It's my birthday! Honestly, I'm not a big birthday celebration person. Usually I dread them; more so since my initial injury because I am yet to accomplish the things I want too. Also, I had a great childhood that I miss. This birthday was different though. There was much to celebrate. I was alive all because a knowledgeable neurosurgeon listened, and stabilized my neck so it wouldn't move in ways it shouldn't due to the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). To celebrate we went out to dinner. My sister knows I hate attention, so she told our waitress it was my birthday and to do whatever she can to get all the people that were sitting on the patio by us involved. This led everyone singing me happy birthday...I was so embarrassed.
June 30th, 2016
It was a warm summer day. Despite it being hot out it was important to me to go to the park with my nieces and my mom. As luck would have it, there were multiple kid's camps going on. This led to many stares. In this type of situation, you can't take it to heart. They're kids. Probably none of them have ever seen a halo before. So what do you do? You smile at them, and go about whatever you're doing. When the kids saw me playing with my nieces, I wasn't as scary looking and a couple came over to play, and some were inquisitive and asked questions. Use the halo as a learning experience for them. All you have to say is, "I hurt my neck, and this is a crazy looking brace to help my neck heal by keeping it from moving". After explaining, my nieces and I played bocce ball. Since I can't throw, I played by kicking the ball.
|Once my nieces and I got tired of playing bocce ball, or should I say, the tops of my feet started becoming bruised from kicking the bocce ball, we decided to work on our balancing skills.|
It was doctor day with my neurosurgeon, Dr. F. My appointment was to discuss my upcoming halo removal. We already had a tentative date of July 14, 2016. I did not want my halo removed; yes, I know, probably the only person in a halo that says this. There's a reason I didn't want it removed though. My neck felt good in the halo, and I was concerned my upper C spine was unstable from my skull-C2. The other reason I didn't want it removed was because my mom and I were heading back to Colorado so I could do some physical therapy, and my nieces were coming with. I wanted to feel good while we were there. Dr. F said it was okay to keep the halo on until I got back from Colorado, and that it was also a good thing because it would allow my C3-T2 fusion to heal more. The new halo removal date was set for August 25, 2016.
|Legitimately happy to have my halo time extended.|
I was going on my first big outing since my halo application, and surgery in April. My family and I went to the zoo. It was so hot out, but it was worth it. I will say, my body was so sore the next day. The halo is 7-8 pounds. My legs and rest of me was so sore. It was still a fun day, and ended with a beautiful sunset.
|My niece Emily and I. We tease that a bull is my inner spirit animal because it has horns, and my halo has "horns". Emily is pretending to have them; hence the reason her fingers are sticking up by her head.|
|I very much believe this|
July 4, 2016
Happy 4th of July in the U.S. Our tradition is to go watch the fireworks by the lake. It's typically crowded so my biggest concern, along with my family is that I would get bumped into once it was dark out. Fortunately, my family is creative, and having my nieces living with us meant we had glow sticks. We got to the lake early to get a seat and in the meantime my nieces decorated my halo in glow sticks. This worked out perfectly when it was dark because nobody bumped into me.
|My family and I|
|Never thought I would be decorated in glow sticks...in public. They did a good job though. It looks like I have headphones on.|
It was an exciting day. Since May I had been bringing my dog Daisy to become certified as therapy dog so we could volunteer and bring a little happiness to people. Her trainer said she also qualifies as a service dog for my needs. Daisy has been around my medical since she was a puppy. On July 6th she passed her test and graduated. There is a lot that I can't do, and there is a lot I want to do. I want nothing more than to help people. If that means bringing Daisy to the nursing home, or hospital etc. then it's a good thing. I've always wanted to work in the medical field; orthopedics specifically. Since I don't see that happening at this point in life, for now I'll try to help in other ways.
|Congratulations Miss. Daisy. You're official!!|
It was 3 days before my mom, nieces, and I would start the drive to Colorado. My nieces have never driven cross-country before like this so my mom and I were excited to show them. We took them out to lunch to talk about the drive, and we made a list so they could double check that they had all the things they'd need.
|Emily and I|
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