Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Wheelchair 101

About six weeks ago I got a wheelchair. It has been sitting in the dining room mostly unoccupied. I figured it was for sticking into the car when I needed to go to medical offices, out to dinner or long, slow trips on sandy beaches (nah, not really). With someone else doing the pushing.

WRONG! Michael, my P.T. guy now tells me that every step I take with the walker counts. It must be well executed. No more dragging, Frankenstein style. Heel down - roll toe up lift. Did you ever think there was SO much that goes into one single step. (Hey, man on the Moon).

Well, jump to mid-story. I can get many 30 feet and am exhausted. This puts me close to wheelchair, saddled up in dining room. I switch walker for wheelchair but just sit there. OOOHHH - I have to do something. Geez - big wheels just sit there - waiting patiently for me to try and figure out angles and turns and trying hard not to run over Hero. Who, by the way, seems to have quite a sense of when to RUN for a corner.

Today, Chris, an Occupational Therapist, helped me christen the kitchen. It was pathetic. I bumped, I crashed, I got wedged, I really got stuck, I felt very, very sorry for myself - all just trying to get a frozen eggie thing out of the freezer and and into the microwave. I know I'll get better, faster, more agile, i Know - I know....somethings you just wish you didn't have to know. Then, I think about what Son said about how complex our brains are - about how this swelling could be affecting my speech, my memory, my eyesight - I am fortunate. I know...
Love and Light,


At 2:58 AM, Anonymous Brent said...

I know I already left a comment in Kid Sis' blog saying pretty much the same thing, but I felt obligated to say it to you in person as well.

I've just recently finished reading "mom's cancer", and I wanted to say this- You've become an inspiration to me.

I don't know how else to say it. The way you kept pushing and didn't give up, it was nothing less than inspiring. I wish I had your strength.

/end idolizing speech

At 4:39 AM, Blogger Louie said...

Good luck with the chair practice. I suppose that, just like a lot of things, maneuvering the chair is a skill that needs to be learned -- I doubt that anyone one gets it right away, so don't feel too bad. I'd bet on ya! :)

At 3:57 PM, Blogger ronnie said...

I had a very familiar feeling while reading this post, Mom! That, "Oh my God, this is SO HARD and it is going to take FOREVER to learn how to do it... and I have absolutely NO CHOICE!" feeling.

I really deeply empathize with what you're going through with the chair. And there's not a damned thing to be done except get on with it, because if you don't get through the beginning you'll never get to the middle or the good bit, the bit where you're zipping around like a NASCAR driver...

Good luck. We're all rooting for you and, believe it or not, the NASCAR days will come...



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