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Stories of Resilience

Can't Do


After her accident, Alicia is aware of what she can't do but even more aware of what she can do.
Alicia with her dog

by Blog Contributor

A year ago


By: Alicia Souveny

Three months ago I was hit by an SUV on my way to work. The weeks before I had played in a multi-sport league with a group of friends. I had celebrated Valentine's day with my husband by standing in our kitchen for hours, while we cooked a fancy meal together. I had been going to work. As a pediatric physiotherapist, I spent most of my days on my feet: crouching,  lifting or teaching exercises to kids of all ages. February 16th was also meant to be a work day until my accident happened. A fight for my life. Many scars, a colostomy, a minor brain injury, a couple skin grafts and a below the knee amputation later, there are many things I can’t do.

I can’t slide into home plate, kick a soccer ball or balance well enough to return a serve. I can’t ski. I can’t run. I can’t hike. I can’t hide my disfigurement. I can’t pick up my nephew and hang him upside down. I can’t take my dog out. I can’t carry a bowl of cereal to the table. I can’t walk without aids.

And that’s not all. I also can’t poop in a toilet or control when I fart. I can’t keep my skin from getting irritated around my new ostomy site. I can’t go swimming. I can’t shower without a bag over my leg. I can’t leave the house without a backup ostomy and wound care supplies.

I can’t hang out in large groups for too long. I can’t make it through the day without a nap. I can’t remember a month of my life.

But there is still a lot I can do.

I can wake up next to the person I love. I can cuddle with my dog. I can laugh with my friends. I can hug my family. I can keep score at my slow pitch games. I can work hard on getting strong for when my skin is ready for a prosthesis. I can make plans to hike Mt. Assiniboine next year. I can help make dinner from the table. I can get around on crutches.

And I can poop in a bag! I can look forward to swimming in the ocean again. I can think of hilarious Halloween costumes for years to come. I can have fun. I can cry. I can motivate others. I can learn how to be a better physiotherapist. I can relate. I can live.

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