Bathing Suits and My Post-Babies-Post-Injury Body

Bathing suits. The worst, right? I loved them as a teenager – I had a borderline obsessive collection of bikinis all meant to show off my adolescent figure untouched by pregnancy, breastfeeding, age or the unexpected. But three children – three c-sections – a few too many extra pounds and a whole lot of negative self-talk later, bathing suits became the enemy. Continue reading “Bathing Suits and My Post-Babies-Post-Injury Body”

Hello My Old Unwelcome Friend

There is a quiet knock on my door. I convince myself it’s nothing even though I know you’re out there. But, you see, you’re very controlling and the last time you came in it took me years to fully recover. I’m going to try and ignore you – pretend you don’t exist – but I’ve dealt with you enough times to know you don’t leave on your own accord and will manipulate me until I take a stand. Even from the outside you have begun to entangle me in your own version of my reality. Continue reading “Hello My Old Unwelcome Friend”

Kids Will Be Curious

“Wisdom begins in wonder” – Socrates

Every parent celebrates upon hearing their little one’s first words. But parenthood takes a dramatic turn for the wine cabinet when a child learns the word “why”. The relentless questions reveal the outer limits of our patience and, all too soon, our own knowledge. Once children figure out that the answers exist somewhere, “Can you google it then Mommy?” becomes another question in their repertoire. Their stream-of-consciousness method of questioning could be turned into the world’s most lethal drinking game but, I try to remind myself of the quote above that suggests we don’t learn by being complacent, we learn by being curious. Continue reading “Kids Will Be Curious”

No Mama, You Will Never Be Everything but You Will Be Enough

Standing isn’t something I have done much of in the last 2 years. I imagine the shock value in that opening statement is minimal – I am paralyzed after all. But the equipment does exist to make it happen. I recently was able to have a trial standing frame in our home and my boys were incredibly excited to see me vertical (my daughter had been with me on previous occasions when I tried it). However as soon as I was up, I wanted to come down. I was hit with an unexpected and unsettling feeling as I stood next to my sons for the first time in over two years. They of course thought it was “so cool” so I held my smile until the novelty wore off. They retreated to their Rubik’s Cubes and books while I was left standing there without the ability to quickly retreat into anything.   Continue reading “No Mama, You Will Never Be Everything but You Will Be Enough”

Seeking out Summer

Summer vacation has arrived! With minimal time to catch my breath over the last few weeks of school, I was definitely ready for a little break in the schedule. I’ve always loved summer. I have forever been a big fan of the long days, warm nights and relaxed attitude towards the everyday that comes with the season. But there is now a sense of dread intertwined with the excitement that I feel as summer approaches. Continue reading “Seeking out Summer”

Granting Permission to Let Her Go

Grief has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. It finds you even when you should be happy; it finds you even when you should be celebrating.

It was announced this week that I have been named this year’s Vancouver Mom Top Blogger! Needless to say, it was a very exciting – albeit overwhelming – Monday for me. Actually, saying I was overwhelmed with the response to the news and all of the comments and messages would be a serious understatement. Insecurity tends to take over me when the spotlight shines in my direction. Saying “thank-you” feels overdone and insufficient but I find myself unable to come up with anything more creative and hope beyond hope that nobody thinks I am inconsiderate or aloof. I spent the day second-guessing my responses while also trying to give myself space to feel proud of the accomplishment. By the time the kids were in bed and I had a moment to reflect, I was left with a feeling I couldn’t quite name. But I’ve got it now. The feeling was guilt. Continue reading “Granting Permission to Let Her Go”

Obviously Invisible

I went to the grocery store today – thrilling, I know. But I don’t go often. It usually either falls on my husband or we order online for pick-up or delivery. But the dog was out of food this morning and we didn’t have anything planned for dinner, so I figured I could make a quick stop. It may sound silly but grocery shopping makes me anxious. Between the high shelves, navigating carts and getting everything back to my car, I prefer the online method of grocery shopping much more. However, this trip would be easy. We only needed six things of which only one I expected to be too high (damn dog food). No need for a cart – I would just use a basket – and I could even do self-checkout. It would be simple; It should have been simple. Continue reading “Obviously Invisible”

Three Things Paralysis Taught Me About Marriage

“He’s her lobster”. If you’re a Friends fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you aren’t a Friends fan, well, you should be. But, surprise! Phoebe was wrong and lobsters don’t actually mate for life. What do mate for life? Beavers, penguins and lovebirds (obviously) just to name a few. As humans, we don’t always find ourselves on this list but sometimes we connect with another person who takes the fear out of making a lifelong commitment. You survive together when it’s harder than you ever imagined and you thrive together when life is good. Navigating my spinal cord injury (SCI) while keeping our marriage together has had its challenges, but I never once truly doubted if we would last. He is my lobster penguin. Continue reading “Three Things Paralysis Taught Me About Marriage”

Vote Now for Top Vancouver Mom Blogger

Being nominated as a top 30 blogger at VancouverMom.ca​ has been very exciting. Not only is it amazing to have my blog recognized, but to be chosen among 29 other women who are creating and sharing content they are passionate about is humbling. Help Codi Heal has grown with me through my injury and I wanted to give a quick snapshot of how it came to be.

Never walk again

This photo is a good representation of where Help Codi Heal began. I forget sometimes that the blog only exists because of my accident. It seems strange that something so fulfilling in my life stems from something that was so devastating. Although maybe I wouldn’t have needed fulfilled had the devastation never occurred.

Regardless, this was me. I was 3 days post-injury and overwhelmed with messages and phone calls and feeling incapable of responding to everyone in a meaningful way. Many would say I didn’t have to reply but I wanted people to know the truth and I wanted to reassure them that I was okay (or possibly, reassure myself). I started writing short posts on Facebook and Instagram to help keep people in the loop. The posts were honest because I didn’t see the point in being anything else. My posts got longer and the response got larger and eventually I realized that documenting this journey was beneficial for more than just myself.

That’s the short version of how Help Codi Heal came to be. I write here for many reasons from awareness to coping. But, at its core, it is about reassuring everyone (including myself) that life is good. It feels pretty great to be at a point where my blog is being recognized. Thank-you for following and thanks for voting!

You can vote daily now through June 8 for your favourite blogger at Vancouvermom.ca

My Letter to an Able-Bodied Mother

You and me, we are different. In so many ways, we are different. That in itself is not unique to our situation. From Starbucks orders to philosophies on life and everything in-between, finding a fellow female who checks off all the same boxes that you do would be an impossible task. Even so, there is something about our contrasting physical abilities that seems to set apart my mom life from yours. Early on in my injury that rift between your motherhood and mine felt as wide as an ocean. But as time progressed, I realized that rift – and our differences – is actually minor and insignificant. I think that as human beings, and as mothers, we are more alike than you may realize. Continue reading “My Letter to an Able-Bodied Mother”