Life With A Physical Disability

melissa divietri

There are moments in your life that you will always remember.. Forever moments of pain, love, heartbreak, sadness, accomplishment, failure, success and the list goes on. I’ve grown into this person that I am today because I’ve been thru the ringer and felt mixed emotions my entire life. I’m ready to share my story…I’m ready for the world to know the things that I’ve witnessed and where my inner strength comes from. Let’s jump into it:

Helicopter Shuttle That Saved My Life

When I was born in Traverse City, MI in the 80’s – I had major health complications that couldn’t be cared for in TC. The doctors made a drastic decision that would determine my fate. I was a sick baby flown in a helicopter just moments after I was born. The helicopter shuttled me to the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor for emergency intensive care. I was operated by specialized surgeons that were fighting to keep me alive.. my legs stuck straight up in the air and were wrapped with cloth and pins. My hips were not in their proper sockets, so doctors performed surgery on the area so that my legs would lay flat on the table instead of straight in the air. I had tubes coming in & out of my nose, arms, all over the place to keep breath in my lungs. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.

I was trapped in an incubator for weeks and weeks because I was so fragile… An incubator is one of those clear contraptions that you have to stick your hand through a hole just to touch me. My mom & dad, who adopted me – (we will get to this chapter later), came to visit on every opportunity to see how I was doing. The fear of losing a baby is unimaginable & they were not going to let that happen. The reason that I am this way, which lead me into the hospital for weeks after birth, is something that I will never repeat… not yet.

– the pain of looking at my baby photos covered in tubes
– the fear that I would forever look like this crippled human being
– the moments when you realize your birth parents were never there
– the facts that prove God has a bigger plan

The heartbreak when I look at these photos of my body.. makes me want to cry for days.There was a fight inside me that kept going.. the pain, the crying, the uncomfortable moments that I have to relive when I look at these photos. How did I make it thru all of that? What was the fight inside me that didn’t want to stop? Why me? How can something so small make such an impact on staying alive?

This was a moment where I realized that God had a special plan for me. From the flight to U of M that saved my life, to being stuck in an incubator, to having complications that I knew would last forever. I overcame those moments and preserved to being a strong baby.

Still interested in reading more about me? Check this blog post on my disease, sacral agenesis.