The next few weeks…

It’s 6 months today since I broke my back. 

Worst 6 months of my life? 
I think that’s a YES. 
The 6 months during which I’ve recieved the most love, kindness and dedication from my family and friends? 
An even bigger YES. 
I’m starting to turn a corner in my general mood, at least when I’m home. 
It doesn’t seem quite as bad now, there are genuinely happy periods when the ghost of my former life isn’t looking at me  as I round every corner, mocking me in my wheelchair. 
It’s nearly Xmas, and actually I think I’m going to enjoy it, as in for real. 
I’ve just wrapped, sitting in bed, about 15  stocking fillers for my girls. At last! I’ve done something useful for my family. It felt really good. My present wrapping skills haven’t got any worse. As Dani said, they started from a pretty low base…. Yes, thanks Dani. 🙂
On Tuesday I leave Stoke Mandeville for 13 days. We fly to New York on Wednesday, on the holiday booked a year ago, pre calamity. 
We spend 2 days in Manhattan, then go to Conneticut, to Alwyn’s, and from there to Okemo, a small ski resort in Vermont. 
Dani, the girls, and I will stay in a one level / no steps apartment  along with my Bro, Stuart and his wife, Mandy, plus Alwyn’s daughter, Chloe. 
Stu will be the resident muscle, and Mandy is a nurse. Along with Dani, ‘Team Russ’ will be an experienced unit. It’s a massive relief to me that Dani’s workload with me will be shared to a degree by the incredibly helpful Stu and Mandy. 
Alwyn will be just down the road, and has organised pretty much everything you can think of to make my stay easier. He’s going to drive me to the Adaptive Ski school on four afternoons to give disabled skiing a shot. 
Officially I’m 6 months early trying it, it’s way too soon after my crash. My balance is poor, and my head’s far from confident. However, I’m actually now starting to look forward to it ( 2 weeks ago I was shitting myself at the prospect ). What’s the worse that can happen? Well, I could re injure myself, spinally ( tho unlikely ) , I could hurt my arms and shoulders, and I could absolutely hate not being able to do it…… If that happens. 
I have to remember that it’ll be like learning to ski all over again, but without legs and trunk control. Obviously that’s NOT going to be easy..I’ll be strapped into a fibreglass Sit Ski and have to balance the bloody thing (as it speeds down a baby slope) at about 5 miles an hour…..feeling like 50 miles an hour. 
To those watching it’ll look simple, to me it’ll certainly not be.  
However it pans out, I’ve got to try to keep a smile on my face. I’ll have 2 instructors plus Alwyn ( who is also an ‘able bodied’  instructor ) to help me at this early stage. If it goes ok, they’ll take me off the 2 ski type device and try me on the (far harder to balance) monoski. We’ll see….
I’m sure there’ll be video of me eating snow on this http://melissaleach.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1 blog, coming up soon. 
My mum and Dad are there in Vermont too, and I know they’ll be so very helpful in whatever way they can be. 
In total there’ll be 15 of us, a good 5 of them strapping Welshmen. At last, a little respite for Dani’s overworked arms and shoulders ( tho to be fair, they’ve never looked better than they do now! )
On jan 2nd I come back to SM for another month or so 
After that I’m home. 
Can’t wait. 

1 thought on “The next few weeks…

  1. Russ, just back from a very cold and wintry Moscow, -20 ouch. After a 15 minute walk to a restaurant I sounded like Marlon Brando in the Godfather – cheeks frozen, and tongue trying to round off words badly. Looks like I won’t be able to see you prior to heading off to the US, so have a great time. Good luck on the sit ski – post a vid please. All the best to you and the extended family for the Xmas period. Cheers Chris

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