A Spinal Injury Story – Part Six
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six
By: Jean Johnson for Back1
We caught up to Constance Smith in January as she was preparing to relocate from Denver, where she moved after her fall, to Phoenix. “It’s been a long row, but I think I’m finally coming through it,” she said. “I found a great counselor and doctor, and we think we’re getting closer to a dosage of Prozac that works for me. All I can say is ‘thank god for that drug.’”
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Smith says she got precariously close to suicide over the holidays, even planning how and when she would end her life. With the benefit of hindsight, she now realizes that leaving her home in Portland and moving to a new town smack dab in the middle of all the health issues she was contending with was not the best strategy. However well-intentioned her two daughters were, Smith discovered that they were busy with their own families, and that left her more on her own than she anticipated—and far away from friends that might have provided some support.
Life. Why is it always so simple when we look back? Nonetheless, like Part 1 of Smith’s story indicated, Smith has pluck. She found the strength to call a friend before she succumbed to her suicidal intentions, and she thinks she is well out of that awful, horrible emotional state now. Indeed, Smith is grateful that she persevered through what felt like impossible circumstances and is full of plans for making a new life in the Sunbelt.
“I have a friend to stay with while I look for a place. She’s the same woman who helped me through my bad period in December. She flew up then and took me down to her home in Phoenix for awhile,” Smith said. “So what I hope to find is an over-fifty-five community where I can make new friends and start to build a new life. I heard there are lots of people sixty—my age—so I think I’ll manage fine. I’m walking pretty well these days without a cane. There is still pain, of course, but at least I can get around.”
Compared to where Smith started after her fall last summer, she has come a long way—physically and emotionally. Back1 thanks her for sharing her story with readers, and we wish her a rose heart glow in the warm, burnished sun of the desert.