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The #Winter that tried to Kill Me (2018)

The universe started its strong guidance in September 2017.

The whirl wind of interesting events started with the biggest, firm professional ethics stance I have been faced with since becoming a nurse over 15 years ago combined with the most exciting professional passion opportunities basically within a matter of a weekend.

Active Aging is my language. Retirement living is my game. I’ve been raised by the gold standard, therefore wrapping my head around less than this, fueled my burn out. My health deteriorated out of control. My pain became uncontrolled; sleep was non-existent and the fight for what was right was a never ending uphill battle.

Ethically I had to make a choice and I had to plug in and listen to the universe. Focussing on my Why I kept my focus and served the individuals I was committed to until the last hour. I could do this with reassurance and confidence after a weekend spent with like-minded professionals, volunteers and health advocates. Exciting developments have been launched with my chronic disease group I have worked with for 5+ years, and a new education based focus has been developed. In a nut shell – I accepted an exciting opportunity to lead duo provinces in a “train the trainer” style education program to rapidly grow the footprint for this incredible organization.

I literally cried tears of joy with this launch, the epic timing and truly speaking to my why.

I truly believe this incredible opportunity saved me from corporate hell and from literally dying at my desk at the rate things were going.

I mean think of this, you know your profession, you understand fluently all aspects of the business, have won awards provincially for this work…. Yet I spent day in and day out fighting with a chain of hierarchy that had no concept of this service based business. Submissive to contractors and well, what’s the opposite of responsive? …. Insert that word here. Communication flowed like molasses in January. Frustrating would be an understatement. Vomiting in the parking lot, consumed with anxiety never to have been experienced before because of the lack of understanding and disgrace to human service this organization represents… and the best part, it was my name attached to it locally. Awful.

So September, as it often does, represented the start of big change. Leading initiatives, learning, training and building framework.

We collaborated with local agencies and opened a Wellness Clinic focused on Health education, fracture prevention and awareness, fitness and nutrition programs. What a huge learning in a hurry but we had excitement and motivation fueling us.

By December, an 8 week opportunity was thrown at us – in Nevada! I mean, sounds great right? Bye winter! So in attempts to move with the universe we scrambled for support locally and balanced as best we could. (I will forever be grateful for my family… my cousin truly jumped in with both feet and took control)

Well, leaving an acreage, a geo thermal acreage, for the winter…. Probably the worst winter we had seen with snow volume and extreme temperatures; it gave us a run for our money ….. literally.

So we returned from Nevada, discovering the state of our home, we were faced with a dead winter move … and we had to get through it in 12 days….. But the catch, I would be heading for more training in Toronto right at move time.

Moving day comes. I am enroute back from Toronto, travelling home from the red eye flight to Calgary Feb 28. Stopping for fuel at 130am I continued to venture home. Roads were clear, wind was howling and it was cold. -27 Celsius but the wind chill was like razor blades. An over cautious driver and frequent traveller of our rural highways, I have more experience than most so I know what to watch for and slowed down to 60km/hr. With the wind, low ground and obvious blowing snow throughout the day over the black ice. On the left of the highway the snow fence was stacked above the fence with drifted snow, the wind took my SUV like a sail boat floating sideways across the oncoming lane rolling into the ditch. Upside down my SUV sunk into the drifted snow. It was black inside… the snow was coming in the front of the windshield at the dash where it attached to the body of the vehicle. I wiggled my way out from hanging upside down from my seatbelt. I turned the vehicle off, as it was still running upside-down. Trying to get out, the doors were stuck with the drifted snow engulfing my entire vehicle. It was about 2am by this time. I felt around the passenger area to find my phone. No Service…. I mean why would you need service in a ditch, upside down in a vehicle? I turned on the flashlight on the phone and proceeded to look around for my emergency supplies and found my home care cell phone from the shift I worked before leaving to Toronto….. yep no service bars on this one either. Not going to lie….I was starting to panic. My daughter needs her mom. I cannot go out like this. It was starting to get cold.

Like a true savior in the cold darkness of that winter night Dr Eric Baker and his wife Leslie and their 6 children pulled over…. Dr Baker saw a glimpse of the flashlight and his family was fast asleep in their SUV after a long trip back from their tropical family vacation but he still pulled over!!!! THANK YOU!

He dug me out and pulled the door open…. I literally dove into his arms thanking him …. Ran to his SUV, pulled the door open, hugged his wife and crawled right on to her lap!! I have never been so grateful in all my life. The timing, the instinct and the kindness they showed will be with me for the rest of my life. They took me with them back to the city. I will be forever indebted to the Baker family. How does one properly thank and appreciate a family for giving you the rest of your life?

I was relatively ok from the accident, whiplash, concussion and soft tissue damage. But I couldn’t sleep. At all. The pain, stiffness and nightmares were out of control. If I would fall asleep I would jerk awake with the vivid image of Dr Baker standing in the ditch in the snow. I was a walking disaster.

April 12 my doctor reluctantly cleared me to return to work. April 13, although a Friday, I was grateful to get back to the office and get back to work. We had accrued 87 new clients by this time. Amazing! Not without its growing pains but we were thrilled with the growing response.

I didn’t quite make it there April 13. Instead, a welding truck backed across a 3 way intersection into me at a stop sign. He was trying to get traction apparently after slipping through the intersection minutes before I had arrived to the intersection so he evidently hit me with a good bang. I exploded in tears. Why in the world would someone back up, clear across an intersection without looking at all? On top of it, I was driving a bright orange truck! So the whole “I didn’t see you there” didn’t sit well.

Rattled, stiff and sore, I couldn’t even touch my skin for weeks I was in incredible pain and my mind was scrambled…. But I mean, I have to keep going right?

The following weekend I was off to an opportunity in Halifax to work with colleagues and partners for a really great awareness program. After the 4 day event, I would return to Nevada to meet up with my husband for a week of his training and my week to recharge….. funny part is, his camp was cancelled so I ended up on a solo, unplanned vacation until I could catch the next flight out. It was needed. So the universe was blessing me in mysterious ways I guess.

After a few days in the desert, I head to McCarren Airport to start the trek home. First flight we board and taxi out only to get going and well…. She wouldn’t fly! They taxi us back to the terminal and we wait for another plane. An hour or so later we board another plane and head out to the runway….. but then they discover the breaks are not working! Back to the terminal again! A few hours pass and they board us on a plane that has been running all day so they are confident we would be out. And we were; thankfully!

We arrive at Glacier Airport, 6 hours later than expected. By this time the boarder was closed and my ride…. Well, that ship sailed after half a days delay in horrible winter conditions.

Fortunately I met Adam and Carrie from Cheap Smokes and Subaru in my home city… I mean you get to chatting with people after a day like that! They were kind enough to take me along, driving further to another border crossing to get home. Of course the glacier highway in winter is far from ideal whether wise. Adam was driving and the Subaru was AWD so we should be good right? Sure thing…. Until a teenage Moose pops out for a visit! We swerve out of control, the moose turns around and knocks the mirror off the vehicle and dents the bottom of the door. Outside of that, well…. We were ok (and so was the moose) and back on the road home.

How did I get so lucky, not just with the incidents but with the amazing people that truly reached out to me to help? I really don’t know how to repay the Baker family or my new friends Adam & Carrie.

I was set right back… and the best part. I literally could not be in a vehicle without losing my shit. I meditated, I focused, I wrote, and I still could not control my breathing enough while being in a vehicle. It will be a work in progress.

They say the first year of any new venture is tricky but I certainly did not anticipate the universe to respond this way.

The #new #journey began to #heal, #learn & understand why, and #grow.

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