The issue for me was navigating the fine line that separated motivation from delusion.
It was going to happen, I thought, everything else would have to wait. It would be impossible to overstate how certain I was in my recovery — a certainty that evolved into an all consuming sentiment that forced me to put the rest of life on hold.
To understand the contributing factors behind what became an unhealthy, life-altering obsession with regaining function, you’ll have to learn a bit about me. When I was 14 I nearly died. An undiagnosed illness, something similar to transverse myelitis or ADEM caused severe swelling in and along my brain and spinal cord, ultimately resulting in a complete quadriplegia. Doctors called me an enigma, and when the dust settled and I started recovering, they weren’t shy about how encouraged they were by my potential.
I saw continuous gains throughout six weeks in the ICU, eight tumultuous months in rehab, even the first year back at home. The wiggle of a finger, the flex of a biceps grew until I’d recovered relatively significant function of my arms. I could use the bathroom without those pesky catheters, I even started spending hours off the ventilator I required to breathe. Everyt