Trials: Will I Have to Live Life from a Wheelchair?

1998 or 1999 Patricia sees Disneyland from a Wheelchair

I‘ve been cleaning out the garage before cold weather hits.  An annoyance I try to ignore till I can hardly get into the house! 


This year I decided to rid myself of old files that were choking my filing cabinet.  Neglected, musty and sadly out of date manila folders lurked deep within its bowls and I was determined to pull them out and keep only those things that I need.  I was in the middle of chucking a stack of paper into the waste basket when a colorful, 8×10 photo of our family at Disneyland surfaced.  I was sitting in a wheelchair posing in front of my beloved family.  I pulled it out, dusted it off and stopped working as my mind and heart returned to my wheel chair days. 


I returned to a time when that wheelchair helped teach me to accept my handicap and accept God’s will for me before I could move on:


An excerpt from

-My Journey from Darkness to Light by Patricia Potts


Chapter Twelve – Will I Have to Live Life from a Wheelchair?


 “Be It Unto Me According to Thy Will”

          I tried to keep my spirits up during the next four months as I went from walking haltingly to sometimes needing a wheelchair because my muscles refused to respond.  It was hard to depend on others to drive me around.  Every week at church, women would sign up to help take me to numerous doctors, massage therapy, psychiatrist and other appointments.  I don’t know what we would have done without family, friends, and church support. 

We made every effort to find out what was wrong and what I could do to get better.  We tried anything and everything including kinesiology, chiropractic, homeopathy—all kinds alternative and natural disciplines as well as many medical doctors.

          As I searched the internet I thought we had found the name of my illness, “Myasthenia gravis” We made an appointment with a specialist in the field, and Dan took me there. The doctor gave me a shot that seemed to help and allow me to stand and even walk for a couple of minutes, but then I collapsed in a chair.  She then confided that she put a saline solution in the shot, instead of medication.  She said the placebo was her way of convincing me that my illness was “in my head.”   She felt it was a complicated form of depression manifesting itself through my body.  She said I needed to see a psychiatrist.

          I felt hurt, betrayed, angry and used.  That experience took more than a few days to get over because my hopes had been so high.  I just couldn’t believe that my mind could be creating this broken down, trembling and handicapped body.  Having nowhere else to turn after trying so many avenues, we finally turned to a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist I was referred to labeled my illness as “Conversion Reaction,” a condition where the mind and body have received so much physical and emotional trauma that it shuts down as a defense mechanism, similar to a circuit breaker.  Because of the power of the mind, some so afflicted may be unable to recover and atrophied muscles eventually render them handicapped for life.  In my case, he recommended staying a few months in a special psych ward where he thought I would have the best chance for recovery. 

          “To heck with him!”  I thought as I left his office. “To heck with them all! I’m sick of this!”

          Broken and beaten, when I came back home I fell into my recliner where I had spent most of the past few months.  Looking up, I saw the picture of Jesus and I cried out in tears, pain and submission, echoing Mary’s words, “Be it unto me according to thy will.”

          Dan and I had already discussed the possibility of having me go to a hospital for treatment of my Conversion Reaction, but we decided that we would use that option as a last resort.  First, I would get books, go to  therapy, and try other ideas to get better.




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