Moved In and More

So we finally moved into our house yesterday! I’m so thankful for my family and all of the help they offered with the entire ordeal. Everything went great and as of right now, everything is really coming along, getting unpacked and it already looks like home! It’s a good feeling but we definitely miss my Mom and and the old house. We are so pleased despite the mixed feelings. It’s not like she’s going away; at least we hope not! :-)

Without any real time to take a breath, tomorrow Melissa is going to accompany me while I do a baclofen trial for my ever bothersome spasms. We have to be at the hospital around 6:30 AM, meaning we will probably get started around 4:00 AM, if not earlier. Fortunately this is not an overnight stay, at least it’s not supposed to be. I will be admitted, giving local anesthetic, followed by an epidural to administer the drug to see how my body reacts and if I am a candidate. I forgot to mention, prior to any of the actual testing, a physical therapist will evaluate me and my spasticity prior to receiving the baclofen. Then, he or she will check in with me every so often throughout the day to see how things are going. They said this generally takes 10 hours, give or take I would imagine. We shall see!

Both of these things are very exciting times in my life! The trial could potentially be life changing, just because how bad my spasms have gotten and how they have altered my life, and obviously purchasing and moving into your first home with your family goes without saying!

I hope you all are well and I will check back with you soon!


Blogs!

Please check out my wife’s new blog! She has done a great job so far and I love reading it, especially called the great stuff about me! :-) Here is the address- www.sciaaronmelissa.blogspot.com . We have also had the privilege of getting to know another couple dealing with life and an SCI. Here is Dana and Mike’s web site – http://www.lovelikethislife.com/ . You don’t have to be living or dealing with an SCI to just appreciate the stories, information and sometimes life lessons you can that are offered. They are definitely worth a read! Feel free to pass along information!


Downton Abbey

If anyone out there is looking for a new TV show to start watching, I highly recommend this. I would never in 100 years would have guessed I would enjoy this as much as I am. This is coming from a from a man who loves Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead. I just heard so many great things about it and I’m really happy we finally caved in and started watching. I would be curious to hear what other people think.

That’s all for now! Just a random thought.


Counting Down

Our house is finally coming together, although we have not yet moved. Our days living with my mother are limited, and that makes me sad in certain ways, but also is very exciting because of the new chapter in our lives that we are starting. After all, I am almost 31 years old, married, with a stepson and living at home with my mother. Who would have guessed? I never imagined this is where I would be in my life at this stage but then again, it’s almost getting to the point where this seems somewhat normal, if that’s at all possible. August will mark four years since my injury and everything I knew before hand has either changed significantly or is no longer part of my routine. Some days are easier than others. Some days bring more joy than others. Some days I really struggle to be anything than miserable and I hate it. It’s not fair to anyone. Not myself but more importantly, not to those that love me and sacrifice so many things on a daily basis just for my benefit. That’s why I’m hoping this new chapter of ours will allow me to get a new start, if for nothing, only for my own mental health! Besides, my wife and stepson deserve my absolute best. Not that the time that has passed with them was horrible on my end, at least I hope not, but I could have definitely done better. I guess everyone can always do better, but I’m really looking forward to this fresh start. So anyway, sorry for this long and rambling post, but I wanted to say hello and give you a small idea of what’s going on. I really appreciate any of you out there who still follow these little blurbs about what’s going on in my life. It means so much. I know I keep saying that I’m going to write more often, but this time I mean it! I promise! I hope that all of you out there are well. Talk soon!


We finally settled!

As of Friday, January 11, Melissa, Brock and I are proud homeowners! We are very excited with all of the potential that this home has to offer. It is in fine condition and ready for us to move in however, we are looking into some home modifications so we are unsure the exact date we would actually make the move. Thankfully my mom is in no rush to get rid of us, at least it doesn’t seem so anyway! :-) I would love to post some pictures of the house but I need to figure out how to do that. As easily as I move around with computers and now a decent amount, I just cannot figure that part out! I will work on it. Either way, we will be taking before and after pictures so at some point hopefully we will be sharing those with everyone.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve touched base so I hope that everyone had a very nice holiday season. I also hope most of you are avoiding the flu although that seems practically impossible.

Thanks for following! We will touch base soon.

Aaron


New Family Member!

Our family grew early December 3 with my cousins welcoming their beautiful baby girl, Elle! She is absolutely beautiful in the only bad part about the whole thing is that they live in Las Vegas. Danielle, my cousin’s wife but as far as I’m concerned my cousin as well, started going into labor just before her mother was able to arrive from Pennsylvania, which they had planned. She was able to reschedule her flight and arrived just in time, along with one of Danielle’s sisters, which was a surprise to her. Bill, my cousin, will be having his mother visit very soon! I know that she is very excited and she just celebrated her birthday on the 6th, so what a great birthday present that was!

Danielle and the baby (And Bill!) are thankfully home safely, healthy and happy but if you could pray for them, I’m sure they would be very appreciative! It definitely will not hurt!

Thanks a lot and congratulations to them again! I cannot wait to meet her!


Not Alone

A new friend I’ve made recently through a spinal cord injury website and now on facebook has a blog that she and her husband created called www.lovelikethislife.com . I have really spent a good amount of time reading through her blogs and with that her inner most thoughts. It has been a wonderful outlet for me. I don’t feel quite so alone. Not that I am alone, at all, because I’m not. BUT, sometimes the things that go through my head make me feel like at times I could be. Finding this blog by Dana & Michael Ritter has shown me that I’m not alone. I’m not the only person who feels this way and it’s okay to get overwhelmed.

For example, I get up earlier on weekends then on days I’m working, because I get Aaron ready. Yeah, we could sleep in until 9am, but then we wouldn’t start our day until 1 or 2pm. And we are old, and typically like to be in bed, snuggling, watching a movie by 9 at night. So, depending on the day and what we have going on, I get up at 5 or 6 to get things moving. That’s not fun. But that’s just life. We make the best out of it. Thank god for DVR. We catch up on some of our shows, as we are getting ready for the day. I always make him put his hand on my butt or something inappropriate when his mom walks in, and we act like nothing is wrong. We laugh about that all day. It’s the little things, I swear. But do I secretly want to oversleep some days and not get up until 10am? Yeah. But then I’d feel guilty, and we wouldn’t be moving till late afternoon. Just not worth it.

Yesterday at work I was meeting the ladies in the beauty shop. I work in a continuing care retirement community. After introductions, they were showing me all of the different equipment and cool things about the salon. They showed me a wheelchair lift that is great for ladies and gentlemen in chairs that need lifted up for cuts and stuff. They don’t even have to get out of their wheelchairs. Not thinking (because I usually don’t) I said “Oh that’d be great for my husband!” The ladies said “WHAT?” Sometimes I don’t think about things I say. Aaron being in a wheelchair is the most normal thing for me. That’s how I met him. That’s the only way I know him. But sometimes I forget my audience and something that is so normal for me, may be completely foreign to someone else. This what that case. So they asked what happened. I told them an accident in the ocean 3 years ago. They asked if I knew him then. I said no. Then the first thing they say is, and it never fails “you’re amazing. You are such an amazing person.” I just smile and say, something along the lines, well, if you love someone being a wheelchair doesn’t really matter. People usually go on and talk about how “inspirational” our story is and stuff like that. Gag me.

Wanna know the truth? Sometimes it sucks. Balls. Sometimes I just wanna be able to have a bad day, come home, mope around the house with a glass (or five) of wine and watch Private Practice. But that’s not life. I’m a mom to an awesome and energetic 7 year old. He wants to play football and monopoly. And somewhere in there I cook dinner. Remember to give Aaron his pills. Scratch his head. Adjust his microphone. Listen to Brock talk about the weather forecast 8 times in a row and still seem excited. Then get Aaron in bed.

And then there are the normal every day days, that are the best. Like coming home and playing Life on Wii, or heading out to our favorite little Tropical Smoothie Café followed by the boy’s getting hair cuts and then shopping at Target. We love relaxing, chill evenings when we’re all spending time together, joking, and laughing about something Brock would say is inappropriate. I love seeing Brock climb up on Aaron’s lap to play Wii with him, or climb up there at a store and they hide from me. The new favorite is they steal my cart and start pushing it down the aisle but simply rolling as fast as possible into it. That’s a good one. THESE moments are the ones that make me love my life and know I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Truly.

But that’s not to say life still doesn’t have it’s challenges. The lady at work who was trying to give me a compliment about being with a man in a wheelchair just ended up offending me. I don’t hold it against her. I’m used to it by now. Anyone who loves a person and would not be with them because they are in a wheelchair, well I don’t think that’s really love. Or not the kind of love it should be. It doesn’t matter how I met him, when I met him. I fell in love with him. Chair and all. I’m not amazing because I fell in love with a man with a disability. I’m not an example for anyone. Instead, anyone that feels the love Aaron and I do should be amazing, simply because of the kind of love we have for each other.

Don’t get me wrong, we are not perfect. We argue, butt heads, bicker, blow things out of proportion like the best of them! I surely am not perfect. I get grumpy and irritable. God forbid Aaron wakes me up to turn off the TV after I’ve fallen asleep. I’m such a mess of grumpiness I don’t even remember the next day, but he always reminds me! I get jealous. Jealous that I may not ever walk hand in hand with my husband. Jealous that other people have and I missed out on it. I get angry that something so horrible happened to such an incredible person. But through all the crap and imperfection we love. We love each other something fierce.

I am forever grateful for this man. And I’m also grateful for other people out there in situations much like Aaron and I that are willing to share the ins and outs of their lives as well. That makes me feel a little less crazy! Please check out their blog at www.lovelikethislife.com ! It will not disappoint!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone! I hope that everyone has a wonderful day with their families eating lots of food, laughing and making memories. Hopefully everyone remembers the name of the day and thinks about everything in their life to be thankful for. I know I will. Three years ago I was still in a rehabilitation hospital, on a ventilator, had a trach, countless other issues and on top of that, in pain and so heavily medicated that I completely missed the holiday. People came to visit me which I did not remember the next day. Thank God for the progress that he has allowed me to make since then. I’m thankful for so many things that I cannot begin to even express my gratitude. I would be no one and who knows where I would be without my family, their love and support, constant giving and complete selflessness. They, along with God, have allowed me to become a person I am today. Although it’s not the same person as four years ago, that no longer matters. From this point we go forward, grow as the new person I am and be thankful for the opportunities I have been given.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Did not take your days for granted.


Sandy

Hello everyone. I know that so many were affected by the storm in one way or another. Maybe if it wasn’t you, it was someone you know. To think, the devastation shown on television does not even begin to show the true loss everyone up and down the eastern seaboard has suffered.

Fortunately our family was not affected. I live very close to a creek which overflowed this time last year with all of the flooding, missing us by just one street. People all over Central Pennsylvania are still trying to get to their feet from that time and fortunately, for the most part, it seems like we missed a bullet. Thank God for that.

Our country always bounces back but this will obviously take some time. Don’t forget that you can make donations at the Red Cross web site.

Hoping all of you out there were as lucky as we were.


A woman’s perspective

Well, hellooooo followers of Aaron’s Journey! Who am I, you may be asking…just Aaron’s wife. Wait, what? Yep, that’s right, Aaron and I were married this summer. I’ve decided to hijack Aaron’s website for what I’d like to call a little bit of woman’s perspective on what’s been going with us lately!

For those of you who may not know, Aaron and I started dating last September. After I very honestly told Aaron I wasn’t too keen on dating someone in a wheelchair (I know, how horrible of me) we became very fast friends. It wasn’t long after that it was obvious there was more between us then a friendship and we quickly started dating. The holidays came and so did a bout or two with pneumonia. I remember standing in Aaron’s hospital room in Hershey telling him I was gonna marry him some day. Well, I must have brainwashed him pretty well, because that March he proposed. Apparently he was trying to wait until his (and Brock’s) birthday, but he was too excited and couldn’t wait. And I can’t complain.

The summer came, and so did the possibility of not only a move from my apartment in Harrisburg, but also a move for our new family consisting of Aaron, myself, Brock (my 7 year old) and Diane, Aaron’s mom. We put an offer in on an amazing ranch home in Middletown with in-law quarters and quite the back yard for the dog and Brock. Time passed and better offer came and that house slipped away.

This past summer was a busy one. In June, Aaron and I got married. Since Aaron had proposed Brock kept asking us when we were going to get married and live together. He said that’s what married people do, and we made a promise so we have to keep it. As a 7 year old, he has a pretty good idea about marriage! Anyway, that same month, before we got married, a pretty serious surgery was in the works for Aaron and we decided, that for many reasons we wanted to jump the gun and just do it. I’ve always been one to not really surprise anyone, to put it nicely, so not only the quick relationship, engagement and now marriage didn’t surprise too many close to me.

We had an extremely small ceremony that Judge Judy in Middletown officiated. We were surrounded by our very close family and a friend or two. After the ceremony we went to celebrate at Highlands Grill in Hershey. Then, a select few joined Aaron and I at Hollywood Casino to gamble the night away. Our very close friend and Aaron’s new blackjack buddy spent more time with him then I, but hey, isn’t that what marriage is all about?!

We do hope to have a larger, but still pretty untraditional celebration next summer when we can invite the many loved ones we were unable to have that day. We will of course, keep you posted.

I won’t go deep into Aaron’s surgery, as he did a few updates. Surgery was early July. I’ll never forget his neurosurgeon telling us we need to find a better travel agent, as we were scheduling his surgery days after getting married. Haha, anyway! Surgery came and went, and so did Aaron’s health. He caught a HORRIBLE case of pneumonia and with it came some of the craziest conversations I’ve ever heard. We thought the pain meds were knocking Aaron out of whack, but it ended up being a lack of CO2 leaving his lungs that caused the incredibly off the wall things Aaron was talking about. They included, but are not limited to: Aaron thinking Brock was his physical therapist and telling Brock he was gonna get him back “out on the mat soon!”, trying to convince Diane and I that we needed to put stim on Josie because the vet told us so, Aaron asking his family practice doctor what he’d recommend at J&Js Pizza because he was taking me on a date there that night, telling the nursing staff it was snowing in July, any many, many others! Anyway, after we figured out what was wrong, got Aaron back in the hospital’s care, a bi-pap machine later, and Aaron was on the mend.

August brought forth more changes as Brock and I officially made the move to Middletown. I had been looking forward to this for months but when I was packing my apartment I found myself to be surprisingly nostalgic. I had spent a good 2.5 years there with my son. A GOOD 2.5 years. A little about Brock and I…I’ve been a single mom since Brock was about 9 months old. It’s always just been the 2 of us. Yes, I had dated, but things always changed, although Brock and I never did. We are close, to say the least. I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful, energetic, smart and caring son. Packing up my apartment, that I really hadn’t even lived in in months, was harder then I thought. Brock and I had so many great memories there. But it was time for us to move on, and we weren’t looking back.

Brock started school the end of August and I was definitely more nervous then him that day. I don’t know how I got any work done. Aaron and his absolutely amazing aide volunteered to get Brock from the bus stop each day and be with him until I got home from work about 45 minutes later. Not only is Brock doing fabulously in school with almost all straight A’s so far, but he gets to play kickball pretty much everyday at recess and boy do we get the updates!

I’m so grateful for Aaron and Michelle’s flexibility to be with Brock each afternoon. When I get home Brock’s had an after school snack and he and Aaron have completed his homework. Often Brock’s playing Wii as Aaron cheers him on, or Brock’s playing catch with Josie in the living room and the boys have had their catch up time. I come in 45 minutes late and Brock is never as excited to tell someone about his day AGAIN, but I’ll take it! However, he’s always happy to update me on the weather! (For those that don’t know Brock he is an aspiring Storm Chaser.)

So, just when things seem like they are going to calm down, Aaron and I mix it up again. We had tossed around the idea of buying our own place since the other one fell through, but hadn’t really looed too far into it, financially. Well, we started to do the ground work and saw that it was something we could afford, at the right price of course. There were a few ranches in Middletown for us to take a look at. We decided that staying in Middletown was non-negotiable. All of Aaron’s family is here and are the most supportive and amazing group of people I’ve EVER met. Also, Brock had JUST changed schools and we really did not want to have to pull him out yet again.

That brings us up to today. Just last night we submitted an offer on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch. It has an awesome sunroom, deck, patio and fenced in yard. I keep trying to convince Diane & Brock to get bunk beds and sleep in the shed, but so far it’s not working. J This potential change is going to be a huge one. Aaron, Brock and I will be on our own. (with a dog and cat of course!) There will be more to be responsible for financially and personally but we are looking forward to taking this on. What married couple doesn’t need their on space? I often joke that Diane and I get along better then Aaron and I (which at times is true!!) and we are in no way, shape or form parting from Diane on a bad note. If and when this happens we are going to miss her SO much. I can’t imagine not coming home and seeing her everyday. She’s gotten to be one of my very best friends. She’s truly the best MIL a DIL could ask for.

So, if this happens with this home, or it happens in the future with another, things will once again be changing for us. It’s lots of change, lots of responsibility but it’s being done by people who love each other immensely. Sometimes people look at me a little funny when it comes up in conversation that my husband is a quadriplegic. Isn’t my life different they ask? Absolutely. Life can be busy and unpredictable but when it comes down to it, I have a man that loves me fiercely and would do anything for me. How many people can say that?

If Aaron will have me I’ll be back more often with updates. In the meantime, feel free to ask me anything.

Melissa


New on the HOME Front

There are so many things I need to share with everyone but I think I will gradually do so over the next few days.

One very exciting thing is that Melissa and I submitted an offer on a house! We like it for a bunch of different reasons. It’s obviously livable now and there are a lot of things we like about it but, it has so much potential! One of the most important things is that the neighborhood appears to have a lot of kids Brock’s age. This is a huge plus!

Anyway, we don’t know for sure what’s going on yet but we will definitely keep everyone posted.


Return to Kennedy Krieger!

I will be returning to Kennedy Krieger early 2013! We are very excited and I look forward to sharing my experience with every one by the usual videos and blog updates. Yes, I will be doing better at keeping in touch this way!


Awesome Donation!

My stepsister, Alexis, has a lovely mother in law who is a teacher at the Manheim Township Middle School. Jackie and her colleagues held a jeans day fundraiser which raised $295 for my fund. I truly can not let them know how appreciative I am for this gesture. It will definitely go to good use!

Thank you again!


Hitched!

This post is beyond due. I have no idea where my mind was to have not done this earlier but, better late than never!

June 24, 2012 I was lucky enough to marry my best friend, Melissa. We have now been married a little over three months and together as a couple for one year! Some people may think this is crazy and that we might have rushed things, but it felt just fine to us! Not only did I gain a beautiful wife, I also happily inherited a 7 1/2 year old stepson! His name is Brock. He is a great kid who was raised by a great woman. Because we had a very small get together, I did not have the pleasure of meeting Melissa’s entire family, but those that have are amazing! They are very accepting of myself, my condition up and Melissa’s decision to spend your life with me. I have also become close with her parents who are also very sweet!

Like I said, we just did something very small and rather quickly. We hope to do something next summer to include more friends and family! More details to follow on that. If I can figure out how to post pictures on this web site, I will put several up from our special day!

Melissa has been so understanding, patient, loving, caring and nothing short of perfect! I know that we’re going to continue to grow stronger not just as a couple but a family as well! I cannot express enough how lucky and honored I feel to be married to her. If everything happens for a reason, this answers a lot of questions. I love you!


Basket bingo!

A huge thank you to everyone who attended Sunday’s basket bingo.  It was my first one but I would have to say it was quite a success!  I had fun anyway!  Probably because my fiancé won twice and freaked out like a kid on Christmas morning.  She special!  Speaking of special, I wanted to give a very special thank you to Tasha Cochran for setting things up.  Could not have done this without her.  Also wanted to thank my family which also helped a lot!  Cannot wait for the next one!  :-)


Basket Bingo Fundraiser! Sunday, March 25

St. Patrick’s Themed Basket Bingo, Sunday, March 25

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Aaron’s Journey

Chambers Hill Fire Company, 6400 Chambers Hill Rd. , Harrisburg, PA  17111

Doors open at 11 AM, Early Bird at 12:30 PM, Bingo at 1 PM

27 games for $25, 15 extra baskets being given away at no additional costs!

Bring a non-perishable food item for free raffle tickets.

Wear green for free raffle tickets.

RSVP to Diane Zimmerman at 717-512-4243 to reserve/purchase tickets.