I often look at my wheelchair and think “Whose is that?”. And it then I will remember, it’s mine. I have named it Buzz. With the handlebars sticking up in the back it looks like a bee. When I first came out of surgery, I thought I would be walking in no time. And didn’t occur to me that I would need a wheelchair for the rest of my life. The hospital staff told me I would need to get used to my ‘new normal’. I never really listened to that since I’ve never thought there was a ‘normal’ to begin with. At least not one I’ve ever known.
I now look at my chair as a vehicle that helps me get around. I refer to it as my chariot sometimes. Since I first got the chair, I’ve had a new footplate put on, the Wijit arms have been replaced with a Smart Drive, and new rims & spoke guards have been put on the wheels. I get around okay, but I still have some trouble stopping. My right hand starts to shake and I can’t control the speed since I stick my fingers in the spokes. I have been practicing by utilizing the ramp outside. It’s hard to practice in our little house. And the more nervous I am, the more I shake. So I try to do things without a lot of eyes looking on. At least I no longer get my right foot caught in the footplate. Things you just never think about… It’s hard to be in this chair when my left side works fine. But they don’t make half a chair.
My mom was just here and helped sort through clothes. I have gotten rid of so many things. This time I got rid of longer sweaters that I can no longer wear as they get caught in my wheels. I have already thrown at all but one pair of high heels. It just can’t bear to part with one pair. It’s funny, that’s all I use to wear. I remember in LA having heels on my flip-flops!
I have also gotten rid of most of my jewelry. I can get rings on, but I have to use my teeth to pull them off. Now that tattoo ring that Dave and I got for our wedding is more precious than ever. (We got tattoos on our ring fingers right before we got married. ) I had always been upset that mine never turned a light brown like henna as it was supposed to, but instead stayed dark purple. Now I am just thankful I can look down and see the tatooed ring, and I don’t have to try to get one off and on.
One amazing thing is completely true, the more you practice, the better you get. I’ll keep working on the breaking thing. It’s kind of important!