spinal cord injury
There are two circumstances:
Birth disability. In this case, the people are smothered with care and suffer from attention. They learn to be dependent because parents are overly attentive, and a child begins to use this attention. They begin to get use to the sense that everyone owes something to them. Very few can escape this, mostly because of caretakers’ wisdom.
Acquired disability. The outcome is dependent of the will of each person, will the person be broken by the disability or not.
The story of my disability started when I was 23 years old. We had a car accident when we were driving with friends to get something to eat. A car impacted us at an intersection. Fractured spine and the second sciatic vertebrae was shattered.
They refused to conduct a surgery because of bureaucratic processes — invoicing and waiting for payment. The surgery lasted eight hours because of the multiple bone fractions, but I really got lucky with the doctors, we have outstanding neurosurgeons.
In two weeks, after I realized that I actually could have died, I cried for the first time. In addition, it was unclear whether I will walk or not. The doctors told to me that it will be okay, but my mother was told a different story, with condolences she was told — “be ready to have your daughter be in a wheel-chair”. Usually no one walks after a spinal injury.
Three days after the surgery I began sessions with a massage therapist and tried to move my legs. I couldn’t feel them, but I knew one thing- I want to walk. My physical therapy began right away, which was important.
I had a moment of bright flash, when I was lying there and thinking about my muscles, about how they should be moving, and suddenly — my leg jerked. For the first time. It was a real joy.
During the next month I kept falling constantly. I tried to walk, would fall and again get up. I literary grabbed on with my teeth. I tried over and over again, until I saw a little bit of progress.
My mom then dropped “I actually thought you are weaker.”
Three months after the accident, I arrived to see the doctors, I walked in crutches and they were in shock stating that it was a miracle.
In 2012 I developed bone-spurs. It’s these sharp growth of bone mass on the vertebrae that made me look a bit like a dinosaur. I had to have them removed, but then several years later, it was found that the structure responsible for the core was damaged and it developed bone spurs as well. To correct this condition, they would have to break the spine again and I doubt I would walk after this, so we left everything as is.
Now I live with constant back pain. I don’t take medication because I realize that I will develop tolerance and increasing of the doze will be constant. Pain became part of my life now, and although it drains a lot of my energy, I got used to it.
I got sutured like a sac, a very ugly scar remains. When I witnessed a repulsive look from a guy who noticed the scar on my back, it did hurt. However, I know that his reaction is not about me, it’s about him. Right now, there is a tattoo on top of the scar, and I like it.
Any life difficulties is like a litmus paper — it shows which person is yours and which isn’t. It shows who are your real friends and relatives. Many people left me with pretense “I don’t want to have disabled people in my life”, and in return, I received a lot of help from others.
I’m thankful to relatives, to doctors. I didn’t walk this path alone. It’s a painful, but valuable experience.
The only thing I’m sad for, is for my mom, who dedicated years of her life. Also, some opportunities were removed from my life, such as preparing to enroll at a university to become an archeologist. But it’s not lethal.
At this moment, I’m involved into art-therapy at a ceramics studio, after receiving a degree in psychology. I also ride a motorcycle.