I found myself in a bit of a time warp yesterday. It was a Parkwood physio day so I was walking in the Exoskeleton around the gym. A woman in the tilt-bed (helps retrain the circulatory system) caught my eye. I had not remembered seeing her before - I pay attention to things like that - she was obviously an inpatient. I have a presence in that gym when I am up and walking. People stop and look, often in wonder, and have a "wow" type of reaction.
After a while I stopped for a water break right where she was sitting in her wheelchair, waiting to go back up to her room. She asked me if it was my first time using the Exo, so I explained that I had been walking in it for just about two years. She asked me how my accident happened and as I proceeded to tell her, her eyes got bigger and she whispered "same as me".
I'll call her Joy. Joy was hit by a car while she was riding her bike. Her's was a much more traumatic collision than mine though, more damage to her body, higher injury level, paralyzed one side of her vocal cords and it all happened while she was in the U.S., on her dream holiday, post retirement. Why does life have to suck like that?
I asked Joy if she would like me to come upstairs and have lunch with her and she said that would be nice. Then she told me what room number she was in. It was my old room, my old bed. So I prepared myself, in my head, about what it would be like to go up there and see that space again. It hadn't changed. She, like me, was the youngest in the room. That's hard because it is so helpful to have someone to talk to, someone who is in the same situation as you.
So we ate our lunches together and shared our stories. "It get's better" I told her. Because it does, but I remember very well the three months that I spent in that room, in that bed, looking out the window. Time just crawling by. I excused myself when her daughter came to visit.
Remember, Joy, it only gets better.