Yesterday was my two year anniversary of being in the wheelchair. Two years ago today I was miserable in the hospital, spaced out on pain killers. Trying to make sense of the fact that my legs weren’t working. This year’s anniversary has hit me a lot harder than last years. Last year I was high on the hope that I still had a chance for recovery. That this was all a major inconvenience and someday I’d laugh about what I went through as I tried to remember what it was like to be in a wheelchair. But this year’s anniversary it’s hit me that this is all permanent. That’s a hard pill to swallow. I have to be realistic now and know that no matter how hard I try, there’s nothing I can do to get my nerves back to work. It’s not a muscle you can rehabilitate or something you can train back into working. It’s something you just deal with.
This is my life now. Running out to the store involves having to load and unload my wheelchair. Taking a flight involves me having to transfer onto a narrow little aisle chair and strapped in like a belligerent inmate. Being invited to a party involves me having to ask friends if there are obstacles like a step or high threshold and asking them to measure their doorways. “Now, the bathroom doorway is 28 inches including the door or the door clears that?” Having a baby means I have to figure out how I can get the little bundle of poopy joy in and out of a crib. Being asked to go to the park with a friend means I have to tell them that grass isn’t so easy with a wheelchair.
I’m not sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I’m normally very upbeat and positive about everything. But, this year is just hard. I just need a couple of days to think about how much this sucks and then I’ll be fine. I guess I’m just overly emotional. Like, I can’t think about my bike without tearing up. I remember when my parents got me my adult tricycle a couple years ago and how stoked I was. I rode it from the bike store to my house, which was several miles. The hubs followed behind me like a nervous dad because he was worried I’d fall off. He said I had the hugest smile on my face the entire time! From that moment on, I rode it almost every day. Sometimes a couple times a day. It made me so happy. And now I can’t do that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have my bike attachment for my wheelchair, but it’s so not the same. I miss my bike and it breaks my heart seeing it sitting in my garage collecting dust.
(This picture was the day I got my bike. See the smile??)
Maybe I am whining. But I’m confident I will feel better soon. I’m already feeling better than I was yesterday. It was a rough day yesterday. A couple days of sadness doesn’t mean I’m giving up on life. I know that I’m lucky in so many ways. And I know that I can still do so much these days. And in some ways I can do more than I did before. So please excuse me while I wrap up my pity party and I promise to be back to my normal, optimistic self in the next couple of days.