People say the phrase "break your neck" more often than you might realize but it's something that I notice now. Why?
In May of 2015, I suffered a broken neck and spinal cord injury. I'm typing these words with fingers that I didn't know if they would ever be able to type again. I was standing at a concert and a stage diver landed on my head. I still remember the indescribable feeling that came across my body in that moment. I lay on the ground, unable to move or speak, feeling trampled by the crowd.
Another concert goer picked me up and carried me out of the crowd. My body was paralyzed and I could hardly speak. An ambulance was called and I lay in the dirt outside of the venue.
The process from this point forward was a bit of a blur. I was put in a neck brace and put on a stretcher. The man in the ambulance told me I was probably just stunned and would be surfing on my beach vacation next week.
In the hospital, I was hooked to a million things, tested, scanned and rolled around like a human burrito. Thankfully, I couldn't feel anything. The next day, I had surgery. My C4 vertebrae was fused and a metal cage was put in.
The recovery phase began slowly at first. I regained the use of my legs first. The doctors could not tell me how much I would recover. Through time, rehab, and physical therapy, I could eventually walk, jump, and even write very sloppily. Central Cord Syndrome affects the hands and arms more than the legs. I never knew how much I value the use of my hands.
Along with this, all of my muscles basically died. I don't understand it fully but I couldn't even lift a plate or close the glove box in the car.
I continued with physical therapy, exercises, and walked every day. There are a lot of little quirks I have come across with the spinal cord injury. (I've had unexplained stomach pains, numbness affected by the weather, heart rate slowing and very urgent bathroom situations XD) Overall, I'm grateful to have recovered as well as I have and they say the recovery process can continue up to a year and a half.
I can run up to 5 miles, hike, and even do pushups and type and write again. I will never be the same as I once was but I'm learning to deal with it knowing that I may need help with things sometimes and that is okay. Life goes on.