Sometimes Bad Things Happen

J.R. and I had many fun plans for our summer this year. These plans included things like: camping, mountain bike riding, and celebrating my favorite holiday with BBQs and Rodeos. . . But sometimes unexpected things happen that change your plans. 

And it looks like we've ran into a little bit of bad luck. 

On June 2nd American Express told me, and 60 other people that work in my department, that they are going to outsource our jobs over to India and Mexico. My last day with them will be September 20th. (Unless I find a job before then) ....

But I really look at this as a blessing in disguise. 
I made good money working for American Express - But I really hated it. 

I told myself that once I had been there for a year that I would find a new job. But American Express was reimbursing me for going to school and we get all of J.R.'s diabetic supplies for free with their health insurance. So I was planning on stay a little longer.. Meanwhile each day seemed to be crushing a little bit of my soul.   

I was telling myself, "just stay with this job until we get into a house." ..... But I know myself well, and after we got a house I would have said, "Just stay here until you have your first kid." 

And who knows how long those two things would have taken ?? 
Especially when each day it seemed harder and harder to go into work. And each day I left work less and less happy. . . It could really have ended bad. 

So I look at this obstacle opportunity as a chance to hopefully find a job that I enjoy. 
(There has to be one out there. Right?)

So this was kind of a downer on our summer plans, but we were still going to carrying out most of them. Until...

Our bad luck struck again; this time at J.R.'s softball game. 

J.R. in his softball uniform 

It was a close game, so J.R. decided to run from second base to third base, but he was going to have to slide if he had any chance of being safe. 

And when he slid, his cleat caught the edge of the bag, and it hyper extended his leg. I could tell that he was really hurting but he told me that he "just needed to walk it off." 

Well the next day he could barely walk. So he went to the doctors to have it checked out and after doing some ex-rays and mobility tests they advised him that he would need to see a orthopedic surgeon. In the ex-ray it showed a little piece of a bone had chipped off of his femur and the doctor suspected that he had torn his ACL.   

And sure enough... the Orthopedic Surgeon said that he had torn his ACL 

This meant that J.R. was going to have to have surgery. 
The doctor explained that in order to replace the ACL, they were going to have to go in and cut out a piece of his hamstring. They would then use the hamstring muscle to "recreate" the ACL, and because of this - J.R. was going to lose most of the muscle in his leg. He would be on crutches for at least a week after the surgery and then a brace for a month while his body recovered and healed. Which meant that J.R. wasn't going to be able to go to work for a month. (or really do much of anything) 
And then he would be doing physical therapy for 6-8 weeks to regain the muscle and movement in his leg.

The good new is:  this happened while I still have my health insurance with American Express and J.R. also has health insurance with his work - and so he is double covered. (luckily)

He had his surgery on July 2nd at a hospital in Park City, and because J.R. is diabetic, they wanted him be the first patient of the day. 

So our day started really early. 

This is the hospital entrance. Its a beautiful place, we decided that it reminded us more of a hotel than a hospital.

 This is the waiting room. I counted five fireplaces, but I'm sure that there are more. 

 See what I mean about it looking more like a hotel than a hospital?

 J.R.'s room was room #13 - which is his lucky number.

Then it was time to prep him for surgery. 

A nurse came in and shaved his leg - except for right above his ankle. 

So it left a stylish ring of leg hair around his ankle and lower calf. 
(It's to bad I didn't get a picture)

They also came in and put an IV in his wrist and drew some blood. 

And then they wheeled him away. 

I knew that this wasn't a major surgery on his heart, brain, or spine -
But I was still sooo nervous. 

I truly believe that because of the blessing J.R. received before the surgery, and because of all the prayers from our families and friends, that the surgery went better than the doctor had expected.  

When the doctor got in there with the scope, he could see that the ACL hadn't been torn completely, it was only a partial tear. 
So he was able to repair it without having to cut out any of J.R.'s hamstrings. 

The doctor then cleaned up some damaged cartilage, and re-positioned J.R.'s knee cap because it kept sliding out of place. 

So this means that instead of a six month recovery - 

it will only be about three months. 

This is J.R. right after surgery.
He was still having a hard time waking up from the anesthesia. 

So after being instructed on how to care for him, and what physical therapy exercises he would need to do for the next week, they sent us home. 

J.R. has to have his leg elevated most of the day. He also has to have an "ice cooler" that attaches to an ice pad under his leg brace that will help keep the swelling down. 

So when he isn't laying in our bed, he comes and watches movies on our ghetto futon. 
Or he will play some video games if he is feeling really well. 

We can't take the straight leg brace off until we go to his follow up appointment - and he can't get his leg wet - so J.R. hasn't be able to shower for over a week. 

So he had to wash his hair in the sink.

So this is how we've spent our Fourth of July. It wasn't ideal - But it could have been worse. 

We were able to see part of a firework show from our apartment balcony and while we were watching the fireworks J.R. said, "This surgery has made me realize how much I took for granted. How easy it was to get up and move around. All the simple things." 

 I agree with him. This experience has been really eye opening for me as well. It made me realize exactly HOW much J.R. does around the house, and how much I took our good health for granted.

It helped us to realize how many kind and caring people we have around us who were so willing to bring us dinners and spend time with us in our tiny apartment. Thank you to everyone who helped us out. We really appreciate you. 

I'm just hoping that J.R. recovers quickly and has no long lasting negative side effects.  

A Quality Life

The following is an excerpt from the book Our Search for Happiness 
by M. Russell Ballard. 

"The quality of our lives." It's an interesting phrase. I suspect most people think of this concept in terms of the comforts and conveniences they enjoy. But I prefer to think that the quality of our lives has more to do with substance than style. A quality life is one that positively influences others and makes the world around it a better place in which to live. A quality life is one that is constantly growing, expanding its horizons and enlarging its borders. A quality life is one that is based on eternal potential and not confined to this life only. A quality life is a life well-lived. - But not necessarily a perfect life."  

Elder Ballard goes on to talk about how happiness is the greatest of all riches. He tell a story about when he went on a business trip with, "Three outstanding businessmen, and each had amassed a considerable fortune."  

And when he returned home a few days later from the business trip his wife asked him, "How did you enjoy life in the fastest of all financial fast lanes?"

Elder Ballard responded,
"Honey, we may not have much money or the other things that some people think are so important. But I have a feeling that of the four men on that plane, I was the happiest and, in a way, the richest. I have blessings that money simply cannot buy. And I have the satisfaction of knowing that the things that are most important to me - you, our family, and my love of God - can endure forever." 

He continues in the book by saying, 
"I couldn't help but think of the Savior's words to His disciples when He said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21) 
"The treasure we're talking about is a feeling of comfort, peace, and eternal security. Because I know that I'm part of a holy plan designed by a Heavenly Father who loves all of His children equally and who wants them all to achieve eternal success, there's no pressure on me to compete with anyone for worldly acclaim and accomplishment. Please don't misunderstand: There are many good men and women in the Church of considerable means who know and live Heavenly Father's eternal plan. Their contributions to God's kingdom, both spiritually and financially, have been significant. We all want to provide the necessities of life for our families and do the best we can with the talents God has given us. But when we consider from the unique perspective of eternity, fame and popularity aren't nearly as important as loving and being loved; status doesn't mean much when compared to service; and acquiring spiritual knowledge is infinitely more meaningful than acquiring an excess of wealth."
I wrote this post as a reminder for myself of the important truths that Elder Ballard teaches so well.
 And I thought I would share this with you so that hopefully it can bring the same comfort and clarity into your day as it brought into mine. 

Thanks for reading