What I Gained from Losing My Legs

Column Post by Glenda Harbinson

It was a late July evening, the house quiet as I sat texting with a friend. My husband and children were sleeping. I was loathe to leave both the calm and the friendly conversation, so it was late when I pulled myself out of my chair to get ready for bed.

I was back in the chair before I knew what had happened. I sat stunned for a moment before getting up again. I couldn’t stand. My legs wouldn’t support me.

I had to make it to my bedroom, somehow, and while it wasn’t far away it was further than I could go without help from my legs. I was terrified. I had experienced losses since my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis but never like this. My legs wouldn’t hold me and when I tried the pain flattened me.

I started praying, knowing I couldn’t do it on my own. Dragging myself along using the furniture as support and then crawling, I made it to my meds and then to bed. I leaned on the bed realizing I couldn’t lift my legs up to climb in, since my much-loved bed is very high.

I leaned there and cried in frustrated exhaustion for a while. Then I remembered God was there with me and I reached out again to Him. I can’t describe how I got on that bed; I just know God helped me somehow.

I lay there trying to do what my neurologist had done so many times, pricking myself with a little pin, finding just how much of my body was lost.

I had no feeling from my chest down.

That night I became dependent, and would need help with most things in life for years afterward. I tried a walker, but it simply wasn’t enough. I went to a wheelchair, and then to an electric wheelchair. I had my hands but they weren’t dependable. My brain was so foggy I couldn’t be counted upon for anything. I would walk away in the middle of a conversation totally unaware. I wondered if I could ever cope.

God has brought me through those days. I had a procedure done that has left me almost whole again. I still have MS and still struggle with symptoms, but I am now far more able.

I learned a lot during those days of dependency. I can do things from a chair that most would think impossible. I learned the importance of loving each other, and to answer when God calls me to reach out. I learned that even when people let me down and loved ones fail me, God is there.

A dear friend who was a double amputee often said there is nothing worse than an amputated spirit. No matter what trials we go through, no matter how alone we may feel, we must keep our spirits intact and our focus pointed toward God.

We are His girls, and He will use every trial we face for our betterment if we let Him.

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Glenda is a homeschooling mom of four in New Brunswick, Canada. She also fosters one teen and provides respite care and tutoring for another. She and her paramedic husband Mark have been married for 24 years. Glenda’s writings often reflect her personal experience parenting and teaching children with developmental and learning differences, as well as a particular empathy for moms with chronic illness. She blogs at http://pwsmommy.homeschooljournal.net/ and can be reached by emailing glenda.harbinson@gmail.com

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

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