Questions & Comments

As a virgin to the publishing world, I did a few local book signings to promote my books, One of Eight–my perspective on our brother’s suicide & Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life.* At one book signing a young woman posed this question: “How did you overcome paralysis?”

Given her interest, I surmised that she had someone in her life who was suffering with paralysis and she was looking for answers to a very complex situation.

After gathering my thoughts, I said, “I never thought of it that way. If my nervous system didn’t kick in, I never would have been able to walk again. I’m not sure you overcome paralysis. It’s really up to your nervous system.” Seemingly in a trance, she nodded. Although she eventually walked on, her question spun in my head for a long time.

Why did fortune shine upon me and not others? Some questions have no answers.

Another woman commented: “Your story was interesting, but you know we all have a story.” This comment took me for a loop. At first, Catholic guilt kicked in;  What makes you think you are “special?” Did others think I was discounting them? Each and every one of us has a story to tell. Yet, according to the Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation** website, 1.2 million Americans are living with paralysis from spinal cord injury. Thankfully, my cord remained in tact, yet my body had to recover from paralysis. Does that make me special? Perhaps a better word would be unique.

As I wrote in “Emotional Flurry,” if Dr. Rendee, an intern, did not suggest waiting to operate, I have no idea the direction my future would have gone. Had they operated immediately and not waited to see what my nervous system might do, who knows what would have happened? So many things factor into the end result. Living it, however, I questioned everything. Thankfully, ignorance and the desire to reclaim my body yielded a favorable outcome.

At a presentation I led at the Soma Institute in Chicago,“Paralysis is like a BIG eraser. It wipes away all of your muscle memory.” ( ) Although I wished, hoped, prayer, begged, and bargained, my toe would not move without muscle memory. Believe me, I did all of the above from day one. Simple tasks were impossible.

My god daughter Maggie Claire asked, “So, when you fell did your friends call for help on their cellphones?”

The year was 1982, cellphones were a futuristic reality. I replied, “No honey, two guys ran out of the canyon and found a house where they asked to use the phone. Once they knew help was on the way, they had to wait in the parking lot in order to show the paramedics my location. It took them hours to reach me.”

With her eyes jetting from their sockets, Maggie said, “OH!”

Remember, “Bad decisions make good stories.” ~ author unknown

Be well… Nancy T
** 10 % of the proceeds from “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” benefit the   Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation.

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