It’s All in the Lyrics

If you know me or have followed me on social media you have probably seen that I like to play around with singing and music. Considering I focused on Music when I was in high school, you would think that I know my stuff but I really don’t. I enjoy it and I manage to be in key slightly more often than I am out of it, but I am far from the most talented musician I know. I’m not even the most talented musician in my marriage! Even so, music has been an incredible outlet for me since my injury. Continue reading “It’s All in the Lyrics”

Reclaiming My Anonymity

Every so often I find myself contemplating whether or not this blogging thing is for me. This past week has been one of those weeks; I had to take some time to regroup. My latest post got some attention and, for the most part, it was all really positive. However this was the first time that I also received some really negative feedback. I’m a fairly sensitive person and while I knew that it was bound to happen eventually, I still found myself reeling from the few personal attacks on my character. So instead of concentrating on all of the messages from people who found my post so relatable, I instead found myself focusing on the few who really hated what I had to say. I started to question, once again, why it is I’m sharing my life in such a public manner. And I determined that one of the biggest reasons is this: to reclaim my anonymity. Continue reading “Reclaiming My Anonymity”

See My Abilities Not My Disability

The world is full of well-intentioned people. I try to remember that. I really try to remember that. Understanding that an offer of assistance is packed full of good intentions helps me keep a smile on my face and annoyance out of my voice when I politely decline. But seriously. Saving everyone else’s feelings while my self-worth steadily declines isn’t really working for me anymore. What I want people to understand is that every offer of help is a reminder that my disability is seen before I am. Every question of “can I do that for you?” makes me think that you don’t see my capabilities; it makes me think that you don’t see me as an equal. So please, see me! See that I am capable. Being in a wheelchair does not mean that I am helpless and lacking in self-sufficiency. Continue reading “See My Abilities Not My Disability”

Taking Time for My Grief

Every morning when I wake up, I feel a few moments of normalcy.  Not much has changed in the way of opening my eyes and saying a sleepy “good morning” to my husband and whichever child has decided to take residence in our bed during the night. But when Ian stands up and easily walks the few steps to the bathroom, I feel a familiar wave of grief. There is not a morning that goes by where those few impossible steps to the bathroom don’t taunt me. I push myself up to sit in bed and look at my wheelchair. It doesn’t get easier. I look at that chair every morning and take a few moments to acknowledge that having a spinal cord injury really sucks. And then I make a choice, every day, to get into the chair anyway. It is so important to make the choice to keep living but it is equally important to allow yourself the losses and the pain; give yourself permission to wait in your grief when it comes. Continue reading “Taking Time for My Grief”

18 Months of Paraplegia

18 months. Today marks 18 months since I was my able-bodied self; 18 months since my accident. In a lot of ways, I can’t even remember what it’s like to live my life that way: to walk, to leave the house without worrying about accessibility, to park my car wherever I want, to be spontaneous and not have to plan my life around a bowel and bladder program. My life was a lot simpler before this injury but going back is not an option. To think that my children are all one and a half years older than they were at the time of my accident is mind boggling. To think that only a few short years ago I had a baby, and then another baby in almost the same amount of time (19 months) is even harder to comprehend. Time feels stagnant sometimes but then all of a sudden it is gone. Continue reading “18 Months of Paraplegia”

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”

Contemplating the What-Ifs

It seems obvious that our lives are shaped by the big decisions we make. While choosing a spouse and a career and purchasing a home are all significant time stamps in life, I often think that it is the countless little decisions we make every day that ultimately pave our path. The what-if scenarios can be never-ending when we start to think about the seemingly insignificant choices we have made. Continue reading “Contemplating the What-Ifs”

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”

Battle Scars

Every scar tells a story. Some stories are more interesting than others; some more intense. Some people have very obvious marks of trauma that can be seen without effort while others are well hidden, under the surface, without a visible reminder. While a scar from an extra vicious mosquito bite or rollerblades that didn’t fit properly (both me) won’t require a lot of emotional processing, other scars can be quite different. And I have found that the obvious scars heal a lot faster than the invisible ones. Continue reading “Battle Scars”