Hello, it has now been over seventeen months since my original incident, and in a few days, my birthday with be the 16th anniversary of my first skydive.
I’m happy to say my bones have healed and all of my muscles have recovered to some degree, though I’ve still got a lot of “leg work” to do if I ever want to run as gracefully as I once did. Of course, everyone knows I have no fondness for running, other than to run fast enough to land my canopy.
First predicted in Florida that I would have a three to six-month recovery window, at that point, they had missed in my diagnosis that my ankle had been broken and my hip left hip had also been dislocated (in addition to breaking the femur and pelvis,) which was not discovered until it was corrected in November. Transferring the case from FL to MI caused more issues.
During the PT I was given in March, April, and May, I had been cleared to walk with an unknown broken ankle and dislocated hip. When I complained about the ongoing pain I was only given painkillers and more painkillers. Due to the injuries sustained and discovered in my incident, I have been diagnosed with an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI,) causing a family of symptoms called Spasticity during my treatments, and it was discovered that I have a Syrinx in my spinal cord which mobilized in my incident causing a disease called Syringomyelia (SM,) which trigger spasms and pain in my back, abs, and internal lower pelvic muscles.
Harder to specify are the impacts this has had on my mental abilities. Since waking in the hospital I have had a dull headache feeling in my head and found I was unable to do Sudoku puzzles as fast as I used to (from 5 minutes to 20+) further, just trying to do many math/logic tasks cause the dull headache to grow and flare still today. As part of my PT, I have been typing and I’ve found a range of words and flow vocabulary that I never had access to before.
Over all this time, I have continued to try to work as hard as I can every day and I am ecstatic with the progress I’ve received – I just set my 1 mile PR (19:54) today! At the same time, I’ve been plagued with depression, anxiety, and a renewed form of ADHD from my childhood.
The first several months after my incident, I was cared for at home by my youngest son, him now gone to college, I have been alone and taking care of myself for the last year. Unable to physically tolerate Michigan winter, I went on a road trip and walked my way through Texas and into the mountains of New Mexico, staying in state parks and in my car. I work as hard as I can to keep feeling good, keep moving forward, and keep recovering every day… and I also know I’m near the end of my rope and my checkbook.
My savings have been depleted, I’ve had to sell off the small number of retirement investments that I had (under $1000,) and currently am down to just over $100 in my checking account, with no income or prospects in my future– unless I can come up with $799 to publish my book. When I was injured (1/8/2022,) I had almost $20,000 in my savings account (required as a seasonal worker to store up for winter) and was using well under half of my available $10,000 in credit card debt.
Over a month later I started a GoFundMe that raised just over $6000 (and a GiveGoSend that raised $600, to help me pay for the additional $12,000 ramp I found I needed to be able to enter and leave my home. Sadly, due to the timing of a then-current political Canadian/GoFundMe event that I was unaware of, a majority of my then-vast network of political friends did not feel comfortable donating or sharing my fundraiser at that time.
Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if a GoFundMe might have been started while I was still in the medically induced coma and taken advantage of my 15 minutes of fame, yet that’s not what happened… I’m sure that will be the only time I’ll be on the MSN World News.
Here are the items on my wish list, that any funds will be used for:
$799 The amount required to publish the book I have written of my experience.
$1500 The amount to buy a larger canopy (my current one is too small for me to use right now) to put me back in the air (as an instructor, flying is working)
$3000 The amount needed to catch up on my mortgage.
$7500 The amount needed to keep mortgage/utilities paid for the rest of 2023.
$25000 The amount needed to pay off the credit card debts accumulated.
Above that (actually, past the first two or three items.. if this blows up) I’ll contact a lawyer and start a trust fund for myself to ensure that if I am graced with a sizeable gift for my birthday, it will be wisely used to care for myself well into the future.