I’m not sure how it happened, but this whole “new year, new you” thing really works. I’m not going to say we are entirely out of our “funk,” but we definitely feel better today than any day of the past week or so. We’re both ready for a fresh start, even if it is just in our minds.
Reality hit us hard recently. Really hard. We even missed his personal training appointment yesterday in favor of staying in bed. It’s true, we’re human, with human emotions. Nobody said this would be easy, and we certainly don’t expect instant results after such a traumatic accident. But seven months is enough time to cloud the memories of how awesome life used to be. And seven months of the day-in/day-out realities of life with a spinal cord injury is enough to batter anybody’s positive attitude. It wasn’t until this seventh month that I started feeling sadness.
I’ve had twinges of heartache when I see Nick struggle with the most simple of tasks, like opening a door, rolling over in bed, or going to the bathroom. I’ve gotten depressed when looking at old pictures of Nick. I’ve always said he’s the strongest, most capable man I’ve ever met. I guess now he has an opportunity to display his strength in new ways. Only recently I’ve experienced sadness for the things in life we are missing out on. We would be in Thailand right now if he didn’t get hurt. I feel sad when I think of the simple things that will FOREVER be a struggle for him, if not impossible. Will he be able to walk on the beach ever again? Will he ever have sexual sensations again? Will he be able to walk without a cane or crutch? Will he ever regain his bowel and bladder functions? Will he find fulfilling work again? Will he have to wear diapers for the rest of his life? Will he ever be pain free? Despite these agonizing questions, we still hold strong faith. I’m just saying that the mere fact that these things are still questions in our minds, is sad in it’s own right.
We’re still positive though. We know that life today is not permanent. Things are getting better, improving slowly, every day. We literally remind ourselves of this hopeful fact daily. If we didn’t, well, I’m not sure we’d ever get out of bed. We both know that life is easier now than it was 4 months ago. It’s easier now than it was 4 weeks ago. And it will be easier still 4 months from now.
So here we are, starting a new year, saying goodbye to the worst year of our lives. And like I said yesterday, I wish we were actually saying “GOODBYE” to the troubles that 2011 brought us. But we’re not. And after much soul searching, I’m okay with that. I wish I could say the same for Fener, but I can’t. I’d be lying if I said he doesn’t regularly wish for life as it used to be. Daily life is very difficult for him. It’s painful, messy and arduous. Yet most of the time he faces these struggles with a smile. I really admire that.
We’ve decided to smile more in 2012, laugh more and focus more on fun. Basically, at the end of 2011, we had forgotten how to have fun. So, in 2012, we’ll be embodying his motto again: GET BUSY LIVING.
We’ve got some seriously exciting things coming up soon that can really change our lives. He’ll be starting therapy at The Challenge Center in about a month. This is a place specifically for people with spinal cord injuries that has an amazing track record. Around that same time, he’ll be starting the spinal cord stimulator trial to help relieve his pain with electrical impulses going directly to his spine. The research we’ve done gives us a lot of hope that this simple procedure will dramatically increase the quality of his life.
With these two changes, I can see Nick’s progress really take flight in 2012. We are very excited. Until then, we will face each day with a smile and a positive attitude. My resolution: respect the value of my time. Waste less of it, and invest more of it in what matters most to me. His resolution? I’ll have to get back to you on that one.