Skydive Incident – Update #3

Sorry for the lack of updates in the last two weeks; there has been a lot of activity.

Since the 23rd, they discovered two of my broken vertebrae where irrelevant, and for the third I was given the option of another surgery, which I took. That surgery on my spine added a ‘bridge’ from my T9 to T11, protecting my T10, which had several breaks called a burst fracture. That hardware will stay in for at least a year or so, after which it could stay or go. After a day of healing from the surgery, my pain level decreased dramatically and my range of motion increased as every move no longer compresses my T10. Though I’ll wear a brace for several months, my spine is expected to heal 100%.

Next in the ICU step down unit, I had relearn some ‘basics’ of life: food in, food out, and bathing myself. This has not been easy to allow others to help me in some.. personal situations. However, throughout this I’ve made the choice to find humility rather than humiliation, and the grace to thank others for helping me with these basic functions of life.

On January 31st I began rehab and I am pleased to report that my strength has been growing exponentially, and some level of function has returned to my entire body. My right limbs are near 100% (just a bit lax from lack of use over the last month.) My left arm is about 85% (and catching up fast with the right arm.) I’m most excited about my left leg: X-rays had confirmed I avoided injury to my lower left leg and now over the last two weeks (starting with some deep tissue massages from my Mom, Cerisse) I am able to activate all the major muscle groups in my upper and lower left leg; granted, only at about 5% strength (but ask me in another week!)

As I’ve been trained to care for myself, a discharge date has been planned, and if all goes well from now til then, I will be released on Valentine’s Day and will make my way home to Jackson, Michigan in the days after.

The situation has moved from a critical trauma to now learning how to live with new and different abilities, I’m starting to plan my life over the next year to a full recovery; and as the emergency transitions into a foray of logistical concerns (wheel chair ramps, an upstairs bathroom, an inability to drive or walk..) I’m grateful for the faith to know that if have been cared for thus far, then there is certainly a path I will find to keep moving forward.

For those that have already helped me so much, and to those that I’ll be reaching out to, thank you!
Hope to see you all back home soon!

Much Love,

PS. If you keep asking about wheelies; eventually you’ll wear a therapist down to the point where they’ll teach you

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