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XXI -2007 Wild Onions Literary Journal

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I am (still) Loved

 

July 30, 2002, I went out to eat with my wife. I drove home, watched TV, and went to bed, as I had to get up to go to work the next day.  Thinking about our next vacation and where we would like to go.  I am so very much loved. Life is grand.

 

On July 31, 2002 at 3:25 p.m. I sustained a C2 spinal cord injury. Can’t move any part of my body, but I am (still) loved.

 

I was in a coma for a few weeks, could not hear any of my family softly crying at my side, but they (still) loved me.  They would not give up on me.

 

My family came to see me every day no matter where I was. In rehab, I would get very sick and had to go to several hospitals, but they stayed by my side and (still) loved me.

 

I transferred to a LTAC  (long term acute care) facility very near to my home so my family did not have to travel so far every day and could spend more time with me. They needed to figure out the best plan of rehabilitation for me, and where I would need to go for this.  I wanted to go home, but could not, as I was too sick. I love my family and I am (still) loved.

 

I cannot eat, I cannot move any part of my body, and I cannot even speak. I have to learn to blink my eyes for yes and no.  Everything I did for myself plus work on my cars, mow the grass, fix things in my home is now gone, but I am (still) loved.

 

I am now living in my home that I have lived in for 35 years that has been modified for my wheelchair and me to get around the house very well.  I do therapies every day; sometimes I take Sunday off. But, I work very hard as I want to get better. I am very healthy and I am getting stronger all the time. I can now speak with the help of a device implanted into my upper teeth.  I can now eat anything I want again after having an operation to enable this to be possible. I go out to eat, go to the grocery store with my wife and just about everywhere she goes I go with her. I have 24/7 nursing care. 

 

But I am (still) loved by my family, and I will always love them. Without their love and support I could not have gotten as far as I have.

 

 

Ed Clabaugh

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   The XXI - 2007 issue of Wild Onions Literary Journal is published by the Humanities Department of the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.