Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm Back with a Valentine's Card

Hello to all! I'm finally back to post a Valentine Card. I took a picture of this before Valentine's Day and didn't get back to publish it until now. Sorry I have been gone so long, but we've had a bit of family drama going on that has had me quite wrapped up with worry and no motivation to work on my cards. Some of you know what I have been going through, and I thank you for your kind words of support. For those of you who don't know, I will try to give you a rundown of what's been consuming my life for the last few months.

My only son, who is 36 years old, has been suffering with a bad back for about 8 years. Over the last few years it has gotten worse and last October he was hospitalized after collapsing in horrible pain. After having an MRI, it was discovered that he had virtually no disc left in his bottom 2 vertabrae and also that his spine had shifted so that the vertabrae were resting on a major nerve root, thus causing him severe pain down his whole leg. Surgery to fuse his spine was the only answer. Unfortunately, that surgery here in Madison, WI would be about $125,000. At this time, my son and his wife do not have health insurance because of his inablility to work, her job changes and his pre-existing medical condition, there was no affordable option for insurance for them.

Ultimately, they decided to go outside the country to have his surgery done. After much research on the internet, they connected with a Medical Tourism agency that recommended a spine surgeon in Malaysia. This was right around Xmas. They were able to schedule the surgery for January 9th of this year. So we put him on a plane and 3 airports and 36 gruelling and painful hours later he arrived in Penang, Malaysia 2 days ahead of his scheduled surgery.

The cost of surgery, physical therapy, airfare, and hotel costs would be about 1/3 of the cost of just the surgery here in the U.S. Fortunately for them, they had the resources to pay cash for everything, otherwise, he would still be at home suffering.

As parents, we were beside ourselves with worry through his whole ordeal. Luckily, the surgery went well and he appeared to be on his way to a great recovery until 4 days into his physical therapy when he developed two bad blood clots in his upper thigh. That stopped the PT and put him in bed with heparin IV drips to thin his blood and prevent the formation of more clots. Several days afterwards, he was released from the hospital and continued to battle with the problems that the clots created in his leg and an attack of gout that no doubt was brought on by the stress of the whole situation.

On February 8th he flew back to Los Angeles (another very painful flight with a lot of leg swelling). He stayed a couple of days in L..A. to recover and then flew back home on Feb. 10th.

He is still suffering with swelling and pain, although it has gotten a bit better, and he is still fighting the gout symptoms. He's anxious to get back to rehabing his back, but has to wait until the blood clots in his leg are dissolved. At any rate, we are so happy to have him back and are praying that he will see some improvement soon so that he can enjoy how good his back is feeling now and be relieved of his pain.

Thanks for sticking with me through this and I look forward to getting back into my cardcrafting as time and motivation allow. I've decided to concentrate on doing some color challenges this year to further help me improve on the quality of my crafting and to broaden my horizons a bit.

I hope you'll stay around for the ride.

About the card: I used this same layout for most of my Valentine cards this year and just changed the texture on the brown strip on the side and the border punch on each card to make them unique. My family knows how much I love dark chocolate, so that is why I used the sentiment I did for the inside of the card. In fact, we are a family of dark chocolate lovers.

For this particular card, I used my CB hearts embossing folder and my MS double hearts border punch. The hearts on the front of the card are SU's new heart stamps & matching punch.

The paper is SU chocolate chip, as well as the ink on the hearts. I created the inside sentiment on my computer and the sentiment on the front is from "My Sentiments Exactly".