MPFL: Week 8

Week 8: Feb 5 – 11

Strong PT session: lunches, single leg balances RDL

I started off my week strong with a pretty intense physical therapy session. We added in a lot of proprioceptively challenging movements that challenged my balance and forced me to recruit lots of little muscles to stabilize myself. I did single leg balances on the BOSU ball, more RDLs (this time weighted), split stance lunges with the front foot on a dyna-disk and worked on step ups (about 10 inches tall). YOW, I was going to be sore. But that *almost* breaking a sweat feeling made me feel accomplished and ready to hit the gym with my mom once she got off work.

FULL ROTATION!!!! (backwards)

Remember when I said that my physical therapist had recommended that I try hip hiking to get that full rotation around? Well today was the day. My mom and I went to the gym at the start of the week and I was determined to get it all the way around, no matter how long it took. I started off on the treadmill to warm up. At this point, I’ve been taking my brace off when I do this. I find that it’s easier to move and as long as I’m hanging on to the siderails, it doesn’t stress me out too much. I’m really going for form/speed at this point. Kind of reteaching myself to walk over here, not trying to train for a marathon.

After I was done on the treadmill, I got myself set up on the bike and hoped for the best. My goal was to get at least a backwards rotation, since they told me that would be the easiest to get around that way first. Even still. I knew it was going to take quite a push, so my mom helped me support myself the first few tries. Once we figured out to turn up the resistance fairly high so it didn’t just flop around, it got a bit smoother. It took about 1 minute to get *nearly* around the first time. I was focusing so hard on keeping my form correct, I was about to break a sweat and mentally blocking myself from getting around. This is when I heard my PTs voice in my head telling me to hike my hip. I gave it a shot. I got around further than I had the last time, but hit a sticking spot at the very top. I had hiked my hip just about as high as I could without falling off the bike and I was out of cheats to get around. 

And then the next thing I knew, my foot hit the bottom again…I HAD GONE ALL THE WAY AROUND!!! When I let my mind wander a bit, my body found new way to cheat. Point my right toe to get around. The issue had been the amount of tension and degree of bend my knee is at when I keep my foot flexed. Since I’m still working to get much past a 90 degree bend, that liiiitle extra flexion when I keep my foot flexed really sends me over the edge. But, for some reason, when I point my toe around that tension pretty much goes away. Sweet deal!! This was a huge check off my list of boxes I had hoped to accomplish in February. I didn’t just go around once, but ya girl made it around TEN TIMES before tapping out and moving to arms. 

Socialization

The next day, my mom asked me to be her plus one to a work event she had. I was pumped. I rarely pass up  a chance to get a little dressed up and out of the house anymore. Plus it was a free dinner and 2 free drink tickets. Although I had been experimenting with no-bracin’ it, I decided to wear my brace to the dinner. It’s more of a security blanket for me. Kind of a signal saying HEY WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING!!! As we pulled in, I started to feel a little bit anxious. I knew I was going to get asked a million questions and have to repeat the same thing that over and over…that EVERYONE would be asking me if I’ll ever dance again and that I would basically have to say “that’s the goal” or “I hope so!” Or my favorite line… “small progress is still progress!!!” All positive  things, but sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming to continuously talk about it. As if I don’t spend enough hours of my day thinking about it already.

Once I got into the flow of things, I had a great time. It was fun to see my mom in her element with her coworkers and so so nice to be out and about. While it wasn’t like any event I have been invited to in LA, it was just what I needed. I told my mom it helped me forced myself to become ‘socialized’ again. Because I am not kidding when I say I will need training on how to be in public and interact with people when I go back to LA. Especially if they are men. 

*~cOnFuSiOn~*

img_8073The next day at PT I was excited to show everyone my backwards rotation on the bike. I had put in a lottt of work and although it wasn’t smooth, it was a HUGE step in the right direction. I hopped on the bike and using the tricks that I had developed, I began to show off my full rotations- I even hiked my hip way less!! I got to talking to one of my physical therapists while I was slowly cycling and all of the sudden I heard another one from across the room say “Are you doing full forward rotations???” Taken back, I was like nooo way I’m going backwards. But when I looked down (painfully confused as you can see in the video hahaha)  I was, in fact, going all the way around forwards!!! I didn’t even know it or mean to, but I had just met another huge milestone in my recovery. Wow. If that ain’t proof that magic happens once ya get out of your god damn head, I don’t know what is.

Naked Saturday

 

Hehe did I get ur attention? On weekends, my family and I have pretty much made it ritual to find cute little restaurants near(ish) by to check out. We literally live in the middle of no where so “nearby restaurants” isn’t really a thing. Which, by the way, if you have any we should check out, let a sista know! On Saturday, we decided to check out this cute little place called Verve in Waterloo. They brew their own kombucha and serve their ceviche with plantain chips and I’m pretty sure that’s the closest thing I’ll be able to get to a Los Angeles restaurant. Count me in!!! 

We started off the adventure at TJ Maxx and I had decided not to wear my brace. I don’t have a problem with stability anymore, which is a fantastic thing to say. Like I mentioned previously, having a ‘naked leg’ freaks me out more than it hurts or causes discomfort. As much as I hate drawing attention to my leg, at least people know to be a little mindful of where they are walking. This has been a consistent complaint of mine throughout this process. People just don’t pay attention. I’m sure I am guilty of it as well at times, but I definitely have had my eyes opened at bit. Braceless Saturday went great, overall. But by the time I got in the car after a few more shopping stops and dinner, I was exhausted and in quite a bit of discomfort. No slips, falls or trips though so that’s a positive- but I definitely was ready for a  chill day in on Sunday.

img_8295Besides the family workout we did with the equipment in the basement, our Sunday was spent cooking and watching the Oscars. I made blueberry almond flour pancakes and a caramel date cold brew courtesy of one of my favorite bloggers WhatRobinEats. To die for. My parents are lucky to have an in-house chef these last few months. Also it was national pizza day so obviously we partook, this time we bought premade cauliflower crust pizzas because we were wayyyy too lazy.

I can’t help falling….

I ended my eighth week of recovery at the gym with my mom. It’s been so fun getting active with her and today I decided to challenge myself on the treadmill. Since going out and about without my brace on Saturday went so well, I decided to leave my brace at home when I went to the gym. Once I got there, I admittedly felt a little bit dumb. I’m sure other gym goers looking at me from the outside are confused why I’m walking so slow on the treadmill, or stand up a little funny from the weight machines- at least with my brace on they know I’m injured. However, I’ve found that walking slow on the treadmill without my brace is much more beneficial because it’s easier to maintain correct form without a clunky brace in the way. As I continued to walk next to my mom on the treadmill, I kept changing my goal and extending my time. First my goal was 5 minutes, then 10, then half a mile…until finally, I set my sights on one mile. Mission accomplished. I felt so good after I got off and told my mom that I wanted to do that more frequently. I haven’t walked that far since before surgery. Big strides were taken this week. I was feeling like if I keep this up, I’m going to be in GREAT shape to return in one short month.img_8375

When I got home from the, I was pretty exhausted. We always watch the bachelor on Mondays (this recovery has literally turned me into an old woman whose day to day schedule is dependent on what’s on television)… so that was next on the agenda. About halfway into the show, I went into the kitchen to check on something in the oven. What I didn’t know, is that my mom had gotten a step stool out earlier in the evening to reach something in one of the top cabinets above the stove. It was still set up, and unbeknownst to me, it happened to be right behind me. I stepped backwards and tripped on the stool, causing me to fall right on my ass in the kitchen. Yowch. This one hurt. 

Thankfully, I was able to grab onto the counter tops surrounding me and gracefully fall, but my leg still bent more than it was ready to and even made a little popping noise. I was freaked out. The last time I had slipped, I didn’t go all the way down but there was a little noise from the swelling pockets. I was hopeful that’s what was going on this time also, but I pretty much live in a constant fear of messing something up and prolonging my recovery process.

I woke up the next day with an extremely swollen knee. Maybe it was from the big mile that I walked, maybe from falling…but I planned to rest the whole day and talk to my physical therapists about it tomorrow. I am not kidding when I say my good recovery days are always followed by a bad one.

 

MPFL: Week 7

Week 7: Jan 29 –  Feb 4

Week seven, what is up. I was so ready for a new week by the end of week 6. I had goals of taking some time to do things that I love and trying to be a little less hard on myself. One thing that has been extremely important in this journey, has been learning to rest without guilt. Which I have mentioned (about a thousand times) how bad I am at that. So that’s what I had planned to do this week. No outings, no overdoing it, more of a planning period to set myself up for success in the month of February so that I can return in March better than ever.

Physical improvements

Sprinkled in with that rest, my mom and I had started to get in a regular habit of hitting the gym a few times a week. Since there is a spin bike there, I’m able to work towards that ever illusive full rotation that I just could NOT seem to get at this point. My PT said a lot of it is due to muscle guarding. Which means, the fact that I have a stopping point at all is more or less a subconscious and mental response in an effort to try to protect my right leg. Regardless, I ruthlessly continued to try for that full rotation without much success. I was making microscopic improvements each time, but definitely no where near hopping in a spin class.

At the end of the week they suggested that the next time I hit the gym to work on that rotation, to hike my hip up and kind up cheat that rotation around to get that motion back in my body. It absolutely kills me to have poor bike form since I’ve worked at few spin studios and taken my fair share are classes, but it was worth a shot. More on this next week though.

I did, however, level up in PT again this week !!! I Always love adding new exercises because it allows me to expand my “new normal” exercise vocabulary. And what I mean by that is, I learn more exercises that I can do on my own in the gym at the state I’m in. The first time back to the wellness center here was so overwhelming. I had steered away from doing much that involved my legs but during the 7th week post op, they added things in like assisted lunges, rebound ball and RDLs. At this point the exercises have finally progressed to begin to add in some lifts I used to do before I was injured. Granted, they aren’t nearly as easily executed, but it helps me keep the goal close in sight rather than feeling like I am just so far away from returning to my normal state. My quad is fairly awake, but due to the trauma and inactivity, it was going to take a LOT of work to get it up to speed.

Everything had been going smoothly until I slipped in PT Friday morning. Anyone who knows me well, is probably surprised that this is the first time I’ve slipped or fallen. For a dancer, I tend to be pretty clumsy. This little incident was no exception. I was standing on this small teeter-tottery platform that is made to help you stretch your calves out when it happened. I think I bent one of my legs to get a deeper stretch in my opposite calf and my  surgical leg slipped out from underneath me, forcing me to put the brunt of my weight on it and causing it to bend past that comfortability barrier. I was freaked out at first. I no doubt exclaimed in pain bit, but after we checked it out everything seemed fine. I could even bend it a little further than before I slipped. Yes, it was scary and I was 100% sure I had undone everything the surgery was supposed to fix, but rather than being a little sore the next day, nothing negative came from it. Maybe I was a little stronger than I thought.

Mental improvements 

3cb52df2-7d60-4733-8cfc-5534914a6ce2I was starting to get a bit stronger mentally too. I think I have done a pretty decent job managing the sads and squashing the what if’s during this time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t keep trying to come around. I was still recovering from the tough realizations I had faced the week prior but was looking forward to a weekend full of friends and football. To kick off the weekend we got to watch Banksy’s brother, Ringo, who is a mostly white and slightly bigger version of Banksy. I am not exaggerating when I say that my dog has been my saving grace in all of this.

I seriously don’t know where I would be mentally if it wasn’t for her being around to sit on my lap each day. She wasn’t really in the plans initially, but it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. Just before my trip back to Iowa, my parents told me that our family friends had found a litter of 5 Frenchies needing new homes due to the previous owner’s divorce. I had been obsessing over the idea of getting a dog, a Frenchie specifically, for quite some time. When I had a full time job, I would spend down periods dog shopping and sending photo after photo after photo to my parents. I am surprised they didn’t block my number. So when they called me about this little poochie, I obviously jumped right on it.

There was lots of back and forth between my parents, the owner and myself to try to figure out the logistics of it all. The dog was in Iowa, I was in LA and didn’t have plans to go home immediately. Does it make sense for me to get a dog financially? How would we pick her up? Would I have to wait to meet her until I was home for state at the beginning of December? Can I even keep a dog alive?

What ended up happening is my parents went to go meet her, fell in love with her and I got to meet her only 10 days later with the way everything shook out with our travels back to Iowa for surgery. The rest was pretty much history. I was horrified she was going to be some sort of demon dog (if those even exist) or absolutely hate me. While it took her a little while to warm up to me since she had spent a full 10 days with pretty much just my mom, we are quite the perfect match.

I’ve read so many studies on the impact of animals on recovery of any kind and I can say first hand that they are all true. I cannot imagine spending these long and lonely. days at my parents’ house without her.  Not to mention, having another (practically human) life to focus on outside of my own, has been equally rewarding and beneficial to me. The unconditional love that my little wrinkly-faced, four legged daughter brings me each day is unmet and indescribable…even if I almost tripped over her a few times while I was still on crutches. I am slightly obsessed and that scares me for when I have a two legged child.

Ringo and Banksy had a sleepover and their owners joined us the next day for Super Bowl Sunday! While I wasn’t bottomless mimosaing with my girlfriends at the Den on Sunset this year, my mom and I planned a full on SPREAD free of anything even remotely healthy. I made buffalo chicken dip and my mom made beer battered brisket sandwiches in the oven and holy god damn it was so so good. We also had a desert spread which I will not even mention out of sheer guilt but believe me when I say no one went to bed hungry that evening. A successful day of eating our feelings just a smidge.

And yes, the second picture was taken after crying like a baby after the google “Loretta” commercial.

I spent most of my week inside my head trying to reroute and plan for success in February. While the thought of being delayed another month was a bit daunting, it was *another* fresh start for a new level of motivation and progression. My days were numbered back home and I had a LOT of work to do if I wanted to return at the beginning of March. I felt like, and still do, I have restarted in this recovery process so many different times. But I felt ready this time, I wanted to feel good when it comes time to finally get to return to Los Angeles. I didn’t want to feel like this months have set me back but rather pushed me forward, in more ways than just physical. That means that it was go time. I decided to keep my mindset on auditioning for pro-teams, even if I know it may be a little bit far fetched. That way I can treat this month as a training and preparation month with a tangible goal to work towards. 

February, let’s get it.

Catch week 8 here.

MPFL: Week 6

Week 6: Jan 22 – 28

I showed up to physical therapy on Wednesday feeling pretty down and looking visibly defeated. I didn’t know how to break the news to everyone about my, yet again, pushed back return date and I don’t think I really wanted to either. Kind of a “maybe if I didn’t say it out loud, it’ll go away’ kind of mentality. I should explain that this is not because I have hit set backs in my recovery. I found out a little bit more information later in the week during my highly anticipated follow up with the doctor. So I’ll hold off on explaining further it until I get there.

Week six, YEEHAW. That meant I could unlock my brace fully, participate in water therapy if I chose to and FINALLY GET ON THE AIRDYNE BIKE. This is that giant exercise bike that looks like it has a giant fan in it. It has resistance both ways and the arms are connected to the pedals, that way I could ease into the bend by using my arms rather than muscling it with my 1 and a half working legs. My PT told me to work on just rocking back and forth- stopping when I get to the sticking point and then reversing the pedals until I reached the sticking point going the other direaction. Before I got on the bike, I was thinking that seemed ridiculous. There was no way I wouldn’t be able to get a full rotation on this thing. I mean I have worked at multiple spin studios and at one point had gotten to the point of feeling like I needed to workout again if all I had done during the day was a spin class. Plus my grandpa has one in his basement that even he uses with ease, for crying out loud. I was severely mistaken. There was about a little over 1/4 of the rotation left at the top that I just couldn’t get around. This hurt both physically and mentally.

By this point, I had realized that I was not the exception to the rule, or the patient that would defy the odds. This was going to be a long road and, while I was thankful to have my family here as support, it was starting to feel like a lonely one as well. My parents both work all day and if ya throw northern Iowa winter plus the fact that I’m still not cleared to drive, things get old and lonely. Fast. I had taken a break from NASM after cramming about 6 chapters into one week, my ego wouldn’t allow me to play Nancy Drew games anymore and my dog STILL won’t respond to me when I talk to her. HELP

I think my mom could sense the funk that I had began to live in because she came home from work with my favorite Pinot Noir and the makings for a healthy-ish charcuterie board. My mom has always said that your space is a direct reflection of your mind and I have always found that to be true. When my life is a mess, so is my room and vice versa. Up until this week, I had been living out of suitcases in the spare bedroom in my parents house. I felt crazy- like my stuff was everywhere and I had no space the house to call my own. So, wine in hand, we were about to have an organizing party. Hell yeah. Although it felt bittersweet to “move in,” it’s been so nice to have a space that feels like my own here. Plus I had a cute little organizing buddy to help me out.

 

On Thursday I think I carried the bitter part of moving in with me, rather than the sweet. Although I hadn’t had my follow up yet, I was pretty positive that I would be at my parents place for at least another few weeks. I wanted my life back. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that most people in their young adult years don’t get to spend as much family time as I have been able to and for that, I am SO grateful. It’s all a little strange to think about though. Honestly, part of me is extremely content. I have been explaining it to people as living a parallel life so completely polar opposite from the fast-paced life I have come to know and love in LA. I used to get anxious if I spent even one day “relaxing” and not working towards something in California and in a way, I think that this has panned out the way it has so that I learn to freaking chill sometimes. Even still, some days I get really down thinking ‘this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing at 24.’

The majority of my day are filled with back and forth thoughts like this. Conversations I was having in my head to talk myself out of feeling super behind in my dance goals and upset with the length of this recovery. Going into the weekend, that was no exception. I had hoped we could come up with some stuff to do to take my mind off of it all. And then I received a message that my feature in the Iowa PBS coverage of the 2020 ISDTA dance team championship competition.

img_7003Earlier in December, I had the privilege of working the ISDTA state competition. I grew up dancing at state in both high school and in college so being able to come back and work the social media and behind the scenes end of things was such cool, full circle moment (especially since my mom’s high school dance team coach started ISDTA). In addition, they asked me to be on one of the featured segments during the broadcast of the contest on Iowa PBS! This interview was done pre-surgery and I had remembered talking briefly about the fact that it was around the corner. I had no idea what they were going to actually include in the segment. I talked for like an hour and 20 minutes. Some of it pretty rambly, I’m sure.

When I received the text that the video had come out, I did not watch it right away. I wasn’t sure how it would make me feel watching it back in the state that I was currently in. At least not while I’m home alone. I waited for my mom to  come home on her lunch break and we both watched it together, tears in both of our eyes. I never thought I would need to take my own advice, but in that moment I needed it. I received so much positive feedback from friends, family, studio owners, dancers and even people I don’t even know. I am so thankful for my journey so far and between stumbling on my old dance videos and the release of this video, I was not ready for it to come to a close.

The weekend ended up being just what I needed. It was a good one. I felt like my mindset had began to turn around again. I’ve said this before, but it is so crucial to stay positive during a recovery process. Especially when it is as long as what this one has turned out to be. Since I was feeling up to it, we filled the weekend full of some of my favorite activities. Including the perfect pair: gym + pizza. My whole family went to the gym together and I had found this hole in the wall pizza place, about 25 miles away, with gluten free pizza crust (plz do not come for me I know gluten free doesn’t equate to healthier and no I do not have celiac disease I just like crunchy crust OK?!??). If any of you live in northern Iowa, you have to check out Fuel. So. Stinkin’. Good.

This is where the magic happens. After a few drinks I convinced my parents to do a TikTok with me. I say ‘convinced’ loosely because it actually took no convincing at all. I am one of those people that downloaded it as a joke and now can’t stop publicly embarrassing myself online and my parents are the ones who wouldn’t even listen to me talk about it and now walk around the house singing “I can put it in a bun!!” So yeah, it’s bad and it was time for us to *~collab~*.

CLICK THIS FOR TIKTOK GOLD

img_7229I used to OBSESS over the 2007 Miss South Carolina Q&A fail video on YouTube so when I suggested recreating it they were very familiar with it already. Not as much as me though…all these years later and I still had her answer memorized. Next thing I knew I was in my senior year prom dress, my mom set up a fake judges table and my dad was wearing a suit ready to impersonate Mario Lopez. Hey man, sometimes ya gotta make your own fun.

By Sunday night, I was sad to see the weekend come to a close, but looking forward to the next few days. My mom and I had planned a little get away centered around my 6 week follow up at Iowa Ortho. Like I had mentioned previously, I was pretty certain I was going to have to stay in Iowa longer than what I wanted to but hadn’t totally let myself believe it yet. I wanted to ask him a few questions and let him know that my goal was to audition for NFL teams in the spring…but I was nervous. Probably because I already knew what he was going to say.

He said that he was happy with where I was in my recovery process and that allowed me to take a sigh of relief. I have done so much digging around on the internet and have come across people in all different stages of this recovery at all different times. Some of them I am behind and some I am ahead of. Even still, I found myself comparing my process to others and eventually I had little confidence in my progress. So to hear him say he was pleased with my progress felt amazing but I still had questions about why this recovery is taking so long.fd2ddb2e-11fb-4d7f-a11d-dfa7d86d7a41

Obviously I’m impatient in all of this, I think I have made that clear. But now that week 6 has almost come to a close and I had told most of my friends that I would be back beginning of February, I’m starting to get a lot of questions. Why are you still home? Did you move back to Iowa? What went wrong that you’re still there? Why don’t you just come back, you look like you’re fine??! Honestly, I couldn’t answer some of those questions before the follow up and I didn’t know how to explain that nothing had gone wrong, regardless of how much I underestimated the recovery time.

The first ounce of clarity came when I asked him about the recovery time and mentioned that sometimes I felt like my knee cap was further in than my non-surgical leg. He told me that my knee cap sat so far on the outside of my right leg, that they essentially overcorrected it to start with. So I was right in feeling like my knee cap was not in the center of my leg yet. The idea is that the cadaver ligament, put in for reinforcement, would slowly stretch out over this recovery process and land where it should. That would explain why getting it to bend past a certain threshold has been so challenging and why this recovery must be taken with extreme patience. 

The next factor to my recovery is the ever present dark cloud of stage 4 arthritis that looms over my head each day. He was not happy and a little taken back with the amount of cartilage damage and I was finally getting to hear that straight from his mouth. He walked me through the photos from the pre-surgical scope and helped me understand what it should look like vs. what it actually looks at. Because of the amount of damage and the fact that bones are innervated, I am going to feel a decent amount of pain as I gain more mobility. My trochlea (the indent your knee cap glides on when you bend) is basically gone and I have almost no cushion there to stop the patella from grinding on bone. This will be something that I will have to keep an eye on and possibly something I will have to get treated in the near future. For now, he did the micro-fractures and told me that the more I can strengthen my quads, the more they will lift the patella off of the damaged area. img_7564

Next question: driving. That was definitely a no go. Studies show that your reaction time decreases post surgery/trauma or during an injury recovery period. Mix that with the fact that I *still* couldn’t bend my leg to 90 degrees and sprinkle in my chaotic driving habits pre-surgery and I can understand why. He said that he wants to see me again in 5-6 weeks and maybe then I will be cleared. Welp, there goes me leaving for LA mid-Feb!

My last and final question elicited the most disappointing response of the entire appointment. I told him my goal was to audition for NFL teams late spring and asked him if he thought that was realistic. Never in a million years did I expect this to even be in question before I had the surgery done, but here I was holding my breath waiting for the answer. He scooted he chair in closer and took a deep breath before he said that my recovery time from this point was likely going to be 6 months to a year and a half until I was back in action at full capacity dance wise. And even then, the cartilage damage may cause intense pain and some limitations. Ouch.

He said it is good to have a goal to work towards to keep yourself motivated but that he worries about me over-doing it more than he worries about me not doing enough to further my recovery. He said there is a sweet spot that I need to stay in to achieve the success that I am looking for. I can push it up to a certain point, but I can also damage it if I do too much. I told him that I understood, but I had a hard time sustaining eye contact with him. I kept searching for my mom’s eyes in the doctors office so that *hopefully* I could avoid breaking down and crying in front of him. It wasn’t his fault and I knew that. It was just hard to hear said out loud what no one, so far, had had the heart to tell me.

As you can imagine, a few tears were shed once my mom and I got in the car. This news meant a lot more than just not being able to audition for NFL teams this spring. It meant that 2020 was going to look a lot different than I had ever anticipated. It meant that I was going to have to get a 9-5, and one that I genuinely loved. I have always been able to make supplemental money dancing or doing fitness related things. Not only that, but also pursing these passions have allowed me to fill fulfilled even at times when I have a part time job I am not crazy about. Since things of that nature are out for the short term future, I would have to find a job that both supports my financial needs as well as my happiness meter. In short, It meant that everything that has composed my identity for the past several years had been taken away from me and that was almost too much to process.

I will reiterate that I don’t think any of this was stuff I didn’t already know somewhere in the back of my head. And it continued to come in waves throughout the rest of the day. My mom and I went to the mall for a little retail therapy and even got my hair done for the first time since I have been home, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. The little things that used to get me by and cheer me up during a day weren’t enough to completely mask how difficult this has been for me. I broke down every time I recapped the appointment to anyone- even if I was getting ready to watch the bachelor, wearing cute matching pajamas, had a glass of wine in my hand and a charcuterie board in front of me. I couldn’t hide from the way that I was feeling but I gained a new level of appreciation for the people around me.

Everyone has been more than supportive in all of this. I am thankful that I am 24 and I have lots of years to accomplish my goals ahead of me. I have to believe that and move forward with a warrior mentality. Plus, things tend to taste sweeter when you have to work for them. 

Read week 7 here.