I said it last night to my wife who was pottering around getting her clothes ready for her work week. “I wish I could get up and walk.” It’s a thought I haven’t uttered out loud since I lost the use of my legs on August 31st. My wife had her own doctor’s appointment in Miami then she went off home for the week to work and look after Rusty while I stay here and exercise my heart out. I took a few tentative steps while also putting my left foot more firmly on the ground than I should have done:
As I become more physically active the restraints put on me by my wheelchair become ever more apparent. My chair is too wide for me and this creates numerous difficulties. The back and the seat aren’t taut and the sagging produces a ghastly slump which becomes tailbone painful after a few hours. The wheels are so wide I have difficulty reaching the rings that I am supposed to use to propel myself. Often I resort to grasping the tire which is unsanitary and gets me yelled at. Even then the chair at 26 inches wide is a tank and an utterly unresponsive lump to move.
I send helpers out to seek out a 22 inch chair left perhaps by a departing patient to replace my monster. No luck so far. No response to my request from my case worker. I soldier on. At least I am past the Hoyer Lift and now risk my neck by sliding from bed to chair and back:
As long as you keep the plank under your thigh and don’t allow yourself to slide forward it’s quite simple. Strong arms help and an ability to wiggle. Meanwhile daily life continues.
At home I use a safety razor and I stand nonchalantly before the mirror. Here it’s a bit different but I got the job done. Bit like the struggle to brush your teeth without dribbling toothpaste on yourself. It’s a whole different way to live.