Five Years Ago

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of a very scary day in my life. Five years ago I was whitewater kayaking on Section IV of the Wolf River in Northern Wisconsin. Just like I had many times before, I launched my boat over the final falls of the run, Big Smokey. When I landed, I knew instantly that something was wrong. My hands, my toes, and my neck felt wrong. Not painful. Just not right. The next morning I couldn't get out of bed. 

On May 25, 2005, I herniated 3 disks in my upper neck and bruised my spinal cord. I'll spare you the long list of doctors, MRIs, pain pills, and physical therapy that followed. 

The bottom line is that I came uncomfortably close to being paralyzed from the neck down. For two years I had a cloud of fear follow me everywhere I went. My neurosurgeon said that if I repeated my injury.....   I was too scared to even think about it. Did you see the movie "Million Dollar Baby"? THAT was my fear. 

The fear has since subsided but the possibility of paralyzation still hangs in the back of my mind. I still occasionally have problems with tingling fingers, neck pain, and weakness when gripping objects but THAT I can live with. I'm not sure if I could live with being paralyzed. 

Enjoy every day to it's fullest. You never know what may happen tomorrow.


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