I started to write an article that was going to be about parenting and working with a disability. It then turned into two pages of my childhood and the details of what happened the night of my accident. I’ve never written about it before in such detail. Definitely too long to post as an article on Work It, Mom. Whenever I do finish it, maybe someone can direct me where I should publish it.
So, to give everyone here the condensed version, I am a spinal cord injury survivor. I broke my neck at the age of 15 in a car accident. My parents helped me relocate to Las Vegas a couple of years later. I came here to attend a clinic that was using cutting edge technology to help people with paralysis exercise and use paralyzed muscles. It is called Functional Electrical Stimulation, or FES. And of course, that is another story itself.
I stayed here in Vegas because of the warm climate (I could no longer handle the harsh Wyoming winters) and to make a new life for myself. About 14 years ago, I met my soul mate, Jason. At the age of 29, I finally felt ready to try motherhood. I knew it would be complicated, as my injury had left me a quadriplegic. Not from the neck down, (thank God), from the chest down, with the use of my arms but limited use of my hands.
Becoming pregnant was the easiest part, only took about 2 months. Getting through it was difficult, by the end I could only sit up for about an hour or so. Then I would have to lay down. The surprising thing was I didn’t need a C-section to deliver. With the help of an epidural to keep the pain from causing autonomic dysreflexia, a potentially dangerous condition where high blood pressure can cause a stroke, my body did its thing and the delivery was easy.
I needed a lot of help when my daughter was a baby. But once she was out of diapers, I could handle her on my own. The one big thing that really bothers me is not being able to do her hair. I can brush it out for her but that’s it. Luckily, I have a neighborhood friend who does it beautifully for class pictures. My daughter is getting pretty good at it, too.
Without a doubt, my daughter is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. She gives me the strength and the motivation to keep going. I was an extremely active person, a total tomboy before I got hurt. Adjusting to life in a wheelchair has been incredibly hard. I put up with it and go on because I have no other choice right now. Have I accepted it? No way. I’m stubborn! I’ll keep hoping and praying for a cure for the rest of my life. My dream is to be able to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Never give up on your dreams.