My skiing accident happened on a Sunday morning in Spain. The operated me 5 days later and I almost didn't make it. My spine was cut open from my neck to my waist area. All my ribs were broken and both my lungs were collapsed. It's a pain I can't describe. After 3 weeks, a day before New Years eve my lungs were stable enough to make a flight back to Holland. I was not eating and I was so high on medication all the time I thought I was in hell. Time went by so slowly, It seemed like forever. A few days after I arrived in the dutch hospital, I had to learn how to sit down on the edge of the bed without falling. My balance was gone. My Abs don't work anymore and I feel nothing below my chest. 18 screws are holding my spine together. Believe me, this was hard.
The wheelchair I had to try for the first time in the hospital, was a big one with head support and I thought I'd look like Stephan Hawking in it. I am a young woman, and for me, that was the opposite of sexy. So besides all the pain I felt so angry and I wouldn't accept this. I wanted to get better as soon as possible. The days after that I worked so hard to do everything within my own power to get better, stronger and hopefully out of that wheelchair. But two weeks after that moment of sitting in a wheelchair, for the first time, the doctors came to my room in the rehabilitation center where I was transferred to, to tell me that my spinal cord injury is complete and that it ment I would never walk again. I cried, my mom cried, she was next to me holding my hand. I was just staring out of the window and I felt completely lost. Deep in my heart I already knew it but I had hope to run and dance again as long as the doctors didn't tell me the facts. Thinking about that moment, I feel like crying again.
The 3 months after I was independent. Those months were topsport. I was like an athlete training 14 hours a day to learn how to deal with this new situation. The other 10 hours I had to sleep. I had to learn how to use the bathroom myself, and shower. I had to learn how to use a cather, that's basically putting a tube in your own uterus to pee. And number 2 was worse. I don't even want to go there. I had to learn how to make transfers, from bed to a wheelchair and back, lifting my whole body weight only with my arms. A diet to gain weight because I lost 8 kg the first month. And the mental part was another level, from crying once a day to once a week. Therapy, training and more therapy.
6 months, 24/7 in a hospital environment was demanding. But I made it through.
And then the real training started. Back to life.