The longer I live with my spinal cord injury, the more I come to understand just how much of a blessing this injury was. I don't want to give the impression that my life has been easy. Far from it. However, the life I have been given, in spite of all of the struggles, has been very gratifying and far more eventful than I ever would have imagined; even more so than if I hadn't been injured.
The most profound aspect of my life is that I have been given the opportunity to experience two extreme perspectives of the living experience. One was from the perspective of being a healthy, active, able-bodied individual; the other from the perspective of being severely disabled, paralyzed, and needing assistance with basic activities of daily living. How many people have been given that opportunity?
This opportunity, to me, has been a true gift. Through these two opposite lifestyles, I have been able to develop a more concrete appreciation of the continuum of life experiences; enlightened in a way only a few others have.
If given the chance to live life again, from the beginning, would I choose to experience these two extremes? Probably not. The physical pain and emotional struggles are something I would neither wish on anyone nor choose for myself. Looking back, I can embrace my life as a true blessing and gift.
Overall and probably more importantly, I consider my life to be "normal." I have a rewarding career, own my home, enjoy a wonderful relationship with my family, and am blessed with many good friends. I go to church as often as I can, I enjoy seeing movies, going to sporting events and attending concerts and the theater. I also appreciate a simple thing like time to myself. These are the things I consider to be what constitutes living a normal lifestyle.
The links on this page include a few stories of the adventures that have shaped my life since my SCI. These are everyday experiences that could happen to anyone.