Just be kind…

Often you will hear me say the following:

  • Be kind to yourself and each other

  • Treat others as you would like to be treated

  • 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.

My message tonight is simply this. 

83cd36a3e727ddd6051623f630231614

One day at a time…

I simply feel that…

I was robbed of my last semester; I was robbed of my cap and gown graduation; I was robbed of starting my future…

I simply know that…

I was not robbed of my LIFE; I was not robbed of my family; I was not robbed of my memories.

I will take my life back, and I will come back stronger than before.

I cannot believe that it has been a month since the accident. The bruises have started to fade; my muscles are starting to loosen, my bones are starting to mend. The memories will never truly fade; the nightmares will never really stop.

My nerves will always ‘twitch’, the numbness will never quite go away. I have scars on my knee that will constantly remind me; of the trauma I experienced that day, but I am alive… I keep reminding myself of that every day. I keep telling myself every day, just how lucky I am. I look at the pictures of the accident, the pictures of my car, and the way I looked lying in that bed, broken, bruised, and scared. It reminds me that I lived. I will live to see another day. I will live to see another sunset, enjoy a walk on the beach with Steve. I will live to laugh with my mom, and talk with my brother…I lived.

Now, the news you have all been waiting for on….

The orthopedic surgeon has decided at this time we are not going to do surgery! This does not mean that I am completely healed, or ready to hit the town…

My doctor feels that with more aggressive physical therapy, new ankle brace and more weeks of healing; I should be able to avoid surgery. We discussed the pro’s and con’s of having surgery. We both agreed to a plan concerning my ankle and knee. I will be adding aqua therapy to my physical therapy routine; this will allow me to transition from my “storm trooper boot” to a new walking brace with a real shoe over the next few weeks. Our primary goal is for me to learn to walk again. The next few months I will be pushing myself harder, and further than I have so far. I am determined to get my life back. One of the many obstacles that I face is getting through the pain.

I also have some more good news to share with all of you. Since BB-8 was destroyed in the accident, the insurance company agreed to replace my vehicle. I had to find something within my price range, and safety was my first concern. We had the most amazing salesmen at Annapolis Subaru, Wayne Eppard. Wayne sold us BB-8, and he did an amazing job with taking care of us again, when we called about looking for another Subaru. I am very excited because she is ours. Steve and I would like to introduce you to:

Brown Betty-08 2.0

lady with crutches standing next to a brown car, holding a sign
Brown Betty-08 2.0

Brown Betty is a 2008 Subaru Outback.

She was loved very much by her previous owner’s. I believe in the Subaru car company. My very first Subaru saved my life. Once I can drive again, I know that I will be safe. She will be waiting for me in the drive way when I am able to drive again…. 

Tomorrow is the day…

Hello Team:

Tomorrow is the big day, I see the orthopedic surgeon find out the fate of my knee and most importantly my ankle. I am extremely nervous about tomorrow. I am trying to put all of my fears, irrational thoughts and nervous thinking into a ball and put it away until I get through tomorrow.   Once I have an answer I will update, and let everyone know…  

Thank you for all of the love that you have shown me, and also thank you for being a part of my team!!

love-my-team

 

my biggest fear…

Today, I had a good day… I got to spend some time with my best friend; we got things checked off a list. I got to feel normal for the first time in 4 weeks…It felt wonderful, to be me again, doing what I do the best, being a student.  It was for just a short time, but it felt really good.  Monday I see the orthopedic surgeon and get the answers that I’ve been waiting on…

 

What is my biggest fear? My biggest fear is that I will loose my job. I only have 8 weeks of FMLA left…that is all. FMLA is simply for an employer to hold your position, nothing more. I am scared that the doctor will tell me, that now we need to do surgery, or now you need another 6-8 week before we can evaluate again, to see… that’s what I’m afraid of. What will I do? I need to be back on my feet in 8 weeks. That is my biggest fear, losing everything.

   

I can not imagine not having a job to go back too. This is not how my life is supposed to end up. I am supposed to be counting down to graduation, preparing for RN job interviews, ready to make the next big change in my life. I am not supposed to be taking it day by day, I am not supposed to be worrying about losing my job, or losing my home, or everything that I have worked for. I am not supposed to be worrying about how I am going to pay the bills next month, I am not supposed to be worrying about….all the things that I have worried about for the past 4 weeks. 

   

Maybe it’s irrational, maybe it’s silly to think this way…It’s a harsh reality of life. I have worked so hard, I have sacrificed, put my life on hold, and in the blink of an eye, it could all be gone.  I don’t want to loose everything that I have worked so very hard for, because of this accident. What will I do? I have practically killed myself the past 2 1/2 years while I have been working full-time night shift and going to nursing school.

    

I can do nothing, until Monday when I see the surgeon. I can only hope and pray…..

Today is about me…

Hi, Team!

Yesterday, I spend the day seeing a thoracic surgeon, getting another MRI, having blood work done. Today I am exhausted.  

Each day I get a little stronger, each day, I see progress. Each day, I see that even though my recovery is slower than what I want, it is still moving in the right direction. Within the next week or two I will have surgical answers on my knee and ankle, and what the rest of my recovery will look like.

 

I can’t say ‘Thank You’ enough, for all the cards, well wishes and messages that I have received. I have seen a few people the two days that I have been to Annapolis for my doctors’ appointments. The kind words, hugs, and friendly faces meant the world to me. You have seen the public face, the mask that I put up to the world.  I will not show you the hurt, pain, and private suffering that I go through while I am at home.  

 

I am working hard to keep ‘hate’ out of my heart. I am trying hard to remember the pain, suffering, worry and hurt that the mother and friends of the other car is going through at this time. I have been told to put my faith in God. I have been told that things happen for a reason. I have been told that this will all work out in the end, and be patient and let my body heal.  

 

I don’t even know how to put into words, the way I feel. I keep tying to be positive…Life is hard enough for Steve and I. All I can do is keep doing the right thing. That really is all I will say today on this matter.

 

It feels so good…

Before I start my post, stay tuned in later today, I will be taking my team back in time. 3 years ago today and the events that changed our lives… Nursing school application, my surgeries, Steve’s brain injury…the feelings, the heartache, the long nights….

NOW…..

Today has been an eventful day so far. I first want to say ‘GOD BLESS’ the inventor of the shower seat!! it was still a two person job….

more to come… stay tuned.

 

white chair to place in shower

Friends and Family….I love them!

I think one of the things that I love about my life, is the people in it. I have friends who send me silly pictures, text messages that make me smile, offers of goodies, offers of sympathy, or just a friendly chat.

I have best friends who come to my aid when I am sick, hold my hand when I’m scared, make me laugh just because. 

I have family that checks on me and helps to care for me. They let me cry on them, hold me on bad days and cheer me on during good days.  

I know that when I have dark days or I am having the brightest day, I have amazing people who are at my side. I have some of the greatest friends who hold the lanterns of light that help me along my journey. I have a long way to go on my journey, but I know that I will not be alone. 

3 fingers with smiling faces and words "life is better with friends"

I did something I’ve never done before…

Tonight, I did something that I have never done before. I took to twitter, and I started sending tweets out, to celebrities, professional football, baseball teams. Giving my blog page, and gofundme page. I don’t know if it will go anywhere, but I feel like you just never know. To be honest I don’t even know if I did it right. The more people that I can get to share my story, share my page and my gofundme the more of an opportunity I will have to get help. 
All of the help from my friends and family has been a blessing, and I am very thankful. I now have decided that with all that I have lost because of the accident, I have to ‘swallow my pride’ and continue to ask for help. If you know me, you know that I am a proud person. I am the one who tries to help others. I am passionate about causes, people, and my interests. I do not feel that I can continue to ask my friends and family for help. I am asking for the “6 degree’s of separation” to now work in my favor. Do you have a link to a celebrity? Do you know someone who can help in a major way?  What I am now asking you to do is to share my story, share my page. 

Smiling on the outside, but dying on the inside

Even on my weakest day, I try to smile… In between naps, I scan my newsfeed or my email. I look at text messages that have come in while I have slept. I respond with true feelings, I show enthusiasm for those who have gotten the job; passed their boards, or gotten the email saying they are on track for graduation. I am so proud of all of my friends. I watched them suffer through long hours of notes and lectures. I have helped them along the way by giving encouragement when it was needed. A friendly push in the right direction when they felt lost or overwhelmed. I will continue to smile and cheer. My heart is happy for them because I know they deserve all the cheers and congratulations. The hard work and dedication paid off for them. They reached their goal and now they deserve to enjoy the time in the spotlight. I will be at the pinning ceremony this May. I will be Cheering, and clapping for my best friend and classmates. I will be at the graduation ceremony, to watch them walk across the stage. I will be cheering and clapping the loudest. I will show my pride and love for them!

 

While I will not lie, it hurts me to the core. The goals and dreams that I want for myself are the same. I have put at the time; I have put in the hard work, the hours, dedication and commitment. Why is it that everything that I have to go through takes so much longer, it’s so much harder for me. Why am I the one who is suppose to sit and cheer on my friends, cheer on classmates…Why am I the one who has to again, put my future on hold. Why am I the one who again, has to push back my graduation another 6 months? Why am I the one who again, has to restart the final term, but this time when I restart school in the fall I will be alone. I will not be with friends, I will not be with the ones who I will study with, I will not be with the ones who know my story. I will be with strangers that I will become new friends. I will have to work through the term on my own. I will dig through pages of notes, slides. I will be with another new group of graduates, which will stand at my side during the pinning ceremony. I will not walk across the stage, in a cap and gown; I will not be pinned with my friends. I know that I will have my day, I will have my spotlight…but it will be different. It will feel different, to me. 
I don’t tell you this out of pity. I don’t share this with you for sympathy. I share this because my life was changed, put on hold, altered. The choice that one person made has changed my future and my life. People keep asking me about her, “How is she?” “What have I herd?” Let me be as clear as I can be without being rude… To be 100% honest with you, I don’t care. I feel for her family, that is suffering during this time and that is all. The driver of the car that hit me, head on choose to get behind the wheel of the car, when she should not have. The driver of the car that crashed into me head-on that ruined my school career, that put my life on hold, The driver of the car that totaled my car, broke my body, made a life changing decision, that not only changed her life but mine. To say that I am angry is true; to say that my spirit feels broken on some days is true. The driver of the car that put me in a trauma center hospital for 6 very long days could have taken my life. There was one point that I really thought I was going to die, but I lived. I am grateful that I lived, but at what cost? I am physically and mentally broken. I am in danger of losing everything that I have worked so hard for. 

Morning routine…so different now

I have touched on this in another post, but to now tell you how my morning routine has changed. If I normally leave the house by 8am, I would rise about 7am. This would give me plenty of time to shower, dress, have breakfast and most importantly have coffee. Now, things are a little different. My morning routine starts the night before. I need to arrange a bath time and make sure that dinner and any nighttime shows are taken into account. Once the process is done, we need to discuss the plans for the next day. Appointment times, locations, full list of things that need to be accomplished. We have to then, get a plan of attack. What is the best order to accomplish the goals, given locations, time constraints, and travel? Then we make sure we have the proper documentation, we call this “BB8’s folder”. Since each of my cars get a name, when a disaster like this happens all of the information goes in that cars folder. When we are out we have the information at a moment’s notice. Is it time for bed? Maybe, once plans are gone over, one more time the list is made for the official daily agenda.  I have to then pack my day bag. Normally I would say this is my purse, but since I am not able to carry it, I have to carry only the most non-essential, essential items in it. Once, I do a weight check on my bag, then it’s time for the bedtime routine (that’s a whole different post). Good Night…

 

It’s bright and early 2 hours prior to us needing to leave. I go through my morning pain ritual, and let my body adjust to a new day. We all know that the first thing we as most humans need to do when we first wake, use the bathroom. Well, let me tell you when you have to adjust your knee brace, and your foot boot before you can do that with one working arm, while your still half asleep and then maneuver crutches early in the morning before you have even really had a good 20-25 minutes of your eyes being open… That is the whole process by itself. (most of you know normally I do not speak for the first 30 minutes after I have woken up, just to give my brain time to adjust and wake up…) I might as well get my teeth brushed while I’m in the bathroom. Well, good lord, you would think that’s an easy task? I mean, leaning on the sink, standing on one leg, trying not to fall down, using your “broken arm” to brush your teeth because it’s your dominant hand… Yea… Simple task! Then I have to wake Steve to help me get dressed for the day. Unless he has already woken up being in a separate room, this is not always an easy task. But, lucky he has become a bit of an early riser, since being in Delaware. He has been own morning routine, that he does every morning. When you have a brain injury, routine helps you stay focused. When I interrupting his routine is not always easy or good. So, I have to ask him to help me when at different intervals within his normal routine. I need to have him, get my clean clothes for the day, and then have him help me put everything on. I try to do what I can myself. One its part of my “rehabilitation” to be able to function again, and move my muscles so they can work, but something’s I still have trouble with.  He even helps to move my arm/shoulder when it does not want to. He helps to get my morning medicine, make sure I have all the items I need for the day… That leaves me with about 10-15 minutes to spare…

 

This will be the past, and I will read back on this in a year or two and I will say, “I have come a long way…” or the next time I’m taking care of a patient, my brain will know exactly what that person is going through. Now, I have been a patient before, I have been taken care of before to much of this degree, but not for this amount of time… All I can do is take it one day at a time, and let my body heal. 

How your choice affects the lives of others…

 If you asked me just 1 month ago, how long it would take me to get ready (shower, dress, out the door) I would tell you about 30 minutes. I could do everything that I needed to do. I could even throw on some makeup to add a little glam.

Since the accident, It takes 1-2 hours or more on a good day, and the help of one to two people to help me get washed up and put clean clothes on. I cannot even dress without the help of another person. My shoulder prevents me from being able to reach, and the boot on my foot and the knee injury prevent me from being able to fully bend my knee. The 1-2 hours does not even cover time to wash my hair or even wash my bad leg. One task that is a three persons job is to wash my hair. I was a person who every day no matter what, my hair was washed. It’s the one thing that is important to me. Since the accident, I am lucky to have it washed twice per week. If I want to wash my right leg, it’s a two-day event.  I have to remove one brace at a time; we wash my knee / thigh area first; washed, dried and the brace put back on. Then the next day, I remove the boot, and my shin and foot are washed, dried and re-booted.  All of the processes not only take help from my mom and Steve, but it exhausts me. I am wiped out, and most of the time, I end up going to lie down.

Most of the time, we use the evening time to pick of the three tasks that need to be done. Since it’s not every day that I can wash my right leg or my hair, it’s one thing that has become part of our bi-weekly routine. 

When I talk about losing my independence, I also have to talk about losing my privacy.  I no longer can say, “I’m going to take a shower…” and go do it alone.  Now when I want to bathe, I have to make sure that both mom and Steve are available. I have to have them gather the needed supplies. I have to have one of them help me remove my clothes. Then while I sit naked one of them help me wash. I am 38 years old, and I need my husband or my mother help me to do something that I should be able to do. 

I know that this is temporary, and this will pass, and I will be able to do all of these things for myself again in a few months. How do I ever get over this? How do I mentally move past this? How do I thank both my mom and Steve for doing things for me, which they did not sign up for? I know they do it because they love me, but how do I get past this?

When I talk about choices that people make affect others, this is one very important part. I have lost my independence, dignity, and privacy. I have endured having photo’s taken of my naked body to document the bruising and injuries. I have had to do this several time to document the progression of injuries. I have to ask for help to do the simplest of tasks. I have to rely on my family to help me bathe, fix my food, and get me even a glass of ice water.  The choice that one person made has greatly affected my life.  

Happy Valentines Day

Today is the day of Love… Today is the day that couples all over the world are out to dinner, dancing, seeing romantic movies…Women are dressing in the most beautiful outfits they own, men are dressed in the finest suits. Flowers, chocolates, cards and jewelry have been paid for. Presents have been wrapped, big bows of red, are tied on top…. Some will be engaged, some will simply be told “I Love You” for the first time…

Me, well you see I am simply thankful to be alive. I am simply thankful to be able to open my eyes, see another sun rise. I am thankful that I can tell my Steve that I love him. I am thankful I get to look into the eyes of my Gracie, and hear her purrrrr…. I’m blessed to know that I have the most supportive parents. I have said before, I will say again; I don’t know where I would be without everything my mom has done for me the past few weeks, and the past year. I am able to take time to talk to my brother and his beautiful wife in California. I am able to live another day, to talk with my best friend. I am able to see how her day is, what she has planned and discuss the future….

So you see while all over the world, dancing, dining, and love is blooming… I am simply here…Living.

     front of card with word "LOVE"

Love spending time with my world.                  This is the card he gave me.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Welcome to my world

Hello, and Welcome to my World!

This is a new adventure for me, and you are one of the first who has been invited to join my world. I have decided to start a blog of my life’s journey.  This way you can keep up with me, see the latest updates on my accident, see the latest updates on school, work, and life in general. You can also see what is happening with my little family.

When I was just a young little girl, one of my favorite Aunts used to call me Busy. She would say “that is the busiest child I have ever met” and so the name stuck. This stands true to this day, I am always busy, always have things to do, people to see, something to do, or someone who needs help.

I am the person, who even if I have only $1.00 to my name and you need money I will give you $0.50 if that would help you. I am the shoulder that people lean on, the ear that needs to listen, the one who will cry with you, and the one who will find a solution to whatever problem you have. I am the one who can keep the secret. I am often called in to fix phone problems, computer issues and pretty much anything in between. I am so many to so many people.

I always have something going on in my life. I have a wide network of people from all over the world that I have met along the way in my 38 years. It’s hard to keep up with everyone, so this is a start.

I have big ideas and plans for the future of this web page, but one thing at a time.

You may leave comments, questions, or updates of your own…

I hope you enjoy your visit!

 

Cheryle