Love for Luke

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 0 Comments

Luke- I have been a fan since the very beginning. I was sooo excited when my boyfriend- now husband, got me tickets for a huge Kenny Chesney concert in San Francisco in 2008. But not because of Kenny or the other big names... But because of you. 

I have spent countless hours cruising around on dirt roads listing to your CD's. Especially "I'll Stay Me" I may have cried when I sold my car and left it in the CD player. I still had it in my iPod but that CD it's self held so many memories.

Fall of 2007

I have went to 5 of your concerts. The latest was in Sept or October of 2014. I had no idea in 2 short me months my life would turn upside drown and my faith and strength should be challenged more than I could ever imagine. 

Fall 2014

In December of 2014 I was struck with Guillain Barré Syndrome. It's a rare autoimmune disease that generally affects 1 in 100,000 people. In true Justine fashion I was diagnosed with the most rare variant- AMSAN which affects closer to 1 in a million. 72 hours after my first symptom- a droopy eyelid I was completely paralyzed & on a ventilator. My eyes were shut and fixed for 5 weeks I had lock jaw. The only thing on my entire body that would move was my thumbs.

December 2014

It was a hard blow to my self and everyone who loved me. From an out going 26 year old to some who was locked in their own body. Guillain Barré Syndrome attacks the lining of the nerves called the myelin sheath. It's an odd disease where over time the myelin regrows and in most cases the paralysis reverses. From the beginning my husband and loved ones had Pandora playing 24/7 for 2 months- mostly on your station... But I will admit that I may have freaked out a bit and wiggled anything that would move every time "Drink a Beer" came on. It's a beautiful song but not exactly what you want to hear while a ventilator is breathing for you 100%. From the beginning I was fully concise. I could hear everything around me but didn't learn to communicate until the 3 week mark and that was usually just "suction my spit" lol.

Being alone with your thoughts is hard for any person but I was stuck with them for the 2 months that I was on a ventilator and unable to talk. When scary things were happening I would say a prayer and usually sing a Disney song in my head or repeat song lyric over in my head. Your music and words truly saved my sanity and for that I could never tell you thank you enough.

February 2015

I was in hospital care for 4 1/2 months. I have now been home for over a year and I'm 19 months into my recovery. It's been a long hard journey but through it I have found my strength. I know my worth and how much I'm loved and cherished. I'm learning to walk again and I'm able to take a few steps unassisted. Although every time I do, my husband starts singing, Michael Jacksons "Thriller". Lol

I try to not let being in a wheelchair stop me from doing the things that I love. I strive to challenge myself and to not say I can't. I would like to see you in concert once again because that is what the original Justine would be doing this September. More than anything I would love to meet you one day. Just to say thank you in person for everything that you have done for me with out ever knowing.

February 2016- Kaity and Whitney helping me walk over the finish line at the color run.

My goal was to attend your concert in Wheatland CA this September. Apparently I was to focused on laying on my couch and watching Netflix to realize that the tickets for that concert already went on sale. Unfortunately handicap accessible seats are hard to get because there is so few. They are already all sold out. I asked if I could get an isle seat and simply stash my wheelchair out of the way but the lady I talked to said that wasn't possible. That my chair would have to be my seat. That I could purchase tickets for normal seating and on the day of they can try to find somewhere to put me but couldn't guarantee where that would be and why the view would be. On behalf of other fans with disabilities, I don't think that is fair. 

July 2016- out on the boat at the lake.

I would be thrilled if this actually got to you. And again thank you for your words and music. Someday, some how I will have the pleasure of meeting you. Until then I'll be pushing my limits to get out of my wheelchair forever.