“One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.”– Brene Brown
I suppose the best way to start something new is to just start, right? Well, you’re looking at someone that literally almost lost her head. Yes, that’s correct. I have what’s called an AOD or atlanto-occipital dissociation. I was internally decapitated on October 8, 2021, but more of that later!
Prior to my injury, I was a paramedic for 11 years- mostly in a rural setting. I worked in the community in which I live which happens to be a very small town in Alabama. I have the most amazing, supportive husband and I’m the proud mother of two incredible teenagers. My closest friends and family members would describe me as *extra spicy*, but I would describe myself as straight-forward, no bullshit, tell-it-like-it-is type, but still super empathetic and tender-hearted (although I like to keep the empathetic and tender-hearted part under wraps as much as possible because ew, feelings).
As a paramedic it was my job to take care of sick and injured people on the worst days of their lives, but communication with patients and their family members is one skill that we were never really taught, but one that we had to learn over time. Make no mistake- effective communication is in fact a S K I L L when in the midst of people screaming, crying and trying to die on you. Now that I’ve been through what I’ve been through (again, more on that later), I KNOW what it’s like to be helpless and unable to communicate. I KNOW what it’s like to be having the worst day of my life and feel like people only see me as a sack of meat that they just do procedures on. I KNOW what it’s like to be conscious and aware, but paralyzed and unable to tell the people drilling into my head and cutting on my neck that I’m still in here. But you know what? Despite all the odds stacked against me, and I do mean ALL THE ODDS, I made it through, and I have the ability to communicate again. I want to use my voice to tell my story and to advocate for others going through similar situations. Stay tuned as I try to put this incredible journey into words!