He came into my hospital room one day, forcefully, past my mother! She must’ve been petrified. She was mad, but all of her strength couldn’t stop him from what he was about to do, tell her precious sixteen year old, her youngest, she would never walk again–and have to live in a wheelchair, for the rest of her life.
“You’ll never walk again!” he proclaimed. “Your accident..it…it..was just too bad!” He said quickly, almost in a blurb just to get it out. Clearly, he had been arguing outside of the door with my mother. With all the strength my poor mother had, she couldn’t stop him, even if she did want to throw him out the window!
He was just doing his job, or what he thought he was supposed to do, tell the bad news. After all, he didn’t want to give “false hope.” He stood up tall, in front of my bed, white coat, dutiful doctor and all. One would think at that age, I would’ve felt fear. He didn’t know my spirit. Instead I yelled back. “Yes I will,” in the same tone he gave me, as if I were throwing the dodge ball back. “You’re not God!” His attempt to predict what I could and couldn’t do proved unsuccessful.
I don’t know what angered me more, his trying to tell me what I would or wouldn’t be able to do, or his disregard for my mother. Even at a young age, I was protective of my mother. After a few more words were exchanged, and my convincing him that I wouldn’t accept his proposal, he stormed out of the room.
Mom had a strong faith too, and I know that helped me. She always told me I would walk again. I believed her. This doctor tried hard to tell me I wouldn’t. He wasn’t any of my life-saving team of surgeons. They would have never said that to me. Just some random internal-medicine doctor, who worked on the floor doing his rounds that day. He had our floor more than once, because I remember seeing him a few times, but I can’t even remember his name, just goes to show the impression he left on me.
When you are trying to get well, your goal is to recover and heal. Why is it that some health professionals tell you that after spinal-cord injury, you’ll be limited and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life? No one wants to hear that. No one wants to hear, “You had this accident, you’re spinal-cord injured. You will always need a wheelchair.” So why do they say it?
With no regard for miracles, some health professionals give a diagnosis according to science and the latest research. I have found that often times, some stubborn ones that I encountered had to know everything. Like the doctor in the story above. But I am stubborn too.
Some tried to defeat my dream. But I never cared. I held onto what I believed. Even if I did get treated like I was crazy. I held onto what God told me. I would walk. I did. Still not exactly as well as I would like. But I have not given up.
Healing is a process. Healing starts in the mind. It doesn’t happen overnight. Not that it can’t, it just seems to me that spinal-cord injury doesn’t know years. But we must not give up on faith to recover. We can still be healed.
–This article is a spin-off from a story submission I made to Chicken Soup for the Soul
3 thoughts on ““You’ll never walk again!””
I heard those words 16 years ago. I never believed them but believed in myself. That is what counts. Believe in yourself and you can do it!
Now I can walk using canes and ride a recumbent trike pedaling with my feet.
You’re so right Zina, medical professionals and really all of us need to realize the power of our words to bring life or death. I’m so glad you did not receive the diagnosis and found your path to life. Psalm 16:11
Healing is indeed a process, little by little, step by step. Your story is so inspiring. I’m delighted you submitted this to Chicken Soup!
Sharon, I agree with you. Our words do hold power and we need to be aware of that. Little by little..step by step. I like that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!