Let’s Talk Spinal Cords

Our Journey to Healing January 14th


Psalm 3:2-6

Many are saying of me,     “God will not deliver him.”[a]

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,     my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord,     and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;     I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands     assail me on every side.

Do you remember the moment you first rode a bike without training wheels? I do. It was a warm day and I remember by dad holding onto the back of the bike seat as I climbed on. As a three year old, my legs barely reached the pink peddles. I remember crying out of fear and begging my dad not to let me fall on the gravel. He started running and pushing me, and before I knew it, I was zipping around our lane. I remember not knowing how to turn around and therefore tried to plow my way through the grass before crashing. I rode that little bike around all summer and never once was I upset at my dad for pushing me outside of my comfort zone.  I will  also say that the amount of coordination I showed as a 3 year old did not follow me into adulthood!

Anyway, I hope you can see where I am going with this little story. We were not excited about God sticking us on this tandem bike of paraplegia, but we've gotten a little less wobbly, out of the scary zone, and I am happy to say we are really getting the hang of this!

As some of you may have heard, Derek has started driving class! Here in Indiana, the state requires 10 hours of supervised driving for someone with Derek's level of injury. Basically, he will use hand controls and a "suicide knob" to drive a car. Hand controls remind us both of boat controls. You push forward to stop and pull back on a handle to go. They hook up rods from the hand controls to go down to the peddles. The suicide knob is almost like a door knob that hooks onto the side of the steering wheel. Since Derek does not have a majority of his core, he needs help to be able to turn the steering wheel while keeping his balance. That is where the suicide knob comes in! All other controls work (cruise control, etc.) and I will be able to drive the car as well. Ideally, we will be getting some sort of hatchback or lower SUV. The car needs to have open trunk space for his wheelchair and be low to the ground for an easy transfer.

When Derek is driving by himself, he will transfer into the car and then break his chair down beside him. He will be sitting in the driver seat, pop off both wheels and also the chair seat. He will lay those beside him in the passenger seat. He will then fold up his light framed chair (it is only 9lbs!) and will buckle it into the passenger seat. We have heard a few horror stories of chairs flying through windows if they aren't buckled in! He will then put the chair back together when he is ready to get out of the car.

In other Lavender news, we also put our beloved Bunker up for sale this week. This was a hard decision made by weighing the pros and cons of building v. buying. Although we love the property and the idea of having a little guest house, it just wasn't ideal for our situation. We need a little flatter property with a larger ranch style home. We have had a lot of showings so far and are hopeful we will find great owners! In the meantime, our house hunt is officially ON.

On the health end, we have officially decided to go off blood thinners. After talking with our spinal cord doctor, she encouraged us that unless he happens to get another clot, we do not need to stay on the thinners for life. This was great news and Derek stopped taking the medicine a few days ago.

In closing, I heard the first intentionally mean comment about us since our whole situation happened in June. Truthfully, the fact that this is the first time I have actually felt hurt by someones words since the accident is just impressive. For the majority, people (family/friends/strangers) have been so kind and encouraging. But with that being said, every life circumstance seems to bring both positive and negative comments. Every. Single. Circumstance. Why are they getting married so soon? How can they afford to have another baby? Why does he always get promoted? Wow, did you see where they live?

People love drama and tragic stories. Without a sad ending, it seems we are somehow disappointed. But why? We are all human. The comment had me thinking why some people root against other humans & marriage. I am not without guilt but it has challenged me to always root for others. Always.

For prayer, please continue to pray for that heart rate (resting is around 116 beats per minute) and also as we begin to adjust back to working full time!

With Love,

The Lavenders