Stabbing Left Me a Quadriplegic – Helping and Inspiring Others

Stabbing Left Me a Quadriplegic – Helping and Inspiring Others

stabbing left me a quadriplegic
helping and inspiring others
By Wyatt Guttenberg

This article is being brought to you by cityCURRENT, Get Involved & Power the GOOD!

15 years ago, a month before my 21st birthday, I was stabbed in the neck while trying to help a stranger who was getting jumped at a party. When I was originally injured the doctor told me that I’d better get used to reading the newspaper because that’s all I’d ever be able to do. Instead of giving up and being a victim, I immediately rejected that idea and set out on my journey to defy the odds, and for the last 15 years I’ve been researching and exploring every option when it comes to treatments.

Getting rejected from clinical trials. I’ve turned myself into a human guinea pig experimenting with all types of alternative treatments, nutritional supplements, and the latest innovations in health and healing. Some of them seem to have been helpful, some of them weren’t, but the point is you never know unless you try.

As of now I’ve gotten to the point where I can sporadically move almost every part of my body, and have at least a little bit of sensation in almost every part of my body. The next step for me is stem cell & NAD+ treatment. My family is in no way well off, but through a lot of hard work done by my family, friends, and me, we’ve raised almost $28,000 to go towards treatment. This has been a total grassroots effort comprised of things like a gofundme campaign, yard sales, email campaigns, and fundraiser dinner/auctions. Even the majority of auction items for the fundraiser dinner were compiled through donations by local businesses because of a flyer campaign we decided to do. My dad literally spent entire days going door to door to local businesses, explaining my situation, and asking if they’d be willing to help. Believe me, if we can do it then almost anyone can.
One of the most important reasons I do this is to show other people who might be in a difficult situation, a situation where it seems like there’s no hope, that this is possible. There is a way to get things done if you put your mind to it. Eventually I’d also like to turn this into a blueprint for a foundation that helps other people in need get treatments that could be life changing for them and their families.
Q & A – Reddit
Q. Probally not the question you’re looking for, but how did it feel to get stabbed? What happened? What first aid did you receive? (ShibiStorm)
A. To be honest I didn’t know I got stabbed. I didn’t feel it. The actual stabbing cut the ligaments in my neck which weekend the structure. Then I was knocked down and hit my forehead on the ground. The first thing that happened was an immediate PING sound. I thought to myself “Oh I must be about to be knocked out,” but that never happened. Then I went to get up and couldn’t move anything at all. Then my friends picked my up (never do this with a neck injury) and drove me to the hospital. I was so convinced that I had just fallen that I actually got into an argument with the police officer who came and asked me who stabbed me. The first few months are really blurry. I was on a ton of medications. I remember a lot of anxiety attacks, particularly at night because I couldn’t move to get comfortable. Then months and months of physical rehab.
Q. Since your injury, have you found things you are passionate about that you were not previously? Have you been able to accomplish certain things you set out to do? (truebouta)
A. Yeah definitely. I’ve gotten really into science, philosophy, theology, physics, metaphysics… all kinds of random interesting subjects that I probably never would have gotten into if it weren’t for the injury. As for accomplishments, after my injury I decided to start college and got my degree in IT. I was pretty proud of that.
Q. Was the attacker caught? (paraphrased – squishysquishh)
A. So growing up I was friends with everyone; the nerds, the stoners, the cowboys, jocks, and the gangsters. For some reason I just seemed to click with everyone. While I was in the hospital a guy who I had been friends with, definitely what you would consider a gangster, (for context he’s currently serving a life sentence in prison) came to my hospital room. He told me he knew who had stabbed me, lifted up his shirt, flashed me a gun, and said “Give me the word and I’ll take care of it.” I told him “no, that’s not what I wanted.” and that was the end of it. I’ve been told by a few other people that they knew who the guy was, but there were never any arrests made or anything like that.
I have forgiven him though, and wish no ill will.
Q. Could you expand on your sporadic movements and sensations? How long did it take before you started feeling and moving, and what therapies have you done that led to these results? (laserfazer)
A. So yeah. This is a bit hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it. I’ll do my best. There are times when I feel… sort of an energy build up in my stomach, or legs, or hands. When I feel that build up, say in my stomach, I’ll try to do a sit up. My stomach flexes super hard and I can usually get my head and shoulders off the bed on the first try. The second try it’ll be a little weaker, and so on. Usually I can get 4-5 flexes off before things shut down. The sensation is pretty consistent, I guess the sporadic-ness of it is just how much sensation there is. Sometimes I’ll have about 60% sensation in my right leg, sometimes 30%.

The amount of time it’s taken for everything is different, and it’s so gradual that I couldn’t tell you exactly how long it took. The movement in my biceps and upper forearms took a few months, the rest has been accomplished over years.

I’ve used all kinds of things to try to stimulate the nerves in my body. Electrodes, vibrating massagers, heat & cold stimulation. There are 2 things that I would give the most credit to though, different types of supplements, and meditation. I can make a list of different supplements I’ve used if anyone’s interested. The meditation is a bit… unexplainable (to me at least) though. A lot of times if I’m having trouble I can zone out, put myself in a trance like state, and then it’s like for a brief instance my body and mind are in sync and I can move.

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How I Positively Grieved After the Death of my Mom

How I Positively Grieved After the Death of my Mom

How I positively Grieved

After the death of my mom
By Ashley Moss – Guest Blogger

MSM Mission Works brings life insurance to multi-cultural middle-class America. Click to learn more!

Seven months ago, my mom died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 57. Her cancer diagnosis and death were hard for me to deal with and grasp because I had a close bond with my mom. She was one of my best friends, and a single mom to me and both of my siblings. Thus, letting her go and coming to terms with her death was tough for me. 

The day she died, I felt like both my parents had been ripped away from me in a moment’s notice because I had never had a father growing up. She was my biggest supporter in life, and we often depended on each other for strength and guidance throughout the last years of her life. When she died, I didn’t immediately start to grieve. Though I wanted to, it took me several weeks to get over the shock and denial of realizing that my hero had died. Besides, I couldn’t grieve after my mom’s passing because I had to write out her obituary, contact my mom’s church and her pastor for the funeral and burial services, contact her boss about having the repast at her place of work, and pack up my mom’s things. It was a month after my mom’s death that her absence started to affect me, and I started to grieve.

After the funeral and burial services were over and I had packed up my mom’s things and donated them to charity, I went home. I went home, locked my bedroom door, laid down in my bed, and cried for 3-4 hours straight. I cried because I missed her. I cried because I needed her then, and I couldn’t have her comfort me in that moment like she had done so many times before. I cried because I knew the credits had rolled on the memories and bond that I had made with her, and I couldn’t start them over again with her by my side. I grieved long and hard for about three and a half months before I began to feel at peace with my mom’s death and let her go. 
I had cried enough. It was time to try to begin to piece the pieces of my life back together again.

One morning in April, I woke up and decided to put away the bereavement cards that people had given me and family members out of my sight. Then, another day I found myself crying less about her death, beginning to move forward with my life, and finding my way of the sadness that I had been in since her death. Lastly, I woke up one day in the first week of July before noon and felt that it was time to stop grieving so heavily for my mom and time to start living my life again. I had cried enough. It was time to try to begin to piece the pieces of my life back together again. It was six months after my mom’s passing that I came to this decision, but it was mine and I had come to the resolution on my own.
The peace that I feel now after positively going through the stages of grief and not trying to rush or obliterate the process from my experience was worth it. I still have sad days and find myself crying sometimes when I think of her and her memory, but for the most part I’m choosing to deal with grief over the loss of my mom in a positive way. I refuse to let depression, sadness, and grief cripple me.
 The following is a list of how I try to positively grieve my mom’s death daily.

1. I embrace my Christian faith. I find comfort in it and reading the bible day to day as I remember the things my mom taught me about God and her favorite bible verses.

2. I stay in touch with family members, friends, and people who meant a lot to my mom. On sad days, I tell family members and friends to check on me as well as to pray for me. To add to, talking to mom’s old friends on the phone and hearing them tell me stories about her and her love for me helps on sad days.

3. I try to still celebrate special dates that meant a lot to mom and me even in her absence from my life. Her birthday was a big deal to us both, so this year I went out to eat on her birthday as if I were still treating her. I also plan to donate money to a cancer foundation on her death anniversary this year and carry out holiday traditions that my mom started with my siblings and me.

4. I give myself space and time to grieve. If there’s a day where I feel sad and want to wallow in my sadness over my mom’s death, I let myself do so for however long I need to that day. Afterwards, I resume my plans for the day or week. I don’t force myself to feel better right away or to be done grieving her death by a certain time. I’ll always miss her and will never be fully done grieving her death.

5. I try to express my feelings daily in some form or way. I don’t hold my feelings in or try to hide my feelings about my mom’s death. Sometimes, I will talk them over with family and friends. Other times, I’ll journal my feelings or write a poem about them.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve a loved one that has passed on. Nor is there a time limit that was put on how long a person should grieve for their deceased loved one. My advice to everyone out there who is grieving the death of a loved one is to go with the flow and find what works for you as you grieve. I did.
ashley Moss
Guest Blogger // AshleyMossAuthor.weebly.com
Ashley Moss was born and raised in Memphis, Tn. She is the middle child of three children born to her mother, and she dearly loves her family. She is an aspiring journalist and writer who is finishing up her third degree at Southern New Hampshire University online. She also loves reading, writing, anything inspirational, and pizza.

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Glazed and Fired

Glazed and Fired

Glazed and fired

a spiritual journey of pain to beauty

By Matthew Brewer – Guest Blogger

This article is brought to you by The Wendy Thompson Lending Team. More Than A Mortgage!

Have you every looked closely at a beautiful ceramic vase, at the color, the detail, the fine craftsmanship that this vase displays?  Have you ever considered what this vase went through to look the way it does?

Maybe you have seen someone in a magazine or a T.V. commercial with a chiseled body or a figure that you would kill for?  Have you every considered what that body had to go through to look like that?  What pain was endured in order to have that body?  What sacrifices were made?  What was added to this person’s life in order for them to look like this?

Oftentimes in life, we look at the finished product of something, see its beauty and admire it, and never once stop to think about what happened to it to get it there.

I have been guilty of this many times.  I see someone at the gym and I think I want to look like them.  I want to have that type body.  However, the true painful reality for me is that I am not willing to do what it takes to get that body.  I may do a few things to be healthier and I may change a few habits, but I am not willing to take the steps to make such a dramatic transformation.   I am not willing to endure the pain to have a refined, toned body.  When you talk to these fit and trim people, more likely than not, they all have a story of dramatic and systematic changes that they had to endure to create and maintain their physique.

The vase is just clay and rude paint until it has been glazed and presented to the flames of the fire.  The body is just flesh, bones, and skin until it has been toned and manicured.  Our lives are just empty vessels until they have been glazed by the fruits of the Spirit and presented to the flames of the Holy Spirit.

Our lives are just empty vessels until they have been glazed by the fruits of the Spirit..

We begin our journey as clay, waiting to be created into something beautiful by our Creator.  He takes our lives and pours Himself into us, with attention to detail and with a strong purpose to make us into His image.  We have to go through something in the forming.  Life is not perfect.  Life is not always easy and life is certainly not the proverbial bed or roses that some think it should be.  It is through our pain, our struggles, our sorrow that we can be glazed and fired by the flames of the Holy Spirit.

When I think about the glaze on my own life of clay, I think of 4 ways in which I am glazed and then fired.

1. Bible Study
2. Daily Prayer
3.  Community and Fellowship with Other Believers
4.  Corporate Worship in a Community of Faith

Bible Study helps me to understand God and His purpose for my life.  It helps me to know how to surrender and allow God to lead me on my journey.  Daily prayer is my conversation with God.  My wife has often said she doesn’t say Amen after a prayer because it is a conversation that never ends.  Fellowship and Community with other believers help cheer me on my way.  We laugh together, we cry together.  We experience life together.  We were not meant to be alone.  Community and Fellowship is a wonderful way to glaze ourselves in the Holy Spirit.   Corporate Worship – the church coming together to Worship the One who is worthy of all our praise helps to keep me on the same page and moving toward a common goal of celebrating the goodness of our Great God.

Are you ready to be glazed and fired?

Glazing is essential to bring out the inner beauty.  Even after a piece of pottery is painted, the colors don’t shine and sparkle as they should till it has been glazed and fired.  When it comes out of the fire, then we see what it is truly made of, and the image that it conveys.
Our lives are like that.  When we go through the fire, we become stronger, and when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives through his refining power, we see what we are made of, who we were meant to be, and the image that we convey.

Are you ready to be glazed and fired?  The flames of His Spirit are waiting today!

Prayer

Great God our Father, thank you for the blessings of this life, and Lord, please help me to see the refining that you are doing in my life as a blessing, as a way to draw closer to you and understanding who I am to you and the purpose you have for my life.  I will cover my life with studying your word, having daily conversations with you, fellowshipping and worshipping with other believers.  Guide me today and always.  Amen!

Matthew Brewer

Guest Blogger

Matthew Brewer has been in the Memphis area since 2003, and in that time, he has been no stranger to the wonderful southern cuisine found here in the Mid-South.  He graduated from West Liberty State College, received his masters from University of Louisiana at Monroe, and his D.Min from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  He is employed by Shelby County Schools as a PLC Coach, pastors Grace Gathering Church, and in his spare time, does marketing for his Wife, Jennifer’s custom Jewelry Company, Jentegrity Jewelry, located in Cordova.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, quiet evenings at home, dinners with friends, and lots of family time.

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Impressions On The Heart – Turning Pain Into Purpose

Impressions On The Heart – Turning Pain Into Purpose

impressions on the heart
turning pain into purpose
By Chelsea Lyles-Jackson

This article is being brought to you by Safari Lawn Care, Click to Get a Quote from the Best!

My name is Chelsea Lyles-Jackson I’m 26, I’m a wife, mom etc. I work full time from home now. I guess my story starts off pretty typical. My mother raised my brother and I. We had a pretty good child hood, we had it rough, but we were well taken care of and loved. I would describe the child me as shy, sweet for the most part lol, sensitive, and giving. I went through my rebellious period as a teen and a young adult. I would say I had big dreams, goals, I’ve always wanted to help people in any way I could. I thought I knew everything and that I was grown too. Although, I allowed different experiences to take me hostage and set me backwards, and over time I know I lost myself early. There were times we were without a place to call our own, but mom always made sure we had some where to go.

I’ve had my share of heart breaks, etc. I tried community college a few times after high school, but I never could/would stick to it. I was only going because that’s “what you should do”. I started to forget about my dreams. School didn’t work for me not once out of the at least 4 times I tried. I moved in with my, at the time fiancé, and his mom maybe 2 months after high school. We worked minimum wage jobs just to feed ourselves. We were young, in love, and stupid of course not even knowing who we were. We struggled a lot financially as well as in our relationship. So much pressure. So young. We had a baby 20 years old; still babies ourselves. She is a blessing, but we weren’t ready, and reality hit us fast.

We went ahead and got married when our daughter was 6 months. We were still struggling and still living with my mother in law the 1st 4 years of our relationship. We finally moved out on our own with our baby and it only got harder for us. I couldn’t even really begin to talk about the demons we’ve faced. I became depressed and anxious over time. It seemed like everybody around me was going through too and to be honest that added to the depression. As bad as I thought it was for me, I hate to see other people going through. I genuinely care, I used to think I was weird and I cared too much. I job hopped and we kind of stood still it seemed like. I gained weight, I went from 135lbs to 220lbs. The depression got worse, I tried counseling and the doctors even put me on meds. It drove me personally crazy, to me it seemed to make me worse. I eventually tried to commit suicide. I know now it was selfish, but I felt weak, I felt alone, I felt like I failed as a wife and a mother. I felt like my daughter was better off without me and like everybody else was too because I couldn’t help nobody the way I wanted too not even myself…

“Thankfully the failed suicide attempt was a wake-up call”

Thankfully the failed suicide attempt was a wake-up call, a slap in the face, a reality check. I realized I needed to check myself! I stopped loving me along the way, I stopped doing things I liked and there were days where of course I was not the best to the people I love most. One thing for certain I love my family to the death of me. There are things I’ve experienced like most people that naturally cause damage.
everything is overcomeable

However, everything is overcomeable (may not be a real word but…). We all just need a little help sometimes. A simple hand to say get up baby you can make it through this and that can be from anybody, given to anybody. I realized though if you need help, it may be hard for you to help me especially if we’re trying to figure out how to overcome the same thing. Typically, what happens is we don’t realize that just by changing the way we think we can help ourselves and each other…. I’m personally tired of been sick and tired of being broke, depressed, overweight, insecure, I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of sitting on the phone with someone I love and that’s all I can do is listen to them cry. That makes me feel helpless and my spirit sinks within me. I hate feeling weak and to be stuck in feeling weak, held captive, sunken within in yourself for years is one of the hardest if not the hardest battle you’ll have to fight. Sometimes I stay off social media for periods at a time and I don’t watch the news ever because 9 timestime outta 10 you’re going to see somebody going through something. I think if I could…. I would… I yearn to be able to…. 

Eventually after a lot of praying and applying change. It hit me that I could do what it is I yearned to do. The very things that would call out my soul… My Destiny! Living a happy, fun, harmonious, loving, life with my family just turnt all the time (LOL). I just mean living my best life and living it to the fullest; I only get one. I can’t do that while there are so many people going through around me. It’s like a distraction I’ll never be fully focused or fully at peace. Even when I’m still going through myself. I want to make a change, though, and I don’t have all the resources I need to make this change, but God will provide.
“I want to make a change, though, and I don’t have all the resources I need to make this change, but God will provide.”

I started to dream again

I started to dream again, to believe I could again. To love me again! I’ve remembered my name. And i’ve remember that I’m passionate about poetry, dancing, good books, music, spending quality time with family, hanging with friends, traveling, I love to talk, I love helping people, I love to encourage others even when I can’t encourage myself. I believe in healing I want to heal and help others along the way, I feel like we can do it together.

I have big dreams to help out my community, to help women just like me who have struggled with insecurities, self-doubt etc. I want to reach suicide victims, mothers, I want to help families heal, become closer etc. I want to help children keep them dreaming. I want to help domestic violence victims, co-parenting issues, the homeless, people who just need a little more help rather it’s getting their license back, getting things expunged from their record so they may have better opportunities or finding affordable housing and jobs. I want to help former convicts get back on their feet. How do we expect them to do anything better when we wont give them a chance to?

I feel as though our crime rate is high because our kids/teens don’t have anything to do our parents can’t afford nice summer camps etc. My grandmother taught me long ago a child is going to be a child if you don’t give them something to do they’re going to find something to do and that’s one of the realest things I’ve ever heard. We don’t have enough resources, support.  I want to be able to help men heal, to talk and release. I recently found out that the suicide rate for men is higher than it is for anyone. I believe part of that comes from our men clocking out as boys, because their taught “you’re a big boy shut up get up and dust yourself off”? I can’t imagine not giving my son the same love and affection I give my daughter. 

changing the world with impressions on the heart
“we all have some type of heartbreak, past pain, that molds us and sometimes the outcomes aren’t good”

My list doesn’t stop here but honestly, I want to change the world. I know I can’t do it alone, I don’t want to and I’m not I have a team behind me that feels the same way I do, and I know there are several other people out there. I just want everybody to help each other we can change it together a little bit at a time. I don’t feel like I’ve even scratched the surface of how far I want to go to help, and the resources I want to provide. I don’t have a $1 to my name but I leaped out on faith and started a non-profit in hopes to help endlessly.
I found that people generally are good and mean well but we all have some type of heartbreak, past pain, that molds us and sometimes the outcomes aren’t good. So, I know there are a lot of people that want to help, sometimes we just don’t know where to start. Resources to help are endless. Any positive service can be utilized; donations of food, money, property, counseling services, healing services, people who have been through and they’re better or working on it to speak and be encouraging, fitness trainers, fitness equipment, volunteers, monetary gifts, poets, singers, dancers, the list is endless. I have so many different ideas, events I would like to host to empower and help the city, in so many ways no help is too much because I’m going to need all the help and support I can get. While I’m still saving up for a website etc. I’m trying not to let anything stir me away from the mission Guidance through love and life. 

If anyone would like to contact me regarding my foundation Impressions On The Heart the best way at the time to contact me would be via email impressionsontheheart@gmail.com

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The Treasure Chest and The Treasure // JustMyMemphis

The Treasure Chest and The Treasure // JustMyMemphis

The treasure chest

and the treasure

By Matthew Brewer // Guest Blogger

This article is brought to you by The Wendy Thompson Lending Team. More Than A Mortgage!

I remember vividly the first time I watched the movie “The Titanic”. I saw it December 19, 1997 at the Keith Albee Theater in Huntington, West Virginia. The historic theater was packed for every show that evening including the midnight show that I attended. The music, the visuals, and the acting, all presented themselves in a way that drew the audience to the place where the Titanic saw the last light of day.

I knew the story, I knew the ending, and yet I still wanted to see it. I wanted to experience all that it had to offer. The outcome would be no different than what I knew. Many people would lose their lives right in front of me on that big screen. It was 3 1/2 hours of great adventure, intrigue, suspense, and sorrow. As I watched real footage of the Titanic I could see how the years had decayed the old ship. It had lost its luster and shine as it had lain submerged in the deep waters for nearly 85 years.

For years, explorers had searched for the Titanic and had spent millions of dollars trying to locate it and retrieve it’s treasure. They did not care that it had been beaten by the cruel forces of nature. They did not care that it was dirty, decaying, and barely recognizable. They were concerned with what was on the inside. They knew the contents of the inside was where the value would be found. The ship itself was just a decaying shell….but on the inside, that’s where the treasure would be found. When the explorers found jewelry boxes and other trunks that had been in the harsh conditions all those years, they didn’t care about the condition of the outside of those boxes, they wanted what was on the inside.

As human beings we all have different casings, and we have all have different shells. Sometimes the painful reality of life has broken us to our very core, however we still remain. Sometimes the storms of life have beaten us down so badly that we can’t see a way out, yet we still remain. You see, it is not the outside…it is not the bruises, the scars, the tattered bodies that define who we are. We are defined by what is on the inside. Everything else is just casing to protect the treasure that lies within each of us. Our hearts, although sometimes broken, define who we really are. Sometimes we can be badly broken, but we still have a heart no matter how many pieces it may be in. The condition of the treasure does not take away from its worth. I could take $100 bill and place it on the street and let cars roll over it all day long. By the end of the day it is hard to say what condition that bill would be in. However, even ripped and torn, I can still spend that $100 bill at any bank or store.

Come. Just as you are. That is the call that Love extends to each of us. Come with your brokenness. Don’t try to fix yourself as you come. Let TRUE LOVE fix you. What a beautiful thought that the the Creator Of All will take us with all our broken parts and smudges because He sees the value of our hearts.

Today, it is my prayer that no matter what the circumstances of life, we can share our hearts and our love with someone everyday. We are all broken in some way, that’s just a fact of life. However, we can grow together each and every day in grace, hope, and love. give Jesus our hearts each and every day. Remember, don’t ever count someone out just because of their casing! We are all beautiful!

Matthew Brewer

Guest Blogger

Matthew Brewer has been in the Memphis area since 2003, and in that time, he has been no stranger to the wonderful southern cuisine found here in the Mid-South.  He graduated from West Liberty State College, received his masters from University of Louisiana at Monroe, and his D.Min from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  He is employed by Shelby County Schools as a PLC Coach, pastors Grace Gathering Church, and in his spare time, does marketing for his Wife, Jennifer’s custom Jewelry Company, Jentegrity Jewelry, located in Cordova.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, quiet evenings at home, dinners with friends, and lots of family time.

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