Summer reflections

The past month or so has been busy, busy, busy and I have many updates to share with you all. But first, here’s a funny story from our recent family trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina about a month ago. After nine hours of all of us driving in the van — cramped and up to our ears in bags, suitcases, and an extra wheelchair — we were all so relieved to have made it to our sunny destination. Personally, I was just relieved that we made it all the way there without killing each other! Just kidding.

So, we parked the car and the fam hopped out one by one. My Mom went to open the passenger side door where the wheelchair ramp is and it wouldn’t budge. I was stuck. ‘Oh, fantastic!’ I thought. I suddenly found myself struck with anxiety and claustrophobia. I needed some fresh air. Luckily, we found a nearby mechanic who fixed us up and freed me, however, I’m fairly certain the van is cursed. My friend Alex and I were going out for dinner the other day and the door nearly fell off! One of these days this van is going to spontaneously combust or something.

Aside from some initial car trouble, we had a really nice time. This was actually the first family vacation we’ve all taken together in a long time. We were supposed to go down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina about two years ago, but yours truly messed that one up by having a stroke. Oops. The whole resort in Hilton Head was extremely accessible. There were even a couple nearby beaches equipped with beach mats, so I could roll right down to the shoreline. Here’s a picture of us during one of the many unsuccessful, mother-forced photoshoots. It was pretty windy.

On another note, I had my 12-week checkup at Shriners last week and was discharged from wearing the brace. I still have to wear it at night for a while, but I can go back to normal activity during the day. It feels so weird (but good!) to have my arm out and about after keeping it so protected for three months. The docs said everything still looks fantastic. Sometimes I get worried because not much is happening yet, but they assured me that it would take a minimum of six months to see any action. Dr. K called me a Nervous Nelly and I don’t disagree with him. If there’s anything this injury has taught me, it’s patience. But dang it, hurry up! Here are some cool pictures of my scars, below. They’re pretty noticeable right now, but I’m hoping they’ll fade over time.

I have two more surgeries coming up this summer — one on July 11 and one on August 22. Needless to say, it isn’t going to be loads of fun. But better now than later, right? At least that’s my mentality. I’m trying to get all of these surgeries out of the way with as soon as I can. It’s scary and there’s quite a bit of downtime, but I can feel progress being made.

It’s crazy to think that the two-year anniversary of my SCI is in just a few short weeks. It feels like just yesterday, yet so long ago at the same time. Summer always brings about a lot of emotions. I have vivid memories of what I was up to the last few weeks leading up to my injury — the Timehop app. is both a blessing and a curse. Even though I know it won’t be easy, I’m going to try to remain as positive as I can come July 10. After all, life comes with a few jammed doors, but you can always find a way out.



5 thoughts on “Summer reflections”

  1. Thank you much for the update. we marvel at your positive attitude and spunk.Was great that you could get away on vacation. We are praying for you. Stay positive. Give our regards to your family. LOVE ANN and RAY


  2. Mary I loved your latest blog. The tale of togetherness and mechanical misadventures on the way to Hilton Head is so entertaining and funny! And your post is also inspiring! You are a great writer! Maybe you could consider having the local parish priest conduct a (re) Blessing of the Van.” Much love!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Mary! So glad you and your family were able to get away and have a fun vacation. Also very pleased that your doctors state things are going as planned. Your remaining surgeries will be over in no time – keep up your awesome attitude!


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