Spinal Injury

I suffered a spinal injury in August 2011. After finishing a rather turbulent relationship that lasted 12 yrs I decided to move to France as I had previously lived there for about 5yrs from 1999-2004. I still had quite a few friends living there so I contacted a couple I know who were living near St. Tropez and arranged to go out and help the guy with some building work. My experience with building was limited, but i had worked over there before repairing luxury yachts so the skills were somewhat transferable. After working there for about a month i decided to hire a truck in order to drive back to the UK and pick up the rest of my stuff, which included my beloved motorcycle. I soon managed to find an apartment and moved in, the weather was about 90-100 as it was summer and i enjoyed nothing more than riding my bike as fast as i could along a beautiful road i found. As the work with my friend finished, we both began working for a french guy we knew...building a big house about a quarter of a mile from the main road.
I remember going to work ( we started a 6am as it was too hot otherwise) and i intended to install some joists (cross beams?) for a mezzanine floor. The next thing i remember is waking up in ICU to find i could not move my legs and was self medicating on morphine.....over the next 14 days i had 2 operations to stabilise my spine and had the added stress of not having any insurance, so my family had to pay for me to be re-patriated. When I arrived back in the UK i was taken to Stoke Mandeville hospital (the home of the Paralympics) where i had a further operation to correct the initial surgery in France and spent a total of 7 months rehab.
You cannot imagine a more life changing experience; i am a T12 complete paraplegic, which means i have no sensation or movement below my T12 vertebrae. Coming to terms with this has proven almost impossible at times, but i've managed to get this far and although some days it's extremely difficult i will not give up and urge anyone else going through hard times to stay positive and don't be afraid to talk about it!! The one thing that amazed me was the fact that my family were not the ones who were there for me, it was it fact my ex partner and my friends. As they say..."you can choose your friends, but not you family" Always try and smile...and its ok to cry.
Lol1960 Lol1960
51-55, M
1 Response Sep 5, 2012

You hope you write more about your life-changing experience. What is one thing you want people who do not have a disability to understand? What happened to your motorcycle? What makes you cry? What makes you smile?<br />
<br />
I like this sentence the best: "Always try and smile...and it's ok to cry."