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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

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Thursday
Sep192013

History

My doctors are going back to the womb to heal my body and mind. I tried to clean up for them before they arrived. Hanging pictures of a perfect life upon the walls. But the nails bent and the images slipped into a truth the walls could not support.

My parents' divorce ripped my soul from my chest leaving flesh hanging from my breast with blood dripping into a pool of disfiguring thought. How could my perfect family fall apart? How could my father not want her to stay? How could she love him too much? Why is this memory still so painful to the touch?

Crusted stains remain where dreams once danced within my heart of a family I thought could live forever. I loved my family so much. It was the most beautiful gift of all. More beautiful than my favorite doll with eyes I swore could see. More real than my stuffed animals I spoke to before I went to sleep.

No one could ever take my family away. Until the two people I loved the most could not stay together.

I don't remember the day destiny put us on the plane to somewhere new. So we could plant new seeds. Because it takes a dream to do so, and mine was left at the terminal in a place on the ground I so wanted to hold and kiss and never, ever leave. How could they take this place away from me.

My doctors want me to relive these memories. To discover the places in my heart still left to bleed. My eyes are flooded with opened wounds, releasing an ocean of thoughts that trickle one by one onto an empty plate. Each drop is a world I need to explore. To unravel my history.

Healing from physical trauma is a complicated thing. Especially when it involves the nervous system still attached to broken dreams. In order for my body to heal, my mind must follow too. To open the way for my life to become a slate so clean that scars cannot bind to its skin.

I am working with the finest doctors in the world. I am in a program under the care of a team with a Multi-disciplinary approach that treats the body and the mind in order to truly heal. As we begin the ketamine infusions, I am becoming increasingly aware that the more difficult work will lay ahead. The clearing of memories still buried deep within my chest. The ones I thought had left. But never did. They lurked behind the cracks of light within my heart. I am now aware of their presence. And I must pave the way for them to leave. To rid the pain of history. So I can heal the rest of me.

This program is all-encompassing. I will be in ketamine infusions four hours a day, five days a week, for two weeks. The goal is to separate the brain signals from my muscles to "reset" my nervous system that has become a hornet's nest. Then I enter a four-week program of different doctors all day every day. I will be a full-time patient treating my body and my mind. From physical therapy to brain treatments, neurology to pain management. There will be nothing left of me but a slate so clean there will be nothing left to do but see the life ahead of me.

I tuck my childhood back in bed to revisit when I wake. I whisper to her she is no longer alone. There is nothing left to fear. Because I am here. After all of these years. Of her wondering where I have been. I am finally back. To listen. To heal. To mend. I am finally here. To mend.

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