Blessing in Disguise

Have you ever thought to yourself how amazing it is the way you control your body?  We all know biologically how we function.  But I mean the actual processes of your mind sending neurological signals to your arms and legs.  It takes almost no time at all for you to take a step or raise your hand.  You don’t even have to think about it, you just do it.  Imagine the sparks of energy that start from your brain and then travels through your neurological pathways to all of your extremities in a matter of milliseconds to create the result of you running or the intricacies involved in playing a sport.  It has always astonished me to imagine the complexities of how we function with our bodies.  On the other hand, what if things were different?  What if those sparks of energy could not make it to your extremities?  Imagine not being able to take a step, let alone stand.  In almost an instant, this became my new reality.

At around 2:30 am on July 29, 2006, after a night of partying, I was home standing on my 3rd floor apartment balcony.  I just got off the phone with my cousins, who were in a cab on their way over, and leaned over the railing on my balcony to check if I could see any headlights projecting to indicate that they had arrived.  Next thing I know it I’m being awoken by my cousins laying on the ground and I couldn’t get up.  I had just fallen off of my balcony and was lying on a patch of grass right next to a sidewalk and 6 inches from a sprinkler head.  I had fractured my T10 and T11 vertebrae, which compressed my spinal cord and left me completely paralyzed from the waist down.  Now I’ve been asked this question numerous times, and I’m sure many of y’all are thinking the same thing reading this, “But how did you fall off your balcony?”  To be completely honest, I’m really not sure exactly how it happened.  I have a few theories but truthfully I totally blacked out when it transpired.

I was only 22 years old at the time and was just finishing up my last few classes at the University of Houston before I could complete my undergraduate degree.  The idea of being paralyzed didn’t resonate with any vision or plan I had for my life.  The doctor’s only gave me a 5% chance to ever walk again and I was now in a rehabilitation hospital learning how to live my life in a wheelchair.  I kept hoping it was all a dream.  Every morning when I woke up I would think “Shit! I’m still paralyzed.”  All I could ever think about was what I referred to as “getting better”.  “Getting better” to me meant returning to a fully functional human being once again.  And I wanted it to happen really soon because I felt the longer I was in this situation, the more chance there was that I would accept it.  I was angry, confused, and petrified all at the same time.  And then came my next step in facing my new reality, after living on my own for the past few years attending college, I was moving back home with my parents in McAllen, TX.

Moving back home was tough to accept because I felt like my life was regressing.  My plans were to graduate and then get a job like everybody else.  Instead, I was back in McAllen researching potential avenues to get me walking again.  I refused to live my life like this.  I hated everything about it.  My family wanted to make modifications to my bathroom to make it more accessible, I resisted.  I didn’t even want to learn how to drive with hand controls.  I felt that by doing these things I would only be giving in to my paralysis.  However, eventually I had to give in because I was only making life harder for my family and myself.  I was pissing off my cousins because they had to pick me up and drop me off every time we hung out at THEIR house.  So there were a few battles I let my paralysis win on, but I was not going to let it win the war.  I was doing all sorts of therapies, remedies, and exercises to help heal me.  I travelled to different parts of the world to explore alternative treatments including homeopathic medicine, cold laser therapy, and even stem cells.  Paralysis is a ridiculous situation to attempt to come out of because there is no cure or protocol on how to get better.  Failed treatment after failed treatment I kept persisting as I felt the more I tried God would eventually reward me for my efforts.  I spent 3 years trying to find a solution to my problem, and my efforts were getting exhausted.  I was sick of waiting for a miracle to happen.  I couldn’t emotionally take any more disappointments in my life.  Three years had already passed by and what did I have to show for it?  I felt defeated, and I contemplated if life was even worth living anymore.  I had now reached rock bottom.

When you reach rock bottom you have 2 choices; to live or to die.  I had to contemplate every aspect of my life and figure out how I could move forward.  To live meant to accept my situation and to not let it hinder me living life.  To die meant to do nothing and drown in my sorrows.  I chose to live.  I was so attached to my life before my accident and now I had to reach acceptance and let it go.  However, I realized that I only had to accept today, not forever.  By accepting today I could live my life day by day, moment by moment.  I have no idea what is to come in my future so I will never limit my possibilities.  I also decided that if I were going to live my life in a wheelchair it would be on my terms.  My terms were that I was going to do what I want, when I want, and how I wanted to.  I felt that because of what I had gone through, I was deserving of doing things I wanted to do all the time and making myself happy.  Additionally, I was free of societal pressure and judgment because I wasn’t held to the same standards as everybody else.  And if I was judged, I didn’t give a fuck.  This new mindset made me excited to move forward.

I thought about all the things that I wanted to do now.  One of the biggest things was that I wanted to play wheelchair basketball and other sports and activities.  However, McAllen did not offer such activities.  It became clear to me that I needed to move back to Houston to completely fulfill myself.  This was going to be the biggest step of my life because I had never lived alone in this situation, but I was ready.  I started applying for jobs, but we were in a recession and I had no work experience so nobody was going to hire me.  Then came a conversation with one of my good friends about a post baccalaureate program he was enrolled in at the University of Houston to become CPA eligible.  I didn’t want to go back to school for a long time, and this was only going to be 9 classes.  So I thought this was going to be my ticket back to Houston and it was starting in 2 weeks!  I talked to my family about it and they were tentatively supportive, but nobody was trying to stop me.  And just like that in August 2010, I moved back to Houston, a city that I love so much.  I was a little nervous in the beginning, but I knew that if I was accepting my situation this was the next step.  During my first week in Houston I saw a billboard while I was driving that said “ABILITIES EXPO”.  It was the largest disabilities show that covered everything from sports to wheelchair manufacturers to medical issues, and it just so happened to be going on in Houston for the first time ever the weekend after I moved back.  I felt like everything was just falling into place.

Today I am on the verge of completing my CPA program this December 2011 and I am currently a Houston apartment locator.  Life has been amazing ever since I took this plunge.  I feel like I just know how to live life now.  Because of what I have gone through, I am fearless.  I have already been through the worst, there is nothing that could affect me nearly the same way; hence, I have nothing to hold me back.  My mentality is all about going with the flow, not worrying about the future, forgetting about the past and just living every moment of every day.  Since I’ve moved and been following my mentality I have got so much positive feedback from so many people.  I cannot tell you how many people have expressed to me how much of an inspiration I am to them.  Really?  Me?  It’s shocking to me because everything that I do, I do it for myself.  I am not living my life for anybody else, but for myself.  And it’s really an amazing feeling that I can affect others positively because of who I am today.  This past July 2011 I celebrated my 5th year cripple anniversary.  I fell off a balcony 5 years ago, so to celebrate I fell off a plane.  I went skydiving for the first time in my life and I highly recommend it to anybody who is interested.  That’s what I’m all about, just living life.  My life has taught me so much and led me to where I am today.  I love my life and everything that comes with it.  I now know that everything I have gone through has been a blessing in disguise.

 

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32 thoughts on “Blessing in Disguise”

  1. Thats what I say man, you are not that physical piece of meat, it is what you are within…Bless you…you are ready to fly!

    1. I tell myself often that life should be about making the most of what I’ve been given. You’re really setting the bar high for me, in that regard, but for that.. I humbly thank you. Inspire on.

  2. You make me sooo Proud!!!!!

    God has alot of rewards for you head. You are so inspiring!!!! LIVE LOVE LAUGH that is you. KEEP IT UP!!!!!

  3. Vik u are going. To make it big, ur already. There ! I love u and am so proud of you. You are a role model to many including myself ! Love u dude 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing your story….You are a true inspiration for those that live everyday for others. Life is best lived when lived for yourself!! I truly think that’s how God meant it to be!

  5. I like your messages…live your life for yourself and you will inspire others…live your life each moment by moment… Those are such important things, and we tend to forget them consistently. Thank you for the reminder and the inspiration! You go Vicki!

  6. Wow, how absolutely beautifully written!! I just LOVE it, and I love your attitude!! Thank you for sharing that!! I can see you writing a book, and I can imagine how many people you will help by doing so!! Thank you for connecting with me!

    Lots of love,
    Anita

  7. Great way of thinking Vik. I’m happy that you are back to living and loving life. Like your humour in falling off of the plane on your anniversary. Glad to hear you are doing well. God bless you.

  8. i feel honored to know a great man like yourself. You serve me great inspiration for when im in situations that occur in my life that make me feel like i cant. God bless you and your family.

  9. I like your messages…live your life for yourself and you will inspire others…live your life each moment by moment… Those are such important things, and we tend to forget them consistently. Thank you for the reminder and the inspiration

  10. Hi, Vik. You may not remember me, but your parents and aunt were my pillars of support in January 2006 when my daughter’s marriage was annulled in McAllen. I didn’t know who they were, yet their kindness overwhelmed me. This was why what happened to you came as a big shock. Being in a sorry state myself, I questioned God as to why bad things had to happen to good people.
    Like a page in a schoolbook that one earmarks when a topic is difficult to understand, it’s only when you reach the end of the book and go back to the folded page, that you somehow understand what had first seemed difficult to fathom. In His time, the Lord will make us understand the reason for why we go through, what we go through.
    But day has dawned for you after a very long night…. your breakhough has come.
    I am so proud of you and am thankful to the Lord that He didn’t allow you to waste one extra day drowning in your sorrows. Instead you have come to the realization of the abundance of blessings that He has in store for you in the glorious years to come.
    I pray that you become a champion wheelchair basketball player. I pray that you become Houston’s best CPA, and that you bless others as you earn a lot of money to enjoy your life. I pray that you gain countless victories in life so that you may be able to write a bestseller that will inspire people.
    The world is out there waiting for you, Vik…. Go conquer it, live life and be happy.

  11. Hi Vik god bless u ………..u did it it was there with in u and time was not right at that moment now u will shine like gold god is with u………… u take care…………………

  12. Thank you all for your appreciation, support, and encouragement. I’m happy to share my story and thoughts with you all, and am ecstatic that you have enjoyed what I have to say. There is a lot that goes on in my mind, and so there’s a lot more to come. Stay tuned!!

  13. hello vicky… i am so very happy for you…. u r a hell of a brave guy…may the great Lord be with you in every step.

  14. This story is very inspiring for those that hit rock bottom. You have not only overcome your anger but also how others portray you. For me, I see you going farther than most in your state just because of willingness to accept as well as only to live your life to the fullest. One is only capable as strong as he can be within and by doing what you love, you have proved it.

    I enjoyed reading your blog very much and I hope that we may cross paths soon.

    Keep moving forward,
    Bhavik Patel

  15. Excellent read, man. I don’t think I can really say anything more than what’s been said so far by others. The blog is an excellent way to share your experiences and remind people that a positive attitude earns you endless potential. I look forward to reading more. Keep it up.

  16. Wow Vicky, reading your blog was truly inspiring and motivating. Keep up the fighting spirit and achieve all the goals that you have set for yourself. May God bless you at every step of the way as you continue your journey through life.

  17. Eppppiicccccc!!!!! Your thinking right now ok… woW… this girl is posting like way to late… but the truth is I was reading this post as soon as you postedit 11/11/11! (vik: “it’s COOL!!) LOL 😀 Dear Vik, I just learn more and more everyday about you. As I was reading; I thought omg he has his own personal editor? But .. no.. it’s 100% Vik. How you told a story that was impowering for both men and women is amazing, that every word typed on this virtual web page, was you Vik. Before I met you, I was and I am human so at times .. I still can be an emotional woman and freak out! But your presents of positivity is so mind blowing!!! Boy have you seen me at the work place. lol. let’s be honest I would freak. Suddenly, you told me something that will stick with me forever it was…[ vik: ” take their Stupidity, and make that YOUR COMEDY!”] Hey LIVE LIFE! Blessed to know such an EPIC human being!!!! Kodos Vik -Daniella

  18. Just happened to stumble across your blog, and reading it simply made my day. I can’t tell you how good it is to see you live your life and be happy. I still remember our little dance performance at my sister’s wedding, a very fond memory for me. I hope to see you soon, achieving bigger and better things in life. Sending you love from across the world!

  19. in this i remember one line who always use by my sir that, “aaj ka din yahova ne banaya hai, hum usme aanandit ho” yes! Vik, your living your life with each day of happines………..so keep it up.

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