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Forward Motion

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I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that I’ve been on quite the journey since my injury. I mean, I think that’s just to be expected, a lot has changed and I don’t think I need to even bother listing any of those things. But as hard and challenging as this life can be on me some days, I can’t even imagine what it’s like for those around me.

I’m not in their shoes and I never will be. All I can do is imagine and worry and try hard.

I’ve been blessed with the best people to ever have on your side to support and push you through the hard days. My college friends make me laugh when I need it most and despite being 300 miles away, they still stay in touch (even if that means constant text messages to discuss the wacko-ness of the Bachelor). I mean, staying in touch as a busy college student takes work and effort. Then there’s all of the people who follow me here and my family’s friends. The cards I receive, phone calls that come to the house, friendly hello’s while I’m out on the town, and comments I read on here seriously do keep me smiling. Then there’s my family.

My family.

The people you simply are forever connected to. The people you don’t choose to be a part of your life, but just are. I mean sure, there are always moments when you go, “Seriously? I’m stuck with these people?” But I honestly wouldn’t trade them for anything. I mean, if I did, who would ask me if my toes were cold (that would be a moment of Mom brilliance) or text me a photo of a wheelbarrow at Costco for use on my next muddy sheep outing (thanks Danielle…).

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They’ve been so strong through all of this and have had to adapt just like I have, only in different ways. Bedrooms had to get switched around and there’s a big ole ramp in our garage. I always have dibs on shotgun in the van and our bathroom has a shower curtain for a door…yea, no super stinky #2′s allowed. I’m just barely scratching the surface of the differences…

I worry a lot about how all these differences affect those around me. I’ll always say differences aren’t bad, they’re just different, but not everyone sees things that way.

I never want to burden anyone with the things that I need to function, even out and about in the world that wasn’t built for me as a wheelchair user. I don’t want to have to make people change their plans for a night out because I can’t get into the predetermined destination. I don’t ever want to take away attention from someone else’s challenges or triumphs simply because of my situation. I honestly feel terrible when I have to tap someone on the shoulder (well arm, short people problems…) and ask them to move aside so I can get through when any other person would have fit just fine.

Is there a fine line between being a burden and asking for help with something? Or are they two completely different chapters in the book of life?

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As a person who’s always been the “helper” rather then the “help-e” and the person who makes adjustments instead of the person who needs the adjustments, it’s a lot to grapple with. And you know, I think working through all of that is one of the many things that’s brought me to where I’m at today, physically and mentally. I didn’t and don’t want to burden my friends and family so I did and try to do everything in my power to move forward.

Moving forward isn’t easy when everything changes so drastically, but with a family of boisterous-laughter-filled/tall-enough-to-get-things-out-of-the-cupboard individuals, it sure is a heck of a lot easier. It’s a lot easier to navigate and problem solve through the challenges of life. It’s a lot easier to laugh at yourself when you loose your phone and find out it’s in the shoe your wearing when your foot starts ringing. It’s just a lot easier.

So thank you.
Thank. You.

Dream a Little Dream

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So I’ve come off of my “I’m-a-princess-Mom-so-there” high which is probably a good thing–for everyone. I’m speaking to some high school students this week which is exciting and I already have a collection of other “events” in the works which is pretty cool. Gotta keep myself busy right? So I’ve been trying to figure out where I wanted to keep my crown when I wasn’t wearing it (Dad told me if I wore it to bed the tiara fairy might come and steal it) I think I found the perfect place on my dresser…

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That little dude is a stuffed microbe. More specifically, he’s E coli:D I got him from some friends and he makes my life. I also think he looks pretty good in a crown. Man, am I strange, how many Miss Wheelchair’s can say they keep their crown on top of their stuffed microbe…

You know what else is strange? Dreams. Dreams are strange things, both the sleep related dreams and the what-in-the-world-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life dreams.  This post is about both kinds. Read the rest of this entry »

Another Door

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You know, there sure are a lot of doors in life. There are the obvious, physical, I-need-to-walk-through-that-door-to-go-to-Costco-and-buy-toilet-paper doors, and then there are the intangible life-just-chucked-me-an-opportunity doors. Of course, I’m referring to the latter of those two when I say I’ve dealt with a lot of door-related things since incurring a spinal cord injury.

When something crazy like paralysis happens, there’s a lot to handle and manage. In the beginning (and sometimes even beyond) it’s handling all of the things you would rather not have to handle, like closed doors. Doors that now appear firmly sealed shut that you’ve spent the 21 years of your life working so hard to pry open. Doors that lead to starting veterinary school and practicing large animal medicine. I mean, that past dream of mine is simply out of the picture now and there isn’t anything I can do about it.

For as many doors have closed, so many more have been opened in places I never could have imagined when I started this whole journey.

Doors leading to a passion for human medicine that I plan to pursue with every fiber of my body (even the non-functional ones…) Doors that have allowed to me to learn about the disabled community and educate all those around me. A few months ago, I found another door I could open relating to said advocacy and this past weekend, that’s just what happened.

On Saturday, I competed in the Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin competition. Yea, I know, that sounds a little crazy coming from the woman who has spent countless hours looking at cow doo-doo under a microscope. Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin is a part of the Ms. Wheelchair America program which focuses on education and advocacy for Americans living with disabilities. It’s not your typical beauty pageant based on who looks the best in a swim suit, but instead focuses on selecting an individual who can best articulate the needs and accomplishments of the disabled community. Read the rest of this entry »

Knowledge = Force x Velocity

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Before I forget, here is the link to the speech I gave at the benefit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3RKZyccnGE). I only say a few super stupid things, so that’s a good thing:D Thank God for small miracles! Alright..

So happy spring everyone! How awesome is that:) I don’t think I’ve ever been this stoked for the end of a season and the start of another one. I mean, winter was lovely and all, but it really can be a pain in the booty (and I can’t even feel my booty…) Plus, spring means a lot of awesome things, it means warmer weather, rain instead of snow, and lambing season, yeay lambs! I actually was able to visit a friends farm late last week with the family to see their little ones, and it rocked. But I don’t know what rocked more, seeing those adorable little fuzzy dudes or seeing Mom strut her stuff and take my wheelchair through a massive puddle of a parking lot in Milwaukee to get the mud and sheep-ness off of my chair….

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Now I want the record to show, for once it wasn’t my idea to go out and get all muddy and messy, this one is totally on Mom, but I’m so very glad we did. I mean, if not, I wouldn’t have been able to capture those precious memories posted above. I’m pretty lucky she (still) puts up with me and all my antics… Read the rest of this entry »

F.orE.verythingA.R.eason

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So I just got home yesterday from an almost two week long trip to Denver, Colorado (that would be one reasons why it’s been quiet in my blog-o-sphere—goodness, is that even a word?). It wasn’t a vacation, per say, but when it got up to 70 degrees one afternoon, it sure felt like one! Anyway, I was back in CO for my first ever 6-month-post-discharge re-eval at Craig Hospital.

What’s a re-eval? Well, you pretty much have a bunch of appointments all week to just see how everything is going and get help/advice on whatever you may need. Basically, it’s heaven for a perfectionist and lady who has way too many questions for her own good….

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Let It Go

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So it was a pretty crazy weekend, pretty full of people to see who I haven’t seen in a long time (some since before my injury) and things to do. I mean, I expected just as much for the weekend of my crazy party/benefit, but man, I had no idea all that I should have been preparing myself for.

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Mom. Mom? MOM!

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Exhale.

Okay, where to even start…I feel like there’s so much going on right now, so much I’m working on and doing on a daily basis that my mind doesn’t even know how to organize it all. If you ask me, that makes it really challenging to process and prepare for things, especially big things….

You might have noticed the little count down deal on the side of the page that the benefit/party is in a mere 4 days. Woah. I’m really excited. But I’m also really nervous. Actually, I’m scared poop-less.

You see, I’ve never been good with the whole concept of needing help. I’m never been very good at accepting help and it often takes me a lot longer to ask for help than it probably should and I wouldn’t get myself into stupid predicaments…

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Yea, you don’t even want to know how many times I’ve pulled something like that little kitten and had to start the ….mom….Mom?….MOM! chant. Read the rest of this entry »