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Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

A Date 1

There are many significant dates that have come and gone recently, some that have had to do with me and many that were others’. For example I missed Mary’s, David’s, Anne’s and Madeline’s birthdays. I missed my parent’s and my brother’s anniversaries. I feel badly for missing these special occasions, but I realize that I have been selfishly focused on myself. I had my own anniversary, for instance, Saturday was exactly one month. And I learned on Saturday that another cyclist in our region was hit by a car. I have not been able to learn more about it. My heart goes out to them and their family. We still have a lot of Share the Road work to do ladies and gentlemen.

The reason I am writing about dates today is because this morning we are having a Family Meeting. It has been booked since my arrival. I am not entirely sure what will come out of this meeting, but I know it will all be talk about me. You see it is not just my family, but also my Parkwood Team, my lawyer and my insurance team. I think the goal is to see what needs to be done in order for me to go home. Oh, and I have my discharge date – October 22. They gave me that last week and I have been stewing about it. I was thinking more along the lines of 6-8 weeks, including “time served”, but this is a whole 10 weeks, so 8 more weeks to go.

I have other dates too – like the six weeks from my surgery when I can take my collar and back brace off. Well my collar is gone – it was never necessary in the first place (it’s for C-spine injuries) and my Dr. recognized it was not helping me. As for the back brace, I will learn my fate on Wednesday. Tuesday I will get X-rays to take over to Victoria on the 2nd to see all three teams – plastics, spinal and trauma. This are my follow-up appointments where I get to stun them with the speed of my recovery (hopefully) and the X-ray will (hopefully) show that that L1 vertebrae is healed and I can take the brace off. Taking the brace off will be another story. Think: core of a jellyfish.

All the other dates on my calendar are in red (using a whiteboard calendar, of course). Red means company! I love and need company. I need company to help pass the time, keep me connected to the real world, bring me fresh food (like washed and cut veg. and in season fruit), take me outside and sometimes to cheer me on during a therapy session. I need to be honest here, too much company tires me out as I end up doing most of the talking. And it changes from day to day how much talking and sitting up I can tolerate. When it’s my family I can say more easily, that I just need to close my eyes for half an hour. With guests I find that more difficult; they have come all this way to see me, I should keep my eyes open. That is why I am trying to book only one, maybe two things (above therapy sessions) in one day. My blood pressure can be low for a whole day or it can just crash if I have been sitting up for two long. Today I hope it to be high as I had Theo bring me in Swiss Chalet for a good extra high dose of sodium chloride to boost my bp. (jk – but it sure was salty)

The other crazy thing about my days is I never know what for sure is booked for me until 7:30 that morning. Now my PT and OT are usually at the same time each day, but often other things will get thrown in. For example I had asked Paul to come and see me last week and just after I heard from him that he was leaving home I found out that the Psychologist wanted to see me at 10 and that I had recreation therapy at 11. So poor Paul was here for 10 minutes before I got rolled away to meet with Steve and then I made him come bowling with me and my RT!

So send a text if you feel like coming this way and we’ll make it a date!

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