Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Overwhelmed 4

In my last post I wrote about asking questions and being my own advocate. What I didn’t talk about what was the people who are behind me giving me the mental strength to do so. Karla (David’s wife) drove from Trenton to spend the weekend with me and we had a lot to catch up on. One of the things we talked about was her job. As a Major in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Karla has had the role as a “supporting officer”. Her responsibility was for an injured soldier – to make what ever arrangements were necessary for him or her in order for them to focus solely on their recovery.

Then, of course, the conversation turned back to me (because everything does these days). I am in a circle, a small one, that is surrounded by a series of concentric circles. In that second circle, that surrounds me is my family, who have been with me more hours of every day then I have been alone since this all started.

In the next circle are our friends who have supported all the people in that second circle, making food, driving, spending time with our kids, helping on the farm, making arrangements, raising money, writing articles in the local papers and buying bumper stickers. The number of people (friends, friends of friends, far away relatives, former students, journalists, training buddies, colleagues, and facebook friends) who have e-mailed, texted, sent a card, sent flowers, called, prayed, stopped Theo on the street or markered a 4J on their body. It has all been overwhelming. Totally emotionally overwhelming.

Now I don’t mean for that to sound negative, because it is not. I just had no idea I knew so many people who cared so much about me and my family. And the other thing is there are a whole bunch of people that I don’t know. People who have sent e-mails, cards and even money to me – a total stranger. And so I am stunned. It will take some time for me to wrap my head around it all. But what it does is it makes me able to focus on me. I know that Theo and the kids are okay. They are fed, they have friends checking in and offering help. I know that all my parents have friends that they can lean on, question and find support. My siblings have their networks too.

So here I am, writing about all the support we have had and how wonderful it has been. And yet tonight, I find myself alone. Alone on an evening for the first time. It is interesting – I am battling between being (hopelessly) sad and and being okay. I have time to blog, I read 8 pages of Outlander, I rested for a bit and I ate in my chair looking out the window. When my roommate is off the phone I will see if I can work up the courage to learn her story. After all, we will likely be here for a while. And if all else fails, there is always Suits, right Jane:)?

Update: No rehab on weekends. Three days of back-to-back PT/OT last week which was quite exhausting. More on that later. Still waking up with headaches and my eyes are still a bit wonky. My thoracic incision is almost invisible. My forehead looks to be about the same to me (rough) and I learned why my hair hurts (something about repositioning my hairline?). Thanks for continuing to read.


  • Suits is a great choice, My wife and I love it too. You are at least living in the golden age of television, so there is a lot of quality there with many many hours of quality distraction.

  • Linda says:

    Make today's goal to learn about your room mates story.

  • Sylvia Cox says:

    I'm another person you haven't met, who wishes you the very best in your recovery. I'm not a complete stranger, as my brother Steve is a friend of Theo's, and our daughters were in SOAR together. I appreciate your willingness to share your your thoughts and experiences in this blog. Warm wishes from all of my family to yours.

  • Lindsay says:

    Keep blogging! Writing is very therapeutic, sharing too. I will also be praying for you!

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