God's Miracle for Mike
By: MommyLady5150@aol.com

It's a miracle. It's a blessing.  This morning I dropped to my knees and thanked God for his miracle.  I've been crying happy tears all day.

Mike is my buddy. He's on the road year round, in an eighteen wheeler.  His job is more of a challenge then most.  Mike lives in a wheelchair.  He drives an adapted rig.  Over the past five years he's upgraded his rig to include a lift and handicap accessible living quarters.  It's been frustrating for him.  Many times Mike would stop to take showers at truck stops to find the facilities up flights of stairs, doorways too narrow to maneuver his chair or people just intolerant of his limitations.

It all began while working on his truck, an exhaust manifold fell and knocked him back across a tire rim, His spinal cord was damaged.  The accident left him partially paralyzed.  Rehab got him back on the road in braces and he learned to adapt.  As he was learning to adjust an icy day gave him an even bigger challenge. As Mike exited his truck his crutch slipped and he fell crushing his spinal cord a second time.  This time the doctors told Mike he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

It's hard to imagine the anger and fear that must have engulfed him.  I've listened to Mike tell me how he wanted to give up.  How he lay in rehab for months.  He listened to motivational speakers.  They told him he'd set his own limits. He was angry.  His life changed once, now twice.  It took courage, he found it and began again, back out on the road.  Climbing the side of his truck, hand over hand.  He pulled himself up and was back on the road.  There are many truckers that know Mike on the road, his nickname is Monkey.

It was Thanksgiving week 2001.  Mike and his daughter were coming to visit me on the West coast. A trip to Disneyland for his teenage daughter. They set out late, his load wasn't ready.  We're both thinking oh great, what next.  It was just like every other time he tried to visit, major problems.  Well it wasn't long and it hit, he was sick and had to stop.  His head hurt bad.  We talked over and over, I was so far away and unable to help. After four days of bed rest he was still feeling terrible and decided to head back home.  He was still sick.  It took days to feel better and Mike was back on the road.  We decided that God had a different plan for him and he ought to just stay busy.

Two weeks ago, on the road again, Mike felt an itch on his lower back and scratched it.  He thought "Wait that can't be happening I can't feel there."  He looked around to see if something was wrong, he thought fire, something.  Pulling over he checked his backside and didn't see anything wrong.  The itch was gone.  What was going on?

It took just seconds.  Pins and needles spread up and down his legs.  The pain was intolerable.  He felt like he was on fire.  He called his friends and told them he needed help, they sent for an ambulance.  Mikes dog "Wolfie" attacked the paramedics as they entered the cab.  The pain was bad, Wolfie was afraid for his owner and the paramedics were panicking.  Here was a paraplegic, feeling pain, horrifying pain after five years of numbness.  The ambulance took him to the hospital.  The doctors treated his pain.  They took x-rays that showed how it was impossible.  His spinal cord was crushed, this should not be happening.  But it was happening.

It's been two weeks now.  Mike went back to the rehab facility learning to deal with his miracle.  It was hard for him to go back to the place that taught him how to deal with life from a chair.  He visited with friends that were there during his first ordeal and then his second. He was back again, this time with a miracle.  His thought was "Why me?  He told me he felt guilty.  He was mad.  Five years of adjusting and now what.  But the man goes on.

Yesterday was his first day back on the road. He likes the feel of the cool sheets on his legs when he sleeps.  His backside gets sore when he drives too much. There is a long recovery ahead.  He made a decision to strenghthen his muscles while on the road. The question of "why me", is still his first thought. And then there is tomorrow.

Thank you God.  Mike may think it's another challenge but I know it's a miracle.

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