Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Beautiful Damsel and the Paralyzed Man

Barbie and Ken got married on Saturday night. It wasn't hard to tell they meant everything to each other. She, a beautiful damsel. He, a paralyzed man. Not completely paralyzed. He'd done a lot of physical therapy and, now, it was mainly just his right side and, in particular, his leg.

He'd suffered a stroke following a chiropractic neck adjustment. Three times, he died on the chiropractor's table, finally being revived and hospitalized. A very small percentage of the time, a manipulation can split the inside walls of the vertebral arteries, causing the walls to balloon and block the blood supply to the lower part of the brain resulting in a basilar vertebral stroke.



But, this story isn't a treatise against chiropractic. Quite the contrary. Although I worked in the field and knew that a stroke was a possibiltiy, in over 12 years I never saw or heard of one case. I have two nephews and two neices who are chiros. In our family, we know, firsthand, how the techniques can aid healing. Besides that, even a simple thing like extending your neck back over the basin for hair washing at the beauty salon has been known to cause a stroke.

Rather, it is more about the good and bad that happens in life. The unexpected. Ken's neck adjustment was performed by his friend who was trying to do him a favor and make him feel better. His friend was a healer; this was the last thing he wanted to happen. In an instant, both of their lives were changed forever. Ken has yet to forgive his friend.

But because of his fateful injury, he met Barbie, a physician's assistant. The time came for their first dance as man and wife. With white satin, pearls and tule crushed against a black wedding tux, they swayed, not moving one inch on the floor, to a love song. It was the most beautiful dance I'd ever seen.

28 comments:

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Wow, what a story. So bittersweet. I didn't even know that could happen. A tragedy, and yet amazing that he ultimately met his wife because of it. So strange how things work out some times.

Mrsupole said...

A truly beautiful story of love but sad at the same time. It is amazing how quickly one's life can be changed. That dance had to of been something special to watch.

He is lucky that he has healed as much as he has. I too was very lucky when I had my strokes in that they were the lowest level and I did not die. My left side is partially paralyzed but it does not affect my movement anymore. It is more that my facial muscles cannot move or that they are always numb. Hopefully Ken will recover as fully as possible, I am not sure that there is a 100% recovery from a stroke.

I think that they have now also discovered that one sign of someone having a stroke is that their speech is slurred and I think their tongue comes out of their mouth. I need to look it up again. I should know these things.

I also hope that someday Ken can forgive his friend, it is always important to forgive so that one can move on. Has he ever possibly thought that by his refusing to forgive his friend that in some way he is slowing his full recovery. Forgiving his friend is an important step and I hope that he someday figures this out.

I also hope that his friend someday forgives himself because I have a funny feeling from what you wrote that he has not.

Maybe someday you will be able to write about them both forgiving each other and theirselves.

God bless.

Dave King said...

That is a very moving story and beautifully told. When the page first opened and I saw the title and the image I thought for a moment that it was a sculpture entitled The Beautiful Damsel and the Paralyzed Man. It would have been a very beautiful one if it had been. I was almost sorry it wasn 't - until I read your script. Every blessing to them both.

Brian Miller said...

that is truly a beautiful story...out of the most amazing and difficult circumstances can come our greatest victories...

Jill said...

Really Ronda? My knowledge of chiropractic is ZERO...had no idea...I am a bit more educated today because of your post and am glad there is a happy ending for Ken and Barbie.

Elisabeth said...

Good grief Ronda, you've made me think twice about bending over to wash my hair in the sink - a stroke - perish the thought.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Beautiful story, scrumptious looking cake!

TechnoBabe said...

My goodness, Ronda, this is a tale of love and perseverance. I think the fact that you did not post a picture of the couple makes this post all the more poignant. With your background, I enjoy reading the facts of things like this. You have the ability to relate the practical information and incorporate the emotional information. I am so happy for Barbie and Ken and I wish them much happiness and continued recovery for Ken.

JGH said...

A lovely image.
But very sad that the friendship is suffering - I hope Ken can find forgiveness the way he's found happiness....

Jingle said...

what moving and lovely story.
love the cake in the end...
Smiles!

DUTA said...

He's got a cold one (the stroke) and a warm one(a loving wife), and life goes on for him.

Nothing in Life is without risk. I've never been to a chiropractor but I like my poor feet to get a reflexological massage now and then. Well, I must tell you I'm never without fears about it. One single wrong pressure and it could harm me, although they assure you it couldn't. So I pray to God before, during and after and ask that everything goes on smoothly.

Baino said...

Very moving story, I've never really trusted the manipulation techniques of some chiropractors. Hopefully his recovery will continue . . proof perfect that something good can come out of adversity.

Sam Liu said...

What a powerful story...sad, yet also rather uplifting, as Ken found love. My heart goes out to his friend, it must be the most horrendous experience. Thank you for sharing this brilliant tale.

Reya Mellicker said...

Love is a miracle, it is. Wow. The stories of our lives are so amazing, stranger and more fascinating than any work of fiction.

Ronda Laveen said...

Carolina: We would never plan our lives this way would we? And so, take an entirely different path.

Sherry: I hope he can one day forgive his friend too. But, right now, there is only anger. I am so glad you've recovered from your stroke so well.

Dave: You are right! That would be a tremendous name for a sculpture. Alas, my skills are not such but, I'll donate the name to any takers.

Brian: Yes, often, we have to hit bottom to rise to the top.

Jill: I hope their journey continues to get better and better. They have so much more good to come.

Elisabeth: It only happens when your neck is bent back as when you are at a salon with your head in the sink. But really, it happens so rarley. Think about it. How many time have you heard of anyone stroking out a salon?

Charmaine: Not only did the cake look scrumptious, it WAS scrumptious:-)

TechnoBabe: I almost posted a photo of just their backs so as to maintain their privacy. But in the end, decided to just let you imagine them as you will. They are very much in love and have persevered.

JGH: I have hopes for his forgiveness too. But, it may be a long time before he is ready to go there.

Jingle: Mmmm...it was very good.

DUTA: Good for you for getting reflexology to your feet. It is so good for you. I've never heard of anyone being harmed but a little prayer never hurt anything.

Baino: It's not so much about the technique as it is about the basilar arteries. There is simply no good way to pre-determine who will and won't tolerate a hands-on cervical adjustment.

Sam: I can't even imagine what his friend must feel. To know you've done harm to another living being must cripple one in many ways.

Ronda Laveen said...

Reya: Love IS a miracle. And you're right, it is hard to write fiction better than real life. I look around me and everyone I know has a magnificent story. We are such interesting beings.

notesfromnadir said...

Ronda,
You sure can tell a touching story. How wonderful that they met, & I hope that he continues to heal, along w/ forgive his friend.

Is that their wedding cake? It looks scrumptious!

Dorraine said...

Life is so strange and wonderful both. Your lovely story, filled with the bittersweet, illustrates this so well, Ronda.

Loved how you began, ended, and everything in between. I hope their union is blessed beyond measure.

Eternally Distracted said...

I would so love to have been able to see that dance. Sounds amazing :0)

Nessa said...

It's amazing how life evolves and we see it so differently when looking from a distance. Lovely.

Stacy Post said...

Wedding stories and how the bride and groom met are always fun to read. Very moving. Thanks for sharing!

Gemel said...

A true love story, bless their hearts.
I do trust though that Ken can forgive his friend.

Ronda Laveen said...

Notes: Yes, that is their wedding cake and it was scrumptious.

Dorraine: Yes, life is so very bittersweet. I guess that's what keeps us in balance.

ED: the dance was so sweet. At first, it took me a bit to figure out why they weren't moving around the floor.

Nessa: Life does look different from the outside looking in.

Stacy: I love hearing how couples met. Each has such a different story.

Gemel: they've found true love indeed. I hope she can help him let go of the anger.

Joanna Jenkins said...

On the chiropractor's table!?!?!?! Whoa.

But what a lovely story. congratulations to the Bride and Groom! I wish them all the happiness thier hearts can hold.

jj

Christina said...

Wow, I never knew you could get a stroke from a neck adjustment.
I sure hope Ken's friend was at the wedding.

What a story...

Ronda Laveen said...

JJ: Yep, on the table. Together they have one, huge heart full of happiness.

Christina: I don't know if Ken's friend was at the wedding. I don't know who he is, but I kind of doubt it. Not yet anyway.

Deanna Schrayer said...

I always knew there was a better reason than "this hurts" for not liking to bend my whole self backwards to have my hair washed. Thanks for telling me what that reason is Ronda. I'm going to get my hair done today, (my sister does it). I'll be sure to align myself properly when I wash my hair - yes, I have to do that part myself. Sigh...

Ronda Laveen said...

Deanna: How cool that your sister can do your hair. Yes, just watch your positioning.