Last night, before going to sleep, I asked my husband, “Hey, what were you doing around this time last year, with the accident and all?”

It was 11:45 p.m. EST on April 26th, 2016. It would have been 8:45 p.m. in California. He said that he was probably just leaving the hospital in Ridgecrest. Dressed in nursing scrubs as a top with his dirty jeans, he was still filthy from the accident. He could have been mistaken as homeless. He couldn’t see that well because he lost his glasses as our car rolled around in the desert. Looking so lost (which he was), he was trying to get a cab to bring him to a hotel to clean up and collect himself.

My aunt and uncle later picked him up at that hotel to come and see me at another hospital an hour and a half away.

Today is April 27th, 2016. I looked at the clock and it said 12:30 p.m. In California, it would be 9:30 a.m. At that time, one year ago today, I heard doctors shaving the back of my head and starting a power drill. The power drill would drill into my skull to screw a five-pound neck brace on me.

I luckily fell asleep just when I heard the drill starting.

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I didn’t want to make a big deal out of yesterday, except that I wanted to remind myself how far I’ve come in the year that has passed since my debilitating accident.

I went on a short tour of a copper smelter in Rouyn-Noranda, Québec in the morning (not so random – it’s the Semaine minière du Québec!), then cooked Afritadang Manok when I got home. Late in the evening, I attended a geology/mining talk with professionals from the industry. I had a great lap swimming workout afterwards and even drove myself to and from the pool. There I was – not wearing an embarrassing neck brace, living life in French, being active, driving again.

Pretty awesome day, all in all. And they just keep getting better.

You can read the full accident story here and the halo brace story here. More about my neck injury here.