Friday, March 22, 2013

What the future holds

After passing the one year mark, there are many things in life that have now officially changed. We are no longer making the adjustments in our life... it's more now like the adjustments have made us a different life.
The Dr appointments are over, Physical Therapy has done all they can for me... it is up to me to continue on my path. A total knee replacement is somewhere down this path of mine, and while I'm not anxious to go under the knife again... I know that my limitations will only increase until that day comes. I've been told 5-10 years, but optimistically 15 years if I can lose weight and take care myself.
People like to say things like "You look so great... " adding a comment about me not having a cane, or my limp is be coming less noticeable. People say "It could be so much worse!" or "At least you can walk!" I agree with all of those things... they all sound good. The truth is, I'm not happy with being disabled or limited... even if it is better than the alternative. I wish I could say that those things made everything better, but it doesn't.
I try to be positive about things on the larger scale... such as work. I can't stand. My circulation is terrible, and the nerves that have been cut give me sharp pains if I stand or sit without moving my legs. Physically, a long day at my job was already taxing on my body, so what used to be a difficult task for a healthy body is now an impossible task! After giving myself the time needed to heal, prayers, and much debate... I have decided to officially close down my business. This is difficult on many levels for me. First, it is my creative outlet. I enjoy it so very much! Second, and more importantly, this is was my career... my plan in life... what I went to night school for 2 years away from my kids for! I invested a lot of time and money into a skill/trade... that I depended on.
Sometimes I hear a voice in my head that laughs at me and says "That's what you get for making a plan!" It's as if when I think I'm in control of my life, something happens that reminds me I have no control at all! I really don't understand, because I felt very strongly that this was my journey... Less than a year before the accident I took out a small business loan to finish a salon in my basement! I put blood, sweat, and tears into finishing that salon EXACTLY the way I had dreamed it would be! I had been building my clientele at the salon I was working at two nights a week. Everything was timed just right. So it's hard to process that 6 months before my baby started school full-time, my career ends!
So I still have a Small Business Loan, and I am shutting down my business... not good.
I am serving in Young Women's, which I'm super excited about. So I am trying to prepare myself for Girls Camp in June. I know I can't 'hike', but I'm hoping to be able to at least walk to distances I need to be able to get to the lake, the challenge course, and the amphitheater on a daily basis. I have been given a daily workout, but I miss the massage and heat from Physical Therapy. I received an amazing blessing when I received this calling, so I have great faith that the Lord will help me be strong... even for that week!

We aren't "camper's", we are people who stay in a hotel... on the first floor of a hotel! We aren't "hiker's", we are people who drive around and see the sites from inside the car! We aren't "athletic", we are fans! I find myself planning things around the number of stairs there are... if there's an option, I take the elevator...
It's really really hard not to get down. It's hard not to be bitter about the changes. It's difficult to know that some of these obstacles in my path are  now permanent road blocks... and I have no other option but to go around them.
I'm working on weight loss. Which is not easy for me... given the inability to do any cardio besides biking without resistance... my weight loss is solely based on a disciplined diet. It is slow... but steady.
On a daily basis I just feel like an old person! I love Aleve. I can't handle walking on cement floors for longer than an hour. So Wal-Mart, Costco, etc. I went to Temple Square, walked from one end of City Creek to the other and I was done! After a walking on cement for a long period of time, or doing a lot of stairs, I'm usually sore for a few days. I still swell after a long day.
Household chores are also a challenge, and always will be. I have to rely more on Mike, wait for him to help with things. I can't climb ladders while holding things. Yard work will prove to be challenging... simply because I am still working on kneeling, and there is a good chance I will never kneel completely! So I can do some yard work while standing, but not much. I will have to re-think my flower beds. I need to simplify things outside in the ways I've simplified things inside. Less is more!
So what does the future hold? All I know is life is moving forward! I have to find a way to maneuver
around my roadblocks.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pain Journal

So...
I have had to keep an injury/pain journal... which just happens to be in the form of blog posts. It was just the easiest way for me to write. I have been writing... aka: complaining and documenting all the nitty gritty details... through these posts for almost an entire year! As the anniversary of the accident fast approaches, I look forward to putting 2012 in the past. I'm talking seriously far behind me... never to be brought back!
Hopefully someday soon, we will actually settle things and I will post a year's worth of pain and suffering! I don't suggest that anyone read them... in fact, I'm pretty sure I will never be able to go back and read through them all. But, I look forward to the day when I can write and post again! Writing is my outlet... and I am so desperately missing my therapeutic outlet!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Finally some progress

As I continue to wait for the bone to fill in (6 months), I feel like things are finally progressing. I am 100% happy with my decision to have the surgery. As the swelling goes down, I can feel my kneecap is in a much better position. I don't grind with every bend, and the pain is less. I wish the pain was gone... but I am coming to terms with the fact that the pain will always be there. Sometimes the pain is better or worse... but it's always there! There are so many factors... swelling, standing too long, walking too far, gaining weight, cold weather, storms coming... but I am figuring things out.
So I am happy to report that all these items are leaving my bedroom! I have kept some things around because I still need them... or at least it makes life easier. The riser on my toilet seat will stay, so will the bars in the bathroom. But the rest is being put away. It feels good to get it out of here! The bike is going downstairs in the work-out room (with the rest of the equipment I will someday get to use again), the crutches and walker will go into storage. When I get my total knee replacement I will need them again. The ice machine and shower bench will also go into storage... but the cane I will keep a little more accessible.
So I'm moving forward!... and putting these things behind me!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hardware


It's super crazy to me, that in a time of such modern medical advances, they use a screwdriver to drill these massive screws into our body! There has got to be a better way to hold bone in place. The metal is titanium... which in my experience is very hard, and gets very cold! I'm happy to see these sharp metal objects and know they are no longer stuck inside my leg.
Dr. Larsen looked at me a little funny when I asked to keep it. I was grateful that he cleaned it up and sent it home with me. It represents so much pain and suffering. It also represents difficulty and change in my life. It represents great love from other people, stronger relationships with some, and ruined relationships with others. It represents a time period when my marriage was tested, my children made sacrifices, and people's 'true colors' were shown. It reminds me that life can change in an instant... and that you can pay so greatly for a stranger's mistake! This metal also helps me remember the strength I have inside me... and that I am a lot stronger than I realize.
So I have decided to put it together in a shadow box. I'm going to hang it on my wall where I can see it everyday! I want to put a good quote or saying with it... but I haven't found one yet. I need something about pain... strength... healing... change...and never forgetting.

I never want to forget what I've learned about myself. I am stronger and braver than I ever thought I was. I can do really difficult things. I had to take life one day at a time. I learned to accept the things I could not change. I healed, but I will never be the same. Pain changes people.