Saturday morning felt like one of the longest days of my life, and it was just getting started. My spirit had been broken and I spent the majority of the morning in tears. This was unlike me. I’m not someone who just gives up. I sat there, in my wheelchair, a box of kleenex on my lap, sobbing, looking at my schedule for the rest of the day, and I had a little heart to heart talk with myself. I could “accept” that my new reality was learning how to live life in a wheelchair…or I could fight like Hell to walk again.
Next up on the schedule was Physical Therapy. I was ready! We first worked on how we could transfer me from my wheelchair to my bed without the hoyer lift. Using a support board, I learned how to use my upper body strength to scoot myself into my bed and then back into my wheelchair. My physical therapist was impressed with how quickly I was able to catch on and how strong my arms were. I felt great! We were off to a good start. She then wanted to go into the “gym” to see what else I could accomplish. There were mats that were at wheelchair level and we practiced having me transfer onto the mat. Once again, I felt accomplished.
“Ok, now I want you to lay down. I want you to move your left leg towards me….” I took a deep breath, I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer “Please God, please give me the strength to do this!” I then opened my eyes and focused as hard as I possibly could to get my leg to move. Nothing happened. I took another breath, this time holding my head up so that I could see my leg, as if I would be able to somehow make it move with my eyes. I focused hard, I even imagined being able to kick my physical therapist with my leg…and…nothing.
The tears just started rolling down my face. I felt like such a failure. “It’s ok, honey, now let’s try your right leg.” I tried moving it but kept thinking “What’s the point?” There was no movement. I just layed there, crying. I could see a mixed look on Mike’s face. He was trying really hard to show me encouragement but when I looked deep inside of him, I could tell that he was worried that I wouldn’t ever walk again. My physical therapist tried calming me down, and had me keep trying to move my legs, as she moved them for me. She explained that she was trying to teach my brain what it was supposed to do, and that she wasn’t expecting me to be able to move my legs on my own yet. Although her explanation brought some comfort, my spirit felt completely broken.
I spent the remainder of the day trying not to cry, or at the very least, to cry only when no one was in my room. I put on a fake smile, but I felt emotionally shattered. I just wanted to go to sleep and wake up, realizing this whole thing was one big nightmare. I tried going onto social media to take my mind off of things, but seeing posts and pictures of people enjoying their warm, sunny day with their families was just short of depressing. Soccer games, fishing, out on their boats….all things I imagined was probably not going to be in my future any time soon. I looked over at my female urinal and thought “Ok, at least I have something to look forward to….being able to pee without depending on someone else.” Saturday night after Mike left, I spent a lot of time praying and crying. I felt so angry with God. I kept thinking about how this disease has turned my life upside down. Why would God spare my life and my leg just a few months ago, just to leave me paralyzed now? My prayers were pretty whiny…”Why God? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Please give me back my legs! Please help me to be healthy!”
Sunday, I woke up to a text from my oldest son, Austin. He was coming to see me. I was so excited! Austin always has such positive advice for me and knows how to put things into perspective. Also, I just wanted a huge hug from my first baby. When he got to my room, he told me he brought me a surprise. It was Natalie, his girlfriend, and she brought me a beautiful flower arrangement that she had picked from her backyard. I knew that my day was going to be good! I had no PT or OT that day and I could just hang out with Mike, Austin and Natalie. We had a good time, laughing and talking about their Senior year in school.
We were eating dinner, and in walked Soodabeh Mokry, a friend of my Mom’s, who was an RN and a divine healer through Angels and Reiki. We had talked on Facebook but I hadn’t met her in person. She had asked if she could come visit me, but I had no idea she was coming that night. I was excited that she was there though. She had such a warm aura about her. We had an instant connection. She was everything wonderful that my Mom had told me about her and much more! We had a great conversation and she shared some insight that she had received from Angels about my health and my life. Everything she said made perfect sense. The Angels had told her that I was afraid Mike leaving me because I was paralyzed. I started to tear up. They were right….that was my biggest fear. Soodabeh reassured me that the Angels also told her that he was going to be by my side, no matter what happened.
Soodabeh told me about how she used to work at Providence and they had sent her to classes on Reiki. She asked me if I minded her using healing energy on me. I thought “Why not? What do I have to lose? If nothing else, maybe I’ll at least feel better emotionally.” Soodabeh started by placing her hands on my back. I felt a cold sensation run through my body. She then placed her hands on my adrenal glands. The cold sensation grew stronger. I didn’t really understand what was happening, but it felt comforting. She then placed her hands on my leg. All of a sudden, my feet felt really cold and extremely heavy, like tree stumps. Soodabeh sat down and asked me how I felt. I told her what I had experienced and she got really excited. I had a feeling that was a really good thing.
After Soodabeh left, Mike took me outside for a stroll. We talked about Soodabeh and I told him that my feet felt tingly and then they started feeling even heavier, like I was actually standing up. Neither one of us knew what that meant, but we figured it was probably a good sign. On our way back into the building, my left pinky toe twitched. I looked down at my feet and thought “If that toe can twitch, maybe my toes will move….” It twitched again and then my big toe twitched. I decided to try to move my toes…they moved! I started laughing and I screamed out “Mike, my toes! Look at my toes!!!!!!” He was ecstatic. He told me to try to move my right toes. They moved, too! I was on Cloud 9! I took a video and sent it to Soodabeh and everyone else that I could think of. We went back inside and I showed everyone I could find on my floor that I could move my toes. It took a lot of concentration and they barely moved, but I finally had hope!
That night, I cried. This time, tears of joy. My prayers that night were very different. Although I still prayed for God to let me walk again, I also thanked Him for the movement in my toes and for sending Soodabeh to me. I wasn’t sure when I would be able to walk again…days, weeks, years…..but I felt so incredibly certain that I would walk!
Monday morning, Taylor FaceTimed me and I told him I had a surprise for him. I turned my camera around and I started wiggling my toes. “Loooook what Mommy can do!” I think he was more excited than if I had told him I was taking him to Disney Land. He started crying and I cried with him. I knew this day was going to be good! My physical therapist walked in and I showed him how I could move my toes. I told him that I planned on walking out of this hospital this week. He laughed, like he thought I was joking. My determination and my stubbornness grew more and more. After his “You need to learn to have patience” talk with me, he then picked up my leg and bent my foot back. “Ok, I’m going to let go of your foot and I want you to keep your foot straight…” I blinked, and then he let go…
….to be continued.