This week, it will have been 10 years since the course of my life changed. I was a few months away from graduation and had aspirations to get my career as a chiropractor started. A sudden illness left me fighting for my life and, within a few short days, life as I knew it would be forever changed.
I woke up to find myself in a hospital bed, attached to tubes and machines. I did not realize it at the time, but my body had shut down and I had no sensation in my lower limbs. Progress was slow. Some of the healing took place over weeks, others over years, and some are still happening!
Throughout my recovery I was told that I may never walk again and I was advised that I should abandon any aspirations I had of becoming a chiropractor. This news was very disheartening and left me feeling empty. It soon became clear to me that I could either choose to accept the “emptiness” or I could choose something that filled me up. Building up the physical strength and emotional courage to try to restore function to my legs was scary, frustrating, exhausting and at times depressing. The other option was to avoid the immediate discomfort and to not even try. While I did not like the circumstance that I was in, I did understood that I had a choice in how I was going to respond to it. Despite the possibility that all my effort to walk could still be unsuccessful, I decided to try anyway. I was dependant on the wheelchair for two years, progressed to a walker, and then to a cane. Through each stage of my rehabilitation I had the choice to push a little harder or to stay comfortable. Neither was a choice that I liked. Pushing myself took a lot of courage and energy. Staying comfortable meant accepting that this was as good as it was going to get. I may not have liked my choices, but I still did have a choice.
In 2010, I completed my clinical year of Chiropractic College and graduated. I faced many challenges along the way but I chose to push myself with the support of those closest to me. After 3 years in practice, I purchased the office that I now work in. So, the dream that I had 10 years ago that was deemed by so many to be an impossible future for me is now a reality. As for how I’m doing physically, up until last year I was still dependant upon my walking cane. Through a series of events I ended up working with an Olympic weightlifting trainer. I was completely out of my element but, despite my instinct to flee, I chose to push through the uncertainty and discomfort. It has now been a year, and I am walking without the cane and lifting weights that most able-bodied people cannot!
Ten years ago, the life path I had planned for myself was brought to a screeching halt, but it didn’t end. Yes, my life has not unfolded in the way that I would have chosen, and I have not accomplished the things I wanted in the manner that I would have wanted to. But that’s life! We can complain about the way things should be or we can choose to make the best of the situation that we are in. If you allow them, things have a way of turning out.
“Just when you think you can no longer endure, your soul illuminates through the darkness to unleash a powerful and unstoppable force within you.” (Dr. Julie Doobay)
Copyright Dr. Julie Doobay 2014