Turning back time

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” ~Rose Kennedy

The lingering effects of my spinal cord injury continue to plague my life and me. In fact, as the eighth ‘anniversary’ of my injury quickly approaches, I am feeling as if Dr. Liar continues to win this ongoing battle.

“This is caused by your spinal cord injury and there is little to nothing we can do,” are the words I have grown accustomed to hearing over and over from new as well as old doctors. And all I want to ask is “Why me?” I feel as if I am on a sinking ship and there are no lifeboats. I honestly hate feeling this way since I am a glass-half full kind of girl.

Why does Dr. Liar always get the best of me? Why do I always remember June 22? I have forgiven the lying neurosurgeon who changed the course of my life and then did everything he could to save his career, including committing perjury on the witness stand. Why am I given new medical problems that continue to remind me of the severity of my spinal cord injury and the damage done to my body?

I have been especially good to my body during the past year. I have lost 115 pounds by eating healthy and doing aquatic physical therapy. My blood work has improved and my Endocrinologist recently took me off of diabetes medication. I have detoxed my body from the harmful steroids and chemicals my body was consumed with causing Cushing’s syndrome, another medical condition attributed to the spinal cord injury. Now, the only ‘hope’ doctors can offer me are the toxins my body resists. So I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

When I was growing up and I used to wish for certain things, my Mom would always say, “Wishing is good time wasted.” However, for a change, I want to waste a bit of time. After all, I think I deserve it. So here goes: I wish I could turn back time where I would have never met Dr. Liar, never had surgery for a herniated disc and never had a spinal cord injury. I simply wish to be normal and live a normal life. Is it too much to ask?

During my time here on Earth I have definitely learned life is not fair and no one said it was going to be. I get that. Spinal cord injury and all, I don’t go around feeling sorry for myself. In fact, it takes A LOT to bring me down. Maybe it’s the time of the year adding insult to injury; maybe I have had enough. Whatever the case, I do think I am allowed a bit of self-pity time…at least an hour or two?

It amazes me how certain things in this complex world advance in record speeds, but when it comes to medical research it moves at a tortoise pace. My neuroscientist friend jumps through hoops for grants and funding and he is working to cure the problems those of us with spinal cord injuries deal with on a daily basis. However, even with the proper funding, medical advances seem far off in the future. Endless if you ask a patient.

And, when medical advances are made, insurance company obstacles are presenting yet another challenge. A simple non-invasive treatment I received for the past seven years previously paid for by my insurance company is now not covered by that very same insurance company. With no notice, no warning they simply began to deny coverage. Instead, they would prefer me to consider a more invasive procedure. I have appealed the insurance company’s decision twice and now have asked for an independent review. I bet I can predict the outcome.

I know in time I will put this latest setback behind me and see the silver lining once again. It would be easy to pine away, be depressed and give up; however, wouldn’t I be giving Dr. Liar full control of my mental health? I know I am a kinder and wiser person than he will ever hope to be. I may not be who I was eight years ago, in fact, I don’t know if I would recognize her. I also may have medical conditions I never dreamed of, but I am able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of the life I have lived despite the multiple setbacks. At least that is what my mind is telling me…now if only I could just convince my heart.

©My Unplanned Life and http://www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com, 2013.


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, Dr. Liar, Pain, Self Discovery, Spinal Cord Injury, Time Heals All Wounds and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Turning back time

  1. JR says:

    Well done, although your kindness shows through your anger. I guess that comes from sincerely forgiving. You’re a lesson for us all.

    • mswd says:

      Thank you for your very thoughtful words and for encouraging me to write yesterday when I saw you. And, as always, thank you for listening. You are a dear friend! Looking forward to many more conversations and continuing our friendship! Lot of love! XO

  2. jean Rowe says:

    Hi Marsha, You are a wonderful writer and a great person I admire – Dr. Liar cannot take your God given talents from you (your writings, sense of humor to name a few) or your heart or your sweet soul. I am amazed at your personal discipline (115 pounds??!!!) and can do attitude 99.99% of the time so feel free to get on a soapbox once in awhile…a shame Dr. Liar cannot be unmasked as he continues the charade of being a competent surgeon. We all have to answer to the Big Guy Upstairs eventually…and so will Dr. Liar. God knows your heart and He certainlly knows Dr. Liar’s too. Your blog is an inspiration to those of us without a spinal cord injury too! Best, J

    • mswd says:

      J ~ you are a sweetheart to take time to write such a lovely message! I appreciate your kind words. I am usually able to pick myself up following a huge disappointment; however, this particular time and diagnosis has really shaken me. We are both Southern girls…we are made of tough stuff, right? I will be fine, it’s just going to take some time. Writing for me is therapeutic and kind words, like the heartfelt message you posted, are SO good for my healing! Love you dear friend. I appreciate your friendship more than you know.

  3. Brenda Jennings says:

    I truly believe God has a plan for us which we may not understand at the time but we are better because of what we have to endure. You are and have always been a special person that people want to be around and this is no different, You are able to offer hope and understanding to others through your writing. I wish you had not been chosen to lead such a crusade but on the other hand who better? I am so proud of you and how gracefully you have dealt with this. Dr. Liar will pay for this in the end.

    • mswd says:

      Dear Brenda ~ thank you so much for taking the time to write such loving and kind thoughts. I know you have so many other priorities with the wedding. You are definitely right, God has never left my side during this medical drama, even when I pushed him away in anger following the spinal cord injury. Today, I know He is still with me seeing me through this difficult time. He also blessed me with the most wonderful family (which you are a member of) and friends who support me when I am feeling blue. I know Dr. Liar will pay the ultimate price, although it seems he wins more victories with every negative medical diagnosis I receive. Frustrating to say the least. I usually hold on to hope…it’s just getting more difficult. I can’t tell you how much your words touched my heart. Thank you again. Love always!

  4. Look in the faces of your friends and what do you see looking back? That would be more telling than a mirror. And that you have friends you can look in the eye, and family that you can look in the eye, and be proud of who you are…. that will convince your heart. Through it all, you have risen above his lies and his callousness. I hope that silver lining comes wrapping around you quickly and warmly.

    • mswd says:

      Thank you Colleen for your kind words and encouraging message. Since posting, Turning back time, I have received the warmest messages and felt the love and support of so many. I really do know I am a bigger person than Dr. Liar and when I look back at all I have accomplished, I am proud. I am just feeling beaten up from all the medical dilemmas and during this time of year so close to the ‘anniversary,’ it makes it difficult to bounce back. If there was hope on the horizon it could possibly make it more bearable. I am looking hard for that silver lining since I know feeling sorry for myself solves nothing. Thank you again for taking the time to inspire me. You are the greatest. Thank you for all your posts…I am awe in how often you write and in the wealth of information!

      • Oh Marsha Marsha Marsha! 🙂 Another blogger said just last week “it’s okay to be …..” he used one word but I think it’s okay if we “are” angry, or sad, or hurting. By pretending we aren’t we only make things worse. I remember in one of my psychology classes being told to allow one’s self to feel what you feel, if you don’t want to “dwell” than tell yourself you will feel like ‘this’ for….and set an amount of time. One hour. One day. One week. Validate your feelings but make a plan to move past. I know it sounds too easy…but sometimes it works.

        And thank YOU for such kind feedback. 🙂

      • mswd says:

        Thank you Colleen for the advice ~ I really appreciate it. I had a good session with my shrink yesterday and he helped me wrap my head around all of these crazy feelings. You are right…validating feelings is key. Who would have thought eight years later I would still be dealing with ‘the issues’ of a surgery gone wrong. Life really is what’s happening when you are busy making other plans! Thank you again and stop making us other bloggers look bad with all your constant posting ;)! I am so behind in my reading, but promise to get caught up with weekend!

      • I’m glad you had a good session. Personally, just from what I know, I don’t think your feelings are crazy at all. Eight years is a long time to be DEALING with the results of that surgery. So why wouldn’t you be having feelings about it? It sounds like you’ve kept yourself busy with life and posting is on it’s own schedule. 😉

        I hope you have a very pleasant weekend full of many good words! 🙂

  5. Rita says:

    Yes Marsha, you deserve as much time as you need to feel all the feelings you deal with every day. And yet you keep writing, keep praying, keep reaching out to others through the blog and in many other ways. So many lives are richer because of you. Some people you have touched in large ways but there are many others who you have touched in small but meaningful ways. I am blessed to know you my dear friend.

    • mswd says:

      Dearest Rita ~ I just counted…we have been friends for 26 years ~ how blessed I am! Thank you for your friendship and for being a shoulder to lean on during those years! I appreciate your kind words and you taking the time to write a message. While this is an extremely challenging time, I do know I am going through this experience for a reason and I hope I am able to learn, grow and help others experiencing something similar. For some reason I don’t seem to know any other way to handle these opportunities! 🙂 While this time of the year is difficult, I am very fortunate in so many other ways. I know God will show His purpose in all of this when He is ready. Love and hugs my good friend and thank you!

  6. Jo Seale says:

    Because of the countless problems surrounding us and because of the trials and tribulations we are all confronted with, I’ve felt a need to be built up again in our understanding of why we have adversity and what we can do—to weather its storm. It seems that life is tilled with a variety of difficult experiences that test us and try us. I have been through a rough 2011 but you always gave me words of wisdom to see me through.

    Sometimes adversity impels a person to greater heights, and sometimes it provides the opportunity for that person to be a blessing in the lives of others. You are someone that I admire and throughout your entire illness I have only the greatest admiration for you. You have helped me through some rough times and you remain close to my heart forever.

    My grandmother taught me this…
    Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

    • mswd says:

      Jo ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorite verses. Mom wrote it in my first Bible so it holds a special place in my heart ~ thank you for reminding me. While I know I am not alone in these challenges, sometimes it all seems a bit overwhelming, as you know. But, I also know when God closes a door, He opens a window. I appreciate your message since you have been though so much during the past few years and who knows better how difficult it can be to handle medical difficulties. You are a good friend and we do have a special bond. Thank you for your friendship and love ~ looking forward to many more! XO

  7. Marsha, I’ve figured this out. We have to help others. There’s great joy there and there are a lot of friends here giving you the hand out the hole. There’s light up here and you just need to grab a hand. I’m getting ready to push the completion of a new music album and this one will have vocals. I have something to say this time. It’s going to be a serious one. Remember Job. I still don’t understand that story, but my insight says he “served”. That’s all my grandmother used to tell me. “David, you need to serve the Lord. Everything else will fall in place.” I’m not an evangelist but I know that miracles can happen when we help others. I didn’t get diabetes until Kim passed away. Maybe I had it before, maybe I didn’t. I do know that it didn’t concern me then like it does now. I don’t like getting old, but I’m going to make music for many people to listen to. David made King Saul feel better with music after he had nightmares. My mom named me correctly and she doesn’t even know it. Hang in there and know that you have lots of friends that are here to feel bad with you. I really think if you did something big for others, God would hold you in his hand and your pain would turn into thankfulness. I tried to explain to my mother that my grandmother didn’t feel the pain that my mother thought she felt. I knew something, somehow about my grandmother that no one else knew. I knew she had a relationship with Jesus where everyone else thought it was all a story. My mother thinks it’s all a nice story today. I disagree. Sorry for the bible thumping, I usually don’t do this. But I have the same child-like faith I had as a kid. I mess up here and there, but that part of things remains intact. Think about it. What can you do for others?

    • mswd says:

      David ~ you are 100% correct in stating our purpose here on Earth is to help others. That is one reason I began blogging…so others would learn from Dr. Liar’s mistake and stop holding doctors in such regard. To me, people trust their doctors far more than they should. I also wanted to encourage others facing a difficult time such as mine. As you know, so many people are facing challenging times and I have been blessed to hear from so many letting me know my blog has offered hope! Sounds as if your Grandmother was a very wise woman and had ‘things’ figured out. Sounds like she made quite the impact in your life for you to hold on to so many wonderful memories and her words of advice. My Grandmother was a very religious woman and I learned so much from her advice as well as observing the way she lived. I hope the life I am living would make her proud. Keep the child-life faith…it’s something many don’t achieve no matter how hard they try! Your album sounds wonderful and I look forward to listening to your work…you are very talented and blessed. Thank you for your kind words!

  8. Beulah Colon says:

    Marsha, I feel for you and what you have had to endure. You know Marlena had 5 surgeries and she also had a doctor that did not know what he was doing. But by the time he had done 4 surgeries it was to late. Marlena ended up at MCV with Dr. Hallett Matthews. He was a wonderful doctor and he did her fifth surgery but at that point all of the nerve damage from everything that had been done during the other four surgeries could not be reversed. He did all he could to try and help her to relieve her pain but it was to late. She was always in constant pain and was put on oxicodine and this was what led to her having a heart attach. It built up in her vital organs and caused them not to function properly and led to her death. I would never recommend that anyone have any back surgery if at all possible because it just leads from one to another. I pray for you
    and that you will get some relief from your pain. Keep up the good work and stay strong. I love you.

    • mswd says:

      Beulah ~ I appreciate you reading the blog and for sharing Marlena’s story. I know it can’t be easy thinking about her surgeries and the pain she lived with. I don’t think people realize how risky back surgery can be and the damage that can occur. Marlena’s story is another example of how there are a lot of horrible doctors performing surgeries and not held accountable when mistakes occur. I am confident the two of you experienced many of the same feelings I did when I learned the doctor hit my spinal cord. I am just sorry I wasn’t here when Marlena needed encouragement and a friend to lean on. It is one of my biggest regrets we didn’t keep in touch more following my move to PA. However, the last time I saw her it was if we had never been separated by time and distance. Marlena was the big sister I never had and we bonded from the moment we met – at age 15 when I began working at the drug store. She taught me so much and no matter what the circumstances she saw the good in every situation and in every person. No one was a stranger and her zest for life was contagious. I miss my dear friend and, in fact, have several photos of us framed (one photo is us at the drug store and the other during a trip to the Outer Banks) so I think back often to a wonderful memory of our time spent together. However, no matter how many wonderful times we shared, it breaks my heart learning she was in such pain and unable to find relief. Living with pain and not being able to live the life you want is difficult and nerve damage is constant and never-ending. No one can possibly understand what it’s like to live with this type of pain unless they experience something similar. I know my dear friend is in Heaven and is no longer in pain ~ she is laughing and watching over those she cares about. Until I see her again, I hold on to the love two friends shared. Thank you for your love and encouragement. I love you and I am blessed to have had so many years with Marlena and to know the wonderful person who never left her side. XO

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