A few weeks ago I was reading the “Get To Know You” thread on the rebelution forums. I saw that this one guy named Isaac had put mono-skiing and hand-cycling as hobbies. I was wondering what he was talking about. Then I read down and he said that what grieved him was people looking down on him because he was in a wheelchair. So I decide to ask him for his story and he gladly gave it to me. I was blown away by the story I am sharing with you. He also tells it really well. So I hope you enjoy reading his story and some questions I had for him.
A little bit about myself: I was born a healthy strong baby. I was happy and I would always run around the house throwing my ball, it was my first word(ball) and it was the only thing I played with all day. My mom was sure I was going to be a ball player when I grew up and that made my Dad really happy. Then around my first birthday i got an ear infection. The doctor gave me some antibiotics and it went away. About a month later the ear infection came back.At thirteen months old my mom put me down for a nap after lunch. I woke up screaming my lungs out. My mom couldn’t figure out what was wrong but I wouldn’t stand up. She picked me up and I just flopped around. She went and put me in my highchair and I couldn’t sit up. By then my mom is absolutely scared out of her wits and crying. We lived in a small mountain town way up in northern Colorado so we went to the Larimy, Wyoming hospital. There the doctors had no idea what was wrong with me they just knew I was paralyzed from the neck down so they suspected child abuse and asked my mom a lot of questions. They finally got a hold of Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado and flew me down there on flight for life. There it took till two o’ clock in the morning to know what was wrong. I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis. Transverse Myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation to the spinal cord. The inflammation causes damage to the nerves which causes paralyzation. The inflammation comes from an immune deficiency or not enough blood to the spinal cord. Through therapy and Gods power I can walk with crutches and I am a happy person. I have gotten into mono-skiing ( like a sled suspended on one ski and then I have outriggers, little crutches with skis on the bottom) since the rest of my family are really good skiers. But through this whole experience my parents have not let me count myself out because i have a wheelchair and don’t make up excuses for me. I have found in this that God shatters our dreams so that we may see his bigger and better ones. But we can only see that when we get past ourselves.
What is the worse part about being in a wheelchair?
The worst part of being in a wheelchair is that so many people tell me how sorry they feel for me and that my life sucks. It is so annoying that some people think that my life is not worth anything and that I am unable to do anything. Yes i have limitations, but who doesn’t? and even though I have limitations i find ways that I can do those limitations, just in a different way than the “norm”.
Do people ever treat you like you are a little kid?
Funny you ask this, people treat me like a little kid all the time. They talk to me slowly and in a little bit of that baby tone. It is always funny when I tell them the answer to the question or just say something and their face is just like wow how are you talking. And then also when I drop something or go and get something I am only like two feet away and they’re like ” Ohh I can get that” and I am like “So can I”. it always makes me laugh though and it doesn’t really make me mad.
What is the most important thing God has taught you through this experience? God has taught me two very important things through out my life. One is that people will be people. They will always be curious and intruding. Like when random people come up to me and say, “Ohh my are you okay, what happened?” If you are rude about it, what is it going to do in your life and in the life of others? So I always, no matter how the person asks the question remember that we are here to proclaim the love of God and His grace always.
I have also learned that no matter what we see God has a PERFECT plan for our lives. We are his children and his creation, made to do his will. Why would he try to hurt us or make us defects, he wouldn’t! We are the only things that separate us from God, so we can try and stay close to him and follow his perfect plan or we can separate ourselves in anger from God and be self rejects who are sorry mad people that will let the Devil use self pity to blind God’s plan.
Have you (or your parents) even been mad at God because of this?
I have never really been mad at God for making me who I am. Because that is exactly what I am , created as I am supposed to be. People ask are you mad God made it hard for you to walk and what i tell them is I was not made to walk normally right now. This is how God created me and he has no regrets. My parents haven’t really been mad at God either, but pray all the time that I will walk without crutches or any support, which I know God WILL do all in time.
I was so encouraged by this story! It is amazing his faith in God. It is when people go through the storms and still praise God, when he is glorified. The kind of peace that passes all understanding is the kind Jesus promises to give us. Not just the joy that comes from having perfect lives. Remember that God is perfect and he makes no mistakes. I hope this interview will help encourage and strengthen you. Also, I pray that it will give you a better perspective on people in wheelchairs. And the coolest thing about this story is that someday Isaac WILL be able to walk. When he gets to heaven someday he will have a perfect body. I am sure that gives him such hope and strength to face everyday.
In Christ alone,