Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Update, and Mr. Percy

Written on Thursday

This is NOT me falling, this is me on my bathroom floor. I DID fall this week though, on top of everything else! Wulf said it was inevitable, and it will happen again.

I had a full-out meltdown today, collapsing on the bathroom floor crying, over a $200 bill from a collector. It's not that I Couldn't have paid the bill before the collector, it was just dad had paid it, they had refunded him, I paid what I thought was all of it, now this...also with the mail was 4 boxes full of my stuff from my office from work. Guess I'm not allowed back to even clean out my own office? I don't get it. No goodbyes even, then. There's some people I'll really miss.
 I'm not a good catch of a girlfriend, at least not right now. Before I got hit I had a high amount of debt, a kid, and an anal personality. I was always Awesome and always ME, but l feel the older we get, the more skeletons we have, it's inevitable. Especially me it seems. Now I've been broken, and I'm weak still, and my electrical wiring is messed up. Part of recovering is forgetting who you were before and going on with something new, and that is so sad. I am sometimes so sad. I'm not who I was before and I never will be (none of us are), there is too too much now. I'm the Catch-22 of happiness and freedom-loving vs realistic responsibility. Sucks.
ALL this because of this stupid unlicensed irresponsible driver that hit me, and he's still out there, and probably nothing will ever happen to him, and I Lost Everything.
There is a girl I know from mutual friends on Facebook that I have always been very friendly with. She was in Oklahoma when the tornado hit, and at the last minute did what probably saved her and her baby's life by getting out of  the bathtub and driving away from the storm. Awesome. Wolf Blitzer interviewed her, and at the very end she tells him she's an atheist. This sparked a BIG following for her, and she got a lot of donations over the atheist comment. This is NOT saying that she doesn't deserve it, and I will shut down any religious debate, and she even said she's donating the excess to Red Cross. But man, I'm lying on the floor crashing and thinking about that and how hard I try and how far I just don't get. And how everything s random and everything is Chaos and nothing is ever for certain or fair, it's all the luck of the draw. There's a tire place here that has a sign out saying "jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius." My mediocrity is showing something fierce. HA, I'm so blatant here!
So there I am, lying on the bathroom floor, sobbing. Hold that a sec.

In the hospital, my first roommate was a fiery little loudmouth with Lupus, super cute. My second was an older lady name Mrs. G, who was there from not realizing she had broke her back a few months earlier, and was spending some time healing. Mrs. G always told me how strong and persistent I was. She had gone to the hospital on the same day as her husband, he was feeling weak, in 2 separate ambulances. She spoke with her husband frequently, Mr. Percy, and told me of their rich life together. She was able to go visit him, and he seemed always in good spirits when they were on the phone. I wanted to meet him too. She was smart and funny and had wonderful friends and family and children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all sweet and full of character. I used to joke that I was going to name my next kid "Persistence" and call him Percy for short. She loved it, and always told her visitors that I had said that, and they always got a huge kick out of it.
Mr. Percy died, fairly unexpectedly. I hugged Mrs. G and cried with her, but what can I say? They were married for over half a century, longer than I had been alive, and she barely knew me. Mrs. G left the next day. That last night I spent with her was the hardest night of my entire stay in the hospital. And it was because of someone else's pain.

Back on the bathroom floor. Persistence is something I can't control. Sometimes it gets me through A Lot, I can ride it, it makes me feel strong and more alive than I ever could without it. But there on the floor, I was it's slave. It hurt. I hated it. Remember, this same "great" quality also kept me in an abusive relationship...things Will get better. Fuck Fuck Fuck persistence. I wanted to lie there better that I died to be remembered as strong then seen this broken and felt sorry for forever but there's that kid watching TV out there. I slooowwwlllly stand up I was burdened by all these money issues even Before these extra ones and now I'm even applying for food stamps but that's just the up-front price to the amount of money I'm determined to make with my new business and whatever else I find. Standing up was fire, my body, my mind, my soul, all burning at once, the worst agony, not even knowing why I was putting myself through it. I'm not speaking a metaphor, everything was painful. Standing up is hard, harder than it should ever be, I even still have to use a cane. So much easier to be sad and not have to be responsible. I'm a burden on everyone around me, someone to feel "sorry" for I don't even need to rely on anyone anymore.
So, I don't get it. My persistence isn't even always rational. But, I was suddenly me again and not the whispers anymore. Is it worth all the pain? That's a question that doesn't matter, I can't control it. But, I'm freer now, and with a better chance of being the free spirit that I missed about myself for Years working so much, and everything everything else. The money will come, freedom will come, running again will come. It's already on it's way.
BUT, after all this, if I'm in a position where I won't be able to take care of myself again, I don't want it. We all should deal with what we have to, but I don't want to claw my way back to be knocked down again to being dependent. Please, if you see that, don't let me be there.

I'm a bit faster, I can feel a bit more, and I have a business plan. Rockin way to start the weekend. Have a good one!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Frizaddle Friday Update!

Honestly, not much this week, sorry folks!

On the healing front, I haven't had set-backs just slow-downs. My left elbow was sprained before I got hit, and now I have a pretty good sized scar on it so who knows what happened. But it hurts from time to time, and I think swimming last week aggravated it more, so I've had to  go easy on it. My hypertonicity has been way high this week too, and Anything can cause that, so who knows. But it limits what I can do, so I've had an easy week this week.

EVEN with that, this is my 4-Week-RnR-Training-Update! Training Log
I walked over 2 miles this week, where I started out less than a mile. HA- tennis balls do not last over 2 miles on a road using a walker, I'll have to figure something out.
And I got my speed down (on a shorter walk) to 50% normal walking speed, which is awesome because it's up from 25%.
My swimming is at 750 yards, 100 yards at a time. Cycling unfortunately has had  some technical setbacks, mainly a bent tire, so I have to get back to that.
Overall, I weight 104.5 pounds, up from my lowest at 95# in the hospital, which is *mostly* muscle gain. I've also started P90X again, which I suck, but am doing it. Yoga is going to start up again too. Still in therapy 3x/week.
SO not so shabby even though this has been a slower week! I'll modify and *update* this if I accomplish something more today!

OTHERWISE, I am still looking for a job, but I have decided to start my own business with in-home vet behavior consulting business to help families and pets coexist peacefully. At the prompting of a veterinary behaviorist that I contacted, I've become a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and I have some stuff to tweak, but I'm stoked about the prospects! If you have any name suggestions, please let me know! Right now, I'm considering In-Home Veterinary Behavior Consultant and Family/Pet Integration
unwieldy I know, help!!
Happy Friday Ya'll!

Friday, May 17, 2013


FIRSTLY a Big Thanks for your donations - my stress levels are sooo much less right now, as financially I am fine for 1.5 months because of them. Which gives me time to find a job and Not Stress and maybe even one that I like! I had been denied for unemployment because "since December 2012 you have been on voluntary leave" - what?? So I have to appeal that too. And there's appealing social security, figuring out what to do about the guy that hit me, figuring out about my job at UL, and my custody battle. So, 5 court cases at once? I didn't know if I could handle it, and financially I definitely couldn't, but your support allowed me to. I can't be thankful enough. Hooray!!

My training log has been more sparse this week, but my improvement is still awesome. I'm up to 1.8 miles walking and will break 2 hopefully today, and my hip is reacting much quicker, bringing my walking speed up to 55:45 min/mi which is about a 33% improvement from last time and almost a 50% improvement overall!
This is also evident in my elliptical speed. I took my heart rate after the elliptical last time and it was 148bpm. This is Great news because with spinal cord injuries sometimes hearts can't beat quick enough to sustain a heavy workout. I'm going to see if I can get it over 150bpm next time, but this is a really great sign.
Swimming is doing great too, I swam 750 yards and could do 100 yards at a time, probably more but I didn't want to push it just yet. I also filmed it for my PT Wulf to see and he had some ideas on how to improve. My right let is still not bending well at the knee under water, which is why my legs sink. Also after a while I can't keep my fingers straight, they're not strong enough yet. So I'm going to try some things.

The biggest news of the week is about BikeLafayette and the "Ride of Silence." I'm way more involved with cycling now that I've been smashed up on one than I had ever been before! The reason is that this happened to me at the time where Lafayette got large enough as a city to qualify for more federal funding, and since we're a fast-growing city many people here started pushing for growth of safer places to cycle, and It's Working. The city is working hard to make this happen, and along with public forums inviting people to learn and vote on the way they want the city to grow, I see great things for cyclists on the horizon!
BikeLafayette is a cycling advocacy group run by responsible (and incredibly nice!) people that attend government meetings and such to, well, advocate cycling. They've been a key part of decision-making for the city, they're becoming better known all the  time, and I'm incredibly proud to be a new member of their board. AND, boy do I have a lot to learn, HA! And I can't even ride yet!

They hosted Lafayette's "Ride of Silence," which is a world-wide event honoring cyclists that were hit on roadways. We had more than 100 people turn up! Here's some links to some local coverage:

KRVS radio show with Jen Steele and Tommy W - this one I got to share my complete story of getting hit, and we touched on every subject that I thought was important - I really love this one!

The Advocate Meh, I don't even drive a car much less having trouble getting out of it, but great article!

Happy Friday ya'll!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Guest Post from Perky at Cajun Titanium

I have another blog with 2 other amazing girls. Check it out!: Cajun Titanium
This is from one of them in response to my last post. Liability  that makes a lot of sense to me. I don't believe for a second that that's the case with me, but I guess they don't care enough to give me the chance to show them, either.

GIRL, you amaze me! I know what damage my accident caused, and that was with me IN A CAR! I can't imagine being on a bike and getting hit at the speed u were! The fact that u wanna return to work at this point is a testament to ur strength. I know ur sad and discouraged, and I'm really sucks that our employers couldn't have our backs when we were at our lowest points in our lives.
My accident was my 2nd brush with death over the span of a year. That way, when I had the accident, I think I was better able to accept things, and at a faster pace. You need to remember; you came back with flying colors from something most people wouldn't have survived. You need to realize that your hard work and dedication are NOT in vain; You WILL get your life back, but not necessarily in the timeframe you choose. You need to look at yourself and the position you're in objectively. Being a nurse, I was always trying to encourage my patients. When I'm being hard on myself or getting frustrated with my situation, it helps to go into nurse mode, step outside myself and look at myself like a patient. What would I tell a patient who just survived countless heart surgeries, orthopedic surgeries, had metal in half their body holding them together? What would you say to that patient who re-learned to walk, despite bones broken so violently that doctors didn't give them hope of ever walking again, much less running or riding a bike? I'd say "You're the strongest person I've ever met!"...and you, Jen and I ARE...the strongest bitches I know!!! It may sound like we're too confident, or cocky, but we've been to hell and back! We know what it means to survive, and we get to be proud of ourselves for that! 
I think we lost our jobs during FMLA because we're viewed as a liability. We weren't supposed to recover the way we did, but when we did, it showed that we weren't the types to shrink from a challenge...we're fighters. Strong people, strong WOMEN, make people nervous. Instead of seeing that we want to continue being productive members of society, contributing to our respective fields of study, we're viewed as suspect for wanting to return to work. We MUST have ulterior motives; I honestly believe they think we plan on getting hurt at work so we can sue them, or that somehow, we will hurt ourselves or exacerbate an injury that would hold them responsible!!! When you consider the number of people who commit insurance fraud, fake injuries, and basically try to get a free ride, it's not surprising we were treated so shabbily by our employing companies!!!
I'm really jazzed about court this week, and I'm feeling so much better about things! When I got on the stand, I thought of you a lot, wondering if you'll ever get the chance to face your offender, and tell him in painful detail how he's fucked your world up?!? You may or may not ever have that chance, but it doesn't mean you can't hold others accountable for their offenses, namely your work! I would seriously pursue your suspicions, and make a lot of noise! Threaten to go to Lee Zurich or newspapers! Tell them you know they're giving you the runaround and you intend to expose them. I fully believe that if I hadn't gone to every court date, and taken the stand on Wed. , that he would've gotten off with just probation! 
I guess my point is, that nearly dying that 2nd time in a year made me realize something I hope you realize; we were meant to survive, to be here and share our experiences. I struggled with my 12 years of Catholic education before I came to this conclusion; God really doesn't give you more than you can handle. We might have to reach down really deep to handle it, but we're handling it nonetheless! The fact he gave us such challenging ordeals shows he has faith in us...maybe that was the point all along, to help us see just how strong we can be when we have to be! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Summer Rain...Happy Birthday BONO!!

The purpose of this post is to hopefully show a great comeback from rock bottom, because that's where I am right now. The low point in my 35 years is now. I've survived an abusive marriage and a ton of money problems, and I gotta believe I'll survive this too. But MAN am I tired of being strong! Give me weak and easy, I'd be cool with that for now!

Bono's Birthday is today! My favorite band. This is my favorite song from them; if I had to pick a song that accurately represents me, this is it.
It's called Summer Rain.

It's not this bad, I just really really love this blog and she's just gone through some bad times: MAKE SURE you read at least one other thing besides the "Adventures in Depression" posts! I like the Dog one. Hyperbole and a Half

This has been a crazy week. Lots of good, one really bad. In that I lost my job. I don't really get the details, basically they waited until I was no longer on FMLA even though I tried to get back to work before it was out, and then said since I was no longer on FMLA they were letting me go. My therapists and doctors filled out a lot of paperwork for them, all saying I can go back. HR kept coming up with weird next steps that I had to do, which I now see were probably stalling tactics. YES I'm confident I can do the job now, I honestly don't know what the problem is. I'm healed enough that I'm confident that I could even do surgery. I wish I had the opportunity to show them I'm okay now, I miss it. But I don't know where to go from here.

SO what to do?? Honestly, I'm scared, and hurt, and incredibly sad. It's the icing on the cake for me, everything I built has come crashing down. I wanted to be a vet all my life - since I was seven years old - and I can't even afford working in private practice because of my mega student loans. Can't leave the state easily because I have a kid with aforementioned ex-husband, and of course I'm still healing from this broken neck business.
I read something on Facebook recently that said something to the effect of if you don't believe it will be okay, you don't trust life enough. It's true, I don't, and I have a hard time trusting it will be okay.
Nic said if it's not working to trust God right now, trust in how strong I am. That helps.
My awesomest friend Jess said there are 2 type of people, those that are good at adapting and blending in and going along with things, and those that are determined to get what they want. The world needs both types. Her analogy was that if we were stranded on a desert island she would be the type that blends in with the natives and became part of their culture, and I would be the type to build a boat and find a way to get back where I wanted to be. That's how she knows I'm going to be okay. I think Nic is the 1st type too, along with her. It works. My life is still together because of him.
Jess & Me
So I need a job. For reals this time. Even if it's a new profession. I want to work.

ON to the good things!!!

I'm 99% walking with a cane now! It doesn't help me walk correctly but it does help with my balance. And is sooo much more easy to carry around! And hug people! And shoo away pets and children and things! Hooray!
500y swimming this week! If ya think that's tough, try doing it as a paraplegic! Gogglesss! ;) (I forgot them)
Follow my progress! NOLA RnR 2014 Training Log

I attended the 1st time trial of the season by Precision Bikes. I sucked at cycling when I started racing, but this was always a fun time even though I came in last! It Was Great; I met quite a few people there. The awesome chiropractor Keith Terro, Ruud Vuijsters the PT, badass Jamie Scott whom came to visit me in the hospital (I don't really remember!,) and equally badass Aimee Copeland that had done my x-rays (I also don't remember). Also there was Stanley Lerille (vote for him HERE to go to Kona!) and Scott Coco that I met when I was still in a wheelchair, and Amanda Cole whom I just bought some cycling stuff from the day before, my first since getting mashed up, Mark Miller of course,and a TON of other people.You should come out next time - the Corner Bar ya'll!

Nic's sister Laura Zaunbrecher & her boyfriend Charles Garabedian went to see Frank Shorter talk. They got him to sign this great picture of us at the finish line! Frank Shorter had cheered us on and handed me my walker. SO stoked about it!!

BikeLafayette's Jen Steele and I were on KATC promoting  the "Ride of Silence,"  a world-wide event that honors cyclists that were hit or killed on roadways. I'm one of the honorees this year, along with other really great people. May 15th 7PM at the Mickey Shunick Ghost Bike memorial!!

Have a happy weekend! Go listen to some U2!

Friday, May 3, 2013

>1 Mile Walkering Friday Update!

Well if ya hadn't heard the news, I'm training for a half marathon! In Feb 2014. I'm keeping my training log HERE if you want to keep up!! (my post on it is HEREThis is on top of 2 hours of therapy 3x/week, and the regular stretching and strengthening that I do just about every day.
Average walking speed is 17-20 min/mi, and I'm at about, oh, 80 min/mi using the walker, a bit slower with the cane, so I'm at 25% average. SO slow, ha! But it's all about form and not about speed right now; as my form improves I naturally get faster. My limiting factors are still my right quads over-firing, and my balance due to lack of feeling in my right ankle.

This week is a big change for me. I walkered over a mile for the first time in over 6 months! I now know that I'm going to be able to walk again, maybe even race again. Have my hands full functioning again. Lots of ya already *knew* this, but I did not. It was always a big IF and I had to try anyway, but now it's when. WHEN.
And you know what? I'm Already doing better than people that are fully functioning. USA Today just yesterday put out this report that most people aren't meeting the federal physical activity recommendations. I know people that can't walk a mile because they simply don't try. I'm not one of them. You're not either. We've got this.

Not to say there's people that can't. There was a time that I didn't know if I could or not, but the point is you work with what you have, do what you can. Life sucks and it ain't fair. But it still feels better to make the most of it than sit around and let the bad stuff define you. Doesn't make it fair, just better than the alternative.

LAFTTA - ha! Good acronym!

I Need Money! Sheesh. The HR department at UL gets a big "F" as far as I'm concerned. It's not even a question of whether I'm able to go back, literally they questioned whether the right doctor signed the therapist's documents and if they falsified information before they faxed it. What?? And instead of asking me to help them figure it out, they decide to just file it away and wait for the "correct" information. And are being evasive about what really is the correct information. So I called their boss, we'll see!
I want a job. I'll go back to school if that's what it takes. I would honestly do anything (legal!) for a good quality of life and enough money to pay off my debt. So so tired of being so so stressed all the time.

UPDATE: HR called back this morning, super sweet, and I have a meeting on Monday...maybe this is a good break!

Have an awesome weekend!