Chuck stopped by to leave a comment on my previous post that eventually turned into a novel (those of you who know Chuck know how this is par for the course) and I wanted to reprint it here for everyone to read.
Let Macgyver (and your friend) know that it really isn't the end of the world, it's a setback. I love working with my hands, and do lot of projecs too... everything from brewing beer to refinishing furniture. It takes longer, and I have to take my time and actually watch what I am doing, instead of working by feel, and I think my playstation days ended a long time ago, but the hard thing to get through my head was that it wasn't the end of the world. You have tyo adapt, and the fixes are neither immediate or easy.
Things that used to be easy, or even so simple I didn't consider them, are now often insurmountable (like buttoning a cuff or collar.) I was once completely unable to bathe myself, my hands were so sensitive I couldn't hold the poofy soap things. Hell, at one oint, I couldn't even wipe myself. Luckily, I was unable to kill myself, too.
It wasn't luck, it was love thsat saved me though. Carren and my Mom spent months picking up the pieces, putting me back together, and pushing me to do the little things that make up a normal day.
Don't get me wrong, I wanted to do things, but everything was so hard I had no idea where to start... They stuck by me and kept me focused. Valour-IT was a start, of course. As swelling went down and "angry" nerves calmed, I slowly regained strength and flexibility. I re-learned how to do things like get dressed in something other than sweats, and (the matterhorn of challenges) tie my kid's shoes. (It still takes a while.)
It's been 17 months now, and I am so far from where I was on 22 June 05 that it's hard to believe it was only a year and a half.
The surgeons and nurses at the Army Medical Centers are geniuses, as are the occupational and physical therapists--all the kings horses and all the king's men, as it were.
I never planned on any of this. I'd never have considered it, given it a second thought, except maybe to think "wow, better him than me." This was never part of my career path, not the way I envisioned my personal or professional life. As I look to the future, I see a lot of changes... I'm probably never going to tech the boy to throw a fastball properly, and never start that second career as a brain surgeon. Okay, so that was a long shot to begin with.
Things get better. Even if my injuries had been worse, things would've eventually gotten better. I doubt things will ever be the way they were (unless I sprout some nerves and bones--damn you, BushMcHalliburton, why can't we do more stem sell research?) but then again, it'll never be last Thursday again either. Plans change, life changes. Sure, when the movie we wanted to see isn't showing, we see someting else. Not hard, really. When something requires not only a conscious decision to do something else, but long, determined action(s) to make them happen (some of which fail, miserably) it is much harder to see the point in trying, and continuing. You continue anyway, making adjustments as you go, because the cost of quitting is too high--wallowing in self pity, failing to continue enjoying life, in effect, you were killed when you were wounded, you just took longer to die. (Wow, sounds like current our President's Iraq policy vs. Kerry, Murtha, Pelosi, and the rest of those cowards.)
Sounds pretty grim, doesn't it? Well, the good news is that, although life is a zero-sum game, I'm still living, still healing, still able to do things. I'll be here when my son pins on his bars, and when my daughter pins on hers. I'll be here to give her away, to whichever brave soul measures up to my standards. I'll even be around when Carren and I decide to sit outside nekkid in separate bathtubs and watch the sunset -- what's up with those cialis commercials, anyway? If he's taking stiffy meds, why aren't they in the same tub?
Plus, you get drugs. Lots of drugs.
Finally, if Macgyver hurts his hand(s) I'll deliver his Valour-IT laptop in person. And remind him, it could be worse, imagine losing a nut or two.
Recovery is a long, hard process (speaking of cialis). Remind your friend that if it was easy, we wouldn't call it rehab, we'd call it the Air Force. Life has a funny way of coming at you. As long as you have people who love you, and people to love, it's worth living.
Now, I would HATE to think that it would take MacGyver getting hurt to make it possible for me to meet up with Chuck again (after having met him in DC at the MilBlogging conference) but that would definitely be a silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud. Actually I'd be just as excited to meet up with his wife Carren again, if not moreso.
The one thing I've learned over the past week is that there are some truly wonderful people out there. People who are more than willing to bend over backward and do whatever needs to be done to help out. And I am greatful beyond words for that. This was "just" a friend who was hurt. Not my husband. I cannot tell you how comoforting, reassuring, and GOOD it is to know that should I EVER find myself in the position where my husband is hurt, I will be well-taken care of.
Thank you. And please, if you haven't already, head over to Project Valour-IT's website and make a donation today.