Still Thankful

As Thanksgiving comes to a close and I prepare to head back to work tomorrow, I can’t help but think of all that I’m thankful for over the past year and more.  It can be so easy to get caught up in one’s own responsibilities that one forgets to find a time to pause and recognize all that is in their life.  Thus, I am going to spend time considering five such points in this post.

  • I am thankful for the color orange and for my younger sister’s hard work at making sure that everyone knew it was my favorite color in January 2015. I say this because I have many orange items now and, each time I see one, I think of the people who provided me with motivation and support that spring (and even now).  Just today, for example, I had such a thought as I was loading an orange mug into our dishwasher.
  • I am thankful for my ability to walk on my two legs. Yes, I look a bit like Frankenstein at times when I do walk, and yes, years from now I will have damaged my body enough due to how I can walk that I will need to have surgery.  Please know, however, that I can see how I am continuing to improve, too.  It’s just…so…slow.  However, what keeps me going is my ability to see that I continue to improve.  I am thankful I can see it.
  • I am thankful for the dog that my adventure partner and I adopted this fall (Optimus Prime…or, Optimus). He reminds me to find time to relax, to be excited about seeing each person each day, to appreciate and eat all of my food, and to enjoy snuggling.
  • I am thankful for the daylight. The days are getting shorter, and yes, I now wake myself up to a sun light each day (which, has greatly helped me adjust to the time change).  Still, the sun comes out and provides me a chance to appreciate it, as well as to appreciate the dark and what it, too, reveals.
  • I am thankful for my home. Not just the physical building that I have over my head, although I am quite thankful for that too, but my home is the community in which my adventure partner, Optimus, and I live.  It is full of people who have a different take on life in so many ways, which makes each of them beautiful and amazing.  I know that they are people I can count on if I need help, and people who will get up each day and do their best to consider others.

 

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Optimus Prime (aka Optimus) snuggles in with me for the night. 

Another School Year Started

I took a break from personally blogging this summer, and need to get back into the swing of doing it at least once a month. For these reasons, I thought I would post about my summer and the beginning of the school year.

For starters, the first week of the new school year is over.  Woo hoo, 🙂 I did it!  I will say that I notice my energy went up over the summer, which is exciting.  Still, I am quite exhausted in the evenings and have spent a good bit of time sleeping this weekend.

I am still going to physical therapy at the local hospital to work on my continued recovery.  Yes, this means that I’m continuing to also improve physically too.  I do still have foot drop, but I have become much stronger, the spasticity has decreased, and I can walk faster.  One of my goals is to be able to run, and I am happy to say that I got to a speed of 3.5 on the treadmill (which is the lowest speed for running), and I can do that for just over 3 minutes.  Yes, to do this I wear a harness that is attached to the ceiling in case I fall, but I can still do it!

This summer I worked again on the book I’m writing about my January 2015 life explosion (as I now call it). I finished another draft of it in early August, and am having someone edit it for me now. I actually think it isn’t too bad, and might possibly be something folks want to read. I’ve kept it focused on the patient perspective of everything I’ve been through. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it is worthwhile.

Third, I did get to go to my favorite place, Lake Vermilion, MN, this summer for two weeks. This year I had a chance to spend time with family, and I swam in the lake. I tried out a pool later in the summer too. FYI, swimming is very hard, but also very enjoyable. A special moment was when my niece taught me to do all of the swimming moves she learned from her swim instructor when I told her that I was afraid to swim. Like a good student, I listened to her instructions.

I also taught a summer course, which was quite enjoyable, and I prepared for my fall semester courses.  Now that I have a better understanding of my disabilities, I was able to be more strategic in my planning.  All of this is to say that I feel as though I’m both improving and adjusting…hopefully the first year back was the hardest for this “new” body I inhabit.

It was great to see the students both in classes this week, as well as those in the Western 1st Generation Society (W1Gs) group.  I am very excited to say that all of the students in the group came back to WIU this fall, and are prepared for the Activities Fair next week.  I anticipate it will be a great year thanks to all of them too!

Finally, no great year would be complete without a new dog.  He is a 5 year old PomChi mix that we adopted from the McDonough County Animal Shelter.  I know that not everyone is a dog person, but it is pretty awesome to have something SO EXCITED to great me each time I come home.  Dogs are the best! 🙂

Optimus Prime our 5 year old ChiPom mix.

Optimus Prime our 5 year old ChiPom mix.