My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Monday, July 5, 2010

Resilient Pam

Pam shares her story of Resiliency. One of Determination. Service. Getting Up Again AND Again. Tenacity.

You know, I have never thought about myself being resilient. But I guess I really am. I left home at a young age, had my first baby 6 weeks short of my 18th birthday, and a year later I had another baby. I left my first husband after 5 years of mental abuse and neglect. That ended in 1989.
In 1990 I married my high school sweetheart, should have stayed with him from the beginning. In '91 we had a baby girl ... While I worked at a feed store, in 2002, I was hit head on by a drunk driver after getting off of work and picking up my son. My son had a few stitches in his knee, otherwise he wasn't hurt. I was in the hospital for 11 days, my left leg broken in three places and my left arm, and nose broken. I used a wheel chair and walker for 3 months, I now have more titanium in my left side than I ever thought possible. Alas, I do not set off the metal detectors in the airport, LOL. I recovered and got back to life.

I worked a new job for a year, and got another job at a Pawn shop, that was interesting! LOL, He closed down the shop a year later, so on to another job, at a farm store again, I had really missed it. I worked there for a year, during this year I was having health problems. In retrospect I should have taken much more seriously.

One morning I was getting dressed, putting makeup on and had dark spots in my eyes, I couldn't see to put my makeup on, it scared me enough that I went right down to the doctor. He told me to get into the emergency for an MRI. I called my husband and drove home and he took me to the hospital. The next day I heard the hardest words to hear, that I have ever. "You have a brain tumor".
We were speechless. Two days later I had major cranial surgery. I had an ependymoma the size of a golf ball cut off of my brain stem. I woke up not being able to talk, or swallow, not being able to stand up without fainting, after 5 days or so they put a feeding tube in my stomach, because I still couldn't swallow. I stayed in the hospital for 2 months, because my blood pressure would not stabilize, every time I would stand or sit up on the edge of the bed I would faint. Finally, I came home only to have to go back in two weeks later because I had a spinal fluid leak in the incision on the back of my head. In the hospital for another week. That was fixed, after another surgery. I finally came home, to having to use a potty chair in the living room at night, a feeding tube almost 24/7, had that for 5 months before I started being able to swallow again. Through all of this my wonderful husband was my nurse,(for both incidents,) I have put him through heck, as I have gone through it, I love him dearly, we have been married now for 20 years this June!

I still am dealing with deficits, I still sleep in the living room, because of my throat and stomach and a reflux problem now. I still can not move my tongue from side to side, but I eat just fine. I still fight my blood pressure, but haven't fainted in the last year and a half. My surgery was March 7th 2008. All my MRIs have been clean with no recurrence, I feel lucky in that. I deal with the reflux, my balance, and my blood pressure, just this morning my Bp was down to 68/50, but I am still here!

We are raising a Guide dog puppy again, our youngest daughter raised one through all my surgery and recovery, he graduated High School with her, Luxor is now a working guide to Linda, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Our current puppy is named Dublin and is 11-months old.

I go out now and feed my horses, ride them and clean stalls. I feel really lucky to be able to do that again!

Resilient....I have never thought of it that way, but I guess I am. That and stubborn and bound and determined to have life as normal as possible again!

Pam says, I hope I can inspire someone else to be just as stubborn and yes, resilient.

Share your story of Resilience.


Jen said...

Waw Pam, what can I say.
You have been through so much, and to even think of raising a guide dog puppy after all that. What an inspiring post.
Thanks for sharing Becky.

Retired Duo said...

What an amazing story. Pam, you are the very definition of resilient. Your story is very touching - but the best part is your reaction to all the adversity. You're the Energizer Bunny ... you just keep going. Thanks so much for sharing. You have my best wishes.

Thank you, Becky, for posting Pam's story.


Torie said...

Wow Pam, what a great story. I am so glad you have pulled through. What a scarey time it must have been.

I hope that you continue to enjoy life the best you can.

Good luck with the puppy!!! Xxx

jennohara said...

Wow! What a story. Resilient is the word.
Thanks for sharing, your story Pam, and thanks for posting, Becky!
Very inspiring.

Reddunappy said...

Yes Becky I did find your post. Thank you.
And thank you to those that left messages of encouragement, I really liked that :0)

Reddunappy said...
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Reddunappy said...
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Reddunappy said...

I dont know why Blogger posted my last post 3 times?

Becky said...

Agree - an incredible story and thanks so much for sharing Pam.

Grandma & Grandpa said...

What an inspiring life story! Thank you, Pam, for sharing, and thank you, Becky, for providing a way for us all to be uplifted and motivated through your resiliency and that of others.