I’m changing up the schedule a little this week. Today I’m posting Five for Friday because tomorrow I will have a special Father’s Day feature.
Miranda is a funny, beautiful, energetic, and determined mama! She has a big smile that lights up a room and an even bigger heart. She sets goals and achieves them – like her first half marathon she completed this past March! She’s an inspiration to anyone she meets. She has the ability to captivate an audience with a good story. This must be only part of what makes her a great teacher. There are so many amazing things about Miranda, but the most amazing one is something she probably didn’t know about herself until this past year. This Five for Friday post is about strength. I find that you never really know how strong you can be until you are put to the test. Miranda and her family have definitely been tested over the past year. And, as a family, they pulled together and proved just how strong their bond is. Miranda and her husband are very impressive. Here’s her story.
My name is Miranda Fisher. I’ve been married to my amazing husband Steve for six years and we’ve been together for 11.
We have two beautiful kids. Hayden, our daughter, is four and Carson is almost three. They are full of energy and keep us laughing all the time. Of course they both have their moments when I want to pull my hair out and can’t wait until they go to sleep.
I’m a teacher in El Dorado Hills at William Brooks Elementary. I’ve been teaching for twelve years. When my daughter was born, I started teaching part time. I work the first half of the week and my teaching partner works the second half. It’s a great schedule with two little ones at home. I can be a great mom and a wonderful teacher.
However, my family recently a bump in the road, actually it was more like a giant pothole. The weekend after school started last year my family decided to take one final summer camping trip to Zephyr Cove in Lake Tahoe. We love camping! Steve was in a tragic accident the second day of our trip, August 10, 2013. He actually tells the story best. This is his Facebook post the day after his accident:
“I decided to get in the water to cool off and being the baby I am waded up to my knees to get a feel for how cold the water was. I decided to just do it all at once and jump right in. So after the next wave, I dove into the water and somehow hit my head on the sandy bottom of the lake. I floated to the surface and realized I could not move and was in big trouble. I was sitting there helpless thinking this is it as I could no longer hold my breath. I took in a little water and blacked out. When I woke up, the sun hit my face as I was being rolled across the helipad being flown from Barton hospital to Renown hospital in Reno. After a short assessment of my injuries at Renown, I went into surgery to repair my C5 burst fracture in my neck. When I came out of surgery I was surrounded by friends and family and was told that I had a broken neck and severely bruised spinal cord.”
This day forever changed our lives. I was devastated and scared. We have two very small children who are only fifteen months apart. My husband’s prognosis was not good. We were told he would most likely never walk again AND would not ever use his hands again. He was going to be paralyzed from his chest down and have paralysis in his hands and triceps permanently. He went about two months only able to use his shoulders and biceps. Steve was in a lot of pain. He spent eight weeks in two different hospitals and in an acute rehabilitation center where he received intense physical therapy and we both learned how to take care of him. When he came home he was able to wiggle several toes and had a slight movement in one finger. Just think of everything you need your hands for, I now had to do all those things for him. I took a leave of absence from work and learned to be a nurse, care giver, and mother all at the same time. I was scared, sleep deprived, and was just trying to figure it all out. I did a lot of crying, of course when the kids weren’t around, just like a good mother should, and a lot of praying. I also began to Google C5 spinal cord injury. The Google results were devastating. Needless to say the odds of recovery were not good. The more I searched the Internet, the worse things got. I finally decided to get off the Internet and start living. It was for sure the toughest point in my life.
Over the next few months my husband worked really hard with physical and occupational therapists. At first they came to our home, but as he progressed he started heading to outpatient therapy. The kids and I were a regular taxi service. I learned all about how to entertain a few toddlers on the road. We bought a wheelchair van, which my kids thought was the coolest thing ever. Carson was actually sad he wasn’t able to ride his bike up the ramps anymore when Steve got well enough to get into our Tahoe. He now goes to therapy five days a week, most of which we have to pay out of pocket for. We sold everything we had worked so hard for. The travel trailer, the boat, Steve’s truck and anything else we could. We knew he needed the therapy to get better. He is currently receiving therapy from SCI-FIT. It is a spinal cord injury rehabilitation fancily in Sacramento. They are amazing. If you have time please check them out. Currently, Steve can move all but two of his fingers. He can close his hands and has learned to use them to the best of his ability but still cannot open them. He can walk with a rolling walker about two hundred feet. It isn’t pretty, but is still amazing he can do it at all. We are hopeful that he continues to improve.
We leaned that family and great friends are really most important. All of the material stuff isn’t as important as I once thought it was. Don’t get me wrong, this mama still loves to look good and have nice things but overall that stuff isn’t that important! We have been blessed with many donations from friends and family. William Brooks Elementary school provided dinners delivered to our home for months. Kaiser Permanente Engineering department, Steve’s employer, modified our home for accessibility for a wheelchair. They have also been donating vacation hours so my husband remains a full-time employee and we are able to keep our medical insurance. We also had a group of friends take the carpet out of our bedrooms and replace it with wood so that my husbands medical equipment could move around easier. The same friends covered the cost as well. We have also been blessed with lots of donations for therapy, restaurant gift cards, and gas gift cards. We are actually doing much better now. Steve is returning to work on July 8th. They have modified his position to more of an office job. I have decided to take another leave of absence for the next school year to continue to help Steve and be with the kids. My husband is the kind of guy who helped everyone before the accident. He was everyone’s Mr. Fix it from cars, to home repairs, or even just an extra set of hands. He is the most kind, patient and just the greatest guy you will ever meet. I always tease that this should have happened to me because I am not even close to as good of a person as he is. He has leaned to be an active and loving father to our kids even in a wheelchair. They love him unconditionally and so do I. Sorry to bore you all with my story, but its actually therapeutic to share.
A SWIMMING POOL! I have an empty space in my backyard that screams pool! I really want my husband in the water for therapy purposes. I think it would help him practice walking and moving around without all the extra weight of gravity. All the research I read says water therapy is amazing. This is a really neat design that Western Water Features created just for us. They were able to create a beautiful pool and disguise the handicapped access for my husband. Hopefully when we both return to work this dream will be come a reality for us. I know my kids would love swimming with their Dad.
I really love…
Lululemon Run Inspire crop and my gym time! These crops not only look good but they feel good too. You can sweat a bunch but not look like it at all. The fabric is amazing and seems to absorb it! Their website has a section called We Made Too much! This sale section is where I get all of my workout gear at reasonable prices. Ladies who love a good bargain beware! You have to know your sizes when you order from We Made Too Much because everything there is final sale. I love to workout because it makes me feel so much better. It is a huge stress relief. I also write workouts for friends and help them with a boot camp style training Monday, Wednesday, Friday. They usually hate me during the workout because they say I’m crazy. It’s ok, because I know they love me again when they see results. Helping them with their workouts makes me feel life I’m giving back to all of our friends who have helped us the past year!
Reality TV and wine! Watching Real Housewives of the OC and Beverly Hills with a nice glass of wine is my kind of night. Watching them act ridiculous makes me feel so much better about myself! Yes, I think they are all crazy and ridiculous, but hilarious at the same time. Currently I love Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc and many other delicious local wines as well! Who am I kidding, I love all wines.
Fave beauty item:
Honestly, I feel like the past ten months have totally aged me so I splurged on myself and had a photo facial from Daniel J. Cooper’s Creekside Medical Spa in Folsom. The procedure hurts a bit but is so worth it. The sun damage literally come to the surface over the next week sort of looking like coffee grounds and the sloughs off magically. I also must admit I had the magic Botox injections and Restylane put under my eyes because I was looking so tired all the time. It’s really amazing stuff. All the concealer in the world and magic eye cream just wasn’t cutting it. Of course, I waited for a good special and it just made me feel better!
Recent mommy moment…
We are desperately trying to potty train our son. He’s almost three and just has no interest. Recently we have tried to get our daughter to help out. So literally all we talk about is pee pee, poop, potty. Yep, you get it. We’ve tried prizes for him, sticker charts. Meanwhile he just proceeds to do it in his underwear, pull up or diaper. Yucky, as all moms know cleaning poopy underwear sucks! I usually just throw them away.
My daughter has really been trying to help him use the potty and every once in awhile she succeeds and they both get a prize. So, she went potty about a week ago and started yelling she needed help in the bathroom. I walked in and she proceeded to yell, “Mom, it’s real sh#$! Like, real sh$# in my underwear and I didn’t even know it.” The more I laughed, even though I tried not to, the funnier it got and the more she repeated it with her sassy little attitude! Once I got myself under control and asked her what happened, she said, “Just like Carson, I just must have waited too long and not made it. But since I did some in the toilet I get a prize right?”.
So, I know you are all wondering where she learned the word sh$#. I’m sure it was me! OOPS, I guess even when I’m frustrated cleaning sh&% up from Carson in the laundry room, she is always listening to me!
Well, thanks for making us all laugh and cry Miranda!! That story about potty training is HILARIOUS! I think I need to check out Dr. Cooper. Sun damage is no joke!
Than you for sharing your story. It really shows how much strength you and Steve have. I have a feeling that he will continue to defy the original prognosis through continued progress. He has such an amazing support system and is clearly a very determined man. I’ll send all my positive vibes and keep your family in my prayers.
Keep an eye out as I willI be rolling out my “Summer Fun” calendar this weekend. Be sure to like my FB page for the latest happenings. I sent an FB invitation for our June 19th Momtourage Night Out at Aji Japanese Bistro in EDH. Please RSVP here. Feel free to add your friends to any FB invites. The more the merrier!