Life Lately

For your reading pleasure: Some updates on life lately.

Laughter is important. I feel better about life and current circumstances with a little added humor. So, here you go.

The past few mornings I have woken up and upon looking in the mirror, nearly collapsed. Residing under my eyes are the biggest, darkest circles I have EVER seen. EVER [insert emphatic hand gestures here] !!! It’s fair to say that my face just looks frightening.

Have you ever watched The Emperor’s New Groove? No? It’s a goody and it’s on Netflix. I highly recommend it. Anyway, Yzma is the Emperor’s advisor and she is a mirror image of what I see when I am finally able to drag myself from the entanglement of sheets in the morning after snoozing my alarm 4 too many times. Shocking.

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Behold, my reflection.

You have to agree with me that if you looked into the mirror and this face was staring back at you, you’d be knocked off your rocker too. As much as I want to blame the time change… I cannot, not fully anyway. Although, I will say that this ‘spring forward’ has hit harder than most in the past. Anyone else? Sheesh. I’d like that hour back, please.

The excitement continues for these little legs. So badly I want to announce to the world that I feel amazing, have no pain and am walking unassisted, etc. But alas, I cannot. The opposite is actually true. My pain levels have been progressively worsening over the past month or so. A CT scan, revealed that there is more compression in my lower spine and my fibula still has not healed, after 6 months… SIX! Ridiculous.  So, on April 7 I will be back in the operating room for rod insertion in my fibula and decompression in my lumbar spine with possible fusion to my sacrum.

Everyone’s initial reaction is to apologize. You don’t have to say sorry. I’m ok. I’m still on my own two feet and I’m not paralyzed. Here’s how I see it:

My fibula has to be stabilized. Walking is just hard and I am over having to use a crutch. With increased pain levels, day to day tasks are frustrating to the point where giving up seems like a better option. Even driving has become arduous. Any longer than two hours in the car and I’m toast. Obviously the situation isn’t ideal and I can’t go on like this. What is becoming more and more apparent to me is that this is part of the aging process with the body I have been gifted. Now, it is a matter of accepting and surrendering to my design. Resisting the situation just makes it that much more painful.

So, we have a plan. When we went over the CT scan, Dr. Feldman also stressed that he would like me to see a psychologist. With everything that has transpired since last April, he is concerned about anxiety and depression and possibly the onset of PTSD. It makes total sense to me and I have been battling with my insurance company to try and find someone to talk to who is in network. These dingbats at Sunshine Health, I swear… everyone is a few cards shy of a full deck. After going through several lists of names of providers that they gave me, the numbers were either disconnected or the doctor no longer accepted my insurance. When I finally found a mental health specialist and made an appointment, they gave me the wrong address and I was 20 minutes late to my appointment. Get it together, people.

So now I wait. The name of the game is pain management. Thankfully I am allowed an occasional Aleve at night. Paired with the nerve blockers, that can buy me some sleep. I’ve been soaking up some Vitamin D and swimming. The greatest analgesic of all is connecting with people here. Friends and other patients who have become family. The Paley Institute family keeps my heart full and allows my soul to be understood. With this group, anything… everything is possible.

Positive thinking must be met with positive doing. At the end of the day, life happens. Just because I’m physically uncomfortable doesn’t mean I’m going to sit back and let life pass by. My purpose is to experience it. All of it. And I choose to turn it into something wonderful. Laughter, connection and love. What else is there to do?

Some of my favorites preparing for a rowdy game of Spot It.

Raising money for The Paley Foundation at the Vintage Motorcycle Festival

Dinner downtown with two wonderful families.

These kiddos have my heart.

It’s important to have people in your life who understand everything you’re going through. Too short of a reunion over guac and margaritas.

Humor is everything.

These girls. The little sisters I never had.
I’m giving everything to healing myself. Some days it’s physically going and doing something with other people. Other days it’s doing nothing and taking care of myself. No matter what the day holds, I grow from it. Where I am, right now, it’s meant to be. I’m open to the discoveries. The journey. I’m not afraid of what I don’t know.

Back in May, it seemed like a solitary fix. And with each passing month my body has required more attention. It’s been a bit of a burden for everyone; me, my surgeon, my family – we are all in it together.

Connection is important. It’s empowering to be connected to every part of myself and to others. Both the kids and adults here in FL continue to help me readjust my perspective and stay grounded.

Ari. My brave and equally sassy partner in crime.

This woman is my saving grace. Far more than a physical therapist – she’s a confidant and friend and has been with me since day 1.

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Celebrating Vera, one of our favorite PAs, birthday with unicorns and glitter.

Even though I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, I know how to laugh and to live. Right now, that’s all I need.

Love.

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