Happy Spring Everybody! Sorry to have fallen off for a few months. I’ve just been getting my life settled back in NYC. Hmmmmmm, where do I start? Mid January, Rosaleen and I moved to Jersey City, right on the Hudson River. The apartment is great for my accessibility needs (ie. open layout, with large bathroom and kitchen) and it even has a patio so I can venture outside, get fresh air, check the views of NYC, and watch all the boat traffic in the bay. We are a 4 minute subway ride to World Trade Center, so getting into Manhattan and to my office is convenient. A few days after we arrived in NYC, my company had a welcome home party for me at the office. It was fantastic and I got to catch up with lots of family and friends. That evening was when the “Miracle on the Hudson” happened which was the US Airways plane that crash landed safely in the Hudson River. Later that night when we returned from the welcome home party we were surprised to see the plane in the river at the end of our apartment complex!I returned to work part time in February and eased into the work schedule by going into the office once a week. Over the past 2 1/2 months I’ve increased my work schedule to 3 times per week, which allows me to create a good balance between work, therapy, and down time. I’ve also started my therapy twice a week at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. The facility is ok, but the commute there via Access Link (public transportation for the disabled) is ridiculous (1 1/2 hours to travel 16 miles). So eventually my goal is to purchase the adaptive rehab equipment I need and start a home rehab routine.
Since being back we’ve ventured out in the city for various events and tried to keep track of places that are accessible for me. Fortunately, we found some great places to be accessible and located near subway stops with an elevator. One night we went to BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) for our friend Sol’s movie premier (PLUG – The Living Wake http://www.thelivingwake.com/). The people at BAM were kind enough to remove a couple of theater seats to make way for me to see the film. Another night we went to the Anjelika Theater for another one of Sol’s premiers (PLUG – Explicit Ills http://www.explicitillsthemovie.com/ They snuck me in on the service elevator, through the kitchen and into the lobby We’ve also discovered several restaurants and shops that aren’t too cramped and are easy for me to be independently mobile, which is great. We went to a Knicks game in March, and to our pleasure, one of the disabled seating sections was on the floor of MSG about 12 seats down from Spike Lee! The Knicks actually won! Nate Robinson was practically draining 3′s on our lap. Now that the weather is getting warmer we’ve been getting over to Liberty State Park to exercise. It has great views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. Plus, with the warm weather, there are more cafe’s and patios open!
Rosaleen and I took a road trip to Maine to see her family and they were kind enough to build me a ramp to get in/out of the house. We also took a trip to Kansas City for work where they held a surprise fund raiser for me! I was really astonished when my parents showed up! Unbeknownst to me Randy (my boss) and Rose were scheming for them to be the surprise guests at the fund raiser. Pretty cool since I hadn’t seen them since January.
I’m still getting stronger by the day and recently have been able to venture solo to the supermarket, mall, Liberty Park, and along the Hudson River Walkway. These may seem like small feats, but for someone who once was fiercely independent, they are big steps. I also conquered the long ramp at World Trade Center, which, when I first saw it a few months ago thought would be nearly impossible. The next major challenge I have is to get up and down Vesey Street in Manhattan, which is shoulder to shoulder people during rush hour!
I haven’t regained much more muscle mobility since I left Atlanta, but I continue to strengthen the parts of me that do work. I’ve come to terms that this recovery time frame could stretch into years, but still hold faith that a cure will develop or something miraculous will happen to me. In the meantime, my life is in cruise control and I’m enjoying my days. Just the other day Rose and I went for a run/push along the waterfront. It was a sunny evening with a cool spring breeze. I stopped for a minute to rest and realized, my world that had shrunk so much as a result of this injury was finally starting to open up again. As I looked out across the Hudson to NYC I thought this new life is not so bad. Definitely not how I dreamed of living, but liveable, with plently of smiles. I’ve told myself “this isn’t so bad” on numerous occasions, but this was the first time I actually believed it The stronger I get, the more independent I become and as a result the world is less of a microcosm.
Thank you to everybody for the continuing support! All the message postings have been uplifting! If I haven’t gotten back to you to say thanks it might be because I don’t have contact info for you. So feel free to drop me a note to my personal email (email@example.com).
Thank you all again, I’m wishing everybody the best! Be well!