Four years!

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“It’s over!”

“You did it!”

“It’s okay, just squeeze my hand.”

“We are right here. We love you!”

As I began to wake up, things were blurry and the pain was so strong, but these sweet words spoken from my parents on both sides of me brought peace. Still four years later, I can close my eyes and be taken back to that exact moment.

Goodness, tears flow down my cheeks just thinking about the love I was shown during this dark time in my life. 1,460 days is certainly a long time, but nothing will ever wipe away the memories of having friends and strangers alike pray for me, sorority sisters coming to visit admits their busy schedules, family holding my hand through each day of the journey, and continually feeling wrapped in a blanket of peace.

Time is such a wonderful gift. I think back to the days where I would have black out episodes from the pain and these are no more! Many exciting things have happened since I last wrote. I graduated from the University of Alabama in December and have since been pursuing my master’s degree full time in communication management at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In the last two years, there has been lots of traveling, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying all of the exciting adventures of life.

My symptoms prior to surgery have continued to be a thing of the past. The blurry vision, excruciating headaches at the bridge of the nose, nausea, and weakness are all gone. Praise the Lord! I do have residual pain at the incision site. I am reminded by doctors that it is normal to have post-op/residual symptoms for some time. Like I said before, time is our friend and this too shall heal.

I still receive frequent emails from those who are experiencing the same symptoms I once did or have been given the same diagnosis. My best advice is this: Do not lose hope and continually press for answers from your care provider. If you are about to have surgery, know that fear is normal but most of all have joy because you are so close to being back to yourself again!  As always, you can reach out to me with any questions you may have at annaemontgomery@gmail.com.

Lastly, if you just happen to be reading this blog post, please keep your brain health in mind. It is so, so important. Nobody knows your body better than you do and if you feel as though something is off, it is okay to pick up the phone and go see a specialist. It is always better to know that all is well rather than allowing something to linger and it only cause you pain and worry. It is just too easy to go see a doctor than allow something to get worse, my friends.

Today I am filled with extra gratitude as I think back to how I will forever be indebted to the family members, friends, sisters, strangers, doctors, and nurses who prayed for me and loved me through this journey. To you all, I say thank you.

All my love,

Anna

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My rock!

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Winning Miss Crimson at the University of Alabama!

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Fun trip to Disney World with this sweet family!

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Emceeing the Homecoming Dance Competition at UA!

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