Friday, February 01, 2008

Guardian Angel

Do you ever feel that some people are put into your life for a reason? I am not a religious person, but I do believe that my physiotherapist, Susan Massitti, was generously placed into my life to make it better. I like to refer to her as my red headed guardian angel!

Susan has been there for me through every step of this injury and I am so thankful for her presence.

She was there for me seconds after I landed and my legs crunched. After I bent them towards my chest and the muscles went into protection mode and locked, she helped me get them straight again (That was one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world).

She was there at the hospital when I had the MRI's and she was the one who comforted me when I found out that I had indeed broken my legs and couldn't compete. I cried, out of sadness and shock, and she just held her hand on my shoulder and rubbed my back until I was able to suck it up and realize it was reality.

Susan phoned our surgeon from Germany minutes after we arrived back at the hotel. She sent the films of the MRI's and xrays back to Canada and made sure that the lines of communication were open with everyone back in Calgary. She really has held the support team together.

Susan and I even did some physio and mobility exercises the day after the injury and tried to keep things positive for the rest of the team.

She injected me with a needle in my stomach everyday while we were in Germany so that my blood wouldn't clot when we flew home. She laughed with me, cried with me and kept me intrigued with intelligent conversation and enlightening perspective. Her company while I was bored out of my mind sitting around doing nothing in Stuttgart was irreplaceable.

She took me downtown for a Big Mac, bought my customary bottle of wine (I always get one from each new city I visit) and made sure that all of my needs were met...she even helped me pack my suitcase.

(packing is very hard when you can't stand and move around a room!)

When we flew home, Susan made all of the arrangements for wheelchair access. I am laughing as I'm writing this because man, did we have some fun times! It is a crazy experience travelling when you can't weight bear and we were able to make it the most enjoyable experience that it could be!

When we were at the Frankfurt airport, the idiots working at the AirCanada check-in (yes, that's right, AirCanada) were going to make me fly in economy class with 2 busted legs...and they call themselves an Olympic sponsor. BS. Anyway, Susan got so pissed that the guy finally did us the favour (what a kind soul he was!) of letting me have a complimetary upgrade. I just can't get over how nice that was of him! A-hole. But Susan had to sit in economy and kept coming up to make sure my blood hadn't clotted while I sat with my legs straight out in front of me, not being able to move!

Susan was in the operating room for my sugery and even held my hand as I got put under! It was so nice to be able to have a trusted and familiar face in that room because everything was happening so fast and I didn't really know what to think.

A week after surgery, Susan set up the appointment with Dr.Aung with her VIP connections! She has this incredibly organic and spiritual side to her that just radiates. She is a true healer, leader and guide.

Susan and I have spent countless hours together, some being the most frustrating and painful times of my life. She has not only been a physiotherapist, she has been a wonderful and true friend. I genuinely look forward to each physio session because I know that I will not only come one step closer to being healed, but I am going to gain knowledge and good karma! I just frickin' hate having needles poked into my inner thigh!

Susan has also played the role of "official" photographer during the rehab process like the first day that I rode the bike!

This nasty little bubble (think of it what you want...I thought it looked like a giant testicle growing out of my leg!) is called cupping. It's a new technique that we are trying in order to suck the bad stuff out of the really congested sites. It seems to work quite well, but Susan and I laugh every time we attempt it!

I can't even begin to explain the tremendous role that Susan has played in this process. I am actually getting a little choked up right now writing this because she is just absolutely amazing. She has been there for me...really been there. She understands the frustration, the pain, the feelings of wanting to give up. She has been extremely supportive and a loyal and trust worthy friend. I admire her for many reasons. She is pro-active, considerate, intelligent...but I think the best part of all is that I know that she really really cares about me as an athlete AND as a person.

I actually met with Susan this morning and she let me know that she has been selected to join our team for Beijing. That is incredible news...I will need her there...if not to keep my injury under control then for her belief in me and her positive vibes!

I had this vision today, after she let me know about the news. I imagined that I was competing in the Olympic final and I did the best routine that I could have done. I imagined my tears of joy and then I looked over and she was there bawling her face off!

I am such a lucky athlete to have been able to connect and be truly inspired by someone on my support team. I feel priviledged to work with someone who is so bloody awesome!

I know that Susan reads this once in a while, so I would just like to say:

Susan, you are amazing! I would not be able to fight through this without your unwavering committment and belief in me. Your hard work and support are definitely appreciated. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you. I honestly don't know how I would have survived without you.

I hope that everyone reading this can relate to having someone in there life who they know makes them a better person. These people don't come around too often, but when they do you just know that they were meant to be there.


ps- I have some SWEET video's that I will post in the next couple of days!

1 comment:

Jmanda86 said...

So I just found your blog and have been backtracking through the readings. You are absolutely fabulous. There have been two posts that really moved me and this was one of them. You made me cry. The other one I can't exactly remember, I read it a few weeks ago, but it was about being proud of yourself for the journey you have taken. I believe you finished with something like "the journey is the reward", which is so very true. Don't let anyone get you down. As I read your posts, I feel like you're talking to me, I laugh and cry as if I'm right there with you. Keep it up, don't let reporters ruin your fantastic blog!!