Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cheers To Being Lucky; One Out of One Hundred

I wasn’t going to write about this.

Then I was and then I wasn’t.

Today, I am. It’s been two weeks.

And I don’t know why I’m crying but I am. It’s silly really; the crying, because I’m okay and I will be okay. I guess I was scared. Scared that it happened and, now, scared to be writing about it. I have no idea why.

I didn’t want anyone to know at first but news travels fast. I thought it was too personal; too personal for me to share about myself, on my blog. That’s me being stupid. God, I dislike that word (my kids used to think it was the other “S” swear after shut up; both words weren’t allowed in our house).

I write about all sorts of silly nonsense that affects me. Why wouldn’t I write about this too?

So two weeks ago today I dove into the lake. I dove right off the end of the pier like I always have for the last 26 years, in exactly the same way.

However, there WAS a difference; a big difference. And I knew it. I knew it consciously, for sure, but it obviously didn’t register subconsciously at the particular moment of my dive after a long run on a very hot afternoon. Due to severe lack of rain, the lake level was down 2 feet (now even more).

When the typical depth at pier’s end is 5 ½ feet but now 3 ½ feet (or less), you encounter a problem when you dive in. Let’s just say that your head meets the ground at a faster rate than you could ever expect (velocity in Physics).

I broke my neck, three cervical vertebrae (one shattered, two fractured), and tore all it’s ligaments. Two surgeries and a week in ICU gave me plenty of time to reflect. I didn’t encounter a doctor, nurse or a single person that didn’t remind me how very lucky I was. My neurosurgeon mentioned, as he kept wiggling my toes, that out of 100 people with my injuries, 99 end up paralyzed in some form or fashion but most often quadriplegic. Well, that caught my attention real quick.

I’m on the mend, returning to a sense of normalcy (with lots of pharmaceutical help), but slowly it goes. I can’t do much but sit around. My fingers work; I thank God for that, as does my mind. I just haven’t felt like doing a lot until last night when my mind’s fire was stoked with red glowing ember and my fingers sprouted wings to fly. The old me returning? I hope so!

To say I’m looking at life through different glasses these last two weeks is an understatement. I’m changed. The people around me are too. Life is fragile as is its quality.

I’m living my life for today. Being in the present. Worrying about tomorrow when it gets here because there’s enough going on in my life today. I won’t put off the things I’ve been longing to do if I can help it. I must say the things I’ve wanted to say to all those around me but mostly to those important to me.  I’ll keep striving for genuine and sincere. Continue looking for the simple things, because they often make me the happiest.

I just might not have the opportunity tomorrow. Or even one moment from now. This I’ve learned.


  1. Holy shit, Gina. Just. Shit. I'm so glad you're okay (at least still heading that way). No need to feel scared to talk about it; you never know who this might help, whose subconscious it might trigger to say hey, what's the water level right now (or just stop and think about something totally unrelated to swimming, something so typical for them and normal that at the moment may be a tad bit abnormal). You just never know. In all honesty, I thought you were about to say you dove in without the intention of resurfacing (because, um, yeah, that's where my mind goes a lot of the time (the thought, not the actual diving)). I'm glad that wasn't the issue, glad you resurfaced, glad you are that one of 100, just all around glad.

  2. Wow, just wow. In my house we refuah shlemah, we wish a speedy recovery.

  3. I am absolutely speechless.

    I am so sorry that that happened to you. I know you are lucky not to be paralyzed, but still, I am so sorry that it happened AT ALL. I think you should cry. I feel like crying for you.

    Please take care. You have been through a life-changing event. I think the writing is good...getting it out and all....so maybe keep doing that. (hugs)

  4. Oh how absolutely scary!

    You and my husband should compare notes. He fell asleep behind the wheel of a Chevy S-10 and met a Semi head on. He crawled away to live another day.

    You are so super lucky.

  5. Oh my gosh, you are incredibly lucky! So glad you will be ok. I think writing when horrible things happen is the most therapeutic thing in the world. Keep on writing and healing.

  6. Having been in ICU a couple of times, I congratulate you for your quick exit from that place. I am relieved that you are on the mend, and I hope that you continue to heal. And write!

  7. OMG, Gina! I was reading your Random post for today, and kept thinking "I'm missing something..." so of course I had to go digging - you poor thing! The first thought I had was Joni Eareckson who broke her neck the same way, but ended up paralyzed. I'm SO glad you're OK!! ((HUGZ!!))

  8. Wow. I don't know how I missed this story -- but I just got nauseous reading it. Growing up in Florida with lakes, that was preached and beat into my head. Never dive into water that you can't see the bottom. I am so very, very glad that you are okay. And you had great medical care. How scary.

  9. Oh my, how upsetting and how amazing that you are ok! So scary. I grew up diving into the delta, but we were on a sailboat, which draws 6 feet for the keel, so we didn't have to worry that it wasn't deep enough.

  10. oh my word. i'm at a loss as to what to say other than THANK GOD YOU'RE HERE to share your story. wow.

  11. I wanted to finally thank you all for your kind and caring words. When I wrote my post about "the club" this week, I only linked to this post. I haven't been back to read it until just now. Yikes! I was in really bad shape then and I really don't remember writing it. Then again, I hardly remember anything from June 27th through the third week of July. Fuzzy!

    I'm happy to report I feel great and everything is in perfect working order. I'm normal...well, not my brain but that wasn't normal to begin with but it's the same as before!

  12. Wow I'm so sorry to hear about your accident! I hope you're all better soon!