The day before my ski accident was an awesome day.
The day before, I felt like life was exactly where it should be.
I didn’t know the next day I would be knocked unconscious, strapped onto a spinal board and rushed to the intensive care unit of the hospital.
How could I possibly know? So I didn’t dread what was to come. No, I just lived life.
And enjoyed a gangbusters day.
The day before my accident I hosted a series for the Sundance Channel, interviewing Sundance Film Festival goers about films and food.
I was doing what I love doing.
That evening was relaxing, fun, and delicious. Connor and I played cards in our condo, then hit Main Street for dinner, and listened to a live band at a local bar.
The day, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep, was a day for the record books.
Then the unexpected happened.
A crash on a ski slope, limply falling into a ravine, followed by days that I have no memory of.
The day before yesterday I was at one of my biweekly physical therapy appointments. They have me do exercises that hone in on my vestibular system (to work on my balance and coordination), which was most affected by the crash.
I’m making huge strides each week. From where I stand now, I can’t believe that just a few weeks ago I had trouble walking unassisted.
My current reality is the greatest lesson in patience I’ve ever had, because I want to be back to normal immediately…but the estimated time for my kind of injury is three months.
Three months feels like forever. Three months seems like a long time to press pause on my life’s goals and dreams. But as one of the experts I’ve talked to recently told me, “Three months is nothing in brain time.” And really, what’s three months in the scheme of things?
The thing I’m most grateful for is that I can still have the same dreams I had the day before the accident. And I do–they’re as strong as ever.
The day before today was different than any other day, because each and every day during my recovery is different. As well as I’m improving, I’ve learned that each day is unpredictable; this is not a linear process. One day I feel great, and the next day is a frustration, a struggle.
If I weren’t going through this myself, I would have no idea what this kind of recovery entails. It’s not as simple nor as consistent as watching a wound heal.
When I feel like I’m the only one who’s ever gone through something like this, I remember the people who have come out of the woodwork to tell me about their experiences. One friend in particular told me about how his injury gave him a deep appreciation for the brain: what a weird, yet incredible organ it is. And wow, how I appreciate my brain now.
The day before my accident I thought I’d be in Brazil right now.
I’m not in Brazil, but I’m in a good place.
I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so I just appreciate today.
The day of my accident, I kissed tragedy, then turned away from it. I’ve still got more living to do.