Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Peace Out 2013

Another year of life lessons. Another year of heavy-hearted moments. Another year of learning how to make the good stuff more valuable than the bad.

Tonight, Jimmy and I are home. He's trying to stay strong for the rest of his night. I'm reflecting; where we've been, where we are and where we could be headed.

I've learned so much this past year.  About my husband, myself, our spinal cord injury and so much more. 

Here are some Moore moments from 2013 and some random things I've learned:
  • We moved to Decatur -- and absolutely love it. 
  • We traveled to Greenville, SC / Edisto Beach, SC / Asheville, NC / Morganton, NC / Myrtle Beach, SC.
  • We want to be parents! We did IVF (didn't work) and are continuing to seek treatment.
  • Jimmy got some great news about his breath strengths. He has wowed his doctors and only uses the ventilator when he's facing pure exhaustion. No longer is he dependent on it. 
  • I baked nine different kinds of cookies for Christmas this year. I kind of heart baking now. 
  • I got a bike! And a cute little basket for it. I have a bike with a basket!
  • I took a solo trip to meet my nephew, Lorenzo. He's so completely perfect. 
  • Jimmy and I discovered the Dekalb Farmers Market, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, The Pioneer Woman, Pocket Coffee, sugar-free butterscotch pudding, Whole Foods BBQ bar/salad bar, The Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and a recipe for just two chocolate chip cookies.
  • I ran the Peachtree Road Race.
  • I met Glennon. 
  • I get hostile if stores don't have mini-grocery carts. 
  • I went back blonde.
  • I went to church for the first time in years. 
  • I read The Great Gatsby. 
  • Discovered I now have an interest in the NFL.
  • My car got booted for the first time. Thanks, Atlanta!
  • Jimmy learned that having a fire place is a good, good thing for his injury. 
  • Jimmy still wants a dog.
  • We went to a Braves game, a Tarheels game and a Lakers game.
  • For our anniversary, I got Jimmy tickets to see his favorite band: Steely Dan. 
  • I decided once and for all I dislike Indian Food.
  • I learned to put my support system in place when needed. They will answer the call. 
  • Likewise, If people want to really be a part of your life, they will make it happen. 
  • Family feeds our souls.
  • We've made some good SCI buddies and now have wonderful resources. 
  • Chocolate egg nog is the shiz. 
  • Bridget Jones is still my hero. 
We are grateful for those who are good to us and those who make our life easier. I'm grateful to those who hold the door open for us when they see the wheelchair coming, and for those who don't. They keep us honest.

I'm grateful to volunteers and peer support. 

I'm grateful for my husband. No matter how miserable his injury is, he can still find a way to be a good husband. We can still find and treasure our happy moments in the midst of this thing.  That makes this life worth living. And coffee. Coffee also makes this life worth living.

2013 wasn't all bad. Let's keep it interesting 2014.


[Music: Crystallized by Young the Giant ]

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas

We hope you all found some cheer and joy in your day, yesterday. We were surrounded by chaotic love and warmth. 

I truly love my family and am grateful that Jimmy was such a good sport in coming six hours so I could be with them and him. 

I am loved. 

Happy holidays, friends.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Cuddle Bug

Someone sure is enjoying the hugeness/fluffiness of the hotel bed. Cuddle bug did well tonight with all the family crazy fun chaos. 

I'm off to bed with A Christmas Story on a thick sleep timer. 

Excited for tomorrow.  


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Santa Came Early

Ho ho holy crap I got presents today. Jimmy and I did The Moore Christmas this evening. We're traveling and didn't have room for our gifts and really, wanted to exchange gifts at home in front of our tree. We booted the nurse for a few hours and had our prezzie time.

Jimmy finally got his copy of All The President's Men. I also got him Birchbox for Men, in which he got a cute little hat. He also got some fun socks and some stylish lounging pants -- a challenge to find. He has told me that jeans are harder for his caretakers to get on meaning more being jerked around. 

He got his adorable wife the new coffee maker she's been eying as well as some pretty cutesy shoes. 

It was very 'after-Christmas' a few hours ago, like, when the kids play with their toys and such after all the excitement dwindles down. Jimmy watched his new flick. I sat and read the instruction manual for my new coffee maker. I usually don't read manuals but I searched several minutes for the water gauge on the coffee pot (computer) only to realize... it's digital. Omigosh technology.

Tomorrow will be busy busy packing up the van with luggage, medical supplies, presents and cookies. Oh me oh my.

It's been a whole year since I've been back home. A year! I'm excited to go and hug my family and eat too much homemade Italian food.

Also that cup of coffee on our hotel patio on Christmas morning. Over looking the Atlantic.

Just fine.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Don't Mind Wrapping My Own Gifts When...

... my husband has secret boxes delivered to the house. I may know what's inside, I may not. I think he has been working with mischievous little elves to achieve desired results (aka My Christmas list).

In the final weeks leading up to Christmas, he pays extra attention when I talk -- as to listen for clues and nuggets for gift-giving. 

Then, the busy mouthstick stylus tapping on the iPhone. Tap, tap, tap. A busy little husband ordering and making arrangements. All because he knows.. I like the stuff. 

I've gotten so excited shopping for people and giving gifts versus looking foward to receiving. Is this what happens when you become an adult?  

Although, when my gifts started coming in... eeeeek! 


I don't mind wrapping my own gifts because my husband can't anymore. And that's okay. He puts effort into shopping and selecting my goodies when he knows it makes me happy. It helps things feel...  like they used to. 

Christmas Card 2013

Happy Christmas Days!

The heat kicked on this morning meaning it's probably pretty brisk outside. 

The fireplace will get a little workout today. I will pump Christmas music through either the TV, iPad or the Nissan. 

Maybe I'll finish Christmas shopping. I will definitely make these cookies. I will hug Jimmy around the neck at least four times today. That's the average.

I will paint my nails and maybe give my eyebrows some much needed attention. Nails: dark, dark red maybe. Or a forest green.

All of this while we continue to try and make Jimmy better. He continues to battle some stuff.

Happy Thursday... 12 days until Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Perfectly...

"Yes your hands are full and they're often shaking. But isn't that a damn blessing? To love so big and so deep that you're trembling?" 
Glennon Melton

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." 
Dalai Lama

Thank you. 

Thank you all for the tightest hugs and the warmest well-wishes and pinkest puffiest hearts ever. We love you right back. Thank you. For I know there is always someone looking out for us.  

There is good. There is warmth. There is love. 

Hearts hearts hearts.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Ramblings of a Tired Person

Mornings around here have been rocky. No matter how much coffee I drink or what kind of mood I'm in when I arrive at Jimmy's bedside, he has been consistently exhausted in the a.m.  

It's hard to get hit with that morning after morning. But there it is. There hasn't been a stretch this rough in awhile. 

We had appointments everyday this past week except for Friday. All of them... exhausting in their own little ways. 

Monday at the wound doctor: We learned Jimmy's head wound isn't looking good and he'll need surgery on it soon. The plan is to get through the holidays first. Reminder: Jimmy also suffered some damage to his scalp/skull a long with his SCI. The doctor thinks the wound is sitting on unhealthy tissue. We have some options on what we can do. Some are cosmetically ideal, some aren't. Depends on what they find when they go in and start to clean it up. Because his doctor classifies it currently as an infection, no doubt his body is going through a lot with all that. Jimmy also had some skin breakdown on his bum. That is healing nicely and no (more) bed rest is needed. The angst associated with that has slowly subsided.

Tuesday at the podiatrist: Jimmy had an ingrown toenail. This is an issue because Jimmy can't tell us if he is in pain. I hear these things can be painful. If he gets to be in excruciating pain without knowing it, bad things can happen. Like call an ambulance bad. He didn't want to, but we had the doctor do the in-office procedure to deal with that.  

Wednesday we had some counseling: this was good. We got some piece of mind on some recent decisions we have made about baby-making. Oh, it's still happening. 

Thursday at the urologist: This appointment sucked butt because of how early it was. Nothing scary came out of this appointment, just took forever and had to deal with a whiny nurse and some attitudy girl at the coffee bar. Why do those pointless things seem to matter so much more when you're drained? Bluh.
It's so crazy how Jimmy's condition can change like the soup of the day. He did so good on our Thanksgiving trip. Then we get home and it's all downhill. I guess I'd rather it happen that way. However, I had a hit-the-wall realization that there is always going to be something. There is always going to be something with this injury. 

I mean... there's always going to be something in life, but there's always going to be something with this injury and you can bet we haven't seen everything there is to see with this thing. Sometimes I get scared of what's next. 

Here's what I learned this week: there are going to be super-duper stretches where I feel like I we are finally out of the woods and I want to eat cupcakes and skip everywhere. Then something starts to creep. An unpleasant presence of some sort creeps and creeps and creeps. And I will once again question whether I have the strength to do it. 

And I will have to try and remember how I made it through this hard week virtually unscathed. 

I have gone back to the gym after a month of not working out because of IVF stuff and a stomach bug. After spending some time at the gym over the past five days, I feel better about life. I'm not as fragile. I mean, the hills aren't alive with the sound of music, but I'm getting there... 

I take comfort in knowing we're probably going to be okay.

I took time this past week to lean on those who checked in on me: a fellow spinal cord injury wife who is a wealth of knowledge and gave me loads of wonderful advice and tips. 

She messaged: what's wrong?
I responded: there's always going to be something, isn't there?
Her: yep. 

I love her honestly and her willingness to give it to me straight. Ain't no one got time for sugar-coating.

Another friend said something like: when the hits keep coming, you employ your support system. 

Great advice that I probably already knew and just needed reminded of. I have since rounded some gals and asked them to join me for a glorious night out at a glorious French restaurant. I am very excited for this. Very very.

There will be one really good cocktail. Cheese. Bread. Butter. Cream. Meat. Chocolate. And then... regret. But it will be worth it. 

Unless I puke.   

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Looking Back and Taking Stock

Do you see it? It's proof that Jimmy is getting stronger.

We are two days back now from our Thanksgiving trip to Jimmy's hometown in North Carolina. It was so much fun and one of the least-stressful trips we've had post-injury.

Last year, the family was dealing with the death of Jimmy's father, James, which happened a week before we arrived. This year, we were able to sit back, relax and enjoy each other.

We got to see some of Jimmy's friends who we haven't seen since last Thanksgiving. Jimmy's people are wonderfully genuine and I love crossing paths with them. And, it's not until they tell me how much Jimmy has improved over the course of a year, that I really stand back and notice myself.

In fact, my heart melts when someone is brave enough to tell me how Jimmy's condition has affected them.

A friend told me Jimmy looks so much more alive and healthy this year compared to last. He admitted that after leaving Jimmy from his visit back in 2012, he cried for an hour. This is someone who looked up to Jimmy and was inspired by him growing up. I hoped seeing Jimmy stronger helped him. I know it has been hard for many of Jimmy's friends and family to see him like this compared to the lively, busy-bodied Jimmy they once knew.

His comments made me think how far we have come. Last year on this holiday, Jimmy was so tired he had to go on the ventilator just to get through all the conversation. Just to make it through the night. This year, the 9 o'clock hour was upon us; we didn't even see it coming. Jimmy was laughing, talking a whole lot and doing it! We forgot about all the medical stuff this time. Last time, we couldn't escape it.

As I sit and take stock, I realize Jimmy is starting to show more signs of life. More proof that the old him is still in there.

He's starting to look like himself again.

A happy Jimmy with his mother, Sandra.
Thanksgiving 2013.