Something happened today that I am VERY proud of. Before I reveal the good news I just want to address the fact that I am my biggest critic. It takes something pretty spectacular to impress myself. Since the accident there have only been a couple incidents where I truly surprised myself. The first would be gaining movement in my legs (not even steps, just movement). The second, that I can think of right now, would be retraining my bladder. That was the ugliest, most uncomfortable experience ever might I say. But it was also one of the best decisions I’ve made in my recovery. Instead of self catheterization, which the doctors told me was my “best option”, I am completely in control of my bladder today.
Anyways, you’re probably wondering what this awesome news is that I have.. Well as many of you who follow my recovery know, I have been walking with the guidance of a physical therapist for the past few months. In order to take steps I have to basically throw my body into it, hence why the trainer is needed. Today for the first time I walked the parallel bars, which require a lot more work on my part. I tried this about 3 months ago and couldn’t even stand with two physical therapists.
This just goes to show that all of my hard work is paying off. It may not be happening nearly as fast as I want, but it’s happening. So, when I’m having one of those bad days I can just think about where I started, which is nowhere near where I am today. Thank God.
Happiness is not pleasure – it is victory.
Here’s a short video of walking the bars:
Somedays, like today, I feel like my life is a never ending battle. Once I accomplish one of my goals there are 100 more that need to be faced. It’s as if I take one step forward and 5 steps back every time. The type of injury that I have affects EVERYTHING, and that makes it extremely hard to stay positive everyday. Infact, it makes it damn near impossible. Although I have beat the odds in some people’s eyes, I still feel trapped. I see all of my friends going to college and starting to build their lives, while I have to fight to scramble mine back together again.
As a 21 year old, I should be going out all the time and living life to the fullest. These are supposed to be the best years of my life but so far they’ve been the worst. I’ve lost all my freedom and lately (well actually ever since my one year mark after the accident) I’ve been grieving that a lot. When I’m not at physical therapy or a doctor appointment I’m usually at home, in bed, bored. Granted I do occasionally go out with friends, and when I say occasionally, I really mean it. In order to hangout with someone outside of my house they have to know how to get me in a car, onto a toilet, back into my chair, etc. This not only limits me to who I can hangout with but also makes me feel more like a job than someone’s friend.
People say I should get out more and do more but honestly when I do go out I feel like such an outsider. People are constantly staring (which by the way if you ever see someone in a chair, do not stare, that’s one of the rudest things I’ve ever witnessed). It makes me feel like I’m not part of society anymore. Not to mention I have to constantly look up to see people which eventually brings me more neck pain. Things are not the same anymore, at all, which makes it really hard to enjoy doing them.
Eventually this all has to pass, I know nothing lasts forever. I know I have to learn to accept the way things are now. I just wish I didn’t have to sacrifice every last drop of what made me the person I am just to be alive. I’ve lost a lot more than just my body and its really been getting to me lately.
Sorry if this blog was a Debbie Downer, just thought I should share how I was feeling the last week or so..