Choose Your Path: The Power of Making Choices and Creating Your Own Destiny – Part 1

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Do you remember how you felt during and at the end of the Covid 19 lockdown?  I remember the general fear in our society, the isolation, and what was going to happen next. 

“What does the future hold?”  I was at a point in my life where I didn’t know if I would ever feel good again!  “How can I be better and make the necessary changes I wanted to make?”  These are just some of the examples of what I was thinking at that time.  Admittedly, everyone was dealing with their own issues because of the isolation.  But I had a few “extras” on top of everything else. 

Let’s go back to the end of December 2018.  There I was, living and enjoying my time in beautiful San Diego CA.  A couple of years earlier, I was presented with an opportunity to make my childhood dream of living by the ocean, a reality.  

Life was good.

My financial planning business was doing well.  I had a good base of friends, a professional network, and some time to just enjoy, By any measure, my situation was playing out just as I had imagined.  As one of my friends would say, it was “top shelf.” 

For whatever reason, though, I wasn’t as happy as I felt I should be. I’d usually go to the beach to clear my mind and just relieve some stress. Because of my walking, I preferred to find a bench or table on the cliff overlooking the water. I remember one day; the sky was overcast and only a few people were down on the sand.  The air was warm and a little humid with that great scent of the ocean.   

So many questions ran through my mind that day. “Why wasn’t I happy?” or “Am I doing the right thing?” were just a couple of the thoughts I remember as I write this. Yes, I have had similar thoughts my whole life. But now, it seemed to have more impact. 

I didn’t solve any of those internal thoughts that day. Honestly, I think these types of questions are never-ending. What I did discover was my desire to be closer to family and friends. By the end of that day, I decided I needed to again make a move. It was just an idea and since I had no immediate plan, I internalized it and kept going.

What happened a couple of weeks later changed my whole world.

It was a beautiful day, as always, in southern California and I decided it was time to clean and organize.  The windows were open and remember, it was December. Cleaning was the first and when I completed that, I moved on to organizing the living room. My laser printer was sitting on top of a glass cabinet, and I decided it needed to be somewhere else. 

Knowing my abilities, I assumed I could move everything without issues. The printer was large and awkward, but I thought I had it covered.  Boy, was I wrong! As soon as I lifted it from the shelf, I felt myself start to lose balance. 

But it was too late. I already had the printer lifted away from the top of the shelf. Panic immediately set in, and I scanned for a safe place to put it down. Unfortunately, it was already too late as I was starting to fall. 

I’ll never know why I didn’t just let the printer fall and break. As if that printer was worth a million dollars, I hung on and tried to fall into the wall. Because of the frequency of my falls, I have gotten good at planning where I would like to land. Regrettably, that doesn’t always work, and this was one of those times!  My head hit the wall and made a divot in the sheetrock. At the same time, my right hand, specifically my last 3 fingers, tried to brace the printer from the floor. But it was just too heavy!

At first, I didn’t feel any pain. 

That changed quickly. I glanced down as I pulled my hand from under this cumbersome machine. My ring finger was at a 90-degree angle from the first knuckle. As soon as I could visualize my hand, the pain started. Never in my life have I felt this type of pain. 

Eventually, I was able to call the ambulance. The first thing they did was to bend my finger back and put it in a splint. Later at the emergency room, they discovered my other two fingers were also damaged, along with other various scrapes to my head and knee. 

The doctors bandaged me up and put things back into place the best they could. As of today, that finger is probably 80% of what it used to be. I did end up breaking the other two and because of the severity, they gave me a half cast with bandages. I have so much regret for my choices that day!

Fast forward 2 days

Remember my idea about making some changes, earlier in this story? During those couple of weeks, I made the decision to move to Colorado to be closer to family. Yes, I was giving up my childhood dream of living by the ocean. But, in the big picture, it felt like the right thing to do.

But hurting my hand left me with limited options to pack. And I realized my dad and his wife were in Arizona for the winter. Since I had sold or given away most of my big items in the days prior to my injury, I thought it would be nice to have them visit and most of all, I could use the help.

Then came the unexpected

I was packing up some boxes of old memories. My phone rang and I tried to step over some boxes to get to the kitchen. As I was stepping over the plastic bin, my right foot caught on the lid. I won’t go through the entire sequence, but I ended up falling on my head and right side. Of course, I had a cast on my right hand and that just complicated my landing. I landed HARD and immediately felt pain in my arm, shoulder, back, leg, and head. Of course, I didn’t realize just how severe the injuries were.

We continued to pack and finished right as it started getting dark. Our plan was to stay in a hotel and drive to Arizona the next day. I was hurting but knew I had to get this done. I suffered through that night and a six-hour drive to where they were staying in AZ. 

Surprisingly,

I drove the whole way without knowing the severity of the damage. Later that night though, the pain was so intense that I could not sleep. When it was around 6 am, I told my dad that I needed to go to the ER as soon as possible.  

I ended up breaking my humerus, just below my right shoulder. The break was completely across the bone. This accident also damaged my shoulder, back, head, and knee. My right side was immobilized, and this would be a long recovery. I stayed with them in AZ for about a week. Once the weather was good for driving, I made plans for the rest of the trip. 

A few days later I arrived in Colorado. My plans were to stay at my mom’s for a month since they have a one-level home. And after that, my sister was kind enough to let me stay with them while I recuperated. This was a long and difficult process, to say the least. My balance is bad enough with my Ataxia but now I had to get around while the right side of my body was damaged.


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