Thursday, July 29, 2010

7,665 Days Walking : 3,650 Days in a Wheelchair

So here it is. Ten years. Ten years ago today I went from being a naive 21 year old that was excited about starting her senior year of college to a paralyzed, scared, and sad woman that was stuck in a wheelchair - and not by my choice.

I pause for a moment, because I'm not quite sure where to start. There are a myriad of emotions, and some don't even have words to describe them accurately. It's like pushing the rewind button on the TiVo to replay something you missed, because it certainly couldn't be real or have really happened. You replay it because you have to prove to yourself that what you saw actually happened.

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were phenomenal days. I was happy, thankful, grateful, and blessed. Today, not so much.

I had set an appointment for 8:15am this morning (and mind you, I am not a morning person), thus meaning I had to set the alarm for about 7am. God decided to wake me up earlier. My bladder decided it didn't want to stay inside my body any longer, so I woke up to a mess. After cleaning that up, I went to go make coffee, and saw that the cat had thrown up in two different places. Lovely.

And then I looked at the clock, and it hit me like a mack truck. It was the time that the accident was about to happen... ten years ago. I immediately went into a trance, replaying the story I've heard but don't have any memory of. I envisioned what it must have looked like to a bystander as the car flipped and flipped. I thought about how the sun must have felt as I was lying there in the desert with bloody clothes. I tried to picture what the helicopter ride to the hospital must have been like, and what they were doing to my body. I replayed the scenario in my head of how my family found out about the accident, and I began crying because I remember hearing that Jennifer left me alone in the hospital and headed back to Atlanta.

I made it to my appointment, and realized it wasn't the best day to have scheduled the session because I was already on an emotional roller coaster. That appointment didn't help the process, because it triggered other emotions in me regarding another subject. Poor planning on my part.

I didn't know one could have so many tears left after all these years. And because my morning started early and tears began soon there after, I had a massive migraine all day. I had several people call, but I wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone. Not even my family. I did go make contact with the general manager of the apartment complex I live in and cried to her how I can't afford the renewal rate. And of course I slathered on that it was my 10 year anniversary from being paralyzed and that 10 years ago I wouldn't have to worry about living in an accessible apartment. No, it was not a pretty plea. I'll find out in a few days if it worked, but I doubt it.

I layed down for a nap (more so as a way to escape reality, however I was genuinely tired), and woke up about 4pm to another incident of my bladder not wanting to behave itself. I'm so annoyed by it all.

My kindred spirit, CGB, treated me to a massage which I desperately needed from all the crying and tension that had built up throughout the day and then to dinner this evening. I decided to call my mom back on the way to meet up with my friend. I wanted to cry longer to my mom as I could feel that gut wrenching weeping about to break loose. However, she was just about to sit down to dinner with my dad and cousin and her husband for dinner, so she didn't have much time to listen to me cry.

I pretty much felt alone today and lost in my world of what "should have been." I got home from dinner and checked my email just a minute ago which sent me crying - no, sobbing - again. Jennifer had sent me an email recalling the moments of the accident from her perspective. I learned some things I hadn't ever heard before, and I cried as I mourned for her and what she had to go through. She painted a very vivid picture, and I cry because I so want to know those moments for myself. I don't have any memory of any of it.

It's so hard. My words are simple, but it's because as I said at the beginning, I don't have the words to express the deep, deep pain that is so far inside me. I think about who I would have been had this accident not happened. Where would I be in life? Would I be married? I will never know.

I wish I knew how many more days I had until I could walk again. I want this pain to go away, and I want to be "normal." I want to deal with every day issues that everyone else does without having to deal with being in a wheelchair, too. I also wish I had a button to turn the tears off. They fall so easily from my eyes, and today has been no exception.

I'm sad. Such a simple emotion that we teach children when trying to teach them to use their words rather than screaming or hitting. But honestly, I feel like doing it all. Crying, screaming, hitting, kicking, punching - because I'm sad. I'm hurt. I'm disappointed. I'm angry. I'm afraid. I'm disconnected. I'm paralyzed.

To those who have written to me or called, thank you. I have heard and read your voicemails and emails, and I appreciate you taking the time to do those things for me. Each and everyone one has been so encouraging and uplifting. Your posts on Facebook are amazing, and I am blessed beyond measure to have true friends who have upheld me and Jennifer today. I also thank you for your patience as I still grieve and process through the past ten years. Most of those ten years have been awful. The first year was a blur, the second was a little clearer, the third was when I started rebelling until year seven when I finally realized it's time to start living life. So really, I feel as if I'm new to this disability all over again. Yet, it's been ten years.

I'm not sure how to close this testament, but deep within my heart, I know Jesus has been with me every step of the way. I don't always agree with his decisions (thus my rebellious days), and there are times when I have the strong desire to be in control. But I know He loves me, is crying with me, and is saving all my tears in Heaven.

I know that He has a purpose and plan for my life.

However, honestly...

I'd rather just be home with Jesus.

July 29, 2000 changed the course of my life forever, and I'll never know who I would have been had this not happened to me. But today on July 29, 2010, I'm hoping for a better next 10 years than the decade I just finished, knowing that each day I wake up is an opportunity to be better, do better, and think better. Yes, there will still be ups and downs, and I will still cry and mourn, but I pray that God changes the course of my life these next ten years into one that is dramatically more amazing than the last ten.

RIP to the walking Alyson Roth - July 29, 2000. The first 21 years of my life were amazing, and I miss you.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

To Whom It May Concern

I know with 1000% of my being that I was wearing my seat belt during the time of my car accident almost 10 years ago on July 29th around 7am in the morning in southern Nevada. I'm tired of people trying to presume I wasn't and convince others that the reason I'm now paralyzed was because I wasn't wearing it.

I WAS WEARING MY SEAT BELT!

I am a Christian, I've been sworn under oath, and I know with all my spirit and mind that I have always, will always, and was wearing my seat belt on July 29, 2000. I vividly remember it touching my chest, so to not believe my statement is completely invalid.

Do not try to persuade others that I was not wearing my seat belt 10 years ago. I was. I still do. And I will always wear my seat belt. The 1986 528e BMW car I was a passenger in was defective, and IT is what caused my disablity as I was ejected out of the car, not the seat belt. Again, I was wearing my seat belt. End of discussion.

Regards,

Alyson