Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Emotional Review

So I went into hibernation mode, which is normal for me, and I'm only temporarily peaking my head out right now to say, OMG! we went through a lot last year! Obviously, many people are way ahead of me in realizing this, but my emotions are just catching up. I am an anniversary kind of gal, so good or bad, anniversaries mean a lot to me. The anniversary of when Fred and I first met and had our first date and got married are very special. The anniversary, aka birthday for Kalyn, will always be a special and wild ride down memory lane for me.

The more difficult anniversaries are harder because they are not ones you celebrate, but I still feel the need to honor and mark the day as something big that happened in my life. My dad has been gone for four years, and the anniversary of his death is still really hard for me. On the anniversary of Fred's accident, I avoided the computer and expressing anything because it was still too raw for me. Now, as we are coming up on the anniversary of Fred being discharged from rehab one year ago, I find my emotions bubbling over and writing the best way to let it out.

I usually try to be the "glass half full" or "on the bright side" kind of person, and I do truly believe that there is good to be found in even the worst situations (sometimes it just takes some time and looking back to find it). Last year, in the midst of a really tough situation, I was in denial about a lot of possibilities, and I was trying to find any silver lining to each and every dark cloud in my horizon.

All of the dark clouds are gone now, and I am sobbing as I write this, because we are all ok. Now I'm laughing as I review that sentence because it doesn't appear to make sense. I held on to the hope and wish for Fred to be ok/fine/like he was before the entire time and never wanted to believe the doctors' diagnosis of the severity of his injury because I just wanted him to be ok and be back with us as our family.

I guess I am finally letting go of the part of myself that was so afraid last year of all of the worst outcomes and the part that I was never able to share or go to myself very often. I am releasing that pain and suffering now because we really are fine, especially Fred. He is back to his normal self, whatever that was before the accident. He hasn't yet been back on a bicycle, but I'll save that for another post...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grand Canyon

We had a great run in the Grand Canyon, and a wonderful weekend overall. At first I thought I was crazy to go out and do something physically hard as our weekend away without a kid, but it ended up being a great way to reconnect and spend time together like we did together before we had a child. Even the drive was easy and fun because I wasn't entertaining a toddler.

It's not a race, but I timed myself and had my personal best time by about 45 minutes! I made up most of that time by running the entire downhill and also never sitting down to rest. I have said in the past that the downhill is physical and the hike out is mental, and I could tell I was mentally stronger after the past year when it comes to facing a challenge. It also helped that is was cloudy the whole day, and I never got hot. Everything came together for me on the same day, and I felt proud of myself.

Fred had a good day too. Sunday was 11 months since the accident, so it was pretty amazing to see him do so well. He took it easy and enjoyed his day with a friend that was doing the run for the first time. It was great to see him get out and do something that he loves, and I didn't even worry about him!

Days later, walking is still difficult, but I'm starting to feel better and happy that all the soreness will mean more muscle power in the future.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The State of Things

With everything going on in the world lately and then a few minor person annoyances, I have been in quite a funk lately. Nobody likes feeling down, but sometimes I have a hard time enjoying a day where everything seems wonderful and the stars have aligned because that means there is a bad day(s) coming. I am aware I do this, so I have been trying to just enjoy the good ones because when I have a bad day, I believe it is necessary to truly enjoy the good ones in the cyclical nature of life.

I spent a semester in Japan in college. The area I went to was between Osaka and Kyoto, so it wasn't anywhere near places that were affected by the earthquake and tsunami, but the whole disaster has made me feel a lot of pain and suffering. When a huge disaster happens, I have a hard time grasping the enormity of the situation, but any story about someone's person plight or loss can send me reeling. The loss, the people saving each other and the gratitude people find in such horrible circumstances brings me to tears.

Locally, a family's house burned to the ground this week, there was a head on collision with two vehicles on the highway and 3 people died and a friend's dad died. All of these things going on outside my little world have made me really take a step back and realize that the minor annoyances like my car being in the shop for 2 weeks is nothing to complain about.

Have you ever read the lululemon manifesto? I first read it on a lululemon bag while waiting to come through customs after my Canadian marathon. When I got home from that trip, my mom had been in toronto and got me one of their jackets, so now I love their clothing and their manifesto. I have a couple of their bags and think it would be beneficial to read the entire thing everyday because it is all things that are worth hearing every day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crazy People

When I first met Fred, he had been running the Grand Canyon (down the south kaibab and up bright angel) every spring for years. After a few years, I decided to try it for myself. This year will be my 7th time since I took a few years off while I was pregnant and Kalyn was little.

Most people think we are crazy to do this, and sometimes I agree with that, but it is an amazing day full of beauty and pushing myself to levels of strength and endurance I didn't know I had.

Here's to another great day in the Canyon!

My Evening Ramblings

One thing I learned about having a stay at home Spring Break - I didn't get a lot of work done or house projects done, but I was able to write! Then I had a week of frantically catching up on work things and didn't make any time to do things for myself. By the end of the week, I was a mean grouchy person and didn't like myself. I don't know how many reminders I must have before I get it, but that week was a big reminder of what I need in my life.

I finished reading Stones into Schools, and loved the entire book. I had borrowed it from the library, but now I want to buy it. I also want Fred to read it. He is not a novel reader, but I think he would really enjoy the book and relate to Greg's passion and determination.

There has been a shift in my life lately where I feel like my days are really full and busy, but I feel like I have made an effort to take unnecessary things off of my plate and only focus on important things like my family and what I really have to get done. Maybe it is the shift in trying to only do one thing at once rather than 5, so my day is still really full, but I'm trying to do a better job at each individual thing. My day is mostly filled with things that make me happy, and I am constantly thankful that I am not a mother that works in an office from 8-5 M-F to rush home and make dinner and try to squeeze in some quality time each night.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I started reading Greg Mortenson's book, Stones into Schools, yesterday. I was surprised to have him talk about speaking in our town in the first chapter of the book. I remember when he came to give his talk, but it was before I had read Three Cups of Tea, and Kalyn was small at the time, so I didn't made any effort to try and go.

Normally, I am not one to enjoy a nonfiction book, but this book has me at the first chapter. Mortenson talks about how amazed he was with how giving this community was when he gave his talk, and it brought tears to my eyes because of how giving this community was towards us last year.

I loved how he talked about making a difference in tiny towns that are hard to reach and get them to be self sustaining because I have been thinking a lot lately about how I generally don't do anything very well when I try to do too much. Right now in my life, anything beyond raising a happy child and keeping up with our small family feels like too much, so I'm not going to judge my life next to the greatness of people that can go out into the world and made a big difference for a lot of people because that is not where I'm at.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Medical Bills

We are getting very close to the year anniversary of Fred's accident, and you know what medical bill I'm still dealing with???? Swedish. He was flown to Swedish the evening of his accident because it was the best place for him to be, a level one trauma hospital, connected to Craig Hospital which only handles brain injury and spinal cord patients. There was some thought put into what hospital to send him to by the doctors here. I believe it was the right choice for him at the time, and they attended to him when he was in the most uncertain and fragile portion of his recovery.

Right now I feel like the left hand is not talking to the left as we try to sort out the bill. He had his accident on a Tuesday, and by Friday they were talking about admitting him to Craig the following week. In retrospect, this is REALLY fast when it comes to a brain injury. Less than a week after he hits his head, he can go to a rehab hospital because his physical injuries were not that bad, but his head injury was really bad. I have been reminding myself of that lately, and I have to because he has had such an amazing recovery. He was really hurt, and even a week or two post accident they were still saying it would be great if he could return to work within a year. The doctors in the ICU were asking what he did for work during the first few days after his accident, and I told them he worked at a computer and they shook their heads and said how brain injury patients tended to get headaches if they sat in front of a computer for long periods of time. I have pushed some of these things far back in my memory, and it takes effort to bring them back because they were scary and not fun. The happy thought is he had an amazing recovery and defied all the odds and statistics.

Back to the bill. His final night/day at Swedish was Sunday night and Monday afternoon he was admitted to Craig, which only admits on weekdays. He wasn't ready to admit on a Friday and by Monday he was just scraping by as being ready. The whole bill dispute comes down to a matter of precertification. If you are lucky enough to never have had any major medical experience, it is basically the hospital calling your insurance company to say you are in need of such care and your insurance company agrees to pay for some portion of your care. The hospital never called the insurance company for his final day at Swedish. Who do I need to talk to and explain I could not have checked him into a hotel at this time??? He was still a risk to himself, trying to get out of bed while still unstable on his feet and not remembering much. Luckily, I have been able to talk to the rep from the insurance company that works with the company he works with, and she is trying to get it all resolved.

We are so fortunate to have health insurance while going through all of this, but it is so frustrating when the medical billing companies and the insurance companies can't work together and figure it out. The cycle currently goes like this: the medical billing company calls be about the bill (which is exactly for his last day that wasn't precertified; therefore, I am not paying it), I call the rep at the insurance company that they called me about the same issue we just talked about, the rep calls the hospital (different company than the billing company) about sending the paperwork they need to pay the bill for his final day. A few months go by and we repeat the whole process.

No promises, but I might just throw a party when this whole thing is resolved!