For those who have missed the last two years, here is a quick recap. Click on the links below to view posts.
First Blog Post - Back Surgery 1, Arm Surgeries 1, 2, & 3
Back Surgeries 2 & 3 (excuse the typos, this was directly after surgery)
Arm Surgery 4
Year Anniversary of the Accident
Back Surgery 4
My life has changed more than I could have possibly imagined. I was told by one of my doctors:
"You will be ambulatory in a wheelchair but statistically you will never walk again."Here I am, two years later walking every single day. I remember that when I was first told that my spine was broken and would need to use a wheelchair for the rest of my life, I was in complete denial. I stated to my family that was in the room with me, "I will not be stuck in a wheelchair! And that is it." Though this turned out to be initial blind optimism the words have turned out to be oddly prophetic. I may be using canes and an ankle brace but if this is what it takes then it is worth it.
These past two years have been the most difficult years of my life. I have been challenged physically and emotionally, seeing my world change in unexpected ways. But this is life; whether I had perfectly working limbs or not the world refuses to stop for anyone. Friends move away, relationships come and go, and the sun continues to rise and to set.
Thank you everyone who has gotten me through the last two years. Thank you Mom, who has been there day in and day out since day one. Thank you Dad, who has supported me through all my best and worst decisions and loved me anyway. Thank you my brothers and sister, keeping giving me the support I need to keep going. Thanks to all my extended family, some of you opening up your homes, all of you sending goods hopes and wishes. Thank you Philip, Tony, Kelley, Kayla, Ozcur, Darlene, Steve, Cat and all the other friends who ignored me when I told them I couldn't do something and made me do it anyway. Thank you to my land therapists, my aquatherapists, to the entire staff of Kennedy Krieger, especially the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI). Thank you Meredith, Stephanie, Marjory, Moriah, and Brooke, all of you earning my respect and gratitude, most of you earning a permanent place in my head, reminding me of what I should be doing when I walk. Thank you to Mindy and Lynn, for reminding me what a pain I can be and exactly how far I've come. Thank you to YMCA, for giving the turtle a place to swim. Thank you Steve Ackerman, for helping me to get a handbike and getting me back out on the road. Tom McNally, for opening up your home so that I could continue with physical therapy. Thank you to all the orthotists who made the leg braces and ankle braces that are the tools that allow me to walk. Thank you to all of you who have been reading this blog, following me on facebook, or keeping track of my videos.
I can say honestly that I would not have made it this far if it were not for all of you. I hope everyone reading this will remember that no matter how lonely we can get we all have people behind us, helping us in ways big and small. "It takes a village" does not only apply to raising a child, it applies to every single one of us.