Latest and greatest plus the 4th P :)

Greetings! Thanks so much for your uplifting comments about my walking expedition on Monday! I will never forget that day. Here’s the latest update since we last chatted. 

Despite the awesome progress on Monday, I’d actually categorize this week more in the challenging department post-Monday. I chalk the challenges of this week up to a few things:

1) I’m in a bit of a holding pattern. I’ve plateaued on the in-home therapy I can do until I get my prosthetic and/or get the wounds on my right leg cleared for my AFO brace. We even shut off home PT for the week as to not use my insurance days for therapy Aaron and I can do on our own (home health agreed with this logic). I’m a forward-progress, keep-moving, always-busy kind of person so holding patterns don’t bode well for me. 

2) I think sometimes the higher the highs are, the lower the lows can be. Monday was so exhilarating, the rest of the week was a bit of a let-down of sorts. I think people use the term roller-coaster for these journeys for a reason. When you're at the top, you have a descent that can naturally follow. That is until the road smooths out once you make it through...

3) I’ve noticed a pattern that if I’m going to get really sad, it happens on a Tuesday. The time I had the difficult night in the hospital was Tuesday #1. Two weeks after that was the pre-dentist driveway breakdown. This week marked three weeks later and Tuesday #3, so I guess I was due to shed some tears. Aaron and I had a picnic lunch in our bedroom as I didn’t feel like leaving it at lunchtime that day. Like the last time, no specific reason, just a necessary release. Maybe next time it will be four Tuesdays away as I build on the pattern?! So I guess on Tuesday, Oct 22, I better make some good plans. Or maybe none at all. :)

4) Bugs or drugs. Though not teary, Saturday was especially difficult. After a week of little interaction outside of my family, (sans an awesome late-night visit with friends Wednesday which was super fun) this social beast was looking forward to an action-packed weekend. Saturday was supposed to consist of Mitchell’s 8AM flag football weekly game, an early-afternoon visit from my cousins, a late-afternoon afternoon stroll to a neighborhood party and a dinner date out with great couple friends. I couldn’t wait. Here’s what really happened. Mitchell’s game was a rain out. While we were at a restaurant for lunch, I started to feel extremely nauseous so we had to get our food to-go and go home. I spent the entire day in bed with flu-ish symptoms and had to cancel all of our plans, including the dinner party that had been in the works for three weeks. We aren’t sure if I indeed had a bug or if I was in a bit of withdrawal as I’d stopped taking some of my pain meds because I didn’t feel the need for them this week as my skin graft has healed so well. I went from watching the clock to forgetting to take them. I thought it was a good thing to stop the prescribed ‘as needed/breakthrough pain’ scripts but upon a bit of research that could have made me feel the way I felt. I did keep taking the big dog drug as I assumed it required tapering. I’ve since tried to taper them all as I’m not sure if that had an impact or not (and neither were the docs as I did call the on-call resident). Either way, I hope no one else around here gets anything I had (if it was a bug and not drug-related).

But…moving on…today was an awesome day. I felt 1,000 times better physically and mentally. Aaron’s best friend since Kindergarten and his wife drove down from Omaha and spent the day with us. They are awesome friends in every possible way. They showed up right after church and we spent the entire day outside in this gorgeous weather. The kids played outside all day, creating a makeshift Tonka toy car wash with many buckets of water and a couple of clothes changes. One of my cousins who was in town for the weekend stopped by for dinner and a great visit. An all-around 5-star day. Definitely what the doctor ordered. 

And…I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I have an appointment with my doctor to assess everything including the status of the wound on my right leg. I am nervous tomorrow may be “take out the staples Monday” (from my skin graft on the wound site) but it will be what it will be. I am quite hopeful I get more info about when I can be cleared to move to the hard-core, outpatient rehab phase. I also have an appointment at Hanger tomorrow where I should find out when I get my prosthetic. I think that is just days away from what we discussed last week. Plus, we are touring my top two outpatient rehab facilities tomorrow. Forward motion!!

To close, I will share with you the 4th P. As you may or may not recall from previous posts, I’ve mentioned my go-to tools to help me keep my positive attitude along this journey. I’ve shared three of them – all of which begin with the letter P - and I’ve said I will have a 4th P (as a true marketer would). The previous 3 P’s in my healing toolbox:

1) PERSPECTIVE – a very powerful tool. There is so much to be thankful for in your life if you take the time to really understand what other people are dealing with on a day to day basis. As I’ve said, perspective is free and readily available. And it’s a key ingredient to being happy and having a positive attitude. I called upon this tool many times this week.

2) PIE – this is my analogy for the various facets in your life. When one slice is challenged, other slices of the pie seem to grow (like a mathematical pie chart). Right now, the friends, family & faith slices remain fat and sassy for which I am so grateful. (yes, there are 3 F’s there with faith/family/friends but I won’t drain the pattern thing - ha! :)

3) PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY – this is all you guys. The beyond amazing messages here on Caring Bridge, the cards I receive, the words I hear from you in all ways make me feel accountable to live up to your kindness. It’s hard to receive a card that says I’m inspiring without trying to act like someone who could deserve such a compliment. It really helps pull me up – thank you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing from each of you. I feel so blessed when I open this site or the mailbox every day.

4) PURPOSE – the new addition to the 4 P’s. I’ve thought about this a lot lately. We all know people who have lost their purpose and we’ve seen them struggle. We also all know people who have found purpose – sometimes in the simplest things – and see how that changes their entire life. For me, I have had a laser-focused purpose since the first moments of the accident. That has been on my children. Even more specifically, my purpose has been to strive to ensure not a moment of their lives has to be negatively impacted because of this situation. This is a very powerful behavioral motivator for me. This started right away Aaron has reminded me. I didn’t remember this until he brought it up, but he said while I was lying on the dock waiting for the first paramedic crew, I actually told him not to call my parents until we knew more because I didn’t want to upset them or the kids (they were at my parents’ house at the time). I fought hard to get out of the hospital in Springfield so they didn’t have to make the roadtrip or see me in multiple hospitals. I did everything possible to get released to go home as soon as possible to allow them to get back in a normal routine. And every morning, every evening and all weekend long I try my hardest to be 100% normal, happy, present and engaged with them which gives me great purpose and helps me rise above anything I’m feeling. If I temporarily fall in a hole, this purpose pulls me out the second they walk through the door. It is a power tool for me for sure. I'm not sure what I would do without it, without them. I will say that I am not afraid for this experience to change them, just not negatively impact them. What I mean by that is I do believe there are many learning opportunities for them on this journey. Whether it’s to specifically learn about the medical side like the prosthetic or to learn how to be helpful and caring. And I do see them learning. But in the most stable, positive environment possible. Having purpose is essential, at least it has been for me.

So there is the 4th P. I appreciate the write-in votes from my last “P post” by the way. I loved them!

Wishing each and every one of you a great week as we bust into October. 

And as always…thank you. From the bottom of my heart.


PS - I typed this update on a real keyboard, using my right digits! The thumb is a bit numb and doesn't always participate on the keys, but we're making progress!