Today is the 4th of July here in the US. As a country, we celebrate our independence (and watch fireworks) and the formation of our nation. It's a big deal here. I'm not always "proud to be an American", but I am proud of where I'm from. Sometimes my government does things I'm not proud of. But I am free to say that without fearing that I will be punished for my viewpoints. I never take that for granted because I was never allowed to- both of my grandfathers served in the second World War, I have an uncle who was in the Air Force and stationed in England during the Vietnam War and my father was in the Army during that time. My step-father served in the Navy for more than 20 years as well.
I'm not crazy about the choices my country makes and how it is seen throughout much of the world, but I'm proud of what I am- American. Just as much as I'm proud to be from Alabama. Being in California and saying you're from Alabama can be a bit like farting in church, but I'm very proud just the same. I've often found these weird regional prejudicies to be supremely idiotic. I can't tell you the number of times I've been called an ignorant hick just for stating where I was born and raised. I tell you, that type of prejudice is just insanity to me... but I digress.
Another thing I am proud of is the men and women in this country's military who serve bravely. They're not all fans of what this country says or does either, but they still serve courageously across the globe and at home. Though I take issue with how our military is used, I 100% support those who have to wear the uniforms of this country's military.
While we're on the topic of "independence"... yesterday was my round of doctor visits and multiple x-rays. The pin remains in my thumb for now and will be there for another 1-2 weeks as I wait for my insurance to approve the doctor's request for me to see a hand specialist to remove the pin. Apparently it's more complicated than simply "pulling out" the pin. So I still have the Bionic Thumb. However... the x-rays of the knee and elbow both looked really good. As of yesterday, I am no longer on crutches and the knee brace is off! AND... I've been given the go ahead to try and exercise my right leg... and you ALL know that means that a bike is getting mounted to my stationary trainer and ridden as soon as possible. I'll also be going back to the gym as soon as possible to begin some strength training again. WOO-freakin-HOO! I'm going to do my best not to over do things and go nice and slow. My knee still hurts a good bit and my right arm still doesn't straighten all the way... but I'm committed. Next Tuesday I see the neurologist again and will hopefully get the official ok to remove the neck collar completely too. Closer... getting closer all the time now.
I'm still taking Coumadin, the blood thinner, in a fairly high dose (10mg/day) for the next several months. It will be 6 months total from May, so around the end of October or so. BUT... the ortho feels that I am safe to travel- physically- and my GP doesn't see a problem if I take the right precautions (some aspirin before and during the flight and getting up to walk around during long flights). I'm gonna be able to travel again! So, unless told to stay away, I'll be in Vancouver, BC for a few days in August and then a week in Montreal in September for the BTAC show that I love so much. Canada- I'm coming to see you! November will mean Taiwan and Japan again. I plan to return for the Cycle Mode consumer show in Japan and add in some time in Taiwan also.
As you can see, I'm excited at the moment. I'm far from being out of the woods altogether, but I am finally feeling like I am making real progress towards getting my life back. I can not tell you how much I look forward to that first bike ride with my daughter. It's been too long. I have to give thanks to all of you who have offered support and encouragement during this time. I feel blessed and lucky to even be alive and the outpouring of support and freindship has been far more than I ever dreamed I'd receive. Believe me when I say that your support has been part of what has given me the strength to get to where I am today. Sincerely- thank you.
It's time to get something to eat and have some coffee before my brain implodes. My sister and her husband and son are coming over to splash in the pool here, grill some food and have a few beers. Masidaughter is with her mom, but might get to come play too... which would be awesome. If I don't fall asleep on the couch first, I'll be back here to kick off the Tour de France coverage with a pre-race post and maybe even a few Masiguy (R) Patented Predictions...
Enjoy this day- and all others.