Thanksgiving has come and gone, but what remains is my gratitude for a number of people in my life. A PAO is not a solo endeavor. I've been very lucky to have so many people pushing for me and helping me through this process. Without them, I truly wouldn't have been able to had have surgeries, which have translated to new opportunities and a fresh outlook on life.
To my Hip Sisters: You informed me about PAOs and taught me how to handle this surgery and recovery. We share a bond that no one else shares. You know my physical pain and emotional struggles, and I'll always be grateful to your invaluable advice and support.
To my friends: You're always there for me. Thank you for being willing to talk about my fears and for not forgetting about me while I'm gone! You are my connection to the life I want back. For the gifts, cards, flowers, texts, e-mails and phone calls, I am so grateful. Thanks especially to Donna for taking care of my apartment while I'm gone!
To my co-workers and employer: Thank you for picking up the slack while I'm gone and for encouraging me to have surgery even though it has meant more work for you. Josh, while you fall into this category, you really fit into the one above.
To my sister: Thanks for being my "bulldog." I could have used you the second time around, but I'm just glad I had you for the first round. You make me laugh when no one else can, and you were the reason I was able to motivate myself to get out of the hospital in less than five days.
To my dad and brother: Thanks for giving me a hard time. And for knocking my crutches over so much. And for helping me with so many things I can't do on my own. What would I do without you?
To my mom: From the beginning of this process, you've given me advice and supported my decision to take a chance on some complicated surgery with a funny name. You've flown across two states, stayed up late, listened to me cry, whine, moan and complain, put my socks on, put my shoes on, pushed my wheelchair, picked up my crutches, helped me shower, cooked and served me food, often in bed, cleaned up my messes, stood over me while I gave myself injections, carried my purse and brought me everything I needed but couldn't carry.
To all of you reading this: You've celebrated my victories and languished my setbacks. Thank you for being a part of this process and my life. I often realize that I am not lucky; I am loved. Who could ask for more?
My immediate family on Thanksgiving. I'm in the center ... notice the jeans at less than four weeks post op! And my nephew is sitting right on my op hip!