Posted by: chicagoshells | January 15, 2012


I read an article the other day titled “Doctors Saved My Leg, But Girlfriends Saved My Spirit.” ( For obvious reasons, it hit pretty close to home.  Of all the silver linings I’ve found in my situation over the past few months, one of the best (along with all the extra time I’ve been able to spend with Trouble, who is often on a completely opposite schedule than I) is how much I’ve come to value my Chicago friends.

I’ve lived here for…gulp…just over a decade now.  And for a long time, I felt that while I had a lot of great co-workers here, my real friends lived elsewhere.  Since the accident, I’ve realized that while I wasn’t paying attention, quite a few of those “great co-workers” had gotten to know me even better than some of my emotionally-close-but-physically-far friends.

My oldest, closest friends from summer camp and high school and college have been great since the accident.  They called and texted and emailed and sent Facebook messages.  They sent cards and flowers and cookies and even chicken soup.  But, of course, that’s all they could do.  And while those things are wonderful, they could be done without taking much time out of my friends’ own lives.  That’s just the nature of being a good friend from far away.

My friends here…friends who I might not have even given the title “friend” to a few months ago…truly took time out of their own lives to help me.  They visited the hospital…I had at least one visitor nearly every day I was there.  Once I realized that the hospital food wasn’t too bad (go figure), they made sure Trouble had meals.  One cooked an entire freezer of food for us to have once I got out of the hospital.  Another left the Thanksgiving dinner she was hosting to bring us a sampling of every dish.  They’ve given me rides to all my follow-up appointments, which in one friend’s case has meant getting up early, more than once, on her only day off of the week.  They’ve come over to just talk and hang out and play games.  These things may seem small, but for me, they have been major.  And I am so grateful.

It’s also meant an incredible amount to me to realize that about half of the Chicago friends who have stepped up in these ways are former apprentices of mine.  It’s always been really important to me to be a good boss/mentor.  This shows me that I’m succeding.  A very, very shiny silver lining.


Physical update…my right knee is bending almost as far as my left, and without too much pain.  Another 10 days and I should be able to weight-bear on my left ankle.   I’m off all the pain meds, and sticking to the physical therapy exercises far better than I’ve ever stuck to any other exercise plan in my life.

Baby update…Trouble is being an excellent temp-er and has started peeing on sticks (OPKs).  We are moving forward 🙂



  1. you work with some good eggs. (in contrast, no one at my job noticed i was pregnant. i’m there a lot less than you are, BUT STILL.)

    it is funny, isn’t it, how when you live in a place for long enough, it subtly becomes not just the place you happen to be, but the place you live?

  2. My wife has been having trouble realizing that ‘my friends’ are actually her friends, too. I think she started off thinking that they only talked to her because they had to and not because they were actually friends. I’m glad your shitty experience with the accident has led to the excellent experience of realizing that the people around you are awesome and that they get to be your real friends now, too.

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