Archive | February, 2011

It’s The Little Things

28 Feb

The big accomplishment this weekend was that I managed to take both kids to the pool by myself. I leaned on Little Miss a lot to help secure Little Man as I got in and out of the pool, but it went really well. We all had a great time. Little Miss swam 4 laps of freestyle, with 2 laps of kicking, showing great potential! It was good for my knee to walk back and forth with her. Little Man has figured out how to hold his breath under water, so he jumps in and enjoys going under water.

On Friday, we had a surprise visit from my brother’s family, as the roads to Kirkwood Ski Resort were closed, and they needed a place to crash for the night. It was a lovely impromptu reuinion, and we let the kids stay up super late as all of the cousins played together. Poor Little Miss was crushed when neither of her boy cousins wanted to sleep in her room. I told her they thought it was too pink.

I’m getting much more mobile and functional, though in the back of my head, I know that in just a month’s time, I’ll be going under the knife and starting all over with my knee. Boo!

Seriously?!

26 Feb

And there is more snow in the forecast…

This is my neighbor’s car. Glad I have a garage!

Our backyard. I love how buried the porch swing and tricycle are.

Today was a total cluster. I awoke to find that preschool was indeed open, so I got us all up and ready and headed out in the blizzard to get to work. I dropped off Little Miss, and right as I pulled up to work, I discovered I left my computer at home. So, I drove home. On the way home, three warning lights appeared on my dashboard. I look them up in the owner’s manual, and the message for each light is “see dealer immediately.”

So, I drove to my physical therapy appointment, and while on the exercise bike there, I booked an appointment at the dealer. Drove straight to the dealer after PT, and waited for THREE HOURS while they tried to figure out what was wrong with my car. Luckily, they had WiFi, so I managed to be really productive with work. The more I waited, the more expensive I imagined the problem to be. After those three hours, they said they couldn’t find why those lights went on, and they just reset my computer. AWESOME.

While wrapping things up at the dealer, I get a call from preschool, reporting Little Miss is having another one of her coughing fits and needs to go home. So, back to get her I went… Goodness, what a day. I should have been holed up at home in front of the fire, but I ended up driving all around Reno in a blizzard. I think it’s time for some wine tonight.

Braving the Roads

25 Feb

It is blizzarding in Reno. After I woke up, I checked to make sure preschool was open, and decided to brave the storm to get to work. You see, back in 1998, I moved to Detroit, MI in January after living my whole life in New Mexico. It was truly sink or swim, as I immediately had to learn how to drive in snow (lots of snow) so that I could make it to my new job at GM. The policy at GM was that you always were expected to make it to work on a snow day. You were also expected to show up on time. My managers schooled me that you are to watch the weather, and plan to get up super early if a storm is expected.

I then moved to Reno, and am still amazed at how empty our offices are on snow days. I do think half of the people might be powder hounds up on the ski slopes, but there is definitely a good contingent that is just scared to go outside.

I spoke to a colleague in Seattle this week who said she was staying home “because of the snow”. I asked her how much snow she had at her house, and she said, “none, it is supposed to snow.”

That just made me laugh. Overnight, we got about 6 inches on top of the foot of snow that still remains from last week’s storm. Now that I’m off of crutches, I felt like I could brave it. The roads weren’t too bad, and I made it to preschool and then my office without a problem.

That is, until I discovered I left my laptop at home.

Argh. I am completely useless at work without a computer, so instead of being one of the few brave souls at the office, I got back in the car and drove home. After an hour of driving around town in a blizzard, I look like one of those wimpy people afraid to drive to work.

Oh well.

Can you guess where my hubby is? Yup, enjoying yet ANOTHER powder day. Lucky bastard!

I Ain’t No Tiger Woods, Mister

25 Feb

Those geriatric patients at physical therapy sure are chatty. Today, a man nursing a shoulder injury started a conversation with me by trying to guess my injury.

“Ankle?” He said. What a way to start a conversation.

“Knee.” I responded. Then, he said he used to read MRIs, and started guessing which ligaments I tore. It was like low budget Jeapordy. After he gave up guessing and I told him my diagnosis, he had to start guessing how I injured myself.

“Skiing?” He asked. Well, yes. People in this area think they are regular 007 detectives when they guess it was a skiing injury. Yes, people, I live 15 minutes from a ski area, it’s the middle of winter, so YES, it was a ski injury! He went on to tell me how dangerous skiing was. Then, he says, “well, you’ll never ski again!”

“Oh, yes, I will!” I retorted. If I didn’t plan to ski again, I wouldn’t be planning a surgery.

“Oh, well, you’ll only be able to ski Green runs.” He told me. I told him I would be back skiing whatever I choose. He then started to lecture me on how you’ll never get back to where you were, I mean look at Tiger Woods. And it isn’t smart to plan to go back to my old ways.

I should have pointed him to the poster of Jillian Vogtli on the wall behind him… An Olympic skier who has had two ACL knee surgeries, and continues to complete in moguls. Take that! Maybe I’ll just get me a fancy brace like she has.

I think I need to start wearing headphones during PT, as I really don’t need to be entertaining such commentary from the peanut gallery.

And for his information, I think I’m safer on double diamond runs. I skied those all winter, and it was a damn Green run that took me out. So from here on out, I think perhaps it should be all double diamonds, thankyouverymuch.

Seriously?!

24 Feb

Yesterday, after PT, I was walking down the hall at work in my workout clothes. A coworker who knows darn well the extent of my injury said, “did you go running at lunch?”

I was so dumbfounded by that remark that I didn’t quite know how to respond. I can’t walk down the hallway without limping like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but yes, I ran a 10K at lunch!

Physical Torture Has Begun

24 Feb

I started PT last week. The last time I injured my knee, I remember calling it Physical Torture, and yup, it still sucks big time.

My workouts have changed from Bootcamp at the gym to hanging out with a bunch of geriatrics, swapping our injuries and surgery dates like dance cards. Fun times. I wish that pain burned calories, because then I’d be burning a boatload.

The good news is that in one week of PT, I have made a ton of progress. I’m off the crutches, off the knee brace, and walking around pretty well, though with a significant limp. (Note to the co-worker that made fun of my limp yesterday, that does not earn you brownie points.)

It’s really good to be more mobile. I can care for my kids more. I can go upstairs and help with the bedtime routine. I can pick up my baby and carry him around. I missed those things so much. But it is a bittersweet victory, as I’ll be having my surgery next month, and will be back where I started. Back on crutches. Back to ground zero of PT.

Every appointment, my therapist tells me this is going to be a long, painful road. Good thing he has a nice, boyish face, as he forces my knee straight and pushes and pulls on it while I cringe. I don’t hate him. Yet. Ask me again in like 3 months.

More snow is coming. I find the snow very depressing now, as everyone I know gets so excited and goes to play in it on the ski slopes, while I’m stuck inside. I tried taking the kids out in the snow on Saturday (while JB was on an 11 hour field trip to Kirkwood), and that lasted about 10 minutes. Little Miss held her brother’s hand, dragged him through the snow, and I stood on the porch step trying to oversee the process.

Stay away from the pond. AWAY from the pond. GET AWAY FROM THE POND RIGHT NOW!

On Friday, I got a lecture from my physical therapist about how I wasn’t doing my exercises enough. I looked at him in disbelief, thinking I was over achieving by doing all my exercises twice a day. Oh, no, he wants me to do them four times a day. Exercises that take at least 30 minutes to do through once.

I’m doing what I can. Plain and simple. If I can’t fit in 2 hours of PT at home each day, well then, my recovery will just take a bit longer.

So, that is the update from my own Gimp Central. If you see me, compliment me on being off crutches. If you make fun of my limp, you could get hurt!

Pity Party at My House

17 Feb

After 1.5 months of no snow, it is dumping here. My Facebook account is lit up with ski areas and friends talking about how awesome it is to have feet of new snow, with more and more snow coming through the weekend.

In contrast to most winters, all this snow makes me sad. It means I can’t really go outside, and I’ll be left all alone with the kiddos this weekend as the hubby goes up to play in it.

*sniff*

In fact, I’m seriously thinking about working from home tomorrow… The below would be in addition to the 4 inches we already have at our house.

From Weather.com:
… WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 4 PM PST FRIDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RENO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 4 PM PST FRIDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* TIMING: SNOW WILL BECOME WIDESPREAD AGAIN BY THIS AFTERNOON AND BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES OVERNIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 5 TO 10 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE ABOVE 5000 FEET. HIGHEST AMOUNTS WILL BE SOUTH OF RENO.

* SNOW LEVELS: RISING TO NEAR 4500 FEET FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS: PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW WILL CAUSE MAJOR IMPACTS TO THE FRIDAY MORNING COMMUTE. HEAVY SNOW WILL CAUSE DANGEROUS DRIVING CONDITIONS FOR LOCAL ROADS AND HIGHWAYS… INCLUDING INTERSTATE 80 AND HIGHWAY 395.

Happy Birthday, Little Miss

17 Feb

My daughter turned five last week. I think this is going to be a really good age for her. She is as tall as an 8 year old, and as verbal as one as well. We went through a tough time for well over a year after Little Man was born, but I really think she is blossoming.

She is loving, and cares deeply about other people. She is funny, and loves to tell jokes and make funny faces. She plays with her brother really well, and she has overcome her fear of skiing and swimming.

My injury has forced her to grow up a bit faster, as she now has to help a lot more with chores, like dinner, laundry, cleaning up, etc. But she has done them without complaining for the most part, and I think this will help her develop a good work ethic young.

For her birthday, I got off work a bit early and took her to a cupcakery, where I was proud when she stopped eating her cupcake halfway because her tummy was full. We then picked up her grandparents from the airport, and had a family party for her that evening, complete with gifts and singing. The only downer was her 1.5 hour coughing fit, experienced right as I was about to paint her nails with some new nail polish she received as a gift. As the coughing fit started, somehow the cap came off the nail polish, and next thing I knew, we had purple nail polish on my leather recliner and on her new dress. Gah! Call the haz-mat team!

Anyway, her birthday party was this past Saturday at a pool. The kids stayed in the toddler pool for the most part, except when my brother took Little Miss and her cousins into the big pool and helped them go off the diving board. I still have delusions of getting her in swim team this summer, but she’s still far from being able to swim across the pool.

I can’t believe I have been a mother for five years. She has taught me how to love deeper than I’ve ever known, and forced me to grow in ways I could have never imagined. I love you, little girl. I look forward to many more birthdays with you.

Here is a picture of her with her cousin at the party (she’s the one with goggles on, because we are swimming nerds in our family.)

More Than I Can Handle?

14 Feb

People say God won’t give you more than you can handle. Today, I feel like He is testing that theory.

Rewind 3 weeks. I feel like as a working mother of two, I can’t fit more into a day, and that I’m barely keeping my head above water.

Then, I do the world’s most un-dramatic fall on a beginner hill in the snowplow, and bust two ligaments in my leg. So yeah, the past 3 weeks have kind of sucked.

Last week was Little Miss’ birthday. She mananged to get a cold, and had a coughing fit that lasted 1.5 hours on her birthday, leaving her in tears and utterley exhausted while her gimpy Mama decided whether or not to take her to the ER at 9pm.

Luckily, she was better for her birthday party, which was at a pool, and can I tell you how sad I was to not be able to get in the water with her?

Sunday, I got a day of rest. My in-laws are here, and have been an absolute God-send. I may have been driven over the edge if it were not for their well timed visit. Yesterday, I slept in until 9 (something I had’t done for years), and then after breakfast, I went to the gym, and then got a pedicure (as I can’t reach my toes). I then got to read in the afternoon and take a nap. HEAVEN. I was recharged. I was feeling great.

Until 4:30am when there was a knock on my door. Little Miss wasn’t feeling well. I lay with her on the couch for an hour as she writhed in pain from a tummy-ache, and then held her as she puked. That’s right, the stomach flu is back, a mere 3 weeks after our last incident with it.

So then I get to work, and there is this crazy gale force wind here today. It was blowing so hard that the wind kept blowing the car door shut on me as I tried to get out with my bags ad my crutches. The wind practically blew me over as I hobbled into the office.

At lunch, I had my first physical therapy appointment, where I got poor directions, and managed to tour the entire second floor of the hospital that is apparently next door to the building where I was supposed to be, all while carrying my gym bag and on crutches. I tried to call for better directions, but evidently you can’t get a connection inside a hospital.

So, Big Guy, I say Mercy. Uncle. Can I catch a break? I really don’t need the stomach flu myself, as come on — I can’t even kneel at the toilet!!!

*deep sigh*

OK, I’ve purged my frustrations. Now let’s focus on what I’m thankful for today, so that you don’t think I’m just a whiny, self pitying you know what.

I am thankful for (in no particular order)…

The love my family has shown me recently. They have truly held me up.
For the family that took Little Miss to school and picked her up for a whole week while I was laid up.
For a new doctor with a much better treatment plan.
For Amber, who has reached across the miles to support me.
For my dear friend Annie, who has made me dinner, brought me lunch, and offered all kinds of help and support.
For my in-laws, who have taken so much off my plate these past 4 days, and helped me throw a 5 year old’s birthday party.
For my brother, who took my daughter to the “big pool” and helped her go off the diving board while I watched from the deck at her party and my hubby swam with our little boy.
For my parents, who have called me almost daily since this incident occurred.
For my sister-in-law Audra, who took me to the hospital that fateful day, and helped watch my children once my hubby showed up.
For my sister-in-law Jane, who has given me insight based off of her own injury, and helped me keep things in perspective.
For the friend who called the day after my surgery offering me doctors referrals.
For Little Miss, who has had to grow up way too fast these past 3 weeks as she became my little helper.
And for my Valentine hubby, I’m thankful for all the extra things he took on when I suddnely couldn’t do many every day tasks.

And with that, I must carry on with my day.

My Injury

9 Feb

A co-worker sent me the following image, which helped me understand exactly what I tore in my knee. Check out the image below. I have a grade 3 (i.e. worst possible) tear of the MCL, and a complete tear and femoral detachment of the ACL.

Another Inspirational Mother

9 Feb

I’m getting more mobile every day, and keeping my thoughts on my own personal inspirations right now.  Today’s inspiration is Stephanie Nielsen of the Nie Nie Dialogues.  She and her husband were severely burned in a plane crash in 2008, and I’ve been following her blog ever since, in awe of her attitude and faith as she dealt with recovering from such serious burns while mothering her four children. 

Here is a video of her story.

More Inspiration

8 Feb

Whenever I find myself getting frustrated lately with my new temporary disability, I’ve been trying to think of inspirational people that tackled odds much greater than mine. When I worked for General Motors, I had the priviledge to focus on marketing that targeted the Disability community. We partnered with iCan.com, whose CEO was Heidi Van Arnem.

This was Heidi at the Woodward Dream Cruise with a Corvette we logoed with iCan.

 

Here is an article on Heidi. I have been thinking of her a lot recently, and how she managed to fight for better accessibility for people with disabilities while keeping a smile on her face, despite being a quadraplegic.

THE STRENGTH OF SPIRIT (from techdivas.com)

It was a cold and cloudy March day, the kind of day in Michigan when it seems like the world can’t decide if it’s winter or spring.

Heidi Van Arnem was 16 on that day. Popular and athletic, she lived with her art-teacher mother and her businessman father in a house in a suburb of Detroit that seemed to be perpetually filled with a kind of creative energy.

Her father was a visionary when it came to business. In the late ’60s, he founded a computer leasing company and went on to start several more companies.

In 1979, he produced the comedy “Love at First Bite” starring George Hamilton and Susan St. James and helped start the Detroit Express, one of the nation’s first professional soccer teams.

Her mom devoted her life to her four kids.

The family took trips to Florida, played sports and sailed every chance they got. It was an idyllic life.

But after that spring day, nothing would ever be the same again.

Van Arnem remembers how she went over to a friend’s house to visit. Her friend wasn’t home but she found her friend’s brother sitting in his room with a gun across his lap.

She remembers how he picked up the gun and pointed it at her as a joke. How he pulled the trigger.

“He didn’t know the gun was loaded,” says Van Arnem simply.

The bullet went through Van Arnem’s neck, severing her spinal cord.

“I felt like I had been electrocuted,” says Van Arnem. “My legs just gave out and I was lying there and it felt like I wasn’t breathing.

“At first, I had no idea you could be paralyzed in your arms,” says Van Arnem, who had only heard of people whose legs were paralyzed.

But she found herself in a hospital bed, connected to tubes and machines, unable to move anything below her shoulders.

It’s what doctors call a “complete” injury.

Says Van Arnem: “I felt like my world ended.”

It took five years for Van Arnem’s body to stabilize and years for her to come to terms with what a loaded gun had done to her life.

But Van Arnem used that time to develop a strength of spirit that she is now passing on to others.

Van Arnem is founder and CEO of iCan, an online community that provides power, information and services to the 54 million people living with disabilities in the U.S. today.

Not only does Van Arnem see her company as a way to provide information and help on subjects like travel, relationships and employment for the disabled, but she believes it will become a powerful lobbying force as well.

Recently, she signed a multi-million-dollar relationship with the auto giant GM and has sponsorships from Microsoft and Kmart.

“For me,” Van Arnem says, “it’s a dream come true.”

Van Arnem sits on a black leather couch in the high ceilinged offices of iCan. She wears grey silk pinstriped slacks and a short-sleeved blue sweater. Her brown hair is shoulder length. Her voice is soft.

A lot of her survival, she says, came because her mom refused to let her give up.

Most people don’t realize the devastation a bullet can do when it slices through a spinal cord. It affects all the organs: the heart, the bladder, the bowels, the lungs.

“It truly affects every aspect of your life,” Van Arnem says. “Socially, mentally and physically. It took a long time to adjust.”

It would have been easy to use her disability as an excuse, Van Arm says. Easy to say that she didn’t feel good or that something was too hard for her to do. But Van Arnem’s family wouldn’t let her surrender to her injury – and neither would the survivor spirit of the young girl.

“A lot of people wait to feel better, wait for things to happen,” Van Arnem says. “It doesn’t work that way. If you wait to feel better, it just digs you deeper into a hole.”

Still, it was a struggle.

Unable to do even the most basic things for herself, Van Arnem saw the way people looked at her with pity and hated it. She felt like a burden and it seemed like her world was spinning out of control.

She remembers the days when she happened to see herself in the mirror as she got dressed for school.

“It was a painful moment to look at myself and I would just cry,” Van Arnem says.

The medicines Van Arnem had to take made her face swell, gave her acne and made her hair fall out. The girl that looked back at her from a bulky wheelchair was so different from the slim, active teen-ager Van Arnem had been before.

But Van Arnem’s mom wouldn’t let her daughter feel sorry for herself.

“She’d come down and say ‘you look good. Let’s go,'” Van Arnem says, and off they would head to school.

There was no time for pity.

And no time to question whether Van Arnem would continue on with her life – albeit a very different one.

With the help of aides, or often her mother, Van Arnem went to college.

“I needed someone with me all the time,” Van Arnem says. “At that time I wasn’t really stabilized. I could have a muscle spasm and spasm right out of my chair.”

Then gradually, she began to stop seeing the things she couldn’t do anymore and began to see the things she could do: that she could help other just the way she had been helped.

It was that connection and positive support of her family and friends that made the difference, Van Arnem says, and that’s that spirit behind her company.

“I think it’s all about connecting with other people and making people’s lives better,” Van Arnem says. “That’s true meaning of life.”

The seeds of iCan were planted while Van Arnem was in college.

There, Van Arnem began volunteering for non-profit organizations and noticed that a lot of the money being raised was going to pay for things like offices, advertising and halls.

So she started her own foundation dedicated to helping to find a cure for paralysis. She put on fund-raisers, but instead of renting halls and buying food, Van Arnem went out and asked people to donate those things.

The result was that much of the money she raised went directly to research. In 1998, her foundation gave $100,000 to the American Paralysis Association’s approved research at Yale University.

That same year, she started iCan.

“I saw an incredible need to have one place to find resources, products and services,” says Van Arnem, who had been writing a column for the disabled community at the Detroit News and running a travel business.

So she began the way many startup entrepreneurs do. She wrote a 40-page business plan and called a couple of investors in the New York area.

“They said ‘what’s your wire transfer number’ and it was that simple,” Van Arnem says. “I had money almost immediately.”

She began to assemble her team until she had 22 people on staff – web designers, editors, assistants.

“We have a team of the most dedicated, passionate, experienced people in the country,” Van Arnem says against a backdrop of ringing phones at iCan’s headquarters in Birmingham, Mich.

Bob Harvey, founder of Appnet, came on board as the chief operations officer and iCan will soon begin making the rounds of venture capitalists for funding.

Van Arnem believes that not only will iCan “bring a perspective of hope and a perspective of achievement and of great possibilities for people” but it will give a powerful voice to a community that has been forced to whisper for too long.

With its strategic partnerships, Van Arnem believes iCan will be able to put power into the hands of people with disabilities for positive change.

“We will be part of that changing mechanism,” she says.

Van Arnem puts in long hours, pushing herself as far as her body will allow, because she believes so strongly in what she is doing.

When she isn’t working, she loves to go to dinner with friends and to travel. She still loves the water and you can find her watching football, basketball and hockey whenever she gets the chance.

She also makes time for the spiritual side of herself, a faith in God that has sustained her through good and bad times.

Prayer, she says, is a big part of her life.

“I think it has given me the strength and ability to recognize God’s work around me, and the ability to trust in the future and to be a better person,” she says.

She also believes in the power of forgiveness.

Two days after she had been shot, Van Arnem called her friend’s brother, the boy who had shot her and changed her life forever.

She only had one thing to say to him.

“I told him I forgave him,” she says.

A FEW MORE MINUTES WITH HEIDI VAN ARNEM:

What lessons have you learned that would be valuable to women beginning their careers in technology?

VAN ARNEM: To network as much as possible and to write a solid business plan. Make sure you get constructive criticism that validates your market, business concept and revenue streams. Hire people that are smarter than you and will look out for your best interests.

If you could have dinner with any two people, living or not, who would they be?

VAN ARNEM: First it would be Jesus, because he has the answers. And then, Oprah, for her ability to direct an audience and effect significant change.

What’s your favorite quote?

VAN ARNEM: Never let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can.

What’s your definition of success?

VAN ARNEM: Overcoming adversities and making the best of situations every day.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

7 Feb

This weekend, while trying to deliver Little Man’s lunch to him, I twisted my ankle on my bad leg. Didn’t think much of it (as I’m not walking on it anyway) until today when I was changing clothes. My ankle is swollen to twice it’s size.

And my shoulder is smarting from all of the strain of the crutches.

Perhaps it is time to put this old horse out to pasture.

The Fun Continues

5 Feb

Today’s fun was getting a shoulder MRI. My shoulder has been bothering me for months, and I kept meaning to go to an orthopedist to determine the problem. The knee injury just forced that issue. I figure if I’m going to be doing physical therapy, I can deal with the shoulder at the same time.

I was told they had to inject dye into my shoulder. I pictured this like getting a shot. Oh, no… They had to numb up my shoulder, then use an Xray to guide them, and stick the needle all the way into the joint socket and TOUCH THE BONE with the needle. Yeah, not pleasant at all.

After spending the morning getting that MRI, I headed to the gym. I wore my heartrate monitor so that I could see how many calories I was burning in my limited workouts. I gave that arm bike one heck of an effort, and after lifting weights, my calorie burn was up to 790. I had assumed it would be around 200 calories, so I was very pleased. Perhaps I won’t get completely out of shape afterall! I’m going to have some ripped arms after all of this!

One Crutch in Front of the Other

4 Feb

After two weeks of working from home, I’m back in the office. I definitely miss my cozy Lazy Boy, which has been my work station. I had to come in to give a presentation, which meant getting dressed professional, and presenting on one leg (one shaking leg, and I was hoping I wouldn’t teter over).

The presentation went well. Perhaps everyone was smiling out of sympathy. Back at my desk, I managed to rearrange my desk furniture so that I could elevate my leg, though it definitely isn’t very comfortable. I’ve had two main challenges today:

1. I had no idea how many doors my office building has. Just going to the restroom is an exhausting feat that makes me open multiple doors. I’m really surprised the building doesn’t have doors that open automatically for people with disabilities.
2. Answering the question of “what happened” about 100 times today. I’m still pretty emotionally raw about it all, and telling people what happened over and over and over gets tiresome. I had to fight back tears a few times.

Other than that, things are trucking along. Would you believe that my main project at work right now is planning our sponsorship of a ski event?! Kind of depressing to be talking about skiing all day, knowing I can’t partake for another 2 years.

Boo!

Rocking the Arm Bike

2 Feb

I started going to the gym again on Sunday, and I’ve been going every day since. It feels great! When I first told JB I wanted to go to the gym, he looked at me like I was crazy.

“What are YOU going to do at the gym?!” he asked. My answer was, “be creative.”

I start off with the arm bike, a machine JB and I used to make fun of, but it is now priceless for me. I have a whole new respect for paraplegic athletes that use bikes powered by their arms! After I’m sick of the arm bike, I move on to about 10 different weight machines. I’ve managed to get a pretty good upper body workout, and I’ve found some leg machines I can use one legged to keep my good leg strong.

I swear I am addicted to endorphines. I feel SO much better after a trip to the gym. My body just hurt after sitting still for so long.

I sent the gym an email asking if they thought I could do Pilates one legged. I bet there answer is “no, you crazy gimpy girl”, but not necessarily in those words.

Back to the grindstone. I’m very thankful for a job that enables me to work from my Lazy Boy at home, but not looking forward to having to go in to the office tomorrow to make a presentation.

Oh, and I didn’t mention that there were two men waiting on me to finish the arm bike so that they could use it. I had NO idea that machine was in such demand!

Becoming a Mother Warrior

2 Feb

I went to the doctor yesterday for the results of my MRI.

Diagnosis:Multi-ligamentous injury wit a complete tear of the ACL from its femoral insertion. There is also a complete, grade 3 tear of the MCL from its femoral insertion.

Translation:Bad. Really bad. Complete tear of two ligaments. Two ligaments that require two completetly different treatments and rehabilitation.

Treatment:4 more weeks of immobilization follwed by physical therapy for the MCL
Once I regain range of motion, we will do ACL surgery

Activity Restrictions:No swimming until MCL is healed (2-3 months)
After ACL surgery, no swimming for 3-4 months, no running for 4 months (if I’m aggressive), no skiing for 9 months

Translation:No skiing for me until winter of 2012-2013

My reaction:I am so sad. I’ve had most of the sports I love taken from me for quite a while. The doctor says “I have a lot of work in front of me”, but to me, it sounds like a lot of restriction and a lot of getting grossly out of shape. My initial thought is that I’ll wait to do the ACL surgery until Sept-Oct, because I can’t bear the idea of an entire summer without swimming. At this point, I have to choose if it’s a summer without swimming, or another full winter without skiing.

I am giving myself time to mourn, but also am counting my blessings. Every day, I remember how I dreamed of being married and a mother to two children, and there were so many days I feared that dream wouldn’t come true. So yes, this isn’t as I imagined it, but I think this might be God’s answer to one of my recent recurring prayers, where I asked for more time with my children. This is one way to force the issue. Now I just have to get creative with what we can do, as many of our normal activities are now not possible.

I saw a mother on Oprah a while back, and I keep thinking about her as I deal with my newfound disability. She developed a bacterial infection after a C-section which caused her to lose her arms and her legs. Yet, through it all, she has figured out how to be a positive Mother who manages to figure out how to do the everyday tasks of Motherhood without any limbs. So if she can do it without limbs, I know I can do it with a bad leg, and I will do it with a smile, because no matter what happens to this body of mine, I’m glad to be alive and the mother to two amazing children. Read the story of Oprah’s Mother Warrior.