“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
– Helen Keller
Sorry for taking so long in writing another blog but time has just caught up with me! Many things have happened since writing my first blog and now.
Where to start…….
The Bale Push was held at the beginning of September where many people took to the streets of Crantock to see bales pushed around the village. The whole day saw my brother, (Adam) Nelly, Josh, Kerry, Johnny, Steve and Tony push a bale 38miles around the local playing fields for 12 hours straight. All of this was done as fundraising for me which I feel very humble about, I could not thank these guys and everyone who attended and donated enough as it shows many people in this world are caring and happy to help other people. That day for me consisted of swallowing every fear I had and just taking the route of a brave carly. Being brave meant I had to go out in public and meet everyone for the first time since my accident, which may seem easy to everyone, however to me it felt like I had no escape and introducing myself as a completely new person, as the girl who’s stuck in a body that can’t move, a girl who is petrified of her future and a girl who just wants to be who she was a year ago. As time creeps up on me I forget how far I’ve come I then think wow and smile to myself. Days seem to fly by, hours in to minutes, minutes into seconds, seconds into nothing. Weekdays for me are busy doing exercise such as cycling on the assisted leg and arm bike, going on the crash mat with Nelly building up my stomach muscles to sit and lean on my own, pushing my chair which I’m getting better at and two days a week Michael my physio introduces me to tiredness and pain with his intense sessions. I treat the week day as if I’m at work and the weekends is when I can relax and just be myself for a couple of days. Without my family and Nelly I wouldn’t be where I am now as I know my soul would be lost and there would be not motivation what so ever I would still be the girl I was in Salisbury, the girl who couldn’t move anything.
The majority of us will have bonds with our families which are unconditional, imagine if we needed something or something happened, we would be there in an instant then we would try and pull each other through with encouragement and love. You don’t realize how strong your family is until something tragic like this happens and then you realize how very special you are having such an amazing group of family and friends who would do anything for you.
Mine and Nelly’s 3 year anniversary was in October as you could imagine our anniversary was different to previous years there was no fancy presents or fancy restaurants just him and me and a Chinese simple but sweet. The last year may have been difficult and different but at least we have stuck through it, I couldn’t imagine my world without him. I’m my own worst enemy I don’t think I’ve improved that much as it’s not enough for me, improvement in my eyes would be me walking again which I want to happen tomorrow but I know that will never happen life isn’t that easy. Nelly is my anchor, he encourages me and gives me praise he constantly tells me how well I’m doing, I don’t know how he copes with my unbalanced emotional moods, my fiery temper, my desperate cries for help, my broken and useless body I know some people would give up at the first hurdle but he hasn’t. My hero.
Walking and running to my family, playing netball, surfing then I wake up its just another dream. I’m lying flat on my back with a tear in my eye not being able to move my legs and body. The uncontrollable tears, the screams and hatred towards my life, the daily questions I ask but no one can answer why me? Will I walk again? When will this nightmare end? I look up out into the sky and constantly ask for a miracle to get out of hell.
You don’t realise mentally how a spinal cord injury (SCI) affects you until something small for example a TV advert or a TV soap annoys you as the storyline is too close to home but couldn’t be further from the truth to the extent of switching channels every time they come on, or when your friends talk generally about their lives, jobs, marriage. I want to be happy for them but I can’t because I want to be them. I am the person who you have nightmares about, I am you in those nasty dreams, the dreams where you can’t move your legs, body or hands and when your frantically try to move, the difference between you and me is yours is just a dream and mine is my life. The only way to describe a SCI to me is like being dead but being unlucky and unfortunate to be alive. The first anniversary of my accident came and I found myself lying down by the riverside, remembering what I wanted to forget. Earlier in the day walking down the street with Jody, driving my car, closing the door, showering, getting ready to go out, leaving my house, saying bye to mum, drinking, eating, laughing with the girls, falling, drowning, Sandi, help! These were what I wanted to forget but instead they echoed in my soul and still terrify me to this day. It’s impossible to forget especially something which has drastically changed me and others around, instead I chose to deal with my upset and anger in the only way I know how, 3 hours of physio followed by a lot of love with my family.
With thanks to the money the Bale Push raised I was able to buy a standing frame and for the first time I stood up. Words couldn’t describe how I felt the first time I stood up, I felt more like a happier me a giggling girl I had forgotten how tall I was. I felt like a giant, absolutely amazing. After the first time in the standing frame, I was trying to cram 20 minutes a day in the standing frame on top of physio, crash mat, leg bike, arm bike and pushing myself around in the wheelchair. Suddenly something had to give and to start with my big toe nails were infected which stopped me from progressing and even using the standing frame altogether. As disgusting as infected toe nails sound, it effects me in differently, the pain kept making me become dizzy and feeling sick and with trying to carry on doing everything my toe nails seemed to have got worse and this was the only beginning of my bad luck.
Not only have I changed physically and mentally I now had to choose and change my care team. Myself, Nelly, mum and the care agency, interviewed the girls I chose. As you could imagine this process was tiring and emotional why would a 23 year old want a group of girls similar to my age looking after me? The independence has been taken from me and I may never get it back. Trusting new people to do my personal care, washing and changing me, getting me comfortable in my wheelchair and feeding me. This wasn’t supposed to be part of my life, I never planned this and I definitely never got taught what to do in this situation. I guess your body turns into this bionic person you just cope with anything that is thrown in your way, you laugh at what is laughable and you cry at what is sad but only I know life can only get better and it can never get that worse. As much as I hate my life I can’t give up as its not me I’m not a quitter, everyone has choices in their lives mine may of been taken away from me but I’ve accepted that I now only have one decision and that’s to get better and walk again.
The first week in December can be erased from my memory. For a second the thought of loosing people so special would kill me so finding out Nelly, my brother and his girlfriend were in a car accident made my nerves tear apart and made me feel even more useless that what I already am. I couldn’t get up and drive to them instead I had to wait helpless for the phone call that told me they were all ok, I’m glad an angel was watching over them. Seeing them walk through the door was a massive relief, it was unbelievable how lucky they were. In the same week I had a minor accident, which resulted to me nose-diving the floor as I fell out of my wheelchair. Nelly followed by my brother ran to my rescue and laid me steady on my back; my neck and head were in excruciating pain so my mum had to phone for an ambulance. The paramedics thought it would be best to take me to hospital where I had a neck X ray to see if the already repaired neck was damaged. Whilst everything was happening it made me realise how much help I need and how much I rely on people especially my family. I wish I could jump up and get out of this situation, but I can’t I just have to go with it as its my only option.
With thanks to many of my friends fundraising I was able to buy a special seat that has been fitted in my car; the seat is designed to slide out so I’m able to transfer easier. I have found tranquil with Nelly parking the car on the cliff tops and looking out to sea with the music on so loud it blocks any negative thoughts following me round in my head, I feel like me not the girl who’s trying to find sanctuary. As Nelly calls them my little victories, many new victories have been made such as eating and drinking for myself with the help of hand splints and a trustee fork, pushing myself around in my wheelchair and more thumb and finger movement.
Whilst typing away at this blog, my fluffy dog Dora is playing with her toy underneath the Christmas tree, this year my Christmas is going to perfect unlike the nightmare of last year which the thought makes me sad. I just want to give a huge thanks to you guys for sharing a minute or two to read my blog and I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year
Although 13 months have now gone and shattered dreams, unmet expectations and loss of movement can definitely cause me to loose heart. If your heart has been shattered and your pain is still fresh, you know what I’m talking about. The panic and confusion I feel about what direction my life’s going I still don’t know what my future holds, all I know now is that I’m currently improving and when a cure is announced I want to be physically fit and ready for it. I have to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going and I have to train myself to love it. I need to take each day as it comes and if I smile, I smile and if I don’t I’ll just have to work on it.
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