The Disability Experience - Book of Short Works and Poetry related to Disability,   Author Debbie Johnson
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The Aftermath
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The Aftermath: Prologue


The Aftermath: Prologue

A Life Renewed


I am not the person I was nine years ago. Life has its ups and downs, but mine has been more like a really wild roller coaster with not only steep inclines and sharp drops, but also the loops that turn the world completely upside down. There have been times I thought I would fall off, and a few times when I hoped I would. March 16, 2004, I was coasting in the morning and hanging upside down nearly falling off by noon. I would not be right side up for quite some time.
It was a beautiful March day in Iowa, unusually warm for that time of year. The roads were clear when I left for work that morning. I was driving into the sun on the way to work, but wasn’t having difficulty seeing. I wasn’t feeling very well, but had already missed several days of work, so felt I really needed to go. I had my own business, Nutrition Connection, which provided consultation to nursing homes. I had been having some health problems, and the previous weekend was hospitalized for low potassium. The problem was corrected with the administration of IV potassium, and the levels were normal when I was released on Monday. I wasn’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but had a loss of consciousness driving on a two-lane rural highway and swerved into the oncoming traffic, hitting a semi truck head-on.
After the accident, I had every test imaginable and results were normal. They determined I must have had a seizure from my potassium being critically low and that was the cause of the unconscious episode. I do not remember the actual crash or much of the first few days afterward.
It has been a long journey from that day to where I am now. I have shared much of the journey, but haven’t written much about the first two years. I have had a hard time doing so, having not really come to terms with it, myself. I write this to help me as I work through reliving those years. I also hope it will help others with disabilities to realize they are not alone and to help others understand what someone coping with a new disability is dealing with.
I will attempt to minimize the medical aspects and write about the emotional side of the journey I had into immense darkness and learning how to live a satisfying life as a person with a disability. Despite the immense physical and emotional pain, I am a stronger and happier person than before my accident occurred.
The first three parts have been posted, but I felt a prologue was indicated and have used this to answer some questions that readers have had. I am not sure how many installments will be needed as I can tell after the first three, that there will be more than I initially anticipated. They will be short, approximately five hundred words both the reader’s sake and because they are emotionally draining to write.

Thanks for reading,

Debbie

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