Today is partially viewed as just another day. A day to wake up and enjoy the life that surrounds me. A day to feel joy from my recent, personal accomplishments, and to feel the same emotion for the recent accomplishments of my friends. Today is a day where I can reflect on the memories I have made in the past three weeks, and allow myself to become excited for my journey that commences on Tuesday morning. While I am fully capable of doing what I did yesterday, today, I can’t help but recognize today as the five year anniversary of the crash. Every moment that I consider that half of a decade has passed, I become flabbergasted. My memories of the oncoming car in Skookumchuck, BC, are from five years in the past. The thoughts of my mother stating she was going to die, and then waiting in that vehicle to get cut out, unaware of her injuries or mine, seem so distant and yet so fresh and prevalent. The broken ankle, bilateral knees, bilateral femurs, pelvis, bilateral forearms, right wrist, left collar bone, left first rib, left cheek bone, blood-poisoned small bowel, third-degree thigh burn, and mental and emotional trauma originated half a decade ago.
I have stated this before in my previous posts, and will do so again due to the utter truth behind the statement: so much has changed. When I attempt to count the quantity of surgeries I have gone through for my injuries, I result in the number 15. This does not account for the surgeries I cannot remember, and the minor procedures that occurred almost daily in the ICU and weeks after in the Trauma Unit. These surgeries have now transformed sections of my body into scars, pain, and memories. In Beauty Behind The Scars, I exposed most of these scars to you all; however, most people I encounter on a daily basis are unaware of my background or wellbeing. They are incapable of seeing the scars without shorts or a bathing suit on, and at times judgment occurs because of the “invisible” disabilities. In the past five years, I have been called lazy for sitting in a wheelchair with just a leg cast visible, been scowled for sitting on the moving bus because others are unaware of my physical instability, and constantly questioned on why I can’t do something. I must admit, these experiences have made me concerned for my upcoming travels. I have never travelled by plane for more than 6 hours since the crash, and my journey of more than 24 hours in both plane and airport is just a few short days away.
I am already quite aware of how my body reacts to travel, and I know I will need additional support along the way. My anxieties get the best of me, causing worry about how people will perceive me when I can’t walk a far distance and need a ride, when I sit down while others are standing, or when I limp my way to my destination. While I struggle with constant worrying, I do attempt to remind myself of something that I have come to understand since these scars, pain, and memories became a part of me. I remind myself that not everyone is going to know, nor will they understand. Even if people do see the scars, they may not be respectful or empathetic, and that is okay. That is just okay. I understand my own body and am respectful of my limitations. This is what truly matters, and is the only thing that will get me what I need, and where I want to go. In half a decade, I have healed, gained strength, went under the knife and thus lost my strength. I have developed conditions, sought help, tried medications, discovered methods, loved, lost, and most of all, learned how to celebrate life. ALL life. Every being and object on this planet that feeds and grows, that emits energy and provides some form of joy to others.
One thought on “Half A Decade”
How right you are ! NO ONE, whether they see the scars and think they might understand or whether they make a judgement without seeing any scars, NO ONE has gone through what you have, and so NO ONE truly understands how you are on any given day! So, MAKE NO APOLOGIES !!
Allow yourself to get what you need ( a chair, a wheelchair , a hand) whatever , to continue to be the terrific model of “getting on with your life”.
Enjoy your upcoming trip ! Take time to enjoy it all, even the getting there. To some, it may not be how they’d do it – whatever! You’ve come a long way, and I’m sure there were days when you would never have guessed you’d even be able to take a trip like this ! No matter what, savour it all ! You deserve it !
Love you, Olive xo