The coming of spring has arrived. Only a slight reminder of winter remains as the flower buds open and a hint of green sneaks into the background of our surroundings soon to overwhelm the senses. Life is quietly emerging everywhere and there seems to be so many more details to take note of from the observant eye. A tree sprouting a fresh new coat of foilage and a bumblebee circling and buzzing off towards its destination. The birds singing their songs, and the lawnmowers igniting as the children laugh in the distance. Life which for the last several months has been hidden behind walls, beneath the earth, or only existed potentially as a group of cells, awakens with a gust of wind and warm sunshine.
Just the other day it was around 75° and I sat outside beneath a spotless blue sky, soaking in the sunshine as a light breeze streamed across my face. I felt a happiness and a bliss of the grandest purity and each breath had a magical quality to it. I was neither cold nor hot, a very rare occasion, and I could think of nowhere else I would rather be. I love those moments when the busy mind is finally hushed and contentment is felt so that there are no thoughts of what I should be doing or should be worrying about. The insane mind whispers in the background my fears, frustrations, and pointless future predictions, yet something deeper, something peaceful is present which allows me to shake my head at the whispering voice and laugh at the absurdity of its claims.
I could find no real reason to go anywhere or to do anything, because why try to escape the feeling of contentment. I had a strong urge to sit there for hours with a six pack of beer and a smile on my face. I never got the six pack but I did sit there for a while longer until I eventually made the decision to leave the moment behind because all moments in time must come to an end. The voice will get louder and take control for a little while but that moment too will pass. Then the nagging voice will once again fade into the background leaving me to rest in my peace reminding me of its everlasting presence.
Despite the coming of spring this weekend has not been exactly an easy one for me. After several months of UTI freedom, I began to recognize symptoms of a possible urinary tract infection this past Friday. Because of the sensation I have I can always tell when a tract infection is on the move. I get a slight pressure within my lower abdomen followed by a strong sensation as if I’m going pee myself. Then a chilled shiver sensation starts in the groin area and spreads over my entire body. I’ve come to realize that this feeling is due to my bladder spasming as a result of the attacking bacteria. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling and its strength varies depending on the severity of the infection. Most of the time once my bladder starts spasming it doesn’t stop until I empty the bladder of its contents, giving me relief for at least a short while.
On Friday I felt like I could deal with the bladder spasms for the time being and figured if I drank plenty of water over the weekend and drained my fluids more frequently, then I could get rid of the infection naturally. This meant I could not leave the house much but I was OK with that. I would simply chill out at home, watch college hoops, and pee my troubles away.
Last night however I was awoken with the uncomfortable sensation of my bladder spasming. After discovering that I could not control the spasms I called for assistance so I could take a leak. A few moments later I could suddenly feel blood rushing to my face as I realized one of the worst symptoms of being a spinal cord injury was about to occur, dysreflexia.
Because sensation is lost after spinal cord injury, dysreflexia is the body’s way of telling me that something is wrong. When dysreflexia occurs blood pressure skyrockets and a headache of nightmarish qualities occurs. With each heartbeat an atomic bomb explodes inside my skull leaving me questioning whether or not the end of the road has been reached. After much moaning, groaning, and hollering the appropriate measures were taken to empty the root cause of my suffering. The pounding had ceased but at least for an hour longer a strong migraine persisted. I just kept repeating that the headache was fading into the emptiness as I stepped back and observed the pain. The migraine slowly downgraded to a strong headache and I began to dictate the events of my life to myself starting at the earliest I could remember. For some reason this worked and the pain was gone.
Since then, each time my bladder spasms dysreflexia strikes. Luckily I was able to get to the doctor today and get some antibiotics. Whenever a UTI rears its ugly head into my life, I seem to think I can get rid of it without drugs, but every time I’m reaching for those pills. Maybe I’ve learned my lesson this time.