“I Escaped Jaws”…well almost

Well…My notorious story made it on Discovery Channel’s popular Shark Week.
My story along with other shark attack survivors will be on an Episode called “I Escaped Jaws” on Tuesday August 6th at 9/8c. Very dramatic title!!
Tough initiation but I’m pretty excited to see the show. I hope they don’t just spin the sensationalism of the story and portray sharks as demons. I hope they mention some of the positive messages I try to emit & promote shark conservation.

Life has been crazy busy with my recovery, TV & radio interviews, a book in the making, speaking internationally about my story, returning to work at the hospital…yes still as an RN that people often exclaim when seeing me “hey, it’s that shark lady!” (I’m ok with that) and of course spending time with my wonderful family.
My life is different now & has it’s challenges but I am still grateful for the beautiful life I have.

For those of you that have been waiting for a post & wondering what I’ve been up to, check out the episode.

Live a life worth living. We all make a difference in the world.

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Alternate Contact Info

Hi long lost world of bloggers.

For those that have been following my blog & wondering how I have been doing for the past 8 months, my apologies for not writing. It has been a long recovery this time around but I am doing well & keeping busy. If anyone is interested in knowing more, contact me. I will then try to create a blog entry covering the past 8 months.

To contact me, you will need to use my personal e-mail, not the blog site. I am still having several issues with my blog service provider. For the past 8 months I have been & am still unable to receive comments & e-mails via my blog page. If you have been sending messages but they have gone unanswered, it’s not because I’m ignoring them. It’s because I never got them.

All of your messages are important to me so please feel free to contact me at nlm472@gmail.com

I am in the process of developing a Facebook page & hope to have it up & running soon hoping to make it easier for people.

I will post any changes.



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Through the Doors & Into a Whole New World.

As everyone knows by now, everyday since I was re-admitted to the hospital, I was looking forward to the day I could go home.
When I was able to start walking or wheeling out of my room, the first thing I would do is look toward the exit doors and head in that direction. Some of the nurses would joke that they have to keep an eye on me or else I might just disappear. It was a good thing that my room was at the other end of the exit or I just might have.
The night before my discharge, a friend of mine text me saying “I bet you’re already packed up”. To which I responded back “already started sending stuff home yesterday” :)
So needless to say, when discharge day came on Friday, I was up early & with the help of super nurse Erin, showered before breakfast & raring to go. I just had to wait for my ride who was delayed due to a snow storm??? What was with the weird weather of Friday?
I truly was saddened to say good bye to my roomie who, by the way, never changed so the roomie pool final number was 5. I wish her & her a quick recovery so she too can move onto real food instead of the hospital muck they serve. I was also sad to say bye to my surgical team and all of the wonderful staff on C5, especially Hasumie, Jay, Erin & Kelly, but nevertheless, elated to be leaving. Last year, round about the same time in fact, I left C5, but this time was a totally different feeling. You see, when I went home last year, I was incredibly happy, especially after such a traumatic absence but I always knew I’d have to return to retry the surgery. The knowledge that I’d have to rehabilitate only to come back lingered like heavy clouds that prevent you from summiting after finally climbing to the top camp on Mt Everest. This time, with the success of these surgeries behind me, the clouds are gone. I left through those doors at Sunnybrook on Friday morning & went into a whole new world. A world with less burden & far more peace & tranquility. On this, exceptionally beautiful and springlike day, I wish you all a peaceful and happy day.

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On My Way…

I did it!!!
Today I was able to walk with my crutch…twice. It hurt like heck but I loved it. It’s so nice to get off my bottom for the first time in 16 days. I haven’t seen myself in the mirror yet but I’m convinced that my hips must be bigger due to my butt being flattened & squished out to the sides ;)

So…it’s official. I’m going home tomorrow.
I can’t wait to tell the kids.

My leg is still immobilized & I’ll still be on bedrest for the next 2 weeks but I truly believe that people heal better at home. The care here was once again, over the top, but how can they compete with my 2 little nurses I have awaiting at home?

Wish me luck & I’ll keep you posted.

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Beautiful Day

Wow!! Were we ever blessed with a beautiful day. Days like today are capable of renewing our spirits, making it possible to endure what little bit of winter that we may have left.

I was able to get up to a wheelchair today, wheel outside and spend some quality time with my father. What a nice day.

I have been standing (although not completely upright yet) and pivoting into my chair. The arterial grafts they made for my flaps have been tested over the past two days & so far, so good. Everything else also seems to be healing well. As a result, I have been given the go ahead to try walking tomorrow. Now don’t go getting too excited as I’m not walking any marathons. Just a couple of steps with a crutch, but it’s worth a lot to me. It means I’m one step closer to the door. One step closer to home and my kids but shhh. We haven’t told them yet :)

I hope everyone got to enjoy something about today.

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Roomie Pool

For those of you in the roomie pool, I said good bye to another roommate yesterday & hello to a new one. As expected, the turnover here is incredible. That makes 4 roommates for my current room plus 1 roommate from my other room for a total of 5. I’m guessing that this roomie will be around for a bit. We’ll see who gets out first :) .

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Being A Lucky Person is Only a Matter of Perspective

Are you a half glass empty or a half glass full type of person?
I like to think that I’m an optimistic person. I love optimism and positive thinking. I often say that I’m a lucky person. Yes I was attacked by a shark, which is incredibly rare, but so is surviving a shark attack. To me…I’m pretty lucky.

When things are difficult, as they’ve been at the best of times, I can often make it through by doing two things. Firstly, by believing that I can get through it. If you don’t believe in yourself, the fight is half lost already. Secondly, to accept the things I cannot control & choose how I’ll face it. The latter is definitely more difficult for me, especially over the past few days.
The fantastic new flap on my leg started to show some worrisome signs and a dark spot also showed up on my stump end. I wasn’t really concerned about my arm but thoughts of the leg flap rejecting once again terrified me. “What if…” lingered like a grey cloud in the my head. I was helpless, as was my family, because there was nothing we could do but wait and see what happened & hope for the best. It was out of our control. But, even though the cloud remained in my head (I can’t make the sun shine despite what some people think), I chose not to dwell on that cloud. I chose to surround myself with loving friends & family and to smile as much as I could smile & laugh as much as I could laugh.

I can’t say my flap is looking better yet, but it’s not any worse. More importantly, my doctor gave me the thumbs up today saying it appears to be A-ok. Whew.

Another lucky break? Well that’s part of my outlook…but that’s only a matter of perspective, right?
How do you look at life? Are you feeling lucky?

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I’m sending out apologies to those who tried to post a response to my blog but then never saw it posted. I have been experiencing some issues with my blog. Most of it due to my lack of technical know-how but some are due to problems which occurred when I switched host companies.

When I looked for comments, my site kept saying there were none. I finally figured out there was an issue & hope I can fix it. Awesome Dan, who set the site up for me initially, is helping so it should be ok now.

I have approved the comments that showed up but am afraid that a few may have been missed. If this is the case, I’m sorry to have missed them & please repost.

I admire all you techies out there who understand all this stuff.
Here’s hoping I’ve got it under control now.

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I’m Mobile!!!

I’m up…I’m up!!!
As I’m writing, I am sitting up in a wheelchair, completely ecstatic. I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to get up because after my dressing change yesterday, we were missing a few items to stablize my new leg. The incredible staff here on C5, despite being super busy as always, pursued on my behalf night & day, to quickly attain the special brace I needed to secure my leg.
No sooner was my leg braced that my awesome nurse Erin & Cliff, her sidekick, had me up to a wheelchair. I am so thankful and happy. As if my day couldn’t get any better, it’s a snow day for my kids so my kids & family are here visiting. Life is great!

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Good Girl

All the bandages and tubes are officially out….yay!!!!
My new leg looks fantastic and I am very excited. There is one tiny spot that is necrotic but it appears to be superficial & the team is not too concerned. My wonderful surgeon, however, wants to be extra careful and is being uber conservative with my recovery. Rightfully so, I know, but as most of you know, I like to keep moving forward, not stay stagnant. I want to be home with my family as soon as I can. That said, I’m taking no chances. Sometimes our wants have to take a backseat to our needs. Don’t worry…this time I won’t push it too hard. I’ll be a good girl :)
So…it looks like I am going to be extending my stay at Sunnybrook for another two weeks. Let’s make a game of it: Let’s see how many roommates I can go through. So far I have been here 8 days and I’m on my 3rd roommate. She goes home tomorrow. Any bets on how many roomies I’ll have before I go home?

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