How I Sustained a Spinal Cord Injury
The list of injuries I suffered is long, I broke my leg & a couple of ribs with cuts and lacerations all over my body but the spinal cord injury made everything seem insignificant! For the next couple of months my life was all about hospitals, feeding tubes, emergency suctions, ventilators. Life was a struggle. I was fighting for it every second that I didn’t think beyond that moment. I didn’t know if I would make it out alive.
The constant beeps of the machines…the constant fear of not knowing if I’ll survive the next attack. During one of the many procedures that I went through my vocal cord got cut. The only means of communication that I had was also gone. It took time to come to terms with the situation not likely to change. I spent 3 years, completely bedridden, rarely went out…that too only amongst family. I was so weak, anemic, I had developed pressure ulcers. I hated any help that my parents hired. I used to feel embarrassed of being fed like a baby. I felt so self-conscious when I sat in my chair because they had to tie me to it with a belt because I couldn’t hold my body.
Finding the light after spinal cord injury
My hands used to be in splints. My friends came to see me but it was not the same. Life was passing me by and nothing in this situation was my fault! That was the darkest period of my life. It is said that when you hit rock bottom the only way is to go up. Even though my body was broken and felt alien to me, my mind was mine to command. I started physiotherapy. I started my studies again, enrolling myself in LLB. I’ve done a post graduate diploma in Human Rights. Recently I did my LLM in Dispute Resolution. A wheelchair was not something to despise, it was a means to my independence...it was a part of me now and I was grateful to it. Being in a wheelchair is not an excuse for not doing anything. I may not be in control of a lot of things in my body, just like in my life, but I do have a choice in how I deal with it! For me the real challenge was overcoming my own inhibitions, the self-doubt. We tend to be our own worst enemy. We have pre-conceived notions of what our life should be. As cliché’s as it may sound but life is what you make of it.
What i have learned from my spinal cord injury
The point is changing plans takes time and efforts but it should not stop you from setting and achieving new goals. The word achievement has a different meaning for everybody. Your goals can range from climbing the Everest to just sitting in a wheelchair for 1 hour without fainting! You can either run, walk or crawl, it doesn’t matter how…what matters is you move…you keep on moving forward. What matters is that you don’t let any self-doubt, any negativity, any depressing thought hold you captive. Giving up was never an option for me and I have my family to thank for that. They are like a wall of support…they don’t let me doubt my abilities for a second! I don’t feel like I am defined by my disability, but it has made me into the person that I am….and I am proud of it. My injury has taught me a lot.
I think it has made me a better person or at least made me realize that I need to become one! It has taught me humility, sensitivity, it has made me more understanding, & taught me to be nonjudgemental! It has made me realize what matters in life. What to let go of and what things to hold on too. As Nelson Mandela said “Don’t judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again!”