In my adult life, I like to think of myself as a pretty independent woman. I’ve lived alone since I graduated from college five years ago. In that time I’ve learned to remove what resembles a small furry creature from a clogged drain, hammer nails to hang my own pictures, fix the internet when it acts up, change my own light bulbs and carry all of my groceries from the car to my kitchen in one trip. (Making two trips is NOT an option! I will hang my own weights worth of food on each arm before I admit defeat and go back to the car for a second load.) I pride myself on my spider killing abilities.
With one operation, my instinct to want to accomplish everything on my own was shattered to pieces and thrown out the window. At one time or another during the past three months I’ve needed assistance feeding myself, changing my clothes, showering, getting to the bathroom, putting things into perspective and reaching for the covers.
You can’t accomplish something like this alone. I had to ask for and accept help from dozens of people to get through this process. I am so very blessed to have many people who were willing to lend a hand or a kind word.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our family friends George and Susan travelled to Baltimore to help. That’s where I had my surgery. George is a retired surgeon who became trained on the lengthening magnet so my doctors would release me to lengthen at home. This was an amazing gift I can’t even put into words. Their willingness to help made the decision to have this operation much easier.
(We gave George a t-shirt from the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics!)
Susan, along with several other women from my old church volunteered to take me to physical therapy five days a week. Our friend Ruth organized the drivers. This made it possible for my parents to work without having to come home in the middle of the day. What a huge help to me, but also to my parents!
(We had a little picnic for my therapy drivers and other people who offered to help.)
My friends are the absolute best! I’ve received so much love and support from them since I revealed I wanted to lengthen my leg. Of course you’ve read about Kacey, but several of my other Pittsburgh friends really made me feel loved as well. Spending time with them helped keep my spirits up! One of my friends flew in from Memphis to check on my progress! My friends who don’t live in Pittsburgh sent their encouragement from afar. Every e-mail, text, call, care package, card and Facebook message has meant so much.
(One of the care packages I recieved from a friend!)
I’m very thankful for the kindness I received from my coworkers. I truly believe all of them knew how important this was to me. Many of them checked on me by phone or through Facebook or Twitter. A few sent gifts or did me favors while I was out of town. I’ll be excited to get back to Chattanooga and see them again!
It was so amazing to receive kindness, concern and prayers from FOX61 and Newschannel9 viewers as well as my church family in Chattanooga.
Thanks to Joe Karlovits for wanting to be mentioned in my blog! (I keep my promises!)
Of course I’m so blessed to have my mother and father. Their never ending love, devotion and positivity can never be repaid. They are the real reason I was able to gather up the courage to have this surgery.
This is reading like my endeavor is over. One aspect is, I suppose. My time at home in Pittsburgh is ending and I’m heading back to Tennessee and back to work! I start on June 18th. While I’m excited to get back to some normalcy, I’m a little worried about crutching around for several more months. But I’ll just deal with it! What else can you do?
I am still lengthening and will hit 2 inches of length on June 17th. I believe we’ll keep going until I hit about 2.4 inches. That will happen at the beginning of July. Then we wait for my bone to heal! My guess is I’ll be walking normally in mid-September.
In my very first blog post I said I was sacrificing five months to make the next 50 years of my life better. I’ve experienced some very hard and painful times, but almost three months in I can still say it’s all been worth it – with a little help from my friends!
Phillipians 4: 6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”