Spring is right around the corner, I can feel it in the air! Yes, the air is still quite chilly up here in Montreal, Canada especially after spending a week in South Carolina, USA. What a difference 70-80F and coming home to 28-36F!
Spring for me is also my return to work after being off for almost 5 months. Post recovery as I call it. For anyone reading this who does not know about my accident, I tripped going UP the stairs in my home on October 12th of last autumn. My foot caught on a loose rubber tread on the stairs and down I went with no ability to stop it from happening.
I tilted my body instinctively so my left shoulder hit first followed by my chin and left jaw. It took about 14 hours for me to realize that the migraine headache I thought was starting was something else and off to the Emergency Room I went. Concussion with a frozen/locked left shoulder joint.
The first few weeks I lived in this cocoon as I call it. No lights, no loud sounds, no TV, with soothing music playing, closing my eyes trying to get the dizziness, nausea, and headaches to stop. My sleep was all over the place and my shoulder-between the pain and severely reduced mobility-a lot to handle at one time.
I know it could have been so much worse. I know had my head hit before my shoulder, I might not be sitting here writing this… I count my blessings every single day. I took the necessary and needed time to recover and here I am almost 5 months later preparing to return to work, 1/2 days to start.
My recovery was a mix of medical appointments, physiotherapy appointments, osteopathic appointments, massage therapy, gradual exposure to sounds, lights, improving the mobility of my shoulder and a slow re-entry into normal society.
I still have light sensitivity-no blue lights so no regular TV, screens (cell phone, iPad/tablet or laptop) reduced time in fluorescent lights. I slowly change the settings on my screens to reflect more blue light. I bought special blue light glasses, I expose myself to sun for limited amounts of time, and always have sunglasses with me. I attempted bowling with permission from my physiotherapist a few weeks ago and barely managed to get through one game.
I used to bowl once a week in a bowling league. I could not take all the lights or noise, and my shoulder really ached after a 10 frame game. So, returning to my bowling league will wait until Fall to give me a good 6 months to build up my strength along with tolerance to lights and the noise of tons of bowling balls hitting the lanes!
I tire easily, my sleep is still disrupted. I have not had a solid night of sleep for 5 months! I am up 3-4 times a night to re-position my shoulder or my neck due to stiffness and/or pain.
Two weeks ago, my osteo finally got the final top neck vertebrae to unlock and this was the one triggering most of my dizziness, nausea, and headaches.
Who knew that tripping up the stairs would cause all this! But very important lessons learnt-slow down, walk up the stairs (do not jog or run up them). Focus on one thing at a time and do not multi-task. Your health is super important and you need to take care of yourself and this includes physical, mental, and spiritual care.
Work and non-work life balance is super important! Exercise is super important along with eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and alone time or personal reflection time.
I, as I have been able to, really thought about and have focused this down time to recover, to define my life purpose, to identify my passions, and my hobbies. Reading, writing, volunteering are all very important to me along with my side business which I plan to officially launch this Spring and I have things lined up already to do so.
Marigolds on Social Media, Marigold Ambassadors, volunteering with The Lifeline Canada Foundation, and the launching of my Food for Thought Discussion Group here in Montreal in the NDG area this Spring- Wednesday, May 1st at 7 pm.! All of this is volunteer related.
I continue to be involved with initiatives and campaigns on social media as they relate to bullying, cyberbullying, and youth. CPG or Cyber Parental Guardians is focused on raising awareness about bullying and cyberbullying with youth and the potential consequences and tragic incidences of youth committing suicide. ‘Growing Miss Daisy’ is a big part of this. Plant daisy seeds to remember those youth who committed suicide. The daisies are in honour of them and to remember their innocence. April 6th is the official ‘kick off’ and we are seeking videos and photos of the planting as well as the flowers growing…
I have lots to look forward to, interests, passions to keep me busy, but all align with my dreams and goals. I also have my family and my case management job to keep me busy. Down time will be more limited once I return to work, but that down time will be nature focused; walks, cycling, hiking, camping, being a tourist in Canada, and it will include reading, knitting, and learning the ukulele with my daughter.
What do you see Spring bringing you? What are your goals and dreams? What volunteer work do you do?