The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter





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A funny thing happens during the 6th-8th month of this rollercoaster that is a Stem Cell Transplant recovery, and having spoken to others I am discovering I am not alone. The last two months became kind of a black hole, a padded room, an island without communication to the outside world. Ok, not quite, but something happened where all of a sudden my recovery became so intense, the labor of physical therapy so exhausting and the status of my progress progressing yet uncertain, that my mind could not wrap around updating something I couldn’t understand myself. Sound crazy? Sure felt that way. A span of incredible days where I was Wonder Woman flipped on its head to excruciating setbacks where I wondered if I had messed it all up for good. Going from a sense of fierce independence to treading on eggshells and knocking on wood at every flash of accomplishment. Finally, at 8 1/2 months (knock on wood) I have reached a tipping point, finally leaning into a life and possibilities I could have only dreamed of before. My first steps teetering on legs firing on cylinders renewed via some extended warranty. I step with rusty, wobbling joints with muscles a mix of roast beef and jello, together in a union for a common goal. My knees finally lifting my toes off the floor but with what feels like bags of cement tied to my toes, a stuttering scenario but so beautiful I ache in disbelief. It is happening. I am learning to walk all over again. I can stand at my sink and take some steps on my own. Our goal is to continue to stretch the amount of time my spine can manage the pressures and challenges of this new mobility, mechanical issues that will take time to see if walking full time can be possible again.  But to stand up and hug my husband, our children, my mother on Christmas Day, I look back on how much I took for granted in a hug. The mere ability to feel another heartbeat and never want to let go again. 

So here is this journey so far, ongoing but at the most beautiful place atop a mountain where for the first time I can see both sides and each face of all that was and that this can be. This video is the planting of a flag to say, I was here, one for others to know it’s a place anyone could be. 

Dr. Todd Malan, Stem Cell Therapyy #arachnoiditisArachnoiditissArachnoiditis SocietyyArachnoiditis USAALife With ArachnoiditissCRPSS #crps 


(I have never been compensated for mentioning doctors. If you ever see ‘Sponsored’ on any post it is due to a Boost increasing awareness of topics covered on our journey).


Background Info:

I am 47, a wife of a rock and mother of four two-legged people and three four-legged people. I was initially injured in a accident in my driveway when the corner of the electric tailgate of my car lodged itself in the temple of my skull as I stood up quickly when unloading groceries. This inverted my cervical spine also causing CRPS of the spine as well as Arachnoiditis (two of the most painful conditions in the world above childbirth and phantom limb). My accident resulted in over 20+ surgeries and procedures, a wheelchair, and 6 years in bed 80-90% of the time. Flares of spinal contractions lasting from weeks to months occurred every 15-20 minutes around the clock(Bring in those tiny violins!) 


As of June 28, 2017 I underwent a unique Stem Cell Transplant trial and am in that recovery phase, one that has saved my life and offered me whole new one.


 Our type of injury is like suffering the death of who we were and what we knew in our hearts our life would become. It's a long process as we know and are finding out. I appreciate your acceptance and look forward to growing along with everyone here. If I discuss SCT, it will never be to try to convince anyone, only that it is a part of my personal Recovery and a multi-disciplinary approach is essential to any protocol we endure.

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