The Return Home and Apollo

Thursday, March 9th –  Saturday, March 11th

Thursday night and finally my first two days back home! So nice to be sleeping in my own bed. Got up to the restaurant for some pre-March Madness basketball…Forgot about fractured rib…PAIN. Hit first few sessions of physical therapy in the home. Got back to some normal life stuff but mainly back to Apollo, my pup 😊. Being back home with him is something that can’t be matched as far as being comfortable and at home. Again thank you to everyone that have and continues to reach out and support me and my family. Love y’all!

 

Thursday night ended up being my best night of sleep yet, felt like I finally earned a little of the rest after doing physical therapy, a mentality I would slowly have to adjust after being used to doing some much physical activity in a day – to almost a dead halt in activity.    It took me a day or two to realize how much energy the process of healing takes not only trying to heal a snapped femur but to accept this new addition of a metal rod into my body. Mentally the body needs rest as well so when I viewed it as a rest for both my body and mind, I understood how much of an opportunity I have that most people don’t get to have, especially for such an extended period of time. Yeah I’d be on crutches a lot of the time and would need a lot of help…but there are too many good things around to be that upset about a broken bone. For example: returning home to my best friend, to my bub, the one, the only: Apollo. He had a spend-the-night with my sister, Meghan and her dog, Alaulua (Ah-LOO-LAH) 😁 while I was in the hospital. Apollo was dropped off right before my Mom and I pulled up to home. He was so excited to see me until he saw how slowly I was moving getting out of the vehicle, so from barking behind the front entrance windows, ‘DAD! DAD! DAD!” and excitement it went to gently walking up to me, smelling, and being real docile “Hey Dad…are you okay?” Wouldn’t leave my right side when I was sitting down. So very curious, sniffing about and around the ‘weird skin-stickers that covered 3 of Dad’s metal-staple cuts’. Also, we have a lot of pets, animals that reside here that you will get to read about and see in the future… 3 cats. 2 dogs. 1 Max 🤣. So I think Apollo was hovering around that right side to be a little protective of anyone or thing getting too close. One thing that stinks the most about being one leg-down is not being to wrestle with the big dude. Soon enough.

IMG_3804
“Just loving life, laying with sliced-open-broken-metal-leg Dad…”

Nothing like being back home. I felt an immediate wave of relief getting into the house. Also, once I maneuvered and navigated through the entire downstairs and upstairs, I got a little more confidence and reassurance that: this is the least amount of weight I’ll be able to put on and range of motion I will have in that right leg. Another testament to Crossfit Charleston, among the family-community that is established there, is the actual programming and training of the body and mind. The mental conditioning from facing that “fight or flight” mechanism we get from just even showing up to the box to hit a wod or lift is something that makes day to day tasks very manageable. Combined with that “fight or flight” mechanism being engaged, the effort that’s poured out by anyone at any certain level of fitness not only helps the body and mind develop but most importantly , I believe what all exercise in any shape or form should push and grow: your heart and soul. For me in this current situation, that previous mental fortification has me looking forward to the challenges of moving around with crutches, getting in and out of vehicles, and hitting my physical therapy…Yeah it’s going to be tiresome and going to wear me out because I’m not used to doing it but it’s all for the improvement, that next day of being a little bit stronger mentally and a little bit better physically. One day at a time, one step at a time. For me that’s where the beauty and purpose of the crossfit ideology really lies and is really nailed on the head by the Crossfit Charleston community and coaches. Not to mention the obvious physical benefits the programming has provided me of my left leg, upper body and core being strong enough for me to maneuver on the crutches (very similar to locking out at the top of a ring-dip or muscle up). Also making my physical therapy on the legs a lot easier when I can apply as much pressure as I want when stepping and walking on that right leg and foot because of the control I have with arms, back and core.

DoomsCorner
Three of “Doom’s” favorite things: Clemson Tigers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Budweiser. A little Christmas present from the kids this past year to Dad! Wild Wing Oakland has so much respect and love for Doom they let us hang the board over his corner booth.

With so much focus on my leg I kinda forgot about the fractured rib. So after a day of riding in a vehicle for the first time, we ended up going to Doom’s Corner (I’ll be referencing this spot in the future so I’ll explain it now to avoid confusion: My Dad’s fantasy football team name, also name of corner booth he always sits at👊🏼😎 in the Wild Wing Cafe @ Oakland ) – After laying in the hospital the last few days I couldn’t wait to just hang out and watch some basketball after all March Madness started in a week and these were all the conference championship tournaments being played, had to get some research-viewing in! It was great to hang out with Dad. Mallory and Mom headed to the store to get a few things we needed around the house. I could feel my rib on the way up to the restaurant, nothing more than just a slight point of really dull pressure. As time went on in the restaurant, I could feel that pressure building a little more – up against my lung as I was breathing. (Not really aware that the serious pain medication they had me hooked up to in the hospital was wearing off 😐)…After about two hours at Doom’s Corner, we headed home…by that time it was definitely more than pressure, the pain started showing up a tiny bit more with every breath. It seemed like laying down made it worse for a time, I was laying there in probably the most amount of pain I had been in since when they had to move my leg for the x-ray pre-surgery. After about 15 mins of real painful breathing, it started to dull and I was able to relax a little more and breathe a little deeper with each breath. Really freaked me out. I can deal with limb pain but pain when breathing is like a form of torture. From then on out: We  RESPECTED the fractured rib. I fell asleep thankful that night just to be able to breathe without pain.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 11.10.32 AM
PT Session Day 2 Home! Crossover Symmetry seated to warm up shoulders, upper back, and arms for crutch-walks. Instagram 🎥!

Woke up the next morning feeling great! First night sleeping in my own bed, we have a very relaxing little setup in the bedroom. My sister Meghan lent me her essential oil diffuser and with the supplies of essential oils we have, there is a nice rotation of lavender oil to sooth and calm at night time and then lemon oil to wake up and breathe in the morning. Also had the thunderstorm sounds playing on youtube at night time, game-changer for resting. So I woke up and hit my physical therapy movements provided by my PT Mike upstairs and then came downstairs for upper body work and crutch-walks! It’s not an insane amount of work but the amount of energy it takes the body to heal is still surprising me, after the session I’m pretty darn tired. However it’s the best type of tired to feel.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 11.08.36 AM
Sock game must remain on point. For this PT session: Darth Vader…after-all the dude got three of his limbs sliced off, burned up and was walking the next day. 😈

 

IMG_5306
CAT GRASS!, Mint, Sunflowers, Mini Roses, Parsley, Basil, and “Alicia” Aloe in that plastic terrarium

After my late morning of physical therapy, we put our little herb garden on the back patio and I posted up out there sitting next to them, trimming and watering the plants with the beautiful, warm low country sun radiating down…the outright highlight of the day. After being used to working outdoors for several hours a day every other day to going to almost no sunlight, it’s amazing how much that affects the psyche. After about 15-20 minutes I could feel my body and mind soaking up and enjoying the sun rays…similar to a thirsty person chugging a bottle of water, it felt like my body was doing the same with the sunlight. From here on out, 20 minutes minimum in the sun daily is required as part of my recovery plan. The human being is designed to be outside. Sweating and breathing the fresh air…Not sitting at a desk for 8 hours…in school or in the office. SO if you’re reading this and you’ve been sitting on your butt for more than an hour, stop reading. Get up. And go for a walk outside. “Pay now, or you will pay double later!” Plus it’ll make you that much more efficient  when you get back on the project or task you are working on or studying. Alright I’m off my soap box, done preaching. The only real negative thing that occurred Saturday was my stomach not being able to hold anything down. Threw up two different times trying to snack on relatively healthy food, a slice of ham and a sip of apple juice. Both came right back up 🤢. That was extremely frustrating, my love of food was being diminished by the pain medication…a necessary evil for now. To end on a positive note, at the very end of the night I was able to hold down a small bowl of chicken noodle soup and that made all the difference in the world.

The messages and the donations were still coming in throughout the Friday and Saturday, again the amount of support and love I am receiving is incredible. God is doing truly amazing things. I am so blessed and consider my self truly fortunate to be able to shine light on His love with this story of healing and recovery. Which wouldn’t be possible without people like y’all and my family, constantly pouring your prayers and love out for me. Just going to give a quick shoutout and inadequate Thank you to the following people…

These two giving within the first night!

  • Zan Elvington
  • Lindsay Coleman

Thank you so much for setting the tone and reaching out like that. The following day these friends and family reached out and gave:

  • Meg Taylor
  • T-Nic!
  • Gigi Collins
  • Sean Shevlino
  • Mary Kohlbeck
  • Brittany Dunne
  • Stephanie Corey
  • Brenda von Glahn
  • The Armstrong’s
  • Gigi Collins
  • Traynor’s
  • John Doble
  • Sandy Peabody

Again, this isn’t a big enough thank you but you all deserve a shoutout for be so unselfish and giving like you did…Another cluster of family and friends followed those days up:

  • Leslie Cole
  • Chris Harry
  • Michael Mitchell
  • Brookshire’s
  • Marci Mitchell
  • Davidson’s
  • Jessie Strozier
  • Mysterious Doner!

Some of you may have been strangers before this but now I just see this list as a combination of friends and family. If I missed anyone, I will catch it next post and won’t forget! To the one’s who personally messaged me with words and prayers, I look forward to continuing our conversations! This goes to everyone, reaching out and keeping me up and afloat, not just monetary wise but most importantly; spiritually and emotionally, something that you can’t put a price on. My family and myself would not be able to do this without all the help that y’all have provided. Like I said this is hardly thank you enough, but I just wanted each of y’all to know that, I know. And I’m going to do my best to contribute back the way y’all have contributed forward. So much love for this community. Thank you again, I look forward to it all with y’all.

 

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future… Because believing that the dots will  connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference… Your time is limited. So don’t waste it by living someone else’s life… Don’t be trapped by dogma: which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life. And the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work… and the only way to do great work: is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. ” -Steve Jobs-

 

No Cast, No Problem.

Thursday, March 9th 

Two days after breaking femur. Surgery went great. No cast needed. The first real day of recovery and physical therapy. A few of my friends came by to visit in the afternoon, lifting spirits and setting my focus for the following days. Amazing to stand up after a couple days of just laying. Here is a little Thank you to the one’s who visited and reached out these days. You’ll never know how much it really meant. 

Plan A was a success! Going into the surgery, my family and me thought I was going to have to be in some sort of cast or external support. However when Dr. Merrill came out after the surgery to discuss how it went, the question of a cast came up and I believe his response was a chuckle and then something along the lines, “It’s 2017, what cast?”. So from what it looks like in the x-ray: The rod that goes the length of my femur, is now my femur…until the bones grow back fully.

It was such a HUGE relief to wake up and not have a cast. All the support coming from the inside. Essentially my leg muscles being the cast by keep bones aligned and like I mentioned early the rod is now supporting the weight of my body until and giving bones something to grow back around? Wowzah..definitely a win for modern medicine. I can’t wait to discuss the way they got it in there at the follow up next week. So instead of 6-8 weeks in a cast on bed rest, I get to bend, engage, and rehabilitate that leg AS the bone heals. As that saying goes, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” well here is the list of issues that the no-cast clears up:

  • Able to sit and ride in vehicles, not laid out in the back.
  • Able to sit in general
  • Up and down stairs w/crutches (which my home has bedroom upstairs, Meghan my sister which you’ll hear about a lot later, was already about to move my entire bedroom downstairs 😂)
  • Bathing, able to shower!
  • Going to the Bathroom…unassisted. (Probably biggest win for Mallory, my family and my pride. 😜)
  • Physical Therapy started day after surgery…

Initially we thought all these issues were going to be day-to-day things we were going to have to face. Of course my family showed no hesitation on helping me face those challenges. There  was the eagerness and willingness from everyone to take on these challenges that I believe was cultivated in those first several hours. From our collective experiences as a family to the outpour of love and support from the community, there was an attitude from the get-go that still remains;
“Do what is necessary, one day at a time.”

IMG_3776
My first few steps! My two PT’s were great! Sock game still relentless. Those are hospital edition dualside-grippers. Won’t catch me slippin in those. (Check out the video on my Instagram.)

 

The night after surgery I slept until about 6am. Best night of sleep yet! Woke up and spoke to Dr. Merrill and he gave me the rundown of what he told my family the night post-surgery. He said unless I do amazing at physical therapy today that I probably would remain at the hospital another night. The news that I was going to be able to start PT right away was real nice. Finally, I can move. So around 9:30 my hospital physical therapists came in to give my new crutches a test run and test out my new hardware.

It went great! I took a lap around the 3rd hospital floor, which all the nurses were awesome! Really nice throughout the entire experience. Our little group of the two PT’s, Mallory documenting, and myself arrived at the stairwell to go through that learning progression, up with the good, down with the bad?! Went up and down a flight of stairs and then headed back to the room. Did some leg extensions on edge of bed. Could only get the right leg up about 45% all the way locked out still felt amazing to move it! Back to rest.

14079942_10154485614419365_314713758199139884_n
On one of Sandy’s jobs…horrible work environment. 😜

My awesome surveying boss, Sandy Peabody and his son came in during the middle of the day to say hello and give their support. The entire Peabody and Associate family has always been great and supportive of me. Always so understanding of my college education pursuit they have always been willing to adjust his time and schedule to help me maintain income while going after a degree. Sandy reached out the first day to make sure I was ok and then offer ways to work with me being physically out for so long. Blessed to work for a man like Sandy. Thank you for understanding and teaching me along the way.

 

14199225_10154427402575279_7987069361885918570_n
One of the highest caliber men I know. Full of love and genuine compassion. Can still whip my pre-injured butt in a WOD! (Looking forward to getting back on the Spikeball court with you!!) Again, Thank you and we love you Mantie’s so much.

Throughout the day was just a lot of rest. No appetite yet, so haven’t eaten since early Tuesday afternoon. Then around 5:00pm one of my Crossfit Charleston’s brothers and mentors, Steve Mantie came by to give me a visit. From the first time that his wife Jody and Steve came to visit the box, the Mantie’s have been a driving force not only to the family of Crossfit Charleston while inside the doors but more importantly, outside those doors  for the family of Crossfit Charleston. To the Mantie’s: Y’all as a family have done so much for Mallory and myself.  You are incredible people. I look forward to seeing what the years have in store for all of us as one big family. From the bottom of my heart, we love y’all and thank y’all so much. The amount of energy and focus I get from hearing and reading the words of my friends and family is incredible. Especially for my Crossfit Charleston family, when I initially got injured, all I wanted to do was apologize for letting everyone down…physically not being able to be the person to help anyone had me down for a while. However the more people I spoke to and messages I read, the more I realized how much I really have…

12474028_10154241448467150_8474419299309374936_o
A shot of a lot of the Crossfit Charleston family! (Steve and Jody are in the front throwing up a triple flex 😜) Miss y’all! Can’t wait to be back.
1913964_1158765497998_7628620_n
The Banana Cabana!!! Almost 10 years ago!? 😲 Two elite servers.

After Steve’s visit, one of my oldest friends, and captain of our kickball squad, Wendy Enis came by with a HUGE Spiderman bag full of Rice Crispy Treats, Oreos, Reese’s Eggs, Starburst, and several books for me to read. One of which had been signed by the entire kickball team with some real powerful and encouraging words of support. My kickball family, those words mean so much to me and you as people mean even more. I love y’all. Thank you. I will be seeing y’all soon. Wendy, you got the ball rolling on all the support that I received from the community…You were the first to text me after the news had been found out.  One of the most intelligent and sweetest people I am fortunate enough to call my friend. That friendship means more and more each year. Thank you for all that you have done and you continue to do for me and everyone that surrounds you.

14324517_10207215387011678_8112621785656500591_o
Not all of the squad but definitely a little taste of how much fun we have! Keep the train going, love you all, can’t wait to be back out there!
IMG_5281
I wasn’t joking. It’s lit.

And finally to cap off a fantastic evening of visits; Julia and Mike Meseck! Also going to be my Physical Therapist, Mike, came to check out his newest patient/bionic-crossfit coach. Little backstory, they came in to tryout crossfit when I was just beginning my career as a coach a couple years ago. My first classes I coached were the 6:30pm. Him and Julia, along with a few others (Chip, Jessica H to name a couple 😜) attended at that time and were in my initial classes I coached for the first 4 months. Him being a physical therapists, could have easily schooled me multiple times during the hour-long classes, whenever I would have a coaching hiccup or slip, on anatomy and physiology but instead, him and Julia along with those others in the 6:30pm classes, let me grow as a coach – taking my advice and coaching cues (no matter how oddly I conveyed them) and applying them. I never really was able to thank them for that until now. It was huge to my development in coaching. When they found out about my injury there was no hesitation from their side on helping me.  So fortunate and blessed to have them apart of my family and him as my PT. Honestly, having that level of trust and comfort with a therapist I believe is probably one the most important things about a recovery plan. Looking forward to working through the physical therapy with Mike. Again, thank you so much for the help and thank you Julia for being a rock and roll superstar dropping jokes and whipping up your Chicken Chili that I hear is making it’s way over soon!

16601615_10155088777004198_4256086881531959268_o
I had to sling this one of Mike and Julia up here. Are you kidding me? Like a scene from a movie. Guitar slaying & playing, Julia not even having to do anything just looking beautiful, and the pup laid out…Perfection. 👌🏼
15122965_10154808461209198_7586928878101487587_o
Fortunate enough to attend their beautiful wedding, not even a damn hurricane could stop it. There’s Chip and Jessica H, more of the 6:30pm crew! Truly blessed to have y’all in my life.

 

Went to bed with even more confidence and looking forward to the next day: Friday the 10th the first day home!

“Always, that which you most need is already at hand. It’s just your present belief in its absence that keeps it from view.”