Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things I miss

Sometimes people have asked me what kinds of things I miss that I can no longer do anymore. There are a lot of things I miss; some big and some small, and some things you might not even think of or expect.

One thing I really miss is being able to show physical affection to others. I miss being able to shake hands or touch people in a gesture of friendship and support. I especially miss being able to give people hugs. Not being able to put my arms around a friend or loved one and squeeze them close to me is something I really miss.

I miss driving a car.

I miss being able to dress the way I used to, and the way I wish I still could. Since I'm always in a sitting position there are just some kinds of clothes/fabrics that I can't wear because it's hard to get them smooth and looking nice. Before my accident I loved shopping and I always dressed very well. Now I feel like I look dumpy a lot of the time.

I miss carrying a purse. (Strange, I know, but I really like purses/bags and it's too bad that I can't carry one anymore.) I also miss wearing coats. I LOVE coats, and  now I can't wear them anymore (imagine how difficult it would be trying to put a coat on someone who's in a wheelchair and can't move.

I miss being able to exercise. I wasn't an exercise fanatic by any means before my accident, but I know if I recovered I would be one now!) I've gotten used to not being able to move, but I really miss it.

I miss being able to work and make money. I was so excited to get a job/make money that I started working at a local movie theater on my 16th birthday. I worked 30 to 40 hours a week for the next 3 1/2 years until I had my accident. I especially loved working as an associate manager at the movie theater when I graduated from high school. Seriously, I loved my job and I loved working!

I miss going to nursing school. One of the things that disappoints me is that I was never able to finish nursing school. I loved everything I was learning, and I would've loved to finish school before my accident happened. I think it would be really cool to be able to tell people that I am an RN, even if I am paralyzed. I wouldn't be able to do the practical skills, but I would have the knowledge. I really wish I would've at least been able to finish my LPN year (licensed practical nurse), but that's not how things went. I know that there are no "do-overs" in life, but if I could go back and do things differently, I would've gone straight to nursing school after high school, instead of spending a year at UMSL. If I had done that, then I would've been finished with four of the five semesters of the RN program, instead of only almost finished with my first semester. It doesn't really matter what I would've done, but if I could do things differently, this is what I would've done.

Another strange thing I miss is being able to clean. I liked cleaning and having everything in order. I wish I could still contribute to the cleaning and household work because it was always something I enjoyed. (Most of the time!)

Most of all, I think, I miss being independent. I'm an adult, but I have to rely on others for all of my physical needs... bathing, eating, getting dressed, etc. It would be so nice to be self-sufficient again!


Loretta Valenta said...

I can only imagine the things that you miss, Heather. None of us thinks of those "little things" that make up everyday life -- the things that we give no thought to, until we no longer have them.

In spite of all the things you can't do you have a wonderful attitude and outlook on life. You are an inspiration!

Tyler and Jen said...

You really are such a great example to all! And you never look dumpy! :)

ionamin-W8FW8 said...

I enjoy the way that you ARE able to hug now, but I look forward to an actual embrace when we both get to The Other Side, some day in the distant future!

Anonymous said...


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