Can you tell I’m on vacation?
This is the view from my friend’s back porch. Cocktail in hand and intertube around waste, we enjoyed the warm lake water for a few hours before sunset.
I’m on a girls trip to Florida for a loooong weekend, and I’m proud to announce that Nick is doing extremely well without me. We miss the hell out of each other though. We are not accustomed to spending time apart, but this vacation is healthy for both of us.
Today MIA peed all over him and he got stranded at Project Walk for two hours after his appointment was over. But other than that, he’s doing great!
I went to a water park for my friend Kim’s birthday yesterday, frolicked in the surf at Daytona Beach this afternoon, and did what any self respecting woman would do on a girls trip: I saw Magic Mike on opening night.
Tomorrow we will scuba dive some fresh water springs in search of manatees. It is not manatee season, so I’ve been working on my manatee mating call to lure them in.
SCUBA diving is a pain in the ass, but the last dive trip was so successful we decided to try our hand at diving again – just the two of us. So yesterday we went down to San Diego’s Mission Bay and hopped on the Humboldt dive boat for a quick 2 tank dive of the sunken Yukon ship.
The Yukon was a Canadian Naval destroyer intentionally sunk as an artificial reef just over a mile off shore. The 366 foot battleship sits on her side in about 100 feet of water. She’s massive, and truthfully, kind of eerie.
As we descended, the visibility was so poor I couldn’t even see Nick a few feet below me. But at 60 feet or so, the water cleared up as we hit a cold sheer. California diving is cold water diving all year round, but yesterday could be technically classified as “colder than a witch’s tittie” diving.” We wear a 7 mil wet suit, a hood, gloves, and booties to protect us from the cold. All that’s exposed is a few square inches of our cheeks. Our poor cheeks man! My left hand went a little numb, and after 10 minutes I couldn’t stop shaking. The deepness of the dive combined with my desire to be warm again meant that it was a short dive – just about 25 minutes.
Swimming alongside this giant sunken battleship was surreal (either that, or I had a slight case of nitrogen narcosis). There were many cut outs so we could explore heaps of nooks and small spaces. The vessel was nearly covered in jumbo white, cauliflower-looking anemones, tons of pretty pink anemones, swaying kelp strands, and a few scattered star fish.
The water was surgy, and Nick didn’t feel very comfortable at times. His legs are weak and he wasn’t wearing fins. No fins means very little power to control himself in the surge. He decided he won’t be diving this spot again until his leg strength gets better. I think that’s a good idea.
Unfortunately we only did one of the two dives. Instead of exploring the magical underwater world with the rest of the divers, I spent the second half of our trip with my head hung over the side of the boat, feeding the fish. I made a costly mistake by not taking dramamine ahead of time. I know better than that, but just had a brain fart. I took some when we got to San Diego that afternoon but the seas were so rough that it didn’t help at all.
The crew and other divers were very gracious to both me and Nick. We were quite the couple on that boat. I’d say we were “those” people – you know, the ones you don’t want to be on a dive boat with – but there was another couple that took that honor. Between me puking my guts out and Nick having no legs and needing special help from the deck-hands, we were quite the spectacle.
I’m insanely grateful for the experience though. Despite how terrible I felt, I really loved our little adventure. It was a last minute excursion that took very little preparation, and Nick wasn’t completely wrecked the next day. We even knew one of the other divers on the boat (of course), and made a great contact at the JetSki rental next door. The owner offered Nick and me a free ride on his wave runners the next time we’re down there. Sold!
Check out this short video from our dive. The video doesn’t do it justice, trust me! If you’re having trouble playing it, you can view it here on the YouTube page.
Nick is, by definition, a creature of habit. When he finds something he likes, or something that works, he sticks with it. Guess that’s why he has tolerated all my craziness all these years!
Since he has a lifetime of prosthetics, one of the most common bits of advice we’ve received from amputees is to find a prosthetist you work well with. And we did! We love Phil! Last appointment with Phil, Nick asked him how long he’s planning to be working there and he said 15-20 years. Perfect!
So today when we called for a last minute appointment with Phil we were all but devastated to learn that he isn’t working with clients anymore. He’s been promoted. Damn it!
We got a last minute appointment with another guy and had a really good experience. Thankfully, because now our concerns of frantically seeking out a new prosthetist are squashed… for now.
Nick is still having some real issues with one of his shins from that epic hike in Sedona. Last night the skin even opened up a little bit, but the main pain is a bruised feeling that isn’t even visible.
This situation was bound to happen one day, ya know, his stumps getting injured, making wearing his legs painful, and forcing him to take it easy for days on end.
Despite the sore stump, he’s been tearing it up at Project Walk all week.
we’re going SCUBA diving again!
To me, this video is a breath of fresh air. Most of my videos are about Nick’s recovery; this one is just us having fun! I think I laughed harder making it than I did living it. Enjoy!
The excitement is mounting for Nick’s new volunteer project at the county hospital. Tonight we met with Nick’s ER nurse Tommy and the hospital volunteer coordinator Robin (Tommy’s wife and Robin’s daughter joined us as well for a great dinner). We haven’t seen Tommy since this time last year. He made a huge impression on Nick and me during our stay at County by taking the time to follow up and visit with us several times. Nick really enjoyed catching up with him again. Nick, Robin, and Tommy are masterminding a program to help support newly injured people at the hospital. Nearly all of the ground work has been handled and it’s almost ready to launch.
I know Nick will be perfect for this opportunity. He wants to give back, he wants to connect, he wants to listen. We’re all so excited. Depending on how long it takes to get the program rolling, he will likely be starting after his surgery.
The surgery to remove Nick’s hardware is scheduled for two weeks from today, July 5th. I can’t believe how quickly it’s going to happen. They had a spot open so we jumped on it. We’re not stressed about it, but there’s definitely a thickness in the air about how busy our next two weeks are going to be. I’ll be spending half of it away on a girls trip. Good timing? I guess we’ll see.