A Walk to The Beach

It is easy to overlook all the blessings we receive in our lives. It is easy to get lost in the flow of a routine. It is easy to stop noticing the little things throughout our daily lives. It is easy to take for granted the gift of health, shelter, clothing, and everything we are so lucky to have. It is easy to get tangled in the net of what we believe to be important.

Christina Doherty practically grew up on the Ocean. Every year, Christina and her family would go to Maine. Never interested in laying around in the sun, Christina was in the water immediately.

“The Ocean is the place that I feel most at home.” 

Due to complications of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Christina’s balance began to fail.

“I was no longer able to make the walk down to the water in the heat. I had to stay in bed while my family enjoyed themselves.” 

When Christina’s health began to deteriorate, she was no longer able to go to the beach and her home was lost. The Ocean, the peace of the waves crashing against the shore, her home, was all stolen.

It was not long before Christina was unable to walk. Christina’s days at the beach, the days she held so closely, were now just a memory.

“The second I could no longer make it to the Ocean it became my goal to do so.”

When it was necessary for Christina to enter inpatient rehab, she had hit her rock bottom. She never stopped believing that she could get back to the beach and held the hope close to heart, almost as close as the peaceful waves that she missed so much.

“The main goal was that when I left, I would be on my feet. I honestly never thought I would achieve that. I told them that the thing I missed the most was the Ocean. If I could just feel the ocean on my feet again, I would be happy and that would be enough.”

Christina fought for her legs. Her therapist would take her out to walk out on different terrains,

“Let me tell you, I had no idea that walking on grass could be so challenging!”

Time passed, and Christina’s hard work paid off. It was a dark and cloudy day, not an ideal beach day, but for Christina it was perfect.

“When we got to the beach I felt a bit overwhelmed and honestly a little silly to have my mom and sister watching me. I had made such a big deal about it for so long and here I was. Now what? It was really just a small little waterfront in Rhode Island. It was a cloudy day and starting to drizzle. The sand was rocky and the shells cut my feet, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to run down the beach and dive headfirst into the water, but alas I do still have a PICC line and a feeding tube, which I cannot get wet. This certainly wasn’t the beach I had been dreaming about, this certainly wasn’t the body I’d been hoping to have, I couldn’t do the things I had been dreaming about, and we only stayed a half hour, but it was all okay. In the end, the process of re-learning how to walk and dreaming about the perfect beach day ended up being much more exciting than the actual trip and I am not in the least bit disappointed with that.” 

Christina never thought she would walk again, but she worked and she worked until she could. After loosing practically everything, she has got this very small, but yet bigger than life blessing back in her life. If Christina’s story should speak it would say never stop dreaming and never stop believing. Work hard towards your goals and always appreciate the little things because you never know when they will be taken away.

 

Christina 1

 

Christina 2

 

Click here to check out Christina’s vlog about living with chronic illness.

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