A few days after the accident Dennis and I made a pact to be the crazy people. In fact, we even pinky swore on it. We made a vow to see this as a road to recovery and figure out a way to come back regardless of odds or absolutes that were presented—and without regard for how crazy people would inevitably think we were for thinking it was possible.
If I had any reservations on whether or not I was holding up my end of our “crazy” bargain, I felt confirmation last week when I found myself hiding in our shower. Dennis had just called to let me know there were reports of a tornado in our area. At Kessler where he is doing his rehab they had brought everyone into a designated safe area. He had called to let me know to do the same. I hung up the phone and panicked. I had no idea where in our house to go in case of tornado. You don’t have these drills growing up in New Jersey. And I was in the middle of packing up our house so we can move out and renovate the house. Stuff was everywhere. Everything we ever owned suddenly looked like a boulder that would do me in if a twister came through. Then I thought of the shower stall. I ran to it and crouched down. Terrified I hung out there for about 30 seconds. I then got up, grabbed an empty moving box, my Surface, phone and car keys and headed back to my shower/tornado shelter.
My thinking was I needed to be able to check local reports of what was going on, possibly simultaneous to making a call, have something to cover me from hurled objects, and if for some reason I needed to get out of there quickly, I had my keys in case I decided the best thing to do would be to run for my car. All likely flawed thinking in one way or another if in fact I was faced with a tornado (which luckily it turned out I wouldn’t be that day). What I did takeaway from that experience was that when faced with a crisis, give yourself a minute to FREAK OUT—and then quickly move on to making a plan—even, or depending on the situation, especially, a crazy one.
For now, our plan is to be vigilant about getting smart on a new world of different studies, experts, approaches. It’s a manic mad dash to try and learn everything, synthesize the information overload, and make decisions of where to put our focus. Nothing is as simple as a medicine or a surgery. Everything is a multiyear investment with heavy dose of leap of faith versus hard data on what would be the best option. Talk to six different experts and they will tell you six different things as to what is the most promising up and coming thing. You spend everyday rushing around trying to manufacture a miracle. At the end of each day it’s unclear whether we’ve moved forward on that front or if we’ve just been running around in circles, right back where we started. It’s definitely enough to make you feel crazy.
But that’s okay. We’ve found that crazy can be infectious. With many of the doctors, advisors, etc., we speak to they often ask “why do you…ask that question, need that report,” and so on. Our answer is always the same. “Because you are about to be a part of a success story.” They smile and then oblige every time with another piece of the puzzle we are trying to put together. We will hold up our end of the bargain too—with a successful outcome for us all.
As for this week, we begin another chapter. Dennis comes home this week. He leaves Kessler tomorrow and is coming home to our new, albeit temporary, home. The family will be back living together for the first time in eight weeks. The kids are thrilled that daddy is coming home and they break into a 10-minute dance celebration every time one of them brings it up.
From there it is on to outpatient rehab, starting next week. For Dennis, more working out, more opportunity to fire up the inner warrior, and for both of us, new opportunity to bring to life our pact to “be the crazy people.”