From the instant I fell, my world stopped.
“The surgery went well, but the damage was extensive and you will probably never walk again.”
In that moment, waking up from surgery and hearing my husband telling me this news, my life started all over again. I cried. The small amount of hope I had clung to during those frozen hours was, as I had imagined and feared, all in vain. In those blurry post-surgery minutes, with Ian holding my hand, I mourned walking. And running. I mourned my legs. And then I slept. I didn’t yet have any concept of what being paralyzed actually meant and all of the ways in which my life would change. I’m almost a year in at this point (January 2017) and I’m still learning. I’m still mourning.
That first week of recovery was incredibly painful as well as physically and emotionally exhausting. I started to understand that the loss of my legs was stating the obvious and that the more discreet losses were even harder to take: bladder control, bowel function and changes in sexual function. Then there were more practical questions. Questions about driving, cooking, bathing, house modifications and raising three children (just to name a few). I was overwhelmed. Next came the harsh reality of rehabilitation and how much time that it takes. I was told that I would not be going home for weeks or even months. For the first time in my ‘mommy life’, I would be away from my children for more then three or four days. I was heartbroken and yet, I knew that if I let myself crumble and give up, I would never get home. And the only thing worse than a mommy gone for weeks is a mommy gone forever.
With that thought in my head, and an amazing husband and family by my side, I made the decision to get my life back. Clearly I was on a lot of pain medication at the time which altered my ability to know what was really ahead of me. But I’m stubborn. And once I decide to do something I’m pretty determined to follow through (especially when expectations are low). I’ll blame, and also thank, both my parents for that stubborn streak. I double dipped in the gene pool with that character trait and it’s gotten me through a lot.