"The Happiest Of People Don't Necessarily Have The Best Of Everything; They Just Make The Best Of Everything They Have".
On May 16th, 2007, my boyfriend Brian and I
were driving to a friend's house around 9 pm. We were on the highway going a little faster than we should have been and as
we started going off our exit ramp we realized we were going to fast and hit the guardrail. The car started spinning out of
control and that's all I remember. After that, I guess the car kept spinning in circles and my face hit the radio and I broke
my left cheekbone. Then, my seat back broke and since I wasn't wearing a seatbelt, I slid off the seat and half way out the
back windshield. Then Brian climbed out of the car through the passenger window, pulled me out and laid me on the road, and
I remember a lady was next to me and she said she was calling 911. She asked me if I could feel my legs and I touched them
for what seemed like forever until I finally realized that I couldn't feel a thing. Then a helicopter took me to Hershey and
the next thing I remember was waking up in the ICU like 2 days later.
Getting Through the Tough Times
- Well, I was really motivated to go to my high school graduation. So, the rehab therapists said if I tried my hardest
they would let me out for graduation. That was a big help because I was looking forward to something.
- Having my family there at the hospital 24/7 was the key. My mom spent every single night by my side and my sister's
would bring me music, pictures, games, movies, and junk food! Brian came to see me everyday after work and would nap
with me in my hospital bed and we would go outside together and just sit there. I spent my whole summer in the hospital- so
that's all the sun I got.
Were you scared to go home?
- I was petrified. I didn't know what to expect when I left the hospital. Once I got out I was never by myself, so people
would help me with any problems I had. Mostly getting dressed, going to the bathroom, getting in bed and changing positions
at night, getting in and out of the car, going up hills and up curves.... oh my god- everything!!!
- I used to dance, so I can't do that anymore! But really, I'm just slower at things. Like getting dressed and getting
ready to go out- we have to start getting ready to leave an hour before we actually have to go.
- A typical day…I wake up pretty late- like noon, but
that’s not new, haha! I take my time because I’m extra stiff in the morning, so that's really frustrating because
my legs are jumping wherever they want to, and my spasms are so strong that they throw me back sometimes. I sleep in just
a shirt because I sweat so much (even on the sweating medication). I go and cath right after I get up and that takes a while
too and it's really frustrating because my legs shut when I need them to stay open, and they fly back and throw me forward,
so my morning caths are the worst! Then, showering takes me like an hour- also because of the spasms. I have to stop and fix
my legs. Washing my feet is tough because I have to bring them up to me and that’s tough to do being all wet! Getting
out is a little tough too because I’m wet and stiff, so I do that, get dressed (which takes probably 15 minutes) and
dry my hair!
Talk about school.
- I graduated from high
school a month after my accident, got discharged on July 11th, and started my first year of college at Shippensburg
University at the end of August!!
- Get the battery operated
wheels! They saved my life on campus!! If your classes are too far away let your professors know you might be late, and discuss
any adjustments you're going to need with the professor- don't be afraid- they have to adjust to you!
- I am majoring in psychology. I don’t know exactly what kind of psychology, but for
now just clinical. I would like to be a bilingual psychologist, somewhere like Florida,
where there is a big Hispanic population.
"And In The End,
It's Not The Years In Your Life That Count; It's The Life In Your Years" -- Abraham Lincoln.
Getting personal…talk about your relationship! You went through
a major life changing event. Did your relationship change?
- It's changed for the
better, we’re closer. It's something we both experienced together and it shaped us at the same time. He does EVERYTHING
for me. He spoils me rotten! He's made it so I can shower at his house, and we bought a big bed together so we could sleep
comfortably. He helps me get dressed, and once I get on the couch he bring me anything I want because I can't go get it myself.
He never complains, either!
- My family didn't approve
of him after the accident so we had to fight to stay together for a really long time. We fought a lot because it was so hard
for us to stay together with everything that was happening, and we just wanted to get back to normal, but after we worked
some things out we realized all we need to have is each other's love and we'll be okay. We weren't going to give up!
- The fact that we went
through it together has made us stronger. I remember the beginning of the accident like it was yesterday, and I know
he sees it in his head everyday. We grew together afterwards, we had to fight to stay together- so that made us that much
stronger, seeing that neither of us was giving up on the other one.
"Some People Dream
of Success While Others Wake Up and Work Hard At It".
You look fabulous! What is the secret for looking good in a chair?
- The secret is the
hair!!! Since the accident I started growing my hair really long and got highlights. Also, colorful clothes just make you
look like a fun and confident person.
"I Think Somehow We Learn Who We Really Are And Then Live With That
Decision" -- Eleanor Roosevelt.
You love traveling. Do
you still travel?
I was born in Uruguay- so I go there every year since I was 8. After that I went to Puerto
Rico with my mom and sister, and Peru
with my mom. After the accident, I decided to go to Uruguay
with Brian, just me and him. I thought I needed to show my family there that I'm okay, and also, Brian and I really needed
the vacation together and it helped SO MUCH!! Then Brian and I went to Florida
for spring break!!!
- Prior to traveling, I had to get notes from my doctor's and my x-rays to show that I had
metal in my back. I had to call the pharmacy and get all my medicines refilled. I had to pack enough catheters and supplies
to last me longer than I was going to stay, just in case.
advice…Call the airline about a week before your flight, and make sure you get an isle chair and you sit in the front.
Make sure you make a bag to take with you on your flight with extra clothes (like underwear, at least) and take all
your medicines with you, even if you don't need them all, in case your bags get lost. If the overall flight is going
to be too long, get a foley cath from your doctor.
summer I'm taking a 3 week course, and then from July 4th to July 12th Brian and I are going to Florida AGAIN!!! We're going
to spend the 4th of July on the beach throwing fireworks, and his birthday with his family and friends!
One of Moriana’s favorite poems:
- DON'T CALL
ME LUCKY: I live with my injuries. People say to me, "Aren't you lucky!" and they don't understand why my face suddenly freezes
and my voice becomes tense. I can say I’m lucky, if I so choose on any given day, but when others say it, I feel as
if they discount my pain and don't recognize my costs, counting me only as alive or dead no matter how hard it may be to endure
living. Some days I am glad: life itself is all that matters, and I savor it, but when I hurt too much, or am told I won't
fully heal, when I cannot work or play as before, or feel I'm a burden on others, then I don't feel lucky at all! I feel cheated!
Some days I even wish I had died rather than live like this. So please don't tell me that I'm lucky to only be injured, tell
me instead you are glad I'm still here, and let me know why. Tell me that you care about my grief, pain, anger and adjustments.
Tell me you willingly rehear my disappointments, loss and frustrations. And have patience while I relearn to live. Then someday
I can tell you how lucky I am -- to have someone who understands and accepts my sorrows and who also shares my joys!
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
- HOPEFULLY in
grad school in Florida with Brian!