Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mark the Year

Well it’s been nearly five months since I have posted on here so I’m sure I am just doing this for myself, as everybody has probably stopped checking this blog months ago.

I know that blog’s are boring without pictures but I can’t think of an appropriate picture to post today.

Today is August 4th 2010, the one year anniversary of my accident. It has been a year of pain and trials and healing, of changes and learning and humbling, all of which I am thankful for or know I will be thankful for some day.

Physically I am doing as well or better than can be expected. I have been going back to the gym on a regular basis, as regular as I had been before my accident, which is three weeks committed and two weeks too busy to make it. I feel like my strength is 85% of my former self but improving week by week, on my three committed weeks at least.
My physical pain has been at a very low consistent level for months now. It’s one of those things that fades so gradually that it would be impossible for me to actually mark on a calendar the milestones in the pain reduction. If I was any good at keeping a journal or updating a blog for that matter, I could go back and find the exact date of when I knew I was done taking pain killers and accepted the pain that I couldn’t avoid. That is definitely the biggest milestone in my mind.

As for my wounds themselves, everything with the exception of my right elbow is healing and looking really good, good being a relatively loose term. My doctors think that my skin is healing well and thought that I should try a trial period of not wearing the compression on my legs to see if the scars were mature and done raising. That was at my last appointment back in May. I went two days and felt like they were still raising or swelling, so I continue to wear the pants. As of the May appointment I also have switched from a one piece compression top to wearing new sleeves and a torso vest. I don’t have new vests, I just cut the arms off of my old one piece tops.
Everyone always asks how long I’ll have to continue wearing all of the compression garments and the only answer I can give them is, as long as it takes. I do go through short periods where I don’t wear my vest and pants, mostly determined by how hot the day is going to be. But my sleeves will be a fixture of my wardrobe for quite a while longer as my arms were injured the worst. My mask is the same, I’ll just keep wearing it until it feel like the right time. I just don’t want to have any regrets in 5 years when I am past the main part of this.

I know that I’ve never properly thanked my family and friends for all that they have done for me over the past year and that is because I don’t know how.
I can say Thank You every minute of every day for the rest of my life and still not feel right. The time and effort spent to come visit me in the hospital is alone something that I can never properly repay, and the visits and the prayers are the only things that kept me going when I so badly though I couldn’t go on any more.
The way my parents stepped up and became my nurses when I came to live with them after I was released from the hospital is something that few people could do, and they jumped in with both feet and did an amazing job and continue to do so.

Debbie and Andy took pictures and documented my time in the hospital and some of the time healing at my parents house, and compiled it all in a nice book for me. I started looking at it when they initially gave it to me but found out quickly that I wasn’t ready to see the images and revisit it all, and it still sits unopened waiting for the day I think I can handle the memories.

That brings up my the topic of my mental and emotional state on this anniversary day. I’ve had people telling me for weeks that I need to prepare for this day and for the emotions and memories it will probably bring. They keep reminding me that I should plan to take the day off work and plan something fun to distract myself. I just keep telling them and myself that I would be fine if they would just quit reminding me about it and let life go on normally.
Even as I sit here to type this I’ve had to pause a couple times to collect myself from the waves of emotion and memories that I have no control over. I’m not sure what the rest of the day or days following has in store for me.
I know that on Sunday I had a specific moment that started a series of flashbacks about my accident and the explosion itself that have been getting more frequent as today has drawn closer, but the specific emotions have been blurred together with the emotions that I have been dealing with from the other tragedy in my life.
As of two weeks ago I found myself changing my relationship status from Happy to Single and have been coping with the pain caused by the loss and loneliness.

I will forever feel guilty for being the one that put Catherine and her kids through the pain and heartache caused by my accident and adding to the list of tragedies in their lives. But I will always be grateful that they were there to help me get through it. And that is definitely an understatement!