Category Archives: Thoughts

A different outlook on life

Happy Fourth

The fourth anny of my injury is coming to a FIERY halt. I retreated, fell back if you will, to my parent’s house after Thai Nine around 9:00 pm and have been ever so easy since (It’s almost midnight now). I don’t feel like I have much to say, but I’d like to write so I’ll just go.

I graduated from WSU at the end of July; big weight off the ole shoulders. Cum laude, but I’m not too happy about it because I was one B from an A away from hitting magna cum laude. That “magna” would have looked fine on my resume, and it probably would have landed me a fat job. I couldn’t quite get it jotted down, though, and I’m still unemployed. Hey, I should be collecting on that.

The job search is certainly in motion. Wheels are turning. I actually can’t complain about how that’s going. I’ve certainly been pickier than your average recent graduate. It is what it is. It’s who I am.

Always push your boundaries. Never settle. And always be you.

The domain name was up for renewal a couple of months ago, but I didn’t want to hit WordPress with that down payment. It’s not a lot, but I haven’t been writing much lately, and I’m so unemployed right now. ALTHOUGH, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed shooting my thoughts all over this paper and there’s a good chance I’ll renew it tomorrow before I post this. It should be clear what I decided on (it defaults to if I don’t renew it) (which is not a big deal, but I might have to stop being cheap and be real because my blog has always been

It has been awhile, though, hasn’t it? So reason number 1 why I stopped writing, I got engaged and have been spending vast amounts of time with the beautiful, the stunning, the GORGEOUS Sophie Ann Misich. If you haven’t seen her headshots, you’re missing out. I’m a stupid lucky kind of man. We got engaged real quick, I wouldn’t even try to say that we didn’t. There is a saying though, from the far, far east I believe that says, “When you know, you know,” which is how I proposed to her in a way, which I also believe I mentioned in my last post like 2,628,372 minutes ago. No sorry that was lame, but yeah, we were hot to get engaged, or I was hot to get engaged I should say, but I don’t have any regrets.

Let me interrupt myself for a minute because this is something I’ve wanted to say for awhile now, and is actually number 2 as to why I quit blogging. I’ll get back to number 1. I feel like… I don’t know what I feel like, really. I feel like people think I’m being pretentious in my writing, or ignorant, or arrogant, or whatever. I feel that way because I think that’s how I would feel if I read my stuff. Like who the heck is this guy no pun intended to tell me how to live my life, or tell me how to do anything really? And I’m right there with you. I’m here right now to tell you, and myself reading this from an external perspective, that that’s not what I’m doing. I’m just writing my point of view, which started as a young, 21 year old, newly paralyzed man’s thoughts of the world, and his unanticipated daily interactions and hurdles. Which has become this almost as young, 24 year old, 4 years post paralyzed man’s thoughts of the world after he has found that he still has an amazing life, realized the finer things are better than ever, gained a greater appreciation for his those daily interactions, and who firmly believes everyone walks their own paths, but still likes writing, and maybe puts his out there because he wants to believe his writing has meaning beyond himself, or possibly just likes the attention, but I don’t think I know better than anybody.

Back to point 1. I think, “When you know, you know,” is a thing. I also anytime someone asks for another’s hand in marriage, they’re taking a plunge. One they aren’t ready for. I’m actually quoting my management professor when I say that… the management professor who gave me a B in his class, which would have given me magna cum laude status otherwise. I kind of liked the guy, though. I told him about my blog, and he told me this after he read my last engagement post. He had good things to say about it, but still messed me out of some points for the A for whatever reason. It was a freakin management leadership class, too. I was born a leader, guy. Maybe he’ll see that someday and regret giving me a B in his class, that thoughtless, marriage-quoting guy.

Back to point 1. I don’t believe anyone is ready when his or her time comes to pop it. I have learned so much about Sophie since I proposed to her. SO MUCH. Mostly good, though… Well, some good… No kidding, mostly good. Who’s perfect? In that short amount of time, I found someone with the same principles as my own who provides me more happiness than anyone ever has. Was I absolutely, without a doubt, positive at the time? No I wasn’t. I took a plunge. I leaped. Was it stupid? No I really don’t think so. I’m happier than I ever have been, and I can say that without a shred of a doubt because this girl makes me feel like superman, and I can’t get enough of it.

Like I said, I’m just kind of going right now. It has been many minutes. If you like reading my blog, it’d be so cool if you hit me with a FB like or something. It’s incredibly easy to not make the time to blog, but knowing people enjoy it certainly helps. I’m sure those bloggers out there feel me.

Back to today for a minute, then I’ll let ya go. I meditated earlier tonight. Not to sound like a hotshot, I’m not completely sure I know how to, but I tried to think of the night of my accident and time spent in my coma those following couple of weeks. I wished I had thought of putting serious thought into this sooner instead of waiting 4 years, but today seemed more appropriate than waiting even longer. Honestly, I was pretty excited to try it. I thought of doing it last week, but decided to put it off until my anny. The buildup this past week has been exhilarating, like “You’re going to find out some stuff you never knew about! You’re gonna remember a freakin encounter with God!” I’m so sorry to say and was so sorry to find out that I didn’t remember any encounters. Honestly nothing, but what I kept coming back to while in my deep ponder was my mindset and priorities before my accident. I focused on October 6, 2012 and could swear that I remembered my thoughts. I remembered who I was. Then I thought about the hospitalization that followed (4 months later), and saw a significant positive change through the process.

Is this what people refer to when they say they encountered God? Whether while in a coma, or whenever. Noticing a change for the better, isn’t that kind of what God is? I feel like I’m overstepping a boundary, so I’ll stop here. I think that’s all I have for tonight, so happy October 6th to all; the biggest piece of work of a day in my book, for the better or worse 😉

On to Year Three


A couple of days ago was the two year anniversary of the accident! My rebirth day! It might seem odd to some people that I get so excited about this day. I’m sure some of you are thinking — It’s the day half of his body was paralyzed, and he was permanently confined to a wheelchair. What the hell is he so happy about? — And yeah, things aren’t perfect. But whatever, I’m making it work, and most importantly, I’m still alive! Alive and well, at that! I have been into Roman Atwood’s Youtube channel lately. He posts videos of himself and his crew carrying out public pranks on the streets of Columbus. His “Gas Prank” video was the first one that I saw, and it had me laughing out loud. The other day, I saw that he uploaded another video. It was titled, “My producer got hit by a truck!” It sounded familiar, so I was sure to check it out. Well some of it. It was really long, so I skipped to the part where he meets his producer at the hospital. He had some road rash and a few broken ribs (also familiar). Then I heard him say that he was hit at 35 mph and thrown 20 feet. Roman made a face, and said, “35 miles per hour? 20 feet??” He immediately talked about how lucky he was to be alive. In the couple of minutes that I watched, I heard him say it about three more times… Okay I have a few things to say about this.

1. He is lucky to be alive! That’s a big hit being thrown 20 feet on the pavement. And if I can say that honestly about him, what does that mean there is to say about me? This example alone should give you a much better idea of why I get so pumped on these anniversaries.

2. The driver that hit me claimed, under oath, that he was traveling at 25 mph. I was thrown 176 feet. It was measured at the scene of the accident. So, that means… wait… According to my T.I. 83 calculator, supposedly, the guy who hit Roman’s producer was traveling at 1.4x the speed that I was hit. Yet, I was thrown 8.8x further… Yeah, something’s telling me that my lawyer and I got had. Big time.

3. I’m a military tank.

Roman’s video came at the perfect time. It was just a couple of days before my anny, and it reminded me of just how lucky I was/am. I think it helped me better enjoy my day on Monday. Since it wasn’t on the weekend this year, I didn’t throw any parties. The day was pretty laid back, but it was nice and filled with a lot of happiness. It was an emotional and heart wrenching day, and although I wasn’t able to cry this year, I got close a couple of times, which was good enough for me. Monday’s a busy day for everybody, so I didn’t have a whole lot of free time on my hands. My family and a couple of my close friends were able to go to my favorite restaurant, Sake (pictured above), which was a great time. And many thanks to everyone that reached out to me. You made that day more special for me.

I thought a lot about the impact that would have been made if things went differently. My family and close friends (less than 100) would have been torn up, that’s for sure. And some general friends/acquaintances (less than 500) also would have been torn up, but for a limited amount of time. There are over 7.1 billion people in the world. That means only about 0.000008% of the population would have been effected at all. With maybe a tiny bit more ever even hearing about it. I’m sure that would be a rough fact for anybody to swallow. But… things didn’t go differently. That WOULD have been the case, but I’m still here. There is still time for me to increase that percentage. Matter a fact, anybody that ever reads this still has time to increase THEIR percentage. On a bigger scale, everyone will have their own unique answer for achieving this goal, but on a smaller scale, the answer for everyone is virtually the same. And that is to gain respect from others. After all, unless people (disregarding family) have some kind of respect for you, they most likely don’t care about you. So as you keep your eyes and ears open for your bigger answer, start small by being caring to the people you interact with on a daily basis. Make sure you will be missed whenever your time comes.


Don’t Stop

This semester has held quite a few ups and downs. The first few weeks were pretty hard on me. I knew I’d have to step up my game to accommodate for my post surgery responsibilities, but I was just looking forward to returning to the college lifestyle after such a rough winter break. I thought about what was ahead of me only from the physical standpoint like, “whatever, I’ll handle it.”
It wasn’t so easy to handle though…

During that first week back, I was feeling more down than I was excited, but I was thinking it was only temporary.

You’ll get used to this.

Things didn’t get better though. Things got worse.

Well ya know, this is some pretty rough weather we’re having this year. Of course I’m gonna be bummed out if I can’t even make it to the parking lot most days.

I kept telling myself things of the sort.

Whatever, I’ll just move south in a few years and be fine. No more snow, no more cold, I’ll be golden, and I’ll be happy.

It stopped snowing so damn much. It even warmed up to 60 degrees for a few days. I was still irritable though.

Alright, what the hell’s going on?? This pissy mood is pissin’ me off. Am I depressed? No, I’m fine, why would I be… Am I though??

This turned out to be more than just a physical struggle. It was mental and emotional. That was not that long ago, and the same day I talked to my boy Jeffrey from RIC. I asked him how he was doing. “How are things bro? Like really, how are things?” Trying to get him to fess up about not being so great either.  “Everything’s pretty cool with me I’m ’bout to start promoting my new designs for my clothing line,” he said. He was doing great. Of course I was happy to hear it, but I thought if he was in a rut too, maybe we could use each other to dig ourselves out. I told him how I’ve been lately — good one day, bad the next. “You not depressed or anything are you?” he asked. I really thought about it this time, “I mean I don’t think so. Ive been really good ever since rehab. I guess maybe I could be from my last hospital stay?” Then he pointed something out to me, “You know it could be medicine, this one pill i used to take used to make me have mood swings.” He might be on to something here, I thought. Nurses warned us about this at RIC.  “It could actually be from this one pill, so I’ll mess around with it,” I responded. I had been taking this pill almost everyday for months, but for post surgery precautions I had been taking twice the dose for a little over a month.. About the same amount of time I had been moody. Luckily, it was right around that time I could start cutting my dose down. Even stop completely, depending on how risky I was feeling.

I was feelin’ so risky. I quit altogether. Being off another med was relieving, to say the least. I had been taking it every morning for almost as long as I could remember. Being dependent on anything is never good and I’ve reluctantly become dependent on a number of things the past year and a half. I hate every one of those things.

Even better than gaining independence back was gaining the old me back. Jeff was spot on. Only a day, or two off the medication was I feeling 100 times better. I finally felt like myself again and was assured there was nothing to worry about.

Now that I’ve overcome the mental brawl I was having with myself, I feel like a new man, and was reminded once again of the necessity for struggles… I moved out on my own a few weeks after a huge surgery and only one week after being released from the hospital, was dealt twice as many daily self-care chores, became a full time student, managed campus in a wheelchair during the worst winter in decades, all while taking medication that forced me into depression. I called my parents from time to time when I was having an especially hard time. Over and over they suggested I move back home, “It isn’t too late, we can still get our money refunded. There is no shame in waiting until fall to start again.” I can’t say it wasn’t really tempting. I played a mental game with the thought of it

Yeah I know this sucks extremely bad right now. But… You already missed a year of school. You just changed your major last semester. You’re not expected to graduate until two years after your classmates. You have another internship set-up for the summer. How long you think that company will wait up for you to graduate? You want that job don’t ya? If you stop now, there’s no telling if/when you’ll finish. Don’t stop.

The “hard times” in life have a bad name.  I have grown to really appreciate the hard times, and look at them much differently. It’s during those hard times that you learn the most. You are taught essential life lessons that make you a stronger person. Lessons that can’t be taught from a friend, family member, or professor. Whenever the time comes that you defeat whatever you’ve been battling (and it will come), you taste the sweetest victory known to mankind. The bigger the struggle, the greater the taste.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.”
― Frederick Douglass


Well kinda farewell, kinda not really though.. I’ve spent way too many hours on this site to take it down. Definitely worth the 60 bucks a year to keep it alive for awhile. But! I’m back at school now and I can’t do this posting regularly thing anymore. My grades first semester weren’t bad, especially after taking a year off…. and having a traumatic brain injury…. but I’ve clearly recovered pretty well, and I know they could have been better. I had two grades ending with a plus, which just pisses me off. And sure; a grade with a plus is better than a grade with no plus, but the thought that a few more points on one, maybe two assignment would have bumped me up to the next letter grade pisses me off. Anyway, I’m going for all A’s this semester, so I can’t be writing like three page non school related essays every week. I copy/pasted all my posts thus far to Word –12 font times new roman single space– and the doc was 35 pages long… all but the last couple of which were written during classes first semester. Too bad I wasn’t in any English classes because I woulda had one helluva thesis paper to submit.

Being back at school is kick ass… it’s the tits. I haven’t even seen more than a couple of friends so far because I haven’t been here for a weekend yet. I have to lay low for awhile anyway; I still have some recovering to do. My mid section is still actin’ up a bit from the docs tampering with my intestines and bladder with knives and shit. But I feel fine now and am hopeful that things will straighten themselves out soon. I think they on they way. Hey; another thing to look forward to. Just being here doing my thing, getting started on classes, and being around people my own age again is an awesome feeling. Makes me feel normal again, which is always cool for me. Monday, I went to my classes, all cold as hell, but was cruisin’ around going from class to class with my ear buds in. I’ve always been an active guy, which is harder now that I’m in a chair, but ATLEAST I get to tear up the streets.. and the school hallways.. and the grass when sidewalks are under construction. I was so happy, though. I haven’t been able to move like that since the end of last semester.. just one of the things recently that has made me so very thankful.

Tuesday went a little differently. I was still pumped about being here, but was thinking a lot about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g I have to do to take care of myself now a day. Before my surgery, I already had to spend a lot more time on myself than the average joe, and now that time has almost doubled due to post surgery precautions. And when my bladder is worse than ever, surgery being over a month ago, it’s hard to believe that surgery even worked. Even forgetting that though, it’s just like… how much longer are these long days gonna last??

Today, things were good again. Facts are facts, so nothing has actually changed, but something clicked this morning that got me feeling a lot better… After I woke up, I sat in complete silence and tried not to think about anything for a good 10 minutes. I think that’s what meditating is. My brother and his friend suggested I do this several months back when they visited Miami, but I never did. I actually really liked it and I wish I listened to them awhile ago. It completely cleared my mind, which made me feel better. I spent the day better focused on the tasks at hand, rather than worrying about the future. I then got in the shower and started to think of everything I have to be thankful for. Most of which, I’m sure, you also have to be thankful for… There’s food readily available, which I’m physically capable of eating whenever I want. There are liquids readily available that are physically capable of drinking… at my leisure. I can swallow effortlessly and painlessly, whenever I want. I can move around freely, whenever i want to. I am not incarcerated in a hospital. I have family members that truly care and will do anything for me, whenever I need them to. I have the liberty to attend school, or work a job that provides solidarity advancing my life in the right direction… I was saying this all out loud to thank God for all of my blessings. Then I took it a step further and did something I never thought I would do. I’ve done pretty well and have only been mad at Him a few times since my accident, but this morning I thanked Him. I thanked Him for what has happened to me… bad things have happened to good people since the beginning of time. It doesn’t mean you deserve it. It’s just life. I thought about some loved ones in my life who I had a hard time seeing deal with the things I’ve had to deal with. Traumatic accidents such as mine are very capable of breaking someone, and I knew it could have broken some of the important people in my life, stopping them from moving forward. It may ruin them as the person I’ve always known them to be, throwing ME off. I thanked Him for dealing ME the shitty hand instead of a loved one that could be lost. Especially a family member, or my future wife, wherever she is… After all, I’m a little selfish, I KNOW how much future Hunter loves those nice legs she has. And don’t you even get me started on that booty.

Well this will probably be my last post for awhile. I know I’m going to miss writing, so I’m sure I’ll still write from time to time. However, I want to try using that hole in my life to start drafting for my book. I really want to write a book after the experiences I’ve had thus far with this blog. The sooner I start working, the greater the chance of me seeing it through and the fresher the memories of the past year and a half will be.

But before I go, let me share some of the stats real quick. All of which were really surprising to me and likely for you, as well… So it was after a church sermon last spring that I decided I would start blogging. I really didn’t even know what a blog was, I was originally going to write experiences and thoughts down in a journal. I worked an internship in Cleveland all summer, but had a couple weeks of free time to figure out blogging before school started. A friend at church had a WordPress account and shared with me his knowledge of blogging. He helped me get things set up and rolling. My first entry was posted the day I moved to school the return of my first semester. The day I moved back to school was August 21, 2013; a little over five months ago… As of now (not counting this post), I have posted 21 entries to my page that has had 24,000 views. This wasn’t a recent surprise because that number has been displayed on the right since day one. What is to come is what is to come is what really blew my mind, though… I started sharing most of my posts to Facebook sometime in November which resulted in me sharing seven of my posts shared to Facebook. Some of these posts were reshared to Twitter, but significant amounts were reshared to Facebook. In total, those seven posts were shared 672 times. My “Family” post was only my fourth entry, well before I started sharing my own posts to Facebook, and “Family” killed it with 137 shares. It wasn’t until recently that was topped by my post “Surgery”. “Surgery” was shared 212 times and resulted in my biggest day, with 1,268 site views. As far as the existence of this page in the world; it has been viewed from 41 different countries: Belgium, Spain, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Russian Federation, Singapore, Italy, Netherlands, Thailand, India, Mexico, Viet Nam, Ecuador, France, Denmark, Ireland, Albania, Hong Kong, Bahamas, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Argentina, Aruba, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Nicaragua, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Lebanon, Philippines, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Czech Republic, and obvi The USofA. Crazy. I’ve never even been to any of those places, other than Canada and Jamaica. Oh and one more thing. Probably the biggest thing… Word Press has a page labeled “Fastest Growing Blogs (out of 100)” that changes daily based on how many views a blog receives that have been started within the past six months. A couple of months ago, I looked under the “referrers” list on my stats and saw this growing blogs page referring people to my blog. I was really confused because I didn’t know anything about it, so I clicked on it and found my page at number 25 on the list. I was really surprised when I thought my blog was the 25th most popular blog in the country, but then I went to some of the other blogs on the list, they were decked out with pictures, professional design and color. I tried reading some of them, but couldn’t… it wasn’t a country-wide list, my blog was ranked 25th in the world.

So thank you all who have been following my blog! These stats make me feel like I’ve already accomplished my goal to “make my mess my message,” but I’m not stopping. I plan on furthering my goal by keeping this blog in motion and writing my book that will come out on the NAth of NA, 20NA… I really hope I can find the discipline to write this book. Thanks for reading!

Patience is a Virtue

People hear this all the time. I heard it all the time, but it was never explained to me. I mean sure, I got the gist of it:  It’s good to wait, the capability shows inner strength in a person. But, “why is it ALWAYS good to wait, even when you don’t have to?” This was a question I always had trouble answering. Within the past several months, the phrase seemed to make a little more sense to me.

The past year has been a game of patience. There were many different things that my body had to overcome, none of which happened overnight, they all took months and months. Some of which included:   Throat rehabilitation (swallow real food, swallow real drinks, talk with a real voice), keep food down, regain a lot of muscle and mass in general, back healing to sit up for over 30 minutes, get bowels and bladder under control, have normal vision, constant infections, fully extend my left arm, transfer to and from my chair without pain, the list goes on. From these experiences, I have taken away two key points:  One, having something to look forward to is severely underrated, and two, reality is never as good as what your imagination leads you to believe.

Having something to look forward to is awesome. It fills you with anticipation and excitement everyday until that “thing” becomes a reality. I feel like most everyone looks at this backwards and views everyday as a tease until it is reality. Maybe I’m the one looking at it backwards I don’t know, but I do know that I prefer to look at it this way.

Reality never meeting the expectation of your thoughts and imagination ties directly into part one. For example, “If I could just have that, everything would be all better,” everyone has said or at least heard something similar to this before. Things are never as good as they seem, but nothing is stopping your imagination from running wild to create the ideal scenario. The only thing that can stop it is reality itself, when you actually receive that “thing.” Nine times out of ten everything is not “all better.” This is mainly what forms the anticipation and excitement build up in part one.

These ideas have stuck with me and are thought about daily. They’ve really helped me slow my roll and become more.. well.. patient. I’ve seen it help a lot when it comes to girls in particularly, and being patient when finding a parter is huge. The help with that has been (when interested in someone) remembering that nothing can go wrong before anything has started. The sooner you get something started, the more likely and sooner you are to ruining everything. And if nothing starts, it’s always open for possibility later down the line in the future. You get the sense of anticipation and excitement of, maybe one day. But if not, nothing is ever as good as it seems anyways, so you’ll be alright.

I know I don’t fully understand the phrase and probably never will, but feel like I now have a better understanding at least. It has changed the way I think about a lot of things and my overall outlook on life. I value patience now much more than before and can say with certainty that “patience is (in fact) a virtue.”

Little Bit of Everything

It’s been a week and a half? It was nice to have a break from the blog for a minute. And it was hard to not think about considering all of the attention it has been receiving lately, but I’ve been so overwhelmed with school work that I didn’t have a choice.

The ‘Miami Student,’did a follow up story on me that was published last Friday. I failed one of my exams last week, my fucking intro to sociology exam. Then a couple of days later my second story in the school newspaper was printed less than a year after the first one, so I figured I must be doing something right at least. I’ve had to do some major catching up in my classes, I realized I had been spending too much time on my blog and not enough time on my school work.. A lot of shit I want to wright about though. First of all I want to thank Sarah Shew for writing yet another story on me. We met in person twice for interviews and she took about eight pages of notes, then she interviewed three of my friends, only adding more pages to her notes. She then had to wright the story and keep it under 1500 words. She did a good job, much appreciated Sarah! 🙂

The weekend passed before I knew it. Monday came and Olivia Krawczyk posted a huge blog entry story on me. Olivia is a Miami alumni and now a professional fashion copywriter and storytelling blogger in New York City. Glad she heard about my story, thanks Olivia! 🙂 The story on her blog ‘Olive The People’ went viral on Facebook and Twitter. She said it broke her record for most hits in a single day. Over 20 of my friends on FB shared the story, and I know there were others who shared it, also. I received a few friend requests from random people, one being a girl that looked kinda cute so I accepted, obvi. Then I creeped on her, obvi. We had zero mutual friends so I sent her a message out of curiosity to see how she found me, it turned out that one of her friends had shared my story, someone I also had never heard of. That felt pretty good.

I received so many compliments from so many different people and decided not to respond to any in the case that I would forget somebody. So I’ll say it now: Thank you to everyone who posted an uplifting comment, or shared my story. It really did make me feel good! One comment of which may have been the nicest thing anyone has said to me, ever.

“I work with a friend who has told me bits and pieces of your journey throughout the year. Do you ever get tired of hearing how awesome you are??? All this aside (for a brief sentence anyway), you are an AMAZING writer. Unbelievable. So you’re a survivor, you’re going to college, you’re a good looking young man, a gifted writer, and you still love God. Thank God you’re humble, because if anyone deserved to be conceited, it would be you. Thank you for touching so many, many lives. Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading anything you care to write!”

The whole reason I started this blog in the first place was in hopes that my story would spread some inspiration. Life can be a real bitch sometimes and everyone needs a little help getting through it. I also got pretty fed up with people acting overly dramatic over nothing, and really strived to change that. Like, excuse my french, but just fucking get over it and keep living life. What matters anyways? Haha that’s something that my family has adopted actually. My mom will ask, “What matters?” when something doesn’t pan out as planned, and every single time I respond, “Nothing. Nothing fucking matters.” It ended up being more of a joke than anything, but it’s all too true. You may have to put in a tad bit of work to get things straight, but once it’s all said and done, everything will have worked itself out. Maybe not as originally planned or desired, but things will be fine. I was walking across the street one day and woke up almost three weeks later paralyzed in a hospital bed. Yeah it set me back a little, but whatever, everything worked itself out and now I’m back.


Incase you missed them…

Miami Article:

Blog Story:

Pray for Hunter

My mom, Hayley Heck, started a Facebook page dedicated to myself after my accident. The name of the page, “Pray for Hunter,” sums up its purpose. She also used this page to provide any and all updates regarding my condition; surgeries, sickness, infections, progress, and more. I am still alive, so I would call the creation of the page a success. I honestly believe that my mother starting that Facebook page is what saved my life. There were way too many times, too many reasons that I should not be here today. Looking at where I am now, compared to where I was last October is just stupid. It’s absolutely remarkable. It surprises me every time I think about it, what God is capable of doing. Back then things looked so terrible, and it was so hard to look up. Well I didn’t even know who I was last October, but for everybody else. I thank Him every day for the strength he has provided me to make such a speedy recovery. People say that all the time, but I’m actually serious, at some point each and every day. Without Him, none of my progress would have been possible.

Most of you are reading this because at one point you kept up with my mom’s page, and I’m sure all of you have at least heard of it. Right now it has 4,211 likes on Facebook. The page still exists, but she ‘signed off’ with her last post 2 weeks ago. It was a sad day for me. I have this blog to provide updates now, but after a year of hearing about the ‘pray’ page, it’s hard to believe it’s a thing of the past. My mother is a wonderful writer and wrote in a much more appealing fashion than I do. She wrote with such delicacy and was very careful with her words. I’m going to miss her writing, as I’m sure many of you will too. Thank you so much mom. Outside of my friends and people I have met this past year, not many people would know about my story if it weren’t for you. This was her ‘sign off’ post, incase you missed it.

“This past weekend marked the one year Anniversary to Hunters Accident, specifically Sunday, October 6 (which we have decided to celebrate each year as his new “re” birthday). It was a wonderful day we shared with some friends and ended with Hunter, Steve and I staying up late not wanting the day to end. Alex even called him and it felt like the four of us had a little time together which was awesome. Hunter has such a wonderful relationship with his brother it’s hard to explain…they have their own language and they grew up together as close as two brothers could possibly be. Add Kelsey to the mix, as Hunters sister-in-law and it’s made for an extremely special bond between the three of them. It was a wonderfully emotional healing day for us all. Hunter was even showing me old videos of Gabby that he loved that make him laugh and bring him joy. (Now those two have a great ability to either fight hard or love hard, not much in between) 
Hunter is doing so well with his blogs and contemplating pursuing more writing. He has so much life experience, trials and tribulations, ideas and insights that are amazing and have such great potential to help and heal not only him but so many people who need to hear his story. I am so proud of his complete openness and honesty. His raw emotion and clarity in just laying the complete truth out there. So much of what happened to him is not neat and pretty, it’s frankly a mess!!! He is 21 years old, has the knowledge and experience of someone much older with what he has been through, and with his time in hospitals, rehab, recovery, even in his internship he has so much to give. He has learned so much because of what he has been through and he has earned the right to tell a fantastic and horrible story the way he wants to tell it. This incident happened to him, it has incredibly altered his life and at the same time given him an incredible gift. It has given him this story of faith and hope, strength and ultimately success. I am so proud of him and I wait with great anticipation to see what he does and says next.
I feel like this one year Anniversary on some level is coming out of a darkness and into the light, a marvelous light of restoration, hope and new beginnings; almost like a morning dew, fresh and new. There is still much recovery to take place, a major surgery after Christmas among other possible things this next year; but, we know we can get through anything with our Lord and each other. We have learned that this year. We have also learned about the power of prayer and faithful servants who pray when you ask. Pray for Hunter page was established Oct. 10, 2012 for that very reason, to ask for prayer to save our son. The benefit and beauty of the page were your responses to those requests. So much prayer, so many encouraging responses, healing took place and Hunters life was saved!! We cannot thank you enough for that, how does someone thank a person for that? I have always said the greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of prayer and I promise you all I will pay it forward. I will continue to pray for those who ask me to and add them to the list I pray for daily already.
Today is Thursday, Oct 10, 2013 and this will be my last post on this page. I do have a Facebook page in my name if any of you want to friend request me, Hayley Heck. This page served a huge purpose and I thank all of you for following, commenting and mostly praying. I would love it if you would do two things for me: 1) Continue to keep our family, especially Hunter in your prayers daily and 2) Follow his blog and his future writings to support him in his endeavors. You get to his blog by putting in your web browser and it should come up Life After Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Hunter wanted me to remind you when I told him I was going to do this that he writes differently than I do and that he is 21. Different style, different language at times…frankly there are many days I prefer his way!!! I am super proud of him either way and hope you will follow. I have been in this with him every step of the way since the beginning and still learn new things from what he posts in his blogs. This happened to him, this is his life…it is his story, no one else’s. He astounds me. God saved my boy, you all saved my boy, the professionals saved my boy… Now he is “Making his mess his message!”
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, I love you
Hayley Heck”

One year down.. A Lifetime to go..

The weekend was indeed incredible. It is was all that I expected it would be. I got to see a lot of close friends that I haven’t gotten to see in a long time. I also got to spend time with some of the major players in my life this past year. I felt very fortunate being able to sit down with them and reminisce about everything. It got pretty emotional for me by the end of the day. On the drive home from Oxford, I had this ‘chilling’ feeling that was telling me I would cry at some point today. I felt absolutely fine at the time, and I had no clue what was going to get me, but I just knew it was going to happen. I was really surprised when I got this feeling. I can’t remember the last time I have cried. I know that I haven’t shed a tear since the day of the accident, because I have wanted to so many times. The days that I’ve felt really down, I would try to get a good cry out, but I could never do it. I wasn’t sure if I could do it anymore. If being told I would be paralyzed for the rest of my life and all the struggles I’ve had to go through couldn’t do it, I didn’t know what could. It was about 8 o’clock, everybody had left the party, and I was fine all day until I checked my Facebook..

I had all kinds of notifications and messages, which were all extremely nice and made me feel very good on my special day. Then I clicked on a private message from my sister-in-law (written by her and my brother). She had written a touching introduction, wishing me a happy “re” birthday, and telling me how happy they both were that I was still here. The second paragraph read..

“This time last year was the worst day of our lives followed by the worst week and several months. There are so many moments from that time we spent with you that I will never forget, some bad… a lot bad but some good. I will never forget one moment in particular.. In the ICU you would sometimes open your eyes a tiny bit and you would react to the tube in your throat. (It was horrible to watch you like that). When this happened your heart rate would spike so everyone would talk to you and try to just calm and relax you. One time it was just Alex and I with you and you had an episode like that. Alex started talking to you and you tilted your head in his direction. He told you he was there.. that he loved you and you had to fight… You had to keep fighting. You nodded your head.”

It was this paragraph that did it. It tore me up. My brother and I have always had a very close relationship and we were ALWAYS dicking around when we were growing up.. still today, on xbox live. We were almost never serious, we had a very ‘brotherly’ relationship where we would always be joking around and laughing, much like you have, or at least had at one point with your siblings I’m sure. Reading through this, putting myself in his shoes, not only thinking that my brother might be gone forever, but pretty damn sure he is, and I will never get to kid around with him ever again. Joking around being the very last thing on my mind, and never more serious in my life. Completely helpless to the fact and out of shear desperation, I start talking to him, even though I know he can’t hear me, “You have to fight…you have to.”

I started to cry. I didn’t just get teary eyed, I legitimately sat there and bawled my eyes out. It was a good cry though. Great, actually, it was so nice to get it all out. I thought the story itself was pretty amazing. All odds were against me, and my body was under unfathomable trauma. I have no recollection of any of this, or anything at all for another 2-3 weeks for that matter, but I still nodded my head to what my brother told me. I had the will to live. The two of them are making an Oxford trip this weekend and I am so pumped to see them tomorrow! I can’t wait to see you both tomorrow, I love you guys. Thank you for making me weep like a little bitch.

After talking to him on the phone for awhile, I hung out with just my parents. We had such great conversation. We were all so tired, but we did not want to go to bed, especially me, I didn’t want my day to be over. That night, I hit yet another milestone with my mom. Through the past year, spending every minute together for at least half of it, we had become so much closer. She became more than my mother, she turned into my best friend, too. However, she was still my mom and so I did not act 100 % like myself. I shared most everything with her and we got so much closer, though. Sunday night she was still my mother, but I no longer lived with her and my dad, and after talking to her for so long, she realized that I now have everything in my life under control. All of the little aspects of my life that I have to focus on and be constantly thinking about were also what she has been constantly thinking about, too. I know she is still going to worry, I don’t think mothers ever stop worrying, but she came to terms with that fact that I can handle what I have to handle. After all, I’ve done alright for myself this past year. Anyways, I now feel like I CAN be 100% me while with her. Knowing this is such a big relief, as a son. It’s huge. I love you so much mom, and I am so thankful that I have a mom who I know will always worry about me. 🙂

Sorry for such the extra fat post, hopefully you didn’t lose interest. If you didn’t, thanks for reading!

Bad Days

“You’ve got to allow yourself some bad days. It’s completely normal. Actually, I would be worried if you didn’t have any bad days.” This is what people told me in all of the hospitals, so I was expecting to have bad days. I waited and waited, but they didn’t seem to come. I have had a few in the past year, like 4 or 5, but that’s all. I just don’t really think about what I’m missing out on much, maybe because I don’t let myself. It’s totally up to you whether you’re in a bad mood, or not. I always asked myself, “why would you want to be in a bad mood?”

A couple of nights ago, I started feeling really down. It was about the time I posted the video of me getting tricky on Facebook and Instagram. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed pushing myself by throwing flips. I never had any teacher, or instructor helping me out, I taught myself everything I knew. I used to go on my trampoline everyday, as long as the weather permitted. Two summers ago, before going into my junior year in college, I decided to join the school gymnastics team and make something of myself with my passion. I really wasn’t any good at most of the events (bars, rings, vault, pommel), but I was good at floor. I had never done gymnastics, so I had a different style and could do some things that no body else could. I finally had an indoor facility to practice and people that knew what they were doing to give me pointers. I was really excited because I was finally going to push myself much harder. Then less than a month and a half into the school year, I had my accident, and I would never know how good I could have become once I applied myself. All of this was in the back of my mind and had me feeling really low and depressed. I called my mom at 2 am, Thursday night. I was just laying in bed feeling like shit and I didn’t know what else to do.  The first thing she asked was, “What’s the matter, honey?” and my response was, “I can’t even fucking stand up mom… that’s the matter.” She reminded me of all the reasons I should feel thankful and how much worse things could have ended up. She didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but it was nice to be reminded by someone other than myself.

Friday morning, I woke up and I was still feeling pretty crumby. I kept telling myself how lucky I am to be living still. It has always worked for me in the past because it’s absolutely true, but my bad mood was sticking with me longer this time. Longer than it ever has in the past. I then moved on to another thought. A couple classmates of mine back in high school had past away just earlier this year, and I kept thinking to myself how fucked up that was. One had been fighting cancer for the past five or six years, and the other was caught in a fire at school and suffered from smoke inhalation. I didn’t know either of them all that well, but I knew them well enough to know they would have made the best of their lives, had they been given a second chance. What happened to them, as well as me, should not have happened. There was no logical reason for any of it and it was just plain unfair. I don’t know why I was given a second chance and they were not, but I know I am going to make mine count. That’s what they would have done. My heart goes out to both of their families and I hope that they see this. I am terribly sorry for your loses, but if it is any consolation at all, know that their stories are what keeps me going.

Accepting Disability Part 2

School is really picking up already and I have not had any time to blog. I plan on writing another entry over the weekend when I have a little more free time, but for now I wanted to at least finish up my last thought.

The following weeks only introduced more examples deriving my disability. The day came to move all of my necessary belongings into my apartment back at school. It’s awfully tough to move objects when you need your hands free to push your chair from place to place. I still have my lap to balance objects on, and my mouth as a very limited third hand. When it came to loading up large objects, I was no help at all. I successfully carried out one, maybe two loads. I was pretty embarrassed at how little I could help. Then, while pulling into the apartment parking lot, it started raining. Rain is a an even bigger worry than hills for wheelchair users; I hate it more than hills, at least. Not only do you yourself get soaking wet, but your chair as well. The frame and wheels can get wet no problem, but the backrest and seat cushion will soak up anything liquid and start to stink and get moldy. So I was even more worthless unloading than I was loading. I carried nothing in, maybe a couple of towels on my way inside.

Once class started, I was quick to realize that getting myself up the hill to my classes was going to be much too tiresome everyday. Thankfully Miami has an accessible transit system that offers rides to accepted individuals, but I really did not want to have to do this. Unfortunately, it was the only option I seemed to have. So everyday I get picked up by this little bus, equipped with a wheelchair lift in the back, then dropped off to my first class. Once a day is more than enough; I am the only person in the bus at the time, and I really don’t like receiving the special attention. Luckily, my classes are very close and the path back to my apartment is manageable. It is either flat or downhill for the most part, and the uphill part is just short enough to handle. Actually it is perfect for a workout. I don’t have enough time to go to the rec anyway, so on this regard I kill two birds with one stone.

Once winter hits, I’m going to have to use this transit system much more; which I am not looking forward to. Hopefully by then I will be somewhat used to it. Thankfully it has been dry as hell and I have not had to ride as a result of rain. I’m sure that will change though soon enough though.

Lastly, I want to mention all of the medication, catheters, and special attention my body needs. I always liked the thought of being a drifter in the future. Not that I ever strived to be a drifter, but just knowing that I could. If my life started going to shit and I had no reason to stay in one location, I would just grab my immediate necessities and travel place to place. See the world. That really isn’t a possibility anymore. I take like 15 pills daily; most of which are just vitamins, but I have constantly been on an antibiotic for the past 6 months, and have a couple of other prescription pills. I also need at least 5 catheters per day. You can’t just go to the drugstore to pick these up, not in bulk at least, they need to be ordered through a medical company. I can’t just sleep wherever I want to anymore either. Before, sleeping on a bed was ideal due to comfortability, but now it is necessary due to keeping my health. There are all of these things I am now dependent on. I always just needed the clothes on my back and a few dollars in my pocket, and I would be able to manage for a while. Now things are different.