Lonely In A Crowd


Months ago my ‘first’ charitable 5k run/walk was a goal I set my mind to. Unfortunately, it will not be achieved. As of my last orthopedic appointment, I am no longer to do 5k runs or even walks. Even bicycling is months away. Due to the damage my knee has sustained as a result of the wreck, I am now limited to ADLs ONLY for the purpose of ‘saving’ not just one but both knees for as long as possible. The goal is that my knee will ‘last’ for 12 months before becoming completely immobile.

I have been very private in sharing this as it’s been very difficult to take in. Although I’m still trying to take it all in, I’ve taken to sharing this publicly in MY time. I am hoping that this will answer at least one or two of the questions that have come my way as of late that I have been reluctant, and, well honestly, not ready to answer.

For me, this was another blow to the several over the last 15 months. Another total life changing challenge, psyche change, self esteem/worth damager, along with a significant depression inducer.

I also want to thank everyone for their care, concern, worry, support, and, yes, maybe even the hugs given since learning this prognosis six weeks ago. It’s once again shown me that although I may FEEL lonely, I’m NOT alone. It is past time I said much, and now I am. THANK YOU!!

#fbf #flashbackfriday #0 #greatstrides #cysticfibrosis #greatstridesNEAR #friends #support #fundraiser #charity #run #walk #survivor #pulmonaryembolism #DVT #summer

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Six months pre-PE (pulmonary embolism)

First goal of 2012. I had already lost 30 lbs in my journey to become healthier and would lose another 20 in the months that followed. Although tired, I was both happy and proud at what i had accomplished. 6 months pre PE

2014 First 5k Goal:

http://www.nfmidwest.org/event/color-me-a-cure-presented-by-alexs-angels/

Remembering Me: Update ~ Part III


Later on I learned what had happened by piecing together what I was told by family after once again waking up in a hospital ICU.

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Sick Selfie ~ BJC St. Louis, MO ~ Sept 2013

I’d been airlifted from the accident to the closest trauma unit approximately 90 miles away. My family got there soon after I arrived. On arrival tests were ran per protocol, then triaged which included unsuccessful attempts at getting my hip back into place. I’m unclear as to what happened or exactly what the specific medical necessity was, but from there, I was airlifted for the second time to Barnes-Jewish in St. Louis. I have no memory of this, except for waking up briefly at the end of the second flight panicked at not being able to move, unaware of where I was, and being highly claustrophobic did nothing to help the situation. Luckily, we landed before I had a full blown panic attack only to have them accidentally hit my hip on the helicopter frame when unloading me and passed out once again because of the pain.

I woke up only three times in the trauma unit that I remember. Each was after unsuccessful attempts at putting my hip into place.  My bed was surrounded by the several medical personnel needed for this procedure. The medication used to put me under during these attempts caused me to have terrifying nightmares as I’ve never had before. So much so, before putting me under for the third time, I asked the nurse to stay with me. I  remember exactly what I said to him. This would be the last attempt. That was final. I needed and begged him to stay with me, and not leave until I was completely under. I told him I wasn’t sure I’d come out of where I was being sent back too. I was scared, I was tired, I thought I was going to die…. alone.

I’d not only suffered a dislocated/broken hip which ended up having to be repaired surgically with a bracket and pins, but also several broken ribs, a third degree liver laceration, and a broken tibial plateau (knee) which wasn’t found until five weeks later during my routine post hospitalization follow up appointment with my orthopedist.

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Hip Repair

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Tibial Plateau Fracture

I was hospitalized for a week. On leaving, I was able to come directly home instead of going to a rehabilitation facility. My mobility was very limited and required the use of either a wheelchair for any extended periods of time or a walker for short distances. I needed assistance with almost everything from using the restroom to getting dressed to showering.

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My Assisted Living 'Nest'

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Working It Out, Still ~ Physical Therapy ~ March 28, 2014

It’s been six months since the accident and I have yet to get back to where I was physically before everything happened. Then to be told at my last appointment that I never will due to residual damage and deterioration caused by the wreck, my life has once again taken an unforseen, twisted, and wicked turn. Once again, as I’m having to cope, adjust and learn a modified way of daily living, I remind myself . ..

Breathe in,
Breathe out,
Repeat…

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Breathe!!!

And that it’s all about isn’t it?? Living ~Not Just Surviving….
👟💖💉💟👟💖💉💟👟

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Remembering Me ~ Part II


In June of 2012 I’d achieved the first of my set goals for that year, but still had two more very big ones to meet.

That July we took our then 8 year old granddaughter to see the Atlantic Ocean from the historic Cocoa Beach (where we DID NOT find Jeannie) and then to Disney World where we went to all four parks in just as many days from open to close.

Disney ~ 2012

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Disney ~ 2012

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On returning home, I continued my journey to a healthier me. When Andrew decided on The Color Run scheduled for April 2013 as our celebratory survivor 5k run in September,  I kicked my Couch to 5k training into full gear. When I had to slow down and the stop training due to not being able to catch my breath when running as I thought I was having my annual bout of bronchitis, I was up to 2.5-3 miles 2-3 times a week.

Christmas day, three weeks later, I was being rushed by ambulance to the nearest CCU with a life threatening saddle clot.

Although I did register for the run that January thinking I’d be fully recovered by April based on previous recovery times, I was sadly mistaken. Andrew ran his celebratory race with my sister looking on and cheering from the sidelines. I cheered and supported him virtually as I couldn’t even make the trip. What followed was another holiday hospitalization on July 4 with bilateral lower extremity DVTs resulting in three months of work medical leave and a further delay in my recovery.

September 10, I went to what was to be my medical release appointment with my physician. Ready and able I was looking forward to returning to work, being productive, and getting back to what had been my daily routine. Everything checked out well. With a written and signed Return to Work form in hand, I returned home mentally and physically ready to  jump back into life. That was not to be the case after all….

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On a spur of the moment, late night ice cream run, returning to the house, I passed* out behind the wheel. What resulted was my hitting an 18 wheeler whose driver did his best to avoid my oncoming vehicle leaving him no choice but to jack knife the trailer. I vaguely remember a panicked voice asking if I was okay followed by a bone chilling screamed response of no. Then my husband was there. My repeated apologies for wrecking the car while adamantly stating I’d fix it, but we had to get it home first.

We live a block from where this happened. He’d literally heard the impact in the house. When he couldn’t reach me on my phone is when he looked out the windows, walked over to the scene, and that’s when he saw me. The Rescue team had just finished cutting me out of the car and was placing me on the stretcher. Later on discussing what I remembered, I thought I was still in the car when I saw him not even realizing that I’d been assessed, cut out, back/neck braced, placed on a stretcher and was being put into the ambulance to be taken to the helio pad. Time had no reference or relevance.

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*Later on, after medical review, I was told that the cause for my passing out was due to a complete blockage of the IVC filter that had been placed during my PE hospitalization. I’d been resistant to having one placed for years due to the multiple issues/side effects that had been reported post placement by both medical and patient resources. With the occurrence of not only the size but also the rarity of my pulmonary embolism, medical necessity, and family concern I finally gave in and consented to the procedure.

Remembering Me: Update ~ Part III

Remembering Me


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Team Andy ~ Coworkers ~ 2012

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Team Andy ~ June 2012

Yesterday I was reminded of a time when one of my goals to achieve during a year was to get healthier and physically fit so that I could walk the entire length of a charity walk. This was the year I participated on both Team Andy for Cystic Fibrosis and also a Relay For Life team within 24 hours one weekend. Afterwards, I began training for next year’s first goal which was The Color Run 5k I would run with my son, Andrew.

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Relay For Life ~ Survivor Signatures ~ June 2012

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The Color Run ~ April 2013 ~ Springfield, MO

What I didn’t know then was that by taking on this initial goal for Miller Time and Charrae Potter and following thru resulting in a then 50 lb weight loss and becoming a runner, is that it would save my life that Christmas. Because of that year’s life changes, what I was told would have killed me previously, a 1″ clot travelled through my heart instead of stopping it permanently. What was done as a heart felt gestures in supporting friends and their families, literally made my heart stronger which in turn saved me too. 💟💖👟💟💖👟

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Willoweagle

Remembering Me ~ Part II

To read Royal’s (my son) story of stroke survival and recovery from a Mother’s perspective, follow this link:

Reflections ~ A Mother’s POV: A Royal Recovery Story

To learn more about my story, follow this link:

I’m A Survivor!!!

Sister Strong Survivors


Celebrating Blood Clot Awareness Month by celebrating those who have been with me from the beginning of THIS recovery. Who have been your touch stones through thick and thin, dark and light, tears and laughs, anger and joy. Although just some of my “Sister Strong Survivors” and my son (of course), I celebrate ALL my fellow survivors… For you are strong, able, and loved. Remember… Life is for Living ~ Not Just Surviving…

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Sister Strong Survivors (and The Kid)

Live every moment – love every day
‘cus before you know it your precious time slips away.
Live every moment – love every day
’cause if you don’t you might just throw your love away.

I walked for seven miles this mornin’. footprints in the #sand.
#Washed away without a warning when the water hit the land.
But I will #walk on ’til I can no longer stand.
I’ll take you by the #hand and we’ll…

Live every moment – love every day
‘cus before you know it your precious time slips away.

There’s #water in the #wind tonight.
There’s a #chill in the air.
It’s coolin’ down my #skin tonight
Soakin’ through your #hair.
There’s #warmth enough within’ tonight
For both of us to share.
We can take it anywhere. and we’ll…

Live every moment – love every day
‘cus before you know it your precious #time slips away.

Sometimes I wish we could take a #trip far away.
Leave all this #trouble and #heartache and pain for another day.
I will #search for that place but ’til I find it all I can say is…

#Live every moment – and #love every day

#REOSpeedwagon

Shop The Clot – J Wells Brewery Event


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Lisa

Wishing I was in Colorado at my friend Lisa ‘s and her husband’s brewery tonight to help celebrate and pay forward everything she’s overcome and then the amazing achievements she’s accomplished this past year. I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that she is one of my Sister Strong Survivors who, without having met, my current recovery would not have been the same. Instead of letting me be ‘me’, she looked past that and was determined I was to be her friend and she didn’t let me stop her even though I did my best to. Despite my many warnings, massive moodiness, lengthy self imposed alone times, social ‘everything is fine’ mask wearing routine desperate attempts at not allowing anyone into the inner circle to see or know the ‘real’ me, she didn’t give up. For that, I’ll always be indebted and grateful. Congratulations!!! You deserve every moment tonight and remember… Take a moment… Breathe in…. Breathe out… REPEAT…

P.S. For all those who were concerned regarding how I would cope with recovery after my PE both mentally and physically having known how difficult it had been previously, this is one of the Sisters you should thank for the complete 180 this time. — feeling hopeful with Lisa Cowan Wells at J Wells Brewery.

Now for the shameless plug…. J. Wells Brewery didn’t end their fundraising efforts when the party did. They will continue to raise charitable funds for the National Blood Clot Alliance with a portion of their proceeds from the sales of Lisa Red Beer and T-Shirts. T-shirts can be purchased online at

I WANT MY T-SHIRT!!!

and information on how to purchase Lisa Red check out

J Wells Brewery – Boulder, CO

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Lisa Red Beer T-Shirt

Also, whether you are a Survivor, family member, caregiver, or just want more information given by survivors themselves, be sure to check out the Facebook survivor group that was founded, continues to be operated, and lead by Lisa at Surviving The Silent Killer or follow the link on my Facebook page at Living~Not Just Surviving.

Warrior Walk


My ‘thank you’ to all of you who have been with me from the beginning and stuck with me through everything this last 15 mos…

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I AM A WARRIOR!!

Like a Warrior that fights
And wins the Battle
I know the taste of Victory
Though I went through some nights
Consumed by the shadows
I was crippled emotionally
Somehow I made it through the heartache
Yes, I escaped.. I found my way out of the #darkness…
Kept the faith

When the River was deep
I didn’t falter
When the Mountain was high
I still Believed
When the Valley was low
It didn’t Stop me
I knew you were waiting for me
~ George Michael

March =
Blood Clot Awareness Month