I am flying back from Atlanta today, and while I can't wait to recap my trip, today is a very important day. It is September 30th. On this date last year my life changed.
One year ago today, Michael and I had just gone to the State Fair of Texas. It was a perfect Fall, rainy day. After getting my fill of fried foods and pig races, Michael and I went rock climbing. At the time, part of Michael's job was to lead people in his company in activities. This being one of them. One of the girls didn't have a partner, so I partnered with her. Long story short, she was not as prepared for belaying me at the indoor rock climbing gym. She dropped me 20 feet and I came crashing down on my right leg.
I had emergency surgery. I was in the hospital for 5 days. I had blood clots in my lungs. I had 8 screws and a metal plate put in my ankle. I was out of work for months. I used a wheel chair, then a walker for what seemed like an eternity. I missed trips and events. And one year later, I'm still not the same. I can't run or jump or dance like I did before. I've gained weight. My ankle still swells even though I ice my ankle almost every day. I still take pain medication.
But there are, of course, some good that came out of this. I am so grateful that I can walk, despite the metal (warning: graphic pictures of my ankle) now forever present in my leg and ankle. We all take a lot for granted and this made me realize how lucky I am to be able to walk around and not have any major handicaps. I remember how people looked and treated me differently when I rolled around in a wheelchair or struggled with a walker.
I am grateful, too, because the experience prompted this blog. I had blogged before, but it wasn't the same. With time off, unable to get around, I focused on writing and what I wanted to say through my blog. I established a small community and learned the ins and outs of blogging. It was a great outlet for me to put my feelings down in writing.
I understand that falling 20 feet is not the worst thing in the world. Much more terrible things happen to people every day. But it rocked my whole world. And although I get frustrated that it happened, I appreciate the lessons. I appreciate the many friends and family who brought dinner, helped me with challenging tasks or just hung out with me when I couldn't move. Especially Michael. I am so thankful he didn't kill me after he had to bathe, feed, and console me everyday. He even went so far as to make me feel perfectly fine for going to a rave with crutches.
Today is also very ominous because two years ago on the exact same day, September 30, 2011, one of Michael's and my best friends, Josh, (the one who travels with us to Tomorrowland), got in a horrible motorcycle accident. We all went to visit him in Arkansas, where the crash happened. We weren't sure if he would make it. Miraculously, he pulled through and is doing great. Today, Josh and I lean on each other at Tomorrowland since we both now have metal in our body.
I have a superstitious fear that it's Michael's turn to get hurt. Or someone else I love. So cross your fingers that nothing happens. No really. Please cross them. I'd like this to be the year for breaking the unlucky streak for September 30th.
So to those who follow this blog, thank you. I appreciate you sticking with me when I'm sad or happy or weird. Which is very often. This has been a wonderful outlet for me and I hope that continues.