Survival Of The Non-Fittest #12: Once Made Us Cry

The worst is behind me, and for all of you who are following this story, the worst is behind us all.

There have been moments when, in the remembering and the telling of this story, I have had to take deep breaths to calm myself down. A number of the details and events and happenings, that were so confusing when they first took place, have made me angry and upset in the remembering of them.

I have worried that it all might be too depressing for people to read and stay with, but there is no way to sugar coat life and all of its complexities and mystery, and there is no way to sugar coat what Molly and I have been through. This is a real story after all. Every one of us experiences challenges which at times, seems beyond our abilities to get through them. Yet, we get through them. Sometimes gracefully, sometimes not so gracefully, but we get through them, in time. Often we learn something of great value.

I can assure you, most of the really gruesome descriptions of surgeries and hospitals are over. Even though Molly has several weeks left in rehab before she comes home, the moment Bill the chiropractor came and put Molly’s boney structure back together, and her body came back online, things changed for the better in terms of Molly’s physical recovery.

It was a gift, and the benevolence of the mystery some call God and the great unknown, that Molly and I had such loving supportive people and strong resources around us. I can say that now, but back when this was all fresh and happening, I didn’t feel that way at all. Quite the opposite in fact.

Bill the chiropractor came to see Molly several times while she was in rehab. Before the eventful evening when he reset Molly’s displaced boney structure, he had come to see and assess Molly’s condition. He was upset and angry that no one had addressed Molly’s whole body after such a horrendous crash. This terrible oversight in western medicine’s approach to spinal cord and other traumatic injuries still exists today, almost 20 years later. Bill sees this oversight in his practice on a daily basis and he has changed people’s lives by addressing this oversight with profound results.

Bill says that the oversight exists because insurance companies are unwilling to pay for the level of care that is necessary.

After his first visit to see Molly, Bill sent a book by UPS, addressed to Molly in the rehab ward. It was a book that deals with the field of neurology, namely the investigation into tension in the central nervous system generated by external or internal dynamic forces action on the nervous tissue.

Molly’s crash definitely qualified as a LOT of external dynamic force on her nervous tissue.

After a few weeks Bill couldn’t figure out why Molly never received the book, so he put a UPS trace on it. The book was found in the mailroom at Stanford Hospital, where a supervisor had opened the package and had decided that no layperson should have access to that information. So without telling anyone that the book was there, it just sat there in the mailroom until Bill’s trace turned it up, and he asked UPS to return it to him. When Molly came home after rehab, he hand delivered that book.

I am proud of Molly and her ability to see possibility and hope where most people statistically have not. Against all odds she fought for her truth and vision, using her inner knowing and wisdom. Over the past 20 years she has shared this information with many others, and they have benefited from her experience.

The movement that Molly started to get back after having her bones re-aligned, went from her shoulders and down her arms and stopped at her wrists. Both of her hands had no movement and just flopped at the end of her arms, but she could raise her arms and bend at the elbow. The rehab staff was astounded, as they had never seen anyone go from no movement, to movement overnight. They knew something had happened but they didn’t know what. As secret agents, we kept quiet about the work Bill had done, as we did not want to put him in harm’s way.

Along with the recovery of some movement, several other things happened:

The first was that the rehab staff all wanted to hang out with Molly, and whenever they had breaks, they came to her room to spend time with her. They were intrigued and curious.

The second thing that happened was that they started putting Molly into a standing frame to get her upright. After lying down for so long, it took a while to get past the dizziness of being in a standing position, but Molly liked being up for short periods.

The third thing was that Stanford rehab was not really set up for spinal cord injuries. Molly was the only one there. The rest of the people living there, were all stroke patients, and Molly rarely saw them. So they wanted Molly to consider going to another medical center, where they had a ‘state of the art’ spinal cord rehab center. This was a lot farther away from home and we didn’t want to go there, but we agreed to check it out, so they set up an excursion for us to go there.

Since Molly had no trunk control, she had to be strapped into a cardiac chair, and wheeled into a van. She and I and her mom were loaded in the van, ready to go.

We sat there for a long time while the visibly upset driver fiddled with the gears and knobs and this and that. Finally he said to us in a frustrated voice, “I can’t get the van in gear. It’s not working.”

Molly and I looked at him, and almost in unison said, “You need to start the engine first!” He thought he had. We tried, but couldn’t keep a straight face. It was too funny!

So off we go to visit the spinal cord center rehab facility.

When we get there, they wheeled Molly into the ward. It was like going into a bustling big city with all the noise and smells. Stanford rehab by comparison was like being in the country, quiet and calm, perfect for healing and what we needed and wanted.

The spinal cord rehab center on the other hand, was the complete opposite. There were hundreds of spinal cord injured people and each room was jam-packed. Our senses were assaulted by it all, and we knew immediately this was not the place for us and the work we needed to do.

There was security everywhere and most of the patients were young men who were victims of gang violence or sports injuries or automobile accidents.

Molly, being who she is, realized instantly that she would be mothering and taking care of all of these people if she was there, and that what she needed most right now, was peace and quiet so she could figure out how to reconnect with her own physicality and internal systems.

So we did the tour, and gratefully went back to Stanford, where friends were continuing to deliver meals three times a day and feeding Molly. Although, now that Molly had regained some arm movement, rehab strapped a fork to her hand, which just hung there, and Molly practiced feeding herself.

Ok, it was pretty funny. I wish we had a movie of it. Since her hands didn’t work at all and just flopped around, it took a while for her to learn how to aim her movement so that the fork with food reached her mouth, instead of everywhere but.

She had a LOT of work to do, and we learned to laugh about things that once made us cry.