I’ve been back in Colorado for a week now, and it’s remarkable to see how much progress Jesse has made since we arrived at Craig on September 8th. He is doing almost everything independently, despite still needing to wear a back brace that makes bending and twisting impossible. He’ll need to continue wearing the brace until around Thanksgiving, but when it comes off and he can move his upper body freely, he’ll be unstoppable. So far we’re still on track for a November 5th discharge from Craig, just over a week from now!!! He is really looking forward to being out of the hospital setting and getting back to some sense of normalcy in our everyday lives, without nurses and techs and doctors walking in every hour (though they are all wonderful). We’ll likely transition initially to Craig’s outpatient housing for a short stay, giving Jesse an opportunity to troubleshoot any challenges of independent living while I work on setting up our new apartment.
As we settle into our “new normal” existence, we want to say a huge thank you to my brother Matt and sister-in-law Becca for starting a GoFundMe for us, and to all of our friends, family members, friends-of-friends, and even total strangers who have donated. We are incredibly humbled by your generosity, especially at a time when so many are facing their own hardships.
I was originally resistant to the idea of a GoFundMe, and expected that Jesse would be too, because we feel very fortunate to have some savings, reasonable health insurance, and the ability to maintain our sources of income through all of this. Still, the costs of dealing with an injury like this are immense and will continue to grow as we move from inpatient rehab to the next phase of Jesse’s recovery journey.
Our goal is to set up our new apartment so that Jesse can function independently and continue rehab at home, with his own standing frame, mat table, and other equipment. We’ll also be buying a car (this week!) and outfitting it with hand controls so that he’s able to drive and get around to outpatient rehab appointments. We’re going to be a 2-Subaru family soon! I’ll be traveling back to Orcas on a fairly regular basis for work, and Jesse’s mom will likely make more visits to Colorado to help out. The outpouring of support from our family and friends has helped us to focus on recovery and each other, rather than the financial burden of establishing a new existence, so thank you all so, so much.
In other news, between therapy sessions, Jesse has been working hard with his editor and publisher at Trafalgar Square Books to finalize the manuscript and book layout for On the Hoof: Pacific to Atlantic, his memoir of his cross-country ride with his horse Pepper. The book will be available in March, and we are so excited to see the the final product! Pepper, by the way, is doing great and getting a lot of love at Turtlehead Farm on Orcas.