Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2nd Alive Day

I can't believe it's been two years! It's flown by, for sure.

Two years ago, I was running around the house still in my scrubs from working the night before, and scribbling notes on different scraps of paper. I called CPT  Freeborg about 15 times that day, as it seemed like every hour I thought of new questions. I remember running last minute errands and it seemed like I was moving in slow motion and the world was spinning around me because no one had any idea what had just happened to our family. And I wanted them to know. I wanted everyone to know. And I wanted them to stop what they were doing and feel bad for me. But that's just not how the world works, now is it?!

During those nine months of continuous medical care at Walter Reed, we couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. We wondered what life would be like if we ever came back to Colorado. We thought we'd never get back here. We thought life as we knew it was over. And in a way, it was.

We had a new baby, which is life changing enough! He's now a toddler, and that's just a whole other blog.

But we made it. I don't know if there will ever be a time when we say "This is it. We're back to where we were before this all happened." Because there are so many new challenges that will never go away, but there are also so many new blessings that we never would have been able to experience had we not been given this fate.

There are still days where we are having a leg conversation - discussing the logistics of which leg to bring or wear, how many extra spectra socks, liners, gray socks, crutches, shower chairs, and how much alcohol in a spray bottle we should bring to wherever we may be traveling to - when I stop and look in on us having that conversation and think "wow, I can't even believe we're talking about this right now. I really miss your leg." He usually says "Yeah, I think that every single day." And then other days it's perfectly normal to us even though it's totally abnormal in our society.

I miss not having to worry about it. Looking back on what I worried about before seems so trivial now. Most recently, our first family summer trip to the beach. We did it, and we survived it with a toddler, but the added hassle of the leg was really irritating sometimes. He told me multiple times "Every time I see someone run straight in to the ocean, I get pissed." He only actually got in the ocean twice. But we figured out a great system. He just hates being a burden on everyone, and relying on others to help him.

When bipods go to the beach, they just walk in to the ocean.

(excuse my "mom ass")
When unipods go to the beach this is what happens:

  -take crutches down to water side
  -sit in a chair to take the leg & liner off.
  -carefully wrap liner in dry and sand free towel and keep in safe place
  -crutch (in sand) to water's edge
  -try not to fall while hopping on one leg and dodging waves
  -swim/hop/paddleboard in water
  -hop out and try not to fall while waves crash on you
  -crutch back up to chair (in sand)
  -rinse leg with fresh water and dry without touching sand
  -put leg back on

And then, at the end of the day, he had to take his leg completely apart and hose it all down and get all the sand out of the foot shell so the salt water wouldn't ruin it. This took at least 30 minutes every night because the foot shell is so hard to get off every time.

Pity me?
Just don't take your two legs for granted while you're enjoying your summer vacation.
Did we enjoy ours?
Hell yes.

In two years, Jason has enrolled in college and is pursuing a degree in Physics. We have gone back and forth on whether or not to move back to the East coast soon or after he's done with his bachelors degree. The jury is still out on that one. He has gone from wanting to stay in the Army, to wanting to get out and go to school full time. A decision I was not okay with at first, but now we are all extremely excited for that day. Currently, he is still in the WTU at Fort Carson playing the game until they decide what disability ratings he deserves for his sacrifices. But we won't go there either.

Two years ago today, our world changed forever. Some things will always suck, and some things have been amazing. The opportunities we have been given are unbelievable, but at the end of the day it's still just us and our sweet boy at home. We still love each other the same or more than the day we got married, and I still go to bed with (most of) my husband every night. For that, I am forever grateful.

We know now that we can get through really hard situations together. We know it with only 3 years of marriage under our belt, because we've already done it once. And I know life will continue to throw us hardships and curveballs, but I only hope we can persevere and come out on the other side looking back with smiles on our faces and love in our hearts for one another just as we've done thus far.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to those of you who continue to support us in this journey. Your kindness and generosity does not go unnoticed. We love you all!