I can move my neck enough to drive! Can you guess the first place that I drove to? My favorite bike trail of course! Don’t worry, I didn’t ride, I was dropping off Rob and Erik, so that they could skip the road part of the Blue Ribbon Bike Loop. They biked up, and I hiked. The trails met up at a fire tower. From there I could see miles and miles of beautiful fall color. Not bad for the first stint of physical activity since my accident two months ago.
From there I helped the gang wrench on dirt bikes, where all three guys wore their Dartmouth Mountain Bike Club shirts, then ate dinner around a fire pit. I’d say it was a good day of firsts!
Small things are coming back. I can put my hair up and feel the air on my neck! I can look down in order to take notes in class. I can nod yes. I took my brace off, stuffed it in the furthest corner of my closet and haven’t looked back.
Sure I still can’t bite into an apple (who knew that applied torque on your C1?), but I can eat at a normal pace again. A week ago, I would stop eating not because I was full but because opening my mouth with my neck brace on chafed my neck. It either got too uncomfortable, or I got bored. I can wash my face again. I can walk more than three blocks. I can ever sleep on my side! Sure my head feels like a bottle rocket by 5PM, but the first shower after I got my brace off was enough of a reminder to enjoy all the little things I can do.
It is Dartmouth time! With my slightly broken neck, I had to drop out of the off campus program that I was signed up for, but thankfully could still come back to school. My parents drove up to help me move in, and it has been great to get set up, go up to Moosilauke Lodge and reconnect with friends.
The best part? On the second day of classes I met with my doctor and removed my neck brace! My neck is probably going to hurt more for a bit, but who cares? Not me!
The older I get the more I realize that my decisions are tied to more than just me. For instance, when I called my parents to tell them about my neck, they happened to be having a BBQ with my aunts, grandparents and many of our closest family friends. Oops. Can’t imagine I helped the mood of the party much.
When I got back home, my entire family came out the very next day. Although my parents are popular, I think I had an influence on this get together. My brother even stayed home an extra week with his new puppy, Nala. I can be the grumpiest person in the world sometimes. Like my parents say, when I good I’m great but when I’m bad, its time to clear the room or suffer the wrath of Lorin stink eyes.
Luckily for everyone involved, it is really hard to stay pissed off at the world when staring into the face of a puppy. And there is no way I could ever stay in a very bad mood when in the presence of my Mema. Trust me. I have tried.
My dad has a saying when it comes to life. Money can be earned and spent, but once you spend time, you can’t get it back. It is for this reason that I am always trying to capitalize on time, squeezing every ounce of productivity and fun out of every day.
For the next one to two months, however I am on the opposite schedule. It is like that frustrating time near the end of the school term, when I start counting down the days toward break and hate myself for doing so.
It is a mental struggle. I want time to go by quick. I want to be out of this neck brace. But I hate to be willing a chunk of time away. Especially a chunk of time during my summer vacation, but such is the case. I’m not angry anymore. All right, I’ll admit I’m a little crotchety and pissed, but what else would you expect from me when I sit all day in a neck brace? But I’ll take this as a challenge – my time to prove myself to the patience deities. No promises that I’ll be an angel, more likely my usual, sarcastic little miss sunshine.