I cannot believe how different life is.
My last post was in October and it had been a month since I had posted, today it has been almost 3 months since my last post and honestly, my world could not be more different if I had tried.
The holidays were great for us even with the typical stress that is faced during the holiday season. We felt the stresses of being an unemployed couple during the most costly time of the year, but I think that was quickly overshawdowed by the extreme trauma our community as well as our whole nation felt during that time. While 2012 was full of feelings from when Matt was in the hospital, I can’t help but think shock kept me from feeling the extent of the trauma, yet when the Clackamas Town Center shooting happened just down the road and the Sandy Hook tragedy only a few days later, my soul was deflated. As I was fortunate to not have any “personal” connection to either experience, I couldn’t help but feel for the families and the communities affected and I spent many days in my own head debating human kind, God and the world we live in. I remember the Friday when Sandy Hook happened, where I gave up UFC with friends and family to go to a church concert with my mother, and to know that the church where the beautiful choir sang Silent Night was the defining moment of the Christmas 2012 for myself. I knew UFC and conflict was not where my soul could continue and thrive and the place where I felt safe and close to my Lord was I needed to be.
Beyond that, this time was what I needed. I started grad school and it was much harder than I thought. I knew it wouldn’t be easy- don’t get me wrong, but I couldn’t imagine the amount of time and dedication I had to give, yet in the end, I couldn’t help but know that it is where I belonged and where my destiny had been leading me. No blogs were posted because if there was any time I was on my computer, it was doing homework or at least research related to my schooling. And while in this time I was pushed to my limits, I found what I was called to do and found what I loved and found what I was capable of. A research class that had me crying more than when Matt was in the hospital opened my eyes to so much, I found my calling to work in the field of trauma, the military community and the love of research as much as it kills me. And even has me leaning towards the possibility of pursuing my psy.D (doctorate degree).
Now, even more important, the update on Matt. 3 years means a huge variety of changes.
He is now (pretty much) driving. He spent several weeks with an occupational therapist from the VA who specializes in driving rehab. It was great to have the simulator to get him prepared and he spent several weeks behind “the wheel” of a simulator. Just the other week he moved up to work with the therapist behind the wheel of a car (the VA’s car) and from what I hear- it won’t be much longer before he is done with this chapter of his recovery.
We finally got a chance to meet with the orthopedic surgeon who decided that surgery on his shoulder is really not necessary. This is a huge answer to our prayers because even though Matt didn’t want it to begin with, if a surgeon recommended it, we probably would have considered it. But over Christmas break when we had a chance to meet and review his records and x-rays, it was concluded that surgery wouldn’t be necessary to a functional life and that although his right shoulder looks a little different, it is just fine.
Everything else is going quite smoothly. He still has several appointments each week but mostly just building on his current therapies. He had an extensive neuropsychology appointment which we will meet and discuss the results (and subsequent treatment plan) in a few days. He is off ALL medication and experiences no pain on a daily basis. He joined my gym in December and is working mostly on cardio and endurance to prepare for working and he simply amazes me during our time there. He pushes himself and even runs some on the treadmill!
He continues to be my rock. I can’t imagine a world without him and he is my everything. His social skills are improving and although I pick up on his faults, from those who don’t know him as well as I do, say he is just fine which is just icing on the cake. My goal this term is to stay more connected. Being the first term of grad school I gave up everything in stride for straight A’s, but decided it was more important that I connect with friends and love ones. So I truly do hope to update this blog regularly especially as Matt continues to make progress. And while this whole situation has brought both Matt and I closer to our God, and I know several of my previous posts were connected to a bible verse, I have so many more influences and recently this quote has been in my heart:
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” -Kurt Vonnegut