Two years later…

Yesterday was my two year anniversary of being in the wheelchair. Two years ago today I was miserable in the hospital, spaced out on pain killers. Trying to make sense of the fact that my legs weren’t working. This year’s anniversary has hit me a lot harder than last years. Last year I was high on the hope that I still had a chance for recovery. That this was all a major inconvenience and someday I’d laugh about what I went through as I tried to remember what it was like to be in a wheelchair. But this year’s anniversary it’s hit me that this is all permanent. That’s a hard pill to swallow. I have to be realistic now and know that no matter how hard I try, there’s nothing I can do to get my nerves back to work. It’s not a muscle you can rehabilitate or something you can train back into working. It’s something you just deal with.

That’s tough.

This is my life now. Running out to the store involves having to load and unload my wheelchair. Taking a flight involves me having to transfer onto a narrow little aisle chair and strapped in like a belligerent inmate. Being invited to a party involves me having to ask friends if there are obstacles like a step or high threshold and asking them to measure their doorways. “Now, the bathroom doorway is 28 inches including the door or the door clears that?” Having a baby means I have to figure out how I can get the little bundle of poopy joy in and out of a crib. Being asked to go to the park with a friend means I have to tell them that grass isn’t so easy with a wheelchair.

I’m not sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I’m normally very upbeat and positive about everything. But, this year is just hard. I just need a couple of days to think about how much this sucks and then I’ll be fine. I guess I’m just overly emotional. Like, I can’t think about my bike without tearing up. I remember when my parents got me my adult tricycle a couple years ago and how stoked I was. I rode it from the bike store to my house, which was several miles. The hubs followed behind me like a nervous dad because he was worried I’d fall off. He said I had the hugest smile on my face the entire time! From that moment on, I rode it almost every day. Sometimes a couple times a day. It made me so happy. And now I can’t do that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have my bike attachment for my wheelchair, but it’s so not the same. I miss my bike and it breaks my heart seeing it sitting in my garage collecting dust.

my bike

(This picture was the day I got my bike.  See the smile??)

Maybe I am whining. But I’m confident I will feel better soon. I’m already feeling better than I was yesterday. It was a rough day yesterday. A couple days of sadness doesn’t mean I’m giving up on life. I know that I’m lucky in so many ways. And I know that I can still do so much these days. And in some ways I can do more than I did before. So please excuse me while I wrap up my pity party and I promise to be back to my normal, optimistic self in the next couple of days.

4 thoughts on “Two years later…

  1. Terri Andrade says:

    Hi, Stephanie … I felt compelled to read your blog post. As I’ve stood sort of on the sidelines (as an acquaintance and new friend) observing the huge challenges you’ve faced, I am in awe. Not just the magnitude of what you’ve gone through but of your courage, honesty and spirit. Today I read this: Jesus can change our perspective on everything. This was the message I read just this morning. Reading your blog, seeing how you are courageously sharing your trials made me connect the scripture to what you shared… John 9:1-7 (NKJV) [especially v3 and 5].

    9:1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

    3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I[a] must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

    6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

    This same message I shared with Greg’s and my niece who is a pastor’s wife (of Greg’s sister’s son) and is going through some very challenging times right now. She, too, is blogging and sharing her struggles. I believe God intends to use not only hers, but yours as well, to help others and to do His Work. Humbled and moved by your courage and pluck, I just wanted to know that. –Terri

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