2018 was an interesting year. It started with travels, moving to Alaska year round, a new job, and a new car. In the middle of the year it was filled with Hospitals, Doctors, and Auto Shops. At the end of the year it was a major Earthquake and thousands of Aftershocks. I needed a break. Regular life is stressful enough and then you add in many life changing events / major changes into one year. I feel as if I’ve lived multiple lifetimes in one year. It wasn’t the easiest year, though it could have been a lot worse.
I had always planned to travel home for the Holidays. Originally it was going to be for about 2 weeks. However, the airlines for some reason were having to constantly change my flight, cancel my flights, or overlap my layovers. Though I didn’t enjoy having to change my flight 4 times, cancel two of my flights, and reroute my flight to a different airport I am glad that it happened. I needed a break. A break from work, from Doctors and Hospitals, from Earthquakes and Aftershocks. I needed a break from Alaska and what my new normal had become. I guess someone was trying to tell me that I needed to take more time for myself…it just took me a few tries to figure that out. So I went home, back to Minnesota, where my parents are. I was there for a month and honestly, it is just what I needed.
Everyone kept asking before I left what my plans were for the month. I said absolutely nothing. I had no plans and it was glorious. Yes, I’ve seen some family, played a lot of board games, watched some football (I don’t actually care for football; however, my parents do), gone out and about a few times, and just overall have had a very relaxing two weeks. The most amount of time I have spent on my computer or phone during the Holidays was to spend a few minutes replying to work emails. I hardly even acknowledged my cell phone. If I’m home I leave it in a different room and don’t even pay attention to it. I check it once or twice a day and it’s on silent. If I’m out and about the phone comes with…if I remember it. Words cannot express how happy I was to not be constantly looking at a computer or phone. I missed this.
Mid January I came back to Alaska and as you can imagine the first order of business was to get back to work and see the Doctor for a 6 month check up on my leg. I still was having a lot of difficulty pointing my toes. After an X-Ray it was discovered that I happened to have an excess amount of scar tissue that has built up preventing me from moving the way I should be able to. So back to Physical Therapy and add in Massage Therapy. Yes, I finally had my first ever professional massage. She does a lot of cupping on my leg. It’s fascinating. I’ll be honest…I am disappointed in my lack of progress as I often feel like I have plateaued yet there are things I should be able to do that I physically can not and am still in pain.
Since I don’t like to do anything the normal way my Physical Therapist has become super creative and trying new ways to get my leg muscles and brain to work together. She told me that occasionally it can take two years for this to happen. Apparently 2019 didn’t get the memo that I planned on it being a non-medical year.
I was back in Alaska for two days and I noticed severe pain in my left thumb and finger. My finger even turned a dark purple color (occasionally super white) and stayed that way for almost 3 weeks before I finally went to the Doctor. I’m stubborn and figured that the color would go back to normal and the pain would go away. Long story short it took 4 different doctors a CT Scan, an ABI test (though instead of ankle it was my wrist), an Echocardiogram, and an X-ray to rule out blood clots and any other vascular and vein issues. It turns out I have an irregular form of Raynaud’s Disease, have tendonitis in my EPL, and a bone spur. So now I get to go to an occupational therapist as well.
Sometimes things happen for a reason, we may never know what that reason is; however that doesn’t change the fact that there was a reason. Maybe this year is trying to teach me patience, that everyone heals differently, and that sometimes all you can do is your exercises ad hope that someday your brain and leg muscles will work together.
I am grateful that I can walk unassisted and am able to get out and about more often. I’m also grateful for a job that allows me to take the time off that I need to get my body back on track with the 4 – 6 doctor appointments I have a week. And I hope that someday soon I don’t need to go to any appointments.
I may have said this back in 2015 to one of my closest friends; however, 2018 and 2019 are reteaching me that “No matter what path you take it won’t always be easy and sometimes you’ll doubt yourself. But life is both beautiful and brutal…most of it depends on your outlook. But easy it definitely is not. However, following your heart and doing what’s best for yourself always makes life a little sweeter.” – Haley 05/15
I chose Happiness, always happiness, even if I sometimes have a hard time finding it.
My next blog will be up in a few days and I’m excited to share what I’ve been up to since I’ve been back to Alaska and a fun adventure I have yet to complete.