Hello friends, christy here. I’m driving across Texas to little rock Arkansas with my sister for a wedding we are going to this weekend and it has given me a lot of time to reflect on all the things I am thankful for since I started on this crazy journey 7.5 months ago.
-First and foremost, I am thankful to be alive! God decided he had more in store for me that night back in April when I saw the boat speeding towards me and afterwards when I was bleeding out in the water. I’m thankful for Tim, Robert and Michelle and the paramedics who kept me alive in those early hours!
-I’m thankful for my family:
I wouldn’t recommend losing your leg to anyone, but if you are going to do it, having a twin sister who just graduated medical school and can be at your bedside in hours is highly recommended. Jess took such great care of me, fought the doctors for things, kept track of my medications, and eventually moved to San Antonio to work at the hospital where I was doing rehab so she could continue being with me in my recovery! She has put up with me during all the ups and downs. Recently I got to take her to New York on a wounded warrior trip as a way of saying thank you for all she has done for me.
-I’m thankful for my brother. Last weekend he surprised me by showing up in San Antonio for my last few days of rehab. We continued our “wise kids kids taking on the world” by skydiving together! It was awesome. On a serious note though, I’ll never forget when my brother and sister in law and niece and nephew walked into my hospital room in Texas only days after the accident- I was so relieved to have them there! My brother has never cried but he said the night that they found out I lost my leg, he did. Months later I called him one night when I couldn’t sleep because of pain. I told him that night, “Dave, I would do anything to have my leg back.” He said, “I would do anything to have your leg back too, sis. I would give up my Olympic medal and the fame, any of it- if you could have your leg back.” I couldn’t believe he said that!
I am so blessed with Jess and Dave.
Not to forget my parents though, I am also thankful for them. My mom has been to San Antonio several times and does the best “mom” things – plants flowers for us in our planter box outside, laundry, dishes, takes us to the movies and in general makes sure I’m doing alright. My dad visited while I was in the hospital. Jess and Tim basically had my care (medications, schedule, etc) under control but my dad noticed I was having a hard time sleeping and then 100 different nurses or doctors would wake me up in the morning for blood draws or whatever after I had finally gotten asleep. I’ll never forget how my dad posted his chair at the door one morning and glared at anyone who wanted to come in. Most turned around and the few that continued past him must have been important.
– ok, sorry for that tangent, ill make this shorter. I’m thankful for my boyfriend Tim. After saving my life, he’s been with me every step of the way since and we’ve had so many adventures together! God knew I would need him and I can’t imagine this journey without his support.
– I’m thankful for “the A team” at the center for the intrepid – my prosthetist John and my therapists Alicia and Troy who have helped me the past 7.5 months to get better, stronger and back to my job! Because of them I am currently on my way home to Georgia! John helped me gets these 3 legs that I’ll put to work – and Troy and Alicia helped me run, lift, walk smoothly, etc etc to do that. I made them some picture collages to illustrate all the things they helped me do which I will share with you:
– I’m thankful for my fellow patients who have totally inspired and encouraged me- August and Jeremy (first AF above knee amputtee PJs – pararescue jumpers- to be retuned to duty), Donna, Colleen, Jeannette, and brant! Rehab would have been so much harder without them.
-I’m so thankful to be heading home to Georgia and to my squadron and base who have been so supportive of me this entire time!
– lastly, I’m thankful for all of you- everyone who has prayed for me or sent me cards or flowers or called or visited. I have never felt so loved and blessed. How is it possible that I have some many good people around me?
Happy thanksgiving from christy and Jess – enroute to Arkansas where we are so excited and thankful for the buchholtz and Saenger families and the time we get to spend with them. 🙂