Pressing the Restart Button

This is a time of year when many people are celebrating. In fact, I think that June should be declared National Celebration Month since there are more weddings, graduations, anniversaries, and birthdays celebrated. In addition, we honor Father’s Day, Flag Day, and near the end of the month summer officially begins. Many people choose to go on vacation when school ends since it’s a nice time to get away and recharge. Because of many of the celebratory events held in June, many people move to a new level in their lives during the month — they start over, reset themselves or are given the opportunity to press the restart button or they simply move on to the next stage of their life.

I remember my high school and college graduations as if they were just yesterday. Boy, did I think I was going to set the world on fire. My dad would have probably said that I was “a little too big for my britches.” However, I was motivated, excited, and ready to make my mark. With my diplomas in hand, my parents made sure that I had the foundation to kick-start my career. Even then, 20+ (hum) years ago, my parents knew the value of a college degree and ensured that their children got as much education as they wanted and walked away without student loans. It was a gift that most people can only dream. I have friends who are still paying off students loans or were strapped with them until just a few years ago. With the cost of tuition today I am glad that I began saving for my daughter before she was born so that she will also graduate with no student loans. The increase in tuition is enough to make students reconsider furthering their education or putting themselves in debt even before they take their first college class.

Along with all the celebrations, I also began thinking about how many times we actually get to start over or at least have an opportunity for a fresh start. New beginnings. The excitement of going away to college — many leaving home for the first time, beginning a marriage or giving birth to a baby, or starting a new job. It’s halfway through the year — a good time to assess where you stand with your New Year’s Resolutions. If you haven’t reached your goals…you still have six months.

I have a friend who works only during the summer and lives off her three-month salary for the remainder of the year. This freedom allows her to have a dog rescue that she manages as if each pet were her own. She works to support herself, the rescue and the arrangement helps her give back to needy dogs. She has always been a special person, but her love and kindness can be felt by those she meets. I admire her and I hope she knows how much. She has had to start over a few times due to unique situations, but never once did she complain.She always found a way to use her creative energy to support herself and her two children who are now grown and are as terrific as she. To T.H. — you have so much to be proud of — I am lucky to be one of your friends and greatly admire you.

When we moved to Virginia I looked at that as an opportunity to start over in a number of ways. I already mentioned that I was a bit worried about having to find new doctors; however, that has worked out to be a positive change and a blessing. Having new doctors look at my medical condition allowed them to ask questions and look for new ways of handling my care. One of my doctors told me that “at least you are an interesting case!” I guess that seeing the same type of illnesses and diseases on a daily basis could get a bit boring.

While we were thrilled to be moving into a one-story house, we dreaded having to landscape a new yard — from scratch. However, my husband rolled up his sleeves and we have taken it slowly and the yard is coming together nicely. While there is always work to do, there is such sweet satisfaction in pulling it all together, stepping back and being happy with the work you have done. Again, the things you dread or are scared of doing are the things that you most likely need the most.

As I think back to the past six years and all that has taken place, I wish that I was given the opportunity to press a restart button on certain parts.I would hit the redo button the moment I met Dr. Liar. I think of all the pain I could have saved my family and me. I wouldn’t have a spinal cord injury and I would still be working and I hope making a meaningful contribution to society. My daughter would have gone to her first choice college and I am sure my husband would have a little less salt in his wonderful salt and pepper hair. He wouldn’t have had to work two jobs, driven me around and watch me go from a wife, mother, employee to someone who has run the gamut of emotions. And, while I know he loves me for who I am at this very moment, I know that he secretly would welcome an opportunity to hit his own restart button and would have made other choices. Has this life been fair to him? I don’t think so. In fact, I know so.

How do I ever make up for all the loss that he has endured? I know he wouldn’t want me to think this way, but I can’t help but feel that in some way I need to make up for what he has missed or is missing. Especially since we can’t seem to ever get a break. I doubt that he visualized himself with a wife who walked with a cane. Or a wife who didn’t work. I also know that he didn’t think that he would have hatred in his heart for a doctor who took away the woman he married. When I think that I have been through a lot, I put myself in his shoes to gain a different perspective. It’s one of extreme unfairness.

This has been an especially difficult and challenging week. I have always wanted to work on my patience and I have learned this week that you need to be especially careful in what you ask. I feel it is one personality trait where I lack focus and, well, patience. I hate to wait for certain things and will drive myself crazy. As I mentioned in the last blog I had some tests done and I am still waiting for the results. As if my medical life wasn’t complicated enough I have some additional problems and am working with a specialist. However, even simple blood work for me is anything, but simple. Following a week of fasting, blood work, taking certain medications at specific times and having blood drawn at precise times — the blood work came back conflicted. In fact, when the doctor called Friday morning the first words out of her mouth were “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.” No, I’m not highlighting that’s she’s a fan of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this was her unique way of explaining that something was definitely amiss. With an apology, she asked me to repeat the tests and that she would see me next week to come up with our attack plan. I am certain that I don’t like it when a doctor uses the word attack in any form of a sentence.

This week is the anniversary of my surgery and the day that Dr. Liar changed my life with one very hard hit with his surgical mallet. As if last week wasn’t difficult enough waiting to hear test results from the doctor, this week will be a constant reminder of Dr. Liar, his lies and the life he took away from me.Why can’t I escape it? After all, it’s been six years. There is a popular song that I seem to hear often. A few of the lyrics have stuck with me. The song, Falling to Pieces, seems to describe how I am feeling as an anniversary I would like to forget is drawing near: “I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing; They say things happen for a reason, but no wise words don’t stop the bleeding; I’m falling to pieces; What am I supposed to say when I’m all choked up and you’re ok?”

During this past week, I can honestly say that I have experienced true anxiety — something I was blessed never to have gone through before. At times, I felt as if I couldn’t catch my breath. I went from feeling numb to barely breathing. In fact, I almost feel as if I am still sitting in my car in 100+ degree temperatures following my doctor’s appointment almost two weeks ago. While I know I am not physically sitting there — I do feel as if I never left the parking lot and I am just waiting for the test results and ultimately the diagnosis. I am distracted, antsy, irritated and not much fun to be around. In fact, I feel sorry for my husband and my daughter. I am simply sick of being sick and tired of having to deal with medical problems. I want to press the restart button and get on with life. My life — whatever that may be. All I want is one week with no doctor or physical therapy appointments, no aches or pains and for my surgery anniversary to slip by unnoticed and unrecognized.

And, while I am confident that Dr. Liar won’t remember the date of his mistake, I am sure that he is still struggling with keeping up with all those lies. It must take quite the effort. I bet he would press the restart button if given a chance. However, in my blog, he doesn’t get the opportunity to new beginnings, restarts, redo’s or do-over’s of any kind. He, like me, has to be content with facing the truth, the facts — I just wish six years later that he was human enough to really do so.

©My Unplanned Life and 2011.





About mswd

I am an individual living with a spinal cord injury. How the injury occurred, how I found out how severe my injury was and how my planned life suddenly became 'unplanned' is included in this blog. Also included is how the injury has tested my family and me. I believe you will discover it has been both a mentally and physically challenging ordeal and I learned a few lessons along the way. While I am still defining my life’s purpose since the injury, I have uncovered those who are injured, live with pain or have other obstacles to navigate are never able to escape. However, come with me as I explore ways to improve my life, learn to live with multiple neurological conditions, educate others and look for the silver lining. I believe with a little willpower, my caring family and God's guidance I will learn to forgive, hopefully forget how I was treated and dismissed by a doctor and uncover life's new purpose. I pray for painfree days and answers to questions that keep swirling through my mind. I also pray for a cure for neurological conditions and for the doctors to treat their patients with respect. Welcome to my journey. I would love to hear about yours!
This entry was posted in Depression, Disability, Don't Give Up, Dr. Liar, Faith, God, Happiness, Joy, Medical Malpractice, Pain, Pain Management, Self Discovery, Spinal Cord Injury, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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