At the start of my day, whether by sun, bladder, child or alarm, I always take a moment to mentally assess that things are the same as they are when I went to sleep.
My leg, my arm, my face, my eyes.
With the mental checklist run I swing my legs off the bed. This involves pushing my right leg with my left leg and with just enough force it also spins my torso. Lodging the left foot under my wheelchair and grabbing the mattress, I pull mysel erect.
I reach and grab my phone and tuck it over my right breast. I wear a sports bra to bed so I’ll have a place to keep my phone. I never am never without it. I have fallen too many times to ever take that chance.
I make sure both wheelchair brakes are on. I live with little girls.
I take a deep breath and push up from the mattress, turning on one foot, gripping the handle tightly. There is a moment of every “transfer” where I’m between two surfaces that I know the outcome could go either way. 99.9% it goes fine. That .1%? It hurts emotionally if not physically.
Once I’m in my wheelchair, I reach for the straps of my seatbelt. I used to hate the idea of a seatbelt. Then I started using a wheelchair all the time. I’ve been almost dumped, suddenly jerked, forced to curb hop, every manner of seatbelt-testing activity.
Take the brakes off. Put my arm in the armrest. Put my foot down ready to go.
With my left hand I steer the chair while my leg powers it towards the bathroom. I pull my hand in at the doorway because I have learned that my wheelchair is narrow enough for the doorway. Not with a hand, though.
I wheel past the toilet I have to use so badly, I reach for clean clothes to change into.
Once I’m fully ready with an outfit I head out of the closet.
I take hold of the grab bar hung by the toilet. I turn and get straight. Then I put my right leg on the floor. I know the sound when it’s at the right distance.. I stand up with a world that shakes and have learned to let go of the bar so I can do what needs to me done. I pull things down, I pull things up, I do this because its important to be able to do little things for myself.
You don’t know the meaning of the word reliance until you’ve had to ask someone else to take you to the bathroom.
It could go on and on. How I brush my teeth, take a shower, these tiny physical challenges.
Would I choose that this wasn’t my burden to bear? I’m not stupid. Of course.
But it IS mine. Wishing thing were different won’t change the fact that I have to get out of bed every day.
I had the choice to give up. Have someone else do all the hard work and just lay in a bed feeling bad for the life I’d been given.
I watch people. I listen. One thing about s speech issue is that you tend to listen more, to see more of the world going on around you.You see the the hearts that work at greatness, to love with wild abandon. You see the souls taking their tentative steps into the light, hoping to find reassurance rain down in the soft beams.You hear those that give words of softness but then betray by the actions of hardness.
Yes, it is a hard road I’ve chosen.
Just getting out of bed is daily trial.
THIS WAS A CHOICE.
What happens to you is beyond your control, but your reactions are totally your choice.
Just because you suffer doesn’t mean you get te be a douchebiscuit.