Friday, April 3, 2009

The Bigger They Are...

As many of you know I have officially made my decision for graduate school. I accepted the offer to attend the University of Michigan and now Wendy and I have started looking for a house in the area. In spite of what Wendy says on her blog, it was a difficult decision. Both schools were outstanding and Bloomington was gorgeous. There were pros and cons to both options.

While I was visiting the University of Michigan a couple of the graduate students took us on a tour. During the tour my toe snagged and I fell. I caught myself and got right back up, but it was pretty embarrassing. My hotel roommate (Kyle) was really the only person that knew about my accident, so everyone just thought I was a klutz.

For some reason that fall started a chain of them. I almost fell while talking on the phone at my house. I just about tripped down the stairs at school, I just about lost it handing back tests in my class. It's weird because I haven't fallen in quite some time. I must have caught the falling bug in Michigan. Either that or I have just gotten lazy with my walking. I am sort of a cocky guy.

Tonight, Wendy and I were talking about my first few days in the hospital: throwing up, getting diapers changed, trying to roll over, sponge baths... what wonderful memories! It will be nine months on the 9th of this month. Nine months ago I was miserable and helpless, lying on a hospital bed. It reminds me of all the people that helped me along the way. Family members that helped take care of me in the ICU. Friends that visited and took care of the kids. Ward members that brought in meals. Doctors, surgeons, nurses, therapists, and other professionals that dealt with all my medical issues. Colleagues at school that covered my teaching assignment and donated money to help cover costs. Most importantly, Wendy. It wouldn't be fair to her to publicly admit everything she has done to take care of me. You have all been wonderful.

What a startling contrast with my current condition. On Monday night we took the girls to the park. I participated just as much as any other parent. I watched them go down slides and pushed them on the swings. I held Ayden so she could swing across the monkey bars. At the end of the night I "chased" the girls to the car. My brand of running is pretty comical, but it is starting to approximate the genuine article. I am just happy to have the balance to do something remotely close. I never have to worry about distances anymore; I can walk about as far as I want. I can completely take care of myself now and I can almost get up stairs without using hand rails. While I was in Michigan, one of the professors asked if I was going on the tour and I made a comment about keeping up. He joked that I was pretty tall: if I took big steps I should be fine. I told him about my accident and he was shocked. That always surprises me; I still feel it in every step. But most people don't notice now unless they see me go up stairs. Even then I have been told that I am starting to look pretty natural.

I can still remember my time in rehab, and yet, it seems surreal. When I was in the hospital, I could remember paragliding, but it seemed like a dream as well. Like it happened to somebody else. Now the same is happening with the accident. The memories are fading. And as my strength and ability returns, it gets harder and harder to remember the struggles of those first few months.

For those of you looking for a comical post (Karen), I started out that way, but I ended a little sappy. Hopefully you don't mind. Thanks again to all of you. I couldn't have done it without you. I am thrilled to be where I am and confident that I will keep getting better.


Unknown said...

You know what.... You are truly an amazing person!! I am (for a lack of better word) glad that those memories are fading some. That just means that you are finally getting back to normal. You have fought so hard to come back from such a horrible accident. You deserve to not have those memories so fresh. Unfortunately, you will always carry the pain with you, so at least your mind can be a little fuzzy right?
As a side note... I am so excited for you choosing to go to Michigan, but my whole family is so sad to hear you guys are moving so soon =( It seems just like yesterday Wendy was saying in a couple of years we will be moving and now it is really happening. I really am sad to see you guys go. You better keep us updated on your bolgs!!!

Jamie said...

I guess I like sappy. When you talked about being wiht the girls at the park I cried. I know I take a lot for granted and I'm grateful for the reminder of what a blessing it is to have a healthy body. Thanks for being such an example of cheerfulness and faith during your recovery. I"m sure Wendy knows more than the rest of us at how desperate you felt at times but you always seemed to carry such a positive outlook. I"m sure that helped your recovery. ATtitude can make a huge difference. We love you and your family so much. You have been a blessing to us as neighbors and friends and we will really really really miss you all. I hate to even think about it. Crap... more tears.

Karen Brothersen said...

Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy.... I can't lie, I do love your sense of humor. However, the sappy is good too. But Kyle and I get a kick out of you. Thanks for all the laughs.