I was really touched by all the feedback from my last entry. I know that beauty is only skin deep, but how you feel about your outer appearance is definitely reflected in the way that you present yourself. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, my vain insecurities have been negatively affecting my overall morale. These things just take time. From the beginning, my family stressed that who I am is not my legs, but rather my mind, morals, values, and character. I could not agree more. Every day I count my blessings to not only be alive but to still have full mental function (as I could’ve easily had a traumatic brain injury from hitting headfirst); but there are still days when I miss having full use of my body. I miss chasing around my nieces and nephews, slinging them over my shoulder and carrying them on my back. I miss going out with friends and getting down on the dance floor. I miss using hand gestures and other forms of body language to further illustrate my animated character. I even miss simple, mundane things such as laundry and other household chores. While I try my best not dwell on these feelings, there are times when that void is so overbearing and impossible to ignore. Similar to losing a loved one, sometimes you just ache for the past, for anything to fill the void you now feel. Losing a part of you is incredibly hard, plain and simple. As I said in my previous entry, these are my feelings and I do not sugarcoat them. If I am to be known for anything, I want it to be for being honest and open about my injury, be it good or bad. No one is strong all the time – I am most certainly not and I don’t pretend to be. In fact, here lately, I have felt very weak. I wish I could pinpoint exactly what is causing this “funk” that I cannot seem to pull myself out of. Please be patient with me as I try to transform my scrambled thoughts into logical sentences.
A few weeks ago I talked about my lower back pain and having an MRI done. The results of the MRI did not show anything abnormal in my spine. While I am happy that there are no serious issues, I am back to square one trying to figure out what is wrong. This is probably where all my frustrations have been stemming from. I feel like I’m constantly getting the runaround; when one doctor cannot find anything wrong, they send me somewhere else – it has become a vicious cycle. Not only have I been dealing with the intense pain, a pain so unbearable that I am brought tears, but my spasticity has been positively out-of-control. I have tried different strengths and combinations of various muscle relaxers and have found no relief AT ALL. The increase spasticity is extremely hard to deal with. It can be painful, embarrassing, and make the simplest tasks almost impossible. In addition, the spasms enable my scoliosis and poor posture to get even worse, which is what I’ve been working so hard to correct. It is causing my left leg to turn in and my pelvis is beginning to conform at an angle, which affects my entire spine. Many medical professionals feel that I’ve exhausted all my options and my only choice will be the baclofen pump; however, I am skeptical and have many hesitations about the pump for many different reasons (I will save that story for another day). I feel like I need to find the source of the problem that is causing the spasticity instead of just masking it with medication. So there is that situation in a nutshell.
There are other things I was planning to discuss, but I’ve suddenly succumb to writers block (or extreme laziness). Either way, I am tired of writing. I will end this update with a few positive things that will be happening over the next few weeks. My FES bike is going to be installed tomorrow! This bike is a very expensive piece of equipment but well worth the price. It will help with my spasticity, circulation, range of motion, muscle tone, and overall health. I am EXTREMELY fortunate to have had the funds to purchase this bike and that is thanks to Ole Miss Sigma Nu and the Charity Bowl fundraiser in March. Another big purchase that I am awaiting is a new bed! For two years I have been in a very uncomfortable jail cell of a hospital bed. But again, thanks to the Sigma Nus, I will have a top-of-the-line adjustable bed that will be mine for MANY, MANY years to come. I am so very excited to sleep in a regular bed! Definitely one of the small things we all take for granted. Last but not least, I have been extremely busy painting and preparing for the Pine Belt Women’s Expo in Hattiesburg, MS, on July 28. Someone has very graciously offered me a booth to sell my art and promote my cause. Because I consider Hattiesburg as “my old stomping grounds,” I immediately jumped at the chance to participate. After the Expo, I will be making my prints available online to purchase for anyone out-of-state who would be interested. If you are not on Facebook, you can check out all my newly updated paintings in the Artwork tab located in the top menu.