I arrived on a Wednesday, and from Thursday night to Sunday I was showered with so much love and encouragement from my extended family and friends. These were people that my husband and I hadn’t seen since our wedding over four months ago or longer.

While some people visited me at my parents’ home, my husband and I also went to see others at theirs. The highlight of this weekend though was a party we threw at my husband’s mom’s home in Toronto that Saturday afternoon, something that I had been planning for more than a week.

Restricted from working in the kitchen 99% of my time in the halo brace, it was finally time to release all that pent-up culinary creativity and excitement from watching Masterchef Canada and Food Network Star all summer long. I wanted to have an appetizer-style party and invited our friends from university via Facebook. My husband and I went grocery shopping (with a list I prepared since I was in California) and began preparing some stuff Friday night. Though I was so excited, my closest friends said not burden myself too much (I am still recovering after all) so I opted to just buy certain items instead of preparing them from scratch.

Our menu:

The result:

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My friend Jen also came a bit early to help us prepare the food. My husband was in charge of cutting parsley. LOL.

I was blown away with how many people showed up! One of our professors also went! Some even brought me nice flowers. They commended us on our amazing food. My friend jokingly commented, “Wow, I can’t even cook for myself and you have a broken neck.” Although I was so happy to be able to pull this off for my friends, I sensed that some of them felt bad that I went through all the trouble. They just helped me clean up and it was all good.

The lamb meatballs and mushroom bread baskets were a hit. The endive salad disappointingly didn’t taste as good as it looked. And the cream puffs – okay, let’s first take a moment to revel in the fact that Ivee MADE THIS HERSELF. Okay? Okay. Man, they were delicious – I had three. In constructing the menu I actually worried that the menu wasn’t “balanced.” Ivee retorted, “These are people who are used to eating free pizza for three years… don’t worry.” She was right.

So many people showed up (20+) that we ran out of food. That was a big concern of mine but I didn’t want to make too much either. My husband’s back-up plan was to buy sushi nearby and that satisfied the crowd once again. (We later bought pizza at 11 pm too 😛 BTW AMICO’S PIZZA IN PARKDALE IS THE BEST!)

Needless to say, that night was awesome. There were some groups inside the house and outside by the BBQ (although we didn’t have it going). My husband told some of our friends the accident story in gross detail and while most of them got the gist of it from my Facebook months ago, they were all surprised actually hearing about it from him. I didn’t take any pictures because I was so busy enjoying myself in good company! At some points I had to go lay in bed because my shoulders were so fatigued from standing around.

We called it a night just after midnight. The next day my husband and I cleaned up, walked around the neighbourhood and the park (11,319 steps or 6.4 km that day!), and saw a movie. Southpaw was the first movie I saw in a theatre in maybe six months?!?

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It was great to be back. Unfortunately my husband had to leave town to go back to work for three weeks, but I was fine. I stayed with my folks and had everything I could wish for there.

After five days of taking Cymbalta, I decided to stop. I wasn’t depressed or anxious! What was my doctor thinking? I was also scared of the side-effects and withdrawal issues and was simply ashamed that I had resorted to taking these when I clearly had all the support I could get and other healthy coping mechanisms.

I have only five weeks to go in this annoying brace and I can take it, I thought.

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