The World at Our Feet
I entered a local
medical facility to have a spinal fusion, little did I know what was in store for me, what
changes would take place that would effect the rest of my life. First off, there was a
large dura leak encountered during 10 hour surgery. As I woke up in the recovery room, I
didn't know what had happened to me, I felt little movement in the lower half of my body
from the waist down. As the recovery time worn off, I questioned what went wrong during my
surgery. It was explained to me, that there were some problems, and the doctor would
explain it to me and that I had nothing to be concerned about. I excepted this
information, and was sent to my room. I was instructed that I would have to stay in bed
flat for the next few days. Nothing else was explained. I questioned why I had little
feeling from the middle down. All lips were sealed on this subject. I cried for several
days. If I couldn't walk, what was I going to do. I had a family to support, a wife I
loved dearly, and grand-children I wanted to be able to hold and have fun with during
their formative years. I wanted to be productive person, not an invalid, and a burden to
During the the next few days the recovery process went slow, and I needed answers. If my
condition at this time wasn't enough to content with, it was discovered that I also had a
broken back. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. Little did I know the pain and
emotional ups and downs I would have to endore during the many man hours of rehab.
While I was recuperating, I received a beautiful purple wheelchair, and several other
types of medical equipment, delivered to my room. I questioned what I was going to do with
the wheelchair (as if I didn't already know), and I was told that I would be in it for a
very, very, very, long time - because I was a paraplegic.
As I sat in my hospital room, I poundered over the many questions that were going through
my mine. I was fitted with a "turtle brace" which was used to stablize my back
from the fractured area. I would have to wear this brace all the time 24 hours for the
next 11 months.
Since my rehabilitation continued for over a year and a half, my therapist instructed me
on how to use the wheelchair, how to shower, how to transfer properly, how to get from
point A to point B. It was easy for them, they weren't paraplegic. Their life was not
disrupted, in a span of several days, as mine had been.
Before my SCI, I was a teacher who could walk. Now I was a teacher who was strapped in a
wheelchair trying to walk, with little progress. I was a 'newie" as it is called. I
needed more information regarding my disability. During my rehab. I consulted the
hospitals library. I received many pages of informative information that would help me
both emotionally, as well as, physically to regain my strength to overcome my disability.
During the next eleven months, I put my learning ability to use. I refused to let my SCI
at level L3 - S1, become a drawback. I had come a long way, and I wasn't going to let a
little thing, like a wheelchair, suprapubic catheter, urine tubes and straps around my
legs, and loss of lower body movement, get me down.
My goal, for the next coming months, was to return to school, and be a productive teacher
as I was before my surgery. It was at this time, that I decided to become a paraplegic
Since my injury, I have been asked to speak at many organizations regarding my disability.
I try to relate a positive attitude, and deliver informative talks, sprinkled with a bit
I have devoting this site to all the para/quads out there who would like to join, and if
you are a "newie" this site in geared towards you. We can work together to find
answers regarding your SCI.
I may travel with my wheelchair, but it can only go so far! With your help, we can reach a
If your organization is looking for a paraplegic motivational speaker, and you
live in the Salt Lake City metropolitian area, please contact me at the following e-mail
| Link at: Paralinks