Saturday, April 18, 2009

Life after my Spinal Cord Injury

After 2 and a half months of being in the hospital, I was released from the hospital. I felt a bit better physically as my insides weren't hurting any more and I could function more independently. Mentally, I felt in good condition and ready to move on with life. The nurses got me really excited to go on my cruise and helped me feel strong enough to take on the challenges ahead (little did I know, there would be plenty).

My mom and little 5 year old sister, Holly came to visit me that week, which was awesome because they were just what I needed to feel like I was going back to my real, old life again. We had a little get together with good friends who were there to celebrate my release with me. My mom made us amazing Cambodian food, which I had missed so much (I also missed eating in general). They surprised me by inviting Cambry (my amazing idol, who has now been wheeling around for 4 years). I felt so loved.

We had a few outings like going to see my friends, Aja's rugby game and Stephanie's ice skating show. It was so cool. I had missed the outdoors so much. It was so filled with color, green grass, blue skies, clear rain - everything beat staying in the hospital. And I just loved being with these people.

After the cruise, life shifted a bit more and reality hit. It was a rough transition and I felt like I was failing at it. Everyone had gone back to their normal routines - work, school, etc. and I was left at home alone. I struggled so much to do things myself and felt like a little child that always needed help. I needed help getting dressed and putting my turtle shell on. I needed help bathing. I kept falling while transferring from my chair onto places. I kept getting sick because of different medications. It was just plain difficult and I began to get depressed and tired of it all. I reverted to old questions I had in the hospital, Why do I have to go through this? Does my Heavenly Father listen to my prayers? Does He even care about me? I wondered how I was to get through all of this.

The answer came in getting to work at the MATC cafeteria. There, a plank was set up for me that elevated me to the height of the register. I helped customers and got to talk to them about their day. I kept busy with getting whatever I could ready for the day. I found that having something productive to do besides the scrapbooking I was doing before, helped me feel like I was making a difference.  The interaction I had with other people allowed me stay positive for them and myself. I knew that it wasn't good to bring around negative energy with me all the time, so I had to switch my thoughts to look for positive things. With that, I was able to count the little blessing each day and use those to carry me through things that were difficult. I felt more inclined to try new methods that would work and make my life a little easier.

I feel that these difficulties are some of that bitterness my doctor told me about. And the blessings I've learned to count are those moments of sweetness. I hope and pray with all my heart that this will get easier. I have faith that it will and that Heavenly Father will provide me with the strength I need to see it through.

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