Getting My Life Back?

** On Monday evening at 10pm EST/7pm Pacific time I'm being interviewed by Karl Erikson on Secondhand Radio (on Talkshoe).  There will be a Live Chatroom and/or you can call in with questions or comments.  If you are unable to listen to the show live, it will be available on iTunes shortly after being recorded.  You can find out more about the show by going here. **

All but my newest readers know I've faced some difficult challenges over the last three and a half years.  Since my car accident I've gone through six surgeries, breathtaking pain, and forfeited my "normal" life.  Instead, the last several years have been spent with orthopedic surgeons and at physical therapy.

Not to make excuses, but it hasn't been the best recipe for staying in shape.  I've endured thousands upon thousands of hours at PT where The Torturer moves my arm for me.  Yes, I've gone for walks, or hopped on my elliptical, or swam one-armed during the summer … but I haven't been consistent with exercise.  Yet another surgery, or sky-rocketing pain, has continually sidelined me.  

I feel like a blob.

I have, in fact, turned into a blob.

(Not to be confused with feeling like a blog … because, a lot of time I do, indeed, feel like Twenty Four At Heart and I are one and the same.)

I've been thinking a lot about this lately for a few reasons.  First of all, I've been making some exciting progress with my arm (and pain levels) recently.  I know I will never have full use of my arm or be pain free … but quite honestly, I have a small measure of hope about my situation.  That small measure of hope may not seem like much to you, but since the accident it is more than I've ever had.  

It's liberating in a very exhilarating way.

The other day I prattled on to The Torturer about all the things I want to do.  

"I need to be able to get my bike on and off a bike rack by myself," I told him.

… Silence …

"I want to buy a good camera.  I miss photography.  I need to be able to hold a real camera again."

… Silence …

I know he wants these things for me too.  I know he's cautiously optimistic.  I also know he's pleased I'm striving toward new goals.  

I've never dared to make plans (!) before.  

At the same time, I don't think he wants me to get my hopes up too high.  He knows, only too well, what it's like to see me frustrated and in despair. 

I'm pricing cameras anyway.

I keep thinking if a new shiny camera is here, I will find a way to photograph with it. 

I can wear a neck strap.  I can have the camera lean against my body.  I can do most of the lifting with my left arm.

My mind is spinning with ideas … spinning with the desire to get my life back to some semblance of "normal."  I have a strong need to feel triumphant, to tell my arm/my pain/my limitations to fuck off.

I want my life back and I want it now.

In addition, I was thinking about my recent birthday.  I was wondering where I'll be and what my life will be like next year when I turn twenty four again.  I want to be a lot healthier and in a lot better shape by then.

I've been staying a little longer at PT and using The Torturer's weight machines for leg workouts.  I've been drinking healthy shakes chock-full of protein and vitamins.  In between gags, I convince myself that the shakes have super powers to heal me and make me stronger.

The accident has taken three and a half years from me … I've decided I won't let it take one minute more.

© Twenty Four At Heart

84 Responses to “Getting My Life Back?”

  1. Big Dot

    Good for you! Attitude is everything. I’m sure you’ll find a way to manage a camera – upside down, maybe? Go for it!

  2. Big Dot

    Good for you! Attitude is everything. I’m sure you’ll find a way to manage a camera – upside down, maybe? Go for it!

  3. Big Dot

    Good for you! Attitude is everything. I’m sure you’ll find a way to manage a camera – upside down, maybe? Go for it!

  4. Deidre

    Oh, 24, I am so glad you’re feeling optimistic. And I personally totally think you can do it!
    When I was in highschool, my mom freaked out about my nutrition and started making me drink protein shakes with a raw egg mixed in. I haven’t been able to drink them since … I admire your perseverance.

  5. Deidre

    Oh, 24, I am so glad you’re feeling optimistic. And I personally totally think you can do it!
    When I was in highschool, my mom freaked out about my nutrition and started making me drink protein shakes with a raw egg mixed in. I haven’t been able to drink them since … I admire your perseverance.

  6. Deidre

    Oh, 24, I am so glad you’re feeling optimistic. And I personally totally think you can do it!
    When I was in highschool, my mom freaked out about my nutrition and started making me drink protein shakes with a raw egg mixed in. I haven’t been able to drink them since … I admire your perseverance.

  7. Jan

    I am not in the least bit surprised – I know you, and you aren’t a woman to give up or give in.
    As for the camera, some of the new compact (read: lightweight) DSLRs like the Nikon D5000 are getting really great reviews. If you get a full-size camera, lemme tell you I LOVE my D90. So if you decide to go that route, get thee a tripod, girl, for those times when you’re specifically going out with photography in mind. My tripod is really lightweight and has a handle for easy carrying; the camera is pretty secure once it’s mounted so you should be able to move it all together from one spot to another if you’re careful.
    Just a thought.

  8. Jan

    I am not in the least bit surprised – I know you, and you aren’t a woman to give up or give in.
    As for the camera, some of the new compact (read: lightweight) DSLRs like the Nikon D5000 are getting really great reviews. If you get a full-size camera, lemme tell you I LOVE my D90. So if you decide to go that route, get thee a tripod, girl, for those times when you’re specifically going out with photography in mind. My tripod is really lightweight and has a handle for easy carrying; the camera is pretty secure once it’s mounted so you should be able to move it all together from one spot to another if you’re careful.
    Just a thought.

  9. Jan

    I am not in the least bit surprised – I know you, and you aren’t a woman to give up or give in.
    As for the camera, some of the new compact (read: lightweight) DSLRs like the Nikon D5000 are getting really great reviews. If you get a full-size camera, lemme tell you I LOVE my D90. So if you decide to go that route, get thee a tripod, girl, for those times when you’re specifically going out with photography in mind. My tripod is really lightweight and has a handle for easy carrying; the camera is pretty secure once it’s mounted so you should be able to move it all together from one spot to another if you’re careful.
    Just a thought.

  10. Linda

    Yahooooooo! It’s about effing time! (And I mean that in the nicest possible way.) Your excitment is contagious! I’m so excited for you! You go Girl!

  11. Linda

    Yahooooooo! It’s about effing time! (And I mean that in the nicest possible way.) Your excitment is contagious! I’m so excited for you! You go Girl!

  12. Linda

    Yahooooooo! It’s about effing time! (And I mean that in the nicest possible way.) Your excitment is contagious! I’m so excited for you! You go Girl!

  13. Kelly

    Goooooooooooooo 24! In all the time I’ve read you, this is the first time where I can FEEL your hope. Just a little bit of hope can spark so much. I’m so happy for you that you’ve finally seen enough progress with your arm to give you that hope. You are inspiring! You will find a way to do the bike rack even if you have to do it entirely with your left hand. The camera? Do it! You can find a way to make it work! I KNOW you can!

  14. Kelly

    Goooooooooooooo 24! In all the time I’ve read you, this is the first time where I can FEEL your hope. Just a little bit of hope can spark so much. I’m so happy for you that you’ve finally seen enough progress with your arm to give you that hope. You are inspiring! You will find a way to do the bike rack even if you have to do it entirely with your left hand. The camera? Do it! You can find a way to make it work! I KNOW you can!

  15. Kelly

    Goooooooooooooo 24! In all the time I’ve read you, this is the first time where I can FEEL your hope. Just a little bit of hope can spark so much. I’m so happy for you that you’ve finally seen enough progress with your arm to give you that hope. You are inspiring! You will find a way to do the bike rack even if you have to do it entirely with your left hand. The camera? Do it! You can find a way to make it work! I KNOW you can!

  16. Jenn in Tenn

    I know that I’ve only been lurking about here for several months, but I do feel like I’ve come to know you, at least a little bit. Congratulations on these new accomplishments and your realization that you’re not gonna let it take ANY more time from you! You go girl! Can’t wait to see some more of your amazing photography with that new camera! 😉

  17. Jenn in Tenn

    I know that I’ve only been lurking about here for several months, but I do feel like I’ve come to know you, at least a little bit. Congratulations on these new accomplishments and your realization that you’re not gonna let it take ANY more time from you! You go girl! Can’t wait to see some more of your amazing photography with that new camera! 😉

  18. Jenn in Tenn

    I know that I’ve only been lurking about here for several months, but I do feel like I’ve come to know you, at least a little bit. Congratulations on these new accomplishments and your realization that you’re not gonna let it take ANY more time from you! You go girl! Can’t wait to see some more of your amazing photography with that new camera! 😉

  19. mel

    Good for you hun. I’m hoping on that bandwagon as well. You are an inspiring, strong, gorgeous woman and you can do it!

  20. mel

    Good for you hun. I’m hoping on that bandwagon as well. You are an inspiring, strong, gorgeous woman and you can do it!

  21. mel

    Good for you hun. I’m hoping on that bandwagon as well. You are an inspiring, strong, gorgeous woman and you can do it!

  22. Lori

    I’m so proud of you 24!!!! This makes my day to read this. I understand so much of this and I am cheering you on! Hope your weekend is grand! XXOO Lori

  23. Lori

    I’m so proud of you 24!!!! This makes my day to read this. I understand so much of this and I am cheering you on! Hope your weekend is grand! XXOO Lori

  24. Lori

    I’m so proud of you 24!!!! This makes my day to read this. I understand so much of this and I am cheering you on! Hope your weekend is grand! XXOO Lori

  25. Paris Parfait

    Good for you! Just make sure your new camera isn’t super-heavy, which actually depends on the lens, more than the camera. Plenty of photographers use their left-hand; I’m sure you can manage to do whatever you decide to do! Bravo!

  26. Paris Parfait

    Good for you! Just make sure your new camera isn’t super-heavy, which actually depends on the lens, more than the camera. Plenty of photographers use their left-hand; I’m sure you can manage to do whatever you decide to do! Bravo!

  27. Paris Parfait

    Good for you! Just make sure your new camera isn’t super-heavy, which actually depends on the lens, more than the camera. Plenty of photographers use their left-hand; I’m sure you can manage to do whatever you decide to do! Bravo!

  28. Kristan

    “In between gags, I convince myself that the shakes have super powers to heal me and make me stronger.”
    LOL so true! I once dated a guy who was into protein shakes, so I decided to try one, and I took like 2 sips before I gave them up forever. You’re a strong woman, TFAH.
    “The accident has taken three and a half years from me … I’ve decided I won’t let it take one minute more.”
    RIGHT ON!

  29. Kristan

    “In between gags, I convince myself that the shakes have super powers to heal me and make me stronger.”
    LOL so true! I once dated a guy who was into protein shakes, so I decided to try one, and I took like 2 sips before I gave them up forever. You’re a strong woman, TFAH.
    “The accident has taken three and a half years from me … I’ve decided I won’t let it take one minute more.”
    RIGHT ON!

  30. Kristan

    “In between gags, I convince myself that the shakes have super powers to heal me and make me stronger.”
    LOL so true! I once dated a guy who was into protein shakes, so I decided to try one, and I took like 2 sips before I gave them up forever. You’re a strong woman, TFAH.
    “The accident has taken three and a half years from me … I’ve decided I won’t let it take one minute more.”
    RIGHT ON!

  31. Michelle Pixie

    I love your spirit! I say get the camera and you are right you WILL find your way around it! (I got my Canon XSi in June and I love it! Costco had a great deal.) I can’t wait to see all your beautiful captures! 😉

  32. Michelle Pixie

    I love your spirit! I say get the camera and you are right you WILL find your way around it! (I got my Canon XSi in June and I love it! Costco had a great deal.) I can’t wait to see all your beautiful captures! 😉

  33. Michelle Pixie

    I love your spirit! I say get the camera and you are right you WILL find your way around it! (I got my Canon XSi in June and I love it! Costco had a great deal.) I can’t wait to see all your beautiful captures! 😉

  34. Mike

    What type of shake are you drinking?
    Which camera are you looking at? Can you use a tripod to avoid lifting it?

  35. Mike

    What type of shake are you drinking?
    Which camera are you looking at? Can you use a tripod to avoid lifting it?

  36. Mike

    What type of shake are you drinking?
    Which camera are you looking at? Can you use a tripod to avoid lifting it?

  37. Fragrant Liar

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard of people proving their docs wrong. It could happen! Fact is, if you’re looking forward to the future and making plans and seeing progress you haven’t seen before, you’re defying the docs already. Keep defying, sister!

  38. Fragrant Liar

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard of people proving their docs wrong. It could happen! Fact is, if you’re looking forward to the future and making plans and seeing progress you haven’t seen before, you’re defying the docs already. Keep defying, sister!

  39. Fragrant Liar

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard of people proving their docs wrong. It could happen! Fact is, if you’re looking forward to the future and making plans and seeing progress you haven’t seen before, you’re defying the docs already. Keep defying, sister!

  40. Jessica

    I would never compare my situation to yours but I had a knee situation and a back situation that led me, a 20 mile a week runner, on my bed with a pillow between my legs for weeks. I literally cried all the time and felt hopeless. I think that hope is something we all need to carry with us. It took me a couple of years to get close to where I want to be and unfortunately, i will not get any closer but I’m happy nevertheless. Good luck.You can do it xo

  41. Jessica

    I would never compare my situation to yours but I had a knee situation and a back situation that led me, a 20 mile a week runner, on my bed with a pillow between my legs for weeks. I literally cried all the time and felt hopeless. I think that hope is something we all need to carry with us. It took me a couple of years to get close to where I want to be and unfortunately, i will not get any closer but I’m happy nevertheless. Good luck.You can do it xo

  42. Jessica

    I would never compare my situation to yours but I had a knee situation and a back situation that led me, a 20 mile a week runner, on my bed with a pillow between my legs for weeks. I literally cried all the time and felt hopeless. I think that hope is something we all need to carry with us. It took me a couple of years to get close to where I want to be and unfortunately, i will not get any closer but I’m happy nevertheless. Good luck.You can do it xo

  43. Alan

    Oh…you have NOT turned into a blob. As a matter of fact, all I ever read from you is how you are constantly on the move. SNAP OUT OF IT! You are awesome! Now…I gotta listen in tonight to see what the famous 24 sounds like! 🙂

  44. Alan

    Oh…you have NOT turned into a blob. As a matter of fact, all I ever read from you is how you are constantly on the move. SNAP OUT OF IT! You are awesome! Now…I gotta listen in tonight to see what the famous 24 sounds like! 🙂

  45. Alan

    Oh…you have NOT turned into a blob. As a matter of fact, all I ever read from you is how you are constantly on the move. SNAP OUT OF IT! You are awesome! Now…I gotta listen in tonight to see what the famous 24 sounds like! 🙂

  46. Linda Tustin

    Suzanne- YOU ROCK! We are all right here cheering you on. (((hugs)))

  47. Linda Tustin

    Suzanne- YOU ROCK! We are all right here cheering you on. (((hugs)))

  48. Linda Tustin

    Suzanne- YOU ROCK! We are all right here cheering you on. (((hugs)))

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