ALL SAMPLES BELOW TAKEN FROM
MAKING PINK LEMONADE
Mirror Mirror on the Wall
...With help, I transferred successfully from the bed to the wheelchair. Things were progressing well. Next, I had to push myself to the basin. It wasn’t far away, just a couple of metres. I was just feeling proud of myself for managing to make it there smoothly when I raised my head and looked at myself in the mirror behind the basin…
It was the first time in more than two months that I had seen myself in a mirror. That first look petrified me. I wish I had screamed in alarm or cried out in terror at the truly frightful sight I made. Even going into tearful hysterics would have been better. But I was there, frozen immobile by sheer horror as I stared disbelievingly at my reflection.
My head bristled. My hair was less than 2 inches long and it covered my head in a carpet of uneven, black spikes. Even a buzz cut would have had been more stylish. As it was, my head was a toilet-brush. (Actually, I do toilet brushes a gross injustice with this description; toilet brushes look much better.)
Therapy, Therapy and More Therapy
...Maggie (my physiotherapist) brought me to the rehabilitation gym in the ward and put me on an EasyStand. I had no idea how it would work but I settled myself into the chair. Next, I was strapped in and just as I was convinced it was impossible, (how do you stand when you’re strapped to a chair?) she pumped the lever at the side and the EasyStand unfolded and hefted me into a standing position! It felt really secure too, because I was strapped in and there was a tiny “table” in front of me where I could rest my arms and adjust myself. Nonetheless, even with straps holding me and offering some support, I only stood for less than 3 minutes and even that thoroughly exhausted me.
Now, many may think that I would love therapy. After all, they were little building blocks that aided me in my recovery. However, my wits were still addled and I really just wanted to be left alone to rest. Any exertion of any sort, physical or mental, was baaaAAAD. Plus, my body was still unimaginably weak and my whole body trembled violently and uncontrollably every single time I tried to do something.
So when Maggie told me that I was going to try walking, with the aid of a walking frame, instead of looking joyfully forward to it, I dreaded it with every fibre of my being. If sitting already took so much out of me and standing was such a horrible chore, wouldn’t walking be much worse?
...Then, I got a final sign that walking frames are not meant for me—I fell at home and almost broke a bone on the kitchen threshold as I was going to the loo, under supervision and using a walking frame. You see, a walking frame could help when I flopped forwards. However, when I flopped backwards, as I did that day, a walking frame was about as useful as thin air. I screamed as I felt myself losing balance. After that, I felt myself falling backwards, seemingly in slow motion. I landed unceremoniously on my butt and the walking frame, which I was still gripping, toppled onto me painfully, the metal frame hitting my joints with unerring accuracy. Part of my hip hit the raised threshold and bursts of intense pain radiated out from that region. Immediately, I burst into tears, but as I rubbed my aching posterior, I had to admit that the real bruised “party” was my ego.
After almost a year of diligent core muscle exercises, I finally stopped flopping around so much. I was still terribly slow and unsteady however, so yet another therapist suggested that I use a quadstick. Unfortunately, like the walking frame, this seemed to foster bad posture habits as well. So, I refused to let myself get dependent on it.
Dancing in the Rain
One guy I dated once told me scornfully, “Please! You think we’re in some stupid teenage drama where everything is beautiful and it will all work out? Wake up! Life sucks! This is reality, suck it up!!”
He was wrong. Very wrong.
How Will You Finish?
Let me tell you about this video clip I saw on youtube some time ago. It was about Nick Vujicic, the man without limbs. You might know of him. I know that after I saw that clip, I will never forget him, or what he had to say. As he lay there, flat on his face, with no apparent way to get back up, he asked, “How are you going to finish? Are you going to finish strong?”
Don’t give up. No matter how difficult something may seem, no matter how tired you are, don’t give up. Even if you have tried a hundred times, and failed a hundred times, don’t be afraid to make that 101st attempt. If you never make that 101st attempt, you will definitely have failed. If you do try that 101st time…sure, there is still a chance of failure, but there is a chance for success as well… Besides, who put the limit at 100 attempts? Who declared that you had to stop after 100 tries?