Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6, 2010: Accidents happen to anyone.

Jim has become the "stair nazi" at TIRR. The therapists have their offices on the second floor of the gymnasium. Jim watches the therapists, mostly young people, run up and down the stairs. He calls out to them "use the handrail." His own PT therapist said she couldn't hold the rail because she was carrying things in both hands. Do they not pay attention to all the pain that surrounds them every day at work - the agonies of their paralyzed and brain injured patients?

He also is being super careful of other people when he is using his power chair. His hand still slips off the controls.

Yesterday he was trying to have an older couple move to the side of the elevator so that he wouldn't accidentaly run over their feet. They told him "you have plenty of room." He told them that accidents happen. He told them that all he did was fall off the toilet and now he's quadriplegic. The couple just kind of looked at each other. I could tell they didn't believe him.

It must be a protective mechanism. "It can't happen to me" belief. Maybe that's why I am in such great emotional pain. I've lost that simple innate protection. I know that horrible things could happen to me, to my loved ones, to anyone. That knowledge is unbelievably painful.

Freak accidents just happen. It doesn't matter if you are a vegan, a devout religious person, a bodybuilder, a young person. Something catastrophic could happen to you. Enjoy what you have while you have it.

Unfortunately, even though I advise everyone to live for the moment and enjoy the good things in their lives, I can't take my own advice. Life is just too painful right now. Jim IS progressing, albeit, at a snail's pace. But, I mourn my old life with him. I am anxious about what our new life will bring. I've lost the simple armor of denial and I know that worse things are possible, no matter how much I pray, how careful I am, what I eat, how much I exercise, etc, etc.

I am fighting to remain strong. Having lost the delusion of control over my own fate makes it very difficult.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Joanne, I don't know what to say. I have no words of comfort today. You are so right. Life changes in an instant. I lost my beloved aunt and both parents within a year. I feel so lost without them, but I still have Bill. I think of you and pray for you and Jim every day. Now, I pray for all of us. Love, Marguerite