I know I’m a little late writing this, but better now than never. 2013 was an emotional roller coaster for me. It’s painful to just put pen to paper and write about it. My grandma was diagnosed with stomach cancer and deteriorated quickly. She died five months later.
In February of last year I traveled to St. Louis to see one of the top Scoliosis surgeons in the country. After a day of X –rays and MRI’s we finally ended things by actually seeing the doctor. He determined no surgery should be done. In fact he wanted to use me as an example to other surgeons when a case is too complex to operate on. It would only make my condition worse to do so. I have heard this before from doctors over the years. It was not a surprise and I tried not to get my hopes up. After watching him work his magic on so many patients with complex scoliosis, including two friends I thought he may be the one to help me. To make matters worse we got stranded in our hotel the next day by another snow storm. We would have to spend an extra day in St. Louis, and it was boring sitting in a hotel room.
My grandma was three hours away from me in Rockford. The one good thing that came out of the St. Louis trip was that I got to see her twice as it was on the way to St. Louis. When we stopped on the way there she was doing really well. Three days later when we stopped on the way home she was doing poor. I was able to see her that one last time during one of her good days. I only saw her one more time after that and it was right before she died a few weeks later. I was so stressed during this time I was seeing a therapist and even developed TMJ.
On a brighter side I took a family trip to the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells with my brother’s family. It was an amazing time. It always is when we go. Another snow storm hit, but we had nowhere to go, but to the indoor waterpark.
I was able to speak to all the kindergarteners at my nephew’s school. I also was able to speak to all the 9th and 10th graders at Menasha High School. The high school I attended.
Things finally thawed out and spring came. I was looking forward to softball season. The night of April 21st (my brother’s birthday) I slipped and fell in my doorway carrying my dog inside. I felt that pain years ago when I broke my foot. The next morning I went to the ER. They did an X-ray and found nothing. My foot continued to be very painful and even my toes turned purple from the injury. I took over the counter painkillers like candy, and continued on with life. The pain continued and finally I was sent to a foot doctor. He did another X-ray and found a very bad fracture. Surgery was performed a few days later. A month in a cast and six weeks in a boot really humbled me. I was used to having my mobility.
The summer started out rocky with the foot surgery. I could not go swimming or workout like I am use to. I did take an amazing trip with my teenage nephew to Washington D.C. for the Little People of America National Conference. We were there for a week and we were very busy seeing the sites. As the summer continued I was able to enjoy swimming, the outdoor movie, Bay Beach, and other fun adventures with my nieces and nephews. Although a three week cold at the end of summer kept me grounded at home once again.
Fall was filled with appointments, guitar lessons, and bible study. Around this time my grandpa had a stroke and died. It was a very busy time. On the upside I finally got hired somewhere and started work in early November. It’s not anything I went to school for, but working with kids is rewarding.
So my life is completely different working part – time, five days a week. It’s still a balancing act that I am trying to figure out.
So my year was filled with a lot of downs and a few ups and a whole lot of in between.