Well, hello, there. It's been a while since I've updated this, and I'm not even sure why I'm doing it now, especially since I keep up with people more actively on Skype than on here.
An awful lot has happened since I've been inactive—well, there were two huge things in particular, to be more precise.
—TL;DR... car accident + new boyfriend, and a few other things mentioned in the last paragraph if you want to skip to that.
At first it was part of my inactive phase that comes and goes. Then it was that shocking cause to a change in life events, and the first of the two major causes I mentioned, known as the car accident. Yes, I was in a car wreck—on the fifth of April, to be precise.
Before I say anything else, I'm fine. It's late July now and I am officially healed of my injuries, although I need to get my strength back. Now, back to the car accident tangent. I was out of town on a camping trip with friends when it happened. The camp had just ended and we had just begun making our way back. I was sitting in the back on the right side of the vehicle, a small SUV. The driver became distracted by his GPS device (I was about to reach for my phone to use its GPS if the driver needed it), didn't come to a full stop at a stop sign, drifted too far out, and we were T-boned on the right side by a pickup truck. That was my side. Yeah, not fun.
I don't recall much of anything concrete from the accident right at the moment it happened. I remember all of the events right up until the moment we were hit, and everything after that is quite hazy at best. All I can recall in the immediate aftermath was seeing a helicopter and thinking, "That's a helicopter," and hearing a female voice reporting that they had a male and a non-responsive female coming in. There are also extremely vague moments where I'm aware of someone checking me out and moving me while I was still in the vehicle. Then I recall a strange sensation I can only attribute to the feeling of being flown in a helicopter to the hospital (we were airlifted out of there). I do remember someone feeling down the length of my neck and then removing what could only have been a neck brace. There were occasional voices, but I was too out of it to know how many or what they were saying. The accident happened around three in the afternoon, and I came to fully in the hospital around ten that night. Apparently what was several hours felt like moments to me because of how much I was out of it. The nurse then told me that I had been in a car accident. It wasn't a complete shock because, through the haziness, I was aware that something big had occurred.
Now on to my injuries: I woke up feeling achy all over, but particularly around my hips. The nurse informed me that I had a fractured pelvis, bruising, and a mild concussion. I did not require surgery. After receiving all that info, another nurse asked me if I wanted to call my parents or if I preferred they do it. I opted to call them and tell them what happened, then hand the phone to the nurse so she could explain the details and tell them where I was. My parents drove overnight to the hospital, which was a good six hours away from where they live. After morphine, x-rays, and two nights' bed rest, the doctors determined that my pelvis wasn't moving due to the fractures, which meant I would be fine going home to get bed rest and could move around in a wheelchair. There would be a physical therapist who came to see me at my home twice a week for three weeks to make sure I started moving and stretching properly, too.
Quick side note about the others in the accident: the young man in the passenger seat ahead of me was injured worse than I was. He broke both of his femurs clean in two and required surgery. His recovery projection was determined to be twice as long as mine. As far as I know, he is still in a wheelchair, although not for much longer. Everybody else in the crash—the driver and the other dude who was sitting to my left, as well as the elderly couple in the pickup truck that hit us—were totally fine aside from a few bruises. Everyone was wearing seat belts.
Two months later, after another check-up, the doctor said I could start weight-bearing as tolerated in the pool only (aqua therapy), and after two or three weeks of that, I could transition to land, weight-bearing as tolerated. I could use a cane, walker, or crutches if the therapist thought necessary. Well, I only needed a cane for a week! I could walk again, finally! I got out of the wheelchair and water in June. I can't run at full speed or do heavy lifting yet, but it won't be long. My strength is returning little by little.
Honestly, it wasn't that hard. It took patience as my body recovered. I remember the day when turning to one side in bed was no longer hurting my pelvis. The pain was light (I did not need pain meds after leaving the hospital), and it kept decreasing steadily. My physical therapists and doctors were all surprised at how quickly I was healing. I believe I owe my quick recovery to a few things: firstly, being a former athlete kept my body in good shape, even after I stopped training; secondly, having a positive attitude was a major help (seriously, my mood didn't drop a bit. I was not even remotely depressed, but incredibly thankful that it had not been worse); and thirdly, my friends and family were so supportive of me, including my new boyfriend—which is the second of the two major events that has happened recently.
This journal is getting long, so I'll keep it short. I met my boyfriend in the most unlikely of places: in an anime and manga group on Facebook. Neither of us was expecting anything. I joined the group to talk about anime and manga and perhaps meet a few friends. The majority of the anime community isn't that smart aside from a few notable exceptions, but I still made a few good, intelligent friends—and he was one of them. "Hey, I like this person" became "Oh, hey, I really like this person!" We flirted a bit, butterflies grew, and he asked me out on April 9th, four days after my accident. He made the decision to ask me when I left for the camping trip, but the crash delayed that for a bit. (And how awful for him; almost as soon as he decides to ask out a girl he really likes, she gets in a car crash!) But I guess me not being depressed was an encouragement for both of us, so he asked and I happily became his girlfriend. Since we met online, our relationship is long distance. Yes, that has been hard for us to deal with, but we're both more than capable of handling it. Any LDR will take more work than the average relationship, but we were determined and confident, and that has gone a very long way for us. We are coming up on four months soon and have already made plans to see each other! He's intelligent, he's funny, he's handsome, he never judges me and is an all-around decent person, he connects really well with me to the point that we're thinking the same things and surprising each other quite often, and best of all, he adores me and treats me so well. I'm a happy (and spoiled; he loves spoiling me) girl, and I enjoy making him happy, too!
So, yeah, a lot happened. Some good, some bad. Other things: my tablet is no longer working, so no digital drawings in the near future, contrary to my goals. Oh, well. I also got a job as an English teacher in Japan, but that won't start until the school year begins in April (I'll need to arrive in Japan in mid-March for training). I suppose that should be among my list of huge things that happened, too, but the two I mentioned are the most memorable. I'll stay with my parents in the meantime and get a part-time job to save up money for the trip. In the meantime, I'll be a somewhat-active watcher here on DA. I'll come and go as time permits.