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A Love Not Strong Enough To Survive Paralysis...Short Story

My name is Ruby. I live in Southern Illinois. I love to write poetry, short stories and flash fiction. I am a retired R.N.


They seemed to fit together like a hand and glove

Alexa and Lee were a perfect couple. Her beauty was natural with auburn red hair and cute freckles. Lee was blond and very handsome. They seemed to fit together like a hand and glove.

They'd been in love since grade school and beyond. They graduated college together and both knew exactly what they wanted to do with their life.

Both families were thrilled when Lee proposed. They had a small wedding in Alexa's family patio garden.

The Iraq war was in full swing and Lee felt it was his duty to join the service and do his part.

They had two weeks together before he was to be shipped out.

Alexa wanted to be a nurse and she'd already applied to the R N program in their small town college in Allendale, Kentucky.

Today was a beautiful summer day and they were on their way to the Ky. Derby in Louisville.

Lee was driving his Ford 150 pickup and listening to music on the radio. A semi truck signaled to pass and struck the front of the truck.

The seat belt broke throwing Alexa in the back seat. She felt a sharp pain in her back that ran down both legs. By the time they stopped, she felt nothing. The semi driver called for an ambulance. She was transported to the nearest hospital. It only took a few tests to diagnose a severed spine.

She remained in the hospital for a week before she was transferred to a nearby rehab hospital. She received hydrotherapy to strengthen her upper torso and arms. With all the extensive exercise, she remained paralyzed from the waist down.

She was informed that she would never walk again. Both families were devastated.

Alexa worried night and day about her and Lee's sex life. They had made each other complete in that department. She wondered, " How can I not ever experience the feeling of sexual pleasure again? " She knew that Lee placed that part of their marriage as top priority.

She talked with the nurse about her concerns and was given some pamphlets to read on how to please your partner. When Lee came to visit she attempted to talk with him about the situation and showed him the material given to her by the nurse. He took one quick look and tossed it into a chair and stomped out of the room.

The rehab hospital had what they called ' a step down room ' This was a room where a couple could spend the night together before being discharged the next day. The room had a TV, a breakfast nook and a large king size bed. They were placed in the room in the evening. She was given a call light to call for help if needed, otherwise, they were left alone. The night nurse didn't invade their privacy all night, confident they would call if anything was needed.

The next morning the nurse knocked on the door. No one answered. She knocked again and listened outside the door. She heard a soft muffled cry. She opened the door to find Alexa alone in bed. The call light had been moved to a nearby table out of reach. She was weeping. When questioned she told what had happened during the night. Lee had become extremely upset when she was unable to have sex in the normal manor. He jumped out of bed, got dressed, moved the call light and walked out of the building. Of course, her family was notified immediately. She was discharged in their care. Lee sent a letter requesting a divorce, which was granted.

It took some time for Alexa to come to grips, but life goes on.

She continued to receive strengthening exercise three time a week. One day her rehab Doctor told her about a new treatment that appeared hopeful for paralyzed patients. It involved a series of injections over time that reconnected tissue around the spinal cord in some patients. She was thrilled at the prospect of getting out of the wheelchair and fulfilling her dream of being a nurse. She received three injections weekly for a year and a half before any signs of recovery visualized. One day she was home sitting at the piano when her big toe twitched. She stopped playing and watched her toe move repeatedly. She continued on with the weekly injections, plus was started on bionic legs to learn to walk again. This took a year of hard work and unwavering determination, but she prevailed and walked a few feet farther each day.

After five years she walked on stage to receive her RN degree.

She went into obstetrical nursing. One evening she looked up to see Lee and his pregnant wife June who was in labor. Alexa assisted the Doctor in a normal delivery of a healthy baby boy who looked a lot like Lee. When she took the baby into their room, Lee paled and looked away. Alexa felt nothing when she looked at him.

She did feel proud that she'd helped deliver a beautiful baby boy into the world.


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