Delta Boogie Editor
On Aug. 15, 2002 I learned just how fragile the human body is. In less then
30 seconds, I lost the use of both arms. Thankfully my disabilities are
not permanent. My injuries will heal and my arms will regain their
strength. I have always had sympathy for ttose with physical handicaps,
but now I have empathy as well.
My youngest son is learning to drive and every opportunity to practice
is very important to him. We were just a couple of miles from home, and
he wanted to take a turn at the wheel. We exchanged places, and I was
proud to see how well he was doing. Then, as we negotiated our last
turn onto the road where we live, something went wrong. Instead of
completing the turn, we went head-on into a ditch.
My son received a few bruises and the van was unharmed, but I had a
dislocated and broken shoulder and a broken arm. After being released
from the hospital, I learned quickly that even the simplest tasks were
During the first two weeks following the accident, my frustration with
being unable to do anything for myself made me angry with the world. I
couldn't eat, bathe or use the bathroom without someone there to help
me. Using the computer was impossible. I couldn't hold a book, and
television rapidly lost its appeal.
As I sat there contemplating my bad luck and feeling sorry for mysalf, I
began to think about those people who face permanent disabilities and
what their lives must be like.
The shock of losing the ability to do things you have taken for granted
and the sudden dependency you are faced with is daunting enough, but now
you must face getting on with your life. This means learning how to do
all those things you used to do in a different way.
I admire those people who have overcome incredible disabilities to go on
with their lives. They have enormous courage and strength of character.
While I sit here typing slowiy with one hand, I remind myself of those
who type with a stick held between their teeth.
I had a friend who was injured in a diving accident. In those few
moments she went from a carefree young woman to one who was confined to
a wheelchair unable to walk and with only limited use of her arms. She
taught me a lot about being thankful, not because I could walk while she
couldn't, but because she approached each day as a gift and looked
forward to what new things it would bring.
Now that I am healing and regaining the use of my arms, I hope I never
become complacent about my life again. I also hope that I can begin each
day thankful for the new things it will bring.