6 Months

It is hard for me to believe that it has been 6 months since I “Beat Thursday”. I remember the dinner the night before my surgery with all my family and closest friends. The fear within everyone was covered by smiles and laughter. I will never forget that night. While my stomach was in knots, I was happy. I had everyone I loved right next to me and we laughed all night just like we always had in all other group gatherings. I would love to do it again- the same place, with the same people, and the same smiles.

6 months ago I was on the operation table for 17 hours. My life was saved by 4 surgeons. The past 6 months have been a complete roller coaster ride. I have had the best and the worst times of my life.

With a half paralyzed throat, tongue, and vocal cords, normal is not easy. Learning to speak, swallowing, and chew with these disabilities has been a challenge. But where I am at today is shocking to most. I am able to eat almost whatever I desire. My voice remains raspy and soft as it will forever but I understand it is just the new me. After I unexpectedly woke up from my surgery unable to move or feel my left leg, everyone was mind blown and devastated. Unfortunately there has been very little improvement in my leg at all within these past 6 months. It remains paralyzed from my knee down. Many doctors believe that I will never regain movement or feeling in my leg but there are few that still ingrain hope in my heart. One being my hero- Dr.Old. And quite frankly, I believe anything he says. It saddens me to think about the little things that having a paralyzed leg brings. I have always loved to dance. Dancing is tough now. Many things are tough. I think about my wedding day and the limp I will have while walking down the aisle. I think about not being able to put on my high heels with my girls as we prepare for a night in the city. I think about not being able to one day run and chase after my kids in the backyard. Those are the things that get me. But I continue to pray for another miracle- I lived one once, I can do it again.

Within the past 6 months I have moved from an operating table, to an ICU hospital bed, to a head and neck oncology hospital bed, to a rehab hospital bed, to my own bed at home, to a new bed in a house on campus with 7 of my best friends. Moving out of my house as been such a new experience. I could not be happier with college right now. While my chemistry, biology, statistics, and medical terminology courses are not easy- I am having the experience of a lifetime. Finally I am a college student. The girls have changed my life. They truly put a smile on my face every single day. We have created bonds and friendships that I will cherish forever. They keep me motivated and strong. They support me in everything I do (even when they should probably tell me no). I love them.

So tomorrow when I wake up I will start my day with an IV. They will then take an MRI of my head and neck at 7am. Then I have an MRI of my abdomen and pelvis, followed by an MRI of my chest. Next I will have nerve testing done in my leg. The study they do is called an EMG. The neurologist will place a needle into my leg in many different areas and impulses are sent to see if my nerve is responsive. No EMG in the past has produced any results close to ideal, but again, I am praying for a miracle. I hate EMG’s. After my EMG is over I will have my last test, an MRI of my leg, completing my day at the hospital at 7pm. The results from tomorrow will create a path for the upcoming months of my life. Whatever they may bring, I am ready for. Although I am nervous, I remember my blessings and the butterflies subside.

Remember, I did beat Thursday.

5 thoughts on “6 Months

  1. Molly O'Brien October 18, 2015 / 11:12 pm

    Best of luck, Elli! Keep the faith! Praying hard for you.


  2. Marge Gill October 18, 2015 / 11:54 pm

    Elli you are in my prayers for tomorrow and always. Believe in miracles.


  3. Janice Schlachter October 19, 2015 / 12:53 am

    We love you Elli and are thinking about you!


  4. Kate Regan October 19, 2015 / 1:51 am

    Elli. Thanks for sharing your memoirs on facebook. I didn’t know about your surgery until Amy Jasinski posted something on fb in late August. I was shocked and saddened by the news. You have been in my prayers since and I know God has you by the hand. Whatever life brings He will be by your side with the graces to endure your cross. Just ask Him and trust in Him. I will be watching for any and all updates. Good luck in school and God bless you. Aunt Kate


  5. Karen secory October 22, 2015 / 1:56 am

    You are so inspiring. Most older people do not have the courage, positive attitude and foresight that you do. So amazing, you can sure tell God is in your every being!!! Praying continually for you.


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