Being Whole Part III

Moving Forward Series

by

Meena Dhanjal Outlaw

There are so many machines and equipment that rehabilitation facilities use to help.  From all I have seen in watching as a newly injured patient progress, it is a breakthrough in how far medicine has come.

I did get some hamstrings back. I even gained movement in my hips, but I never got anything substantial that could allow me to walk independently.

I never gave up. I continued to push forward. My goal was three years of intensive hard work to try and walk again.  That way I could never say I didn’t try.

In the meantime, I was driving everywhere by myself.  I had already began to move into my new house built accessible for me, and safe for my young kiddos.  Life continued in other ways too. I dropped my children to school and picked them up. We would do all the after school stuff that is part of parenting, including homework, dinnertime and bath time before bedtime finally came.

When they went to bed, I studied to keep up with my online classes.  It was also during this year I began to notice men being attracted to me.

In the third year, we understand our fate, but we are not ready to quite accept it. For me, it was the hardest time of all. I had to agree that with all the dedication I put into trying to heal my body, I wasn’t walking.  My orthopedic surgeon told me after my accident, I had three to eighteen months to get something back. What I did get back was the ability to function again, even though it was in my wheelchair.

When I reached the fourth year, I was so sick and tired of thinking about my disability that I just wanted to get out and enjoy my life again.  I didn’t know what that would really entail, but I was ready to find out!

However, I have also seen many who have given up by this time, which is why I am such a big believer in giving someone your undivided support.

It is through these times, I have found that we want to be heard. We want someone to really listen to what we are going through, and remind us what they experienced before they arrived at this point.

Maybe to some, we might sound like a broken record, but pain doesn’t have a timeframe. It is a force in itself.  And, if it is ignored then the effects on the owner of the pain can be devastating.

In the years that I have been disabled myself, I have seen so many positive forms of help for us.

Now, there are knowledgeable social workers, counselors, and licensed psychologists that doknow what we are going through. They also have the necessary tools by training to help us.

We are also able to connect with other people with the same condition as us through social media.

There are also research study programs going on in the country.  These vary throughout different medical facilities that have invested money into learning about our different bodies and experiences.

All these are ways to allow us to understand that we are not alone.  In addition, and excitingly, there are people that do understand us.  Even more so, there are people who want to understand us even better.

So with all that we have learned and all the new information there is to help us, there really is one common goal. Out of all the complexity of treating and aiding a person to become stronger, it is the goal is so simple, to be whole again.  It is when we really have someone who will listen and understand what we are going through is when we begin to start to eventually heal the wounds of our heart.

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