Pushing Through Set Backs

Let me preface this blog with the statement that I’m speaking with humility and never boasting. Since my injury on June 5, 1995, I’ve pushed myself for increased independence, and refuse to take “can’t” as an answer. I’ve been blessed with decent upper body strength for a C7 complete quad. I have much more than doctors initially thought when they first saw my C6 burst on the MRI, but I’ve tested as a C8 functional level for my 22 years post injury. I’ve lived alone, completed college (3 times), learned to drive, grocery shop, gotten married, traveled, worked successfully in many vocations, and helped raise a beautiful daughter. All this to say; life goes on and we make of it all we can. Obstacles come and go and are just bumps to strengthen our testimonies.

I’ve faced some “doozies” over the years with multiple surgeries, UTIs, sepsis, pressure issues, bouts of constipation, AD, etc., but one of the biggest kicks in the pants has been my recent issue with two broken legs. My right leg is immobilized at a constant 90 degree angle (trying to stabilize my broken femur). Not only is it a fashion nightmare (with a dark grey neoprene/Velcro brace, contrasted by the stark white panty hose (Teds) running from my toes to thigh in attempts to keep the swelling down), it looks like a train wreck. The left leg is not quite as big of a hassle. I have it stabilized with a light grey air cast keeping my tib/fib break aligned.

The moral of this story kids is wear your seat belt!! For me, the pain associated with these injuries is not so much of an issue; it’s the amount of work the day to day requires. No longer can I transfer independently; now my wife has to hold my right knee stable as I transition onto the side of the bed (via a transfer board). When set, she picks up my right leg, keeping it at 90* angle while I slide back towards the headboard. Once I’m back as far as I want to be, she uses a pillow to bridge my leg and knee on its side, trying to keep from added pressure on the femur break (2 inches above the knee). Not only is it a strain on the upper body, but the change in positioning (due to the braces) has increased spasms, not to mention the added pressure risks associated with hard leg braces.

This too shall pass, but who knew “one little tumble” out of your chair could cause so much headache?! Seat belt, seat belt, seat belt! Long story short, continue to chase your dreams and desire, but as my nephew Griff says, “safety first”.


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