First, I want to thank the Spicer family (Patti, John, and Carrie) for my
BEAUTIFUL flowers that were delivered today.
It was just what I needed to brighten my day.
(I will be adding pictures in a bit..)
Now, I can share my news.
I had my follow up with my orthopedic surgeon today. It has been 8 weeks and two days since my accident. I have been working very hard in physical therapy to get my knee and ankle healed.
Today, it was decided that we need to do Orthoscopic surgery on my knee to repair my meniscus. It’s an “In-and-Out” same day procedure.
What does this mean?
Healing time will be extended by 4-6 weeks after surgery
Surgery is : April 6, 2016
Why is this being decided on 8 weeks after the initial injury?
Due to the amount of swelling, in my knee and ankle. A surgical decision could not be made before now.
We did everything that we could to avoid surgery.
How do I feel about this?
I am still processing all of this.
This is not what I wanted
I do not have many words tonight
What about my ankle?
We are proceeding with the plan as of now.
I do not have many more answers
What does this mean for work?
I have been in contact with my employer.
I will not be able to return until I get cleared by the surgeon.
Thank you again, for all of your support and love during this rough time for me. I also, can’t say THANK YOU enough for all of the gofundme donations. Right now, I am not receiving any type of income. Your generous donations are helping keep my home. I don’t know what I would do without people like you…
I worked on this post a few weeks ago. I did not get a chance to post it. Some of the things I write about are painful. Not only to me but to the ones I love. I have been asked, “How do I what I do?” I do it because I Love him.
As I sit in bed and I work on finishing “Steve’s story…” I hear the sound that for me is one of the scariest sounds in the world…
Earlier in the evening, Steve had come into my room, I could tell something was wrong with him. He was getting me water, and any little thing that I would or would not need. I asked him again, this time giving him my “I know you’re not telling me the truth, so spill it…” or I like to say “THE LOOK”. Finally, he told me that he was not feeling well. His stomach was bothering him, and he did not want to throw up. I knew that he was not feeling well at dinner, but I let it slide a bit to give him some room. One thing I have learned with Steve and his disability is that he needs just a little time to figure things out on his own. It was now a few hours later, and he was still not feeling good. I asked if he was starting a cycle, and he nodded. We talked about what that means, and what to do. I knew he would throw up, and then feel better, but the next few days would be long for him. We talked about food plans for tomorrow, what he was allowed to eat, and what he could not. We have this pretty much down to a science and knew exactly what to do.
It’s about 120 a.m. I was working on my blog, reliving some scary and heartbreaking times in our life last year when Steve was sick. That’s when I heard him coughing, then I heard the noise, the sound that is made when you pour water from a bucket into a toilet. Well, that is the sound that is made when steve is projectile vomiting, and not breathing. What could I do? How could I help? Vomit does not bother me anymore. I would normally make sure that he does not pass out, or hurt himself by falling. I would normally help him get cleaned up, rub his back, help him get his toothbrush, and mouthwash… When this happens to him his tricks are super, super bad.
This time, all I could get myself together, that takes a few minutes, get out of bed, and get my crutches, and carefully hop to the bathroom. I can not rush, I can not move quick, I can not even really do what I used to be able to do.
I know that one day I will be healed and I will be able to do what I do best. It’s just the waiting…
That is how long it has been since the accident. I have come to very far. I am very proud of all that I have accomplished. I work very hard, and keep working hard to get back to my normal. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “she is not normal”.
The love and support that I have been shown to me have been overwhelming. I keep saying ‘Thank You’. I just hope that you all know that I really appreciate everything that people are doing for me.
I will not let this keep me down. I will rise above. I will accomplish all of my goals.
For my card and gift cards, Nursing Class Spring 2016.
The following message is for you…
In 62 days the Spring Nursing Class of 2016 from AACC will be anxiously waiting to have each of their names called. They will rise from each seat and walk to the stage, with big smiles on each face, and joy in each beating heart. They will walk across the stage, and receive their Nursing Pin. The family and friends in the audience will cheer, whoop and clap, some may even jump up and down. The end of a journey, that required blood, sweat, and tears. Hours of reading, note cards that would stack 2 ft tall, poster boards, med cards and NCLEX books. Each of the students who worked so hard to achieve this goal. Some had to overcome many obstacles just get in the door. Some had to work full time, take care of the family or a loved one all while working long hours on care plans, sleepless night studying slides, and answering hundreds, yet thousands of NCLEX questions.
They have earned the right, to enjoy every second of this moment. Each one of them has done an incredible thing. You see Nursing School is one of the hardest challenges you could ever take on. To earn the title of registered nurse, you have to have dedication, determination and work hard. All of the students from this class fit this description.
“You’ll succeed at whatever you set your mind to do. You always do”
The person who said this to me, often flys under the radar. He is always in my corner. I know that he will always have my back. We don’t get to have dinner or meet up for a coffee but he is with me every day.
He tells me how proud he is of me, and he knows how proud I am of him. Even being so far away, he has proved time and time again, that “the left coast is just a plane ride away”. I don’t know what I would do without my family, but really I don’t know where I would be without my brother. <3.
I have been working hard with over the past few weeks. I am on a deadline to return to work. When I told my medical team that I had 12 weeks of FMLA, that I need to be able to return to work and at the time we were already 2 weeks in. I was putting my team of doctors and my body on a deadline. I was unsure if that was a realistic goal or not. At the time, they were still unsure of surgical plans, or long term effects my injuries would cause. The doctors look at me and said, “You were severely injured in a very bad accident, it will take your body months to fully recover.” In true Cheryle style, I looked them in the eyes and said “I have 12 weeks of leave time from work, that holds my position. I did not ask for this to happen to me. I have been through HELL, I was broken, bruised, and suffer from nightmares. I was forced to give up my last semester and graduation from nursing school. I will do what it takes to get my life back. I have 10 weeks left, to get my life back… I am willing to work hard and do what it takes for that to happen.”
Two days a week we go to Annapolis to work with my physical therapist Ashish and his team.
I do all the exercises he gives me:
Learning to walk
Muscle control / balance
Learning to walk up and down steps
Four days of the week, I work with my “Home Team”
My Home Team: Susan and Steve who push me and help me.
floor work -Leg lifts, stretching
circles, Tic-Toc (moving left and right with my foot)
back and forth
point and pull
I have been “icing and elevating” around the clock.
Trips to the boardwalk; walks in the neighborhood.
Drum roll, please……
A special video to share with all of you. All of the love, support and words of encouragement you give to me, helps to push me through the pain, swelling and tears.
Today is the first day of spring! That means new beginnings, fresh starts and new growth.
I have been reminded that a few times in my life I have been given the opportunities for a fresh start. Some of the opportunities I asked for and some I did not.
When I started nursing school I had a check list:
Earn my degree in 2 years
Take and pass my NCLEX exam
Start working as a new graduate RN
Earn my BSN degree then go on to my MSN.
Let me show you where my plan went wrong.
You can make all the plans you want but you can’t control what happens.
Your health becomes first priority.
Your family who supports you sometimes has to take priority.
Do-overs are O.K. and sometimes necessary.
With all the stress of nursing school it’s understandable that sometimes burning the candle at both ends; you end up burning your fingers.
Sometimes you need to extend your timeline so you can be successful
Just because you’re repeating a course does not mean your going to be a bad nurse.
Some of the best Nurses I know, had to repeat a class or two…
Family and Friends will be waiting…
Nursing school takes all of your time, energy and money
Your support system will be waiting.
You will cry, laugh, and want to quit; but you will make it.
The one thing that I have learned is that I cannot give up. I just keep pushing myself forward. I have had to delay my nursing degree twice now. It will take me 3 years to complete my nursing degree, but I will do it. I have the dedication and determination needed to complete my goal.
I have been MIA for a few days and I wanted to check in with you. Today marks 7 weeks or day 51 of my adventure.
I have decided to call this experience an adventure because when I looked up the definition of adventure. It stated an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity. I feel that everything that has happened to me, I feel that it fits. I did not choose this adventure it is what was handed to me. I am going with it and make the best of it.
I have been working hard on my ‘Ice Therapy’ for the past two weeks. I have been doing the exercises that my therapist gave me, and I have been Icing and elevating my leg as directed. The swelling has just started to go down.
I got to have a date night with my world. We did an in house movie night, two nights in a row.
We watched 50 first dates, and “Sex sent me to the ER” on of our favorite shows.
We hung out together talking and laughing and drinking coffee.
Felt like old times…
I got to do some PT exercises with mom at the boardwalk.
We got to have a yummy lunch, at my new favorite restaurant.
Do you ever have days that you have so many things to say, but you are not able too?
I have so many things that I want to say, and I am not able too. I want to scream at the top of my lungs. I want to stand on the roof and scream. I want to be able to tell the world, how I really feel. I want to be able to be angry. I want to be able to say all of the things that I just am not able to say.
You see I have put myself on a “self-imposed gag order” until things are settled. I am trying very had to be positive. I am always the person who looks at the bright side of life. I am always the one who is telling other people to keep going, smile and keep pushing.
I do have a few things I can say, that I am happy and thankful for:
I do not know what I would have done without my mom. She has been the rock, support and my caregiver for the past 6 1/2 weeks. She has taken care of Steve and myself around the clock even on her own bad days. I am so very grateful for her.
Steve who had taken a few steps backwards with my accident, has slowly started to come back to his new baseline.
I basically every day or, at least, every other day, get to have a conversation with Chris and Lisa. Even being on the opposite end of the country I feel we are just a little bit closer.
Today, I needed a little pick me up. I was sent this youtube link. It really helped me a lot. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (video is below). The video is about 15 minutes long. But it’s worth the time it will take to watch it. He sends a powerful message if you only listen.
Thank you, Chris. This did help me in a big way today.
I look at the envelope every day. I have almost ripped the seal a few times. I have even almost ripped it in half. I threw it in the trash once, but I took it back out again. I placed it on my bedside table. Some days I forget about it. Some days it’s the only thing I think about. The words on this letter are just too painful for me to read.
One day I’ll get another letter just like this one. The words and the dates will be different on my new letter. I’ll open it right away, and I will smile. I know that I will I smile.
I feel like every time I get excited that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Every time I get little butterflies in my stomach thinking about being at the end, its taken away from me.
I’m not one to be all ‘boohoo…feel sorry for me…’ even if I feel like the last 6 weeks I have been a big pile of … “Poor me…”
I do know that I can say this with full honesty. The next letter that I get in the mail, I will not be as excited as I should be. That part of me broke on Jan 30, 2016. I don’t know how to get it back.
Today marks a big day in my journey. Just 6 weeks ago I was in the trauma center at PG hospital. I was alone; black and blue, broken, bleeding and crying. I had so many unanswered questions, and uncertainties. Fast forward to today… the bruises have healed; the cuts have scared over…yet the tears have not stopped.
I know the tears will stop, I know that in a few years I will put all of this behind me and I will feel true joy again. I know that I will have my day, but I just don’t think I’ll be as excited as I should be. Only time will tell.
I have not talked to you in a few days. I figured that I would send out a few little updates:
I got to spend the past two days doing some PT outside. The weather has been beautiful.
When I don’t have my leg up in the air, or with ice packs surrounding my ankle and knee; I was able to use my crutches and “walk” I’ll use that term very loosely outside. (That means I am able to take some steps and rest. Take some steps and rest)
Mom and I went and had a wonderful lunch the other day at a place on the boardwalk. It was nice to wheel down the boardwalk in my wheelchair and feel the sun on my face. I was able to see the ocean. It was only after about 3 hours being out of the house but it felt so good. I can’t wait till I can walk myself down the boardwalk.
Trying to keep a smile on my face.
Some days are harder than others. The waiting is the hardest part of all of this.
Be kind to your self and each other… Until tomorrow…
freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent
the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control
Full Definition of independence
1: the quality or state of being independent
I have decided to write a letter to Merriam-Webster. I have decided that I want to have something added to both the “simple” and “full” definition. I want to add that it is also a feeling. It’s a feeling that one has when they are able to be fully functioning on your own. You are able to do things on your own, without the need for help.
I know that it’s a feeling because I have lost it. I have lost the feeling I used to get when I could do things on my own. Call that pride, call it what you want. Something as simple as making my own cup of coffee. Making my own lunch, or taking a shower without help. Over the past 5 weeks, I have gone from someone who was doing things on her own. Dressing, cooking (no jokes. I make some mean microwave popcorn), bathing, driving… I was working, going to school. I had my routine, every day I knew what I needed to do and I did it.
The hardest thing that I had to deal with since the car accident that almost took my life on 1/30/2016 has been losing my independence. I am not a person, who likes to have to rely on others for things. I know when to ask for help and how to accept it. I just like to be able to do for myself. The girl that hit me on that Saturday morning took that ability away from me.
I’m going to take you back in time…Just for a few minutes, to March 2013
I had just turned in my application to the nursing program. Steve had agreed to stand beside me and support me during the next two years. Knowing I would be doing something amazing. We knew it would be hard. We also knew it was going to change our life.
I also was counting down to surgery day. I was scheduled for March 20 to have my bariatric surgery. I was taking steps to a healthier me. We were both scared. We both knew it was going to change our life.
We were ready for our lives to turn around. We had been living paycheck to paycheck for so long, it was time for financial freedom. We both knew it would not be easy. We both knew that it would take a few years, but it would be worth it in the end. Little did either of us know the events that would happen that year that would change our lives forever.
Three years later being so close to completing my goal. I lay with cold packs wrapped on my knee and ankle that are helping to reduce the swelling so my joints will move again. I look at the envelope that came in the mail last week. I look at the white envelope that is unopened. The blue stamp that says “Graduation Status Letter” that is stamped on the left side, just above my name and address. I can not bear to tear the paper. I do not have the strength to break the seal, that will open the letter. Even if the envelope was open, I am not brave enough to unfold the white paper that is inside and read the words that are printed on the page. I do not have the strength to read something that will make me cry.
I keep reminding myself, that my day will come. I keep reminding myself that I can make it, just one more semester. I tell myself every day that I wake up, I was spared for a reason. I hear the words that come from my lips “you can do this”. I read the words of encouragement. I smile, and when I suppose too I give the right advice. I am trying to keep hate out of my heart.
I am still deeply hurt. I mark the days off on my calendar, one by one. I countdown, the number of days that I have left. I used to count down the days till graduation. I used to count down the days until pinning ceremony. I used to count down the days…now I count down the days of my leave.
I struggle to hold on to my happiness. I struggle to see the bright side. I struggle to see why this happened. I struggle to see what good will come of this. I simply struggle to see…I don’t know the lesson. I don’t know the reason. I don’t know why again, I am put in a situation where I have to choose, who gets paid. I don’t know why again I have to worry about the future of my little family.
You see my little family may not be much, but it’s all I have. I am the one who has the full responsibility of making sure my family survives.
Be nice, because you never know when you might need a friend
Tonight, I find myself being deeply hurt over something that happened to a friend of mine. Someone whom I consider being an amazing, kind hearted, individual was treated in a horrific way. I simply do not have words to describe how I feel about the situation.
Good Morning, Good Afternoon and if I don’t see you, Good Evening and Good Night….
Today starts my first day of ICE Therapy… Yup, it’s as cold as it sounds…it’s very cold. My goal with this is to decrease the swelling in my ankle and knee. It’s kinda like the song that you can’t get out of your head. 🙂
Ice Packs -Under and over ankle
Ice Packs -Under and over knee
20-30 minutes on…
30-45 minutes off
SECOND VERSE -We add in the elevation. Up, Up, Up, let gravity work to our advantage 🙂
Elevate the leg, supporting the ankle and the knee. Up as high as I can.