It has been just over a week since my last update and plenty has happened since then. Last Friday my good friend Kelsey, who when I first hung out with in Boston I broke both of my legs, came to visit. She brought me a couple rolls of film and we spent the afternoon hanging out reminiscing about the good old days at NESOP. Unfortunately she couldnt stay for longer but it was still great to see her. On Saturday my roommate and best friend, Don, came to visit. It was great to see him and catch up on how things were back home. He also recently enrolled in NESOP’s Black and White Darkroom workshop so hearing about his progress and ideas was exciting. We ordered Chinese delivery, which was the first non-hospital food I’ve ate in weeks! So resfreshing! Sunday morning Don arrived with a dozen donuts and an iced coffee, yet again a first in weeks. After a couple hours my parents, sister, and her boyfriend arrived. They were all very happy to see me in my current condition having not seen me since I could barely move in the hospital. Not long after they arrived Don took off to go shoot the St Nick coal breaker for his NESOP workshop. I’m looking forward to seeing those prints once I arrive back home. Then my parents took my sister, Emily and her boyfriend Brady, around the city for her early 16th birthday present. I was lucky enough for them to bring me back a Pat’s cheesesteak after their adventuring! It was great to see some of the best friends I’ve ever had and my family all in the same weekend. Without their support I wouldn’t be able to stay sane during this recovery as well as the previous injury of breaking both of my legs.
On Tuesday Jordyn arrived in Philly by train and was greeted at the station by a concierge from the hospital. He proceeded to drive her to her hotel and then on to the hospital. Despite having a rough day seeing her made everything better. She was nice enough to make me matzo ball soup for dinner which I discovered is a medicine all on it’s own. Once all the nurses left we figured out a way for her to lay by my side in the hospital bed and comfortably cuddle. Some good cuddle action was long overdue and made me feel like everything was back to normal.
Wednesday, the Fourth of July, we had a big rooftop BBQ put on by the hospital. Due to the temperature soaring above 100 I didn’t spend much time outside. My friend Dom who just happened to be in town stopped on by. There are very few people I met while at NESOP who inspire me the way Dom does. Not only are his photos amazing but he is a straight up great guy. His work ethic and lust for life is second to none. I won’t spoil his new project but I was honored when he asked me if I would like to be apart of it. We hung out and talked about life, it’s fast times and slow times, it’s adventures and lulls, and how too many people don’t appreciate it enough. After a few hours of hanging out taking photos he left with the promise of another visit.
This weekend brings yet another group of friends to Philly. Jordyn is still here and has been by my side this entire week taking care of me and helping me during my therapy sessions. Justin Arthur just arrived early Friday morning after an overnight Greyhound ride from North Carolina. You know someome cares about you when they subject themselves to that hell on wheels. Don has made another drive back down from Boston to spend a second weekend a row here. And to top it off, my good friend Jesse is driving down from Hughesville to visit.
Aside from all of the great friends and family that have visited and helped with my mental health , I have made leaps and strides in physical health as well. This last Tuesday marked one week that I’ve been in the rehabilitation hospital. On that day I was put on a horizontal leg press. One where I laid on my back and lifted my legs up at a 90 degree angle and straightened them sliding my body back on a movable board. I was able to not only push myself back and forth with both legs at the same time but also able to push myself with one leg at a time. Later that evening I noticed that, for the first time, I was able to bend my ankles down. Finally movement in my ankles! Due to the holiday there was no therapy on Wednesday. Thursday morning, with the help of my physical therapist and an assistant, I stood up for the first time since I broke my vertebrae. It was awkward but a HUGE milestone in my recovery process. Friday morning I had more practice standing and pivoting in a walker to transfer into a machine that was like a sitting down stairclimber. In the afternoon I practiced standing at a table while using my hands for various tasks to take pressure off of my arms and direct all of my weight and balance through my legs. It took quite a bit of effort but I was eventually able to stand for up to 10 minutes at a time with minimal assistance in keeping my balance. All of this just 20 days after the accident. Unbelievable. If you would have told me this a week ago, let alone two weeks ago when I was still in the hospital that I would be where I’m at, I would have laughed in your face. Next week will hopefully bring the beginning stages of walking! I’m going to be back to normal in no time at all!
Again, a huge thank you to all of my friends and family who are doing everything they can to help me through my recovery processs. It amazes me that friends from all over the country are traveling hours upon hours to visit and support me. I love you all.