Every day I wake up and remember the day that changed my life. I still cannot believe how less than ten-seconds changed everything for my family and for me that sunny November day. The day started out normal as normal can be but by the afternoon my normal life was going to be a distant memory. At a business lunch meeting at the Yardhouse, eating great food and finishing with apple pie and ice-cream when I just had to go to the bathroom. Only because I knew I would be on the road for a while plus knowing I would be sitting in traffic most of the way home. On my way to the restroom, just walking only a short distance, I slipped on the floor. I wish I could have seen my reaction. I knew I looked like the biggest idiot but when I tried to get up, I could not. A patron one booth up turned around and asked if I was okay and I said I look like an idiot and I cannot get up, she was my saving grace, she called 911.
Next thing I knew I was being taken to the hospital, x-rays, doctors and specialists; oh, I finally did get to go the bathroom and then I heard, the dreadful words, SHATTERED! What was shattered? What did that mean? I was smart. I knew. I just could not believe it; really I did not want to believe it. Shattered was my patella, my knee cap. I just wanted to go home to my family. Impossible! It was the beginning of my ten-second nightmare.
Next morning I was scheduled for an emergency surgery, I was told it should be a piece of cake. Well that was not really what happened. Five days in the hospital for an in and out procedure and one problem after the other along with the numerous doctor’s visits, physical therapy appointments, specialists, many surgeries, let alone I could not walk without assistance or drive at all, diagnosis, CRPS or RSD - www.rsds.org. What? Before this incident, I was healthy except for maybe a cold here or there. I was married, athletic, independent, head-strong, organized, successful women with three beautiful healthy children; I just wanted to have my old "normal" life back. What do you mean I will walk with assistance and have a medical condition that will now affect my life forever? There were so many unanswered questions. What does normal mean? Why did this happen to me? Why did my knee not heal correctly? What did I do to deserve this? What did my family do? I could go on and on.....but really?
Okay, I refer to this setback as to being dropped in a middle of a corn field and trying to find my way out blind folded. As this day passes each year, time really does not heal; it just helps heal the emotional wounds. My ten second moment happened November 19, 2004, almost 7 years ago. On the anniversary, I have cried every year, maybe one year I will not but somehow, the memory of the day is not the best. It happens to be an anniversary of a family member; therefore, a sad constant reminder. However, I made a radical decision one day after spending Mother’s Day weekend in bed and receiving a drawing from my then 6 year old son, which portrayed us lying in bed together watching TV. A far cry of the other drawings he used to draw of us playing in the park. From that moment, I decided not to let my disability run my life. I made a decision to let my disability be a part of my life.
My ritual became, every morning before getting out of bed I tell myself smile no matter what. No matter how bad the pain is. Be thankful for the many blessings I have. One day there will be a cure, give back as much as possible. Life is a gift and precious moments need to be cherished. Indulge in my weakness of Black Licorice, mix in Red Licorice and do not forget the Gummy Bears. We only live once, love each day and be thankful for God, my family, our friends and the Angels watching over me.
Until the next time....Make it a Great Day!