Our Story

Our journey started out simple.

We were high school sweethearts. We got married after I finished graduate school. We moved into our first condominium apartment in San Diego. I was practicing Marriage and Family Therapy as an intern, and my husband was testing video games with Sony.

Like many, we fell on hard times, and we found ourselves considering the options. Then, one day my husband announced he was joining the United States Navy. Some of the original posts on this blog document that harrying and exciting time.

After my husband graduated from Naval Basic Training, he went to school in Pensacola, Florida. I decided to take a much-needed break and join him. The warm waters and crystal white beaches were the refreshers I needed. Life wasn't always easy, though. School occupied much of my husband's time, and at one point, I was in a gruesome car accident.

We bounced back, though, and found ourselves making a cross-country trip with two kitties in tow to the beautiful state of Washington in the middle of Autumn. My husband became a crew member with the USS Momsen, and we settled into a way of life in the Evergreen State.

One night, my husband came home from an underway with flowers in hand. It was going to be his last outing before dry-docking in Seattle, but I had missed him terribly. I worked the following day, and I positively itched to be home and see him. We had an excellent evening together, going out for gelato at the local town center and buying gifts for our respective holiday parties. That following day, my husband had a double watch shift. He had colors in the morning. He vowed to try not to wake me while he got ready for work.

Then, at 0430, I received the most horrific phone call of my life. My husband was screaming for help, for me to find him. He had fallen down the stairwell of our apartment-20 feet of concrete steps and metal railings-and he was lying at the bottom. It was freezing cold outside. It was ten days before Christmas, and my husband had shattered both calcaneus bones in his heels.

Since that day, my husband has had multiple surgeries. I spent countless nights in the hospital. Our days merged into nights, nights into days. I continued to work, and when I was not at work, I was at his hospital bedside, advocating for better pain management, more elevation, more fluids, and most of all, more answers.

As of this writing, my husband uses a cane. He started with just a wheelchair and progressed to crutches before making it to this point. He has one plate and twelve screws in each foot. He was bedridden for nearly two months and has had extensive physical therapy. He had to learn how to walk again. He suffers from chronic pain and neuropathy. He has been told he will never run again.

There are still so many unknowns nearly five years after the accident and many days are fraught with pain and frustration. I work full-time as a psychotherapist. My husband has earned his Bachelor's since he left the Navy. We bought a small farm in 2015 and then sold it in 2018 to move overseas.

While tending the farm we learned hard lessons and experienced setbacks we did not (and in some cases could not) anticipate. My husband broke one foot a second time, which amplified PTSD that had been simmering quietly in the background. Through difficult trial and error, we learned my husband may never work a "normal" job again. This meant I needed a better position to support us and build a retirement that could handle his medical and mental needs in the future.  That too provided difficult, because I was forced to turn down better positions so that he could complete his much-needed PTSD treatment and allow his foot to heal again.

Our life has changed, and we know that my husband will one day return to a wheelchair. We have to prepare. This means working harder, making healthier choices with the future in mind, and enjoying our lives as much as possible now. It means being mindful of our mental health, attentive to our physical health, and a healthy dose of risk management. It means being plentiful with time spent together and thrifty with our wallets.  It means we must, throughout it all, care for one another both in love and body.

So this is our story. Some days are harder than others, but we keep fighting. For normalcy, wellness, adventure, and rehabilitation. We are always looking and searching for something new, exciting, and invigorating to help us lead happy, healthy, fulfilling lives. Although we don't feel as lost as we used to, I think we will always be in search of safe harbor.