In this harrowing talk from TED@NewYork, Joshua Prager describes a life-altering bus crash and its paralyzing effects. He shares a moment that was particularly meaningful for him—the exact minute when he had spent more than half of his life afflicted—and how he chose to spend it.
I entered into recovery as a teenager. I recall the nurses giving me an evening pass from the detox centre to go see the Lion King on my 19th birthday. From there I moved into a halfway house with other female addicts. I did my best to fit in. I was a very “low bottom” so they told me. I had a really hard time that first year. I had no idea how to connect to people, especially other women. I kept to myself mostly. I couldn’t carry on conversations all that well, and my outside appearance matched my insides perfectly. My entire wardrobe, make-up collection and hair accessories consisted of nothing but black, and I powdered my skin an even lighter shade of white to accentuate my expiry date. Those were indeed different times.
One morning, as part of my rehabilitation, I had to get on a bus at 7:00 am and head to a 12-step meeting in another part of the city. I remember it was a cold morning. I had about six months clean, and there was a frost on the ground. As I waited for the bus I became more and more intolerant, but a new voice was beginning to immerge. The voice of reason and sanity, a quiet voice at the time, but she [...] continue the story
It was the best week of skiing I had had all season. The Wasatch had accumulated 24+ inches of Utah’s finest and I was LOVING life. I was unemployed, going to school twice a week and had plenty of time and friends to do what I do best; stomp into my skis and hit the mountains with a smile on my face. I got freshies at Solitude, toured up Big Cottonwood and skied Powder Mountain with a good friend.
Top of James Peak 9422′ As I hiked I started to feel a weird pinch on my right side under my rib cage. The sensation caused me to pause for a moment or two to wonder what it was, but I continued slogging, thinking nothing of it. A small cliff with wet snow made me crash once on the descent, but even that didn’t seem like a big deal. We skied until close and drove home sunburned and happy.
I tossed and turned all night. The side I usually slept on felt oddly uncomfortable and I woke continuously to roll to my other side. As my feet hit the floor the next morning, I knew something was up. Pain shot up my right side, [...] continue the story
(Editor’s Note: This is Michael’s first blog since the transplant).
So let me recap about life from my perspective since 8th October.
Somehow I seem to have blogged a day after my op from intensive care. In truth I have absolutely no memory of doing that at all. In fact I have no real recollection of the first few days post transplant at all. Obviously I have been told all about the care given to me and the team that looked after me but I feel terrible because I don’t even remember who did what. My last memory before the op was of that walk to theatre. The most nervous, scary 100 yards of my life. I’m not really sure how I kept it together or even if I did but I do remember giving my wife a kiss goodbye walking through the doors and just wanting to cry as I physically shook with nerves. I remember then climbing on to the table in the anaesthetists room and feeling freezing cold. I kept saying can you just put me to sleep but it was about 30 mins before that could happen. Sticky pads that linked up to various monitors were stuck to [...] continue the story
My name is Jon. I am an addict in recovery. I am 24 years old and have just completed the Our House program here in Edmonton, AB. Over the last 10 ½ months I have changed so much. I have found the peace and serenity I have been looking for my whole life. I used to be insane.
I grew up an only child with a lesbian mother. We moved around a lot when I was a kid. I was kind of a loner until I started using drugs. I started drinking when I was 13 and I loved it. I drank until I blacked out. I started smoking pot when I was 14 and I was partying like most teenagers do. I got introduced to cocaine at the age of 16 when I was at the bar. I partied all through high school and graduated as the all-star quarterback with the trophy girlfriend at the age of 17. I had started apprenticing to be a welder out of school and started working all over the map. I got kicked out of bars all over Alberta for fighting. I started realizing I had problems because I couldn’t stop using, gambling [...] continue the story