1 year post -op…. what a year it has been. I am writing this from a cabin in a cruise ship coming home from a few days in the Bahamas. Last year I was in Georgia with an ice storm of epic proportions that had shut down the hospital, post-poned my surgery by 2 days and had me so afraid that I wasn’t going to get this surgery that I dared to hope would change my situation. (In a funny addition to this story as we try to get home it is snowing in Chicago and our flight from Florida was canceled so we are being rerouted via Miami…. I think next year I’ll just stay home this week- our travel and weather luck seems to be bad!)
Today: I just had a fantastic vacation with my husband, full of walking, scuba diving, and riding a scooter around Nassau for hours on end, not to mention balancing on a cruise ship in kitten heels! The contrast doesn’t escape me, trust me! This time last year I could barely hold my own weight to walk for more than a short distance, this week I walked 2 miles to meet our dive master and head out on a two tank scuba dive. (90 minutes of diving) It was AMAZING. The dive was painless…. I not a care in the world while I was underwater, the dive shop helped me put my gear on while on a boat platform so I didn’t have to walk with my gear on, and SPLASH… into the water I went. It was just Ben and I and the dive master – an amazing experience… we were down at about 50 feet for 45 minutes and saw all kinds of cool fish, lobster, a sting ray that was sound asleep… it was beautiful.
Our second dive was a shark dive! We saw like 5-7 reef sharks that were HUGE, and a moray eel, and a lionfish (those are NOT suppose to be in the Caribbean btw!) I was able to get some pretty cool pictures while I was down there! I simply can’t believe how far I have come in this last year. It’s 2 days later and I can still feel the strain of my efforts on my body, frankly I’d like a good long massage, but I couldn’t walk to the mail box last year! Perspective…. it’s a beautiful thing. I want to share my dive with you, so Here are some of the things we saw while we were under 🙂 ( and yes I took all the pictures.)
Tomorrow morning I take off with the kids for our yearly get together with my best friend. I love her and her family more than just about anything in my life and she has an eyesight issue that makes driving long distances challenging, (we make quiet a pair!) But I have always been more than willing to drive to see her and she has always been willing to patch me up on the other side. She’s darn good with Kenesio tape! For the first time in about 6 years we will be able to have options in what we do, it will still most likely be scrapbooking, we have a lot to catch up on, but if we wanted there is a WHOLE lot more we can do now- like swim together! I look forward to spending time with her, and rejoicing over the strength that she has given me in her steadfast friendship and encouragement over the last year. While I have been running the marathon of recovery, SHE has been training for a real half marathon! I am so incredibly impressed by her drive to run… she like me, is a swimmer at heart, and her dedication to a new way of life has inspired and pushed me in my own journey. While I sometimes wish I were at a place where I could train with her for her half marathon, I realize, like her, I am not entirely done training either. When I come home from my trip to see her I am seeing my favorite PT for a full body once over and a next step plan. I’m better than I ever thought I’d be, but the last vestiges of my muscle imbalances don’t seem to want to go away when I push my limits, and I want to know what I need to do to turn that dimmer switch off for good!
Dear friend reading, you’ve asked me over and over if I am better, would I do it again, am I still in bad pain, is life really that different. Yes, the answer is yes. I firmly believe that this surgery provided the stability I needed in order to retrain and strengthen my body to work the way it needs to. Yes I would do it again; yes I would go through all of it again to come out like this. I’m a fully functioning human being again. I can dream, I can be present, I can participate in the activities I love. I am aware of my limitations, willing to accommodate the minor changes I must make in my quest to live life to the fullest, and find it easy to do so. As I enter this next phase of life I will continue to learn how to say yes to things, to continue to challenge my body and my mind to grow and take on new challenges, and hopefully end up in PTA school so that I can help others and maybe even further the studies on SIJD. I will continue to find research to add to this website and help educate others about SIJD… I will continue to support you and am just an email away. The sky is the limit for me these days, as long as I use my brain, my good judgment, and all I have learned this year, even if I do have to keep a roll of Kenesio tape in my pocket 😉 Let’s see where the NEXT year takes me!