Obviously anyone reading this knows that the last few years have been a bit tough for Clint and I, the last 6 months especially. Spinal cord injury, at least in the beginning is about as demoralising as anything I can imagine. I am actually embarrassed at times that, as a nurse, even I didn’t realise the extent at which life is suddenly and catastrophically changed. It’s not just a matter of limbs not working, or not being able to walk. It is so incredibly more than that. It is pain and crippling fatigue and incontinence and infections and pressure sores and inaccessibility and it’s expensive and depressing and frustrating and lonely. It is having your loved ones checking your bum for pressure sores, it is bringing spare clothes with you in case you have “an accident,” it is endless visits to doctors and specialists, relying on someone to help you get around and all while struggling to hide the pain.
Amongst all the struggles, are the highs. All of a sudden, the so seemingly small achievements become astronomical. It’s like something chemically changes in the brain. You feed on the smallest of highs because they are what keep you going and it’s so exciting! It was learning to transfer unassisted, it was cooking a meal, it was a day without an accident or a trip to the shop independently to buy a coffee from the café. It was a day with family filled with laughter. It was a productive day in the shed. It was buying a modified car, it is a glimpse of the independence that we know is not too far away and last week, it was a session at the physio (yoga therapy) that left us both on the biggest high. It left us with the positivity and the reassurance that Clint will just continue to get stronger, while the hardships (hopefully) become less. And all of a sudden, the highs feel so high, that the lows feel more manageable.
At times it is a scary reminder of my possible future with NMO (or whatever). I sometimes look at Clint and wonder how we will possibly manage if we are both paralysed. And then other times, I admire Clint’s determination and positivity so much that it changes my mindset. If this becomes my reality too, we’ll get through it together. If he can get through all these things without totally losing his shit, and still manage to make us both laugh each and everyday, well then, I can manage too. Although… it is still my belief that I’m going to be ok and that I AM going to beat the odds.
Below is a link, a collection of the “highs.” It makes us both cry, out of happiness and out of a belief that the best is yet to come 🙂