Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Don't Let Them Create Their End...

I came across a doozy of a story this evening while I was surfing the web. I hadn't heard about it before; it's pretty new.

Ever hear of Ashley Billasano? She was a high school student in Texas. Very, very pretty girl in the few pictures associated with the story. Looking at her smiling face you would hardly believe that anything is wrong whatsoever.

Well, we will never see that smile in person again.

I never knew her. Never knew about the situation. Texas is quite far away from my own meager state. But what blows me away about the situation is that she sent 144 twitter messages to her 500+ followers in the six hours before her death. They all described her life; her abuse, her suffering, and her journey to those who abused her put away. Apparently nobody really thought anything serious of it, because she killed herself. Even after saying that her first attempt failed.

I can say I have been in her shoes. I have had similar abuse and a similar journey. I too have that 'pretty smile' and most people would never guess the type of past I've had to struggle with. Most people would classify me as happy-go-lucky, bubbly, and friendly. Only a handful of people know the real truth. I was broken, too; suicidal at one point. I know God was always close in those moments of deep despair, as for some reason I could never actually go forward with the end. Something inside kept me moving forward, allowing me to recognize the finality of death and the good things I would ultimately miss. The people I would hurt... even when it felt like everybody stood miles away.

Sexual abuse is a big deal. It takes a great deal of courage to get help; to call the police and get them involved. To track down the abuser and see if they can develop a case against them. I've been told not once, not twice, but three times in my life... from the age of 5 through 21... that they could not gather enough evidence to present a case against a jury. It was amazing how little they offered for me; resources to find counseling, support groups, absolutely nothing. I felt fortunate that something led me to go to therapy. I've had other rough difficulties in my life and I didn't want to hurt. I didn't want to die. Through God, hard work, and a wonderful therapist I can fully say that part is behind me. I know things won't be perfect, but ultimately I will be ok.

It hurts to know Ashley didn't have that. That she hurt. That she cried out... and apparently nobody came to give her solace; a way to help her grieve properly and overcome her trials.

This is what I want to advocate against. I know sexual abuse runs rampant throughout the world. Many cases never even reach a judge and many abusers are allowed freedom to continue to hurt others. The sex offenders that continue to offend in our own communities are offered third, fourth, fifth chances... something I find absolutely disgusting and horrid. I'm all for allowing second chances and having the benefit of the doubt, but when I see news articles describing 'high-risk' offenders being placed back miles from my own residence... that scares me. Not just for me, but for people who may be hurt because of it. I know many people are too afraid to even discuss their abuse as they are afraid they will be punished or ignored...

I can't stand for that! I have to find a way to help people like Ashley. If justice cannot be given, then we need to find ways to reach out and help heal. Nobody deserves to feeling like nothing; like nobody cares. Nobody deserves death when they are hurt. Please... if you see somebody hurting... do something. Don't allow them to create their end.

1-800-273-8255 is a United States suicide hotline. If you know of anybody wanting to end their life because of abuse, this hotline can provide you significant information to help.

Friday, November 4, 2011

1 Week Post Op from Periacetabular Osteotomy

I don't know how some bloggers who have gone through this procedure actually can write anywhere near or on surgery date. I was so fried!!! Today is the first day that I can think to describe what actually happened. It's not perfect but I will try to give you my best recall of the last week:

October 28- Surgery Day!!: I was sooo nervous... since I had not eaten, my stomach was gurgling a lot and I had.... erm... lots of gas pre-surgery (my poor pre-op guest!). I got to admissions at 7am and into the pre-operation area relatively quickly. Got into my surgery garb and a nurse asked some basic questions prior to my exam. I also found out that I would get to take my iPod touch down into the waiting area before surgery. Two family members and my boyfriend accompanied me here. Probably around 9 or so they wheeled me down into pre-op waiting area where I chatted on my iPod touch with my boyfriend. I wasn't really watching the time too carefully but I think around 10 they sent me to get my epidural. Once they threw in the first sedative everything was fuzzy until I was out for good. I barely remember the epidural. I do remember them wheeling me to the operating room, but once they got a mask on me I WAS OUT COLD!!!

I remember waking up in the recovery area probably around 2:30 (I think they knocked me out around 11... the procedure didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would have. I asked for my iPod to talk to my boyfriend and they fed me ice chips. I was in a bit of pain as my initial pain meds from surgery were wearing off and I was a bit annoyed it took them so long to respond (I don't know if they had expected me to be awake so soon!). My throat hurt from the ventilator (ick ick ick >_<). I remember just chatting with my medical personal until they wheeled me up to my room. After that the rest of the evening was pretty much a blur. Not much excitement. I did manage to eat a little toast in the evening so my nurses were happy about that.

Saturday October 29 +1: I remember sleeping the evening before did not happen very successfully. Between all the machines and the nurses bugging me, I was annoyed and anxious. The pain was relatively well managed but I detested feeling as drugged as I did. I had some visitors throughout the day but mainly it was another blur for me. PT came in and did some simple exercises with me but I did not have the energy to get out of bed. Drain tube went out.

Sunday October 30: +2 This is the day that I remember not enjoying PT as much. They tried for 20 minutes to get me out of bed in the morning but I was still on my epidural and could not feel my good leg. Once they took it out after my morning session I regained feeling and managed to sit in a chair for a few minutes. I think this was the day I also learned I hate the smell of baby powder. I magically grew out of my aversion for bed pans too! Catheter went out and an IV blew out in the early morning.

Monday October 31 +3: This was probably one of my tougher days. I did manage to get a shower and man, that was exhausting!! They took out my remaining IVs, tubes, and removed the staples from my wound. Round one PT they tried to get me to walk and use crutches instead of the walker, but my nerve pain was horrid and I'm praying I never meet any of those people from that therapy group AGAIN. I feel so bad about the things I said to them >_> I rarely rage like that (in fact, I don't think I ever rage like that....). Had some visitors and told I would go home the next day most likely. Round two PT was much more successful but only on the walker.

Tuesday November 1 +4: HOME DAY!!!! My only PT session was successful and I was honestly wondering where I magically learned to use the crutches and move farther overnight... it was a completely different feeling from the other day. I made it out of the room and up/down a small set of stairs. I got discharged in the late afternoon and made it home. Crawled into bed. My sweet boyfriend got Noodles and that was the first thing I desired to eat in days!!

Wednesday and Thursday weren't super exciting, but today (+7, Friday November 4) I managed to play a little World of Warcraft sitting up, got showered and cleaned almost by myself (I'd say 80% was my own effort), ate lunch and breakfast, and mastered sleeping more on my side. My leg has felt a smidge clunky today which feels awkward, but not bad.

So yeah, :) that's the update!!