Reflecting back on our time in Adelaide

*Finally posting this blog after our whirlwind road trip over from Adelaide to Canberra. I wrote this a few weeks before we left Adelaide and was going to edit it since we’re now currently in Canberra, but feel it’s best left as how I originally wrote it.

So if you haven’t heard, we’re moving to Canberra in about a month. Nathan’s getting posted to a new unit and we’ll be closer to family and friends in Sydney. With our move so close, I’ve been reflecting back on our time in Adelaide. It’s hard to sum it up in a single word or phrase. Yes, I have had enjoyable moments. But I have also experienced some of the worst moments of my life. Do they cancel each other out? I don’t think it works like that. However I’m trying to look back on our time here in Adelaide as a whole, not purely based on that defining event of our lives.

We’ve made friends, colleagues and acquaintances. We’ve explored South Australian towns and villages. We’ve sampled wine drunk our way through wineries, fine dined in the best restaurant of the year and tasted our way through Adelaide’s delights. We have a go to pork roll place, a favourite fast food joint and know the streets of Adelaide like the back of our hands.

But we’ve also gone through the bad and ugly. We’ve been on the wrong end of medical treatment. Nathan’s had to undergo 5 surgeries. I’ve had to quit my job to become a full time carer. We’ve been on the receiving end of discrimination. We have lost parts of ourselves. Losing the physical ability to walk, move and pick up objects. Losing the ability to work, love and live to the best of our abilities. Losing the idea of what life was meant to be like and plans that we had in place.

But from all that we’ve lost, over time we’ve learnt to refill the gap. We’ve been resourceful, determined and strong willed in our fight for justice and knowledge. We’ve learnt to not only rely each other, but ask others for help when needed. I’ve seen Nathan grow from strength to strength, from those first few days in a coma being told by doctors that he might not make it, to days in rehab where he always pushes on, no matter how much pain he is in. I have seen his motivation and determination exceed in places where others may have given up because it was the easier thing to do. In myself, I believe I have grown and matured from my time in Adelaide. My experience as a carer, partner and wife has dramatically changed and adapted with whatever has happened.

Maybe our time in Adelaide wasn’t what we had planned. But we’ve grown and developed as individuals and as a couple through each unique experience that presented itself. We’ve both been resilient on this journey, with our focus on his recovery and also raising awareness for stroke and brain injury in young adults.  I’m not sure if I can say I look forward to whatever else comes our way, but I can say that we’re both damn well prepared for whatever does happen.

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