Recovery in General

A lot of people are curious and wishing me a good recovery. I appreciate that, thank you! Although I was hit in the chest multiple times, it’s actually my right arm that has the most damage, with breaks in my humerus, radial head, and ulna. After nearly a 7-hour surgery, lots of screws, a few plates, and one antibiotic cement spacer, I am on my way to healing. I will need one more surgery to replace the spacer with a piece of bone graft from my hip or femur in about a month, and then hope to do more rehabbing as I work to regain functionality. Apparently, I shouldn’t expect to throw a football the way I once did or ever fully straighten my right arm, but hey, I can live with that.

My other wounds are healing nicely. Believe it or not, they are now protected with only Band-Aids and Neosporin. One of the bullets that hit my left arm has caused nerve damage and I have some pretty painful sensations in that hand. I am right-handed so daily tasks have been difficult. Specifically typing. While the doctors are uncertain if this pain will subside, I’m hopeful it will. On the plus side, I starting using talk-to-text a lot more and for the most part, it has been an amazing tool. The downside, I have discovered that I actually do have an accent and sometimes it doesn’t understand me. Without the full use of my arms and hands, it has led to some pretty comical moments.

The hardest part has been that I can’t move at my previous pace and that basic tasks are extremely difficult. I can’t drive obviously, shower alone, lift anything, hold my children, eat without dropping food on myself, or anything that requires the use of both arms. I can walk around just fine and sit down ok, but that’s really it. I am looking forward to getting back to normal after my second surgery and intense physical therapy!

Emotionally, I am doing well. I haven’t had any symptoms of PTSD, which my therapist says is very encouraging. I never saw what was going on when I was shot. I didn’t see a shadow of the shooter, know where he was, or see anything that was happening. I was in my own isolated, terrified world when I was stuck in that revolving door. I believe, that isolation and not seeing him has really helped with my emotional healing. I haven’t experience flashbacks or episodes of depression or crying. When I cry today, it is for the three victims who died. It is for their families who will no longer be able to hold their loved ones in their arms. I am grateful that I am able to push forward with my cause and my renewed sense of being.

Loved ones around me would probably wish I would slow down, rest, and take my time getting back to the real world. But there is no time. Since Sept. 6, there have been five more mass shootings (at least) – in 3 weeks! My wounds will heal. Others’ will not. There is no more time to wait and rest.