PA Jennifer, me, PT Emily and Jennifer
Servando and I

Whew. What a crazy past few days. Sunday Mom and I flew out of Boston down to West Palm Beach. Our flight was at 9 and we arrived into a very warm and sunny Florida around 12:15. After renting a car we drove to my very familiar home away from home at the Homewood Suites. It was so good to see some familiar faces. Our room wasn’t ready yet so we hopped back in the car and ventured out to find some lunch. Back in May, Kim (one of Dr. Paley’s PAs) took me to dinner at Relish. They have the BEST milkshakes ever, so mom and I went there. Something about being back in WPB was very calming to me. I felt safe and knew that things were going to turn out ok. After lunch we decided to take a little drive to Riviera Beach. Caroline and Kim had both mentioned a cookout that was being put on by the Paley Kids Network. How fun πŸ™‚ Patients and hospital staff were there and I was so excited to see everyone. A lot of them feel more like family. Dr. Paley even took a moment to chat. He expressed his concern about my right leg not healing very quickly and said that he would potentially put a grafting material in the fracture site to move things along. Once in the OR he would see what the x-rays showed. That was a sigh of relief. Mom really wanted to go swimming so we treked down to the beach. The waves were a little crazy so I decided it was best for me to remain up on the beach. Needless to say, I wanted to go into surgery for a removal not an unexpected repair, so I was not going to take any chances. After a few hours of visiting we decided to head out and get ready for dinner.

Rachel and I go back a couple of years. She was my nurse after my knee surgery two years ago. We befriended each other and have kept in touch since. Mom and I met up with her at Tiki Bar for dinner. So much fun. Great conversation and some good laughs. Perfect to keep my mind off of surgery. Unfortunately my left leg had other plans and decided to plague me with pain so we had to call it a night.

The next morning we headed out for St. Mary’s. Word on the street was that it was going to be a crazy day. Then again, when wasn’t it a crazy day at PALLI? My leg was killing me so as soon as they had a bed available in the pre-op area, I was called back. Rather than having my mom sit for hours waiting I insisted that she go back to the hotel and relax. They would call her when I was ready to go back. Jeanne was my nurse and she did a wonderful job putting my IV in and making me comfortable. After getting some happy meds, I was on cloud nine and ready for anything. Dr. James, the anesthesiologist, came over to chat and gave the usual rundown. Kim did some last minute paperwork and made sure Dr. Paley knew which fixator was coming off by marking my leg. This was it, my pain was finally going to come to an end in my left leg. Whooohooo!

The next thing I remember was waking up and feeling very tired. But I looked down and sure enough the frame was gone. Yessssssss. My leg was wrapped in gauze and didn’t even look like it belonged to me. So skinny. Gradually I woke up and managed to get a graham cracker down. Mark came and put a removable cast on and the doc said that I could weight bare as tolerated. Since the removal was only an outpatient procedure they booted me out of recovery and back to the hotel. Honestly, it was a piece of cake. I have never been so calm about going in for surgery in my life but something told me that this was going to make things better. Let me tell you, I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.  Since I was still exhausted after surgery, Mom stopped at Cracker Barrel and got me some mashed potatoes, mac and cheese and veggies to eat. Comfort food at its finest. Once back at the hotel, I hit that bed so hard. After dinner, we went for a little drive down A1A. On the way I picked out my future stomping grounds, complete with beach side cabana and Bentley parked out front. (Your housewarming invite is coming soon) Mom and I drove to a cute little marina and enjoyed an ice cream before heading back to Homewood Suites.

God, I love this place.

The next morning I woke up feeling so rested, something I hadn’t experienced in over five months. We went back into the hospital so that I could get a dressing change and a new physical therapy prescription. Servando gave us directions to a place to get lunch in Jupiter, it was delish. Luckily, my memory is outstanding so I managed to get mom and I to the turtle sanctuary since she had never been there. After our little rendezvous we had ourselves a little cat nap at the hotel before heading to my favorite downtown dinner spot, Rocco’s Tacos. Following dinner we decided to head up A1A the other direction and we found ourselves on Peanut Island. As the night came to a close I couldn’t help but feel sad. We were scheduled to fly out the next morning.

Hangin’ with some turtles πŸ˜‰

It was a whirlwind trip. As I sat in the WPB airport I couldn’t help but cry. No worries though, I will be back in a month for removal of the last frame and then FREEDOM.

Thank you to everyone for the prayers and well wishes. It means the world.


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