Third time was charm…I’m back at the gym ready to go. This time I asked Alison to let me hang from the lift so that I could try to walk without her assistance. Nothing happened. After a few minutes I asked her to initiate the process of pulling my legs through for me. With my eyes closed, I was repeating “left, right, left, right”, as I was visualizing my legs moving with each command.
Imagine a steady stream of running water from a sink faucet. The water runs very smoothly as long as there are no interruptions. Now place your finger in the middle of the stream, what happens? Your finger is now an interruption, which causes the water to break its flow pattern. Despite that, notice that the water will still make it to the bottom of the sink, just not smoothly. That’s what’s happening inside of my body.
My brain is sending a command signal down my spinal cord to my legs. When the signal hits the damaged part of my spinal cord it is interrupted, which scrambles its flow. Like the stream of water, the command signal still reaches my legs just not in a smooth pattern. The result of this is uncontrollable muscle spasms.
“You did that on your own”, Alison said. She was right. I had actually felt myself taking those steps. I had mentally figured out how to control my muscle spasms and turn them into steps. I could feel “it”, an indescribable sensation. I didn’t say anything Alison though because I wanted to be sure. Moving forward, whenever I felt that I could take a step on my own I would say “got it”. That would let her know not to pull my leg and let me do it. Before I knew it, I really did have it. I walked a major portion of the gym and I have the video to prove it to the world.
“Never quit before the miracle happens”
I had just accomplished the hardest thing I’ve ever had to. “I did it”, I screamed as tears poured down my face. After 8 years my dreams came true! Everything I’ve been working for came to fruition. All of the grueling physical and mental (my sessions are more mental than anything) therapy paid off. This by far is my greatest accomplishment.
“Never quit before the miracles happens”, is a quote that my dad always said to me growing up in the hospital. That’s exactly what I almost did. After 8 years of intense therapy, I had reached my breaking point which was when God intervened. Out of nowhere the poem, “Footprints in the Sand” popped into my mind. This poem is hung on a wall in my home that I’ve walked by for years. It summarized everything that I had been feeling perfectly.
"You promised me Lord that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I’ve noticed that through the most trying periods in my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you the most, have you not been there for me?
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
Reflecting on my entire journey, as I often do, I finally had the answer to the question of “Why me?” The purpose for my life and the reason I was going through everything was made very clear.
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Next blog will be available on December 15, 2018