Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Bumps in the Road 3

Today at physio I was thinking about what I was going to write. I was keen to tell about my second day of actual PT and OT, and the progress I felt I had made. But then I came up stairs to find that I had been moved. When I arrived at Parkwood I had a single room, all to myself. They warned me that it would not likely last because they save the single rooms for people with brain injuries. Which I totally get. And don’t get me wrong, I had been warned that I would be moved; it should not have come as a surprize. But it did.

When I was a kid, going to camp was not my favourite thing to do. I did not do well at sleepovers and even into my 20s, being away from home made me anxious. (Although by that point my mother would have said that I was homesick for Theo, not home). I guess no one is great with change, and everyone deals with it a bit differently; I just didn’t sleep. Sometimes I even hallucinated. None of which made for good days. So today, when Jane and I came up from OT and I found I had been moved, I was not happy. In fact I cried.

I was just starting to get used to where I was at and how things were going to be. Lots of new faces; doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, a dietitian (also in a wheelchair – she is amazing), a social worker and hopefully tomorrow I will meet the psychologist. And then of course the nurses. They are all amazing. Many are rehabilitation specialists and they really know their stuff. I am definitely in good hands. I think I may have said that before.

So then why can’t I just suck it up? A few weeks ago while I was still in Victoria I told myself that I was going to be here for a while and I had to get over the whole “I can’t sleep in strange places” thing. And it worked. I started to actually get several consecutive hours of sleep. So here I am again, telling myself the same thing. But it’s different – I am here in this room with three other women, whom I know virtually nothing about other then that they are also victims of spinal cord injuries. I think what happened tonight brought me back to the crash landing at Parkwood all over again.

But the thing is, I am not starting new. I have two good days of therapy under my belt (which is actually a very large stretchy piece of elastic called a waist binder – designed to help increase my blood pressure). Today I made an appointment to start the process of getting my teeth fixed and I have my date for my surgical follow up. Did I mention that the scar on my back is healing really well? Jane says it is hardly noticeable. I didn’t believe her so I made her take a picture and show it to me. She was right.

I overheard a conversation between an OT and another patient the other day. The OT was talking to him about negative and positive self talk. Which is something that I have spent time thinking about and teaching about as a coach. So I knew exactly what he was saying. You can take the negative things and let them drag you down, or you can flip it. Spin it. And then it takes you up.

So tonight, I am going to try to believe my own positive self-talk. Take the good things that have already happened and let them blend in with the sound of others snoring and try to find that place where I can get enough rest to do it all over again tomorrow…just another bump in the road.

Okay, I can not even lie by omission. Who’s kidding who? I am putting in earplugs, wearing an eye mask and taking a sleeping pill. But at least I will not be crying myself to sleep. Good night.


  • Hi Julie! It's Jeran! You taught me high school and now teach my brother (Landon). My mom and I have been reading your blogs together daily and enjoy your updates. I cannot imagine the battles you face each and every day but I do know that God never gives us battles we can't fight. Hang in there and find those positive moments as you pointed in your blog. My coach used to tell me "beauty can only come from pain" now this was regarding my flexibility so at the time I was not pleased with the saying lol. I can sympathize with the room moving, I never enjoyed camp either and always slept better in my own room. I hope Ella, Oliver and Theo are well! Sending you lots of strength, love and hugs!

  • Ernest Dow says:

    Now THAT'S a champion attitude! Rock on, coach.

  • Just checking to see how you are doing. Thinking of you. David

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