Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Broken Things

It all started innocuously enough. I sat having breakfast near a still pond. Granola and greek yogurt---not a soul around for miles. I'd perhaps obliterated any hopes of karmic solitude by pushing Kenya into the water just moments before this picture was taken. Yet, there I was, leaning into the sun, smiling coyly as though the fates would allow me to continue the weekend camping adventure.

But there in Flaming Gorge, August 21st, I fell, plummeted really, the 9 feet required to leave me curled on the ground in a swarm of red ants and dusty rocks with a broken neck.

I only stayed in the hospital for a day. I'm proud to state that I didn't touch a single bit of cafeteria food, but had my veggie bologna sandwiches delivered instead.

It strikes me that not a lot of people live to tell about such an injury. It occurs to me that few are lucky enough to endure the subsequent stares, the whispers, "what is on that girl's neck?," and brave few the following months of blurred pain-killer memories---a somewhat subdued existence. No sports, winded by walking, complicated travel, etc. If it weren't for my friends and family, I'd likely not survive emotionally.

With the exception of the gentleman standing, those 3 people with me at brunch (and Nique in the picture above) have been the most supportive and helpful throughout this endeavor. Stacee, my sister, stocked my house with groceries and supplies. She checks on me daily for updates and encouragement. Jon Mendoza, on the far side has been one of the best friends a girl could ask for. I love him. And Kyle in the center has been the #1 supporter---shuttling me around, changing the pads on my neckbrace and sitting outside with me in the sunlight for coffee and omelets. I don't know what I would have done without him. As I mentioned, Nique has been great; we've seen the occasional movie or popped in at Bar X together so I can do "normal" things and get out of the house. Lastly, Kevin, who's not in any of the photos, spent endless nights and days napping on the couch next to my mattress in the living room, ready for whatever I've needed help with. I'm soooo lucky to have so many amazing people around me.

To kill the time, I pretend like I can go swimming, like the rest of the world. Yes, I know, I look like a monster.

But for better or worse, here I am, working the neckbrace, refusing to let it beat me down. 2 more weeks to go and I'll be running, working, shopping and doing what I do. Yup, I'm proud to say that I broke my neck and lived to tell about it. That's a pretty cool realization...