Category: Marriage & Family Life

Mommy Is Still Mommy – How Our Children Have Coped with My Spinal Cord Injury

Every year I dread Labour Day and the blunt transition it brings: summer vacation to the school year. On the last Monday of summer holidays, as I was getting my boys ready for bed, that all too familiar feeling of bewilderment crept up on me as I thought about how quickly they are growing up. They are beginning to leave interests and other aspects of their younger years behind them. I have mixed feelings of excitement, trepidation and longing as I think about the new school year. I’m excited for the adventures they have yet to embark on but I’m nervous that they will stumble down the wrong path. I long for the simple days of toddlerhood, which admittedly were not without many challenges, but I was more in control of their worlds and what they were exposed to. Their questions could be answered simply without the constant noise of the world around them and the knowledge that quickly comes to them when they have the ability to read. But as I sang them a song before bed, the same song I have sung them almost every night since they were born, I started to think about the small amount of time they have been here on this earth and how much life they have already lived. When I think about the challenges these two boys – at six and seven years old – have already overcome, and the way all three of my children have handled themselves since my accident, I find myself amazed by their resilience and capability. And I realize my children have taught me about what is truly important in life and what is truly important in people. Continue reading “Mommy Is Still Mommy – How Our Children Have Coped with My Spinal Cord Injury”

Our Summer Mountain Getaway

Life is busy and I think everyone looks forward to an escape. Travel was the furthest thing from my mind for many weeks after my injury. Initially, I assumed that it would be too difficult to travel with a wheelchair and a spinal cord injury. What I have learned about travelling in the almost 18 months since my accident is that it is different and there is more planning involved, but it is most definitely not impossible and can still be awesome. I have travelled by boat, plane and car since my accident and while we come up against big and small hurdles almost everywhere we go, there hasn’t been much we haven’t been able to overcome. Continue reading “Our Summer Mountain Getaway”

The World of Disabilities in Relationships

When you are in a long-term relationship there are numerous stages or milestones you will reach together. Many of them are expected – some we anticipate with excitement, others with dread. Then there are obstacles we come up against that are not part of the plan. These issues were on the list of things that could happen but maybe (hopefully) they wouldn’t happen to us: infertility, infidelity, physical trauma, and disease. The journey that Ian and I have been on since my spinal cord injury has been one that even my anxious imagination could not have invented. We have been tested and our eyes have been opened to an entire world that we didn’t really know existed: the world of disability in romantic relationships. Continue reading “The World of Disabilities in Relationships”

My Accessible Beach Day

Our most recent trip to the beach was much more inclusive for me than the one I wrote about a couple of weeks ago here. I felt defeated and a bit heartbroken after that trip to the beach and I wanted to see if there was a way to be more involved. I know a beach day now will never be as it was before my spinal cord injury, but I had hope that it could be better.

After a quick Google search I found a few small articles that pointed me in the direction of Feral Boardsports on Marine Drive in White Rock, British Columbia. I couldn’t find a lot of info, but it looked like there was a beach wheelchair available. I phoned the store on the morning we were planning to go to White Rock and was excited when they confirmed that they had two beach wheelchairs available by donation. Continue reading “My Accessible Beach Day”

Finding the Happy in What I Have

Summer is in full swing around here. We had an exceptionally snowy winter and a very wet spring, so to say I was looking forward to some dry warm weather would be an understatement. Summer in British Columbia is a beautiful thing – there are lakes, trails, beaches, long days and beautiful sunsets. It truly takes just one sunny day in BC to make up for the days upon days of rain we endure. Last summer my injury was still very new and most of our summer was spent simply trying to figure out this new life and how to be back at home. We didn’t venture out much or attempt many of our usual summer activities. We didn’t so much enjoy last summer as we did survive it. I wanted to enjoy this summer. I wanted to live in the moment.  Continue reading “Finding the Happy in What I Have”

The Child Paralysis Stole From Me

I often play back my life like a slideshow – moments upon moments of what makes up my story all waiting to be put together for when I choose to reminisce. The slideshow I play inside my head changes with each part of my journey I recollect. The emotions that they arouse are varied and can change depending on the season of life I’m currently in. In many scenarios, my accident is a part of that slideshow – it changed my life forever and is a tough detail to overlook. In most cases I can include that crazy turn of events and move past it into the life that has unfolded since. I can see good in my life and recognize my accident as a major event but not an ending. However, there are a few scenarios where my slideshow stops abruptly – a few scenarios where I get stuck in my post-accident haze and place blame for certain things it took away from me. Recently one thing in particular has been at the forefront of my thoughts: baby number four. Continue reading “The Child Paralysis Stole From Me”

Moms On Wheels – Is It Unethical?

I was absent-mindedly scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday when I saw a shared video from the television show The Doctors titled “Quadriplegic Mother Has Baby via IVF”. I didn’t give it too much thought; I guess I gave it as much thought as I would if I had heard that anyone had a baby via IVF. “That’s great!” I was distracted and didn’t think anything else of it. However, a few hours later I saw it pop up again and it was captioned in such a way that made me think that, just maybe, not everyone thought that this was so great.

So of course, I watched the video. I was left feeling a bit empty and mostly speechless (which I think most of you have figured out is incredibly rare for me). I have spent the last 14 months convincing myself that I am a capable mother. I have met other disabled women who are incredible mothers. I follow paralyzed women online who are strong and wonderful mothers. However, here sat doctors who blurted out a few sentences that momentarily took the fight out of me. Continue reading “Moms On Wheels – Is It Unethical?”

The Many Faces Of My Injury

Distraction can be a great tool…I use it often. Between the day-to-day time-consuming tasks of having a spinal cord injury; the-day-to-day tasks of having children; and the day-to-day tasks of being an adult, I don’t have to seek out too much distraction. When I do find myself with a quiet moment and my thoughts start to wander I usually put on music or Netflix to keep my mind on only what I’m prepared to deal with. However sometimes the system fails and distraction doesn’t come easily. Continue reading “The Many Faces Of My Injury”

When Your Husband Turns 30

My husband turns 30 today…30! I’ll be following suit in a few weeks but that isn’t something I’m quite ready to acknowledge yet. Regardless, it is impossible to believe that this year is here; the year we both turn 30 and have been together for half of our lives. When I did the calculation back in high school it seemed so far away. When I imagined where we would be at this point in our lives it looked different than what has become reality, but, in a lot of the ways, it is what I anticipated. There was certainly no unexpected, life-altering accident with all of the residual effects included in my teenage daydreaming. However there was love, a family, a house and even a dog. But one thing I knew absolutely-without-a-doubt-for-sure was that we would be adults. Yes, at 30 we would definitely be grown ups. Continue reading “When Your Husband Turns 30”