Hey ExoSym friends, Happy Fall! I hope everyone is doing well. I want to send a thank you to all those who have reached out to me over the last several months. From cards to texts, to calls and care packages… #TeamExoSym is more than a group of individuals who use a device, it is a family of friends and I am grateful for your friendship and support. ♥
Before I go on, I want to take a moment to remember and honor an Exobuddy of ours, Jeff Little. Several years ago, a few of us Exobuds got together in Austin to run a relay race for Jeff who was courageously fighting cancer. This past September, Jeff went to his heavenly home. We will always remember Jeff as someone who lived his life with faith and courage and I will never forget his positive spirit. The ExoSym has granted us the privilege to know some pretty amazing people and Jeff was definitely one of them.
Speaking of amazing people, I want to give a shout-out to a few Exobuddies of mine – it’s amazing to see what everyone has been up to! [fist pump]
– Liz, who had her first baby. Congratulations!
– Dominique, who can be found hiking or biking literally anywhere she travels [and doing so in style I might add!]
– Bub, who walked his first half-marathon! #GoBubGo
– Lucy, who won the title of World’s Strongest Disabled woman! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
– Katy, who is training for the upcoming Keys to Recovery Project Athena Foundation adventure! #PAFfam
– Lisa, who is training and competing in the Wodapalooza CrossFit qualifiers. [get it girl]
If you are in the ExoSym Facebook group, you can read about more amazing things the Exo community is up to – it’s incredible. If Instagram is your cup of tea, check out #exosym or #teamexosym to connect with more ExoSym teammates.
As for me, well 2018 hasn’t quite gone according to my vision board. 🙂 [Gotta laugh right?] But in all honesty, it’s been pretty tough. In the time since my last post, I’ve had two more leg surgeries and several intensive hospital stays with IV treatments to address my complex nerve injuries and CRPS. I’ve spent more time in hospitals, ambulances, and doctors offices than I have wanted to [it’s been a bit “ruff” so to speak], but thankfully therapy dogs visited me in the ICU. ♥
Looking back over 2018, it’s hard to believe I’ve been on crutches for 6+ months of the year. It’s definitely taken a toll on blog post creativity and the amount of cookies I can eat…
A lot of people have been asking me what’s going on, so I’ll do my best to explain. As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II (aka CRPS II) after injury to a nerve in my fourth surgery in 2012. Thankfully the ExoSym has helped my leg for many years and I was able to return to full function [aka live an #ExoSymplyAmazing life], but early this year it was discovered that several nerve and musculoskeletal issues were likely missed from my original injury and other injuries over the past few years [like falling from a rope] have all combined to rapidly accelerate my condition – something no one could predict. All the surgeries and IV Ketamine treatments I’ve been going through this year have been to correct as much as possible so that I can get back to living a life without pain, and return to the ExoSym, or even better, need a device only for activity. It’s a very unique set of injuries coupled with a unique nerve condition that I have and I am grateful for my team of surgeons who are dedicated to getting me back up on my feet.
While I do feel hopeful, I acknowledge this year has been tough on the psyche. Going from being extremely mobile with my ExoSym back to using crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, pain pumps, epidurals, having my leg in and out of surgical wraps, boots, and at times, being carried by my dad because of the pain, I’ve really had to make sure to keep my mindset in a positive direction – it’s become a daily practice.
The interesting thing about life is that we never know what it will bring. You can pick up a leaf and let go to see what direction the wind blows, but do it again the next day, and the leaf could float an entire different way. This is life and life is change. I never wanted my condition to change; I wanted things to stay the same, but life is change. Nature understands this, but for some reason it’s harder as humans to accept this. As I’m still in the midst of more treatments and a possibly an eighth leg surgery, I don’t know what the future holds, but my surgeons are optimistic and so am I.
We never know what life will bring, but we can have peace in knowing what we can bring to our lives and that is the sheer determination to keep going no matter what. ♥
Love to you all. Keep the faith, never give up.
#beYOU #beAMAZING #ExoSymplyAmazing