Today is my anniversary. No, I’m not married, and nothing else cool and wonderful happened on this day. My life was significantly altered on many levels, and though overall the experience must be classified as bad (to say the least), time and distance allow me to see constructive lessons learned.
I was born with spina bifida, which means that I’ve spent my life confined to a wheelchair. That’s a whole other story that will be dealt with some other time. For the purposes of the here and now what is significant is that, as a result of being in my wheelchair many many hours a day attempting to be a productive member of society, I ended up with an ulcer on my tailbone. It was on this day three years ago, April 9 2006, that I went to the doctor after several days of being very ill and having atleast a suspicion of what was occurring. Long story short…I spent 6 weeks in a hospital, then 6 months in a “skilled” nursing facility. Yes, I said 6 months in a “skilled” nursing facility, at the age of 33. That experience will change a person…..forever. After being released from the “skilled” nursing facility I was not 100% healed and spent the next year at home, unable to do anything like drive or work or actually leave my apartment with the exception of twice monthly doctor appointments. I FINALLY had the surgery that should have been performed originally in October 2007, a year and a half after the esteemed “medical establishment” should have been smart enough to do it. After another soul crushing stint at an even more horrible “skilled” nursing facility (but thankfully for only a month this time) I spent the next few months at home again before being cleared to resume, in moderation, normal activities.
It is not my goal to cry “poor me”. On the contrary, I am painfully aware of just how little we as human beings give a damn about anyone but ourselves. My goal is simply to mark this occasion in some small way so that I never forget what I’ve learned about life, family, faith, friendship and a plethora of other things the past few years. I am an entirely different person in many respects than I was three years ago. In some ways that is regretful, but in other ways it has given me clarity and allowed positive growth.