meldewdesigns – Paper Craft Central!

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

San Fran, here I come!! June 8, 2009

After TWO LOOOOOOONG years, Lance and I are finally going on a real vacation!  With the heart surgery, the leg surgeries, the walker, the wheelchair, the shower chair, blah blah blah…all of that CRAP kind of gets in the way of traveling.   You CAN do it, mind you, but it isn’t easy. 

The best way to stay safe and happy when you’re handicapped?  Predictability and consistency…Knowing what to expect.  Are there going to be crowds?  How will we know what is accessible and what isn’t (you’d be AMAZED what isn’t)?  When eating out, can a wheelchair maneuver between tables and chairs?  What if there isn’t a ramp?  How is Lance going to carry ALL our luggage?  That kind of stuff…I’m a worry wart anyway, and while I am a Christian, I worry like a Jewish mother – trust me!!  We stayed in a couple of hotel rooms that were handicapped accessible, but it’s still difficult.  Plus, I don’t think I need to tell you, that showering with a shower chair that you don’t know who’s bare ass might have sat on???  EWWWWW….Trust me, when I HAD to take a shower in that situation, I layered many towels down before sitting.  Gross….


Anyway, the point of this post is not to relive tougher times…the point is that is symbolic of me being able to move on, to show how much things have changed, and to prove what I am able to accomplish now!  I am traveling to the busy city of San Francisco, CA with my hubs to have a blast with some friends.  I don’t have to worry about if I can fit through a tight area, if I can get onto the BART, or Lance having to push me everywhere…FREEDOM is the only ONE word that I can use to describe the feeling.  If you’ve never been in that situation, you have NO IDEA….I can’t even imagine how people who have a permanent handicapp live with it from day to day.  Ever notice how you don’t really see THAT many handicapped people out in public…it’s because it’s a pain.  I am so blessed and I thank God for my freedom. 

Lance and I need this trip so badly.  It’s almost as if we are going to be leaving this past life here and when we come back, it will be back to normal…While I know if doesn’t work that way EXACTLY, it’s a nice thought!!  LOL  Anyway, there will be tons of pics when we get back!!  Get ready!  I’m going to photogragh all of our adventures!


Look out, San Francisco…Here comes Melanie Dewey!!!


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???!!!


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!!