One of the first places I went to when I signed up for courses at my community college was our Center for Disability Services. I signed up for two classes – French and German. It was still unclear if I would ever be able to go back to school to finish my degree, but this was worth a try.
At 22 years old I was already kind of noticing how different I was from regular students – not just because my age was already putting some distance between me and other students, not just because my brain was still addled enough to feel awkward, but because every time I moved my abdomen it sounded like someone was opening up a plastic bag. Most people probably didn’t notice, but I had a feeling throughout every day, weighing my feet down, that my body fought a war with my spirit, and my spirit lost - and the feeling of my feet being heavy wasn’t because I had been out of a wheelchair for about a month.
But I enjoyed the classes I took, met some friends along the way, got the accommodations I needed, and was soon off to college again. I still met with doctors frequently, and I still had my wound debrided and packed daily, but the shrunken life I was living began to grow, slowly.
To Be Continued in Part III