January 22nd 1998
disability....don't let it rule you.
I am 26 yrs. old, 27 in June, and am a parapalegic due to an automobile accident in July of 1989. I hit a pine tree, I was not on drugs and was not drinking, I simply lost control of my car after running off onto the shoulder of the road and jerking it back on too fast. I broke my neck at C-6, broke my back at at T-12, broke my left arm, cut my fingers down to the tendons, broke all the ribs on my left side, crushed both hips and broke both legs. I was in the hospital for months and thought my life was over. For whatever reason, the break in my neck did not leave me a quad instead just a para resulting from the break in my back. I wore a halo for what seemed like the longest time. When I went home, I was very difficult to live with and held a grudge against the world. I thought I was useless and worthless. After therapy, to help me deal with the trauma and loss of what had happened to me, I learned I could live life to the fullest just like everyone else......I knew it would be hard but for me, I had to prove it to myself, and others as well.
In 1990, I had a baby boy. He was what I lived for and what drove me to concquer my disability. After all, I was a mother now, I had to concentrate on someone else and not myself. He gave me hope and joy that I hadn't had in quite some time. In 1991, I went back to college and earned my Degree in Art and Advertising. For a few years it was just me and my son, living alone and doing great....then, in 1993 I was back in the hospital due to a broken leg and met a man that worked there, we became friends and kept in touch, later we started dating and in 1994 we were married, in 1995 we had a daughter and now I feel my life is even better than it was before my automobile accident.......I have two beautiful children, a wonderful husband, that from the very first day, has only seen me as "short" and not disabled, very loving parents and siblings that have all been through just as much as I have through these past nine years, and together we have worked through it all and overcome the obstacles, I somewhere along the way, found my faith in the Lord, and was shown first hand, that miracles do still happen in the nineties. I have a full, complete life now and wanted to share it with others in this situation, maybe there is someone out there who has not accepted their misfortune yet and in some little way my story can help. I just feel like I have to say that even though we will eventually learn to deal with our disabilities and what has happened to us, that for those of you that have never been through it first hand, don't take away our grieving period, we need that time and it plays a very important role in our recovery regardless of how hard we make it for others around us. I just ask people around us to understand from time to time that we are very easily frustrated at the things that are difficult for us to do, but if you just give us time, we will figure it out for ourselves and will have mastered another obstacle that now we can be proud of. Just don't give up and don't give in!!!!!
Angela Stocks, Greenville, NC