  So, I called my doctor’s office and told them what I noticed from the cast and mentioned that I don’t have feeling in my foot.  They put me on hold and told the nurse, then spoke with the doctor, and then came back on the line.  I heard the receptionist say, “The doctor wants you to leave whatever you’re doing and get here ASAP!”, so I did.  LOL…When I arrived, they removed the cast to find that I had developed an ulcer on the back of my heel.  They told me that I had caught it just in time (right after it popped, but before it rubbed through other layers of skin) and treated it.  Since I now had a wound that needed the bandages changed on it daily, I needed a walking boot instead.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!  Can you hear the angels singing??? This was an answered prayer!!!


I now walk SO much better and no longer have pain at the end of the day.  On top of that, I don’t have to elevate so often either because I don’t have swelling!!!  It’s just a dream!!!  I am back to work VERY part-time (only about 8-12 hours a week), but my job requires me to pretty much be on my feet all day.  I am a copy and print center manager for Office Depot and it’s a highly busy and active job.  I can’t tell you how great it feels to get back to some sense of normalcy!!  People think I am nuts for saying this next statement, but…I can do housework again!!!!!!!  It was such a struggle for 14 months because of…well, just imagine this – you can put NO weight on your right foot because it is angled downwards like a horse’s foot, so you have to essentially hop around on one foot.  On top of that, you have to hold on to a walker with both hands to balance yourself and to do some of the work of walking.  Because of this, “picking up” isn’t something you can do, nor is cooking, cleaning, laundry or many many other things around the house.  Heck, I couldn’t even get up the stairs in my two-story house; I had to crawl up the stairs.  It was pathetic!! 


LOL…So, now imagine how wonderful my husband is.  He not only had to work during the day, he worked at a local junior college 2 nights a week (to try to get his foot in the door), and then had to take care of me, our meals, and the rest of the house.  I know that women do this all the time, but I think we are just better equipped to handle all of this than men are.  Plus, with the tables turned, men CAN help women out…I couldn’t really do much to help Lance out. ANYWAY, the point is that things are just so much better now!!  Life is just so good.  🙂


Since my leg is doing so much better now, I can slowly start increasing my hours at work until I am back to working full-time – eventually!!  🙂  So between work, my new rediscovery of housework and dog-owning, and the occasional rest every now and then, I have kept myself pretty busy.  Some days I almost forget to get onto Etsy for a bit.  I LOVE Etsy and always want to be on it, but it just feels so good to not have to be sitting all of the time, that I find myself being drawn away from it a little bit lately.  I am constantly having ideas pop into my head of things I want to make and destash I need to sell, but I just don’t go make myself do it.  Does that sound selfish??  I just want to enjoy the pleasure of walking as much as I can without pushing myself….I know that it probably sounds terrible, huh?? 


Sweet nibblets!!!  I have just been rambling on and on and on….and on and on and on!!!  LOL…I’ll try to post pics of my new boot soon.  It’s such a STEP up from the contraption I once had!!  🙂


Walking girl!!! August 29, 2008

Hey there, Hi there, Ho there!!!  🙂

So, yes!!  I am walking now…can’t do a whole lot at one time and can’t do it for LONG periods of time, but I am indeed walking (still in walking cast).  It’s just too good to be true!!!  After about 14 months of hopping around on one foot, I can now walk on two!  My ankle feels pretty weak and I kind of look like an older woman when I get up to walk – kind of have to stand for a minute, then hobble for a minute before I get going more smoothly – but that’s okay.  It’s the little things that thrill me:  standing on one foot (the “bad” one now), walking around the house holding a cup (can’t do this with a walker or wheelchair), holding Lance’s hand as we walk (again, haven’t been able to do this with a walker), walk up the stairs in our house (crawled up before), being able to cook a simple meal, and so on….It’s just awesome!!!


OKAY!!  Now!!!  I have been working on sorting some really cute destash for my shop!!  OMG!!  I bought all this stuff a long time ago when I thought about scrapbooking.  Since I’m more of a card maker/papercrafter, I don’t need a lot of what I have!!  🙂  Thought I would offer it up to my fellow Etsians!!!  YAY!!  I should be listing this afternoon, so keep your eyes out!!  🙂


Will post again soon!!



My new leg hardware!! August 24, 2008

Filed under: What's Going On With Me.... — meldewdesigns @ 9:18 pm
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I promised pics of my new cast and then forgot about it.  LOL….Sorry about that!!  Here they are!!  🙂


Quick Update August 22, 2008

Filed under: What's Going On With Me.... — meldewdesigns @ 5:42 am
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Just wanted to type up a quick word regarding some medical junk!  LOL….Mom is doing great and her recuperation has already far surpassed what the doctor predicted.  🙂  I’m so happy that she is doing so well.  She has stayed with us since Tuesday evening, and will probably stay with us for a couple more days.  🙂


I went to my foot/ankle doc today, expected to rid myself of the splint and make the move to a walking boot.   I was so excited and cried happy tears when I saw my foot and leg.  They were mostly back to regular size and I could see ALL of them without bars, wires, or bandages in the way.  Unfortunately, I also briefly cried some frustrated tears because my doc decided that it was a little too soon for the boot.  So, instead, I will be in a cast for about a month!  😦  Oh well though…In the end, a month will seem like nothing!!  I’ll post pics of the cast tomorrow (it’s PINK)!!!  🙂


Peace out~