Scripture Case Pattern

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What did YOU do last Sunday night?

Me?? I grew a biggy.  Seriously, though.  I really did.  Here's how it went down.

Wednesday, March 7, I went to the doctor, he looked at my finger, and saw that there was still no progress. He scheduled me for surgery for Monday.

Sunday, March 11 night at 11:00, I was changing my bandages (like I do daily) and taking a final look at my finger.  It looked exactly the same.  There was no new skin growth up top; spaces were still without any skin; the scabs (that were supposed to have fallen off on their own 4 weeks previously) were still as stuck on as ever and showing no sign of wanting to come off (which is a sign of no new tissue growth underneath).  I tell Tim to remind me to take pictures of it once we get to the hospital.

Monday, March 12 I arrive at the hospital at 7:00 AM.  At about 9:00, I'm finally ready to for surgery. The nurses come and talk to me, my doctor chats with me, and then the anesthesiologist talks to me for a bit, then the next thing I know, I'm getting a tube yanked out of my throat and the nurse informs me I got to keep my finger. I look at her all confused, ask her what does she mean, she tells me the doctor said I could keep it so he cleaned it up really well and sent me on my way.  She tells me I was under for a total of 12 minutes.  I ask her if I can talk to the doctor and she tells me that he's back in surgery, but my husband will have more details.  I look at my finger and see just a regular bandaid on it.  I cry out of joy, confusion, frustration, anger, and pretty much every other feeling there is. I was sooooo ready for the amputation.  I wanted the amputation.  I had so many jokes planned that I now wouldn't be able to say or do. WHY DID HE LEAVE MY FINGER!? Just take the damn thing already and let me move on!!

There's a space of time that I don't remember anything, but somewhere and somehow Tim has arrived in a new room that I have been brought to. He gives me the low down on what went on.  Once I was under and he numbed my hand, Dr. Fryer started removing the last bit of scabs and checking out the area to see what he had to work with. As he was working on it, he saw that skin had grown where there wasn't any skin 5 days previously, and I had a complete nail growing where there had been no nail bed left.  I had a finger that was going to make it, so he cleaned it up really well and was done.  Tim says Dr. Fryer was SO happy and excited when he came to tell Tim.  Tim kept asking him, "are you sure? Because she's ready for the amputation.  She WANTS the amputation. 5 days ago you were all for the amputation. ARE YOU SURE?"  Dr. Fryer said, "if it was my finger, I wouldn't amputate.  I am completely sure it's good to stay."

When I got home, I took off the bandaid, and saw a completely different finger.  I scolded myself for not taking off the bandage and taking pictures of it before I went into surgery. I know that it was looking different because the scabs were gone, but there was skin in places that there hadn't been just 12 hours previously.  I still can't quite wrap my head around it.  My finger looks so different.  It's still got a ways to go until it looks decent, but that will all happen with with time.  I still haven't gotten to talk to Dr. Fryer, and won't be able to until the 27th.  I'm excited to hear what his thoughts were during all this.

Tim had given me a blessing after I had my first procedure.  He told me in the blessing that the finger would take and that it would heal and look really good.  I felt so sure that what he said was true.  Then, when the doctor said it wasn't healing, I thought that maybe I understood the blessing wrong and what was really said was that my finger, in general, would heal and look fine. The thing is, though, is that I kept telling myself, "I've got until Monday.  Things can still change.  I've got time.  Maybe the doctor will see a change in the operating room."  And that he did.

I know that I would have been totally fine even if it got amputated.  I was ready for it.  I just wasn't looking forward to all the pain again. But I'm so glad that I was given the opportunity to witness a miracle. I  know that this was the work of the Lord. I have no doubt.  I am extremely blessed to have had things go this way.  People keep saying, "Wow! Someone is looking after you!"  I feel bad when people say that, because it makes it seem as though the Lord isn't looking after those that do have to go through an amputation, which I know isn't true.  For me, the Lord needed to me to go through the entire process.  I needed to go through believing that my finger would heal, get an allergic reaction to the antibiotics that put me on my back for 4 days, get C. difficile that made me sicker than I've ever been in my life and losing 8 lbs in 2 days during it (and I'm still trying to gain the weight back), then accepting that my finger wouldn't heal, then accepting that I would have to get it amputated, and go all the way to the operating room and be put under anesthesia.  That entire time, I knew that I was in the Lord's hands and that everything would be ok, no matter what the outcome.  And for some reason, Heavenly Father needed me to witness this miracle.  For those that still had to go through an amputation, it wasn't because Heavenly Father wasn't looking out for them, it's because Heavenly Father needed them to go through that specific trial.  Now I know, that if it ever comes down to it (again), and I have to lose my finger, I am more than ready.

So, that's my story and hopefully the end of this whole finger saga.  I know I'm sure over it.

Pictures can be found HERE

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scripture Case Picture Tutorial!

 Sheesh! It's about time I got this done! It's only been three years or so and over 8,000 downloads of my pattern.  You can download the pattern and written instructions by clicking on the button right under my blog header.  If I'm missing something in the directions or if something is a little unclear, please let me know.  Thanks!

   1/2 yd outer fabric
   1/2 yd inner fabric
   3/4 yd fusible fleece
   3/4 yd heavy interfacing (something like fuse-a-shade)
   12 inches of 1" nylon webbing
   coordinating thread

Getting Started:

- cut 2 panels from each fabric, fusible fleece, and heavy interfacing
- cut 1 strip from each fabric (2 total) 1 3/4" x 12"
- cut fabric for pocket (optional).  Mine was 7 1/2" x 8 1/2"          

{pocket piece}

1. Iron fusible fleece to the back of the exterior fabric and the interfacing to the back of the interior fabric.

2. Iron in the edges of the two strips of fabric that will be used for the handle. You will want to iron them in towards the middle just enough so that the nylon webbing fits snuggly in it.

3.  Fit the nylon webbing into one of the strips of fabric you just ironed. Place the ironed strip on top and top stitch through both fabrics and nylon webbing down both sides, keeping the edges lined up.  You can pin in place, if you like.  I found it made things more difficult while sewing.  You can also achieve the same end results by first sewing the two pieces together, right sides together, into a tube, then turning right side out and then try pulling the webbing through.  Personally, it was a lot harder for me to do that.

I tried pinning at first, but ended up just taking out all the rest of the pins when I took out the first one. I found them annoying and useless.

I tucked my nylon webbing in the black fabric

end result with a topstitch sewn down both long sides of the strap

4. Quilt all four of your prepared panels as much or as little as you wish.  This is to ensure the backings stay in place in the long run and it also adds a nice decorative touch.  This scripture case is for a boy (hence the black and blue), so I kept the stitching very simple.

I marked my lines first, but you can free hand it, if you wish

all four panels stitched
5. Next is the pocket piece.  Fold the fabric in half right sides together so that it measures 7 1/2" x 4 1/4".  Sew along all three sides, leaving a small opening on one of the sides for turning.

6. Snip the corners, turn right side out and press.

7. Center pocket on one of the interior panels.

8. Stitch pocket in place along sides and bottom.  I then made two stitches placed one inch apart each down the pocket for pencils.

9.  Place the exterior panels right sides together.  Stitch down the sides and along the bottom.  Repeat with the interior fabrics, but leave a space along the bottom so that you can turn the bag right side out later on.

This is the interior piece.  Note the opening  I left along the bottom
hmmm... I don't know why this picture is upside down.  Sorry.  These are the exterior pieces sewn together.  The bottom is sewn across the entire length. 

9.  Now we're going to sew the corners of the bag (picture one) so that they're squared off.  Open the corners of the exterior panels up (picture 2) and line up the side seam with the bottom seam (picture 3), and sew together. Repeat on the other side and also on the interior panels. The end result should look like picture #4. You should now have two inside out bags.

Picture #1

Picture #2

Picture #3 (check out my poor pinky. It popped up to say "hi")

Picture #4

10. Now we're going to put the bag together! Yay!  Keep your interior bag inside out.  Pin your handle to the bag like shown in the picture below.

11. Turn the exterior bag right side out. Place the exterior bag INSIDE the interior bag.  The handle is going to be in the way and will stop the exterior bag from fitting nicely in there.  That is OK.

12. Pin the two bags together all along the top.

13. Sew all around the edges, being sure to reinforce the straps by sewing back and forth across the straps

14. Turn the bag right side out through the opening you left in the bottom of the interior fabric.

It should look something like this

15.  Close the opening that you just pulled your bag through.  I usually hand stitch mine so it looks nice and clean. The kids I make the cases for like to turn their bags inside out sometimes. I like the nice, clean closer done with hand stitching, but because of my lame hand and laziness, I stitched it closed with a sewing machine...and did a sloppy job. Sorry.

16. Push the interior piece into the exterior piece so that you have a nice looking bag.  You're almost done.  Topstitch all around the top of the bag.  This keeps the two pieces in places better and gives is a nice, polished look.  You're done!

I didn't take a picture of the final bag.  I forgot.  Sorry!  But here are some previous bags I made:

Friday, March 2, 2012

:( R.I.P.

I really didn't want to post anymore about the finger, but unfortunately, there's more to document for really no reason at all.  I know you are probably really sick of the finger posts.  I know I am, but bare with me. I need to document these lame things more for me than anything else.

I had another check-up on Tuesday. I honestly felt like everything was going great with my finger, but apparently not. The scabs should have fallen off by themselves two weeks ago. Because they hadn't come off on their own and they kept oozing, he feared that new tissue hadn't grown underneath them, so he started to remove them to see what was going on. The skin graft healed great, but nothing grew underneath the scabs.  The fatty tissue and nail bed that was there previously died off.  Since this was a crush amputation, there was a lot more damage done to the tissue underneath the wound site than could be seen.  The exposed tissue didn't have enough circulation to heal. :(

So... what next?  The doctor told me to come back in a week, and he'll see if new tissue has started to grow now that he's taken the scabs off, but it's highly unlikely.  I asked him to be honest with and tell me if he thinks things would change and he said no.  I asked him what the odds were and he said, "Oh, I don't know... maybe 10-15%."  I could tell he was just being nice and was trying to give me time to cope with the news.  If there's an absolute miracle and the finger starts growing skin out of the blue, then I get to keep it, but if not, then it needs to be cut down below the first knuckle.  I asked him what I should expect for recovery and when and where surgery would be after the appointment next Wednesday so that Tim and I could start making arrangements for the kids. As of right now, I'm tentatively scheduled for surgery on Monday, March 12.  Recovery should hopefully be only 3 weeks, and then another 9 weeks of physical therapy on top of the 5 weeks I've already done, and then it will be about 6 months to a year of some pretty intense nerve pain. Awesome.  So, there you have it.  I guess having a crazy allergic reaction to round 2 of antibiotics that put me out of commission for 4 days and then having round 3 of antibiotics wiping out all good bacteria in body, therefore making SEVERELY sick for the better part of  the week wasn't I need to get a little more of my finger amputated and start ALL OVER again with the pain, recovery, and healing. YAY!!!

Anyways... if you want to see some totally sick-nast pictures, you  may check them out HERE.