What do you think of my story?
It was a sunday, a normal sunday with normal weather, normal news, and a normal routine. The cereal that I ate tasted like it did every day, and I wore the same uniform I had worn for two years and pinned the same nametag that read the same name. This was how life was for me up until 8:13 on May 25th, 2010, but at 8:14 every thing changed. Traffic was stop-start, touch-go. I rounded each bend that I had rounded every day, right at culver, left at walnut, and a second left at yale. The car in front was a large gass guzzler driven by a small woman, I was driving a tiny electric car, because I felt guilty about global warming. If I had been driving a gas guzzler my car wouldn't have mistakenly accelerated when I reached that intersection and thrown me out at a passing van. Had I been wearing my seatbelt I could have walked away from the accident, but I wasn't.
My wife sued the car company that made the eletrical mistake and we were awarded 200 million dollars, but that didn't change the fact that I was paralyzed from the waist down and had a cut in my liver as long as a pencil. Every night I dreamt that I was a white blood cell reparing the cut and when I woke up I would be fine, but I didn't. For two weeks I was in a coma, the place halfway between dream and reality, where everything is happening, but your doing nothing. When I woke up another patient compared me to a tomato, when I asked him why he told me about how tomato's were always being mistaken for vegetables, but were really fruits. He was right, while I was comatose a doctor had told my wife that I would likley never wake up and be in a constant vegetive state, so in a way I was a tomato. My liver prevented me from eating so I was fed through a tube, I was like a machine being given power by an electrical cord. In 14 weeks, the doctor had said, my cut would be healed and I could eat again, It took 20. I would drift in and out of dreams and a doctor would be there, or the nurse, or my wife. My dreams turned into reality and reality turned into dreams.
Once I had reached 30 weeks I was allowed to use a wheel chair to get outside or look around the hospital, this is when I met Cheryl, she had been given 4 months to live. Cheryl told me hat she had a tumor in her uterus, she said that it was like being pregnant only the baby never stops growing and it wants to kill you. Cheryl was an optomist, I couldn't help but think about how bad things always happen to optomists. Cheryl and I were both restricted, she was restricted my a countdown till she died, and I was restricted by two liffeless limbs that hung off my torso like puppet legs. Cheryl was only twenty, it felt like such a waste to lose such a vibrant person. I became friends with Cheryl and so did my wife. The two spent hours knitting and talking with eachother, while I dreamed about using the money from the law suit to switch brains with Cheryl, so that she could live and I could experience walking just one more time.
At 45 weeks I knew every nurse and their shift. I knew what day was taco day, and what day they changed the bed sheets. I memorized every TV Guide, or Time Magazine I could get my hands on, because that was what I could do. Cheryl's expiration date drew close, and she was getting worse, the cancer had worked its way up to her brain, and was feeding off her sanity. She couldn't talk and could hardly breathe, and at her 4 month time limit she died. My wife went to the funeral, but I couldn't, this was more painful than any cut to an organ could be.
It was at 47 weeks when everything changed, the Hospital had been given permition to do a study with stem cells on a patient. I fit their Ideal patient, I was thrilled, but also distraught over the people who had been passed up. On the day of the study I laid on my stomach while they injected stem cells into my C5 vertebrae, what would have felt like a giant needle to some, felt like a small tap to me, and they were done. What seemed like a small procedure could be the thing that changes everything.
At 48 weeks I wiggled my big toe.
At 50 weeks I bent my knee.
At 51 weeks I stood up.
I was going home, but it would be different. With the money I had gotten from the suit, I would quit my job, and live the life that I had always wanted to live. Cheryl was only 20 when she died. I was 34 and I was not going to waste another second of my life doing a routine, or putting a uniform on, I was going to live my life. So on May 25th 2011 at 8:14, a year after the accident, every thing changed.