After arriving at the hospital, Tyler was waiting there for me and soon after all of my family and friends came in one-by-one. I had to have several tests, such as X-rays and CT scans, to determine all of my injuries. After the results came in, the doctor had concluded that I had a broken femur and broken elbow along with some other mild injuries. While those injuries were not life threatening, and trust me I am blessed, I still had no idea I was going to be okay or what the future would look like for me. I was due to have surgery that evening to put a rod into my leg and screws into my elbow and the doctor said this would fix the breaks. After what seemed like a forever wait, I was taken into the operating room to begin the process.
After surgery, I woke up to so much love and support from all of my family and friends which is exactly what I needed. The doctor told me that he was able to do both surgeries simultaneously and now I would be taken to a trauma room where I would spend the next several days before we decided what my post-operative care would be. The next morning my room was flooded with doctors and therapists to evaluate my physical state and each day following was met with “you will be here another night”. I can remember just wanting to go home so badly. Unfortunately, I could not walk like the doctor originally had said I would and no matter how many times the physical therapist got me out of bed, I made no progress towards walking. I felt so defeated and as though I would never be able to walk again.
Seven days after my accident, I was finally approved to move to an in-patient rehabilitation facility to begin the process of rehabilitating my leg to walk and function normally. Let me tell you… I did not want to go to rehab and had I been able to kick my leg, I would have went kicking and screaming. Despite my unwillingness to go, rehab ultimately gave me my life back in what seemed to have been the slowest process known to man. I had three hours of therapy everyday, even on the weekends. Everyday, my therapist would come in to the room with a smile on his face and I would just look at him like he was the worst person in the world. For the first several days we did the same thing over and over again. He would make me stand in between the parallel bars on a scale and shift my weight from side to side so he could determine how much weight I was putting on my leg. We would do this for nearly 30 minutes. It was horrible. We would always end the day with attempting to walk with the walker. It was the most defeating part of my day because day after day…I still could not take even one step. I would look at my leg and try to communicate with it but I could not even get a muscle twitch. The doctor and therapist continued to reassure me that it just takes time and each case is different so I just needed to be patient.
Thirteen days later I had the smallest, yet largest, victory of my life. I walked 8 feet. I was so overwhelmed with emotions because it was the first sign of hope that I was going to be able to walk again and because this meant I could finally plan to go home. Of course, my doctor was excited that I finally walked but quickly put a nail in my joy with telling me I had to stay two more weeks at the facility. I cried so much because, again, I just wanted to be home. My therapist told me the next day that I had to walk 150 feet to be discharged in two weeks or else I would be there longer. That far of a walk seemed impossible at the time since I had only walked 8 feet at this point. Quickly though, I moved from 8 feet to 24 feet within the next couple of days and I was so excited about all of the progress I was making. That is, until a few days after when I was unable to walk at all. I still do not know what happened because I had been making so much progress and then I regressed all the way back to not even being able to move my leg. I remember crying so hard while he was trying to assist me walking during therapy and I just could not move. Defeat had set in. I do not think I had ever felt so much misery in my life. It is hard not to feel defeated when everything was finally making progress and then BAM, back to square one.
The next day was a better day, thankfully. With each passing day my steps increased more and more. I went from not being able to move my leg at all to being able to walk with a walker and even give myself a shower. I finally had reached evaluation day in order to get approval to go home. I walked up 5 steps, got myself in and out of a car, and walked OVER 150 feet. I was so proud of myself and was finally given approval for discharge on March 29th. The journey was far from over at this point but it was a victory to even be able to walk. It is hard to put into words for you to understand just how challenging this process was for me. God knew I could not do it alone though and I would never have made it through being in the trauma unit and rehab if it were not for some pretty amazing people. Stay tuned for the next post that will be posted THIS WEEK to learn about my incredible mother and amazing best friend who were the real MVP’s of my journey.
To those feeling defeated,
Defeat is a hard feeling and even harder to get past when the world seems to be crashing down all around you. I encourage you today, though, to remain steadfast in the Lord and His promises. Stay strong friend because YOU CAN do this. No matter the trials facing you in life today, you WILL get through this. Do not let the enemy of defeat steal your joy and rob you of your faith. While in rehab I had to learn that delay is not denial. It was not God’s will for me to never walk again but He needed me to go through the process to teach me something. There is always a lesson to be learned. So, keep pressing past the pain and I promise you that your joy is on the other side. I believe in you!