I wasn’t always proud to be a Paralyzed Veteran. As a matter of fact I didn’t realize that I truly belonged to the Paralyzed Veterans of America because I wasn’t permanently in a wheelchair. I thought if you were paralyzed that you couldn’t move your body part at all. I tried for almost 20 years to be “normal” but didn’t quite fit in as an abled body. I truly didn’t know I was paralyzed.

I always hid my right hand, tried to improve my gait. Everyone always thought something was wrong with my foot or my knee. I tried explain, but noone seemed to care or understand. I hid because I wanted to fit in, I hid because I was ignorant much like most people I come in contact with. Sometimes you just don’t know. I have overcome so much, but yet I still have struggles that I have hidden. I am a walking quadriplegic an anomaly and a blessing. I didn’t realize I was mobility impaired. When I think mobility impaired I think of an amputee or someone with Cerebral Palsy. I never though of someone like me or with a degenerative disease. I never quite fit in as an able body and I don’t fit in with amputees because I’m not missing a limb or with complete spinal cord injuries because I walk.

I have gone many years without support looking for someone like me. Support that I needed to heal. For years I had people say to me you aren’t disabled, stop playing. While others have said you are only a little disabled. Those words hurt, I never said anything, but that really made me withdraw. I hide it well, I have an infectious personality. I laugh I crack jokes, but I too have feelings. So I’m only a “little” bit female or just a “little” black? No I am a black disabled female; that’s it, that’s all. I am no ready to own who I am. What was called a “little” disability changed my life as I knew it. I wanted my life back and would have killed to get it. It is amplified by my traumatic brain injury I often try to hide. It is hard trying to focus, to attend to things, to process information, to recall information. I go to bed nighly with my brain hurting; not my head. I have to focus to do physical tasks and cognitive tasks. Going to college after my injury was so hard, but I learned to read again. I earned my 2 Bachelor’s of Science and my Master’s degrees.

Days, months and years after my accident I wanted to die, I wanted to take my life, but was too scared to go to hell. I remember hearing that suicide was the ultimate sin, that’s the one reason I didn’t kill myself. I don’t do well with summer heat so I figured I couldn’t do hell. Then I looked at my 2 year old and thought who will take care of him. So I made a plan. I planned to die when my son was 19. I wouldn’t kill myself, but I could put myself in harm’s way. By then he would have graduated from high school and have 1 year of college behind him. Then God could take me because I was finished with my life and done all I needed as a parent. I remembered my father unexpectedly dying in 2000 not even a year after my accident and how I felt. I couldn’t leave my family like that. My father was a Vietnam veteran suffering in silence from PTSD, no support and with the effects of Agent Orange. I was suffering in silence just as he was, but didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t turn to drugs or to a bottle, but I was running out of options. Knowing this God let me know there was still something for me to do. He lead me to my bucket list and I found exercise in 2014 when I began training for a marathon I told my doctors I would walk when they told me I would never walk again. Recovery through the use of sports exercise saved me. It doesn’t matter how you move. You just need to move. No matter what it looks like. I am don’t have full control on my right side internal or external. Although I don’t cath, use a catheter to void, I have difficulty with my bodily functions. I have been told I make having a disability look easy. It sure doesn’t feel easy, it’s a challenge that I have to overcome. Everyone faces challenges and we should all strive to be better. It starts with you getting up out of bed, getting out of your own head. Move!

I am the epitome of IRACE. My goal is to INSPIRE RECOVERY ACTIVELY THROUGH COMMITMENT To EXERCISE. Now let’s get moving! That is what Kandi Kane ‘s journey is about. I have inspired able bodied people to get fit. Some have started eating better, working out, running, and completing Duathlons and Triathlons.

If I have inspired you in anyway, please share this in hope that this message reaches the people who need to be inspired or needs support. I want to help them and support them the way I wanted someone to help me. While you are at it try an activity you have never done, I am. I am at the wheelchair games and I and I hold a legitimate classification. #IRACE #FaithInMotion #GetMoving #NVWG #KandiKaneMoves #KnowledgeIsPower

4 Replies to “I am Paralyzed”

  1. I don’t hear from you anymore but I see you are busy at work! Allow me to encourage you to keep moving. After my accident I felt the exact same way! But God! Cuz, keep being you! So proud of you not to allow fears to overcome you!

    Like

  2. You are such an inspiration to so many my sister. You have truly overcome many, many obstacles and even though you might now show it. I know there are good days and bad days. I love you and admire you so much.

    Love, your brother

    Damon

    Liked by 1 person

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