Initially when a wheelchair was presented to me when leaving the hospital for the first time after our crash I had no feelings about it, but as I began to slowly recover odd emotions washed over me.
I felt okay using it in my home when I was able to get out of bed, but when my husband took me to places like the grocery store or anywhere that I had friends, I hated the attention it brought to me. I felt weak, stripped of my independence and vulnerable. I am not one who enjoys feeling out of control.
Slowly instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do as normal, I focused on the independence the wheelchair afforded to me. Now as that chariot has reappeared in my life, my family has gotten used to Mom rolling around making a definitive trail of tire tracks on our carpet.
Walking as much as feasible is always my goal and I have worked up to around three thousand steps per day, that is if I split them up. Now instead of ending my days so early and parking it on the couch, I gladly use that aluminum frame to continue doing chores or take me to social events I would have missed had it not been there to service me.
Not being a huge mall shopper anyway, I have mostly avoided this location for the past six years. I haven’t been able to ambulate around even one wing without extreme difficulty, always looking for any spot to sit down, even if it’s on the mannequin stand in the middle of a department store, to alleviate the terrible pain in my lower legs.
When it comes to our children though, there are times we make exceptions. Like when your daughter needs a dress for court warming. Instead of spending our time together with her searching for that one dress and me sitting in the chairs waiting for her to show them to me, we were able to search together. As a team. Mother and daughter calling out, “What about this one?” or my daughter saying, “Oh Mom, puke! No!” Instead I was able to enjoy this social experience to its fullest, with laughter and quick looks at how my baby girl has grown so beautifully. I could concentrate on her and our moments instead of being bombarded by searing pain and disappointment that my memories would be clouded by that discomfort.
I tried to commemorate our exceptional day with a mother daughter selfie, but my Liv was not excited at that suggestion…… As you can see. I felt great, confident and at ease with my situation. Knowing that my physical condition had peaked two years ago, I suspected I had just a short time before my ascent was over and my injuries would start their decline. Now that it is here, I can handle it because this time I am prepared. It’s disappointing, of course. I thought maybe I could keep it at bay a little longer, but looking behind me, we never originally anticipated that I would get this far. More acceptance. The key to my happiness.