The years have gone by since I have last written here, and in those years I have covered both gentle and treacherous terrain. I find it difficult to find a point at which to start, and therefore can only begin with the day that changed my life forever.
Almost three years ago, I was admitted to the hospital with partial paralysis in my legs, in excruciating pain, and unable to walk on my own. My husband helped to navigate my weak and terrified body and mind into the emergency room at our local hospital. As I lay propped up in bed, in an over-sized hospital gown awkwardly pulled around me in an attempt to feel dressed, I continued to tell myself that things weren't so bad. It was nothing a high dose of IV steroids couldn't fix.
Three days later, after daily IV steroids, morphine, numerous MRIs, and countless looks of pity, I was released in a rented wheelchair and a physical therapy referral in my quivering hands. I only had to wait a few days for the steroids to combat the inflammation, and then I will be back to walking normally, I continued to tell myself.
Nearly three years later, I am still struggling to walk. I was left with nerve damage in my spinal cord, and I waiver between some sort of acceptance, and impatiently awaiting the dreamed about breakthrough in nerve damage repair. Each day begins with a fatigued but determined decision to go to physical and mental combat with the damage in my spine. But more each day I realize that the true battle continues to lay much deeper than that.
There is, and may always be, a fierce struggle to accept this change in course that my life has taken, so seemingly against my will. Some days I would give almost anything to be free of this pain, and the fight to walk just a little bit farther than yesterday. On other and more frequent days, I truly feel blessed at how this has forced me to live my life in a much deeper and intentional way.
However, most importantly, I have been determined to find a way to bring some sort of sense to this all. I wish, more than anything else, to help others along the difficult and rocky path that I too have been thrown on to. In regards to how I will accomplish such a task, I am still searching for the answer. But I do believe that these trials will open doors for me that I would have never found otherwise. I am a stronger and deeper person because of all that has happened to me these past few years, and I am grateful, and also in some ways indebted, because of it.