Sunday, December 18, 2011

The worst is over.

Can't believe it's already been 10 days since my last post.

Man oh man, time sure does fly.

"Oh the weather outside is weather...."
Since my last surgery on the 2nd, it has been raining non stop! Don't get me wrong, I know that we really need the rain, but the changing of the weather and all the icky-ness, really hurts my legs. Everywhere that I have metal, the weather makes it feel like someone just hit me with a hammer. Not something that I enjoy. Luckily, it finally stopped raining and the weather is at a constant cold temperature, so the pain has semi gone away. Kinda makes me sad because I used to love the rain so much and now I just depise it. Damn the rain, right?

I finally had my doctors appointment on the 13th and got my stitches removed. And boy, did it feel good! There was one stitch that was poking me really bad and would start to poke my incision, causing it to bleed, every time I walked on it. I was miserable. Needless to say, I was more than thrilled when it came time to get them out.
I have to keep my straight leg knee brace on until my quads get stronger and then I can finally switch back to my bending knee brace. I should be off both knee braces in 6 months! Seems so far away but I can't wait until that day comes.

I started physical therapy again on the 14th. Back to the "beginning" one last time. Have to get this leg strong, bending and straightening properly! Getting my legs to bend has never been an issue, it's the straightening that's the hardest part. For some reason, my legs hate to be straight. Which is a slight problem. I'm trying my best to get them back to normal! And I'm back on the E-Stim machine, which I don't like but it really does help. And the pain isn't too bad, just an irritating feeling, if you know what I mean. I love going to physical therapy and instantly seeing results. Makes me feel very happy!

Other happy news, I won't be getting any new scars now that I won't be having anymore surgeries. 13 is the final number of scars. So glad there won't be more!

"There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with."
- Harry Crews


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Living. And I mean, really living.

Before my car accident, my life revolved around things that I thought I needed or needed to do. Not things that I wanted.

Working my ass off as a waitress, 7 days a week for 2 and a half years, some of those days also working double shifts, looking back now, it just doesn't seem worth it. So much time wasted. Precious time. Time that I'll never get back. Sure, I made a lot of money, but what good is having a lot of money if you're too tired to go and spend it on things that you really want? I always said that I was going to quit, just never actually brought myself to do it. Which is another reason that I think my car accident was a blessing in disguise. If I wouldn't have wrecked, I'd still be waitressing. I'd still be stuck in the miserable rut that I was in just a little over a year ago.

Now, I feel free. I feel like I can do anything that I want to.

I read an article today, The Top 5 Regrets In Life By Those About To Die, and it really got me thinking.... I don't want to ever go through life with regrets. When my time comes to leave this life, I want to look back and be proud of everything I did. I don't want to ever wonder "what if". I want to be happy and really live.

The first regret was the one that really stood out to me more than anything, "I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me." Growing up, I was always told that you have to go to college and get a degree to become successful and happy. This, to me, is wrong. Personally, I find school to be a huge waste of time and money. And no, I'm not trying to discourage anyone from going. If that's what you want to do, then by all means, do it. I would rather learn about things that I really want to learn about, rather than what someone has to teach me. I want to travel, craft, read, try new things, set goals and succeed in them, have adventures, etc. From now on, I only want to work enough to have enough money for my little adventures and what not. Anything and everything that makes me happy!

I want passion and pride in what I do, in everything I do. I want to wake up every morning, absolutely loving everything I do.
I want to matter.

 From now on, I am going to live my life the best I can. A happy life. One that I can be proud of in the end.

Are you living your life the way you really want to?


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's officially been a year.

For those of you that don't know,
I got in a car accident exactly one year ago today.

"Everything happens for a reason."

This past year has been crazy. I never imagined that something like this would ever happen to me but it has. I started off being very angry and upset. I couldn't understand why this had to happen to me. Now, I'm thankful. I'm so much happier and stronger now.

1 car accident.

1 ambulance ride.

1 emergency room visit.
(Which was absolutely terrible. They didn't do a very good job at anything and only made things worse.)

Minor injuries:
I had a few really bad seat belt burns; one on my neck, and then one on each side of my stomach. One of my rings that I was wearing, went through my elbow. And I had a bruised lung.

Serious injuries:
On my right leg; I broke my ankle in three places, shattered my fibula, broke my knee, tore my ACL, and tore my meniscus. On my left knee; I tore my ACL, PCL, LCL, MCL, and meniscus. Possibly some other things too. I'm not even entirely sure what all I've torn or broken. So this is what I understand from all of it.

4 surgeries.
First one was December 20th, 2010.
Second one was February 28th, 2011.
Third one was August 26th, 2011.
And my fourth, and LAST surgery was December 2nd, 2011.

I have over 17 screws and other metal objects in my legs now.

13 scars.
All various lengths and widths, between both legs.

Can't even tell you how long I spent in the hospital between the ER and all the surgeries.

1 wheelchair for 5 months.

1 walker for 1 month.

1 pair of crutches; 2 times for 1 month each.

1 ankle boot.

5 different knee braces.

It feels like I've been to a million doctor's appointments at Orthopedic Performance Institute. My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Phelps, is fantastic! He's taken really good care of my legs. All of my surgeries have gone really well and he's made all of this a lot easier for me. He's a big part of why I'm able to walk again. Can't thank him enough for all he's done. If you need any orthopedic surgeries done, I highly suggest going to him.

Most of my time has been spent doing physical therapy at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists in Stone Oak. Which has probably been my favorite part about all of this. My physical therapist: Jennifer Christie; the techs: Anessa, Carlos, and Quentin; the two awesome ladies at the front desk: Rebekah and Kathy; and all of the interns and other physical therapists that have helped me through all of this. They are the greatest people ever and they are the other big reason of why I'm able to walk. I seriously don't know what I would do without them. I can't even begin to know how to thank them for everything. I have so much love for every single one of them.

I love my family so much. They've been helping me through all of this so much. I would be no where without them. Wheeling me around, taking me to and from doctor's appointments and physical therapy, paying for my medical bills, etc. I'm so lucky to have a family that loves me as much as they do. They've had to put up with a lot of not-so-awesome things over this past year, and they just did everything without even thinking twice. How awesome is that? Even the really gross things, which I would mention, but more than a few of you would be seriously disturbed. I'll leave the icky things out. Just know, I have such an awesome and loving family.

I don't think that I thank my friends enough. For everything. Calling, texting, coming over, picking me up, taking me to lunch or dinner, bringing me flowers or other random little gifts, or anything else that they do. Just showing me that they care has been enough to get me through this. They are my second family. I think I have the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for. There has been the not-so-awesome times, but somehow, we've managed to get through them and our friendships have become greater. I would name names but I might forget one and then I would feel horrible. Just know that I love all of you. Very, very much. Y'all are the greatest!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

LAST surgery.

Yesterday was my last of 4 surgeries. My surgery was supposed to be a reconstruction to my left ACL & PCL. I was more nervous for this surgery than I have for any of the others. A part of me was scared that once I was under and my doctor was looking inside my knee, he'd find something else wrong. Luckily, that was not the case at all.

Before surgery:
I got to the hospital around 5:10am, which I thought was a little early because my surgery wasn't until 7:30am. Then I had to sign my life away, which sadly, I'm used to by now. Admitting didn't take too long because all of my information is already in the computer. Once all of that was taken care of, then took me to the pre-op room that I was assigned. I was kinda on edge already because it was really early, I was tired, and I was getting more and more scared as the time went on. Not to mention that my nurse had NO clue how to put in an IV in my hand. She stuck the needle in the vein in my hand and then wiggled it around, which left a huge knot in my hand. I was convinced that my day was not going to be a good one. Again, I was wrong. Another nurse came in and took over, and she was fantastic!

When my doctor came in and explained to me, again, what he was going to do, he said he might not have to do my PCL. I asked him how long it would be before I could put weight on my leg if he had to do both, my ACL & PCL, and he said 6 weeks. Which is so far away. If he only had to do my ACL, it would be 3 days. HUGE difference. I was praying the whole time that once he opened up my knee, my PCL would be a lot sturdier than he originally thought and he wouldn't have to fix it.

Finally, my anesthesiologist came in. That was the part I was most concerned about. The first two surgeries, the anesthesia didn't really have an effect on me after I woke up. But the surgery before this one, I was really sick. And the main reason I couldn't leave the hospital was because I was so sick. It made me absolutely miserable. So I asked him if there was any way that I could get some other form of anesthesia. He said that he would give me anti-nausea medicine before surgery and right afterwards. He also said that he would give me a nerve block in my leg so that it would be numb and I wouldn't need a bunch of norco's. Which I thought was a fantastic idea because I can't stand norco's. They make me really sick, too.

After surgery:
I woke up in recovery and to my surprise, I felt fantastic. No sickness at all. I was wide awake and very alert. My first concern was finding out if he had done my ACL & PCL or just my ACL. I asked the nurse, and she said he did both. My heart sank. Then she read over the anesthesiologist report and he had only written down that my ACL was done. So I was hopeful for good news. Then I saw my doctor, and he told me that once he got inside my knee, my PCL was intact and a lot stronger than he had thought. Therefore, he only reconstructed my ACL. This was the BEST news I could have ever gotten. I was so excited and giddy!

Then they wheeled my bed to the post-op room so that I could see my parents. And they were surprised at how awesome I felt and looked. They were really glad that I wasn't sick. The nurse said before I left, all I had to do was eat, drink, and pee. Simple enough, right? So, I ate a cup of jello and drank some apple juice. A normal person would have then got up to pee, but I wasn't ready to stand up and use my crutches just yet. So I decided to take a little nap. Looking back, I should have just got up, peed and then left. But oh well, right when I woke up, I got that over with and then finally got to leave the hospital.

When I got home, I even stuffed my face with some BBQ. Which was weird because usually after surgery, I only want soup and jello. But since I was feeling so great, I decided to go for the good stuff. It was so yummy. I couldn't even believe how much I ate. Then I went back to bed and took naps on and off.

Today, I'm not feeling as great as I did yesterday, but I'm still doing pretty good. Tomorrow, I get to take off all my bandage and clean my new wounds. I'm excited to see what they look like, too. And Monday, I get to put standing weight on my leg. I can't wait!

Also, 3 days until it's officially been a year since my car accident. Can't believe it's already almost been a year....