Major Milestone

Well, it’s all said and done; I finished my very first 5K.

Last weekend I went back down to West Palm Beach and spent a little time in another place I like to call hOMe. Let me tell you, it felt so good to be back. My friends there are more like family and the city in general just makes me feel happy and safe.

One of Dr. Paley’s physician assistants John. He is one of the reasons I’m seeking my master’s degree as a PA.

 A year ago that very same weekend was when I found out that I had to have the rush rod placed in my right leg, it seems like forever. This time there was no rod, no cast and no standing on the sidelines. In the company of fellow patients, parents and PALLI staff I completed my first 3.1 miles on my strong little legs. They even allowed me to jog the last 1/4 mile. That was HUGE, a major milestone πŸ™‚

The day after The Paley Foundation 5K I had my (final) annual check-up with Dr. Paley. After nearly 5 different sets of x-rays and a whole lot of paper work, Dr. Paley and friends came into the exam room to chat. He looked at me and told me what I already knew: my left leg is stellar – no pain, perfect alignment. The right side, however, not the case. Due to the knee realignment it has now exacerbated the fact that my ankle is not in alignment. This issue stems way back to my first tibia/fibula lengthening when a doctor in MA made adjustments to my cast without our consent. (Don’t even get me started) As we continued our conversation about the matter Dr. Paley explained that the posing problem should be taken care of at some point in order to prevent possible arthritis. Obviously, the sooner the better. This girl isn’t getting any younger!

Maybe I didn’t leave WPB with a perfectly clean bill of health but my hopes and dreams haven’t gone anywhere. If anything, they have become more concrete. On my trip, I was reminded of how truly incredible the team at the Paley Advanced Limb Lengthening Institute really is. Some of the kids who travel down to WPB have no hope of walking until they see Dr. Paley. It just makes me realize how lucky I was to find him back in 1997.

With another pending surgery hanging over my head, I have two choices: to panic, feel sad and angry and let it stomp all over me or to take it as another one of life’s little challenges and accept it with a ‘Can Do’ attitude. After a personal pity party I chose the latter – if I got through the past fifteen years worth of surgeries, I can do one more. But that’s it! I’m drawing the line there.

On my way back to Charleston, after my pity party and realization, I had to stop for gas and a pee break. While walking out of the convenience store a man who was obviously admiring my scars from afar stopped me, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” He then left me with a smile and we parted ways. Touche sir, touche.

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