Friday, December 29, 2017

Debbie Downer Day routine

Last week I was surrounded by so many, this week it has dwindled.  I have oodles of friends in my corner, creating events, helping raise money for my stupid accident.  People donating and even strangers reaching out to me.  I am lucky, I am filled with gratitude yet......

all of these amazing things, I feel so incredibly alone. 

I wake up alone.  I grab my shirt and bra for the day from my wheelchair, pre-placed the night before and put them on while laying down.  I then grab some pre-placed slippers to gently shove on my flaccid legs.  My achilles tendon is definitely showing some shortening, as my ankle and foot just lay with gravity mostly pointing. 

I lay on my side facing my wheelchair.  I grab my skinny saggy legs, letting them droop over the side of the bed as I muster myself upwards to a sitting position.  I have no pants on, yet.  Often I get a little lightheaded when I first sit up, my blood pressure is generally pretty low but since this accident it is even lower. 

 I lean over gingerly to sort my feet and ankles.  They take some coaxing to get them into position on my wheelchairs foot plate.  Usually my left ankle is rolled slightly outward, no longer having the tone to sit flat and strong.  I fiddle one hand on my wheelchair seat and the other rolled into a fist on my bed in preparation.  I am to push up with my arms to facilitate my butt hopping from one place to the next.  Sometimes I pop successfully without dragging my naked ass across the wheel of my chair.  Technically I should lean forward a bit, but I shy from committing as much as I should because I am afraid of tipping over and face planting the floor. 

Once in my chair, I wheel about my room grabbing breakfast supplies and sorting other morning routine items.  Once finished I head to the bathroom to pop over onto a toilet.  This pop over doesn't seem as cruxy, perhaps because I am moving over to a firm surface.  This morning task now takes me about 1/2 hour or so, if I am lucky. 

Hopefully after having success in the bathroom, I continue getting ready for the day.  Next is putting on pants, shoes and socks all while sitting in my wheelchair. 

The day continues, I go to some classes at Craig, I eat lunch, I pee around 12 or 1.  The afternoon has me continuing with classes, eating dinner, peeing again.  Peeing isn't the simple toilet task anymore.  I bump my hips to the lip of my wheel chair, slip my pants down to my knees, prop a mirror on my legs and use a catheter with a bag attached.  It takes a little more time then normal and pulling my pants back up fully,  exposing plummer crack the rest of the day is a valid concern   

If I have visitors, we visit.  Usually they are friends or co-workers.  I enjoy every single visitor,  sharing laughter and memories.  Depending on the company we either hash out my demons or distract from my woes.  When I am by myself I sometimes run the events of my accident through my head.  Mostly I dwell on feeling alone.  I wonder often, how I have gotten to be the age of 37 without a life partner.  Even as I type I know its not fully true, but it is hard to see the sunshine right now with things how they are.  Lots of loss.

How inspiring is that?  How inspiring am I?  Now I am in a wheelchair and my self esteem is shot to shit.  Marriage and mountain summits seem like a distant little girl dream. 

Eventually, I brush my teeth.  I tiredly pop myself back to bed, sometimes more of a face roll onto the bed as I my triceps are tired from the day. 

The routine, for now, includes setting my alarm for 1130pm and 530 am.  These times are for catheterizing myself in bed.   I do some internet reading on spinal cord injuries, while my hips electrically tingle and feet zing.  When my alarms ring I do my deed and flop my legs over to the other side of the bed, snagging sheets as I toss them clear of body parts.  Rolling over is a chore but needs to happen a few times a night to prevent bed sores, disgusting and dangerous bed sores.  Eventually I hope to sleep through the night except a few timed more peeing. 

At 7 am a hospital tech comes in to take my blood pressure and greet my eyes to a new day. 

When she leaves I am still alone.  I start the process all over again.


Unknown said...

I do not know you,and as I read this and I hope that u are feeling better today. After surviving such a huge accident, ups and downs are definitely part of the process. Just remember, your spirit is strong. Your determination, drive and will define you. You are a survivor and you will overcome and adjust to your new normal, in time. As frightening and unknown as the future seems, have Faith in yourself and the universe.💪You got this! J

Dave said...


It must take an incredible amount of courage to share all of your trials and tribulations on a blog. That definitely shows your character and strength. Like Unknown says above, "I do not know you", but am wishing you all the best and will continue to follow here on your journey. If I can help in any way from Omaha, Nebraska, just let me know.

Mark Kneisel said...

Thanks for being real and staying connected. Everyone knows your a survivor. The challenge is believing it during the rough times. I think that's when we truly grow, leaning on others as they've leaned on us. Living with intent and allowing or accepting reality, yet continuing to dream. And learning that life is definitely bigger than we are. 2017 has educated many of us in unexpected and undesirable ways. I've endured and continue to persevere through my own struggles and really connect to others going through their own trials. Sometimes, this may be the best way to learn empathy.

Keep smiling, stay connected, continue to push.

Teal said...

I know you feel alone, but everyone is with you! All that positive energy has to translate into something good and powerful for you, Quinn! Keep your mind open. It's a new path forward, you may still be able to pursue your passions, just in a different way than planned. Whatever happens, you are an amazing human being who will figure it out! And since you are human, it is expected that you will experience these feeling that you are having. How could you not? What has happened to you makes all of us cry. But you are Quinn Brett, and you have unspeakable inner strength. Love you!

edward mosshart said...

Dear Quinn,

I wonder where you are in this journey at this moment. Your frank and forthcoming posts call upon us, me, to look deeply and consider these images. I have been following your struggle, as I struggle on. I was seriously injured on an alpine climb, the same week as you. I get that waking up alone and it's frikkin' cold, in so many ways. But I've been here before, flatlined, destroyed, knowing pain I hope and pray family and friends will never know. And back again.
Please don't ever evr give up on yourself. I don't know you, but I believe in you (and I believe in me).
Much love and forbearance,
Ed Mosshart

I look Asian said...

I think its better to add new groups of friends who truly understand what you are going through. Your friends are probably great people, but they do not understand what you are going through. Only others who are also had accidents/illness and in same position as you can truly understand you.

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