Enjoying Life When Your Body Is a Prison

I thought I’d take a moment to share a little about how Laurin enjoys life in her post-accident reality. Yes, I said “enjoys.” I know most people have a hard time imagining how someone with “locked-in syndrome” could possibly have a positive life experience.

I know it’s easy to think of all the negatives about Laurin’s situation. She can’t move (except her head and eyes), speak, drink or eat. She is stuck in the same room most of the time. If her nose itches, wouldn’t that be enough to drive her crazy? She can’t even let someone know she’d prefer a different TV channel. I used to tease her about watching too many soap operas (she would laugh so hard over this!), hoping the nurses would overhear and think about giving her something more substantial to watch.

On the positive side, I think Laurin’s situation has made her the most patient person in the world. Every little event in her daily routine must be something she looks forward to with eager anticipation. Each nursing shift change; bath time; TV time; seeing her grandmother wake up in the bed across the room; watching the yard work being done outside her window. When it gets quiet, I’m sure she watches the birds and squirrels out her window, looks at her photos and memorabilia and takes long naps. Her favorite times are when she’s surrounded by people, especially old friends. This is when she lights up and smiles the most. She appreciates a funny line and will laugh big. She loves to look at pictures, so she’s a willing, captive audience for all our vacation photos.

Laurin enjoys her brother's vacation photos.

Laurin enjoys her brother’s vacation photos.

If she gets to go out, even just to the doctor, that is a great day! The trip to see the “Annie” performance was huge for her. Once near Christmas, we bundled her up and took her out in her wheelchair to look at the Hidalgo light display. She had the BEST time!

Laurin accompanied brother Carey and sister-in-law Lisa to see the Christmas light display in Hidalgo. Check out her facial expressions!

Laurin accompanied brother Carey and sister-in-law Lisa to see the Christmas light display in Hidalgo. Check out her facial expression!


Any of her friends who might want to visit her, but feel intimidated by her condition, please try to put that aside. It does take a little getting-used-to when you have to carry on a one-sided conversation, but she certainly enjoys it. Just think of a few stories to share with her, maybe some pictures to show her. You could even read to her. Just give Melba a call before you stop by if you want to make sure Laurin is ready to receive visitors (i.e., not asleep or in the bath).

Here’s the biggest reason I think Laurin still enjoys life. Since she trusted the Lord as her Savior in childhood (well before her accident), we know she is a Christian and are quite sure she prays. That must a fulfilling way for her to spend her time. It is also probably a great relief to communicate to Someone who understands her completely. She gets emotional and tears up during worship music or when we talk to her about God and heaven or read scripture. Anything about the Lord obviously strikes a deep chord in her. This undoubtedly has made the biggest difference for her. Her body may be “locked-in,” but her spirit is free as a bird!

Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

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If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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