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”
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”
A major aspect of wheelchair living is accessibility. After my accident, I began looking at the world (my world) through vastly different eyes than before. Places that I often went – restaurants, movie theatres, parks, beaches, schools, other people’s homes etc. quickly became more of a challenge. Stairs seem like the most obvious obstacle, but there are issues with bathrooms, door openings and steep inclines (to name a few). Venturing out into the world all of a sudden got much more complicated. So when it came to our own home, we wanted to make it as comfortable and accessible as we could so that my time could be used efficiently.
We were fortunate that our house was already mostly one level (rancher with a partial basement). We had moved in only seven months before I was injured and were planning an addition for my parents but were not going to renovate our side of the house. My accident took place at our home during the process of putting on the addition and when I fell through that hole, our plans for not renovating fell out the window. Continue reading “My Accessible Home”
I was going through one of my old journals and came across this poem that I wrote a few months after my accident and I thought I would share. Seemed like a good post to end off June.
For the first time in over 470 days, I am not taking any medications. After spending such a long time setting mental alarms to take pills, it feels strange to have gone even a few days without taking any at all. I imagine this medication-free period will be somewhat short-lived being as I already have a new medication in my cupboard just waiting for me to finally decide to take it. However, I wanted to acknowledge this strange journey through medications that I’ve found myself on and shed some light on the invisible ailments that cause me to seek out relief. Continue reading “The Pain in My Paralyzed Legs”
I have struggled with my body image for all of my adult life (and even some of my adolescent years). I have been continuously obsessed over the number on the scale and the size of my clothes – so obsessed in fact, I could tell you my approximate weight and pant size every year since I was 15 (however doing so would be ridiculous so I’ll refrain. You’re welcome). While I have always felt especially self-conscious about my mid-section, looking back on photos of myself as a teenager and young adult would prove that those insecurities were unfounded (at least for a time). I wish I would have known that! Maybe on some level I did – I always tried to be sexy I suppose. I felt sexy when I was with my boyfriend turned husband and I wasn’t embarrassed to put on a bikini in public. Even still, I would fight all of the insecurities in private. Continue reading “Does This Wheelchair Make Me Look Fat?”
We all draw inspiration from different places and different people. Although, if we are being totally honest, it mostly comes from Pinterest. However, I feel lucky in the sense that I have a lot of screen-free inspiration in my life. I’m surrounded by numerous people who motivate me to be better: a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, a better writer, and a better version of myself. And over the last year I have packed my newsfeeds with people who inspire me to continue this journey in life despite my physical limitations. Continue reading “An Inspiration By Default”
Like so many, I am heartbroken by the recent events in Manchester. It was almost a year ago I wrote those same words regarding Orlando. Trying to comprehend the reasoning and calculated malice that goes into these acts of terrorism is enough to make you lose faith in the human race. Thinking about the innocent lives lost and the countless lives affected by these tragedies can make a person fear the world. And when the world and all of its pitfalls are so easily found on every media outlet it can become overwhelming. There is a flood of negativity with every swipe of our finger and the good-news stories seem much more difficult to find. There is an obvious sense of urgency in our society to fix these problems that stem from hate and anger, but so much uncertainty on how to achieve it. And while we hope for safety and we hope for answers, our hope is laced with bewilderment and fear. Continue reading “Love Through The Fear”
It’s my birthday. I’ve always loved my birthday but ever since I turned 19, I have hated the idea of getting older. I don’t know why the number has bothered me so much. Up until a week ago I was saying that 30 just sounded so old. But I’ve changed my mind. Partly because a lot of my friends, all of my siblings and most of my cousins are in their forties (it helps a girl stay young), but mostly because of something I read the other day and everything it made me think about.
A memory came up on Facebook (as they do every day when you subscribe to the ‘on this day’ function). 10 years ago, I wrote that I was not looking forward to my birthday because turning 20 meant “a downward spiral into oblivion.” Initially I read it and thought that my 19-year-old self was quite the dramatic. As I thought about it more I realized that, while dramatic, she was also kind of right. While I didn’t make it all the way to oblivion, I definitely hit the bottom – spine first.
After months of trying to find the perfect solution to my bladder issues, I have conclusively determined that…there isn’t one. I suppose that is probably obvious because I’d be rich and famous right now if I had discovered the solution to bladder control after a spinal cord injury. Alas, here I sit, not rich, not famous, and still possessing a bladder that endeavours to rule my life. But I promise you it’s not as dire as it sounds. My bladder may still hold power over me, however I trust it more than I once did and we are slowly becoming friends again. Well, actually, Botox is my true friend. I’m just kind to my bladder with hopes it will be kind to me. Maybe it understands reciprocity? Continue reading “The Pursuit Of Bladder Control – The Saga Continues”