Post-paralysis, normal has a new meaning
Michelle Scheuerlein is a woman with grit. On July 8, the owner of Rosemount Floral was paralyzed from the waist down and her attitude in facing the injury reflects that.
On that July day, Scheuerlein was helping a neighbor with a damaged tree. She was clearing a broken branch when it snapped back and knocked her out of the tree. She fell 20 feet to the ground, landing on her back.
She sustained multiple severe injuries including a broken shoulder and ribs, a collapsed lung and two shattered vertebrae, which resulted in a severed spine. The spinal injuries left her paralyzed from the waist down. She still has full function of her upper body.
“I will be in a wheelchair, most likely, for the rest of my life,” said Scheuerlein.
Sensation have returned to her feet, meaning she can feel hot and cold, but Scheuerlein said she’s living with a new reality.
Presently, Scheuerlein is at the Hennepin County Medical Center Rehab Clinic where she has undergone extensive physical therapy. Scheuerlein said she goes through three hours of physical training a day. While it’s exhausting, Scheuerlein has been able to make progress, including dressing herself.
“So I know the fact I can almost dress myself seems odd. But when having two legs and a butt with no feeling or muscle control, dressing is a big deal,” Scheuerlein wrote on her CaringBridge page.
While adjusting to life in a wheelchair hasn’t been easy, Scheuerlein sees no alternative but to push forward and make the best of it. With the support of her husband, Merle, and sons Curtis and Alex, Scheuerlein has been able to stay mostly positive through her ordeal.
“There’s people here who just curl in a ball and cry. I’ve had a few crappy days, but that won’t be me,” said Scheuerlein.
Part of what drives Scheuerlein is getting back to the work that she loves. Scheuerlein has owned Rosemount Floral for 18 years.
To keep up with work, Scheuerlein has been doing paperwork at the hospital throughout her treatment. While she’s been out, Scheuerlein, her staff has kept the shop open and running smoothly.
“They really are fantastic,” Scheuerlein said.
Scheuerlein expects to get out of the hospital sometime near her birthday, which is Aug. 21. After that she plans to return to work in short order.
Scheuerlein said a low hanging counter will be installed at the shop so she can continue to do floral design work and some other adjustments will be made at the shop to accommodate her wheelchair.
“I will be back in there soon. I’ve stayed positive through this and am pushing forward each day,” said Scheuerlein.
Throughout her ordeal, Scheuerlein has received a tremendous amount of support from the community. A number of Rosemount businesses have offered to do fundraisers. And Scheuerlein said she has received lovely notes and cards from a variety of people.
Rosemount Floral employee Pam Johnson has been planning some fundraising efforts to help the Scheuerlein family with medical expenses.
“Michelle has been a staple in the community for many years and we just want to make sure her family has the support they need right now,” said Johnson.
While they hope to do a dinner in the future, Scheuerlein’s ongoing treatment has put plans on hold until she is released from the hospital. In the meantime, donation cans have been put in a number of Rosemount businesses, including Rosemount Floral, to accept monetary gifts.
Donations also can be made online at www.gofundme.com/bcrdf0. However the site takes a chunk of each donation for administrative costs.
Lastly those wanting to follow Scheuerlein’s journey can follow her CaringBridge site at www.caringbridge.org/visit/michellescheuerlein.